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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

SCORE HEALTHY LOCKS BY THE END OF LABOR DAY WITH THIS POWERHOUSE KIT
What is it?  An exclusive, Herculean collection of hair products designed to revive stressed out tresses and combat the dulling effects of heat styling. 
Who is it perfect for? If you’ve never met a styling tool you didn’t like, routinely dye your locks, or simply spent too much time in the sun and surf this summer, this nourishing kit is for you. Even if you’re not a blow drying fiend, the moisturizing formulas will help you score super healthy locks. 
How do I use it?  While showering, use the Clarifying Shampoo to wash away all the things you don’t want in your hair (like chlorine and mineral deposits), while leaving the things you do (like your new highlights). Then, apply the creamy masque and let it sit for about five minutes. Post-shower, apply the protein-packed conditioning spray to help rebuild weakened hair from the inside out. Bonus: The travel-sized Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil protects against UV rays and reduces drying time.
Have you tried any of Number 4 Hair Care’s hair saviors? Tell us what you think!
Check out our instagram feed over the long weekend for a chance to win your very own Beat the Heat Kit! 

SCORE HEALTHY LOCKS BY THE END OF LABOR DAY WITH THIS POWERHOUSE KIT

What is it?  An exclusive, Herculean collection of hair products designed to revive stressed out tresses and combat the dulling effects of heat styling. 

Who is it perfect for? If you’ve never met a styling tool you didn’t like, routinely dye your locks, or simply spent too much time in the sun and surf this summer, this nourishing kit is for you. Even if you’re not a blow drying fiend, the moisturizing formulas will help you score super healthy locks. 

How do I use it?  While showering, use the Clarifying Shampoo to wash away all the things you don’t want in your hair (like chlorine and mineral deposits), while leaving the things you do (like your new highlights). Then, apply the creamy masque and let it sit for about five minutes. Post-shower, apply the protein-packed conditioning spray to help rebuild weakened hair from the inside out. Bonus: The travel-sized Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil protects against UV rays and reduces drying time.

Have you tried any of Number 4 Hair Care’s hair saviors? Tell us what you think!

Check out our instagram feed over the long weekend for a chance to win your very own Beat the Heat Kit! 

How To: Triple Braided Hairstyle Tutorial

A few weeks ago, we asked our Facebook followers to vote on their favorite medium-length hairstyle and this triple braided overwhelmingly received the most love. Whether you need an easy wedding updo or a pretty way to keep your hair up, this boho-chic hairstyle should do the trick. All it takes is three simple braids, some bobby pins, elastics, and of course, hairsprayAnd while it’s lovely on its own, don’t be afraid to twist it to your taste—you can add pretty hair clips or other embellishments to make it your own.

Check out Candice’s video for the full tutorial on this gorgeous look. 

What are your go-to hairstyles for medium-length hair?

—Geraldine

Looking for a look that’s more sleek and professional? Here’s how the achieve the perfect easy sock bun.

Find Out What Products are Coming in Your August Birchbox
A new month means a new Birchbox Sneak Peek video! If you’ve been itching to find out what this month’s box will hold, the wait is over.
Check out the video below and then tell us in the comments what you’re most looking forward to. (And just a reminder: these are just a few of the over 80 products we’re sampling this month, so you could find other exciting options in your box!)

—Lorelei
Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see our Sneak Peek video each month.

Find Out What Products are Coming in Your August Birchbox

A new month means a new Birchbox Sneak Peek video! If you’ve been itching to find out what this month’s box will hold, the wait is over.

Check out the video below and then tell us in the comments what you’re most looking forward to. (And just a reminder: these are just a few of the over 80 products we’re sampling this month, so you could find other exciting options in your box!)

—Lorelei

Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to see our Sneak Peek video each month.

