Julep Galaxy Mystery Box – September 2013

I’ve got info about Julep’s monthly maven box subscription below along with a coupon code.  But first let’s get to the review of their September mystery Box.  This one is galaxy themed.Box
There were three options offered:

Pluto Mystery Box for $19.99, with a retail value of $50.00+
or
Cosmic Mystery Box for $24.99, with a retail value of $75.00+
or
Supernova Mystery Box for $39.99, with a retail value of $129.99

The Cosmic and Supernova Boxes guaranteed the new and exclusive polish, “Estelle” described as
a “full-coverage black holographic glitter that’s out of this world”.
EstelleJulep also included giveaways of $100 gift cards each day the mystery boxes were available.

I opted for the Cosmic mystery box because I’m becoming a polish hoarder and I figured it best to avoid the largest box.  According to my packing slip I received Cosmic Mystery Box Version 1.

Opened

Masks
Moisture Mask Trio:
(Retail Price: $20.00, Maven Price: $16.00)
Each Trio includes three single-use treatments: Nail Moisture Mask, Hand Moisture Mask, and Foot Moisture Mask.

Verdict: Hit!
I’ve tried this set before and I loved the foot and hand masks, although I didn’t care for the nail one.  They are plastic slip on masks so it’s an easy clean up.  I do wish Julep would offer these in sets of each type so that you could stock up on just the one you want, rather than having to buy all three kinds.


Hand Model
Hand Model Set:
  (Retail Price: $40.00, Maven Price: $25.00)
Three piece set includes:

Glycolic Hand Scrub (1oz): This “facial for hands” packs a 10% glycolic acid punch. Whisk away dirt and oil and reveal noticeably softer and younger looking hands after just one use.
Rock Star Hand Crème (1oz): Anti-aging, emollient blend of shea butter, glycerin, coconut oil, and vitamin E keeps hands hydrated, even after washing.Oxygen Nail Treatment: Complete nail care and make-up all in one bottle. Made with a patented Hexanal formulation, nails are restructured to a stronger, thicker, and smoother condition in just one stroke. Results are nails that are structurally stronger, and less prone to breakage and splitting.

Verdict: Hit!
I own a larger size of the Glycolic Hand scrub and it’s wonderful.  While I tempted to keep this set for myself, it’s packaged perfectly for a gift so I think this is going to my Christmas present stockpile.

Polish
Polish Names
I received eight polishes including Estelle.   In order from left to right:

Nicolette: Opaque french white crème. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some nail art and I don’t have a simple opaque white to use as a base.  This will be perfect.

Amity:  White gold metallic (Retail Value $12.50; Maven Price: $10.00; Currently, you cannot buy this color on its own, it’s only available in sets.  I chose the cheapest set of two that included it and divided the price.)
Verdict: Hit!
I don’t have this color and actually don’t have too much in the silver category.  Not sure I would do a whole manicure with this, but it looks like a great accent color.

Stefani: Gold flecked grey metallic. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $7.99)
Verdict: Hit!
I adore edgy polishes and love anything that resembles a gunmetal shade.  Happy to add this one to the collection.

Adele: Golden reflective top coat (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I was really excited to see a topcoat included in the box and can’t wait to try this one with different polishes.

Dakota:  Rose gold metallic chrome (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I probably wouldn’t have chosen this on my own, but I’m happy I got it because I think it will make a nice complement to other shades I have.

Raegan: Electric dark pink crème. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
This is a cheerful, fun shade and I don’t have any other Julep like it.  I can’t wait to try it out with a bright green accent nail.

Tracy: Sparkly ocean blue sea salt (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Gift
I adore this polish and I think it’s a must have for any polish wardrobe.  I already own it, so I’m adding it to my gift collection.

Estelle: Full-coverage black holographic glitter (Currently not available for sale, but we’ll estimate it at the regular retail and maven prices; Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20).
I knew this one was coming and I don’t have much glitter so I was psyched to get it.

