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Birchbox Subscription Box Review + Coupon – December 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.


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

This review is of the Sample Choice, $10 a month, box. 


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!


Check out more details here about the 40% off sale on Aces-only Limited Edition Boxes, Kits, and other beauty sets and 30% off sale for everyone, too!


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. December’s theme is “Shine On!” and is designed around products that are “brilliant and festive, plus treats for on-the-go touch ups and easy gifting.” Sounds like exactly what I need this month!


And the flip side of the card always lists the names and details of the items in your box!


Also included in my box this month was a little sheet with gift tags!


The first thing I noticed about my box was there was an extra little bonus from Birchbox this month, a little pocket mirror.


It’s one-sided, so there’s no hinge or anything. I always keep some kind of little mirror in my purse, so I appreciate this as a little extra.


Saphira Hair Mineral Mud – 0.7 oz, Value $2.55 (Full size: 8.5 oz, $31)

This is a nice hair mask! I love that it only takes 5 minutes because sometimes I just can’t commit to an extra 20 minutes pre-shower with a toddler around or during naptimes. This smells amazing and definitely left my hair feeling softer and more hydrated – much needed during these winter months especially!


Hey Honey Walk the Walk Propolis Foot Cream – 0.84 oz (25 ml), Value $3.83 (Full size: 150 ml, $23)

This foot and heel cream contains propolis extract, jojoba oil, chamomile, and aloe vera, sage essential oil, basil essential oil, and is paraben-free. The ingredients work together to purify, soothe inflammation, relieve soreness, and naturally eliminate bacteria. I’m not generally a big fan of herb scents in my beauty products so I was relieved that I mostly smell the chamomile. This formula hydrated my feet well without being greasy or weird-feeling. I also like using this on elbows and even a little on my knuckles when they get really dry this time of year.


Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel – 0.17 fl oz, Value $4.80 (full size: 1.7 fl oz, value: $48)

This peel was my sample choice this month because I’ve tried it before and love it! It has an acid-free formula to exfoliate, and in the 3 minutes, this takes you literally see the dead skin cells this is sloughing up and washing away. When I worked at Sephora, I found a very similar product from Peter Thomas Roth that uses fruit enzymes to do the same thing. I like this Real Chemistry peel but I like the PTR one just as much, and you actually get twice as much product for the same price from PTR.


Laura Gellar New York GlamLASH Dramatic Volumizing Mascara – Value $17 (full-size: 0.28 oz, value: $24)

I love this mascara! I hadn’t tried this one before, but I really love the wand and formula. It was completely clump-free, the thin wand really helped with separation and length. It was also easy to apply mess-free since I was able to get a lot of control and precision from the shape of the wand. I was ready to say this is my new favorite mascara, but after a full day, I had a lot of product smudged under my eyes. It didn’t look good, but I’m wondering if topping with a coat of clear mascara or waterproof top coat could help with that. It’s a shame, though – it’s fantastic in every other way!

I’m bummed, the mascara smudge for me, but I’ll have to try it on a couple more days to see if that’s a consistent issue with it. Maybe it was just something about the day.


Here is how the Laura Gellar mascara looks on my lashes.


Lollia by Margot Elena Dream eau de parfum – sample

This perfume is a mix of linen, white tea, bergamot, and honeysuckle. Unfortunately, this is a definite miss for me. It smells powdery and soapy and doesn’t settle into a fresh classic scent, like Birchbox’s website says it’s meant to. I will say, though, that I love the packaging – the full-size bottle has the same navy and gold pattern on it as this sample card.

Verdict: I’m happy with my December Birchbox. The sample choices underwhelmed me a little this month, but I was able to get more of an expensive favorite that I’ve tried before. Aside from the perfume being a bit of a throwaway sample for me, the rest of the products were things I enjoyed finding. The value adds up to $28.18, which I’m happy with.

What do you think about Birchbox? What samples did you get this month?


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 | 20 comments

Comments (20)

  1. I just got my December box today, January 6. Was anyone else’s as late as mine? Heck, my January one is supposed to ship next week.

    • That’s razy! I recieved January’s today.

  2. How can you determine the volume/weight of your samples? I saw no information on any of my packaging. Some of the items I was lucky to see ingredients on. If I want to dump a billion dollars into a full sized sample, it would help to have some reference point of how my sample scales up to full sized.

