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Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015

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Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Box

I’ve already reviewed the June 2015 Birchbox, 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.

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 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 Box Review – June 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 Box Review – June 2015 Info

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

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Coola

Coola SPF 50 Sport in Fresh Mango – .5 oz Value $3.20

Marcelle Waterproof Eyeliner in Blue Lagoon – .8 g Value $7.30

Both of these items are repeats for me from my other Birchbox box this month. Fortunately I like both of them! The Coola sunscreen has the best mango scent, and the eyeliner goes on so smoothly, and the color is a lighter metallic blue.

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Headband

Temple Spa Good Hair Day Frequent Use Shampoo – .84 oz Value $1.70

This shampoo is free of sulfates and parabens, and I like the scent! (I’m pretty picky when it comes to haircare fragrance too).

Pura Vida Lace Headband – Value $2.40

This headband is listed on the card as a lifestyle extra. I need headbands to be a little grippy to stay in my hair, so I’ll just double this one up and use it as a hair tie.

Birchbox Upgraded Box Perfume Sample

TOCCA Eau de Parfum in Bianca – .05 oz Value $2

Normally I hate when one of my samples is a perfume vial, but since this box has a lifestyle extra headband, I’m OK with it!

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Mally

Mally Beauty Liquid Face Defender Blush in Mimosa – FULL SIZE! Value $30

This Mally Blush is one of the two full-size products. I like the formula a lot – it’s one of those cream-to-powder finish products. The colors is a little on the orange side for me, but I like it. (And I only have to use a super small amount – it is crazy pigmented! Swatched below).

Temple Spa In Good Condition Conditioner – .84 oz Value $1.70

I was expecting the conditioner to have the same scent as the shampoo sample, but it’s actually a minty scent – and I like it even more than the shampoo!

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Lip

Mirenesse Mattfinity Lip Rouge in Sydney – FULL SIZE! Value $29

This is my other full-sized item. (Swatched below). It is a super pigmented bright fuschia, so I’m not sure how often I’ll use it, but I like the formula a lot. I’ve found that a lot of mattifying lip products can also be drying, but this one still feels moisturizing, and I like the flavor as well.

Birchbox Upgraded Box Review – June 2015 Swatch

Verdict: This box has a value of about $77.30. I paid $30 for it, so I’m not sure if that’s the best beauty box value, but it still is more than double what I paid. I haven’t decided yet if the upgraded subscription is right for me, but I’m going to give it at least another month of two before I make a decision.

Have you tried the Birchbox Upgraded subscription? What do you think of it?

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. I just got my sample choice email. This is my third month of BB and the only time I’ve ever actually gotten the sample choice email. I went with the Venezia (bright coral) liquid lipstick. I probably would have gone for the curated box if they had included the coral instead of the hot pink! Fingers crossed the rest of my box is as awesome as the liquid lipstick!

  2. Anyone get the sample choice email yet?

  3. has anybody else received their samples half empty? its my first birch box and I’m very disappointed. two of my samples were half empty, not really impressed by any of the products and i got a hair clip?? i was expecting either make up or skin care items. that’s what i asked for in the survey you first fill out with them. Plus two of my other samples were foil packets, to me those shouldn’t even count. All of it was crap, definitely first and LAST birchbox for me 🙁

    • The hair tie was a “lifestyle extra” so I don’t think it should have counted towards your five. I would contact BirchBox CS, they have always been REALLY good when I’ve talked to them.

      I haven’t had an issue with things being empty from BB but I did have that with my most recent GlossyBox.

    • The survey is just to give Birchbox an idea of what you like. It’s not customized. Honestly Birchbox doesn’t usually send alot of makeup so if it’s a makeup sub you want Birchbox probably won’t make you happy. The hair tie was just a bonus.

  4. I upgraded to my subscription and will be getting Smith & Cult nail polish and Mally blush. I’m stoked about the nail polish but don’t really care about the blush. I think the beta program is awesome and they are sending some really high end products. My only problem is that I still have not gotten my box! I have been with Birchbox for more than 2 years and the last few months my boxes have taken FOREVER to get to me. Going on 2 weeks since it shipped.

  5. $20 is a lot for two items I don’t even get to pick. For $20, I can have a whole other monthly subscription of my choice.

    • And I don’t think that a nail polish or a mascara are worth $10, no matter what their fancy-schmancy brands try to claim.

