It Was Never About the Lipstick. 

I worked my ass off so I could spend this past weekend in Washington D.C. advocating for stronger regulation of our personal care industry. Does that sound like greek to you? It means I was talking to the people who represent us in our nation’s capital and encouraging them to get on board in creating or passing legislation that would make the products we are putting on our skin every single day safer. It’s been almost 80 years since a major federal law was passed. More than 80,000 chemicals have been introduced since WWII and less than 10% of them have been tested for health and human safety. Our country bans a whopping 30 ingredients… the EU bans 1400. We can’t afford to wait.
We were 100 women from 50 states representing our families, our clients, our friends and countless people we will never meet.

 

It was never about the lipstick.

 

I care because I am a mom. I care because I lost a grandma to breast cancer before I had a chance to meet her. I care because far too many people around me are getting sick due to unknown causes. I care because I want to leave this planet better for future generations. I care because unlike so many things, this is a change that is easy to make and within our control. I care because I know not everyone can or will buy the products I sell. I care because I have knowledge that, when shared, can change lives. I care because I love life and I want to live mine the best way I know how.

But, for me, it was never about the lipstick.

We were assigned teams for the day and we shared our stories, our “why.” I heard from one woman whose dad battled breast cancer yet who had no known genetic predisposition to acquire it.  Another who due to a genetic mutation lacks the ability process toxins and goes through weeks when she is paralyzed on one side of her body. Her husband can’t breath in most synthetic fragrance without a severe reaction that causes scaring of his lungs. There were two health coaches on my team who work to help others lead healthier lives, but who had not considered their skincare as part of the equation for far too long. There was a scientist from Europe who pioneers safe and innovative solutions in skincare to bring the safest most high performing products to market in the US. Each of these stories was different, each important.

But nobody talked about the lipstick.

We spent our day running in and out of meetings on Capitol Hill. We met with Congressional leaders and State Representatives. We shared our passion, our stories, our mission and our hopes. We talked about being pro-business and pro-regulation and how innovation can spark growth for our economy. We talked about U.S. standards being miserably behind other countries and how exporting isn’t a possibility today given the quality of our products. When we met with a staffer who was 10 days from her due date we couldn’t help but shift the conversation to our most precious and vulnerable population, our babies – the ones who don’t have choices. We talked about how small amounts of products being applied each and every day add up. We talked about the average woman who puts 515 chemicals on her body every single day.

Still no mention of the lipstick.

We also spoke about men who can’t be left out of this equation. Far too many struggle with issues like infertility and 1 in 2 will be touched by cancer in his lifetime. We talked about the confusion in the marketplace, the lack of accountability and the inability for the FDA to recall products that cause harm. We talked about how Beautycounter is using commerce as an engine for change and how our products provide a solution to the problem we are fighting to solve. We talked about our desire to pull the industry along with us so that we can all do better together. We talked about the millions of people that we reach with our message who, regardless of political affiliation, race, age, or gender, all believe that we deserve better. We talked about the people who came before us who banned smoking on airplanes and who made seatbelts mandatory in cars. Common sense solutions. We talked about what we could do to help them and what they could do to help us. We walked away empowered, excited, full of hope and promise and pride.

And nobody, not even once, ever talked about the lipstick.

Some girls grow up yearning to wear a bold red lip, to spot the next beauty trend or to make products that allow people to look and feel more beautiful than they already are.
That wasn’t me.
I grew up hoping to make the world a better place… and now I am doing that one conversation and yes, sometimes even one lipstick, at a time.

If you didn’t already know – now you know:

It was NEVER and will NEVER be just about the lipstick.

Except today. Just for today… I am going to let it be about this lipstick.

Bold, vibrant and backed by an army of women who are as fiery as the color. Why? Because #ThisTimeItsPersonal

Join me in this mission to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Share with those you love. Text BETTERBEAUTY to #52886. Become a consultant. Heck, if you really, really want to you can even buy the lipstick.

