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The Ultimate All-Natural Skincare Routine: Guest Blogger

At first glance, you might think that Kathy Ong’s Beauty Palette blog is just your average beauty blogbut you’d be wrong. The underlying theme behind everything that she covers is this: what you put on your face is just as important as what you put into your body. In her own words, “a defining aspect of beauty is nutrition.” Hear hear! This week, she’s sharing her best beauty tips—for both inside and out—on the Birchbox blog.

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Given the never ending cold weather, I thought it would be the perfect time to give you a quick update about what I’ve been reaching for day in and day out this season. Moisturizer is my best friend in the winter and if I am not diligent about using it, my normally dry flaky skin can veer into blotchy hypersensitive skin. 

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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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Can Lip Balm Be Addictive?

Photo: Drugstore.com

I apply lip balm at least ten times a day. My desk is filled with enough balms to last me until retirement, and I feel naked without at least one coat on my lips. I don’t care whether it’s tinted or clear, flavored or tasteless: if it comes in a tube or jar, I’m happy to smear it on my lips. But lately I learned that much like chocolate or reality TV, lip balm can be downright addictive. In fact, there’s a whole website devoted to the dangers of lip balm abuse along with a new book called Can You Get Hooked On Lip Balm?. After reading up on the warnings, I’m now trying to wean myself off the balm. Click through to learn why you should limit your lip balm use!

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Guest Vlogger: Nikki Phillippi on Favorite Eco-Friendly Product

For our very first guest vlogger, we wanted someone special. We didn’t have to think too long or too hard — Nikki Phillippi is the perfect person to kick things off. The beauty/fashion/wellness guru’s channel is one of our favorite destinations—and not just for the great Birchbox unboxing videos that she does each month! She’s all about good food, good beauty, and good style — our favorite things. Today, Nikki  is reviewing one of her favorite skincare products, Pangea Organics Balancing Oil! If balancing oil isn’t part of your regular routine or you’re a bit wary of them, this is a must see! Click to watch and check back tomorrow for Nikki’s last post.

For more information about Pangea Organics and their skincare products visit the Birchbox Shop!

Guest Vlogger: Nikki Phillippi’s Favorite Products

For our very first guest vlogger, we wanted someone special. We didn’t have to think too long or too hard — Nikki Phillippi is the perfect person to kick things off. The beauty/fashion/wellness guru’s channel is one of our favorite destinations—and not just for the great Birchbox unboxing videos that she does each month! She’s all about good food, good beauty, and good style — our favorite things. Today, Nikki  is talking about her all-time favorite makeup and skincare products. Click to watch and check back later this week for more posts.

Visit the Birchbox Shop to find some of Nikki’s favorite Pangea Organics products.

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.

The Perfect Lip Balm: College Girl

This summer, Birchbox’s content team is extremely lucky to have awesome intern Shana in the office. She’s a student at Syracuse University (the smarty pants is a dual major in magazine journalism and psychology) and she’ll be helping with researching, writing, product testing and, of course, blogging. In addition to daily beauty news posts, she’ll be writing a weekly column called College Girl.

Stewart & Claire; Burt’s Bees; Nuxe Reve de Miel; Pangea Organics

Chapstick addicts, listen up. If you can’t go 20 minutes without reaching for that little tube of lip moisturizer, or if you have a slight panic attack at the sudden realization that you’ve forgotten your balm at home…well, you’re in trouble. The truth is, the petroleum used in many brands of Chapstick and lip balm actually dries out your lips rather than moisturizes them. You’re better off with a petroleum-free product — here are some of my favorites.

Pangea Organics Lip Balm: This lip balm is made from organic ingredients and the tube is larger than normal so it’s guaranteed to last you a long time. If you have sensitive or cracked lips, or just want a balm that tastes great, there’s a flavor for you.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm: A lot of people worry that balm in a jar will leave you feeling sticky, but this one does just the opposite. Moisturize, protect, and heal your lips all at once—and it’s even good for your cuticles and healing small burns.

