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Guest Blogger: Killer Products That Won’t Break the Bank

Hailing from the Windy City is this week’s guest blogger, Rachel Kwall. Retail Therapy, her current blog on ChicagoNow, provides readers with fashion, gossip and beauty news on a daily basis. Given that she’s a contributor at Refinery29 and ChicagoNow, we trust her to give us some fabulous advice. Stay tuned this week — she’ll be sharing secrets from Chicago spas that rock, tips for finding great bargain beauty products, and more.


Just like every girl, I am a sucker for a deal, especially when it comes to beauty products. I always scour stores for cheap new thrills and here are some of my favorites.

L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara in Carbon Black, $9: A lash fortifier and mascara for the price of one! I found this tiny treasure a year ago and have been a loyal user ever since.

Zoya Nail Polish, $6: These fab nail polishes are eco-friendly and stay put for at least a week. They come in a variety of hot shades for summer.

Listerine Whitening Rinse, $6: My roommate from college introduced me to this one minute beauty quick fix. Just rinse after brushing and watch your teeth glow.

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo, $11: Don’t have time to wash your hair? This product is a life-saver, just dab some on your scalp and rub in—no shower required.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, $6: The perfect remedy for chapped lips or put some on your lids for an added shine.

Garnier Fructis Anti-Humidity Hairspray, $5: This spray acts as a barrier, protecting your hair from frizz-inducing humidity. I love to spritz this on right before leaving the house on a sticky summer day.

Pick up some more must-haves in our Birchbox shop

Guest Blogger: Raise Your Chicago Style IQ

Hailing from the Windy City is this week’s guest blogger, Rachel Kwall. Retail Therapy, her current blog on ChicagoNow, provides readers with fashion, gossip and beauty news on a daily basis. Given that she’s a contributor at Refinery29 and ChicagoNow, we trust her to give us some fabulous advice. Stay tuned this week — she’ll be sharing secrets from Chicago spas that rock, tips for finding great bargain beauty products, and more.


You may not realize it, but Chicago has a lot to offer in the way of style and shopping. From the hip-and-trendy Wicker Park area to the preppy-and-chic Gold Coast stores, there are Chicago-based shops for everyone. Here are a few style spots to visit next time you’re in town!

Sarca: Located in the heart of downtown, Sarca is the exclusive U.S carrier for the Italian knitwear line Stefanel.

Akira: With 14 locations all over the city, this boutique is known for its edgy clothing and great prices.

Sofia Vintage: This store, located on well-known Oak Street in the heart of the Gold Coast, is regarded as having the BEST vintage finds in the city.

Compliment your new threads with pretty makeup from our Birchbox Shop

Guest Blogger: Hair Feathers Are The Perfect Summer Accessory

Hailing from the Windy City is this week’s guest blogger, Rachel Kwall. Retail Therapy, her current blog on ChicagoNow, provides readers with fashion, gossip and beauty news on a daily basis. Given that she’s a contributor at Refinery29 and ChicagoNow, we trust her to give us some fabulous advice. Stay tuned this week — she’ll be sharing secrets from Chicago spas that rock, tips for finding great bargain beauty products, and more.

Birchbox co-founder Katia rocking Fine Featherheads feather hair extensions in turquoise and yellow, $32 each, birchbox.com

This season, the most in-demand styles all channel our inner ’60s and ’70s hippie-chic hottie and one of the hottest trends is feather extensions. Summers in Chicago are known for being full of outdoor concerts and I can already see this look becoming a staple for festival goers. Get one or experiment with whole bunch, and you can pick them up from Birchbox’s website with the installation tool
as well!

Your feathers and hair need extra nourishment when heat and humidity are on the rise—be sure to try Amika’s Obliphica Hair Treatment.

Guest Blogger: The Room With More Than A View

Hailing from the Windy City is this week’s guest blogger, Rachel Kwall. Retail Therapy, her current blog on ChicagoNow, provides readers with fashion, gossip and beauty news on a daily basis. Given that she’s a contributor at Refinery29 and ChicagoNow, we trust her to give us some fabulous advice. Stay tuned this week — she’ll be sharing secrets from Chicago spas that rock, tips for finding great bargain beauty products, and more.

New York and Los Angeles might have more to offer than Chicago in many aspects but what’s the one thing we have that they don’t? The Ruby Room. A ‘spiritual spa’ located in the heart of Wicker Park, it is known for making you beautiful and cleansing the soul. Since opening in 2002, this spa has become well known for such things as their Crystal Bar where you can meet with a technician to pick crystals that resonate with your own unique energy field ($60 for 30 minutes). There’s also the Essence Bar where you can choose from a large collection of essences that self adjust to help repair and restore your energy and then you also learn about how to incorporate them into your daily routine ($60 for 30 minutes). For individuals looking for a more mainstream experience, they also offer the usual: facials, massages, waxing, etc. Regardless of what service you settle on, this place is definitely worth the money for an engaging experience you will not find anywhere else.

Don’t have time for a day at the spa? Create your own at home with products from our Birchbox Shop

Guest Blogger: Rachel Kwall’s Purse Pickings

Hailing from the Windy City is this week’s guest blogger, Rachel Kwall. Retail Therapy, her current blog on ChicagoNow, provides readers with fashion, gossip and beauty news on a daily basis. Given that she’s a contributor at Refinery29 and ChicagoNow, we trust her to give us some fabulous advice. Stay tuned this week — she’ll be sharing secrets from Chicago spas that rock, tips for finding great bargain beauty products, and more.

You’d think that I would have packing my purse down pat after years and years of doing it everyday. But somehow I am always scouring for essentials. While I still think there is room for improvement, these are the lifesavers I always carry with me.

Sonia Kashuk Eye Smudge in Blackest- This basic black eyeliner stays on great, especially on those hot summer days at the beach!

Mini Michael Kors Roll on Perfume- This is my signature scent so I have to have it with me at all times. I am obsessed.

NARS Body Glow- This is the ‘It’ product for summer. Not only does it smell amazing, but I can slather it on anywhere for that golden goddess look.

Bobby pins- The perfect quick fix for any hair uh-oh.

Oscar Blandi Hairspray- This floral smelling spray does a great job of keeping hair flexible and not succumbing to humidity.

Stila Custom Color Blush- I love the pink glow this blush gives your skin. The most amazing thing about it is that it works with your skin’s own pH levels to create the perfect color on your cheeks.

For more essential products to pack in your purse, visit our Birchbox Shop