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GlossyBox Subscription Box Review – May 2016

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMay 3, 2016 | 139 comments


3.2 overall rating
483 Ratings | 119 Reviews

GlossyBox is a monthly beauty subscription box. They have the best packaging in the business, their products are usually deluxe-size or full size, and the value is usually really good too. The only issue with this box seems to be the late shipping – I would recommend just keeping that in mind and setting your expectations accordingly if you sign up for this box.

GlossyBox sent us this box early for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


FYI: GlossyBox sends out multiple variations of the box during some months. So, there may be some variation between what I review and what you receive.

The Subscription Box: GLOSSYBOX

The Cost: $21 a month (save more with 6-month or annual subscription)

The Products: Deluxe and full-size beauty products.

Check out all of my GlossyBox reviews and the list of the best beauty and makeup subscription boxes!

Ships to: US and Canada

glossybox-may-2016-info glossybox-may-2016-card

Each box comes with a fold out card detailing the items included.


NIOXIN System 3 Cleanser and Scalp Therapy Conditioner – 1.7 ounce each Value $5 total

This system is designed to remove oils and residues that clog hair follicles. I tried it out last night and I really like the minty scent, and I can’t tell if I’m just expecting my hair to look better, but I swear it looks shinier today!

One thing to note, though – this is designed for thin hair, and my hair isn’t thin. I didn’t notice any difference in volume, either.


Veraspa Face Moisturizing Gradual Tanner – .5 oz total Value $8.75

(Good to know for swaps – inner foil seal)

I’m happy to report that this self-tanner does not have that self-tanner smell! It really doesn’t have a scent at all, and it is gluten free, paraben free, cruelty-free, and noncomedogenic.


Benefit Roller Lash – .1 oz Value $8

I’ve already sampled this mascara from Benefit and I love it! I’m able to build a lot of volume and length without any clumping on the lashes.


Talika Photo-Hydra Day – 1 oz $39.50

(Good to know for swaps – inner foil seal)

(This is listed as $29 on the info card, but based on value per ml, the total I got was $39.50.)

This moisturizer is lightweight, and almost a hybrid gel/cream. I think the formula is great for summer – it absorbed almost instantly with no shine or greasiness. It is scented, though, so if you have issues with scented skincare items, this might not be for you. (I’m pretty particular when it comes to skincare, but the scent didn’t bother me.)

RITUALS Cosmetics Shower Foam in Zensation – 50 ml Value $3.75

I’ve sampled this product before and I like it! It’s a shower gel that transforms into a foam with water. A little goes a long way too, so I should get many uses out of this sample!


 Verdict: This box has a value of about $65. (Or $55 going by the $29 value of the Talika moisturizer.) I think the value is pretty good, and I’ll use every item included, so I’m happy about the curation. Admittedly, this box didn’t look super exciting when I first opened it, but after trying the products, I’m a fan. I wish the value was distributed a little more evenly between the products though – if you don’t like the moisturizer, this will likely not be a great box for you.

What do you think of the May 2016 GlossyBox?

GlossyBox is a beauty subscription box that sends five deluxe and full-size products to your door every month for $21 (with free shipping to the U.S.). Subscribers should expect to discover new brands of hair care, makeup, and skincare in each pink box, wrapped up nicely with a different theme each ... read more.
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!

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!
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For anyone interested in this box who lives in Canada.. it looks like they changed whom they ship through.

Prior to this months box, I never had COD charges on arrival.. this month’s box arrived today with $47.16 CAD COD charge [the mother’s day box arrived with about $15 COD].

I’ve been getting Glossybox since August 2015 and this month is the first time I’ve had COD charges. Not happy! Hoping I can get out of my annual subscription early.. otherwise I’ll just be refusing shipment until it ends.


So let’s see. I didn’t get the nice serum even though my profile says I’m over 40. I got shampoo and conditioner samples for normal hair despite the fact that my profile says I have color treated hair. I didn’t even get a nice face tanner for my pale skin. I got some more hand cream.
Last month I got a small bottle of yet another sea salt spray instead of the higher valued and super cute bottle of perfume.
I’m done.


I feel like I got really lucky with this box. I liked almost everything in it when I first opened it but loved once I tried them out. I got estee lauder supreme global anti-aging creme in a tiny little package (.1 oz) instead of the facial self tanner or the serum. I also don’t have thin or fine hair but the Nioxin sample smells really good and I also kind of willed myself into thinking my hair looked shinier after using it. I won’t know if it’s really working for another week or so. I’m a fairly new subscriber (april) and so far I haven’t been supremely disappointed.


