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Birchbox Curated Box Review + Coupon – August 2018

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.

FYI – you can still buy this box for $10. (Or $15 if you aren’t a Birchbox subscriber.)

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!)

DEAL: Check our Birchbox Coupon List to get the most up-to-date coupon!

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 on to the items!

Borghese Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask – .5 oz Value $8.89

This is a mud mask that can be used on your face OR your body! It’s designed to draws out dirt, oils, and impurities without stripping your skin of moisture.

Since I have a lot of face masks, I decided to try this on my body. Honestly, I couldn’t tell much of a difference (I probably would have if I tried it on my face), but my skin was softer after removing it. (And I only had to wear it for 5 minutes!)

DOUCCE Cheek Blush in RSVP – .12 oz Value $12

This is a heavily pigmented blush with a hint of shimmer! It goes on smoothly and you only need a single brush stroke to get plenty of color.

Here it is swatched:

Birchbox Mini Kabuki Brush – Retail Value $5

Birchbox rarely sends out beauty tools, so this brush was a nice surprise!

This is mini sized, so it’s great for travel, and works well for bronzer, blush, and highlighter application. The bristles are soft and pretty densely packed too – I’m happy with the quality for a $5 brush!

amika Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam – .75 oz Value $3.54

I’ve sampled a lot of dry shampoo over the years, but this is my first time trying a dry shampoo foam! And I’m a fan! You just apply it to your hands then work into your hair until it’s fully absorbed. There’s no powdery feeling like you get with some dry shampoos, and it has the bonus of smelling amazing, too.

Oribe Featherbalm Weightless Styler – .5 oz Value $6.18

More fabulous smelling haircare! The Oribe brand is super pricey, so I’m always happy when it pops up in a subscription box! This cream smells lovely (not as strong as some of their other products), and it adds just a bit of hydration and shine without weighing down hair at all.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $35.61 – I think that’s good for a $10 beauty box! In general, the curated boxes from Birchbox tend to have a good value, so if that’s important to you, I recommend picking those each month! This is a super useful box for me, and I’m pleasantly surprised to get some new product discoveries from Birchbox!

To Wrap Up: 

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this box is available for a one-time purchase! And if you subscribe to Birchbox now, your first box will be the July box. (Tip: Check the image on the sign-up page. The box design pictured is the first month you’ll receive.) You can’t pick the curated box as your first box, but you’ll be able to pick it every month moving forward.

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



How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

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Written by 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!

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 36 comments

Comments (36)

  1. I also got the curated box. However, I’m pretty annoyed at Birchbox, since they did not send me two two of the items that were supposed to be in it. I did not get the Fango mud (which I really wanted) or the dry shampoo. Instead, I got a lip oil and a set of under-eye masks (which made my eyes sting). I did not get any notice from them of this swap of items.

    Has this happened to anyone else when they requested a curated box? I have to add that this comes after I did not receive a June box, since I also requested the curated box and they couldn’t send it to me because one of the items could not be sent by air (I live in Alaska). It took a bunch of back and forth emails to get that worked out (they are adding an extra box at the end of my yearly subscription).

    I had planned on renewing, because until the latest problems, I had been enjoying the boxes. Now, I’m not sure if I want to continue, if I’m going to keep getting stuff swapped out without any notice, or not get a box at all. I understand that some things are problematic for shipping to Alaska, but they should note that in the description or advise of the issue upon ordering.

    • This always happens to me when I request a curated box or select an item thats pressurized or contains hazmat ingredients/parts (I live in Hawaii). Its kinda funny too because I get my box around the same time I get my ipsy bag (which usually the first or second week of the following month since they ship it slow boat) so I figured they were not flying it over, but I guess they are, which sucks cause it doesn’t get here any faster and the monthly box experience is kind of mute if I get my box a month later. I feel your pain, lol.

  2. I think I missed something. Liz paid for this box and she gave it a good review. Personally I would have hated this box. I feel like a lot of times the boxes that I love others hate. Everyone has completely different taste and different needs at different times. I have enough blush,kabuki brushes and dry shampoo to last me years. If you need or want these things now then it IS a great box.

    • I agree it’s all about preferences. Because, I loved this box! For example I almost never see blush from Birchbox nor had i ever received a kabuki brush. I’d only gotten dry shampoo from them once this year. So, was ready for my next DS sample. And I hadn’t received a mud mask sample in quite awhile. My only dislike about this box is the Orbie feather balm. I really didn’t need another hair serum or hair lotion sample. Been receiving too many lately. But, i liked everything else so much that I still chose the curated box. I ended up giving the Orbie feather balm to my Mom…. then for example people seem to love the new September curated box and for me that box doesn’t do anything for me.

