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Birchbox Curated Box #3 Review + Coupon – December 2019

Birchbox 3 Holiday Glow December 2019 beauty makeup subscription box

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 ‘Holiday Glow’ curated box. It looks like previously in our spoiler post, Birchbox called this the ‘Holiday Favorites’, but the info sheet inside states this box is ‘Holiday Glow’.

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 Curated Box #3 Review – December 2019

This is probably the prettiest Birchbox box I have ever seen. It is heavy-duty, and the inside of the lid even doubles as a picture frame. There are notches in the sides so it can stand up, doubling as a memory holder as well as a jewelry, trinket, or makeup box.


There are two info cards in this month’s Birchbox. One details the included 5 items. The other card is a code for $25 off $100+ for subscribers to say “Happy Holidays.”


Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum, 0.21 fl oz – Estimated Value $5.01 (Buy a full-size 0.67 fl oz for $16.00)

I am much more fond of this than I ever could have expected. This is likely because I am using it as an eyeshadow instead of a highlighter. I didn’t find this to be a great formula for my face in general. It has a pretty quick dry-down that locks it into place, meaning it isn’t the easiest formula to blend, which is really important on my face since I try to create a diffused look with anything shimmery. I thought the pearl pink was just so pretty though, and wondered if that dry-down might make more sense on my lids, kind of in a sheer Glossier Lidstar sort of way. I was right and I really like this on my lids. It adds just a little bit of sparkle which complements a natural makeup look and lasts for hours.


Love of Color Liquid Shimmer Shadow, 0.03 fl oz. – Full Size! Retail Value $10.00

Ironically, this shimmer is meant for your lids, but I really didn’t like it. You know how some shimmery shadows look super textured? I felt like this felt thick and showed every single detail of my eyelid underneath. It felt kind of flakey when totally dry too. I decided to give it another try but blend it quickly before it dried, which worked so much better than just layering it on thickly. Blending it also gave the smaller pink shimmer inside room to shine more as well.


ModelCo Highlighting Shimmer Whip, 0.24 fl oz – Full Size! Retail Value $15.00

Ok, loads of shimmering things this month. This formula was the most golden of the trio this month, but seemed to have that same significantly short dry time. For facial highlighters, I prefer something that stays a little more hydrated and doesn’t lock into place. I did find that I liked this under my makeup a lot more then I liked it on top. My liquid foundation kind of buffed it out into more of an internal glow sort of vibe. It was also very pretty when mixed with my foundation then applied with a foundation brush.

The products from top to bottom: Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum, LOC Liquid Shimmer Shadow, and Model Co Shimmer Whip


MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream, 0.2 fl oz  – Estimated Value $4.12 (Buy 1.7 fl oz for $35.00)

I have used MAC’s strobe cream on and off for years now and I still love it. It is a great shade for any skin tone, though they recently added in a few different shades for different skin tones too! This is the original ‘Pinklite’ shade which has a super subtle pink glow. In addition to a soft glow, this also primes my skin perfectly for makeup application, though when used alone it still does wonders for my skin’s overall look.


Acure Radically Rejuvenating Under Eye Hydrogels – Retail Value $4.99

More often than not, I am going to love an under-eye gel. They just feel so good, especially if you pop ’em into the fridge for 30 minutes before you use them. These were a true blessing to my under eyes because they get so sad and dull in the winter. Filled with cucumber and Persian silk tree extracts, these ingredients combine to hydrate and firm skin.

Verdict: This curated Birchbox has a value of around $39.12, though the assortment feels a little limited. Everything has the same sort of shimmer highlighter look aside from the strobe cream and eye pads. If you are a shimmer addict (and I kind of am) this is a pretty exciting box, but if you avoid shimmering shadows and highlighters this box will be a miss for you. I liked most everything, but especially the strobe cream! I do feel like there should have been a 6th item in this box to beef up that value, but in terms of a holiday sort of box, the glowing products are right on theme for those holiday parties!

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 is what you are paying approximately per item:

  • Beautaniq Beauty Glow Serum $1.92
  • Love of Color Shadow $3.83
  • ModelCo Shimmer Whip $5.75
  • MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream $1.58
  • Acure Eye Gels $1.91

Alternatively, each of the 5 items costs approximately $3.00.

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!

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Written by Megan


I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Reviews, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: birchbox | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. UGH. I missed the personalization window and ended up with a box almost identical to this one. Almost every product is an exact BB repeat for me: Beautaniq serum, LOC shadow, MAC strobe… I think the only new one was a Phase Zero blush. All of those products are on my profile as NO THANK YOU, and the ones that are repeats I rated super low to ensure I wouldn’t get them again. Pretty box, but cancelled. Thanks anyway, Birchbox.

  2. I don’t miss subscribing to BB at all except for their boxes!

  3. As mentioned in a previous review, I contacted cs regarding a damaged item in another box and was promised a replacement. When it didn’t arrive within the 10 days promised I reached out again and have heard nothing. This has been going on since mid December! Not worth it for a dried out nail polish, especially since I loved every other item in the box, as well as the box itself. But to say their customer service is sluggish would be a bit of an understatement.

  4. Which color of the LOC eyeshadow is this?

    I do think that the Beautaniq serum looks like a prettier color than either of the others. I never thought to use it on my lids. I might have to remove it from my swap page and give it a whirl!

  5. Has anyone contacted Birchbox cs recently? I emailed them almost 3 days ago about a product missing from my order and no response

    • They have been extremely slow lately, which is unusual. I understood that they might be slow between Black Friday and Christmas, which is when I was having all my issues, but one would think that they would be back on track now. I wonder if they have cut staff?!?

      • Maybe. Thanks for the help 😊😊

    • I emailed them about a missing item in one of my purchases on December 24th, and just received a response YESTERDAY, January 8th. To say their CS is slow right now is an understatement. I also placed two shop orders on the 31st, and they haven’t even shipped yet.

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