Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | 53 comments

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review – March 2015

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Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Box

I’ve already reviewed a Birchbox for March 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).

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 - March 2015 Items

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 $10 (100 points) to spend in the Birchbox shop when you subscribe with coupon code GAP10

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 - March 2015 Info

Each box comes with a card detailing the items included. I love that they had to list the items vertically to fit everything on the card!

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Derma E

derma e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Creme SPF 15 – .5 oz Value $7

I received this in my other March Birchbox, and I’m happy to have a spare – I really like derma e and this cream specifically. It’s a somewhat thick creme, so I might actually end up using it as a night cream. I really like the ingredients of derma e products too. (This cream is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, lanolin-free, gluten free, and GMO-free).

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo Spray – 1.2 oz Value $9

This dry shampoo is another repeat for me. I like Oscar Blandi’s dry shampoo, so no complaints, just not a product I get excited about.

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Watts Up

Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! – 2.5 g Value $7.30

This is one of my favorite discoveries in the box. It’s one of the few Benefit products I haven’t sampled yet, so that alone is a win for me. The size of the sample is great too – almost a third of the full size. The product goes on as a cream and blends to a powder finish. It’s a really subtle highlighter, so it is great for everyday wear.

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Roloxin

Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment (2) – Value $22 total

These are supposed to be an alternative to botox. Each treatment lasts up to 24 hours and is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. The instructions on how to use them are a little unique too:

Start by washing your face and leaving it slightly damp. Activate the packet by massaging it for 10 seconds, then dispense the formula and apply an even layer to your face, avoiding the eye area. Wait seven to 10 minutes for the mask to dry to a white powder (you’ll feel a slight tightening sensation that means it’s working). Rinse it off with warm water and pat dry. Follow with moisturizer and your regular makeup routine.

These get mixed reviews on Birchbox. From what I can tell they work great for some, and not for others. Considering Roloxin retails for $110, I’m glad I get to try this as a sample first.

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Mask

Macadamia Nourishing Moisture Masque – 2 oz Value $12

I am thrilled with the size of this sample! And I can’t wait to try this hair mask. I’ve liked everything I’ve sampled from the Macadamia Professional line, and this mask has great reviews on Birchbox.

Now on to my two full-sized makeup items:

Birchbox Upgraded Beta Box Review - March 2015 Full Size Makeup

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Blush – FULL SIZE! Value $22

Jouer lip glosses are a little on the small side, but just like nail polish, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a full-size lip gloss, so that’s OK. I love that the formula isn’t sticky at all and it has a perfect amount of shine and shimmer for me. (The color is pretty sheer too).

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Eyeliner in Navy – FULL SIZE! Value $18

This eyeliner has a long thin tip, so it is great for getting a line right on the lash line. I like the navy color too – it’s a subtle dark blue, and I think wearable for everyday looks. The only complaint I see on Birchbox reviews is that it dries out quickly. Right now, that’s not a problem for me, but I’ll keep it in mind.

Verdict: I paid $30 for this box and I received almost $100 worth of items. (About $97). I think this is a GREAT Birchbox, and I’m wondering if Birchbox is taking total value into account for Beta Upgrade subscriptions. (Without the two full size makeup products, this would be an amazing Birchbox value for $10).

I’ll use everything in this box, so paying $30 and getting more than triple the value is a good deal for me. Now I’m curious to see if this type of value lasts, or if this box was a fluke.

Looking at just the two full-size makeup product add-ons, I paid an extra $20, and received $40 worth of full-sized makeup. That’s a pretty good value too, and in line with what I was expecting.

What do you think of the Birchbox Upgraded subscription box for March? Did you sign up for the Beta Upgraded program?

You can check out my unboxing video of this box below:


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.


  1. Has anyone else received Aprils upgraded box? I have looked and can’t find one anywhere. If so did anyone actually receive The full Lord and Berry black wardrobe trio? That’s what I expected by how it was shown but my box just now got to me today and I only received the mascara, I love mascara but I feel shorted like I only received half of a set. It says plainly about the set for $24.00 with the eyeliner, mascara and case. Also I could not believe how tiny the two sample choices were! Very pretty colors but super tiny!

