By Mai Wang, Birchbox
A Globetrotter's Guide to Scents
Get your travel fix with these transporting scents, all inspired by far-flung locales
Summer may be months away, but we're already mentally compiling our dream travel list. Till then, the quickest (and most affordable) way to get our fix is with destination-inspired scents. Every single fragrance on our list takes cues from exotic locations--and you won't even have to overcome jetlag.
Related: Perfume Basics: The Science of Scents
For a real taste of la dolce vita, travelers know to get off the grid and explore Sicily's verdant orange groves (not to mention the island's famed olive oil and wine). Cult French fragrance designer Annick Goutal captures the spirit of the region with her Eau d'Hadrien, a refreshing blend of Sicilian lemon, grapefruit, and citron.
History buffs go crazy for boutique fragrance house Arquiste's meticulously researched scents. Their Flor y Canto was designed by Carlos Huber, an architect who specializes in historic
Blog Posts by Birchbox
By Mai Wang, BirchboxRead More »from A Globetrotter’s Guide to Scents
By Candice Chan, BirchboxRead More »from Check Out Diane Keaton’s Plaid Nail Art!
plaid nail art
Nail art has reached one of the most timeless fashion icons--the wonderful Diane Keaton. As devout Annie Hall fans, we swooned when we found out Keaton had shown off a fresh plaid mani during a Today show appearance yesterday morning to promote her new film Darling Companion.
Related: Manis 2.0: Nail Art, Layering and More
Keaton has actually sported plaid on her fingers before--she rocked some serious stickers back in January--but we were excited to see this more polished version of the look. Plaid designs are probably best left to more advanced nail artists out there, but if you're jonesing for similarly fun and intricate designs that you can do on your own, try this '90s t-shirt nail, a polka dot manicure, or this Dylan's Candy Bar inspired Jawbreaker manicure.
Are you loving Diane's plaid nails as much as we are?
Don't miss out on the rest of our amazing nail art posts! Learn how to do these DIY polish designs yourself.
See more from
By Candice Chan, BirchboxRead More »from The 10 Best Beauty Looks from ’90s TV Shows
Even though we run the risk of dating ourselves, we'll happily admit that we grew up during one of the best decades of the last century: the '90s. Who could forget the brilliance that was T.G.I.F. (the Friday night TV lineup, not the restaurant), boy bands in baggy clothes, and of course, scrunchies. In honor of the beauty looks that inspired some of our best (and worst) outfits, here are the top 10 TV character styles that helped shape our youth.
Name: Angela Chase (a.k.a. Claire Danes)
The Look We Loved: Angela Chase was the perfect on-screen version of us: the constantly questioning, ever-complicated protagonist of My So-Called Life. Her red hair, those brooding blue eyes-which somehow were always lightly done in barely there eyeshadow and eyeliner that really gave extra pop-and so much personality. Thanks for getting us through the tough, icky questions of adolescence, Angela.
Name: Topanga Lawrence (a.k.a Danielle
By Mai Wang, BirchboxRead More »from Top Natural Oils for Your Skin Type
If your skin is looking a bit dull, try swapping your usual moisturizers for a plant-based oil. According to dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, "These oils mimic your skin's sebum and help lubricate, protect, and hold in moisture." Beyond their hydrating abilities, each of the standout oils in our list also targets specific skincare concerns. Read on to find your match.
This Moroccan all-star just might be the MVP of the oil world. It's a lightweight hydrator that softens face, body, and even hair. Rich in natural vitamin E, argan also works to lighten acne scars and other forms of discoloration.
Best Bets: Kahina™ Giving Beauty Argan Oil, Olìe Biologique Huile Moderne
Caribbean women swear by coconut oil to ward off sun-parched skin, and we love using it on chapped lips and dry hands. Look for cold-pressed virgin oils, which have higher levels of skin-beneficial nutrients than the heat-refined variety. Tip: ingesting coconut oil helps heal skin
- Birchbox | Beauty – Tue, May 1, 2012 5:22 PM EDT
By Candice Chan, BirchboxRead More »from Do You Feel Beautiful? Study Finds Only 1 in 8 Women Do
Do You Feel Beautiful?
A recent study done by Dove Skincare has revealed some fascinating insights into how women perceive themselves and their own beauty. Here's the good news: 78 percent of ladies surveyed want to see "real women" in beauty ads instead of celebrities and adolescent girls. Win! But here's the bad news: the study also found that only one in eight British women polled do consider themselves attractive.
