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The World of Knockoff Cosmetics, Kate Moss Is Now A Vogue Editor, And More
When drugstore brands go copycatting big-name products, is the effect good or bad? [Refinery29]
She models, she designs, she sings, and now she writes? Kate Moss is the new contributing editor at Vogue. [Huffington Post]
Use this guide when you need to choose between buying local or organic so you always end up with the best pick of produce. [Well+Good NYC]
Wanted for winter: An uber-trendy “Teddy Coat.” [Stripes and Sequins]
You may be making some surprising mistakes when washing your face. Avoid them with these tips. [Beauty High]
—Ashley
Want more buzz-worthy news? Stay in the know with our morning must reads.

The World of Knockoff Cosmetics, Kate Moss Is Now A Vogue Editor, And More

—Ashley

Want more buzz-worthy news? Stay in the know with our morning must reads.

Announcing: The Stripes & Sequins Shop on Birchbox

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with the very lovely Grace Atwood of Stripes & Sequins on an exclusive curated shop! The sparkle-obsessed DIY jewelry queen, whose accessible-and-fun personal style we can’t get enough of, has chosen 24 of her favorite products from the Birchbox universe. Check out all her picks here and read what she has to say about some of her selections below!

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I always like to brag to people that I was one of Birchbox’s first beta members. Among the first twenty! Three years later, Birchbox impresses me every day with their innovation and product offering. As a true beauty junkie who has tried nearly everything under the sun, I still manage to get introduced to incredible new products (the Suki scrub, for example) through the service and editorial. So I’m really honored to be featured on Birchbox right now with my own curated Shop showing off my all-time favorites.

Most of the products speak for themselves, but there were a few I thought I’d call out because of their superhero powers:

1) I am positively in love with this face scrub. It’s all natural, smells amazing, and has become a treat I look forward to every other morning. It cleanses and exfoliates without irritating my skin, which is huge because my skin is actually very sensitive.

2) This nail polish remover is the best I’ve ever used. It cuts through the toughest (read: glitter) nail polishes without drying out nails. The best part? It doesn’t smell bad!

3) I’ve been using Benefit Hoola for nearly ten years now, since it first came out.  Despite its muddy coloring, it gives the perfect healthy glow. It lasts forever, too. I wear it every single day and only go through one container of it every year and a half or so.

4) MAKE cosmetics has become a new favorite of mine, and I really love this lipstick. It’s really creamy and hydrating, and the color isn’t quite as bold as it looks in the tube. All of the shades are beautiful, but Flamingo is my favorite.

Shop the rest of Grace’s picks now! 

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.

8 Memorial Day Must-Haves From Online Beauty Editors And Bloggers

In honor of Memorial Day Weekend, we thought it would be fun to ask some of our favorite online beauty editors and bloggers their one must-have product for the holiday. After all, it’sthe first real weekend of summer, which means we’re changing up our beauty regimens just in time for some extra-warm temperatures—let the frolicking begin! Here’s what they had to say:

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Annie Tomlin, Beauty Director at Refinery 29

"I’m a big fan of does-it-all products, so I’m packing rms beauty’s Living Luminizer. It gives skin a soft, sheer shimmer and works as a highlighter on eyes, cheeks, the Cupid’s bow of the lips, and anywhere else. Easy!”

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Lara Eurdolian, Founder and Blogger of Pretty Connected

"SPF, SPF, SPF! That’s my ultimate must have for Memorial Day Weekend (and everyday). Head-to-toe you can be sure I’m sporting an abundance of SPF products on and off the beach. From my makeup case to my beach bag, I’m usually carrying a combination of body sprays, foundations, moisturizers, and lip balms containing SPF. My favorite for everyday is Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50. It’s super lightweight, goes on smooth and offers great protection.”

Read more

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!

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins’s DIY Awesome

Sadness. Today is the final day of our guest blogger series with the wonderful Grace of Stripes and Sequins. We didn’t think she could outdo yesterday’s super helpful post on troubleshooting Sally Hanson Salon Effects — but today she is giving us a crash course in DIY Beauty. Are you excited? You should be! Read on…

If you’ve checked out my blog, then you know I’m a little DIY crazy. If I see something that I want (and can’t afford it or am just feeling crafty), I try to make it. Sometimes it goes well — other times it goes horribly wrong. Here are a few winners:

Greige Nails: Gray nails were all the rage last year and the trend is still hot, but it’s really a “griege” (gray beige a la Chanel’s Khaki Rose) that is the most in right now. By mixing your own, you can achieve the perfect color at home. Mix 45% white, 45% peach/nude, and 10% black nail polish to get it. Alicia from Dismount Creative just did a great DIY on gray nails…check it out here!

