Birchbox staffers are an eclectic bunch with a variety of fascinating backgrounds. Case in point? Operations associate Nathaniel Yordan. Prior to being scooped up by the Birchbox team, this globetrotter whipped lackluster complexions into shape as a professional makeup artist for industry heavyweights like Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier. We took advantage of his seemingly bottomless store of beauty knowledge to solve the ultimate busy gal’s dilemma: seamlessly transitioning makeup from day to night. Equipped with Coastal Scents’s Metal Mania Palette Set, he showed us how to get a mini 5 o’clock makeover. Click through to learn how he transformed fellow Ops Team associate Molly!
Day: For an everyday office look, Nathaniel suggests sticking to neutral shades that can easily be jazzed up for an evening out. Mimicking her go-to morning routine, Molly dabbed on ORIGINS GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer then applied a thin layer of Marcelle Golden Glow BB Cream with her finger tips to even out her complexion. Next, Nathaniel stepped in and applied Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Base in light to medium all over Molly’s lids to up her shadow’s staying power. Thanks to her naturally wide-awake appearance, he skipped concealer and advised that when looking for the perfect color-correcting eye base, “avoid formulas with the word ‘creamy’ in the title—these tend to slip and crease easily.” Using a fluffy eyeshadow brush, he swept a soft terra cotta hue with barely-there sparkle onto the crease. The muted red is neutral enough for a buttoned up office environment, while the subtle gold shimmer makes it easy to transition the hue to evening. Next, he tightlined Mollie’s upper lash line using stila’s Smudge Pot in black and an angled eyeliner brush. (For a quick tutorial on tightlining check out this handy guide.) For a natural-looking flush, he blended NARS well-loved Orgasm Blush onto the high points of her cheekbones. He completed the breezy look with a swipe of theBalm® cosmetics “what’s your type” mascara and a dusting of loose translucent powder.
Night: To take any look from day to night Nathaniel says, “Dark pencil liner is your best friend.” To up the ante, he added a layer of INIKA Eyeliner in graphite along Molly’s upper lash line. This instantly brightened Molly’s brown eyes. The key, Yordan says, is adding more color. “Don’t be afraid if it’s too much, because you always blend to soften it.” He then used an angled eyeliner brush to sweep a deep purple-burgundy along Molly’s upper and lower lash line to create a winged effect. He added another coat of mascara, patted some bronzer on cheeks, and shooed her off to hit the town.
What are your tips and tricks for going from office time to play time in a hurry?
Another great option for an easy on-the-go transformation? BECCA’s Beach Tint. This non-sticky cheek and lip stain goes on smoothly and fits easily into your daintiest evening clutch.
Top 10 Most Inspired Makeup Looks at NYFW
Usually when we’re backstage at fashion week, we gravitate towards makeup that’s exaggerated or particularly bold, and typically that means it isn’t very real-world friendly. For spring 2014, however, most of what we loved could easily be translated into a more standard day-to-day or evening out look. After much consideration, here are our top picks that we can’t wait to test out ourselves.
- Marchesa: Who says you have to wear light lip colors in the spring and summer? Global Artistic Director for Revlon, Gucci Westman, bent the seasonal rules (bravo!) by applying a deep purple to lips. (Photo: Courtesy of Revlon)
- Rag & Bone: Another great lip color and another look by Gucci Westman, the citrus pouts at Rag & Bone had every beauty expert predicting this would be the “it” hue for next year. (Photo: Courtesy of Revlon)
- Jason Wu: A picture may be worth a thousand words, but this image doesn’t do the eye makeup at Jason Wu justice. Diane Kendal for Lancôme achieved shimmering rose gold lids that were both romantic and dramatic. (Photo: Courtesy of Kerastase)
- DKNY: The matte, almost stained orange pouts really stood out at DKNY. To get this particular look, artist Charlotte Willer for Maybelline first applied a nude lipstick to act as a base and make the orange really pop. (Photo: Courtesy of Maybelline)
- Cynthia Rowley: Given that Cynthia herself likes to surf, it was no surprise that the designer’s favorite pastime found its ways into the beauty inspiration. Sarah Lucero for stila made the girls look like they had gotten some color by applying a rosy hue to cheeks and the bridge of the nose, as if they had just come in from the beach. She finished everything off with the most amazing shiny pink gloss. (Photo: Courtesy of stila)
- Lela Rose: If you had told us a few weeks ago that chartreuse shadow could look cool, we would have said no way. Romy Soleimani proved us dead wrong at Lela Rose. (Photo: Courtesy of stila)
- Carmen Marc Valvo: Reaffirming that dewy is dead, makeup artist Uzo for Nars chose to do matte skin, which resulted in retro sixties-inspired eyes that really stood out. (NARS)
- Helmut Lang: While we loved the fall-esque deep cherry lip, the flushed cheeks that Hannah Murray for Nars created at Helmut Lang were a unique highlight. Instead of using blush, Murray used a crimson lipstick and lip pencil and then blended with her fingers. (Courtesy of: Nars)
- Kate Spade: Barbie-meets-Sophia Loren was the vibe at Kate Spade. To achieve that effect, Neil Scibelli for Jouer created a double cat eye using contrasting white and black liner.
