Birchbox, Beauty and Babes

Occasions sometimes arise where I have a brow-furrowing, head shaking, ‘Is this real life?‘ moment, but without the trip to the Dentist prior. Case in point: an email arriving in my inbox from the team at Birchbox inviting me over to New York to sample a snippet of Big Apple life. I know. Madness. A four day whistle-stop tour of NYC of all things Birchbox including: a snoop around their HQ (there’s a lot of pink, a huge chalkboard wall and the Editorial Director, Mollie Chen, shares my loves for cookies and cocktails – babe), a chance to meet with some founders of their favourite handpicked brands and a look backstage at the NYFW Ruffian SS14 show which they collaborated on the nail design for. I thought I’d share, so think of this as a speedy peruse over my diary for the past few days with a hefty photo load. Here are the highlights – it was a toughie to cut down

Meeting with Sarah Tay. Now I’d heard of and tried some bits from Tay Skincare before. An all-natural brand, that’s stocked on Cult Beauty in the UK and loaded up with pure essential oils, antioxidants and all-round skincare goodness without the nasties. The founder, Sarah Tay (another babe) invited us into her workshop in her back yard in Brooklyn and talked us through the brand, while feeding us up on fruit and macaroons and letting us pet her rabbit that was hopping around and joining in the fun. As if that wasn’t cute enough, she treated us to a personalised blend of their best-selling All Purpose Shea Butter – to which I plumped to have Argan Oil and Tea Tree Oil mixed in, which smells ah-mazing. My new dry cuticle companion.

A bit of calm from Caudalie. Another kick-ass beauty business woman that we were lucky enough to meet was Mathilde Thomas, one half of the husband and wife team that started up Caudalie. Being a bit of a fan, I thanked her personally for making the Divine Legs and Beauty Elixir and then followed that up with a heart-eyed emjoi gaze in her direction. While sipping on wine (grapes, wine and Caudalie go way back) we had a little mini facial that felt so good that Patricia, Lily and I all ended up purchasing the same product on exit – their Grape Water. A refreshing mist that sits somewhere between those water sprays that are good for cooling and something with souped-up skincare benefits like the Beauty Elixir. I’ll report back on this one.

Backstage at Ruffian and some snazzy talons. New York label Ruffian and Birchbox have struck up quite the friendship and for this season’s show they collaborated on the nail design; with Ruffian coming up with a selection colours and the Birchbox Facebook fans having the deciding vote as to which ones made it to the models nails. Three shades made the cut – a metallic green, purple and orange. The cuticle cut colour manicure is something that Ruffian have been doing for years – so much so that it’s dubbed ‘The Ruffian Mani’ – so they stuck with tradition and striped on the fan picked shades on the bed and finished off the rest of the nail with a classic nude. A tricky one to try at home but I might get a little funky with some stickers if I’m feeling fancy. We’ll see.

Sample stocking up at Birchbox Local. Our final trip was to the New York Fashion Week timed pop-up in Chelsea Market – Birchbox Local, which was sort of set-up like a one-stop beauty shop. A place to chill, charge and surf the wi-fi (much appreciated), indulge in a little pamper and shop the best of Birchbox. My favourite bit though? A sample stock-up bar where you were armed with a box and a five product limited. A ‘make your own Birchbox’, like a sweet shop – but beauty style. I plumped for some bits from Mally, Serge Normat and Twistband.

And if you’d like to see the above, plus more, in video format then return to these parts tomorrow as there’s a vlog on the way. Oh yes I’ve got all bases covered. In terms of Birchbox on UK shores, I’ve heard a sneaky snippet of info about next months box and it sounds HAWT. Subscribers I suggest stalking your postman and Birchbox virgins, you may wish to visit here. And Mollie whenever you’re next in the UK – me, you, Ben’s Cookies. It’s on.

*Press Trip