Category Archives: Skincare


Last month I decided to join the Beautycounter team because whole body health is REALLY important to me and I wanted to be able to refer my nutrition clients to a reputable company when it came to skincare and beauty.  Many of you know about my decades long battle with autoimmune diseases and I want you to know that changing my skincare, make-up, and bodycare products made a huge impact on my health.  I realize it is a financial investment to change out all of your products, but you don’t need to do so all at once…as you run low on a product replace it with a better alternative.

While Beautycounter is not a “natural” skincare company per se, they are extremely focused on quality and safety when it comes to the ingredients they use.  Did you know that,

The European Union bans/restricts nearly 1,400 toxic chemicals, while the United States bans only 11. 2) There has not been a federal law passed governing the personal care industry since 1938. 3) An average woman uses 12 products a day, which can equate to over 100 different chemicals. 4) Of the ingredients in our personal care products, 80% have never been assessed for human safety.

Beautycounter is working tirelessly to change the beauty industry and make it safer for all of us.  How often do you hear of a company trying to make the legislation in their own industry more stringent?  Beautycounter is working to do just that.


To get safer products into the hands of everyone.

Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including but not limited to asthma, cancer, and infertility) are on the rise and are due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it’s in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home.

  • The heart of our movement is safety and performance.
  • Our commitment to transparency is unparalleled in this industry.
  • With Beautycounter, you know everything that is in your products; we disclose every single ingredient.
  • We have the most health-protective ingredient selection process. In addition to adhering to our Never List (the ingredients we have vowed to never use), we evaluate every single ingredient for safety.
  • We eliminate the nearly 1,400 ingredients banned in the EU and the 11 banned in the US and our Never List.
  • We believe our products are some of the safest on the market and we invite you to sample them tonight.
  • We have everything from skin care to body products, color cosmetics, kids products and more.
  • I’d be happy to discuss any of your product or ingredient questions and assist you with your selections.
  • My favorite product(s) is/are… (share reasons).

Even better news is the fact that the products really work.  Since beginning the use of the Beautycounter products I have had several women ask me what I am using on my skin.  Some of my favorite products are:


If you plan on doing any holiday shopping on Beautycounter, I want to make you aware of the shipping cut off dates:

Standard Ground (FedEx/DHL): 12/16
Priority (2-day): 12/18
Expedited: 12/19

Standard Rural: 12/1
Expedited Rural: 12/11
Standard Urban: 12/11
Expedited Urban: 12/15


Be on the lookout for specials Friday – Sunday!!!

How can you get involved with Beautycounter and help move our mission forward?

  1. JOIN AS A CUSTOMER. Vote with your dollars to support companies working towards change. Start swapping out your products for safer ones with Beautycounter or others you find on
  2. BECOME A MEMBER. If you are finding that you want to order quite a few items, you may want to consider our rewards program. It’s called Band of Beauty and it is fantastic. You will earn 15% back in product credit for all of your orders, plus free shipping on orders over $100 AND a complimentary gift (when you spend $50+).
  3. HOST AN EVENT! If you feel moved by this information and you want to share it with your friends and family, you can host an event or social. I will bring all the products to your home or location of your choice and share this information! As the host, you will have an opportunity to not only spread the word about safer beauty, and you will earn some amazing products for free and half off!
  4. JOIN THE MOVEMENT. Become a consultant. I would love to be your mentor.  Being a consultant is very flexible, and it can fit into almost anyone’s busy schedule because you can begin at your own pace…there is no expectation that you sell a certain amount per month and you will never feel pressured to do so. You get to make significant social impact, while being financial rewarded. If you want to learn more about being a consultant, send me an e-mail and feel free to reach out to me anytime! gretchentseng (at)

I would love to have you shop with me on my site…to do so, click HERE.

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Filed under Beautycounter, Education, Skincare

NATURAL CLEANSING – Homemade Facial Cleanser & Scrub

Oil facial cleaner brown sugar scrub

Have any of you heard of the Oil Cleansing Method?  I was first introduced to it by one of my beauty contributors on Chic Vegan.  I thought about giving it a try at the time, but had a fair amount of the product I used remaining, so I filed the idea away to consider later.

I have been using Arcona products for 4-5 years now and have had really good results with them, but lately my skin (especially on my nose) seems to be dry and flaky, plus the products I use are a bit expensive and I am looking to cut costs.  I have been thinking about shaking-up my beauty routine lately and am always on a quest to use more “natural” beauty solutions.

Today as I woke-up I lay there looking through popular pins on Pinterest and saw a pin for making your own natural cleansing scrub.  I clicked on the link and saw that the post mentioned the Oil Cleansing Method.  

