I get a lot of emails asking about Beautycounter and my journey to safer products, so I thought I’d compile the most popular questions and answer them here! If you haven’t read why I switched to safer before, I strongly encourage it so that this all makes sense! If you want to see other posts I’ve shared about Beautycounter, including tutorials, you can see those here.


Question: I’m interested in the Tint Skin Foundation. How can I best figure out what shade to order?

I know ordering makeup without seeing it in person is hard! This foundation is very forgiving in terms of color since it’s not full coverage—and it blends really well! The chart below should help in determining which shade is right for you in the Tint Skin Foundation and the Touchup Skin Concealer Pen. Also worth noting, all of the lighter shades are very neutral in tone. (They aren’t too pink or too yellow.) For reference, I wear Linen in the winter and Sand in the summer. And also, know that Beautycounter offers a 60 day return policy if you don’t like something or get the wrong shade. 

Question: What is the best way to apply the foundation?

This is easy…. the Retractable Complexion Coverage Brush. I have about ten different foundation brushes and sponges and none compare to this brush when it comes to applying the Tint Skin.

Question: How did you learn about which ingredients in other beauty products are harmful? What do you think are the most unsafe ingredients I need to stay away from?

There are thousands of ingredients that are unsafe, but still found in cosmetics used everyday, so I used the EWG Skin Deep database to see if the products I use have a safe or hazardous score. There are so many products NOT in the database, so for those, I would search each individual ingredient on the list. Yes, this takes a long time, but it’s effective!

A good starting point? The “Never List” is a list of unsafe ingredients that Beautycounter will never use in their products. That’s a great place to start when sifting through your products and wondering what to toss first! 

From my experience, you’ll probably see parabens and fragrance in a lot of your products. So that’s where I started… Parabens include ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. Throw out anything containing any of those because they are hormone disruptors! Specifically, parabens mimic estrogen; they can lock on to our cell’s own estrogen receptors and mess with important natural signals. So in other words, they may be producing way more estrogen than your body should have or vice versa. They also may play a role in triggering breast cancer (parabens have been found in breast cancer tissue). After you get rid of all of those products, throw out anything that says “Fragrance” on it. If it’s not a natural fragrance, it most likely contains Phthalates, which disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects. So throw those out too! Then with what you’re left with (probably not much!), check out that “Never List” again and/or look up your products in the Skin Deep database.

Question: Do you have any suggestions for safe products that Beautycounter does not currently offer? Such as deodorants, laundry detergent, etc.

The Environmental Working Group is a great resource! Their website (ewg.org) has tons of information on healthy living. Their Skin Deep database is a great tool for finding other beauty and personal care products that are safe to use. As far as household products, they also have a guide on household cleaners!

Personally, I use the LAVANILA Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender and I love, love it! It’s the first deodorant that smells good to me all day long and isn’t overpowering. We love Seventh Generation cleaning products and J.R. Watkins Laundry Detergent Powder.

Question: If I had to start with just a few Beautycounter products, what are your recommendations?

This question is always so hard because there is so much to love! I would start off with the skincare, personally. And I only say that because that is my favorite category of Beautycounter—it made my skin feel so much more balanced and cleared my skin of pesky acne bumps that I had been on topical and oral medications to (unsuccessfully) treat! When I started with Beautycounter,  I saw immediate improvement and completely quit all medicine that week. Since then, my skin has stayed clear of bumps!

Here are my favorite products by category. So, if you were to start with just a few products, I’d personally make them some of these! 

Skincare Favorites:

  • Routine Clean Cream Cleanser: So gentle and leaves skin hydrated! Cleanse twice in a row if wearing makeup (this goes for any skincare). Many facial cleansers use common cleansing agent sodium laurel sulfate, which can cause irritation and trigger allergies. It is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane – a cancer-causing chemical. Routine Clean uses sugar-derived cleanser decyl glucoside instead.
  • Nourishing Day Cream: Absorbs quickly and leaves skin so balanced, not greasy. It’s a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, aloe, and antioxidant-rich acai. If you were only going to buy one moisturizer, this should be it! You can mix in some Lustro Oil drops with it at night to make it more hydrating. But if you can buy the Nourishing Night Cream, then that’s the ultimate to mix with the oil!
  • Lustro Oil: The lustro oils are a facial in a bottle. As I said above, just mix in a few drops with your moisturizer. I just do this at night. Oil #1 is to soothe irritated skin, Oil #2 is to brighten dull, aging skin, and Oil #3 is to balance dry or oily skin—and this one is best for acne!
  • Vibrant Eye Perfector: This is the one Countertime product I am putting in this “must haves” list. It has caffeine and wild algae to reduce puffiness and darkness. Super hydrating, but not greasy! Vibrant Eye Perfector does not include parabens, which are common cosmetic preservatives that can disrupt hormone function, which is in turn linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. There are several different kinds of parabens (ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben).

