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Birchbox December 2015 Review + Coupon


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!)

DEAL: RueLaLa is offering annual subscriptions for 20% off

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!


Each box comes with a card detailing the items included and some tips on how to use them.


All subscribers this month also received a $10 off a purchase of $35 or more unique coupon for the Birchbox shop!



Ouidad Curl Quencher HydraFusion Intense Curl Cream – 2 oz Value $10.40

I went light on sampling this cream since some of the reviews on Birchbox said it could result in greasy hair. So far I like the results – no frizz and a nice scent too!

The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew – FULL SIZE! Value $18

(Good to know for swaps – entire tube sealed in plastic wrap).

This doesn’t look like a full-sized item, but it is! (FYI – it is packed with the product, so be careful unscrewing the cap!) he formula is free of parabens, phthalates, etc. and it looks very shimmery/pigmented in the tube, but you can blend it – and you only to need to use a small amount, so this tube should last for a while. (Swatched in later picture).


Coastal Scents SocialEYES Eye Shadow Sampler – Value $2?

All subscribers received Coastal Scents shadow samplers this month, and my duo is from the Style Eyes collection. I thought the pigment was pretty good, but they look more shimmery in the palette than they do on. Here are both shades swatched (with highlighter from above):



gorge I’ll Make You Look Amazing Daily Spray – 1 oz Value $7.50

I got this product before in a FabFitFun box and I really like it. This is one of those “does it all” leave-in conditioner hair products – detangles, adds shine, repairs, creates silky hair, etc. The formula is lightweight and I love the scent, it reminds me of some kind of tropical sunscreen.

Harvey Prince Sincerely – 1.5 ml Value $4.75

I almost feel like doing a subscription public service announcement with Birchbox for new subscribers: If you sign up for a Birchbox subscription, you will get Harvey Prince perfume samples! I don’t like getting perfume samples in beauty boxes, so I’m a bit of a complainer, but I do like the scent, and I appreciate that it has a spray top.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $42 – I think that’s great for a $10 box. (And I always factor in that I get $5 back in Birchbox shop points for reviewing the samples). I think the highlighter and the gorge hair daily spray are my favorite two items this month – I’d pay $10 just for those!

What do you think of the December Birchbox? Did you pick a curated box or a sample?


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

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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!

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 46 comments

Comments (46)

  1. I just got to opening Decembers Birchbox and again, for me, it’s disappointing. Even after changing things on my account, I am getting sent very small samples of SPF, or some shampoo(thats not for my hair type) a fragrance sample. Literally things I can get for free at the store.
    Also, is there a place on Birchbox where one could review the box in general and not just the individual products

  2. Did anyone else have issues with their coupon code? I’ve been trying mine for last 30 minutes and it keeps saying invalid but I have over $35 product in my cart and it doesn’t expire until Jan. 10…

  3. Well, Mele Kalikimaka to me….I literally had my BB arrive TODAY…on Christmas (yes, USPS comes on Christmas in Hawaii…I don’t think it’s cool at all). I guess it’s better than last month, which was even later. I don’t understand why it takes soooooo long!

    Anywho….my box was probably one of my least favorite ever. I got sunscreen (Coola), hand cream (again!), the highliter, eyeshadow and a mask. I spend so much at BB, I guess I expected something more for the final box of the year. Sorry to be all Bah Humbug..just venting.

  4. I received the same box as Liz. I tried out the Gorge spray. My husband kept telling me how nice my hair looks today.

  5. I got my box today. It had a total value of $11! Seriously, just $11. And that’s counting the coastal scents palette, which is actually worth just 60-cents (if you go by product weight).

    This would not have been too bad if I had at least liked the samples. But they were all tiny, and save for the $2 3ml Supergoop CC cream, nothing that I will use.

    I’m not a happy camper.

  6. I didn’t realize that highlighter is full size!! I got that in the complexion perfection sampler. This month I got the eyeko fat liner (which is a sample choice for next month), the CS duo in glamour eyes (green and gold), a curl cream (hoping it takes my frizz – I have straight hair lol), amika dry shampoo and a face wash/ exfoliator (Visanti BrightenUp!)
    I think this is one of my favorite boxes! I also just switched to yearly from monthly with the Black Friday deal

    • Oh my goodness! Your box sounds like a collection of all the past products I have gotten from BB since April. At the end of the year, I feel like they really just threw in a bunch of left over stuff and tried to pass it off as a December box. Ugh

  7. Beth that is a long time to have to wait. I am in Kentucky and received my box today. I was getting worried.

  8. How long did it take everyone to get their box? I haven’t had any movement since December 12th, and supposedly it was already in Illinois at that point (I’m in Chicago). I of course expect a delay, but considering it was already in Indiana 9 days ago, it seems a little excessive. A friend of mine who lives nearby also hasn’t received hers. Not sure if it’s just some local quirk or not..

