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Packing List: Mexican Riviera

In just a few short days, I’ll be heading to Manzanillo in the Mexican Riviera for a much-needed vacation with my boyfriend and his family. I plan on staying on the beach from sunrise to sunset, eating incredible food, drinking delicious wine, spending quality time with people I love, and unplugging—save for a few too-pretty-not-to-Instagram moments. Here’s what I’m packing for a week of carefree beach vacationing:

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Will and Jaden Smith Rap “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” The Nude Nail Takeover, and More

– Bre

Get the scoop on affordable art for your bare apartment with help from Birchbox Man.

The Electric Blue Bridesmaid Dress: Guest Blogger

It seems like we have an endless list of weddings to attend these days, which means we’re constantly in need of some serious style advice. Thankfully, Ilana Stern, Founder and CEO of Weddington Way, an online boutique filled with gorgeous wedding party style picks, is sharing her wisdom with us all week long.

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1. Necklace | 2. Dress | 3. Earrings | 4. Self-Tanner | 5. Bracelet | 6. Lippy Gel | 7. Polish

Spring 2013 is going to be filled with eye-popping colors! There was electric blue at Derek Lam, bright yellow at DKNY, neon green at Rag & Bone and hot orange at Helmut Lang—these designers weren’t afraid to turn up the heat. Bring a bold splash of color to your own wedding with this cobalt blue bridesmaid dress by Thread—it will look fabulous on just about any skin tone.  We love complementing this hue with gold, and added a delicate heart necklace and dangly gold earrings by Dogeared. 

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Michael Kors, Philosophy & J. Mendel: A Model’s Diary

This New York Fashion Week, we have a new blog contributor—and she’s as pro as they come. Model Alana Zimmer (whose resume includes regular Vogue editorials, walking in couture shows like Armani and Jean Paul Gaultier, and starring in Nicole Miller’s fall ad campaign) is taking exclusive backstage pics for us at all the shows she’s in this season. Check back each day to see NYFW from a model’s point of view! 

Michael Kors:

Vibrant blue eyes by Dick Page for Shiseido

Early morning hair by Orlando Pita.

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Try This At-Home Spa Facial!

Based in Washington D.C., Ayren Jackson-Cannady is so savvy that we wished she lived closer to NYC so that we could swap products with her. This beauty writer knows what’s up (she’s written for Fitness, Glamour, and Gloss Daily) and we’re excited to have her sharing her know-how and multi-culti beauty expertise as a contributing editor.

This weekend marked my sixth move in eight years. You’d think I’d be a pro by now. But alas, the whole process still kicks my booty, especially now with a baby in the mix (breaking down and putting-back-together a crib is no joke!). My arms feel like jelly; my back feels like it’s carrying a Toyota; and my face…oh, let’s just say that my skin has seen better days. What I need now is a vacation. And a 15-hour massage. And a super-moisturizing facial. Since the trip and marathon massage are out of the question—there’s hours upon hours of unpacking to do, people—this at-home facial inspired by The Spa at Nayara Hotel, Spa and Gardens in Alajuela Province, Costa Rica will have to do. When you can’t go to Costa Rica, bring Costa Rica to you. 

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Clean, Clear Skincare Routine: Guest Blogger

Along with makeup artists, hairstylists rank pretty high on our list of people we’d like to have around all the time. That’s just one reason we’re so excited to have hairstylist Kate Bryan guest blogging for us today. The other reason? We’re obsessed with her blog, The Small Things, which covers beauty, jewelry, and — you guessed it — the small things in life. Check back for her posts all week!

I enjoy experimenting with makeup, but in order to have great looking makeup, you need to start with skincare. The right combination of skincare products and maintenance will make a huge difference in how makeup goes on and how long it lasts.

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Winter Skin Savers: Guest Blogger

Don’t let the name fool you. Jessica Chu’s Tumblr Of Vice and Men doesn’t have anything to do with hot male model eye candy — but it does cover in great detail the best kind of vice: lusting after pretty things. This week she’s sharing her expert eye with us and dishing on everything from the best winter skin savers to the YouTube beauty gurus you should be following.

As much as I hate to say it, now is the time to start thinking about winter skin prep. (I mean, I live in New York City and it has already snowed here.) I get super dry in the wintertime and since I insist on walking everyday to work in the cold, I need to stock up on some of my seasonal favorites.

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My Skincare Regimen: Guest Blogger

Don’t let the name fool you. Jessica Chu’s Tumblr Of Vice and Men doesn’t have anything to do with hot male model eye candy — but it does cover in great detail the best kind of vice: lusting after pretty things. This week she’s sharing her expert eye with us and dishing on everything from the best winter skin savers to the YouTube beauty gurus you should be following.

1. philosophy Purity Made Simple One-step Facial Cleanser — I am not at all surprised that my favorite cleanser also happens to be the favorite of Cynthia Rowley, Birchbox’s July guest curator. I was so excited to receive a sample of this in my Birchbox that month especially because now I have a reusable travel size bottle. This gentles cleanser removes makeup, cleanses, tones, and lightly hydrates my skin. When I need some extra deep cleaning, I’ll use this with my Clarisonic.

2. Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado — I’m a Kiehl’s junkie. I’ve been using this eye cream since college and it’s incredibly thick and really hydrates my eyes. However, I think I’ll be in the market to purchase a more ‘grown up eye cream soon.

3. Pangea Organics Toner for Normal/Combination Skin — Thank you Birchbox for introducing me to Pangea Organics. It was fate. I had been complaining and asking Twitter whether or not I should start using a toner (I really didn’t have a clue at the time about what it actually does) and when my Birchbox came, it was right there for me to try! Since work has been pretty much been crazy these past few months, I look to my toner to help control and balance my skin’s pH.

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Fighting the Winter Blahs: Guest Blogger

Blame it on the West Wing, but for a short period of time we were convinced we wanted to be White House staffers. That whim has long past, but we’re still excited to welcome this week’s blogger, Belle of Capitol Hill Style. The DC-based blogger is out to dispel the myth that you can’t be a serious Capitol Hill staffer and also love fashion. We love her sharp, funny style observations and practical advice (to wit: three ways to wear this season’s cropped sweater). All week, she’ll be sharing her best beauty advice.

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As winter approaches, the humidity dissipates and the air dries — and my skin dries out right along with it. By February, the chilly air and the constant barrage of central heating has taken its toll on my epidermis. Luckily, there is hope for those of us afflicted with dull, dry, flaky, and ashy skin.

Step 1: Exfoliate

It may sound counterintuitive, but the way to combat dry, flaky skin is to exfoliate. Because it doesn’t matter how aggressively you moisturize, if you don’t scrub away the dead skin, you’ll never fix the problem. 

When exfoliating your face, you need to find a happy medium. Too much scrubbing, and you’ll look like you were attacked by a sand blaster. Too little, and your skin will look tired and dull. If you’re clueless about exfoliating (I was), the solution is the Clarisonic MiaClarisonic has mastered the balance between gentle and powerful. The oscillating brush transforms dull skin into a brighter, smoother complexion. And unlike a serum or cream, which must be used every day for maximum effectiveness, you can use the Clarisonic as much or as little as you need.

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