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Birchbox Curated Box #1 Review + Coupon – November 2019

Marne Orenich
ByMarne OrenichNov 20, 2019 | 12 comments

Birchbox 1 Little Luxuries - Review November 2019

3.7 overall rating
659 Ratings | 190 Reviews

Every month, Birchbox sends samples (and sometimes full-sizes) of new and exciting beauty products from top brands for $15/month. They allow subscribers to pick between a curated box (all samples revealed) or a single sample choice with the rest of the items arriving as a surprise. Birchbox is one of the original beauty subscription boxes and is a great way to discover new makeup, hair care, and skincare products without breaking the bank.

This review is of the “Little Luxuries” curated box.

opened Birchbox

FYI – sign up to get email alerts for our Birchbox Spoilers to learn about Birchbox Sample Choice and Curated box options each month!

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

geoup of 6 items around birchbox

About this Curated Beauty Box

The Subscription Box: Birchbox

The Cost: $15.00 a month + free shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

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: The US, France, Spain, and the UK

Birchbox November 2019 “Little Luxuries” Curated Box #1 Review


There are two info cards in this month’s Birchbox. One details the included seven items. The other card talks about how to get a free makeup brush kit with a $75 shop purchase.


Acure Seriously Soothing Blue Tansy Night Oil, 0.3 oz. – Estimated Value $3.90 (Buy the 1 oz. full size for $12.99)

YES! Moar blue tansy! I have to admit, I already have this night oil and since the bottle is so plain, I used it to fill up this crystal serum roller that I just had to have. My love of blue tansy and facial oils is no secret and I’ve used some other Acure products as well. This is a nice light oil and I like that the roller prevents me from drowning my face in too much of it as I may want to do. It doles out an adequate amount onto my face that I can always add more too. It smells fantastic, reduces redness, and soothes irritated skin. Yay!


Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo, 2.5 oz. – Estimated Value $8.58 (Buy the 8.45 oz full size for $29)

I’ve been using this chubby little bottle of shampoo for at least a week now in my rotation of perhaps six different shampoos (yes, six). It smells fantastic and gets my hair clean with a nice lather.

Davines LOVE Smoothing Conditioner, 0.40 oz. – Estimated Value $1.56 (Buy the 8.45 oz. full size for $33)

The conditioner mate to the shampoo restores moisture and makes sure my frizz is minimal. It also reduces tangles and makes my damp hair manageable without tearing it out with a comb or brush.


Wander Beauty Mile High Club Mascara, 0.35 oz. – FULL-SIZE! Retail Value $26.00

I’ve been impressed with Wander Beauty in other boxes so I was pleased to see their full-size mascara here. Turns out- it’s just as great as their other products! The wand has short bristles that don’t get everything clumpy and I appreciate the long, thin design. The formula of the mascara itself dries to a sort of rubbery texture which stays put and is flexible which means it doesn’t flake off. It may not give me a ton of volume, but it defines and lengthens for a clean look. I’ve found this one to be a real contender out of the sea of mascaras in my drawer.


Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum, 0.17 oz.  – Estimated Value $14.45 (Buy the 1 oz. full size for $85.00)

I’ll be honest, sometimes serums can be hard to review. I don’t always get enough time with them to see results, but I do my best to tell you how it feels, smells, and what type of ingredients are in each. Sunday Riley is controversial at times, but I personally do like some of their products, drama aside. This retinoid serum sample of their A+ High Dose is rather nice! The thin pale yellow formula easily glides onto my face and I can immediately feel a slight plumpness to my skin. It promises “clearer and firmer skin with a smoother texture and reduced redness” in 6 weeks, but of course, this sample won’t get us there. I may not buy the full size of this one, but I find it nice enough to at least use ’til it’s out.


Doucce Luscious Lip Stain in Holiday Getaway

You can’t win them all, and sadly, and this Doucce lip stain is simply not a winner in my eyes. It looks like the full-size version of this comes with a top coat of gloss which may help this out because it’s SO DRY. I know mattes aren’t known for their hydration but there are some that can really do it right (*cough Kat Von D cough*). This orange color isn’t my favorite either and is a tough color to pull off. This one’s gonna be a no for me, dawg.


Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume, 1.7 ml – Estimated Value $2.30 (Buy the 100 ml full size for $135.00)

This “not a perfume,” on the other hand, is a big old “yes.” This is apparently made from a single ingredient called cetalox (or sometimes Ambroxan) which is normally used as a base fragrance. There are no other scents mixed in and exists in its pure form here. Well, I just love it. I’m not the best at describing smells, but this one has a woody earthy vibe to it (which I’ve been loving lately) and although it isn’t floral at all, it has a sweetness to it. I think it’s lovely for fall. I’d usually turn my nose up at a perfume sample, but I like this one so “Shantay, you stay.”

*Estimated value updated 11/22 because I am bad at math. Thanks to Brenda for pointing out my silly decimal mistake!

Verdict: This curated Birchbox was mostly great with the exception of the liquid lip that I just couldn’t get on board with. Since it normally comes with a gloss, I couldn’t get a solid estimated price for it but this box without it has a value of about $56.79 which is great for a $15 box. Plus, it has a full-size mascara!

To Wrap Up: 

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? If you subscribe to Birchbox now, be sure to check the image on the sign-up page. The box design pictured at the bottom is the first month you’ll receive. You can’t pick a curated box like this one as your first box, but you’ll be able to pick it every month moving forward.

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

Value Breakdown: At $15.00 for this box, you are paying approximately $2.14 per item. 

Check out all of our Birchbox reviews and our favorite beauty boxes!

Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Do you like this curated Birchbox

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.
Marne Orenich
Marne Orenich
Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Marne Orenich
Marne Orenich
Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.
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Marne, great review as always. Do you think the perfume resembles “Replica by fireplace” in a much more subtle way? To me it smells similar, but minis the smokiness and much less strong. Love both scents.

Marne Orenich

Oh my gosh, Kay! I LOVE Replica by the Fireplace but I don’t think “Not A Perfume” is nearly as smokey. It’s much more subtle. So- I kinda agree but didn’t put that together.


This was the box I picked and was happy to see this review. I enjoyed every product except for the off putting lip stain. As an Ace, I’m locked in to the 10.00 price point and feel the value is there. Lately I have been enjoying the curated boxes. The second option for December looks great and this one was a winner for me. Birchbox continues to be my favorite cosmetic sub box. I like the new choices.

Marne Orenich

I am with you, Penny. That lip “stain” was the only bummer product.

Joy B.

Yay! This is the box I chose and I loved it! The only exception being the lipstick as well.We pretty much felt the exact same way about everything in this box.

That lipstick…oh my! I got my box at work so at lunch I decided to give the lipstick a try because I was already thinking the color was going to be a no but I wanted to give it a try anyways because sometimes looks can be deceiving. I also want to state for the record that I LOVE matte lipsticks and wear them all the time and have tried many! This formula was like nothing I’ve experienced before. It STUCK to my lips immediately to the point where I couldn’t even really get it on well before it was dried. And the color was a big no as well. I think it would be lovely on the right complexion but mine isn’t it! LOL! I’m not upset though because at least now I know that formula doesn’t work for me and I can move on to the next. I was thinking maybe a gloss on top would help as well but the problem for me was in trying to apply it without it drying first so I don’t think the gloss would have helped.

As far as the rest of the box goes I was thrilled! The only thing I had tried before was the “Not a Perfume” and as far as I’m concerned you could send me a sample of that every month in every subscription box I receive and I would be fine with that. That stuff smells
awesome. It’s very light but in a rich way if that makes sense. It is not floral or fruity, it just smells warm and again the word I want to use is rich. Not like wealthy but deep I guess. Although I just said it was light so I guess I’m terrible at describing scents! Anyway, I love it.

The shampoo and conditioner were very nice, and I love having travel sizes. I also love the shape of this little bottle so I know I will refill it and continue to use it for travel even after the shampoo is gone. The blue tansy oil is right up my alley and I am enjoying it very much. Just like you I am so glad the roller ball controls how much I put on my face because I tend to be heavy handed with products and while I was a little annoyed at first with how little it put out I realized that was probably the correct amount I should be using.