    • I agree it’s all about preferences. Because, I loved this box! For example I almost never see blush from Birchbox nor had i ever received a kabuki brush. I’d only gotten dry shampoo from them once this year. So, was ready for my next DS sample. And I hadn’t received a mud mask sample in quite awhile. My only dislike about this box is the Orbie feather balm. I really didn’t need another hair serum or hair lotion sample. Been receiving too many lately. But, i liked everything else so much that I still chose the curated box. I ended up giving the Orbie feather balm to my Mom…. then for example people seem to love the new September curated box and for me that box doesn’t do anything for me.

  3. They sent me a different box for August, and I like the contents of this one enough to buy it this evening after reading the review.

    I started using Borghese’ Fango mud mask when I was about 21 years old.. That’s 39 years ago. It’s a great product from a venerable family brand.

    I hate white powdered dry shampoo but think a mousse formula will be fun to try, as thick, long and wavy as my hair is. I’m not going to have random white spots I can’t brush out like from powder, and that’s a great thing. 🙂

  4. I’ve not been that excited about Birchbox.

    Regardless of which version I choose, the items I get are always underwhelming.

    I signed up for a six-month sub and will most likely not re-up unless the September and October boxes are Aaaa-maaziing!!

  5. I got this box and agree with Liz it was a good box. I get lots of beauty boxes, and I really liked this one alot. I am easy to please! I know if I don’t like it my friends and co-workers will happily take the products off my hands.

  6. I don’t think Marie was addressing this review specifically; she’s calling out the “free” boxes vs. the “paid” boxes, and this appears to be a box paid for by this site, not sent over free by Birchbox. I think she was addressing reviews on this site in general, which trend toward positive.

    This particular review is totally fair; the products are interesting, good quality, useful and the value exceeds the $10 paid for the box.

  7. I dunno, I loved this box and thought the review was accurate and fair.

    • Yeah, I’ve read this review over a few times now after reading the negative comment, and I don’t see how it’s not “fair”. I didn’t choose the curated box this month, but can see why someone might have.

      • I can see why somebody would say that about the Emma and Chloe snake bracelet, because I highly dislike it and most others seem to as well, but maybe Liz is just exceptionally easy to please. Or people who are liking it just aren’t vocal. Because I genuinely like this box!

      • I have to admit, sometimes I feel really like the odd man out when I read comments, and see that I might be the only one who likes something! I was just showing the bracelet to my husband and saying, “Isn’t this cool?” It seems my jewelry tastes aren’t in line with most peeps! 🙈

      • Liz,
        It’s a good thing if we all liked the same things and were the same life would be so boring. I think more often than not people like your style as voiced in comments asking where you purchased things your wearing. 😀

      • 🙂 Thanks, Anna!

      • I got that bracelet and I like it. And yes, all of the negative comments probably did discourage me from speaking up and saying I like it. So you’re not alone…

      • I’ll be honest, I hated the snake bracelet until I saw your review. I love that you have an open mind about different products and it helps me have an open mind too. You make things look good and fun. Which is nice because I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get rid of the snake bracelet with a swap.

      • Liz, I don’t subscribe to Emma & Chloe 1. I very rarely like the pieces and think they are overpriced, and 2. Only wear silver and it seems like almost every piece is gold, even in their shop.
        However, I still read the reviews and I LOVED that snake bracelet! So you’re definitely not alone!
        I also think your reviews are very fair for the most part. When I read a review from anyone I completely disagree with I usually chalk it up to personal choice or like you said, the box delivering what was promised.

  8. If they are ‘paying’ for this sub I don’t understand your statement of a positive review vs honest.

  9. Hi Liz,
    I love and appreciate all of your box reviews, however, I feel that your reviews are always dependent on whether you got them for free to review or purchased for a fee. You only always say good things about the boxes you get for free, and never really seem to get to the honest review of the items in those boxes. You always love them with nothing bad to say about any of the items in the free boxes. On the other hand, you seem to be more honest in the reviews you write of the items from the boxes that you purchased and paid for.
    While I, along with everyone else, enjoy and respect your reviews, I always appreciate your honest reviews more, compared to the biased ‘only the good things’ review. I don’t want to, but I sometimes see your reviews of the free boxes as too biased and kissing up to the manufacturers and box companies and not as useful and truthful as the ones you leave for the paid boxes.

    • Agree.

    • Hi Marie,

      I appreciate the feedback. I try to be honest in all reviews, regardless of whether or not we paid for them, but I’m sorry that that isn’t coming across. In general, I think I’m pretty positive in reviews because most companies deliver on what they promised to send in boxes. Sometimes if a company doesn’t want to send us a box to review, but our readers want to see it reviewed, that may mean that they realize their box isn’t going to deliver on the things we evaluate (product curation, brands, value, etc.). So that may be why certain boxes we pay for may come across as more negative/critical.