    • I would contact BB customer service today via chat (e-mail response won’t be until after the weekend, and chat is closed on the weekends). Mine did some weird thing that delayed it by a couple of days, but it was USPS’s fault, and I just needed a little patience. 9 days ago on Indiana for someone in Chicago is a bit questionable. You can call USPS (customer service was very knowledgeable when my BB went MIA), too, which I think is 1-800-ASK-USPS.

      If it makes you feel better, my December Glossybox is have similar issues as your BB. It’s been sitting in Kentucky for 8 days now. I live in coastal SC. Unfortunately GB isn’t as quick to respond as BB 🙁 I’m calling USPS shortly.

      • in* Indiana

        My Glossybox is having*

        Can’t type today!

      • Thanks for the chat tip, Rebecca! I sent them an email yesterday and haven’t heard anything.

        And now, I can’t find chat?! Did they disable it, or am I just .. blind? It says “Just chat with us!” but there’s no hyperlink. Which could be my browser, I suppose.

      • You’re not blind or crazy! When I went to chat with them last Saturday, I saw the link was gone. I figured it was just because they were closed. Then the following Monday, I looked for the chat feature again and had the same problem. I figured maybe I was looking too early on Monday, but if you say it’s still not there, maybe they have disabled it. Not cool 🙁

        BTW, no surprise, but USPS has ridiculous wait times at the moment. I called at 1:30 and put my phone number in for a call back when my place in line came up (so I didn’t have to sit on hold). They said I would receive a call back in 45 minutes to an hour. It’s almost an hour and a half later, and I still haven’t gotten a call back. If I don’t get a call back before hand, I’ll try tonight if they have nighttime hours.

      • Are they overloaded, or just giving up?! Now I’m curious..

        As for my package, it was FINALLY updated as received at my post office this afternoon. Meaning I’ll get it .. tomorrow. Well at least it’s at the right post office.. some of my stuff has been routed to the wrong zip code lately!

      • Birchbox ships with a third party shipper newgistics. They’re the same company Amazon uses for no rush shipping, target for free ground, and many many other places.

        The way newgistics works (I used to work for a competing company and they have the same modus operandi) is this: birchbox does not have a shipping warehouse large enough for them to ship direct. Newgistics comes to birchbox and trucks it to a regional facility they own that ships to where you live (for example my regional warehouse where newgistics takes my package is Atlanta and I’m in NC)

        Newgistics has a time commitment contract with their clients. Birchbox’s is 10 business days (this is per their policy if the package does not move for more than ten days to contact them). So the packages will sit at newgistics regional shipping center until one of two things happens: enough packages will be delivered to your very small region that they get a massive discount from USPS for shipping that much to one place (and note this is any packages from Amazon birchbox etc as long as their going to your USPS defined district for the discount) OR they hit the timeline in their contract with birchbox.

        That’s why people in metropolitan areas get their boxes super quickly and people in more rural, less densely populated areas take longer. Personally, when I lived in a large city,,I got my newgistics packages within 2 days of arriving at their facility. Now that I live in a small coastal town, it’s incredibly rare for me to have my box leave their Atlanta facility prior to ten business days.

      • Jocelyn, thanks for posting that info regarding shipping. My box normally takes forever! I noticed that it always stayed in the same place for days. It’s so frustrating.

      • And the other thing that frustrates me is that OF COURSE this is the month I purchased an add-on (Umbra Toto storage box). Seems like that would make it easier for the USPS to lose 😛

  9. Best box for me in quite a while (NO perfume and good sizes)
    I received
    Serge Normant Volume Spray
    soap and paper lotion- green tea
    Lightning Crew highlighter
    CS shadow in mauve/ light
    Beauty Protector oil

    Also- I will gladly swap for people that don’t like dry shampoos! That is the one thing I really use and would appreciate receiving but don’t! Ugh.

    • I got the exact same box and also feel the exact same way about dry shampoo. I want them and never get them. Ha ha.

  10. I switched from month-to-month to a yearly sub with Black Friday deal, so by the time I was able to pick sample choice, the only one eye shadow (green/gold) was available. So I decided not to bother and I received pink/beige set which would have been my pick. I also received the same highlighter as Liz. My other 3 samples were: Soap & Paper Factory hand cream, Coola SPF 30 cucumber moisturizer, and MALIN+GOETZ clarifying clay mask. I will use everything. I am with others that are not crazy about perfume samples. I think scent is something very personal… and easy to try out at Sephora or department stores. If BirchBox continues to send perfume samples, at least they should offer us in our profile for customization as to what kind of scent we prefer.

  11. I got my box today. My box included
    Coastal Scents pink & mauve
    Curlisto structural lotion plus
    Juara hand &nail balm
    L’Oréal professional mythic oil shampoo and sample conditioner
    Sunday Riley good genes treatment.
    I really like my box and I am excited to try my products.

  12. If you cancel your subscription, do you still keep your points to use later?

  13. The beauty crop highlighter was previously sampled in GB or BoxyCharm.

  14. So, I’m the weird one who doesn’t mind getting Harvey Prince perfume. Lol! Hello is actually one of my favorite fragrances. In general perfume samples are low value, but I like getting something new without the expensive commitment of buying perfume. I also have my settings on Birchbox set to send the fewest number of perfume samples, so they only come every few months.

