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A Multitasker After My Heart (with SPF 45 to Boot!)


Something to know about me: if we go out to eat together, I’ll assume we are sharing everything and that your dinner is communal. And in the same way that I’m notorious for swiping forkfuls of baked rigatoni or apple crisp, I’m also known for pattering over to Birchbox editors’ desks and idly playing with whatever new products might be laying around. Luckily, my team knows how to share.

Recently, I picked Shiseido’s new Urban Environment Tinted UV Protector off of Candice’s desk. (I asked first!) I was intrigued because the formula seemed too good to be true: oil-free, sheer coverage, antiaging ingredients that undo existing damage, and water-resistant SPF 43. Not to mention the fact that I love all manner of tinted moisturizers and BB Creams. Motto: the fewer makeup steps in the morning, the better!

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When it comes to high fashion, model Alana Zimmer is one of the biggest names in the industry. Some of her latest accomplishments: starring in the current Akris and Givenchy Beauty ad campaigns and walking in the Armani Privé and Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture shows last month in Paris. Currently the Canadian beauty is in the Big Apple for New York Fashion Week and doing her second backstage photo diary for us. Check back each day for more of her supercool pics from a model’s perspective! 

1. Me in my Matrix-style shades

2. Bette having her ponytail perfected

3. Close-up! Latex tape was used for the shiny ponytail holder. Hair by Orlando Pita.

4. Direction for the makeup look designed by Dick Page

5. Close-up of the eye look

6. Caviar cream shadow by Shiseido

7. Close-up detail of Marie’s lasered skirt

8. Close-up of Romina’s look


For more behind the scene pics, check out our Fashion Week photo coverage.

The Little Black Bridesmaid Dress: Guest Blogger

It seems like we have an endless list of weddings to attend these days, which means we’re constantly in need of some serious style advice. Thankfully, Ilana Stern, Founder and CEO of Weddington Way, an online boutique filled with gorgeous wedding party style picks, is sharing her wisdom with us all week long.


1. Necklace | 2. Dress | 3. Earrings | 4. Bracelet | 5. Self-Tanner | 6. Cream Eye Color | 7. Eye Shadow

The all black look is as much of a mainstay in the fashion world as white dresses are for brides—classic, timeless, and flattering on almost everyone.  We saw head-to-toe black in a number of Spring 2013 Ready-to-Wear shows including the likes of Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Stella McCartney, and we think this trend would be great for a winter wedding!

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Michael Kors, Philosophy & J. Mendel: 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! 

Michael Kors:

Vibrant blue eyes by Dick Page for Shiseido

Early morning hair by Orlando Pita.

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Battle Royale References at Band of Outsiders

We loved the film-inspired concept behind Saturday’s Band of Outsiders show. Creative director Scott Sternberg looked to Japanese cult classic Battle Royale, which follows a class of ninth graders who are forced to fight for survival, while creating the collection. (Pop culture fun fact: In the last year, Battle Royale has often been referenced as a potential inspiration for the Hunger Games for somewhat obvious reason). The militaristic and feral influences inspired a clean, natural and slightly wild beauty look.

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Is Shiseido’s $13,000 Face Cream Worth The Price?

Shiseido’s new exclusive cream costs more, per gram, than gold. Photo:

More news from the Shiseido front, but in an ultra-luxury vein as opposed to the brand’s recent retrospective art exhibit in Paris. Now, the Japanese skincare powerhouse is releasing “La Creme,” an extremely limited edition face cream, in honor of its 140th anniversary. The product will be a part of the brand’s most high-end line, Clé de Peau, and will cost a whopping $13,300 for a single container (which, FYI, means that each gram of product costs roughly $265—which is more expensive than gold).

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Beauty Pop-ups Are Percolating In Paris

This weekend’s Shiseido exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo museum showed the evolution of the brand’s imagery. (Photo:

As if we didn’t already have 70 million different reasons to visit The City of Light, we now have a few more: this month, Paris will be home to several exciting beauty pop-ups. First, there’s the new Nike pop-up barbershop where you can score a haircut in the image of your favorite soccer player—for free! There’s also the Courréges pop-up where you can get a speedy chignon from stylist Christophe Nicolas-Biot. And last, but certainly not least, this past weekend Shiseido exhibited 140 years of graphics and designs from its history at the Palais de Tokyo. Someone get us a on flight, s'il vous plait!

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Team Intros: Meet Miko!

A food-lover to the core, Miko has tons of restaurant experience from her college days and beyond, and—get this—was the producer of an online cooking show prior to joining our team! Here at Birchbox HQ, she’s already gained a reputation for her delicious-looking homemade lunches; somehow, our Seamless salads just don’t quite stack up to her aromatic creations. But we don’t just hang around Miko’s desk because we’re hoping she’ll throw us a bite of her ratatouille (though that’s definitely part of the reason). For her extensive experience working with startups, her passion for entrepreneurship, and her unique and worldly perspective, we’re always eager to hear what this adorable Brooklynite has to say.

Name/Title: Miko Mercer, Merchandising & Marketing Manager

Hometown: No hometown! I’m what they call a “third culture kid,” someone who grew up moving around overseas (Singapore & Japan). But I’ve almost hit the 10 year mark of being in NYC, so now I call Brooklyn home.

Unofficial role: Home-cooked-lunch Master Chef

Fun fact: On nights and weekends, I’m a part-time BBQ taste tester! I get to eat some of the best brisket in NYC as my boyfriend starts up his BBQ business.

Beauty confession: I can’t leave the house without curling my eyelashesit’s been a habit since I was 12 years old!

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Before & After: The Great Blotting Paper Test

Before and after using Shiseido’s blotting papers   

No matter how much powder I load onto my face in the mornings, by afternoon my T-zone always gets incredibly oily. And by oily, I mean the slippery, gross kind of shine that makes me want to run home to wash my face a million times. Since that’s not feasible during the workday, I rely on every Birchbox staffer’s secret mattifying weapon: blotting papers. And no one makes a more dependable version than Shiseido.

As my iPhone pics attest, their Pureness Oil-Control Blotting Papers soak up grease without ruining the makeup I spent half an hour applying (hey, it’s Friday night, and this girl has a hot date). In fact, I’ve already decided to keep a pack in my purse for any touch-ups throughout the night. While my date might give me a weird look when I say “excuse me while I go blot my nose,” I already anticipate plenty of trips to the bathroom. Learn more about Shiseido’s blotting papers after the jump!

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