Straw for Summer

This is my last post before going on a short maternity leave. Thank you for all of your support. Be sure to check back later this summer for more inspiring content! 

 

I chose this title because it’s highly ironic – wayyy back in March (actually, three months ago today) I published the post Straw for Spring, which featured several versions of one of the current hottest accessories: the straw tote. A couple weeks later I shared that I was looking for one for myself, and literally, up until last week, I had still been looking for a little straw purse. I can’t believe it took me that long to find one that was both the style and price that I was looking for! Good grief.. but let it be known that I’m usually a much more efficient shopper. 😉

 

I should also clarify that I have had a straw tote for the past few months, which has been perfect for trips to the pool, coffee shop, and just general errands when I need additional storage. I don’t use it as an everyday purse because for one, it’s larger than what I need, and two, it doesn’t have any closures. But it’s still been quite useful and it was only $7 (#targetdoesitagain). Also, how cute are the pom poms?!

 

 

For the straw purse, I knew that I wanted something on the smaller side and shaped in a circle because I thought that was such a cute look with the straw construction. And voila, I at last found the one. I haven’t carried it much yet (since I just got it), but I’m already impressed with the level of quality for the pricepoint, and I’m a big fan of the adjustable/removable straps for carrying options. This will be the perfect purse to carry with a myriad of summer outfits.

 

 

Also, don’t forget that since tomorrow is the last day of June, it’s your last chance to earn a free sample when you place a Beautycounter order. Details are in this post!

 

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Beautycounter Quick Product Guide

Hello and happy almost weekend! We’ve made it. I’m back this week with a short guide to my favorite + some of the most popular Beautycounter products. However, before I start, I want to clarify that this blog is not simply going to turn into a platform for my Beautycounter side business. Creativity and Couture will still primarily be a fashion blog, only featuring posts about beauty from time to time. I wouldn’t normally post about Beautycounter twice in a row, but this week is a little different since I wanted to share some specific products before my giveaway for purchases totaling $40 or greater (you can reference it here near the bottom of my last post) ends on 6/30.

Something else I want to clarify before we dive in is that I myself am a new Beautycounter user – I haven’t been using their products for too terribly long and there are still lots I haven’t tried! So when I share my favorites today, know that they are what are my favorite products to use so far and that there will hopefully be lots more to come. 🙂

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I’ve decided to arrange this product guide by price point. Why? Because frankly, that’s how I would want to view them myself. When making the switch to safer products, it’s easy to only see dollar signs as the products are typically more expensive than what else is available in the market and certainly never the cheapest option available. In my opinion, Beautycounter products aren’t outrageously priced and are actually comparable to mid-to-high tier beauty brands (think Clinique or MAC). That being said, they’re still not “cheap” and some are more of an investment than others. My recommendation is to start small as a way to find out what you like and what works for your skin before going overboard and buying too many products at once. A good place to start doing this would be to begin replacing products as you run out of them – i.e., trade out your moisturizer when it runs out for the intense moisture serum, or your eye makeup remover for the instant eye makeup remover.

 

Here are a few favorites + most popular Beautycounter products, organized by price point. Enjoy!

 

  1. Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick SPF 30 (0.5 oz) – $20

Do you wear SPF daily? If not, you should – and this is a great place to start! The  line of sunscreen is all new and really groundbreaking in the industry in that it’s effective and safe. Here’s why it’s safer than other sunscreens out there:

Technology: “At Beautycounter, we prohibit chemical SPF filters due to their high potential for skin irritation. We prefer to use physical sunscreens, more commonly known as mineral sunscreen. Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, sit on the surface of the skin and physically bounce or reflect sun’s rays away from the skin. Mineral sunscreens are great for people with sensitive skin as well as babies and kids.”

Formula: “Our lightweight, water-resistant sunscreen stick uses non-nano zinc oxide. It’s also formulated with organic coconut oil and organic shea butter to deliver an ultra-moisturizing experience without the need for neurotoxic preservatives and serious allergens like MIT (Methylisothiazolinone). And, we never use Octinoxate & Oxybenzone ingredients known to contribute to the collapse of coral reefs around the world making our sunscreens safer for both people and our oceans.”

