When I first heard of BEAUTYCOUNTER, I thought it was just another pyramid-schemey skincare company, a la Rodan & Fields and Nerium. You know, where hard-selling stay-at-home moms flood their Facebook feeds with dramatic before & after pics, pressure you to hold “socials,” and the worst…try to recruit you via social media when you haven’t had a legit conversation in years! (To be fair to Rodan & Fields, I did try Lash Boost and…gasp…I loved it! Who knew? Check out my review here.)

Regardless of how well the products perform, the high-pressure sales approach (from friends, no less) makes me throw up a little in my mouth. It even prompted me to write an angry post on my other blog, here. (To be fair, many of these ladies keep it classy, and have toned down their approach over the last couple of years.)

But imagine my surprise, my horror and shock, when one of my nearest and dearest friends told me she was becoming a CONSULTANT for BEAUTYCOUNTER. How could she? My friend is an artist. She’s a surfer. She is a natural beauty, nothing fake about her. She sent her kids to Waldorf, for goodness sakes. How could she turn to the dark side?

Well, turns out, BEAUTYCOUNTER (based nearby in Santa Monica, CA) has a legit mission.

The BEAUTYCOUNTER story, in a nutshell, for you BEAUTYCOUNTER virgins:

  1. There are about 10,000 chemicals commonly found in personal care products. Only 10% of those chemicals have safety data.
  2. The U.S. has not passed a major federal law to regulate ingredients used in personal care use since 1938.
  3. The EU has restricted or outright BANNED more than 1,400 ingredients used in personal care . The U.S. has only banned 11 ingredients to date. Eleven!
  4. Chemicals linked to breast cancer, learning disabilities, infertility and other health issues are ALLOWED IN THE PRODUCTS THAT WE USE EVERY DAY.
  5. BEAUTYCOUNTER’s mission: to get safe, quality products in the hands of everyone.

Well, that seems…nice. Scary, yes, but nice. So BEAUTYCOUNTER has identified 1,500 really harmful or potentially harmful chemicals (1400 of them are banned in Europe, they added another 1,000 for good measure) and creates all of their products without these dangerous substances.

Cool that they actually care?

All this is fine and dandy, but who cares how safe the products are if they don’t perform? The product could be super safe, but if it sucks, its going straight to the trash.

After all, I already have my products. I’ve got my NARS. I’ve got my MAC and my Smashbox and my Murad. I’ve got my skincare routine down. My makeup works great. I think I’m looking good! Yeah, I’m sure there are a few shady ingredients in there, but you’ve got go somehow, right? At least I will die pretty. I’ve always considered myself a “beauty-over-safety” person anyways.

But what if…what if…the BEAUTYCOUNTER products actually worked as well or BETTER than my department store brands? And what if the price was comparable? There was only one way to find out. Buy some products from my friend and see if they worked. Weeeee, shopping!

I picked some things I was running out of. Eye cream, tinted moisturizer (no way could it beat my NARS), concealer, a face mask for good measure.

Here’s what I tried, and here’s how it worked. (And please keep in mind I have rosacea and SUPER SENSITIVE SKIN that erupts in zits when approached by unfamiliar substances, so I was pretty sure at least one of these products would make me break out. Read on to find out which one.)

1.Touchup Skin Concealer Pen, $32. This product is a dead ringer for a similar product by YSL which I own, priced at $38. (Strangely enough, the YSL version isn’t technically a concealer, its supposed to be used to brighten and highlight your face. But everyone uses it as a concealer anyway.) The BEAUTYCOUNTER version is indeed designed as a concealer and it works great. It’s perfect for hiding my dark under eye circles and random redness in my face. And how can you resist the click-pen and brush applicator? This product is a win for me.

2.Eyeshadow Duo, $34. My friend-turned-Beauty-Counter-rep actually gifted this to me, and I was like, “Okay, thanks, whatever” and then I tried it. I was surprised by how much I LOVE this eyeshadow combo and I wear it pretty much…every single day. I got the amethyst/oyster combo. According to the Beauty Counter website, “The satiny powders contain Porcelain Flower Extract, a Thai bloom known for its antioxidant benefits, to help moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes for a flattering, luminous effect.” Ok. And it looks really pretty! It get compliments on it all the time!

3.Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30, $32. I put this on my neck, chest, shoulders and arms (and my legs if I’m in a running skirt) every morning before I go for my run. It goes on easily, no major white streaking, smells good and I haven’t gotten burned. Most “organic” and “non-harmful” sun blocks I have tried are a DISASTER to apply and streak white goop everywhere. Not this one. Another win. What?

4.Nourishing Eye Cream, $35. I use this on my eyes at night. I thought I was hydrating pretty well with the cheapie Neutrogena cream I had going on, but I guess not because my eyes look a lot better! It’s made with aloe and organic coconut oil and doesn’t mess with my contact lenses. I like it!

5. #3 Balancing Facial Mask, $48. It’s a hefty price tag for this charcoal face mask so I was hesitant to invest, but I’m glad I did. I’ve been using it a few times a week for the last few months and my face feels better. Definitely smoother, pores smaller. Another win!

6. Rejuvenating Eye Cream, $58. This is my favorite! Again I hesitated when I saw how expensive it was, but this stuff works. I put it on my eyes every morning and it soothes and de-puffs, and makes me look like I’ve slept, even when my children have been night devils and I’ve had to sleep on the floor in their room to get them to quiet down and go to bed. This product is made with “skin-conditioning wild algae and caffeine.” Maybe that’s why it makes me look awake? Love me some caffeine.

7.Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage, $45. This was the product I was most anxious about. I’ve been using my NARS tinted moisturizer for years and love, love, love it. I wear it every day, even when I work out, just to give me a little coverage and a happy glow. I was pretty sure that this BEAUTYCOUNTER product would a) make me break out or b) not give me enough coverage. I put it on after applying the concealer and was pleasantly surprised. My skin looked…dewy! It glowed, really. And super happy and youthful. I had to add more product than my NARS to get the coverage I wanted, but once I added a little more to my nose and cheeks I was delighted with how it looked. I have been wearing it around all day for the last few weeks, and do re-apply (just as I would with my other product) in the afternoon or the evenings if I am going out. And…the clincher…it didn’t make me break out! (To be fair, I will probably alternate this with my NARS when I need a little more staying power or if I have a lunch later in the day I want to look fresh for.) But this product is unique in its dewy, hydrating fresh glow and I can see myself rocking this in the summer with a tan, nude eyes, and coral lips.

So yeah, you can see that I really, really like these products. I was SO ready to NOT like them, because liking them requires change, and I fear change. But my plan, for the time being, is to slowly replace my old products (once I run out of them, let’s face it, makeup isn’t cheap) with BEAUTYCOUNTER products.

Haven’t tried the mascara yet but it’s on my list! Will it work as well as my MAC?

And just so we are clear here, at the moment, I am not a rep or affiliated with BEAUTYCOUNTER in any way. But you know what? Maybe, just MAYBE…given enough time… I too will turn to the dark side.

And if I do, I SWEAR you can PUNCH ME IN THE EYE if I spaz out and try to peddle my products to you. (And I can cover it up with my Beauty Counter concealer to show you how well it works.)

Thanks for reading this, and peace out! And if you’re tried any BEAUTYCOUNTER products please let me know what you think!