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Birchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2016


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.


BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - all items 2

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!)

COUPON: Get $5 (50 points) to spend in the Birchbox shop when you subscribe with coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50


Try any of these free gift with purchase coupons on orders of $35 or more!And don’t forget your free mystery sample pack on orders of $35 or more!

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!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


Each box comes with a card that has a blurb of the month’s theme and focus. This month is “all about the things that get you up and at ‘em.” They’re showcasing mascaras because that’s the #1 items subscribers said they wouldn’t leave the house without. You could pick 1 of 3 different mascaras – one from Benefit, Smashbox, or Marcelle.


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

BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - items 1

Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula – 1 oz, value: $2.53

I like Clinique’s brand, so I’m happy getting a sample from them. Unfortunately, this cleanser is for oily skin and I have dry skin. Since this is reflected in my profile I have emailed customer service about it. I wanted to get this review out to you ASAP, so I’ll update in the comments section when I hear back from Birchbox, but I’ve never been disappointed by their customer service. Whenever I’ve had an issue (with a sample or a shop purchase), they’ve sent me a free replacement or added points to my account, or both, so I’m sure I’ll be satisfied.

Milk Cosmetics Sunshine Oil – 0.1 oz, value: $11.18

This is my newest favorite discovery! I already love using oils on my skin/body/hair, and this oil is a great versatile moisturizer. It has a blend of seven essential oils including grapeseed, avocado, grapefruit peel, tangerine peel, mandarin orange peel, and lemon peel! It smells amazing. A couple ways I’ve used it so far include as a facial moisturizer, a highlighter, and in my hair (I rolled some onto my palms, rubbed them together, and ran my hands through the ends of my hair).

The packaging is also fantastic. I love the rollerball.

BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - items 2

This oil has no shimmer in it, but it naturally gives such a pretty, dewy look. FYI – this swatch was before I rubbed it in, so it doesn’t look this shimmery after it’s blended/applied. It just looks radiant.

BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - items 3

Klorane Shampoo with Chamomile (For Blonde Hair) – 0.8 oz, value: $1.88

Klorane Conditioner with Chamomile (for Blonde Hair) – 0.3 oz, value: $0.75

This is another brand I like a lot. Klorane’s products smell good and are free of harsh chemicals. This kind has chamomile and is gentle for natural or color-treated blondes. I’m happy to have some more of a brand I know I like.

BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - items 4

Marcelle Xtension Plus Curl Mascara – 0.15 fl oz, value: $7.50

I feel like I’ve tried every mascara under the sun, so when we had to choose one as a sample choice, I picked one I actually hadn’t played with yet. But I can say this is actually my new favorite! The wand didn’t hold onto too much formula or clump, the silicone bristles did a great job with separation and coating well, the shape of the wand felt like it gave me a good amount of control and seemed to curl the lashes well, and it also stayed well! For the two (hot) days I’ve worn it so far I haven’t had a problem with raccoon eyes thus far.

(Good to know for swaps – this product came sealed in plastic.)

BIRCHBOX JULY 2016 - items 5

Here’s a close up of my application of the mascara – I did not curl my lashes before applying.

Verdict: I’m really happy with this month’s Birchbox! I’m thrilled with 2 new fantastic product discoveries and the fact that the rest of my box is products I know I already like all add up to a win for me. Even though the Clinique cleanser is the wrong skin type, I’m confident that’ll get cleared up just fine and I’m not bummed about it (especially because of how satisfied I am with the rest of the box)!

What did you get in your July Birchbox? Any good product finds?


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 | 67 comments

Comments (67)

  1. Those coupon codes ONLY work with purchases from their store (and some you have to buy certain brands to qualify. They do not work on subscriptions-regardless whether they’re personal or gift.

