Brown Sugar Box by Izzy & Liv Review + Coupon – October 2018


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Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Closed Box

Brown Sugar Box is a monthly women of color lifestyle subscription box offering tees, accessories and lifestyle products designed by and made for Women of Color.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Opened Box

Each Brown Sugar Box includes a graphic tank or tee and 4-5 additional full-size products ranging from drinkware, accessories, bags, jewelry, makeup, housewares, and stationery. All items are from black-owned businesses.

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

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - All Items Unboxed

About Brown Sugar Box

The Subscription Box: Brown Sugar Box

The Cost: $39.95 a month + shipping

Coupon: Use code GIVEMESUGAR to save $5 off your first box!

The Products: 1 graphic tee or tank plus 4-5 additional full-size lifestyle products

Ships to: the US for $4.95 and International for $12.95

Good to Know: Boxes are shipped around the 15th of each month. When purchasing a subscription, you have the opportunity to select your t-shirt size and fit preference.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 “SHEro” Review

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine Cover

Each Brown Sugar Box includes a mini magazine that highlights the theme of the box, list the products included and offers interesting and inspiring articles.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 1

The inspiration for this month’s “SHEro” theme is explained alongside details of the items included in this month’s box.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 2

This article highlights real-life black female superheroes from Rosa Parks to Coretta Scott King and Oprah Winfrey. I’m inspired by the stories of these amazing and powerful black women.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 3

Following the theme, the next article explores powerful black women in the political space.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 4

The next article talks about discovering your own power within by exploring what makes you feel powerful and tapping into your passions.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 5

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Highlighted are organizations established specifically to address the unique challenges that black and minorities face when fighting breast cancer.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 6

This SHEro Playlist will have you feeling strong, empowered and unstoppable!

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine 7

Brown Sugar Babes are invited to share pictures of themselves on social media for a chance to win a free box.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Magazine Back

The back cover has a picture of a very beautiful woman with a floral crown. On this page, Izzy & Liv invites you to connect with them on Facebook.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - T-Shirt 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - T-Shirt 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - T-Shirt 3

SHEro T-Shirt – Listed Retail Value $28

I typically enjoy the Brown Sugar Box exclusive t-shirts and this design is no exception. I love the #blackgirlmagic twist on your typical superhero tee. The natural-haired dark-skinned beauty looks powerful, strong and confident!

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Hat 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Hat 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Hat 3

Floppy Hat – Listed Retail Value $28

This floppy hat is trendy and I’ve seen some women really rock this look but it’s just not my personal style. Also, the quality is poor – 100% polyester and made in China. It’s a tight fit on my head so it doesn’t appear to be big hair friendly either. To add insult to injury, my husband said I look like Ms. Celie from The Color Purple in this hat. It’s a fail!

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Notebook 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Notebook 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Notebook 3

Blossoming Ideas Notebook – Estimated Retail Value $20 (found here for $10)

UPDATE: Izzy & Liv sent out a formal apology regarding the “Blossoming Ideas” notebook included in the October Brown Sugar Box. Per Izzy & Liv, the vendor did not deliver the quality of the notebooks that were promised and due to extremely late delivery, Izzy & Liv did not catch this error during the fulfillment process. They have adjusted the stated value of the notebook from $20 to $0 and the total value of the October box from $115 to $95.

I’m excited to see Izzy & Liv partnering with black-owned brands. However, this notebook is a letdown. Similar to the hat, from the distance, it looks very pretty but upon closer inspection, I find that the quality is poor. I compared this notebook to the notebook listed on the brand’s website and it is clearly not the same product. The original is larger, has more pages and better spiral hardware. This notebook looks like a cheap knock-off of the original.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Poncho 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Poncho 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Poncho 3

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Poncho 4

Wrap Poncho – Listed Retail Value $32

This poncho is my style! I love oversized fall staples – wraps, scarves, and chunky sweaters. This is right up my alley! Unfortunately, it is also poor quality, thin material, 100% acrylic and made in China. I’m really questioning the listed retail value for this item. However, it is very cute and I may be able to get away with wearing it once or twice. I don’t expect much wear beyond that.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Band 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Band 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Band 3

“You Got This” Bracelet

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month, this flexible plastic bracelet was added to the box as a bonus.

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Cuff 1

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Cuff 2

Brown Sugar Box October 2018 - Cuff 3

Wire Cuff – Listed Retail Value $10

This is really cute! I appreciate it that it’s flexible and can be sized to fit my large wrists. I can see myself wearing this with both casual and dressy outfits. Thumbs up!

