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Birchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2016

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - box

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.

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - all items 1

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

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - all items 2

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

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!

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - info 1

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

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - info 2

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

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - items 1

Obliphica Professional Seaberry Hair Serum – .5 fl oz, value: $8.64

I’ve never heard of this brand, but I like this hair serum! I love using serums an oils in my hair. This says it’s for “medium to coarse hair,” but my profile reflects my fine, thin hair so I’m not sure why they picked it for me. But that’s fine – I like it!

Not Soap, Radio Body Was in Liquid Freud – 1.1 oz, value: $1.30

What cute packaging! I’ve seen this brand in a couple different subscription boxes before now, so I’m excited to get one myself to try. It smells really good, too.

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - items 2

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm – .14 oz (Full Size!), value: $14

This is the lip balm from Birchbox’s new brand, Arrow. It’s one of those color-enhancing balms that reacts to the pH in your skin to turn a natural-looking pink shade.

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask – .5 fl oz, value: $16.17

I’m pretty happy with the size/packaging of this mask! It’s definitely enough for a few uses. This mask is what’s called a chemical exfoliator, so there’s no scrubbing or anything – the chemicals break through your dead skin cells and you can just wash them away.

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - items 3

Here’s the balm swatched on my wrist.

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - items 4

And here’s the balm in action – the left photo is my bare lips, the right photo is my lips with this balm on. I think it works really well (I’ve tried this type of product before that went way too pink) and feels really moisturizing.

BIRCHBOX FEB 2016 - items 5

TOCCA Eau de Parfum, Emelia – sample

I don’t get excited about perfume samples in subscription boxes (unless they’re the little mini versions of full sized bottles! I actually collect those), this one smells pretty good! I like it.

Verdict: I’m really happy with this month’s Birchbox, even though I didn’t get any makeup. I’m excited about everything in my box, which it always a good feeling. This box has a value of about $40.11 – I’m happy with that!

What do you think of the January Birchbox? What did you pick as your sample?


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

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Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered the wonderful world of subscription boxes in 2012 and began writing for MSA in 2014. Over the years, she has found many subscriptions to love. Now a mom of three, her favorite boxes are ones that dress her kids, help her get organized, feed her family, send her snacks, and offer educational fun for her children.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 71 comments

Comments (71)

  1. I have only received one Birchbox, and am wondering if mine contained an assortment of odds and ends since the only match has been the box. Lol.

    I would appreciate if someone could explain Customized Birchbox vs Featured Box vs Sample Choices.


    • Hi Alyce, each month birchbox gives you a sample choice or the curated/featured box option. So you pick one of the sample choices or the featured box. Or don’t pick anything and all 5 items will be a surprise. If you do a sample choice, you’re “guaranteed” that one item and the other 4 will be random, or like you said “customized”. Those words in quotes are used loosely. So because of that “customization” most boxes will be different, but lately it seems like a large amount of Us are receiving identical boxes. Hope That helps! Lol. Anyone please add your details.

      • Thank you for the clarification! Do I periodically check the site to mark my choice?

      • It’s always at the end of the month. I think this month it’s the 23rd?? They send an email but it can be late in the day. This can result in your pick being sold out! This site is great for alerts! They will normally post when it’s sample choice day. Some people have early access, which is just the day before.

      • Bon-Bon, sending a hug. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Alyce

      • This might help too:

        Hopefully that link works. They post a video each month. The important dates are listed in the description box.

        The sample choice day is actually March 29th this month and the 28th if you refer a friend.

  2. I barely got mine yesterday!!!

    I just opened it. I like what I see, but who knows once I actually try the products lol

    I received:
    (MALIN+GOETZ) – clarifying clay mask
    Beauty Protector – Protect & Detangle Leave in Conditioner
    Coastal Scents – styleEYES Eyeshadow Palette glamourEYES sampler (there are no names, but I’d describe the colors as emerald & gold)
    Color Club – Mini Polish in That’s My Jam
    POP Beauty – Matte Velvet Lipstix in Cozy Crimson

  3. I just opened my first birch box. I got the Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in Liquid Freud. It’s smaller than I thought it was going to be but enough for at least 2 showers. The smell is nice but very light.
    The Beauty Protector hair detangler. It smells really good and I’m a suckered for hair products but it’s also small. In fact everything is smaller than I thought it would be.
    The marcelle serum and the COOLA tint are downright tiny.
    I got the POP lipstick in satin rose. It’s a dark pink on me. Too dark and pink for me.
    Overall, I’m kinda meh about the box but I’m going to give it another month and see how I like it.