The New Pastels: Pastels will always be in for Spring but lately it’s all about the dirty/dusty pastel shades. Take last year’s pastels (Essie’s Lilacism, Lapis of Lazuli, and Mint Candy Apple) and add a few drops of black polish to give them a dirty/dusty feel a la the so-on-trend American Apparel polishes. Just a tiny bit of black and you’ll have a dusty rose, a more rebellious lavender, and a mossy mint.

DIY Highlighter: My MAC eyeshadow recently had a spontaneous combustion – it just turned to dust overnight. Not to worry — just dump the contents into an empty palette or makeup container and mix in a bit of Vaseline. Voila — instant highlighter! Get creative: if your eyeshadow isn’t highlighter-appropriate, use your new formulation as cream eyeshadow or a lip gloss. Adding it to body or face lotion is another great (and less greasy) alternative. Apply to your shoulders, collarbone, and anywhere else you think needs a little extra shimmer.

PS: A few notes on mixing nail polishes: Start with the color you’re using the most of, and pour some out (for example, for the dirty pastels pour out some of the base color and then carefully pour in some black). Stop and shake along the way to make sure you like the color. If the nail polish doesn’t already have a shaker bead, put in a few small glass beads to help it mix up well. 

Read all of Grace’s posts here.

Get inspired by the nail polishes and highlighters in our Shop.

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins’ Nail Art Secrets

This week, we’re lucky enough to have the uber-talented Grace of Stripes and Sequins on board for a week of blogging fun. So far she’s inspired us to try cheery blushes and coordinate our makeup with our accessories; now she’s schooling us in proper nail art application. 

Working in brand management, one of the most interesting launches I’ve ever worked on was Sally Hansen’s Salon Effects. Everyone refers to them as the “Sally Hansen nail stickers,” but what’s interesting about these is that they actually aren’t stickers — they are strips of real nail polish that adhere to your nail in seconds, giving you a manicure that lasts up to ten days. (To remove, you simply take them off with nail polish remover.) I’ve applied these everywhere — in the back of a cab, at work, you name it. But I’ll be the first to admit that they are a little tricky to get the hang of. When the Birchbox girls found out that I had worked on the launch, they immediately asked me for tips.

First and foremost, you absolutely must start with clean, dry, smooth nails. The kit comes with a little buffer stick. Buff your nails and then give them an extra swipe of nail polish remover to eliminate any trace of dirt or oil. (Even the smallest amount of oil on your hands can affect the wear of your manicure – so keep this in mind next time you paint your nails, too!) The next tip is to use warm hands. Rub your hands together a few times to warm them up, and then warm the strip before you apply (which you do by removing the adhesive backing). This will make the strip more flexible and help you to get the best possible fit for your nail. Lastly, press them down – hard! The kit comes with a cuticle stick. After applying the strip to your nail, run the angled edge of the stick along the perimeter – this helps to really seal the strip.

Do these three things and you’ll have a long lasting manicure. My personal three favorite shades are the Electric Shock (shocking neon yellow), Misbehaved (fishnet pattern), and Laced Up (black lace over a nude background).

Learn more about Sally Hansen Salon Effects and the nail art trend in our handy guide.

Sticking to traditional polish? Pick up the hottest shades in our Shop.

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins’s Matchy Manifesto

This week, we’re lucky enough to have the uber-talented Grace of Stripes and Sequins on board for a week of blogging fun. Yesterday she laid down the bright blush gauntlet; today she’s talking about matching makeup and accessories. Read on!

Let’s talk about matching. No, I’m not talking about that whole early nineties trend of coordinating your lips, nails, and clothing. I’m talking more about selecting accessories and cosmetics that properly compliment each other. A few of my favorite combos:

Crystals & Coral. I’ve got a little bit of a bling obsession. The sparklier, the better —  Hence my love of all things DANNIJO and Bauble Bar, as well as J. Crew’s entire jewelry department. I’ve been known to pile on three or four sparkly bracelets at a time, and I’ve never met a statement necklace that I didn’t immediately covet. 

