Essence BeautyBox Review – April 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 =)

Essence April 2016 box


Essence April 2016 box

Oh, hello new box! I love the watercolor design on their boxes!

Essence April 2016 box

I think this box mostly has items that can be used by anyone interested, or by any skin color with some curly/wavy hair. They suggest sending this for Mother’s Day and you can get a bonus box. However, my mom is super pale and has blonde wispy, wavy hair. It makes me laugh to think about sending this to her because she makes funny sounds when she is baffled and trying to be nice. I think I’d rather send her a cooking or quilting box, or that weird 90s hair clip box.

Really, I’d never send her Birchbox either. I think she’d be confused by that too. I can hear it now: “Green eyeliner? That’s just wrong.”

Essence April 2016 boxThe Box: Every Girl Deserves a Fresh Start

Essence April 2016 box

I like this card with why items were chosen and by whom. When you sign up you take a little beauty quiz. It’s quite short [6 questions], and right now it’s irrelevant, but I think they’re planning to do variations at some point. Which is good because, as you’ve probably noticed, there are lots of different hairstyles WOC choose to go for. I’m natural or naturally curly.

Naturally covered in cat hair, too!


Essence April 2016 box

Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment from Paula’s Choice: $55 for 0.5oz. “Anti-Aging, Brown Spots, Wrinkles”

Holy cow, this is full size! That’s in-SAHN! I wasn’t expecting that price or size for a $15 box!! I got a Paula’s Choice item a long time ago and never used it, but people seem to like her products so I tried this one out. Plus, I’ve got some spots and wrinkles. It’s a nice application after you put on your night cream. Which is good because it leaves a matte white spot. I haven’t seen any spots diminish, but for $55 they better be poofing away soon!

I use it on one wrinkle and leave the other two as control wrinkles. I’ll ferret out whether this works! 

Essence April 2016 box

Evercolor Shadow Stick by Mally Beauty: $25. “Primer, shadow base, and eye shadow all in one. You can also use it as an eyeliner.”

The sticker made the product seem sketchy at first. But whoa, I like this way more than I thought I would! It goes on nice and light and stays decently. Not sure what size this is.

Essence April 2016 box

This color really stays on! I also had some loose powder that was a similar color, and I swatched that on the right side of the scribble on my wrist above.

Essence April 2016 box

Cocoa Butter Stick by Palmer’s: $3.50 for 0.5oz. “On-the-spot help for marks and blemishes and is ideal for touch-up moisturizing on face and body.”

What a great idea, and it smells awesome!

Especially if you like scratch and sniff choco-vanilla combo! 

Essence April 2016 boxLooks like a glue stick for itches.

Essence April 2016 box

Seal and Shine by Jane Carter Solution: $15 for 4oz full size, $3.75 for 1oz sample size. “Seal in essential fatty acids, add incredible shine and reduce dryness.”

I have other hair products to use up before opening this, but it gets good reviews! It is a featured black-owned business.

Essence April 2016 box

Coconut Curls by Earth’s Nectar: $23.50 for 12oz. “A lavish moisturizing cream that detangles, softens, and smooths away frizz and fly aways.”

I tried this, but not during a twist-out. My sister is more into protective hair styling, but we both agree that our twistouts turn out terribly so we give up for 6 months, get inspired, then fail again. This is also a featured black-owned business.

Without trying it properly, my current opinion is a “meh,” and I’m too lazy to do spend several hours making twists of disappointment. 

Essence April 2016 box

Sébium H2O by Bioderma: $1 for 20ml sample.

I finally got some mice water! It seems to take off my makeup nicely.

One reviewer on the Essence site mentioned it was only enough for two uses. Holy smokes! That is SOO much product! 


essence beauty box april 2016

Just for scale, here are the Bioderma and Paula’s Resistance next to a hotel key.

Essence April 2016 box


Verdict: If the Mally and Paula’s Choice items are full size, then this box has over a $75 value! I was not expecting that at all. This box was really good and I will use everything. I am glad I subbed, and continue to be impressed with items. I really like the Mally eye stick more than I thought I would. Overall, the curation and presentation of this box impresses me.

I hope they figure out their emailing kinks though–my first month they sent out the entire box spoilers before the box even was mailed, then they sent the tracking a week early. This month I’ve gotten an email from them every few days, and it’s a bit much for my apathetic self.


Click here to see other Essence Beauty Box reviews!

Disclosure: This box was purchased by me. There is a referral code so I can refer ten people and find some sort of magical product in a box. 

  9 comments for “Essence BeautyBox Review – April 2016

  1. May 2, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Mice water yea! Also what a great value hope they keep it up!

  2. Heat7918
    May 2, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I want that Paula’s Choice! And I love “mice” water!! 🙂
    Awesome box.

    • May 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Have you tried any Paula’s Choice products, Heat?

  3. May 2, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    This is a great box! I love Mally eye shadow sticks. I’ve heard wonderful things about Paula’s Choice. Will you let us know how that product worked for you?

    • May 2, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Good, I’m glad to hear positive words about Mally! It was a new-to-me product, and like I mentioned the packaging was suspect at first. I will let you know about Paula’s Choice. I use it every night before bed, and mostly I’ve been monitoring some spots from acne scars, but I wonder if it’s supposed to be for aging brown spots??

  4. May 3, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Such a great box! Do they send the same one to everybody or is it like BB where everyone gets variations?

    • May 3, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      I believe they want to eventually send variations, but it’s just one box for now.

      Btw, love the new picture!

      • May 3, 2016 at 11:06 pm

        I feel like this box kills every box in the $15 category! Thanks! I was tired of the logo!!

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