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The Natural Deodorant that Really Works: Guest Blogger

At first glance, you might think that Kathy Ong’s Beauty Palette blog is just your average beauty blogbut you’d be wrong. The underlying theme behind everything that she covers is this: what you put on your face is just as important as what you put into your body. In her own words, “a defining aspect of beauty is nutrition.” Hear hear! This week, she’s sharing her best beauty tips—for both inside and out—on the Birchbox blog.

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Among my many beauty quests, one of the longest I’ve endured is my search for an effective natural deodorant. I’m not going to lie—when I used conventional deodorants, I was definitely more of an extra strength kind of gal. Also, I’m pretty active in my day-to-day life: I walk to and from work every day and my favorite workouts generally entail a ton of sweating. With that in mind, I thought switching to a deodorant without aluminum, an ingredient you really don’t want to absorb into your underarm region, was basically a lost cause. Every natural option I had ever tried left me super self-conscious by the end of the day and I’d find myself pressing my arms against my sides hoping that nobody would notice my slightly…earthy scent.

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My Favorite Beauty Finds: Guest Blogger

Monique Valeris of home and design blog Decor Musings always has fantastic suggestions for how to spruce up your domestic space, but she’s also an avid beauty fan with a keen eye for products. Just in time for the seasonal revamping of our makeup bags, Monique told us the must-haves that are on her vanity now.

(Photo: potterybarn.com)

I’m such a sucker for beauty products. I can spend hours in Sephora or even my local Duane Reade in search of the perfect perfume, lip gloss or whatever else I’m after at the moment. Here are the products that I love right now:

Urban Decay Perversion Matte Eyeshadow: This is my top pick for a night on the town. Couple it with your favorite black eyeliner and you’ll look fab in an instant.

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Fragrance Fit for a Power Outage

Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.

(Photo: hellobeautiful.com)

Over the weekend, severe storms pounded parts of the country from Missouri to New York to my little corner of Virginia, leaving millions (yes millions) sans electricity. Currently, I’m using a blissfully air-conditioned coffee shop as my office because my house is a sweat box with no working outlets. But, the boost in mercury and power shortage has given me the opportunity to experiment with my fragrance stash and find the perfect hot weather scents. You know how it goes: If you wear something too heavy during the summer months, you’re liable to make someone pass out from the fumes; if you wear something too light, you sweat it off after 10 minutes.

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Fragrances for the Perfume-Phobe

As long as I can remember, I have never been into fragrance. I don’t like it on myself, on my significant other, or on the gentlemen sitting next to me on the subway. No matter how many perfumes I try, I always have the same reaction: it smells like rubbing alcohol. Even a single spritz is too much for me to handle. But every season, when I hear about fragrance launches from Calvin Klein, Kim Kardashian, and everyone in between, I feel a little left out. As a self-described “beauty enthusiast,” I feel as like I am putting my title to shame by being fragrance-free. With a little research, I found great options for other sensitive sniffers:

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Baby On the Way! Product Picks if You’re Pregnant

We’re not being biased when we say that our Birchbox moms have some preeeetty adorable kids. Like really super duper adorable. And now we have another one on the way: our Production Manager, Alicia, is pregnant! Whoo! Since she found out, she’s been researching the best products for pregnant moms — here are some of her favorites.

I love products that do double duty and since I found out that I am pregnant, I am even more excited about multi-use items. I’ve found some great products that are great for both you and your baby.

Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder: As far as I’m concerned, this is the original dry shampoo. Divide your hair in sections and sprinkle some on the roots — but be careful not to use to much as you may start to look like grandma! 

Lavanila The Healthy Baby Lotion: This chemical-free lotion contains 30 essential vitamins and minerals, making it perfect for baby or adults with sensitive skin. Plus the sunflower and vanilla oils nourish skin and add a light fresh scent. 

California Baby Holiday Cheer Aromatherapy Bubble Bath: Blended with calming orange, lavender and vanilla scents, this bubble bath is key for relaxing after a long day of holiday shopping. 

Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Free of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, this healing wonder cream is perfect for fixing winter skin or protecting baby from diaper rash.

—Alicia

Pick up more healthy skincare products in the Birchbox Shop.

5 Deodorants To Try

I’ve been using the same deodorant since I was a teenager. It’s not because I think it’s particularly amazing or because of its price tag (though it is a drugstore brand). Nope, it’s plain old product inertia. Since I’ve been known to try upwards of a dozen different skincare products in a week, it’s high time I start being more experimental with my personal care. Here, five standout deodorants for your non-sweating pleasure:

Bored of being powder-fresh? Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant

Wallpaper and Esquire are big fans, so who am I to argue? Malin + Goetz’s unisex antiperspirant is aluminum-free and extra effective, thanks to the naturally antibacterial and antiseptic eucalyptus extract. Plus, it smells incredibly fresh.

Natural and delicious: Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

I’m already addicted to Lavanila’s bodywash, so I had a good feeling about their deodorant. I tried the Vanilla Grapefruit, which is a soft solid that goes on slightly white. Unlike saccharine vanilla products, this one is clean and delicious. It kept me dry all through a flowy vinyasa class — and I even smelled good after!

