Essence BeautyBox Review – February 2016

Subscription: Essence BeautyBox

Cost: $15/month

Referral Code: 3657-F658-7DCD

What to Expect: “Each month, our team of beauty experts will carefully select the products to send, and you’ll receive your beautiful box with 5 products to discover and enjoy. We strive to feature a product from a Black-owned business in each box.”


I got this box at a discount, 6 months for $60, and I’m calling it my Blacklady Birchbox. Or Women of Color Birchbox… whichever makes you smile =)


Though, right away I was upset because while Birchbox calls me gorgeous lady or whatever, Essence makes it clear they don’t care that you paid for this box and it went to the wrong address because the “CURRENT RESIDENT” gets to keep your package! Grrrrr. Fortunately things got better from here!


When you sign up you take a little beauty quiz. It’s quite short [6 questions], and I’m not sure if it’s BB irrelevant or if they actually use it for anything. There was only one variation this month that wouldn’t have been based off of this–lipstick or lipgloss.


This box looks like a keeper!


The Box: Shine Like a Star



I like this page with why items were chosen and by whom.


Soak it Up Oil Cocktail by Softsheen-Carson

Soak it Up Oil Cocktail by Softsheen-Carson: $9.99, 4.1oz (full size!). “The Soak it Up Oil is the 2nd step of Moisture L.O.C. system, inspired by the “O” in the LOC Method. It contains blends of 5 Oils: Sunflower oil, Apricot oil, Coconut oil, Avocado Oil and Moringa Oil to hydrate and nourish curls and coils.

I haven’t tried the LOC method, but I put it on my curls and didn’t really notice a difference. It smells AMAZING, like mangoes. Also, it’s suuuuper watery so don’t dump it everywhere!

Twistouts are sooo haaardddd coughLAZYcough.

Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment by CoverFX

Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment by CoverFX: Sample 0.16fl oz, $38 for a full size of 1oz. “A lightweight gel primer that imparts an instant matte finish as well as extended shine control while minimizing the appearance of pores and preventing & healing acne blemishes.

Wahhhh. I just saw primer so I threw it in a box for my galpal and already sent it off. If I’d noticed the healing acne and pore minimizing I’d have kept it!! Perhaps it’s a good thing. This sample alone is $6, and the full size is a bit out of my price comfort zone.

Looks So Natural Lashes by KISS

Looks So Natural Lashes by KISS: $3.99 for lashes, and $4.99 for glue. “Revolutionary Tapered End Technology delivers real-like lashes that blend seamlessly with your own lashes.

These are coming with me to Vegas! I love fake lashes =D The Essence site reviews for the lashes are pretty funny. My oversimplification: “I’m 50, HELL no I don’t need these!” vs “I’m almost 60 and I’m gonna look bangin’ on my birthday!” The latter makes me laugh because my mutti turns 60 today!! And thinking of her wearing false lashes is pretty hilarious.

The glue I couldn’t find in that packaging other than on eBay. Must really be super new. Or really old??? I hope not.

Coily Custard by Miss Jessie’s

Coily Custard by Miss Jessie’s: Sample, full size $14. “A dose of super moisture and shine that enhances and defines your curl pattern, reduces frizz, and fights curl shrinkage.

I love Miss Jessie’s and just ran out of my other curly product from them, so I’m excited to try this!

Lip Shimmer by IMAN

Lip Shimmer by IMAN: Sample, full size is $10-11ish. “The Luxury Lip Shimmer is a high-shine gloss that is long wearing, packed with vitamin E, chamomile, and shea butter for “kiss me” lips.

Some subscribers received lipstick. This looks purdy, but I already have a lot of lip stuff that I barely use.

Iman and dog

Who is Iman? Well, she was the wife of the late David Bowie. Model and beauty product line founder, and lots more for sure.


Optic White Toothpaste by Colgate

Optic White Toothpaste by Colgate: Bonus sample, $2.99 for full size. “Whitens teeth more than 3 shades*, results start in just one week!

I mean. Meh. My teeth might be slightly whiter? I started using my vibrating toothbrush again, so that helps a lot as well. My dentists have told me I should focus on cavity prevention and not teeth whitening.

They cann’ah take ma candy! 



By the way, I went in for my yearly haircut on Tuesday, and while I was melting under the hair dryer I found this hair coloring book!! I was super excited because A. I love coloring and B. the illustrator and I are both blackish artistic ladies who share a name! I actually like doodling more than coloring, so making a coloring book would be fun!

essence beautybox february 2016


Verdict: This box is pretty great so far. I think for the most part most people could get this particular box. Miss Jessie’s curly stuff is for all curlies, and the oil, well, you can just smell it if you’re not using it for the LOC method. Or gift it 😉 There are still loads of black women who prefer other types of hair, so the two hair products are pretty much useless on straightened hair, wigs, weaves, shaved heads, etc. Anyway, it took me months to decide between this, Onyx Box, and Curl Kit, but I think a mixed bag of stuff was a good choice because then I’m not just full up on hair stuff. I only wash my hair once a week, so I don’t need much hair product!

I think their referral program is pretty silly though. I have to refer 10 people by email to get a little gift? That’s too much effort.

Throws self on floor and is too lazy to writhe in anguish.

I might live in Seattle, but my sister is the only other black friend I have and my Hispanic friends are incredibly pale with straight hair. Do we have any women of color readers?? If so, do you get any fun hair/skin boxes?

Bella cleaning up tissue paper

Kitty cleanup crew.


Disclosure: This box was purchased by me at a discount. There is a referral link. 

  4 comments for “Essence BeautyBox Review – February 2016

  1. February 26, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    so impressed that this box sent something practical like teeth whitener and then they sent false lashes too. nice mixture of plain and sassy. I think you should totally make a coloring book of woodland creatures…

    • February 26, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      What? False lashies are totally practical! I am going to bring them to Hawaii and then we can go snorkeling and see how natural they really are!!

      • February 26, 2016 at 3:56 pm

        Nice box and your kitty means business!!!

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