Inspired by THIS post by Krystle Owens I went to the store after church and picked-up some castor oil, sunflower oil, Vitamin E, and brown sugar.

I made a bottle of oil-based cleanser following the recipe in THIS post.  The recipe I used for the Natural Cleansing Scrub is VERY close to Krystle’s recipe with a few tweaks here and there….I  used Sunflower oil vs. Olive oil (as recommended by the Oil Cleansing Method website) and added Vitamin E to the recipe.



Sunflower oil
Castor oil

Fill a glass bottle (oil is always best kept in glass since plastic can leech into oil) with 25% castor oil and 75% sunflower oil making sure to leave at least 1″ at the top of the bottle unfilled (this is so there is room for you to shake the oils together).

Follow the directions in THIS post with regards to how to cleanse.


NATURAL CLEANSING SCRUB – Enough for about 7 daily uses.  Keeps well for up to 3 weeks.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs sunflower oil
2 tsp castor oil
1 tsp vitamin E 
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp witch hazel
1/2 Tbs honey
a few drops essential oils – if desired for fragrance
In a small glass container with a lid (I used ones from my “hoarding glass jars” cabinet), mix the brown sugar with each ingredient separate until blended well. The finished product will look sort of like a gooey or sticky applesauce.
With a damp face and fingertips, scoop out a bit, massage it in circular motions over your whole face and decolletage for about a minute. Leave it on for a couple more minutes if in the shower. If not, then you can wrap your face with a hot washcloth allowing the steam to open your pores.
After steaming a few minutes massage the scrub in again, rinse and pat dry.

To learn about the benefits of each ingredient, head on over to Krystle’s blog HERE.

Have any of you ever tried the Oil Cleansing Method or made any of your own facial cleansers?  I’d love to hear about your experience.


Filed under Cleansing, Education, Skincare

PRODUCT REVIEW – Miracle Clay Skincare Products

I used to be a beauty mask junkie and would apply a mask to my face at least 5 nights a week rotating between my favorites.  Somewhere along the line I got busy and stopped using masks consistently.  I forgot how much I like the “spa” like pampering feeling you get when you apply a mask to your face…not to mention the fact that actually do make your skin look better.

I was recently sent samples from Miracle Clay of several clay-based products and my face and body are thanking me for using them.

Miracle Clay’s mission is to make the world healthier and happier by promoting high quality, paraben-free, animal-free, natural skin and health care products that truly do work and are known for their healing qualities. The inspiration behind Miracle Clay was born in the Amazon Rainforests of southeast Peru where the founder, Inna Zatulovsky, first learned about one of the most amazing substances on Earth, Calcium Montmorillonite Clay.   Edible Montmorillonite Clay (also known as Bentonite Clay) is very rare and only found in certain desert regions of the world. This unique healing edible clay has been used for a wide range of medicinal purposes for thousands of years by nearly 200 cultures, including the Egyptians, the Aztecs, and other native people of Mexico, South America, and North America.  More recently, even NASA astronauts have used Calcium Montmorillonite Clay for strengthening their bodies during space missions.

After using the product for a few weeks I am a real believer in the Clay Mask made with magnetic clay.  The clay used to make the mask contains 57 trace minerals that have detoxifying and healing properties.  My face feels so clean and smooth after using it.  I love it so much that I actually brought it with me on a recent trip!  The ingredients are gentle (i.e. chamomile, sea kelp, MeadowSweet, Kanwa Clay, sage), organic when possible, and 100% vegan as well as free of sulfates, parabens and aluminum…yay!

I also really like Miracle Clay’s Moisture Intense Lotion because it truly is moisturizing.  I have been using it in the morning after my shower and it is perfect for after shaving and to moisturize areas of the body that tend to get really dry.  I find that the lotion is extremely effective at keeping elbows and knees smooth.  Oftentimes it seems like lotion will leave my skin greasy, but their lotion did not have this effect on me…it soaked in quickly and seemed to lock into my skin.  I am really picky when it comes to scents since I usually do not like to use anything with a strong smell.  The Moisture Intense Lotion smells great and is very subtle.

I have been hitting the workouts really hard lately and as a result I am very grateful for the Clay Bath that was sent to me.  I have always been a proponent of Epson Salts and now I can add Clay Bath to my list of products that really helps with muscle soreness.  All you do it add it to the bath and soak.  I have been alternating between the Clay Bath and Epson Salts and that has been doing the trick.

I really do recommend that you try the products from Miracle Clay.  I am always happy to throw my support behind a company whose mission is to help others and to do it in a responsible and sustainable way.