 

Kisses,

Angela

Oh the great lengths we will go…

When my dad noticed the lashes on a news anchor the other night – I realized that the lash obsession in our country had hit critical mass.

Gone are the days when women opt for lash curlers and a great mascara. As per usual, the beauty industry has taken it up a notch. Now those on the quest for longer and thicker can choose from fake lashes, lash extensions, a visit to a lash salon, drops, potions, serums or… wait for it… keratin treatments AKA lash lifts. Each of these treatments promise longer, darker, thicker lashes. None of them mention the potential risks.

Right near the top of my “things I give a fuck about” list is my vision. So you can bet your little tushy I will be letting no person come near my eyes with glues, potions and magic anytime soon. I can barely stand the feeling of getting my eyes dilated at the doctor once a year so I am in no rush to experience the unintended side effects of the next best eyelash thing.

If you’ve been following along this BETTER journey – I have told you once or a maybe a thousand times that the beauty industry doesn’t have to do much of anything to protect your health. Even if a company’s phones are ringing off the hook with complaints and reports of adverse reactions… they are not required to report or reformulate. Yes, your lashes may grow from some of these innovations – but you may also experience itchy, red eyes, dark eyelids, reduced eye pressure, iris pigmentation (AKA changing the freakin’ color of your eyes!), and unwanted hair in areas you don’t want it. No thank you.

Before you flip your shit… I am going to tell you what to do:

1. Look at the ingredients in the products you’re putting on your lashes. Look them up using the ewg skin deep database. It’s not rocket science people. LOOK. UP. YOUR. SHIT. Your potion may not be terrible at all (there are some products that are totally fine)… but you will not know until you do some research.

2. If you’re having lashes applied at a salon or going in for any other kind of treatment, ask what is going to be used. Find out the name of the glue. Get the ingredients. Then LOOK. UP. THAT. SHIT. I asked a local lash extension specialist for her formulas. She shared both with me. Both were not something I would want anywhere near my eyes. If I had to pick one over the other I would opt for the sensitive formula (sensitive be like – you may still be able to see in 6 months).

3. Now here’s the easy part. Listen closely. STOP. USING. THAT. SHIT. If there’s crap in your products don’t put crap on your eyes. Easy peasy.

Now here’s where we get to the BETTER part. I am going to share my secret, not so secret formula for longer, BETTER lashes. This magic will cost you a fraction of the price, it won’t cause any unintended side effects and it will leave your lashes stronger, healthier and hopefully a little longer, too. Here’s what you need:

1. Organic, cold-pressed castor oil

2. Q-tips

That’s all.

After washing your face in the evening (and removing your eye makeup if you are wearing it)…lightly saturate a q-tip with castor oil and apply it to the base of your lashes before bed. Voila! Done! Give it a few weeks and you should see increased strength and hopefully a slightly longer lash.
Castor oil has been used for years. It is packed with nutrients that encourage lash growth and has been shown to be fantastic for other eye ailments. It is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants and proteins which is why it is so helpful in encouraging hair growth.
Buy an organic, cold pressed oil. This will cost you a fraction of the price of other lash products and will promote health without the icky stuff.

Give it a try for a month and report back to me! I want to know what you think!!

My other picks for longer, BETTER eyelashes are these two mascaras and this gentle, non-toxic makeup remover from Beautycounter. An unintended and positive side-effect of using products like these is that your lashes will often become healthier as a result. Try these or one of the other safe products I have recommended in the past (here).

 


What I Want to be When I Grow up…

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s the line we hear from the time we are a child. It’s the line that forces us to think hard about how we will spend our days making a lasting impact on the word.

As a child the answers come easy. An artist!! A mom!! A fireman!! A musician!!

As an adult the answers don’t always come so quickly.

Ask me what I want to be when I grow up (yes I still don’t think I have really grown up) and I will say, “What don’t I want to be?”

Some days I want to be an artist painting canvases or making stationary.

Other times I want to be an athlete running races.

Most days I wish I was the world’s best philanthropist changing lives with my hands, heart and pocketbook.