  2. Not a good month for me. They shipped me an empty box. I never thought that was possible, but wow, it seriously happened! My husband actually laughed at me when I opened it. He said my face reaction was priceless. (Has this happened to anyone else?) So I obviously contacted them and they graciously said they would send a replacement. I recieved it, but it was June’s box! Not only that, the outside of the box was dented and covered in brown stains! Yuck! Very very gross! So now I am waiting for a response. This is simply unexceptable. Come on Birchbox. Get your “curator’s” crap together!

    • I got 2 birch boxes and I was disappointed with each. I cancelled my subscription and signed up for boxycharm. It’s $21 but you get 4-5 FULL SIZED products and it’s mainly makeup. I hate all the face wash and skincare bb does. I need makeup!

  3. Hate the new review policy. I received a subscription as a Christmas gift and will not renew. I feel like it was bait and switch. Plus, my box was awful. How many tiny tubes of expensive sunscreen samples do I need when I can buy a much better brand at the local drugstore for less than $10.00? Also got a “sandpaper” facial mask. I have received seven boxes and only a few decent products. The first box seemed to be complete rejects; a sticky lip gloss had spilled and got all over the other products.

  4. I called CS today to inquire about the possibility of being awarded the points I would have received under my year sub. They were extremely personable and stated that was not possible. I was offered a refund or the promise that BB is beginning to look closer at individual profiles and that they have now teamed with Bobbi Brown & Oribe. Their goal was to allow clients to have more choices in what they receive in their subs.

  5. This may not be the most appropriate place to post this, but my July box still hasn’t shipped. I contacted customer service a little over a week ago and they told me inventory issues were causing a “brief” delay in shipping. This is supposed to be my first box… Do delays like this happen often?

    • I am having the same issue!! Still no box!!

      • Did yours ship yet? Mine has, but it’s still in transit. I was assigned new items. A little disappointed… I wasn’t even given the mascara I chose 🙁 I understand stuff like this happens, but it’s not the best first impression for sure.

    • I started my subscription June 15. Was charged that day. Said it would be mailed within 5-10 business days I think. Well by the end of June? No box! I was billed July 1st for the July box and then on like the 2nd or 3 was notified that my June box shipped. Then a couple days later my July shipped.

      The only reason I even got it was I had a free code to receive a pixi palette and I really wanted to try some of the benefit brow stuff. Didn’t get anything brow.

      I’m cancelling before August. I want mostly makeup not skincare. I’m starting my subscription for glossy box today- that is a great deal for the money.

  6. I used my points to get a free box this month. Pretty sure I was punished for doing so. Worst boxes ever. Marcelle micellar water, Benefit mascara (my pick), two foil packed of Oriental shampoo and conditioner, Clinique soap, some perfume sample and Ren Firming lotion. Foil and small samples. So underwhelming and just seemed cheap.

    • Agreed, completely

  7. I’d love to know what they did regarding the Clinique sample!

  8. I was so not happy with my box this month. Not only did I get a perfume AND shampoo and conditioner as two separate samples, I had an allergic reaction to the shampoo. I’m only allergic to aloe, which it says it doesn’t have, so I don’t know what happened. But breaking out in hives after a shower is not fun. I’m hoping next month is better.

  9. SUBSCRIBENOW50 doesn’t work.

  10. I was actually happy with my box.

    Catherine perfume sample….meh, don’t wear perfume but this is the first perfume sample I’ve gotten and I have been subbed 4 months so I can’t complain
    citrus shampoo and conditioner, nice size samples
    The water drop moisturizer
    theyre real mascara, my choice

    All stuff I will use. And I haven’t been a subscriber long enough to have a stash of unused stuff, so anything I get that I use regularly is ok. So this one was ok, last month was meh, the one before that, yuck and I nearly cancelled.

    I am hoping that boxes for all improve in August since July samples were probably already obtained by BB when the points thing broke. Sorry to hear some peoples boxes were so pathetic.

    And mine was one of the pretty boxes.

    So I guess I am in for another month before deciding….