      • I think there are absolutely mascaras that are worth $10 or more – but not just any old mascara, and not nail polish either, at least not for me! I love They’re Real. I think a full size is $24 and it’s worth every cent.

  6. I cancelled the Beta Upgrade after two months. . I actually liked the 4 full sized items I received and think the value was there. But I do feel the extra $20 per month is better spent on either another sub box or full sized items of my own choosing. I will definitely keep my regular BB sub. For $10 per month and the points system, the value can’t be beat. Not every month is a hit for me, but I have discovered so many new, high quality products and brands.

    Did anyone else receive the survey for Beta customers? I filled mine out and it did ask a lot of thoughtful questions about how to make it better. One of the questions asked was whether I would prefer a single full sized item for $10 extra per month and if I would be more inclined to keep the Beta upgrade if a skin care option was one of the choices. So I might add it back on if some of these changes are made.

    • I’d love to see them add skincare! I didn’t get a beta survey but I did just do a survey on purchasing from the shop recently.

  7. Dear BIrchBox,

    If you sent me hair products like Temple Spa, instead of Beaver, I would not be counting down the months until my yearly sub is up. I rescind my statement if Temple Spa is made in China.

    PA Anna

    Seriously, I see things that I would love to try and never get.

    • I actually bought the Beaver shampoo and conditioner in full size. It did really nice things for my hair…

      • I’m glad that you like it.

        • I think I must be one of the only people who did!

          • I like the Beaver products too

      • I didn’t like the consistency. But my fiance used it on his beard and called me into the bathroom just to tell me how much he loved it lol. He said it’s the first shampoo in a while that actually gave a super clean feeling.

        • I liked the Beaver shampoo too. It smells like pantene but without the weird waxy buildup.

    • I will send you my Temple Spa shampoo and conditioner if you want to try them, PA Anna! 🙂

  8. With much soul searching (and I only waffled on this decision because I loved their excellent customer service), I cancelled both my and my husband’s boxes.

    The BB man box was great when we first subbed (over a year ago), large size items (body wash was 3.4 oz, the face cream was 1/3 or 1/2 the size of a full size cream, and the lifestyle item was great. This was the case for the first few boxes, and we loved it. Then suddenly, foil packets, tiny tiny tiny samples with less than a dimes worth of product and Lifestyle item no longer of same value, and even though I changed the account to say “bald” for husband’s very fine hair thinking I would trick the account to not receive any more heavy moisturizing shampoo, we still got pomade in almost every box. It actually became stressful v.s. fun to open the box.

    Then, my women’s box, what a mess. Had for 2 years and only really 9 boxes were good (3 were curated), and 4 were punishment boxes for sure. While the curated boxes were better, some had repeats from items I had previously received, which is a problem because you can’t review them again, so the point value dropped significantly for the value you were receiving overall….I changed profile three times in the 2 years, and it never made a difference just like listing husband as bald….

    So now I will stick to LE boxes if one comes up like the ages ago (2 years) now maybe) CEW Prestige box. That was great box.

    • what are the LE and CEW boxes? So I can look up!

      • It was CEW Prestige ($18 for about $65 value) and had
        JULEP™ Essential Cuticle Oil
        JULEP™ Nail Color
        IT Cosmetics® Brow Power™ Universal Brow Pencil
        Living Proof Prime Style Extender™
        LA FRESH® Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser, Scented
        Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE® Anti-Aging Triple Defense Shield Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

        I loved it!

      • And LE for Limited Edition boxes.

    • Haha! Pomade for a bald head. Too funny!

      I too cancelled my fiance’s box because they were slowly but surely becoming lack luster. I’ve actually come to realize that I prefer all subscription boxes in the Fall/Winter months for a few reasons: It’s holiday season, so I feel like the quality of boxes goes up. The type of products sent out are waaaay more my style (no sunscreen, coral lipgloss, or hair ties). And brands are more generous with the sizes of samples since it is the season for giving.

      Maybe try subscribing again come November!

      • What a good idea–I’ll lurk around the fall and holiday time as well, no more 12 month sub though!

      • that is a really great idea ! also anything you dont like you can give as gifts vs for me summer the only thing maybe i have for gifting is a bday here and there and i hate to hold onto random things like that for to long.