Verdict: I’ve been a Brown Sugar Box subscriber from the very beginning. Izzy & Liv is a brand with a mission that I love to support. Unfortunately, I feel like the overall quality and value of the boxes have started to decrease over time. I’d like to see them continue with the fabulous t-shirts and inspiring magazines – these items I consistently enjoy. However, they have to address the sizing issues and poor quality of the recent wearable items. This box has too many wearable items in my opinion. Fashion styles vary widely and one-size-fits-all items don’t account for all the amazing shapes and sizes of beautiful black women. Subscribers are bound to be disappointed. I also think some of the listed retail values are inflated and I’m really wondering what happened with the notebook in this month’s box. Finally, I’d like to see more partnering with black-owned businesses. There are so many amazing and high-quality black-owned brands to choose from. I’d love to see them featured more often.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but sign up today to receive next month’s box

Coupon: Use code GIVEMESUGAR to save $5 off your first box!

Value Breakdown: The listed retail value of this box is $118. At $44.90 a box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item: 

  • SHEro T-Shirt: $10.65
  • Floppy Hat: $10.65
  • Blossoming Ideas Notebook: $7.61
  • Wrap Poncho: $12.18
  • “You Got This” Bracelet: n/a
  • Wire Cuff: 3.81

Alternatively, each of the 5 items in the box (not including the bonus bracelet) has an average cost of $8.98.

Check out all of our Brown Sugar Box reviews and more women of color subscription boxes in the Women Subscription Box Directory!

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

What do you think of this month’s Brown Sugar Box?

Written by Shatae Hutchinson

Shatae Hutchinson

Hi, I’m Shatae; pronounced shhh-tay! I work in IT Healthcare, I’m married to my high school sweetheart and we have 2 cool kids. I am obsessed with black culture, lifestyle, travel and art made by and featuring women of color. I also love trendy plus-size fashion and accessories, eclectic and bohemian home décor and all things self-care, mental health and fitness. My favorite box is Izzy & Liv’s Brown Sugar Box; a monthly box offering tees, accessories and lifestyle products designed for black women. I also subscribe to TheSelfCareBox, FabFitFun, CauseBox and Merkaela. Being a wife and full-time working mom, subscription boxes are one of the few things that are just for me! They are fun, convenient, reasonably priced and full of surprises.

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

Posted in Brown Sugar Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women, Women of Color Subscription Boxes| Tags: brown sugar box | 18 comments

18 Comments

  1. Thank you Shatae. I was going to get this box as a gift for a friend but all of the “made in China” products really doesn’t sound like they’re working with black-owned businesses much at all.

    • They haven’t been partnering with black owned businesses as much as I’d like to see as of late.

  2. Thank you for your review Shatae which I typically read and enjoy . The shirt, cuff, and wrap poncho look great on you. Thank you for for being honest on your review of your other items

    • Thanks for the compliment and comment Chanell!

  3. I am with your hubby, that hat is awful.

    • LOL, yeah, it’s pretty bad. I saw a few ladies in the Brown Sugar Lounge really rocking it but it’s not for me.

  4. Thanks for this review! I typically do cosmetics boxes but I’m considering this one.

    • Yay! Overall it’s a good box. Take a lot at past reviews robget an idea of what’s included.

  5. Lol, tell your husband to stop! I think you look cute in the hat and nice review!

    • LOL! I will pass along the message! Thanks for the comment!

  6. I agreed with all the comments. Recently, many subscribers have voiced their disappointment in the box which many perceive as negative. However, when you invest in a monthly box, you except to like if not all, some of the items. I hope Nov and Dec boxes are amazing. Follow the Izzy and Liv Brown Sugar Lounge on FB.

    • Hi ReeRee, I appreciate your comments. I’m also in the Brown Sugar Lounge and worry that sometimes constructive feedback is seen only as negative. I’m a day 1 subscriber (I still pay $34.95 and get free shipping) so I’ve seen all the boxes. And while I can’t say that I’ve loved every item, lately I’m finding that I’m not in favor of the majority of the items in the box. My niece is loving the care packages though! And, despite it all, this is still my favorite box. Candlelight Box is a close 2nd!

  7. “Made in China”. Thanks for that extremely necessary comment.

    • I appreciate that statement so much b/c every time I shop for something that’s the first thing I search for—where it came from—I may be in the minority here but anything China-made I avoid even if I feel extremely tempted to want to get.

      • Many people find value in where their items are made.

    • It is necessary as an indication of the quality of the apparel items I received in this month’s box. With China, you get what you pay for so if the goal is to get fashionable looks at the lowest price possible, this is where you go. They make it because we buy it! Most people know that there are some extremely high valued items (like iPhones and other electronics) produced in China. So, please don’t try to take my comment out of context.

  8. I appreciate your honest review. I am on the fence about keeping this box. Every month they have some items that I really like, but I honestly feel like the values are inflated. I loved the t-shirt and the cuff this month is great. But I agree that the rest of the items appeared cheaply made. I can probably make use of the wrap, but not sure how long it will last. The notebook was laughable, especially since they claim it is worth $10. I am going to give this book one or two more months, and if I feel the same I will have to let it go.

    • The listed value of the notebook is $20 – how? I feel the same about being on the fence. I’m always thinking that the next month’s box is going to be the best. Sometimes they really knock it out the park! But, lately, not so much. *Fingers-Crossed* for November’s box.

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