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Essence Beauty Box Subscription Box Review + Coupon- Jun 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 12-month subscription) + free shipping

COUPON: For a limited time, use coupon code FIRSTBOX to get your first box for just $1!


While supplies last, use coupon code SUNSHINE get a free box plus save 20% off a 6-month or 12-month subscription!

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 Women of Color Subscription Box Directory!

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




Each month the the EBB Team provides an insert card detailing every item we have for the month. The theme for June is  “Best in Black Beauty”. It says our box is packed full of products curated by the editors and most received the Essence, Best in Black Award this year.


Vaseline – Cocoa Radiance with Pure Cocoa Butter Lotion – 3oz – $1.00

Lotion is not my favorite thing in terms of hydrating my skin. I ended up mixing this with oils and butters to force it to breakdown and not sit on top of my skin. It wasn’t my favorite, but it smelled fine and the consistency was thicker than what I’ve seen lately from lotions.


Madam CJ Walker – Humidity Block Curl Gel and Defining Butter Creme – 1oz ea –  $4.00

These samples have been working well in the kiddos hair types (2-3). I don’t care for them much in my thick and curly 4 strands. I appreciated the precuts for easy opening, but the packaging can be quite slippery once your hands are wet. We’ve been getting a few samples from a few different subscriptions boxes and so far, so good. I’d like to try some of their oils that are available on Sephora next.




Jamberry – Nail Wraps in Island Groove – $15.00

These are cute, but I’m really hesitant to use them. I’ve never used Jamberry nail wraps before and the application and removal process appears very harsh. I’m nervous! I’ve had gel nails many many years ago and they were so painful. I’m hoping these don’t peel off all the natural oils on my nail bed or rip a layer of nail. Otherwise, Jamberry offers a wide range of nail wrap, lacquers and nail care products on their website.


Kleenex – Facial Cleansing Wipe – $0.50

I really wish we had received more than one wipe. Like, can I get at least three!? This wipe is part of Kleenex’s new line of facial cleaning products. I only found them available for purchase on the Kleenex shop online.



Maybelline – Vivid Matte Liquid in Vivid Violet – 0.26oz – $7.99

Wow! I was really impressed with this lipstick/gloss. It’s super thick and vibrant! My camera and lights are not doing it any justice. I love purple lipsticks and found this one just a tad too bright and patchy for even me to wear alone. I would consider purchasing another shade or mixing with a deeper tone of purple. Also, I don’t understand why it’s called “matte”; this was quite glossy with one layer.





NYX – Ombre Blush in Nude to Me – 0.28oz – $9.99

This blush is super pretty, but I found it much to shimmery on my skin tone to wear as a blush. I could definitely wear this as a highlighter. I love the size of the mirror and in the swatches below, you’ll see I tried to swatch the top, bottom and the colors swirled together. Very beautiful, but again, not really a blush color.



Verdict: This June, Essence Beauty Box had an estimated retail value over $38.00. I have mixed feeling about the box this month because, three of the products were completely used up with one or two uses. The makeup products were both pretty in color, but failed in application. I still love this subscription and the variety of brands that they collaborate with. 

Tell us in the comments below what your favorite product was this month.

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. I have to admit that this wasn’t the most exciting box, but it is one of the most realistic to use. I have used that lotion in the past, and love having a small lotion everywhere (in my car, locker, each bag etc), so I never have to worry. Also, I wanted the ombre blush, but got the hd.

  2. Do they send an email confirming the shipping? I cant seem to find anything on their site.

    I subscribed on June 16th and still have not heard from them. And I was charged 1us about two weeks ago :/

    • Same i signed up a month ago and i havent heard anything.

    • I get an email confirming shipment around like 9-11th each month. My first month I just missed the cutoff (it was like april 3rd and i ordered on the 5th so my first box was May). You’ll probably get July first

  3. Celicia, I agree with the past rep comment. I am a very disappointed ex customer of jamberry….. I do not suggest using them. I made the mistake of getting caught in the hype. I placed a large order with the heater and all and now I’m stuck with it all. My rep even stopped doing it right after I placed my order. I did everything I was supposed to. I used several of the companies tips and tricks. They ruined my nails. I def agree with the other commenter. Not made for long nails. Also it is so hard to get them the size of your nail! Unlike the wraps that stretch or polish wraps , use the stick and you file…these take FOREVER cutting and waiste, trying to smooth them out. No matter how hard you try to match up, they will lift because they are too hard to match with your nail. out of around 20 people not one actually liked it.

