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3 Tropical Beauty Products I’m Loving Right Now: Well-Balanced

You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.

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I just got back from a week in Hawaii, and New York’s grey skies aren’t helping with my post-vacation malaise. While I was in the islands, I took a much-needed break from 24/7 email, didn’t touch a blow dryer, and ate my weight in tropical fruit (not to mention banh miramen, and poke). As I reacclimatize to city living, I’m getting my island fix with products powered by tropical superingredients. (And listening to Hawaiian music on Spotify, of course.) 

Papaya: You can get almost anything in New York, but I’ve yet to find a perfectly ripe papaya in the city. I ate papaya for breakfast every morning while I was away, and am already missing it. In addition to being packed with vitamins C and A, the fruit is known for producing papain, an enzyme that aids digestion. Happily, it’s just as good for your skin as it is for your body—when applied as a face mask, the enzyme helps to dissolve the bonds between dead cells and uncover fresh skin. I love June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Masque, which has the added benefit of mango and pineapple extracts, plus replenishing almond and borage oils.

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75% Off Bargain Alert! June Jacobs Holiday Set

Photo: June Jacobs

As savvy bargain hunters, we’re always on the lookout for the best beauty deals around the web. So we were psyched when June Jacobs, the brand best known for its yummy pumpkin products, shared this awesome deal with us: for a limited time, you can get 75% off their Harvest Holiday Spa Collection. It comes with the shea-enriched Cranberry Body Balm, the festive Peppermint Hand And Foot Therapy, and our favorite tongue twister, the Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque (try saying that name ten times fast!). The retail value is $168, but you can snag the set for $42. Buy one for your mom this holiday season, but be warned: you’ll be tempted to keep it for yourself.

—Mai

While you’re shopping, take a look at the other awesome June Jacob products in the Birchbox Shop.

What’s on the Birchbox Staffers’ Desk: Marketing

Since we just introduced you to Deena, our VP of Marketing, we thought it was only fitting that we share her desk with you as well. She’s definitely on the “neat and organized” end of the spectrum but still has lots of fun goodies, including the cutest picture ever of her kids and quite a collection of polishes. Even though she’s prepping for a big presentation tomorrow, we got her to give us the lowdown on her essentials.

  1. Presentation: I’ve been working on this for tomorrow’s SMASH summit, a startup marketing conference where I’ll be sharing some of Birchbox’s learnings about user generated content. Still cramming to prepare my talking points…
  2. Calculator: I’m constantly using this to run the numbers on subscribers! 
  3. Product collection: These are the products I’m trying right now. Nail polish galore by Deborah Lippmann and Zoya. Plus, I’m looking for some new skincare products and the Tay Night Cream and June Jacobs Skin Amour Day Shield were highly recommended by some of our resident experts.
  4. My wall of inspiration: This is a work in progress but I need to see things I love while I work—note the photo of my beautiful kids is front and center! Right next to them is a pic of their awesome dad, and the wrapper from the most delicious vegan chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s called NibMor and I need to find a new place to get it — the cafe where I found it no longer carries it!

Find some of Deena’s favorite nail polishes in the Birchbox Shop.

Lazy Day Beauty: Guest Blogger

We’re always looking for good sartorial inspiration, which is why we regularly turn to PR exec Jaimen Sfetko’s Tumblr, Jaimen Lee. Documenting her own stellar (and quirky cool) style, Sfetko gives us a daily dose of outfit envy — and has us wishing she did costume changes throughout the day. Naturally, we’re curious about the savvy New Yorker’s product picks, too. This week, Sfetko is guest blogging about her beauty musts, starting with what’s in her super-chic bathroom cabinets. 

