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Team Intros: Meet Elizabeth!

We can sum up how we feel about Elizabeth in one word: savior. Especially with our CFO Mike (a.k.a. our Accounting Department) constantly running in and out of the office (newborn baby?! Excuses, excuses…), we were in dire need of some backup. Enter Elizabeth. After leaving her job at Bliss for a big time hedge fund, Elizabeth decided she needed some beauty back in her life—and she definitely came to the right place. 

Name/Title: Elizabeth Pangia, Director of Accounting

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY

Unofficial role: Orchid Doctor

Fun fact: I self designed my undergraduate major to prep for a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

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My Skincare Essentials: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, Vida Lee, hits close to home for us—literally! She’s a beauty guru based in our hometown: New York City. Aside from being a product addict, she’s also a medical school student (whoa!) who makes time on the side for her pretty blog, P.S. It’s Vida. Over the next few days, the smarty savant will be sharing her greatest tips and tricks for staying prepped and primed for summer.

Skincare is one of my absolute favorite things. I love experimenting and trying new things, but there are a few products I’ve found that will probably never leave my routine. These are some of the skincare items I use on a daily basis.

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Self Magazine’s 2012 Healthy Beauty Awards: Dr. Jart, Yes To & Many More

Health and beauty: a winning combo, no? At this morning’s Self Magazine 2012 Healthy Beauty Awards, the theme was products that make you look and feel amazing.

The event, held at the Museum of Modern Art, revealed 89 winners across the categories of face, makeup, nails, sun, hair, and body—from Top Acne Spot Solution (hello, Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Spot Stick) to Best Deep Conditioner (woot Ojon Super Sleek Smoothing Conditioner). The products were chosen by a panel of Self readers who tested them in their own homes and submitted their honest feedback. I recognize plenty of favorites on the list, but there are also ones I’m excited to try!

Beyond celebrating the phenomenal products, Self’s Editor-in-Chief, Lucy Danzinger, also set the tone of the event by bringing attention to social media. She told the audience of editors, industry execs, and brand bigwigs that companies shouldn’t try to strong-arm their message—they should just ensure that people are talking about their products and their brands. As a Twitter and Instagram addict, I loved hearing her give a digital call to action.

Check out the Birchbox products that made the Self list!

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Skincare Products We Can’t Live Without: Guest Blogger

The dynamic duo behind Beauty Bender, Kathryn Romeyn and Alexis Johnson, have an impeccable eye for deciphering up-and-coming cosmetics trends and finding experts to give the lowdown on how to wear them. (It must be the decade’s worth of magazine curating experience they have between them.) We can’t get enough of their gorgeous site, and happily, for a whole week they’re sharing all of their beauty insight on our blog!

If there’s one thing we both agree we’d never want to be deprived of, it would be our Clarisonic brushes. Life-changing. Luckily, as beauty editors, we don’t have to whittle it down to just one routine-altering device or product. Here, we pay tribute to a select few truly genius skincare formulas we just wouldn’t look the same without.

Le Mieux Vita-C Serum
I love this incredibly potent serum, which is super hydrating and brightening thanks to maximum-strength vitamin C. My obsession stems from the fact that unlike most products, the main ingredient isn’t water, it’s this is hyaluronic acid, which quenches and plumps my always-thirsty skin. –KR 

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I Experienced L.A.’s Most-Wanted Facial—and It Was Glorious

We fell hard for Natalie Alcala last fall, when the LA-based writer and blogger spent a week guest blogging for us. In fact, we loved her posts so much that we asked her to be a contributing editor. In addition to blogging for us once a week, she’ll also be writing for the Birchbox Magazine and keeping us up to speed on all things fashion, beauty, and fun. 

Yesterday will go down in history as one of my favorite days, ever. After years of reading about and driving by Sofia Coppola and Madonna’s favorite facial haven, Face Place, I finally booked a coveted appointment at their West Hollywood location. The trip was, in a word, thrilling.

