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DIY Face Mask For Anywhere, Anytime: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, Rodan Luo, is a lawyer by day and stylish blogger by night. We can’t get enough of her blog, full of eloquent musings and excellent advice. Since she’s also one of our jetsetter role models (the frequent traveler was most recently in Sayulita, Mexico), she’ll be blogging all week about ways to make travel even more awesome. 

(Photo: ashthemakeupartist.tumblr.com)

Practically everything comes packaged nicely in 3.4 fluid ounces these days - there’s even an awesome company that sells only travel sized luxury items for all product junkies out there. But…just because things come ready to go into your carry-on-bag, doesn’t mean you should always bring them. I try to travel with the mindset of taking only what I need. So, while some things in our beauty regime are essential (look out for my post tomorrow on sunscreen), other things should be left behind so there is room to squeeze in that fourth pair of heels for your weekend get away.

This means that while I love doing a weekly face mask, I will never bring my fresh Rose Face Mask with me. So what is a girl with dry skin problems to do? Enter the DIY face mask. Recently, while on a trip to luscious Bali, a friend of mine showed me a great moisturizing facemask with ingredients that can be found everywhere. Look below for an easy-to-make mask that you can do anywhere, anytime.

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The Perfect Polka Dot Mani: Guest Blogger

Blair Badge is one multi-talented lady: she’s a social media manager, a beauty editor for fashion site Chictopia, a model, a newlywed and an all-around awesome gal with a penchant for witty banter. Her dreamy blog, love, blair, is a heady mix of all her talents in one and we can’t get enough of her style and beauty advice. This week, she’s sharing her DIY beauty tips, like how to create a pretty custom lip color and how to get perfect beachy waves.

Polka dot manicures are incredibly east to do. Perfect this adorable design with just a few simple steps!

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Go Ombre for Your Big Day: Guest Blogger

Google alum Brit Morin is the founder of Brit & Co., an online lifestyle brand that covers tech, DIY, beauty, food…basically all our favorite things. Now she’s launched Weduarya super-cool app that makes getting married as easy as ordering from Seamless Web. It lets couples construct a custom site in just four steps and even leverages Facebook’s social graph to help with photos, invite guests, and manage other logistical details. All week, the wedding-savvy entrepreneur will be sharing her best big day tips with us. Even if you aren’t a bride-to-be, there’s plenty to learn.

Ombre. It’s all the rage these days. Feeling bold enough to add some color gradation to your wedding day? Here are three ways to incorporate this bold trend into your beauty and style look.

LIPS
These ombre lips are “kissable yet off-limits.” A perfect combination for any bride. Get the tutorial.

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Try This At-Home Spa Facial!

Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.

This weekend marked my sixth move in eight years. You’d think I’d be a pro by now. But alas, the whole process still kicks my booty, especially now with a baby in the mix (breaking down and putting-back-together a crib is no joke!). My arms feel like jelly; my back feels like it’s carrying a Toyota; and my face…oh, let’s just say that my skin has seen better days. What I need now is a vacation. And a 15-hour massage. And a super-moisturizing facial. Since the trip and marathon massage are out of the question—there’s hours upon hours of unpacking to do, people—this at-home facial inspired by The Spa at Nayara Hotel, Spa and Gardens in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica will have to do. When you can’t go to Costa Rica, bring Costa Rica to you. 

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An Easy DIY Bracelet and Bangle Holder: Guest Blogger

She may live in Tennessee, but Kathryn Cunningham has the eye of an über-chic New Yorker. Her blog, Sweet Tea & Champagne, is a testament to her great taste and it quickly won us over with its great mix of fashion, style, and beauty. This week, she’s guest blogging for us and sharing everything from DIY tricks to her recent recipes obsessions.

My dear friend Sarah Marie Thompson recently won a 'How You Store Your Baubles' contest over at BaubleBar, and I thought it would be a shame to not spread the good word! She’s not only a fabulous photographer (sometimes I’m lucky enough to have her photograph me), but she always has some great DIY ideas up her sleeve, like bracelet and bangle holder. Have some cool looking beer bottles (or any glass bottle for that matter) around the house? If not, I’m sure the local market has some. Grab a few, kick back, and when you’re done, you’ve got yourself the latest and coolest way to store your jewelry.

Bottles are great way to store hair ties, too!