Maybe it’s just me, but on a lazy rainy day or day off from work, I’m left feeling like I need to be doing something. Working in PR here in New York, I’m used to a pretty consistent level of insanity, which makes taking time off to relax hard to do. Lately during my downtime, I’ve been creating to-do lists that include treatments or activities that nurture my body and mind. From manicures to a good Wii Just Dance session (might I recommend “Toxic” or “S.O.S”), there’s a number of things you can do for yourself to refresh and renew. To keep things relevant, since Birchbox is all about beauty, here’s are some of my favorite product indulgences that are guaranteed to put a bounce in your step and smile on your face:

  1. Scrub: So much grime accumulates over time on your face and nothing short of a really good scrub cleanser can get rid of it. Those apricot scrubs, however, are not the route to go, as they actually can put little cuts into your skin. You want something a bit more gentle instead and trust me, the result will be worth it.
  2. Mask: This is something we’ve done since our first middle school sleepovers, but it often gets put on the wayside come professional life and busy work days. Masks can completely rejuvenate your skin and help to moisturize and brighten. To really clean and clear, I adore masks from Mario Badescu and June Jacobs.
  3. Peel: When a scrub and mask just aren’t enough, you need something more effective to erase the fine lines and lackluster skin that’s built up over time. I received Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel from my sister (an editorial makeup artist) last Christmas after she raved about the results she’d seen firsthand on models at her shoots. The mask is amazing yet gentle and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to undo a bit of damage from age, sun, and all the bad stuff we put into our mouths!

Once you’re done prepping your skin, spoil it some more with a luxurious philosophy hope in a jar moisturizer.

Holiday Weekend Pampering: 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.


I think a holiday weekend is a perfect opportunity to take a little extra time and indulge in some of the beauty and grooming practices that we might otherwise skip under busier circumstances. Even if you’re in a crowded house or entertaining guests, take a moment to shut the door and relax. Here are my August picks for pampering — they will definitely all be coming with me to the Hamptons this weekend!

June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque: Using a purifying mask is essential to keeping pores small and clear. This June Jacobs treatment is one of the most soothing masks I have ever used. It smells lovely and leaves skin feeling clean and smooth, but not stripped. Put a thin layer all over your face and leave on for ten minutes. You’ll be glad you did!

WEI Tibetan Chrysanthemum Correcting Eye Treatment Pads: I called out these gems in my video about de-puffing your eye area. The ultimate in eye pampering, they take the cucumber trick to the next level. Place these over your eyes for ten minutes while lying back in bed and be amazed at how quickly they take down swelling and darkness.

Number 4 Lumiere d’hiver Reconstructing Masque: Your hair needs the same love that your skin does when it comes to deep cleansing, moisturizing, and conditioning. Using a hair mask is a great way to provide your strands with some extra TLC. This formula is amazing. It restores shine, moisture, and overall health to your hair. Perfect for the end of summer after all of that sun, salt, and chlorine.

While you’re pampering, don’t forget to light a candle to take your Zen experience to the next level.

June Jacobs Answers: Aside From Products, How Else Can I Care For My Skin?

At Birchbox, we’re lucky to have access to the best minds in the beauty business. One of our most trusted gurus is June Jacobs, who created her eponymous skincare line over 30 years ago. It now consists of more than 100 professional and retail products, all designed to be efficacious and all-natural. Jacobs is so discerning about her formulas that she even opened her own independent laboratory, June Jacobs Labs, to whip up her special concoctions. Over the next week, the epidermis expert is giving us her best advice on everything from fall must-haves to getting the most out of her best-selling Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque.


"Aside from using effective skincare products, beautiful skin can be a result of being happy and feeling healthy. Taking care of yourself by drinking six glasses of  water a day, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly all lead to good skin. It is also very important to eliminate — or at least minimize — stress, which tends to speed up the process of aging. I like to get a massage once a week, and I unwind from a stressful day by taking a warm bath and lighting candles to make my bathroom feel like a spa."

To take your bath experience to the next level, try AHAVA’s Placid Bath Salts

June Jacobs Answers: How Can I Get More Out Of My Papaya Enzyme Masque?

