Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Essence Beauty Box Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Women of Color Subscription Boxes | Tags: | 17 comments

Essence Beauty Box Subscription Box Review – January 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


Essence Beauty Box is a beauty subscription service geared for Women of Color (WOC).  Each month, the Essence Magazine beauty team puts together a box to give you the opportunity to discover brand new products and Essence’s staple favorites.



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



The Subscription Box: Essence Beauty Box

The Cost: $15 a month (Discounts available with 6 and 12-month subscriptions)

The Products:  A variety of hair care, beauty, and lifestyle products

Ships to: US only

Check out all of our Essence Beauty Box reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!


Good to Know:  You can save today on both 6 month and 12 month subscriptions! Offer expires on the 27th!




The insert card has a list of all the products included this month with tips!  The note from the  EBB Team says our theme is “Pamper Party”.  They says we should tear up our new year resolutions and just continue to be the same awesome “You”.  This month, our box is their way of showing us we need to start the year with some self-love!


TGIN – Green Tea Super Moist Leave In Conditioner – 2oz – Value: $2.00

This conditioner claims to prevent split end and provides moisture to all hair types.   I’m not a fan of the scent, but I love that the product itself doesn’t make my hands as sticky as other leave ins.  I also love getting hair samples in little travel size bottles like this.  It makes application so much easier.

Shea Terra Organics – Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Wash – 1oz – Value: $4.50

I haven’t been using this long enough to figure out if I like it or not.  I hate the way this smells, so it’s hard for me to reach for this first when I have others that smell awesome.  But, I love the way my face feels after using it.  I’ve never tried a black soap for a face cleanser in the past.  Let me know what you all think about black soaps in general.




Laqa&Co. – Fat Lip Pencil in Siren Song – Full Size – Value: $20.00

I have a few lip pencils from this brand and they are all very pigmented.  I’m glad I didn’t get a repeat from my humble collection.  It’s very comfortable on the lips and doesn’t bleed.  However, you must travel with this shade, I ate most of it during lunch time. LOL.  It’s a beautiful color and I’m glad to add another red to my lip collection.  From the swatch you can see it has a very warm undertone and I don’t think I have another red quite like it!




Julep – Nail Polish in Jess – Full Size – Value: $14.00

Julep!!! They are trying to take over the globe.  Julep has been a guilty pleasure since I started blogging for MSA.  I really like their polishes but I love rooting for the underdogs too.  This color is soooo beautiful.  It’s a rich, dark plum and it looks like melted candy on my nails after a single coat!  I have to check back with my collection and see if the other creme finish polishes perform just like this one.  Normally, I have to apply two coats.  Either way, I love this shade and just adore Julep’s mystery boxes.  I hope there will be one for Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day.



Leaders Insolution – Baby Soft Foot Mask – Value: $5.00

I’m all about the sheet mask life!  I subbed to Mask Maven for 6 months and enjoyed it.  I see these all over the place today, from my local drug stores and Target, Marshalls, to as big as Neiman Marcus…and those aren’t cheap!  This is a great addition to theme this month of pampering.  I’ve never received a foot mask before, and it felt so fancy. 🙂

I have long feet…that fit my height by the way!! So don’t laugh too hard when I say I barely made the cut!  The directions are fairly simple and you’re suppose to let it sit, or I should say, you should sit and relax for about 20 minutes.  The fragrance is close to that of traditional baby lotion and the lotion/serum inside feels just like it too!  You slip your feet inside like a glove and use the attached tabs to seal your “sock” above your ankle.  My big feet and I had to be a little more creative, but I was still able to get a good seal.  This was so much fun!  I want more, in a larger size.


Verdict:  The January Essence Beauty Box had an estimated retail value of $45.00!!  Incredible.  They are really making a good impression in the beauty box community.  Even my teenaged niece requested this box for her birthday present.  I also wanted to note that I really love the packaging!  The water colored textured insert card, the purple base of the box, everything is so pretty.  Every month, you can see there is a conscious plan of action with excellent execution.  Well done Essence Beauty Box Team, well done!  Each month gets better and better.

