Announcing: The Birchbox Limited Edition We Heart This Box!
Who says Valentine’s Day has to be romantic? This year, we’re feeling warm and gushy about all of our favorite things, starting with you—our customers. We created our latest limited edition box, the We Heart Collection, just for you. Consider it our version of a valentine—after all, what could be more adorable than a keepsake Birchbox stamped with miniature hearts? We’ll take that over roses any day. Inside, you’ll find a selection of all-time bestsellers, top-rated customer favorites, and editor picks.
Supplies are limited so don’t dilly-dally. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today is the last day of our We Heart This guest blogger series. We’re bummed to see Stef and Tyna go, but they’ve left us with some awesome beauty-for-thought, from red lips tips to glitter for grown-ups. Here, Tyna gives us her list of must-splurge products.
With a makeup addiction since our teens and 10 years of beauty reviewing between us, my We Heart This co-founder Stef and I have seen it all. From washes and scrubs to foundations and powders, from matte to glitter eye shadows and pale pink to deep red lipsticks - we’ve tested it all as well. While some products that promised a miracle weren’t even worth a second use (live and learn – and research your beauty purchases!) we also discovered a number of beauty purchases worth the splurge. Without further ado - Our Top Five Beauty Products Worth Every Penny:
1. Clarisonic: The best beauty invention of the last decade, this wonder is worth the hype — and the price tag. With daily use I’ve seen multiple improvements in my skin, including less noticeable pores, fewer breakouts, smoother skin (it’s fab for those little red bumps on arms and chest), less visible fine lines, and a brighter complexion. I’ve already got four years of use from my Clarisonic for the cost of one day at the spa — it’s a wise investment for girls with problem oily skin. (Prices range, from $135 for the travel size)
2. La Mer Eye Cream: I was happy to discover the famous Crème de la Mer face cream was too heavy for my oily skin – my wallet was too. Then I discovered the wonders of La Mer’s Eye Concentrate, an incredibly lush eye cream that completely absorbs into skin and fights off wrinkles, puffiness and dark circles. My eyes have never looked brighter. Plus, bonus points for the included silver-tipped applicator ball that allows for tug-free applications and adds a cooling effect to the skin. (0.5 oz, $135)
3. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Peel: Stef says “As a beauty reviewer for five years, I have tried A LOT of skincare products. Here’s one that has produced the biggest results. My skin glows after every use; it exfoliates, clears up any blemish that may be rearing its ugly head and minimizes everything I don’t want maximized. Quite simply, it’s my holy grail skin product!” (Try the Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peels, 10 pads, $35.)
4. Mason Pearson Hairbrush: A hairbrush is a hairbrush, right? That’s what I thought until I finally laid my hands on one of the world-renowned Mason Pearson hairbrushes. Originally designed in 1885, this classic handmade brush continues to set the standard in hair care. Daily brushing with these beauties gives me shiny, conditioned hair and adds a ton of volume to my limp locks. The price is steep, but well worth the cost and with care, your Mason Pearson brush will last for years. (Prices starting at about $100)
5. Erno Laszlo Soap: The ladies at Birchbox know all about this legendary brand and have declared it worthy of the term Cult Favorite. Join the ranks of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie O. by choosing one of Laszlo’s soaps for daily washing. The Sea Mud Soap is great for oily/combo skin, while my dry friends swear by the Active pHelityl Soap. These finely milled soaps seem to lock into and correct your skins flaws, and each densely packed bar lasts for months. ($39 per bar)
Read all We Heart This’s guest posts here.
Shop our favorite splurges here.
Blemish fighter: Suki’s Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser.
All week, We Heart This founders Stef and Tyna have been sharing their Grown Up Girls Guide to Beauty. Today, Tyna tells us how she conquered adult acne.
