My Barre, Beauty and Bubbles event

Hi, my friends! How was your weekend? Mine was good! The highlight of the weekend was definitely the event I hosted, which I called the “Barre, Beauty and Bubbles” get together, and I held it at a local barre/yoga studio.

It was fun, and I put a lot of work into it, so I wanted to share some pictures with you …

Barre, Beauty and Bubbles event

Barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

The goal of this event was to get together some of my friends, blog readers and Instagram followers to do a workout, chat about real-life healthy living tips and clean beauty. And of course, to hang out and have some fun. We did it all!

There were 20 ladies in attendance (which is amazing, because my original goal was to have 15 people), and the event looked like this …

We worked out …

I taught a 35-minute barre workout …

Weights workout at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

Because I knew ahead of time that some of the ladies had never taken a barre class before, I kept the moves pretty straightforward, but I added intensity in repetitions and layering. They did a great job.

And even though it was only 35 minutes, everyone got in a good burn — in that barre-style-burning way. We did a warm-up, some arm work with small dumbbells, then stayed at the barre all the way until we did some floor work and a cool-down. No fancy props needed.

(By the way, I held the event at The Catalyst Fitness Studio, formerly Yoga Treat, and isn’t it the cutest?)

Barre workout at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

After the workout was done, we took our group pictures (a MUST), toweled off, grabbed some drinks and did a cheers.

Fun ladies at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

And then we chatted about something important to me: clean beauty and reducing your toxic load in your life to improve your health. 

We talked about why clean beauty matters to me …

Although some of the ladies already knew my story, I told them all about my journey to healing my hormones and changing the way I approached my food and exercise and lifestyle — which of course, eventually led me to changing the way I approached what I put on my skin too (your skin is your biggest organ, folks, and it absorbs everything you put on it).

Ashley speaking at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

Once I finally got pregnant, I made my first personal care product swap, and that was to use coconut oil as a body and face lotion. That was great and all, but once Brady was born and I had some sad, dry and tired postpartum skin, I quickly realized I needed something a little more effective for treating my face. And that’s when a friend introduced me to Beautycounter, and I was hooked on the safe nontoxic products and the mission of the company.

Switching to safer personal care products also led me to make some other changes in my life and environment (which, we’ll get to in a minute).

We talked about why consumers have to look out for themselves in the U.S., due to the state of the personal care products industry …

After I went through why this issue is important to me on a personal level, we talked about the current state of the skincare industry in the U.S. and how most of the conventional products we buy on the shelves have known toxins that can cause health issues, but the FDA doesn’t have the power to recall or test those products.

There hasn’t been legislation to improve the safety of the skincare and makeup industry in the U.S. since 1938, and currently, only 30 ingredients are banned — whereas, more than 1,400 ingredients are banned in the European Union.

The good news is that Beautycounter is even more strict than the European Union (even though the company is here in the U.S.). And Beautycounter vows to never include in its formulations more than 1,800 ingredients that are considered unsafe, and those questionable ingredients make up the “Never List.” (I even gave everyone a card with some ingredients on the Never List, so they could cross check their products at home.)

Ashley speaking to the group at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

(Here’s my outfit for the event: Top, sports bra, leggings, barre socks, and microphone belt.)

And this is an ever-important issue in the U.S. right now, as male sperm count quality is down 50 percent, infertility is on the rise, and more and more people are suffering from issues potentially caused by their environment and all the toxins and chemicals they come across.

What’s crazy is that we come into contact with a lot of ingredients too. Think about this: The average woman uses 12 products on a daily basis, meaning she could be coming into contact with more than 150 unique chemicals/ingredients. Ick.

I shared ways everyone can reduce their toxic load …

One of the biggest things I wanted to share during this event was a set of small, tangible and doable tips to improve your health and lighten your toxic load.

I gave everyone a few ways that they could try to reduce how many chemicals and toxins they come across on a daily basis. (And some of the ladies, of course, were already doing these. But none of us can stick to these 100 percent, because that’s not very realistic.)