Did you grab a subscription during the sale? And tell me some thoughts of all the big and little brands EBB has partnered with.  Who do you want to see featured in a future box?

Written by Celicia Gantz

Celicia Gantz

Celicia was introduced to both The Honest Company and CurlKit in March 2013 and has been addicted to subscription boxes ever since. Always on the hunt for the undiscovered family staple, she loves trying new skincare, natural hair care, makeup, and finding delicious snacks with hidden veggies for her kids (and Hubby too). Favorite finds: Body Oil, Stuffed Animals, Books, non-GMO Tortilla Chips and Perfume Samples.
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.


  1. Has anyone had trouble with this sub? I signed up in January with the deal and I still haven’t gotten a box. They allegedly sent the February box to me twice now, and I’ve gotten nothing. Now they are claiming they sent one out on March 4, but didn’t send me tracking info on it????

  2. I love black soap. I use a liquid black soap mixed with henna (with a little tea tree oil) sometimes as a shampoo if my eczema is acting up. And for my face I use either Nubian Heritage black soap (or their Honey and Black Seed just because it smells so good) or Chandrika bar soap (it’s Ayurvedic and costs $0.96 a bar on Lucky Vitamin)

  3. Agree that the packaging is very pretty. I would love to try that black soap.

  4. How did you manage to swatch the Julep polish on the “swatch me” square, which is on the cap??? That one always mystifies me – why did Julep place the swatching square on the cap, that the applicator brush can’t get to??? LOL!

    • If you pull on the cap while the top is screwed on, the black part comes off so you can then unscrew the applicator and swatch it. Most of the caps come off pretty easily, though some can be tough. It confused me for a bit too when I first started Julep (especially since my first bottle was REALLY hard to get off).

      • I’ll try it! Thanks Deborah!

    • Thanks for the tip too Deborah??! Dea, I was winging it! I just swatch one of the inside flaps and then stamp the sticker. Good to know!?

    • I didn’t know about the lid coming off, but I would use a cotton swab touched to the brush and then touched to the swatch area. Has been working great.

      • Thanks Kathy!!

    • I used to use a toothpick, scraping a bit of and smearing it to the cap, worked amazingly well especially if u let the drops just fall on the cap lol.
      I did that until I saw a pic from julep on instagram that had the cap off and people going OMG they come OFF?!? YAY!
      You would they they would put this somewhere in their main pics on their nail polishes on their website!!

  5. Wow, great box!

    I have tried a few kinds of black soap, and I love it, but I’ve never used it on my face. I have eczema among other skin challenges and it really soothes and balances things out for me. The Sheamoisture black soap (my favorite) smells amazing.

  6. I absolutely love black soap for my face and the Shea Terra one in particular is without a doubt my favorite one. Possibly the best cleanser I’ve discovered (and this is comparing even the luxurious brands I’ve tried like Sunday Riley and Rodial). It leaves my skin so smooth and has helped clear my blackheads and whiteheads like no other. And it’s so affordable! (especially if you buy it from Birchbox).

    • Really!!! Thanks for the input Lexie. I’m still using it…it still stinks…but I’m using it. I’m realize how much I hate this sample bottle doesn’t have a pump. The soap moves like molasses

  7. Well, this helped make up my mind! I was torn between Essence, CurlKit, and a third box. I like the variety of items in here, because there’s no way I’m using up a ton of hair stuff in one month when I wash my hair twice per week!

    Has anyone ever subbed to Onyx box?

    • Onyx Box is okay when it’s not a “take over” box lol. They can be a hit/miss but they’re one of the few boxes out here that targets WoC so if that matters to you, you should try them. I also recommend Handmade Cartel. It’s a B.O.B. that also targets WoC but all the products are handmade, organic, and the curation isn’t just beauty but rather home/beauty/lifestyle. It’ll make a great option for your 3rd slot. GL!

  8. I signed up for 6 months for the $10 deal. I have curly hair so I think I will be able to use most of the stuff. We’ll see!

  9. I purchased the black soap bar from the same brand from Birchbox and I really love how it works. Sure, it is not the best scent, but for combination skin, it does wonders.

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