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Packing List: Italy

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Next week, I’m making my first-ever (and long-overdue) trip to Italy. (Squee!) My boyfriend and I are starting in Lake Como and then working our way through Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Rome. I’ll be honest: I’m most excited about the food. That’s not to say I don’t want to wander the piazzas, explore the Tuscan hill towns, and wonder at the Sistine Chapel—I’m just planning to bracket all those delightful things with many quartinos of Montepulciano and cones of gelato. Here are some of the essentials I’m bringing with me:

Madewell Transport Tote: This roomy leather bag is tailor-made for travel. It easily fits my laptop, copious amounts of beauty products, magazines, and (of course) many, many plane snacks.

Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Mask: In Tuscany, we’re staying at La Bandita, an absolutely dreamy inn that is owned by my former Condé Nast Traveler colleague Ondine Cohane and her husband John. Ondine only had one request from New York: Rodial’s famed skin-plumping mask.

Number 4 Haircare Styling Foam: I’m a full-on mousse evangelist. I find that it’s the best/easiest/quickest way to give hair a bit of texture and wave. Number 4’s version smells incredible and dries without any tackiness. I scrunch it in and go—no need to blow-dry. 

Atelier Cologne Vetiver: Spoiler alert: We’ve got an awesome gift-with-purchase deal coming up with Atelier Cologne’s travel-size spritzes. Keep an eye out! Me, I’m taking this unisex one on the road.

Inika Mineral Foundation: I recently got a sample of this and liked it so much that I begged our brand team for a second (backup) sample to take with me. The formula is extremely light, dries to a velvet-matte finish, and blends gorgeously. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector: While I don’t plan on wearing much makeup, that doesn’t mean I can’t use a wee bit of highlighter over my blush—you know, to prettily reflect all those golden Tuscan rays. Right? 

Karuna Hydrating Treatment MaskBlame it on Birchbox, but over the years the list of things I consider travel “musts” has changed dramatically. After realizing how tough planes and travel are on my skin, I now consider a great exfoliator and a hydrating mask to be core trip essentials. I love sheet masks because they’re single-use—how great to return with less than when you started!

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner: Can’t leave home without it. That’s all. 

And Sons, David Gilbert: I bought the hardcover of this novel after my friend (and consummate reader) Eimear raved about it. I’m looking forward to unplugging and doing some nondigital reading while I’m away.

Whew! Can’t wait to see you guys in a week!

—Mollie

See what all the buzz is about! #BBBuzz, that is—in our October Teaser video

The Overpacker’s Guide to Travel Style: Guest Blogger

For June, our theme is wanderlust and we could think of no better person to wax poetic on foreign adventures than Kate Thorman, a professional travel writer. Kate’s impressive credentials include being an editor for Mr. & Mrs. Smith as well as the host/producer of the web-based travel and food program The Innocents Abroad. (In fact, she’s actually the cofounder of the show’s production company Abbott & West.) If you think you had the itch to explore before, we can guarantee that you’ll be ready to pull the trigger and book your next plane ticket after reading her travel-savvy posts this week. 

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After too many trips lugging a 50-pound bag from bus to subway to walking across a city, I realized I had to pare down my packing. I certainly don’t abide by the ‘leave half of what you want to take’ rule, but I do have a few pieces that I use as a base for each trip. Sometimes, on a quick trip, I might even just stick to these basics:

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This Spring It’s Back to Basics: Mani Monday

As much as we love nail art, we’re better at admiring designs than coming up with them ourselves. That’s why we’ve enlisted Anna Norman, the smarty pants behind Glitter, She Wrote, to be a regular contributor. Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her latest lacquer inspiration—you won’t be satisfied with plain ol’ polish again.

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The bright, eye-grabbing colors and intricate nail art that dominated the fashion runways last year have stepped aside. What’s replaced them? Minimalist-chic. In other words, pale, barely-there nails. From Marc Jacobs to Rag & Bone, the fashion scene is all about nudes and neutrals. Here’s how to get the look this spring:

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Last Chance to Use Your Madewell Discount Code!
Spring is officially here (with apologies to the Midwesterners slogging through snow), and if your wardrobe isn’t ready for warmer weather, now’s your chance to stock up. Everyone on the Birchbox mailing list received a special offer for $25 off a $75+ purchase at Madewell, which expires TODAY. Don’t miss the chance to score that new pair of sunglasses you so desperately desire need or that cross-body bag you’ve had your eye on. Here’s a look at a few items we’re crushing on in the Birchbox office, and be sure to check out the entire selection at a store near you or at Madewell.com. Don’t forget to use your code at checkout!
Eyelet Trail Dress: Versatile, comfortable, and incredibly eye-catching.
Spring Festival Necklace: Great for layering, this piece also makes quite the statement on its own. 
Hepcat Shades: These retro round frames are just too cool. 
The Essex Minibag: White feels springtime fresh, and the petite size means you won’t overpack. 
—Meredith
Learn what’s on trend for spring with these styling tips from Madewell’s editorial director. 