Reading List: Holiday Nails, DIY Hair Care, Dannijo’s New Zine, and The Hunger Games

Happy 11/11/11 and Veterans Day! Yesterday also marked two weeks until Thanksgiving so you could say we’re really starting to get in the holiday mood! Luckily we’ve got festive polishes and a new ‘zine to get us through the season. Read on.

  • We’ve always wanted to try the old “beer in the hair” trick but never got around to it. Luckily, TheGloss tested it out for us and our curiosity is sufficiently satisfied! Read about their writer’s experience before you try this yourself. [The Gloss]
  • Holiday nail polishes are here and they’re all kinds of sparkly and pretty! Here’s a roundup of the best of the season, including our favorites from Zoya. [Fashionista]
  • Uh oh! Marc Jacobs might be in trouble. British Advertising Standards Authority has banned the ad for his Oh Lola! Fragrance, featuring Dakota Fanning in the UK. The organization felt it sexualized the teenager. [FashionEtc]
  • Allure, just like us, is obsessed with The Hunger Games. They pulled together a list of all the futuristic beauty inventions from the book that they want to make a reality. We don’t blame them, can’t wait to get our hands on these! [Allure]
  • We love a great print magazine as much as the next girl so we were pleasantly surprised to read that a Birchbox Crush, the sisters behind jewelry brand Dannijo, will release a biannual zine. The newspaper-style mag will coincidentally also feature our current Birchbox Crush, Timo Weiland. [Style.com]

— Lorelei

New products are available in the Birchbox Shop

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins’s DIY Awesome

Sadness. Today is the final day of our guest blogger series with the wonderful Grace of Stripes and Sequins. We didn’t think she could outdo yesterday’s super helpful post on troubleshooting Sally Hanson Salon Effects — but today she is giving us a crash course in DIY Beauty. Are you excited? You should be! Read on…

If you’ve checked out my blog, then you know I’m a little DIY crazy. If I see something that I want (and can’t afford it or am just feeling crafty), I try to make it. Sometimes it goes well — other times it goes horribly wrong. Here are a few winners:

Greige Nails: Gray nails were all the rage last year and the trend is still hot, but it’s really a “griege” (gray beige a la Chanel’s Khaki Rose) that is the most in right now. By mixing your own, you can achieve the perfect color at home. Mix 45% white, 45% peach/nude, and 10% black nail polish to get it. Alicia from Dismount Creative just did a great DIY on gray nails…check it out here!

The New Pastels: Pastels will always be in for Spring but lately it’s all about the dirty/dusty pastel shades. Take last year’s pastels (Essie’s Lilacism, Lapis of Lazuli, and Mint Candy Apple) and add a few drops of black polish to give them a dirty/dusty feel a la the so-on-trend American Apparel polishes. Just a tiny bit of black and you’ll have a dusty rose, a more rebellious lavender, and a mossy mint.

DIY Highlighter: My MAC eyeshadow recently had a spontaneous combustion – it just turned to dust overnight. Not to worry — just dump the contents into an empty palette or makeup container and mix in a bit of Vaseline. Voila — instant highlighter! Get creative: if your eyeshadow isn’t highlighter-appropriate, use your new formulation as cream eyeshadow or a lip gloss. Adding it to body or face lotion is another great (and less greasy) alternative. Apply to your shoulders, collarbone, and anywhere else you think needs a little extra shimmer.

PS: A few notes on mixing nail polishes: Start with the color you’re using the most of, and pour some out (for example, for the dirty pastels pour out some of the base color and then carefully pour in some black). Stop and shake along the way to make sure you like the color. If the nail polish doesn’t already have a shaker bead, put in a few small glass beads to help it mix up well. 

Read all of Grace’s posts here.

Get inspired by the nail polishes and highlighters in our Shop.

Snowed In? Why not…

Make a DIY scrub. This month’s Beauty in Action, Daphne Oz (stay tuned for her Q&A) loves salt and olive oil for rough legs, elbows, and feet. Play around with the proportions but she uses roughly a cup of olive oil to a half cup of salt (or sugar for sensitive skin).

Play with makeup. Mess around with your most outrageous eyeshadow colors, master that winged liner once and for all, or break out that teasing brush. You’re not leaving the house so who cares if you mess up?

Give yourself a mani. And take your time. Use Deborah Lippmann’s thorough step-by-step guide.

Whip up some hot chocolate, finish off that leftover gingerbread, and stay cozy!