Popsugar: October 2013 Must Have Box

Because I so enjoyed my Popsugar Special Edition Fall Style box, I decided to try out their regular monthly subscription.  It was supposed to start off in November, but they managed to sneak me in the October box.

Part of this box’s theme was Breast Cancer Awareness so Popsugar donated $1.00 from every box to Breast Cancer research and teamed up with brand and products that also supported breast cancer charities.

Box

Now that I can feel like my subscription addiction is actually benefiting charity, let’s get inside this box.
Open Box

NYX Makeup
NYX Cosmetics Liquid Liner
and Smokey Shadow Palette (Retail:  $6.00/$7.00)
Verdict: On the Fence
I appreciated that instead of the ubiquitous black eyeliner this one included a chocolate brown (which works much better with my pale skin and red hair), but I’m not crazy about liquid liners in general.  I’m also not sold on the colors in the palette, but I’m going to give them a try and see how they work with my other makeup.

Bracelet
Gorjana Charity Bali Bead Bracelet (Retail: $45.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
This Gorjana-Griffin bracelet was described as “delicate and playful” and that’s exactly what it is.  It’s on the smaller side which is perfect for my freakishly tiny wrists.  I think it would pair surprisingly well with even dressy gold bracelets for a chic layered look.  100% of the proceeds of this piece go to charity so you can feel good while you look good.

Julep
Julep for Popsugar Duo: Freedom Polymer Topcoat & Myrtle Polish
(Topcoat: Retail: $18.00/Maven: $14.40; Myrtle:  Retail: $14.00 Maven: $11.20)
Verdict:  Hit!/Gift
If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know that I’m already a Julep maven, but I was in desperate need of more topcoat and this showed up at the perfect moment.   I find that Julep’s topcoat has a great shine to it and lasts for quite a while.  I already own Myrtle, but it’s a wonderful shade and I think I will be incorporating it into some Christmas gifts.  If you’re interested in a Julep maven subscription, I’ve got lots of Julep reviews on my blog and if you decide to sign up, I’d love it if you used my referral link.

Pins
Jane Tran Metallic Bobby Pins
(Retail: $12.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
My hair is my last real beauty frontier.  Thanks to Julep I have gotten into the habit of doing my nails and I have pretty much always been into fashion and makeup, but hair has been the one place where I’m a serious slacker.  The last couple years I’ve sported some modern bobs, but I decided to grow out my hair and attempt to actually start “doing” it.  I am currently in the awkward growing out stage so these bobby pins will come in handy.  They are substantial enough to hold something with a bit of color to them, but not so much that I’m going to resemble a kindergartener.

Wet Brush
The Wet Brush (Retail: $14.00)
Verdict:  Love!

So you know how I said that I’m a total slacker when it comes to my hair?  I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same plastic detangling comb in my shower for the last decade.  I’m excited to upgrade and try this out.  I know it will come in handy as my hair gets longer.  They are also another company giving a donation toward breast cancer for every brush included in this Popsugar box.

Treat!
The Crispery Halloween Crispycake (Retail: $3.95)
Verdict:  Hit!
This is one a big ass rice crispy treat and it has sprinkles!  What’s not to love?  In the spirit of Halloween, I cut a little (okay big) slab off and had it with some pumpkin spice coffee.  It was delish and very very marshmallowy.  Mmm..Marshmallowy..sorry, I got distracted.

Stitchfix
StitchFix Gift Card (Retail $20.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
Stitchfix is another incredibly intriguing subscription box.  You sign up, fill out a very detailed fashion profile and pay a $20 styling fee.  The Stitchfix stylists send you 5 fashion items that you can try out at home.  You keep what you like and send back the rest.  If you purchase anything, your $20 styling fee is applied to your purchase and if you elect to keep everything sent to you, you also get 25% off. I have been wanting to subscribe to this for a long time, and there’s only one reason I haven’t.  They can only currently offer styles up to a size 14.  I’m a 14/16 right now and am leery of jumping in when I may or may not fit into what they have.  I’ve been working on slimming down, so this is a great motivation and reward.  I didn’t see an expiration on the card so once I’m a 12/14, I’ll put it to good use.

Cookbook
The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! By Jessica Seinfeld (Retail: $16.76)
Verdict:  Love!
I really enjoy cooking, and I think I love collecting cookbooks even more.  This one is geared more toward beginning cooks, with incredibly useful how-tos (like chopping onions and herbs), lots of photographs and even guides on how to stock your kitchen.  The recipes are accessible, quick, easy and only use a few ingredients.  I think I’ll find some great go-to recipes for during for during the work week in this book.
Recipe
I already found the first one I plan to try: “Baked Egg Noodles with Cheese”.  Hmm, noodles and cheese..although if I want to fit into the Stitchfix gift card, I should probably make the “Roasted Cauliflower and Sage” instead. Decisions, oh decisions.

