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february 2013

Editor’s Letter Hi there, With London Fashion Week fever sweeping the UK, things are pretty hectic (and fun!) at Birchbox HQ. We want to share the excitement with you, which is why we’ve packed this month’s issue with tutorials, behind-the-brand info, and so much more.

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Our Birchbox Crush this month is the everstylish Polly Vernon, Grazia’s editor-atlarge. She sat down with us to talk about her career journey so far, her own personal style, and gave us a peek inside her makeup bag. Plus, we got one of the most trusted makeup artists in Hollywood, Allan A. Apone (his CV includes Bridesmaids and Django Unchained) to share his tips for the perfect base. It’s essential reading, we promise. Also inside: a trip to Greece with Korres, and tutorials inspired by the S/S13 catwalks, plus a round-up of the essential LFW beauty hotspots. And, of course, we’ve got a shopping guide packed with handbag essentials that will see you through the shows and beyond. Don’t forget to check out the daily updates on our blog (bookmark for the latest in beauty, lifestyle and entertainment, including easy how-tos, Spotify playlists, and so much more!

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Until next month, Beth PS. Love your samples? Get free shipping when you order any full-size product from that brand all month on our e-shop at:

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Everything you need to know this month, including your beauty buzzword, must-see movies, and our latest it girl.

6 BIRCHBOX CRUSH POLLY VERNON Grazia’s stylish editor-at-large dishes on her career, personal style, and what’s in her make-up bag. 8 GET THE LOOK THE PERFECT BASE Create a flawless finish with these tips from top Hollywood make-up artist Allan A. Apone. 10 HOW TO S/S13 Catwalk trends Bold lips and eyes ruled the spring shows. We show you how to recreate our favourite looks. 12 HAIRCARE 101

Match the right products to your personal hair type with our simple guide. 14 ON LOCATION LONDON HOTSPOTS The places to be seen in the capital this fashion week, plus DIY tips for getting A-List results at home. 16 SHOPPING GUIDE HANDBAG ESSENTIALS Be ready for anything with our must-carry products. 18 BEHIND THE BRAND KORRES Co-founder Lena Korres tells us about the powerhouse Greek skincare brand.

Birchbox UK | | @birchboxuk Senior Editorial Manager: Beth Squires Magazine Editor & Coordinator: Grace Gargini Contributor: Christine Ajudua Cover Photography: Charlie Cooper, Jess Williams Design : Victoria Strauss


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Agenda - BIRCHBOX agenda -



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


Victoria Beckham is on top form right now– practically sizzling on the cover of Elle’s stunning March issue. It’s a busy time for VB as the Beckhams move back to the UK, all while she’s preparing for her latest collections to be shown at New York Fashion Week... Not to mention the very exciting launch of her sleek online ecommerce site. Tres chic.



NEWS TO KNOW #arriveinstyle


We’re super-excited for our Birchbox branded London taxi cabs to hit the streets during London Fashion Week- keep your eyes peeled... #ArriveInStyle



Often containing SPF, primers are a great way to provide UV protection as well as smoothing the skin in preparation for foundation. The silicone or water-based formula acts as a tacky barrier between your base and skin to ensure it stays put. Just as you’d use a base coat to prep your nails, a primer is the equivalent for your face.

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- BIRCHBOX agenda -

MUST LIST Oz: The Great And Powerful


stars a trio of fabulous actresses—Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz— alongside the gorgeous James Franco. Stay tuned to the Birchbox Blog for our report from the European premiere...

The Oscars! Award season will come to a glitzy end with the biggest ceremony of them all: The Oscars! The winners will scoop up their statues on February 24th. Place your bets now.

David Bowie, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds


READ THE Hummingbird Bakery BOOK

Sweet tooth? The Hummingbird Bakery: Home Sweet Home is a delicious guide to baking their tasty desserts and breads (there’s 100!) in your own home. We can’t wait to try these recipes!

Both David Bowie and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are releasing new albums. Find us on Spotify (BirchboxUK) to see more of what we’re listening to.


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POLLY VERNON Birchbox Crush

Grazia’s editor-at-large Polly Vernon (@pollyvernon) has been through her fair share of Fashion Weeks, and she’s now gearing up for yet another. Lucky for us, she took some time out from her busy schedule to tell us about her (impressive) career, her most recent beauty discovery, and the best advice she’s ever received. Take note!

