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Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015

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Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Box

I’ve already reviewed a Birchbox for April 2015, but I signed up for another Birchbox account so I could take advantage of Birchbox’s Upgraded Beta subscription plan. If you aren’t familiar with the new Beta Upgraded subscription, for an additional $20 a month, you’ll get two full-size makeup or nail polish products in addition to your 5 samples.  (If you are interested in getting the upgraded subscription, check out the Birchbox Beta Subscription post for full details).

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 First Look

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Items

The Subscription Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $10 a month (plus $20 for this upgraded box)

COUPON: Get $5 (50 points) to spend in the Birchbox shop when you subscribe with coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Ships to: US, FranceSpain and the UK and Canada

Check out all of my Birchbox reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Info

Each box comes with a card detailing the items included. The two full-size items are listed at the bottom.

Let’s start with the full-size products:

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Nail Polish

Smith & Cult Nail Polish in She Said Yeah – Value $18

Normally I don’t get too excited about nail polish in subscription boxes, but I’m a little obsessed with the bottle and design of this nail polish. I like the periwinkle shade of this creme, and it’s always nice to get a beauty item you want to display on your vanity!

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Mascara

Lord & Berry Back in Black High-Performance Mascara – Value $23

I can’t find this exact mascara on the Birchbox site yet, but it is on the Lord and Berry site. It is supposed to add length and volume for “bombshell-caliber lashes.” I usually go for thick-brush mascaras, but I’m intrigued by this one and excited to try it.

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 Jouer

Paula’s Choice Skincare Resist 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment – 5 ml Value $17.60

I really like the Paula’s Choice brand – this may be my favorite item discovery in the box. It’s designed as a spot treatment for skin discoloration. Hopefully, this sample will last me a while to find out if it works for me.

Jouer Tint in Petal – .03 oz Value $9.40

I am an even bigger Jouer fan now thanks to their own subscription box, so I was excited to see this mini in the box. It’s designed to be both a lip and cheek stain, with a creamy consistency. It’s pretty easy to blend as a blush, but I prefer it as a lip stain/cream.

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – April 2015 POP

POP Beauty Portfolio Eye Shadow Palette in Peach Parfait Trio – Value $4?

I’m happy with the amount of pigment in these shades, they blend well together, and the shimmer is subtle so it is great for daytime looks.

Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo – 2 oz Value $3.50

Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Conditioner – 1.35 oz Value $3

Unfortunately for me this shampoo is made with sulfates, and I have to avoid that ingredient in hair care products since my hair is color treated. They will make good swaps/gifts though!

(Both of these items I received in my other Birchbox account box, so I wasn’t too thrilled to see them again).

Verdict: This box has a value of about $78.50. I think that value is pretty good for a $30 box. Of course if I end up loving the mascara this box will be a greater win for me. What do you think of the Upgraded Birchbox?

If you upgraded your subscription, which full-size items did you get this month?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

50 Comments

  1. I received my boxes today (10-11 days after they shipped); Mad Men CA box and I decided to get a new account for the regular box . My regular box has the Beaver products and they are getting tossed. I asked them why I was receiving hair and makeup products in this new box when they aren’t checked and they offered me the chance to try out their beta product choices limiting them to 4 a year. Haven’t seen positive things about this, hope it works out.

    I also received both the Jouer tint and Pop Beauty palette and the palette is missing the small brush. I’m not a fan of the tint on my lips, but love the hint of color it gives on my cheeks. The only item I’m really happy to receive is the Paula’s Choice Vitamin C Spot Treatment. I had signed up for the upgraded box and my account reflected it, but they never charged me for it and I did not receive the 2 items. I had them cancel it as I realize I don’t need more makeup or nail items.

    I did ask them since I live in CA and now pay tax if that means my boxes will be shipped from CA and they said:

    “Thanks for reaching out and I am so sorry for any confusion!

    That is definitely an option and something that we may be working towards in the future. At this time, we are still shipping out of our warehouse in Tennessee, but we do have other recent new business operations in California.

    If you have any other questions or concerns from here, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email and I’d be happy to help!

    Have a great day!”

    • Sigh, I live in California too and am still waiting for my upgraded Beta Box that shipped 10 days ago… This is the longest it has taken to receive a box.

