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Birchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2016

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


Every month, Birchbox lets subscribers pick between a curated box (all samples revealed) or a single sample choice and be surprised by the rest of the items. This review is of the sample choice box.


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


The Subscription Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $10 a month (get one month free and $10 to spend in the shop with an annual subscription!)

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


For a limited time, get a free Pixi by Petra Palette with code PIXIPALETTE

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

Ships to: US, FranceSpain and the UK and Canada

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

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


Each box comes with a card that has a blurb of the month’s theme and focus.


And on the flip side, it details the items included and some tips on how to use them.


English Laundry Eau de Parfum Signature for Her – sample

I’ve never cared for English Laundry (or perfume samples) so this, as a 5th sample, was a bust for me.

JUARA Radiance Enzyme Scrub – .27 oz, value: $4.10

I really love this scrub! It’s supposed to be very gentle, and I think that’s true – although I don’t have sensitive skin so I am not the best advocate for that. The exfoliating beads in it are actually bamboo and jojoba beads. Plus it has great enzymes for your skin in it so you can leave it on for up to 3 minutes after you’ve scrubbed to add a little extra power as a mask. This left my skin feeling great.


Supergoop! Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil with Meadowfoam SPF 50 – .34 oz, value: $2.30

This was my sample pick this month. I like this oil sunscreen – it takes some time to get a lot of coverage (maybe just because of the size of the sample) but it looks, feels, and smells good. Unfortunately I can’t speak to the effectiveness of the SPF just yet because Michigan hasn’t been very sunny lately.

*I noticed that a few people left reviews on Birchbox’s site saying that they had a reaction to this. Make sure to use a test spot before trying this all over!

PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray – 1 oz, value: $4.90

This spray is okay. My hair is really fine and stick straight, and I’ve found that when I use sea salt spray it just makes my hair look unkempt instead of magazine-perfect mystical beach hair. I’m pretty sure I’m just not destined to be able to have that kind of style. I’ve come to terms with this.


ModelCo Lip Lacquer in Viva – 1.5 ml, value: $5.33

This lip gloss is pretty! It also smells great. This shade is really wearable on any skin tone, I think.


Here, I’m wearing the lip gloss. I love my matte shades, but I’m really starting to like glossier looks for summer again. Especially because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be all about the dewy, glowy look when summer finally decides to actually arrive in Michigan.

Verdict: This month’s Birchbox is pretty good for me! I found a couple new products that I really like. This box has a value of about $17.13, which is on the low side for Birchbox compared to some of my previous boxes, but I’m still not disappointed with it for $10.

What do you think of my May Birchbox? What did you pick as your sample?

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered Beauty Army and Birchbox in 2012 and instantly fell hard and fast for the world of subscription boxes. Over the years of writing for MSA she has found many subscriptions to fuel her addiction, but her favorites include fashion, geeky, beauty, and mom/baby boxes to share with her son.
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. How do you open the cargo blush and bronzer duo? It’s not opening! Help!

  2. I am kinda annoyed, I got two spf’s (one tinted) along with another tint. I didn’t need three similar face items.

  3. I subscribed to Birchbox after what it said was was the final day to get the May box, and I received an email about what to choose for June. Fine. But I have since received an email saying my May box is on the way (?) and there was no choice of curated or sample box involved. There was what appears to be a list of what was sent, and everythng is different from what is listed here…..It doesn’t look like a bad box, it just looks like I will be getting two boxes within about two weeks of each other. Is this normal? If so why does it say you have to order by midnight the 21st to get this month’s box?

    • Sample choice ends at the end of the previous month, but you still can get the month’s box with random samples for more 20 days. That’s why you couldn’t choose what to receive for May.
      I subscribed in mid April and it happened just like you described (both boxes arrived within one week of each other, one with random samples referring to April, and one with the sample I chose for May).

  4. I received Sugergoop (my choice), Cotz, Cargo blush/bronzer duo, Davins Shampoo and bonus conditioner and Vera Bradly fragrance. I received two SPF, but I am ok as I use sunscreen year around. The Cargo item is the same one from Allure box a few month back. I wish the packaging was better. I received Davins conditioner (foil sample) as a bonus item for ordering $35 at BB shop in the past and I should find it somewhere in my pile… Lastly I never knew Vera Bradly made fragrance… Not an exciting box for me, but I got to review an extra item and everything will be used.

  5. Is anyone having issues with the coola setting spray?

    It honestly felt like a think hairspray and what got on my blouse made it feel like a pasty starch. My hypersensitive skin couldn’t take rubbing against it all day and I ending up taking my blouse off in the car and crying on the way home.

    Not my cup of tea. I think I’ll stick to Neutrogena SPF. I wouldn’t mind trying the oil though….

    • I didn’t have issues with it, but I don’t like the smell at all. It just smells harsh, like rubbing alcohol.

    • I have tried both setting sprays (Coola and Supergoop) and hate them. They are full of alcohol and I can’t see any way to avoid 1.)inhaling them and 2.)getting them in your eyes. I don’t think they are safe. It’s a nice idea to be able to refresh your sunscreen without disturbing your makeup but I don’t think it’s worth it.

    • I honestly haven’t met a Coola product I like. I received the setting spray a while ago and the pump never worked. Which is fine. I couldn’t get past the harsh smell of it anyway.

