02/19/2018

Two Years with Beautycounter

Last week marked two years that I’ve been a Consultant with Beautycounter. Two years since I decided to say one of the best ‘Yes’ of my life. People join MLMs every day, and that new venture may last a month or two until the initial excitement dissipates, or the realization that a get-rich-quick promise isn’t exactly guaranteed.

I’m not different or better than anyone else who starts their business. But Beautycounter, it’s different. I did my research before I joined, and, I liked what I saw. How are we different? We use a direct sales model that‘s unlike any I’ve seen before. Consultants cannot sit back and ‘make money’ off those on your team. If you don’t do the work, you don’t’ reap the rewards. Plain and simple. Beautycounter also doesn’t pay with trips or expensive handbags. You are paid cash for your efforts and successes. Our corporate office wants us to decide what to do with our earnings. Last year, we used my paychecks toward our car payments (we now owe absolutely nothing on our cars), and this year we‘re using it toward landscaping for our new home, and a family Hawaii cruise in December.

If while watching my Beautycounter journey over the last two years you’ve ever thought, “Hey, I could do that!” Or, “I would love to do that, but I’m not sure if I could.” Or, ‘I wonder what that entails… ‘ Message me or Email me at jana.antil@gmail.com. I would love to talk more about the Opportunity with you and all the details of what it means to be a Consultant. The next two years will pass just as quickly, and you can choose to either wonder what if, or know what saying yes means for you too.

Speaking of a being a Consultant, one of the first questions I get asked by prospective clients about Beautycounter is ‘Where do I begin?’

I completely understand this question. I know it can feel overwhelming to browse the website when we have so many products and product lines. It can be hard to know where to begin!

I do like to encourage people to start with a regimen. I think so often we can mix-and-match products in hopes of finding a miracle for our skin, but what we forget is that professional scientists and innovators – especially at Beautycounter – are hard at work creating regimens that work together to give our skin the best we can. You don’t need every product, but having a good face cleanser, moisturizer, eye cream, and serum or oil are pretty essential.

After narrowing down a regimen, it’s fun to add in products that enhance our routine. When it comes to makeup, I typically suggest starting with the Flawless in Five, which includes Tint Skin, Concealer Pen, Eyeliner, Mascara, Blush Duo, and a Lip gloss. You choose your colors and your shades, as well as the type of mascara.

If I’m asked about what specific Beautycounter products are my favorites, I’m happy to share those too! Along with my picks for the best products, I thought I would also share a couple products that aren’t my favorites. It may sound weird for a consultant to share products she doesn’t love, but I want to be an open book and talk about the ones that work for me and the ones that haven’t.

Let me be clear though that what doesn’t work for me, may still work for you. I have literally tried almost every product Beautycounter offers so I have good an educated insight, but everyone’s skin and preferences are different. I know what I continue to buy time-and-time again and what I’ve only bought one time. It’s hard to narrow down my list, but here are some of my current favorite products:

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm

Cleansing Balm is our most expensive product, and I didn’t buy it until months after becoming a Consultant because of that reason. I continued hearing  that this product is an all-in-one game changer, so I finally bit the bullet and ordered it. I now continue ordering a Cleansing Balm every three months or so and use it every single night before bed. I wash my face with maybe a dime size amount, and it literally melts the day away. It takes off my makeup and leaves my face smooth, but also clean and hydrated. If your face cleanser leaves your skin feeling dry or extremely tight or uncomfortable, the Cleansing Balm may be a better option for you. It almost feels like a moisturizer, cleanser, mask all in one.

Beautycounter Face Oil

Another favorite is our Face Oils. A lot of people can be timid of Face Oils in the beginning, but I encourage you not to be! It is one of the first products that showed me how incredible Beautycounter is. I typically use the Balancing Face Oil, and I’m not sure I could ever not use face oil again. We have three kinds of Oils that are made for a variety of skin types – Brightening, Plumping and Balancing. There is something for everyone!