Full Box

Overall:
I paid $26.74 (including tax) for this box.  The retail value of this bag was $170.50 and the “maven” value (with the maven subscription discount) was $126.19.
I am thrilled with this box.  I only had one duplicate and got an amazing selection of products that I can’t wait to use.

The Backstory

Julep specializes in toxin-free nail color but also features beauty products.  They are a small company based in Seattle and have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

They have a monthly maven box that costs $19.99.  You simply take their beauty quiz and it will match you up with a specific style.

The options:
Modern Beauty – (For those who prefer beauty items over nail color) – “You’re a savvy tastemaker obsessed with the art and science of beauty.” Get two full-size beauty products in every box.

Boho Glam – “You’re a dynamic free spirit with a creative eye.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Bombshell – “You’re a confident frill-seeker with magnetic appeal.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Classic With a Twist – “You’re an iconic beauty with a timeless aesthetic.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

It Girl – (For those who want polish only) “You’re a colorful trendsetter who’s not afraid to be bold.” Get three limited-edition nail colors in every box.
The real beauty of a maven box is that you only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “Secret Store” that lets you get other products at great prices.   Another perk is that when you’re a maven you get 20% off anything you purchase from their store along with free Shipping.  Julep polishes retail at $14.00 each, so a Maven box of two to three brand new polishes for under $20.00 is a great steal.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Fair Ivy: Package #1- Jewelry – September 2013

Got my first package for September from Fair Ivy, a subscription service that features handmade items.  Skip down for more details on subscription options along with a coupon code.   Now onto the review!!!

Closeup Packaging

This month’s first package featured a jewelry selection from Just A Charm jewelry.  They describe their pieces as “contemporary jewelry with clear and simple geometries.  Each piece is handcrafted in New York City with sterling silver, gold filled, semi-precious gemstones and delicate charms.  The style is modern versatile, minimalist and understated.”  As is par for the course with Fair Ivy, the packaging was lovely and inviting.

Closeup UnopenedInside was a sterling silver necklace.  It features a 14K gold-plated bar charm.

Necklace

Verdict:
Hit!

This is a simple, understated piece that goes with everything.  I really find mixed metals to be interesting and I like the combination of sterling silver and gold plate.

I couldn’t find this piece in Just A Charm’s Etsy store but a similar one in all sterling silver was priced at $23.00.

As usual, Fair Ivy delivers sophisticated, timelessly appealing jewelry.  Of all the boxes I receive I think this one ranks the highest in the category of gift giving.


THE BACKSTORY

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US, Canada & the UK).

Or

An original subscription at $40.00 a month (plus shipping) of 3 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

DISCOUNT CODE:  NEWSLETTER2 will get you $2.00 off either subscription.

Popsugar Special Edition Fall Style- Must Have Box – September 2013

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.  For details on the different subscription prices and some coupon codes, jump down below.  Now onto the review!

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.  This particular box is sold out, but you can still subscribe to the regular monthly box.

Box

As soon as I opened the package, I got the luxury vibe.  It had this big slide out box and all the packages were beautifully wrapped in black tissue paper.  It really was a joy to unwrap.
Unwrapping

RingRachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring: (Retail: $75.00 on Piperlime.com)
Verdict: Hit!
They had posted a sneak peek of this item so it was the only item I knew was guaranteed.  It’s a lot nicer in real life than in the photo and has a substantial weight to it.  It’s sophisticated, simple and will go with everything.  While I wouldn’t pay $75 for this, I have very few gold tone rings so it’s welcome in my jewelry wardrobe.  It’s important to note Rachel Zoe rings only come in size 7.  This ring is a little big on me, but still wearable.  If you’re a much smaller or larger size, you’d have to gift this.  Rachel Zoe has a matching bangle to this ring, which might have been a better item to include because of the sizing issue.


Shopper
Cynthia Vincent Classic Shopper Bag:
 (Retail: $49.99 on sale at Piperlime.com)
Verdict: Miss
Unfortunately I’m not an animal print person and I do have a lot of reusable tote bags.  (They, along with blank books are one of my addictions.)  While the print is not my taste, I have to say the fabric is very luxe and it feels more like something that should be on a dress rather than a tote bag.  If you dig this print, and like slouchy bags this would be right up your alley.

