The Insider: Katia Beauchamp

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When you have the opportunity to talk to Katia Beauchamp, CEO and co-founder of Birchbox, you have to ask her about beauty products—you’d be a total dummy not to. But we had a whole lot more we were itching to ask this smart, savvy, and supremely accomplished whiz (who also happens to be a taco connoisseur). Dive on in. —monica derevjanik

Q: Ok, let’s cut to the chase: What’s one beauty product that’s totally blown your mind?
A: Shu Uemura has this hair volumizer that has a makeup brush at one end. You pump this powder into the brush and use it on your hairline to create this incredible volume, and you don’t need any hairspray. It’s perfect for that just-messy-enough look.

Q: And what’s the beauty product you’ve used for the longest amount of time?
A: It’s Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint. It’s a tinted moisturizer, and almost everyone at Birchbox wears it now. When you wear it, people are like, “Your skin! What do you do to it? Did you get a facial?” I’ve been using this since Birchbox started in the summer of 2010. They also came out with a matte moisture tint, which provides full coverage, and if I want a little more coverage for an event, I just mix the two—it’s beautiful.

Q: You’re from El Paso, right? What do you miss most about it?
A: Other than my mom, it’s a tie between the sunset and the Mexican food. El Paso is a desert, and people usually live in the more elevated areas where you get amazing views of the sunset. The sky is so big that almost every night it looks like a sunset that you’d see in the movies.

Q: What movie do you think everyone needs to see?
A: My latest favorite movie that makes me so happy is Midnight in Paris. I tend to be attracted to more heavy books and movies, but when Birchbox started, I decided I was going to watch brighter, happier things. This movie is perfect if you ever have that moment where you think you want to be a writer—which I think a lot of people do. In high school, I was obsessed with my English class and all of the authors I was learning about, and watching a movie where the main character was meeting all of these authors made me giddy. I couldn’t imagine meeting these people who were like celebrities in my mind.

Q: Which bloggers are you loving right now?
A: I developed a crush on these girls from Texas who run a blog called A Piece of Toast. They’re so sweet—they’re honestly great people. I love their style and just how authentic they are.

Q: If you could collaborate with any Of a Kind designer, who would it be?
A: I discovered Jade Lai from Creatures of Comfort through Of a Kind, and am such a fan of her philosophy and aesthetic. I mean, who doesn’t want to look fantastic and be completely comfortable at the same time?

Q: What do you do when you want to relax?
A: I love getting massages, but that doesn’t happen very often because you have to plan them ahead of time. I’m really relaxed when I’m just with a small group of people, preferably outdoors and talking about anything other than work. I love the roof of our apartment, so I’ll sometimes make breakfast tacos and bring them upstairs and hang out there for a while. I also love the patio at The Maritime Hotel, which hasn’t been a scene for years, and that makes it perfect. The food is still great, the cocktails are still great, and the breeze that blows through there is so nice.

Lots more people you just HAVE to read about right this way!

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The Benefit Primer That Outlasts Birchbox Co-Founder Katia’s 15-Hour Day

I have always been a bit skeptical of primers—they tend to have zero effect on my oily skin and my foundation never seems to last through lunch even when I use them. That said, I am really excited about Benefit’s new primer that promises 15 hours of flawless makeup. The stay flawless 15-hour primer is super easy to apply for lazy girls like me and the packaging is simply adorable!

After testing out the product myself, I’ve become a primer convert. The strong-hold formula, which you apply straight from the chubby stick, truly makes my makeup last, even in the humid city weather. I’m now less of an oil slick by the end of the day! Check out the video below to see how it holds up with Birchbox co-founder Katia’s busy 15-hour schedule. (Spoiler alert: it does).


We want to see how you stay flawless during the craziness your day-to-day—whether it’s the double shot of espresso that gets you through back-to-back meetings or a swipe of your favorite confidence-boosting lipstick. Share a picture of your secret weapon on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and include the hashtags #StayFlawless and #Birchbox. Once you do, you’ll be entered to win a collection of Benefit beauty products (including their stay flawless 15-hour primer) that’s worth $250! Check out more of the details here.

—Katrina

Want to learn about the multitasking powers of another much-loved Benefit product? Watch our Fine One One video here.

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For House Magazine I got the opportunity to hang out at the Soho House New York with some very smart individuals in the tech industry….

ERICA CERULO & CLAIRE MAZUR of OF A KIND and KATIE BEAUCHAMP of BIRCHBOX 

If you haven’t been to Of a Kind or Birchbox online you are missing out on some goodies!!! 

Is brick-and-mortar dead? E-Tailers say no! 