      If you have examples of reviews you think aren’t fair/honest, please send them my way [email protected] – I really appreciate it. The goal of this site is to always provide helpful info, and if that isn’t the case in any review, we need to address it.

      Sorry again!

      • I think Liz is honest in her reviews

        I would like to see the reviews of the Keto boxes go to someone that follows a keto diet in the future and the comments on those reviews seem to support that too.

      • Thanks for the feedback, Anna! That category has been tough for us because we’ve had a lot of reader requests to review keto boxes, so of course, we want to do that, but we don’t have anyone on the review team currently who follows the Keto plan 100%.

        If anyone following the keto diet is interested in reviewing for MSA – please send a sample review to [email protected] to be considered 🙂

    • I disagree. They paid for this box and it’s not great, but she still gives a neutral opinion based on value of the contents compared to cost of the box. Every reviewer for the site tends to lean positive on their reviews. I don’t think it’s tied to free boxes though but more of a business plan to not attract negativity. If a person thinks the box sucks they can tell from this review already.

      • Yep, all of this.

      • I agree with this. Despite Liz giving a positive leaning review of this box, I looked at the items and immediately concluded it wasn’t for me. I’m glad she’s happy and content…but that doesn’t mean I would be or others. The opposite I’m sure is true with other boxes. The overall “value” of the box is there as long as you can use or need the items. I don’t in this case.

    • I guess I’ve never really paid attention to which boxes are free and which are paid for. I’ve been on this site for about 2 years and in general I think all reviews are mostly positive. I think the reviews are thorough and very helpful. I’m not sure negativity would be appropriate since one person may love something another person doesn’t like at all. As long the reviewer shows and explains each product, I can decide if it’s right for me. I actually gain a lot of information from everyone’s comments.

      • I pay attention to which boxes are sent over for free and which ones are paid for. I think there’s an inherent bias when a reviewer gets stuff for free. I recall that for one of the kid clothing boxes, the reviewer noted that the company was “kind enough” to send two boxes, one for each of her girls. No, dear. The company was not “kind enough.” They want you to say nice things about them so they lavished nice things on you. And hey, it worked.

        A reviewer can be critical but still be fair — just like with a critic of, say, movies or books or restaurants. Are the products good quality? Everything in good condition? Does the value of the items equal or exceed the price of the box? Is there a theme to the box and if so, do the items match the theme? Is it seasonally appropriate? Did the box arrive on time? If there was a problem (because nothing is perfect), how did customer service respond? And so on.

      • That was an unnecessarily condescending comment. (Especially calling the reviewer “dear” in that tone)

      • I didn’t think it was condescending, just honest.

      • You know what’s condescending? When a reviewer tries to pretend a company isn’t making a business or marketing decision but is instead being “nice.”

        I’ve seen this before too — a reviewer who received a free box will say something like “I was lucky enough to get the most expensive variant!” You were not lucky! You were shipped this box for a purpose! Stop lying to us.

      • I understand what your point is, but I don’t think you’re completely right. Yes, the companies want to advertise, but the company is also still being nice to a particular reviewer by choosing them. They don’t have unlimited free stock to give away and they could have given it to a different blog or influencer instead of the reviewers at MSA. Plus, if the reviewers truly feel the company was being nice to choose them so they don’t have to pay for it (even if that’s wrong in your eyes) they are not lying if they truly feel that way.

      • I could be wrong but I think those examples of what a reviewer can judge on is what Liz basically said they do in order to not judge based on personal preference of items since that obviously varies. If a sub company sends a box for free, it’s likely MSA will not have any issues with shipping, missing items, low value variations, customer service issues, etc. But they make it clear in posts whether they did receive it for free at least. When people have raised concerns with their personal issues and made MSA aware of systemic issues, I’ve noticed they have also updated reviews, put warnings on some and even tried to contact the companies as a representative for us. I appreciate all of that. I guess I can only suggest to keep voicing issues in comments and to MSA because it does help us all make informed choices and I hope MSA continues to communicate those issues too.

      • @Cookie, Two boxes seems to increase the chances of a kid saying, yuck. Also, I doubt any mom would be happy about getting two boxes of poorly made, ugly clothes.

    • Her reviews are always fair. Just because she tends to like more stuff than you do doesn’t make the review unfair. These are always exceptionally thorough reviews, and you can make your own decisions. So basically you’re complaining that this site isn’t negative enough. There are plenty of other sites that are. I’m so sad that negative people caused the forums to be removed, they were overall very helpful and useful.

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