Earth friendly Hair care Skin care

Safe Beauty

Did you know that the U.S. bans 11 ingredients in cosmetic products? This compares to the EU who bans 1,300+ ingredients, and Canada bans 500+ ingredients. But the cosmetic industry says we have nothing to worry about? Our skin is our largest organ and it can be unpredictable how much of products can seep into our bloodstream. Many products contain ingredients that can affect our hormones, cause cancer, or result in irritability. We need to support safe beauty companies that work towards limiting toxic ingredients in our products.

Cosmetic products do not get approval before being put onto shelves of stores. The exception are color additives in products that must have an explanation of the intended use. The FDA’s website has more information on what ingredients are regulated and how it is used. The caution on products saying how to use them is as far as regulation goes for most products. Here is an example about regulation of parabens.

However, the Environmental Working Group  (EWG) focuses on environmental health by looking into legislation, agricultural practices, and loopholes that companies find to put our health at risk. According to EWG, women apply about 12 products onto their skin a day exposing themselves to 168 ingredients daily. Men average about 6 products a day, or 85 ingredients a day.

Beautycounter, a Safe Beauty brand

My cousin introduced me to Beautycounter and safe beauty about a year and a half ago. The opportunity to join as a consultant fell into my lap and I joined for a few reasons. One reason is I love the advocacy that Beautycounter does to change laws and the testing that is done to use safe ingredients in their products. 10 laws have been put into place to regulate the cosmetic industry, and that is a great win so far!

My two favs! Cleansing Balm for make up remover and hydration
mask, and the AHA Reflect Effect mask for exfoliation and
leaving my face so smooth!

Skin care, hair care, and more!

Think of how many products you use daily. Now, think about what it would be like if you swap it out for a safer product. Start with hand soap and hand sanitizer, or shampoo and conditioner, or make up, or lotion to try something new of safe beauty. Beautycounter gives high quality results, and these products are rigorously tested to make sure toxic ingredients are extremely limited.

Check out the Never List to learn more about the 1800 ingredients that are never found in these products. 

If you need a new skin care routine, check out my two step skin care routine here!

Sunscreen for face and body, and tinted sunscreen

Sustainability in Safe Beauty

In addition to rigorously tested products, the wide range of products you can shop at, Beautycounter also focuses on reusing and recycling almost every part of the product. The cream blush is reusable and you can swap out the colors to replace the blush part. The shampoo, conditioner, and body wash pumps are usable as you can keep the pump and replace the bottles when you run out. Beautycounter dedicates their mission to offset greenhouse emissions and is working to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Save the pump, recycle the bottle, and get a new one!

Support brands who are earth friendly

Support safe beauty brands who are doing the work to protect consumers and are making a difference in the cosmetic industry. It can be more expensive when you buy from Beautycounter, but it is for your health. If you think about the high end skin care lines, the prices are most likely the same. But, those companies probably are not doing the work to be sustainable, advocate for laws, or perform at the level Beautycounter does.

You are investing in your health to minimize exposure to toxic ingredients and supporting a company that goes to the federal level to demand changes in laws and regulations. Safe beauty is what you deserve and Beautycounter is a great place to vote with your money!

*These are affiliate links meaning I receive a percentage of your purchase.

Earth friendly Home necessities

Cleaning Supplies

Toxic ingredients are all around us. When I walk into grocery stores, reading which ingredients are used is not something I usually do. As you pick out your cleaning supplies, do you know what ingredients are included in them?

Paying attention to what is in my products did not seem important until I was introduced to Beautycounter a year ago. It’s tough to keep track of what ingredients to stay away from. That’s why I shop with brands that are actively making a difference. I am moving into my new apartment and want to include more safe products that I use daily. Branch Basics was founded by Allison, Kelly, and Marilee who dealt with life threatening diagnoses that were then improved by removing harmful ingredients. Stories like this are what gives me hope and motivation to create a better life for myself and those around me.

the starter kit cleaning supplies
Premium Starter Kit for $75, and an additional cost for the wool dryer balls.

Branch Basics Cleaning Supplies

Thanks to social media and the community of people who dedicate themselves to living a life without toxins, I found Branch Basics. The Premium Starter Kit is perfect since it includes all the necessities. For only $75, this kit that comes with a concentrate and oxygen boost that you put into the bottles and mix with water. It comes with streak free, bathroom, and all purpose spray bottles, as well as foaming wash and laundry detergent. I add the $19 wool balls for the dryer that replace dryer sheets. You can also put essential oils in them to help your clothes smell aromatic. I used a friend’s code to get me $10 off and you can use this link to get $10 off your order! 

Clean your space

How great is it to work in a space that is clean? Honestly, cleaning is one of my favorite things to do. And it’s pretty easy to clean with this kit! To start, use the concentrate to build your bottles and then top it off with water. Each bottle shows you exactly how much water to use and how much concentrate to pour in. The concentrate allows you to have 3 all purpose bottles, 3 streak free bottles, 3 bathroom bottles, 3 foaming wash bottles, and 1 laundry detergent bottle. Using products that are toxin free allows for a healthier space to live in.

concentrate cleaning supplies
The concentrate bottle explains how many
cleaning bottles you can get out of it.


