As much as I would love to make ya’ll believe that I dress up seven days a week, I think ya’ll could spot a fake from a mile away. I have three small children so when I do make it out of yoga pants THIS is the outfit that I find myself wearing most. Last month, my friend, team member and owner of the Paisley Pearl, Whitney McGee, hosted a Beautycounter event at her boutique. Luckily, I was able to attend and enjoy a night out talking about safer beauty and shopping. In her boutique she has an entire clothing rack for ZSupply clothing and it caught my eye because they are vneck and have pockets. Ummmm yes, I have decided that I want one in every color because I love them so much.
The ZSupply brand has become my favorite for comfy but stylish slouchy tees and tanks. I recently found out that they make dresses and I ordered one of those as well. Paired with a pair of leggings or shorts, they make the best laid back comfy outfit ever! I always slip on my Birkenstocks (yes they are back in stock) and my new wallet from Thirty One. I wanted one of these because it has a zipper pouch that I store my phone in and a clip to attach my keys so when I am out and about with the kids I can grab it and go instead of lugging around a big diaper bag! It’s a must in my book!
Ok, so now for the fun part. I love doing these Q and A blogs because ya’ll ask me so many questions on the daily that it’s easier to post them here than to answer them all individually because a lot of you ask me the same questions. I decided to break this up into general questions and Beautycounter questions because I received so many about both! I hope you enjoy and please feel free to email or private message me if I didn’t include info that you want me to answer.
Q: How do you get your kids to sleep through the night?
A: no naps. Ugh. It pains me to say this. Even though Harper turns into a crab around 5:30, Nolan and her both fall asleep earlier and stay asleep until 7-7:30ish by doing this. Harper used to wake up every single night when she took a nap after lunch and she would beg for water. Now she doesn’t do that since I’ve cut out her nap. I also diffuse essential oils like: lavender, valor, orange and cedarwood to help get them into a deep sleep and I keep it dark in the bedroom as well. Oh and if you don’t have a sound machine or box fan, you need to invest in one of them because without them, my kids wake up to the smallest peep of noise. Scarlet Reese nurses during the night but honestly, I couldn’t tell you how often because I am not even all the way awake when I give her my boob, haha.
Q: Give me more details on your Rainbow Vacuum, please.
A: well, it’s actually my sister’s vaccum but she is kind enough to let me use it whenever I want. I am going to eventually purchase my own but I have focused on paying off all of my debts including student loans so I’m not making big purchases right now. I use it once a month to deep clean our floors and furniture and I can tell an immediate difference after it’s used. An ordinary vacuum cleaner uses a bag to filter and catch debris, dust and dirt when cleaning. A rainbow differs because it uses a HEPA filter system in some models. … This will ensure that the dust is not put back into the air. That little “cup” thing attached to the motor? That’s the Separator. It spins at high speed and builds up a bowl shaped layer of water droplets around it. It’s also the air intake for the vacuum cleaner. The air gets drawn through this “cloud” of rapidly spinning water vapor, and the particulates (and almost all of the water) stay behind. What you’re left with is a tank of dirty water, and a very clean carpet. Because it uses water vapor as a filtration medium, the Rainbow doesn’t use filters or bags.
Q: How can I mix my Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides powder to hide the taste?
A: well, most of the collagen powders are tasteless but I mix mine with coffee, tea and hot water right when I pour it then stir it really good so it dissolves. I have also added it to oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soups and fruit salads before. I would add it into hot liquids and stir very good to dissolve.
Q: Hi, I read your blog about placenta encapsulation and would love to hear more about what company you used, what the average cost is, how do you involve the doctor and hospital?
A: So, I’ve had my placenta encapsulated after Harper and Scarlet Reese was born and it was the best decision I could have made for my post partum recovery. You can read all about it on the blog that I wrote about it. BUT I will say that the birthing center that I had SR at referred me to the lady that they trust for placenta encapsulation so I suggest calling a birth center or asking around for who is in your area that does a great job. She picked up my placenta after my births and returned it encapsulated to the birth center. When I had Harper at the hospital I just told my OBGYN what the plan was before hand and they put it in a little cooler that I brought and the lady came to pick it up. It was an easy process and totally worth it. If I remember correctly, it was around $250.
Q: How did you transition to a toxic free diet and loosing weight?
A: I actually wrote an entire blog series, I’ll link the first one so you can go read them all, just search for “weight loss” on the side bar in the search space. But, I just woke up and decided I didn’t want to live life like I was living anymore. SO I decided to change.
