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editor’s letter HI THERE, The clocks have sprung forward which means spring is officially here – at Birchbox HQ we’re longing for warmer weather, sunny days and a lighter brighter outlook. So, just as the flowers are beginning to bloom, it’s time to come out of winter hibernation and show your best self! This month’s Birchbox Crush – the lovely Sim Smith – shed her former career as a journalist to follow her dream of selling delish treats that cater to those with food allergies and intolerances like herself. Weleda’s marketing whiz Kay Pollard also chatted to us, and told us exactly what it is about the natural brand that attracts celebs like Victoria Beckham and Fearne Cotton.


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Also inside: Edelweiss isn’t just a song – it’s a youth-enhancing ingredient to look for on your skincare label. Not ready to go bold just yet? We’ve got the perfect way to introduce colour into your make-up kit. Plus our entertainment picks for this month, the perfect products for your spring awakening, some awesome ecoconscious brands, and a cool floral nail art tutorial to DIY. Enjoy!


PS: Don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram all month long using #BirchboxInBloom


Everything you need to know this month, from your beauty buzzword to movie and music releases. 6 BIRCHBOX CRUSH I SIM SMITH The Knead Bakery founder tells us about her career change and her beauty discoveries. 8 GET THE LOOK I ECO CHIC It’s time to take a closer look at some natural skincare brands you’ll love.

10 HOW TO I IN BLOOM NAIL ART Decorate your nails with this cool floral design.

12 INGREDIENT DECODER I EDELWEISS You know the song, now find out how the flower will help your skin stay youthful. 14 SHOPPING GUIDE I SPRING AWAKENING Prepare yourself for the new season! 16 BEHIND THE BRAND I WELEDA From famous fans to a unique philosophy, Kay Pollard told us all... 18 BRIGHTEN UP I mirEnesse Begin to embrace colour with these crayon-like lip tints!

19 JOIN THE CONVERSATION Find out how you can interact with us all month long.

Birchbox UK | | @birchboxuk Senior Editorial Manager: Beth Squires | @bethsquires Magazine Writer & Coordinator: Grace Gargini | @gracegargini Contributors: Christine Ajudua, Amelia Cover Photograph: Max Bell Design : Victoria Strauss


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- BIRCHBOX agenda -


APRIL 2013



Your guide to the latest and greatest in beauty, entertainment, style, and beyond


Just like last month’s IT Boy, Tom Hardy, Ryan Gosling is one of our top guys all year round. On April 12th, The Place Beyond The Pines will see him and his bleach blonde ‘do taking to the screen alongside Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne. Need more reasons to see it? Derek Cianfrance helms this movie – he directed Ryan and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine. We can’t wait.


Beyoncé’s long-awaited The Mrs. Carter Show kicks off its UK leg in Birmingham on April 26th, before she hits London and Manchester.

SUNDANCE LONDON Robert Redford gives us Brits the chance to see the best of the Sundance Film Festival in England’s capital. 18 films and nine shorts will show at The O2 between the 25-28th April, plus there will be music, filmmaker Q&As, panels and a special four-film UK Spotlight.


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These inexpensive but effective chemical preservatives are found in a large number of products, from cosmetics to food and household goods. The EU Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety has ruled that parabens are safe for use in products, after extensive research into the link between parabens and cancer. If you choose to avoid them altogether, look for paraben-free options from brands like Birchbox e-shop favourite Korres.

- BIRCHBOX agenda -


THE BOOK OF MORMON South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have brought their own brand of near-the-knuckle comedy (and music) to the West End. The Book Of Mormon has finally opened at the Prince Of Wales Theatre after a supersuccessful run on Broadway. One to see more than once!

This month’s blockbuster movie releases include Iron Man 3 (April 25th), Pain & Gain (May 3rd), and Star Trek: Into Darkness (May 10th), not to mention that aforementioned Ryan Gosling movie... As for TV, series three of Game Of Thrones is currently airing on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 9pm.



Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series of books made us laugh until we cried, so we can’t wait to read her latest novel, Wedding Night, out at the end of April!


New music we’re loving right now includes The Strokes’ Comedown Machine, Kurt Vile’s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze and our 90s-inspired ‘In Bloom’ Spotify playlist, which we’ll share with you at soon. by BETH SQUIRES


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SIM SMITH Knead Bakery FOUNDER Knead Bakery owner Sim Smith quit her career in journalism to go on a personal mission to create tasty baked goods for people like her, with multiple food allergies. Knead’s products ( are free from gluten, dairy, yeast and cane sugar, plus they taste delish – we’ve tried them! She shared her story with us: what made you move from journalism and put everything into knead?

I learned at a very young age that what you eat could have a huge influence over your health and wellbeing – I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies as a child. Once I was put on a suitable diet my severe reactions totally disappeared. I always had the idea for a bakery that could cater for people with multiple allergies or intolerances, but building the courage took time, until it was now or never. I saw products in the free from market gaining momentum and so many gluten free brands launched, but many of them would leave funny aftertastes, and none of them could cater to my multiple allergies. So, the business was born out of frustration with the free from market, I didn’t want to look back and think ‘I should have started up my own company’ so I took the plunge and started my own brand. What does a typical day at your office look like?

Busy! I split my time between my office and my kitchen, as I still work on the recipe development side of things, which


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I really enjoy. We’ve just launched in nationwide Whole Foods Market stores, and so I’m also meeting customers during sampling sessions. I love to meet the people I started the company for. Excitingly, we’re off to the Free From Food Awards this month – our seeded bread has been shortlisted for an award – and in June we’re exhibiting at the Allergy & Free From Show. What’s your beauty look?



Simple – I don’t like to wear too much make-up and I think natural and fresh is always best during the day. I like smoky eyes or a bold lipstick for evenings, but I like to keep it classic. What’s your biggest indulgence?

I love food and love to eat in nice restaurants, so I suppose that’s my biggest indulgence. I also love massages and facials, but what girl doesn’t!


What’s your favourite recent discovery?

Murad facials at Urban Retreat. I’ve recently found Lisa Eldridge online too. She’s brilliant at giving make up tips! What advice would you give to your younger self?

Take more time over things and don’t be in such a rush.

Finally, what are your hopes for the future?

I’m still on a mission to get our products available to more people. I want to be able to sit down at a coffee shop with a friend, order a soy latte, and enjoy a piece of cake that won’t trigger a host of nasty reactions.

Sim's Make-up Bag Essentials ILLAMASQUA I Venous Nail Varnish AVÈNE I Rich Compensating Cream bamford I Rosemary Body Oil miller harris I Perfume YSL I Faux Cils Mascara



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- get the look -

Eco chic Fuchsia lips, neon nails and fishtail plaits will come and go, but here’s something we’re into all year round: Eco chic. From organically sourced ingredients to recyclable packaging, here are a few ways two brands are harnessing flower power.

GREEN & SPRING Inspired by the great British countryside, all Green & Spring products are made using native herbs and flowers from the British Isles. Their array of natural, ethically sourced ingredients is presented inside beautifully illustrated packaging – recyclable, of course! G&S products contain zero artificial colours, fragrances, SLS, parabens, chemicals – the lot! The gentle formula of the Relaxing Shampoo and Conditioner blends rosemary and lavender to rebalance, while the grapefruit promotes shine and aloe vera nourishes, making it perfect for everyday use.

If you have sensitive skin, aggressive exfoliators that use chemicals or acids to banish dead skin can be too harsh. The Indulging Exfoliating Body Balm uses fine sugar and beeswax to gently buff the new, fresh layer of skin to the surface – much kinder. Massage in circular motions over dry skin before a warm bath and enjoy the relaxing chamomileinduced sleep coma that follows.

