Why I took the plunge to join the Beautycounter movement

Why I became a Beautycounter consultant

I never thought I would be here.  If you know me well, you can agree I’d be the last person to even consider direct consultant sales.  First off, I have a full time business I own, that keeps me both satisfied and busy.  Like you, I’ve been hit up on Facebook by acquaintances I haven’t heard from in years unsolicited to tell me about the latest miracle essential oil or anti-aging cream.  Not exactly a cute look.

But I’m here to cut the bullshit.  I aim to be transparent and honest.  After all my reservations, I proudly took this on.


I would not be doing this if I didn’t believe in the products whole-heartedly.  I’m prepared if you don’t want to listen.  I’m prepared for you to make snap judgments.  I’m not here to flood your inbox if you don’t want it.  But why be embarrassed or ashamed, when this is something I’ve seen unparalleled results with?  When this company is on a passionate mission to get safer products in the hands of everyone?  When their standards are so incredibly high, that you can feel comfortable not using this for your own skin, but your own babies and family members too?

Beautycounter products you can depend on

Again, it also may shock you if you know me personally that I’m all aboard representing a safer beauty product line for two reasons.

First – I’m not outlandishly a huge “green life” cheerleader.  But make note, Beautycounter doesn’t market itself as a “green, organic, natural” product.  It’s not “chemical free” (hi, even water is a chemical!).   It’s all about SAFE.  Beautycounter handpicks the best, safest ingredients and reject everything else. They’ve compiled a “never list” with more than 1,500 questionable or harmful ingredients that will never be used in formulating products.  I didn’t even think what I was using mattered until I received this education.  And it gets a little scary finding out what we’ve been using has essentially no regulation.

Second – I’m not a makeup artist or esthetician.  This was my big hold up for trusting direct sales companies, and then my biggest roadblock to taking the step to join as a consultant.  Yeah, I get it.  Why the heck would you trust me?  Because I’m a fellow consumer that has become highly motivated by her own results.  Results that have gone way beyond anything I’ve ever experienced since I’ve struggled with my skin since a young teenager.  My skin has rejuvenated a new life, my acne has cleared up, I have less redness flair ups, I feel totally hydrated and replenished, and I’m simply glowing.  To top it off, the ingredients are ones I can feel guilt-free about.  When you’re excited with something like this, why keep it secret to yourself?

Beautycounter cleansing balm

Beautycounter is a mission-based company, aiming to get safer products in the hands of everyone.  They operate on transparency.  This means they are transparent about what goes into their products and why (with a very rigorous ingredient selection process), and is full of a team of consultants that are trustworthy, honest and fully on board because they know the magic of the goods first-hand.  We aren’t here to win you over (at least I’m not).  We are here because we’re excited about the mission and results.

Charcoal mask and charcoal cleansing soap bar

My “gateway” Beautycounter products were the Charcoal Cleansing Bar and No. 3 Charcoal Balancing Mask.  Which I’ll be diving into my experience with soon.  But after just these two products, I slowly started adding to my stash and was fully hooked, product by product.

Which product will be your “gateway”?  Take our skin care quiz to see what your skin is craving, or contact me to find the perfect fit for you.  Don’t love it?  Return it within 60 days for a full refund, no questions asked.  

Shop along with me here: Taryn Gross Beautycounter.



How Beautycounter became a life changing experience for me

Life changing beauty products Beautycounter

Like many of you, I began my teenage years with a shiny forehead, zits of varying shapes and sizes and redness all over.  I wasn’t exactly getting asked out on a ton of dates, and during these formative years it left me feeling quite insecure and hiding behind makeup.

I knew I wasn’t alone (show me a teenager that doesn’t suffer with acne… and I’ll show them the door), but the real problem for me came when entered my twenties and there had been NO improvements.  Stress, less sleep, bad eating habits, and of course alcohol was only adding fuel to the flame.  Everyone around me was turning into polished adults, and here I was with the same skin insecurities, feeling stuck as a teenager.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d be finishing a hair treatment or makeup service, and the consultant / stylist / technician casually (or not so casually) slipped in their recommendation to clear up my zits.  Sure, they probably meant no harm, but since this was unsolicited advice I always felt so embarrassed.  Wow, I didn’t even ask for skin care advice, and you were so distracted by my clogged pores you felt the need to offer me a product without me asking to help put me out of my misery.

