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6 Unexpected Summer Beauty Essentials You Need Right Now

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Will Smith said in it best in his smooth ’90s hit Summertime, "Summer, summer, summertime. Time to sit back and unwind." Take a cue from the former-Fresh Prince of Bel Air and adopt an equally breezy beauty routine. From an instantly calming body lotion to an exfoliating lip scrub, here are our top hot-weather essentials. 

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How to Wear Mineral Eye Makeup

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At first glance it might look like mineral eye shadows—in their shimmery, crushed form—were caught in a tragic packing mishap. However these loose powders will give you a pretty swipe of color as pigmented as any cream or pressed-powder option, with the added benefit of being perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.

Other eye color products can rely on chemical preservatives to give their formulas a creamy, compact consistency. But mineral lines like Alima Pure eschew these skin-irritating ingredients including culprits like bismuth oxychloride, a pore-clogging additive, and instead use crushed pure minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

As with any time you experiment with a new makeup product (here’s looking at you, liquid liner), there’s going to be a learning curve, but these shadows are shockingly versatile and easier to use then you might think. Gather up a few trusty eye shadow brushes and follow these steps to pull off an on-trend bronze smoky eye that won’t irritate sensitive skin! 

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Why I’m Giving Mineral Makeup Another Try

Like most women who’ve struggled with problematic skin, I’ve bounced around between many different foundations over the years. At some point I was convinced by a salesperson that mineral makeup was the solution to all my problems. Needless to say, using a loose mineral foundation didn’t make my skin clear up and didn’t cover my blemishes or acne scars.

Fast forward about seven years and I’m thinking of mineral makeup in a whole new light thanks to Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics founder Pauline Youngblood. Click through to learn why I’m seriously considering a switch from my beloved liquid foundation.

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VIDEO: 5 Tips For Using Mineral Makeup

Alima Pure Mineral Eyeshadows are one of our latest (and greenest) discoveries. Watch our video to learn why they’re so great, and get a few tips for applying them without any mess. Let us know in the comments: do you love mineral shadows as much as we do?

—Lorelei

Find more information about Alima Pure eyeshadows in the Birchbox Shop.

5 Awesome Eco-Friendly Brands To Add Into Your Routine

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.

Did you know that Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22? In addition to contributing to one of the many green organizations taking part in this vital eco-friendly holiday, I’ll also incorporate more organic products into my beauty routine. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite ecologically-inclined brands to date.

1. Josie Maran Cosmetics: Actress and model Josie Maran is ridiculously gorgeous, wildly talented, and cares deeply about her environment. (In other words, she’s perfect.) Her sophisticated range of beauty products contain pure and gentle formulas that are free of parabens, toxins, and animal testing. To remedy split ends, I’m loving her 100% Pure Argan Oil ($48) that is organically grown in Morrocco.

2. Pangea Organics: I’m obsessed with all things Pangea Organics. Not only has the brand’s arsenal of skincare savers made a major impact on my complexion, but they stay true to their formula mantra: “Always beneficial, never artificial.” All of their products are free of harmful ingredients like petrochemicals, paraben, and GMOs and are sourced using fair trade practices whenever possible. Their Facial Cleanser for Oily to Combination Skin ($28) is sublime.

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We’re not fans of makeup at the gym, but sometimes it can’t be avoided (lunchtime workout, pimple-that-must-be-covered). There are also those situations (ahem, hot n’ sticky summer) where you feel like your makeup slips off the minute you put it on. That’s where Rae Cosmetics comes in. Designed by Austin-based makeup artist Rochelle Rae, the line is specifically for active women or women in steamy climates. The mineral-based line stands up to the sweat test: Relentless Boot Camp even tested it during a workout and came out glowing on the other side.
All the products are light and meant for everyday use. They’re all heat- and perspiration-resistant so you can put them on in the morning and know that they’ll last all day (no matter how active you are). We love the cute Line n’ Shine lip gloss, which is a super shiny gloss with a matching liner built into the cap. Also, for women who don’t want a heavy foundation, Rae’s Climate Control is a moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen (spf 20) in one. It’s light like a moisturizer but evens out skin tone completely. We’ll be passing these products on to all our super sporty friends.
For more active beauty tips, take a look at our Beauty in Action about Exhale’s national yoga director, Erin Jacques and our guide to green beauty!
P.S. You can also get Rae’s Little Red Dress lip set for a last minute Christmas Present or Valentine’s Day present. 50% of proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s Austin Go Red for Women campaign.

We’re not fans of makeup at the gym, but sometimes it can’t be avoided (lunchtime workout, pimple-that-must-be-covered). There are also those situations (ahem, hot n’ sticky summer) where you feel like your makeup slips off the minute you put it on. That’s where Rae Cosmetics comes in. Designed by Austin-based makeup artist Rochelle Rae, the line is specifically for active women or women in steamy climates. The mineral-based line stands up to the sweat test: Relentless Boot Camp even tested it during a workout and came out glowing on the other side.

All the products are light and meant for everyday use. They’re all heat- and perspiration-resistant so you can put them on in the morning and know that they’ll last all day (no matter how active you are). We love the cute Line n’ Shine lip gloss, which is a super shiny gloss with a matching liner built into the cap. Also, for women who don’t want a heavy foundation, Rae’s Climate Control is a moisturizer, foundation, and sunscreen (spf 20) in one. It’s light like a moisturizer but evens out skin tone completely. We’ll be passing these products on to all our super sporty friends.

For more active beauty tips, take a look at our Beauty in Action about Exhale’s national yoga director, Erin Jacques and our guide to green beauty!

P.S. You can also get Rae’s Little Red Dress lip set for a last minute Christmas Present or Valentine’s Day present. 50% of proceeds benefit the American Heart Association’s Austin Go Red for Women campaign.