Five Tips for Adult Acne
Many moons ago, I remember sitting with my girlfriends in high school dreaming of our adult lives. You know, when we would finally be done with school, live on our own, go out when and wherever we wanted…and finally outgrow pimples. I would nod along when the subject of acne came up, content and silently smug in my relatively zit-free existence. But right around my 25th birthday, when I could finally do all those things we dreamed about, karma struck back in the form of adult acne. For the next ten years I fought a war with pimples, blackheads, redness, and dark spots. And while I didn’t win every battle, I gathered valuable knowledge along the way. Today, I’m passing some of my most valuable ‘ammunition’ on to you to use in your fight against the dreaded adult acne.
1. We all know, no matter what I say, you’re still going to pick. At least, get the right tools. Your adult skin deserves more than sharp nails (prone to leaving marks) and imprecise (and let’s face it, dirty) fingertips. Use a sterilized, stainless steel blemish extractor to pop whiteheads and to carefully extract blackheads. I have a double-ended loop from Sephora that’s been serving me well for over ten years.
2. You’re not a teen anymore, so stop treating your skin like one. You can still watch Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, but say goodbye to stinging astringents and drying soaps. Look for pimple fighters that also soothe skin and calm inflammation. For a wash I adore DDF’s Blemish Foaming Cleanser, and the best adult astringent on the market is Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner. If you want a great scrub, you can’t do better then Suki’s Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser.
3. Even with the best skincare regimen, you may still get a couple of big ol’ zits. The key is to think of your skin like fine linen and spot treat as much as possible. I reach for the classic pink Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, and use a teeny-tiny dab. Bonus Spot Treatment Tip: Want to know the best and greenest (not to mention free) pimple fighter out there? ICE! Icing down pimples (two to three times a day for ten minutes) will drastically reduce the size, inflammation and pain associated with a big zit. This treatment also works wonders on Cystic Acne (which is a completely different beast then regular adult acne–you can read my tips for cystic sufferers here).
4. If you suffer from prolong and/or intense adult acne, it might be time to make a few lifestyle changes. This one’s a triple threat, ya’ll.
a) Stop smoking – as if you need another reason to quit. Research suggests kicking the habit can help clear skin.
b) Clean up your diet – You are what you eat. A diet that’s loaded with fruits and veggies, lots of water and low on alcohol can only help your skin. Others have success by cutting dairy, wheat or gluten from their diets.
c) Stay out of the sun - An unprotected day frolicking in the sun may temporarily dry out skin and pimples – but you’ll most likely pay for it with a fresh skin eruption a few days after your time in the sun. Limit your time in direct sunlight, wear a hat (or carry a parasol!) and always wear sunscreen. These lifestyle changes just may make a drastic change in your skin, and as adults we know it’s time to start treating our bodies with a bit more respect – start here.
5. If all else fails, see a doctor. A trusted dermatologist may be able to get to the root of the problem and can be a valuable ally for life, while a trip to your gynecologist may find a low dose birth control pill can calm hormonal acne problems.
Read all We Heart This’ posts here.
Photo courtesy of We Heart This
This week, we have Stef and Tyna of We Heart This blogging about how to do beauty the adult way. Here, Stef tells us how to make glitter look grown up.
For this addition of the Grown Up Girl’s Guide to Beauty, we’re talking about glitter. It can be a blessing or a curse when it comes to cosmetics, and even more so as you get older. While it can add glamour for a special occasion, glitter can sometimes leave you looking like a hot mess. There is nothing like glitters settling into wrinkles to draw attention to, even accentuate, them. But Grown Up Girls, rejoice! There are ways that you can join in the glittery fun. As long as you follow a few simple do’s and don’ts…
1. Do: All hail the mighty glitter nail polish! There is no easier way to bring a bit of age-appropriate flash into your life than with a polish. You can go tone on tone for a more understated look — try red polish paired with red glitter top coat. Or add a contrasting or multi color polish on top of a base shade for a real party on your nails. Bonus: a glitter top coats hide flaws (smears, bubbles, chips—you name it) in your manis and pedis.
