Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NYC Adventures and Birchbox Local

It's a perfectly cozy, uneventful Tuesday night (with the exception of the So You Think You Can Dance Season 10 Finale...kinda pumped about that), but after the day I had yesterday, staying in and snuggling up in my pjs is exactly what I need. I had the most AMAZING time in New York yesterday, but all that walking definitely wore me out!

 In case you haven't had a chance to read my last post (or haven't been stalking my Twitter and Instagram pages), I was invited to attend a Birchblogger exclusive event promoting Birchbox's latest project - Birchbox Local.

Birchbox Local is a two story space located in Chelsea Market where beauty enthusiasts will be able to book appointments for everything from a Drybar blowout, to a Color Club mani, shop for their favorite prestige beauty products, and create their own custom Birchbox. While Birchbox Local was open by invitation only over this past weekend, it will open up to the public next week. If you're interested in checking out Birchbox Local for yourself, you can find out more information and book appointments here!

I definitely couldn't pass up an opportunity to get a sneak peek at everything they had to offer. And of course, I also figured that if I was going to go all the way into NYC, I might as well plan for some serious shopping.


I spent the majority of my afternoon roaming around Union Square and exploring the shops on nearby 5th Avenue. My favorite purchases of the day would be a brand new pair of black leather Guess boots from DSW and the Urban Decay Ammo Pallette for $12 at Nordstrom Rack (you can also pick this up for the sale price online from Sephora). I also had a delicious lunch at Republic, complete with a very tasty Thai Iced Tea.

When it got closer to Birchblogger time I headed over to Chelsea Market, the new home of Birchbox Local. From the unique and quirky shops to the super artistic and industrial interiors, Chelsea Market is quite possibly the coolest indoor shopping type place I've ever seen.

Before I knew it, it was finally time for the Birchbox event! I have to say, it was even more awesome than I could have ever anticipated. The Birchbox Local space is SO amazing. Cushy areas complete with stylish couches and cell-phone charging stations made for the perfect place to chat or check your email while you waited for your beauty appointment. Rows of vanity stations hosted stylists, makeup artists and manicurists to primp and pamper you. Champagne and refreshing drinks from Resource Water kept on flowing from a gorgeous bar at the center of the first floor, and every table was stacked with plates of delicious sweets and jars of candy.

Perhaps the most impressive thing, though, were the two giant walls full of sample dispensers, much like the beauty version of a sweet shop. Each of us got to pick 4-5 of our favorite samples and craft our own personalized Birchbox (sweetly packed up for us in an adorable tote bag). And that was just the first floor! The lower level will ultimately house a Benefit Brow Bar and a Birchbox shop where you can purchase your favorite products from prestige brands like Jouer and Davines.

There were an almost overwhelming number of different types of samples to choose from, so it was definitely not easy to decide on only 5. My final choices? Mally Beauty Age Rebel Waterproof Shadow Stick, Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow, Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray, Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss, and Stila Stay all Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso. 

From following the ongoing Twitter feed throughout the weekend it looks like quite a few different companies have been a part of the Birchbox festivities this weekend. Yesterday's event offered makeup application from Stila, Color Club manicures, blowouts from Drybar and mini facials from Dr. Brandt. I would have loved to do everything, but seeing as there was only so much time I ended up opting for a Drybar styling touch-up. My stylist, Adam, gave me beautiful voluminous waves. I also have decided that I need to have Drybar's Money Maker Flexible Hold Hairspray in my everyday life. It gave you that perfect amount of hold without being overly crunchy or stiff. It also smells insanely amazing.

We finished out our night with an inspiring Q&A session with Lucky Beauty Director Jean Godfrey-June lead by none other than Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp. Topics of discussion were everything from building a career in the beauty industry, to favorite products, to blogging and writing for magazines (I may never use the word "tresses" again!). Perhaps one of the most empowering moments came in the form of a few wise words from Katia. She reminded all of us that no one will care about our careers as much as ourselves, and that we are the ultimate driving force in where they go. Show people what you can bring to the table and what you'd like to do, rather than wait for someone to give you direction. It was really awesome to see and meet so many intelligent and ambitious people who are as passionate about beauty as I am.

On a semi-related sidenote, I had to share was how impressed I was at how well my makeup held up to a whole day's worth of traveling, shopping, and sight-seeing. I had to take a picture when I finally got home around 11:30pm last night, partly because of the makeup, and partly because I wanted something to remember how awesome my hair looked. Unfortunately I'm still not entirely over my cold, and my constantly nose-blowing did a little bit of a number on my foundation, but my eye makeup was just about as perfect as it was when I left the house at 9 am!

 I'll have to give you all a more detailed rundown on the products I used, but here's the quick list of what I'm wearing:
- Benefit The Porefessional
- Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream
- Stila Convertible Color in Peony
- IT Cosmetics Brow Power
- Anastasia Clear Brow Gel
- NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base
- Urban Decay Naked Palette
- Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner
- Benefit They're Real! Mascara
- Cargo Lip Gloss in Las Vegas Strip
- Urban Decay All-Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

I'm so glad that I decided to be spontaneous (for once) and make the effort to get out to NYC for this event. Birchbox really went out of their way to give us bloggers an amazing experience. And, if it couldn't get any better, my September Birchbox was waiting for me in my mailbox when I got home from work today. It looks like I have lots of new beauty products on my hands to play with! Stay tuned for reviews in the next couple of weeks.

Until then, stay gorgeous!