Blog Posts by Birchbox

  • How To: Fix the Most Common Brow Problems

    Tips for the 3 most common brow problems.Tips for the 3 most common brow problems.Thin, unruly, patchy, stick straight. Chances are, you've faced at least one of these classic brow problems-probably multiple times. Consider this your go-to guide for the arch of triumph, courtesy of expert Sania Vucetaj, founder of Sania's Brow Bar in New York.

    Flat archesFlat archesPROBLEM: You have no arch.

    SOLUTION: Honor what your mama gave you.

    Instead of immediately plucking like a madwoman, use the natural space between your brow and eyelid to determine the shape your brow should take. "If there isn't much space, remove hair to open up the eyes," says Vucetaj. "If you have a lot of space, keep the hair fuller to avoid the 'surprised' look." Remember to pull hairs individually in the direction of growth for best results.

    PRO TIP: To prevent ingrown hairs and maintain precision, Vucetaj says to avoid threading (which yanks bunches of hair out in all directions) and stick to tweezing and trimming. We trust Tweezerman's Precision Point Stainless Steel Brow Shaping Scissors & Brush duo to get

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  • Nail Trend Alert: At-Home Gel Manicures

    Testing out Deborah Lippmann's Gel Lab kit. When we heard about gel manicures, they seemed too good to be true: flawless, chip-free polish that lasted two weeks or more. Sign us up! But as we suspected, they came with their own downside: damaged, brittle nails, and a premium price tag. Now we have another option: DIY gel mani kits that offer all the high-gloss perfection without any negatives. Here's everything you need to know.

    The Basics
    Gel manicures are known for their mirror-like finish and lasting durability. Salons use UV light to cure and harden each coat of polish on the nail, which is how the formulas can last so long. A recent study found that the risk of developing skin cancer from UV lamps is practically nonexistent (it would take the equivalent of 250 years' worth of weekly manicures to cause damage). But the the 15-20 minute acetone soak to remove the gel? Not exactly our idea of a good time.

    See more: 5 Polish Shades You Need This Spring

    Gel Manis 2.0
    With the debut of new UV-free DIY gel mani kits, we now

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  • What Does it Take to Get a Beauty Patent?

    by Natalie Higdon, Birchbox

    So you say you have a patent...So you say you have a patent...

    There's a lot of scientific jargon on skincare labels these days: terms like "particle accelerator" and "ectoplasmic residue" (just kidding, those terms are from Ghostbusters). But the one word that we see frequently-and the one that makes us feel the most confident in a product's claims-is "patent." What does having a patent actually mean? We investigated.

    As you might have guessed, a patent is an intellectual property right designed to protect inventions. Here's how it works: You invent something amazing-congratulations, smartypants!-and if you're granted a patent, by law, no other brand can make, use, or sell your invention for a limited time (typically 20 years). It could be an innovative chemical compound like NIA24®'s Pro-NiacinTM, a newly developed form of vitamin B, or a mixture of ingredients like the patented Miracle Skin Transformer complex of antioxidants and vitamins.

    So what goes in to securing a patent? According to Caudalie founder Mathilde

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  • Best Gift Ideas at Any Price

    by Candice Chan, Birchbox

    There's always time to get every name on your holiday gift list checked off!

    Ah, the endless holiday gift list: We're right there with you. Not only are you shopping for Mom and Dad, you've got the in-laws, the little ones, plus your second cousin who's flown in from Hawaii--and that's not including all those extra folks who are part of your daily life but aren't necessarily part of your inner circle. Whether you're looking for a fun little bauble to give your favorite yoga instructor or something more sophisticated for your boss's boss, we've created a handy selection of brilliant gift ideas for everyone in your life, no matter how much you're looking to spend.

    Well, Aren't You Thoughtful!--Best Gift Ideas Under $20
    Small gifts can still make a big impact--or combine a couple for a real wallop of joy. Our staffers can't get enough of Mox Botanicals Pomegranate & Fig Lip Butter ($16), a delicious smelling artisanal balm that features natural hydrators like shea butter and jojoba oil and comes in a sleek black glass container. For a

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  • Aromatherapy: An Essential Oils Cheat Sheet for Rest and Relaxation

    by Lorelei Orfeo, Birchbox

    Can't sleep or focus? Try aromatherapy to soothe away the stressCan't sleep or focus? Try aromatherapy to soothe away the stress

    For most of us, our only encounters with aromatherapy are during infrequent spa trips or semi-confused explorations of the natural scents aisle. But the practice of using natural oils to address concerns like stress and insomnia is on the upswing, especially with frenetic city-dwellers looking for ways to zen their lifestyle. (Us included!) We got the low-down on aromatherapy from Trygve Harris, the owner and founder of Enfleurage, an essential oils and aromatherapy shop in Manhattan's West Village.

    What Can it Help?
    According to Harris, Enfleurage customers are looking for help with daily issues. "The most general desires are wanting to relax, to sleep, to focus, and to stimulate the brain," she says. While aromatherapy shops can create a custom mixes for your personal needs, modern aromatherapy lines like 21 drops offer targeted blends for everything from headaches to moodiness to indigestion.

    How It Works
    When you inhale deeply through your

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  • 3 Chic Costume Ideas for Halloween

    By Natalie Alcaca, Birchbox

    Who will you be channeling with your Halloween costume this year?

