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Month after month, we fill your Birchboxes with samples from the best brands around. This May, our subscribers will meet face-to-face with a cult favorite makeup line from the UK, a wet wipe that spawned from a college student’s thesis, a skincare brand born under the sea, and much more. Allow us to take you on a backstage tour of this month’s illustrious lineup. Not a member? There’s still time to join!
Founded by a dentist to the stars (celebs—they’re just like us!), this innovative brand knows just how to shake up your humdrum hygiene habits. Case in point: their Effervescent Breath Crystals, which crackle-‘n’-pop in your mouth to deliver four hours of minty freshness.
Like proud parents, we get a little gushy when this brand comes up in conversation (as it increasingly does). Exclusive to Birchbox and developed by a hairstylist, the best-selling line protects hair from the perils of overstyling—and smells amazing doing it.
Aromatherapy, meet apartment therapy. Caldrea’s lovingly formulated, beautifully packaged home products deserve to be displayed on your sink ledge and vanity shelf. We love the combination of addictive scents and eco-friendly, plant-based ingredients.
Helmed by a winemaking husband and wife duo, this French skincare brand got its start in the rolling vineyards of Bordeaux. Founded on the science behind grape-seed polyphenols, a clinically proven antioxidant, Caudalie has developed into a full-spectrum skincare line.
First created exclusively for industry insiders in 1979, Color Club creates the most innovative and trendsetting nail shades from classic lacquers to bold holographics. Happily, the brand's trendy polishes are now available to the public, which means you can get the brightest neons and shiniest sparkles sans the pricey salon visit.
After battling severe acne for years, Alison Carton spent a summer at the beach that changed her life—and skin—forever. Her daily swims in the salty seawater cleared up her complexion like nothing else she’d tried. The effects were so transformative that she set out to create her own “ocean in a jar.” Five years of trial-and-error later, she concocted a blend of sea salts that’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, yet strong enough to banish blemishes. Her skincare system exfoliates and draws out impurities to disrupt the breakout cycle with a mild, all-natural formula. The result? Clear skin without any dryness or irritation.
We love this mineral sunscreen line for its gentle formulas, wearable, non-greasy texture, and insistence on skin-safe ingredients. Free of preservatives, chemical sunscreens, and oils, the doctor-developed line provides amped-up protection against UV rays without irritating sensitive skin. If your complexion is fussy, look no further for your perfect SPF.
Last November, we debuted fashion designer Cynthia Rowley’s first-ever makeup collection—and if the reviews are anything to go by, her foray into beauty was a smashing success. This season, the designer strikes again with her Spring Collection, a creamy pastel eye shadow palette, a velvety-smooth eyeliner, and a longwearing lip stain. Color us impressed.
Respect the rhythms of your skin’s natural balance and process of renewal with this thoughtfully developed line of products. Dr. Hauschka’s holistic approach to skincare health fits into his larger concept of a holistic lifestyle. While this is probably the only skincare line inspired by an early 20th century philosopher, we love it for it’s soothing mineral and botanical ingredients like rose petal extract.
Dissatisfied with the army of ineffective products she used day-to-day, Nicole Oden remembered a piece of skincare advice from her grandmother: Get in the ocean, the water will heal it. After doing some digging, the former investment analyst discovered that certain ingredients derived from marine plant life mimic the structure of human skin cells, allowing them to penetrate more deeply. The result is a line of products that battle the signs of aging and refresh skin, leaving your complexion as happy as a clam.
For over 30 years Gilchrist & Soames has provided the world’s best hotels and spas with their luxurious bath and body products. Their line of soaps, body butters, and hair care is truly a triple threat, combining rich English formulas with botanical ingredients and unique scents. For spring, we love the seaside-inspired Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion and Body Wash.
After spending two years teaching in Italy, yoga instructor Elena Brower wanted to take the country’s inspiring aromas home with her. So she blended her own mix of essential oils inspired by the first sultry summer days in Italy. This translated (naturally) into fresh-squeezed citrus, spicy vanilla, and sweet almond. Free of alcohol and parabens, Givescent’s formulas help support women worldwide.