My favorite sparkly piece of all is my pair of DANNIJO Mariela earrings. Nothing looks better with piles of bling than a orange-toned red lip. That’s where NARS lipstick in Heat Wave comes in. (Sidenote:  This shade was also Jenna Lyons’ choice for the J. Crew Spring preview and catalog.) Just keep the rest of your look simple: A few coats of mascara, maybe a little bronzer… that’s all you need.

Turquoise & Tan. Can it please be summer already? I love a bronze glow, a coral lip — try Stila Lip Glaze in Tangerine — and a great piece of turquoise jewelry. This YSL ring and Kenneth Jay Lane earrings would complete the look perfectly.

Blushes & Nudes. Nothing looks sweeter for Spring than nude and blush-toned pieces paired with rose gold jewelry. I love these earrings from Bauble Bar, or this shirtdress from Topshop. Pair with a nice neutral nail like Deborah Lippmann Naked and a rosy cheek (check out yesterday’s post for some great recommendations).   

Learn how to rock bright lips with our Beauty Quick Fix: Lipstick.

Ready for spring? Pick up Cargo’s super wearable bronzer or a pretty neutral gloss in our Shop.

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins’s Bright Blush Challenge

This week, we’re lucky enough to have the uber-talented Grace of Stripes and Sequins on board for a week of blogging fun. Yesterday she told us about her beauty essentials; today she’s on to a topic near and dear to our hearts: bright blush! Read on for her savvy tips.

Despite my immense love of all things beauty, I’ve never really been a blush person. In the past, I’d given a couple a try — NARS Orgasm and Benefit Dandelion — but never became a loyal user.

But then, intrigued by their ridiculously bright colors, I started to play around with a handful of blushes. I instantly fell in love with two.  

First: Benefit Bella Bamba. This one is frighteningly bright but when applied with a light touch, it looks amazing. It’s become my daily go-to. Throw out the brush it comes with and use a large fluffy blush brush instead. Apply to the apples of your cheeks and along your hairline and your glow will rival Natalie Portman’s at the Oscars. (I swear.)

The second is Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tint in Crush. This is a cream blush, which was a bit intimidating at first. But apply just after moisturizing and it will blend into your skin effortlessly. It imparts the same glow as Bella Bamba…with the added benefit of also working amazingly well as a lip tint!

Want more inspiration? Read our Beauty Diary: Five Days of Beautiful Blush. Or learn how to get the rosy cheek look with our video tutorial, and find out how to apply cream blush perfectly.

Pick up poptastic blushes and highlighters in our Shop.

Guest Blogger: Stripes and Sequins

This week, we’re lucky enough to have the uber-talented Grace of Stripes and Sequins on board for a week of blogging fun. As one of our most loyal fans — she was one of Birchbox’s beta members and has been with us ever since — we’re thrilled to have her on the blog. She’s a DIY whiz, savvy beauty and fashion blogger, and one of the nicest people we know. First up: Grace’s Beauty Essentials.

Like any beauty product junkie, my must-have product list has a revolving door. I’m constantly on the hunt for new products, so I’m always switching it up. But these are some that I can’t live without.

Right now, I’m all about hydration.  Cetaphil Body Cream is an oldie but a goodie.  It’s the richest body cream I’ve found, and gentle enough to (gasp!) use on my face when it gets really dry. Sunday Riley Juno Facial Oil is also amazing.  Although spreading oil on your face seems a bit counterintuitive, this one is lightweight and absorbs incredibly quickly. I put a thin layer just after washing my face, and my skin is instantly happy. I’m a little bit obsessive-compulsive about eye cream. I tried Face It’s Smooth Eye-Operator a year ago and was instantly hooked.  It zaps dark circles while hydrating intensely.

As far as beauty products go, for lips I’ve gone back to another favorite: Benetint. I apply a coat, do my eye makeup, and then apply clear gloss. The tint/gloss combination is just…juicy!  To give my skin a glow, I use Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint.  (Discovered this one via Birchbox and instantly became obsessed!) I use only the tiniest amount on my cheeks, temples, and brow bone – it instantly brightens winter skin. For eyes, I’m addicted to Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara. This stuff proves that drugstore mascara works just as well as the expensive stuff. It lengthens and separates like no other.

I have thick, wavy hair and I swear by Moroccan Oil. I cringe a little bit writing it, as the stuff has gotten so much buzz. But it works, plain and simple. Once my hair dries, I use Garnier Glossing Spray (another blogger introduced me to this and it’s amazing – works just as well as Fekkai) to de-frizz and sleekify.

Check back tomorrow for more of Grace’s beauty and style intel. In the meantime, get inspired to try new products in our Shop!