How did you get to your current position at Grazia? I started as a junior writer on a young women’s magazine and worked my way onto newspapers. I spent eight years at The Observer, which is where I began writing fashion, as well as interviewing and becoming a columnist. Two years ago I went freelance but I split my time between Grazia and The Times. What’s a typical day in the office? I can work from home, which generally means I get up and start writing in my PJs with unbrushed hair at about


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8.30am—but never unbrushed teeth. That’s an uncivilised move too far. If I’m at Grazia, it really depends on the day of the week, and what else is going on. If it’s a Monday, I come in with ideas for my column, and then write it; other than that, it really depends on specific stories. Do you have a signature look? Skinny jeans from Cheap Monday and a high wedge boot, something fancy on top—a leather t-shirt, maybe. And for make-up, a very light foundation (RMK’s my fave) with well-applied


concealer (the new MAC Pro Conceal & Correct Palette), very light eye shadow with a liquid line, then a dark lipstick— MAC’s Diva, maybe. Who are your fashion and beauty icons? In terms of fashion, I am much more inspired by street style, although—as a template—Kate Phelan knows what she’s doing. I’m very into slightly boyish tailoring, sleek jeans, leather, etc. Beauty is tricky because it only works if the icon shares your colouring. Love the eyebrow moment. Kudos to Cara Delevingne for that. Share your most recent beauty discovery? I’ve used Dermologica’s Daily Microfoliant for a few months now, and

the change in my skin is amazing. I picked up a random cheap liquid eyeliner called Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner the last time I was in Japan, and it’s just ace. I have to ship it in now at some expense, but it’s worth it—the product itself only costs about a fiver. Which trend do you hope never dies? I hope the skinny line on legs never goes because it suits me. Same for leather, I’m so attached to it. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Do not bloody smoke. It’s like setting fire to your youth! And matte finish lipsticks are very flattering.

The staple products in my make-up bag are... NARS I Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Sex Machine MAC I Lipstick Diva RMK I Liquid Foundation Blistex I Relief Cream

by Grace gargini I £17


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- get the look -

the perfect base Nobody gets closer to the stars on a movie set than their make-up artists, and Allan A. Apone has worked on films including Django Unchained and Bridesmaids over the past three decades. Every look he creates begins with a flawless base, so who better to ask for tips for our own at-home beauty routines?

for just about any skin type. It really helps the finished look to appear flawless, even under the scrutiny of High Definition.

2. apply : I prefer applying foundation with

Allan A. Apone's Step-By-Step Guide To The Perfect Base

1 . p re p are : This ensures that the make-

up lasts all day. Start by applying a little toner, then add a primer or moisturiser. I like to use Gerda Spillmann’s Hydro Pearls because it’s water based—good


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a brush. For me, the product moves so smoothly on the skin this way and it helps me control coverage to a specific area. I will sometimes use a sponge for blending, but I do not apply make-up with fingers. Not only is it unsanitary, but my manly hands are too big for that!

3. se t : To ensure that the

application will sustain filming, I use an old Hollywood trick; I load powder on a puff and pat it into the foundation, then use a wide flat powder brush to burnish the powder into the foundation. This gives a satin finish to the skin and sets the make-up all day with very little touchup.

4. rem ov e : Use a warm soft towel with a mild skin cleanser. I then use a variety of toners and moisturisers, depending on skin type.

- jolielook par grace gargini

Q&A: What discovery has made your job easier? I have been a make-up department head in the film and television industry for the last 30 years and, like most of you, I don’t use just one product line. But actress Rebecca De Mornay introduced me to Gerda Spillmann’s Bio-Fond Cream Foundation on a film called Thick As Thieves and I’ve been using it for the last 15 years. It has coverage when you need it but also the ability to be as sheer as a tinted moisturiser—and it lasts all day with minor touch-ups. The colours run from light to dark, and can be blended to create any shade needed in between. Simply put: I love it! Can you share a memorable on-set moment? There have been lots of memorable moments but I can’t be specific— must protect my A-list clientele from embarrassment! I was the Key Make-up Artist for Django and the


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Assistant on Bridesmaids. I can say that being around and working with so many talented actors and artists was a wonderful experience. Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Melissa McCarthy are all very giving, generous people. I love my job! by BETH SQUIRES

Image credit: Getty Images.

- HOW TO -

catwalk trends

Spring 2013

Spring is around the corner, which means it’s time to inject a pop of colour into your make-up bag. Don’t know where to start? Pick your favourite feature and enhance it! Take cues from the Spring/Summer 2013 shows, which boasted a range of show-stopping shades—from bright lips to metallic eyes. Here are our favourite looks and (of course) how to recreate them:

STILA I Stay All Day Lipstick Beso & Teorso


NARS I Semi Matte Lipstick, Shiap


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Whether it’s a classic Burberry red lip or Giles’ bright pop of fuchsia, look-at-me lips are one of our favourite trends. The swipe of a killer lipstick on top of a simple, natural make-up base takes you from day to night in an instant. Don’t be nervous—start with a stain and work your way up to bright matte shades.

