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Guest Blogger: Nail Down the Details

There are some pretty big sports fans at Birchbox HQ — and not just the Matts! This week, we’re excited to have Amanda Balionis, a bonafide sports expert guest blogging for us. After working as an intern for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders while at Hofstra University, Balionis went on to become a sideline reporter for Verizon FiOs1 Sports and later a MSG Show host in New York. Incidentally, she spent years battling the elements (and her pride) trying to maintain a professional on-camera appearance in torrential rain, high winds, and 100 degree weather. Having suffered beauty blunders publicly, the Florida-based sports anchor is excited to share her best tips—hopefully you can avoid some of the embarrassment she’s endured.

If there is one thing I’ve learned while being out in the field, it’s that details matter. I remember one of my first shows on camera I was so excited to hear what my friends and family thought about the content and formatting, and the most feedback I got was about my nail color.

If you’re heading out to a pool party where clothing is minimal, a great detail is your nail color. If you know you’ll be out somewhere with a lot of ladies, pick a fun shade because odds are people are going to notice. Like makeup, it’s important to put on a primer before painting your nails, especially if you’ll be in the water.

Creative Nail Design makes a primer called Stickey, which you put on right before your base coat. It also makes a topcoat called Super Shiney, and it doesn’t lie. If you don’t have time for a manicure, or are trying to cut come corners in your beauty routine, these two products will make you look like a pro.

I also am a big fan of the neutral colors for summer (boring I know, but get as bright as you want on the toes!) because if you’re super active in the summer, it’s nearly impossible to keep your nails looking pristine. With neutral colors imperfections just aren’t as noticeable and it matches with every outfit. I’m wearing Deborah Lippmann’s Naked right now which I have re-named nail perfection, because it is.

To scoop up some more great nail colors, visit our Birchbox shop

Guest Blogger: Come Straighten Away With Me

There are some pretty big sports fans at Birchbox HQ — and not just the Matts! This week, we’re excited to have Amanda Balionis, a bonafide sports expert guest blogging for us. After working as an intern for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders while at Hofstra University, Balionis went on to become a sideline reporter for Verizon FiOs1 Sports and later a MSG Show host in New York. Incidentally, she spent years battling the elements (and her pride) trying to maintain a professional on-camera appearance in torrential rain, high winds, and 100 degree weather. Having suffered beauty blunders publicly, the Florida-based sports anchor is excited to share her best tips—hopefully you can avoid some of the embarrassment she’s endured.


So as a naturally curly gal that straightens my hair every day, I’ve had my fair share of nightmares had dealing with hot and humid weather. Yes, I’ve had real-life hair disasters since I was 13 years old. Now add into the equation that I’ve recently moved to Florida where the humidity never stops, which really threw me for a loop. That is, until I figured out some simple tricks to keep my hair under control.

First and foremost, if you have coarse, naturally curly hair like me then its completely unnecessary to wash your hair every day. My hair simply doesn’t get greasy except for the roots and to remedy that, I call on miracle worker Oscar Blandi. When living in Manhattan, I would have had to sacrifice rent to even step into his salon, but thankfully he has shared some of his secrets with the public, and one of those secrets is his dry shampoo. Simply tap some of the white powder onto your hair line and rub it in until it disappears. It also adds volume to your roots and most of the time my hair looks way better after Blandi gets involved.

Not washing your hair every day will also control frizz, but anyone with hair like mine should definitely invest in a straightener. I’ve spent a small fortune on straighteners and hands down the best one it is by Babyliss. At 450 degrees, it gets the job done quickly and seals out humidity. Before heading outside, use a few spritzes of flexible hairspray to ensure a frizz-free look. If all else fails, throw on a fedora because a cute hat masks even the most disastrous hair.

For more great products to help maintain healthy hair, visit our Birchbox shop

Guest Blogger: These Lips Are Made For Color

There are some pretty big sports fans at Birchbox HQ — and not just the Matts! This week, we’re excited to have Amanda Balionis, a bonafide sports expert guest blogging for us. After working as an intern for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders while at Hofstra University, Balionis went on to become a sideline reporter for Verizon FiOs1 Sports and later a MSG Show host in New York. Incidentally, she spent years battling the elements (and her pride) trying to maintain a professional on-camera appearance in torrential rain, high winds, and 100 degree weather. Having suffered beauty blunders publicly, the Florida-based sports anchor is excited to share her best tips—hopefully you can avoid some of the embarrassment she’s endured.