Another HORRIBLE box that I literally threw in the trash. The only product I would have used, the mascara, was completely dried out. Furthermore, my box was “shipped” on May 9, and arrived today, May 23rd. It’s a shame my husband paid the entire year subscription up front….what a waste of money.


Instead of the self tanner or serum, i got yet ANOTHER sample of Le Source hand cream.
That’s 3 times now in the last 6 months


Me too – at least my 2nd time in so many months. I would have loved to have gotten the Adore Cellmax sample, but I’m just happy I didn’t get the tanner. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this month’s offerings.


I’d prefer that to self tanner when I’m already tan ? and the customer service chick was rude.


Hi there… Did anyone else check the website for the May box? It says that the Rituals Shower foam would be full size – a $15.00 value. Full size is 6.7 Ounces, not 1.6 oz. Has anyone contacted Glossybox about this?


I just sent them an email. They do this with a few products. Everyone needs to compare how much you get in fl oz with what you got. Between my 2 boxes I have 3 items much smaller either sample size or deluxe sample size when they advertise on their product card these are supposed to be larger. I understand they can substitute but sending my boxes with product cards as full size then sending sample sizes is bait and switch. Bad experience starting out with Glossybox. It’s not a fluke. This is deliberate sneaking in smaller items.


The info card tells you what the cost of a full size is. Not that you get the full size. Sometimes they do send you one or two full size products but it’s mostly and supposed to be normal to deluxe samples in your boxes. You should really read the info on their site before ordering so you won’t be surprised at what you get. I love Glossy and they never treated me bad.


I just sent them a message. I didn’t ask for a resolution, but I told them it seemed misleading to make it look like we are getting a full size product. You can tell from the photo that it is a smaller size, but the text says full size.


I got the Adore serum also. I always look at the items first before the info card and the first thing I thought when I opened my box yesterday was “Yay! No tanner!” (I just look better pale) Then I looked at the card and thought “$750 retail?!! Maybe a typo?” Was still excited till I saw the mineral oil listed in the ingredients. I’m not that ingredient savvy but I do know that mineral oil and all her siblings are not happy skin ingredients. I don’t even use products containing those ingredients on my hands or body, let alone on my face.

Still happy with the rest of the box.


“The beauty profile, unfortunately, is not available to customize choices for each subscriber. What it does is help us decide between two options of one product item.”

When I complained about getting tanning stuff even though I’m already tan, that was the response. The tanning moisturizer and the serum are not the same product. My beauty profile stating my skin color obviously didn’t help their decision. Why fill it out if they’re just going to send whatever?


I just got my box and instead of the face Tanner I got a .5 oz. serum that retails for $749 for 1.7 ounces. Crazy stuff but I am excited to try it. Adore Cosmetics Cellmax Elite Facial Serum.


I also got the same serum instead of the face Tanner. I love it. The serum is really moisturizing. I love it I am glad because I would never use the Tanner and the value is amazing. It is worth more then I paid for the subscription.


I’m actually considering cancelling Glossybox because of this. If we are all paying the same amount per box shouldn’t we all be getting the same products in terms of value? I don’t like feeling like I’m getting less than everyone else.


I’ve complained to them numerous times (I’ve only been a subscriber 3 months!!!) about that, but they don’t care. If you’re going to do different items, they should have the same value so everyone gets their money’s worth


I got the same thing! I’m super excited to try the serum out!


I just wanted to let you guys know that Amazon sells the Nioxin for a whole lot less than Ulta. You can get both the shampoo and conditioner together for less than the cost of one bottle even with the $5 discount.


Gotta watch out for that, though. The first few Nioxin listings I clicked on, on Amazon, were from third party sellers. So there is a risk of getting closeout/expired (or sometimes just counterfeit) product. That is how the third party sellers can offer stuff for so much less than retail. It’s worse with designer perfumes, but it can happen across all beauty categories. If I buy beauty products on Amazon, I stick with “ships from and sold by” under the price and not “fulfilled by Amazon.”

Also Ulta has the rewards program and a 2x or 3x (for Platinum) points multiplier going on right now (on anything), including sometimes good GWPs.


Amazon has a money back guarantee, even for items bought from “other” sellers. If you have any problems with any of the sellers on Amazon, just get on chat with amazon and they will fix the problem quickly. I have been a member for many, many years and have had very few problems. I have had way more problems with feebay and paynotsomuchapal with scammers.