Bubblebath
Library of Flowers Bubble Bath:   (Retail: $36.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
While I wish they’d chosen a slightly more practical offering from Library of Flowers perfumery (like shower gel or perfume cream, because I just don’t take enough bubble baths), the packaging on this was so adorable I couldn’t help but fall in love.  Mine had a dent in the back but the lovely print was unscathed.

Notebook
Christian Lacroix Notebook:
  (Retail: $12.00 at Kate’s Paperie)
Verdict:  Hit!
As I mentioned earlier, along with an unhealthy addiction to collecting tote bags, I also hoard blank books.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a writer or I just like fancy pants stationary.  This book has a lovely print and is a nice medium size.  I may end up giving this as a gift because I know someone who would just adore it.

Scrub
Goldfaden MD – Doctor’s Scrub Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator, 3.5 oz:
 (Retail: $75.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
I love exfoliators and this claims to “improve skin tone and evenness” and “reduce pore size” without unwanted chemicals.  Sign me up!  I would probably never have splurged on such an expensive scrub, so this was a great addition to the box and I’m uber excited to try it.

Cookies
Buerre & Sel Rosemary Parmesan Cookies:
(Retail: $10.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
The description says these savory cookies are made with freshly grated aged parmesan, minced fresh rosemary, chopped toasted pecans and and-harvested fleur de sel from Guérande.   I don’t know where Guérande is, but it sounds fabulous and mystical, like you’d magically find yourself there via a secret door in your wardrobe closet.  I’m saving these to serve with white wine and a nice cheese plate.

Stila 1Stila 2 
Stila Luxe Eye Shadow Palette:
(Retail: $45.00)
Verdict:  Gift
I have worn a lot of Stila products and their eyeshadows are my favorite product from them.  This palette has a lot of very practical colors included that most people could get a lot of everyday use from.   That being said, I will most likely end up gifting this since the colors seem to learn toward purplish and with my skin tone and complexion, that usually means they will make me look like someone punched me in the eye.

Full BoxFor this luxe, special edition box I paid $107 (with tax) and even with the sale price on the Cynthia Vincent bag, I got $302.99 worth of product.  From the packaging to the items, this box really did feel luxurious and like an extra special treat.

I only have one complaint and that’s just that box did not scream “Fall Style” to me.  The flowery bubble bath felt like spring, as did the print on the notebook.  The cookies seem like a wasted opportunity to feature fall flavors like apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, maple,etc.  I also expected some cool/cold weather accessories (like hats, gloves, scarves or umbrellas.)  If someone asked me what “season” this box represented Fall would not be my first, or even, second choice.

Putting aside that one issue I loved this box so much I decided to try out a three month Popsugar regular subscription so be on the lookout for more reviews.

So what did you all think of the box?  Did it feel like “Fall style” to you?

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $35.00
3 Months – $95.00
6 Months – $190.00
12 Months – $380

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off sitewide
MUSTHAVE10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

Jewelbox – September 2013

Interested in a subscription box but leery of some of the high price tags? You may want to give JewelBox a try.

JewelBox is a monthly jewelry subscription where for $10 a month you will receive one piece of handmade jewelry. When you sign up you fill out an online form with questions about your coloring, style and favorite fashion items.

Unwrapping

This month I received a lovely gold necklace with a wire-wrapped stone pendant.

Necklace 2

Verdict
Hit!
The chain is medium length with a lobster clasp and has a nice quality to it. The pendant is lighter than you’d expect so it will be easy to wear. The color is very neutral so it will go with pretty much every item in my wardrobe. The quality is very nice for the $10 price tag.

Closeup

My only suggestion would be to include a little business card or note with the shipment. With multiple subscriptions, it took me a little while to figure out which one this came from. (Although it was kind of a fun mystery for a little bit).

Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box – September 2013

Inside

For more on Fancy  subscription boxes and a coupon code, jump down below, but let’s get to the review of the September Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box.  This is one of the five celebrity curated boxes that Fancy offers.

Polish

Limited Edition Ciate Nail Polish Caviar Manicure in Tutti Fruitti: (Retail $25:00)
Verdict: Miss

As you probably know if you read the blog, I have a Julep subscription so in theory this should work since I love nail stuff.  The thing is this looks like something it takes at least a little skill to apply and I am still working on not getting nail polish all over my fingers, hands and table.  There is no way I would be able to pull this off and not have those little beads everywhere.  I also don’t think it’s the best look for work.  In terms of mass appeal, every time I look at the pictures I envision those beads scattering all over the floor and women frantically running to keep their toddlers and dogs from eating them.  It’s an interesting item, but I think impractical for most folks.  Another one for my gift stash.

Shower Gel

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil: (Retail: $8.50)
Verdict:
  Product = Hit; Size = Miss

Now according to the Fancy site this product is $10, but the L’Occitane site lists it at $8.50.  As you can tell from the picture, this product is very small basically a deluxe sample size.  In a box this expensive where even shipping is extra, I expect better sizes.  And if you are going to go the sample route, then either do a couple items as a “travel set” or pick some things that work great in someone’s every day bag, like hand cream, lip balm, antibacterial, etc.  L’Occitane does make wonderful items, so the product itself is welcome.

Bandaids

Mustache Bandages:  (Retail: $6.00)
Verdict:
  Hit!

While I’d never pay $6.00 for these, they are fun and practical, plus the tin is extra cute.  I’m not sure if you can tell in the picture, but the tin came slightly dented.  It included a “free prize inside.”  Mine was a temporary tattoo of a zombie so that’s a double win right there.

NecklaceCloseup

Sophie Sparrow Shark Tooth Necklace:  (Retail: $40.00)
Verdict:
Miss

This is a brass necklace with a long chain.  For me personally it doesn’t read as a shark tooth.  My first impression was more toward a variation on a Native American arrowhead.  Honestly, it’s not my aesthetic and my brass chain actually came with a tiny bit that was already tarnished.  I think the necklace was aiming for edgy and instead languishes at mediocre and uncompelling.  The retail on Fancy is $40, but a  quick google search found tons on ebay and craiglist in the $20/$25 range.  So if you happen to love this, I’d suggest picking it up on one of those sites for a lot less.

Book

One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book (Retail $12.66)
Verdict:
Gift

This is a journal with an interesting variation.  It’s a 5 year journal that is set up for you to write just one line a day.  It’s well made and a cool concept, but sadlyI have enough daily writing projects.  I do think however it will make a great gift.  I’m thinking it’s perfect for an expectant parent, and once the kid is born they can jot down a line every day about how trying or wonderful parenting can be.  Now again, this is overpriced on Fancy.  According to Fancy, the price is $25, but you can pick it up on Amazon for $12.66.

CardsSo overall, I was kind of disappointed with this box.  There wasn’t much for me to use personally and it didn’t feel particularly Jennifer Love Hewitt-esque.  The cards that come with the box give a little info on the products, but also state why the celebrity chose them.  This time, only three items had info on why JLove chose them (the necklace, the bandaids and the journal).  The nail polish set and the shower oil only contained generic messages.

Full
This box cost me $46.95, according to the retail values (using the cheapest prices I found) it’s worth $92.16.  The problem is I probably wouldn’t have selected a lot of these—even as gifts.  I’m hoping next month is improved otherwise as much as it breaks my heart, I may need to say goodbye to the Jennifer Love Hewitt Box.

What did you guys think of the items?  Am I being too hard on Fancy?  Did you love anything?

THE BACKSTORY

Fancy Box is a monthly subscription service that curates items that are popular on the Fancy website.  There are a few different subscription options.  They all cost $39 plus shipping (an additional $7.95).