Q: Please tell me how you get your hair to curl so perfectly.
A: honestly, I wash my hair once or twice a week with the Beautycounter shampoo and conditioner. Then I blow dry with a wet brush. After that, I section my hair into two parts and put the top half into a clip on top of my head. I take permanent marker sized pieces of hair and wrap them around the barrel of my curling wand, AWAY FROM MY FACE and I leave it wrapped for 10 seconds per piece. I do this until all of my hair is curled and then I finger comb it out with my head upside down. It normally stays curly for 3 days after that so I am thankful that I just have to do random touch ups through out the week.
Q: Did you receive any weird/rude comments from family/friends when you made your switch to your new lifestyle?
A: the answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I mean I get comments to this day. For some reason those people think that they don’t have to have a filter but they need one the most. I am constantly validating my choices to everyone. This past year was really hard for me because Nolan started school and the amount of junk food and candy that is handed out at school is obnoxious. I had several meetings with his teachers telling them not to feed him that stuff that we don’t live like that and they always came back at me with “I don’t want him to feel left out,” “we can’t legally keep him from eating that stuff,” and “it’s just a little bit, it wont hurt him.” Even my mother in law refuses to see it so I send good foods with my kids when they go to her house and limit the times that they are with her so she doesn’t take them to get fast food or eat meals there.
a few things have happened that have resulted in Nolan having to have dental work. I’ve also gotten a doctors note backing up my choices that I can show so people don’t give them certain foods. And I get to take it to school and put it on file. Which takes away my anxiety about all the junk they get fed there.
When it comes to people making comments to me I get it all the time. “well you need to eat a cheeseburger.” ummmm I do. but it’s a healthy one 😉 gah, I can’t even think about each thing that has been said to me because I try and block them all out. I just say, do you and move on and if someone doesn’t respect your life choices then distance yourself.
Q: Can I go into detail about how much weight you lost? Did you count calories? Just eat when you are hungry?
A: of course, I talk about all of this in my weight loss series but it was around 60 pounds give or take. This happened over the course of a year! I do not count calories, I just focus on eating REAL foods and not processed “man-made” items.
Q: What toys do your little ones prefer? We do not keep electronics in our home and I am in search of ideas.
A: Of course, I feel your pain! We struggle with this as well. Although, we do have a few electronics, the time spent playing those are VERY LIMITED. Nolan is really into Legos, so in his room he has a Lego table that is OVERFLOWING with Legos. Seriously, it’s crazy. I have a few baskets that I try to contain them in but they normally end up all over the floor. SO Scarlet Reese really isn’t allowed in there. He also has several super hero costumes that he dresses up in a plays super heroes. It’s really cute! Harper plays dress up as well, she has princesses dresses. My next investment is going to be a wooden doll house for her and Scarlet Reese to play with. Until then, she loves to play with her wooden kitchen in her room. I purchased Melissa and Doug play food, pots and pans at Christmas one year so she makes all sorts of meals with those. Scarlet Reese has a few toys that she plays with but her favorite are building blocks made from recycled materials. She doesn’t build things but just likes to play with them.
Q: Hey Amanda, I am currently inspired to start eating more healthy and using safer cleaning products. With food, I am aware that the less preservatives normally means more expensive. How do you transition into a healthier lifestyle on a budget?
A: Well, it’s all about food prepping and shopping smart. Every weekend, I make a trip to my local Walmart. Yes, I said Walmart and I stock up on our groceries for the week. I mostly shop the outer isles and stay away from the middle where the processed foods are. Walmart has a growing organic selection and you can find some really great things there. Aldi is another great place to go for a cheaper and organic selection. AND my favorite is Costco. Now, this is where food prep and investing in food comes into play. I buy my meats from Costco and freeze them once I get home. Then I unthaw as needed. I do this with a lot of vegetables as well. Costco is more of a once a month trip and Walmart and Aldi are places that I go back and forth too.
Q: What are you using to whiten your teeth?
A: I use the Bedrock and Bloom Charcoal Powder and I brush my teeth two times a day with it. I have seen a big change in the color of my teeth but I am excited to continue the process.
Q: What products do you recommend for a first time purchase?
