Body self-care Wellness

I Tried Beautycounter for the First Time…Here Are My Thoughts

September 10, 2019

I’ll be honest, a part of me thought that this post was going to be more of an exposé about the dark side of Beautycounter. I expected to lift up the rug during this Beautycounter review and find some dirty, shameful secrets about the natural beauty company everyone in the wellness space seems to be talking about. Spoiler alert: I didn’t discover anything horrible but I can’t say I’m drinking the kool aid either.

Maybe it’s because I’m pitched by a consultant at least once a week or because I’m just inherently skeptical about everything, but my first inclination was to think “this is too good to be true”. And in some ways it is (which I’ll get into) but I’m a firm believer that you can’t knock anything until you try it, so my 30 days of Beautycounter officially kicked off and it was time for my official Beautycounter Review.

We've been hearing so much about beautycounter lately so I decided to try out their products and give you a real, unbiased beautycounter review.

Before you jump to any conclusions, this post is not a sales pitch. It’s an unbiased Beautycounter review from someone who has tried their fair share of natural beauty/skincare products. Most of the reviews I’ve read out there are from people who are brand new to this space and undoubtedly have found comfort in using beauty/skincare products that aren’t laden with hormone-disrupting chemicals…and then they become a consultant. But as someone who has two enormous cupboards stacked full of green beauty products, how does Beautycounter stack up? That’s what this post is all about.

What is Beautycounter?

But before I jump into that, let’s go back to basics and explain what Beautycounter is. Beautycounter was founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew as a natural, safer alternative to conventional beauty and skincare products. They’re different then most beauty companies because of the vast array of products they sell. From makeup, to skincare to hair care they sell everything and it’s all marketed as “clean”. Mainstream beauty products tend to be full of ingredients that you likely wouldn’t feel good about putting on your skin. The biggest culprits:

-Parabens: it mimics estrogen and disrupts your endocrine system

-Phthalates: a chemical used to make plastic more malleable, which also can affect your reproductive system

There are many others including talc, butylated compounds and petroleum, but let’s start slow. They’re used to both emulsify and extend the shelf-life of your beauty products, but they actually do more harm than good. So why are they included? Because they’re cheap and there’s very little regulation in the beauty industry. In fact no federal regulation regarding personal care products has been passed since 1938!

Now I also want to preface this by saying a lot of the research shows correlation rather than causation. You can’t say that eating a box of Oreos everyday will cause cancer, but it’s likely that eating a box of Oreos is associated with other unhealthy behaviors that add up to future health problems.

My philosophy on beauty products is similar to my philosophy on food. Focus on whole, quality ingredients but don’t be militant about it. I think where things differ with the beauty industry is that while I love a glass of red wine and dessert, it’s not something I do all day, everyday. With beauty and skincare products, it is something affecting you all day. You wake up, wash your face, moisturize, put on your makeup, wash your hands throughout the day, put on hand cream, take off your makeup, wash your face and repeat. Do I skip washing my hands in communal bathrooms because I don’t want to use the soap? No. But in my own home I make a conscious effort to avoid products that I know to be harmful to my body. One body wash (similar to one glass of wine) won’t have long-term impacts on your health, but persistent, daily use will. And that’s where companies like Beautycounter become important.

Beautycounter - it's all the rage. But is it worth it? In today's post I'm sharing my 30 day Beautycounter experiment and what I learned from this Beautycounter review.

Where to Buy Beautycounter?

This is where things get interesting. Rather than heading to a clean beauty store or to somewhere like Sephora or Ulta Beauty, Beautycounter sells through Multilevel Marketing (MLM). Now I’ll be honest, this was and remains my biggest gripe with Beautycounter. Is Beautycounter a pyramid scheme? I still don’t really know…

When a company uses an MLM model, they sell their products through consultants and each consultant has a mentor so with each sale of a product, that consultant makes a commission and their mentor, and their mentor’s mentor etc… make a commission.  This means you will buy your Beautycounter products through a consultant. So unlike the products I buy from Credo Beauty (my favorite clean beauty store), which normally specialize in a couple of products within either the skincare or beauty world, Beautycounter brands all of their products across categories and everything is purchased through a consultant. Truthfully it becomes hard to tell if the business is more about clean beauty or recruiting sales consultants to your team. More thoughts on MLMs below.

Why Did I Decide To Try Beautycounter?