Jennifer Fleiss of Rent the Runway, Andy Dunn of Bonobos, and Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox all have booming businesses that started out in the online space only, because it requires little overhead and provides a wealth of data on customers. But they were all surprised to learn that while modern customers want products fast and conveniently, they also still want to touch, feel, and try what they’re  buying.

Fun Holiday Updo We Can All Do

I came across this video and was immediately drawn to it because I love fun updos that are simple, look classy and don’t take a lot of time. This hairstyle would be great to wear to holiday parties, in the office or for date night.

This hairstyle seems like it would be best to try with dirty, i.e. not freshly washed hair. I don’t use dry shampoo. I find that baby powder works just as well, if not better and is a fraction of the cost. So, using something like a hairspray with a flexible hold might work well instead. And not to fear for those that don’t have Katia’s long, luscious locks. This is great for gals with shorter hair too. Your bun just won’t be quite as big. I did a quick run of this updo at my desk and it worked out great. Have fun!

Birchbox Has a New Look + What it Means for You!

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Early this morning, we flipped the switch on our website (and this blog) and unveiled an updated style and logo that represent the next chapter for the Birchbox brand. Today is also the debut of Birchbox FR and Birchbox ES, and we’re thrilled to celebrate our new look with our four international teams. 

As much as we l-o-v-e our visual overhaul, we’re even more excited about what it represents: our commitment to evolving Birchbox to bring you the best discovery experience possible. Here are just some of the recent tweaks we’ve made:

More Personalization

We’ve added questions to your grooming profile that will allow us to send you more of what you want and less of what you don’t. Log in to view the updated profile.

A Revamped Look

Birchbox has grown up a lot since our early days. Our new style better represents our brand’s personality: fun, sophisticated, and authentic. We can’t wait to hear what you think! Read our Creative Director’s take.

Improved Site Features

We’ve tinkered with our product search to help you find what you want faster and easier. Our new favorites feature allows you keep all your discoveries in one place. Learn about Favorites.

More Ways to Discover and Shop

We continue to expand our Bonus Shop, with offers that allow you to add amazing products or samples to your full-size orders. Check out the Bonus Shop.

And we’re not stopping there! While we will take a moment to toast our new look today, our phenomenal team is already hard at work on the next round of improvements to make the Birchbox shopping experience even better.

Thank you,

Katia & Hayley

Birchbox Co-Founders

Want to find out what all the fuss is about? Here’s how you can become a Birchbox subscriber.

Dirty Mouth Exclusive! Lip Tips from Jean Godfrey-June and Katia Beauchamp 

Last night, I attended Birchbox's Birchbloggers event, where bloggers from across the NY area met up and talked beauty. After a makeover by Stila Cosmetics and a stop at the DIY Birchbox station, I sat in on the Q&A between Birchbox’s co-founder, Katia Beauchamp, and Lucky's Beauty Director, Jean Godfrey-June (omg, omg). 

During the talk, Godfrey-June talked about her rise to beauty royalty, while Beauchamp gave quirky, yet inspiring advice. When it was the audience’s turn to ask questions, these ladies gave awesome answers. So, here are some tips and product recs that you’ll definitely love (well, I did). 

Favorite Products 

Jean Godfrey-June always carries YSL’s Sheer Candy, which she called a “glossy stain.” Plus, she raved that the “hot pink shade…looks good on anyone,” which is always a good thing. 

When asked about purple lipsticks, Katia Beauchamp recommended Lancome’s Rouge In Love in 381B Violette Coquette, which is my kind of color. 

Lip Care 

While Godfrey-June mentioned the humidifier, I will get to that later this week. Beauchamp stressed drinking water, but added she always exfoliates before wearing bold products like lip tar, and she recommended using your skin care routine on your lips. The skin care tip is something you should consider—when washing your face, wash your lips, when applying an essential oil to your face, spread it on your lips, and etc. 

Want to know more about my Birchblogger adventures? Look out for a pretty lip look I snagged from Stila Cosmetics and more about that humidifier trick this week! 

Note: I know my photo sucks, but come on, JGJ is amazing. 

Beauty in a Box

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When Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp met on their first day at Harvard Business School, they compared nail polish colors and threw dance parties. In September 2010, they launched BirchBox - so that every other beauty junkie in the world could have their fancy colors for their own dance parties.

BirchBox sends each member a box of curated luxe beauty samples every month for a small fee, all tried and tested by the BirchBox team, ranging from skincare to makeup for the ladies, and grooming and lifestyle accessories for the guys. Like what you used? Buy it on the main site and accumulate bonus points for their loyalty program. Need inspiration for your samples? Peruse the Haute Box by Mollie Chen for a myriad of advice, techniques, and guidance. Mollie used to be an Editor at Condé Nast and is now the official sample tester and beauty closet gatekeeper, so she definitely knows what’s up.

