Deepica before her mane makeover (left) and after (right).
I’ll never forget my first hair coloring experience. I was in 8th grade and I somehow convinced my traditional south asian mother (who has a particular attachment to long black hair) to let me get highlights as a birthday gift. Let’s just say that the result of my highlights back then taught me one thing—moms are always right.
Since then, my desire to experiment with hair-coloring faded till it became relatively non-existent. I realized that my natural hair color suited my skin tone best, and that if I ever had an itch to change my hair, I should stick to haircuts and not new hair colors!
That all changed when I moved to New York about a year-and-a-half ago and started working at Birchbox. I live in a city with some of the best colorists in the world and am surrounded by inspiring trends everyday. How could I not take advantage of that? The real revelation happened when fellow Birchbox staffer Caitlin came into work with her hair lightened through a technique called balayage. I fell in love with the look since it wasn’t quite as dramatic as an ombre, and it felt more fresh and natural than highlights—perfect for summer!
I Battled My Boyfriend For This Face-Saving Mist
What is it? Avene’s Thermal Spring Water. This perennial beauty editor pick is a nourishing and hydrating mist from France that’s packed with minerals to calm troubled or parched skin.
Who’s it perfect for? This face spray is way more than just water. It takes 40 years for this H2O to travel through the Cevennes mountain aquifer to the thermal spring where it’s collected. During that time it picks up tons of good-for-your-skin minerals that actually help rebalance irritated dermis. It’s great for anyone—but it’s especially good for folks with eczema, psoriasis, or just generally sensitive skin. (Pro tip: you can use this all over your body to help calm redness!)
Insider deets from a Birchbox staffer: "At my college roommate’s vineyard wedding earlier this summer, she handed out bottles of this mist to keep guests cool during the outdoor reception. My boyfriend spritzed it all over his face once—and then wouldn’t give up the bottle until the next day when I needed it to calm an extra bad sunburn on my shoulders. Even then, we had to exchange some strong words (including “share!” and “what’ll you give me for it?”) before he’d let me get anywhere near it.” —Candice, Editor
Can’t wait to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about this soothing spray.
If you’re a regular reader of the Birchbox blog, you’ve probably heard us recount our deep love for Asian beauty products in the last few years. One of the first brands that we turn to for innovative Asian skincare is Dr. Jart+. The Korean line made its way over to the US a few years ago, and their BB creams (along with many other products) have been a big hit ever since.
A few months ago, the Birchbox editors had a chance to try out a few of Dr. Jart+’s more inventive products—and two of them swept us off our feet. Take a peek below to find out which hydrating and skin-clearing super-troopers editors Lorelei and Candice are crushing on.
What’s Black and Sooty and Good for Your Face?
You want me to put what I use on the backyard grill on my face? Surprisingly, yes! Charcoal is supremely effective, both at clearing away bacteria and oil without drying out skin and at de-gunking pores without any irritation. We took a trip back to chemistry class to find out exactly how this all-natural purifier works.
Here’s everything you need to know about charcoal.
Summer is ending and for our younger subscribers, that means school is right around the corner. Be sure to start the semester in style with help from our limited edition Head of the Class box, which is filled with A+ goodies including Color Club’s Sequin Nail Art Kit. Whether your back-to-school look is preppy or edgy, nail art is a great way to express your style (even if you have to wear uniforms!). Here are five ways to master your manicure using these snazzy sequins.
All-Over Glitz (thumb): For the ultimate in sequins, begin by painting one nail with one to two coats of nail polish (I’m using Ruffian Delirium). Pour a small amount of sequins onto a dish or tabletop, and while the polish is still tacky, dip the front of your nail in the sequins. Gently push down on the sequins to secure them to your nail, brushing away any excess. Use a clear top coat to seal the look. Continue nail by nail until you’ve completed your manicure. We love adding sparkle to one “statement nail” while leaving the rest simply polished.
The Ultimate Frizz-Tamer and Detangler
What is it? It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product. A cult favorite leave-in conditioner that helps you score glossy, smooth strands.
Who’s it perfect for? This mist is the Hercules of hair products—it really does tackle 10 different hair woes, which explains why everyone we know who uses it is fairly obsessed. It’s great for anyone who’s ever struggled with split ends, had out of control flyaways, or seen their hard-won color fade too quickly—and those are just a few of its many great qualities. (Did we mention that it smells just like something you’d find in a high-end salon?)
Insider deets from a Birchbox staffer: "I’m obsessed with this stuff! I use it every day. I actually discovered it at my hair salon at home a few years ago, and it’s the only product that truly gets my tangled, gnarly wet hair to be smooth and conditioned. I just need a few spritzes and a little brushing, then I’m good to go!" —Juliette, Community Manager
Can’t wait to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about this power-house hair wrangler.
One of our favorite parts of each month is catching up on all of your awesome unboxing videos. This month, our theme was Finishing Touches, where we highlighted the products and tricks that help give you that special oomph before you walk out the door. We loved seeing you all discover exciting new finds in your boxes—here are just a few of our favorite videos from this month:
What’s on Staffer’s Desks: A Skin-Brightening Exfoliator
We’re bringing back 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. Be on the lookout for these peeks into the world of Birchbox!
"I love face scrubs because you see such a huge difference in your complexion after you use them. I’ve been using Arcona’s Cranberry Gommage sort of obsessively since it has salicylic acid and volcanic minerals. Both are super potent ingredients that help clear out clogged pores (eek, blackheads!) and slough off dead skin. Every time I use it my skin feels so smooth and looks ultra-bright!”
—Candice, editor and blog manager Birchbox US
Follow one staffer’s journey to glowing, golden skin in this self-tanning diary.
5 Beach-Day Secret Weapons
Summer might be quickly coming to an end (sob)—but that doesn’t mean we’re giving up our weekends at the seashore just yet.
We’re rounded up a collection of pocket-sized, sand-friendly supplies—compact enough to stow in your shoe while you’re swimming—to keep you tidy, sun-protected, and even a bit tipsy at the beach.
From a totally no-mess SPF to Steve McQueen-worthy shades, here are the must-haves you need in your bag to finish out summer with a bang.