How to make a big impact on your health (and the planet)

How to make a big impact on your health (and the planet)

Did you know that by making small changes to your daily routine you can protect yourself from toxic chemicals that can have potentially harmful effects? Read on for a curated list of small ways to refresh your day-to-day habits to help you lead a safer (and more socially conscious) lifestyle. 


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Baking Clean: Healthy Holiday Cookies with Laurel Gallucci from Sweet Laurel Bakery

Laurel Gallucci is a sweet-tooth connoisseur, mother of two, and co-founder of Sweet Laurel Bakery. She was inspired to start her own business after being diagnosed with a life-changing autoimmune disease six years ago. Fueled by her love for baking, she found delicious and innovative ways to accommodate her strict diet by tinkering with safer ingredients in her test kitchen, which would later turn into her now full-time business, Sweet Laurel Bakery.

In the spirit of safer ingredients that deliver, we partnered with Laurel to talk about beauty, business, balance, and best of all, the reason she created a very special cookie recipe—just for us.

Beautycounter: Where are you from?
Laurel Gallucci: Santa Monica, CA

BC: What drew you to a healthier lifestyle?
LG: I was raised in a very health-conscious home, and when I was diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, I was at first treated medically with lots of hormones. I got worse, and discovered healing through food via my functional medicine doctor. She told me if I wanted to get better, I needed to remove all grains, refined sugar, and dairy from my diet. I did that overnight, and Sweet Laurel began very shortly after that! I feel so good eating this way, I’ve maintained it for almost six years now. My autoimmune disease is in remission, and I’m healthy enough to have babies (a miracle for me!), work out, and enjoy life!

BC: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in parenting while opening up your own business?
LG: Balancing motherhood and running a company has been very challenging for me, and I’ve learned there are days I need to be okay with everything not being completely perfect. I’ve set up boundaries for myself, in an attempt to not compromise what I love doing. I truly adore motherhood and my role at Sweet Laurel, so being intentional about the time I spend on both is important to me.

BC: How do you structure your day to get everything done, while balancing work and family?
LG: In the morning, before leaving for work, I have quality time with my son. From the time I drop him off at preschool to when I pick him up, the emails, phone calls, and meetings are full throttle. I’m often back-to-back during this time, and I try to schedule my day that way. I find I get the most done. When I get home, we have family time and dinner, and then I plug back in when my son goes to sleep. This is all going to change very shortly when I give birth to my second child due in January, but this is my “normal” right now, and it’s working!

BC: Owning your own business can be challenging. What’s your favorite way to unwind?
LG: A day at home with my husband and baby—and no plans!

BC: What are some things you’ve faced that you didn’t expect when opening your business?
LG: The full-on, 24/7, relentless nature of it.

BC: What’s your favorite way to “self-care”?
LG: Microcurrent facials and body work with my girl Valentina in Santa Monica!

BC: What does your skin-care routine look like?
LG: I have very dry skin (especially during pregnancy), so I tend to get rashes on my face easily. The Countertime Collection from Beautycounter has been a lifesaver at this time of my life!

BC: Why did you decide to switch to clean beauty products?
LG: When I changed my diet, I also changed all my products, including beauty and cleaning products. I’m happy to say I have a non-toxic home!

BC: What’s something you’d say to someone wanting to open up their own business?
LG: Maintain a clear yet flexible vision. Surround yourself with a good team, including a mentor whom you can check in with often.

BC: How are the beauty and food industries similar? How can they both do better?
LG: There’s lots of synergy between Sweet Laurel and Beautycounter. That’s just one reason I love Beautycounter so much! We both believe in the integrity of the ingredients we put into our products and will not compromise. I also love that Beautycounter’s founder, Gregg Renfrew, advocates and lobbies on behalf of the clean beauty industry. I hope to one day do that for clean eating.

BC: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
LG: Besides the baking…now that I have a baby, I’ve gotten into wearing matching, festive jammies when we’re at home together!

BC: What’s your favorite hostess gift?
LG: Freshly baked goods (usually cookies)!

BC: How did you dream up of “A #Betterbeauty Cookie”?
LG: I used a few ingredients that Beautycounter uses in some of their products (coconut oil, orange peel, and cacao butter), and I turned them into a delicious recipe! I haven’t made an orange cookie dipped in chocolate before, and it sounded lovely!

