In April, I spent about 2 days in Washington, DC on my first Beautycounter advocacy trip & WOW was it incredible! This post shares a full recap, complete with lots of photos!
About every two years, Beautycounter takes a group of consultants to Washington, DC for an advocacy trip. For anyone unfamiliar with Beautycounter, since day one, their mission has been to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Not just Beautycounter products. We envision a future where all beauty is clean beauty. The current state of the beauty industry at large is extremely concerning since there is little to no regulation, regulating the ingredients allowed to be in beauty & personal care products found on shelves today.
Beautycounter’s Advocacy Work
To create change on a greater scale, Beautycounter has worked directly with Congress to help move forward legislation within the industry. Another way Beautycounter brings attention to the importance of this work is by bringing a group of consultants to Washington, DC.
In just nine years, Beautycounter has accomplished the following all in the name of clean beauty for all.
- Has helped support & pass 10 safer beauty bills
- Sent over 200,000 emails, made over 16,000 calls, & held over 2,100 meetings
- Engaged with Members of Parliament to advocate for reform of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
- Gregg Renfrew, the founder & former CEO of Beautycounter, was the first clean beauty CEO to appear before a Congressional Committee in 2019
- Founded the Counteract Coalition, a coalition of like-minded businesses in the skin-care & beauty industries that want more health-protective laws in Washington, DC.
Who went on the trip?
As I mentioned, this advocacy trip happens about every two years (it was postponed in 2020). In January of 2022, we were told that the trip was on – which was SO beyond exciting. However, it was an earned trip, so when they announced the trip, they also released a point system. This point system explained how consultants were actually able to earn a spot!
To sum it up, they took the top point earner from every state. In years prior, they have taken a larger group but since the 2020 trip had to be postponed, those 2020 earners were also coming along this time around, which is why there was only one top earner from every state this year.
Incentive trips are no walk in the park. It’s definitely a lot of work, especially in this case of needing to be the top point earner to ultimately get a spot. But I knew it had to be me. I’m located in New Hampshire & once the first leaderboard came out (I was tied for first place in my state early January along with a handful of other ladies), I was all in.
The earning period was January & February 2022. I can’t lie my stress was through the roof during the earning period but it was well worth it. The support I received from my clients & online community blew me away. And on March 8th, I found out I had earned the top spot for the state of New Hampshire! I was BEYOND THRILLED.
BC Takes DC Trip Recap
I can’t even put into words my excitement leading up to my first trip with Beautycounter. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning haha! I flew out of Boston, MA & into DCA on Tuesday, April 26th & met up with a few new consultant friends in the airport. It worked out great because the three of us all took the same Uber to the Fairmont Hotel, which is where we stayed!
Check-in at the Fairmont
All 200 of us consultants were given a complimentary stay at the Fairmont Washington, in Georgetown, DC. The hotel was absolutely gorgeous. I loved the downstairs common area (shown below). The marble floors, natural light, & courtyard were just beautiful. I didn’t take any photos of our hotel room, but the rooms were amazing. Most of us had a shared room. My roommate’s name was Cassandra, who’s from Massachusetts, & we had the best time!
We arrived to the Fairmont around 3 pm, just in time for check-in with the Beautycounter Events Team. Check-in was downstairs at the Fairmont & it ended up taking longer that I was anticipating, so I’m glad I got there early.
It was SO amazing to feel the excitement & energy as all of the 200 consultants started to arrive & stand in line. Everyone I met was just the best. So kind. So easy to talk to. It was so much fun. Once I checked in, I received a folder full of information from The Raben Group to help me prep for the Congressional meetings we had the next day. I also received my name tag & a formal schedule of the next 2 days.
After check-in, we also had to confirm our shoe size, because along with a BC Takes DC shirt, we also will be getting customized BC Takes DC Converse low-top shoes. They are going to be SO cute but they won’t arrive until mid to late June.
Welcome Reception at the Fairmont
The fun officially began at our welcome reception dinner which was hosted at our hotel. It’s been so long since many of us dressed up, so getting ready for the welcome reception was so much fun. I filmed a quick transformation reel that you can watch HERE.
This was my amazing roommate, Cassandra! We became friends over the past few months as we both were working towards earning this trip to D.C.. It was so fun to meet in person – we clicked right away & truly had the best time!
I loved this little red mini dress from Revolve. It was so fun to wear & I paired it with my blue Manolo heels, which were my wedding shoes! Leading up to the DC trip, I was a little stressed about which dress I’d wear to which event. This welcome reception was semi-formal & you’ll see below that we also had a formal dinner, the following evening. I had originally planned to wear this red dress to the formal event, but I’m so glad I decided to wear it this evening instead.