#1 –Fancy box (Original)
This box features a collection of some of the most fancy’d items, curated by the fancy community. Each box includes $80.00+ of products in the categories of your choice.
The categories you can choose from include: Men’s, Women’s, Kid’s, Home, Gadgets & Media.  It also lets you customize your Tshirt size and your cell phone type.

#2 Fancy Food Box
Each Fancy Food Box includes five or more food products – anything from cookies and chocolates to teas and sauces – along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestions.

#3 Celebrity Curated Fancy Box
There are seven celebrity curated boxes to choose from.  Each box includes $80.00+ of products.  Most boxes are geared toward men or women though they do include unisex items.

They include:

 

COUPON CODE:  FOLLOWUP10 to Save 10%

Julep Maven Box – September 2013

Julep’s September boxes feature their new Cityscape collection.  For more details on their subscription options, costs and a coupon code, skip down below.  But for now, onto the unboxing!

Box

Julep allows you to choose your own boxes and gives you the option of adding on up to 3 items at a big discount on each.  Despite my original profile being “Boho Glam”, I skip around every month and choose what tickles my fancy or what I need in my collections.

This month I chose the Bombshell Box.  This box includes Bare Face Cleansing Oil, Karmen and Catrina nail colors along with a free polish remover pad.

Bombshell Box

Bare Face Cleansing Oil: (Retail $28.00/Maven Price: $22.00)
Description: This lightweight, antioxidant-rich cleanser gently and thoroughly dissolves makeup, dirt, and excess oil without over-drying skin, then rinses clean with no oily residue. Recommended for all skin types.
This is the item I was most excited to receive.  I currently use cleansing oil and I adore it.  This one feels light, non greasy and has a lovely citrus scent.

Nail Polish Remover Pad:  (Retail $9.99 for 10 pack/Maven Price: 7.99 for 10 pack)
Description:  Each no-mess, lint-free pad is infused with aloe vera to moisturize and condition your nails. A great on-the-go solution for polish removal.
I love these things, can’t have enough of them.  A very useful freebie.


KarmenKarmen:
  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Golden crimson microglitter
I wasn’t sure about this color when I chose the box, but its actually really lovely.  It’s more shimmery than glittery, and more red than gold.  It will be a great color to use on the holidays.

DariaDaria:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Dark slate grey crème
This shade was one of the reasons I chose this box over the other options.  Gray is big for fall this year and I thought this would be a nice sophisticated option for work.

As I mentioned earlier, Julep gives the option to add on up to 3 items from the collection.  I decided to pick the Konjac Cleansing Sponge, and two polish colors Catrina & Josephine.

Add-onsKonjac Cleansing Sponge: (Retail $12.00/Maven Price $9.60/Add on Price $7.99)
Description: This super-soft sponge is an all-natural exfoliant made from the fibrous root of the Japanese Konjac plant.
I think the idea with this item is to use it in conjunction with the cleansing oil, but I find oil is best to use with just your fingers.  I did want to try this item with some other cleansers since I’ve heard so much hype about Konjac sponges.

CatrinaCatrina: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20/Add-on Price $4.99)
Description: Marigold yellow crème
Before I joined Julep, I don’t think I would have considered a yellow polish, but this is the third one I’ve picked up and I adore the gold yellow tone to this polish.  It’s perfect for fall.

JosephineJosephine: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20/Add-on Price $4.99)
Description: Deep teal grey crème
I’m a sucker for teals and I didn’t actually own one that was more grey.  This is a really lovely shade, but it is somewhat close to the Daria color from the bombshell box.  I’d say if you’re on a limited budget, that you don’t need both colors.  Just choose whether you want a straight gray or one with a blue undertone.

PolishesOverall I love the items I received.  I will use all of them and the discount is great.  I paid $19.99 for the Maven Box and about $18.00 for the add-ons.  Even with maven discounts on the items, that’s still a huge value.  If you enjoy Julep products, it’s worth it to subscribe to the box.  And just remember you can opt out each month.

About Julep’s Maven Box

Julep specializes in toxin-free nail color but also features beauty products.  They are a small company based in Seattle and have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

They have a monthly maven box that costs $19.99.  You simply take their beauty quiz and it will match you up with a specific style.