Lips are good for so many things: sipping summer cocktails by the pool, rejecting pickup lines during happy hour after work, or just showing off with beautiful color and shine.

I’ve always been super conservative when it comes to gloss and lipstick. I had basically been wearing the same shade since high school, a subtle pink gloss, until a makeup artist introduced to me to her collection, which made me realize it was time to break out of my shell. I tried out reds, pinks, mattes, glosses, and found out that these colors are pretty much universally accepted whether it’s brunch or a night out.

Try out a lot of shades and see what you feel most comfortable wearing, or maybe take a chance on a bright red or purple that you’d never think to try. After all, playing with makeup should always be fun, right? Once you find a couple of shades you like, bring them with you everywhere and it can really take your daytime look to the next level. A good rule of thumb is to tone down the rest of your makeup if you plan on wearing a super-bright lip.

I really like Josie Maran’s Magic Marker lip stain and Aragon Color Stick. One side is a marker-like liner and the other side is a hydrating balm that also packs in a bold, beautiful color. I’m also obsessed with MAC’s Sheen Supreme. It’s a mix between a lipstick and a lip gloss so it glides on great, but has serious staying power.

I also always keep a lip conditioner in my bag. My addiction to Rosebud’s lip salve has been going on for years and the end is not in sight. So have fun with color because margaritas just taste better with sassy lips!

For more great lip products, visit our Birchbox shop

Guest Blogger: Accentuate Your Eyes

There are some pretty big sports fans at Birchbox HQ — and not just the Matts! This week, we’re excited to have Amanda Balionis, a bonafide sports expert guest blogging for us. After working as an intern for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders while at Hofstra University, Balionis went on to become a sideline reporter for Verizon FiOs1 Sports and later a MSG Show host in New York. Incidentally, she spent years battling the elements (and her pride) trying to maintain a professional on-camera appearance in torrential rain, high winds, and 100 degree weather. Having suffered beauty blunders publicly, the Florida-based sports anchor is excited to share her best tips—hopefully you can avoid some of the embarrassment she’s endured.


Yesterday I gave you some tips that work for me when it comes to keeping a fresh face when you’re working outdoors all-day and today I’m narrowing in on eye makeup in particular.

I’ve found that a light shimmery, eyeshadow works best and stays on the well throughout the whole day. Avoid sparkles, unless you’re under the age of 18. Also, a light, iridescent shade isn’t noticeable if it starts to wear off, but a smokey eye is near impossible to keep pristine in heat and humidity. Last week I was out covering an event for work and I fell in love with Josie Maran’s eye shadows. This eco-friendly brand just can’t go wrong and absolutely nails it when it comes to eye colors that aren’t over the top. Some shades to try are Beach, Embrace, and Parfait. Bare Minerals also has incredible hues and their pinks are perfect for the daytime.

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Guest Blogger: Matte Is Sports Anchor Amanda Balionis’s Best Friend

There are some pretty big sports fans at Birchbox HQ — and not just the Matts! This week, we’re excited to have Amanda Balionis, a bonafide sports expert guest blogging for us. After working as an intern for the New York Jets and the New York Islanders while at Hofstra University, Balionis went on to become a sideline reporter for Verizon FiOs1 Sports and later a MSG Show host in New York. Incidentally, she spent years battling the elements (and her pride) trying to maintain a professional on-camera appearance in torrential rain, high winds, and 100 degree weather. Having suffered beauty blunders publicly, the Florida-based sports anchor is excited to share her best tips—hopefully you can avoid some of the embarrassment she’s endured.

When I first started out on camera, I did my makeup the same way for all occasions. It didn’t matter if I was going out to dinner, working on the sidelines, or heading into the studio. I quickly realized that this strategy had some major flaws. Not all makeup is meant to be worn outdoors and similarly anything that works while I’m out covering the golf course for eight hours doesn’t always translate into a good evening look. So when I’m preparing to be outside all day, there are a few basic rules I follow to minimize the self-conscious feeling that I look tired, makeup-less, or sweaty. (I may be sweaty, but that’s no one else’s business.)

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