  4. Great review! I got a solid color set of jamberry and now I’m super scared to use them! lol!! I got the bronzer from NYX, and although I haven’t tried it yet, I think it’ll work. I think I said I prefer more of a classic look, don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I like a bold lip, so I still got the bright purple lip and it explains the bronzer vs blush. I really love it on and look forward to wearing it. Looks great against my skin tone!

  5. prev comment was suppose to go on the popsugar. I have too many tabs open.

  6. Once, I saw the end was today, I had to do it. I signed up for ipsy yesterday, after researching on this site for months. Then this box and ordered it. I am so excited! I may need a second job now. HA HA Thanks fellow addicts for your reviews, you created a monster.

  7. This was my first box and I wasn’t overly thrilled like I was about the May box (which I didn’t receive). I don’t particularly care for nail wraps and will probably not use these. And I was also curious as to why there was only one Kleenex wipe…seriously..LOL. I do like the deep purple shade that I received for the lip gloss and was surprised at how it didn’t feel dry on my lips. I’m looking forward to trying the hair products.

  8. I just dropped Ipsy this morning (my year sub ran out and I did NOT want to renew) and I just subbed to this. While I’m not a POC, the products they put in these are fantastic and with the AWESOME code you provided above, I got a year subscription for $10/box and the bonus May box! What a great deal! I’m looking forward to getting this sub. Such a great variety of products. 🙂 Thanks for the coupon code! Saved me $30 on a year sub and a free box!

    • I hope the SUNSHINE code actually works for you. I signed up on June 17th with the SUNSHINE code, but was charged $75 on June 20th. I emailed them and was told the SUNSHINE code expired on May 31st.

      • didn’t Liz have a different code that was 20% off? MSA20 i think. pretty sure that’s what i signed up with

      • That doesn’t seem fair. If the coupon was accepted when you ordered, they should allow the discount, not charge you full price at a later date. I’d ask them to honor the code if I were you.

      • I ordered today and after accepting the promo code at $60, at checkout it said $75. I called them and they said it did charge $75 and it was a problem they were having today. She said they will issue $15 credit (in 7-10 days) and that I would also receive the May box.

  9. I love the purple lip color and the ombré blush was great, I got “feel the heat”. I never used NYX products before and I was pleased.

  10. I loved this box. The lipstick didn’t work for my skin tone (very fair very pink Irish skin) but I tried it as a eye shadow and it was nice!
    I loved the CJ Walker packs, they work great as an overnight treatment on my wavy, tends- to- frizz Caucasian hair.
    I used this box to replace Birch box (points fiasco) and I’m happy with it. I love the box graffics, too.

  11. Hi Cecilia. I used to be a Jamberry rep. Loved being able to design my own wraps. To apply them you have to use a lot of heat. I removed mine correctly, always, but with extended use, it ruined my nails. I quit because Jamberry wraps completely ruined my nails. My nails went from strong and healthy to thin and peeling after a few months. Ever wonder why most of the pictures you see on instagram are on short nails? People who use vinyl nail wraps regularly can’t grow a set of long healthy nails. It took almost 6 months for my nails to recover, and they are now back to their original condition. I still like nail wraps, but I go for the polish ones that remove more like regular polish. Plus, the polish ones look better.

    • Yikes, thanks for that insider info! I will definitely avoid these wraps now!

  12. That Maybelline liquid lipstick is great. I don’t have that color, but I have a few others. It’s one of the best liquid lipsticks I’ve tried (and I don’t usually go for drugstore makeup these days). I love that it’s not drying.

    • Thanks for the tip, Ragan! I will check it out in a nude. Having a hard time with lip color since I started dying my hair violet.

  13. Hi Cecilia – I just wanted to re-assure you about your Jamberry wraps! The key to keeping your nails damage free is the removal – definitely dont peel them off – because it is strong adhesive! If using lacquer remover worries you – when you break the seal (on the side), work an oil (coconut oil or olive oil are good choices – but any oil will work) soaked cotton ball underneath and just keep working it under the wrap – it will lift – and your nails will remain great:) They sent you some really cute ones! (Try just an accent maybe?)

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