The options:

Modern Beauty – (For those who prefer beauty items over nail color) – “You’re a savvy tastemaker obsessed with the art and science of beauty.” Get two full-size beauty products in every box.

Boho Glam – “You’re a dynamic free spirit with a creative eye.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Bombshell – “You’re a confident frill-seeker with magnetic appeal.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Classic With a Twist – “You’re an iconic beauty with a timeless aesthetic.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

It Girl – (For those who want polish only) “You’re a colorful trendsetter who’s not afraid to be bold.” Get three limited-edition nail colors in every box.
The real beauty of a maven box is that you only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “Secret Store” that lets you get other products at great prices.   Another perk is that when you’re a maven you get 20% off anything you purchase from their store along with free Shipping.  Julep polishes retail at $14.00 each, so a Maven box of two to three brand new polishes for under $20.00 is a great steal.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Original Fancy Box – August 2013

Fancy BoxFor those of you not familiar with the site, Fancy is pretty much what would happen if Pinterest started selling stuff.  Users upload, post and “fancy” the coolest items throughout the internets.   While you browse the site, you have the option to buy the items through Fancy.

In addition to the posting and fancying and buying they also offer a monthly subscription box.

Fancy Box is a monthly subscription service that curates items that are popular on the Fancy website.  There are a few different subscription options.  They all cost $39 plus shipping (an additional $7.95).

#1 –Fancy box (Original)
This box features a collection of some of the most fancy’d items, curated by the fancy community. Each box includes $80.00+ of products in the categories of your choice. 
The categories you can choose from include: Men’s, Women’s, Kid’s, Home, Gadgets & Media.  It also lets you customize your Tshirt size and your cell phone type.

#2 Fancy Food Box
Each Fancy Food Box includes five or more food products – anything from cookies and chocolates to teas and sauces – along with a selection of tasty recipes and pairing suggestion.


#3 Celebrity Curated Fancy Box
There are seven celebrity curated boxes to choose from.  Each box includes $80.00+ of products.  Most boxes are geared toward men or women though they do include unisex items.

They include:

 

COUPON CODE:  FOLLOWUP10 to Save 10%

Now to the review…


Last month I fell in love with the Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy box I received, so despite the overpriced shipping I decided to try out the original Fancy Box that would let me select which categories I wanted to receive.  I selected: Womens, Home, Gadgets & Media.  I listed my Tshirt size as XL and my cell phone as an Iphone 5.

InsideCards

Here’s what I received for my first original Fancy Box.

Tshirt
Young and Wild Tshirt
:
  Retail ??? (Couldn’t find the price of this one online, so we’ll estimate $20.00)
Verdict:  Miss

The first problem with this shirt is that it’s a Large, not the Extra Large I indicated on my profile (I prefer my looser tees).  I had this same problem last month with my celebrity box.  That time I got a medium.  Since I could gift that shirt and everything else in the box was great, I didn’t bother complaining.  In this case I don’t really know anyone who wears a size large and would want a see through white tee that has “young and wild” written across the chest.  It’s also more of a fitted tee shirt, so that makes the sizing more important.

I contacted the Fancy customer service and they apologized and said I could mail it back with the pre-paid label and they would send me the correct size along with a $15 gift card for the hassle.

Even in the right size I’m not thrilled with the shirt.  I don’t really think I’m that young (33) and I don’t think I’m particularly wild either (unless you call weekends replaying Dragon Age and perfecting baked mac and cheese recipes “wild”), so it’d be like false advertising.  Also, I really hate white tshirts you can see through.  I don’t want to have to wear a damn Tshirt underneath my Tshirt.  I’ll probably relegate this shirt to my workout gear/pajama drawer unless someone I know loves it and wants to claim it as their own.

