I recently moved from the Pacific Northwest to New York City, which meant I had to do more than your average spring cleaning while packing. Middle school notebooks and the skirt I wore once could not make the trek with me. This also meant cutting down on my beauty products—and if you’re anything like me, you likely have plenty of barely used products that have to go.
My biggest culprit? Bottles of lotion. I had quite the supply of gifted creams that piled up over the years, and moving gave me the motivation to finally toss the non-essentials. That left me with only one lotion each for face, body, hands, and feet. It was a tough task for someone who loves variety in her routine, but I’m happy to know that now when I reach for a bottle, it will be my favorite every time. Here are the top picks that made it onto my vanity in New York:
JolieBox co-founder Mathilde Lacombe. Yes, we have a ginormous girl crush on her.
Last week, we spilled the beans about our international expansion and our acquisition of JolieBox. Today, we’re introducing you to Mathilde Lacombe, the company’s co-founder and editorial director. Mathilde began as a beauty blogger and Elle reporter before starting JolieBox with four friends. She says, “I’m a complete beauty addict! I love discovering new brands and trends and learning other girls’ beauty habits.” Hmm…we think Mathilde and her crew will fit in perfectly at the Birchbox offices. The 24-year-old editor now oversees JolieBox’s editorial and marketing teams in the UK, France, and Spain—and recently got married! We’ll be adding periodic dispatches from Mathilde and her editors soon—for now, here’s a little bit about her!
Just the other day, we were lamenting the lack of pom pom-embellished hats on the market. Happily, Of a Kind’s latest designer, Annie Larson of ALL Knits, understands the value of a well-placed pom. Grab her La Giraffe hat before it sells out, then check out her favorite healthy hair products.
Annie Larson of ALL Knitwear on Keeping Super-Long Hair in Check
Annie Larson is an unfussy kind of girl who makes truly amazing, candy-colored knits for her line ALL Knitwear. Since she produces every single piece herself from her new studio in Bushwick, that means most days on the job don’t require eye liner or fancy perfume. Really healthy hair, though? That’s key. And to achieve it, Annie has two essentials. “My slight waves and natural coarseness can make well-rounded dreadlocks in just a few days, so a good conditioner is absolutely necessary,” she explains. “Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Conditioner is the only one I’ve found that really works for my hair.” In lieu of any sort of styling product, she turns to much-loved magical serum that is Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil. “Many people swear by this product, and I am happy to join the ranks in fortifying its reputation,” Annie adds. “I rub a very small amount between my fingers and run along the tips of my hair anytime I’m about to leave the house, twisting slightly at the ends. Once a week, I use just a little bit more—never too much—and massage my scalp as a pre-conditioner before I wash my hair. I also love the scent of the oil and am happy to have hints of it in my hair and in my home.”
Talented peeps with excellent beauty advice: meet more Of a Kind star designers here.
A little while ago while doing research for a story about easy ways to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly, we came across a site we love: Practically Green (@practicallygrn). Dedicated to helping people take smart healthy actions in their daily lives, the site is a plethora of information—including lots about skin-care and cosmetics (follow them on Facebook, too). We asked the ladies of Practically Green, Rebecca, Sarah, and Kristen, to divulge their fave products and over the next few days, we’ll hear from each of them about what their individual recommendations are for lips, face, eyes, and body.
Weleda Aloe Vera Body Lotion, Biggs & Featherbelle Sweet Coffee Scrub, Weleda Skin Food, Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil, Aura Cacia Organics Sesame Oil, Shea Radiance Pure Shea Butter Chocolate Truffle, Alaffia Shea Butter Moisturizing Body Lotion
Rebecca: Some people can’t wake up without their morning coffee. I, on the other hand, can’t wake up without my Sweet Coffee Scrub from Biggs & Featherbelle. It took a little getting used to at first, like I was playing with dirt in the shower, but I was won over by the invigorating coffee aroma, the supreme exfoliating power, and the feel of my legs after using it. If you need additional softening for trouble spots, try Weleda’s Skin Food, which is pure magic.
Sarah: I cannot live with out this combo from Weleda: a dollop of Aloe Vera Body Lotion mixed with a few drops of Wild Rose Body Oil. Smooth over freshly exfoliated skin and you’ll experience heavenly bliss. Once a week I’ll use Aura Cacia Organics Sesame Oil or Almond Oil all over, including my face.
Kristen: Post-shower, the key to the best, most radiant glowing skin is always moisturizing. My recommendation: Shea Radiance’s Chocolate Truffle Pure Shea Butter. It’s a sweet treat for the skin and only has three ingredients: unrefined shea butter, cocoa butter, and cocoa and vanilla essential oils. I also love Alaffia Kola Ginger Shea Butter Body Lotion, which smells amazing, like a warm gingerbread cookie. I get compliments everywhere I go.