This family-owned home fragrance line has been designing its scents in-house since 1975. Which means every candle they create is backed by almost four decades of expertise. In addition to their inspiring scents, we love the brand’s elegant glass containers and sturdy boxes for when it’s time to put out the flames.
It’s hard to resist a father-son founding story, especially when it results in a delicious sipping experience. This family-operated craft brand has been dreaming up inspired tea blends for over three decades. Our favorites this month: the Pomegranate Oolong Tea and the Organic Green Tea with Mint.
This high-performance hair care line draws its inspiration from the unique culture and personality of four arrondissements in Paris, making effortlessly tousled French-girl hair attainable any day. Pump volume, smooth out frizz, and protect your strands with this wide range of 100 percent vegan, sulfate-, gluten- and paraben-free formulas. Stylish and environmentally friendly? Très chic indeed.
As we usher in flip-flop weather, we open ourselves up to a new hygiene pitfall: dirty, sweaty feet. Luckily, mom-on-the-go Ann Malik created this line of portable wipes, designed to keep our tootsies fresh and clean all spring and summer long. These gentle, antibacterial cloths are rich in soothing aloe and Vitamin E, and come in zesty scents like peppermint and grapefruit.
While Birchbox specializes in high-end beauty, now and then we’ll add an extra to your box, called a Birchbox Find, which you can purchase at the drugstore. (It’s always in addition to your usual samples—never in place of them!) This month we included a new standout from Jergens® in some of your boxes: the BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream, which visibly improves skin imperfections while it hydrates. Since 1901, Jergens® has been the go-to brand for non-greasy, one-step moisturizers. Their no-muss no-fuss standbys keep skin looking soft, smooth, and radiant all year round.
Jouer means “to play” in French, and with that carefree spirit, Christina Zilber created this line of wearable shades for the modern woman on the go. Taking beauty cues from her mother, a 60’s-era model who taught her that makeup should enhance your natural beauty, not camouflage it, each product is formulated with true-to-life colors and skin-nourishing botanicals.
High-performance meets highly specialized products in this advanced hair care line developed in France since 1964. Drawing on research at La Recherche Avancée L'Oréal, this salon line has created a high-tech regimen to tackle every mane concern, from thinning, aging strands to dryness and breakage.
In 1966, the French pharmacist Pierre Fabre created the first shampoo using chamomile—formulated specifically for blondes. (We knew they had more fun.) Thankfully, he expanded to create more products for all hair types with papyrus milk, magnolia, and mango butter collections, to name a few.
Born in Russia and transplanted to Paris, this 140-year-old tea brand is impressive for a whole host of reasons (not the least of which: surviving the Russian Revolution). We’re smitten with the gorgeous packaging and of course, the rainbow of tasty flavors to choose from.
This Brooklyn-based startup is all about appearances—and we mean that in the best possible way. LAQA & Co. pairs funky, unique packaging with innovative nail and lip products that are surprisingly easy to master. Bonus: All of their designs feature original artwork from emerging artists and graphic designers.
For founder Lynette Lovelace, scent has the power to transform your mood, transport you to a different time and place, and literally bottle memories. Loaded with vitamin-rich botanicals, her bath and body line has scents to suit every state of mind, whether you need to chill out with calming rose and vanilla or escape with coconut, warm sugar, and white orchid. We’ll take “all of the above.”
Sensitive skin and makeup need to learn to get along. Luckily, this Chicago-born brand swears by hypoallergenic, perfume-free ingredients. What began over 140 years ago in the Windy City has become a globally sought-after makeup and skincare powerhouse. Marcelle’s wide range of products has something for women at every age, from richly hued eye shadow quads to glow-inducing BB creams.
Curly girls, pay attention. Miss Jessie's products whip unruly ringlets into shape. Fed up with the lack of options out there, sisters Titi and Miko opened Miss Jessie's Salon in 1997 to cater specifically to girls with curly and ethnic hair. They quickly gained tons of loyal clients and blossomed into a cult hair care line in 2004.
