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A Chocolate Bar With Half the Fat, Mood-enhancing Products, And More
The greatest news ever: Chemists at the University of Warwick have created a legit chocolate bar with half the fat. [Greatist]
Dark lip colors can be intimidating. Here are a few pieces of advice to make moody hues more wearable.  [Refinery29]
Rumor has it that the hilarious Alec Baldwin is angling to host his own late night talk show. [EW]
Make your morning beauty routine a bit happier by using these mood-enhancing products. [Well + Good NYC]
Perfect your brows with these pro tips from Benefit makeup artist Lisa Potter-Dixon. [Birchbox UK]
You won’t be afraid to wear bright eyeshadow after reading these ten tips. [Beauty High]
—Charisse
Check out the worst makeup snafus ever created by YouTube Beauty Guru Sharon Farrell.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

A Chocolate Bar With Half the Fat, Mood-enhancing Products, And More

—Charisse

(Photo: Thinkstock)

A History of Chocolate

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In this month’s box, we’re featuring Ghirardelli’s gooey milk chocolate and caramel squares. And let us just say: It involved a lot of hard work by the entire Birchbox team. In addition to rigorous taste testing, we did a little digging into the history of this sweet treat—and ever since we learned that it’s technically a superfood, we’re indulging guilt-free. Here, a look back at chocolate through the ages.

600 B.C.E. The Olmecs, an ancient tribe from the tropical lowlands of South Central Mexico, are the first to domesticate the plant—and to give it a name: kakawa.

300-900 C.E. The ancient Mayans elevate cacao to cult status. The cacao tree plays a significant role in their creation story and the beans, ground into a paste and mixed with chilies, spices, and water, are thought to have restorative, mood-boosting properties.

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The Chocolate Treat We’re Trying This Season: Birchbloggers

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'Tis the season of decadent desserts and food! There's no better way to celebrate the holidays with your families than with delicious chocolate, which is why we asked you in early December to tell us your favorite cocoa-based recipes. We have to admit, it was very difficult to choose amongst your submissions—chocolate is our all-time favorite! In the end, though, we picked one recipe that we can’t wait to whip up and enjoy next to a fire:

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Birchbloggers: What’s in Your Dream Chocolate Bar?

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(Photo: Pinterest.com/enoqueribeiro)

The holidays are in full swing, and while we love festive decorations as much as the next girl, what we love most are all the treats! What great celebration is complete without peppermint, mulled cider, and the most delicious candy of all—chocolate?

If you’re a cocoa lover like the Birchbox staffers, get ready for some fun. We’ve partnered with one of our favorite chocolatiers, Chuao, to host a chocolate fanatic’s dream giveaway. Enter for a chance to win 500 chocopods from Chuao by answering the question, “What’s in your dream chocolate bar?” This prize might just overshadow those Willy Wonka golden tickets.

So tell us Birchbloggers: what’s your favorite holiday-inspired chocolate recipe? Is it pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies? Kitchen sink brownies? Black forest pie? Once you’ve entered the giveaway, send us your blog posts highlighting the delectable chocolate treat you plan on cooking up this holiday season. Email your entries to birchbloggers@birchbox.com by Wednesday, December 12—and we’ll pick our favorites to be featured on the Birchbox Blog!

—Loren

Don’t know enough about Chuao? Here are all the deets about the San Deigo-based chocolatier.

Birchbloggers: How Will You Sparkle This Season?

Here at Birchbox HQ, we’re fully immersed in the holiday season. (You can probably tell by the look of our festive Gift Guide.) Our latest sweepstakes is just as festive, revolving around two of our all-time favorite things: nail polish and diamonds!

This month we sampled étoile’s Winter In Central Park Collection, nail polish with actual diamond dust in the formula. The collection is inspired by a snow-covered Central Park, one of the prettiest symbols of the holiday season. To celebrate, we’re giving away étoile’s winter polish collection as well as a pair of 1.1 carat diamond earrings! Click here to enter now.

We also want to see your blog posts about your favorite sparkly looks for the holidays. Where will you add a little extra shine: Your makeup? Outfit? Manicure? Once you’ve entered the étoile sweepstakes, email us a link to your blog post. We’ll pick our favorites to be featured on the Birchbox Blog.

Please send all blog submissions to Birchbloggers@birchbox.com by December 12th.

—Loren

P.S. Need a hairstyle to go with your festive holiday makeup or outfit? Check out these 5 gorgeous braided hairstyles to try at your upcoming holiday parties, courtesy of our friends at Beauty High.

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars: Gift of the Day

‘Tis the season, which can mean only one thing: You are in search of great holiday gifts. Well, look no further. Whether you’re stumped about what to get a co-worker, your dad, or your bestie, we have something for everyone on your list. Check back every day this month for a new dose of gift-giving inspiration — and get ready to deck your halls with much more than holly. 

Why this makes a great gift: Move over, Willy Wonka. These premium Venezuelan-sourced chocolate bars come in four fun flavors, each infused with ingredients like popping candy and cayenne pepper.

It’s perfect for: Your boss with a sweet tooth, your candy-loving little nephews and nieces, your gourmand friend who takes chocolate appreciation seriously.

Price: $6, available on birchbox.com.

For more great gift ideas, visit our Holiday Gift Guide.

What You’re Craving: Chocolate

Even though we’ve never met a chocolate we didn’t like, we do have our favorites. And we’ve seen first-hand how polarizing chocolate preferences can be. (Just think of those vicious debates over the legitimacy of white chocolate!) Now, as highly trained chocolate experts (read: untrained chocolate enthusiasts), we’re helping you decode what your chocolate craving says about your personality. Study up to become a more informed indulger. Read on.

Occasionally, we’re so crazy about something non-beauty related, we carry that in our shop too. Chuao Chocolatier products fall into that category and are available here!