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Editor’s Letter Hi there, Welcome to the first issue of the Birchbox UK Magazine. We’re thrilled with our new look and we hope you are too. But enough about us—we’ve got plenty to share with you. This mag is designed to give you beauty inspiration to last you until your next box, starting with this month’s Birchbox Agenda. Check it out for a peek into what we’re watching, reading, and lusting after these days.

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Keep flipping for an exclusive interview with Gemma Tomlinson, whom many of you may know as the brilliant blogger behind Gemsaquillage. Besides charming us with her film know-how and love of burritos, she told us the secret to looking good on camera, a simple way to make your mascara look 10 times better, and more. Put your new polish to good use with our simple-but-impressive nail art tutorial, and learn more about the best winter skin saviors. Last but not least, we have beauty resolutions from our own Birchbox UK staffers, plus products to help them stick by their resolutions. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

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Until next month, Birchbox UK Stock up for 2013: Free shipping on the products sampled in our January box plus 20% off all full size products in our e-shop throughout January. Go to

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Fresh Start

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From must-see flicks to covetable manis, we’ve put together a month’s worth of beauty and style inspiration.


The stylish lady behind Gemsmaquillage tells us her beauty essentials, film faves, and what’s on her playlist. 8 GET THE LOOK MODERN 60s From Twiggy to Lana del Rey, this dramatic look never goes out of style. 10 TUTORIAL Winter Ombre Nails Intimidated by nail art? Don’t be—try this simple but eye-catching design. 12 INGREDIENT DECODER SUGAR Sugar still isn’t great for your teeth, but it can work wonders on your skin. Find out why, plus the most delicious products to try.


Save your skin this season with supercharged moisture boosters. 15 ON LOCATION Nicola Smyth We popped by the star stylist’s chic salon to pick up product tips to use at home. 16 SHOPPING GUIDE Beauty Resolutions Find out what products we’re relying on in 2013. 18 BEHIND THE BRAND WEITM This star skincare brand combines cutting edge technology with traditional Chinese ingredients. Editor: Grace Gargini Contributors: Christine Ajudua, Mai Wang, Natalie Higdon, Amelia Goodhead Design : Victoria Strauss, Jess Williams


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Agenda - BIRCHBOX agenda -

January 2013


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


Since snagging Model of the Year at the 2012 British Fashion Awards, super poseur Cara Delevingne has been everywhere, from Burberry’s latest campaign to the new remake of Anna Karenina.


NEWS TO KNOW EMERALD 17-5641 Pantone


Move over coral. Pantone’s 2013 Colour of the Year is a decidedly stately emerald. Swatch 1756-41, to be exact.


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A treatment that uses alpha-hydroxy acids or other chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin cells. Dermatologists recommend having professional-grade peels done in the winter, when you are less likely to be spending time in the sun.

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LES FleurMISERABLES, de Force, Blogueuse gangster squad & GIRLS


This month has two mega releases: first, Les Miserables, featuring the lovely Amanda Seyfried and Anne Hathaway. Following on its heels is Gangster Squad, with red hot Emma Stone starring as a 1940s femme fatale. As for the small screen, we can’t get enough of HBO’s Girls.




Girl With a Pearl Earring author Tracy Chevalier’s new novel The Last Runaway revolves around the antislavery movement in 19th-century America.

THE POWDER ROOM The Powder Room, a vintage-inspired beauty boutique in Shoreditch, specializes in makeup and hair touchups. We love the happy hour, with cocktails served in darling tea cups.

Runway Inspiration:



Ciate’s Velvet Manicure Set turns your nails into a trendsetting accessory.


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Brighten up an otherwise bare face with a generous sweep of petal pink blush. Keep it from looking girlish with strong brows and lightly stained lips— Jane Iredale’s Lip and Cheek Stain gives the perfect flush.

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gemma tomlinson

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Ever since Gemma Tomlinson got a AOL dial-up modem she has been fascinated with the Internet. She started to document her everyday life in 2005 when she Fleur Force,account. Blogueuse set up ade YouTube In 2008, she stumbled across a few videos of girls talking frankly about their disappointing beauty splurges. She started her beauty channel, Gemsmaquillage, the very next day and has since added a blog and two additional channels. Now a full-time (and much-loved) vlogger and blogger, Tomlinson has turned her web fascination into a career. We caught up with her to chat about her latest discoveries, all-time favourite film, and the beauty technique she has yet to master.