Stewart & Claire: This just-launched balm is already a new favorite. Made in small batches in Manhattan, it’s certified organic and made from all natural ingredients. It comes in a range of flavors: Coconut, Mint, Spring, and Summer, plus a scent-less version called Bare. Summer and Spring smell absolutely amazing—you can’t go wrong.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm: My best friend has an obsession with this one unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I’d have to agree though—it is fabulous and your lips feel instantly refreshed the second the pepperminty zest hits them.

—Shana

To spice up your moisturized lips, add some color from the Birchbox Shop.

Memorial Day Weekend Must-Haves

With Memorial Day weekend underway, it’s time to give the summer season a warm welcome back! Whether you’re skipping town for the long weekend or planning a relaxing 72 hours in the comfort of your own home, you don’t want to be caught empty handed when that much-anticipated nice weather comes knocking. So even though we love all things spring, we’re thrilled to break out some of our summer favorites and our top Memorial day weekend musts.

Herban Essentials Lemon Towelettes: These refreshing face wipes will keep your skin clean and rejuvenated all weekend long.

Guerlain Terracotta Sunless Tinted Self-Tanning Gel:  We all need an easy and lightweight way to get a pretty glow this Memorial Day without exposing our skin to any damaging UV rays.

Pangea Organics Lip Balm: Vacation days call for a little less makeup, but that’s no reason to neglect your kisser! With the sun (hopefully) shining down on us for the next few months, be sure to moisturize those lips.

Lavanilla Healthy Body Butter in Vanilla Coconut: If all goes as planned, it’s going to be hot out, so be sure to lock moisture in with this soothing lotion—plus the scent screams summer!

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo: This weekend, take a break from everything—even your daily sudsing routine. With this hair referesher, you can run from the beach to dinner and leave the sand behind!

Essie Absolutely Shore Nail Polish: No matter where your travels take you, you’ll be in good company with Essie’s new soft seafoam green nail color.

—Madeline

Pick up more weekend necessities in our Birchbox Shop!

Pucker Up: You’ve Got Male

Once a week, Birchbox’s resident yoga and men’s product expert, Eric, will gives us girls some insight into his world in You’ve Got Male. Whether he’s giving his expertise on skincare (boys need advice, too!) or highlighting his new favorite grooming trend, this guy has got taste—so we’re lucky he’s on staff and willing to share.

Photo: visualphoto.com

After two and a half years of working for the Lipstick Queen herself, Poppy King, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about lips and what keeps them moisturized and happy. I always like to have an arsenal of lip products at the ready. A lot of guys ask me what they should go for when upgrading from a basic Chapstick or Burt’s Bees. Below are a few of my faves. All are super moisturizing and totally guy friendly – no bubble gum scents or super shiny textures.

Pangea Oragnics Lip Balm: Egyptian Fennel Grapefruit & Sweet Orange If you like a solid lip balm that comes in a tube, this is a great one. It’s all natural, so no need to worry about chemicals, and it really perks your lips up. I love citrus fragrances – always clean and fresh, but still masculine.

Kiehl’s Scented Lip Balm #1- Mango: This balm is slippery and silky and feels great going on. The moisturizing effects of this formula are so long lasting that I rarely have to reapply. The mango scent is sweet, but not overbearing, and the balm has a mild SPF 4.

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm: This gel has a bit of a creamier texture, which is really nice. It uses Fatty Acid Hydration Technology to keep lips feeling smooth and moisturized. Mojito is a very unique scent, but it’s subtle and also very fun! I am a big fan of anything from the guys at Malin + Goetz, so this lip balm is a fun splurge.

—Eric

Why stop at lip balm?  Pick up more guy friendly products in our Birchbox Shop.

Win the ENTIRE Pangea Organics Line—Worth $350!

Have you ever dreamed of getting a completely new skincare and bodycare regimen? Well, now you can. Enter our Pangea Organics Sweepstakes and you could win the brand’s entire line—worth $350! The company’s products are some of our favorites—we wax poetic about their lip balm and facial cream all of the time—and we love how everything they offer is organic (duh), non-toxic, and cruelty-free. Click here to enter—we can’t wait to hear why you adore Pangea!

—Meredith

To check out all the effective and eco-friendly Pangea Organics product we sell, visit the Birchbox Shop.