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4 Simple Steps to Minimize Stress—and Maximize Action!

We all face those big careers choices or difficult professional situations that call for some outside advice. For us, Robin DeMarco of Coached by Robin is definitely on our speed-dial. A sales and marketing whiz turned life coach, Robin is a pro at coming up with constructive ways to get the most out of life. 

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When we’re stressed, it shows. We’ve all caught ourselves looking in the mirror after an overwhelming work week, wondering how to get rid of our tired, puffy eyes, tension lines in our forehead, and sagging skin. In fact, scientists have found that stress is one of the clear overriding factors in contributing to premature aging. So, besides the latest beauty trends, how can we combat stress from the inside out?

In addition to sleep and exercise, learning how to effectively manage your time and prioritize tasks can greatly reduce anxiety. 

Below are four simple steps to regain control of your life and overcome stress in the process:

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4 Styling Tips for Fall According to a Celeb Stylist: Guest Blogger

As a celebrity stylist, Anita Patrickson's whole job is to make famous people look even more fabulous (you can follow her star-studded adventures on both Facebook and Twitter). Since she’s a total dressing pro, we asked Patrickson for her absolute best fall fashion advice. Here’s what the style maven had to say: 

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1. Don’t take on a trend just because it’s in style.

Remember the neon trend? Well I took it very seriously and I’m now living with the regret. (I’ve even been considering untagging myself from certain photos on Facebook.) When it comes to picking new styles to wear each season, the first thing to consider is what will suit your body type. Follow that number one rule and then you can shop with abandon (bearing in mind that we live in a Internet-savvy world with nowhere to hide).

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Get Cozy With This Delicious Fall Drink

Visiting Laicie Heeley’s blog, A Thousand Threads, feels a lot like stopping by a friend’s beautifully decorated home. The working mom, wife, and design-obsessed lifestyle guru is an expert at finding the little things that make life a little bit better—from delicious recipes to affordably chic home decor and beyond. Today she’s telling us all about her favorite beverage to usher in autumn. 

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It’s official, fall is here. But if you’re feeling anything like me, you’re still busy soaking up the last bits of summer’s warmth. I’m excited for the falling leaves (and for the return of my leather jacket and scarves), but there are still at least a few days left before I start to crave a seat by the fire and a toasty drink in my hand.

Enter the Stone Wall.

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6 Tips and Tricks for a Smooth Shave: Guest Blogger

Kara Manos of Politics of Pretty has been obsessed with everything beauty since she was a girl—which has made her an epic resource as a grownup. We love Kara’s savvy coverage of beauty trends and news, which is why we had to find out her best tips for an everyday routine: shaving.

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Just because cooler temperatures are right around the corner doesn’t mean it’s time to start avoiding a date with your razor! Here are seven top-notch tips and tricks when it comes to achieving smooth (not stubbly) skin.

  1. More blades can cause more pain. A five-blade razor can be precise, but be wary of this option since it can cut hair down to a subdermal layer, and if you have sensitive skin, you’re at greater risk of getting ingrown hairs and razor burn. I’ve always had a solid shave with Bic Soleil Disposables (not to mention it’s a great budget buy!).

  2. Never shave your legs dry. Trust me, I’ve always paid the price for those quick-fixes. Shaving is a natural exfoliator and dry shaving can lead to clogging up the razor with dead skin and puts you at risk for nicks and razor burn. Ouch!

  3. Opt for sensitive-skin shaving cream formulas. Read the label. If alcohol or fragrance is one of the first three ingredients listed, avoid it. I discovered whish Shave Cream in my Birchbox and it completely changed my shaving routine. My legs can’t live without it!

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Out The Door In Five Steps: Guest Blogger

Between running from classes to club meetings to study sessions, college students are certainly  busy bunch. That’s why Amy Levin, founder and creative director of CollegeFashionista, has pulled together these tips to help studentsor anyone, for that matter—get out the door in a jiff and still look stylish.

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It starts the night before: I know that the last thing many people want to do when they get home from a late night of studying or partying is tend to their skin. But taking time to care for your skin at night will save you tons of time in the morning. A proper skin regimen will reduce redness, pimples, and even out your skin tone. Establish a routine that, at a bare minimum, includes removing your makeup and moisturizing. The Yes ToTMFacial Towelettes are definitely a staple in my skincare routine. They are gentle enough to use everyday, but really balance out my skin with their natural ingredients, such as tomato and watermelon extract. 

