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4 Fierce LA Nail Art Instagrams to Follow Now

We’ve got contributing editor Natalie Alcala on speed-dial. Not only does the LA-based writer and blogger know the best places to score an unforgettable braid, she’s also discovered the secret to perfect skin from Hollywood’s elite. Every week, she’ll be cluing us in to the latest in West Coast fashion, beauty, and fun.

(Image via NCLA/Instagram)

Here in Los Angeles, we’re still obsessed with nail art. Everyone from Jaime King to Zooey Deschanel is hooked on decorating their digits at our city’s slew of creative salons, and the trend has trickled down to their many fans, too. To keep us all inspired and remind us that summer is the season for experimental beauty, here’s a roundup of four Instagram accounts that really nail it.

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4 Places to Score Enviable Eyebrows in Los Angeles

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.

We’ve been lusting after Camilla Belle’s eye-catching brows for years. (Photo: Getty Images)

Besides brilliant braids, the hottest trend on the West Coast these days is a bold brow. From Camilla Belle’s flawless arches on the red carpet (pictured) to Demi Lovato’s ever-evolving shape on X-Factor, Hollywood has totally gone Brooke Shields—and I like it.

If you find yourself in L.A., here’s a roundup of the best brow bars for every budget.

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In Defense of Freckles, Spots, Moles and Beauty Marks

These bare-faced beauties embrace their specks. Gorgeous. (Photo:

For any spotted beauties out there who have hidden their freckles, spots or unusually-shaped beauty marks, here’s a reason to embrace every last dot. Los Angeles photographer Reto Caduff has devoted an entire limited-edition book, Freckles, to black and white portraits honoring these pretty spots—and every one of these women looks amazing.

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5 Places to Score Brilliant Braids in LA

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.

It’s no secret that the ladies of Birchbox are smitten with braided 'dos—and I share their affection. In fact, the braid craze is at its peak here in L.A., and a bevy of salons now offer styling services dedicated to these trendy twists. The next time you find yourself on the West Coast, be sure to stop by one of these hot spots to step up your braid game.

Nine Zero One Salon
901 Westbourne Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069
This place is special in my heart because their Braid Bar will hook you up with any style under the sun for $25 a pop! And these guys are wizards at it—case in point above. I received so many inquiries the day Nine Zero gave me this half-up look, which their stylist whipped up in about six minutes.

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Calling All LA Ladies: Benefit & Birchbox Invite You For A Beauty Refresher!

Birchbox and Benefit invite you to get ready for a gorgeous spring with expert brow shaping, makeup touch ups, and more at their Santa Monica boutique!

When: Tuesday, April 17th

Purchase tickets for one of two time slots (6pm or 7pm). Tickets are $45.

Each ticket includes:
-A $35 store credit toward any purchase during the event
-Complimentary brow shaping
-Complimentary makeup application using Benefit’s POREfessional and other wonder products
-Sweets and treats
-Birchbox gift bag

Where: Benefit Boutique 1210 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90403

Space is limited, so RSVP to

The Non-Glam New Year’s Eve Trip: Packing List

I love New York 364 days of the year. The one day that I can’t stand being in the city? New Year’s Eve. This year, I’m escaping to sunny Los Angeles, where I have absolutely nothing planned, save for a trip to Flore Vegan for my new favorite salad and some quality time at the Silverlake Farmer’s Market. Here’s what I’m bringing for my low-key trip.

Nuxe Multi-Use Dry Oil with Golden Shimmer: My arms and legs are looking preeetty pasty these days, which is fine when you’re all bundled up in NYC, but not fine when you’re in palm tree land. This silky oil takes care of dryness instantly and gives skin a subtle sheen.

BY Terry Hyaluronic Face Glow: Lately, I’ve been skipping foundation in favor of this hydrating tinted primer. It has hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite skincare ingredients (it loads up your skin with moisture!), and light-reflecting particles that give your face a diffused glow. Oh yeah, and it smells amazing, too. 

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Party Pics: Birchbox + Smashbox Event in Los Angeles

We may be a New York-based company, but we have members in all 50 states. Last week we got to meet some of our amazing California Birchbox-ers at our Birchbox + Smashbox party in Los Angeles. Smashbox generously loaned us their Culver City studio and 12 pro artists for a night of makeup, cocktails, and fun. In addition to makeovers, celebrity photographer Steven Khan and his team heroically snapped portraits of all the attendees with their glam new looks. And, of course, everyone left with a fuchsia goody bag. Here are some of our favorite pics from the event. All photos by Deano Mueller.

Haven’t you heard? Gift boxes are the new gift bag.

Don’t you just want to scoop up all these yummy palettes? 

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Packing List: Hollywood!

Who has packing tips for me? My overstuffed suitcase.

Ok, I’m not actually going to Hollywood. But I am going to L.A. (weather permitting, fingers crossed) for a video shoot with a few of our brand partners. Assuming I get off the ground (again, knock on wood), here’s what I’m bringing.

1. Amika mini hair dryer: This is part of Amika’s Giraffe Go Go Travel Set, which we’re adding to the shop in September. Besides the too-cute print, this little guy is powerful enough to dry my hair in under ten minutes.

2. New Balance 10: Part of New Balance’s new Minimus line, these trail sneaks are extremely light with a semi-stiff, flexi sole. I feel like Flash Gordon in them, even if I move more like a snail.

3. Tanya Anguiniga Studio Rope Bracelet: Katia ordered this amazingly oversize bracelet for me off Fab (not avail anymore, sorry!) and at first, I thought it was way too big. I was obviously wrong. It’s amazing. (Also amazing: Fab.)

4. TSA-compliant makeup bag: All of my current essentials, and then some: Dr. Jart Beauty Balm; One Love Organics Easy Does It Cleanser; Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint; and more.

5. Warby Parker Prestons: We had a fun trunk show/happy hour with the Warby Park kids last week and I swear the entire BB team now owns either Preston glasses or Everett sunnies. I feel smarter just wearing mine.

6. J. Crew belt: Can’t go anywhere without a skinny metallic belt.


P.S. Completely unrelated, but I’m loving Deborah Lippmann’s Lara’s Theme — a juicy orange that’s for the last few weeks of summer!