- HOW TO -

STAND-OUT EYES Want to play up your eyes? Chanel showcased metallic eyes and full brows and Dior displayed rich bejeweled lids, while Donna Karan wowed with bright pink eyeliner and mascara. Paired with a light base, a nude lip, and a fresh pop of colour on the cheeks, this is a stylish, effortlessly cool look.

by grace gargini

Smashbox I Tech To Go, Brunette KORRES I Smooth Eyeliner, Black

p in the E -sho

CHANEL I Illusion D’Ombre, Epatant

a better boost

At Birchbox HQ, we know first-hand that our coffee and snack breaks are inevitably followed by an energy crash. Rather than suffer through the ups and downs, we’ve been searching for a more natural way to energise. Enter EBOOST, a guilt-free way to perk up. Each packet is filled with a nutrient-rich powder that dissolves in water to create a deliciously addictive fizzy tonic. There’s loads of vitamins B, C, and D, plus green tea-derived caffeine and antioxidantrich resveratrol. We’ve tried it and we are pleased to report that it gives us focus and energy—with no crash later on. We know how we’ll be getting through Fashion Week.


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- HAIRCARE 101 -

HAIRCARE 101 We trust you have the basics—shampoo and conditioner—sorted. But there’s more to hair care that you need to know, so we’ve compiled this handy guide to finding your perfect treatments.

in your F ebruaryand x B ir c hbo sho p ! t he e

FOR LIMP, LIFELESS LOCKS The goal: fatten them up. Enter our favourite new American discovery (in your February Birchbox!): Plump ‘N Thick® Leave-In Thickening Mist from Nick Chavez, the US-born ranch hand turned stylist to the stars. After years working at a prestigious Hollywood salon, Chavez launched his own salon and gained a following of stars like Nicole Richie and Sharon Stone. This thickening mist combines collagen with rare botanicals from his native Arizona to boost body dramatically.

FOR DAMAGED HAIR Too much heat? Too much colour? Whatever the culprit, extra hydration and strength is in order. The Extreme Anti-Snap line by Redken—shampoo, conditioner, treatments to leave-in and rinse-out—provides just that (plus a healthy dose of shine), thanks to its protein-rich fortifying complex.


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- HAIRCARE 101 -

p in the E -sho

FOR THE ALLNATURAL WOMAN We love that Korres has a resident “plant hunter” who scours the globe to find natural ingredients for its products. Made with organic marjoram and mountain tea extracts from Crete, Aloe & Dittany Shampoo & Conditioner (both available in our e-shop) are gentle enough to use everyday.

FOR greasy HAIR The ultimate clarifying product: Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo, so named because you’re only meant to use it once a week. Infused with ginseng, rosemary, and sage, it removes buildup like no other, and leaves behind a refreshing scent.

FOR THE HIGH-LOW MAINTENANCE GIRL Love a professional blow-dry, but hate the time it takes? KMS Quick Blow-Dry Spray (also on our e-shop) is your new best friend. It cuts your drying time significantly, and provides all-important heat protection in the process. The product has two layers—the top includes conditioning silicones, while the bottom contains a special quick-dry solvent—so shake it up before you spray.

in the E-shop


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BY Christine Ajudua


london fashion week hotspots

Nail Girls

With all eyes on London, what better time to explore the city and provide you with the addresses you’ll need to experience Fashion Week in style. Not in the capital? We’ve got DIY tips for indulging at home.

Ever since we partnered with this fab chemical-free polish brand last summer, it’s become our go-to for manis. Founded by two sisters, the brand has a funky nail bar in trendy Islington full of their ontrend polishes designed by the girls themselves. Nearest Tube: Highbury & Islington

D I Y Tip:

To avoid chipping, don’t skip a step. A good base and top coat paired with a nourishing cuticle cream will prolong the life of your mani.


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In the capital for fashion week? Amanda Harrington’s InParlour offers a range of treatments direct to your stylish hotel room, or home. For the ultimate in fast beauty, pamper your strands with a professional blow dry before your special occasion. Their wide range of beauty treatments also includes hair extensions and Keratin straightening for more intense, long-lasting results.

D I Y Tip :

Spray your hair grips with hairspray before styling to hold in place for longer.


Radio Rooftop Bar ME Hotel

The best way to see London? Check out the hidden world of rooftop bars around the city to take in London’s stunning skyline. The recently opened Radio Rooftop bar in the Strand is a stone’s throw away from Somerset House, perfect for after-show cocktails. Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

Perfect 10

This nifty mobile beauty service comes straight to your home or office door with an experienced and fully equipped therapist who can perform a range of treatments, including facials, stress-busting massages and waxing (for private offices, that is!).

