I'm sneaking in a little extra post since I wanted to write about Beautycounter, which I discovered when researching toxin-free beauty products for the blog. I've heard of the line through bloggers and US friends, but had never used their products. And I had no idea they were in Canada.
Since transparency is one of my trademarks, I wanted to disclose that I've signed up to be a Beautycounter Consultant. Yup, like my Avon-selling Aunts before me, I've decided to jump on in. I called the mommy blogosphere "Tupperware 2.0" in my essay in Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the Mommyblog, so this foray into cosmetics Tupperware is a rather strange departure.
All I really wanted to do was try one of the Beautycounter lipsticks, since I've read such great things online. Several Beautycounter products have won Allure awards and - if you speak cosmetics - you know that's really good.
While looking up info on Beautycounter lipsticks, I stumbled across a whole bunch of information on the company.
It's a seriously good company from what I can see. Gregg Renfrew, their founder and CEO, is a serial entrepreneur who was just looking for a way to buy safe beauty products for herself. I have a bit of a girlcrush on her since, as a business person, she's awesome.
I really like the way she's gone about building her company through activism, education, and transparency. Beautycounter has published The Never List of 1500 ingredients they will not use since they have been shown to cause harm. They lobby for improved regulation of chemicals allowed in cosmetics, and continue to work to reduce their own chemical footprint (you can read about all of the good things they do in the Sustainable Brands case study on them.) I'll never be fully rid of the part of me that was an MBA in Finance who did deal due diligence for an investment bank so I've done a fair amount of research. With the exception of some customer service complaints and a dud lipgloss wand (it's been fixed) the word on the street is pretty good. The thing that most won me over was their B Corporation rating of 95. They are the real deal. I thought if their products are even remotely good, I'm in. If they turn out to be Theranos, I'll be crushed.
My first order has arrived quickly and the products are lovely. They rival department store cosmetics brands, which was what I was looking for. I'll start reviewing them once I've had a chance to fully try them out.
The only thing I don't like about Beautycounter is that they are an MLM business. Even though a number of my friends are involved in MLMs and they are all lovely people, the model is still not my favourite. Did I mention how I wrote about blogs being like Tupperware parties? I don't want to eat my words. In spite of the fact that I'm now one of them, I promise I won't be sales-y. I'll review the products along with other things in my beauty cabinet. And if you are interested in anything you see, you can click the Shop button on my home page, which will bring you to my Beautycounter page.
Beautycounter offers you three ways to shop: as a Client, as a Member, or as a Consultant. I found it all quite confusing, so here's a précis of how they all differ. I've used Canadian dollars but the program seems to work seamlessly between Canada and the US (the only Beautycounter people I know are Americans so this part is a bit of an experiment!) The full range of products is offered in both countries and the only difference seems to be the currency and exchange rate.
Member. A Band of Beauty Membership, which is 29 CAD per year, gets you a 15% product credit with each order, free shipping on orders over 125 CAD, a free gift with purchase on sign up, and access to special offers. You don't have any buying obligations.
Right now the gift with purchase is pretty awesome since it's a full sized No. # Balancing Facial Mask valued at 58 CAD.
Consultant. If you want to be a Consultant, as I did, it will cost you 85 CAD and then 50 CAD each year after that. If you don't sell a certain amount of product, you are switched to Band of Beauty (you do not get your $85 back but it sounds like you don't pay the $29 that first year, so you are kind of rolling the dice) You get 25% off the price of each product and have access to starter kits at a discount, which you don't have to buy. Consultants always seem to pay for shipping (it seems to be 9.95 CAD per order.) And of course, the whole point of being a consultant is you get paid as you build out your network of people. They encourage hosting parties à la Stella and Dot, but I don't even like attending those parties. I'm an introvert with a capital I and prefer shopping online, where I can browse at my leisure. I like the fact that for my $85, they give me a turnkey website that allows introverts like me to check it all out without feeling pressured to buy.
Client. You can also just order the products you want, pay for shipping, and be done with it. Without joining anything.
If you summer near Nantucket (!), they usually have a popup shop. And they've done partner selling with J. Crew, Target, and Goop. So you can access their products in a variety of ways. They're kind of a cool company.
If you want to buy product at some point, I'd love it if you'd do it through my link. Or if you want to sign up as a Consultant, it could be an adventure. We could be Beautycounter pals and go for taco bowls at lunch on Friday in our respective cities and gossip about our boss.
OK, that's it for the commercial. Back to the regularly scheduled blog.