  2. Below is a little more detail about what will be in the April Beta Box:

    Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer – She Said Yeah:
    Created by the beauty icon who launched Hard Candy (and sparked our polish obsession in the 90’s), Smith & Cult strikes that perfect balance between gorgeous and edgy (just look at their shade names to see what we mean). Each shade of this covetable polish is vibrant, chip-resistant, and 5-free.

    POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette:
    If you’re the kind of girl who wears purple eye shadow like it’s your job and isn’t afraid to turn heads with teal winged liner, this palette will have you thanking your lucky stars. (And for those days when you just want to blend in, it’s got you covered with a handful of pretty neutrals too.)

    Lord & Berry Black Wardrobe Duo:
    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s a showstopping smoky eye, you’re certain to find this duo from Lord & Berry. Featuring the brand’s smudgeproof eyeliner and black mascara, it’ll take your makeup artistry to new, sophisticated (and remarkably long-lasting) heights.

    Paula’s Choice RESIST 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment:
    We’d rather not have years’ worth of our less-than-perfect choices (popping pimples, forgetting sunscreen) permanently stamped on our complexions. This concentrated treatment dramatically reduces signs of aging, thanks to its 25% vitamin C content. It fades dark spots, combats redness, and lessens the look of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving skin brighter and more even.

    Jouer Tint: Petite enough to fit into your daintiest evening clutch, this two-in-one pigment gives both lips and cheeks a wash of creamy color. Each square compact comes with a built-in mirror, and the moisturizing formula is designed to be applied directly with your fingertips. We love how the sheer pigments blend in easily to give skin a healthy, dewy finish.

    Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo:
    You don’t have to go to extremes to repair dry, damaged hair. In fact, when it comes to reviving your strands, gentle is your best bet. This mild cleanser uses moisturizing avocado oil and aloe vera extracts to repair and rebuild hair, leaving it smoother, softer and shinier.

    Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner:
    Considering what we do to our hair on a daily basis, we’re surprised our strands haven’t staged a revolt. Keep the peace with this moisturizing conditioner. It deeply nourishes and strengthens dry, frizzy, or damaged hair, leaving it softer, smoother, and healthier looking.

  3. Spoilers for April’s Box?

    I just looked at my Birchbox account and April samples are already posted for review. It looks like this is what I can expect to receive in my April box:

    Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer – She Said Yeah

    Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Repairing Conditioner

    Beaver Professional Hydro Nutritive Moisturizing Shampoo

    Paula’s Choice RESIST 25% Vitamin C Spot Treatment

    Lord & Berry Black Wardrobe Duo

    POP Beauty POP Portfolio Eyeshadow Palette

    Jouer Tint

    • I guess my upgraded subscription didn’t start with the March box, but is starting with the Apil box instead, which I haven’t yet received. It looks like my products are going to be quite different from what Liz received.

      So, sorry for the spoiler alert. I was a bit confused there!

      • Please ignore this comment – I was a it confused and thought I’d erased it. My products are different because this is the April box, not the March box :-)!

    • I also noticed that I now get 100 points for my reviews – which means $10 to spend each month in the Birchbox shop – yea!!!

    • I guess everyone gets the same except for sample choice because the only thing I have different is the Jane iredale lip and cheek stain instead Of the Pop eyeshadow.

  4. I feel your pain. Not only did we not have the option of choosing one of the Mad Men boxes, but I wasn’t able to select either of the add on options this month either, and I really wanted to get the Rifle Tote.

    I have no idea why. I’m a Birchbox ACE and my husband also has a subscription. But because I upgraded my subscription, I had no options this month, and wasn’t able to selct any of the upgrades. I emailed Birchbox about this, but they didn’t have any real response other than, “Sorry, it’s not an option for you.”

    I was hoping that maybe we couldn’t get the Mad Men boxes because our box was being completely redesigned, since we were paying three times more! This would make sense – my husband’s box this month was more like a pull out drawer that you could store pictures, cards, etc. in. But I saw Liz’s review this month and it doesn’t look like the box has been upgraded at all, which is really disappointing.