    • this was my first box and i honestly thought about making it my last, everything was sooo tiny and not appealing to me. i got the occ liquid lipstick small trial, small trial of arrow tint, the detangler and the soap..

  4. Has anyone else experienced a problem with the Arrow lip balm? The exterior is scraped up, including a long thick line in the back. There are also black smudges! I can’t comment on the inside because neither my fiance or me can even remove the cap! This was my chosen item and I’m super disappointed – what do I do?

    • go through their facebook and message them.. i have had problems went through that and was sent a replacement within 24 hours…sometimes it takes them a few hours to get to you but i have always had a positive interaction with them

      • Thanks! I’m not really on facebook though – is there a better way to reach them? (really I just don’t know how to message a company page…)

      • There’s a help and contact link at the bottom of the web page.

  5. I would’ve loved to have a not soap radio body wash instead of a tocca emelia perfume sample I could’ve got from the mall.

  6. This will be my first month with Birchbox. I haven’t gotten the box yet but they sent me an email linking to seakpeeks at my box. I’m getting;
    Not Soap, Radio Body Wash,
    Marcelle New·Age 8 in 1 Power Serum,
    COOLA® Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint,
    POP Beauty Matte Velvet Lipstix Trio,
    Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle.

    I’m pretty excited to try them all!

  7. The Hey Honey face peel, Pop lipstick and dry shampoo I loved, my other samples were extremely small! The body lotion sample was enough to moisturize my elbows… maybe one time. The Aarow cheek tint – which I don’t use anyway- was the smallest tube I have ever seen in a Birchbox. I know you don’t need much when applying cheek tint but it may as well have been a foil packet for the amount of product. I have learned to expect one or two micro-sized samples each month from Birchbox.

  8. My Birchbox was also terrible this month. I got Beauty Protector detangler that smells like burnt cupcakes, the meh Catherine Maladrino perfume, ModelCo lip liner I’ll never use, SkinClinical body cream that stings, and the Ren mask. The mask is the only item I love, but everything else is so terrible that I’m giving Birchbox one more chance before quitting.

  9. I loved my Birchbox samples this month. They beat my February Ipsy bag by a mile. I think my Ipsy bag this month was possibly the worst one I’ve ever received and was finally bad enough for me to cancel.
    I got:
    Color Club nail polish–very happy to get this since Ipsy totally jipped me this month by not putting a nail polish in my bag. No matter how many times I give the good reviews to nail polishes I receive, they still love to send me some other product I hate and have reviewed negatively over the three nail polish options they have available this month.
    Arrow Lip Balm (my sample choice)–Like this, but it has a weird smell.
    Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in Freud–Super excited to try this brand finally.
    Whish Oil Cleanser–Glad to get this as I have been wanting to try an oil cleanser. Doesn’t have the best smell though.
    Obliphica Hair Serum–another product I was excited to try since I bleached my hair a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, the sample I received was spilled all over inside the box. The tissue paper, cards, bottom of the box, and all my samples were soaked in it. The lid was not screwed on properly.

    I also received Birchbox’s excellent customer service due to the spilled sample. They replied back to my email within an hour at 11pm at night saying they would send me a replacement asap. I love Birchbox.

    • I received the exact same box as you. While I am happy with overall curation of the box, I was disappointing that almost all of the Whish Oil cleanser was empty. The nail polish was a mini with deep red color. While I don’t wear red nail polish in general, the color was on the cooler tone versus warmer like coral toned red, I might be able to feel comfortable trying it. I wish like samples of body wash was a little larger. I don’t know how many uses I get out of it…

      • Same box for three of us(: I was not impressed with the body wash at all! It smells good but I get no lather out of it. A body wash needs to be creamy and moisturizing for me to use it. The lip balm does smell weird! And I was kind of disappointed to get another nail polish, since I got one from Ipsy. Overall this months box just doesn’t float my boat.

  10. I got the same box except for a different scent of body wash. My profile also says I have fine hair, so I don’t know why they’d send something for coarse hair. I didn’t get the curated box this month because of the perfume sample, and wouldn’t you know it? I get a perfume sample. I LOATHE perfume samples. Every single one BB has ever sent me has smelled awful to me. I sincerely wish they would bite the bullet and make a no perfume sample option. This box is just okay for me. I’d been choosing the curated box for months and had been pretty pleased with them, so this is a let down.

  11. This box would have been a huge disappointment for me. So glad you liked it!

  12. I got a Color Club nail polish is the exact same shade that I got the OPI color in a few months ago. That was disappointing. I will probably give it away.