 

 

2. Charcoal Cleansing Bar – $25

Perfect for your face or the rest of your body, the charcoal cleansing bar helps to gently detoxify and rid your skin of impurities. Ideal for oily or blemish-prone skin. “Made with purifying Japanese binchotan charcoal, antioxidant-rich organic green tea, and hydrating organic coconut oil, the gentle formula can be used daily on your face and body.”

 

 

3. Volumizing Mascara – $29

Since almost everyone wears mascara, this is a great place to start the switch to using safer products. The Beautycounter volumizing mascara is made of natural fibers and can increase volume by up to 385%. “Cleaner, plant-derived ingredients, like carnauba wax and rice bran wax, replace harmful emollients, while bataua oil helps soften lashes.”

 

 

4. Sheer Lipstick – $32

This is perfect if you’re looking for a long-lasting sheer color. There are 13 shades available, I have the rose shade and it stays on for quite awhile! I tested it out as soon as I got it, and then, about six hours later, I was about to head out the door to yoga and noticed it was still on my lips. Definitely long-lasting! Also, it smells wonderful, but it’s nothing fake: “includes jojoba esters and carnauba wax to condition and hydrate lips and no synthetic fragrance—just a sophisticated hint of natural vanilla.”

 

 

 

5. Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream – $55

Since I began using this on a nightly basis, my skin has been noticeably softer and more hydrated when I wake up in the morning. I also love that the cream feels lighter and less “goopy” than other hydrating creams I’ve used in the past. “This advanced blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help replenish hydration and revitalize skin while you sleep—so skin looks youthfully smoother, softer, and more radiant in the morning.”

 

 

 

6. No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil – $69

Okay, is it too early for me to say that I have a favorite product? Oh well – I already have a favorite product, and it’s this! Not only does the soft citrus scent smell amazing, but it works. I apply this nightly and it leaves my skin feeling so smooth without feeling oily. “Lightweight and silky smooth, it features a proprietary blend of seven natural oils.”

 

 

 

7. Cleansing Balm – $80

I think this was the first Beautycounter product I ever heard about, it’s so popular: as of today, it has nearly 1100 reviews, of which 93% are rated as five stars. It’s just that good: basically, the cleansing balm is a cleanser, makeup remover, and overnight mask – all in one! After applying it at night, you can either remove it with the 100% muslin cloth (included), or leave it on all night to replenish your skin and rinse off in the morning. “It also hydrates with nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils and promotes a brighter complexion with radiance-boosting vitamin C.”

 

 

 

Let me know what your favorites are!!

 

 

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Exciting News!

I’m extra excited about today’s post because it includes a special announcement: I’ve joined Beautycounter as a consultant!

If you know me very well at all, you might be surprised to hear this considering I HATE selling (not an exaggeration) and that I’ve made it known that I never wanted to be a consultant of ANYTHING. So why would I change my mind? Here are the two reasons why:

 

  1. I found something that I’m passionate about: safer skincare. Beautycounter, as you’ll read below, is a pretty awesome company that only sells skincare and beauty products that have been thoroughly tested and are free from over 1,500 harmful ingredients that aren’t currently banned in the beauty industry but should be. If you’ll remember from previous posts I’ve written on this blog, including this one, I am all about knowing what’s actually in these products we use on a daily basis and have been making the switch to only using safe products in my home and life.

 

2. The goal of becoming a Beautycounter consultant is not to sell, but to educate. Most of us don’t know that a lot of the ingredients in the current skincare products we use can have long-term damaging effects on our health. I didn’t know this until recently either, but now that I do, I want to share and educate others so that more of us can make better choices about what we’re putting on and into our bodies.