    I’m on the fence. So far, I am completely unimpressed. Seriously, look at what you get from Birchbox in one of their Limited Edition Boxes and look at what we’re getting here? It just doesn’t add up. No exclusive products, no cool packaging, no points, no nothing except paying extra for something we all already have too much of.

    However, Birchbox is definitely one of the best companies out there, and therefore, I’m not going to jump ship until I’ve given them a chance to make this right. They’ve definitely gotten off on the wrong foot with this subscription. For $10-20 more, we could just get a second PopSecret or FabFitFunbox, so they know we’re not going to pay $30 a month for lip gloss, nail polish, and a handful of samples. At least, I’m not. But this is Birchbox. I think they’ll listen to our feedback, upgrade the design of our boxes substantially (I personally hope they do the pull out drawer type like the guys – I will all boxes were like this); send at least one, if not two, exclusive and full size products each month; and make sure that the total value of the two products is at least $50, bringing the overall value of the box up to $80.

  5. So I signed up for the upgrade to Birchbox Plus, but I already have a yearly subscription. April was my first box and I picked the Mad Men curated one and didn’t get the upgrade, so I emailed them and found out the upgrade is not available to people with yearly subscriptions, which seems like BS but whatever saves me $20. I was not happy that I was already charged for it, but they’ve issued a refund. Below is their response:

    “Hi Sara,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I’m happy to help!

    After further looking into your account, I see that the Order #109173284 was placed for the Upgraded Subscription. However, at this time we do not offer this upgrade for our yearly subscribers. It looks like there was a glitch in our system where you were able to make this purchase and I’m so sorry for the confusion!

    To confirm, I have gone ahead and refunded you the $20.00 for the purchase. Please allow 3-5 business days for this to reflect in your account, depending on your bank.

    We hope to soon have the upgrade available for all our subscribers and appreciate your patience as this happens!”

  6. I got my Mad Men box today, but had signed up for the upgrades last month and was already charged. Does anyone know if you can’t get the upgrades with a curated box? I don’t like that I was charged and didn’t get them.

  7. This looks ok for value… only I got the same full-sized eyeliner in one of my boxes months ago. Maybe it was slightly different, but still I think that is kind of odd.

  8. Liz, you should not wear the derma e to bed it had spf in it which can clog your pores best to use it as a day creme.

  9. That looks like a great upgrade! Does anyone know if their based on your style profile or not? Make-up wise, I’m pretty open, but I don’t want to be sent hair and skin products for dryness problems when I have the complete opposite problem.

    • They said that since it is in a beta stage, they aren’t customizing the full-sized product to your individual profiles. However, they did say they hope to eventually make the full-size products customizable.

  10. Is BB doing April’s Fools Day by offering a Saved By the Box? It’s based off Saved By the Bell. Don’t mess with me like that. Memories.

    • I do believe they are!

    • Yes. They also did a beard box and something But, if you click it, they give you a discount code.

  11. I have to say that I am super glad that I spent my extra $20 on the bonus buys this month instead of the upgrade box. I opted for the water bottle and the notebooks and luckily got them before they were sold out. I also wanted the Rifle box so I picked one of the sample picks instead of a Mad Men Box. (LOVING everything Rifle) My box last month was AMAZING and I opted for the It’s a 10 Miracle spray. I also received the Roloxin lifting treatments, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish set, Jelly Pong Pong Highlighter and Elite Therapeutics Rosemary Cream. Birchbox is a definite win for me. Looking forward to this month’s box also.

    • You totally made the right decision. I went for the upgraded box, which I still haven’t received. I didn’t have the option of selecting either of the curated boxes or the adds on, which would have been, for me, a much better deal!

  12. I did not sign up and probably won’t. For $21 my boxycharm gets me 4 full size items, and the brands they send had been getting better.

  13. I am glad I have two months left on my yearly before deciding if I am going to upgrade to this.

    I can’t help but compare this to Birchbox men, which is less expensive yet really stands out. They get life style items like boxers, socks, hats, ties and home wares. But for $10.00 more than BB Men you got an eye liner and lip gloss.