  11. Still waiting to receive my box 🙁

    • dame here. mine hasn’t even shipped… and I cant see what ill be receiving .
      customer service just says to wait
      . it’s getting frustrating

  12. I just got mine today…I got:

    The patterned box

    Avene Thermal Spring water spray (1.76 oz)
    Benefit mascara (my choice- .1oz)
    Shiseido Power Infusing Concentrate (.33 oz deluxe size)
    Shiseido Ultimune Eye (.03oz)
    Klorane Shampoo (.8oz)
    Klorane Conditioner foil (.3 oz)

  13. I honestly did not realize that people cared about the box. I mean, there are some that I’ve liked better than others, but I throw them all away just the same! I have kept a couple of the bigger LE boxes that I’ve gotten in case I need them for gifts or something, but the size of the monthly BB is too small for me to bother with.

    I liked my box OK. Perfume, which I hate to get, but they haven’t sent me in ages. They’re Real as my sample choice, which I love. Davines Sea Salt Spray which is a good size and I love sea salt spray so I am happy with it. Supergoop SPF30 serum which I will at least try. Jurlique redness cream which I will try as well. Both of those were a little on the small side but not terrible.

    I noticed that the app hasn’t updated with my July box yet. I wonder if they are updating the app anymore or not.

  14. My box still hasn’t even shipped.

    • Oops didn’t mean to post this

  15. My box STILL has not shipped. Messaged birchbox about and it awaiting a response. It was supposed to ship out by the 11th and today is the 15th. I really hope their costumer service does something to make up for this because this is my first month and this doesn’t really make me want to continue with the subscription.

  16. Ships to Canada? I thought Birchbox Canada was long gone?

  17. I was actually pretty happy with my box. It didn’t wow me but the sizes were the best I have had in a while. I got a clinique charcoal gel face wash in a deluxe size, loc lip gloss which I think is full size or dang near close and the same mascara as you. All which I am very happy with! I also got a Lulu hair powder which is good size but messy and smells awful and a sunscreen face mist. The mist also smells bad imo and left my face shinier after an hour. For once I did not get any tiny sizes.

  18. I’m actually going to have an unpopular opinion: I got my box on July 14. I used all the products immediately and reviewed them, but it cut me off on my 6th sample (I had 6 and was able to get points for 5).

    Unpopular opinion: I think it would be unfair to give people who reviewed before July 11 more review points for august. I could have lied about the products, but I chose to wait and actually receive them to give GOOD reviews, even though that decision may have cost me $5 in points. Isn’t that supposedly part of the issue?

    Though bottom line – getting rid of the points sucks no matter what. I’m cancelling for August.

    • Your opinion isn’t just “unpopular,” it’s also unfair and inaccurately accusatory. I am not a liar. I received my box last Friday, July 8th. My tracking info proves this. I did, in fact, try each product over the weekend, and give fair reviews.

      • Yes, Jayne, some people got their boxes in time. Not everyone did.

        if you had your box in time, I’m not calling you out. Im simply stating this was handled HORRIBLY all around.

      • Sorry, wrong person. I’m pretty flustered by the changes if you can’t tell, and BB is definitely losing me for August. I would stay on if I could get more points, otherwise what is the incentive?

      • Cancelled too!

    • I didn’t lie about my products. I usually got around to reviewing at the last minute. This time I did so ASAP.

      Regardless, BB was the one who set the rules about asking for reviews. They even had a question asking you if you had a chance to try the product yet. You could answer “no” and still write a review. So, it seems BB was looking for reviews no matter whether you used the product or not.

      Also, while I did hope that I would get the extra points for August, I have not called up and asked for compensation for BB failing to uphold the agreement they had with me when I subscribed to an annual subscription.

      All in all, I feel BB has not handled this change well at all.

      • What’s funny about that is that the owner cited “false reviews” as part of why they decided to discontinue reviews. But you’re right completely…there is an option to say “no”.

        Bunch of nonsense

      • I always wondered why they would ask me to review and then ask if I tried the product yet. weird.

    • I could be wrong, but I think July 11 was the cutoff for reviewing products for points EVER, not just for July. I don’t think anyone will be able to get points for August. But yeah, Birchbox has handled everything pretty horribly.