Magazine
“In Snap” Magazine, Edition #9:
 Retail $20.00
Verdict:  Total Miss

So this addition made me rethink my selection of “Media”.  I thought I might get some cool books or stationary, but instead I got some weird magazine I’ve never heard of.   It’s basically picture after picture of people wearing “quirky” street clothes.  In this case quirky = patterns that don’t match, shapes that don’t flatter and lots of shit with fur resembling skinned muppets.  I would have been unimpressed if this thing cost $5.00, but it’s ridiculous for $20.00.  For that price you can get a year’s subscription to a far more interesting publication.

IceMolds
Tevolo Sphere Ice Molds: Retail $10.00
Verdict:  Win!

Who can say no to giant ice balls?  Not this girl.  I was so psyched to see these.  In general I don’t have many ice cube trays and no super fancy ones.  These will come in so handy when I forget to put the wine in the fridge (and I really don’t care if that’s not the uber classy way to drink wine.  I like mine really cold and if that makes me a heathen, well then so be it).  I also think these would make a great gift.  If you plan to give someone a bottle of scotch or bourbon for Christmas, just throw in a box of these to go along with it.

LAEX
LAEX Card Holder:
 Retail $27.00
Verdict:  Gift Pile

A nice detail on it are the words “be foolish” written in the plastic.  While I don’t really have a use for an ID holder like this, it seems like a fun and practical gift.  It’d pair nicely with a cute little bag.

Jelly Fish
Jelly Fish Set:  Tripod for Smartphones & Sun Shield: Retail: $10.95 & $3.97; Total = $14.92
Verdict:  Love!

After Verizon’s constant bribery to get me to upgrade from my ancient phone, I finally joined this century and got an Iphone 5 just two weeks ago.  I love love love the little tripod.  It makes it so easy to record videos and it’ll be great when I want to watch some Netflix while I chop vegetables.  The sun shield is not quite so useful since summer is mostly over and I don’t see myself heading to a beach anytime soon.  This probably would have been perfect for a box that came earlier in the season.  I’m sure I’ll use it eventually though so it’s still a win.

Items

For the retail values, I googled and used the cheapest prices I could find online since I find that Fancy inflates the prices of some items. The total retail value of this box came out to: $91.92.  With a coupon code applied, and the shipping costs accounted for I paid $43.05.  While the retail price certainly exceeds the value of what I paid, there’s no way I would ever spend so much on some of these items.  A $20 magazine and a $27 card holder just don’t quite make the grade for me.

I’m not sure if I will continue this box.  My hope in getting it was to find a few cool things for me and some great gifts but with the high cost of the box and shipping, the items just aren’t quite doing it for me.  I wish they’d implement a system where we could rate the items we get and then they’d curate our boxes based on those ratings, but since they can’t even match up the Tshirt sizes I’m fairly certain that’s a pipe dream.

I think I will give this box one more month to impress me but only because I really really love giant iceballs and mini tripods.

Fair Ivy – Package #3 – August 2013

I received the last of the August packages from Fair Ivy.  Check below for more details on Fair Ivy subscriptions, but first let’s see what’s in the box.
PackageWrapped

This one was from the Pickering Linen Co. in Dallas Texas and contained a hand stamped tea towel.   According to their cute little card they have “a passion for bright prints and a desire to make beautiful things in a sustainable way.”  Each towel is drawn, carved and painted by hand.

Closeup

I actually love kitchen towels and can’t seem to have enough of them.  While this design isn’t one I would pick out for myself, it’s not particularly offensive.  I  saw this great tip in a magazine that said you could use tea towels as oversized napkins.  Maybe this tea towel will start my tea towel napkin collection.

According to Pickering Linen Co.’s online shop, this towel retails for $14.00.

So this is the breakdown for Fair Ivy’s August Subscription Box:

Package #1Fabled Soap Co.  “Fresh Strawberry Soap”, “Detox” bar and a “Passionfruit Rose” lip balm. (Lip Balm & Strawberry Soap = $10.50 and we’ll value the Detox bar at $1.00)
Total $11.50

Package #2 – Virginia Wynne “Sterling silver stud earrings”
Total $14.00

Package #3Pickering Linen Co. “Hand Stamped Tea Towel”
Total $15.00

This brings the Fair Ivy total value to $40.50.  My Fair Ivy subscription costs me $48 per month with a coupon code.  If you add on the shipping costs you’d pay from each of the individual sellers above this subscription would most likely hit that $48.00 or end up above it.