- TIBI: The bold streaks of striking white shadow by Alice Lane for Maybellne brought all the focus to the eyes at Tibi. (Photo: Courtesy of Maybelline)
Check out more of our NYFW coverage here.
Our editor Candice is one of the first people we turn to for insight into the newest and best products we just have to get our hands on. A tech nerd at heart who also happens to look stunning in red lipstick, she’s equally game for discussions about comic books and the art of blending a gradient eye shadow look. In our latest video, Candice shares her picks for a fabulous fall—watch the video for her seasonal-must-haves, then check out highlights from her beauty profile and list of favorites below:
For more information about all of Candice’s picks (and to add them to your own favorites) go to Birchbox.com.
The Top 10 Coolest Hairstyles At NYFW
New York Fashion Week may have ended last week, but we’re still reveling in the backstage festivities (and recovering). At this point, however, we’ve had some time to process it all, and we’re ready to deliberate on next season’s biggest trends and most fashion-forward looks. Today we’ve rounded up our favorite hairstyles, from the totally outrageous to the completely wearable. Check back tomorrow and Friday for our top makeup and manicure picks!
- Rebecca Minkoff: The braided crown trend lives on! Frida Khalo was the muse for these unfussy updos crafted by TRESemmé stylist Jeanie Syfu. To create the style, she plaited three different ponytails into four-stranded braids before securing with pins. (Photo: Courtesy of stila)
- Zac Posen: Is there anything more romantic and feminine than white silk flowers strewn through hair? Odile Gilbert for Kérastase masterfully executed this hairstyle—and brides-to-be everywhere are swooning. (Photo: Courtesy of Kérastase)
- Cynthia Rowley: Surfer girl with edge was the style at Cynthia Rowley and Staci Child for Cutler/Redken pulled it off to a tee with her half beachy wave, half punky pulled back ‘do. (Photo: Tom Newton)
- Marchesa: Goth glamour was the vibe at Marchesa, where stylist Odile Gilbert for Kérastase adorned strands with dark, moody plumage. (Photo: Courtesy of Kérastase)
- Rachel Zoe: The perfect hybrid between a braid and a bird’s nest, this style is something you’d never want to do yourself (brushing that out must have hurt). That said, we’re so impressed by Antonio Corral’s fabulously frizzy plaits. (Photo: Courtesy of Moroccan Oil)
- Alice + Olivia: When in doubt, a sleek, low bun is always a sophisticated choice. Stylist Nick Irwin for TIGI's pro tip was to add a shine spray, flat iron the hair, and then use mousse throughout the pony before coiling it to keep flyaways at bay. (Photo: Courtesy of TIGI)
- Jason Wu: Odile Gilbert for Kérastase can take credit for the stick-straight blunt ponys at Jason Wu. To add a hint of glam, he finished the minimalist look off with gold cuffed ponytail holders—a must-have accessory for next season. (Photo: Courtesy of Kérastase)
- Kate Spade: Creating the perfect topknot might as well be an art form and hairstylist Tommy Bucket got it exactly right at Kate Spade. We especially loved that these chunky buns were slightly undone, which gave the hair a very effortless and real feel. (Photo: Tom Newton)
- Mara Hoffman: Holy braid! The butt-grazing plaits by Nick Irwin for TIGI at Mara Hoffman were too long for real life, but we definitely plan to try a modified version of this style ourselves. (Photo: Courtesy of TIGI)
- Badgley Mischka: This delicate roll by Peter Gray for Moroccan Oil is so utterly sweet, we can’t stop staring. (Photo: Courtesy of Moroccan Oil)
Want to stay in-the-know about the latest beauty trends? Sign up for Birchbox now!