Miracle Clay created a special 15% off promo code just for Veggie Grettie readers.  Enter the following code during checkout to receive the discount: GRETTIE15

To learn more about Miracle Clay click here.


Filed under Education, Product Reviews, Skincare, Vegan, Vegetarian

GUEST BLOG – Natural Skincare by Juliette Samuel

Today’s Guest Blog is by Juliette Samuel of  NYRAJU Skin Care.  Juliette is a person who definitely knows beautiful when she sees it.  Juliette has had a very eclectic career working in and around the beauty industry.  She has worked as an instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.  She has also been a Professional Image Consultant.

Currently Juliette works as a Skin Care Therapist, acting President and Chief Nose for NYRAJU Skin Care.  As such she is in charge of product formulation and development for all of the skin and hair care products  produced for the line.

Juliette is also a member of NAHA-The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, The Society of Cosmetic Chemist and is the Fragrance Editor for BellaOnline.  What does that do for you?  It keeps Juliette on her toes when it comes to the type of information that she’ll be able to share with you as readers of her blog or articles that she publishes on and off the web.

Beautiful Skin Using Natures Special Gifts

Beautiful skin has always come from within.  There is no beauty without healthy looking skin.  You are what you eat, this holds true for skin health and weight loss.  Nutrition plays an important role in the success of both.

Sooo … as we venture into your kitchen, I have one question for you …

What do honey, avocado, blueberries, cucumbers and strawberries have in common?

Aside from tasting good, they provide great antioxidants and moisturizers for your beautiful skin. And they make wonderful skin care treatments.

But so do shea butter, cocoa butter and mango butter.  Let’s not forget olive oil, jojoba oil and grape seed oil.  While we’re at it sea salt, turbinado sugar and a few essential oils will add a little seasoning to the group.  Now if you blend them together, not all in one product, you’ll get some sultry, sensual, luxurious skin and body care treatments, not to mention skin that’s soft as a baby’s bottom.

When you think of natural skin care products, you don’t always have to venture outside your home.  The great thing about these ingredients is that they are either in your pantry and bathroom or you can find them at your local health food store.

As annoying as bee’s can be, they provide you with a great product that’s considered great for you internally and externally.  Here are samples of what honey can do for your skin.

Basic Honey Masque

Honey is a great hydrator when applied to you skin.  If you put about a tablespoon of honey on your face and neck for 10 minutes it will leave your skin feeling soft and supple after you remove it with warm water and pat it dry.

Honey Masque for Oily Skin

When paring honey with oatmeal it makes a great masque for oily skin.  If you mix honey and oatmeal into a paste and apply it to your skin for 15 minutes, the oatmeal will absorb the oil from your skin, without stripping it of its natural essence.

Remove the masque with warm water and pat dry.

Avocado Honey Masque for Dry Skin

1 large Avocado
1 Tablespoon of Honey

You already know that honey is a great hydrator but when coupled with an avocado, it will provide your skin with a rich skin product that will add moisture to your skin as well.

Peel and slice your avocado.  Put it in your blender and puree with honey.  Gently apply the masque to your face and continue until your masque feels extremely tacky to the touch.  Relax and leave on for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

If you’re looking for a blissful spa experience for your beautiful skin, try blending your own body butter scrub:

2 tablespoons of sea salt
1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar
1/2 cup of shea butter
1/2 teaspoon of jojoba wax beads
1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
2-5 drops of essential oil (optional )

Place all of the ingredients into a glass bowl and stir.  This is not a butter per se, but you would apply it as if it’s a butter.  Put your blended treat into a glass or cosmetic grade plastic container that has a secure top. You’ll want to keep it in a cool dry place, your refrigerator is perfect for summer months.  The shea butter will melt especially if you’ve used raw shea butter.

The best place to give yourself this treatment is in your bathtub.  Standing in your tub, apply your blend from shoulders to feet, then run a warm tub of water.  While your water is running you will place your well massaged body into the water and enjoy it’s tranquility for 10-15 minutes.  Pop the drain or pull the plug and as the water is taking all of your dead skin cells that you’ve sloughed away, rinse off any excess product or cells and pat your skin dry. Your skin should now feel luxurious to the touch.

Now that you’ve taken care of your skin, one last treat is in order.  It’s smoothie time!  Strawberries, blueberries, banana’s …Oh My!

Yes, it’s that simple, toss some strawberries, blueberries, a banana and almond milk into the blender and you’ve got a delicious tasting smoothie. Time for you to be creative, Enjoy

Beautiful skin?  Absolutely!

honey image courtesy of

avocado and honey image courtesy of

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Filed under Education, Guest Blog, Recipes, Skincare, Skincare Mask, Vegan, Vegetarian