  9. I upgraded when BB first offered it and I have been pretty happy so far expect with the last two months I received the same two upgraded items the cargo eye shadow in the exact same color and another eye shadow 🙁 it was disappointing

  10. I have to say that I’ve never been tempted to go for this upgrade–I’ve never seen anything that would be worth the extra $20 to me. I’d also be so disappointed if I received those TempleSpa products–they’re offered in a lot of hotels as freebies. The lotion isn’t bad, but my hair hates the shampoo and conditioner.

  11. I think I am in the minority here. I enjoy this sub- Its not the most incredible value- but I trust Birchbox. I like the brands they carry, I believe their products are ‘fresh’ (read so many things on other subs having old or expired products) point system, CS. I also get boxycharm and glossybox with I realize come with more items for the same amount but its always such a gamble- I just like knowing what I receive in my Birchbox upgrade will be from a brand I like and be a current product. The value is still there imo- getting a $22 mascara for $10 is a good value to me. I don’t need to blown away for something good and trustworthy

    • I agree with this totally (as a short time subscriber) – their CS is awesome, I love the points system, and I think they are dependable.

    • You definitely are not alone! A lot of people stick with Birchbox for the sample choice each month and the points system.

      I just personally think the idea of $20 extra for 2 “full size” items that might suck is LUDICROUS lol

  12. Last month was my first month, I paid the extra +$20 and didn’t get the two full-size items either. They refunded me.

    This month my box took FOREVER to get to me I feel like (it finally arrived 6/19). I got basically this exact same box only my PYS was the Supergoop, not the COOLA.

    I am pretty happy with this box but mostly because I didn’t end up with mascara. I know one is coming next month so I’ll swap or gift it. If a lot of my “full size” items end up being mascara I’ll likely end up dumping the +$20 option and just keeping the normal box. I stick to They’re Real.

    I have gotten perfume 2 months out of 2 so far and I am sort of bugged by that.

    • You can edit your profile so you don’t recive more than 6 perfumes yearly. I did this and barely receive perfume i my boxes. I’m about to change it though, turns out that now I need them for my weekends getaways.

      • That’s how I have it set right now! I mean, I guess 2 out of 2 is not more than 6 per year YET – I just didn’t love it 🙂

  13. I got the same upgraded box as Liz, except I got the mascara I paid for the $20 upgrade last month and didn’t get the two full size products either, I canceled the upgrade but kept my subscription I feel it was a good value dollar wise for the items I received but nothing I really need or want and I don’t like the mascara at all. Also I don’t like that if you upgrade you can’t choose one of the featured boxes which for me are usually better then my regular box if they are available. I must say that birchbox customer service is great though everytime I email them about a broken item or canceling the upgrade they respond right away and are very helpful. I got the extra $1 box this month and it was all repeats so I’m going to cancel that one though.

  14. Our boxes were almost the same. Only two differences, I got the dr jart water as my PYS and the mirenesse mascara as one of my full size. I don’t know if I’m going to stick with the upgraded box. It’s not really worth it. Maybe if it was hair or skin care. But that would be hard for them to do I think. The upgrade boxes will all include the smashbox mascara next month and in April as one of my full size items I got the lord and Berry mascara. So three full size mascaras in 4 months. Seems a bit much honestly, I emailed them and gave them feedback. Oh and one of my samples one of those months was a small mascara as well. Ha, so I will never run out.

    • This was my first month after cancelling the upgrade and I am so glad I did. Liz’s upgrades would have been nice but if I kept getting mascara, I’d be annoyed. When I first signed up, I thought all the makeup and nail products from the Birchbox store would be fair game. Instead, it’s whatever can fit inside your box with your samples. Not cool.

    • My box was the same as yours- basically I’m getting mascara 3 months in a row (last month the Lord & Berry one- next month we are all getting the Smashbox one) I’ll take mascara over nail polish but 3 months in a row is kind of silly. I still am on the fence on this upgrade- I’m sticking with it for another month or two. I like that you can cancel at anytime. Also I like the extra points 😉

    • Haha I’m in the exact same boat have gotten two mascaras already and am cancelling the beta before I get a third one in July! I also sent an email with the feedback that this is mascara overkill I mean how much full sized mascara can I possibly use?

  15. I’m never going to pay an extra $20 for 2 full size products I might not even like. That extra $20 can get you a Glossybox or Boxycharm, or 2 more months of Birchbox! $30 a month… idk what they’re thinking.

    My 2 regular boxes this month were the exact same, but that didn’t bother me because I loooove shampoo & conditioner samples. I wasn’t thrilled about the hair ties, but I’ll use them.