A fraction of my ever-growing stila collection. Shades from bottom to top: joy, black cherry, and holly.
Admitting you have a problem is half the battle—so here goes nothing: Hi, My name is Ally and I am a lipgloss addict. My obsession started in the 6th grade. It was Christmas. Deep within my stocking lurked something completely new—a Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker in Pink Lemonade. I can still remember the spot-on flavor and light pink sheen like it was, yesterday. One swipe and I. was. hooked.
While we haven’t been students since slap bracelets ruled the halls, we still know a thing or two about prepping for a new year. To wit, we put together a collection of A+ essentials to help young Birchboxers (and Birchboxers young at heart!) start the semester in style.
One thing you’ll find inside: Willa®’s start fresh foaming facial or Willa®’s face friendly clear moisturizer. Each of these ultra-gentle formulas help to keep skin hydrated from first period to a midnight study sesh. There’s also poppin’s trusty notebook and Color Club®’s Sequins Nail Art Kit for when you’re in a note-taking or crafty mood. We’re also particularly excited about the too-cute chevron Birchbox pouch, the perfect way to store pens, pencils, and your fave new stila lip glaze.
For a closer look at these goodies and the other essentials packed in this back-to-school kit, head on over to the Birchbox Shop—supplies are limited so don’t delay!
Figuring out how to order your skincare lineup can feel like trying to solve a rubik’s cube—not impossible but clearly a challenge. You’ve got a bathroom shelf filled with products, but which comes first?
The good news is you don’t to have to be a dermatologist to learn how to get the most out of your beauty routine. Just use this nifty diagram and the tips below to layer your products like a pro.
How to Look Great Post-Flight, Tips for a Healthier Summer, The Staycation Guide, and More
We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news that we don’t want you to miss. Read them while you’re laying on the beach or relaxing indoors.
- How To: Look Great After a Long Flight: We know it’s tough to look and feel gorgeous after a few hours in the air. Thankfully makeup artist Nam Vo shared her best pre-landing touchup tricks.
Summertime sandals aren’t complete without a pretty pedi. Here’s how you can win 100 Color Club nail polishes for endless options of brights and pastels.
I can hardly believe it, but this weekend I’m headed to sunny southern California to celebrate my college roommate’s big day. In a perfect reflection of her personality, Tammy’s wedding will be easy-going (hello, beautiful vineyard), understated, and charmingly romantic (make-your-own candy bag stations!).
Aside from the ceremony, my trip will be all laid-back California style and lush winery backdrops, so I’m packing long-lasting makeup formulas to survive the 90-degree heat and comfy-yet-presentable duds for any vino-tasting detours.
Makeup Tips for Looking Fabulous Straight off a Plane
Over the next few weeks it seems like everyone in the Birchbox office is jetting off somewhere fun. Ally is in Equador right now (lucky!), editor Candice has been working from San Francisco this weekend, and even I’m heading off to Denver in a few days for a friend’s wedding. Summer really is our favorite time to get out of the office and enjoy some sun.
Unfortunately I usually step off the plane looking like death warmed over (especially if it’s more than a few hours long flight) and I know I’m not alone. The last thing I want to do while traveling is worry about a full makeup routine, so this month we asked makeup artist Nam Vo to share a few really easy tricks for looking downright amazing when you step off the plane. Throw these products (all under TSA’s 3.4 FL OZ limit) in your carry-on and you’ll be fresher and more polished when you step off the plan than when you stepped on. Happy traveling!
Find more beauty tips and expert advice on the Birchbox YouTube channel.