      I’m not sure about keeping the Beta subscription, especially since we cannot choose a curated box. But since I’m not really interested in the curated items for May, I’ll keep the Beta option one more month and see what the full size items are.

      • i heard we may get a full size cargo palette! if its just a sample thats ok, because part of me thinks they wouldnt give us something that nice lol

        • That would definitely be awesome if one of the full sizes was the Cargo pallette, ive heard that too. I saw the full spoilers on my account and I figured the full sizes are probably a lipstick and another mascara, because that’s two of the products. I love mascaras but i hope theres not going to be one or an eyeliner every month!

  2. If I knew that this box came with Lord & Berry Back Mascara I would have order it! Darnn!!

  3. I received my box on the 15th. I’m not excited about it. The Beaver products, the Jane Iredale PYS which stung, LA Fresh Body soothers and Harvey Prince Hello body butter. My sister gave me her Harvey Prince Hello shower gel 🙂

  4. I’m on the fence with this. I received the exact box that Liz did. My initial reaction is $20 is pricey for nail poilsh and mascara. But I love that the nail polish is 5-free and the blue color is very pretty. And I needed to buy a new mascara so the timing worked out. I plan to give it another month to make my decision.

  5. I received the same exact box but, instead of the eyeshadow I got the Jane Lip and cheek which was choice. Also my nail polish was pink which I loved. This nail polish is so big, and the container is adorable, the color is gorgeous! I really loved this box, I know some didn’t but I love mascara and trying new ones! The only thing that upset me was the way it was shown was that we was getting The Lord and Berry set which included an eyeliner too, did anyone else think this? I’m still really happy with it and will continue it! Great value I think!

  6. You could just take those $20 and pick what you want in the Birchbox store.

  7. I wonder if the upgraded selection will be successful. BoxyCharm is a dollar more than the upgrade cost.

    • This is what I was thinking. For $15-21, you could get Sample Society, Glossybox, Boxy Charm, two extra Birchboxes (and the points), or Petit Vour, just to name a few. For $25 you could get the Dermstore Beauty Fix. I thought about this but I opted to renew my Glossybox instead (had a year that was running out).

  8. I think I’ll stick with the regular birchbox. I’m usually happy with what I receive unfortunately the upgrade box isn’t appealing to me.

  9. I’m glad I didn’t upgrade. I had a feeling that full-size items were going to be mascara and/or nail polish and it turned out to be both! I’m completely over getting nail polishes and mascara in subscription boxes (and scarves)! lol For those who actually need and want those items it is a nice set.

  10. I received the same upgrade items except my nail color was the pink “pillow pie” and the mascara is Alchimia from Lord and Berry instead. I haven’t received either one yet because Birchbox lost my order for the upgrade (but did charge me) so they are being sent separate then my normal box which came yesterday. My normal box had the same pop eyeshadow, whish shave cream (repeat in a different smell, bleh :(), real face peel, hair serum, and the lip and cheek stain which I LOVE (my pick). That stuff packs SO much more color than you would think looking at the color in the tube but once on it is PINK. Overall not a bad box but the value I would like to see go much higher for the extra $20, otherwise I could just go buy boxycharm! I will try one more month then cancel if needed.

    • You got the repeat product too? I messaged them that the shave cream was a repeat, so they sent me out a replacement mystery product. The mystery was why they sent out the same product a third time.

      • Lol, I’m sorry but I legitimately laughed out loud at that :p. I do the cheat to see my birchbox early every month so On the ninth when I was sure it wouldn’t change I sent them an email and I received 50 points. When I called about them messing up beta though they told me repeat samples for lotions and stuff will no longer count as the same product if they are in different scents just like perfume :/

    • If you’re following these comments, could you let me know if you ever received your full size items? I didn’t get mine, and contacted them about 3 weeks ago. They said they would send them separately, and today I received the mascara and oddly another birchbox identical to the first one, but no nail polish. They’ve also sent about 4 different tracking emails but the tracking numbers don’t seem to be tied to actual packages. I emailed them about it again today. This time I also asked them to end my beta subscription, too much hassle for things I was a little disappointed in anyway.