You can check out our curated Green & Spring must-haves at


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- get the look -

NATIO By championing the benefits of organic skincare, Australia have carved out a strong position on the beauty map. Our latest favourite from the Aussie plains is Natio – fittingly, the ancient name of the Goddess of Nature and ‘creation’ in Latin. They use plant-based extracts throughout their gentle-yet-effective range and principles of aromatherapy to support healthy and balanced skin. The Gentle Foaming Cleanser is a great everyday product. The gentle ‘micro foam’ shuns chemicals that create that traditional lathering action – these tend to leave sensitive or dry skin feeling taut – yet still easily removes

all make-up and impurities, leaving refreshed and supple skin behind. The Rosewater and Chamomile Gentle Skin Toner is its perfect partner. For anti-aging the natural way, the Renew Radiance Foam Cleanser uses vitamin C to stimulate your natural collagen and elastin production while the pomegranate – naturally high in antioxidants – rebuilds the outer layer, working together to prevent and restore. You can check out our curated Natio must-haves at



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- HOW TO -

IN BLOOM NAIL ART Amelia is a beauty and lifestyle blogger with a penchant for polish. When she isn’t reviewing her favourite beauty products or vlogging about her adventures she’s painting her nails in beautiful and simple designs for everyone to try! She talked us through a simple floral manicure perfect for you to try for Spring...

You will need: • A Dark Polish (we’ve used Rococo Nail Apparel in Black Sakura) • A Light Pink Polish (we’ve used Korres Nail Polish in Peony Pink 04 – from our e-shop!) • A Green Polish (we’ve used Ciate Mojito Madness) • A Fine Nail Art Brush (or a cocktail stick) • A Dotting Tool • A Good Base and Top Coat • Tin Foil

Step 1: Prepare

First prepare your nails. We like to use the Révérence de Bastien Unguent (in our e-shop) to give our cuticles a little love before gently pushing them back. File your nails to one length using long strokes of a glass file in one direction. Dehydrate the nail bed with a cotton pad soaked with nail polish remover and then apply your base coat.


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Don’t forget to follow @xameliax on twitter for more nail art designs and visit her blog

- HOW TO -

Step 2: Paint

Paint two coats of your dark colour to all of your nails except the ring finger and thumb. Here, apply two coats of your light pink polish and leave them to dry.


Step 3: Branches Next we’re going to ‘blob’ out some of the dark polish onto a piece of tin foil to stop it from drying out so quickly and paint our branches using the nail art brush. Start with a wavy line diagonally across your nail and paint smaller branches growing out of either side. If your nail art brush is thin enough you can paint some even smaller branches on those – be as creative as you like!


Step 4: Flowers Now for the fun part! Take your dotting tool and paint small dots of pink polish at the end of your branches and in the corners. Next, do the same with the green to create your leaves.

Step 5: Clean up

Clean up your edges with a cotton bud dipped in polish remover and apply your top coat. Once dry, apply some Vertumne à Venus Moisturising & Regenerating Hand Cream (find this in our e-shop) to keep your hands looking as lovely as those new nails!


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Edelweiss A recent study found that French women are judged – on appearance – to be younger than they truly are. Could the fact they begin to use anti-aging products much earlier than Brits – on average starting in their late teens, while we wait until we’re 25 – have anything to do with it? It’s time to take a lesson from across the pond and learn more about antiaging, so we’re giving you the lowdown on a resilient youth-enhancing ingredient that makes the Gerda Spillmann Renaissance Age serum in your April box a true star. Listen up!

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE: This one may ring a bell from your childhood – the dulcet tones of a certain Captain Georg von Trapp, to be specific, singing a tune about something “small and white, clean and bright.” No, he wasn’t waxing poetic about his beloved nun-turned-nanny-tohis-seven-children-turned-wife, Maria, nor anything Nazi-related – at least not directly. (And no, we’re not about to decode The Sound Of Music.) The subject of his adoration? Leontopodium alpinum, the scientific name for the five- to 30-centimetre, star-shaped, perennially flowering plant of the family Asteraceae that’s more commonly known as edelweiss, German for “noble white.” For thousands of years, it’s grown in clusters in the mountains of Central Asia and South America and Europe – especially in the Swiss Alps – it’s the national flower of Switzerland – with white, wooly leaves that belie its rather harsh environment (extreme temperatures; low atmospheric pressure; strong UV rays).


