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Borderline Black Lipstick for Black Friday: Guest Blogger

Nothing gets us giddy like a good wedding. Katelyn Koepke Lewis, one of our lovely freelance writers, got hitched this October and we couldn’t resist asking her to share her bridal wisdom. The former PR maven and J-school grad recently went back to her editorial roots, working as a feature writer and editor for Be U Weddings, a Chicago-based blogazine. This week, Katelyn’s sharing her newlywed advice, from bridal beauty tricks that you can use post-wedding to how to pick hostess gifts for your new in-laws.

Considering it’s Black Friday and you’re all undoubtedly scouring stores for killer deals (report back!), I thought I’d take the day’s name to heart as color inspiration—for lips! Yep, I’m going there: the vampy, brooding, almost-black lips we saw all over the fall runways. From deep wines to cherry blacks, here are my of-the-moment picks for keeping the pout chic, but not too gothic. (C’mon, you know you have to at least try this dusky, seductive lipstick craze!)

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How to Look Like You Aren’t Wearing Any Makeup: Guest Blogger

Raw and honest, Rachel Wilkerson’s blog, The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, is captivating and heartfelt. Covering the trials and tribulations of her personal life, her blog gives advice on everything from the serious (like moving house, which is so stressful) to the mundane (fun nail art!) and everything in between. We appreciate anyone that keeps it real the way she does, so we’re excited to have her as this week’s guest blogger. 

How many of us were told when we first started wearing makeup that the secret is to make it look like you aren’t wearing any makeup at all? Trouble is, that’s much harder to do than it sounds. But after years of trying (and not always being so subtle), I’ve learned how to pull off the natural look in a way that appears healthy, bright-eyed, and pulled-together. Here are some of my tips:

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Dramatic Smoky Eyes and Hot Hippie Hair at Mara Hoffman’s Swim Show

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun. 

I ventured to Miami last week to cover Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Swim. While there were tons of designers offering covetable swimwear, Mara Hoffman’s colorful tribal-inspired pieces were a standout favorite. The beauty was equally enviable, which is why I had to stop backstage to meet the magicmakers.

The Vibe: Desert bohemian with a biker edge.

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Picking the Right Makeup Brushes: Guest Blogger

The dynamic duo behind Beauty Bender, Kathryn Romeyn and Alexis Johnson, have an impeccable eye for deciphering up-and-coming cosmetics trends and finding experts to give the lowdown on how to wear them. (It must be the decade’s worth of magazine curating experience they have between them.) We can’t get enough of their gorgeous site, and happily, for a whole week they’re sharing all of their beauty insight on our blog!

From left, Make Up For Ever’s Eyeshadow Brush #14S, Powder Brush #55N and Eyeshadow Brush #12S.

It’s hard enough finding the perfect shade of makeup to make us look our best, but picking the right brush—and knowing how to use it—is even tougher. We often find ourselves multi-purposing brushes willy-nilly to apply various cosmetics, but in reality, makeup brushes are designed to achieve specific effects on very targeted parts of the face. And they’re meant to be used with precise formulas.

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Shaman Cowboys With Bronzed Skin At Mara Hoffman

The Show: Mara Hoffman

The Hair: Nick Irwin for TIGI

The Makeup: Lottie for Make Up For Ever

The Vibe: 90’s bronze goddesses meet South American Shaman cowboys. Lottie, head makeup artist for Make Up For Ever, used “lots of shades of metallic browns, bronzes and gold. It’s just all about highlights. It’s all about the contours and the eyes.” The cheeks were contoured with Make Up For Ever Mat Bronze and accented with Make Up For Ever Shine On Powder from the tops of the cheeks to the temples. Lottie used Make Up For Ever Eye Shadow #17 and Aqua Cream #14 on the eyes and placed Metal Powder #2 on the corners of the eyes with a wet brush. Finally, she lined eyes with Kohl Pencil #9 and added a coat of Smoky Lash mascara.

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MAKE UP FOR EVER’s New Unretouched Ad Campaign…Starring You?