Last Chance to Use Your Madewell Discount Code!

Spring is officially here (with apologies to the Midwesterners slogging through snow), and if your wardrobe isn’t ready for warmer weather, now’s your chance to stock up. Everyone on the Birchbox mailing list received a special offer for $25 off a $75+ purchase at Madewell, which expires TODAY. Don’t miss the chance to score that new pair of sunglasses you so desperately desire need or that cross-body bag you’ve had your eye on. Here’s a look at a few items we’re crushing on in the Birchbox office, and be sure to check out the entire selection at a store near you or at Madewell.com. Don’t forget to use your code at checkout!

—Meredith

Learn what’s on trend for spring with these styling tips from Madewell’s editorial director. 

Chain Reactions: Special Ops

We’re always talking about the staffers in the Birchbox office, but the ones who you interact with everyday are the ladies of our hard-working Ops team. These fabulous femmes handle all of your customer service woes. We wanted to give you a chance to get to know them even better—so here’s a peek at who’s on the other side of the phone.
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One of the best parts of working with such a young, energetic team at Birchbox is that we find inspiration in each other. The ladies on my team have great creative minds and some seriously enviable styles—and often times an idea chain reaction can happen while we’re at work. (On occasion we take home less-than-awesome habits, like eating KitKats for breakfast, but that’s a story for another day).

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The Quintessential Spring Fashion and Beauty Look 
Spring and summer are my happiest times of year because I can wear my favorite clothes. (Note: I am an u-g-l-y cold weather dresser—I spend the entirety of the winter bundled in a rather unflattering Patagonia puffer.) With warm days just around the corner—fingers crossed—I am ready to shed my un-chic layers and embrace my most beloved trend of the season: chambray. 
I’ve spent a lot of time in the Madewell store recently (everyone on Birchbox’s mailing list got a $25 off $75+ and I took full advantage) and as a result, I’m really inspired to layer denim on denim—on denim! If you and I happen to have my same taste, then you’re in luck: I’ve shopped out my fave Madewell look from head to toe. 
Clothing: 
Jean Vest: There’s something really badass about a shrunken denim vest. It adds edge to even the girliest of outfits and is just as great over long sleeves as it is over tank tops. 
Perfect Chambray Ex-boyfriend Shirt: The loose fit and light wash make this a versatile essential. 
Skinny Skinny Ankle Jean in Black Frost Wash: If you don’t have a great pair of slim-fit black denim in your closet, run (don’t walk) and pick up a pair stat. These go with everything. 
Beauty: 
Marcelle BB Cream: This all-in-one multitasker masks imperfections, hydrates, controls shine, and delivers anti-aging benefits. It’s literally perfect for achieving that laidback Madewell look. 
Oribe Apres Beach and Wave Spray: Getting that tousled just-out-of-bed look is a breeze with this divine-smelling spray. 
Deborah Lippmann Amazing Grace: This it the “it” polish color this season. Trust me. 
C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream: The minimalist look doesn’t mean skipping out on moisture. Keep lips hydrated with this yummy balm. 
Benefit Benetint: There is no easier way to fake a natural flush than with this lip and cheek stain. 
Eyeko Curvy Brush Mascara: Give lashes serious oomph using this volumizing wand and formula. 
—Meredith 
Want more tips on how to look like a Madewell girl? Watch our video!

The Quintessential Spring Fashion and Beauty Look 

Spring and summer are my happiest times of year because I can wear my favorite clothes. (Note: I am an u-g-l-y cold weather dresserI spend the entirety of the winter bundled in a rather unflattering Patagonia puffer.) With warm days just around the corner—fingers crossed—I am ready to shed my un-chic layers and embrace my most beloved trend of the season: chambray.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Madewell store recently (everyone on Birchbox’s mailing list got a $25 off $75+ and I took full advantage) and as a result, I’m really inspired to layer denim on denim—on denim! If you and I happen to have my same taste, then you’re in luck: I’ve shopped out my fave Madewell look from head to toe. 

Clothing: 

  • Jean Vest: There’s something really badass about a shrunken denim vest. It adds edge to even the girliest of outfits and is just as great over long sleeves as it is over tank tops. 
  • Perfect Chambray Ex-boyfriend Shirt: The loose fit and light wash make this a versatile essential. 
  • Skinny Skinny Ankle Jean in Black Frost Wash: If you don’t have a great pair of slim-fit black denim in your closet, run (don’t walk) and pick up a pair stat. These go with everything. 

