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Essence Beauty Box Subscription Box Review + Coupon- Jul 2016

Celicia Gantz
ByCelicia GantzAug 1, 2016 | 10 comments


Essence Beauty Box
3 overall rating
12 Ratings | 0 Reviews

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)

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to save 20% off!

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 the Women of Color Subscription Box Directory!

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




Each month the the EBB Team provides an insert card detailing every item we have for the month. July’s theme is  “Summer Soiree”.  It says our box is packed full of essential products for a summertime party.


True By Made Beautiful - Nourishing Leave-In Conditioner 2oz - $1.50

I received a product from this brand a while ago. I’m excited to try another conditioner. This one smells sweet and it says it has mango, honey and shea butter to style and moisturize hair from the roots to the ends.

Completely Bare - No Bump Shave Gel 2oz - $3.00

I haven’t used this shave gel yet. I have another shave product in use at this moment. There’s not much fragrance to it. It doesn’t smell as I thought it would, but it’s not horrible. The directions say to wet your skin, massage in gel and shave.



Dickinson’s - Witch Hazel Towelettes - 3ea - Value: $1.00

I wouldn’t call these makeup removers. They clean the skin but it’s a tad harsh around the eyes so don’t get too close. Otherwise my face felt removed of dirt and excess oils.

Pur-Lisse - Daily Lip Nourisher 0.38oz - $12.00

This lip conditioner works well to rehydrate dry lips, but unfortunately this formula leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’m passing it to John since I’ve already used it a few times already.

I hate that I can’t get pass the taste, my lips really enjoyed it. I loved how it soaked into my skin versus sitting on top like a gloss. The insert says that subscribers could have received one of other skincare products from this brand. Let me know in the comments if you got something else.


Ciate - Mini Nail Polish in Chinchilla - $9.00

I believe this shade is discontinued. I linked a similar color available for purchase instead. The bottle is so tiny and cute. I also appreciate the how well made the applicator brush was. It was as thick as you would expect in a full sized nail polish.





Pop Beauty - Kojai Pen in Inky Purple - $10.00

This was my least favorite product this month. Unfortunately the pencil is not very pigmented and took over 10 swipes to pull enough color for a proper swatch. Also after applying, I attempted to blend the product to see how well the sponge applicator performed, and found that the color removed easily. It wasn’t blending, it was only removing the product completely onto the sponge.


Verdict: This July, Essence Beauty Box had an estimated retail value over $36.00. It’s a great value considering the cost of the subscription. I didn’t fall in love with any new to me products this month, but was happy to be introduced to a few new brands. That’s one of the main reasons I still love subscription boxes.

What are your thoughts on the Essence Beauty Box? Did you have any favorites this month?

Starting at $15.00
Active Deal
Save 20% off!
Use Coupon Code MSA20
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Each box includes Sample or trial sizes of five hair and beauty products. More from Essence: The ESSENCE® BeautyBox is a service to help women of color discover beauty products. We understand the challenges and frustrations in finding a variety of products for our shades and skin tones, identify... read more.
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.

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Julie E

I absolutely loved this color of nail polish! I have for real a 100+ bottles of nail polish and not a single light blue color! The wipes felt nice & cool but the smell was terrible. I would never buy those because of the smell. The lip product was great and I didn’t notice a bad taste. The leave in conditioner left my hair very heavy and greasy. I like the eye liner color but yes it does wipe right off with the smudges. The shave gel works great and I really like the smell of it. A little goes a long way here so be careful when squeezing it out of the tube.

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I received the Pur-lisse brightening serum. I’m actually glad for this review and the comments as it reminded me to get this product and the witch hazel wipes out to use them! Shave gel is great and the True Leave-in is a good size sample. It’s not thick enough for my 3b/3c hair to provide enough moisture and hold.

I’m hoping Essence will do a lifestyle box, like Popsugar. They do such a great job with the beauty boxes!

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Has anyone else had issues with their customer service? I signed up for the $1 promo code for my first box on July 10th. Unfortunately July’s box was sold out already, which was fine with me, so August was going to be my first month. I took a screenshot of my order summary and received my confirmation email. A few days ago I received an email saying that they had an issue with my method of payment, which was PayPal, and I know the issue was not on my part because there have been no other problems with other withdrawals. But anyway that’s okay with me, I messaged them back that I would give my credit card. They just sent me an email back saying that I will be charged full price because you had to sign up by the end of July, which I did and I even have proof. To me, that just makes me so uncomfortable when a company acts in this manner. It feels almost dishonest. So I am done with them. They lost what would have probably been a long term subscriber because I have been with all my other boxes 2+years.

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I got the Ouidad conditioner and the eye serum. I’m excited to use the conditioner, I just hope that 2oz is enough. The eye serum will be given away. I don’t want to treat a problem I don’t have… I didn’t mind the liner. It looked dark, i.e. black, on me. But a bright eye liner would’ve been more useful imo. Otherwise I really liked the box. I ended up buying a longer subscription.

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I love the smell of the leave-in conditioner. I received the same color nail polish and really liked it once I did a test on one of my nails. The brush is wonderful! I received the Purlisse eye serum. Hate to hear that the eyeliner is a bust. I use witch hazel as a toner as well…not a makeup remover or cleanser so I’m happy to have the wipes. I was satisfied with the July box even though I haven’t tried the eye pencil yet!

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I have used those wipes before, but when I see “witch hazel,” I tend to think of toner since toners often contain witch hazel. (So that is how I used the wipes. I think that was a good use for them, and I think they’d be good for travel instead of carting around a bottle of liquid and cotton pads or something.) But then, I am never satisfied with the cleansing provided by wipes, I always use a regular cleanser so perhaps I am biased.

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I used the wipes as a toner, and I really liked them for that. I liked how clean & toned my face felt, without feeling tight. In fact, I used the last wipe this morning. I bought a full-sized Dickinson’s Witch Hazel toner a couple of months ago that I haven’t gotten around to using yet, but I’m now really looking forward to when I can attack that huge bottle.

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That’s a good idea for the wipes. If I’m feeling lazy, I use a wipe as the first step in my double cleanse at night, rather than my balm cleanser, but like you I am not satisfied with a wipe alone.

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Interesting, I loved my essence box this month! The witch hazel wipes are great for days when I just feel extra grimy & muggy (I live in the southeast, so in the summer that’s fairly often). I received the paint pot in Pool Party, which is a really bright cheery royal blue, and the ouidad conditioner, and the purlisse eye serum. I’ve been liking the shave gel, too, and am thinking about buying the full size – I’m just concerned I’ll go through it really quickly because of the packaging & consistency.

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I’m definitely buying a full size of the shave gel! It’s amazing!!

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