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February Beauty Launches 2013: Fresh, Essie, NARS, and more

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It’s a given that we love finding new products here in the Birchbox office. But we’re particularly excited for this month’s lineup of beauty launches—from a debut line of pretty, matte lipsticks from BITE Beauty, to Anastasia’s new must-have brow kit, and Beauty Protector’s detangling spray that gets rid of all our knots, there’s something for everyone. 

Don’t miss February 2013’s hottest new beauty launches.

It’s red carpet awards season! Take a cue from Hollywood and find out how to: primp like a star at home.

4 Places to Score Enviable Eyebrows in Los Angeles

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun.

We’ve been lusting after Camilla Belle’s eye-catching brows for years. (Photo: Getty Images)

Besides brilliant braids, the hottest trend on the West Coast these days is a bold brow. From Camilla Belle’s flawless arches on the red carpet (pictured) to Demi Lovato’s ever-evolving shape on X-Factor, Hollywood has totally gone Brooke Shields—and I like it.

If you find yourself in L.A., here’s a roundup of the best brow bars for every budget.

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SRSLY’s Brow Inspirations: Guest Blogger

If you haven’t heard of the online comedy series SRSLY (pronounced “seriously”) yet, let us be the proud first folks to introduce you. If you have heard of it, then you’ll know why we love the two brilliant NYU and Upright Citizen Brigade alumnae behind it. Alexandra Fiber and Danielle Gibson’s short, snappy videos are loosely based on their 20-something lives in New York. The hilarious moments adeptly touch on experiences that many of us have every day. All this week, they’re sharing their beauty inspirations in their typical witty style.

We SRSLY girls take our eyebrows, uh, seriously. We’ve been through the traumatic teenage years of late-’90s over-pluckage, but no more! Nowadays, we can’t get enough of eye-framing brows. Here’s who we look to for brow-spiration on the regular:

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(Photo: fanpop.com)

Lily Collins: Lily might’ve played Snow White in a film, but even in real life her brows are dark as night and super covetable. She makes us want to break out our darkest brow powder and never. stop. applying.

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Brow Trends At Birchbox HQ

Water cooler talk at Birchbox is a little out of the ordinary: we’re just as likely to have a ten minute cross-cubicle conversation about kohl liner as we are about the finer points of startup strategy. Case in point? A marketing meeting I was recently in suddenly morphed into a discussion about eyebrow grooming techniques. Here’s what I learned about a few of my fellow team members and how they keep their brows looking bold, groomed, and fabulous:

Staffer: Alta
Style: Medium, manicured brows
Maintenance technique of choice: Waxing
Brow Must-Have: “I can’t go a day without filling in my eyebrows using Benefit’s Brow Zings.”

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Perfect Your Brows With Makeup Artist Stefanie Syat’s Tips

Makeup artist Stefanie Syat gives Mollie some much-needed brow advice.

We’re on set with Birchbox Man today, lending a helping hand and moral support. Pre-Dame founder and all-around awesome makeup artist Stefanie Syat is here too, and we’re selfishly picking her brain. In addition to her commercial and editorial work, she also hosts tons of makeup tutorial parties. At her most recent one, Syat taught seven girls how to master their brows. “Most of the girls were either not filling them in or using a pencil the same color as their hair.” Syat says that’s a common mistake. You should be using a lighter pencil/brow color and aiming to shade in the skin underneath the hairs to give the brow a fuller, more fresh look. “You don’t want a harsh, defined brow,” Syat says.

Syat has a foolproof technique for applying color. Start at the inner corner of your eye and apply in an upward diagonal motion until you hit your arch; then, change directions and continue applying but in a downward motion. The reason, Syat says, is that you want to use the color to create lift in the middle and then lengthen the brow toward the edge. After you’ve applied the color, you can smooth any wonky hairs with a clear brow gel. Click through for Syat’s top three brow pencils!

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Get Kristen Wiig’s Tribeca Film Fest Look

Photo: justjared.com

Kristen Wiig is one of our favorite comediennes. The SNL star is smart, sassy, and gorgeous—but what’s best about her is that she can go be ladylike and feminine one minute, and then let loose and be completely ridiculous the next. (For reference, please see Bridesmaids.) It’s a skill that we all wish we could master.

At this weekend’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Wiig debuted a drop dead red carpet look at the premiere of her new movie, Revenge for Jolly! Her tousled waves and muted makeup were a perfect sophisticated style for spring. Here’s how to get the look:

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Bold Brows for a Bold Day

We’ve got plenty of personalities on the Birchbox staff, but Rachel L. may top them all. Today, the fab brand team manager rolled into the office with perfectly filled in, shaded brows and announced, “Bold brows for a bold day!” We agree. She used her trusty Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil to get the look. 

Watch our brow pencil video tutorial to learn how to shape your brows like a pro.

Products I Can’t Quit: Founder Edition

Birchbox staffers have been known to play the beauty field. With so many fun samples floating around, can you blame us for having a hard time committing? Then again, when we find something we love, we stick to it. In this new feature, we’ll be asking Birchbox staffers to share the products they just can’t quit. First up, co-founder and braid guru, Katia.

Katia, Birchbox Co-founder

Beauty profile: Combination skin, thick and dry hair, adventurous/trendy.

Products I can’t quit:

  • Benefit They’re Real: Seriously obsessed. It is a magical mascara. Gives you drama without creating clumps, and doesn’t move all day. I love that it’s dark black, but still looks pretty and natural.
  • Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo: This smells amazing and deeply cleans without drying out my hair. I think I am producing less oil in my hair since starting to use it months ago.
  • Boscia Luminizing Black Mask: This peel-off treatment is so gratifying! Black is genius because you can see everything that happens (or comes off). It clears pores without the unwelcome drama of home extractions.
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz: I won’t leave home without this. It makes a huge difference and you can easily control how much of an impact (or lack of impact) you want to make.

Bonus! Latest discoveries: 

Meet some of the newest members of the Birchbox team here!

Street Style Inspiration: The Parisian Fashion Student

We love this picture of Parisian fashion student Anne-Catherine that we found on All the Pretty Birds, one of our favorite street style blogs.  She’s so lovely with her cropped hair, oversized sweater and radiant skin, we had to try to recreate her look.  

To Get The Look:

Bold brows: Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel; $21

Perfectly in place hair: Kerastase Elixir Ultime; $54

Radiant cheeks and lips: RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek; $36

— Lorelei

Everyday Essentials: Guest Blogger

Dedicated to “what’s in your closet and on your vanity,” Samantha Fodrowski’s blog, Closet Vanity, couldn’t be more perfectly suited to our interests. This week, the busy blogger is lending us her talents and musing on some of our favorite topics like the fashion-forward red lip and au naturel makeup.

When it comes to skincare and makeup, women are constantly inundated with promises and marketing jargon (Smaller pores! Longer lashes! Lasts all day!). But nothing sells me on a product quite like a positive word-of-mouth. I’m always so curious about what products other people use and I usually scan friends’ vanities to check out their goods. I’d venture to guess I’m not the only one who loves IntoTheGloss' Top Shelf feature because it gives a refreshing look at what the most influential people in the industry actually use and like.

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