Beautycounter Countermatch Collection

The Countermatch Collection is my newest favorite. I can’t pick just one of the Countermatch products since they all work together so so well. Yes, this is considered more of a regimen, but Countermatch is one of the most innovative product lines I have used. It uses a bio-mimic technology, enabling your skin to adapt to its environment while giving it exactly what it needs when it comes to moisture. I love this line, and it’s great for those who have dry skin or normal skin, but not as recommended for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Beautycounter Lip Conditioner in Peppermint

The Lip Conditioner in Peppermint is one of our most cost-friendly products, and also one of my favorites! I have two on hand at all times – one on my nightstand and one in my purse. It’s especially amazing during winter months for dry chapped lips. It smells so good and gives a gentle tingle to your lips, keeping everything moisturized and healthy.

Beautycounter Charcoal Bar - Happywifehealthylife.com

The Charcoal Bar is a cult classic, and one of my favorites too. It is best for those who have oily skin, normal skin, or acne prone skin, but it’s not as recommended for those who have dry skin. I use my charcoal bar every single morning. I simply use the charcoal bar and then apply the Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer in the morning, and I’m good to go.

Beautycounter Tint Skin - Happywifehealthylife.com

Tint Skin is my very favorite makeup product that we offer. It’s a light to medium coverage, blends easily, and doesn’t feel like you’re even wearing makeup. If you want heavier coverage, you can layer applications. For every day wear though, it takes just a tiny half a dime size amount to cover your whole face, and it works wonders for creating a smooth canvas for the rest of your makeup. I use the Linen shade during my paler months -roughly October throughApril – and then switch to Sand from May through September.

Now as promised, here are a couple products that simply aren’t my favorites. However, just because they don’t work especially great for me doesn’t mean they won’t work for you! It all depends on your skin type and what you’re looking for as far as coverage goes, or as far as moisture goes, etc. So here we go, a few of my personal not-so-favorite products:

Beautycounter Mascara - Happywifehealthylife.com

Volumizing and Lengthening Mascaras. I keep trying to love our mascara options, but I just don’t. I like them, but hacen’t quite hit that love mark yet. I think the wand doesn’t give quite as much volume as I would like. I do have to say that this new formula of mascara though is way better than the one we had originally released. So if you tried our mascara when we first launched it and didn’t like it at all, you may find that you like our new version better. I still use our mascara because I’ve yet to find a safe mascara that I do love; however it’s not my favorite product. I still think we can do better!

Beautycounter Dew Skin - Happywifehealthylife.com

Dew Skin is a product that I do use and actually love, but certain times of the year or season of life (like winter or pregnancy) just do not allow me to use it. I love the idea of having a moisturizer, SPF and foundation all in one, but the truth is that it’s pretty drying for my skin type. I find that Tint Skin is less drying and that’s probably because anytime you use SPF your skin is more likely to be dry. However, I know that you can combat the dryness by adding moisturizer to their Dew Skin routine, so that is always an option. I like to use our Protect Stick Sunscreen as my face SPF, and then apply Tint Skin on top.

I love our Lip Conditioner in Peppermint but am not as crazy for our Lip Conditioner in Calendula. It’s a floral smell that is maybe a little too strong, in my opinion. People ask about the lip conditioners all the time, and I always direct them towards the Peppermint version. I actually don’t even have a picture of the Calendula since I don’t own it!

Beautycounter Facial Mist - Happywifehealthylife.com

I love the formula of our Facial Mists, but I don’t love the sprayer part of the bottle so much. It sounds like a tiny issue, but I really wish it would spray more even and like a mist. I usually just spray the formula on a cotton ball and use it as a toner. I do like the Mist a lot, but I think that we could do a better job at using a more even-spraying applicator. PS – Our Nourishing Rosewater Mist has a different application and I love it! Store it in the refrigerator for a wake-up-your-complexion ritual in the morning and throughout the day, as needed.