Over the duration of the trip, Cassandra & I took about a million photos haha. We both love creating content to share on Instagram, so it was really nice to have each other to help take photos & videos. Check out our accounts here & here to see more of our content from this incredible trip!
This moment, hearing Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter’s founder, speak was so surreal. Her story is so inspiring & I’m so grateful for this incredible opportunity she has created for us consultants. I was thrilled to be standing where I was as she started speaking, because I had a perfect view & was able to record the entire speech.
During her opening speech, she talked about the true importance in the work we do as Beautycounter consultants, as well as, the power of using our collective voice to influence change within our communities.
AND it was so fun to unintentionally match Gregg in our orangy-red dresses. Meeting her in person was hands down my favorite part of this trip.
The rest of the night was so fun. I was able to meet a handful of online-friends for the first time in person, as well as, consultants whom I’ve never met before, which was amazing. We all have this incredible commonality in Beautycounter, which made talking to people almost effortless. Even for me as a serious introvert haha!
There was a woman who was creating this mural in real-time. It was so cool.
We also got to enjoy some AMAZING food. There was an awesome variety to choose from. We had a raw seafood bar, kabobs, roasted vegetables, delicious fruit, charcuterie, & of course desserts! I had a little bit of everything & it was delicious! The only thing I didn’t have was dessert, because they didn’t have a gluten free & dairy free option. I did appreciate that they had clear labels for those of us with food allergies. I simply opted for fruit instead!
After this first event, we were exhausted already! Socializing is tiring haha! So we made our best attempt to get to bed somewhat early so we’d be rested for our first full day of activities. We had to be up & ready by 7:30 am the next day for breakfast. The beds at the Fairmont were SO comfortable. I slept like a rock that night.
Breakfast at the Fairmont
As I mentioned, we had to be up & ready for breakfast in the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont by 7:30 am, because we were heading straight to the Lincoln Memorial for a group photo shoot.
The breakfast buffet was delicious. And of course I brought my Pique Sun Goddess Matcha so I could make my morning matcha! As we finished eating, Gregg took the stage & gave us a few words of morning inspiration, as well as, a rundown of how the day would go.
Photos at the Lincoln Memorial
After we ate breakfast, we all met in the Fairmont lobby & loaded up on AMAZING Beautycounter-branded buses which took us to the Lincoln Memorial! In the photo below, you can see our call to action which was on the back of the bus!
Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 to urge Congress to pass safer beauty laws! You also will find this call to action on the inside of Beautycounter’s product packaging.
We had perfect weather for our trip but this morning in particular was just beautiful. I forgot how beautiful DC was in general! I used to come to DC every summer for a huge basketball tournament in high school. It was always the highlight of my summer & just SO much fun. So I haven’t been to DC since then! It’s been almost 10 years exactly which is crazy to think about!
It was definitely a full circle moment for me, being back doing something else that I love to do, while also making incredible memories.
Here’s Cassandra & I on the bus with our cute BC TAKES DC name tags! We were on Cloud 9 this entire day!
Let’s just say, LOTS of photos were taken to get the best shot! I love this BC TAKES DC branded canvas bag we were given & it made the perfect photo accessory! This morning truly felt surreal.
Again, very happy with my outfit choice. Both my top & white pants were from Zara. Believe it or not, this was my first Zara order & I LOVED everything I got. These pants were SO flattering & comfortable! I also got them in a powder baby blue shade which I wore the next day for the Science Symposium!
There’s Gregg! This is when all 200 of us were positioned on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial for our group photo!
Advocacy Meetings with State Representatives
After our photo shoot, we headed back to the Fairmont hotel because our advocacy meetings were being held across the street in the Park Hyatt hotel. Unfortunately, meetings are still not being held in person, so they all were done virtually – which is just as effective!
Us consultants were split into 10 groups. We were told which group we’d be in when we checked in with The Raben Group when we first arrived the previous day. The Raben Group was hired by Beautycounter to assist us with our lobbying since most of us had never spoken during a meeting like the ones we were scheduled to have.
They did a great job of helping us feel confident & prepared for our meetings & speaking roles. We even had a Lobby Training on Zoom prior to our trip.
I was in Group 10 & we had 7 meetings, which all lasted about 20-30 minutes. Our first meeting was at 10:30 am & we had back to back meetings before we broke for lunch. After lunch, we picked right back up where we left off & had the reminder of our meetings. Our last Congressional meeting was at 4:30 pm. It was awesome because Gregg actually joined my group for the last three meetings of the day! You can see our group in the photo below!