  19. I got a plain pink box this month. Did this happen to anyone else? Pretty disappointing stuff inside. I will wait one more month to decide if I will cancel. I love the marcelle mascara and the color of the pink blush although it is difficult to open. The perfume is not my taste and I haven’t tried the sunscreen or face mask yet.

    • Reading through the comments section, apparently they are doing away with the custom-designed boxes each month? But when/where did they (Birchbox) say this?

    • I actually emailed them about this, and they were doing a test run of different box designs in a small group. Because I expressed disappointment, they’re sending me a whole new box. I didn’t hate the design, but I was looking forward to the one for July.

  20. My very very lame box included:

    Clinique Cleanser for Oily skin- I do NOT have oily skin- up for swap

    smashbox xrated mascara AGAIN- I have a half dozen-in my free item box for swap addons

    md science 50spf sunblock- teeny tiny and I do not use sunblock- up for swap

    STINKY perfume- my daughter something or other- my free item box for swap addons

    Marcelle BB cream- Do not use BB and its too light for me. – up for swap

    TOTAL loser box. Also had to send in a ticket, could only review 3 and I need 16 to get to $20 in points. I plan on cancelling after that. I only held on cause I have had it sooo long and I really wanted them to maybe give me some reason to stay. Probably the worst box I have gotten in years, and that really really says something.

    I’m glad alot of you liked yours, but I am done. 🙂

    • My Birchbox was the lamest box in the history of lame boxes. Super disappointing. I received six samples but two of them were the foil packets. 🙁

  21. I went with the curated box and was pleasantly surprised that I really did like my picks plus I got a lovely patterned box (it makes sense for them to stick to a plain box from now on so the cute boxes wI’ll be missed).

    BTW, I’m absolutely in love with your eye makeup! It’sounds stunning! I have so much to learn still :/ Do you use a primer for your eye makeup? What eyeshadow did you use? Sorry if you’ve answered this before (I’m just clueless) ?

    • Oh, thank you!

      Yes, I use a primer. Always always. And I mix up my eyeshadow/eyeliner a lot, but I think this particular day I used NARS eyeshadow primer, Tarte’s rainforest after dark palette, and a Laura Geller eyeliner pencil I got from the birchbox shop. 🙂

  22. All in all my box was good, normal reaction for birchbox. I usually like most of my samples but never anything too exciting. It is only a $10 subscription so I understand. It would be fabulous if they threw in a full size something every couple of months though. Wishful thinking ?

  23. I chose the curated box this month, simply because I LOVE the Klorane eye pads. I got five items, plus foil packets of shampoo and conditioner, which were listed as bonus items. I was able to review 7 items and earned 70 points, before July 11th. If I still get to review my August box too I’ll be pretty happy. I am generally satisfied with everything in the box, as I should be, since I knew what I was getting ahead of time. The only thing I won’t use is the Dr. Brandt product, because my skin is super sensitive to salicylic acid. I’m still a little peeved about the point system change, and I will probably refrain from renewing my annual subscription when it expires in November. I need to use up all of the samples I have already anyway. Unless of course they offer a spectacular black Friday special I can’t pass up haha!

  24. My box was pretty boring. I reviewed before July 11th hoping to be able to squeeze out the extra points, but if it goes by month it’s not going to work.

    I had spent a bunch of points when they made their big announcement, so now I only have $8 to spend. I don’t mind adding to that, but honestly there isn’t that much there that I want. Some brands have only 1 or 2 items, and some have 0. If BB wants to be a full size product seller, they need to stock their store a bit. There’s too many other places out there to shop for these items.

    • Agree. There are many full-sized items that I would have been buying from them all along if they carried my shade or had it in stock but the don’t do a good job of that which is why I buy from Sephora. Their website is also kind of a mess, which was forgivable when they had coupons or you were spending points but not what I expect if I’m paying full retail.

