Next week, I’m making my first-ever (and long-overdue) trip to Italy. (Squee!) My boyfriend and I are starting in Lake Como and then working our way through Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Rome. I’ll be honest: I’m most excited about the food. That’s not to say I don’t want to wander the piazzas, explore the Tuscan hill towns, and wonder at the Sistine Chapel—I’m just planning to bracket all those delightful things with many quartinos of Montepulciano and cones of gelato. Here are some of the essentials I’m bringing with me:
Madewell Transport Tote: This roomy leather bag is tailor-made for travel. It easily fits my laptop, copious amounts of beauty products, magazines, and (of course) many, many plane snacks.
Number 4 Haircare Styling Foam: I’m a full-on mousse evangelist. I find that it’s the best/easiest/quickest way to give hair a bit of texture and wave. Number 4’s version smells incredible and dries without any tackiness. I scrunch it in and go—no need to blow-dry.
Atelier Cologne Vetiver: Spoiler alert: We’ve got an awesome gift-with-purchase deal coming up with Atelier Cologne’s travel-size spritzes. Keep an eye out! Me, I’m taking this unisex one on the road.
Inika Mineral Foundation: I recently got a sample of this and liked it so much that I begged our brand team for a second (backup) sample to take with me. The formula is extremely light, dries to a velvet-matte finish, and blends gorgeously.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector: While I don’t plan on wearing much makeup, that doesn’t mean I can’t use a wee bit of highlighter over my blush—you know, to prettily reflect all those golden Tuscan rays. Right?
Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask: Blame it on Birchbox, but over the years the list of things I consider travel “musts” has changed dramatically. After realizing how tough planes and travel are on my skin, I now consider a great exfoliator and a hydrating mask to be core trip essentials. I love sheet masks because they’re single-use—how great to return with less than when you started!
And Sons, David Gilbert: I bought the hardcover of this novel after my friend (and consummate reader) Eimear raved about it. I’m looking forward to unplugging and doing some nondigital reading while I’m away.
Coming to a departures gate near you—New York’s famed Black and White Cookies from Ess-a-Bagel.
Paris, j’arrive! Editorial Director Mollie, Social Media Senior Manager Rachel, and I are jetting to the City of Light to pow-wow with our lovely colleagues from Birchbox France, UK, and Spain. I’m leaving plenty of room in my suitcase for Parisian discoveries to tote back to New York, but I couldn’t leave without these key staples:
We’ve all been there: You’re testing foundation after foundation, trying to find the right color. But no matter what shade you pick up, it looks a little bit off—too ashy, too peachy, too sallow—and nothing feels juuust right.
If this sounds like you, we’re willing to bet that you’ve overlooked a crucial step in your quest for the perfect shade: finding your undertone. Once you’ve determined whether your skin has a pinkish or yellowish cast, you’ll be able to find the perfect shade for all your makeup. And we’ve got a ridiculously easy trick to figure it out.
Our editor Candice is one of the first people we turn to for insight into the newest and best products we just have to get our hands on. A tech nerd at heart who also happens to look stunning in red lipstick, she’s equally game for discussions about comic books and the art of blending a gradient eye shadow look. In our latest video, Candice shares her picks for a fabulous fall—watch the video for her seasonal-must-haves, then check out highlights from her beauty profile and list of favorites below:
For more information about all of Candice’s picks (and to add them to your own favorites) go to Birchbox.com.
I hate to use the f-word, but fall (yes, that f-word—what were you thinking?), is right around the corner. I’m searching for autumnal beauty inspiration and I found it in this photo of the lovely Lily Collins at the Canadian premiere of her new flick, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In case you adore this look as much as I do, here’s how to recreate it:
1. Collins’ bold expressive brows are such a fan fave, they even have their own Twitter account! You’ll want to shade in your brows to get a similar look. We like this versatile pencil from IT Cosmetics, which works on variety of hair colors and the waterproof formula won’t smear or smudge.
Not all of us are born with perfect skin. If you’re like me, your face doesn’t exactly glow like a goddess when you wake up in the morning. Some women can walk out the door with just a swipe of mascara and a dash of gloss, but for me, I need at least a bit of concealer (okay, maybe A LOT of concealer) to feel presentable. I’ve accepted my imperfections but I’ve also learned a few tricks for faking flawless skin to use when I need a little extra help. Here are my favorite 5 tips:
1. The Benefit Primer That Outlasts Birchbox Co-Founder Katia’s 15-Hour Day
The very first step in having long-lasting, flawless makeup is using a great primer. After working hard to perfectly blend your foundation, there’s nothing worse than having it break up or smear throughout the day. That’s why I’ve added this Stay Flawless Primer from Benefit to my makeup arsenal. It holds up for 15-hours, which means you won’t have to worry about your makeup sliding or wearing off.
2. Top Beauty Blunders: Foundation Blending
Now that we’ve got our face primed, next is foundation and concealer. While it may seem easy enough to blend out your base makeup, a lot of women fall victim to disastrous foundation situations. From mismatched shades to concealer abuse, these top beauty blunders expose the most common foundation blending mistakes and how to fix them.
Blending your foundation is an essential skill that every makeup-wearing gal should know. A great base not only sets the stage for your entire makeup look, but it also ensures that people are looking at you and not your poor makeup job. We’ve all seen unfortunate cases of mismatched foundation, too-bright concealer, awkwardly covered brows, and more.
Here, Birchbox staffer Deepica shows us how to avoid these top beauty blunders. (We can admit it: We’ve all fallen victim to at least one of these issues at some point.)
What are some of your biggest beauty blunders?
Got your foundation blending down pat? Check out these 4 Essential Eye Looks to add to your beauty résumé.
Even though we’re super excited to be rocking blue and silver nails this fall, we couldn’t make it through the next few months without sporting at least a few neutral shades on our digits. Enter BECCA Cosmetics’ newest collection. We’re already obsessed with the Australian brand’s skin-perfecting line of makeup, but its concise range of three shades from the ‘Lost Weekend’ collection are everything we need to successfully transition to sweater season.
The light camel Saddle Up color is a personal fave (pictured above), but the pink-toned Toasted Marshmallow and the slightly darker taupe Billy Tea will certainly find their way into the rotation as well.Saddle Up is light enough that you’ll definitely need two coats so keep that in mind. The lacquers are long-lasting and glide on smoothly, but most importantly, the formulas are free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, and DBP. The new hues are $15 and currently available at Duane Reade Look Boutiques in NYC and on the BECCA website.
You probably already know Rachel from her excellent weekly Skin Rx blog posts, but what you might not know is that of all the members of the brand team, Rachel (aka @Rachelista) is probably the sassiest and most adventurous trendsetter. (She might be the sassiest person working at Birchbox, come to think of it.) Even when her trend suggestions are a bit too far ahead of the curve for us (Nail Quills, anyone?), we know she’ll pull it off spectacularly. She also has excellent taste in the newest and best beauty products so we jumped at the chance to get a peek at her desk today. Read on for her current obsessions including an appropriately named lip tint and a truly illuminating highlighter.