    Overall I’d give June a 6/10, but I still remain loyal to Birchbox because I just bought $130 worth of make up for only $7!!!!! Thanks to my points and a 25% off code 😀

    • good point about the value,
      and that’s a good idea Liz, you could give your box reviews a rating from 1-10 about your overall satisfaction in your final verdict.

    • I will never do it either! I would love it if they offered the chance to buy something full-size for just $10. Or let you choose from several items. I would pay the extra $20 if I could pick between 10 curated items for the month.

      • Absolutely! If they had a some options to what your full size was, it’d be much more successful.
        In a way, this is like some bizarre Birchbox Plus add on. $20 for 2 mystery items ya might hate. Whaaaat? lol

  16. I don’t like Mally products at all and almost never wear lip products. I love Temple Spa but I get that brand quite a bit in my regular Birchbox. Glad I skipped the upgrade.

  17. Check the ingredients on the shampoo, not sulfate free only sls free. It has als.

  18. I canceled (again) after receiving my box with the Temple Spa products. I travel a lot and receive that brand of toiletries in hotels often. Not what I’m looking for from a sub box.

  19. I got the upgraded box on one of my accounts and canceled it immediately. I don’t care for Mally products too much and I got a Mirenesse mascara instead of the lip rouge. I would’ve rather had the lip rouge, I don’t care for the mascara either and have tons to last me 3 lifetimes. Otherwise my box was nearly identical. Not my fave BB, I could do without all the hair stuff and sunscreen. I liked the headband, but it’s soooo tight on my head it’d be better for a child.

  20. I got the same box, which is disappointing because I said no haircare and I hate perfume samples. It also arrived crazy late (didn’t even have a shipping number until the 11th and even then didn’t actually leave the warehouse until the 15th). Last month was my first month trying the upgraded subscription but they sent me a regular box after charging me for the upgraded (I obviously got a refund for the difference, but all Customer Service said was “oh this is beta.” No “sorry points” or anything). So… I don’t know? I accidently did my plus-item-towel on this account, so I have to tough it out for another month, I guess, and I’m saving the things I don’t like for gifts at a bridal shower I’m planning. But this is pretty disappointing, overall.

    • Same for me here. Same box as liz. pretty much everything other than the 2 full size was an exact replica of what i had gotten in my regular bircbhox. For those of you with 2+ accounts, do you get a lot of overlap ? the past 2 i have had TONS of overlap. and yes, last month i paid $30 and didnt get the extras and though they refunded me there was nothing more than oops sorry. im going to cancel the upgrade. its just not worth it to me to get extas of shampoo/conditioner/etc that i am meh over anyway.

      • I’m almost glad to know it wasn’t just me, but they seem to be pushing the upgraded box more and more, and I don’t know why since they have so many issues.

      • I’ve had only 1/5 items overlap each month in my two accounts over the last few months. Even my freebie hair products were different. I have different preferences on each account though.

      • You need to make sure your beauty profiles are pretty different in order to cut down on the duplicates. I think you can also contact CS and let them know that both accounts are yours and they may be able to give you more tips.

      • I have, correction – had, 2 accounts with deliberately complete opposite profiles (one I would select blond/curly hair, the other brown/straight hair, etc). For May I got IDENTICAL boxes, and for June got 3 overlaps 🙁 This might’ve been great if I received items I love, but they were my least favorite types of items (body moisturizer and nude lipstick). I think luckily most people with multiple accounts do get a great assortment, and I still love Birchbox and will always hold onto a single account. But for now will hold off on a second account until there’s slightly better customization.

    • Same thing happened to me, I tried the upgraded account on my normal sub and it charged me, but then I never got the items. I emailed and they said I couldn’t get it because I was a yearly subscriber, and they refunded me. No sorry or points or anything. So I got a monthly sub, same thing charged again and no items. I emailed, they refunded my money again and no sorry or points or anything. I don’t understand why there are so many “glitches” either, why can’t it be like Birchbox Men’s sub? They get awesome items for $20/month.

  21. Thanks for the review, Liz! I’m glad I didn’t upgrade Birchbox, it seems for the extra $20 you are better off subscribing to Boxycharm or glossybox, despite the problems these seem to have.

    Anyway, I got another 20% off $50 code for Birchbox if anyone wants it and I still have the $3 off a $15 beauty purchase at Target coupon to give away. It’d be great if there could be a section where people could post/look for free discount codes like these.

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