The Photoshop scandals of the last few years haven’t seemed to deter most fashion and beauty brands from digitally enhancing their images. But at least one big makeup company is listening. MAKE UP FOR EVER made a big splash this past spring when they released the ad above with the headline, “You’re looking at the first unretouched makeup ad.” It was covered everywhere and made a huge statement about their makeup — it’s good enough to look amazing on camera without help from Photoshop. Still, there were detractors who said the ad looked great because the model was young and, well, a model. The brand responded by offering an open casting call for their second Unretouched Campaign this winter. 

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Reading List: Awesome Ladies

Another Friday, another Reading List, folks. This week we just happened to come across an unusually high number of stories about awesome women. Whether they’re founders of beauty companies, the brains behind brilliant websites, models with fun attitudes, or just ladies teaching us how to make great nail art, we couldn’t get enough. 

Lara Stone at her favorite pancake house. Photo: T Magazine

  • Stop the presses! Lauren Conrad is starting a beauty line! Okay, this really shouldn’t have been so surprising to us since she already has a successful beauty blog, TheBeautyDepartment. Nevertheless, we can’t wait to see what she comes up with. [Fashionista]
  • Okay, we’ve been trying to get marble nails right for months now. Somehow it  never seems to work, but after watching Connie from Refinery29 do it, we have newfound inspiration — and faith in our own abilities. Wish us luck and go watch her tutorial! [Refinery29]
  • Quite a few members of the Birchbox team are hanging out in LA this week (we just hosted a fab party with Smashbox last night) and have been looking for lots of fun things to do while they’re there. We stumbled across this profile of two of the coolest LA ladies we wish we knew: Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power from Who What Wear. [Into The Gloss
  • Speaking of awesome ladies, W Mag has an interview with Dany Sanz, the founder of Make Up For Ever. We had no idea she was so charming. [W Magazine]
  • Finally, since it is still fashion week somewhere, we have a little model inspiration. Dutch beauty, Lara Stone hung out with Lynn Yaeger in The Netherlands for a piece in T Magazine. [T Magazine]


Have a great weekend! Use your downtime to catch up on all our new September articles!

Guest Blogger: Music Festival Must-Haves

We love writers with fun personalities, which is why we’re ecstatic to welcome Carlye Wisel into the guest blogging fold this week. The savvy blogger has a multitude of interests, but can regularly be found talking about music and more on Vevo, Big Ugly Yellow Couch, and her personal Tumblr, Awkward City Population 1. This week, she’s sharing beauty wit and wisdom. Today: the products you should have in your arsenal for those hot summer days. 

No matter how many countless street style photos seem to prove otherwise, it takes some effort to not look like a sweaty disaster at a summer festival.

These music-loving ladies have seen the dust of Bonnaroo, the mud of Lollapalooza, and everything in between, all while getting a day’s work done under the hot, hot sun. Here are some of the tried-and-true products that they rely on to get them by:

"Makeup Forever HD Powder keeps foundation and concealer in place for hours. I usually use it in place of foundation or powder since it evens out my skin tone with a nice matte finish, meaning no more sweaty forehead.” —Nicole Wasilewicz, Senior Music Editor at Free Williamsburg

“I use deodorant like it’s my job. My go-to is Speedstick. Yes, only a man’s will work under the hot Coachella sun! I also love my Fresh Lip Balm, which goes on so smooth and smells like brown sugar. My lips get so chapped from the beer, the heat, and all the singing along.” —Julia Willinger, Label Coordinator at XL Recordings

"Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara is cheap, easy to stick in your bag, and always adds a brightened-up look. It also never runs.” —Jenna LoMonaco, Head of New Media at Glassnote Records

"TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is amazing. If I don’t have that, I will use any type of hair spray, apply it to my roots, let it dry, and then brush it out. This really helps keep my hair looking fresh, even through sweaty, disgusting weather.” —Rachel Stoewer, College Marketing Coordinator at Sony Music

“All of tarte’s products are natural, but their Natural Cheek Stain is my favorite. It’s blush that gives you a fresh pinched-cheeks look and it doesn’t melt in the hot sun during music festivals. For my skin, stila’s One Step Bronze is my go-to summer bronzing foundation. And I adore Revlon’s Grow Luscious waterproof mascara because, duh, you might see Bon Iver, and do you really want anyone to know that you cried tears of joy?” —Lindsay Brandt, Manager & Digital Media Director at Mick Management

Our never-leave-home-without product in the summer? Tatcha Aburatorigami Blotting Papers.