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Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds Unboxing!

It’s obvious that we love our high-end beauty products, but occasionally we come across drugstore finds that are just too good to pass up. That’s why we’ve put together this Limited Edition: Birchbox Finds box. For only $18 (a $55 value!), you can discover some of our favorite mass beauty products. Watch our unboxing video to see exactly what products you’ll get in this box and then shop here. With awesome brands like John Frieda and CoverGirl, how can you possibly go wrong?

—Blair

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My Favorite Nail Products: Guest Blogger

If you’re into nail art, then you’re probably familiar with Chelsea King’s designs. As the artist behind Chelsea’s Get Nailed, this nail-addict-turned-blogger somehow finds time between classes at UC Irvine to produce nail art tutorials, sell her own press-on nails, and post her intricate and inspiring manicures. This week, Chelsea is offering up her best nail tips and a few exclusive (and pretty awesome) nail art how-tos for beginners and experts alike.

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One of the most important ways to make your manicure look beautiful is taking care of your hands, cuticles, and nails. Using great products can improve how your nails look and can get your polish to last longer. Over time, I have used many different products, and here are some of my favorites!

1. CND SolarOil: I love this cuticle oil because it doesn’t make my cuticles greasy—and it smells great.

2. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream: Just recently I started using this product and it’s amazing. I really have noticed a difference in my skin. It goes on very thick (almost like Vaseline), but instantly replenishes moisture.

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Our Top 10 New York Fashion Week Manicures

Whew. We’re still catching our breath after fashion week wrapped up here in New York last Thursday. After seeing as many shows as we did, they all start to blur together, but one thing really stands out in our opinion: the nail art. Graphic, bold, and utterly innovative, the designs we saw backstage for spring prove that this trend isn’t going anywhere. Here’s a look at ten standout manis that we can’t wait to replicate. 

Deborah Lippmann wowed us at Kate Spade with her gorgeous gingham. (Photo: Birchbox) 

Color Club used an innovative makeup sponge technique to create these “waves” at Charlotte Ronson. (Photo: Birchbox)

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Scotch Tape Checkerboards: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

It’s no secret that my favorite nail art tool is Scotch tape. Even without a steady hand or nail art experience, with a roll of tape you can achieve wow-inducing designs with precision and ease. Today I’m wearing one of my go-to tape designs – checkerboard nails. The look changes dramatically depending on your color choices. If you’re feeling a little punk-rock, try contrasting shades like black and white or red and blue. For the workplace, choose neutrals like pale pink and taupe (your nails will look professional from afar and stylin’ close-up!). You can also do a checkerboard accent nail for a small pop of design, which is how I’m wearing the look today.

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Prabal Gurung and Monique L’Hullier: A Model’s Diary

This New York Fashion Week, we have a new blog contributor—and she’s as pro as they come. Model Alana Zimmer (whose resume includes regular Vogue editorials, walking in couture shows like Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier, and starring in Nicole Miller’s fall ad campaign) is taking exclusive backstage pics for us at all the shows she’s in this season. Check back each day to see NYFW from a model’s point of view! 

Prabal:

View from the show venue on the West Side Highway. 

Katlin Aas getting her morning makeup. 

 

Bloody nails by Sally Hansen

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The New Neutral Polishes: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

Pink, light pink, beige, cream, tan…are you bored yet? As much as I love a classic business-appropriate pink manicure, it’s time that we rethink our definition of neutral or acceptable nail polish shades. While lacquer sales have skyrocketed (627 new colors debuted last year!), only 10 percent of those sales in 2011 were pink. Here are my picks for this season’s new neutrals—no matter your age, job, or style.

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6 Perfect Pedicure and Sandal Combos: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, Vida Lee, hits close to home for us—literally! She’s a beauty guru based in our hometown: New York City. Aside from being a product addict, she’s also a medical school student (whoa!) who makes time on the side for her pretty blog, P.S. It’s Vida. Over the next few days, the smarty savant will be sharing her greatest tips and tricks for staying prepped and primed for summer.

I hate that feeling when you look down at your feet and realize your pedicure color doesn’t go all that well with the sandals you have on. Since I like combos that coordinate, here are a few suggestions:

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A Peek Inside My Nail Art Tool Kit: Guest Blogger

Nail art is a Birchbox obsession. One of the first places we look for inspiration is Glitter, She Wrote, Anna Norman’s cheery, imaginative blog, where she shares her gorgeous designs and muses about life in the Big Apple. This week, Anna takes us inside her nail guru world, and will show us how to get gorgeous, DIY art on our fingertips.

I often tell people that the top two things you need for nail art are creativity and patience—but having the right products and tools certainly helps, too. Here’s a peek at the items I keep on hand, so I’m ready to rock whenever nail inspiration strikes.

1. I love the look of short, well-groomed nails, so nail care basics like clippers, buffers, and files (including this adorable heart-shaped file from Birchbox) are essential.

2. A good top coat adds shine, smooths brushstrokes, and keeps chipping at bay. All year I’ve been using and loving Wicked Fast from the up-and-coming polish brand Cult Nails. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails is also a great, easier-to-find choice. 

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Pops of Pigment and Messy Bedhead at Tracy Reese

The Show: Tracy Reese

Makeup: Mally Beauty

Hair: Jeanie Syfu for TRESemmé

Nails: Jin Soon Choi for Sally Hansen

The Vibe: Color, color everywhere. Nails featured a new Sally Hansen collaboration with Reese. The two shades, Scarab (pictured), and Copperhead will debut in October. We got the scoop from the lead manicurist, Jin Soon Choi, who told us the secret to the collection: the polishes are formulated with real silver, which gives it a metallic shine and longer lasting finish.

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Prabal Gurung’s Richly Colored Avatar Eyes

Show: Prabal Gurung

Hair: TIGI

Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury for M.A.C.

Nails: Jin Soon for Sally Hansen

The Vibe: Good and evil; light and dark. Prabal Gurung’s collection was translated quite literally in this season’s beauty look: the line started all black, then transitioned to blue looks, and ended with ivory and gold pieces. Fittingly, Sally Hansen created four custom colors for the show, three of which were used on models: a black called Onyx, a lovely blue called Blue Rose, and a gorgeous chrome glitter gold called Gilded Lily. “Whoever is wearing black gets black nails, whoever is wearing blue gets blue nails, and gold polish is for the blonde girls wearing white and gold” explained lead manicurist, Jin Soon.

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