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Memorial Day Must-Haves: Claire

This weekend marks the official start of summer, which means that Birchboxers have plans to kick back, rest up, and hopefully bask in some serious sunshine. We asked several of our staffers where they’re headed (stay-cations sound as enticing as traveling) and the must-have product they’re bringing along. Here’s what PR director Claire had to say. 

I’m headed to Atlantic City this weekend to see Beyonce’s post-baby comeback concert and couldn’t be more excited. Obviously, if you’re seeing Beyonce, you must be wearing a bright lip so I’m bringing my stop sign red By Terry lipstick with me just for the occassion. It’s way more fun to sing along when you look the part!  

Need more lipstick inspiration? Here’s a roundup of five amazing pink shades

Antidote for a Gray, Humid Thursday: Peachy Cheeks and Lips

I know it’s lame to talk about the weather, but can we just talk about the weather for a second? It’s gray and humid in New York, and has been all week. Where’s our Memorial Day sunshine?

It’s obvious that something needs to be done. Yesterday, three-quarters of our office turned out in brightly colored pants (we neglected to get a picture) and today, we’re all about pulled back hair, bright cheeks, and glossy lips. Who wants to pile on the eyeshadow when it’s this sticky outside?

Here are my gray day picks:

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Get Kristen Wiig’s Tribeca Film Fest Look


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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Real-Life Purple Lipstick (It Works!)

Hot on the heels of Refinery 29’s purple makeup story, our own Katia showed up at the office wearing violet lips. The amazingly flattering shade is Lancome’s Rouge in Love in Violette Coquette. Suffice to say, we’re all planning on running out and buying it ASAP.

Another hot spring trend? Orange. Try BY TERRY Rouge Terrybly in Frenetic Vermilion.

California Wedding: Packing List

Caroline, one of our brand relationship managers, is currently in sunny California right now attending her brother’s wedding. We’re envious! Not only of the gorgeous weather, but of all the fun frolicking she’ll be doing with her family and all the delicious wedding cake she’ll be eating. Here’s what she brought with her:

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Win a $200 BY TERRY Gift Set!

During the holidays, we always spend more time taking care of others than we do taking care of ourselves. To give you some much deserved pampering and love for the New Year, this week we’re teaming up with one of our favorite luxe brands, BY TERRY, for a Facebook sweepstakes. Five lucky winners will snag an amazing $200 gift set to start 2012 off on the right foot.

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The Non-Glam New Year’s Eve Trip: Packing List

I love New York 364 days of the year. The one day that I can’t stand being in the city? New Year’s Eve. This year, I’m escaping to sunny Los Angeles, where I have absolutely nothing planned, save for a trip to Flore Vegan for my new favorite salad and some quality time at the Silverlake Farmer’s Market. Here’s what I’m bringing for my low-key trip.

Nuxe Multi-Use Dry Oil with Golden Shimmer: My arms and legs are looking preeetty pasty these days, which is fine when you’re all bundled up in NYC, but not fine when you’re in palm tree land. This silky oil takes care of dryness instantly and gives skin a subtle sheen.

BY Terry Hyaluronic Face Glow: Lately, I’ve been skipping foundation in favor of this hydrating tinted primer. It has hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite skincare ingredients (it loads up your skin with moisture!), and light-reflecting particles that give your face a diffused glow. Oh yeah, and it smells amazing, too. 

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Holiday Makeover Tips From a By Terry Makeup Artist

One of the best parts of my job is getting to attend press events. Last night, I ventured down to Soho’s SpaceNK Apothecary to preview the new collection from By Terry, a chic French brand that’s been gaining legions of fans in this country, including the entire Birchbox office. By Terry is best known for their Baume de Rose, a healing lip treatment that enjoys cult classic status. Now they’re launching the Terrybly line (gotta love the wordplay), which features products made with luxe ingredients like skin-plumping hyaluronic acid and crushed pearls. No cutting corners there. 

Between sips of champagne, I had the chance to sit down with By Terry makeup artist Brian Bracero, who also happens to be the brand’s U.S. national trainer (translation: he’s in charge of teaching fledgling makeup artists everything they need to know). Bracero shared some awesome pro tips and tricks with me. Click through to learn what he said!