Beauty: 

  • Marcelle BB Cream: This all-in-one multitasker masks imperfections, hydrates, controls shine, and delivers anti-aging benefits. It’s literally perfect for achieving that laidback Madewell look. 
  • Oribe Apres Beach and Wave Spray: Getting that tousled just-out-of-bed look is a breeze with this divine-smelling spray. 
  • Deborah Lippmann Amazing Grace: This it the “it” polish color this season. Trust me. 
  • C.O. Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream: The minimalist look doesn’t mean skipping out on moisture. Keep lips hydrated with this yummy balm. 
  • Benefit Benetint: There is no easier way to fake a natural flush than with this lip and cheek stain. 
  • Eyeko Curvy Brush Mascara: Give lashes serious oomph using this volumizing wand and formula. 

—Meredith 

Want more tips on how to look like a Madewell girl? Watch our video!

Steal These Bloggers’ Spring Style, Courtesy of Birchbox + Madewell

Spring shopping really is the best—who can say no to shorts, bright prints, and pretty colors? But it’s even better when there’s a discount involved. If you’re on the Birchbox mailing list, then you’re in luck! You recently received a special promotion at Madewell for $25 off any purchase $75+. Take it from usour staff has already done quite a bit of damage with our offer codes at the 5th Avenue location (the brand’s spring collection is awesome).

To get you inspired to shop and use your code before it expires on April 14th, we invited several of our favorite bloggers to pull their favorite pieces from the store, and then we photographed them in their new covetable head-to-toe looks. Of course, we would never put anyone in front of the camera without treating them a primp session (this is Birchbox after all), so invited these lovely ladies to a hair styling sesh at Jeff Chastain’s Parlor followed by a makeup application from the talented Nam Vo

Scroll through the photos above for a behind-the-scenes look at the day and then click through the links below to check out the final shots! 

If you live in D.C. or Boston, join us for a special Birchbox x Madewell event on Wednesday!

Join Us at Madewell in Washington D.C. and Boston this Wednesday!
In celebration of our partnership with Madewell this month, we’re throwing two in-store shopping events on the East Coast! If you’re in Washington D.C. or Boston this Wednesday, be sure to stop by the Madewell shops from 7:30pm-9:30pm. 
Kerastase pros will be giving customers pretty braids, and we’ll have plenty of delicious cocktails and treats. Plus, you can shop Madewell’s oh-so-pretty spring collection to the beats of an in-house DJ and stock up using your discount code! (Shopping is just better when there’s an awesome jam to rock out to, right?)
Click the links below to RSVP for the event in your city:
Washington D.C.
Boston 
Love this laidback brand’s look and want to recreate it at home? Here’s how to look like a Madewell girl this spring.

Join Us at Madewell in Washington D.C. and Boston this Wednesday!

In celebration of our partnership with Madewell this month, we’re throwing two in-store shopping events on the East Coast! If you’re in Washington D.C. or Boston this Wednesday, be sure to stop by the Madewell shops from 7:30pm-9:30pm. 

Kerastase pros will be giving customers pretty braids, and we’ll have plenty of delicious cocktails and treats. Plus, you can shop Madewell’s oh-so-pretty spring collection to the beats of an in-house DJ and stock up using your discount code! (Shopping is just better when there’s an awesome jam to rock out to, right?)

Click the links below to RSVP for the event in your city:

Washington D.C.

Boston 

Love this laidback brand’s look and want to recreate it at home? Here’s how to look like a Madewell girl this spring.

Score the Madewell Look, Your Weekend Workout Playlist and More: Reading List

We know you don’t have oodles of time to browse through everything on the Birchbox blog and in the magazine each week. Here’s a short list of the top blog posts, articles, videos, and news you need to read this weekend.

Catch up on the rest of the news that you missed from this week by checking out our Morning Must Reads.

We Heart Drew Barrymore’s Wavy Updo and Pink Lips

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(Photo: FameFlynet Pictures, NBC)

Drew Barrymore recently stopped by Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to chat about her beauty line and life as a new mom—but we were too busy ogling Ms. Barrymore’s adorable spring look (for an up close view, check out the video below) to hear everything she was saying. The actress sported an adorable weekend look combo of pretty pink lips, bouncy waves fastened in a high ponytail, and fetching foral-print jeans. Here’s how to recreate her look just in time for Saturday brunch: 

Step 1: You won’t find a single blemish on Drew’s flawless complexion. Before applying your go-to complexion perfectors, prep your skin with a mattifier like MAKE’s Face Primer SPF 30

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