Offices we met with:
- Sen. John Hickenlooper (CO)
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA)
- Rep. John Curtis (UT)
- Sen. Mitt Romney (UT)
- Rep. Diana DeGette (CO)
- Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE)
- Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
During our 7 meetings, we spoke with staffers from each office listed above. As mentioned the meetings were about 30 minutes & we all had different roles for each meeting. It was really nice because we were given a packet to follow which shared the structure for each meeting, so it wasn’t just a free for all! We were told that we didn’t have to be perfect in what we said or be super structured in our deliveries. However, it was important for us to share our local perspective, as well as, our personal experiences surrounding why these bills matter.
Structure of the meetings
During each meeting, we followed the same structure by introducing who we are at Beautycounter, the problem at hand, the solution (why we were having these meetings), & a little overview on Beautycounter’s advocacy work up until this point.
We started each meeting by stating the problem at hand. The problem is that it’s widely accepted that the personal care & cosmetics industry is severely under-regulated. As a result, companies are allowed to formulate products with known harmful or questionable ingredients. This harms consumers, who deserve to know what is in the products they are using on their skin every day. Consumers also should have access to safe personal care products that are free of toxic chemicals.
Since Day 1, Beautycounter has made it their mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone but it’s not something we can do on our own! This is why we need Congress to pass bills that require ingredient & manufacturing transparency, as well as, ban the use of harmful chemicals found in the thousands of products on shelves today.
To create a future where all beauty is clean beauty, we must advocate to ensure ALL personal care products are safer, not just Beautycounter products.
At Beautycounter, our mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, is carried out in three ways: educating, formulating, & advocating. We educate consumers so that they are empowered to make better choices when it comes to the products they use on their largest organ each & every day. Beautycounter formulates cutting edge, high performing products that meet rigorous safety standards. And we advocate for new laws to boost transparency & overall safety in the cosmetics industry at large.
After the introduction portion of the meetings, we moved onto personal stories, which was definitely the most impactful part of each meeting we had. As I mentioned, all of us consultants were assigned different speaking roles within each meeting. There were 2 personal stories shared in each meeting. I didn’t have a story-telling role, so I listened to my fellow colleagues share deeply personal, & emotional stories about how their lives have been influenced by the toxins found in personal care products. Some stories were extremely moving.
The personal stories were so important because Members of Congress & their Congressional staff wanted to know how Beautycounter’s advocacy priorities affect their constituents & individuals throughout their country.
Make the “ask”
We then had to make the “ask” – which shared what we want the Congressional offices to do. During our meeting with the office of Rep. John Curtis, this was my speaking role!
We urged the Members of Congress to support the legislation that would require ingredient & manufacturing transparency, & ban the use of harmful chemicals in the products we use every day. We asked them to please cosponsor the Personal Care Products Safety Act & as well as, encouraging the Senate HELP Committee to move forward with legislation to improve the 1938 Food, Drug, & Cosmetics Act by banning harmful chemicals & boosting supply chain transparency. We also encouraged them to co-sponsor the No PFAS in Cosmetics Act.
Bills we discussed
Below are the bills that make up the Safer Beauty Package. Beautycounter has endorsed all four pieces of legislation.
- Toxin Free Beauty Act
- Would ban the most toxic chemicals from beauty & personal care products, including mercury, formaldehyde, parabens, phthalates, phenylenediamines, & the entire class of PFAS, which are known as “forever chemicals”.
- Cosmetic Fragrance & Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act
- Would require the disclosure of the secret, unlabeled & often toxic fragrance & flavor chemicals in our personal care & beauty products.
- Cosmetic Safety of Communities of Color & Professional Salon Workers Act
- Would create cosmetics safety protections for women of color & nail, hair, & beauty salon workers – two vulnerable populations most at risk of unsafe exposures due to harmful chemicals in the products marketed to them.
- Cosmetic Supply Chain Transparency Act
- Would ensure supply chain transparency, so cosmetics companies can get the information they need from upstream suppliers to be able to make safer personal care products.
As well as, two pieces of legislation aimed at banning the intentional use of PFAS from beauty products, including No PFAS in Cosmetics Act & the PFAS Action Act of 2021. And the final bill, Natural Cosmetics Act, would create a federal definition for brands using the marketing term “natural”.
So how did the meetings go?
Each meeting was different in their own way but one thing that was really apparent is that there is still a lot of work to be done to move forward the industry. We ended each meeting by asking the staffers we spoke with a variety of questions such as, whether or not they had heard much about the bills we discussed prior to our meetings. Almost half of them hadn’t, which was definitely alarming.
Another question we asked was how we could help generate support for this legislation back in our home states. And the answer in almost every meeting was to keep educating & sharing this much needed information with our communities. The more people who are talking about this issue of severe under regulation, the better.
