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Present Perfect: Holiday Gift Sets for All

Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the holiday shopping season is in full swing. As much as we love gifting, we also get overwhelmed by the sheer number of people on our list. That’s where gift sets come in. These smartly packaged collections are a complete no-brainer—they feature some of our favorite products and are bundled so prettily that you may not even need to gift wrap. We’ve rounded up some of this season’s top sets, plus what customers have to say about their standout products. Happy shopping!

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Whether you’re a fan of bold colors, miracle-working skincare, or gorgeous hair, you can’t go wrong with these sets by Lipstick Queenboscia, and Number 4.  But don’t take our word for it, here’s what Birchbox subscribers had to say:

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Iceland, The Northern Lights, and Aurora Borealis: Packing List

This time of year, most of us are dreaming of tropical getaways. But Nicole, our office manager (also known as She Who Makes Magic Happen), is about to jet off to Iceland. She is taking a much-deserved vacation to do some trekking and spa-ing. Here’s what she’s bringing.

Cold weather trips are not usually on my hit list. But I jumped at the chance to see the Northern Lights and Aurora Borealis at the brightest they have been in past 50 years! My itinerary involves a day out in the Golden Circle (geysers, big waterfalls), a trip to the South Coast to see the famous puffins, a night chasing the Northern Lights, a trip to Reykjavik, and a half day at the Blue Lagoon soaking in the geothermal spa. My essentials:

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Create Custom Makeup With This Wonder Balm!

Lately, our entire office has been buzzing about One Love Organics® Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm—an incredible multi-purpose salve included in this month’s Birchbox. When we found out the product could be mixed with mineral powder foundation to create creamy customized colors, we got even more excited!

As product-addicted, exploration enthusiasts we had to put this unique formula to the test. Using some spare makeup lying around the office (and as you can imagine, there are quite a few “spares” on each Birchbox employee’s desk) we started experimenting.

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What We’re Loving: An Eco-Fabulous Wonder Balm

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I’ve been a huge fan of One Love Organics since I first discovered the skincare brand last summer. I love their well-edited line, which features ultra-concentrated, ultra-natural formulas. The product that hooked me was their Skin Savior balm, a serious multitasking breakthrough. Click through to learn why I love it and you will too!

It does it all: The formula is a makeup remover, cleanser, and moisturizer. But that’s not all it does—you can mix it with mineral makeup to create a creamy, breathable foundation and slather it on cuticles to keep them hydrated.

No fillers: It’s made with healthy ingredients like coconut oil, mango seed butter, and vitamin E. There isn’t even any water in the formula, since that can introduce bacteria.

Jet set ready: It’s a no-brainer way to streamline your travel kit, but once you start using it you’ll be tempted to keep it on hand 24/7.

Lasts forever and a day: Since there are no fillers, the formula is extremely concentrated, which means a little goes a looong way.

Cute factor: Finally, how can you not love the sweet packaging?

—Mollie

Learn more about One Love Organics and their beauty philosophy.

Packing List: Hollywood!

Who has packing tips for me? My overstuffed suitcase.

Ok, I’m not actually going to Hollywood. But I am going to L.A. (weather permitting, fingers crossed) for a video shoot with a few of our brand partners. Assuming I get off the ground (again, knock on wood), here’s what I’m bringing.

1. Amika mini hair dryer: This is part of Amika’s Giraffe Go Go Travel Set, which we’re adding to the shop in September. Besides the too-cute print, this little guy is powerful enough to dry my hair in under ten minutes.

2. New Balance 10: Part of New Balance’s new Minimus line, these trail sneaks are extremely light with a semi-stiff, flexi sole. I feel like Flash Gordon in them, even if I move more like a snail.

3. Tanya Anguiniga Studio Rope Bracelet: Katia ordered this amazingly oversize bracelet for me off Fab (not avail anymore, sorry!) and at first, I thought it was way too big. I was obviously wrong. It’s amazing. (Also amazing: Fab.)

4. TSA-compliant makeup bag: All of my current essentials, and then some: Dr. Jart Beauty Balm; One Love Organics Easy Does It Cleanser; Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint; and more.

5. Warby Parker Prestons: We had a fun trunk show/happy hour with the Warby Park kids last week and I swear the entire BB team now owns either Preston glasses or Everett sunnies. I feel smarter just wearing mine.

6. J. Crew belt: Can’t go anywhere without a skinny metallic belt.

—Mollie

P.S. Completely unrelated, but I’m loving Deborah Lippmann’s Lara’s Theme — a juicy orange that’s for the last few weeks of summer! 

Weekend Recap: Beauty MVPs

As I’ve said before, I don’t do makeup in Maine. No makeup. Not a stitch. But that isn’t to say that I leave all my products in New York. This weekend, here’s what kept me happy.

Amika Obliphica Hair Treatment: My hair is long, long overdue for a haircut (so much so that my father, not one to take notice of hairstyles, asked me if I was going for the Rapunzel look). Suffice to say, my ends are dry. This weekend I slathered my hair in this light and delicious smelling oil every time I went out — for a run, to the beach — to keep it protected.

Pangea Organics Toner: My mom got sent this in her most recent Birchbox, and was kind enough to share with me. Since I was out in the sun everyday, my skin was feeling a bit dry — I spritzed it with this before applying moisturizer.

One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Serum: I discovered this brand a few weeks ago and have been using this incredible, waterless serum ever since. It’s a little heavy for those extra humid days but when it’s perfect for when you’ve been outside and need to give your skin a little extra hydration help. It absorbs quickly and gives my face a nice sheen.

MD Solar Sciences SPF 40: Meredith would be appalled if I didn’t mention my SPF choices. I took this mineral sunscreen (actually took it off Meredith’s desk), which did the trick quite nicely. It dried to a matte finish and didn’t run into my eyes in the heat.

—Mollie

For more summer survival tricks, read our guide.