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Birchbox The 2018 Lip Service Kit Review + Coupon

Jessica Hapak
ByJessica HapakJan 19, 2018 | 27 comments

Birchbox Lip Service Kit January 2018 closed pouch

3.7 overall rating
659 Ratings | 190 Reviews

Note from Liz: I’m so happy to introduce our newest reviewer to the MSA team! Welcome, Jessica!

The Birchbox 2018 Lip Service Kit is a limited edition discovery kit featuring a variety of lip products that will allow you to try out different lip looks. This kit is a one time purchase (a subscription will not be started by purchasing this), and it includes three full-sized lip products and five deluxe or travel sized lip products. You will find well-known brands like MAC and Stila in this set, but you’ll also be introduced to lesser-known brands like Milk and Sara Happ.

Birchbox Lip Service Kit January 2018 inside box

In a break from what I have come to expect from Birchbox, this box did not arrive packed in a patterned box. Rather, once you open the packaging material, all of the products of the kit can be found tucked into a clear zip pouch.

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

This review is for the Birchbox 2018 Lip Service kit, which is $28 for a one time purchase and free shipping on all Birchbox orders over $50.

Birchbox Lip Service Kit January 2018 review

About Birchbox

The Box: The 2018 Lip Service Kit

The Cost: $28 + shipping

COUPON: Use code FIRST15 to save 15% off your first Birchbox purchase and get free shipping on $50+ orders! (Not valid for subscriptions).


Check out the 30% off sale for everyone, too!

The Products: travel-size and full-size lip products

Ships to: US, FranceSpain and the UK and Canada

Birchbox The 2018 Lip Service Kit Review

all the lipsticks around the front of the info card

This discovery kit includes items from Birchbox’s own line, LOC, and also items from well-established brands like MAC and Stila. Let’s dive into this lip wonderland!

Birchbox info card back

An information sheet is also included that lists the item name and full-size price for each item.

Milk Makeup Lip Color in O.G. Red, .004 oz. – Estimated Value $8.80 (Buy a full sized .01 oz tube for $22)

I have tried a few products from Milk Makeup before, but their lipstick is new to me. This sample is a little less than half of the full sized, which means I should be able to get a good deal of uses before it runs out (question: has anyone actually ever used ALL of a tube of lipstick? I certainly haven’t). The color is described as an “intense (yet universally flattering) true red shade.” While I do not feel qualified to attest to the “universally flattering” claim, it definitely wore as a true red on me and didn’t clash with the red undertones that my skin has. Score!

When I applied it, this lipstick did tug at my lips a little bit instead of gliding smoothly, but the color payout was rich. Once applied, it was comfortable to wear and easy to forget I was wearing anything at all! The product description does say its made with shea butter, coconut oil, and grapefruit peel oil, so that could explain why its so easy to wear. There is a lot of transfer with this product, and definitely needed touchups after a few hours. Luckily, this sample is a great size to toss in my purse— it doesn’t take much space but it’s not so tiny I won’t be able to find it when I look for it (swatched below).

Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick in Perla, .05 fl oz – Estimated Value $11 (Buy the full sized .1 fl oz tube for $22)

Stila’s liquid lipstick is a tried and true lippie for me. I have the full size in Aria and various samples around my house from subscription boxes. I love this stuff! This is a very generous sample that is half of the full-sized version, and the color is described as a “soft rosy nude” on the Birchbox website. Honestly, on me, I felt like it wore more as a dusty mauve more than a rosy nude, but I loved the way it looked all the same. I wore this to dinner the other night, and we were at the Melting Pot. This lipstick survived cheese fondue y’all— and I am definitely a messy eater when it comes to hot, melty, delicious cheese. I was so impressed when I checked my lipstick after the meal and it didn’t need a touchup. After dinner, the color was starting to wear off, but it wasn’t wearing off in a patchy or obvious way. I love when lipsticks wear off smoothly, so even if the color isn’t as rich you don’t feel the need to reapply. This lipstick was my favorite out of all the lippies in the kit.

Love of Color Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil in Birthday Suit, Full-Size! – Retail Value $10

The concept of this product fascinates me. Lip gloss in a pencil? Not in a squeezable tube or applied with a wand? I was a bit skeptical that it would actually wear like a lipgloss – and LOC proved me wrong! Birchbox describes Birthday Suit as a pinky nude with a glossy sheen, and I would say that is pretty accurate. It also wasn’t sticky and was easy to apply. I would say this color would be a good fit for those no makeup-makeup days, where you just need a hint of color but also want to be able to swipe and go. I am a fan!

Love of Color Sharpener – Retail Value $5

At first glance, one wouldn’t think much about a sharpener. They’re handy to have around, but is there really a lot you can say about a sharpener? Turns out, there is! Not only does this have two standard sizes that will sharpen your makeup pencils, but the outer ring on the large end is actually removable, making the hole even bigger! I had never heard of a sharpener with three different sized openings, so I was impressed.

