Today I went live on Instagram with one of my friends, Sarah Beth, who is an expert in all things safer, cleaner beauty. Sarah Beth sells Beautycounter, which happens to be my favorite brand for makeup and skincare with good ingredients, so I thought she'd be a great person to have on live to answer some questions and give recommendations!

I started switching over to better products about a year ago and I think the trickiest part was figuring out where to start. I knew that I probably had a lot of toxic ingredients in my cleaning products, beauty products, hair products... everything, and that's expensive and time-consuming to fully replace! I decided to just take it slow and switch out one or two items at a time, and I think that's a good way to go. Gradually, I've been using better products but I still have a few items I use every day that I know I want to eventually replace with a safer option.

The ones that felt pretty urgent to me were my foundation, moisturizer and lip color, since those are the ones I'm using all the time and that might be actually entering my body through my skin (or even through my mouth for the lipstick!), not just staying on top. I'll still use a lip color here and there that isn't considered super clean and natural, but for something I'm using on the daily, those chemicals can add up and I wanted to switch it out for something safer right away. Eventually I also switched over my shampoo and conditioner which has helped my hair a ton and I'm just always keeping an eye out for safer options for all my products!

Here are a couple points that Sarah Beth made on safer beauty that I thought were really helpful, and then if you keep scrolling below, I linked all my favorite products that I use!

1. Products that say "natural" aren't always actually good ingredients... there is currently no regulation on the word "natural" so it's better to actually take a look at what it's made of! Also, some ingredients that truly are natural are still not safe. For example, lead is definitely not safe for beauty products but technically is a natural ingredient. 

2. 2 in 1 SPF & Moisturizer isn't usually a good option. You want moisturizer to soak into your skin, but you want SPF to stay on top to shield from the sun, so it's better to buy those separately. 

3. Super interesting stat: The US only bans about 30 ingredients from our beauty products, compared to 1400 banned by the European Union! The laws on this issue haven't been updated much since 1938... wah wah


Here are a few helpful links:

  • EWG -- this is an amazing database of products that you can use to check the ingredients and toxicity of the items you're using or to search for what the best ones are. They also have an awesome app that I use all the time, where you can scan the barcodes of products while you're shopping to check for toxicity before you purchase. The lower the number the better, so 1 is the best, and 10 is the worst. 
  • Here is "The Never List" created by Beautycounter... Beautycounter bans over 1500 ingredients from their products and put this list together of the ones to make sure you always avoid! Super helpful.
  • Sarah Beth has a Facebook page where she shares interesting articles, DIY natural remedies, cleaning products, Beautycounter updates, etc. I genuinely love following along and having a fun and casual place to ask for recommendations. 


OKAY now for the products. Here are my favorite clean products that I use:

Disclaimer:  if you do decide to purchase anything from Beautycounter, Sarah Beth is super nice and is offering me some free products in exchange for promoting her business! If you want to support her and give me some credit, just make sure to go directly through the links below and then choose "Julie's Better Beauty Link" when you check out! Beautycounter is probably my favorite company for clean beauty, but I also linked several products from other companies that I love and am not getting any free product from them, just love em!


  • This shampoo and conditioner are awesome -- I love the way they smell and they make my hair super soft. The shampoo is nice and sudsy so a little goes a long way. The conditioner is not the best for detangling, but it does make my hair much softer and has helped repair my ends where I highlighted and dried them out. Acure is a really good brand in general if you're looking for good ingredients. It's sold at Target, most health food stores and on Amazon! Beautycounter also has really nice hair care -- I haven't used any of it myself but I have definitely heard good things and that the shampoo especially lasts a long time. They have a great kids line as well.
  • I am obsessssed with this body wash. It smells so good and makes my skin super soft. I do not recommend their hand soap -- the scent (even though it's made with essential oils, not fragrance) is SO strong and kind of overwhelming, but I love the body wash and will stick to this company for a long time!
  • This deodorant is decent. I don't use a natural deodorant every day, to be honest, because I haven't found one that I absolutely love, but this is definitely the best that I've tried. It smells super good and lasts longer than other natural deodorants do. The only thing is it's kind of hard, so you have to soften it to apply it. I usually just hold it on my armpit for a few seconds to warm it up and then it goes on pretty smooth. It's also not an anti-perspirant (because I think anti-perspirant is supposed to be pretty bad for you in general?) so don't expect it to keep you from sweating (and chaffing). 


  • This is my favorite foundation -- I have tried a couple other brands and haven't found one I love more. It is pretty lightweight but still gives enough coverage for me, and like I said, since I wear foundation everyday it's one of the most important to me to have good ingredients! Beautycounter also has another foundation that is lighter coverage and has SPF. I haven't tried that one yet but it sounds prefect for summer! I am the lightest color -- Porcelain, and I can connect you with Sarah Beth if you need help choosing a color! I would say one tube of the Tint Skin probably lasted me about 4 months of wearing it every single day.
  • For every day lip color, I almost always wear Beautycounter's Lip Sheer in Twig. It's similar to the color of my lips, and I've heard it is one of their most popular colors. I wear it all the time and it lasted me over a year before I ran out. They also launched some new brighter lipsticks that I have yet to try! 
  • I love this agave lip mask by BITE beauty -- super moisturizing and healing and it's pretty too, so sometimes I just wear it as a lip gloss. 
  • This cream highlighter by RMS Beauty is amaaaze -- it's the perfect amount of shimmer, pretty lightweight and blends very well. I've used it every day for the last 4 months and have only used about half of the bottle.
  • This DIY makeup remover recipe is really great. You can customize it to what you like of course, but I make it exactly like it says and it works perfectly. I feel like my skin is clearer and softer when I use it... and rumor has it that lavender oil can make your eyelashes longer? Not sure if that's true or not but either way it works super well and smells good. I've also heard of people just using coconut oil!

That's it for now! Comment, DM or email me if you have any questions or are looking for other recommendations!