What are the products everyone should try? Eyebrow kits and face masks. I think they are steps that can sometimes be missed out of a skincare or makeup routine and both can make a huge difference. If I fill someone’s eyebrows in, they’re always shocked by how structured it makes their face look, and using a face mask a couple of times a week in the bath or shower can perk up your skin when it’s looking a bit dull. Latest discovery? I’ve recently started using the Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks. They’re absolutely amazing


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and won’t break the bank. I keep the Nudist shade in my bag, and they also do a great winter-appropriate shade called Plum Jam. I’ve also just started wearing the Escentric Molecules fragrance layered underneath my favourite scent, Stella. What’s the trick to looking good on camera? Lighting—lots of it! No matter how nice your hair and makeup look, or how well-rested you are, a badly-lit video can create circles under your eyes that aren’t there, and it can even make your face shape appear different.

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en couverture Best beauty trick? It’s so simple, but eyelash curlers. It just makes me look more awake and makes any mascara look ten times better.

Beauty technique you have yet to master? Knowing when to stop plucking my eyebrows. I always get a bit tweezer-happy so I leave it to the pros now and go to Browhaus in Covent Garden.

Fleur Force, Blogueuse We knowde you’re a skincare fiend, what

are your top Holy Grail products? I prefer to focus on skincare that actually delivers rather than just paying for fancy packaging. iS Clinical is a fantastic range that you don’t see enough of in the UK. I love Antipodes, particularly their Aura mask, as well as anything by Origins.

Finish this sentence: I wish I could pull off... Bronze eyeshadow. I always see so many shades that I love but they always make me look a bit sickly.

GEMMA'S ESSENTIALS On my playlist The Lumineers, Rilo Kiley, Manchester Orchestra, Kanye West, Quiet Company, and lastly, my boyfriend’s band The Cape Race. They have just finished recording their debut full-length, and it’s been on pretty heavy rotation in our house whilst they have been tweaking the mixes. Make A Difference Plus + ORIGINS

Film favourites Whenever I’m feeling a bit under the weather I can always watch The Wizard of Oz (I love Judy Garland!) and I really love Rogers & Hammerstein musicals. My favourite film of 2012 was The Perks Of Being A Wallflower—it’s one of my favourite books of all time and it was a perfect adaptation.

Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick SOAP & GLORY

One meal for the rest of your life... I love Mexican food, so it would have to be some form of burrito. I also love tapas—I could live off olives and padron peppers. @gemsmaquillage


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by Grace gargini

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- get the look -

get the look Modern 60s We can’t think 60s beauty without recalling that iconic shot of a young Twiggy staring doe-eyed into the camera with contoured cheekbones and false lashes to die for. Now, the mod trend is back—thanks in large part to unstoppable Adele and H&M’s recent campaign featuring Lana Del Rey. We love Lana’s interpretation, which takes the basics—dramatic eyes, sculpted cheeks, and matte nude lips— and improves on them with the help of perfected formulations and sophisticated applications. Here’s how to get the look at home.



Rimmel’s Exaggerate Eyeliner has a precise tip that makes it easy to get a thick wing, while Clinique’s High Impact Mascara adds extra volume. Buff in a matte eye shadow that’s a shade or two darker than your own to add contour to your socket line.



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Revlon’s Matte Lipstick in Smoked Peach leaves a suedelike finish on the lips.

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CHEEKS Use a matte bronzer without any shimmer, like Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder. Using a finely tapered brush, like the Real Techniques Contour Brush, blend around the natural hollows of the face—underneath your cheekbones, across your temple, and along the jawbone—to accentuate (or create) angles.


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Color Club, Put A Pin In It

Spray KMS California ADD VOLUME Volumizing Spray into damp hair and blow-dry upside down. When almost dry, add hairspray to the roots and backcomb in sections to build texture. by grace gargini


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This month’s tutorial comes courtesy of Amelia Goodhead, the brains behind xameliax, a beauty and lifestyle blog covering everything from fashion finds to fabulous nail art creations. Here, she shows how to create a Winter Ombre nail look using just two colours of nail polish and a bit of old sponge!

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Insta-This Color club

... You’ll need

What You’ll Need: • A brightly coloured polish (we used Color Club Insta-This) • A bottle of white nail polish • A makeup/baby sponge • A piece of tin foil • A cocktail stick/dotting tool • A cotton bud • Base and top coat 1. Prep your nails: file, push back cu-

ticles, buff and dehydrate with polish remover. Follow with a base coat and two coats of Color Club Insta-This.


2. Blob out some blue polish onto your

Two coats of



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tin foil (about four brushes’ worth of polish should be enough for both hands) and carefully add a drop of white polish to the centre. Mix together using your cocktail stick until they make a slightly lighter shade.

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3. Using your sponge, dab polish onto

ponge Use your s



e You’re don


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your nails until the polish covers about three-quarters of the nail.