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A Day in the Life of My Skin: Guest Blogger

There’s something strangely fascinating about beauty routines; you never know when you’ll find a life-changing tip. Enter Catherine Conelly, beauty, love and health editor at SheKnows, a women’s lifestyle site that covers everything from fitness regimens to parenting advice and beyond. As soon as we caught sight of her bright complexion, we knew we had to find out her daily skincare routine. Here’s how she treats her skin day and night.

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My mom used to have to force me to wear sunscreen, back when I thought being bronze translated to instant beauty. In those days, you knew anyone who came back from spring break with a tan had a first-rate vacation, so the two seemed to go hand-in-hand. If you didn’t come back tan, everyone might know you spent vacation inside watching sitcoms and reading books instead of going to pool parties and beach vacations.

As I grew up, I eventually realized that pale skin was considered just as, if not more, beautiful. That, combined with a growing fear of cancer and unnecessary wrinkles by 50, kicked me into proper skin care mode. Here’s how I’ve perfected my morning-to-night routine over the years.

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Announcing: The Stripes & Sequins Shop on Birchbox

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with the very lovely Grace Atwood of Stripes & Sequins on an exclusive curated shop! The sparkle-obsessed DIY jewelry queen, whose accessible-and-fun personal style we can’t get enough of, has chosen 24 of her favorite products from the Birchbox universe. Check out all her picks here and read what she has to say about some of her selections below!

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I always like to brag to people that I was one of Birchbox’s first beta members. Among the first twenty! Three years later, Birchbox impresses me every day with their innovation and product offering. As a true beauty junkie who has tried nearly everything under the sun, I still manage to get introduced to incredible new products (the Suki scrub, for example) through the service and editorial. So I’m really honored to be featured on Birchbox right now with my own curated Shop showing off my all-time favorites.

Most of the products speak for themselves, but there were a few I thought I’d call out because of their superhero powers:

1) I am positively in love with this face scrub. It’s all natural, smells amazing, and has become a treat I look forward to every other morning. It cleanses and exfoliates without irritating my skin, which is huge because my skin is actually very sensitive.

2) This nail polish remover is the best I’ve ever used. It cuts through the toughest (read: glitter) nail polishes without drying out nails. The best part? It doesn’t smell bad!

3) I’ve been using Benefit Hoola for nearly ten years now, since it first came out.  Despite its muddy coloring, it gives the perfect healthy glow. It lasts forever, too. I wear it every single day and only go through one container of it every year and a half or so.

4) MAKE cosmetics has become a new favorite of mine, and I really love this lipstick. It’s really creamy and hydrating, and the color isn’t quite as bold as it looks in the tube. All of the shades are beautiful, but Flamingo is my favorite.

Shop the rest of Grace’s picks now! 

Summer Weekend Style: Guest Blogger

We’re always on the lookout for fun fashion finds. To help us get inspired, we love Wantering, a search engine for the sartorially savvy (a.k.a. it’s your new shopping best friend). We’ve asked the trendsetters behind the site to share some of their styling know-how for the summer season. Here’s what they had to say about looking casual-cool on your off-duty days. 

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Hello heat wave! No matter what activities you have planned for your remaining summer weekends, we’ve got styling suggestions for you! 

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A Quick Travel Phrase Tutorial: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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One of my most terrifying travel memories remains the moment, on the train from Paris to Köln, when I realized the only thing I could say in German was ‘auf Wiedersehen.’ ‘Good-bye’ is definitely the most useless travel word ever.

As soon as I met up with a friend in Berlin, I asked her how to say a phrase I’ve discovered to be one of the most important in my travels: ‘I don’t speak [insert language here].’ I even know two ways to say it in Turkish, just in case they don’t believe me the first time (which has happened before – in multiple languages).

It might sound ridiculous, but once you’re off the beaten tourist path, people will just repeat themselves louder and more slowly as the few words you’ve picked up suddenly escape you and you find yourself staring like an idiot.

To make sure you can at least somewhat effectively communicate wherever you might be jaunting off to next, here’s a quick little tutorial on some useful phrases in some of my favorite languages:

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Secrets of a Boutique Hotel Enthusiast: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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Back in the day, when I was young and broke (okay, maybe not that long ago), I knew all about finding a good, cheap hostel or homestay. After all, travel is about exploring a new place, not worrying about where you sleep, right? 

And then I discovered boutique hotels, where pedigreed designers decorate rooms I could only dream of living in. And the food is exceptional, the bar is right there, and they often give you free cookies and fancy bath products. I was ruined.

In the last few years, I’ve stayed in some pretty exceptional not-your-average-hotels. Here are a few of my favorites – go ahead, give them a try. Your bank account might regret it, but you definitely won’t…

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