Nerd alert: one of our favorite things to do is read the customer reviews in the Birchbox Shop. You all are an opinionated bunch—and we like it! We especiallylove the love letters you write to your favorite products. (Though we’re still waiting on the haikus and iambic pentameter.) From time to time, we’ll be highlighting extrasweet customer serenades. Next up, a sweet, aromatic, and organic tea blend.
In 1996, husband-and-wife duo Gary Shinner and Jill Portman opened an unassuming teahouse on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. Word got out, and the success of their enterprise led them to create their own brand of specialty teas. Nowadays, Mighty Leaf Tea Company creates top-notch blends for discerning tea drinkers from coast to coast. Here’s what some Birchbox fans had to say:
"I don’t drink tea very often so when this sample arrived, it quickly found a home in my kitchen cabinets. Coffee is often my drink of choice but an out-of-the-blue springtime cold had me feeling under the weather, and this little bag was just what I needed. The taste is strong but not overbearing— most teas I’ve had are very weak in flavor—but this was delicious. A little bit of honey and my throat was feeling much better. Will definitely be getting more in the future, maybe even trying the others from the brand."- Stephanie
“I’ve been a tea drinker since middle school and this tea was one of the best I’ve had. One bag was enough to get quality flavor when following the convenient brewing instructions. I was particularly impressed by the green tea’s smooth finish since other green teas I’ve had tend to have a funky after taste. The chamomile was my favorite though. I’ve already bought two boxes and know I’ll be buying more when I run out.”- Giraffe1182
“I am usually a coffee drinker and I feel like this tea could change that. I loved that you could actually see the tea leaves and even flowers in the tea bag, which was so cool. Plus, the smell was amazing. I think I am converting from coffee to Mighty Leaf Tea!!” - Stephanieocnj
Have you tried these palette-pleasing teas? Let us know what you think!
Customer Reviews let you share your opinion with the Birchbox community.Get the scoop on leaving feedback here!
Here’s a major beauty myth: Natural products can’t hold up to traditional formulations in terms of performance. In reality, there are plenty of green brands that can deliver the same results—without any skin-irritating additives. Here are five must-try all-natural creations we’re crazy about:
Susie Wang is making a serious splash in the cosmetics world. In addition to founding 100% Pure, a line of all-natural skincare essentials, this Berkeley grad rescues dogs, champions earth-friendly causes, and isn’t afraid to rock a bold lipstick.
We asked the superchic entrepreneur about her makeup inspiration, the products she can’t live with out, and much more.
I was so excited when this new trio of organic skincare products landed on my desk. A package arrived last week packed with a cleanser, bath and body salt, and recently launched face oil from one of my favorite NYC-based facialists, Negin Niknejad. I’d been asking (okay, begging and pleading) for something to save my dried-out winter skin, and this was Niknejad’s delicious-smelling answer. I love her holistic approach to beauty—she doesn’t believe in using chemical-laden products and has convinced me to pay closer attention to what I eat (I’ve been devouring tons of salads as a result).
As soon as I met Negin Niknejad, I understood why an increasing number of New York women are asking her to save their stressed-out skin. The Iranian-born aesthetician has an amazingly calm demeanor—it’s no surprise that she is a yogi and has studied Ayurvedic healing in India. A graduate of the Aveda Institute, Niknejad opened her own Chelsea skincare studio where she solves even the most stubborn complexion issues. She kicked off our recent session by offering me a cup of rose and nettle tea and washing my hands with a homemade chai-scented scrub.
What truly sets Niknejad apart from other facialists is her strictly DIY philosophy: she makes all her treatments by hand with natural and organic ingredients—from local fruits and veggies sourced from the Union Square Farmer’s Market to exotic ingredients like rose water (which features prominently in all her facials). She takes the same amount of care with her JustBe Skin line of products.
Niknejad treated me to an hour of bliss that included a raw honey mask to moisturize my dehydrated skin, a clay mask to cleanse and decongest my pores, and the least tear-inducing extractions I’ve ever experienced. I also got the chance to chat about her favorite ingredients and her SPF regimen—read on to get Niknejad’s best skincare tips!
Last month, we ask our Birchbloggers to send us their blog posts about why they care about organic beauty for the chance to win an interview with the CEO of Juice Beauty, Karen Behnke. There were lots of great submissions but we were especially impressed by The Bee’s Knees Blog. Today we’re excited to publish their interview. Enjoy!
The Bee’s Knees: How did you decide to use and develop organic beauty products?
Karen Behnke: Health, wellness, and fitness have always been my passion and turned into my career once I built one of the first corporate wellness companies in the country. But once I became pregnant with my first child (at the age of 40), I really started reading ingredient labels for the first time. I was shocked that many terrible ingredients that had been banned from our food were still in our beauty products. Given that the skin is the largest organ of your body and it absorbs almost 65 percent of what you put on it, realizing the benefits of organic beauty ingredients was a natural progression.
For years, I’ve been a dedicated early AM gym buff. I love my morning endorphin boosts, but I hate schlepping all my stuff to the gym and getting ready in the locker room. As a result, I’ve pared my post-workout beauty routine down to a minimum.
Beyond the fact that I don’t dry my hair (cheating, I know), my trick is to bring multi-use products that save space and time. My latest love is Revolution Organics Freedom Glow, an all-in-one color that works on cheeks, lips, and eyes. (Spoiler! some lucky members will be receiving a Freedom Glow in this month’s Birchbox). Like all Revolution Organics products, the Freedom Glow is totally natural and loaded with healthy ingredients like jojoba, olive oil, and shea butter. Thanks to all those hydrators, it has a super-creamy consistency and gives skin a velvety finish.
