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The Korean Products That Our Editors Are Crushing On

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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. 

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5 Tips For Faking a Flawless Face Every Day

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Not all of us are born with perfect skin. If you’re like me, your face doesn’t exactly glow like a goddess when you wake up in the morning. Some women can walk out the door with just a swipe of mascara and a dash of gloss, but for me, I need at least a bit of concealer (okay, maybe A LOT of concealer) to feel presentable. I’ve accepted my imperfections but I’ve also learned a few tricks for faking flawless skin to use when I need a little extra help. Here are my favorite 5 tips:

1. The Benefit Primer That Outlasts Birchbox Co-Founder Katia’s 15-Hour Day

The very first step in having long-lasting, flawless makeup is using a great primer. After working hard to perfectly blend your foundation, there’s nothing worse than having it break up or smear throughout the day. That’s why I’ve added this Stay Flawless Primer from Benefit to my makeup arsenal. It holds up for 15-hours, which means you won’t have to worry about your makeup sliding or wearing off. 

2. Top Beauty Blunders: Foundation Blending

Now that we’ve got our face primed, next is foundation and concealer. While it may seem easy enough to blend out your base makeup, a lot of women fall victim to disastrous foundation situations. From mismatched shades to concealer abuse, these top beauty blunders expose the most common foundation blending mistakes and how to fix them. 

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The Base Makeup Coverage Spectrum

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Unlike lipstick, which is meant to be seen, base makeup is supposed to be your invisible ally, masking imperfections, evening out skin tone, and creating a perfect canvas for the rest of your makeup—without anyone knowing it’s actually there. Since that’s easier said than done, we’ve created a coverage guide to help you choose which formula is right for you. 

Base Option: Tinted Primer

Coverage Level: Barely There

Applied after moisturizer, a tinted primer glosses over fine lines, dry patches, and rough areas. For a fresh-faced look, try Laura Geller’s Beauty Spackle® Tinted Under Make-up Primer in Bronze. The sheer bronze tint adds a subtle hint of color, while the antioxidant-infused formula hydrates thirsty skin. (Follow with actual foundation if you need extra coverage.)

Base Option: Tinted Moisturizer

Coverage Level: Au Naturel

Along the spectrum between bare skin and full-on foundation, tinted moisturizer hews closer to the former. To score this natural look, smooth on a thin layer over your face and down onto your neck, then continue with your regular makeup routine. Our entire team (minus the manfolk) is obsessed with Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint. The oil-free formula feels positively weightless on, but provides smooth, even coverage and a radiant glow. 

Base Option: BB Cream

Coverage Level: Sheerly Beloved 

Originally designed to help post-peel patients mask redness, BB creams (which stand for beauty or blemish balms) combine the functions of a primer, antiaging serum, moisturizer, and light foundation in one product. Our current fave? Canadian import Marcelle, which infuses your complexion with just the right amount of color while antioxidants, aloe, and chamomile soothe, moisturize, minimize the appearance of pores and blemishes, and protect against aging. 

Base Option: CC Cream

Coverage Level: Department of Corrections 

CC Creams (aka color or complexion correction cream) are the latest alphabet-based beauty wunderkind. If you have acne, dark spots, or dull skin, a CC cream may be more up your alley. Unlike semisheer BB formulations, CC creams offer more coverage but still feel light on skin. If your skin is particularly picky, try Pür Minerals CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 40. Made with clarifying meadowsweet and brightening wheat germ extract, the silicone-free formula erases dark spots and evens out overall skin tone, plus protect your complexion from harmful (and aging) UV rays.. 

Base Option: Foundation

Coverage Level: Photoshop Finish 

In our next life, we’d like to request a luminous complexion that needs nary a spot corrector. Till then, there’s nothing like liquid foundation to give you the look of perfect skin. Unlike the cakey foundations of yesteryear, Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! expertly masks imperfections without feeling too heavy. A beauty editor favorite, it delivers oil-free moisture and a smooth, flawless finish that stays true to its name. 

—Ally

For more top-notch coverage options, check out beauty Grace Atwood’s curated shop.  

Skincare 101: How to Layer All Those Products On Your Vanity

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Figuring out how to order your skincare lineup can feel like trying to solve a rubik’s cube—not impossible but clearly a challenge. You’ve got a bathroom shelf filled with products, but which comes first? 

The good news is you don’t to have to be a dermatologist to learn how to get the most out of your beauty routine. Just use this nifty diagram and the tips below to layer your products like a pro.