    Corlioliss Argan Conditioning Mask- I always like masks and this one looks like it will fit my hair perfectly.

    Hey Honey Take It off Exfoliating Peel off mask- Again I love masks

    Naobay-HydraPlus Cream- I love little containers of lotion and I stash them everywhere. This one is not super moisturizing but okay it keep in my purse or at work.

    Pop Beauty-Mattle Velvet Lipstick-Cozy Crimson-This was a total miss. My kids said I looked like a scary clown when I wore it. It was also so dry and hard to apply, not my type of lipstick at all. So a miss for me.

    Overall, I liked most of my box, just the lipstick was a miss,

  13. I’ve not gotten mine yet but I got the super popular balm,oil,hair serum,nail polish and body wash box. I complained about the fine/coarse hair “mix up” originally, its nice to see if subscribes reach out they’re accommodating , I can say I’ve always been pleased with BB’s customer service.

    I’m so happy the balm is full size and I can’t wait to try it but beyond that I’m planning to cash in my points and cancel after this month. It just isn’t doing it for me anymore and I really just do not see the point in doing the questionnaire and surveys every month if they’re not taking note of them. I’m bummed to say good bye because I love getting these boxes every month but it seems like every month I’m disappointed upon opening them…and that’s just not a fun way to spend $10 a month!

  14. Birchbox has been terrible for the last six months. I think a lot of people will switch to Sephora and Macy’s when they finally come out.. If ever.

    • Not more Birchbox for me: /, I’m going to cancel. the last few months has been a real disappointment.

  15. I chose the Ren mask. Also received the Catherine Malandrino purfume, the argon oil, the Model Co. lip liner, and the Coola BB/sunscreen. I find it a bit disappointing that so many people received full sized products other than the lip balm, while others didn’t. The purfume went to my mom. The argan oil smells great, but is nothing special. The lip liner is an odd color. It is so hard it actually hurt trying it. Not sure I get the sunscreen in the dead of winter either. At least no dry shampoo. Have gotten those two of the last six months.

    • I got the same box as you….?? not excited either ….. I got that same liner in my Ipsy bag last year (Full size). and still haven’t use it…

  16. I also have fine, thin hair and got the serum for coarse hair. And my Whish facial oil cleanser was almost empty. I like the arrow lip balm. Love the scent of the Liquid Freud shower gel. Will not use the red nail polish I got. Like others noted, this box is kinda meh for me. (Typo on front of info card for occasion cracked me up!)

  17. I didn’t like the curated options this month, but my (regular) box was pretty good – a moisturizer, a conditioner, the Arrow balm, the Tocca perfume, and the Radio body wash.

  18. My profile says I have thick, wavy, coarse hair, and I got the serum for fine hair. I still like it, but I had to use a lot–thick coarse hair can take the heavier stuff.

    I also have on my profile that I don’t wear lipstick. So they sent me a hot pink lipstick & a nude lip liner. So weird. Sucks that those took up 2 of my 5 spots. 🙁

    • I lied. It was ipsy that sent me the hot pink lipstick. I just went in to double check my birchbox profile and there is no place to say “no lipstick”. I know I told one of them no lipstick…

  19. I picked the REN and got the identical box. I have fine hair and got the medium/coarse serum, too. I was happy with it, other than that.

  20. I received yet ANOTHER dry shampoo. Never use so am tired of getting them frequently in my subscription boxes.

    • I like dry shampoo and have gotten it once in two years. What the heck? :-p

      • Would be happy to sell/send you some of mine…if not all!

  21. How could they spell occasion wrong on the card?

    • The same way they missed people’s hair type on the serum samples.

  22. We have the same box! I also have finer hair, so we’ll see if the serum works for me. But overall I’m very excited. Every single thing in the box (including the serum) is a win for me.

  23. I too was underwhelmed with my February Birchbox. I don’t have a real use for the Shine & Define styling gel that enhances curls and waves (I am trying to get rid of my curls and waves). I liked the scent of the dab of my perfume sample (too bad there wasn’t enough to actually use). I got the La Chasse Aux Papillons (don’t know if that’s the scent or name) it took a minute for the scent to become nice. Coola…another face cream, o.k. I guess. I chose the Arrow lip balm and I like it. Then I got another face mask, I haven’t tried it yet, it says it’s for oily skin and zits. I’m 58 and have outgrown zits and at my age most women don’t have a real issue with oily skin (we are more concerned about wrinkles. So this box was a real disappointment.