      • The products they sell seem so random. For some brands you can’t even get a full spectrum of skin care (along the lines of cleanser, toner, moisturizer or something). You can get a cleanser for dry skin, a toner for oily, and no moisturizer…..weird.

        The website has been driving me nuts for a bit. I can’t click on anything and get it to work. I have to click and hit CTRL to get the link to open in a separate tab. Very annoying.

  25. I’ve pretty much always loved my Birchboxes (some more than others), and this month is no exception. I have five regular samples–Benefit They’re Real mascara, Balance Me radiance face mask, bbrowbar brow definer, Avene thermal spring water and Davines sea salt spray–plus foil packets of Oribe shampoo and conditioner. The only thing I’m “meh” about is the thermal spring water, but it is a good-sized bottle, so there’s ample opportunity to see if I’ll get any value from that. And the sea salt spray is a huge sample! It’s 100 ml (or 3.38 oz.), and the full size is 250 ml. While I’m certainly not thrilled with the points fiasco, I may stick it out with BB for a while, if they are able to stay afloat. They were the first box I ever tried, and I still enjoy the subscription.

  26. The samples in the box could have been damaged from the heat. I don’t know but it was plain without pattern. The box came from Tennessee to Ohio. Bb is replaceing the box. It took a while to get here.

  27. My last arriving box is a hot mess with a Clinique product (my dislike of Clinique is pretty strong, I do not see how they were made a Sephora brand and such a prominent section of brick and mortar space at that for one…so many more worthy new brands IMO, Clinique I could get anywhere and they didn’t do some amazing product and packaging overhaul). I have a Clinique facial wash different from the one above, which will go to my box of soaps, lotions, practical items for the women’s shelter near me. I got a perfume sample from a brand I at least like one of their similar perfumes, whatever I never received a perfume sample thankfully for awhile. I got an LOC lip product, the glossy lipstick item (don’t know which color yet, but I did enjoy the LOC eye pencils and I do enjoy Tati, so that will maybe get used if the color is good). I got more Benefit mascara as my sample choice because I know it works for me okay, but it’s probably going up for swap. Last item was a Balance Me face mask tube, seriously doubting a “for all skin types” item on my skin, so probably going to the same donation box sealed.

    I ended up not having my last 50 review points appear credited and emailed them to get them. I was just very kind to the poor CS team who dealt with my ticket quickly and kindly. I know they have had a terrible month and probably dealt with a lot of verbal abuse…and I was quick to point out after in the review my interaction survey that their endlessly patient CS in my experience is the only thing remaining Birchbox has and they should value those employees (who I think are sadly headed towards the same fate as some other staff we know recently met).

    I was able to use $18 of my points remaining per dollar instead of in $10 increments, I grabbed more of those great coconut Acure wipes I have been loving this summer, somehow they were an item I still got free shipping on, so grabbed three and paid the $3 difference and now as soon as those ship, my Birchbox gets cancelled and I enjoy Boxycharm again, which I had cut to budget some last year. Already loved June and like July.

  28. I love the Marcelle mascara too. I decided to let Birchbox choose the mascara and I’m so happy they sent this one as I’ve tried the others. This is my new favorite mascara, no clumps, great volume and no smudges under my eyes.

  29. I didn’t think a foil packet counted as one of the five samples, or shouldn’t…..

    • This is the first time I’ve ever seen them count it as one. I would have thought is was an error and that the box was missing a sample had the card not clearly shown that it was one of the 5 item. Not a good sign for any future boxes. Any sample that is worth less than $1 really should be a bonus.

      • Before Birchbox got better, I’m talking 2012 when they were still learning they sent foil packets as samples constantly. I got 4 samples one month (October 2012) that was a hair tie, a nail file, a piece of chocolate, and a foil color shampoo packet. They’ve come a long way since then, but I feel like they may be regressing.

        And yes I stayed with them after that box and many more crappy boxes. This will be my last box, if it ever gets here. It’s currently on it’s way via NJ to Indiana and I live in Massachusetts.