2. Don’t: Thinking about a blush with chunky glitter in it? If you’re anything but a ‘tween, think again. Just as filling wrinkles with glitter is a bad idea, the same goes for pores. Not cute! If you want some sparkle, pick a blush with fine micro-shimmer instead.
3. Do: Anyone can wear glitter eyeliner. It’s a subtle way to draw attention to your eyes (well, as subtle as glitter can be). Any shadow that has a bit too much bling can easily be used as a liner with the help of water and a fine tip brush. Try this trick I learned from a makeup artist. Line your eyes with a crème liner. Then apply the same shade of a glittery liner over the base, but ONLY directly above your iris. It adds depth and a bit of twinkling light behind your lashes.
4. Don’t: Go glitter gaga! Wherever you choose to wear glitter, let that be the only place to have it proudly shine. Unless you’re a drag queen, then I highly encourage the opposite.
5. Do: Now, I’m a lip gloss addict. So I think gloss of any type is pretty much a go; from neon to black…ok, not black. But glitter gloss? A big do! Even if you don’t cover your whole lips like a big luscious disco ball, just a dab in the center of your lower lip provides a playful pop of shine that looks good on everyone.
Read all of Stef and Tyna’s posts here.
Check out our favorite Deborah Lippmann glitter polishes.
Photo courtesy of We Heart This
This week, we have Stef and Tyna of We Heart This blogging all about grown up beauty. Today, Stef muses on mastering the staple of sophistication: the red lip.
One of the best things about being older (there are a few good things about aging, honest!) is that I can now proudly wear red lipstick, and gloss, and not feel like a kid who’s raided her mom’s makeup drawer. With age comes the confidence to pull it off (which is the case with most things in my life now, but that’s another post entirely). I always encourage people to try a red lip, especially the ones who are determined that they can’t. With these five simple steps, even the red-shy can be wearing it proudly!
1. Start with a gloss: The simplest way to bring red into your life is with a gloss, preferably one with very light pigmentation (Fresh’s Sugar Shag is a good choice). Anyone can easily master the ‘just eaten a cherry popsicle’ look. Too much? Take that first baby step with a tinted lip balm, like Burt’s Bees in Rose or Red Dahlia.
2. Move on to a sheer lipstick: Once you’re comfortable with red in gloss form, add a bit more pigment with a sheer lipstick. Pat it on with your fingers for a subtler look. If you’re still unsure, keep your makeup simple to avoid feeling too made up.
3. Determine whether you’re cool- or warm-toned: The quickest way to determine your tone is to look at the veins on the back of your arms. If they are more bluish, you’re likely to be cool-toned. If they have a green cast, you’re warm-toned. What does this mean as far as red goes? Warm-toned ladies should look for reds with orange, yellow, or brown undertones (a brick red would be perfect). Cool-toned gals are going to look best in blue-based red or those with pink undertones (think cherry or wine). Confused? Get thee to MAC! You won’t find more red lipsticks anywhere else. Try on shades such as: Chili, which is a brownish orange-red, and Lady Bug, which is a yellow red, whereas Ruby Woo, Russian Red or MAC Red are all bluish red.
4. Exfoliate your lips: Nothing ruins a bright pout (red or otherwise) faster than chapped lips. A bit of prep will assure you’ve got a smooth canvas to work with. I love Sara Happ’s The Lip Scrub, but you DIY girls can make your own with sugar in a base of just about anything (Vaseline, honey, and cocoa butter all work great).
5. Invest in a lip brush: I’ve heard countless tips — from applying foundation to your lips (hello, cakey!) to lining the whole lip with a pencil first — but I’ve found the best way to apply is slowly, carefully, and with a lip brush. You’ll have more control of your application, which assures a cleaner, more precise line. Give red a try, ladies! You’re only five steps away from a more glamorous you — I promise.
Watch our matte lips tutorial and step into a bold new world.
Check out our favorite liptastic products in the Birchbox Shop.