  24. I got my box today. I received the Radio body wash in a scent called Liquid Freud that smells really nice. I got a Living Proof hair mask (like a once a week deep conditioner). It also smells really good and it was a really nice deluxe sample jar not a little foil pack. I think I will get at least 3-4 uses out of it. I got the Pop Beauty lipstick in Cozy Crimson. It was full sized and a true matte blue-red color. I would probably have preferred one of the lighter pinks but it’s good to have a nice red on hand. I got the Coola tint, which is a bit too matte for me. My final item was the True Moringa Lavender facial oil. It was a small sample but it says you only use a drop each day so it should last a while. That said I am unsure about putting oil on my face but I am willing to give it a whirl. Overall, I am pretty pleased with my box especially the hair mask, radio soap, and full sized lipstick.

  25. I can’t wait to try the lip balm!

  26. I’ve been really disappointed with Birchbox lately. The last few have, for me, had various shipping issues (things arriving broken or damaged or not at all) or just been underwhelming overall. My box this month was valued at a whopping $22. The Whish cleansing oil was a big bust for me, as it was 1. basically a foil packet packaged in a tube and 2. did not work as a cleansing oil at all. This stuff left an unwashable oil slick behind on my face, and I had to use another cleanser to remove it. That hasn’t been my experience with other cleansing oils. My hair leave in arrived opened and leaked everywhere. I got a perfume sample (HP Ageless), and the packaging on it basically offered to cover up my old lady smell. (I have no real use for perfume.) The CC cream was nice but basically a foil packet in a tube. The only thing I liked was the POP lipstick, which turned out to be full size, but I already own three shades that are almost identical to it. I can definitely see myself dropping Birchbox in the near future and swapping to something like Allure or (hopefully) Sephora or Macy’s.

  27. I got THE WORST Birchbox I’ve ever gotten, this month, since joining forever ago. I decided not to pick any items, because I’ve had really good luck, in the past with that. I was really disappointed. Not only did I get the dreaded nail polish, but it was a sample size of a brand, I’ve never heard of.??. UGH!! But, I guess overall I’ve been really happy with my Birchbox subscription, so I guess they’re allowed a bad box. Thank goodness for the point.. It never feels like a complete loss, when you know you can get your points. That’s why I had to cancel Ipsy.. If it was a bad month (happened way too often), there was really no redeeming factor. Here’s to March!!

    • Sorry about the polish — I’ve set my profile to indicate that I’d prefer polish to anything else, and BB hasn’t sent me one in 5 months.

      • Same! This will be my first time getting a polish in Birchbox, I never got on in Ipsy either!! Of course now I exclusively use Julep and only wear red polish around holidays that call for it , but I’m happy to finally have gotten one and NOT gotten a damn dry shampoo!

      • I’ve gotten 3 polishes from Ipsy in 6 months! The colors are just ok — I gave the first one (a dark oxblood) to my sister; I didn’t really care for the 2nd one (a dark, dark shimmery pink that looks red) but I did use it for a Christmas-y look); and the 3rd is the Trust Fund polish from this month that I am SO happy about receiving b/c I’ve wanted to try the brand for a while.

  28. Was overall pretty happy with my box this month: Juara candlenut creme, Arrow cooling cheek tint, Pop beauty lipstick (in Satin Rose, which is a pretty pink color), Klorane dry shampoo and Hey Honey peel. The Arrow cheek tint was actually my favorite discovery of the bunch! I got it in the berry color and I don’t think I’ve ever used a cheek color that was so flattering on my fair skintone and it blended in so well. I really love it!

  29. I received the sample box and opted not to choose any samples. I got the Not Soap Radio in Liquid Freud (nice scent), Coola matte tint (BB cream), Marcelle 8 in 1 Power Serum, Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle and POP Beauty Matte Velvet lipstick in Satin Rose (full size, I’m guessing).

    I had to laugh seeing the Beauty Protect sample in there … I’d read all these amazing reviews about that product, so I FINALLY broke down and purchased a full-sized bottle, just a couple of days before seeing that I was getting it in my box! Oh well … will still be nice to have a purse-sized bottle. I do have to say that I haven’t had quite the incredible experience with it that others have … at least not yet. After using it the first time, I thought my hair would be pretty free of the frizzies when I dried it, but that was not the case … still lots of little frizzies. But I’m using Nioxin products and I understand that they can be drying to your hair, so that’s probably why. I’ll keep using the Beauty Protector & may see more results after several uses.