A: depending on if you want to start with skincare or makeup first, I always suggest the Tint Skin Foundation and Retractable brush. Those two go together like PB and J and give you an airbrushed finish when used together. The brush also helps you use the correct amount of foundation and your bottle will last you 6 months plus. The sunscreen is also a great purchase during the summer time and if you have acne you definitely need a charcoal bar. I’ve had the same one since December and I’m still using it! Please feel free to message me about any specific product questions and I will help you!
Q: I would love to be a Beautycounter consultant but I just feel like I am to busy. How do you make it work?
A: Everyone is busy. I was busy when I found Beautycounter, but it was important to me. I find that the busiest people are the ones that are most successful because they know how to multi task and things done. You can accomplish a lot in a little time and will find that this just fits into your lifestyle. I find that when I’m in a social setting the conversation turns to health/wellness and Beautycounter is fun to share. I also find that “busy” is an ASSET! Busy people are plugged in to life – they’re involved in their careers, their neighborhoods, communities, friend networks, kids activities, recreation, sports, non-profit work… with all of these situations you’re plugged in and sharing Beautycounter comes easily. For example, maybe you’re having a girls weekend. Let your girlfriends know you’re excited about your new company and you’re excited to bring a spa basket to show off! Or you’re at a board meeting and chatting about the weekend plans with a colleague. She says she has a girls weekend planned. You could tell her about BC’s mission and offer to send a spa basket and a bottle of wine. YES! The possibilities are endless when you’re in front of people with a busy lifestyle. You can work 2-5 hours a week or more. It’s totally up to you.
Q: Are your products “natural”?
A: Beautycounter uses many ingredients that are certified organic, natural, or naturally derived, and we use some of the safer synthetic ingredients too. It is important to know that “organic” and “natural” do not have legal definitions in the cosmetic industry; companies can say that a product is organic when in fact there are no certified organic ingredients in it, or there are only a couple. A lot of products in the beauty aisle also make claims about health: “hypoallergenic,” “natural,” or “doctor-approved” may come to mind. Unfortunately, a lot of these terms are meaningless.
Q: Why does Beautycounter talk so much about safety?
A: Chemicals that can cause cancer, reproductive harm, and other serious health issues are not banned in the United States from the skin care and color cosmetic products that people use every day, day after day, and companies are free to make their own judgments about safety. Cosmetics are just one route of exposure to toxic chemicals, but it is one that Beautycounter can do something about. Our team researches the safety of each potential ingredient to ensure that we’re making the safest high-performing products that we can.
A: Our five-step Ingredient Selection Process sets us apart from others in the beauty industry. The first step of the process is “Ban Intentionally.” At Beautycounter, we’ve committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the United States. Our “Never List” is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals we never use as ingredients. This includes the 1,400-plus chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, plus additional chemicals where information screened by Beautycounter indicates a cause for concern. This “Never List” is robust, but we go even further. The second step is to conduct safety assessments on every single ingredient we consider for inclusion in our products and prohibit the use of ingredients that do not meet our higher health and safety standard.
A: I would have to say that getting the chance to educate women (and some men!) about the importance of their health and the products they choose to put on their bodies has been overwhelmingly rewarding. Even at the end of the day if no one makes a purchase I am okay with that. My goal and passion is to teach everyone to be more conscious of their health. The statistic that has hit home the most for me is, “The United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.” It is scary to think of all the chemicals we put on our face in a day and what it doing to our skin and immune system.
Q: What package do you recommend I should get when I sign up as a consultant?
A: You should of course go with the kit that works for your budget. Based on experience, I recommend the middle or the largest package are a good way to go. The most common thing I hear from new consultants who started with the smallest starter set is they regret not getting the bigger packages because ultimately they purchased all of those products, but they ended up paying more for them. The starter packages are the best value at 40% off compared to our regular 25% consultant discount. Beautycounter gives new consultants every advantage for a strong and successful start. They offer the starter sets at a much bigger discount knowing that consultants who have more products to use and share are more successful more quickly. Again, how you start is your decision, but I want to offer my recommendation based on experience.
Q: You’re so knowledgeable and good at what you do. I don’t think I could do what you do!
A: I promise I’m not special! Just like you, I was moved by Beautycounter’s mission and wanted to get involved. Being successful at this business isn’t about being the best salesperson or knowing every single fact or ingredient. It’s about sharing what you believe in and being passionate about wanting to educate and help others to make safer choices. You would be amazing at doing that! As long as you are consistently reaching out to people and sharing BC with sincerity and authenticity in your own way, you will be great.