Honestly, it comes down to pure and simple curiosity. I’ve just been hearing so much about it. Like I said, I hear from at least one consultant a week (in 2019 this number has since increased to once a day!) asking me to join their team. While I appreciate the thoughtfulness, it’s just never been something I was into. But then a lot of my friends started joining and it got me thinking, there must be more to this than meets the eye? Friends like Lexi and Beth who I trust so I decided to inquire more.

And as I mentioned, I’m a clean beauty addict. I have the Green Beauty Shop where I share the products I’m loving and my YouTube channel where I review clean beauty products. It’s safe to say I have some experience in this area. I wanted to see how Beautycounter would hold up to some of my favorite clean beauty brands. Put simply: I wanted an unbiased Beautycounter review from someone who isn’t a consultant and actually knows what they’re talking about.

My Full Beautycounter Review

Before I jumped in, I asked Lexi and you guys to tell me your favorite products. In full transparency, Lexi sent me some to try, but then after asking you guys on Instagram stories I ended up putting in another huge order of products.

I’m not going to individually go through each product I tried here on the blog, but for the full Beautycounter review of each product, I filmed a video capturing my honest thoughts. I’m holding nothing back so this is all the 100% honest truth.


Besides my thoughts on each individual product, I did appreciate the packaging and delivery of the products. I definitely don’t need beautiful packaging, and there’s nothing I hate more than excessive packaging, but I do want to receive products in tact and well organized. I’ve had products from other companies show up exploded or broken and especially for a beauty company, I do expect a step-up from Amazon Prime #justbeinghonest

But let’s chat some pros and cons and my initial thoughts after 30 days of Beautycounter.

Is Beautycounter Worth It?

The Pros of Beautycounter

Like I said, I wasn’t expecting to find any pros, but honestly was surprised by the things I discovered!

1) They are great for someone who is new to green beauty/skincare – As someone who is well versed in this space and also loves experimenting with new products, this isn’t a priority for me, but for someone who is brand new, it is nice that there is a single company you can get all of your beauty, skincare and hair care products from.

2) Their product selection is vast – It’s awesome that you can basically get all of your products at the click of the button and in the mail. They pretty much have everything so it’s a one-stop-shop for anyone who doesn’t enjoy shopping for beauty and skincare products.

3) Their products are pretty good quality – I definitely don’t love all of their products, but there were some that I really enjoyed. Overall I’d say they are decent quality albeit very expensive.

4) They actually care about cleaner products – They go beyond just offering more natural products to consumers. They’re actually lobbying in Washington to get certain ingredients banned from our conventional skincare/beauty products and are trying to increase regulation.

We've been hearing so much about beautycounter lately so I decided to try out their products and give you a real, unbiased beautycounter review.

The Cons of Beautycounter

1) They are not the most natural – Some consultants discuss this, others do not. Beautycounter may be cleaner but they are not chemical-free. They use quite a few synthetics in their products, but ones that are shown to have little to no impact on the body. My biggest complaint is that I’ll find a comparable product to one that I already use and the ingredients are twice as long in the BC product. I believe they use more synthetics to increase the shelf-life, which I understand but personally prefer products that use fewer and less synthetic ingredients. This is really a personal preference thing but worth noting for this Beautycounter review.

2) Multilevel Marketing scares me – It’s the truth. Consultants are presented as “experts” but the reality is that they are just like me and don’t have all the answers. Experts in skincare usually spend years studying and understanding skin so I don’t love that people without credentials are giving out advice when they don’t always know what’s best. And then there’s the fact that MLMs generally aren’t built for people or “businesses” to succeed. In the end it’s a lot of consultants supposedly “investing” in their businesses but really it’s just Beautycounter’s gain…more on this below.

3) Not all of their products compare to alternatives out there – Based on my experience, only about a 1/4-1/3 of the products compared or were better than other alternatives. There are just simply companies out there that are making better products and sometimes for MUCH cheaper. Maybe it’s because they’re more focused on one or several products rather than a whole line of skincare and beyond, but I just wasn’t overwhelmed by how amazing everything was. Some were good, some were bad and I would hate for people to give up on green beauty just because a product they tried from Beautycounter didn’t work for them.

We've been hearing so much about beautycounter lately so I decided to try out their products and give you a real, unbiased beautycounter review.