Later, when I was playing around with it, I noticed there is actually a removable bit of plastic that you can use to clean the sharpener blades. I genuinely had no idea that was a thing, and now that I know it is I am lamenting my sharpeners of the past that had many a makeup tip get stuck, and I was left using my fingernail to try and get the broken off tip out. Also (and probably most important) it sharpens really well! This worked on both my LOC lip pencil but also on my regular eyeliner. For the price, I don’t really think you can beat the value of this handy tool.

Smashbox Cosmetics Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer – .16 fl oz. Value $11.29 (Buy a .34 oz full-sized tube for $24)

To be honest, this is the only lip product that felt out of place. What this product does is turn any cream lipstick into a matte finish, which is cool in theory. However, it says to not use it on any glosses, lacquers, or balms, and it would be redundant to use it on any lippies that already have a matte finish. That really only leaves the Milk lipstick as a product that would be a good fit for trying this out, and even the milk lippie formula is described as a demi-matte. I am a liquid lipstick lover, so I had to really search my makeup stash hard to even find a lipstick I could try this with, which ended up being my Too Faced Melted Latex liquid lipstick. When I patted the product on using my fingers, it instantly turned my shiny lips into matte ones. But, it also left my lips feeling really goopy and weird. Maybe that’s because of the lipstick I tried on under it, but it would have been nice if this lip set included a true creme finish lipstick to try this transformer with. That being said, this is another generous sized sample, coming it at just a smidge under half the full-size version. I will be keeping an eye out for a different lipstick to try this with and hopefully see better results.

M·A·C Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in D for Danger, .06 oz – Estimated Value $10.50 (Buy the .1 oz. full-size tube for $17.50)

I have such a fondness for the MAC brand, because growing up MAC was the cool girl makeup brand I always wanted to try, but couldn’t afford yet (this was when I was transitioning from Claire’s makeup and 99 cent store beauty products to drug store and the occasional nice product as a gift from my mom). MAC has a lot of cult red lipsticks like Russian Red and Ruby Woo, and I am kind of surprised Birchbox didn’t include one of those shades when they decided to include a MAC lipstick in this kit. That being said, D for Danger wears as brick red color that is just a tad too brown for my coloring. It is really creamy and smooth to apply, but I would definitely wear this with a lip liner and carry it with me when I left my apartment in order to reapply touch ups throughout the day.

Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Cerise, .69 g – Estimated Value $15.13 (Buy a .04 full-sized pencil for $25)

This lip liner is designed to create fuller looking lips and keep lip color from bleeding, and I have to say this little powerhouse is pretty good at doing so! Plus, this sample is a little over half the full sized version, making it an awesome value. I also like the shade Cerise, which to me wears as a berry red shade, because I can use it with a variety of nude, pink, and red lip colors. I like the subtle contrast a differing shade of lipliner can give to your overall lip look, so to me Cerise is a really universal lipliner shade. I used it to line my lips when I wore the Stila lippie for girls night out, and I really enjoyed the combination!

Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer in One Word Chorus, Full-Size! – Retail Value $22

Honestly, I do not think a Smith & Cult product review could be complete without talking about the lovely packaging. I love the heavy silver top to this lipstick, and think by design alone this is one of the best looking lip products out there. That being said, I wasn’t blown away by the lip gloss. The shade One Word Chorus is described as rose with multi-color shimmer. This definitely wears as a rose on me, but I didn’t see any multi-color shimmer. It was very shiny, but shiny and rainbow shimmer isn’t the same in my book. It faded relatively quickly, and while it wasn’t really sticky per se, I could definitely tell I was wearing lip gloss. However, it is a good nude color for my skin tone, and I honestly think this shade would look good on almost anyone.

Sara Happ The Lip Scrub in Brown Sugar, Full-Size! – Retail Value $22

Hello, mysterious new lip brand I have never heard of! While I have never heard of the Sara Happ brand before, I love that Birchbox included a lip scrub in this lip set- and a full sized one at that! I use a lip scrub every day before applying lipstick, and this one was really moisturizing without being too gritty and rough. It left my lips feeling very hydrated and ready for whatever liquid lipstick I was throwing their way. Also, when I first opened this jar up my initial reaction was it looked like the frosting you would find on a german chocolate cake, and that is never a bad thing. If I wasn’t a subscription box addict, and actually ran out of products before being sent new ones in various boxes, I would definitely consider paying full priced for this one. That being said, while I do love it, its not so fabulous that I would pay full priced for this over using one sent to me in a subscription box.

Here are swatches of everything included in the kit, excluding the sharpener (of course) and the lip scrub (way too messy). From top to bottom, is the LOC lipgloss pencil in Birthday Suit, Smith & Cult Lipgloss in One Word Chorus, Stila Stay all day liquid lipstick in Perla, Milk Makeup Lip Color in OG Red, MAC in D for Danger, and the Kevin Aucoin Lipliner in Cerise.

And here is a selfie I took before meeting my friends for dinner. I prepped my lips using the Sara Happ Lip Scrub, and then lined my lips with the Kevin Aucoin Lip Liner. Finally, I filled in the lines with the Stila lippie. I really loved the way this color looked on me!

