Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Essence Beauty Box Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Women of Color Subscription Boxes | Tags: | 8 comments

Essence Beauty Box Subscription Box Review – February 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


Essence Beauty Box is a beauty subscription service geared for Women of Color (WOC).  Each month, the Essence Magazine beauty team puts together a box to give you the opportunity to discover brand new products and Essence’s staple favorites.  

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


The Subscription Box: Essence Beauty Box

The Cost: $15 a month (Discounts available with 12-month subscription)

The Products:  A variety of hair care, beauty, and lifestyle products

Ships to: US only

Check out all of our Essence Beauty Box Reviews and our Reviews of Subscription Boxes for Women of Color!






The insert card has a list of all the products included this month as well as some great tips!  The note from the EBB Team says they themed February’s box around red carpet season. They ask, would we be paparazzi prepped if cameras flashed the moment our feet stepped out the door?  (That’s an easy “No” for me.  Not even on my best day would I want to find candid photos of myself in the grocery checkout.)  The goodies included this month should help us get ready to “Shine Like A Star”!


Dark and Lovely Au Naturale – Soak It Up Oil Cocktail – 4.1oz – Value: $9.99

Featuring Coconut and Moringa Oils, this cocktail is said to easily absorb into the hair, preventing dryness.  I found this product nowhere close to what I consider an oil.  It’s not oily enough.  I find it just disappears into nothing.  I feel this would be better suited as a freshening spray if it came with a pump.  Otherwise, it made my hair smell fantastic and it was nice to try.

Colgate – Optic White Platinum – Express White Toothpaste in Fresh Mint – .075 oz – Value: $1.00

We’ve been using Honest Company toothpaste for years now.  I think this is the first toothpaste I’ve received in a beauty box too! Cool….no really, this toothpaste made my mouth feel very cool afterwards.  It’s really strong to me, I’m so use to my regular toothpaste.  I gave this to John, he travels quite often and I always give him my toothpaste samples from dental visits for his toiletry tote.



Kiss – Looks So Natural Lashes in Flirty KFL02 – Value: $3.99

Does anyone else’s anxiety level go from 3 to 80 as soon as you try to put on lashes? Just me!  Ok, fine.  I know I just need to practice more.  I have a ton of lashes, and I don’t mind having another pair to play with…but not today.

Broadway Eyes – Strip Lash Adhesive with Aloe in Clear DGLG02 – 3g – Value: $1.99

I’m so happy they sent adhesive as well.  Sometimes the glue gets grubby around the edges.  It’s good to change it out after 6 or 12 months depending on the brand. I think this is the second deluxe sized adhesive I’ve received in a subscription service.  Years ago, I may have received one through Ipsy or Wantable, I’m not sure. Considering how often I wear/play with lashes, getting a deluxe sample rather than the typical included mini, feels humongous.


Cover FX – Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment – .16 oz – Value: $5.00

This is my second favorite primer next to Becca’s Ever-Matte Poreless Primer.  I’m very oily and I need to use the very thick Becca primer when I’m wearing foundation to work or other long periods of time.  The Cover FX primer is great for the weekends, especially for Sundays when I’m really only wearing makeup for just a few hours at church.  I love that the formula has salicylic acid and doesn’t irritate my skin.  It’s a must try if you haven’t done so already.

Miss Jessie’s – Coily Custard – 1 oz – Value: $1.60

Everyone raves about this product online, and I’m excited to test it out on the kiddos.  It’s says it works great to collect frizzy hairs and add definition.  I hate that it’s in a foil packet and might I add, an un-notched for easy opening type of foil packet.  Ugh, the worst!  So this has been dropped in the “must try soon, when I have the patience” pile.  LOL!