    • I got HP Sincerely in my first BB. It was just ok. I used up the sample but didn’t purchase. All was not lost 🙂

  15. I got the highlighter too! I didn’t realize that it was full size, but that makes sense since a little goes a long way. The voluminous spray that I picked as my sample choice is great. I got the coastal scents eyes shadow in the rose gold, which was a bit disappointing since I had picked the LOC Impress Me (rose gold) the month before.

  16. Although didn’t get any this month I can’t stay away from a Harvey Prince bash-fest. I too have gotten FOUR HP samples this year (lotion, perfume and shower gel). I actually don’t mind perfume samples because its not something I ever buy for myself and I reserve it for special occasions so its not the bane of sub boxes for me (dry shampoo is), but I can’t stand the repeat of a brand that I very clearly dislike based on my reviews.

  17. worst box I have ever got in my whole life, everything was a sample, not the things showed above. I will give it one more month so that I can use my Aces, I felt like crying, it was so pitiful!!!

  18. I got the highlighter in the complexion perfection pillow pack kit that came with the beauty blender, a finishing powder by W3ll the people, benefit porefessional primer, and the Marcelle bb cream.

    I LOVE that highlighter. If you only use a tiny bit it’s amazing on top of foundation.

    Also that kit is amazing.

  19. If I subscribe now, will I receive a random box (without me picking my sample) for December or will it be for January?

    • You’ll get a December box.

  20. I got two boxes this month! At first I thought it was a lucky accident, but then it occurred to me that it’s probably because of the yearly sub I bought (30% off -woo!) So I probably got a month-to-month box AND a yearly sub box. Which kind of sucks, if that’s the case.

    • I have had random boxes show up before, as well. Once I picked the curated box and got two of them. They told me to keep it.

      • Cool! 🙂

        I’ll have to check billing to find out if it’s a happy accidental extra box or if I paid for both.

  21. I have to echo everyone else, I’m sick of Harvey Prince and don’t like any of their scents! In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever received a NON-HP perfume from Birchbox.

    • I have. I hate all perfumes pretty much equally, but the HP is REALLY overkill.

  22. I was looking forward to the eye shadow sample, but it’s so small!

    All of my samples seemed on the small side this month–my box looked half empty when I opened it 🙁

    • My box was pitiful with ridiculous small samples – my box was 3/4 empty..

    • Me too! Those were the TINIEST samples I’ve ever gotten. If it weren’t for that extra 10$ gift, I would have been pretty bummed.

      • Same here. I got:

        -Silhouette by Christian Siriano Eau de Parfum (didn’t like the scent, tiny, gave away)
        -Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment (looks pretty small)
        -JUARA Coconut Illipe Hand & Nail Balm (tiny)
        -Coastal Scents eye shadow (tiny)
        -HP Sea Salt Texturizing Mist (also pretty small)

        Nothing that appears to be a deluxe sample or full size products 🙁 I just bought myself a second sub with the extra bonus samples for gift subs, so maybe my second December box will be an improvement.

    • Ha! Mine too. I got TINY samples of Coastal Scents shadow, theBalm Frat Boy, and the Yu-Be lotion. I also got the Malin+Goetz mask, and a generously sized hairspray, the one item I won’t use at all, lol.

      I agree that the $10 gift code kind of saved my box. I used it to pick up the complexion perfection sampler and a few other goodies for $10.

  23. Is Harvey Prince secretly a Birchbox brand?! I’m so over all the HP samples. I don’t like any of them and they are a waste when they take the place of a sample. The relentless pimping of HP by bbox is a bit much!

  24. Yep Liz, I got 4 Harvey prince fragrances in 12 months !!!!!!! I do like the Hello one ! Sincerely, not too bad. But I got also : Yogini (meh) and petaly noir (meh) ! And I’m sure we will get all of them if I keep going with birchbox !

  25. I am right with you, I HATE perfume samples and this one will make #6 this year that Birchbox has sent me. Even though I clearly marked I never want them and have complained to them in the past but never fails. I always get them and I always pass them on. However as far as the highlighter goes, I hate em. I have gotten this particular one a few times in different boxes and I have always passed it on. (the girls at work love getting my pass-a-longs every few months since I have 6 sub boxes a month).

  26. Gorge I’ll make you look amazing even gets the tangles out of my granddaughters hair!

  27. I love fragrance samples (I subscribe to Olfactif and Scent Trunk). But I hate, hate, hate Harvey Prince fragrances. Far too floral for me. I think “Sincerely” is perhaps my least favorite fragrance of all time. However, I can’t receive it on my one remaining account because I got it in May.

    I either didn’t get the coupon or overlooked it and threw it away. Oops. Oh well.

    My box was good this month. Two skincare items, two makeup items, and one fragrance (not HP, thankfully).

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