Verdict: I’ll use every item I’ve received. Except for the tea towel, I probably would have picked up the other items in a store if I happened upon them.  This is one of the more expensive subscriptions, so I may consider dropping down to the Jewelry only at some point (since I find that’s the part of the box I most look forward to), but right now I’m just going to enjoy all my handmade surprises.

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.

There are two subscription options:

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US, Canada & the UK).

Or

An original subscription at $40.00 a month (plus shipping) of 3 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

DISCOUNT CODE:  NEWSLETTER2 will get you $2.00 off either subscription.

Fair Ivy – August 2013 Jewelry – Package #2

I just received Fair Ivy’s Jewelry box.  This makes package number 2 out of 3 for August.  I’ve got info on Fair Ivy subscriptions below but first let’s get to what’s inside the box.

BoxWrapped

Inside the lovely packaging was a pair of sterling silver stud earrings designed by Louisiana native, Virginia Wynne.  The card in the packaging states they are handcrafted in a studio in Savannah, Georgia.

Unwrapped

They are delicate but the blunt cutting of the front gives them an edgy vibe.  The backs of earrings are sturdy and they are extremely comfortable for everyday wear.  The simplicity of the earring makes it a great gift for a wide age range of women.
Closeup

Virginia Wynne’s website has variations on these earrings, but I believe these retail for $14.00 and they are well worth that price.

Fair Ivy’s jewelry aesthetic is classic with a dainty and delicate sensibility.  The pieces are perfect for everyday wear and typically have extremely broad appeal, which makes their jewelry subscription a great gift.

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.

There are two subscription options:

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US, Canada & the UK).

Or

An original subscription at $40.00 a month (plus shipping) of 3 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

DISCOUNT CODE:  NEWSLETTER2 will get you $2.00 off either subscription.

Fair Ivy – August 2013 Package #1

Are you someone who pins eleventy billion craft posts on Pinterest, but never get around to trying any of them?

Do you search Etsy oohing and ahhing over items, but quickly get overwhelmed by  how much there is to sort through?

Do those baskets of knitting and little bowls of beads mock you as you sit and watch the latest episode of Castle instead of crafting?

If you answer yes to any of those questions you may want to consider a subscription to Fair Ivy.

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.

There are two subscription options:

A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month.  (This option will ship in the US, Canada & the UK).

Or

An original subscription at $40.00 a month (plus shipping) of 3 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry).  (This option only ships in the US).

Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose an original subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.

I received my first of the August packages from Fair Ivy.
Adorably wrapped, it came from Fabled Soap Co.  Their pretty info card says that they make all their own bath and beauty products using simple, high quality ingredients.

Unboxed

I received a “Fresh Strawberry Soap”, “Detox” bar and a “Passionfruit Rose” lip balm.

Lip Balm & Face Soap
I tried out the lip balm and it feels great and the smell is amazing – a mix of fruit and flowers.  I’m assuming the detox bar is for the face and I’m excited to try it out.  I have combination skin so finding good facial cleansers and moisturizers is always a problem.

The strawberry soap smells delicious and states that it includes strawberry seeds for exfoliating. I’m really psyched since I love exfoliating soaps and have a tough time finding really good ones. The fragrance, while sweet, is not overpowering or synthetic and I think it would appeal to a wide variety of consumers.
Strawberry Soap
According to their Etsy store, the lip balm retails for $3.50 and the strawberry soap for $7.00.  I don’t see the small detox soap, but I’m guessing that’s a bonus.  So the first Fair Ivy package retails at $10.50.

I really loved this package.  It was nicely wrapped, the products are useful and  I probably would never have found this company on my own.    I can’t wait to see what the other two packages this month bring!

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