I felt very proud to be there using my voice to advocate. Especially seeing first hand how little some of these Congress men & women actually care about this issue. This was why sharing personal stories was such a crucial part of our meetings. We wanted the men & women we spoke to to realize this isn’t an issue that is just affecting us. The ingredients found in personal care products today have an affect on us ALL. We have all been touched either directly or indirectly with health concerns with potential links to the ingredients found in products today.
Dinner at the Library of Congress
After a long day of Congressional meetings, we hurried back to our hotel rooms to get ready because our formal event was at the Library of Congress & we had to take buses to get there. There aren’t many words to express how incredible this was to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to attend a dinner party at the stunning Library of Congress. I think the photo below does a great job of showcasing how I was feeling in this moment!
Again, playing dress up was so much fun. This dress was again from Revolve & it was fabulous. It was a last minute buy but wow I’m so glad I chose to wear it! My black strappy heels are old from Public Desire. The only con of the night was that they destroyed my feet. I’m NOT one to ever take my shoes off, so by hour 4 I was in pain haha. But oh well, you only get invited to the Library of Congress once!
The evening & lighting outside was just spectacular. Although this wasn’t my first time to DC, I don’t ever remember coming to the Library of Congress.
We arrived at the Library of Congress at about 7:00 pm & after we all got settled in/were done taking pictures in every corner haha, Gregg, officially kicked off the party with an amazing welcome speech. She congratulated us all for being there & applauded us for our efforts during the meetings earlier that day.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky from Illinois also joined us during our party & she spoke after Gregg to kick off the evening. She is the lead sponsor for the Safer Beauty Package, which is the collection of bills we spoke about earlier in our meetings! It was amazing to have her there with us! Her energy & enthusiasm were AMAZING.
Of course I HAD to take another picture with Gregg! It makes me emotional to think that without her, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today & I wouldn’t have this job that I love just so much. I made sure to tell her that as well. Just so grateful for her impressive entrepreneurial spirit.
After Gregg’s speech, we headed up the exquisite marble stairs of the Library to where we would be having our dinner. The decorations, table settings, & flowers were just beyond beautiful. I LOVED these three white arches, shown below, on them, it had all of our names & our table numbers.
The dinner was amazing. It was a three course meal that included a Spring Harvest Salad, an entrée of our choice, & a dessert of our choice. We were given the opportunity to select our entrée ahead of the event. I chose the Halibut & very much appreciated that they were able to make mine both gluten & dairy free. It was absolutely delicious.
After a very enjoyable dinner, we all headed back downstairs where there was a great DJ, lots of dancing, a photo booth, cocktails & mock-tails (my personal drink of choice), & of course, a lot of great conversation. It was an amazing night. We left the Library of Congress a little after 11:00 pm. It was a full day & we were exhausted!
Our third & final morning! We started the day with breakfast in the grand ballroom of the Fairmont. Gregg, again, kicked off the morning with a speech that led us into our event, which was the Science Symposium. The Science Symposium was an amazing discussion led by Gregg & some of the leading scientists on Beautycounter’s Science Advisory Council. This discussion gave us a behind the scenes look at the state of science behind clean beauty, the beauty industry supply chain, & how we can take action.
The two in-person speakers were amazing. Dr. Leonardo Trasande, author of the book Sicker, Fatter, Poorer, who is also a pediatrician, professor, & world-renowned researcher joined us, as well as, Dr. Lora Shahine who is a reproductive endocrinologist & fertility specialist. We had two more guest speakers who joined us virtually on Zoom. It was an amazing opportunity to get to hear them speak & affirm why work we are doing as consultants & clean beauty advocates is so very important.
How you can get involved
I always talk about this on my Instagram stories but one of the best ways to get involved is to vote with your dollar & support companies who are actually doing meaningful work. This helps to move forward the market place. Another way to get involved is to start talking about the importance of choosing safer products with YOUR communities, whether that be in person or online.
Beautycounter Advocacy Video
Want to lend your voice?
If you too are interested in using YOUR voice to advocate for safer products for all, becoming a consultant might be a great fit for you! I’d recommend checking out this post about some FAQs I get about being a consultant with Beautycounter.
I’ve been a Beautycounter consultant for over 2.5 years & it was hands down one of the best decisions I’ve made in my adult life! I am grateful every single day that I took a leap & faith & went for it! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I will get back to you in 1-3 business days!
I hope you enjoyed this recap of my first advocacy trip to Washington, DC with Beautycounter. It was truly surreal to be a part of & I was so humbled that I was able to represent my state of New Hampshire. If you are a client of mine reading this, I hope you know how much I sincerely value your support in helping me get here!
Have any questions about my trip? Drop them in the comments!
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