Beautycounter Nourishing Eye Cream - Happywifehealthylife.com

Our Nourishing Eye Cream is a great basic eye cream, but I would like to see more hydration from my eye cream choice. I think the Nourishing Eye Cream is great for sensitive or youthful skin, but we have two other options that I simply like better. The Rejuvenating Eye Cream and the Countermatch Eye Cream each have my heart and offer more of the moisture and results I’m looking for.

Question for You:

  • If you’ve tried Beautycounter products before, what are your most favorite products? If you’ve never tried Beautycounter, what products are on your wish list or must-try list?
02/16/2018

Valentine’s Day 2018 – Dinner for Four!

Valentine’s Day was such a fun one this year with two little ones! 

Savannah is obviously still too little to know what’s going on, but I tried to make the holiday as special for her and Jack as possible. Sure, Valentine’s Day is focused on romantic relationships, but I think it is also a huge holiday for showering your babies with love too! It’s fun to make them feel special and loved as well, and to bring out all the Valentine’s Day books, and stickers, and balloons, and cards you can find.

I sent this picture of Savannah to Tim while he was at the gym Wednesday morning! I took it Tuesday as a way for her to ‘wish her daddy’ a very happy Valentines Day! Tim says he’s the only Valentine she’s ever allowed to have, and mommy agrees!

Valentine's Day 2018

I made Jack a heart shaped French Toast for breakfast, along with applesauce and strawberry yogurt. He ate it right up and used both the yogurt and the whip cream as a ‘dip’ for his French Toast. He also got hot chocolate as his morning milk, which was about 1/8 chocolate and 7/8 milk, ha! He loved it though and all day kept talking about his ‘special treats!’ We also watched a Valentine’s Day episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and he played with Paw Patrol Vday stickers.

Valentine's Day 2018

Speaking of special treats, mommy’s was a latte, which in my opinion is better than pretty much any flowers or box of chocolates you can get! My husband knows my love language and brought me this coffee after his workout Wednesday morning. Sometimes love means big, beautiful, intense gestures, and other times it means the little things and genuinely caring for the other person’s heart and soul. For this tired mama, a cup of coffee with an ‘I love you’ message is just what the doctor ordered. I’ve been having a bit of a rough time lately, and knowing I am loved unconditionally – and trust me when I say unconditionally over these past months – is the best gift I can receive from my spouse and best friend.

Valentine's Day 2018

Savannah wore her Valentine’s best for music class! There were lots of pinks, and bows, and hearts, and love. Pretty much all the things little girls are made of!

Valentine's Day 2018

See this balloon? There’s another story behind it. I had big plans to go to the grocery right after Jack’s music class to pick up ingredients for a special Valentine’s dinner I wanted to make for Tim. It sounded like a perfect plan since we would already be out and the grocery is literally across the street from music.

Well, enter a toddler breakdown at the end of music, and my plans were looking like they would quickly fly out the window. By the time we got in the car, I was ready to just pack it in and go home. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that would be the easy way out. Yes, sometimes you need to just go home with your babies, there is no way around it. However, I also don’t want my littles to think that every time they throw a tantrum they will get there way. So I decided to change the conversation. I calmed my voice and told Jack that mommy really wants to go to the grocery so that she can do something special for daddy. I told him how much mommy loves and appreciates all daddy does for us, and how I wanted to show him how thankful I am to have him.

And you know what? My son calmed down. Now that’s not saying that the trip went off without a hitch – I may have had threatened to take the balloon away more than once – but I would say the trip was a success. I was able to get the ingredients I needed, Jack got a fun balloon and a snack in the deli, and I felt proud of myself for not giving in while accomplishing my goal.

New moms or those who feel like you will never get out of the house again, or that tantrums will always rule your life. You will and they won’t. And eventually you will gather enough confidence in yourself and your parenting to know how to handle situations. Again, my next outing may not go as planned, but for yesterday? I am chalking it up as a win!

Valentine's Day 2018

Jack was even in such a great mood by the time we got home that he wanted to share his balloon with Savannah and kept telling her it was the ‘big boon.’ So, so sweet! Jack then proceeded to take a three hour nap, because exhaustion is where two year old tantrums usually stem from, and I had time to get a work out in, shower, and make dinner.