D I Y Tip :

Use a hot cloth to open pores before cleansing. This will help you get the most out of your products BY grace gargini


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- shopping guide -

HANDBAG ESSENTIALS We carry around an impressive product lineup with us on a regular basis, but during London Fashion Week—well, it becomes a carefully-curated arsenal. Find out the products that are keeping us polished and sane during this most frenzied of times. (They work just as well every other week of the year, too!) Thermal Spa Water VICHY I £7 I Filtered through volcanic layers, it’s naturally enriched with 15 minerals and 13 trace elements to soothe, fortify and regenerate your skin. It can be used as a toner in the morning, for a refreshing boost after the gym, and even to set make-up. Just Kissed® Lip And Cheek Stain Forever Pink JANE IREDALE I £20.95 I We’d never dream of going backstage barefaced, but we also don’t have time to be faffing about with brushes. That’s why this multitasking stain is so key—just use your fingers to add a flush of colour to cheeks and lips. Plus, the colour adapts to all skin colours!


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Crystal Nail File Leighton Denny I £12.50 I Often referred to as the Rolls Royce of nail files, the glass surface of this beauty editor favourite offers a cleaner, less abrasive finish than traditional files. It shapes (and saves) nails in a flash. A must for Instagram-worthy manis!

- shopping guide -

Quick, Hide! Long-Wearing Concealer ORIGINS I £14 I

SPF Lip Balm BALMI I £ 4.99 I

Too little sleep and, let’s be honest, too much champagne, can do a number on our complexions. That’s why this little stick is our best friend. The deceptively light formula covers everything from spots and blemishes to under-eye circles—it’s a creamy, blendable concealer that stays put all day and night.

What’s the use of all those bold lipsticks when you’re battling flaky lips? The creamy, non-sticky formulation nourishes dry, chapped skin, while the key ring keeps the fun spherical packaging handy at all times. Tip: Try applying a thick layer to lips, waiting a couple of minutes, and then pushing a cotton bud over them to exfoliate away any dead skin.

Dry Texturizing Spray ORIBE I £18 I

Part dry shampoo, part texturiser, this nifty handbag-sized styler amps up hair instantly. The fine formula absorbs excess oil without leaving hair feeling chalky, making it perfect for reviving second-day hair. Use it on clean hair to get an edgy, piece-y look.

BY grace gargini


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- behind the brand -

korres Since 1996, when Korres was launched in Athens’ first-ever homeopathic pharmacy, the brand has been known for its divine scents, natural ingredients, and effective formulations. We discovered Korres through their cult body butters and they’ve fast become one of our favourites.


the powerhouse brand.

Based in Greece, a country with

What’s your most recent discovery? Our firming Black Pine line, is based on a Nobel Prize-awarded discovery. It focuses on strengthening the dermis junction, which is what regulates the skin’s mechanical properties such as firming and elasticity. It also helps maintain facial contour while protecting it against wrinkles and sagging.

Korres started early. Inspired by the power of natural ingredients—not only their effectiveness, but also the unique synergy between their molecules— he started mixing natural pharmacy ingredients when he was still in school, creating herbal preparations, natural remedies, and eventually cosmetic products.

over 6,500 plant species, Korres was lucky enough to develop his skincare line among one of the world’s richest floras. In order to source the highestquality herbs, Korres has a team of plant hunters that have mapped out the ingredients to be used in their products, working with local Greek communities to ensure endangered plants and herbs are sustained and protected.

Co-founder Lena Korres gave us some behind-the-scenes insight into


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What are your personal favourites? The Wild Rose cream was the brand’s first skincare product, and remains a global bestseller 15 years after its launch. Our collection of shower gels is another favourite of mine– they’re formulated with wheat proteins which ensure your skin retains its natural moisture level, and rich in vitamins and antioxidants. There’s a scent to suit everyone. BY BETH SQUIRES

- behind the brand -

And finally, share the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

"Positive thinking can get you a long way"


Beth’s Pick Guava Body Butter

Grace’s Pick Lip Butters & EVERYTHING Fig!

This creamy body butter is my favourite thing to apply after a morning shower— the invigorating scent lingers beautifully, and it makes light work of dry elbows and heels. I couldn’t be without it!

I immediately fell in love with the mango and wild rose flavour Lip Butters. They’re super-nourishing and deposit a gorgeous, buildable colour that’s perfect for everyday. I’m also obsessed with Korres’ fig scent, so (literally) squealed when I heard we were stocking that range in our e-shop.

Explore the Korres range fur ther in our e -sho p /shop. FE B RUA RY 2013 - n °  2


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