nicole starr photography-23.jpg


Welcome to my blog where I share all the ways I'm navigating motherhood with style.

Beautycounter Insider Q&A

Beautycounter Insider Q&A

When I was pregnant with my first son I started to take a look at the products I was using on my skin and it prompted me to do some research. I swapped out a few things for a short period of time (e.g. cleanser, deodorant and I avoided products with retinol). Overall, I made very minor changes; however, I always seemed to make my way back to the same products. During my last pregnancy I also tried to make even more changes, which I failed at. Fast forward almost two years later and I’m finally taking some action on revamping my beauty routine and makeup bag. Part of what has prompted this skincare overall is an upcoming birthday (the big 3-7!) and feeling like I really need to make more of an investment in my skin. As I age, the changes are coming hard and fast and while I’m not looking for any magic potions, I do accept that I need to make some changes.

Another driver to revisiting my skincare line-up came from watching this and reading a couple of articles {here and here} on the lack of government controls around personal care products. Most of us pay close attention to the food we eat, where it comes from, the products we buy for our children and use around our home, but do you also take stock in what products you are using as part of your daily skincare routine? 

As part of my research, I reached out to a friend and Beautycounter insider, Kerry, who was so kind to help me navigate through the products before I made my initial purchase. While I've only tried this and this, I'm really loving the line so far and I can't wait to swap out my entire make-up bag (it's an investment so I'm doing it slowly) and try more products. 

You can read through the fun Q&A below to learn more about Kerry's favorite products, what she's learned and the must have items if your on a budget.


1. What has surprised you most about the beauty industry since starting at Beautycounter? 
First and foremost, it has to be the lack of regulations on the beauty industry. We put so much faith in the government, manufacturers, and retailers to ensure that we aren't exposed to unhealthy ingredients or chemicals that could potentially be harmful. But, the fact is, the laws and regulations around personal care products are very few and incredibly outdated. For these reasons, we - as consumers - need to educate ourselves on what we should avoid and be diligent in reading labels. Or, be loyal to brands who are doing that for you and that you can trust. 

2. What's your beauty routine? And, if your pressed for time what step do you never skip? 
In the mornings, I use a gentle cleanser, Rejuvenating Toner Pads, Brightening Face Oil, and Countermatch Hydrating Lotion. I always top that with a sunscreen - usually Beautycounter's tinted moisturizer, Dew Skin #3. When I need to look a little more rested (i.e. every day), I'll use our Touchup Skin Concealer Pen under my eyes before a quick sweep of blush on the apples of my cheeks. If I want something dewy and fresh, I'll use a Color Pinch Cream Blusher in Hibiscus, but I also love a soft wash of a pressed powder, like Beautycounter's Powder Blush Duo in Flamingo/Apricot. The key is to keep it to the apples of the cheek and to press the formula into the skin; don't brush it around. There is something about that little pop of color that makes you look awake. To frame my face, I'll brush my brows and even then out with Color Define Brow Pencil. I never did this before coming to Beautycounter, but it's amazing how such a little thing can make such a big difference. It balances out your face; and, as my friend says, "It's like putting a photo in a picture frame." I'll finish off with a few coats of black Volumizing Mascara and lip gloss. I love our Lip Gloss in Bare Shimmer for daytime or the Sheer Lipstick in Plum if I want a little more pigment. In the evening, I'll use some black Color Outline Eye Pencil on the top lash line and the bottom water line. I also love a touch of Matte Bronzer for a sun-kissed glow. A really good one keeps me honest with my daytime SPF application.

It might sound like a long process, but I can usually complete the skincare regimen and the makeup in less than 10 minutes. If I am really strapped for time, I'll press some oil onto my face, top that with Dew Skin and dab Cream Blusher on my cheeks. My skin is hydrated, protected, and flushed in 3 easy steps. 

3. What ingredients do you look for in a product? What ingredients do you make sure to completely avoid? 
I look for natural, plant derived ingredients. I love coconut oil and shea butter for hydration and tea tree oil for oiliness or blemishes. And anything that has Vitamin C is great for environmental protection and brightening. Beautycounter has put together a very comprehensive list - The Never List - which outlines, by name, the top ingredients to avoid. You can even print out a pocket-sized version from the website. If that sounds like too much, a great place to start is by avoiding parabens (a specific class of preservatives), phthalates (plasticizing chemicals), and synthetic fragrance (an often catch all phrase for undisclosed ingredients). 


4. What are your top Beautycounter picks for somebody on a budget? 
I know it isn't realistic to think that everyone can replace all of their cosmetics in one fell swoop. I think the best approach is to replace the products that you use the most often because you have the highest exposure to those formulas and specific ingredients. So, if you're just starting to detox your makeup bag, consider your basics - maybe a cleanser, moisturizer or oil, and tinted moisturizer with SPF. Then, you can slowly build from there. Once you start the process, I'd suggest opting for safer lip products and anything that's around your eyes - pencils and mascara. 

For those who are in a position to revamp all of their cosmetics, Beautycounter offers a a great value in our Five-Minute Face collection. For less that $150, it includes light coverage foundation, concealer pen, blush, eyebrow pencil, mascara, and lip gloss, all of which can be customized by shade and preference. With these six products, and about five minutes, anyone can achieve a flawless and polished look. It's a great way to clean up your routine, and look great while doing it.

Dapper (3).png
Start Loving Your Monday

Start Loving Your Monday

My Favorite Stripe Top

My Favorite Stripe Top