Here are the five simple tips …

  1. Choose glass containers for your food instead of plastic, and never heat up plastic in the microwave. The chemicals in plastics are a huge offender, so try to use as little plastic as possible.
  2. Use mineral sunscreen to block the sun’s rays, instead of chemical sunscreen. The chemicals in sunscreen seep into the skin and can cause all sorts of issues in the bloodstream. In fact, the chemicals in conventional sunscreen are so harmful that they break down the coral rocks in coral reefs and are now being banned in many ocean areas, like Key West. Mineral sunscreen (like this one I use) blocks the sun’s rays instead of using chemicals.
  3. Remove your shoes at the front door so you don’t track in chemicals and toxins in from outside. Once you start this, you’ll never want shoes in your house again. Believe me! (Although not everyone in your household will always comply.)
  4. Choose home and body products that are fragrance free, because there’s no regulation of what a company can put into a product under the title of fragrance. And a lot of toxins are stored under that umbrella name — these chemicals have been said to cause headaches, worsen allergies and respiratory issues and affect hormones too.
  5. Considering swapping out just ONE or TWO (or more) products you put on your body. The biggest offenders are products that you leave on like body lotion, face lotion and foundation, as well as anything you put on your lips that can be ingested. Whereas products that you wash off or only take up a little space are less of a priority and won’t be seeping into your bloodstream as much. So face cream, foundation and lipstick are more important to choose clean and nontoxic than mascara and shampoo. (I also recommend using the Environmental Working Group’s “Healthy Living App” to check the safety of your current products.)

While that part of the conversation was a little heavy, we quickly moved back to the fun stuff …

Drinks at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

I shared about why I choose Beautycounter and some of my favorite products …

I introduced a few of my favorite Beautycounter products, and then we went back to the drinks and food.

Beauty setup at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

Of course, the best part was taking time to hang out together!

I think the ladies also enjoyed opening the gift bags I had prepared for them. (These were some awesome gift bags, if I do say so myself, which even included a pair of leggings and many of my favorite healthy products).

Gift bags at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

I have to give a big thanks to the brands who offered up goodies for the goodies bags. Each bag had some loot from Vital Proteins collagen, LonoLife bone broth, Organifi, CALIA by Carrie Underwood, The Crusher and Liquid IV.

We hung out, talked about beauty, fitness and life and had a great time …

Group at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

Some treats at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

I will be totally honest and say that I was a little anxious and nervous about this event. Not only because you always worry if anyone will show up, but also because I never want to sound too preachy when talking about making changes to your life that may not be what everyone else is already doing.

But I truly believe everyone needs to know this info, even if you’re never going to be perfect and will certainly never be able to rid your life of all the toxins we come across on a daily basis. But every little change helps. And being aware of the situation is pretty important.

What’s totally cool is that the ladies definitely took the info to heart. In fact, later that night, I even received a text from one friend who came, who went home and checked her face lotion on the EWG’s Healthy Living app and was horrified to see it was rated a seven on the toxin scale. She quickly put in an order for some Beautycounter to replace that product. Love it!

In conclusion: Events are a LOT of work, but totally worth it …

I put a ton of work into this event, and of course, it was a big investment of time, money and effort. And I’m SOOO happy with how it turned out. I’d do it again in an instant! 🙂 

While I love writing, posting and communicating with all of you on the blog, through email and social media, nothing beats hanging out in real life with real people — especially when there’s barre, beauty and bubbles involved. I hope to have another event like this one day soon!

Ladies at the barre, beauty and bubbles event - by A Lady Goes West - February 2020

Thank you to all the lovely ladies who attended and thank you to YOU for coming here to read today.

By the way, if you’re ready to give Beautycounter a try to clean up your skincare routine too, the free gift with a regimen purchase is still on for three more days. Shop the regimens here. And if you need help deciding on what’s right for you, fill out my skincare survey here. And hop on my Beautycounter email list here.

Have an awesome start to your week!

P.S. I posted some videos and behind-the-scenes of the event on my Instagram stories, which will be live through tonight. I also need to give major props to my ultimate Instagram husband, Dave, who helped me with photos, videos, setup and cleanup, even though he had to rush out to head off to work a game and change into his suit in the studio. He’s the best!

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

Have you ever taken a barre class?

What’s one beauty, body or skincare product you’d like to swap for safer?

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  1. Congrats on the success of your event! Thank you so much for having me! Really good tips that I am starting to implement on my and my husband’s life!

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