When my friend, Elizabeth Hulsey, pictured above with her dad, Roy, reached out to me about doing a guest post on the blog for her Beautycounter business, I jumped at the chance. So many of the Beautycounter reps have a strong conviction and reason for choosing to sell the non-toxic and “clean” brand. I wanted Elizabeth to share her personal story of turning “pain into purpose,” to grow awareness around smart and healthy beauty practices.
Read on below, for her story:
On September 9, 2015, I was in the beginning of my last of two semesters of nurse practitioner school and was working part time as a nurse. I was preparing for a test that Wednesday evening when I received the phone call that no one ever wants to receive. On the phone was my father informing me that he had been given the results of a recent biopsy and that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his mandible. Three weeks after his diagnosis, he underwent a radical 13 hour surgery where 5 inches of his jaw was removed and replaced with his ulna, a bone from his arm. After four weeks of recovering from surgery, he began the first of seven weeks of daily radiation treatments and three doses of chemotherapy.
I withdrew from graduate school and took a break from my job to take care of him. While taking care of him, I began researching why a man who took such good care of himself would be forced to suffer from such a devastating cancer. He had no risk factors for this type of cancer. He was a non-smoker, rarely drank alcohol, and did not use smokeless tobacco; he exercised and watched his diet closely.
During the course of my research, I came across Beautycounter and read about the company’s founder, Gregg Renfrew, and her reasons for starting the company. Gregg discovered that there were ingredients in our makeup, skincare and personal care products that contained chemicals that were linked to cancer, reproductive issues and hormone disruption. She also discovered that the United States had not passed a federal law regulating the personal care industry since 1938.
Using a list of 1500 ingredients that she would never put in her products, she set out to develop products that were safe and high performing (because we all want products that help us look and feel our best); she also became an advocate for better legislation in the personal care industry. I ordered my first Beautycounter product in November of 2015 and by February of 2016, I was so impressed with the products and the mission of the company to “get safer products into the hands of everyone,” that I decided to join the company.
Shortly after I joined, we were told that my father’s cancer had not only returned, but had spread to a level in which nothing more could be done. We said “goodbye” to him on June 9, 2016, seven days after his 69th birthday. Just three weeks after his death, my husband and I found out that we were going to be parents. In the darkness of losing such a special life, we were going to receive the joyful gift of new life. Just a few months later, I had the pleasure of seeing Fran Drescher speak about her cancer diagnosis at the young age of 42.
My biggest takeaway from her talk was that, “pain turned into purpose is healing.” It was then that I realized my purpose as both a daughter who had lost my “rock of a father,” and as a soon to be new mother, was to educate people about making safer choices, and to advocate… to ensure those choices would always be available.
I am able to do this by spreading the Beautycounter mission in everything I do and with everyone I encounter. Beautycounter is not just a job or cosmetics company, it is a movement. I feel so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to be a part of this movement and to have been given the opportunity from Anne to share it all with you today. Elizabeth Hulsey
Pictured Above (Left to Right) // My Daily Skincare Routine
(1) Nourishing Cream Cleanser, Here (long-time favorite)…use this every single night (2) Rejuvenating Radiance Serum..I use this after cleansing and using the toner pads, (3) Body Butter and Body Lotion….I use them both after showering; I use the body butter on drier areas and body lotion all over. The body butter is not greasy or heavy-feeling whatsoever. I love the citrus-mimosa scent…so crisp and energizing.
(4) Rejuvenating Toner Pads…Click Here. I use these immediately after cleansing. I love the fresh magnolia scent and it makes me feel like I am having a mini spa-day at home. (5) No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil: I just use a few drops…in the evening after using the serum. Again, it is not greasy at all and is very light-weight. Just don’t use 10 drops…two or three should be plenty for most people. I started using face oils a few years ago and I use them in rotation with my regular moisturizer.
I am so excited to try these Baby products soon! We will be bringing Jack and Knox home from the NICU any day now and I can’t wait to give them their first baths soon. These would also make a great gift for a new mom or your pregnant friend. Purchase the entire set, Here.
Baby Wash: It is very mild, which is important for babies’ skin, but is also very effective for cleaning and keeps baby moisturized.
Baby Oil: Hydrating for baby but can also be used for mama’s skin and as an excellent eye makeup remover.
No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil: One of three items in the brightening line, this combines seven natural oils to hydrate and brighten skin. I recommend applying two drops before moisturizer or two drops at night before bed. This has been one of our best selling products since being on the market. It also noticeably lightens sun spots and other skin damage on face and décolletage. Many are scared to death of face oils because they fear them making them “greasy” and causing breakouts.
This is absolutely not the case and many of Elizabeth’s clients who have been hesitant are now so grateful that they gave this a try. This was recently an Allure magazine best of beauty winner.
Rejuvenating Radiance Serum: Also with mixed fruit acids and vitamin c, this firms, tones and supports renewal and hydration. This combined with the toner pads, makes a great replacement for retin-a products. Many of Elizabeth’s clients struggle with giving up their retin-a… but once they try this combo, they never turn back. She recommends using this after the toner pad before moisturizer.
I absolutely love this serum! I have seen a big difference in my skin. I feel like my skin looks more “awake” and bright. Third trimester pregnancy really had my skin looking dry and dull. This, in combination with the cleanser and brightening oil helped tremendously.
I will be using this luxurious-feeling and smelling body butter everyday this winter to prevent dry skin. I also use the sugar body scrub in the shower on my arms and legs before I shave. Using them together is the best way to fight dry skin.
These products were given to me, however, all opinions expressed herein are my own. I only promote and advocate beauty products that adhere to my personal standards of healthy and safe beauty. Thanks for reading! Anne