    I was hoping for something more like that. They have such beautiful accessories, pouches, etc for women that I would love to get for that additional $20.00.

    • I talked my husband into getting the BB Men subscription based on the value of previous boxes. Unfortunately, I feel, that the value and the products have gone downhill so I feel bad for talking him into spending $20 a month. He just got the April Mad Men box, and was completely confused about the rocks you’re supposed to freeze and that mixture of syrup to put into cocktails. He doesn’t drink vodka or gin or anything, and it’s kind of insulting that BB thinks it was a great item for EVERYONE.

      • Actually, the rocks are great for drinks you don’t want to water down, alcoholic or not. I use mine all the time for my homemade Italian soda that I make with raspberry syrup and club soda. And you don’t have to use the cocktail syrup just for cocktails either. I’ve used so many of the types of bitters and syrups I’ve received in my boxes just in regular soda or ice tea. You’ll be surprised how just a splash can change a beverage you drink all the time into something a little more exciting. Lemonade is usually works for just about any kind of syrup. It’s fun!

        • Those are great suggestions, Saffy, thanks!

  14. Liz- I’ve read that if you wipe the tip of the eyeliner after application it won’t dry out as quickly.

    • Thanks so much for the tip! 🙂

      • I hope that pun was on purpose!

  15. I’m a little slow and I JUST NOW figured out why you all are already getting upgraded boxes: it’s because you opened new accounts and were goven the option to upgrade, which meant your first box would be March and you were given the upgrade with it. I can’t believe it took me this long to figure it out. I’m usually quicker than that 🙁

  16. I got this box today and was very pleased with it. I signed up for a second account just to get the upgraded version and am very glad I did. I have been wanting to try the liquid liner from Cynthia Rowley so this was a win for me. Looking forward to next month and am curious to see if there will be variation from one subscriber to another.

  17. I’m so glad I saw this review tonight before I got billed $30 for my beta box tomorrow. I immediately cancelled my subscription and will deal with re-subscribing later. I loved my regular subscription until I found out that by upgrading to beta I had lost the Mad Men choices for April. I should have downgraded from beta then, then but I kept the faith until I saw this review. It’s not that the beta products are bad or not worth the $20 – they’re actually very nice – it’s just that they aren’t worth that to ME.

  18. Well I did get my box today but it was sadly missing one of the full size products – the Cynthia Rowley liquid liner. Birchbox has always provided me great customer service so I’m sure that it’ll get resolved but it’s still a bummer of a first experience with this box type. Very excited about everything else I received, though!

  19. Can you review the upgrade items for points as well? Looks like a pretty good box, just not for me. The very last thing I need is more eyeliner and lipgloss in my subs lol. If they would let you pick out at least one of the products for beta, I would totally consider it.

  20. I guess I’m in the minority here! I think the eyeliner and lipgloss are great. I wear both every day, so I will use both. I’m not really sure what everyone was expecting To get…?

  21. I think it looks like a pretty good box! The eyeliner looks awesome. The lip gloss is ok, but it seems like a fairly generic item. I always like pink lip products though, so I’d be ok with it.

    The Watt’s Up! and hair masque samples look great, and I always like getting dry shampoos. While I wouldn’t be particularly interested in the skin cream, the Roloxin lift seems very intriguing.

    I’ll be watching for more reviews of these upgraded boxes from Birchbox. My current Birchbox subscription was a one-year gift, so I wasn’t eligible for the upgrade, but I might get it in the future if the reviews continue to look good. 🙂

  22. So far I’ve seen 3 reviews on the upgraded box and they all had the same 2 full size items. I am so disappointed in this “upgrade”, it doesn’t feel like anything worth spending an extra $20 on. I think I will wait and see what I get with my upgraded box and if its the same I will cancel, likely the whole sub because I’m still tweaked over not be able to choose a curated box! Really bummed because I liked my boxes until this fiasco.

  23. I upgraded weeks ago but didn’t get a March one, I thought it didn’t start till April? I would of loved this box so much!