Not only can you check out these beauty gurus’ equally-fabulous closets on Material Wrld, you can also snag their best beauty secrets by entering to win SIX MONTHS of complimentary BirchBox beauty samples. A serious win-win situation is just a quick pin away.

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This week’s guest curator is Katia Beauchamp, Co-Founder of Birchbox. Read on to see her Beauty Booked salon & spa picks and enter to win a beauty treatment of your choice + a 6-month subscription to Birchbox…

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Drybar Flatiron
"A Cosmo-Thai isn’t a drink, it’s a cross between chic style and sexy waves at Drybar. If you aren’t doing anything too crazy, you can make your style last for 2-3 days (with a little dry shampoo). I also loved that they gave me samples of Drybar’s new-ish hair product line - never tired of trying the latest products!" Book

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Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa
"Right when you walk in you know you are somewhere special. While you wait or in between treatments that are effective, but not harsh, enjoy a glass of wine from the Caudalie vineyard in the South of France. The Vinotherapie Spa is a beautiful expression of the Caudalie brand - you feel like your glowing skin just might be the beginning of a brighter existence." Book

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TenOverTen Tribeca
"An oasis of real pampering when it comes to mani pedi’s in NYC. I love every detail in the space, including the TenOverTen polishes! They glide on so easily that I can re-polish at home in between appointments." Book

Win a beauty treatment of your choice + a 6-month Birchbox subscription by entering our sweepstakes!

Authenticity helps with anything you’re doing.
— 

Great article about @BirchBox co-founder, Katia Beauchamp on start-ups.  See entire article here

I always like to read articles like this because it gives me insight to the start-up process.  I think Katia nailed it when she answered the question, “Is there something unique that a woman might bring to a startup, like Birchbox, targeted at female consumers, that a man might not?”.  She simply said authenticity.  

I know from experience it is easy to get caught up in an idea, a project, etc.. and loose sight of the main goal of what you were doing in the first place.  Great reminder, Katia, on the reason people like your project—authenticity.  Be creative, but be authentic.  No one likes a phony. 

Birchbox Brings Beauty in a Box

With all the beauty products out in the retail world, how would you know which ones are best suited for you? Chances are, you’ll have to go through all the cosmetics that catch your eyes before finding “the” product. Then, you’ll have to go through the entire process again to find another. Taxing, yes, but to most women, the search is worth it.

But what if you don’t have the time or the money to go through a several cosmetic sampling?

Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp also had the same problem. Classmates at the Harvard Business School, both simply did not have time to try out all products – but they did have time to make a business that solves this problem.

Barna and Beauchamp teamed up and in September 2010, launched Birchbox.com. For only $10 per month, clients of Birchbox receive four to five curated samples. When and if they like a sample product, all they have to do is buy the full-size version available in the website.

This company offered exactly what women wanted – a beauty editor that can sort through millions of products and suggest what’s best for them. First, they had to find partners in cosmetic manufacturers who would supply them with their best products. Seed funding also had to be secured, which came as no problem as it closed a $1.4 million seed round. Within a year, the founders of Birchbox  were able to recruit 660 members through word of mouth advertising, and generate a waiting list of 3,000 eager clients through an initial E-mail sent to their friends. They also generated over $7 million dollars in revenue.

Today, Barna and Beauchamp’s business has approximately 45,000 members. Birchbox’s product was also featured in Inc’s 30 Under 30 list for 2011 – proving that beauty is indeed a bankable business.

Katia Beauchamp and Birchbox follow the lead of Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss.

Harvard Business School is cranking out the fashion tech startups left and right. We just posted about Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss being in the spotlight for their roles as founders and HBS alum. In the same article on Xconomy, Katia Beauchamp and Birchbox are highlighted as another great example of female founder power.

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When I heard about birchbox.com I was completely marveled by this idea and how the whole thing works. Three friends, Katia Beauchamp, Hayley Barna and Mollie Chen came up with a website where subscribers pay a fee to receive well-edited, deluxe-size beauty samples monthly. Then, there is still the possibility of buying or earning fidelity points towards the full-size versions of your favorite products.

This amazing idea earned the duo, Beauchamp and Barna, second place in their Universities Business Plan Contest. Did I forget to mention they went to Harvard??? Today, the site has more than 40,000 subscribers and still growing, which makes perfect sense when one thinks of the monstrous ammount of department store poeple that fill us with samples of stuff we don’t even like or want. 

Finally we can take control over this and actually try stuff we want before we buy them. Membership costs $10 per month and shipping is free on all orders. Unfortunately, shipping is only to the U.S. for now…

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All images from birchbox.com

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