Chic and clear: Fresh Sugar Deodorant

I’d give this ladylike number to my chicest friends — the scent is lovely and the clear formula won’t stain your pretty blouses. It’s not the most hardcore formula, though — don’t wear it to work out.

Share with your guy friends: Task Essential Keep Fresh Deodorant

This product may be geared towards men, but I loved the refreshing scent and the fact that it kept me (mostly) sweat-free during a long bike ride.

Serious sweat protection: DERMAdoctor Med-e-Tate Wipes

Sometimes regular deodorants just don’t cut it. These medicated wipes are designed to curb excessive perspiration — and they really work. They’re perfect for times when you really can’t afford to sweat (think summer weddings where silk is mandatory).

—Mollie

When anti-antiperspirant isn’t enough, doctors are prescribing a very surprising treatment: Botox. We gave it a try — find out if it worked.

Packing List: Maine-iac, Maine-iac

This weekend, I went home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day. Since my mom is an avid follower of our blog, I couldn’t post this on Friday for fear that she’d see it. I grew up in Miami but my parents moved to Maine seven years ago and haven’t looked back since. When I go home, it’s a complete reversal of my New York life, which is why I love it: quiet with nothing to do besides sit in the kitchen and read the paper or take my dog for walks along the water. (Oh, and the J.Crew outlet. There’s that.) Accordingly, I wear zero makeup when I’m home. Here’s what I brought instead. 

—Mollie

AHAVA Dermud Intensive Foot Cream: My feet are a mess. Since I haven’t had the time to get a pedicure, I’m going to try to take advantage of being in a real house (access to a bath tub!) by giving myself an at-home pedi: soak, pumice, finish with tons of this rich lotion.

Lavanila The Healthy Body Wash in Vanilla Grapefruit: This is my favorite new body wash, so I’m bringing one home for my mom, too. It’s part of my plan to slowly make over her bathroom, product by product. This paraben- and synthetic-free suds is good for the skin, and smells so good I want to eat it.

Deborah Lippmann ‘My Old Flame’: My mom is extremely low-maintenance but she loves getting her toes done with bright colors. I’m giving her this classic, creamy red to take with her to the nail salon the next time she goes.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel: I have been terrible about making the time to use a mask, event though I know my skin is in need of some serious exfoliation (dull, dry). This alpha hydroxy peel will work for both me and my mom, so I’ll make her do it too!

Weleda Skin Food: My dad is an architect turned mini Bob Vila, and he is celebrating his semi-retirement by renovating our entire house, building cold frames and raised beds for his garden, and doing other handy man things. Result: he has the roughest, most cracked hands I’ve ever seen. I’m bringing him Weleda’s super rich Skin Food in the hopes that it can remedy them.

Guest Blogger: Ecofabulous on Va-Va-(La)Vanila

For April’s Birchbox, we teamed up with the well-respected green chic site,Ecofabulous. Their experts helped us pick several of the environmentally-friendly goodies featured in this month’s box and founder Zem Joaquin even generously served as our latest Birchbox Crush. This week we have Caitlin Bristol, the site’s creative director, blogging about all things green and fantastic. Today she’s going la la for Lavanila.

So it’s Earth Week, and maybe you’ve already made the switch to organic food? You likely mastered carrying your reusable bottle and to-go ware with you at all times ages ago. And you may even have ventured into a few conscious fashion purchases. But when it come to a lady’s, er… scent, it can be hard to make the switch to natural deodorant. Truth is, while they come bundled with a package of unintended consequences and side effects, those harsh chemicals do keep the smell at bay. But why sacrifice safety when you can have something that’s just as effective and smells just as nice (if not better, we’d argue)?

Welcome to LAVANILA – the reason underarms all over the world are raised in olfactory confidence. Using non-toxic, natural, and organic ingredients, LAVANILA deodorants are free of petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, aluminum, synthetic dyes, and other nasties commonly found in products aimed at preventing underarm odor. They’re also packaged in an adorable recyclable case. Really, the toughest choice you’ll have to make now is between the purist scent, Vanilla, and all the latest pairings.

If you’re hesitant to make the deodorant switch, try out LAVANILA’s Body Butter or Healthy Body Wash (plus 20% of the purchase this month goes to Global Green USA) — luxe products with a conscience.

Browse some of our favorite Lavanila products in the Birchbox Shop.

Get more ideas on how to go green with our lazy girls’ guide.

Lavanila’s Billion Tree Initiative

One of our latest natural beauty crushes, Lavanila, is going above and beyond this Earth Day. They’ve teamed up with the Nature Conservancy and are helping the organization reach its goal of planting a billion trees—yes, a billion. Not only will they plant a tree for every order in their online shop, but they’re also pledging to add a new sapling for every Facebook ‘Like’ they get on April 21st and 22nd. Now there’s a reason for Facebook procrastination.