4. Wait five minutes for your polish to dry, then use the same process to add a little more white to create an even lighter shade. Dab this over the last coat of polish and cover about half of your nail this time. 5. Finish off with a very pale blue shade just on the tips of your nails. You may find that your nails look a little bumpy, but a good layer of quality topcoat will smooth this out. Use a cotton bud dipped in polish remover to clean up the edges and you’re done!

Keep up with Amelia on her blog at and on Twitter at @xameliax. We want to see your Winter Ombre nails! Tweet us a picture @BirchboxUK by grace gargini


INGREDIENT DECODER: SUGAR If you’re hoping that we’ll encourage you to ditch any and all detox plans and give in to your sweet tooth: sorry. Overloading on sugar still correlates with weight gain and wrinkles. But when it comes to using the ingredient in beauty products, well, that’s a different story. Sugar is one of the best things you can add to your skincare routine. In addition to being an excellent exfoliant, sugar is a natural humectant—that is, it helps retain moisture—with antiseptic qualities. Which means (yes) that the sweet stuff can actually be good for you.

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But we didn’t have to tell Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg that. The co-founders of Fresh, the U.S.-based company known for creating cult products using natural ingredients like sake and soy, know firsthand how beneficial sugar can be. “I was an overly energetic little boy,” says Glazman, “and every day I’d come home with a nick here and a scrape there. I couldn’t take the sting of alcohol, so, instead, my grandmother treated my wounds with sugar, a known natural antiseptic.” Roytberg’s grandmother did the same, prompting the duo to devote an entire collection to sugar. Fresh’s Sugar Collection includes body and lip polishes that use real brown sugar crystals to gently buff away dry skin cells, plus essential oils to seal in moisture and soothe skin. We are positively hooked on their SPF 15 Sugar Lip Treatments. With antioxidant-rich grapeseed


polyphenols, the supernourishing balms come in a range of buildable tints (berry, honey, rose) and smell almost good enough to eat.

OTHER SUGAR PRODUCTS WE LOVE: • Laura Mercier Crème Brulée Sugar Scrub. This creamy formula simultaneously sloughs and smoothes with a mix of sugar granules, grape and olive oils, and vitamins A and E. • Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash and Body Buttercream. Combining brown sugar, macadamia grains, almond oil, and sweet lime, Soap & Glory’s body scrub works wonders. Seal the deal with the ultra-rich body butter, also loaded with shea and cocoa butters. • Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. This vegan-friendly face wash incorporates natural sugar, rice flour, and lemongrass to unclog pores and resurface the skin. by Christine Ajudua

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It’s been called the most wonderful time of the year, but for your skin, winter is anything but. From chapped hands to scaly legs, cold weather can wreak serious havoc. Keep reading to find out expert tips for besting winter dry skin culprits and scooting through the season in (soft skin) style.


A hot shower feels so good on a cold day, but just like that third glass of spiked cider, it’s not really the best idea. “Long, hot showers strip protective lipids from your skin’s outer layer so it becomes dry and irritated and can’t act as an effective barrier,” says dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah.“Once this happens, it is very hard to reverse.” The solution? Take shorter, lukewarm showers, and apply a gentle, soap-free body wash with your hands, not a loofah or washcloth. Pat skin dry with a towel and apply a thick moisturiser like Wild’s Romantic Body Butter with Shea & Marula to seal in moisture.

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Still using your summertime skincare products? You might be making matters worse. “During the winter, stay away from alcohol or gel-based agents, since they dry the skin even more,” says dermatologist Dr. Purvisha Patel. Dr. Shah also recommends eliminating retinoids, harsh scrubs, and products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid. Instead, look for hyaluronic acid and natural oils for extra hydration. We love the Ritessens Velvet Cleansing Milk for clarifying the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. The paraben-free formula uses argan oil to deeply nourish and protect.


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To avoid red, wind-chapped skin (calling all winter sports nuts), Dr. Shah says “it’s crucial to keep skin moisturised and cover up as much as you can.” A rich hand cream like Taaj’s Crème Mains Delhicates is ideal for treating and preventing dry, cracked hands. Massage into hands (and nails for added strength) when feeling particularly dry. by NATALIE HIGDON

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ask the expert

Nicola Smyth

Nicola's Favourites

This month, we’re thrilled to partner with KMS California, a brand known for creating high performance products that are easy to use—even for amateurs like us. We caught up with KMS hair stylist Nicola Smyth, founder of her own awardwinning salon in Leamington Spa, for tips on getting professional-looking hair at home.

FREE SHAPE quick blow dry Great for: All hair types, especially long or thick hair. How it works: The conditioning ingredients (top phase) detangle, separate, and smooth strands. The quick evaporating ingredients (bottom phase) remove excess water for faster drying. Tip: Shake the bottle to activate the product and spritz over hair before blow-drying. ADD VOLUME volumizing spray

Great for: Anyone who wants buildable volume and heat protection. How it works: It contains eucalyptus, cinnamon which is known for being astringent and providing fullness and body. Work through towel-dried hair and blow dry. Tip: If you want added volume, add another layer of the product to dry hair and blast with hot air.


