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10 Things We Learned from March 2014 Birchbox Samples

There’s a New Berry In Town, and We’re Superfans

Let us introduce you to one of nature’s most resourceful plants: sea buckthorn berry, otherwise known as obliphica. The star ingredient in Obliphica Professional’s hair care line, the fruit has a remarkably high concentration of vitamin C—15 times more than an orange. It’s also chock full of vitamins and omega fatty acids that nourish the hair and scalp, reversing damage while encouraging healthy hair growth. We’re in awe of sea buckthorn’s powers of survival: The shrub can live on salt water, which gives it the upper hand against plants that can’t tolerate ocean spray, and it’s also native to arid regions like the Himalayas.

It’s Okay to Be a One-Trick Perfume

Fragrance doesn’t have to be complicated in order to turn heads. Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume rides on a single note—Cetalox, traditionally used as a back note in perfumes (the fragrance equivalent of a backup singer.) In this minimalist scent, Cetalox takes center stage, and the results are gratifyingly streamlined.

We’re All for Smashing Pumpkins

In the hierarchy of food-based beauty ingredients, we learned that pumpkin ranks right up there with sugar and honey. Lately, we’ve become enamored with the Pumpkin Nutrient-Rich Facial Mask from Michael Todd True Organics. Powered by the famous gourd and 5% glycolic acid, it works to thoroughly resurface skin in a single 5-minute treatment.

Monograms Aren’t Just for Towels

What’s more personal than a signature scent? A signature scent that’s engraved with your name, of course. When you buy a travel-size of Atelier Cologne from the brand’s website or store, you can have the accompanying leather case engraved with your name, free of charge. After all, why should your iPod have the sole honor of bearing your initials?

The Secret to Whiter Teeth? Bluer Teeth

Color us surprised. Who knew that a wash of blue could make your teeth look snow-white? That’s just one secret behind Luster NOW! Toothpaste, part of the Luster Premium White Distinctly White Set. Special Bluverite® technology covers your teeth in a wash of sheer blue, which neutralizes the look of yellowness for hours on end. (To be clear, you won’t suddenly look like you downed a Blue Raspberry Slushie—the aquatic tinge is invisible to the naked eye.)

You Snooze, You Win

The latest night treatments are helping us make the most out of lights-out. One of our favorite new formulas, Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream, uses herbs and flower extracts to firm skin while you sleep. Eight of the plant-based ingredients are grown on the Jurlique farm, an organic (and biodynamic) operation in South Australia.

Fragrance Can Feed Your Skin

In a perfect world, after showering, we’d anoint ourselves from head-to-toe with perfumed oils, Cleopatra-style. In reality, ain’t nobody got time for that. Which is why we welcomed news of DKNY’s new fragrance: Be Delicious Hydrating Eau de Toilette Spray. Not only does the crisp apple scent feel like a preview of the warm weather to come, but the nourishing formula actually hydrates skin on contact. Delicious indeed.

All Cheekbones Are Not Created Equal

While we’re huge fans of multipurpose formulas like theBalm® cosmetics Stainiac, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re applying any type of blush or cheek stain: namely, your face shape. Depending on whether your face is oval, heart-shaped, or something in-between, you should apply the product to your cheekbones differently. For details, check out our easy how-to video.

You Don’t Have to Fear Colored Eye Liner

If you hesitate to wear any shade but black or brown, let POP Beauty’s In Liner be your permission to play with color. The edgy blue and green shades are dark enough to look chic, not clownish, and they won’t smudge or fade once applied. After a quick pass around Birchbox HQ, we found that both shades work for all eye colors, from green to brown to baby blue. Oh, and the no-budge formula is also waterproof.

We’re Taking the Long View with Our Skincare Habits

This month, Bertrand Thomas, co-founder of French skincare brand Caudalie, paid a visit to Birchbox HQ. When we asked him the difference between French and American approaches to beauty, Thomas didn’t mince words. Americans, he said, want instant results, whereas the French tend to take the long view with regard to their skin. He also mentioned that American women “abuse” makeup (guilty—so guilty), which can further aggravate skin conditions like acne. It was enough to send us running into the arms of his Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. Enriched with one of Caudalie’s signature antioxidants, grape-derived polyphenols, the formula hydrates and protects skin while minimizing redness. Long view, here we come!

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