how to determine if your products* are safe

*products meaning – skin care and cosmetics.

Since becoming a consultant with Beautycounter, I’ve already spoken with several people who just aren’t interested in the mission or the product line.  Either they have their go-to/faves that “work” for them or they’re just plain skeptical.  And while I might not be able to tackle that skepticism right away, I can give them (and you) the tools you need to determine if the products you are currently using on yourself and on your children are SAFE.

let’s start with the BC NEVER LISTa list of ingredients that you should aim to avoid at all costs when choosing products.  Examples include:

*Mineral Oil (also listed as liquid paraffin, liquid petrolatum, paraffin oil)
a by-product of petroleum distillation that may cause contact dermatitis.  Found in:  baby lotions, cold creams, ointments.
*BHA and BHT
synthetic antioxidants used to extend shelf life.  They are likely carcinogens and hormone disruptors, and may cause liver damage.  Found in:  lipsticks, moisturizers, diaper creams, and other cosmetics.
*Parabens (methyl-, isobutyl-, propyl-, and others)
a class of preservatives commonly used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.  Parabens are endocrine (or hormone) disruptors, which alter important  hormone mechanisms in our bodies.  Specially, parabens mimic estrogen; they can lock on to our cell’s own estrogen receptors and mess with important natural signals.  They may play a role in triggering breast cancer.  Found in:  shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, body lotion, foundation.
never list
Grab a few of your most used or favorite products to see if they contain any of these ingredients.  If they do – throw them away!!  I know, it’s sad.  But there are SAFE alternatives, I promise!

Another tool to consider is EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (there’s also an app!)  Scan a product or search an ingredient and you will receive a safety rating of low to high hazard (0-2 low, 3-6 moderate, 7-10 high.)  It’ll even list the ingredients that might cause allergic reactions or other health concerns.  Pretty cool, but very eye-opening and often not what you want to hear.  I cringe at the mere thought of all the unsafe sunscreens and baby products I’ve used on my kids – I genuinely feel bad!

On a personal note, I also chose to look up the products you see below… products I used maybe once a week, but some that I use used every. single. day.  For years!  All of these items rated above a 3, containing parabens, fragrance, PEGs, etc – all listed on the NEVER LIST!  While only a few are considered moderately hazardous, what concerns me the most is the prolonged use and what that could mean for my health, down the road.

"unsafe" products

So this is my NOPE list – a list of past faves that I will attempt to replace with safer products.  I’ve been using the Clearasil Adult Acne Tinted Cream for years and it works, so I may still use that, albeit sparingly (score of 4.)  And the DK Cashmere Mist Deodorant – this stuff smells like a dream on your pits, man – so good!  However, it comes in at a score of 5.  Booooo, Donna.  Aveeno Brightening Scrub – used it for at least 4 years and through my pregnancy with Zoey… score of 5.  GlamGlow Super Mud – super effective at clearing out blackheads, but it scores a whopping SEVEN.  Garbage.  And my beloved Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion – it scores a 4 (not bad), but I literally apply this lotion to my body, from head to toe, every single day.  Time to find a new lotion.

Listen, I’m not saying that you have to get rid of every single product that is deemed unsafe by the standards I’ve listed above; however, I am asking that maybe you consider swapping some of your higher rated products with safer options.  Especially for your kids if you have them!  Why not give them the best?

I encourage you to check out Beautycounter’s products, as they are constantly working on providing us with the safest options for skin care and cosmetics.  Maybe start by switching to their best selling body lotion EWG rating of 2) or replacing the hand soap in your guest bathroom to BC’s safe and refreshing citrus mimosa hand wash (EWG rating of 1!)

I know it might seem a little overwhelming, but baby steps!

Let me know if you have any questions.  Happy Wednesday!

ps.  Yes, I plan to post about BC from time to time… it will not take over the blog, I promise.  However, I do believe in this movement and I think it’s important that I help spread the word.

14. October 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Leave a comment

palm springs or bust

Ah, Palm Springs.  So very retro and colorful.  So incredibly hot.  So not a place I would normally choose to “get away.”  But when you have a Canadian friend who only comes to ‘murica once a year, you go.  You go to that sweltering hot desert where super tan men bike around in nothing but banana hammocks.  You go to see her. (I guess I should be thankful for those hammocks, eh?)