  11. I almost did the upgrade but I’m glad I chickened out because twenty dollars for the nail polish and mascara is not worth it for me. Besides I have so much of both. I really wish they do an upgrade like the $20 men’s box. I would love to have a monthly box with a mix of makeup and lifestyle products.

    • I totally agree. If it was like the men’s box – one lifestyle item and four-ish beauty samples, I’d totally try that. I’m not tempted with two more full sized beauty items as I’d rather put the extra $20 to choosing ones that I want.

  12. I upgraded to the $30 box but there was no eye shadow in it for me.

    Disappointing. I received a teeny tiny Jane Irdale lip/cheek stain that is so sheer it could never be used as, a cheek stain and only a sheer lip color.

    • That lip stain is really incredible. Once applied, the color darkens. For me, it turns out to be the perfect shade to compliment my skin tone. I’ve not tried it on my cheeks. And those little samples are perfect to tuck in a pocket!

      • It was my PYS and I’m totally disappointed. It doesn’t do anything on me…..still look like a pale corpse. I need some color on these lips!

    • I can only use the Jane Iredale product as a cheek stain. It worked really well for me. But…I am super pale so maybe it just shows up well with my complexion.

  13. This $20 upgrade really doesn’t appear to be good value. For not much more it’s possible to sub to an entire boxful of beauty products. Glossybox or Boxycharm, for instance.
    Birchbox would have to begin sending out something really spectacular to tempt me into coughing up an extra $20, and they aren’t doing that so far.

  14. So you paid $10 for a mascara and $10 for a blue nail polish. I’ll pass.

    (I got the Mad Men California box, and I like it very much).

  15. I’m so happy I upgraded my box!! To me, the smith & cult alone is worth the 20 upgrade. Their nail polishes are beyond fab!! And such a gorgeous designed bottle to have on your vanity!

  16. I’m glad I didn’t go with the upgrade. So far it doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade. It seems like a waste of money.

  17. My box is still halfway across the country, but the box reveal shows I’m getting the pink version of the polish and the same mascara. Is it just me, or does this feel like a weak showing? Mascara and nail polish – the two most over-sampled box items of all time.

    I certainly didn’t need to pay 20$ for that (and actually canceled my entire BB sub yesterday after seeing the reveal).

  18. Hmmm… so many mixed reviews for the upgraded beta box. I jumped on this with the hope of receiving a better “version” of the monthly sub. Although I haven’t recived mine yet the nail color is exciting, providing I get “she said yes” one. And I have been eyeing the full size of Paula’s Choice spot treatment, so I’m happy that I get to try it and decide if it works. Having said all that I can’t justify the extra $20 for only 2 more full size products. Plus shampoo that I don’t/won’t use ( wen girl, here) is in just about every box so I have already canceled my next shipment. But I did order the Lovely day box and now I’m just going to stick with LE boxes or quarterly subs as they are more of a welcomed surprise for me than getting too much of the same each month.

  19. I got this same upgraded box yesterday and am so excited to try the nail polish. The mascara is good, not great and I like the eye shadow. I’m not overly excited about the other items. I personally find the value of the upgraded boxes to be great so far.

  20. This was my first beta upgrade box. My full size items were the same, although my polish was pillow pie, a really light nude pink. The bottle top/lid was dented.

    My other products were the same, except I got the Jane Iredale lip/cheek stain instead of the pop palette.

    I am not sure yet of the $20 upgrade was worth it. I will keep it and try for another month or two. I really like my regular Birchbox already so much, and the great points system.

    • I don’t think it’s dented. I think it’s supposed to help with your grip when you are painting.

    • Hoping the lip and cheek stain are in my box because those peachy colors don’t look good on my eyes and I don’t want to be stuck with another something I dislike.
      BTW what is the stain color, if you don’t mind.

      • I got the pink one, I think it is called forever pink. It is supposed to adjust to your color. I tried it on my lips and I didn’t notice any additional color. It smelled nice and was really moisturizing on my lips. I haven’t tried it on my cheeks yet.

    • My nail polish was dented on the top as well. Not so much that it’s not usable but still upsetting because it was so pretty.