    As much as we love dressing up for Halloween, pre-made costumes have never really screamed fashionable-forward to us. This year, we've done the legwork for you and pulled together three chic ensembles based on some of our favorite fictional movie characters. Go trick or treat in style!

    Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby
    Dress Up as Daisy Buchanan for Halloween!Dress Up as Daisy Buchanan for Halloween!

    Baz Luhrmann's remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel "The Great Gatsby" is one of next year's most highly anticipated films. Although it doesn't come out until May, people are already fawning over the dazzling Roaring '20s looks rocked by Daisy Buchanan, played by Carey Mulligan.

    Beauty: Daisy is all about a fresh face and smoky eye. To score her dazzling glow, apply Peter Thomas Roth's Un-wrinkle Concealer and Brightener. For eyes, use Pixi's Beauty Lid & Line to create a soft line and then smoke it out with a combo of dark shades from theBalm® cosmetics NUDE 'tude™ Nude Eyeshadow Palette. To complete the look, use the liner to

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  • How To: Halloween Nail Art for All Skill Levels

    By Anna Norman, Birchbox
    3 types of Halloween-inspired nail art

    While we opt for classic manis most days of the year, there's no time like the holidays to kick our tips up a notch. And when it comes to holidays, you can't beat Halloween. These spook-inspired designs will get you in the Halloween spirit, whether you're a nail art novice or a manicure master.

    Bloody fingerprintsBloody fingerprintsThese crime scene nails are a cinch to pull off, especially for those of us who have trouble painting with our non-dominant hands. Begin by painting your nails with white polish, and let them dry completely before moving on. Next, apply a drop of blood-red polish to the pad of one of your fingers on the opposite hand. Stamp your finger onto a piece of paper to remove excess polish, and then press your finger down onto your nails, leaving red fingerprints behind. This process is a bit messy, so make sure to have nail polish remover on hand to clean up the bottoms of your fingers as you go.

    Colors Used: OPI My Boyfriend Scales Walls and

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  • Survival Kit: Fall 2012

    by Allie-Marie Corliss, Birchbox

    Transition into fall with the addition of these Birchbox favorites to your beauty routine!Transition into fall with the addition of these Birchbox favorites to your beauty routine!

    Give your beauty routine a fall makeover- here's what Birchbox staffers will be adding to their vanities this season.
    Fall is officially here and we're focused on transitioning our beauty wardrobes. That means we're ditching the summery scents, nixing the lightweight moisturizers, and bidding adieu to beachy waves. Instead, we're incorporating new season-appropriate products into our routines and to get you inspired to do the same, here's a look at what three Birchbox staffers are planning to add into their lineups this autumn.

    Girly Marketing Guru
    Girly Marketing GuruGirly Marketing Guru
    Name: Linden
    Position: Marketing Associate

    Sedu® Anti-Frizz Polishing Treatment with Pure Moroccan Argan Oil - 3.4 oz. During summer, I stock up on curl-enhancing products to create beachy waves. But for fall, I'm all about using my flat iron to get straight, shiny hair. I like to use a few drops of Sedu® oil to keep my hair from drying out-it also helps with frizz!
    kate spade new york twirl. This scent is

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  • How To: Studded Nail Art

    by Anna Norman, Birchbox

    Make your manicures 3-D with studs!Make your manicures 3-D with studs!

    As much as we love preppy stripes and artsy gradients, when we want to take our nail art up a notch, we bring out the studs. A 3-D manicure is an edgy way to showcase fashion's trends and textures on your nails. All you need for these three studded manicures is a steady hand and some craft store supplies.

    Studs in a rowStuds in a rowYou'll need two shades of polish and about 25 small metallic studs or flat beads for this two-toned mani. Begin by painting each nail with the lighter of your two polishes. After it dries, split the nail diagonally, filling in half of each nail with a darker polish. You'll be covering the horizontal line with studs, so don't worry if your line is a little shaky. While the polish is still tacky, pick up each stud with tweezers and apply them in a diagonal row. Top your manicure (studs and all!) with a thick layer of top coat for shine and protection.
    Colors used: OPI My Very First Knockwurst, a soft, creamy pink, and tenoverten Church, a rich,

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  • Top 10 Beauty and Style Trends for Fall

    by Mai Wang, Birchbox

    Shake up your fall beauty routine with these new trends!Shake up your fall beauty routine with these new trends!
    Fall is finally here, bringing with it the promise of brisk temperatures, cozy layers, and bold hues. And obviously a new season means new trends to try! We put together our first-ever look book with ten of our favorite trends. Check it out, get inspired, and start working your way through the list!

    1. Undone Hair: Unfussy waves (think the way your hair looks after it's been in a bun all day) are polished without looking too fussy. If you've got waves already, good for you-all you need is a light styling cream. Stick-straight hair? Fake the look with a texturizing spray like Oribe's Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray and your flat iron. Watch our video to learn how to use your straightener to get loose curls.

    2. Fresh Faced: The no makeup look has been popular for seasons, but we're finally getting the hang of it. Our trick? Prepping skin with a stellar BB Cream before following up with strategic concealer. A bit of cream blush and you'll look naturally polished.

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