    For the lipstick, I wasn’t sure if it would work for me because I don’t wear pink lipsticks well. But when I put it on, it wasn’t too pinky … more of a nice, natural pink. Anyway, overall I’m very pleased with this box! 🙂

  30. I really really like the obliphica hair serum! It smells a lot like the beauty and protect hair oil which I also love. I got the little red nail polish and it’s perfect for v day. Love the lip balm, thankful it appears subtle on me. I also got the not soap radio in liquid Freud. Smells very good. Haven’t tried the whish cleansing oil yet. When I first saw my box reveal I was disappointed but I actu am very happy with it. I’ve already been using 4 out the 5 items.

    • *actually

    • I thought he hair serum smelled like Beauty Protector too! Sounds like we got the same box, I just wish it had been the fine-hair serum.

      • Have you tried the serum? Was it too heavy for your hair? I was wondering if it’s just the exact same thing as beauty protector….I haven’t compared the ingredients.

      • It was ok, I am not crazy about hair oils or serums anyways. I just used a teeny bit and then used a volumizer to spray the heck out of it afterwards. My bangs will probably be oily by the end of the day. I compared the ingredients for the two brands and the first few items are the same! Except one has sea buckthorn oil and the other has Argan oil and some other extras. Weird!

      • I got the fine hair serum but my hair is coarse…sounds like they got things backwards for a lot of people this month!

  31. I’ve always found odd that people don’t like perfume samples in boxes. I totally love them. In full disclousure I’m always on the run and carrying a perfume bottle is very unpractical for me.

    • Gloria, for me, it’s that the little vials are totally impractical. I have purse sprays, roller balls, and atomizers that are all great for portability (and I can also put some perfume from my full-size bottles in the atomizers). I don’t mind discovering new scents, but I get nothing but a sniff from the samples that come in vials like this. Personally, I just have enough perfume in rollerballs or full-size bottles that I will never use the little vials. I mind much less if the vials have spray tops – the ones that don’t and are just tubes are are difficult to me, too. Hope that makes sense! That’s just my reasoning.

  32. This one is horrible for me. My bf’s 17yo daughter got the same exact crappy box that I did. The REN was also my sample choice (for both. I was going to switch her that and give her something out of my box. I LOVE that stuff)
    We got Catherine Maldrino perfume, an organ hair oil, invisible lip liner and Coola tint. Both of us. How does this happen? None of this stuff matches the theme for the month and….ugh!!

  33. I got a rather crappy box this month. My hair serum was from a different brand and leaked all over the inside of the box. It’s way too heavy for my fine hair. The perfume was Catherine Melandrino- I don’t know who Catherine is but I suspect she’s Harvey Prince’s cousin. Coola tinted moisturizer which I think I got before. The model co lip liner and my pys the REN mask were the only items I actually liked.

    • Hahaha omg so funny the Catherine Malandrino as Harvey Prince’s cousin. I’m getting Catherine too… Can’t wait to be underwhelmed!!

      • I like the Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence and think it smells like Lancome’s La Vie Est Belle or Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb!

      • Oooo!! I like those! Now You’ve got me interested. Thanks, Debbie!

  34. I picked the curated box, and was super-disappointed. The tube of Whish Mud Mask was almost empty! The Catherine Malandrino perfume smelled way too chemical-y, and the OCC lip tar should have been called Tooth and Skin Tar, because that’s where it went. Wish I’d taken a sample instead… It’s a learning experience.

    • I was actually wishing I had gone with the curated. Some boxes were nice but most were heavy hair serum and the same stinky perfume. I could have actually used the blow out spray. The lip tar requires a lip brush. I agree that it is a weird thing to send as a sample since it’s rather a pain to use. Generally the curated boxes have the best value unless you are in love with one of the sample choices.

    • I had the same experience with the lip tar :/ The OCC Stained Gloss, however, is beautiful. It works like the lip tar, but it feels nicer, goes on evenly, doesn’t bleed out, and has great staying power! I like the color “Nomad”.

    • From what I’m reading, that seems to be a trend with Whish products where the tube has almost nothing in it.

  35. That lip balm gave yours a pretty hue. I used mine last night and I looked in the mirror 5 minutes later and they were hot pink! So weird!

  36. I also get the same serum, while my hair is fine. I emailed them about it, and they blame it on technical error but they are sending me the serum for fine hair from the same brand. I really like this month bb.

    • I got the fine hair serum and I have course hair!

  37. I also have fine hair and was confused as to why they would send me a product for coarse hair, especially since they sent some subscribers a fine hair version.

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