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“Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever...“


SKINCARE SAVIOUR: Considering the plant’s uncanny resiliency, it’s not surprising that edelweiss makes a powerful skincare ingredient. High in antioxidants, which ward off damaging free radicals, the metabolic herb also contains bisabol (an anti-inflammatory), glucoside (which increases cellular respiration, allowing the skin to breathe), and immunity-boosting betasitosterol – a potent combination that simultaneously protects and soothes the skin. Edelweiss has even been used in traditional medicine, as well as dried and blended into teas, to treat everything from respiratory disease to anxiety and stress. With proven collagen-retention properties, it’s also good for keeping up a youthful appearance. Just think: have you ever seen a Swiss Miss with a less-thanradiant complexion?

The idea is to use the serum in addition to your moisturiser; apply it before you go to sleep to enhance your skin’s natural, nightly rejuvenation process. You’ll wake up feeling extra-taut, perhaps even humming a line from Captain von Trapp: “Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever...” Pick up our favourite Gerda Spillmann products at

ANTI-AGING: Enter Gerda Spillmann Swiss Cosmetics (, which, founded in 1944, uses pure, pharmaceutical-grade edelweiss extract as the key ingredient in its cult favourite Renaissance Age Serum. Infused with healing proline amino acids and super-hydrating tamarind seed extract as well, the antiaging formula—with its lovely, silky, lightweight texture—is gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin-types.


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The darling buds of May are just around the corner, so it’s time for us to prise ourselves out of our winter-long hibernation. We’ve rounded up a bouquet of products that will ensure healthy, glowing skin, polish-ready nails and a fresh fragrance that’s sure to put a spring in your step.

Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour, Lush Nectarine I £20 I A gorgeous peach blusher flatters all skintones. We love the fine shimmer that runs through this highly pigmented powder, adding just the right amount of sheen to the cheeks. Dab onto cheeks and blend out for an instant perk-up.


CLARINS Liquid Bronze Self Tanning I £18 I CLARINS.CO.UK


Introduce a natural glow to your complexion slowly with a gradual tanner. Clarins’ nonsticky formula dries instantly and leaves an even tint across the skin. It’s also super-gentle, so those with sensitive skin can get their glow on too! Swipe it over your face and neck with a cotton pad before bed to kickstart your tan – vampire complexion be gone!

This beauty editor’s favourite promises strong, healthy nails – a must-have before trying this season’s shades. Trust me, I have the weakest, flakiest nails around and this wonder product saved them. Apply two coats to clean nails and one every other day and you won’t believe the results.


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by terry Touche VeloutÉe I £35 I Out of all the countless under-eye concealer pens on the market, we’ve found that this one is hard to top – the revolutionary pens have become a staple inside make-up bags far and wide. How do they differ from regular concealer? Their job isn’t to conceal spots or imperfections, instead they offer a brightening effect thanks to finely-milled shimmer or come in light pinkysalmon shades that discount the blue/cool tones under your eyes. The results: A healthy, bushy-tailed look just in time for spring. I


La SociEte Parisienne De SavonS SOAP TRIO I £22 I The traditional bar of soap is back in style. That’s right, you heard it here first! No longer associated with your grandma’s fruit-tiled bathrooms, soaps have made a big comeback. From the retro packaging to the classic fresh scent, we love this new range of Parisian soaps that have hit the e-shop.