  21. Oh man, what a great box! The full size items get two thumbs up from me. I can never get enough mascara, and I too am obsessed with the bottle design of that polish! Polish for me doubles as decor, so I only by nail polish that has gorgeous packaging, LOL.

    However, I’m still on the fence about paying an extra $20 for 2 full sized items. I use Birchbox more like a savings account and use 100 point codes and discount codes often (thanks to this site, hehe), so I still feel like I get a better value from paying with points and discount codes.

  22. My full size items didn’t arrive because of a mixup with my add-on subscription. I’m honestly glad they didn’t.

  23. I hate that you can’t get the upgraded subscription if you already have a yearly sub. I’m always amazed at the boxes Liz gets, my Birchboxes, the samples are never that big. Glad I didn’t get this because I have a yearly sub, I couldn’t, I wouldn’t want more mascara and nail polish. I wish it were like the Birchbox men’s sub, that’d be awesome.

    • I didnt know that!! Maybe that is why I didnt receive it? They still charged me though. 🙁

      • Yes I was charged, and then received my April box with no upgraded items. I emailed them, because I was charged and they refunded me. They said it was a glitch in the system that allowed me to upgrade, it shouldn’t have done that.

  24. I got the exact same box as you, or I was supposed to. I didn’t get the mascara *full size item. For whatever reason it was missed from my box. I emailed customer service yesterday but didn’t hear back yet. I got that shampoo and conditioner too… 3rd month in a row to get shampoo and either conditioner or a hair serum/mask. I’m ready for something other than shampoo next month. 🙁 And I’d really like my mascara, hopefully customer service is helpful.

  25. I got the exact same box as Liz yesterday. I was not overly impressed by it. One thing I did not like is that the whole box had a very strong perfume smell and I had to take Benadryl twice after handling it. I had to put the lid back on and put it away after viewing the contents as the smell is that strong… The funny thing is that I don’t even know where it’s coming from… I’m almost wondering if they sprayed the box with something before they shipped it – it’s very strange. I will definitely be swapping/selling/gifting some of these items, including the box, as my nose cannot stand it unfortunately. It was so bad it almost triggered a migraine and I’m hesitate to even open it again…

  26. I’m not impressed with those two items for $20. Most people have their favorite nail polish brand and don’t like to get one random bottle that doesn’t match the others, at least I don’t. And who would ever pay $18 for one nail polish? The mascara is meh. I guess you will have to see if it’s any good.

    Plus you can’t choose the curated box if u have this beta upgrade.

    I just get my regular box, not this upgraded one, and I really like it.

    • I don’t need more nailpolish and mascara, so I didn’t get this. (Also I could get another whole beauty box for $20 or close to it.) But I have at least 25 different nail polish brands in my racks! I totally mix and match. I organize by color and I like the look of all the different bottles in my storage racks. (Right now I am wearing nail art I made with OPI, Seche, Sinful Colors, Julep, NCLA, and Sally Hansen…)

  27. I didn’t do the upgraded box. But I also got the Beaver hair stuff in both of my boxes this month.

    Then I contacted Birchbox and they actually offered me helpful suggestions so as to not get the same things in both boxes.

    (I think almost everyone got the Beaver hair stuff this month…)

    • What were their suggestions if you don’t mind sharing?

      • Yeah, I am also interested in the suggestions!

      • (1) Answer the profile questions differently. So I went in and made one all interested in anti-aging and the other interested in anti-acne products (sadly, both things I need to worry about). That’s just an example, though. I changed the incomes and hair types (my hair can’t make up its mind).

        (2) They activated a special “beta preferences” section on my profile, where you can specify how often you’d like to receive other types of samples (similar to how it is now with perfume). But you can say you’d like shampoo/conditioner no more than 4 times a year, for example. To get this, if it is not on your account (go to your account to check), you will have to e-mail them and say you have multiple accounts and you’re getting a lot of sample overlap and ask to have the preferences activated on your account.

        I have yet to see if the beta preferences result in a different box on each account. I will find out in May.

        • Thanks for sharing Ragan. I am going to see if I can get the beta preferences, too.

        • I think the perfume preference works, at least. I’ve gotten 4 perfumes so far in 5 months of being subscribed and I set my preferences to never can have too much perfume (and in the review survey I always write that I like to link my perfume to my mood).

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