This post was written in partnership with a BeautyCounter consultant, but as always, the views and opinions expressed in this post are our own.
It’s that time of year again, friends. ‘Tis the season of peppermint hot chocolate, twinkling red lights, and tacky sweater parties. What’s not to love?
The bustling weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are undoubtedly my favorite time of year, but they can also be some of the most stressful. Especially if, like me, gift shopping is not your forte. (What in the world do you buy your single, successful 32-year-old brother who vacations on private yachts every other weekend and has everything he needs? Beats me.)
Come December each year, despite the cozy comfort and merriment that winter is supposed to bring, I inevitably find myself feeling a little bit…well, anxious. Don’t you? Whether it be finding the perfect gift for your significant other, deciding what to wear to Christmas Vigil Mass, or throwing your very own New Year’s Eve bash—there’s always something to be thinking about. The stress of which never fails to show up on my face, in the form of a gnarly breakout. Oh joy!
As some of you may recall, I don’t have the best relationship with my skin. Over the years, too much of my time, money, and sanity has gone into trying to figure out what works for my complicated acne-prone complexion, without much success. So when my sweet friend (and HSG contributor) Sarah introduced me to BeautyCounter—a company that only uses safe, non-irritating ingredients—I thought, ‘Well, what do I have to lose?’
I’ll admit, I was first attracted to the brand solely because of its mission. BeautyCounter is committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what’s required by U.S. law. Check out this promising description, straight from their website:
We’ve banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through our “Never List”—all while ensuring our products perform and that they’re as indulgent as any other luxe shampoo, lipstick, or oil in the market.
Um, count me in. I don’t know about you, but health has always been my topmost priority when it comes to what I put in my body. Imagine my surprise when I learned that what I was putting on my body was potentially compromising my health! Cheap drugstore makeup and beauty products weren’t much help in the way of my sensitive skin, sure, but it turns out those sneaky beasts were doing more harm than good. Dangerous chemicals? Parabens and phthalates? Consider me a natural skincare convert. Now I’ll only buy products formulated with ingredients that I can feel good about. Give me purity or give me death!
To start, Sarah generously gifted me with the Tint Skin Foundation and let me try an array of other BC products, including the Nourishing Cream Cleanser and the Rejuvenating Eye Cream, in exchange for an honest review.
And, let me just say, if you’ve never experienced the luxury of quality skincare, the holidays are a great time to indulge in a bit of self-pampering. I promise, you’ll never go back. Within a week of using my new products, my face felt hydrated and balanced for the first time in months. Based on Sarah’s recommendations, I’ve since purchased a number of products from the beauty line—but if I had to choose, I’d say these three are my ultimate must-haves:
- Tint Skin Foundation (in Linen) — I’m so tired of heavy foundations that either cake on top of my face or leave my skin looking super oily, but with my severe breakouts and rosacea, I figured that was my only option for full coverage. Thank goodness for this mattifying foundation! It blends evenly over my problem areas, lasts all day, and provides the perfect amount of coverage. No cakiness here!
- Cleansing Balm — I am obsessed with this stuff. I use it every night to take off my makeup, and it doesn’t strip my skin like my old cleansers used to. The berry seed oils actually moisturize my face and leave it feeling supple until morning.
- Balancing Face Oil — Perfect for my combination skin! A few drops of this during the day or in the evening gives me an extra boost of moisture and promotes calming and balance with ingredients like wild chamomile.
While BeautyCounter can run a little on the expensive side, I find the company’s dedication to health and their superior products well worth the investment. Some women can never have too many Burberry coats or cashmere scarfs. Me? I’ll take the luxury skincare any day. (Hint hint, Santa.)
Co-Founder & Editor | Emily graduated from the University of Texas in December 2013 with a degree in English and journalism under her belt. She currently lives with her husband in Frisco, where she works for a chiropractor and moonlights as a lifestyle blogger. On any given day, you can find her hanging out at a quiet coffee shop, nose-deep in a good mystery novel or snapping photos of her extra frothy cappuccino.