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Meet Our Birchbloggers of the Month: Valerie and Michelle Bar of Pass the Rouge

Our community of Birchbloggers is a vibrant bunch of beauty-loving ladies from all corners of the blogosphere. This month we’re featuring New York City-based sisters Valerie and Michelle Bar, the dynamic duo behind Pass the Rouge.

What's the story behind the name "Pass the Rouge"?

For the past few years, we’ve both been obsessed with makeup and skincare products. Our friends and family would ask us for recommendations and questions on skincare, hair, and makeup, so we decided to start a blog to share our favorite products and tips. As sisters we share everything, so “Pass the Rouge” was a perfect fit!

Which must-have beauty products currently reside on your vanity?

Michelle: First and foremost: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré. This is my go-to moisturizer. I’ve gone through five tubes over the last two years! I also love Kevyn Aucoin’s concealer, Pür Minerals Melt Away Makeup Emulsifier, MAKE Solstice Bronzer, Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Petal, and John Masters Organic Sea Mist.

Valerie: I have to with Michelle on this one, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré has been a lifesaver during this crazy winter. I’ve been keeping my makeup pretty minimal lately but I can't go without my Mally eyeliner, Lancôme concealer, Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, and my Bobbi Brown blush in Apricot.

Which product do you continue to purchase, even though you already have enough?

Michelle: NAIL POLISH! Together Val and I must own over 350 bottles of nail polish—and I can confidently say I have tried each and every one of them.

Valerie: Lip balm! I apply lip balm at least 50 times a day and need to have one on me at all times. I love ones that are pigmented, glossy, or ready to pair with other lip products.

As sisters, how do your personal approaches to beauty differ?

Michelle: I try to wear minimal makeup during the day, though I do sometimes wear a bright lip during the summer. For an evening out, I tend to play up my eyes by experimenting with different eye shadow colors.

Valerie: I like taking the makeup trends of the moment and adding a little of my personality to them. Personally, I prefer to use products that really pull your look together but are also no-fuss. I never want to be worried about “smudging this" or "ruining that.”

Walk us through a typical morning beauty routine—from skincare, to makeup, to hair.

Michelle: First, I wash my face with just a gentle face wash, and then apply my Embryolisse moisturizer and Sibu eye cream. I tend to keep my makeup very simple for the daytime—I wear concealer, tightline my upper eyelid with black pencil liner, a few coats of mascara, add some bronzer, and finally some lip balm. I have straight hair so tend to let it air dry, and just add some Moroccan Oil to the ends.

Valerie: As soon as I wake up, I wash my face with a gentle facial cleanser; at the moment I’ve been loving Aveeno’s line. I follow up with a facial serum, facial moisturizer, and eye cream. As I wait for everything to absorb into my skin. I brush out my hair using my Mason Pearson brush and apply some hair oil to add some moisture and shine.

What’s the best beauty advice you've ever received?

Michelle: To make your perfume last all day take a little bit of Vaseline and dab it in the places your normal spray your perfume.

Valerie: Once I started wearing makeup, my mom told me to make sure I washed my face every evening. 'No matter how tired you are, you must wash your face.' I can say that this bit of advice has done wonders for my skin.

What’s your favorite blog post you’ve ever written?

Michelle: I did a post on my favorite French beauty products, which was a big hit with our readers—it was a lot of fun to write too. I also really enjoyed doing our half-moon manicure tutorial, it was re-pinned a bunch of times on Pinterest.

Valerie: My favorite posts are on the items I cannot see myself ever going without, like my reviews of Clarisonic or Kerastase products. The reason why we decided to start blogging was to share our thoughts and suggestions for products like these, products that really work for us and hopefully work for our readers.

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