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Packing List: Get Jess to the Greek (Islands)

Eep! Our fonts are shivering in their sans serif boots because our creative director, Jess, is going to be gone for two whole weeks. She’s headed to Greece for a much-deserved vacation (hopefully she’ll score some Korres products while she’s there). Here’s what she’s bringing.

I’m leaving the Birchbox pink behind for the blue water of Greece to celebrate my anniversary and take a vacation! I’ll be island hopping, eating, drinking, and getting in as much beach time in as possible. My packing list includes a little of everything, but with zero plans of dolling up: I’m on vacation, which means it’s time to leave the hair dryer at home :)

1. A last-minute swimwear find, an easy mix-and-match raspberry bikini from Topshop.

2. I’ll be adding to my Greek glow with Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten (I got it in my June Birchbox and have been obsessed ever since).

3. Marvis Classic Mint toothpaste is the perfect mint and beats any travel-size toothpaste from the drugstore.

4. I am, and will always be, obsessed with Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads and will pack a few just in case it rains.

5. Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner for day-to-night.

6. YSL Touche Eclat for any quick brightening needs.

7. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan.

8. No map, we’re going with no agenda and no guide!

While Jess is lolling about on a white sand beach, we’ll be hanging at Birchbox HQ. Find out what four different staffers consider daily essentials.

How To: Brighten Under Eye Circles

Under eye circles might as well be flashing neon sign on your face telling everyone that you’re tired (even when you try for a full eight hours of sleep). Luckily there is a way to conceal circles, bags, and other not-so-pretty features and brighten your entire face in the process. Check out our brand-new video featuring makeup artist Nam Vo’s three-step approach.

We’ve used the following products:

Step 1: Eye Cream: Dr. Dennis Gross Lift & Lighten Eye Cream
Step 2: Highlighter: YSL Touche Eclat
Step 3: Concealer: Armani Master Corrector 

-Lorelei

For more fabulous eye-enhancing products check our special section in the Birchbox Shop.

Guest Blogger Dorothy McGivney’s NY Essentials

Welcome to our new Guest Blogger series! As much as we love to chatter on about our respective obsession (Mollie, cookies; Meredith, brows; Lorelei, nails), a little variety is always good. From time to time we’ll hand over this space to one of our very lovely, very savvy friends. First up: Dorothy McGivney, founder of Jauntsetter.

When you’re in NY, what’s always in your bag?

I’m a real minimalist when it comes to makeup, and it’s only in my 30s that I’m learning how to apply it without looking like a clown. Luckily, Laura Mercier’s Lip Plumper in Wildberry looks natural, with just a hint of shine, and it’s pretty impossible to put it on incorrectly. Touch Eclat from YSL is another handy tool to have at the ready for easy coverups. And I have a little hotel shampoo-sized container of Jojoba Oil I always carry in the winter that I rub on my hands, or sometimes dab on my face, whenever my skin is feeling dry.

Read who else is obsessed with YSL’s Touche Eclat (besides us!).

Pick up Laura Mercier’s user-friendly Lip Glace in our Shop.

Brighten Undereye Circles with YSL’s Touche Eclat Magic Illuminator

At yesterday’s video shoot, we talked a lot about undereye darkness. The best defense against undereye circles and bags is tons of sleep. Since that isn’t always an option we turn to the next best thing: magic highlighters. In my option, and I’ve had plenty of experience with camouflaging tiredness, a great brightener trumps a great concealer. I love YSL’s Touche Eclat, a peach-toned liquid that brightens the entire eye area. (I’m not alone - it’s the company’s top-seller and a staple of makeup artists and beauty gurus everywhere.) At $40 it isn’t inexpensive, but I think it’s absolutely worth it. For something a little less spendy, try Smashbox’s Photo Op Under Eye Brightener. It’s a little lighter so it doesn’t have as dramatic as an effect as the Touche Eclat, but I still keep it in my desk for 6pm pick-me-ups. I also love Benefit’s Ooh La Lift, a pink-toned creamy highlighter that makes you look wide-awake even when you’re not. In the morning I apply brightener under my eyes before concealer (though often I skip concealer), and then reapply in the evenings (over my makeup) if I’m going out.

For more tips on getting flawless skin, watch our video on applying foundation.

Check out our makeup collection, including great face illuminators, in the Birchbox Shop.

—Mollie