Beautycounter charcoal mask and charcoal bar

What’s the best part about struggling as an adult with acne, you might ask?  Oh you know, just the delightful aging process, and now I was starting to see less elasticity and more fine lines as I entered my thirties!  Two problems from both ends of the spectrum of age.

 I was sick and tired of trying new products.  Not much worked for me, and there wasn’t really anything I was getting excited about adding into my routine.  Beautycounter entered my radar and I initially pushed it off.  Why waste money on yet another failed attempt?  My beauty cabinet looked more like a graveyard of past dreams and less like and end-all success story that I hoped for.  I had been burned.  On top of it, Beautycounter had a direct sales model, which from past experience made me cringe.  Obviously these consultants were just motivated to make a buck and didn’t care if they worked or not.  I was a skeptic.  But as I sat on the sidelines for a long time, I started listening. As a business owner at Twinkle & Toast working face to face with clients, I really wanted to put my best-self forward.

Beautycounter is a results-driven product line.  It’s not an “all natural” line, but what goes into their products is held up to rigorous standards.  The US beauty and personal care industry truly is the Wild West.  I was shocked to learn the US has not passed a major federal law regulating the cosmetics industry sine 1938 (over 80 years ago!  Do you know what kind of weird shit was going on in the health industry 80 years ago?).  Most chemicals on the market do not have any data on safety.

In fact, over the past 20 years, Europe has banned almost 1,400 chemicals in product formulas of personal care products.  The US has to be close, right?  Wrong.  Here in the US to date, we’ve banned only 30.

Beautycounter US cosmetic chemicals

I was finally listening and gave a couple products a try.  Their generous 60 day return policy (even if the product has been used and emptied) was a final selling point for me.  I vowed to fully and consistently give a few of these items a try.  If I was investing in a quality product, I wouldn’t get lazy at the end of the night, I wouldn’t quickly run out the door in the morning, but instead I’d use them.  And guess what?  I was actually excited to use them, and they became part of a self-love ritual.

Over time I couldn’t believe the changes I started seeing.  My skin was clearing up, I saw more hydration and radiance, and noticed an overall healthy and youthful glow.  This skeptic was totally floored and admittedly impressed.  One or two skin care products turned into three or four… then might as well see what the body products could do for me… I’m not much of a makeup connoisseur, but then I ventured to see what those could do for me too.

Beautycounter changed not only the way I take care of my skin, but myself.  Inspired by their rigorous ingredient standards, I started becoming more conscious of what I was applying on my body.  I carved out time for taking care of my skin, because I am worthy of this.  I focused on nighttime rituals that made me feel by best, and was motivated by results and compliments I was receiving.  These products have truly transformed me.

My Beautycounter results

Today I stand here corrected.  No longer a critic or skeptic, I am a fully converted believer.  I’m even posting a god damn SELFIE on my blog. Not only has my bathroom counter gotten a full-on, slow, intentional make over, I also believe in it so much that I proudly became a consultant.

Now I ask you this… what changes are you ready to make?  And what do you have to lose?  I hope you feel empowered and eager to make a small step like I did, one product at a time.

Follow along with me @tarynsuthergross or @twinkleandtoast or shop these life-changing personal products here: Taryn Gross Beautycounter.



Now Hiring: Production Assistant

By Amy Lynn Photography

By Amy Lynn Photography

Twinkle & Toast is a calligraphy and design studio that creates meaningful, one-of-a-kind wedding invitations and paper goods. Specializing in custom wedding invitations suites, stationery and pointed pen calligraphy, every product is tailored to the modern bride.  We are happy to announce we are now hiring for a part time PRODUCTION ASSISTANT.

Ideal requirements include:

-       Strong attention to detail, a quick learner and self-starter.

-       Ability to work accurately, quickly and efficiently.  Wedding deadlines are real and non-negotiable!

-       Professional, dependable, trustworthy and accountable.  Will be privy to client information and business files.

-       Friendly, outgoing and passionate to deliver a quality experience to our sweet brides and grooms.

-       Intermediate experience with Microsoft Excel / Word, Google Drive Docs / Sheets, Webmail / Gmail applications, Dropbox and other basic business platforms preferred.  (Lead management platform used: Honeybook)

-       Beginning experience with InDesign and/or Illustrator a plus, but certainly not required.