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7 New Mom Essentials That We’d Give to Kate Middleton

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After weeks of worldwide anticipation, this afternoon the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a royal baby boy! We’re so excited for the new parents and send them our hearty congratulations. If we could, we’d also send some handpicked Birchbox-style gifts to help Kate get through her first few weeks of motherhood. From pampering products to multitaskers, here’s what we would bestow upon the duchess.
  1. Molton Brown Heavenly Gingerlily Moisture Bath Shower: For those sluggish early mornings (following sleepless nights), this luxurious British shower gel’s mix of ginger and cardamom would help energize and rejuvenate.

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Dispatch from Seoul: 7 Fascinating Korean Beauty Products

South Korea has become ground zero for beauty innovation in the last few years (BB creams, anyone?). Lucky for us, former Birchbox copywriter Mai, is teaching English in Seoul this summer—and sending us weekly updates about her finds in beauty, food, and beyond. Here, she rounds up the coolest beauty products she’s spotted in her short time on the ground.

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Sheet and clay masks come in a jaw-dropping array of varieties here in Seoul. 

I didn’t realize how truly prevalent beauty culture was in Korea until a recent trip through a subway station in Gangnam, the trendy neighborhood south of the river that bisects Seoul. Wedged in between a coffee stand and a convenience store, a popular beauty boutique called Nature Republic was advertising a sale—and it was packed with groups of women silently elbowing each other as they rifled through nail polishes and BB creams. The way they were clamoring for products reminded me of how New Yorkers fight over designer jeans at the legendary Barney’s Warehouse Sale.

Though I avoided the underground shopping spree, my curiosity was piqued, and in the course of a single day I visited a slew of beauty stores. Korean outposts feature a wider range of products than I ever could have imagined. Even after years of testing products for Birchbox, I was blown away by the selection. Here are some of the products that caught my eye.

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Makeup Tips for Looking Fabulous Straight off a Plane

Over the next few weeks it seems like everyone in the Birchbox office is jetting off somewhere fun. Ally is in Equador right now (lucky!), editor Candice has been working from San Francisco this weekend, and even I’m heading off to Denver in a few days for a friend’s wedding. Summer really is our favorite time to get out of the office and enjoy some sun.

Unfortunately I usually step off the plane looking like death warmed over (especially if it’s more than a few hours long flight) and I know I’m not alone. The last thing I want to do while traveling is worry about a full makeup routine, so this month we asked makeup artist Nam Vo to share a few really easy tricks for looking downright amazing when you step off the plane. Throw these products (all under TSA’s 3.4 FL OZ limit) in your carry-on and you’ll be fresher and more polished when you step off the plan than when you stepped on. Happy traveling!

—Lorelei

Find more beauty tips and expert advice on the Birchbox YouTube channel.

Packing List: Heading to Guatemala with Pencils of Promise!

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Earlier this year, we gave you an update on the Pencils of Promise school that we built in Pasebeyena, Guatemala. The three-classroom school has been open since December 13th, and this weekend Katia, Hayley, and I are getting the (amazing) opportunity to visit it. The phenomenal PoP team has put together a jam-packed itinerary for us, including community visits, cultural activities (Lema weaving classes!), and of course plenty of time with the school staff and students. (We’ll also be zip-lining—eek!)

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The Birchbox school in Pasebeyena, Guatemala, right after completion!

We’ve already been studying our pre-departure packets, which has handy information on the local currency and slang, and grabbing SPF samples off Birchbox staffers’ desks. In addition to snacks and bathing suits, here are some of the items the three of us will be packing:

Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial TowelettesSingle-use wipes are to travel what sprinkles are to ice cream—that is, non-negotiable. We’re fans of Yes To’s oil-free wipes for their citrusy scent and gentle, but satisfying exfoliating effect.

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Chanel Introduces Two Never Before Seen Polish Shades, A BB Cream Tea, And More
Chanel’s summer polish collection, L’ete Papillion Polish Trio, features two iridescent pigments that are exclusive to their polishes. [She Finds]
Drink up! Kusmi Tea has created a beverage BB cream to detoxify the impurities on your face. [Style.com]
Birchbox UK sits down with LA based artist Deedee Cheriel to find out about her latest exhibition in London. [Birchbox UK]
Fashionista held a blind BB cream test to find their favorite regardless of packaging. Find out which three came out on top. [Fashionista]
See behind-the-scenes footage from Emily Blunt’s cover shoot for the May 2013 issue of InStyle—including the gorgeous clothes and makeup she wore. [InStyle]
—Charisse
Get prom ready with these 10 updo ideas that are sure to give some major hair-envy.
 
(Photo: Chanel)

Chanel Introduces Two Never Before Seen Polish Shades, A BB Cream Tea, And More

—Charisse

 
(Photo: Chanel)