  6. I got the same box, but I might have gotten a different color for the lip lacquer.

  7. I got exactly the same samples. Though the pink lip gloss isn’t a great shade for me. Pale pink really washes me out. I haven’t tried the texturizing spray yet, but I’m happy with the other things.


    I promise I’m normal.

    Also I can’t buy this in Alaska so I’m super jealous.

  9. Do they have any 20% or 10% coupons right now?

  10. I love that Supergoop oil. It works well and absorbs well. I wore it when I went to the White Sands National Park last year. With the hot sun reflecting off the sand and the wind I thought I would still get burned and it would make the sand stick to me but I did not get sunburnt and it did not make the sand stick.

  11. The Birchbox inserts don’t really include HOW to use the products anymore, do they? Sounds silly, but there’s been a few over the past couple of months where I’ve been unsure.

  12. I went for the curated box this month since I saw a lot of self tanning themed items in the picks and did not want any, I have gotten that parlor spray and while it smells awesome it made my hair tangle and dry no thank you! I chucked it after trying it twice. I liked the creme brulee color and noted in my review that viva would probably be awesome for fair skin glad to see I was right probably gonna buy this with some points. I liked the perfume, I don’t mind getting them even if they aren’t my tastes. The box is 10 bucks of which you get 5 back in points, you can easily spend five dollars on lipgloss even low end and this one is actually decent quality and quite a generous amount I can see it lasting me all summer. That makes four products essentially free so the months I get a scent I hate I chuck it and move on. I don’t expect to love everything and I’m happier for it. Ipsy got where I didn’t like my samples and the point system stunk so I left.

  13. I got the exact same box. The only thing useful in it for me was the sample I chose — the Supergoop sunscreen oil. After seeing the reviews on BB about the reactions — probably due to citrus oil in the product (which is not really a surprise, this smells AMAZING like a freshly peeled orange) — I decided to use it just on my arms & chest. I did not get sunburned, nor did I get a rash!

  14. I got the Parlor spray too. Tossed it. My hair makes beachy waves on its own without products…

    Rest of my box was OK, though. And I like the Keds I added on.

  15. I just subscribed to Birchbox this month, mostly because I really wanted the Pixi Palette. We’ll see what I get in June but unless BB blows me out of the water I will probably drop it after one month. Especially if I get something like this box. Not a thing in here I would use ?.

  16. I didn’t pick a sample this month, because I didn’t particularly care for any of them, and I think they just threw all the leftover ones in my box. I got the Cotz (the tint is too dark for my pale skin), the Supergoop (I can put this to use), yet another perfume (the third in four months!), the Cargo (nothing “medium” ever goes near my skin), and the Love shampoo (stoked for this one; it’s a repeat, but I adore that shampoo).

    I need BB to step up their game. I’ve been getting some pretty disappointing boxes for months, and at this rate I’m not sure I’ll renew my annual even with a Black Friday deal and their killer point system.

  17. After seeing so many of your reviews where you put makeup to use, instead of only swatching, I’m positive that you can wear any shade ever. As a ghostly pale redhead, I’m jealous how any color looks flattering on you. I can never pull off pinks or even pinky nudes in any product without looking silly.

    (Also, I second the other comment, you have great skin!)

    • Cat I am in the same boat! Pale skin, freckles, and red hair! I can’t wear any of those pinkish colors..I look like I’m trying to play dress up!

  18. I got similar products, but different brands (perfume, scrub, something for the hair and sunscreen + the cargo duo bronzer / blush instead of the lip lacquer). The interesting part is that my box only had 4 items. They forgot to pack one. But the missing sample is already on the way.
    Not the best box so far, but I’ll stick around and see if things get better 🙂

  19. I got the super goop as well and OH MY GOD I am getting the full size!! It is magical-smelling and super fast absorbing!!!

  20. The sunscreen oil is listed on Supergoop’s website as a body product, not for faces, though oddly (and unfortunately) it doesn’t say so on the bottle. I believe all the people who have had a problem with it used it on their faces. I got it too, haven’t tried it yet but will do so on my hands and arms (too small a sample to use everywhere…)

    • That’s good information to have! Birchbox didn’t state that in their video, though the girl is shown using it on her arm I believe.

  21. I liked my Birchbox this month, but got a Cargo blush/bronzer duo that I already have from Lip Monthly. Would have loved that lipgloss instead! I love the Real Chemistry Body Peel for my sample choice and I love it!! Wish the full size was not so expensive! Achieved my ACE status and redeemed $30 in points this month on some great Paula’s Choice skin care!! Love Birchbox for that!! They have hands down the best reward system!

  22. Haley,
    you have the most beautifulist skin.
    Looks so silky.
    Gloss looks great on you too.
    Thanks for the review sweetie ???

    • I completely agree, Haley is beautiful! Not to mention a pro at makeup application!!

  23. I received the same exact samples as you! I love the lip lacquer color but too bad it made me break out in bumps. Overall, I’m actually using everything else in the box for once.

    Disappointed the curated box was not available to purchase separately though

    • My box was decent, but I always like to be able to purchase the curated box so I was also upset that the curated box was not available to buy separately like it usually is. Instead if you REALLY wanted you had to spend $50 in the shop to get it, which I think is a little too much!

      • How much does the curated box usually cost if you wanted to purchase in addition to monthly sub? If it is reasonable (NOT $50, lol) I will definitely be picking them up in the future.

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