Take your makeup off every night.  You age 7 years every time you forget.  Have you ever heard this nonsense??  I remember someone telling me this when I was in my teens and it stuck with me….until I became a mom and was so exhausted by the end of the day that removing my makeup ended up at the bottom of my nightly routine.

Bad, I know! I worked in the beauty department at Shoppers Drug Mart for 2 years when I was 19 and I was the girl who drilled customers on the importance of a daily skin care regime, morning AND night.  You know, the full deal; wash, tone, moisturize, etc.  I went to countless training seminars for a variety of skin care lines, and my 19 year old self was NEVER going to age.  I would assist the customers who came in with “fine lines”, “dark circles”, and…gasp…age spots!  I was never going to allow myself to age in such a manner.  Nope, I was going to take excellent care of my skin with top quality (and dollar) skin care and ensure that my wrinkle free, normal/combination, never oily skin stayed just that way.

HA! fast forward a few years, a busy real estate career; a full life.  I did still see the importance of skin care, but I’d say I had started to slack a bit in this area.  I still made sure I had a cleanser on hand but toner? who had time for that?  I was always taught to stay with the same skin care line so I would still try to match my cleanser and moisturizer.  Most of the time I used eye cream, but in all honesty I often forgot.

Ageing Happens

It was all going splendid and my youthful face was doing just great until about 2 years ago.  Ladies, there is just something about 35.  35 hit and all of a sudden it all started to go downhill….literally! LOL.  Ok, so not all is lost but the greys started showing up, the fine lines were appearing, and a variety of other weird things started happening with my complexion.  It was happening…I wasn’t 19 anymore!

So, off I went to buy myself the old lady moisturizer and the dry skin cleanser because my skin went from normal to dry overnight it seemed.  I knew what to do, I was trained in this.  After all, I had been a drug store beauty consultant in my younger years.  It was time to put my training to work;)

I started being a bit more dedicated with my regime but the reality is that life is busy and laugh lines are just a sign of a full life so I still didn’t fully commit to the full on skin care regime.

Safer Beauty

Last year a friend of mine introduced me to Beauty Counter.

I had never considered my skin care or makeup to be something that was potentially harmful to me.  I’d always been the type of person that is naive to this sort of thing and turns a blind eye.

But, listening to my friend explain some of the real truths behind skin care and makeup opened my eyes wide! I had never researched this stuff or for that matter considered the real damage I could be causing by using many of the products.

I won’t go into full detail but click here to review their website and read more.  I’d say the most important tool for you to use is the Never List.  These are items that should never be in your skin care or makeup.  Once you start reading the labels you’ll be shocked!

So, with my new knowledge I’ve started to transfer over my skincare and makeup to safer beauty with Beauty Counter.  I’m about 75% switched over and my goal is to fully transition.

My Favourites

Morning | It seriously takes me no time at all and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and ready for the day! Click the links for a thorough description but I’ll tell you a few basic reasons why I love each product

Charcoal Bar | A really nice lather, leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean along with balancing some of the redness I’ve experienced

Rejuvenating Serum | Light consistency, and you only need a tiny bit because it offers great coverage.

NO. 1 Brightening Facial Mist | Super refreshing and leaves the skin looking a feeling bright and youthful

Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer | A lightweight lotion providing 24 hours of moisture and adjusts hydration levels throughout the day.

Evening |  I’ll be honest, at times I skip a step or 2 but I’m trying to be diligent in this area.  (After all, I wouldn’t want my skin to age 7 years LOL)

Instant Eye Makeup remover | Removes makeup so easily without having to scrub the sensitive eye area.

Charcoal Bar | I use this morning and night for my basic skin cleanser

Rejuvenating Eye Cream | I’ve used a lot of eye creams and this one goes on really smooth and I’ve really noticed a difference in puffiness and fine lines.

Nourishing Night Cream | I was starting to deal with dry skin and since using this, my skin feels nourished and never dry

Once a week I use a mask either in the morning or evening.  These can be used more frequently but once a week seems to be realistic and work for me.  I LOVE how my skin feels and reacts after masking.  Once again, please refer to a consultant for details on each line of product.  To keep it simple they have 3 basic skin care lines easily numbered and offering results for various skin care needs.

No. 1 Brightening Collection | Perfect for those concerned with dull, uneven skin tone.

No. 2 Plumping Collection | Perfect for those concerned with dry skin, loss of elasticity, and fine lines.

No. 3 Balancing Collection | Perfect for those concerned with clarity, calming, and balancing.


In addition to safer skin care, I’m learning that awareness in the area of makeup is just as important!  I know that one concern women often have when it comes to makeup, especially when you’ve grown to love a product, is how effective it will be and simply whether it has the same quality that you are used to.

I’ve made switches before and been disappointed with the results whether its a foundation with bad coverage or a lipstick that wears off in an hour.  So off course I was a bit apprehensive about switching over some of my favourite makeup products.  With my new knowledge and reviewing the Never List again I was compelled to start transitioning my makeup.

Here are my Favourites to date.  I’ve been using these for about a year now and can’t wait to keep adding to my collection.  I’m about 80% transitioned in my makeup and using these products have simplified my routine and the results are natural which is what I love!

Tint Skin Hydrating Foundation | I’m obsessed with this foundation! I use the Beauty Counter foundation brush to apply and have never been more impressed with a foundation.  This lightweight formula applies like a BB cream but has great coverage and leaves a natural youthful glow to my skin

Volumizing Mascara | They offer 2 mascaras and I prefer the volumizing mascara.  I’ve always been a high volume mascara lover.  My lashes are medium length and I can get them pretty full with the right mascara.  This was the one product I REALLY struggled with changing over but so far I’m happy with the results.  I will be honest and admit that I sometimes top up with my old mascara for an extra boost but knowing that the product on my lashes first is safe makes me feel much better!

Sheer Lipstick | I LOVE these lipsticks!  I’ve tried a bunch of colours and they are all so pretty!  My favourite for everyday wear is “Twig”

Lip Gloss | I always wear a lip gloss even if I’m wearing lipstick, I’ll throw a gloss over top.  These glosses are amazing plus they aren’t super sticky like some can be.

Lip Conditioner | Especially during the winter months my lips get so dry and chapped.  This conditioner has been amazing for this and leaves my smooth and ready for gloss!

**So far these are the makeup products I’ve tried but next on my list is to switch over my eye liners, eye shadow and blush.  I can’t wait until I’m fully transitioned to safe makeup!


Bath time Fun

In addition to skincare and makeup, they also carry a kids line so it only made sense to also switch over Mila’s bath care items!  Knowing I’m being diligent in her skin care from the start just feels right.

I absolutely love it! A light citrus scent, great lather and most importantly, safe for her in every way! You’ll see by these photos that she’s pretty happy with the results as well!

Now that I’ve shared with you my skin care and beauty secrets, I’d love to hear what is working for you! I’m also curious whether you’ve heard about things like the Never List before?  I know it was a real surprise to me so I want to do my part to spread awareness!

Until next time….

Photography by my dear friend Bernine Marie