Why I Became a Consultant {Read on…It Didn’t Last Long!}

After my 30 days and completing this Beautycounter Review, I decided to become a consultant for two reasons:

1) I wanted to see what this process looked like – I was curious what it meant to become a consultant. Basically all you need is a mentor, so essentially someone who is already a consultant and can guide you (mine is Lexi) and $85 to sign-up. In the mail I got a HUGE stack of papers and books that I’m expected to read. Truth is, I haven’t opened them. Mainly because I’m a digital person and I prefer to read online, but also because it was so overwhelming. Which makes me wonder how many consultants have felt the same way. The do have modules available online for training, but again how many consultants actually complete these? Which brings me back to point #2 above about MLM. This is a huge generalization, but I do have my doubts.

2) I support their mission and some of their products -There were some products that I was really impressed by and would 100% purchase again. If I would repurchase something I always tell you about it, because I think it’s worthwhile. And because I make a living off of this, it’s always nice to get a kickback from recommending it. I also love that they are a company that isn’t just selling products but also trying to change legislation and that is something I can definitely get behind.

In the end these were the 3 products I actually liked: Nude Eyeshadow Palette |  Cleansing Balm |  Balancing Face Mask

NOTE: About to 6 months after this article was originally published in 2017 I decided to no longer remain a consultant.  As I wasn’t a huge fan of most of the products, I wasn’t pushing and selling intentionally. To remain a Beautycounter consultant you must sell a certain amount within 6 months or pay to be reinstituted. They are not transparent about this quota so after 6 months I was told to either meet my quota or pay to remain a consultant. None of this sat well with me so I left the program.

* * * * *

So there you have it! Don’t forget to watch my video review of all the products I tried. I really hope this post has been educational for you and I’m always here to answer questions if you have any. You know I try to keep this space 100% transparent and I love being a guinea pig and providing my feedback, but as always this is just my personal opinion. I’m all ears to hear your thoughts!

Like this post? Here are a few others you might enjoy:

5 Natural Skincare Alternatives to Beautycounter
The Best Skincare Products from Whole Foods
Natural Deodorants that Actually Work

  • Reply
    Juliette | Namastay Traveling
    November 20, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I’ve been hearing so much about beauty counter that it was so great to have an outsider’s view! I’m trying to clean up all my products and this seems like a good place to start. Thanks for the honest thoughts! (As always.).

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

    When will the video be up?

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

    What brand of foundation do you mention in the video that you love?

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    love the honest review. I just bought a few things from BC so I enjoyed watching info about some of the products I haven’t tried yet. I use the charcoal bar daily on my face and my skin just started getting dry since it’s gotten colder…may be time to switch!

  • Reply
    Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass
    November 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    MLMs drive me up the wall. Thank you for being candid about your true feelings about them! They also scare me. I’ve been asked about Beautycounter before and have also read about it on other blogs. As someone who is trying to clean up my products (just switched to a boatload of natural and cruelty-free items) this does interest me, so thanks for your honesty!

    • Reply
      November 22, 2017 at 7:38 am

      Hey Kaitlyn, what exactly scares you about MLM?

      • Reply
        Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass
        November 22, 2017 at 8:39 am

        Hi Jocelyne! MLMs make me nervous because there’s no guarantee you’ll financially reap what you sow. For example, a lot of MLMs I’ve been approached with require an investment fee, some of which total up to hundreds of dollars, and there’s no guarantee you’ll make a profit or even a fraction of your investment in return. Time is money! But if you have the time to dedicate to your MLM business venture, and the adequate skills to propel you forward down that avenue, go for it! I can just see how it would be tricky to maintain that version of a side hustle if you have other obligations as well, like, for me, maintaining and growing my own personal blog + social channels and working full-time. I hope that answers your questions! Feel free to reach out directly if you have any others. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm


  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Body wash is back and Mike loves it too 🙂

  • Reply
    November 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Can u tell me the foundation that u do love please . It went so fast I couldn’t catch it !

  • Reply
    November 22, 2017 at 7:37 am

    I haven’t tried it and I am not sure if it is a thing here in Switzerland. I do however participate in doTerra. I love their essential oils and the opportunity you get distributing what you love. It is a MLM too but I can fully recommend the products and I am excited sharing the oils with others. 🙂

    Thank you for your honest review!

  • Reply
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
    March 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Hey girl! Now that’s it’s been a few months since you’ve published this post/been a consultant, what do you think? Has the consulting been worthwhile to you? Have you since discovered any other BC products you enjoy? xoxo

  • Reply
    May 9, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    What all do you use from Lily LoLo?

  • Reply
    June 18, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Was the lipstick long wearing ?

  • Reply
    September 15, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    Can you please recommend a natural mascara? I make my own foundation and cream, but am not ready to tackle mascara!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      September 16, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      This one is my absolute favorite!

