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The Base Makeup Coverage Spectrum

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Unlike lipstick, which is meant to be seen, base makeup is supposed to be your invisible ally, masking imperfections, evening out skin tone, and creating a perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup—without anyone knowing it’s actually there. Since that’s easier said than done, we’ve created a coverage guide to help you choose which formula is right for you. 

Base Option: Tinted Primer

Coverage Level: Barely There

Applied after moisturizer, a tinted primer glosses over fine lines, dry patches, and rough areas. For a fresh-faced look, try Laura Geller’s Beauty Spackle® Tinted Under Make-up Primer in Bronze. The sheer bronze tint adds a subtle hint of color, while the antioxidant-infused formula hydrates thirsty skin. (Follow with actual foundation if you need extra coverage.)

Base Option: Tinted Moisturizer

Coverage Level: Au Naturel

Along the spectrum between bare skin and full-on foundation, tinted moisturizer hews closer to the former. To score this natural look, smooth on a thin layer over your face and down onto your neck, then continue with your regular makeup routine. Our entire team (minus the manfolk) is obsessed with Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint. The oil-free formula feels positively weightless on, but provides smooth, even coverage and a radiant glow. 

Base Option: BB Cream

Coverage Level: Sheerly Beloved 

Originally designed to help post-peel patients mask redness, BB creams (which stand for beauty or blemish balms) combine the functions of a primer, antiaging serum, moisturizer, and light foundation in one product. Our current fave? Canadian import Marcelle, which infuses your complexion with just the right amount of color while antioxidants, aloe, and chamomile soothe, moisturize, minimize the appearance of pores and blemishes, and protect against aging. 

Base Option: CC Cream

Coverage Level: Department of Corrections 

CC Creams (aka color or complexion correction cream) are the latest alphabet-based beauty wunderkind. If you have acne, dark spots, or dull skin, a CC cream may be more up your alley. Unlike semisheer BB formulations, CC creams offer more coverage but still feel light on skin. If your skin is particularly picky, try Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40. Made with clarifying meadowsweet and brightening wheat germ extract, the silicone-free formula erases dark spots and evens out overall skin tone, plus protect your complexion from harmful (and aging) UV rays.. 

Base Option: Foundation

Coverage Level: Photoshop Finish 

In our next life, we’d like to request a luminous complexion that needs nary a spot corrector. Till then, there’s nothing like liquid foundation to give you the look of perfect skin. Unlike the cakey foundations of yesteryear, Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! expertly masks imperfections without feeling too heavy. A beauty editor favorite, it delivers oil-free moisture and a smooth, flawless finish that stays true to its name. 

—Ally

For more top-notch coverage options, check out beauty Grace Atwood’s curated shop.  

How to Look Great Post-Flight, Tips for a Healthier Summer, The Staycation Guide, and More

We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news that we don’t want you to miss. Read them while you’re laying on the beach or relaxing indoors.

  • How To: Look Great After a Long Flight: We know it’s tough to look and feel gorgeous after a few hours in the air. Thankfully makeup artist Nam Vo shared her best pre-landing touchup tricks.

— Geraldine

Summertime sandals aren’t complete without a pretty pedi. Here’s how you can win 100 Color Club nail polishes for endless options of brights and pastels.

Makeup Tips for Looking Fabulous Straight off a Plane

Over the next few weeks it seems like everyone in the Birchbox office is jetting off somewhere fun. Ally is in Equador right now (lucky!), editor Candice has been working from San Francisco this weekend, and even I’m heading off to Denver in a few days for a friend’s wedding. Summer really is our favorite time to get out of the office and enjoy some sun.

Unfortunately I usually step off the plane looking like death warmed over (especially if it’s more than a few hours long flight) and I know I’m not alone. The last thing I want to do while traveling is worry about a full makeup routine, so this month we asked makeup artist Nam Vo to share a few really easy tricks for looking downright amazing when you step off the plane. Throw these products (all under TSA’s 3.4 FL OZ limit) in your carry-on and you’ll be fresher and more polished when you step off the plan than when you stepped on. Happy traveling!

—Lorelei

Find more beauty tips and expert advice on the Birchbox YouTube channel.

Packing List: Heading to Guatemala with Pencils of Promise!

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Earlier this year, we gave you an update on the Pencils of Promise school that we built in Pasebeyena, Guatemala. The three-classroom school has been open since December 13th, and this weekend Katia, Hayley, and I are getting the (amazing) opportunity to visit it. The phenomenal PoP team has put together a jam-packed itinerary for us, including community visits, cultural activities (Lema weaving classes!), and of course plenty of time with the school staff and students. (We’ll also be zip-lining—eek!)

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The Birchbox school in Pasebeyena, Guatemala, right after completion!

We’ve already been studying our pre-departure packets, which has handy information on the local currency and slang, and grabbing SPF samples off Birchbox staffers’ desks. In addition to snacks and bathing suits, here are some of the items the three of us will be packing:

Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial TowelettesSingle-use wipes are to travel what sprinkles are to ice cream—that is, non-negotiable. We’re fans of Yes To’s oil-free wipes for their citrusy scent and gentle, but satisfying exfoliating effect.

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The 4 Greatest Beauty Matchups, a 36-Hour Spa Weekend, Finding the Right Concealer, and More: Reading List

We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news you need to read this weekend.

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  • The 4 Greatest Beauty Matchups of All Time: There’s no better March matchup than a classic rivalry: Kansas vs. Kansas State, Georgetown vs. Syracuse, Duke vs. North Carolina—the list goes on. In the spirit of college ball’s most memorable face-offs, we bring you four of the greatest beauty showdowns ever.
  • The 36-Hour Spa Weekend: Need to recharge? Try Brooklyn. Birchbox Man shows you how to spend a day and a half shopping, eating, and grooming like a true monarch in the county of kings.
  • How to Find the Right Concealer for You: We’ve all suffered from the various face problems that require a bit of cover-up — acne, scars, blemishes, undereye circles, etc — so here’s a mini-guide to find the perfect concealer for you.
  • Our Latest BB Cream Obsession: MarcelleIf there’s been one game-changing product from the last year, it’s BB Cream (and CC Cream), and we’re head over heels for this one from Marcelle that comes in three very different shades for all skin tones.

—Bre

This weekend is the perfect time to catch up on our March magazine issue. Browse all our articles and videos here