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Natural Lift And Sculpt Moringa Cleansing Balm I £34 I We’re reaching for the skincare big guns to rejuvenate flaky, dehydrated winter skin. This luxurious cleansing balm by facialist expert, Emma Hardie, breaks down all traces of makeup while botanical extracts and vitamin E deeply cleanse, without stripping it of its moisture. Use with warm water and a muslin cloth to remove make-up and buff the product in, acting as an exfoliant – a must for streak-free tanning. BY grace gargini


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WELEDA Weleda’s hardworking skincare products and cosmetics get rave reviews from famous names including Victoria Beckham, thanks to their effective formulations and all-natural philosophy. But how did the brand – which started in 1921 in the small Swiss village of Basel – become so well-known and beloved? We spoke to the brand’s marketing whiz Kay Pollard, and asked her to fill us in... Tell us about Weleda’s brand philosophy: Weleda’s unique ethos and company philosophy is based on the motto “In harmony with nature and the human being,” promoting ecological and social responsibility. We only use natural raw ingredients in our products, as we believe everything you need to ensure wellbeing can be found in nature – each ingredient is specially selected for their individual benefit, not for fragrance. Weleda is one of the founding members of NaTrue, which guarantees the natural origin of all our ingredients, so if you’re looking for a 100% natural product, look for this logo on the packaging. Why do you think the brand has connected so well with big names? We’re so proud that celebrities including Victoria Beckham use them as staple everyday products, when you think about how many natural products there are on the market. Why Weleda? The ingredients we use are 100% natural, which is huge draw for people who are short of time and need to quickly understand what a product does and what it stands for. We were established in 1921 – and this is printed on our packaging, which reinforces that we are a brand that has been tried, tested and trusted for many years. Fearne Cotton was one of our new celebrity followers this year, using our Stretch Mark Massage Oil during her pregnancy. Jessica Alba, Adele and Erin O’Connor are also huge fans of Weleda too.


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How can Weleda fans get involved with the brand? I am currently coordinating our upcoming Weleda Fest, which will be held at our Derbyshire HQ over a fortnight in July. It will be a fantastic – and rare – opportunity for our retailers, journalists and professionals to get behind the scenes and see our unique approach to producing cosmetics and medicinal products, from our 15 acre herb gardens where we grow and harvest our raw ingredients, to our on-site production facilities. We’re really excited about it!

“The body cream I use is a really simple, inexpensive moisturiser by Weleda. It’s really, really thiCk and I slather it on.”


You can check out our curated Weleda must-haves at by GRACE GARGINI


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Brighten Up For Spring It’s time to wave goodbye to the winter (we hope!). To celebrate the longer, lighter days and the kinder weather, we recommend reaching for colour. A pop of pink, coral or red on your lips and cheeks is the easiest way to brighten up your complexion – and your mood! Bold lips stormed the catwalks at the SS13 fashion shows, but these matte, highly pigmented lipsticks require some guts. To ease into colour, try the new generation of lip sticks. They’re the perfect midpoint – their fun crayon-like packaging marks them out from traditional lipsticks and you can approach them with the same carefree spirit as you did the Crayolas. The sheer, but still buildable, formula ensures easy application for on-the-go touch ups. mirenesse Glossy Kiss lip colours hydrate your lips – a welcome luxury after winter’s drying effect on our skin. BY grace gargini


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JOIN THE CONVERSATION: #BIRCHBOXINBLOOM All month long we’re blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest to bring you the best of beauty, entertainment, lifestyle and so much more!

Here are four highlights from the past month... 1 MR. MUNCH

became the newest (and furriest) member of the Birchbox UK team!



with these Marc Jacobs Diet Coke bottles...

3 Editor Beth

went to the Jameson Empire Awards and gave us a glimpse at the goodie bag.



at Birchbox HQ donned red noses for Comic Relief!

FOLLOW: @BirchboxUK


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Tell us what you think of this month’s issue using the hashtag #BirchboxInBloom Until next month...

The Birchbox UK Tea







WELEDA Stretch Mark Massage Oil I £15.95

BirchBox Mag April 2013  

BirchBox Mag April 2013