At Birchbox, we’re lucky to have access to the best minds in the beauty business. One of our most trusted gurus is June Jacobs, who created her eponymous skincare line over 30 years ago. It now consists of more than 100 professional and retail products, all designed to be efficacious and all-natural. Jacobs is so discerning about her formulas that she even opened her own independent laboratory, June Jacobs Labs, to whip up her special concoctions. Over the next week, the epidermis expert is giving us her best advice on everything from fall must-haves to getting the most out of her best-selling Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque.

"My Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque is for all skin types, including sensitive. You should use this masque two to three times a week — after taking a shower because the steam helps to activate the masque — to remove dead surface skin cells and reveal fresher, younger looking skin.

One of my best tricks is to apply the masque to elbows, knees, and heels before going to bed. These areas will feel amazingly soft and smooth by the morning.”

Another June Jacobs product we love? Her Elastin Collagen Serum

June Jacobs Answers: How Can You Avoid Dry Skin In The Fall?

At Birchbox, we’re lucky to have access to the best minds in the beauty business. One of our most trusted gurus is June Jacobs, who created her eponymous skincare line over 30 years ago. It now consists of more than 100 professional and retail products, all designed to be efficacious and all-natural. Jacobs is so discerning about her formulas that she even opened her own independent laboratory, June Jacobs Labs, to whip up her special concoctions. Over the next week, the epidermis expert is giving us her best advice on everything from fall must-haves to getting the most out of her best-selling Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque.

                          

Use the June Jacobs Perfect Pumpkin Peeling Enzyme Masque weekly to get rid of dead skin.

"Fall is the perfect time to exfoliate, replenish, and restore your skin. Once a week, you should use an exfoliating face mask for ten minutes to help to remove dead skin cells, promote cell turnover, replenish skin’s moisture barrier, and boost collagen production. You can also get ready for the dryness of winter by switching from a lightweight ‘summer’ moisturizer to a more emollient one. And although the temperature will drop, UV rays are still present (even on overcast days), so protect your skin. Make sure to choose a sunscreen or a moisturizer that is broad-spectrum, meaning that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays."

We love June Jacobs’ Skin Amour Day Shield because it gives skin an antioxidant boost and has broad spectrum SPF 15.

June Jacobs Answers: Why Natural Ingredients?

At Birchbox, we’re lucky to have access to the best minds in the beauty business. One of our most trusted gurus is June Jacobs, who created her eponymous skincare line over 30 years ago. It now consists of more than 100 professional and retail products, all designed to be efficacious and all-natural. Jacobs is so discerning about her formulas that she even opened her own independent laboratory, June Jacobs Labs, to whip up her special concoctions. Over the next week, the epidermis expert is giving us her best advice on everything from fall must-haves to getting the most out of her best-selling Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque.


"In order to deliver serious results that don’t irritate the skin, my products use the highest quality botanical extracts derived from hydrosol technology, which distills active ingredients down to their purest form.

I also feel that it is important for us to connect with our consumer on a different level by sharing their values to protect the environment. All of my products are now ‘green,’ meaning that we use a preservative-free system and all parabens, dyes, sulfates, petrochemicals, and synthetic fragrance have been removed from my formulas. Also, I only use natural aromatics in my products instead of synthetic fragrance and my packaging is eco-friendly.”

Check out more great products from the June Jacobs line in our Shop!

June Jacobs Sweeps: Refer Friends To Win The $400 Grand Prize

Instead of boring you with a long list of why we love June Jacobs (because we could go on and on), we’ll just cut to the chase: her products are all-natural and incredibly effective. A major favorite is her Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque, which brightens, exfoliates, and prevents wrinkles. We love it so much, we sampled it this past month and now we’re giving 10 people the chance to win this $63 skincare game-changer via our new June Jacobs Sweepstakes. What’s more, if you get two friends to enter (check our Facebook page for instructions), you’ll be eligible to win the grand prize: a $400 June Jacobs gift basket full of goodies (including the Elastin Collagen Serum, the Amour Day Shield, the Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque, the Creamy Cranberry Cleanser, and the Elastin Collagen Toner). So enter, refer friends, and cross your fingers.

—Meredith

Check out all the fantastic June Jacobs products we sell in our Birchbox Shop.