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6 Beauty Essentials to Carry This Fashion Week

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. 

New York Fashion Week officially kicked off today, which means that for the next few days, I will live and breath runways, presentations, and parties. While it sounds like fun, the actual legwork involved requires tons of energy, which is why one must pack light and smart in order to keep up. Through trial and error, I’ve finally managed to round up a dream team of no-fail, transition-friendly beauty products that fit inside my smallest of bags, like this adorable mini crossbody by Jason Wu.

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Beat Winter Skin Organically: Guest Blogger

In the fashion world, there’s outfit envy. In the beauty world, there’s makeup envy — and we are seriously envious when it comes to Annamarie Tendler. A genius makeup artist, Tendler covers a wide range of topics on her am. blog, but her The Daily Face posts, which chronicle her day-to-day makeup looks, are our favorite. (FYI: She did an amazing series in October called The Spooky Scary Daily Face, which was epic.) Each day she inspires with a gorgeous new look, and for one whole week, she’s sharing her makeup expertise with lucky, lucky us.

My skin gets really dry and itchy in the winter, but I’m not a fan of conventional moisturizers. For the most part, I think they’re filled with unhealthy ingredients, a lot of which end up drying out the skin more. Furthermore, no matter how many moisturizers claim not to leave a greasy residue, let’s be serious, so many of them do.

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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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Of A Kind Designer Blanca Monros Gomez Keeps Her Hands in Tip Top Shape

Every week, Of a Kind brings you a new limited edition piece from a brilliant up-and-coming designer. This week, meet Blanca Monros Gomez, a jewelry mastermind who has a flare for feminine pieces with a modern twist. Pick up a pair of her black diamond studs (the perfect holiday gift, no?) and learn her trade secret for keeping hands in good shape despite wrestling with precious metals all day.

Of a Kind Designer Blanca Monros Gomez’s Hand Saver

Among the biggest complaints of designers who work with their hands all day: gnarled cuticles, rough patches, and all sorts of battle scars from sewing machines, torches, or other tools of the trade.

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Jurlique Rose Love Balm: 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: The prettiest all-purpose balm on the market, this soothing salve does wonders for scaly skin — whether it’s dry elbows, cracked cuticles, or parched lips. While it’s perfect for your purse, we love keeping this on our bathroom counter because of its chic apothecary feel.

It’s perfect for: Any and every woman will love and appreciate this sophisticated salve. The stellar price point makes it the perfect stocking stuffer or add on to a larger gift.

Price: $6.50, available on

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

Everyday Essentials: Guest Blogger

Dedicated to “what’s in your closet and on your vanity,” Samantha Fodrowski’s blog, Closet Vanity, couldn’t be more perfectly suited to our interests. This week, the busy blogger is lending us her talents and musing on some of our favorite topics like the fashion-forward red lip and au naturel makeup.

When it comes to skincare and makeup, women are constantly inundated with promises and marketing jargon (Smaller pores! Longer lashes! Lasts all day!). But nothing sells me on a product quite like a positive word-of-mouth. I’m always so curious about what products other people use and I usually scan friends’ vanities to check out their goods. I’d venture to guess I’m not the only one who loves IntoTheGloss' Top Shelf feature because it gives a refreshing look at what the most influential people in the industry actually use and like.

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4 Tips for Flawless Fall Skin

We’re not going to lie: pumpkin pie and warm apple cider are the main reasons we look forward to fall. But when temps plunge and feasts begin, it’s easy to forget that our skincare routine needs an update. Don’t fall behind the seasons! Just follow these easy breezy steps:   

1. Swap your lightweight cream for a heavy-duty moisturizer. Fall’s brisk winds can seriously dry out your skin. Look for a product that can pull its weight and deliver a daily dose of hydration, like Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream, Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firm and Lift Cream, and Pomega5 Healing Cream.     

2. Gentle is the way to go when it comes to exfoliation. Instead of stripping your skin’s natural protective barrier with harsh scrubs, try a fruit-acid based peel. We’re huge fans of Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel.  

3. Schedule a facial. Seasonal shifts leave your skin more vulnerable to freak outs, so head to your favorite spa pronto. Don’t want to splurge? Get your friends together instead for a home spa party. Start off by applying a mask like June Jacobs Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque, then sit back and catch up on the latest gossip.   

4. Don’t ditch the SPF. The sun shines year round, which means you always need to apply sunscreen before heading outside. We rely on Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+. Layer it under your makeup every morning.

With a few changes in your routine, you’ll be all set to brave the chilly weather.  


Get the nitty gritty on fall’s top beauty trends with our guide

Birchbox and Jurlique Sweepstakes: Win $1000 Gift Card!

One of our new September brand partners is a company we’ve actually wanted to work with since Birchbox started: Jurlique! The Australian company is known for its all-natural skincare regimens and commitment to environmental sustainability in their products, packaging, and business practices. Our favorite fun fact? They have a 150+ acre farm in southern Australia where they grow all their natural ingredients. In fact, if you look at their website you’ll see that they’re actually harvesting chamomile this month!

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Why Serums Are a Good Investment

While I was hanging out at the Jurlique store and spa earlier this week, I learned plenty about plant botanicals and marine-based anti-aging ingredients. But the single best takeaway was something incredibly simple (and didn’t require breaking out a botany textbook). Store manager Sara LaBree told me that whenever you’re trying out a new skincare regimen you should start with the serum. The reason: Serums usually contain the highest quantities of active ingredients, so you’ll get the most bang for your buck and also be able to see how your skin reacts to the line. See? I knew there was a reason I am such a serum junkie.


Learn more about face serums with our cheat sheet and find the right one for your skin type.