The Verdict: Birchbox promises a value of $114 in their 2018 Lip Service Kit, and by my math the items in this kit are worth a combined $115.72. I think that is a fantastic deal for a $33 box $28 + $5 shipping) that includes a lot of different lippies, some of them being full sized, plus helpful items like a sharpener and lip scrub. While I felt the smash box matte lip transformer was a bit out of place with the matte and glossy finishes, overall I think this kit has enough in it to make the value there for everyone.

The Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if I sign up today? Yes! Click here to add The 2018 Lip Service Kit to your cart.

Coupon – Check out all the free gift with purchase coupons, and don’t forget to add your free sample pack with any $35 purchase.

Value Breakdown: At $33 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item: 115.72

  • Milk Makeup Lip Color in O.G. Red: $2.51
  • Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick: $3.14
  • Love of Color Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil: $2.85
  • Love of Color Sharpener: $1.43
  • Smashbox Cosmetics Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer: $3.22
  • M·A·C Cosmetics Matte Lipstick: $2.99
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil: $4.31
  • Smith & Cult The Shining Lip Lacquer: $6.27
  • Sara Happ The Lip Scrub: $6.27

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

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

What do you think of The 2018 Lip Service Kit? Have you tried any of the products featured in this kit? Tell us below! (Especially if you’ve found a good lipstick to use with the smash box matte transformer).

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.
Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.
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I kinda really want this even though I don’t wear lipstick all that often.


The Smashbox lipstick transformer can be used on matte lipsticks that are too drying, keeping their matte finish but keeping them from wrecking your lips. I’ve used one I got from Ipsy with one of my Kat Von D liquid lipsticks and it worked well. Also, a VERY tiny bit goes a long way. When I used too much one time it felt kind of gross. Hope that helps some!


I’ve been eyeing SH at Anthropologie for a while. If this was a color product instead Of a scrub I totally would purchase several of these


Omg your swatches are beautiful!!!!

Jessica Hapak

Thanks Maggie! I tried out the makeup swatching stencils that I see all over Instagram, and I am a fan!


You can buy the M.I.L.K Makeup lipstick, in that size for $12 at Sephora.

Jessica Hapak

Thanks for letting me know, Ariana, I was not aware of that.


I love lippies and never leave the house without lipstick on. This box looks so inviting. Yet one of my New Years resolutions was to give up all but one beauty box until I used up what I already had. I chose beautyfix since I use up skincare quicker than make-up. I don’t think I have ever used a whole eyeshadow pallet or lippie. Blush is not something I use to ever use. I just used my lipstick then they matched 🙂 All the brushes are super nice, but my hands seem to waste less product and they are easier to wash. I think I have came full circle to my old skool ways 🙂

Jessica Hapak

Hi Shari! If I put my lawyer hat on, I think I could make the argument that this box wouldn’t violate the terms of your New Years resolution, because it would be a one time purchase and not a subscription. This was a super fun lip kit!

Christine G

This is a valid point!

Christine G

Ooh fun, a new reviewer! Welcome Jessica! I’m really excited you reviewed this lippie kit, I’ve had my eye on this kit as well as the “Give Me Some Bold Lip” kit for awhile. I do believe they just released a “Give Me Some Nude Lip” kit as well. I would love to see more Birchbox kits reviewed on MSA!

Jessica Hapak

Hi Christine! I definitely recommend trying this kit out! I know Sephora has some lip kits out, but I wasn’t aware Birchbox had more lip kits. Hide my wallet, I want to buy them!

Christine G

You might be right, it very well could be Sephora. Oops!


Welcome Jessica! It’s a nice kit, definitely worth the price. Since I’d only wear 1, maybe 2 of the colors, and don’t use lip scrubs, it’s not for me. I have enough lip products for 30 sets of lips to use for at least a decade anyway.

Jessica Hapak

Hi Aarjullor! I definitely have more lip products than I will ever use, but that doesn’t stop me from buying more. After foundation and mascara, lip products are my fav!


Hi Jessica! Thank you for your thoughtful and honest review. I tried the Smashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer and I agree with you—I wasn’t a fan. The Stila liquid lipstick formula is one of my favorites. Your pictures of products and swatches are awesome!! Thanks!


Hi Natalie! Thanks for reading 🙂


Great review! Sara Happ has been around for years, and her lip scrubs are so delicious!

Jessica Hapak

Thanks for letting me know about that, Melissa! I guess a good question is why have I been missing out on this brand for so long? Thanks for reading!


Great review, that color looks very pretty on you 🙂

Jessica Hapak

Thank you so much Julie! Thanks for reading.


Hi Jessica, Great Review! Looking forward to reading more of them!!

Jessica Hapak

Hi Saundra! Thanks for reading.

Norelle Christiani

Ooooooh, I ordered this and I’m actually really excited to get it!

In regards to the smashbox one – Birchbox had a gift box around the holidays that included like 6 travel sized Lip Sticks and then a travel size tube of the Matte Lip Transformer – it makes a lot of sense and works super good when you have the right lipstick with it – even if this kit doesn’t include exactly the right product. Don’t give up on it!

Jessica Hapak

Good to know— I will be on the lookout. Thanks for reading, Norelle!

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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.