  3. Almost box twins, I don’t get perfume from BB. I hate getting perfume as one of the 5 samples so I only get it from Sephora. Glad the hair mask is good 🙂 I couldn’t use the foot cream because it had aloe, but my sister liked it lol

  4. Just got my first Birch box today and I’m kind of disappointed, also. I was supposed to get a free box, which was why I ordered. I got the free box and that’s pretty much what it’s worth. The outside looked like the November box, but not inside. Inside were 2 tea bags, tiny CC cream in medium/dark, curl keeper for frizzy hair, bright red stain gel and a body peel. January better be WOW or this sub is being cancelled. I was so looking forward to this subscription and so disappointed.

    • Susan, I was very disappointed with my Birchbox also. My husband ordered me a 3 mo. sub the first week of November and I got the first box at the end of November and it was a Marcelle CC cream in mdm/dk, a hair spray for frizzy hair (my hair is fine and straight), a tiny Nuxe makeup remover gel, a face wash, and a moisturizer…I don’t even remember what kind. They just looked like they threw them in the box. I thought I ordered the curated box for December but it was NOT what they showed in the video, so idk what happened. I am sure I got the confirmation for January’s box but if I get something else this time then I will get a hold of customer service. I’m not one to complain and I haven’t yet but I have been pretty bummed so far. (That’s why he bought the 3mo sub before I subscribed for 6mo/a year) I think I’m going to try Boxycharm instead of renewing this box….I’m not sure yet. I can get most of these sample sizes at Ulta or Sephora. I hope you have better luck next month also!!

  5. I got my first Birch box and was really disappointed and quite frankly irritated. I can get tiny samples like these thrown in my shopping bag anywhere. They include an insert with the samples specifying a dollar amount and description of each product detailing they are “full size”, worth $22-$88. That is insulting to our common sense and intelligence. This is a rip off.

  6. I wish you could opt out of fragrances. I have a really sensitive sense of smell and fragrances tend to give me headaches and make me nauseous, and of course I got a sample in my box. 🙁 Yuck.

    • Me too ,that’s one reason I cancelled nothing worse than a perfume triggered migraine 🤕😖

      • It really seems like a no-brainer option, doesn’t it? But I guess if people don’t experience it personally, they don’t understand how much it can affect others who have that sensitivity… 🙁

      • I think it’s more a case of Birchbox is able to get so many fragrance samples from companies for little or no money that they insist on sending them in boxes. A lot of subscribers would opt out of fragrance if the choice was there and Birchbox would have to provide these subscribers with more expensive samples instead. Forcing fragrance on people is thus good for the bottom line (in the short term, at least).

        (I like fragrance samples but I don’t like most of the fragrances Birchbox sent, back when I subscribed.)

  7. I got the Lollia perfume as well, and I also described it as soapy and powdery. Not my cup of tea AT ALL. Here’s hoping the January sample choice is better than Decembers!

  8. Oily eyelids are the absolute worst. I can’t find any product that helps 100%

  9. I was just curious how the Real Chemistry Peel RV was determined. Since the sample is 1/10th of the full size, I would have assumed it was 1/10th of RV. The value listed is almost four times that.

  10. Haley, almost every mascara smudges for me because my eyelids get oily, even with matte eyeshadow primer. Do you have any mascara favorites that seem extra smudge-resistant? Thanks!

    • Samantha, I’ve been occasionally using the Blinc tubing mascara that Sephora sent a month or two ago, and I forgot I had that kind on when I washed my face one night. My eye makeup remover (which contains oil) wouldn’t even touch it. It rolls right off with water, but apparently oil has no effect.

    • I have the same eyelid issue and there is actually a cheap lid wash foam or wipes that don’t irritate eyes and that you can use on the go or before makeup etc that my optometrist told me to get. I was having blurry eye issues at night while driving because the oily lids actually because oily into eyes. They make a lot of generics but the brand is Ocusoft, the foam doesn’t need to be washed away you just put some on finger and rub then wipe off with a tissue if I remember. It works.

    • Try a tubing mascara such as blinc or L’Oreal makes one as well.

    • I use a clear waterproof topcoat (NYX has a cheap one) over any regular mascara and it works like a charm!!

      • Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! I will look into these!

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