Valentine's Day 2018

On the menu was steak, asparagus, tri-color carrots, mushrooms, brownie and Tim’s favorite ice cream, Graeter’s Cookies and Cream. We also had red wine, because romance.

Valentine's Day 2018

We had our dinner right alongside our two year old, and I wanted to document his little meal too to remind me how precious this season of life is. No fancy dinners out at restaurants, but instead we ate our meal surrounded by love, in our new home, as a family of four. It was perfection. Surely Valentine’s Day doesn’t get much sweeter than that.

Valentine's Day 2018

02/07/2018

Trader Joe’s Finds

So I don’t know about you, but I’m always interested to see what other people buy at the grocery store. Whether it’s Costco, Whole Foods, or even Kroger, I love seeing what everyone picks to buy for themselves and their family to eat. Call me curious (or call me nosey), but it’s just plain fun!

On Saturday we went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few things, so I wanted to share what made it into the cart. Trader Joe’s is one of those places that I enjoy browsing, and usually end up getting a few things that aren’t on the grocery list, if you know what I mean. I have already sampled quite a few of my finds, and for the most part I would buy everything again in the future. So although this post isn’t groundbreaking, I thought you would like to know what’s now in my pantry and fridge at home!

Trader Joe's Finds - Happywifehealthylife.com

We did a Costco run last weekend where we bought chicken breasts, ground beef, and ground turkey, so we just bought a few meat products. We made the ribs and chicken wings for the super bowl, and bought the chicken sausage to put on a homemade pizza. The ribs were good and so were the wings, but both were pretty small. I guess that’s what happens when you buy organic and not those pumped with hormones. Still good though!

In the produce section, I picked up these yellow squash that were huge (I roasted one of them for dinner this week as a side to spaghetti), frozen Brussels Sprouts, petite carrots to roast, a salad kit (I had it for lunch a couple days), and the riced cauliflower. I want to try and make a pizza crust with the cauliflower, so we’ll see!

In the dairy section I picked up the little strawberry yogurts for Jack. I actually take half of one of these containers and mix it with the plain whole milk yogurt to cut the sugar, and Jack still loves them! The cheese slices were for the Super Bowl, and the mozzarella ball is for that pizza on the meal plan!

Trader Joe’s Finds - Happywifehealthylife.com

I picked up these whole wheat tortillas to make baked tortilla chips with, to spread peanut butter on, and to make egg breakfast wraps. The pita bread is for sandwiches and for making individual pizzas (can you tell I’m craving pizza right now?), and the rice and quinoa cereal was sort of a gimmick. I do like it, but you definitely have to sweeten it up a bit. The texture is the consistency of oat bran and pretty hearty. A little goes a long way!

For pantry staples, we got the pizza sauce (for obvious reasons), the barbecue sauce for the ribs, the tomato soup for a grilled cheese night (we have had this tomato soup before and it’s so good), and the Himalayan Pink Salt as a gimmick. I am a big fan!

I always seem to stock up on nuts whenever I go to Trader Joe’s because you can get them raw or roasted without all the extra oils, and the price is right. I bought a bag of cashews, almonds, and pecan pieces, and then a jar of peanut butter because we go through a jar a week in our house.

And here are (most) of the things I never really need, but always seem to find at Joe’s. The cocoa powder and maple syrup are staples around here, and I always have chocolate chips in the cupboard. I am not sure what I want to do with the coconut cream, but I’m going to find a good recipe on Pinterest to use it in. The cookie and cocoa swirl spread because I can’t go to Trader Joe’s and not get one of their fun spreads, and I got two of the Lenny  & Larry’s cookies that I have seen all over social media. I took a bite and didn’t really care for it, but then I heated it up for 20 seconds and it was actually pretty good. I think it would be a perfect treat paired with a scoop of Halo Top!

So you tell me: What are your favorite things to buy at Trader Joe’s? Anything I need to pick up next time I’m there?