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Birchbox The Makeup Bag Essentials Kit Review + Coupon – February 2020

The Birchbox Makeup Bag Essentials Kit is one of the latest exclusive kits from Birchbox featuring beauty essentials everyone should have in their makeup bag.

FYI – this kit is still available for purchase!

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

About this Birchbox Kit

The Box: The Makeup Bag Essentials Kit

The Cost: $50 (a $148 value)

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

And don’t forget your free mystery sample pack on orders of $35 or more!

This kit includes:

  • M·A·C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Lip – Full-size
  • Wander Beauty Mile High Club™ Volume and Length Mascara – Full-size
  • tarte H2O gloss – Sandy Toes – Full-size
  • Smith & Cult Illumify Shimmering Highlight – Summersault – Full-size
  • Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia Sunny Golden Pink Blush – Travel-size
  • Smashbox Cosmetics Step-by-Step Contour Kit – Light/Medium – Travel-size

Ships to: The US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands

Birchbox The Makeup Bag Essentials Kit Review

This box didn’t come with an info sheet, which is abnormal.


M·A·C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Lip, 0.05 oz – Retail Value $19

I wanted to love this lip primer, but I honestly didn’t. I used this in the place of my regular pre-lipstick system (lip scrub, lip oil, lip balm, wipe it all away with a tissue right before lipstick application). This may help to improve the appearance of lipsticks once they are on, but I found that it also shortened the longevity before it started to smudge and fade. That makes this a deal-breaker for me, but your mileage may vary.


Wander Beauty Unlashed Mascara, 0.32 oz – Retail Value $24

I really like Wander Beauty, but their Unlashed mascara is actually my least favorite from them. It wasn’t until I was sitting down to write this review that I realized I was actually supposed to receive the Mile-High Mascara, which I have used before and love a lot more than this one. Unlashed is designed to be a volume and curl mascara, but I find the actual performance to be lackluster. Birchbox, what happened here?

UPDATE: We reached out to customer service, and they sent the correct mascara. You can see me wearing it above. It has the same retail value as the other mascara so I would adjust the value, but I think this performs worlds better. It adds good length to my lashes and gives them a bit of wispy volume. I will say that while it can be frustrating to not get the correct item the first time around, I have never been disappointed in how Birchbox handles customer service issues.


tarte Sea H2O gloss in Sandy Toes, 0.135 oz – Retail Value $19

I love the tarte H2O line- I find the packaging to be gorgeous, and I can’t recall any complaints about the many products from them I have tried. This lip gloss is no exception, with a pretty peachy nude shade that has a slightly metallic finish and coconut oil and algae extract to nourish my lips. This lip gloss is slightly sticky, but I tend to wear lip glosses when my hair is up, in a bun, and out of my face, so it doesn’t bother me.

Here I am wearing just the lip gloss and mascara on a low-key day.


Smith & Cult Illumify Shimmering Highlight in Summersault, 0.33 oz – Retail Value $36

I love Smith & Cult and I really like this highlighter, but wow is this brand on the more expensive side. This is a really pretty gold-peach highlighter that I like to apply with my liquid foundation before blending it all together for a soft all-over glow. This works really well that way, and this is actually the only cream highlighter that I actually like. Plus, the shade of this highlighter coordinates really well with the blush and lip gloss that are also in this kit- good job on that end, Birchbox.


Benefit Cosmetics GALifornia Blush, 0.08 oz – Retail Value $17

This was the first blush I ever used that made me think “maybe blush isn’t so bad after all,” so this will hold a special place in my heart forever after years of abhorring the idea of blush on my rosacea-tinged cheeks. This is a light coral-pink blush with golden tones, and a tiny bit blends like a dream into the apples of my cheeks.


Smashbox Cosmetics Step-by-Step Contour Kit in Light/Medium, 0.21 oz – Buy this exact palette with a makeup brush for $35

This contour palette is only for sale with an accompanying makeup brush, so I wasn’t sure how to value this (or why the brush wasn’t included). Nonetheless, I have a plethora of makeup brushes so I was able to apply this with ease. I thought the contour shade was a touch dark for my very pale skin, but I liked that this set is free from the shimmer that is in so many other face powders.

Here is the contour palette swatched below the highlighter and above the blush.

Verdict: Other than the wrong mascara being sent, I thought this was a well-curated kit from Birchbox. I appreciate that so many of the products were full-size, and the gloss, highlighter, and blush really do pair well together for a peachy golden glow. Value-wise, I calculated a total value of $119 for everything except the Smashbox contour kit (and I imagine that would add another $20ish total dollars to the value).

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this kit if you order today? Yes, this exclusive kit is still available for purchase!

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

Value Breakdown: This kit cost$50 which means you are paying $8.33 per item.

Check out all of our Birchbox reviews and our other favorite beauty box subscriptions!

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

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Written by Jessica Hapak

Jessica Hapak

I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Birchbox Limited Edition Boxes, Birchbox Reviews| Tags: birchbox | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I’d rather go shopping at Sephora for a $50-$60 spree.. Especially sale items I suppose.

    One of the better Birchbox’s I’ve seen though.

    I have makeup coming out my ears.. Now I just drop $30 once in awhile for something New like a nice black eye liner I actually need.

  2. They may have marketed this as a new kit, but I bought this before Christmas for half-off. It was totally worth $25 to me for Christmas presents!

  3. I also order this kit and received the wrong mascara. I also got the unleashed wander. I ordered the kit cause I love the mile club mascara! So I emailed them and they said they would send a replacement with the mile high mascara. I just got the mascara in the mail and it’s the wrong one again. So now I have two of the wrong unleashed mascara, which I don’t really like. I’ve given up. I guess I will gift them. I did like the kit and the rest of the products.

  4. I bought the Smashbox Try Me: Fan Favorites kit of minis from Birchbox during a recent sale, & it arrived with a duplicate mini mascara instead of the sample size Always On liquid lip. I emailed Birchbox customer service asking if it was possible to receive a replacement for the lipstick, fully expecting them to say no & offer me a partial refund (à la Ipsy), but instead they said yes! A couple weeks later, I got a package with a FULL SIZE liquid lip in the same shade as the one I was supposed to receive in the kit.

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