So we got a pretty sweet deal via kayak and stayed one night at The Saguaro –  pronounced Sa-WAH-ro.  Which we did not do.  We said it with the g.  Anyway…

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIf you’ve ever contemplated what it would be like to experience a real life Skittles/taste the rainbow kinda situation – you gotta stay here.  Because it was colorful.  Fun, though!  I mean, I feel like if you’re going to be in PS, you should stay somewhere fun and retro and kinda over the top.  Why not?  When in Rome is what I say.  Check in – was easy.  They don’t offer valet or anything… park your own damn car and get to partying!  The grounds were pretty – lots of greenery.  The room – it was nice, but could’ve been cleaner.  And when I say cleaner, I just mean – it wasn’t pristine, but I wasn’t grossed out.  I have a feeling that people are mostly there to drink alcohol by the pool, anyway.  So we unpacked a bit, freshened up and headed to El Jefe – which I thought was pretty fantastic.  I ordered a Tecate and the Pescado Tacos and they were insanely good.  We also shared the Ignacio Nachos and the Ceviche de Atun – also very good.  After lunch, we made our way down to the pool.  By this time it was pretty crowded and the DJ was really making it happen with his 90s remixes.  Not to mention most people were already pretty sauced, so it was prime people watching time.  Lots of drunk girls grinding on each other, sloshing their drinks in the pool water, humping poor Shamu… it was good stuff!
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(L-R: Jaimee, Emily (the Canadian) and me)

There’s only so much grinding one can take (when you’re sober), so we eventually left the pool in search of sports and Jaimee’s favorite local dive – Hair of the DogIt’s a pub – dark, not very big, smells like a bar, most of the patrons are probably locals, but I like places like that!  If you like dives – check it out next time you’re in PS.

From there we headed to Parker Palm Springs, but made a pit stop at Cost Plus World Market (I know, so weird) and then a bakery for late night snacks.  I guess they don’t have Cost Plus World Market in Canada, so Emily stocked up on some goodies.  Oh AND… look… a rogue cart in Palm Springs!
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(The overly photographed “drugs” marquee.)  If you’ve never been to Parker Palm Springs, I highly recommend it – the grounds are gorgeous and the art/décor is so so good.  If anything, just go to have dinner!  We ate at Norma’s.  I had a cheeseburger and rose.  That’s my kinda meal.  After dinner we went back to the Sa-WAH-ro in search of debauchery, but ended up watching a JLo movie and eating baked goods instead.

Emily had an early flight the next am, so after dropping her off at the airport, Jaimee and I stopped at a vintage flea market, then ate at Café Europa.  I had eggs and JALAPENO BACON, PEOPLE.  It was so good.  The food was good, the coffee was good, the setting was peaceful and quaint – I’d definitely recommend this place for breakfast.
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(nothing more appealing than a plate of leftover food.)
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adios, Sa-WAH-ro – I’d visit you again.

It was really a great trip.  The room was affordable, the food we ate was delicious, but mostly the company was the best part.  I’ll miss you turds, if you’re reading this!  Until next year…

12. October 2015 by paige
Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

I haven’t been this excited since Magic Mike XXL


I recently joined the BEAUTYCOUNTER team as a consultant and I couldn’t be more pumped to spread the word about their mission and to the get these amazing products into the hands of everyone I we know!

So let’s chat – BC is a company that creates safe, but luxurious and effective skin care and cosmetics for women and their families.  But it’s so much more than lotions and makeup – they offer a kid’s line, anti-aging formulas, coconut oil-based skin care, sunscreen, shampoo/conditioner and body care, as well!  There is literally something for every person in your household.  And do you wanna know the best part?  BC has eliminated over 1500 harmful ingredients from their products, meaning they do not contain ANY toxic chemicals that are linked to human health issues such as learning disabilities, cancer, hormonal disruption, infertility, asthma, etc.  That is amazing!  To learn more about their mission and their strict ingredient selection process, click here.

My goal as your personal consultant is to continually educate you (and myself!) about this important movement.  From posts on ways to get involved to which products are best for your skin type… we’ll cover it all!

Join my BC group on facebook – Paige’s VIP Beautycounter – for group discussions, product info, and to be one of the first to know about discounts and giveaways!

