Why Beautycounter?

In case you didn’t know, I’m a Beautycounter consultant. For most people who know me, this ‘move’ might seem like a departure based on the other things I do. And before I signed up, I worried that the perception out there would be that I was struggling in business and hustling for another revenue stream. And while, yes, people do get into direct sales to make money, they also get into it to find purpose and do something meaningful.

I LOVE my work as a marketing and creative consultant and most of my time is filled with client travel and meetings, script and ad writing, marketing strategy development, and business consultation, and I have literally never wished I was doing something else. My work is super satisfying. And the further I get down the path with my career, the more freedom I have to choose which kinds of clients I work with. Right now, just to name a few, I’m working with…

  • A brewery designed to be one of the most environmentally sustainable in the area

  • An ad agency whose niche is the sustainability market

  • An ad agency whose niche is recruitment marketing

  • A consultant who focuses on local business and intellectual publications

And all of this work is super satisfying. Environmental sustainability? I’ve been on a “use less” rampage since I was a kid. Local businesses? I’m passionate about supporting a triple bottom-line economy. Recruitment? I believe the key to a satisfying life is correct school and job placement because so often, people never end up in positions that “fit” and lead to a meaningful work life with a meaningful income.

The more I do work I love, the more I want to do work I love, and that’s where Beautycounter comes in. I became a consultant for them years ago during a time in my life when I couldn't really focus on the mission because I was totally focused on the money. I wasn’t yet in a place in my career where I was making financial strides and I was seriously operating from a place of scarcity. The mission mattered to me then, too, but it was clouded.

The learning journey began much earlier, when I was a kid and my mom who was really struggling for money started selling makeup products through Amway. She didn’t do it for long and I eventually inherited all the palettes. I learned more as I got into modeling (that was brief!) in middle and high school and makeup became a focus. I hated makeup and felt uncomfortable using it but I did it anyway. Around this time I was also learning a lot about the environment, big business waste coverups, and petroleum spills, and I began learning about all the ecosystems and critters that are damaged by the practices used to harvest ingredients for our favorite beauty products. (Want to learn some scary things, like how roadkill is commonly used in the production of lipstick, eye shadow, and soap? You can go here. )

All this learning led me to start really paying attention to what I was using and why. I was disgusted by the idea of doing harm to achieve “beauty” (or whatever), and then I started hearing about Beautycounter, a company which was advocating for legislation to end the production of products that not only hurt animals, but also hurts US. Women have been conditioned for centuries that the only way to achieve status is through painful “beauty” practices — high heels, dangerous clothing (corsets!), makeup that causes cancer in us and hurts the environment — and I think this fact is incredibly damaging physically AND psychically. What does it do to us as a group of people to know that the things we’ve been programmed to do to feel and be perceived as “beautiful,” are designed to cause physical illness and environmental trauma?

As a feminist (yes, I said it, and no, not the kind who believes they key to a just society full of gender equality is to eliminate men) I began to really become concerned about this side of the issue — how agreeing to use harmful chemicals to achieve beauty can negatively affect the collective psyche of female-identified people everywhere.

Let me be clear. I don’t believe makeup = beauty and I believe beauty refers to all kinds of different things. For me, as somebody who for years struggled with gender and wanted to disappear and do ANYTHING other than draw attention to myself, the decision to start using makeup was a very deliberate decision. It was a decision to participate in a ritual that I felt connected me, collectively, to other women. Beginning a daily skincare and makeup ritual grounded me in my body. Every day I woke up and cared for my skin and put on makeup, it felt like I was making a decision about how I moved through the world — a confident woman who cared about herself. No, I didn’t gain confidence because I had a good cat eye or contoured cheek. It was about the ritual, not the final result. It felt like tying my shoelaces before leaving the house. Or pressing a work shirt. Or washing my car. It’s the last thing I do before I leave the house and it makes me feel like I’m “ready” for everything ahead.

And that’s when I first started learning about Beautycounter and the advocacy work they were doing. A few years have gone by since I first worked with them, but I never stopped using their products or talking about them with others because I think it’s SO important to take care of ourselves. We take care of our health in other ways — healthy food, rest, exercise, therapy, self care, etc…. — but then we put stuff on our skin that causes cancer???? Yeah, this makeup costs more than what you get at the pharmacy. But remember, when it comes to products, pharmacies are basically like dollar stores. AND the makeup they sell there like Maybelline? Those companies actually have two formulas — one for their European market that is SAFER because Europe has way more restrictions than the U.S. and then the cheaper, unsafe version for us here in the states. How can you support a company that operates that way??? I decided I couldn’t any more.

Beautycounter kept coming up for me. Again and again. And I reconnected with my mentor for before, who I talked at length about this idea that becoming a consultant again might make it look like I’m hustling for money (aka, not already successful) and might make people take me less seriously, but she was what I really wanted — to educate my friends and family about safer products so we can live healthy and hang out for a long time together. So here I am. And, added perk? They CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT and just began a sustainability initiative through a partnership with How2Recycle. Swoon.

Want to have a conversation about my favorite products? Just book a call here. Want to email me a question? Go for it — hello@ryanashleyanderson.com. Want to check out the products for yourself and learn all about their commitment to safety? Check ‘em out.