For more skin food, check out our Birchbox Shop.
A little while ago while doing research for a story about easy ways to make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly, we came across a site we love: Practically Green (@practicallygrn). Dedicated to helping people take smart healthy actions in their daily lives, the site is a plethora of information—including lots about skincare and cosmetics (follow them on Facebook, too). We asked the ladies of Practically Green, Rebecca, Sarah, and Kristen, to divulge their fave products. Over the next few days, we’ll hear from each of them about their individual recommendations for lips, face, eyes, and body.
Algenist Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Éminence Organic Skin Care Coconut Milk Cleanser, HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury Grits & Honey Scrub, Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum, Weleda’s Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion
Rebecca: I recently discovered HollyBeth’s Natural Luxury Grits & Honey Scrub and now I can’t live without it. It smells good enough to eat and exfoliates while leaving skin super soft. Plus, you have to love a product that only has four ingredients: corn meal, honey, organic sweet almond, and organic vitamin E. I’m also obsessed with Weleda’s Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion because it goes on so smoothly and the scent is amazing.
Kristen: I just began using Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C Serum about a week ago and I can already notice a huge difference in my complexion. My skin is softer, smoother, and feels incredible. As I’m a sucker for anything with coconut in it, from Almond Joys to Piña Coladas, I felt it necessary to buy Éminence Organic Skin Care’s Coconut Milk Cleanser. The smell is amazing and reminded me of macaroons! Plus, it got off all my makeup (even stubborn mascara and eyeliner), was very gentle, and did not sting my eyes.
Sarah: Algenist’s Anti-Aging Moisturizer is pricey, but once I finish the sample I’ve been using, I’ll be ready to throw down for the full-size. What’s really interesting about the product, aside from its effectiveness, is how it came into existence. A team of biotech scientists in San Francisco were looking to develop a renewable energy source from microalgae and unexpectedly discovered the product’s key ingredient: alguronic acid. A powerful compound that regenerates and protects microalgae cells, alguronic acid also has fantastic anti-aging properties and clinical studies have shown that it increases cellular regeneration by up to 55 percent.
Find other amazing facial products in our Birchbox Shop.
The Fresh truck; Sugar tinted lip treatment in Rose
The Stila Loves Roxy Bus
Weleda’s Biodiesel Truck
Shiseido’s luxury trailer
Food and makeup—both are fun and necessary, and now both come served in trucks! We are always up to grab a quick mobile bite, but cool beauty brands have recently managed to one-up our favorite sidewalk servers. I’ve always wondered what goes on behind the window of a food truck—it’s a huge mystery how one or two people can prepare, cook and serve all that food—but the beauty industry lets you go on in and check it out.
Last Thursday, a few of us went to investigate. First, we hit up Fresh’s Kiss & Tell Truck and got our lips pampered. We exfoliated and tried out the Sugar tinted lip treatment—my favorite was Rose.
Next, we hopped on over to the other side of Bryant Park for the Stila Loves Roxy Bus. To showcase the new waterproof collection hitting Quicksilver and Roxy flagship stores in July, guests were given makeovers as well as some of the new products. Brand relationship manager Rachel tested out (and loved) the Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner, which is the first of its kind from Stila. As if giving away samples wasn’t enough—there was wine, candy and cupcakes. It was a makeup and food lovers’ dream.
But these are only two of many companies who are embracing the trend—Weleda made an appearance last year in NYC with its Honestly Natural, Truly Beautiful Tour before it set out across the rest of North America to spread the word about its organic products. And Shiseido just finished a nine city Mobile Tour across the U.S., giving visitors the chance to get free facials and score samples inside a luxury-outfitted airstream trailer.
Trucks, buses, and trailers are cool and all, but we want to know what’s next—hot air balloons? Makeup artists riding rickshaws? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Check out some other great products from Stila and more in our Birchbox Shop.
We’re always striving to integrate more natural brands and products into our skincare regimin and Weleda is one of our recent faves. The brand has been around since 1921 and takes an holistic approach to skincare and beauty. Not is Weleda committed to using natural and organic ingredients, but their products are super effective and smell amazing. Today we’ve got green and good intel from CEO of Weleda North America, Jasper van Brakel.
1. What’s one easy way to be green year round?
Well, Weleda’s Skin Food will literally keep you and your bathroom green year-round. Not only does it come in green packaging, but it’s made with organic plant, seed and nut oils. Buying organic ingredients—and personal care products made with them—is one good way green your life and our world. Organic farming keeps pesticides out of our waterways and ensures better health for farmers and their families.