What's most interesting to me about the study's results, though, is that only five percent of women felt pressure from friends or family to be more beautiful. That means that overwhelmingly, the impulses we have to make ourselves even more gorgeous or dazzling come from within. (I would say that arguably, for young women, one of the hardest battles they face on a day-to-day basis is believing and valuing their own beauty, both inside and out.) I can definitely speak to the fact that I'm my own harshest critic, and the results of this study make me realize that I need
- Birchbox | Beauty – Mon, Apr 30, 2012 4:13 PM EDT
By BirchboxRead More »from OMFG! Dior and Ojon Spotted in May’s “Gossip Girl” Birchbox
Gossip Girl Box
If you've been following our blog, you know that we're big "Gossip Girl" fans. Beyond our borderline obsession with Serena's hair, we also love the show's high-stepping fashion and beauty looks. Which is why we're so excited to be teaming up with "Gossip Girl" for our May Birchbox. We worked with the show's genius grooming team to pick out glam beauty and lifestyle samples from brands like Ojon, Dior, and stila. And that's not all-the boxes are themed according to four very GG-style events, from a glitzy black tie ball to a chi-chi Hamptons beach party. Even if your social calendar (like ours) trends more toward backyard barbecues and supper clubs, we know you'll L-O-V-E this collection. We'll also have plenty of exclusive content, from an interview with "Gossip Girl" executive producer Stephanie Savage to video tutorials with the show's grooming team.
If you're already Birchbox subscriber, you're all set but can still refer friends! If you're not a member, you still have
- Birchbox | Beauty – Thu, Apr 26, 2012 5:27 PM EDT
By Candice Chan, BirchboxRead More »from What’s This Yellow Stuff on Kim Kardashian’s Face?
Kim's Yellow Make Up
From the looks of this picture that Kim Kardashian tweeted, it would seem as if she had an unfortunate run-in with a highlighter. But don't be fooled, these crazy yellow streaks are actually a trick that makeup artist Mary Phillips used on the celeb.
The yellow marks all over Kim's face are none other than a primer that Phillips used to even out skin tone underneath Kim's foundation. The vibrant hue actually combats redness, helps brighten skin, and creates a more even canvas for the other makeup to go on. It looks a little bit like a fifth grader went wild with a marker, but if it would give us the same flawless skin that Kim always seems to have, we'd be willing to try it out.
Have you ever used a yellow primer on your face like this?
In need of some skin perfecting formulas? Check out these primers in the Birchbox Shop.
See more from Birchbox:
Serena or Lily: Whose Blonde Do You Like Better?
Charlotte Free's Huge New Makeup Campaign
Making the Switch:
By Mai Wang, BirchboxRead More »from How To: Easy DIY Pedicure
At Home Pedicure
Follow these five easy steps to get your feet into shape for spring
Sandal season is upon us, which means it's time to start paying attention to your feet again. Chances are, your tootsies will need some serious TLC before they're ready to emerge from hibernation. We enlisted the help of Gina Carney, founder of RGB, to give us a step-by-step breakdown of how to get a pro pedicure at home.
STEP 1: SOAK YOUR FEET
Dipping your feet into warm water will soften skin and make it easier for you to push back your cuticles. Fancy foot baths are nice and all, but Carney says a chrome salad bowl will work just as well.
STEP 2: BUFF & EXFOLIATE
"Women's feet tend to rougher and tougher than men's," Carney explains, "since we're wearing heels and wedges without socks all the time." Erase those ancient callouses by scrubbing the bottoms of your feet with a pumice or an exfoliating cloth like MicrodermaMitt's Body Mitt. Get rid of any lingering roughness with a serious
By Stephanie Brinkerhoff for BirchboxRead More »from How to Get Flat Iron Curls
Step 1 and 2
A huge part of getting your flat iron curls to turn out well is using the right kind of flat iron. You'll want to look for one that's skinny, has rounded edges, and gets somewhat hot on the outside of the plates as well. For these curls I used the GHD Classic Styler.
Step 3 and 4
1. On dry hair, brush out any tangles.
2. Take a section about the size of the one I am holding.
Step 5 and 6
3. To start curling, place the flat iron about 3/4 of the way up the strand.
4. Close the flat iron and twist it away from your face, then pull it slowly down the rest of the piece of hair while it's still clamped shut.
Step 7 and 8
5. Your curl should look similar to this one, but if it doesn't, these tips might help:
*If your curl isn't this curly: slide the flat iron down your hair more slowly, giving it more time to get each part of the hair hot enough. You can also try taking a smaller section.
*If your curls are kinked: You're gripping the flat iron closed too tightly. Try a slightly softer
- Birchbox | Beauty – Tue, Apr 24, 2012 11:36 AM EDT
By Candice Chan, BirchboxRead More »from Beauty Trip: Australian Skincare and Makeup Favorites
The Land Down Under has so much to offer: amazing wildlife (kangaroos!), serious surfing, and a famously easy-going attitude. We asked Aussie native Elizabeth Charles--whose eponymous boutiques carry hard-to-find brands from Oz and New Zealand--for the lowdown on Oz's beauty landscape. "Australians tend to take things at face value and are laidback, so we don't need a lot of bells and whistles. That translates into the skincare and beauty products--there's just this down-to-earth, practical and useful approach."
This cheeky line of salon-quality products does wonders for damaged hair, and appeals to both the ladies and gents. The brand's five lines--Care, Volume, Curl, Straight and Style--are divinely uncomplicated. "I like the line because it looks after sun-damaged hair, for all the surfers in Australia, and it has UV protection," says Charles. We love the Ritual Salvation shampoo and conditioner, which moisturize dry locks and give a serious kick of