In 1979, father-and-son duo Jheri and Stephen Redding teamed up to start this pioneering hair care line. The beauty industry veterans took a scientific approach to developing luxury products and were among the first to incorporate innovative polymer technology and antioxidants in their formulas. Now, their products are favorites of top stylists around the world.
Finding the perfect lip balm can make us feel a bit like Goldilocks; some are too sticky while others are just plain grease-tastic. Noya Beauty occupies that ideal middle ground with its line of on-trend balms and lipsticks formulated to please the pickiest of pouts. Made with kosher, all-natural ingredients, each balm is resolutely good for you and also does some good for the world at large. For every lip balm purchased, Noya donates one to the homeless.
A cult favorite brand in the UK for over ten years, Pixi is the British go-to for longwearing makeup that nourishes skin while you wear it. Founded by makeup artist Petra Strand, these covetable shades come packed with skin-smoothing botanicals like aloe and honeysuckle that are gentle enough for sensitive skin. The result is vibrant, all-day color that highlights every woman’s natural beauty.
As self-described serial entrepreneurs and concerned parents, Gordon and Courtney Gould set out to create a healthy, simple, and tasty alternative to traditional vitamins with artificial flavors and colors. Each little gummy is jam-packed with a complete day’s worth of nutrients, including omega 3 and vitamin D3. Made with eco-friendly and responsibly sourced ingredients, SmartyPants also donates vitamins to children in need for every purchase made. That sounds like a win-win-win to us.
The only beauty brand born out of a real photo studio, the legendary Smashbox Studios in Los Angeles, Their high quality products are a perennial makeup pro favorite. Now you can look photo-shoot ready every day with scene-stealing favorites like their Photo Finish Primer and richly pigmented lipsticks.
Deborah Burnes created her line of products in response to being told countless times by her customers that nothing on earth could improve their problem skin. Her advice? To try the earth itself. She incorporates ingredients like natural clay, charcoal, oats, sea salt, and pistachio oil into her fresh, handmade formulas. Scrumptious ingredients pamper your skin for a truly all-natural glow.
Founder Holly Thaggard created her line of sunscreens with a brilliant idea: Sunscreen should do more than just protect against harmful rays. Antioxidants deliver a second line of defense and help prevent sun-related signs of aging. Luckily for us, she also believes sunscreen should feel nice (no more of the goopy-sticky messes from childhood) and smell yummy.
Since launching in 1994, Votivo's artisan candles have gained a devout following. Unlike your average gift store fare, each hand-wrapped candle features Votivo's signature hand-pressed wax seals. Elegant packaging aside, these chic candles also release lovely, distinctive fragrances. Your nose and eyes will agree: They’re the perfect accent to any room in your house.
The Whish line of body products began with a simple, er, wish: Founder Jesse Werner’s wife wanted a gentle alternative to the harsh chemicals found in most shaving creams. After discovering an effective European formula (albeit one that smelled like an old English guy), Jesse began developing his own version. Since then, Whish has expanded to include a luscious array of scrubs, lotions, and body washes full of botanicals like acai berries, pomegranates, and blueberries, and completely free of sulfates.
For the skincare-obsessed, no regimen is complete without shea butter. Recognizing this fundamental beauty truth, Georgia native Tammie Umbel joined forces with native African tribes to produce the sought-after substance in its purest, most organic form. Not only does the brand support local African commerce, it has a profoundly positive impact on our skin, as well.
It all started with a jar of moisturizer in a Southern California health food store. Such quaint beginnings! Since then, derma e’s line of skincare products has become a must-have for health nuts around the globe. Famous for its science-backed approach to skincare, this all-natural, vegan brand designs topnotch products that tackle everything from acne and aging to hyperpigmentation and scarring.
As passionate foodies, we’re well aware of olive oil’s ability to transform ho-hum salads and liven up savory dipping sauces. But this Spanish brand is opening our eyes to the kitchen staple’s beautifying powers. A key ingredient in Keims’ collection of luxe bath and body products, antioxidant- and vitamin-infused olive oil rescues tired-looking skin and drab locks.
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