2. What’s your must-have grooming product?
For the lack of a Weleda shampoo, John Masters shampoos are among my favorites. Weleda’s Men’s Shaving Cream is also one of my favorite grooming products, because it smells fresh, is silky and doesn’t irritate my skin.
3. What’s worth the splurge, beauty or otherwise?
For one thing, I indulge in great, fresh food and delicious wines. To me, anything that has superior quality and is produced in a sustainable or socially responsible way is worth the splurge.
4. If you weren’t running Weleda, what would you be doing?
I’d provide micro-credit and mentoring to entrepreneurs in developing countries.
5. What’s your favorite ritual?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, because I have a morning and an evening ritual that I always look forward to. Every morning when I get to the office, I make an organic cappuccino. And every night, I read my children a bedtime story. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Read more about Weleda and why we’re so excited about their products on our brand page.
We knew we liked LivLuna when we first read their mantra: “A digital tribe of fun fearless females who love natural beauty, healthy fitness and food, body positivity, yoga, eco-fashion, and social justice.” That’s why we’re super excited to have their CEO and founder, Maria Olson, guest blogging for us this week on a variety of topics, from eating healthily (and without guilt!) to her fave eco-friendly fashion finds.
Korres Guava Body Butter: I am obsessed with the smell of guava, and I love the Korres body butters. The lotion is rich enough to actually moisturize my skin, without having to rub it in too much. My skin feels smooth without that gooey feeling and it’s total aromatherapy.
Pangea Organics Eye Cream: I love Pangea products. And their eye cream is wonderfully hydrating and aromatherapeutic-ly scented. I also feel like it helps lighten my dark undereye circles.
suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser: I keep a jar of my beloved suki Sugar in my shower. I love this product so much! I’ve tried so many and this is my favorite exfoliator. I admit it, I adore the sweet lemon smell and taste. I try not to actually eat it…but knowing that it is real sugar makes it so much sweeter.
Pangea Organics Lip Balm: The Pangea lip balm is a staple in my purse, as it doesn’t dry out my skin, and smells yummy and organic.
Pangea Organics Balancing Oil: My daytime moisturizer is this oil because it balances out my skin, prevent breakouts, and give me essential hydration and protection. After toner, I always follow up with fingertips full of this product all over my face, neck, and décolleté.
Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion: Weleda products are a staple in my bathroom. I love this yummy lotion, which I use after showers and at night in the spring and summer on my face, neck and décolleté because it’s light and not too heavy. The wild rose smells divine and supposedly helps with broken capillaries, which I have plenty of…
Find all of these products and so much more, all in our Birchbox Shop!
This weekend, I went home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. Since my mom is an avid follower of our blog, I couldn’t post this on Friday for fear that she’d see it. I grew up in Miami but my parents moved to Maine seven years ago and haven’t looked back since. When I go home, it’s a complete reversal of my New York life, which is why I love it: quiet with nothing to do besides sit in the kitchen and read the paper or take my dog for walks along the water. (Oh, and the J.Crew outlet. There’s that.) Accordingly, I wear zero makeup when I’m home. Here’s what I brought instead.
AHAVA Dermud Intensive Foot Cream: My feet are a mess. Since I haven’t had the time to get a pedicure, I’m going to try to take advantage of being in a real house (access to a bath tub!) by giving myself an at-home pedi: soak, pumice, finish with tons of this rich lotion.
Lavanila The Healthy Body Wash in Vanilla Grapefruit: This is my favorite new body wash, so I’m bringing one home for my mom, too. It’s part of my plan to slowly make over her bathroom, product by product. This paraben- and synthetic-free suds is good for the skin, and smells so good I want to eat it.
Deborah Lippmann ‘My Old Flame’: My mom is extremely low-maintenance but she loves getting her toes done with bright colors. I’m giving her this classic, creamy red to take with her to the nail salon the next time she goes.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel: I have been terrible about making the time to use a mask, event though I know my skin is in need of some serious exfoliation (dull, dry). This alpha hydroxy peel will work for both me and my mom, so I’ll make her do it too!
Weleda Skin Food: My dad is an architect turned mini Bob Vila, and he is celebrating his semi-retirement by renovating our entire house, building cold frames and raised beds for his garden, and doing other handy man things. Result: he has the roughest, most cracked hands I’ve ever seen. I’m bringing him Weleda’s super rich Skin Food in the hopes that it can remedy them.
Last night, we threw an awesome Twitter party with Weleda and The Gloss. Thanks to everyone who came out to talk about natural beauty. We got some excellent (and brain-stumping) questions that covered everything from natural deodorants to at-home beauty treatments.
The three winners of the Weleda Prize Pack (Gentle Cleansing Milk, Refining Toner, Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Lotion, Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream) worth $95 are:
Congratulations! For more natural beauty info, check out Weleda’s super informative site or read our eco-centric stories.