I decided not to read the review until I get my box, so my initial thought was like…. BeautyFix? Because of the shampoo/conditioner, lol. My husband will gladly take them for his travels. Target hasn’t had Men’s box in a while, so he doesn’t get much. I received the same items as Liz, except one variation. I received a hand lotion instead of self-tanner. While I was happy that I didn’t receive self-tanner as I tan a shade or two darker during summer, so I never use them. But I am dissapointed that I received the EXACT same hand lotion and scent from my March box. I am also dissapointed that there were no full-size item. The body wash was the cheapest item for full-size and they could have just send us that. But overall, practical box and everything will be used. I cannot wait to try the mascara!


Got an email from Glossy just now with code EXTRA you will bet 2 not just 1 box

christine martinez

Yeah, I signed up for that, but forgot to put in the code. I went back and resigned up, got charged twice after trying to cancel the first one and was told they would cancel it. We will see if it gets cancelled.


Just a head’s up. I looked into the Nioxin 1 via Ulta’s website and it says it is for thin natural hair that is NOT chemically treated. My hair is highlighted and I’ve had a cezanne treatment so there’s no way I’m risking trying these products. I guess I’ll give them to my husband.


Mine actually was labeled for chemically treated hair, which is in my profile.


My profile says I have chemically treated hair but they sent me the kind for natural, no treated hair which is the Nioxin 1.


Mine was also for chemically treated hair as per my profile.. I kinda liked the shampoo and conditioner as I have fine thin hair.. I have hair care products I live by and won’t switch, Macadamia Flowless it’s a co-wash I switch it up with their other products as well.. but I still loved my May Glossybox and absolutely love the serum!


Probably because it has sulfates. A lot of people avoid those in chemically treated hair. They don’t seem to cause any issue for me so I use them (I dye my hair black and have been using sulfate-laden shampoos for decades). There’s nothing else in the ingredients list that stands out as being an issue.


I feel like I hit the lotto with this month’s box! I will use absolutely everything, and the value of my box is insane for what I pay for this subscription! I received both the Adore Cellumax serum as well as the Talika Photo-Hydra Moisturizer, both Nioxin items, the Roller Lash and the Rituals Shower Gel. As a woman in my early 40’s, this box is much more of a fit for me than the Birchbox’s and IPSY’s that are so heavily focused on makeup…and even when they describe their samples as deluxe, those other subs deluxe samples are usually minuscule in comparison to Glossybox. I love getting skincare and trying the more prestige brands that Glossybox introduces me to. Is everything always a perfect fit, no, but that is the risk you take with any sub box. I never walk away feeling I didn’t get my money’s worth.


When was on vacation and gotmsunburned a sales person told me that Nioxin scalp therapy helps with sunburn. I may try that. I have super thick hair I get layered to take out the fullness. My entire family has thick hair. I don’t need this product for my hair


Oh I absolutely agree with you Christine! I’ve been subscribed to this box since August of last year and I haven’t been disappointed in any of the boxes yet. I’m in my forties too, and I have discovered new brands and products that I can use and really like. I love Glossybox and it’s the one sub I would keep if I had to choose 🙂


Hi there Christine,

Wow, we here at the GLOSSYBOX office are excited about the wonderful comments you have made on your May GLOSSYBOX. As the sun gets stronger, the Talika Photo-Hydra Day moisturizer is a great addition to everyone’s summer skincare routine! This lotion doesn’t only keep your skin hydrated, but it also gives you a summer glow. What more could you ask for?!


Gabrielle from GLOSSYBOX


Thanks Gabrielle! It’s great to know that Glossybox reads our comments, as the large volume of users on this site have some great input / feedback. I just wanted to add that while I understand there are a load of subscription boxes to choose from, I keep coming back to Glossybox because it meets MY DEMOGRAPHIC. I can’t remember ever getting a gawdy makeup color, or cheap brand in this subscription. There aren’t that many beauty boxes that provide products for those of us in the 30+ age group. Not saying that is the only group you should target, but I for one appreciate a box that really does meet the needs of my stage of life!


Can I ask, what does “gives you a summer glow” mean? Does it make your skin shiny or act like self tanner? Neither of those works for me and if that’s what it does, I’d rather pass it off to someone else.


I totally agree.


And I was thinking I was special lol…I opened the box today and thought “holy cow, this is truly personalized just for me!” I really did. Everything in the box fit me perfectly, down to the variation. I really don’t care how much they list the price for, if it’s a good product, then I will use it, and I love a good serum. I’ve been on a good skin care regimen for several years now and people honestly believe me when I tell them I’m 25. A good southern girl never tells her true age.