Iman Cosmetics – Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick in Taboo – Sample Size – Value: $1.00

Subscribers may have received a lipstick or lipgloss from Iman’s brand.  Aww, what a cute little sample and it’s a beautiful deep purple color!  My favorite lip color.  I love the semi-dry sort of texture after it sets!  Unfortunately, it smells like Playdoh.  I cant get pass the scent, I tried mixing it with some of my BareMinerals Moxie glosses that I love, but I can’t seem to mask or mute the overpowering scent!  It’s too pretty on me to let go or toss.  Solution, I’m going to put it on the back burner and pray the scent wears off.  To be continued…


Verdict:  The February Essence Beauty Box had an estimated retail value around $25.00  Not bad at all and it’s almost double the subscription cost.  This wasn’t my favorite Essence Beauty Box, but I love the variety of products and the curation!  I’ve always wanted to try the Iman Cosmetics brand, but my local drug store does not carry it.  Though this month wasn’t a high dollar box, I’m enjoying the overall Essence experience and love that they invite subscribers to think outside the box.  They have been consistent in bringing awareness of self-love and a positive outlook on beauty.   What are your thoughts on the February Essence Beauty Box?  Are you Red Carpet ready?

Written by Celicia Gantz

Celicia Gantz

Celicia was introduced to both The Honest Company and CurlKit in March 2013 and has been addicted to subscription boxes ever since. Always on the hunt for the undiscovered family staple, she loves trying new skincare, natural hair care, makeup, and finding delicious snacks with hidden veggies for her kids (and Hubby too). Favorite finds: Body Oil, Stuffed Animals, Books, non-GMO Tortilla Chips and Perfume Samples.

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I liked this box, but I agree the oil was not very oily. It’s pretty thin and just runs everywhere. February was my first box, but they seem to be to be having issues with tracking. Last month they sent out tracking way early, then sent out a reveal. This month they sent out the reveal the same day they sent my box. Sort of jumping the gun there! I want to see maybe one spoiler, but seeing all of the contents before I get the box makes me just disappointed when I get it. So, I didn’t click their reveal link, but still I wish they’d hold off a week or two!

    Also, I hope they improve their referral program. I heard about this box from you but they don’t have referral links, just the long codes, so you definitely didn’t get credit from me toward your TEN people =\

  2. I know Essence may be trying to “customize” their boxes because I was asked to update my profile – no promises though. With that said, my box was completely different. I received a Bite lipgloss, Creme of Nature edge gel, a sample of Uncle Funky’s curl stimulator, a sample ofBiossance “The Revitalizer,” and lastly a sample of La Belle body butter. The Miss Jessie’s may have been in there too. I double checked the flyer to make sure it was the March box and it is. Is this the customization? IDK

    • That’s because you’re talking about the March box when this is for the Feb box lol. I received the same stuff too (for March), btw.

  3. This entire box has items that I’ve received before…minus the Iman lipstick which I would have loved to try. The only item that I wouldn’t mind getting again is the Dark & Lovely hair oil. It smells wonderful and my hair loves it. Everything else is just meh. Essence’s first box was awesome, but I haven’t been impressed as of lately.

  4. Thank you for the info. Interesting. But, Essence has been around for over 30 years. Still feel they should do better. If it changes, I would most def resub.

  5. I cancelled mine last month. I’m glad, because this box doesn’t excite me at all. There isn’t one item included that I would have used. I also hate foil packets!!!

  6. I cancelled my sub after 2 boxes. I expected much more from Essence. 1 foil packet, come on Essence. I would have paid a higher price point for a box of quality products for “me”. If Allure can do what they do for $15.00 and Boxy Charm for $21.00…..yeah.

    • That is because they are completely different. I am often reading people comparing but you can’t. The owner of boxycharm has a completely different business. He buys the products that go into the boxes. That is why I chose to subscribe. I knew the value would be more than there every time. Martin used to run a company that purchased overstock from Macy’s and others. A subscription box approached him to see if they had nailpolosh they could buy because they where short on free samples that where given by companies. So Martin looked into creating a box with purchased items….bingo boxycharm was created because there was a gap. I think it’s a great way to have created a business. To think if that other box had not approached him we wouldn’t be so lucky. I just started subscribing to boxes, but I researched any before a final decision. I love MSA to see reviews and It’s so fun to get them in the mail, hehehe

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