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Birchbloggers Share Their Top Beauty Splurges!

We all have products that we can’t live without, no matter what the price. We asked our community of Birchbloggers to send us their blog posts about the items they think are totally worth the splurge. Check out what they had to say and check back later this week for your chance to have your blog featured here!

Blog: Sami’s Shenanigans

Worth the Splurge: DermaDoctor KP Duty, Kate Somerville EradiKATE, Clarasonic Mia, Too Faced Lash Injection Mascara, and Bare Minerals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish

"I’ve only been using my Clarisonic since December but it’s done wonders for my skin. I’m not sure how I ever lived without it because it makes my skin feel incredibly soft and clean!" Read more on Sami’s Shenanigans

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Calling All Bloggers: What Products Are Worth The Splurge?

Earlier this week in her ‘Dollars and Sense’ post one of our editors, Mai, explained why she thinks the Clarisonic is worth the splurge—specifically why you should buy one instead of a pair of jeans. This got us thinking: what other beauty products are worth saving up for? Send us your blog posts and videos about the products you think are worth a pretty penny and we’ll feature our favorites on the blog on Monday. We can’t wait to hear from you!

- Rachel

Want to make sure you never miss a chance to have your blog featured here? Sign up for your Birchbloggers email list

Dollars & Sense: Why You Should Buy a Clarisonic Over a New Pair of Jeans

The best skincare products may not be cheap, but trust us: they’re worth every penny. Every week, we’ll break down the math and show you exactly why our latest pick is a smart splurge.

Our pick of the week: If you’ve yet to try the Clarisonic, drop everything and listen up. The entire Birchbox team agrees that this next-gen device is the best thing that’s happened to our skin since we learned to stop lathering up with bar soap. A bit like an electric toothbrush for your face, the oscillating bristles help dislodge twice as much dirt and oil (and six times as much makeup) as washing with your hands alone. In weeks, your skin will feel much smoother and clearer. And, unlike other investments (cough cough, your tenth pair of designer jeans), this evergreen complexion helper will never lose its appeal. Learn more about why we love the Clarisonic after the jump!

How long it will last: As long as you replace the brush head every three to four months, the Clarisonic will work as well as it did the first time, for years and years. No wear and tear to worry about here. 

Buy this, not that: At $195, the Clarisonic Classic rings in at almost exactly the same price as a new pair of Seven For All Mankind jeans. We don’t know about you, but our closets are already awash in a sea of interchangeable denim, while you only need one of these miracle-working brushes to snag glowing skin for years to come. 


Looking for something more travel-friendly? Check out Clarisonic’s pint-sized Mia brush.

Clarisonic Mia: 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: Think of it as an electric toothbrush for your face, but better. This incredible tool removes up to twice as much dirt and oil and up to six times as much makeup as cleansing with your hands. Still not impressed? The brush uses a special sonic frequency technology to oscillate back and forth at an astounding rate of 300 movements per second. Best of all: this daily deep clean is exceptionally gentle.

It’s perfect for: Your teenage cousin, your skincare-obsessed friend, and yourself. (Yes, you. If you don’t own one yet, you absolutely should. This tool is will improve your complexion, guaranteed.)

Price: $119, available on

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

Pairing Up – Gift Ideas for Him: You’ve Got Male

Once a week, Birchbox’s resident Yoga and men’s product expert, Eric, will gives us girls some insight into his world in You’ve Got Male. Whether he’s giving his expertise on skincare (boys need advice, too!) or highlighting his new favorite grooming trend, this guy has got taste—so we’re lucky he’s on staff and willing to share.

Photo: Bella Sugar

For those of you who nabbed one of the coveted Birchbox Man limited edition boxes before they sold out, you’ve got an amazing gift for your guy that will help him upgrade his grooming and lifestyle game. For everyone else, there are still great ways to put together a thoughtful and exciting present. Pairing items together is a creative option that can show someone you really care and took extra time to help them find a new solution or a fabulous routine. Here are some of my favorite pairings:

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