    • Reply
      July 8, 2020 at 10:36 pm

      You said a lot but never mentioned if the products improved your skin and etc. I would like to know more about how the products worked for you. I have been using the whole line of skincare products about three months. This was a pricey investment for me and the results are disappointing so far. I don’t think that I will be purchasing again.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    At Beautycounter, our mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. … Our growing collection includes safer skin care, hair care, bath & body products, kids’ and babies’ products, anti-aging treatments, and high-performance makeup.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2019 at 12:07 am

      At those prices, you’re not going to succeed. They are way too expensive for MOST people, so you’ll get them in the hands of the same small percentage of people who can afford any other overpriced, expensive makeup. For the record, I *can* afford it, but refuse to pay double just so an MLM company can thrive.

  • Reply
    Cindy L
    November 15, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    I discovered The Beautycounter line through a wellness author who reminded me of the dangerous chemicals in so many cosmetics. (I’ve always been a cosmetics junkie, so I had to take it seriously). Having survived multiple bouts of skin cancer (including on my eyelid), I know I waited too long to make a serious switch to safer cosmetics. I now use several lines, including Jane Iredale, and a couple of cosmeceutical lines. I read that skin cancer isn’t caused solely by UV exposure — and that it can be exacerbated by unsafe chemicals in makeup when the makeup on your skin is exposed to the sun. Yikes.

    Not all of the safer lines provide the quality I was looking for. But so far, Beautycounter is doing a good job and I like the quality of the products. The beauty oils are especially nice, and they don’t irritate my sensitive, fair, aging skin. I will continue to try more products in this line.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2018 at 6:47 am

    The Eyeshadow palette and The bronzer look amazing… I need one! Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    What hair care do you use? I have not found a natural shampoo that I like.

    • Reply
      June 1, 2019 at 11:00 pm

      Have you tried Monat.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    I would love a review about Beautycounter’s facial oils!

  • Reply
    peg mckenna
    February 19, 2019 at 5:28 pm

    Do you have a list of all the different products from different companies that you like?

  • Reply
    Angela Madrigal
    March 2, 2019 at 2:24 am

    I’d love to know the same thing Peg asked! Just tell me what to buy lol

  • Reply
    March 6, 2019 at 7:51 am

    This an interesting article. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been using their products for a few years and really love them. In fact, I’ve been buying products as gifts for favorite women – and a few men – in my life. So – I’m a big fan. That said,
    it seems paradoxical that they are so clean and their packaging is plastic – which leaches chemicals, including simulated estrogens. Please, if you really like their products, encourage them to start using glass/metal — I truly believe that is the future!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Hi Maven
    Your are uploading very interesting information, I’ve loved that, Keep sharing such informative and Marvellous content.

  • Reply
    April 27, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    The body wash is AMAZING and has made me want to try everything Beautycounter! I also purchased the cleansing balm which I love and the body cream is fantastic! Those are the only 3 beauty counter products I have but I am excited to try more! Thanks for you honesty!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Love your info! I’ve been using natural household products for a while now and just branching out into the ‘natural beauty’ world. What was the name of the foundation you use? Also, what are your thoughts on the honest company? I have my 3rd baby on the way (been a while, my youngest is 7) and I really want to go natural products with this one, so I’ve been looking into honest, but not sure…..

  • Reply
    June 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Well… if you are no longer a consultant, why is your affiliate link still up and running nicely.


    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      June 11, 2019 at 2:19 pm

      They don’t take it down. Now whoever is above me is making commission off these links because they boot you from the program if you don’t make your quota.

  • Reply
    July 26, 2019 at 9:20 am

    What was the brand of lipstick you liked?

  • Reply
    September 6, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    Tried many of BC’s products – the “Daily Shampoo & Conditioner” stripped after just 2 uses (dark water in drain) my $80 hair color job.
    The oil cleanser left me with a seborrhea flare on sides of nose and chin – hadn’t had a flare in years now and after 3 days of using the oil
    cleaning solution my face is on fire. Did like the Melting Balm but at $42 it’s not affordable. Did like the hand cream but then again it’s quite expensive. All their add’l fees turned me off – so I passed on buying anything after a 3 day sampling of various products. Nice idea if it was
    REALLY what they were doing – to “save” the environment with natural products – not true, they are MLM and it’s all a gimmick. Not for me.

  • Reply
    Nadia Zaid
    September 18, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Just found your page and will definitely be back! You mention that you recently made a hair product switch and your hair does indeed look great! Would you mind sharing what you’re using?