I love being a florist when I bring home fresh flowers and arrange them in a vessel.

When I’m by myself in the car I want to be a singer ’cause I want to believe my voice sounds like heaven.

I wish I was a dancer but we know that’s not happening.

Every day I want to be a caring mom, a good wife, a loving sister and daughter.

Who among us doesn’t want to be something great? Or many great things.

This age old question of “what I want to be when I grow up” has quietly hummed in the back of my mind for a long while. The feeling that my best potential hasn’t yet met it’s match. Like there is something more waiting for me. Some special way I will be able to change the world. And a nagging feeling that I better hurry up and figure it out.

 Lately, I feel like I am on my way to doing that. 

I haven’t been extremely vocal about my role as a consultant with Beautycounter on this blog and social media. I value authenticity and have felt that if people think I am trying to sell them something they might question my motives. Yet it wouldn’t be authentic not to share how I have been spending much of my time working outside of this blog.

The truth is my employment happened on accident.

Some time ago a good friend of mine told me about this company that was out there selling safer skincare products through people. She thought their mission and values would speak to me and that I might like to work with them. I heard her out but there was no way in the world I was buying what she was selling. No way.

If you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up many years ago, the answer NEVER would have had anything to do with skincare.  NEVER. Color cosmetics, serums, oils, masks… HELL. NO. Not for me. 

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Fast forward to 2015 when my friend brought up said company up again. Again, I kindly declined but told her I thought she should get involved if it sounded so great to her. She did. A short while later I caved and decided to borrow some of her products to try. I loved them. Loved them so much that I hopped online and signed up as a consultant. I had nothing to loose because I wasn’t ever going to sell one product to one person. I would simply buy it all for myself and my family.

After a late night out with some friends who learned about my could-be venture, my good friend yelled (in her beautiful spanish accent), “What!!? why didn’t you tell us?? You are the crazy one who researches everything that is in your products. If you find something you love you should tell us!” She made me think. I didn’t want to be a cart turner, another sales pitch… but she was right. I should probably at least let the people I care about know about this company and their products and let them decide if they would be also be interested. So I decided to dip my toes in the water and see if anyone cared. Turns out a lot of people do.

The rest is history and I won’t bore you with all the details of why and how this feels good to me. But it boils down to the feeling of flow. Like what I’m doing doesn’t feel like work… it feels like love.

I have found a company that brings so much of what I find important in life together. Protecting my family and friends, connecting with people, building lasting relationships and friendships, sharing valuable information with people I care about and the people they care about, fighting for what I think is right in the world, building and supporting a team to help them grow personally, professionally and financially, surrounding myself with positive energy, and ultimately hoping to leave the world just a little BETTER than it was before I was in it.

I built this web site with the belief that small changes add up but I have seen through the years how difficult it is for people to get started. Diet and exercise don’t always come easy. Skincare is an easy switch. My Beautycounter business has given me a secondary platform to connect one-on-one and share something I feel incredibly passionate about. It is a way to help people make one small but important change in their life. A simple change. And now I have seen how that one small change can serve as the tipping off point for other changes down the road.

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The person who bought a face wash from me many months ago tells me she thinks of me each morning when she washes her face. The mom who is trying to do better and recently asked me for a smoothie recipe. So many conversations about laundry detergent, hand soap, water filters, mattresses, our kids schools and snacks… People care. They want better. They just need someone to trust and somewhere to start.

The personal care industry is one great big mess. Lack of regulation, thousands of chemicals, empty promises for days, side-effects for years. And now, finally, a company and a mission that is changing the industry through people like me, who care. For me, it doesn’t get more authentic or meaningful than that.beautycounter-fact

A few weeks ago on the way home from school my 8 year old said, “I wish I could have a time machine so I could fast forward time.” When I asked “why would you want to do that?” She said, “because I want to help people in the world like you are, mom.”

For me, that said it all. I think I am on my way…

Contact me to learn more about better, safer products or about joining the movement for better and becoming a consultant .

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