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What’s on Birchbox Staffers’ Desks: España Edition!

Time for another edition of one of our all-time favorite conceits: What’s on Staffers’ Desks. Now that we have four international offices—New York, Barcelona, Paris, and London—we’ve got plenty of fun snapshots to share from the Birchbox universe! 

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Among my desk must-haves is my prized Maneki-neko, a traditional, Japanese beckoning cat said to bring its owner good luck. My desk companion’s outfit changes from time to time—right now he’s rocking a twistband hair tie around his neck.

To remind me of the important things in life, I always keep a picture of my son Alex close by. Since I’m always running to and from meetings with brands, I keep my favorite perfume, Annick Goutal’s Mandragore, and my Benefit They’re Real at hand for on-the-fly touch-ups. That mascara is seriously the best that I’ve ever tried.

What do you keep on your desk?

—Ruth, Commercial Manager, Birchbox Spain

Buh-Bye, Stress: The Trick to Staying Zen During the Holidays

The holiday hustle-bustle will be a breeze this year. (Photo: wearefrends.com/birchbox.com)

A sad truth about the holidays: I am always busier in December than I am at any other time of the year (except maybe fashion week). With all the parties, get togethers and last minute gift-shopping trips, I can barely find more than a few seconds of “me” time to breathe. That’s why I make the most of the time that I do have by turning my apartment into a mini Zen palace. The secret? A relaxation trifecta of aromatherapy, candle light and soothing music. (If I can’t make it to the spa, darn it, I’ll bring the spa to me.)

But here’s the power-up move I’ve been using that really helps me get the most from precious stolen moments: I share these relaxation tips with friends and family, most especially the guys in my life. (Calm friends = calm me). Since most gents I know—hi, big brother!—find constant holiday socializing even more vertigo-inducing than I do, I’ve noticed that teaching them these tricks means I have one less stressor to worry about. Here are the candles, and appropriate music pairings, that I’m using this holiday season to soothe wrecked nerves and melt away stress: 

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A Different Kind of Perfume: Today’s Obsession

If there is one beauty product I can’t live without, it’s perfume. Unlike makeup or skincare, fragrance doesn’t require any brushes or fussing around. It’s instantly gratifying and, at least for me, completely mood-changing.

This summer, I’ve become a fan of scented lotions—both on their own and also layering underneath their perfume counterparts. For as long as I could remember, I avoided fragranced creams because they never quite replicated the top and base notes of their spritz-on counterparts. And a cream never had the same out-the-door ease as a rollerball or spray-on.

But then I started playing around with Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien Perfumed Body Cream and Oscar de la Renta’s Live in Love Body Lotion, both of which are gorgeous on their own and happily long-lasting when paired with their matching scent. Eau D’Hadrien is a citrusy blast with notes of lemon, grapefruit, and cypress, while Oscar de la Renta’s fragrance has a topnote of jasmine, with hints of bergamot and hyacinth. 

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