  • Reply
    October 16, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing your honest opinion! I appreciate it! I am going to check out the products that you recommended.

  • Reply
    Viva Glow
    October 18, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I’ve only really read or heard about them but this is actually the first time I’m discovering what they’re all about. They may have good intentions, but it’s still quite difficult to decipher whether or not they’re true to their word. I mean, if only a few of they’re products are worth keeping and at such a high price, I don’t think there’s much that will get them going. As you said, there are a lot more products that are cheaper and better.

    Thanks for the honest review.

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      October 18, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      of course! Glad it was helpful to you. Personally I don’t think they’re that great but certainly better than some conventional brands!

  • Reply
    Heather M.
    November 4, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Fyi they have recently and are still moving towards more glass packaging and reducing plastic usage.

  • Reply
    Hannah E.
    November 15, 2019 at 7:30 am

    I was googling to find more about BeautyCounter … I’m currently using their CounterMatch line and have been happy so far – but wanted to see how the cleanliness really lined up. SO happy to find this article, but even happier to find your blog. Looking forward to being a follower! Waiving hi from TX!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      November 15, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Big hello from San Francisco! So happy this could be helpful. I’m on the lookout for alternatives to the countermatch line!

  • Reply
    Syria De La Cruz
    December 11, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Thank for the info! I’ve recently been approached about trying BC. I currently use Savvy Minerals by Young Living Essential Oils (yes, an oil company sells makeup too! – I especially LOVE their deodorant and toothpaste) I’m not afraid to try other “clean” products because the cleaner the better. I would love to hear an outsider’s perspective on Savvy Minerals because I’m already bias. However, I can’t help but be curious about what else is out there. If you ever try it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Reply
    Carlos Wright
    March 2, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    good post

  • Reply
    April 11, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    I am recently trying Beauty Counter CounterMatch and I do love it along with the Balm. The bath products and body moisturizers are also good and leave my skin feeling wonderful with a nice soft scent. No adverse reactions.
    I also use doTerra oils and Young Living oils. I have tried doTerra body line but i found the scent in the Hydrating Cream to strong and lasted for a couple hours. I haven’t tried Young Living body line. Not everything is perfect and we have to pick and choose what works best for us and we have a lot to choose from. I believe the less toxic chemicals the better. All companies are in a business to make money , the worker bee’s usually make less in the chain and the higher you are the more you make. Sometimes MLM’s are the best way to get a product out there. These three companies also put a lot back into their company to make their products.

    • Reply
      May 12, 2020 at 11:24 am

      “All companies are in a business to make money , the worker bee’s usually make less in the chain and the higher you are the more you make.” Thank you. Every single company I know of people at the top make more. Considering they are making the product, the marketing materials and are the brains behind it all, the company should get the highest cut. That’s not exclusive to MLM’s…it’s just capitalism. Beautycounter gives the opportunity to learn about, practice and profit from sales and there’s the advocacy part that they’re trailblazing in which is pretty fantastic as well. The investment is $98 and all the people I’ve heard pitch the opportunity have mentioned the $1200 quota every 6 months.

      • Reply
        September-Lee Bridge
        July 27, 2020 at 2:25 pm

        Ditto to this. I’d also like to note that Beautycounter does NOT have to be purchased from a consultant only. They have actual storefronts you can go to, you can also purchase online OR from a consultant. And currently they are partnered with Sephora until October for anyone that wishes to purchase there. And while they appreciate you choosing their products, they also share a list of other clean beauty companies out there! Perhaps it wasn’t like this 3 years ago though. But because of this and their transparency it was something I could get behind. Loved your honest review! I’ll definitely be coming back.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    I was just looking at some products and love all natural products. This review was the most helpful! Thank you for taking the time to give such honest feedback!

  • Reply
    May 28, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this honest & transparent review. This is exactly what I was looking for!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2020 at 4:53 am

    Very glad to read this. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    Honestly, I feel like this is forced. I tried Beauty Counter and all the products failed miserably. For reference, I used brow gel, eyebrow pencil, mascara, and multiple facial products. They were all subpar at best. Kora is a far superior brand when it comes to facial products and I am still searching for clean beauty products. For me, Beauty Counter just wasn’t it. I’m glad others have a positive experience but I also wonder how much of it is native advertising since that is more in line with Beauty Counter’s marketing strategy.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    I really enjoy reading such stories. Thanks for sharing!!

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