I am always happy to try a new retinoid product and I while I know there is not enough to give you real results, I feel like anyone who has been using skin care and especially retinoids for awhile can glean from this sample if this would be a product they would like to continue using so I am fine with the size. As much as I keep trying (I even bought a full size CEO Turmeric night oil) I just can’t make Sunday Riley products work for me. But I am very happy to get these trial sizes so I can keep reminding myself of that and not waste money on larger sizes again. LOL, does that make sense?

I know I am in the minority here but I LOVE Birchbox. They are by far my favorite subscription and I actually have two subscriptions to them and I am thinking of getting another. I had the hardest time this month choosing between this box and the gorgeous full sized blush that was an option or using my money for points or picking the Sunday Riley sample and letting them pick the rest! I decided to get this box with one subscription and the blush with my second but by the time I finally decided the blush was gone so I used my money for points. I’m really glad I did because I ended up ordering 6 boxes of things from the Fall Clearance Sale. 🙂

Marne Orenich

Joy- Yes! Glad I’m not the only one who loves that cute little shampoo bottle! Haha.
I also really like CEO Glow but did that not work for you? Turmeric is so great!
So nice to hear how much you enjoy Birchbox! At first, I was a little snobby about the sample sizes, but I totally see the value in it these days for various reasons!

Kay- that’s so wonderful that you found a place to donate unused products to!


Hi Joy! I ordered the same box. Thank you also for pointing that the liquid lipstick is so drying… I won’t be able to use it on my already dry lips, so I will donate (I have a box for Project Beauty Share and send it when the box gets full and lip products must be unused). And I love the idea of reusing the shampoo bottle! I have a few of those. I like the wide mouth for refiling, semi-clear, so know when to refill, and it is under the liquid limitation for air travel. I can also use one for my son’s shampoo/body wash. Such a great idea! Thanks!

Dani G.

Ha! Marne, I had to have that roller too! I happened upon it right when Sephora started selling it and knew I probably didn’t need it consideringI had no idea what I would use it for. But it was one of those MUST OWN THIS type of products and at only $10 I didn’t feel too guilty. I still don’t even though it’s still unopened. But it gives me joy each time I open my obsessively extensive lip balm, scrub, oil, treatment, etc. drawer, where I put all my hard-to-categorize beauty and beauty-ish treasures. Initially I thought I would use it for a fragrance oil but that’s a big commitment given that it will forever smell the same even if you do everything possible to clean it.

I also had that Tansy oil roller but found that it was just more oilyish than I could handle. A tiny bit got on the bottle and took the label right off. I found it difficult not to use too much and it just felt gross sitting there on my face just waiting to catch cat hair and all other manner of debris.

I find the ratio of shampoo to conditioner from that brand so very odd. I like the brand and have received it in different boxes but always the same sizes. Theoretically you’re really only supposed to use shampoo on your scalp and conditioner on your hair. I understand some people may take “on the ends of your hair” very literally, although most people I know go at least halfway up whether they have thick, long, curly or even super straight fine and thin hair like mine. No one wants their hair weighed down but if it’s fragile you want to moisturize it (and anything else you can do to stop the breakage 😩) and if it’s thick or dry or there’s just a lot of it (🍀) you’re going to use significantly more conditioner than shampoo. Maybe it’s just me but if you really want me to test a brand’s system send me enough of both. If you just want me to smell it, feel it or get a partial sense of how it may perform if used regularly just send two packets. Just a personal pet peeve I probably shouldn’t have such passionate feelings about. 😸

Marne Orenich

LOL “just waiting to catch cat hair and all other manner of debris”! Girl, same. I hope you find something special to put into your crystal serum roller- even if it’s just being displayed on a shelf somewhere!
But yes- I want a baby tub of conditioner to match the baby bottle of shampoo, darnit! Haha.


A 1.7 mL of the perfume sample should be $2.30 and not $22.95.

Marne Orenich

Ughhhh- math is (clearly) not my strong suit. It seemed weird to me at first but then I was like “$135 is pricy so I guess this makes sense?”. I definitely need to triple check my math in the future!
Thanks for pointing that out, Brenda! I’ll get that adjusted ASAP!


Yeah that value of the box being $77 looked way high to me, and when I looked at each individual item the perfume sample at $22 makes no sense!

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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.