(also, I’ve added a link in the sidebar for quick access to my BC site.)

I’ll leave you with this thought – I’m not asking you to consider using or buying products that you aren’t already using or buying on a regular, if not daily basis!  So if you knew that there was a product line that was healthy and kept you and your family safe from harmful ingredients – why wouldn’t you consider making the switch?  after all, the choices you make today, shape your world tomorrow!

09. October 2015 by paige
Categories: Beauty | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

vw life / trip one

being a blogger, it seems only natural that I document and share our campervan adventures.  plus, i have this sort of romanticized idea of writing in a paper journal and that eventually zoey will want to draw pictures in it or write a few excerpts of her own, that years and years down the road the kids will find these journals and photos (i’m planning to buy disposable cameras for every trip) stuffed away in some box in the garage and that they’ll have a moment picking through our memories.  i want that for them, it’s important to me.  until then, i’ll blog about it for the sake of blogging.  enjoy!


September 26, 2015
there’s a very distinct moment or shift, if you will, on a road trip… for me it’s about 20 miles out.  my shoulders and ears become separate body parts, every day stressors seem to be (temporarily) forgotten, even my resting bitch face gives way to a smile.  there’s just something about being on the road, man… especially in a 1987 vw campervan.  it makes me feel alive.  and as we zoomed along through the back roads of camarillo and into santa paula farm land, i literally wanted to quit my job and become a farmer.  i imagined all of us living in a little bungalow nestled between rows and rows of lemon trees – like straight outta some kind of reese witherspoon rom com.  and then mark popped my daydream bubble and was like, farming is hard work.  you’d never make it in this heat.  and i was like, well duh.  I’d hire people. 

so we continued on, stopping at limoneira in recognition of ventura county farm day 2015 – an event that allows the public to visit and tour the local farms.  we didn’t take a tour, but we chatted with an avocado farmer and he gave us free avocado cutters.  is that even a word?  i also learned that my favorite avocado is from a local farm, so i felt good about that!  we didn’t stay too long as the kids were anxious to get to our campsite, eat some lunch and hit the swimming pool.

so we did all that and then we freshened up and headed back to limoneira for the farm day BBQ.  again, it was like something out of a movie – nestled in an avocado orchard (grove?), lawn games, twinkling lights, live music, delicious food and of course – alcohol.  zoey met a friend and they danced until she asked to go home.  ha!  it was so cute.

by the time we got back to the campsite, zoey had fallen asleep and taylor was tired, as well.  it was a long day, I guess.  we didn’t even get to make s’mores!  lame.  so the kids went to bed and mark and I sat around the fire for a bit until we too decided to turn in for the night.  we woke up the next am and pretty much headed for home (with a pit stop in Malibu so zoey could play in the ocean for a few and then to a business related luncheon for mark.)

overall, I’d say it was a pretty great trip!  and while we didn’t eat s’mores, cook bacon on a cast iron skillet or percolate coffee over an open flame (ha! do you hear me?), it was a pretty great trip!  I can’t wait for our next adventure.

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our campsite!  birch #43.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI love them.  especially when they’re sleeping.  HA!

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetcampsite shots

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetzoey is obsessed with cacti and asked me to take a photo.

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sad faces.  we didn’t want to leave!

05. October 2015 by paige
Categories: VW Life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

oh sweet friday / vol 57

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peace out, week!

next week will be October and that is insane.

but I’m not trying to think about that because we’ve planned a weekend full of camping and stuff and I’m over the moon about it.

adios, friends.  have a good one.

25. September 2015 by paige
Categories: Oh Sweet Friday | Leave a comment

made / the easiest candle diy

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what you’ll need:

*candles – I purchased mine from Pier 1 Imports
*temporary tattoos – Printed Village
*a sponge


cut the tattoo to your desired length or shape, place the tattoo on the candle (sticky side down, just like if you were applying a temp tattoo to your skin), soak back of tattoo with a sponge dipped in water, peel away and VOILA – you now have a sassy candle instead of a basic bitch candle.

think of all the fun you could have!  Halloween tattoos on black or orange candles, Santa tatts on a green one!  these are great gift ideas, too!  slap a positive saying on a candle and give it to your bestie!  I mean… I dunno, I feel like the options are endless.  I did a google image search on temporary tattoos and there are just a million options.