I don’t get the complaints. To each his own though. But every month this is one box I can say consistently provides higher value than any other box I receive and lately I have cancelled a couple. If you look at each month, the products are great. I have yet to encounter a problem with one of the products, being old or broken, etc. I honestly can’t complain about the products when you compare it to the price. I wanted good products to try in skincare and makeup. That’s what I signed up for based on the reviews I read here and that’s what I get it each month. This box is the middle of the road on price, comparably, and yet the products are like what you would get in a higher priced box. Unless there is a huge decline in product quality, this one is a keeper. And this month is awesome and my favorite!! Maybe it was curated just for me…? I am special!


Hi Rachel,

I want to wholeheartedly thank you for your post. We here at GLOSSYBOX appreciate that you take the time to review May’s box edition. Your thoughts and opinions have not gone unnoticed and I will pass on your comments to my colleagues, so that you can continue to be excited about the arrival of your box.

Gabrielle from GLOSSYBOX


I appreciate hard working, caring companies that do just what you do. Customer service is lacking in so many places now, so it’s nice to see someone out there finding out what works, what doesn’t, what demographic likes it, which ones don’t and what can be done to improve. So thanks for reading and responding to the good the bad and the ugly.


Same… I don’t care if I get a box full of skin care products because I love trying new skin care stuff.. I like to stay looking young!!


Amen sista’!


I really really really hate this box .. You think I would get the variation no but I got tAnner and hair thinning products .. I am a thick haired tan girl as it is please check my profile before sending all this .. Even the Walmart box was better than this !!


I am with you, this is the first box I really did not like. Items should not be as specific as products for thin hair, not unless it is based on your profile, which it clearly was not. I will use 2 items, maybe 3 – depends on if the Talika item is a self tanner – I hope not.

Sadly, I am cancelling all my boxes for the summer. I am afraid this is going to be a summer of self tanning tassels and sea salt sprays. Seems to be the trend and not for me.



Thank you for the honest feedback you have given. I will be happy to take your thoughts to my colleagues and hope we can continue to keep you 100% satisfied with your box.
I am sorry to hear you are not happy with some of the items you have received this month in your GLOSSYBOX. Please contact our Customer Care team directly at [email protected], so they can further assist with your frustrations.

Gabrielle from GLOSSYBOX


Hey ms Gabrielle ,

I am going to write again for sure but I would like to add that I already had written to them yesterday and last month as well when I got the beach spray . Unfortunately no one replied to me

Nevertheless , will try and voice my concerns directly to the team at glossy box .

Thanks again


Wow, I usually have such bad luck getting the worst variations in boxes…but this month I received everything Liz did except instead of the VersaSpa, I got Adore Cellmax Elite Facial Serum. Full size is $749.95 on their website (1.7 oz) and the sample size is .5 oz. At that price, it should turn my face into sheer porcelain.

Anyway my box is amazing – Glossybox is one of my favorite subs (at the sale price).


Sadly Adore products are little more than glycerin, mineral oil, fragrance, and minuscule traces of a “stem cell activator” derived from a Swiss Apple, whose magical anti-aging properties are alleged almost exclusively by those shilling cosmetics containing it as an ingredient.

There’s not much “organic” about Adore products: Adore Cosmetics (or Adore Organic Innovations – they seem to go by both names) is another member of the questionable mall kiosk hard sell family, a sibling to Vine-Vera, Orogold (both of which have made recent appearances in Glossyboxes), Forever Flawless, and Dead Sea Spa. The prices, like this serum valued at $750, are insanely marked up so they can magically drop them during the sales pitch and let customers think they’re getting a “great deal” by *only* spending $300 for 2oz of perfumed silicone.

(True anecdote: I was once in an Adore Cosmetics store, and when I said I had some skin allergies and asked the salesperson to clarify the ingredients in the products, rather than clarify, she claimed it was “scientifically impossible for anyone to be allergic to their products.” There just isn’t enough side-eye in the world to give that response what it deserves.)


Your post has helped me decide against this one. I get boxycharm and ipsy currently, and am giving birchbox a try this month. I am going to add one more and was researching this one and benevolent. Thank you for your post.


I was kidding I actually really appreciate the information you gave us and thank you. It helps to know so we avoid supporting these fraudulent companies. I think skin products that are priced sky high (anything over $100) are a con and a waste of money we are better off buying healthy food. Eating healthy definitely shows in our skin.