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3 Tips for a ProQuality Blow Dry

1. Get excess water out by giving your hair a good towel dry. 2. Apply a heat-activated smoothing cream and always use a nozzle attachment, as this will help keep frizz at a minimum, and blow dry downwards. 3. When your hair is dry, blast with cold air to add shine.

COLOR VITALITY shine & shield

Great for: Colour-treated hair. How it works: It’s a styling creme you apply before blow drying. It provides heat protection whilst locking in your colour and adding shine. Tip: Pair it with shampoo and conditioner designed especially for colour-treated hair. by grace gargini

in the E-shop

Learn more about Nicola Smyth Award Winning Hair at

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BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS January is all about fresh starts, new beginnings and, of course, resolutions. What better place to start than with your beauty regimen? From a relaxing bath oil to a repairing cuticle cream, these are the products that will help you (and us!) enter 2013 with good beauty habits and—more importantly—to maintain them as the year goes on.


Stimulating Scalp Mask Philip Kingsley £5.25 All that heat styling takes a toll. To rebuild weak, damaged hair, apply this vitamin-packed scalp mask. Plus, stimulating peppermint encourages blood circulation for optimum growth and repair.

Nail Recovery

Unguent for Nails and Cuticles Reverence de Bastien £15.50 Don’t ignore your nails in between manis. Apply this lush cream, which is packed with organic camelia and argan oils, to protect skin and soften cuticles. Use once or twice a week and push back cuticles with a cuticle stick.


Checks and Balances Foamy Face Cleanser origins £17 No matter how tired you are, take the time to properly cleanse your skin. It makes a world of difference. This gentle frothy formula contains broad leaf kelp to discourage excess sebum, plus wheat protein to balance dryness.


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Dryness Buster Almond Oil L’OCCITANE £16.50 Creme de Corps Kiehls £16 January is officially the coldest time of year. This duo is our foolproof way to eliminate dry, flaky skin. Cleanse with the nourishing shower oil, then slather on Kiehl’s rich body butter to lock in moisture.

stress booster

Essentials To Relax, De-Stress, Revive Aromatherapy Associates £23.50 Set yourself the indulgent task of taking a bath once a week. These bath oils top the field, with expertly curated formulas that help dissolve daily stresses and leave skin silken.

BY grace gargini


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- behind the brand -


A results-based skincare line fusing the best of Eastern ingredients and traditions with cutting-edge Western technology.

Back Story

Growing up in China, Wei Brian was fascinated by her mother’s use of herbs to treat all kinds of illnesses. Years later, she realized that those holistic recipes could also serve as the basis of natural, non-invasive beauty treatments. In 1993, Brian set up her first herbal-based skincare shop in China, but a government mandate forced her to shut it down. Undeterred, Brian moved overseas and launched her brand in the U.S. in 2002. Eight years later, she expanded it to the UK with an exclusive launch at Space NK.


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WEI™ fuses time-tested ingredients used in traditional Chinese herbal remedies with modern delivery systems—think creams, serums and even one-time sheet masks. WEI™ products are organized into four categories that are inspired by the balanced principles of Chinese medicine: Purify (Chi), Energize (Yang), Replenish (Yin), and Correct (Zen).

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Star Products

The White Lotus Moisture Rich Eye Blend is a rich cream that plumps up the undereye area with the aid of waterbinding white lotus flower extracts. The Jujube Age Control Serum, which soothes away redness and firms skin. And for those who are worried about the onset of wrinkles, the Royal Ming Firming and Hydrating Cream resurrects a 600-year-old recipe used by Ming-era courtesans to maintain their smooth skin—it has antioxidantrich goji berry, moisture-boosting angelica extract, plus an astonishing 16 other herbs.

On the Horizon

This year, Brian looked to Asia for inspiration yet again and developed a ginseng- infused, skin-perfecting CC Cream, the first of its kind to hit the Western market. You could say that it’s beauty history in the making.

Fun Facts About WEItm • The white lotus flower in WEI™’s White Lotus Moisture Rich Eye Blend is harvested by hand from China’s Lake District. • WEI™ has a “farm-to-face” philosophy to sourcing the indigenous Chinese herbs that star in its skincare line.

You can shop Wei products in our new and improved e-shop. Go to birchbox.


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• All WEI™ products are vetted through independent labs. by MAI WANG


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BirchBox mag janvier 2013  

BirchBox mag janvier 2013

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BirchBox mag janvier 2013