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Birchbox Curated Box #1 Review + Coupon – December 2019

Birchbox Review - December 2019

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 ‘Female-Founded Brands’ curated box.

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).

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 ‘Female-Founded Brands’ Curated Box #1 Review – December 2019

Let’s talk about this month’s box real quick before we get into the contents. We’ve shown you how to repurpose their cute patterned boxes in the past, but this one takes any work out of it by doubling as a picture frame! Simply slide a photo (what are those? :P) into the top and prop up the lid in the provided notch (as shown above). You can use the box for more photos or keepsakes of a special event! Very cute, Birchbox! I’d love to see more of this creativity throughout the year!


There are two info cards in this month’s Birchbox. One details the included six items. The other card is a code for $25 off $100+ for subscribers to say “Happy Holidays.”


ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm in Berry Busy – Retail Value $15.00

I’ve got this lip balm in past curated boxes several times before. It comes in the berry color (above) or blush which both change color on your lips and will look different on everyone. The surprising thing to me though is that the color seems more like a stain than a balm in the way it really stays put even after you may wipe it off. The Berry Busy color gives my pout a nice pink hue that lasts quite a long time and is moisturizing at the same time. I really like this product and it’s a Birchbox exclusive brand so you can’t get it anywhere else.


Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Super Food Shampoo, 1 oz. – Estimated Value $2.24 (Buy the full-size 12.5 oz. $28)

Briogeo Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Super Food Conditioner, 1 oz. – Estimated Value $2.24 (Buy the full-size 12.5 oz. $28)

Even though I should be using my hers shampoo and conditioner right now, I realized it wouldn’t kill me to at least try something else for one day. Briogeo always has great haircare IMO and these two samples are of their matcha + apple replenishing superfood collection. Both have a really nice green apple scent that is a little sweet but not overly fragranced. The shampoo gave me a nice lather and the conditioner made my hair feel super soft and lightweight. No heavy feeling here at all- and cut down on the frizz I’ve been having lately too. Two thumbs up!


Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Lengthening Mascara in Beyond Black, 0.1 oz. – Estimated Value $8.33 (Buy the full-size 0.3 oz. for $25)

I’ve tried this mascara out in the past and have to say that it’s a great one! I really love the wand on this- it’s got the short plastic bristles I prefer and even a few at the end to make sure there isn’t any clumping. This gives my lashes incredible volume and the pigment is dark, making my lashes pop against my eye makeup. It also stays put all day and doesn’t flake off or end up under my eyes as some mascaras can.


Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel, 0.17 oz. – Estimated Value $4.80 (Buy the full-size 1.7 oz. for $48)

Peels are all the rage right now and this small tube probably has a couple of uses in it. At first, I didn’t get enough onto my face to get the peeling action going, but after about 30 seconds I decided to use a little more which worked out. After massaging into a damp face, you’ll begin to produce some pilling which is a mix of the product and some dead skin that you’re gently exfoliating away. The result is super fresh, almost shiny skin that looks renewed!


ModelCo Highlighting Shimmer Whip in Cosmo, 0.24 oz. – Estimated Value $7.20 (Buy the full-size 0.50 oz. for $15)

I want to like liquid highlighters, but with this one, I find it hard to blend because it dries so quickly. By the time I dab it onto my cheekbones, it’s already tough to move it around because it is fixed. I think this one might be better used as an add-in to foundation or moisturizer to get an all-over glow.

Here are swatches for the highlighter and lip balm.

Verdict: Birchbox wasn’t super exciting to me this month only because I received some products I’ve gotten a lot of in the past. Of course, this is a curated box that you can choose so you wouldn’t get it unless you asked for it. The mascara and lip balm are indeed great products though, so there’s really no bad vibes there. The peeling mask was cool but I wish there were a little more uses out of it, and the shampoo and conditioner worked well but didn’t change my life. All in all- this was a solid box, just not mind-blowing. The total retail value is $39.81 which is fabulous for a $15 box!

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, here’s what you are paying per item. 

  • Lip Balm: $5.65
  • Shampoo: $0.84
  • Conditioner: $0.84
  • Mascara: $3.14
  • Peel: $1.81
  • Highlighter: $2.71

Alternately, you’re paying $2.50 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!

What do you think of this curated Birchbox


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Written by 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.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 6 comments

Comments (6)

  1. wow..the December box was the best box I’ve ever received from birchbox…thanks bb.

  2. I swapped by box for the full-sized product (Lipstick Queen in Frog Prince), so I got a plain box, not the fancy December box.

    • Oh no! I surprised by that. When I swapped for the full-size Benefit blush recently, it came in that month’s box, just like I had gotten the regular box. Thank you for sharing, I am going to keep that in mind for the future.

    • Me, too.

  3. I just resigned. I’m loving the box. It’s the nicest box I’ve received in a sub

  4. I feel that way about Birchbox in general: “a solid box, just not mind-blowing.” It’s a terrific box for sub box newbies and I often want to resub for the nostalgia factor, but they just haven’t gotten many new products for so long now!

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