Is that..rain? on my parade?! nnoooo!!


I got the same box with the serum!!!!!! OMG!!! I can’t wait to try this! I won’t ever be able to afford a full size but man we got a great size sample.. this is why I have stuck with Glossy for 2 years cause you never know what they may surprise you with! I seem to be getting the best boxes from them cause my box value is always super high… love it!


Hey there Angela,

I want to thank you for your post. We here at GLOSSYBOX appreciate that you take the time to comment on our May GLOSSYBOX. Your thoughts and opinions have not gone unnoticed here at the GLOSSYBOX office. My colleagues and I want to thank you for being such a loyal customer and member of our GLOSSYBOX family.

Gabrielle from GLOSSYBOX

Anne N

I got that too!!! I was like “what”?!! I guess we all have to get lucky sometimes 🙂


I probably sound like I hate everything but really I don’t. I think these companies could curate boxes/themes better than what they do. I canceled Glossybox, Birchbox , and PopSugar. Birchbox 1st said they could not process my payment when I inquired it was error on their end yet when I saw the items I was going to receive in the May box it looked nothing like they had shown. They said they ran out of items which made no sense to me I was within the time frame & if they had to alter my box a email would hv been nice. Everything in the box were facial items all 3 of the sample add-ons & sunscreen.
Anyway sorry for this rambling venting post. But it feels good to get it off my chest


I wish it wasn’t a tanning moisturizer!!! I’m already naturally tan, well I’m a light tan, but definitely tan enough.

I’ll give it to my mom and say I “forgot” to include it in her mother’s day present. Lol


I really hope I get this box, the make up selection they usually send me is not my taste.


This is utter rubbish I’ve ordered this box on the basis of your reviews Liz and they really are not paying you enough or they are sending you custom boxes! Mine were full of garbage samples size carp you could get free at any decent store. The rest of the stuff in the box was cheap unusable, yeah great packaging and no content, you’re reviews are sadly very misleading you really ought to call Glossybox out.,, what a con

Kim Lane

Agreed! I always get the lesser valued box! I have been with them since the beginning. Still have a ton of dots and when those are gone, so I am. Pfttt


Wow, apparently I might be the only one who’s thrilled with this box, lol. I actually hope I get it as-is with no subs. I’m excited to try the shampoo and conditioner because I have thinner hair and love that the conditioner is actually a deluxe sample size vs. a foil packet like Birchbox. I love the idea of self tanner formulated for faces. I use Fake Bake on my body about once a week in the summer but I don’t like the results of it on my face. So it’s nice to try something specifically formulated for faces. I LOVE roller lash mascara and already use it everyday so it’s always nice to have a travel size. The Photo-Hydra day sounds interesting. I’m just so glad not to get another lipgloss/lipstick or nail polish with this box!


Hi Danielle,

The Versaspa is a great way to get that coveted summer glow! Remember to avoid streaking, try not to get wet for up to 4 hours. The pool will have to wait:)

Gabrielle from GLOSSYBOX


Oh boy, I’m glad this is my last month (I unsubscribed after April, but was too late unsubscribing, so they charged me for May). The lack of unique items really did it for me. Allure and Sephora Play have been a good match for me so far. Boxycharm has been my biggest disappointment though, Glossybox was cool my first 2 months and…I don’t know what happened to them recently. Self tanner??? Ugh. Either you can tan naturally or you can’t. I cannot!


This is actually one of the reasons why I’m really happy that GlossyBox has variations. I hope I don’t get this particular variation. The self tanner or shampoo set would get swapped or gifted right away–I never use tanning products (I actually don’t mind my super pale skin) and my hair is about as thick as you can get so I would have no use for the Nioxin. The other three products look great though!


Amen I lukew my fair skin and am ever so slightly insulted every summer to be bombarded with self tanners. I don’t want to be orange and they ALL look fake to me either orange or so weird brown no thanks I’ll stay pale 🙂


Is there any coupon code available for sign up to G;lossybox?


I received one for new subscribers in my limited edition box that I just received. 15% off a 6-month subscription. Code is GLOSC635

Liz Cadman

Thanks so much for letting us know!


Glossy has been definitely been missing a ‘wow’ factor for me since the Gilt City deal…until this box. I like the sizes and the mosturizer looks amazing! I don’t subscribe, but will keep my eyes open for this box when they’re trying to get rid of their surplus 🙂

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.