Beauty Banter With Birchbox Co-Founder, Katia Beauchamp

By  November 15, 2013

So, what’s it take to be a Birchbox beauty guru? From what we concluded after meeting Katia Beauchamp, a lot of dedication, an unmatched passion for everything and anything beauty, and, of course, a mane of killer locks. Beauchamp and fellow founder Hayley Barna are the brains behind the monthly beauty subscription that makes pampering extra fun. Not only is that pink parcel pretty, it’s effective too, taking out the time consuming process of finding products that fit your needs by allowing you to sample a slew right at home. From how Birchbox has infiltrated her own beauty routine to the process behind the box, Beauchamp shares the scoop with Glam!
Beauty Banter With Birchbox Co-Founder, Katia Beauchamp
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Q: You’re all over the world talking about Birchbox with both consumers and beauty brands–that’s a lot of time on spent a plane. What are your go-to travel products?

If I’m on a long flight, whether it’s early morning or late at night, I always put on face oil before I leave instead of a normal moisturizer. It’s kind of like a heavy duty moisturizer. I really like the Kahina oil–I’m obsessed. It’s a face oil, it’s an argan oil, it’s all natural, and it has an incredible mission behind it too. The founder is is amazing. What I learned from somebody much smarter than me in skincare is that oil protects your skin. So not only is it hydrating, but it protects your skin against pollutants in the air. I feel like it’s a mask even though you can’t see it.

I also typically roll with dry shampoo, all sorts of different varieties. Serge Normant makes one that I use. If I have a blowdryer then I bring that with me and it makes a more dramatic look with texture. Hair is my thing. I travel with a teasing brush everywhere too.

Q: You have great hair–we agree that it is most definitely your thing! What are some products you’ve put in Birchbox that have also made their way into your daily hair routine?
A: Beauty Protector makes a shampoo and conditioner that smell really good and are also very moisturizing. I don’t wash my hair that much so I can use something a little more dense when I do…more treatement like. I’m obsessed with Shu Uemura products, so at home I use the Shu Uemura cleansing oil instead of a traditional shampoo. It’s like face oil–same idea. It doesn’t strip your hair and sometimes I don’t even use conditioner with it because I like the texture.
Q: You are so familiar with all these products! Does that come from really sitting and meeting with brands before you feature them in the Birchbox??
A: Yes, definitely. That used to be my only job at Birchbox. In some cases the brand doesn’t need that much research because we know it very well. But we do research products and we try to understand who would be the right costumer to receive it, because Birchboxes are personalizedFor new brands, which is a huge part of our value proposition, brands you can’t find everywhere because they may only be sold at barney’s, or not even available in the US, we do the research to understand if there’s a costumer for this product. And if they don’t make a sample size they’ll make one for Birchbox.
Q: And you sample them yourselves?
A: Oh yeah! We have 200 girls in the office. There’s somebody for everybody.
Q: What was in the first Birchbox?
A: The first true Birchbox was in business school [at Harvard] when we did a beta for 200 women. There were four products in it. There was Phyto, a French hair brand, Benefit, Lipstick Queen by Poppy King, and Nars. And I think in our next box there was Korres.