and here’s the final look (2nd photo.)  I didn’t do all the candles because I only wanted a bit of gold.  plus I shared a “before” of how the mantel looked up until I decided it needed a change.
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the truth is that I don’t love the mantel itself.  the previous owner did some sort of 80s design technique with paint and who knows what else, not to mention it literally looks like they stuck a slab of concrete above the fireplace.  ugh.  i’ve never seen anything like it.

the good news is that I absolutely love how simple, yet bold the new styling turned out.  with the longhorn skull and the fern, the white with pops of color – it’s definitely the focal point when you walk in the room.

what do you guys think?

thanks for reading!

23. September 2015 by paige
Categories: DIY | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

worn / backless

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baby got back.  HAHA!  get it?

can we talk about this dress?  I know forever 21 often gets a bad rap, but this was just too good to pass up – maxi, navy, stripes, adjustable halter (hello, side boob), BACKLESS… I had to have it.  and guess what?  it’s comfortable, affordable and it’s made well.  maybe a tad too long, but that’s an easy fix.

plus, it’s sexy… but not in a blatant, hoochie kinda way.  bonus points for that.

dress – f21 / clutch – shelter protects you / cuffs – gage Huntley

22. September 2015 by paige
Categories: Style | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

currently / september

this weekend in photos
i tried to make fall happen by wearing a jacket and fall colors.  didn’t work.  it’s been in the 90s.
-you know your bff is getting old when… HER CAKE BURSTS INTO FLAMES.  geezus.
-i’m in the October issue of Redbook!  I’ve now had a solid 30 minutes of fame.
-in n out is always a good idea… until you realize that you ate an entire carton of animal fries by yourself.

raise your hand if you cannot even believe that September is nearly over.

me too.

so since i haven’t been posting much, i thought maybe I’d share some stuff…


Korean beauty products.  from cleansers to serums, my skin has never looked or felt better.  not only am i ridiculously diligent about following the 10-12 step cleansing/treatment routine, but i peruse sites like Soko Glam! and Peach and Lily on a daily basis.  i’ll be talking about my experiences soon!

I’m trying to get through The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), but it’s slow and tedious.  I’m hoping it’ll pick up soon.  This month’s book club selection is The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda – i haven’t even started it yet.  have any of you read either of these books?

X-Files.  i know, stop laughing.  I’m only on season one and i know it’s a bit cheesy, but i love me some David Duchovny.  and creepy shit.

thinking about
camping!  if you follow me on Instagram, you know that my husband purchased a VW Westfalia campervan about a month ago, but we’re taking it camping for the first time this weekend!  i cannot wait.  I’ve been brainstorming ways to document our trips – whether i start a new blog or just use this one – either way, I’m excited for zoey to have an online journal of sorts.  one that she can look back on and maybe eventually contribute to!  (taylor as well, but he’s going off to college in a few years, so i imagine it won’t have as much of an impact on him as it will zoey.)  so, yeah!  super excited to get on the road, eat beans out of cans and snooze under the stars.

an upcoming mini trip to Palm Springs!!  i’ll be shopping and drinking and laughing and drinking and eating and drinking with two lady pals that i rarely get to see.  SO PUMPED.

listening to
classic rock.  it seems to be my jam lately.

working on
distressing the most amazing pair of 90s light wash mom/boyfriend levi’s.  oh yeah… they’re gonna be gooooood.

wishing for
fall.  i know… enough with the fall already, right??

i have a few posts lined up for this week, so i’ll be back.  shocker, but it’s true.

21. September 2015 by paige
Categories: Currently | Leave a comment

beach day

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the earth has music for those who listen – George Santayana

wanted to share a few photos from our day at the beach.  it was beautiful and relaxing and just what we needed.

*all photos shot with my iphone via VSCOcam, using preset F2

08. September 2015 by paige
Categories: Photography | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

last time I checked, it’s still f**king summer

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people.  stop trying to make fall happen.  it is friggin hot outside.

that is all.

dress – local boutique
kimono – bymisha (mine is no longer available but click the link to shop)
gage huntley jewelry
steve madden nonstop bootie

01. September 2015 by paige
Categories: Style | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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