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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.

Birchbox Curated Box Review + Coupon – May 2017

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMay 11, 2017 | 20 comments

Birchbox
3.7 overall rating
659 Ratings | 190 Reviews

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. This review is of the curated box. (Birchbox subscribers can currently buy this box for $10 in the Birchbox shop!)

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!)

FLASH DEAL – While supplies last, use coupon code MODELCO to get a FREE ModelCo Lip Lacquer Trio with your first month of a Birchbox subscription!

The Products: Beauty and lifestyle samples selected by the Birchbox team.

Ships to: US, FranceSpain and the UK

Check out all of my Birchbox reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Each box comes with a card detailing the items included and some tips on how to use them.

Now onto the items!

MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara – Size? Value $5?

I had big hopes for this mascara based on the name and the brand, but it really fell short for me. I wasn’t impressed with the length or volume, and it wasn’t the best at preventing lash clumps, either!

Ouai Wave Spray – 1 oz Value $5.20

If you are looking for a “sea salt spray” that doesn’t actually contain salt, this is it! This texturizing spray doesn’t add weight, but helps give you that beach wave look. (Word of caution – Ouai products are heavily fragranced in my opinion.)

Manna Kadar Glow Illuminator – 8 ml Value $11.60

Subscription boxes, brought to you by Manna Kadar! (JK, but seriously I think this brand has reached the saturation point in subscription boxes by now!)

In the defense of Manna Kadar, this product is new to me and I like it! It’s a rose gold illuminator that blends out really well. I mixed it with my liquid foundation and it gave me a subtle, dewy finish.

Here it is swatched:

(Blended out a bit on the lower swatch.)

COOLA SPF 50 Sport Fresh Mango – 10 ml Value $2.16

This is a smaller SPF sample, but it is definitely enough to convince you that you need to buy the full-size version! This smells exactly like a mango! (They have other fantastic tropical fruit scents, too).

COOLA is definitely on the pricey side of sunscreens, but if you value the organic ingredients and the scents, it’s worth it!

Clarins UV Plus – 3 ml Value $2.50

This was a disappointing sample size. The product itself felt luxe and absorbed into my skin almost immediately. The scent is fab, too. But this tiny little tube is about 80% air!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $26.50 – that’s good for a $10 beauty box. In most cases, the curated box has a good value, so I recommend always picking it if that’s a priority for you. While the retail value was good for me this month, some of the products were a bust. (But that’s part of the great thing of Birchbox, right? I can sample something and realize it’s not for me instead of buying the full-size verison only to be disappointed and out money.)

What do you think of the May Birchbox? Did you pick a curated box or a sample?

Birchbox ($15 per month) was one of the very first beauty subscription boxes—we’ve been reviewing it since 2012! Each month, subscribers get a new mix of 5 beauty samples, such as makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance items. Birchbox lets you choose whether you’d like a box of items picked just... 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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20 comments

nancyisshopping

That Ouai Wave Spay is my new favorite wave maker. I love love love it!

Thanks BB for sending it to me!

Marilyn

I love the clarins sunscreen. I bought a large bottle at Nordstrom’s anniversary sale. . .but I also love the sample size tubes. They fit in my ski clothing pockets, purse, etc. and are great for instant application anywhere. I’ve been refilling the sample size tubes from the larger container by putting a small amount in a container & sucking it up (then using the leftover on my skin
I haven’t tried to Coola yet, but it sounds great too. I just suggest keeping the sample tube if you buy the large bottle for use when out & about.

Jaycee

Sadly, I’m about over Birchbox… Things have either gone down hill, or my tastes have changed. Where is the Makeup? Or just something different, and what IS up with Manna Kadar?!

luckindeed

This is only the second BB I’ve received, and I have not been impressed so far. In my first box, one of my samples had nothing in it. This time, the fragrance sample’s lid was off and perfume had spilled everywhere. (Apparently, this happened to a lot of people.)

Siren

I’ve been thinking about this box, I like the hair products, but I don’t really want ANY sunscreens (already have one I like). Why are there TWO in this one box?

I quit two boxes today because I’m just spending so much on these 😀 of course I subbed to a couple others in the past couple of days, so it didn’t really work out as I’d hoped – I always foil myself, lol

Brenda

The Ouai Spray is actually $7.20 since the 1.7 oz version at Sephora is $12 and if you do the math, 1 oz is $7.20
http://www.sephora.com/wave-spray-P406665?
And yes, agree about the size of the Coola and Clarins samples and they were the only two items I would consider using.

Diana

I requested the MAC Strobe cream as a sample, go the email confirmation, and my spoilers didn’t show on the site until today….. and NO FREAKING Strobe cream. Additionally, it’s a disapointing box altogether. I risked it knowing that at least I’d get 1 product I wanted to try, now that’s not even part of it. Waiting to hear back from CS. LAME!

Hunky,Dory

I am glad that I finally let Birchbox go after 4 years, it’s just not worth it. But, my question is, has anyone here noticed how iffy MAC products have gotten? Has the company sold, has everything been reformulated? I just did a massive mac haul and every product (favorites, mind you) suddenly had no staying power or color pay off. I can’t just assume its a bad batch, as each product under performed. Any word on a change at MAC?

Rachel

I didn’t choose the curated box this month, but I recieved it anyway. Has this ever happened to anyone else? I’ve been a BB subscriber since 2014 and that was the first time it had happened to me.

Monique

I finally quit Birchbox because of this happening. I would request one item and wouldn’t receive it, or I didn’t want the curated and picked nothing and still received it. Lids missing and just blah products. I put that $10 away monthly for a special Oui Please box a year. Don’t miss Birchbox at all.

Roberta

Yep it happened to me a few months ago and it was the month I had purchased the curated box, so ended up with two. Notified customer service as a courtesy, was not expecting anything, but they sent me an additional box with different samples. I’m an Ace so customer service is always very responsive, but I’m on the fence with BB and I’ve been with them from the get-go, it’s hard for me to say goodbye – lol.
Sample sizes are an issue with me and I refuse to pay extra for more flexibility with my subscription even though it is a minimal cost.

Southernprincess

Happened to me too.

HalliLikeBerry

I let BB choose my samples (they did such a good job last month), but received two of these items (the Manna Kadar and the MAC). I feel like by not selecting the curated box, I’m sending the message that I don’t want the things in the curated box. Unfortunately for me, BB seems to disagree.

KJ

The customer service is SO bad with this company. Too many other amazing boxes!

Olga

I was pretty disappointed with my box, too. If i chose this, i would have been disappointed too. I dont know, i am not crazy about anything from Birchbox this month. I tried last month, the products were a bit better. I think I will unsub from birchbox. What i like about birchbox though, are the freebies. I cancel my sub and resub with the code to get the freebie.

vanessa

I totally screwed up & didn’t notice hair specialty boxes for this month.

Dianne

skipping this month’s box unless their is a good promo.

loririce13

This was one of the best reviews yet! THANK YOU for being honest, I agree it’s worth the money to get products that you may not like just so you don’t waste money buying the full size! Awesome review!!!

linda

I agree, thanks for the honest review. This box was really disappointing… I almost feel like I could make a run at Sephora and sample 10x more than this box offers. I though that Clairns was a tiny sample for an eye serum…then I realized its not for eyes…its sunscreen for half of a face..if youre going for the strobe trend ;D
I picked this box for the hair product, but didnt realize it was only half the size of the one sent last yr by sephora 🙁

Heather

I agree! I really appreciate the honest opinion, even (and especially) when the opinion is not positive. Thanks, Liz!

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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.