-       Interest in event, wedding and/or creative industry a bonus.  Previous experience in this industry not necessarily required.

Tasks may include but not limited to:

-       Invitation and stationery assembly: gluing envelope liners, tying ribbon, stuffing envelopes, sealing envelopes, applying stamps, etc.

-       Proofing calligraphy (envelopes, place cards, etc.) for spelling and accuracy.

-       Packaging up orders and preparing items for shipment.

-       Running errands: dropping off paper, pick ups from printers, delivering items locally to clients.

-       Basic email correspondence with clients and vendors.

-       Miscellaneous admin work.

-       Occasional photo shoot event set up or event attendance.

Depending on the applicant there is potential future growth in other areas (not guaranteed):

-       Advancement in graphic design tasks within Illustrator and InDesign.

-       Social media responsibilities.

-       Working directly with clients and booking sales.

-       Business to business networking.

-       Design and calligraphy opportunities.

Please be aware this is NOT a design position. Experience with calligraphy, illustration, etc. is enthusiastically welcomed but absolutely not required or necessary.

This is a W2 employee part time position with 10-15 anticipated hours per week (more or less).  Hours may vary each week and season depending on workload.  Spring, Summer (especially) and Fall will have the busiest months.  Hours may be lighter during Winter and not necessarily guaranteed.  Currently there is not a plan to extend this position to full time, but there is always a possibility this can change.  Compensation for this position starting at $15/hour.  Hours can vary and will be agreed upon together but must fall between M-F, 8am-5pm range.  Must be comfortable working from an in home office (in east San Diego area).  Local candidates only.

If you read through this all and are interested in applying please email Taryn via  Be sure to include your resume, brief cover letter, schedule/availbility for M-F timeframe and what your favorite holiday is.  Deadline to apply February 1, 2018.


Moody Malibu Wedding Invitations Featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper


Moody Malibu Wedding Invitations Featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper

Happy 2018!  This wedding was certainly a favorite of last year and today I'm happy to announce their wedding invitations are featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper!  We brought an extra dose of sultry drama, with gorgeous gold foil on matte black and metallic gray paper. Thanks to the bride and groom Melanie and Matt we were able to deviate from a typical bright and cheery aesthetic for a darker, moodier aesthetic. Plus some amazing custom stamps and a custom painted watercolor envelope liner!

Enjoy these lovely photos by Jenna Joseph.

Moody wedding invitations
Black and gold wedding invitations
Moody beach envelope liner
Fall wedding invitations
Black and gold envelope calligraphy
Gold foil return address
Black and gold moody wedding invitations

Thank you, Nole, for the feature!  Don't forget to check out the full post here with more details of how it all came together.

Photo Credits: Jenna Joseph | Invitation Design: Twinkle & Toast | Florals: Catalina Neal  | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Styling Surface: Simply Rooted Surfaces | Postage: Zazzle (custom designed)  | Rings: Marrow Fine



Cactus Getaway Wax Seal now available on

cactus wax seal

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of wax seals for your wedding invitations.  It adds such a fun design element and can be available in so many shapes, colors, sizes, etc.  We often come up with a fun, custom design for custom invitation suites but sometimes that's not right for every project.  I was thrilled when asked me to be part of their Creative Community and design an exclusive ready-to-ship seal to be offered on their site!

I wanted to come up with something that represented my brand, but maybe hasn't been done that often.  Wax seals are such a traditional element, but I wanted to give it a modern, California girl spin!  Inspired by Southern California desert landscapes, I illustrated a cactus with blooming florals.  This 'Cactus Getaway' It takes me right to Palm Springs just looking at it!  I love that this can be used for my brides, but also any bride that wants to add their own DIY element.  Oh, but don't think these are just for wedding invitations - I've been sticking them on every thank you note and love letter I send!  What makes so unique is that they not only have traditional wax you can heat and seal, but they have self-adhesive seals made of real wax with an irregular edge that makes is SO. EASY. TO. APPLY.  And their color options?  Oh my, where to begin!

cactus wax seal design
palm springs wedding invitations
palm springs wedding invitation wax seal
wedding wax seal california

I hope you truly enjoy this 'Cactus Getaway' wax seal and be sure to tag us in your photos @twinkleandtoast @waxseals for the fun ways you use your wax seals.  Loving all the other designers in their Creative Community, so have fun taking a look!

Shop the design here.  

Read more about the project here.