    • I’m not even subbed to Birchbox anymore, but seeing all the boxes with that foil packet included as one of the five samples has me majorly miffed. You’d think that with everything else going on they’d want to put out BETTER boxes. Some of the products I’ve seen have been better quality, but the foil as a main sample and not as a bonus… No. I was hoping to see an improvement and maybe resub if the boxes were getting better, but this is a bad omen if it’s the new normal.

  30. I was disappointed to get the plain box as well. I liked the mascara, and that was the one product that will keep me around. I’m over these teeny tiny sunscreen samples that won’t even cover my face. I want to try a product, not just a tiny patch of skin. I wonder why so many people got the plain box? I also got the same perfume scent I got from Boxycharm, just in a different bottle. I don’t do scents, so I wish I could opt out of those all together!

  31. If I was able to review my July box for points BEFORE July 11, will I be able to review August’s box for points? I’m confused on this…

    • Robin, it goes by box, not month. So if you reviewed the July BOX, no matter when, you won’t get points for reviews again.

    • On my July box page, it says how many samples I have left to review for points (over the pictures of the samples themselves). If you see “You’ve reviewed 0 of 5 samples for Birchbox Points,” you should be able to get points for August.

      • Oooh, k8, let me know how that goes!! If you can get August points too that would be awesome! I hadn’t heard if trying this to squeeze sime extra points. I just know the videos from BB said for current subscribers they’ll give you points for your July box but after that you couldn’t. Perhaps I should have looked into dates for the system further.

      • My ability to review before Jul 11 was blocked/locked out by BB so it wasn’t even an option. Seems as though they caught on to folks squeezing in extra review points before the review point cap started on Jul 11. I had asked CS about this specifically before the 11th and they pretty much danced around the question and never answered my specific query.

      • My ability to review was also blocked before July 11.

  32. Best box ever and I didn’t even choose!

    I got all the living proof samples, the sunshine oil, bobbi brown mascara, sunscreen, and the golden glow bb cream. I’ll stick it out w BB for a bit.

  33. I got a teeny sunscreen (third in four mos. from BB), Dr. Brandt Poredermabrasion, Marcelle mascara (my choice), Karinga styling cream, and Vanille Abricot perfume sample. Its my last box. At least I can say I always got products for my hair type, though always products for dry skin when I have oily skin. Ironicaly, I just cashed out my points on the Clinique in Haley’s box :)!

  34. I got a bad box. My box didn’t have a pattern. Products were Empty dried out busted and leaking in the box. Box wasn’t damaged just products. Even the purfume sample didn’t have a scent. I’m getting the correct box with not damaged samples. And They are small. They really messed up. I resubed my daughter box with the 100 points.

    • Yea one of my products was open and spilled, which ruined my box (actually more upset by that since the box was so pretty) :(.

    • I got a plain box too! I’m really upset as the pattern this month was so lovely! I’m going to email customer service about it and see what they will do for me.

  35. Great box, Haley! I received my Birchbox today. I was the happiest about the Acne Fix It Kit that I added on.

    My regular box contained some good products, however the sizes are flat out dinky. I received two Shiseido products. The ULTIMUNE EYE Power Infusing Eye Concentrate was in a foil that is designed with a weird seam so product was only inside about 1/3 or the packet. I think I can get 3 applications of the the foil, however I had to get creative with sealing the foil back up so it won’t dry out. The Supergoop CC cream sample is about the size of my thumb knuckle to my thumbnail so again, not much product.

    This is my second Birchbox and I’m a little on the fence. Honestly, I will probably keep it because the surprise alone is worth $10 to me. But it is a bummer to see other unboxings where customers (like you) have decent size products in their boxes.

  36. I hate my box. Today it showed up and the LOC lipstick (the one item I wanted) had somehow gotten all over everything. So I can’t even trade the items. It’s all ruined. I emailed CS. It seems like a waste for them to send the exact same box to me. Maybe they will just give me points.

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