This week, we’re lucky to have Stef and Tyna, the ladies behind We Heart This, as guest bloggers. Their two-year-old site covers everything from adorable new pint-size clothing lines to advice on how to start a book club, plus super useful and candid beauty advice. This week they’ll be blogging about grown-up beauty (and no, you don’t have to stop wearing glitter when you turn 30 — or 40). And what better place to start than with their must-have products?
Tyna and I both hit a very big milestone recently: We turned 40. Gulp. While it hasn’t been quite as dreadful as I feared (no one has kicked us out of the Macy’s Junior Department or ripped Teen Vogue from our hands), we have come to the definite conclusion that our beauty must-haves are very different than they were ten years ago. With that, we bring you 10 Must-Haves for Grown Up Girls.
1. Perfume: It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing — full face and dressed to the nines or no makeup, big sunglasses, and ratty jeans — you better believe I’m wearing perfume! I always opt for an exotic scent with a sultry base like Bond No. 9 Chinatown to ensure that no matter what the outfit, people will notice the woman who smelled so good!
2. Nail Polish: A manicure is the easiest way for a Grown Up Girl to stay on trend without looking like she’s trying to be something she’s not (i.e. a teenager). Deborah Lippmann and China Glaze are my favorite polishes and right now I’m loving pastels like China Glaze Sea Spray, a baby blue with pearl.
3. Exfoliator: I’m addicted to scrubbing. Nothing ages you like dull, flaky skin. I have a medicine cabinet full of exfoliators, from peels to microdermasion creams, and I love them all.
4. Hand Cream: Sure, you spend countless hours fighting wrinkles on your face. Maybe even on your neck. But what about your hands? During the day, wear a hand cream with SPF and at night, slather on something heavy duty. Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Hand Treatment has an herb-y scent and a rich, soothing formula.
5. Lip Gloss: If all else fails, there is always lip gloss. (Otherwise known as ‘a girl’s best friend’). With warm weather just around the corner, I’m happily reaching for my favorite burst of color: coral. Illamasqua Mistress is such a bright coral, it borders on orange — which you will be wearing this summer, I assure you!
Click to read Tyna’s Must-Haves
6. SPF: There are a lot of options out there (tinted moisturizers, foundations, and even powders now have SPF) so there’s no excuse for skipping this one (looking your way Stef!). My favorite tried and true skin protectors: Drugstore mainstay Oil of Olay’s Complete SPF 30 Defense and Tarte’s Smooth Operator Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20.
7. Tweezers: It’s no surprise to see laugh lines or crow’s feet creeping up on me, but what’s with the hair? As I get older I find new hairs—in places they don’t belong—almost every day. A high-quality pair of tweezers is a necessity to keep these rogue hairs in check. I recommend Tweezerman for their precise tips, lifetime guarantee, and free sharpening policy.
8. Magnifying Mirror: Just like every woman should have a full-length mirror to see how an outfit looks from head-to-toe, so should she have a quality magnifying mirror for the face. This mirror will be essential in makeup application (especially for those who wear glasses), seeing stray hairs and of course, for gazing into as you contemplate love and life.
9. Eye Brightener/Concealer: The delicate eye area is the first area to show signs of age, stress, or tiredness. And believe me, people notice. Dark circles under the eyes or redness on the eyelids can overshadow (heh) a stunningly made up face or distract from a killer outfit. Depending on your needs, prep the eye area (after eye cream, natch) with a light-reflecting under eye concealer (I’m loving Fresh’s Supernova Radiance Brightening Pen) and/or an eye shadow primer — Alexandra de Markoff’s Disguise for Eyes is the best I’ve ever used.
10. A vanity (or a dedicated space to prep): For some it’s a car, a couch, or a refrigerator, but I felt like a true grown-up the day I purchased my vintage art deco vanity. It doesn’t need to be an actual vanity, but every woman needs her own dedicated space (free of distractions and safe from little hands) to prep, primp, and ponder.