You wouldn’t know it from how much we talk about cookies, but Birchbox staffers are a pretty healthy bunch. We love our veggies and mind-clearing workouts, and are always up to try the latest fitness class or nutrition bar. Which is why we have new regular column: Well-Balanced. Check back weekly for our latest wellness obsession.
It’s a well-documented fact, that I am a Cookie Monster of the first order. I’ve about given up on conquering my sweet tooth, but I am attempting to make healthier choices. When I chatted with Food Matters founder Tricia Williams, she told me that one of her favorite snacks is dark chocolate, preferably raw and/or organic, which has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Fun fact: raw cacao has more antioxidants than any other food. With that glowing endorsement, I embarked on the herculean task of finding the best healthy chocolate on the market. Click through for my favorites.
One Lucky Duck: This New York-based raw food cafe has a knack for making virtuous food taste absolutely decadent (witness their beloved Mallomar). I recently discovered their line of raw (and organic and vegan) chocolate bars, and I’m hooked. Their five-bar gift set would make a great Valentine’s Day present for your greens-loving buddies. My favorite: The Buckwheat Chocolate Bar, which sounds ridiculous, but tastes amazing. Think grapenuts plus chocolate. Or just toasty chocolate—either way, it’s fantastic.
Pacari Ecuadorian Chocolate: This family-owned company is known for its artisanal bars, made in small batches from single-origin Ecuadorian cacao. All of their products are organic, but they also have a line of completely raw bars, which are produced at extremely low temperatures. Unlike some organic chocolate, Pacari’s bars have a smooth and melty mouth feel, and come in a range of exciting flavors. My favorite: The Salt & Nibs, which pairs flaky Peruvian sea salt with organic dark chocolate nibs.
NibMor: our director of marketing, Deena, introduced me to this line of New York-based organic, vegan chocolate. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, refined sugar-free…and somehow still tastes indulgent. My favorite: Dark Chocolate Almond, for its nutty crunch factor.
Fine & Raw: I love everything about this Brooklyn-based line, from the gorgeously designed recycled paper wrappers to their high-brow flavor combinations. I’d eat a bar a day if I could. My favorite: Bonbon Bar, a deep dark bar laced with vanilla, sea salt, and agave.
What’s your favorite healthy chocolate? Tell me in the comments!
The flip side of being a cookie addict? Being equally loyal to exercise. Check out our take on the latest fitness craze.
I was at a Juice Beauty media lunch the other day, and in addition to gossiping about recent online scandals, I also got a real-time reminder that Juice’s products really, really work. It sounds like the tagline of an informercial but Juice Beauty’s Green Apple Peel Full Strength does give an instant boost to your skin, without any gimmicks. Unlike many so-called natural lines, Juice Beauty uses an organic juice solution as their base instead of water. This brings the organic content in their products up to a whopping 98 percent, unlike many brands which have organic content hovering around 5 percent.
Now back to that extra brightening peel. It uses an hydroxy acid complex of organic apple, lemon, grape juices, raw cane sugar and white willow bark to brighten and exfoliate so by the time you rinse off your mask (after 10-15 minutes) you’ll see a noticeable difference. Natural products tend to have a reputation for being less effective but you’ll feel these enzymes going to work as soon as you put the peel on your skin. It’s normal for your skin to feel a bit tingly and look a bit pink, but if it’s uncomfortable they also have a version for sensitive skin. Have you used this peel?
Find more of our favorite skin care products from Juice Beauty in the Birchbox Shop.
Once a week, Birchbox’s resident yoga and men’s product expert, Eric, will gives us girls some insight into his world in You’ve Got Male. Whether he’s giving his expertise on skincare (boys need advice, too!) or highlighting his new favorite grooming trend, this guy has got taste—so we’re lucky he’s on staff and willing to share.
I have tried a wide variety of nutritional supplements ranging from those promising to make me more muscular (the trials and tribulations of a skinny guy) to formulas that guarantee more energy. However, I have never been so excited as I am about Green Vibrance, an amazing supplement that provides all of the promised benefits and then some.
Green Vibrance is a powder that contains 64 carefully selected ingredients all designed to support and improve all bodily systems. The formula is based on cereal grasses that have been proven to help our bodies repair tissue more quickly. Other ingredients of note: organic alfalfa sprouts, organic broccoli sprouts, organic spirulina, soft-cell chlorella, stabilized rice bran, organic beet juice, organic parsley, and organic spinach.
Taking Green Vibrance is like eating a really healthy salad – all day long! It has a very high Nutrient Density, meaning the proportion of nutrients to fats and proteins in the powder is extremely high. I mix one scoop with a glass of orange juice every morning. Since I started taking this supplement, I have felt energized and less tired, I’ve not been sick, and my skin, hair, and nails have been healthier and glowing. Incorporating one scoop of this powder a day is a really easy way to enhance your focus at work, give yourself a boost at the gym, and make your life generally healthier. I definitely recommend mixing with something that has a strong flavor – the powder isn’t exactly yummy. But, it’s a quick glass of juice a day and I promise you’ll see and feel a difference!
Enhance you’re lifestyle even more with products from our Birchbox Shop.