Maybe you haven’t noticed, but the holiday shopping season is in full swing. As much as we love gifting, we also get overwhelmed by the sheer number of people on our list. That’s where gift sets come in. These smartly packaged collections are a complete no-brainer—they feature some of our favorite products and are bundled so prettily that you may not even need to gift wrap. We’ve rounded up some of this season’s top sets, plus what customers have to say about their standout products. Happy shopping!
Whether you’re a fan of bold colors, miracle-working skincare, or gorgeous hair, you can’t go wrong with these sets by Lipstick Queen, boscia, and Number 4. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what Birchbox subscribers had to say:
Readers, allow us to introduce you to Rebecca Zimmerman, the wise-beyond-her-years daughter of Birchbox’s lawyer. We first fell in love with Becca when she sent a personalized Birchbox to our co-founder Katia earlier this year. Not only had the teen filled the box with a selection of her tried-and-true beauty faves, but she’d also decorated the box with hand-drawn leopard print. In addition to being a product whiz, she is also a great writer—which is why we asked her to make a cameo on the Birchbox Blog. Read on for her makeup bag picks.
As a teenager, it’s hard to find a makeup look that’s quick, easy, and won’t be criticized in the hallways. While it’s difficult to pick the items I use the most (the amount of makeup I wear always depends on my mood), I can tell you the products that I always keep in my bag:
Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara: An absolute must. I use this almost every day. Out of all the mascaras I have tried, this works the best for me. It volumizes and lengthens my eyelashes without clumping.
Nothing gets us giddy like a good wedding. Katelyn Koepke Lewis, one of our lovely freelance writers, got hitched this October and we couldn’t resist asking her to share her bridal wisdom. The former PR maven and J-school grad recently went back to her editorial roots, working as a feature writer and editor for Be U Weddings, a Chicago-based blogazine. This week, Katelyn’s sharing her newlywed advice, from bridal beauty tricks that you can use post-wedding to how to pick hostess gifts for your new in-laws.
Take a moment to ponder your makeup must-haves. You might immediately list off a pore-perfecting foundation or that spot-on lipstick shade. What tends to get lost in the shuffle though? The behind-the-scenes preppers that—let’s face it—don’t seem as glamorous (or as fun to dish about) as the chic blush compact you just slid into your purse.
For me, these secret weapon tools: ensure that my eye makeup doesn’t slide off, combat inevitable t-zone shine, breathe more life into my locks, snatch stray hairs, and eradicate zits. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to focus on the more delightful beauty battles, like what color mani I should sport this week. Here are the hidden heroes of my beauty regimen:
It’s a scary statistic: one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re supporting the search for a cure by picking up some new beauty products. All this month, many of our favorite brands are donating a portion of their proceeds to breast cancer nonprofits, and you’ll also find limited edition goodies in every shade of pink (a.k.a. our favorite color). We love the idea of looking good and being a do-gooder at the same time. Click through to check out five of our favorite products for the cause!
This Fashion Week, we got to hang out with the beauty industry’s top experts, starting with Jeff Holland, the General Manager of boscia. Not only is boscia known for its soothing, green-tea infused blotting linens, but the Japanese company was also the first brand to remove all preservatives from their formulas. Watch the video above to learn more about the brand and find out proper blotting technique.
On a recent visit to a holistic spa, I found myself lying helpless on a padded recliner as my facialist Negin scrutinized my skin with a bright white light. “Your pores are extremely clogged,” she told me in a tone of mild disapproval that reminded me of my mother. It turns out that the thick mineral sunscreen I was slathering on my face every morning—in hopes of keeping my skin looking young—was actually doing harm by depositing residue into my pores. Without a proper cleansing ritual, I learned, I was doomed to a perpetually congested complexion. Alarmed (especially since my skin tends to freak out with the change of seasons), I set out on a mission to find products that cleanse effectively without causing irritation.
Dermatologist-in-training and all around cool girl blogger Aegean Chan is the savvy mind behind super-skincare blog, Aegmora. Chan educates and enlightens readers with particularly informative posts that tie together her science background and her extensive experience with beauty products. We love that she demystifies everything from familiar active ingredients like Benzoyl Peroxide to the newest trends like coconut oil. This week, Chan teaches us how to fight acne better, keep our skin hydrated, and protect it from the sun.
Many don’t realize that cleansing is a delicate balancing act, and also the foundation of great skin. Your skin is tough enough to withstand blistering heat, pelting sleet, and withering looks from haters, but it’s actually a microcosm of cells and structural elements that require a very specific environment to thrive. Just think of it as layers upon layers of the finest cashmere that form a protective barrier. It wouldn’t make sense to try to restore the beauty and softness of that cashmere with a rinse of pure acid or a few passes with a sand blaster, would it?
BB creams are all the rage right now and it seems like every major beauty brand is coming out with their own version. But so far, the trend has really centered around women with Caucasian and Asian skin tones and there hasn’t been a ton of options out there for those of us with darker skin. I, for one, had never tried a BB cream before because I had always assumed there wasn’t a shade that would blend well with my skin. After doing a little research, however, I decided to test drive a few.
Next week, I’m heading off to Sweden for a ten-day vacation, and I’m super excited to explore the country for the first time. Aside from hitting up every H&M and Ikea in their native land (kidding), I plan on eating a year’s worth of gravlox and meatballs (not kidding). Since my boyfriend and I will be bouncing back and forth between Stockholm and other cities whose names I can’t yet pronounce, I need to pack light. With this in mind, I’ve whittled down my carry-on stash to the bare essentials that I’ll need to survive a Scandinavian summer. Check out the beauty products and travel gear that made the cut:
Phew, this weekend was a scorcher! For many of us, warmer weather (not to mention humidity) means shiny skin. Even though we’re all for the dewy, natural look, there are times when you just need to be matte. Luckily, a few easy steps will take care of shine in a snap. Watch the video above and learn how!