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The Great Foundation Hunt: Vasanti’s Liquid Cover Up

I’ve always struggled to find a foundation that matches my skin tone. I’m Indian and I have yellow undertones, and I’ve tested virtually every brand on the market. While many brands come close, I always feel like shades show up a little grey on my skin or a little too dark. Plus, when you’re not really a foundation girl, it’s hard to find a product you feel comfortable using day-to-day, especially when it doesn’t match well.

But recently, I stumbled upon what just might be my foundation Prince Charming. Vasanti’s two-in-one foundation/concealer, Liquid Cover up, landed on my desk last week and I’ve been using it ever since. What I love about this product is that it doesn’t feel heavy because it’s formulated with silicone in water emulsion—translation: I don’t even feel like I’m wearing a foundation! The applicator is unique (I feel like you either love or hate it)—It’s a small wand that allows you to place the foundation on whatever part of your face you need it. It allows me to decide exactly how much coverage I want and is perfect for small blemishes. I usually put the Liquid Cover up on before applying my powder. Not only do I feel as though my skin tone is more even, I also notice a difference in pictures! It gives my skin a glow that I didn’t have when I just used my powder, and who can complain about a little glow? 
Just to make sure Vasanti worked for other skin tones, I gave it to two of my colleagues. Click through to see how it looks on pale and dark skin!

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7 Fab Eye Products To Help You Get Through Sangria Season

You’ve probably heard by now that we’re teaming up with Glamour for our July Birchbox. To help celebrate this awesome partnership, the gracious Girls in the Beauty Department will be sharing their beauty expertise with us for an entire month. Lucky us! 

Summer (a.k.a. patio drinking season) is upon us, which means that the likelihood that you’ll be staying up past your bedtime on school nights ranges from 30% (Tuesdays) to 70% (Thursdays). If you’ve suddenly found yourself in the market for a stellar under-eye circle zapper, a magic eye de-puffing product or even just some miraculous concealer that makes you look as though you spent a quiet evening at home, drinking water and watching French documentaries (as opposed to, say, watching the clock strike twelve while enjoying some al fresco libations with some rowdy friends), you’ve come to the right place.

As both the weather and my social calendar have warmed up, Estee Lauder’s Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator has become my newest makeup bag bestie. Slightly tinted and totally soothing, it brightens up my eyes without making them look sparkly or heavy with product. And every morning I dab some on, I think:

A) Oh man, this makes my skin feel like butter. Like fancy French butter. I’m hungry.
B) I did not need that last glass of chardonnay.
C) I wonder if it’s possible to bathe in this. As in take a bath. In a pool of Eye Illuminator. Never mind, that’s a gross idea. I need coffee.
D) I’ve gotta tell the blog ladies about this. It’s like the real deal. Is anyone else using this? Jeez, it’s fantastic.

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5 Essentials That Are Always In My Purse: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, the lovely Alissa Kelly, offers up fun fashion and beauty advice on her blog, Feeling Good. (Our favorite feature? Kelly’s fun nail posts!) We love her optimistic attitude and useful tips. Today, she’s showing us the must-have items that she can’t leave home without.

There are just some things women cannot live without. I’m a purse fanatic so I’m always switching my bag to match the day’s outfit. Every time I do, there are 5 items that always make the switch with me.

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Concealer Tip of the Day: Pat, Don’t Rub!

We’re in the process of shooting February videos today, and we were lucky enough to score Neil Scibelli, a Jouer national makeup artist, to help us with a smoky eye tutorial. Obviously, good concealer is essential to making anyone look camera-ready. While we were prepping, we got a great tip from Neil: always pat your concealer in place. “I see so many people drag their finger under their eyes and it just pulls the concealer off,” say Scibelli. Good to know, we’ll be dabbing from now on—we want our concealer to stay put!


Our all-time favorite product from Jouer: Luminizing Moisture Tint.

The Most Incredible Foundation Transformation Video Ever: TheGloss

TheGloss is one daily must-reads (right up there with the NY Times). We love the site’s witty approach to style and its smart and irreverent voice. We like the writing so much, in fact, that we’ll be featuring one of their posts each week here on the Birchbox blog.

So, full disclosure: this video is a year old. Sorry if you’ve seen it before. If so, here are some recent stories about Kristen Stewart‘s Twilight wedding dress and the Kardashians being ridiculous.

Anyway. This is Cassandra, plucky Youtube make-up instructor also known by her screenname, DiamondsAndHeels14. This old video of hers is making the rounds right now, and if you haven’t seen it, you should.

When the video begins, Cassandra appears per usual with flawless make-up. She then explains she suffers from severe cystic acne (which you’d never guess) and within a minute, the make-up goes away. You can tell the reveal is hard for her and she says as much.

Read the rest of the article and watch the video here.

Some other links from TheGloss you might like:

Skin Rx: Depuff and Conceal in One Step

It’s been a hectic week around the Birchbox ranchito, which means we’re all running on low on sleep and high on caffeine. This morning (yes, it’s taken that long to post this), our resident skincare expert, Rachel, shared a trick for concealing and de-puffing undereye circles. 

If you’re short on time and want to get a quick two-in-one punch, simply mix your eye cream with your concealer. You’ll immediately get hydrating benefits from the eye cream, and deal with darkness at the same time. Make sure to pat it on lightly with your ring fingers so that you dislodge any accumulated liquids (which can lead to puffiness). Mixing your concealer and cream also helps the formula glide on — no cakey separating action. I love TheBalm’s Time Balm, which is fairly dry and mixes perfectly with Pangea’s moisturizing Eye Cream.


Want more? Watch our video on concealing under eye circles.

Brighten Undereye Circles with YSL’s Touche Eclat Magic Illuminator

At yesterday’s video shoot, we talked a lot about undereye darkness. The best defense against undereye circles and bags is tons of sleep. Since that isn’t always an option we turn to the next best thing: magic highlighters. In my option, and I’ve had plenty of experience with camouflaging tiredness, a great brightener trumps a great concealer. I love YSL’s Touche Eclat, a peach-toned liquid that brightens the entire eye area. (I’m not alone - it’s the company’s top-seller and a staple of makeup artists and beauty gurus everywhere.) At $40 it isn’t inexpensive, but I think it’s absolutely worth it. For something a little less spendy, try Smashbox’s Photo Op Under Eye Brightener. It’s a little lighter so it doesn’t have as dramatic as an effect as the Touche Eclat, but I still keep it in my desk for 6pm pick-me-ups. I also love Benefit’s Ooh La Lift, a pink-toned creamy highlighter that makes you look wide-awake even when you’re not. In the morning I apply brightener under my eyes before concealer (though often I skip concealer), and then reapply in the evenings (over my makeup) if I’m going out.

For more tips on getting flawless skin, watch our video on applying foundation.

Check out our makeup collection, including great face illuminators, in the Birchbox Shop.


Gift-a-Day 22: Fashionable Cousin

For Fashionista Cousin: Benefit Stay Don’t Stray

Every holiday, your cousin arrives in an impeccable ensemble straight outta Refinery 29 — belts, bangles, the works. Her makeup is just as impressive, whether it’s a full-on smokey eye or a dramatic winged liner. To help her maintain her uber-polished look, give her Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray, an eyelid primer and concealer in one. It’ll keep her shadows bright all night, and she can even use it as an undereye hide-er on days when she stays out till dawn.