4 Color-Protecting Ingredients You Should Know

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Summer is approaching, which means that many of us will be visiting the salon for a lighter hair shade, highlights, or both. This year, we’re getting smart about protecting our expensively dyed hair from the sun. Protect your strands against UV rays with our handy round-up of the best color-protecting ingredients: 

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A Curly Hair Routine That Prevents Frizz and Defines Curls Once and For All
Staffer Caroline is a frequent source of hair admiration around the office since her natural curls somehow achieve that perfect balance of weightlessness and a total lack of frizz. Luckily, we convinced her to show us exactly what she does each morning to get her curls so defined and lovely. Check out the video below to see her routine and the products she swears by—there’s even a trick in there I’m appropriating for my naturally straight hair! 

—Lorelei
Caroline isn’t the only one sharing her go-to products: find our Cofounders’ and Editorial Director’s must-haves in the Birchbox Shop.

A Curly Hair Routine That Prevents Frizz and Defines Curls Once and For All

Staffer Caroline is a frequent source of hair admiration around the office since her natural curls somehow achieve that perfect balance of weightlessness and a total lack of frizz. Luckily, we convinced her to show us exactly what she does each morning to get her curls so defined and lovely. Check out the video below to see her routine and the products she swears by—there’s even a trick in there I’m appropriating for my naturally straight hair! 

—Lorelei

Caroline isn’t the only one sharing her go-to products: find our Cofounders’ and Editorial Director’s must-haves in the Birchbox Shop.

How to Get Healthy, Hydrated Hair with Number 4: Birchbloggers

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Birchblogger ChanelWears shows us how she put Number 4 Hair Care to the test. 

Scoring celeb-worthy curls sometimes requires using products and tools which can sap strands natural moisture and leave them looking dull and brittle. It’s easy to forget that while we’re in the process of making our hair look good, that can sometimes prevent it from looking naturally healthy and shiny.

Number 4 Hair Care is one brand that we can’t get enough of because their products tackle damaged hair and restore its natural sheen. Besides the chic, minimalist packaging that makes our shower feel über sophisticated, we love that their formulas are sulfate-, paraben-, and gluten-free, and 100 percent vegan. Not to mention that they’re gentle on our locks while still being totally effective. The natural blend of ingredients helps reverse color fading, brittleness, and dullness.

Last month, we invited our Birchblogger community to try the Number 4 Hydrate and Style Kit containing their L’eau de Mer Hydrating Shampoo, L’eau de Mer Hydrating Condition, and Blow Dry Lotion. Read more to find out what our bloggers noticed after trying these products:

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Packing List: Hawaiian Island Vacay

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I wouldn’t trade New York for any other city, but right about this time of year I start to miss the ocean like whoa. I’m headed to Hawaii this week to visit family and get my fix of palm trees, sand, and spam musubi. (Not kidding—don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.) Here’s what I’m packing for my tropical escape. 

1. La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser: I’m a big proponent of face wipes, both at work (key when product-testing) and when traveling. These hydrating wipes have both aloe vera and vitamin E—they’ll come in handy on the 12-hour flight as well as any beach adventures.

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3 Ways to Make Your TV Habit Way More Healthy

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We’re only hours away from the Oscars and with it, the prospect of sitting in front of the TV for four-plus hours. While this week is a bit extreme, most of us have our own Sunday night viewing rituals (any fellowThe Good Wife fans out there?). 

For someone like me, who neglects cuticles till they’re ragged and spaces out on regular facials, Sunday nights are my time to catch up on both my favorite shows and my beauty rituals. (Let the record also show that I’m impatient and love to multitask.) Here are three ways that I’m making my tube time more healthy:

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Get a Half-Up with Loose Curls Look à la Kristin Cavallari

As much as we love a good holiday party (mulled wine! cookies!), we don’t always love the endless prep. Finding an outfit and beauty look for each event is hard enough; wrangling our hair into a cute ‘do can push us over the edge. This week, we’re arming ourselves—and you—with plenty of options. With the help of Number 4 Hair Care’s Jordan Nicole Webb, we’ve put together three holiday hair styles for every skill level

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(Photo: stylebistro.com)

Today, a glam style perfect for the red carpet and a holiday shindig, courtesy of Kristin Cavallari. Click through for a step-by-step photo tutorial!

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