A #BetterBeauty Cookie:
Chocolate-Dipped Orange Cookies

 2 zested oranges
 1/4 cup orange juice
 2 cups almond flour
 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
 1/4-1/3 cup maple sugar
 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
 1/2 cup Sweet Laurel Vegan Chocolate Chips

1. In a bowl, combine the almond flour, maple sugar, orange zest, and pink salt. Mix well. Add the melted coconut oil and orange juice, and stir until a soft dough is formed. Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out the dough, then place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Remove from refrigerator and take off the top sheet of parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet. Using a small cup, circle cookie cutter, or cookie cutter of choice, gently press into dough, and using a spatula, place the cutout dough on prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for about 10 minutes, and while doing so, melt the chocolate. To melt the chocolate chips, place them in a small saucepan over VERY low heat. If your stove’s low heat setting is unpredictable, use the double boiler method instead. Slowly melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. When melted, remove from stove and allow to cool.

5. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool. When completely cool, dip cookies in melted chocolate and place on a piece of parchment paper to firm up. Enjoy!

(Storage instructions: store at room temperature in a sealed, airtight container for up to three days, or place in an airtight container and freeze until the day you’d like to serve.)

BC: What are your goals for 2020?
LG: Grow Sweet Laurel as much as possible! We are expanding our wholesale, retail, and online footprint in 2020 and we’re very excited about that. I also want to enjoy my family as much as possible while doing so.

When it comes to decadent desserts, Laurel Gallucci has delicious, safer ingredients down to a T, and it shows in Sweet Laurel Bakery. What you put in (and on) your body matters, so we believe good-for-you ingredients are worth the effort.

Learn more about our own Ingredient Selection Process.

How To Practice Self-Love: A Conversation with Lauren Ash

While Valentine’s Day is usually all about romance and your S.O., we also like to think of it as an opportunity to tune in and make a little time for self-love. We asked Lauren Ash, yogi and founder of Black Girl In Om, to tell us how she stays mindful and focused—even when life gets busy. (She even shared a special guided meditation to get you into the self-love mindset—enjoy!)  

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New Year, Happier You

New Year, Happier You

We recently met Dr. Deepika Chopra when she joined us for a Facebook and Instagram LIVE. As our Chief Artistic Officer, Christy Coleman, gave her a smoky eye and a bold lip, Dr. Chopra shared a bit about her career—which happens to be one of the more intriguing job titles we’ve ever heard of: Optimism Doctor. We thought, what better time to become a little more optimistic than a new year? So, we sat down with her to learn what “Optimism Doctor” actually means, her tips for starting and sticking with rituals, and advice for how to stay optimistic in not-so-optimistic times.

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Party Planning Tips from our Favorite LA Caterer

Party Planning Tips from our Favorite LA Caterer

Annie Campbell, founder of Annie Campbell Catering, knows how to create a menu that’s equally as delicious as it is beautiful (while also keeping it totally achievable). That’s why we recently called on her and her friends Heather Taylor and Holly Vesecky to create our ideal simple, sustainable gathering. Here, Annie shares how she got started, how she met Heather and Holly, and her new food obsession (it’s definitely not what we expected).

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Set the Table: Sustainable Tips for Holiday Entertaining

Set the Table: Sustainable Tips for Holiday Entertaining

Textile designer Heather Taylor was inspired to create her line of home goods after she couldn’t find local linens that she loved. We have to admit we’re really glad she did, because we’re in love. Her classic-meets-eclectic style works for every type of occasion and is paired perfectly with our simple, sustainable holiday gathering. Here, Heather shares what inspires her, how she chooses a theme, as well as her favorite way to set the mood.

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Florist Holly Vesecky Shares Her Trick for Tricky Vases and More

Florist Holly Vesecky Shares Her Trick for Tricky Vases and More

Known for her whimsical designs, we love how Holly Vesecky, co-owner of Hollyflora, gets inspired by nature with all of her arrangements. She recently created the florals for our simple, sustainable gathering and we loved them so much, we had to get the full scoop. Here, Holly shares her tips for buying flowers on a budget, her secret tool for tricky vases, and how she really feels about fake plants.

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Meet Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the hilarious and tidy geniuses behind The Home Edit, a home-organizing service based in Nashville. We love them for their concept and their content, which is relatable, covetably stylish, and totally addictive—just ask their more than 785k highly-engaged Instagram followers. We joined them to do a clean swap of a friend’s bathroom, then chatted about the joys of organizing, what makes a successful business partnership, and why it’s time to swap out your beauty drawer with cleaner everything.


Party Planner: Our Guide to Hosting a Simple, Sustainable Holiday Gathering

Party Planner: Our Guide to Hosting a Simple, Sustainable Holiday Gathering

Throwing an intimate get-together is a lot like baking a cake—while you can change up the flavor (chocolate or red velvet?), there are a few ingredients that are absolutely essential in ensuring that it comes out just right. So, as we near one of the most social times of the year, we called on three of our most talented LA-based friends who happen to be very familiar with these ingredients, to plan an easy, sustainable holiday gathering. We hope they inspire you to throw a party of your own.

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