  24. I’m supposed to receive my upgraded box today (I created a new account just to try this) and according to the site I’m getting the exact same box that you got. I haven’t tried many of these products so I’m very excited, particularly if I get the full-size items you got (I assume I will since those items are in my box).

    Since this is the only review I’ve seen of the beta program so far, I wonder if everyone gets the same beta box or if it’s really customized via the survey.

  25. This box looks AMAZING!!! Already it’s way better than my birchboxes, I often get small samples, nothing ever really big or memorable. I signed up for the upgraded box, but picked the curated box in April, so curious to see what it will be. I agree with everyone else my birchboxes are never as amazing as Liz’s unless I get the curated box. For the upgraded items, I don’t use eyeliner, so that’d be swapped, but I’d still be happy with the items.

  26. I expected to be really wowed by the full size products and I’ve got to say – meh – not special AT ALL. I’m also really disappointed in the box. I haven’t gotten mine yet, but I expected for $30 that our cardboard box would get a significant upgrade. My husband’s birchbox this month is super cool – it’s like a pull out drawer – great for storing small treasures.

    I’m surprised by this launch. I love Birchbox. Maybe my expectations are just too high, but I expected to feel more Wowed. I am impressed by the overall value of the box, however. And I will definitely give this new upgrade a few more months before I make a decision about sticking with this new upgrade or going back to the regular one.

    • I totally agree with you, except I’m already done with this “upgrade”. Lip gloss and eyeliner? Just ick, enough said.

    • Every birchbox man is a pull out drawer box. I have tons of them now

  27. Will this be the box that everyone upgraded got? Or will it vary?

  28. Really hoping for different items in my upgraded box 🙁 I can’t use these. Also the normal box you got was sooooo much better than mine and not due to the upgrade (I saw a review on Glamorable for like the same box, non upgraded)

  29. I think I would not be happy to get a pink lip gloss (I have about 20, including at least one Jouer) and another eyeliner, so I am glad I did not upgrade. But thanks for letting us see what’s in the upgrade box!

  30. I signed up for the upgraded box (had to create a new account) and got the exact same items. I think the cost is well work the value of the box, but I didn’t care for the two full size items (who needs another eyeliner and lipgloss??) so I canceled. I really liked the rest of the box though!

  31. I got the same Birchbox as you this month so that had nothing to do with Upgrade (I did not upgrade). One of the better boxes I’ve received – I LOVE the hair mask and will be ordering a full sized later this year (I got a different mask in the ACEs sale so unfortunately I have an unopened one of my now second favorite hair mask). I loved the dry shampoo and the moisturizer is nice too (I actually had just gotten foil packets of it as a mystery box). I haven’t tried the Roloxin yet, I feel like I need to wait for a special occassion or something (I guess my boyfriend’s birthday would count). The only item I wasn’t excited about was the benefit highlighter, but that’s because I already have it (it was the Sephora Beauty Insider birthday gift in 2013 I believe, so I guess mine is a year and a half old).

  32. I really like your upgrad box, I would use everything in it. I may just upgrade mine after I check out a few more boxes.

  33. Your regular birchbox is light years better than the two I got. It’s just ridiculous how much better yours is in value and products. Please let me know if you find out that they are giving special basic birchboxes to beta customers, it may make me pull the trigger on either ditching birchbox or getting beta. Thanks!

    • I got this box without the upgrade. :D. I think it just has to do with your profile. 😀

      • You mean you got most of the items seen here?
        If you got this exact box & the 2 full size upgrade products as your normal $10 box, then that’s a shipping error on birchbox’s part & you are one lucky gal.

  34. I’m glad I didn’t get the upgrade. The colors wouldn’t have worked for me.

  35. What a great box! I personally wouldn’t pay the extra $20 just because I only sub to Birchbox because of the points system. I also wonder if only this box will be great & the rest not so consistent.

  36. I’m curious if the items will be random or consistent across boxes – if all subscribers will get the CR & Jouer items, or if it’s just two random full size products thrown in.

    I ended up caving, so I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

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