Bodycare Favorites:  

  • Hydrate Everyday Body Lotion: I just love this stuff. The smell is so nice, but never overpowering. It makes my skin feel hydrated on it’s own, not like it has been slathered with lotion. It’s free of sulfates and penetration enhancers, which are often found in body lotions. But instead of hydrating, they can irritate skin and increase the amount of toxic chemicals absorbed into the bloodstream. 
  • Wash Everyday Body Wash: Ditto to the above—cleanses skin without stripping it of natural moisture. Even Brandon uses it! Many other body washes contain sodium laureth sulfate — a common ingredient used in bath products that is often contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a known carcinogen.
  • Protect All Over Sunscreen: I know this is expensive for a sunscreen, but it’s made with NON-NANO zinc oxide, which basically means pieces of metal aren’t going to sink through your pores like other sunscreens. (A nano particle will enter the bloodstream but a non-nano will not. For that reason, non-nano is safer.) This sunscreen also does not have oxybenzone, which is in so many sunscreens and is known to be a hormone disruptor and cause allergic reactions.

Makeup Favorites:  

  • Tint Skin Foundation: This isn’t the most high coverage foundation, but you can layer it up for more coverage. I love it because it it doesn’t ever look cakey, doesn’t settle into fine lines, and it never looks greasy on my face. It’s one of Lauren Conrad’s favorite daily products! I also feel like this is important if you’re only buying a few Beautycounter products because this is coated over your entire face (or most of it), so it needs to be safe! Many foundations contain Polyethylene glycol, which is a PEG and is often contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, which are both carcinogens.
  • Color Pinch Cream Blusher: In “Caramel,” specifically. I just love this stuff because of how natural it looks and how easily it blends. You can even put a little bit on the eyelids as an eyeshadow base.
  • Lip Sheer: These are a huge favorite for me. I know we basically eat lipstick throughout the day as it wears, so it was very important for me for it to be a safe product. 
  • Touchup Skin Concealer Pen: This is great because it’s an actual concealer, rather than just a highlighter like a lot of pens seem to be. I use “Light” on my face + undereye, then go back in with “Fair” to lightly highlight under the eyes, down the bridge of my nose, around my nostrils, and in between my eyebrows.

Question: Does Beautycounter ever offer discount codes? 

Beautycounter doesn’t offer discounts, but every now and then, there will be a promotion where you get a free gift with purchase. And they are often REALLY good deals. There is actually a promo ending today where if you spend $150, you get a free Lustro Oil #3, which is a $68 value. 

Question: What is the Baby Soothing Oil used for?

I use the Soothing Oil on Watson instead of a baby lotion. It absorbs so well and makes his sweet skin feel super soft and nourished. It doesn’t feel greasy… it soaks right in just like a lotion! Baby’s skin is much more vulnerable than adult skin, so using products that are healthy gives me the best peace of mind! 

Question: When I look up some of the Beautycounter products on EWG, I notice a few have an ingredient that is connected with cancer and reproductive toxicity. Has Beautycounter ever mentioned anything about this?

I’m so glad to be asked this question because it gives me a chance to clear the air! In short, it’s because of the lack of data and testing that the EWG has done on those particular ingredients. Remember, they are a nonprofit and therefore only able to do a certain extent of testing as funds are available. Beautycounter performs their own separate testing, which is expensive. We have the strictest ingredient screening process in this industry and feel extremely confident in the safety of all ingredients that we use.


I hope this is helpful! I’m sure I left out a common question, so who knows, I may come back and add a question/answer later. And don’t forget about the Lustro Oil offer…

Ending today, receive a free Lustro Oil #3 (my personal favorite, $68 value!) with any $150+ purchase! 



  1. May 19, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    This post is great! I can't wait to try the eye cream. Also, I am super loyal to my charcoal soap and saw that BC just released their own. Have you tried it? If so, I'd love your thoughts!

  2. May 20, 2016 / 12:23 am

    Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this! I've been so curious about Beautycounter and have wanted to try so many products but never knew where to start since they're a little more expensive than regular drug store brands. I know it so worth it though to know whats in your products and to have safe ingredients so I think I may have to place my first order soon! 🙂

    xo Heather
    Sweet Tea Jubilee

  3. May 23, 2016 / 2:17 am

    Hi, Megan! We're flying in to Charleston this summer to scope out neighborhoods and homes for a potential move. Which areas do you recommend? We want something walkable. We are 30 and looking to start a family so I want a sense of community and near to the beach! Thanks!

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