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5 Up-and-Coming Beauty Brands You Need to Try: Guest Blogger

We love surfing Heather Walczuk’s blog, Beauty Unbiased, for her smart and on-point makeup reviews, pretty photos and her upbeat insight. The resident New Yorker always has great tips for making the most out of your products, which is why we’re excited that this week she’s sharing tips about her fave summer finds, makeup-artists must-haves, and how to get a gorgeous top knot.

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I’m all about the “humble brag” when I’ve discovered something before it gets big. That’s probably why I like to shop at vintage stores, frequent small, hidden restaurants, and watch independent films. But discovering smaller beauty brands isn’t always as easy. My indie beauty needs finally met their match at the HBA Global Expo, a beauty conference where editors handpicked 31 emerging beauty companies to be featured in a special exhibition called Splash Pavilion. Here are five of the up-and-coming beauty brands that you should be on the lookout for:

1. Karuna Skincare: I see better results for at home spa nights in your future. Karuna offers a collection of affordable yet luxurious cloth masks that trap serum deep in your pores. The newest product in their lineup is the Karuna Luxe Skin Restoring Mask, which hydrates and brightens skin.

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Hot Pink Lips for Summer: Guest Blogger

This week’s guest blogger, Vida Lee, hits close to home for us—literally! She’s a beauty guru based in our hometown: New York City. Aside from being a product addict, she’s also a medical school student (whoa!) who makes time on the side for her pretty blog, P.S. It’s Vida. Over the next few days, the smarty savant will be sharing her greatest tips and tricks for staying prepped and primed for summer.

Summer is all about bright colors, which makes it a bit difficult for a neutral lover like myself to come out of her shell. Here are some products I love to use which keep my look simple while I’m sporting a statement lip:

1. Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner: When I want to keep eyes simple, I use this gel eyeliner to create a thick black line with a flick. It’s creamy and smooth, long lasting, and has a great intense black color.

2. Prestige My Blackest Lashes: This mascara works wonders for separating and volumizing—with two coats, you’ll have jumbo, thick lashes that add the perfect touch of drama to an otherwise simple eye.

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Tubular Products For My Lips: Guest Blogger

A self-proclaimed beauty addict and over-the-top girly girl, Lara Ramos has been dedicated to living a pretty lifestyle since birth. Her blog, The Glossarie, highlights ground-breaking beauty products and little laid-back luxuries. This week, in Lara’s second appearance as a guest blogger, she shares the newest items that have caught her eye and her personal must-haves.

So many of the most beloved lip balms and glosses come in a convenient tube. (I am not one for sticking my finger in a pot, and carrying around a lip brush can be a real pain.) There’s something about the slick application of color from a tube that leaves an almost glaze-like finish on lips, with extra-pigmented shine.

Here are my of-the-moment favorites for totally tubular lips. From top to bottom:

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Glossaholics, Say Hello to Secret Agent Beauty

I have a don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy when it comes to lip gloss: if you don’t ask me how many I own, then I won’t have to reveal that I keep approximately a dozen shades on me at any given time. They get jumbled around with the loose change, spare hair ties, and expired Metrocards sitting in the bottom of my purse. I’m a bit disorganized (to say the least), but even I can keep track of the keepsake glosses in Secret Agent Beauty’s The Skinnys Collection. This new brand has bundled five mini-tubes in a black sequin zipper bag that’s glamorous enough to whip out in a nightclub bathroom when you’re surrounded by primping strangers in stilettos. 

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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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butter LONDON LIPPY Lip Glosses Help Us Get All Matchy Matchy

We’ve long been fans of boutique polish brand butter LONDON’s kicky nail products. The brand has been a staple at Fashion Week for forever, so the line is always filled with the trendy colors we can’t find anywhere else. Sadly, we’ve always had to satisfy ourselves with just nail polish…until now. We can finally add butter LONDON to our list of favorite makeup lines as well.

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Having Fun With More Than Just Fuchsia

From left to right: Mirage, Peony, and Glisten.

When we announced the debut of our custom fuchsia Jouer gloss, we knew it would create a splash. But we had no idea so many of you would want to snag it for yourselves! Even we were surprised at how quickly the first batch of Birchbox Pink glosses flew off our shelves, and now we’re waiting for the next round to arrive at our warehouse. We know many of you are still biting your lips in anticipation, so sign up for the wait list and we’ll let you know as soon as we have more in stock.

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Birchbox Pink: Flattering On Every Skin Tone

Working at Birchbox means that we get to do fun things like try out the latest new products, star in videos, and best of all: create custom lip gloss colors! We teamed up with Jouer to whip up a hot hot pink (what else would you expect?) to go in the December Birchboxes — so if you’re a subscriber, this is the time to do your happy dance and get excited.

But even though this shade looks crazy pink, it’s actually gorgeously sheer. You can slick on one coat for a pretty wash of color or build it up for more pigment. (Tip: If you want to punch it up, layer it over an opaque pink lipstick.) And to prove that it is a truly wearable hue — for everyone — we asked three staffers of varying skin tones to apply it and then snap a pic. Click through to see their photos and read what they had to say about the shade! 

Birchbox staffers Caroline, Jennie, and Bianca

"I love how subtle this shade is and how it’s extra moisturizing." —Caroline

"This is not a color I would usually pick out for myself, but it looks amazing on! It’s definitely my new fave." —Jennie

"I was really surprised by how sheer it is when I put it on, but I really like it. I will be wearing this all the time." —Bianca

Check out the rest of Jouer’s amazing products here.

Sneak Peek: December Birchbox Exclusive Sample

We know we usually keep the contents of your Birchboxes a secret, but we had to bend the rules this month. All our members will be receiving an exciting, Birchbox-exclusive sample in their December Birchboxes. Yes, you read right: Exclusive. We worked with Jouer to create a custom lip gloss in — what else? — hot hot pink. You’ll all be receiving a sample of Birchbox Pink Lip Gloss very soon but if you want a sneak peek, click through!

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A Better Lip Plumper: Bare Escentuals Lip Polish

When the first wave of lip plumpers came out, I mostly stayed away. I don’t feel particularly envious of Angelina’s pillowy pout (I’d much rather have those major lashes), and truth be told, the early plumpers actually stung. But these products have come a long way, and I’m loving the latest version to cross my desk: Bare Escentuals Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Polish. I could do without the silly name but I love the super thick formula, which gives my lips an almost glassy finish without being sticky. It also makes my lips tingle, but instead of being painful, just makes me feel like it’s freshening my breath. Totally psychosomatic, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

—Mollie

Not into tingles? Try Laura Mercier’s Lip Glace, which will give you a crazy shiny polish without any side effects.