 

Finally, let me share a bit about what Beautycounter is:

 

Beautycounter is, in short, a safer skincare company. As I mentioned above, what sets Beautycounter apart from others in the industry is that their products are thoroughly screened before ever becoming available to consumers, and this is all taking place in a very unregulated personal care industry in our country! Did you know that the last time the U.S. passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients in personal care products was 1938? In the past twenty years, the European Union has banned the use of nearly 1,400 chemicals in personal care products, while the U.S. has only partially banned 30 to date.

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Beautycounter has taken it upon itself to provide safer skincare products to consumers even when others in the industry won’t. You can read through the Never List on their website, which consists of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals you will never find in any Beautycounter products. Here are three chemicals from the Never List that stood out to me:

 

Formaldehyde: What? Gross! Yes, currently formaldehyde is commonly used in many cosmetics as a preservative.  Not only is this clearly disturbing, but formaldehyde has been linked to asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.

Parabens: I cut out all parabens from my haircare routine after being warned about their adverse affects by my hairstylist a few years ago, and now I’m happy to cut them out of my skincare routine as well. Parabens are basically fillers that are used as preservatives in shampoo, body wash, face cleanser and foundation and have been found to contain endocrine or hormone disruptors.

Synthetic Flavors & Fragrances: This far-reaching term includes an “engineered scent or flavoring agent that may contain any combination of 3,000 + stock chemical ingredients, including hormone disruptors and allergens.” Even worse, federal law’s classification of trade secrets currently protects fragrance formulas, meaning that companies don’t have to disclose them to consumers, so most of us don’t actually know what ingredients are making our products smell the way that they do.

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I hope this post hasn’t scared you but instead that it’s motivated you to take a closer look at the skincare products you use and what is actually in them. I encourage you to go and check out Beautycounter for yourself. And, I’m going to start my launch off with a giveaway! Using any of the links in this post, make any purchase of $40 or greater between now and June 30th and I will send you a free sample. All you have to do is send me a screenshot of your order!

 

And, that’s about it for today! I have so much more to share about Beautycounter, including specific products I love and why I love them, but this will wait for future blog posts. Thanks for reading along all the way to the end. 🙂 Happy Friday!

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Columbus 2018 Summer List

Hello and happy Friday! Last week I blogged about my current case of wanderlust (while also explaining that I will not be traveling anywhere in the near future) and shared some of my favorite things to do while traveling. This week, I’m going to share a list of things to do that I’ve made to keep me excited about and looking forward to spending the summer here in Columbus, Ohio.

 

Some of these things are summer-specific and some are not, but I hope I make it through all of them before summer comes to a close!

 

Bike on the Olentangy River Trail

Last summer I biked on this trail nearly every weekend while training for Pelotonia. This year I’m looking forward to going on a leisurely ride on it.

 

Market District Wine Tasting

There really isn’t anything better to do around here on a Friday night, in my opinion. It’s fun and pretty cheap, and you get to try new wines! (Obviously, for the second half of the summer). 

 

Visit as many Metro Parks as possible

I’m always saying I want to visit more Metro Parks and then I don’t usually end up doing it, but I find that I’ve really enjoyed each one that I’ve visited – a good reason to visit more, plus there are so many!

 

Swim laps outside

My absolute favorite form of exercise in the summer!

 

Hocking Hills Day Trip

We typically take a day trip down to Hocking Hills around my birthday each year, and I’m hoping we’ll do it again this year. It usually consists of hiking around the park, packing a picnic lunch, floating in Lake Logan, and visiting the local winery. Nothing better.

 

Visit the Worthington and (new!) Dublin Farmer’s Markets

The Worthington farmer’s market can’t be beat, but I’m excited to try the Dublin one this year as well – new this year and so close to home!

 

Eat dinner outside a lot

At home, out to dinner, anywhere. Because it’s summer.

 

 

Visit a new brewery

There are so many tucked around Columbus, and we really haven’t tried that many so far. Plus, beer on a patio = quintessential summer. (Also obviously for the second half of the summer). 

 

 

Visit each ice cream shop within walking distance (there’s three!)

I love where we live. Time to take advantage of it!