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Hitting the Pan: Which Products Do You Use to Death?

With the exception of skincare and foundation, I rarely finish off products. Even if it’s an eyeshadow or a lipstick I love, I get easily distracted (Squirrel! Eyeliner!) and find a new favorite. But there are those products that are just so amazing that you use them…and use them…until you hit the pan. I have it on good authority that this is makeup-speak for going through an entire powder, blush, shadow until you reach the bottom.

Now that we have a new phrase it’s time to use it! I canvassed our staff for the products that they use until they hit the pan. Here’s what they said:

Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot: My mom took me to Burdines (yes, Burdines) to get my makeup done for my Junior Prom and the counter lady convinced me to try this startling bright shade. I’ve been using it ever since — seriously. — Mollie

Nars Orgasm Blush: “I will use this until it’s gone. It’s the perfect shade of peach that goes with any skin tone, plus it has a little shimmer that wakes up your complexion in the winter and makes you look sun kissed in the summer. Also, Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball in Goodbye. It’s deep enough to give you a dramatic look all year round, or you can partner it with a gloss in the summer for a berry looking, flushed lip.” — Emily

NARS Orgasm/South Beach Duo: “I use two a year - love the natural glow plus a little sparkle. I use it as an everyday blush when not using as a highlighter.” — Elizabeth T.

By Terry Eclat de Rose Tinted Moisturizer: “This is the lightest most airy and smooth tinted moisturizer I’ve ever come across (great for my super dry and sensitive skin!) and gives just enough coverage. I squeeze out every last drop and even cut the tube open with scissors when I reach the end so I can scoop out anything that’s left! Does that make me sound a little crazy?”

Benefit Blush in Dallas: “Rosy without being too pink and has the bonus of having a Texas name — TX pride!” — Katia

Chanel Eye Shadows: ”They’re a brown/ivory shade and I’ve replaced the compact at least three times. I love Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Color in #24 Bel Respiro, and I’ve gone through at least three Urban Decay Eye Pencils in Stash.” — Elizabeth E.

Laura Mercier Oil-Free Foundation: “I love this foundation because it’s oil free and I have extremely oily skin. It also gives me a matte finish to die for! The Balm “Time Balm” in light — Confession, this has lasted me 6 years (I swear). I only use it around my eyes, and a little goes a long way! This concealer is the perfect color for me AND it has light reflecting properties in it to make me look wide awake everyday I get to Birchbox HQ! PS: Stila’s Eyeshadow in Kitten! I go through two pans a year!” —Rachel

Laura Mercier Pressed Powder: "I hate the thought of wasting ANYTHING. I hit the pan on most items. In terms of beauty, my pressed powder and concealer from Laura Mercier constantly take a beating. As a fan of multi-shadow palettes, I also find myself with a eye palatte with nothing left but my least favorite shade." —Alta

Now it’s your turn! What products make you hit the pan? Tell us in the comments!

Nam Vo Stops By, Dissects My Desk

Our favorite makeup artist, the inimitable Nam Vo, stopped by this afternoon. Not only did she come bearing red velvet twinkies from Lulu Cake (unreal), but she also gave us a few impromptu makeup tips. To Meredith: “Remember, your eyebrows are sisters, not twins. Let them each have their own shape.” She also rummaged through all the various products on my desk and picked out her favorites.

YSL Rouge Volupte Provocative Pink: I love this. It’s a hot tamale.

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow in Golden Retriever: This is so pigmented. The gilded bronze is perfect for hazel and green eyes.

Ling Skincare Ginseng Therapy Moisture Mask: I go to Carol at Ling’s for my facials. She does all the models and she’s amaaaazing.

By Terry Gloss Delectation in Mandarina: Full pigment - this is beautiful. I’d wear this with a wash of champagne shadow on my eyelid - very springy, summer.

Pangea Balancing Oil: When I was younger I would always look for things that were oil-free. Now that I’m a little bit older I’m all about oils. So good for your skin!

Dr. Gross All-in-One Cleanser with Toner:  My roommate actually works for Dr. Gross so I get to try everything — so lucky. This is my favorite face wash because it’s gentle and makes my skin feel moisturized after.

Check out other treats in the Birchbox Shop.

Watch Nam do her thing in our latest video, How to: Matte Lips.