This catchy phrase from Branch Basics are words to live by. It can be overwhelming choosing what cleaning supplies are best for you and your family when there are so many options out there. Some companies are involved with greenwashing. Greenwashing is when companies show they are sustainable for marketing reasons but is not doing active work to be sustainable. It is understandable that it can be easier and more accessible to grab what you need at the grocery store and go. Sometimes you don’t have the time to wait 7 days until it ships to your house. Tossing the toxins doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you swap one thing, that’s an improvement. The regulation of ingredients in America is not the greatest when compared to other countries.

We have to work together and share the brands that do look out for our health. The stories of people removing harmful ingredients literally change people’s lives and improve their health for the better.

Spray bottle cleaning supplies
All purpose spray, streak free, bathroom, and foaming wash.

Get started with your journey

If you’re ready to change your cleaning supplies, and toss the toxins, start with Branch Basics. You will not regret it. You also receive free shipping on orders over $39!

A mission for healthy homes

This company and their mission focuses on creating a more safe environment to live. When you clean, think about how many products you use. You can swap these cleaning supplies with this Starter kit, or choose a few items to start with. It can be a big purchase, but it is your health and your home we’re talking about. Branch Basics cleaning supplies perform well and it does not include that strong, synthetic chemical smell other cleaning products give off.

Destinations Europe Italy

A Day in Venice

Spending less than 24 hours in Venice is a quick trip. Of course, you can spend a few more days here to enjoy more of it, but if you’re in a time crunch like my boyfriend and I then here is what you can do to see the city in a day. 

Heading into Venice

Of course you can drive into Venice and park in a parking structure, but the best way to go about traveling here is by train. Bikes are nowhere to be found in Venice, since there are so many bridges and narrow streets! You can’t beat the price of less than $2 a person from Venezia Mestre to Venezia Santa Lucia. (Tip: download TrainLine for ways to get around Europe.) Going by train is the perfect way to head into the city because once you head out of the train station, below is the view you see and you can walk wherever you would like.

A Day in Venice
View outside of Train station to the right
A day in Venice
This is from the side, but this is the building you see as soon as you step outside. Beautiful.

Getting our day started…

It was early morning for us so we had 11 hours to walk through the city. As soon as we got out of the train station, we took a left to the S. Maria di Nazareth church next door.

church and station a day in venice
This is the view from the main bridge, and the train station is to the left of this picture.
Inside S. Maria di Nazareth

It’s free to walk through so of course we had to check it out. Afterwards, we walked across the main bridge by S. Maria di Nazareth (pictured above) and enjoyed the view of the Grand Canal.

A dream <3

While we were standing on the bridge, there was a Global Climate Strike that was happening right outside the train station. We watched that, and then went to find breakfast which is really just a pastry and cappuccino from a small cafe. I always get the chocolate croissant, but if that’s not available they have a marmalade pastry that is just as delicious. I can taste it now.

We continued walking towards Saint Mark’s Square where the main shops are located and more beautiful buildings like Saint Mark’s Basilica, Saint Mark’s Bell Tower, etc! Did you know Venice sits on top of 10 million tree trunks?! 

View of the square for a day in venice
Saint Mark’s Square – Saint Mark’s Basilica

It can be confusing to walk through these narrow streets, but there are signs on the edge of buildings if you look closely. (Tip: Use GoogleMaps to get around too.)  I have been to Venice before, so I had a rough idea of where things are.


My boyfriend and I enjoy good food- how can you not?! Looking at the picture above, we took a right and went all the way to the water. We found local artists, selling their work and so I bought this beautiful picure.

A Day in Venice
Saint Mark’s Square

We wanted yummy Italian food so while we were walking around we ate at this restaurant near the water, down a main street. Sorry- don’t remember the name! It’s been a while.

Overlook Venice

After lunch, we decided to go up the tower. Saint Mark’s Bell Tower is beautiful to look at from below. However, for about $20/ person you can go up the tower and overlook the beautiful city. We took an elevator up, and spent time looking at every angle the view had to offer. Then, you wait in line to head back down the elevator.


Before heading to the train station to go to Milan, we grabbed dinner at a small restaurant that was hidden in the streets of Venice. Of course we grabbed Carbonara pasta, and wine. Unfortunately, we did not take pictures of this and I don’t remember where we had it, but if you find restaurants that are hidden in the streets- those are the places to go! The places along the water and and near main attractions will be much more expensive.

Book that train to Venice!

Wherever you are in the world, book that plane or train! One thing you will never regret is the things you see and people you meet. The memories I make traveling are my favorite things to think about. There are ways to travel on the cheaper side, so look on google flights or skyscanner and have a great time!