Full BoxOverall:  Love!

Because I paid for 6 months in advance, I got a discount and paid $33.88 for my October box.  The retail value, including the gift card was $156.71.  Removing the gift card and using Julep maven prices the value is still an excellent $130.31.

I’m going to use every item in this box except for the red polish, which will be part of a fabulous Christmas gift.  That’s a pretty great haul for my first regular Popsugar box and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next month.

If you love reading up on the Popsugar boxes, please head back soon as I am one of the lucky subscribers who snagged the Moby Dick of subscription boxes, the now infamous Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box.  Even at the hefty price tag of $250, it sold out in twelve hours.  Popsugar claims it will have a $600 retail value, so I’m assuming it’s filled with wish granting genies and unicorn tears.  Subscribe so you can be the first to glimpse the magical subscription box to end all subscription boxes.

The Backstory

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!

If you’re really digging these Popsugar boxes, I suggest you order asap.  After November 4th 2013 the price will go from $35 to $39.95 for a monthly subscription.  There are discounts for ordering for several months in advance.

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off sitewide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

Julep: Maven Box October 2013 – The Rebel Collection!

Julep’s October boxes feature their new Rebel set  which is billed as “a collection to light up your dark side.”  Well, my dark side must need an LED because I fell in love with nearly everything in this set, so for the first time since I’ve been a maven I did the full upgrade and got both add-ons, so you folks get to look at all the goods.

If you want more info on Julep’s maven subscription service and a coupon code, skip down below, but now to the review.

Unopened Opened

Julep ran into some packaging issues and their Mask Noir was left out of the upgrade boxes, so it shipped out asap in its own little box.

Mask in Box

Mask Noir

Mask Noir: (Retail $32.00/Maven Price: $25.60)
Description: A peel-off mask of gentle kaolin clay and black volcanic ash.
Verdict:  Hit!
This was one of my must have items from the box.  I have a great charcoal mask from Origins, but it isn’t peel-off and I can’t tell you how messy and awful it is to remove.  My white bathroom sink ends up looking like a swamp, so you can understand why I am so excited to see a mask that can be peeled off.  I’m going to use this along with my Julep foot masks and have a spa day.

Eyeliner

Kajal Eye Glider & Sharpener: (Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Description: Two intensely pigmented colors—carbon black and brown shimmer—that glide on smoothly and blend like a dream.
Verdict:  Miss/Gift
I was surprised Julep opted to feature this as the main beauty Item in its boxes (instead of the more compelling mask).   This liner just seems pretty boring and it’s not waterproof which is a requirement for me if I don’t want to do my raccoon impression approximately 5 minutes after application.   I prefer gel liners and most people I know tend to prefer liquid/gel/cream.  I think Julep is better served by focusing on more unique beauty and makeup items.  There are a million eye pencils, and this one doesn’t seem particularly special.  I do think the fact that it’s packaged with two different colors (one on each end) and with a sharpener makes it a bit nicer than an average liner.  I’ll be packaging it up with some other makeup to give as a gift.

Missy, Winona & Dahlia

Missy:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Titanium metallic
Verdict:  Miss/Gift
This color is an uber shiny silver.  It’s not bad, but not something I would use for a full manicure.  It would probably go great as a fun tip on a French manicure or with some cute nail art.  Since my polish collection is growing by leaps and bounds, I’m going to gift this to someone who will use it far more than I will.

Winona & Dahlia

Winona:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Buff greige crème
Verdict:  Hit!
This shade is one of the reasons I love the maven boxes.  They force me to both step out of my comfort zone and not to ignore the “boring” shades.  It’s easy for me to grab something fun and interesting, but everyone needs a basic.  This is a great neutral that will work with so many different fun topcoats.  I can’t wait to try it out with Julep’s Paris.

Dahlia:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Goldenrod microglitter
Verdict:  Hit!
This shade is just a pure golden sparkle.  I think it would work great paired with a simple dress for holiday and New Year’s parties.

Anisa, Valerie & Ciara

Anisa:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Deep burgundy crème
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a lovely shade of red that I think will complement a lot of skin tones. I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it come Christmas time.

Valerie:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Teal with iridescent microglitter
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a pretty color that seems to walk the line between teal and emerald.

Valerie, Ciara & Anisa

Ciara:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Vampy magenta with teal microglitter
Verdict:  Love!
Somehow this polish manages to be both vampy and ethereal.  It’s a beautiful color and very unique.  It’s my favorite item from this collection and a must have for a Julep maven.

Kendra, Stevie & Cleopatra

Stevie:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Concrete gray frost
Verdict:  Hit!
This polish has a gun-metal feel to it, which I think is a great edgy alternative to black nails which for some of us pale girls can read a bit goth.

Cleopatra & Stevie Swatch
Cleopatra:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Black latex crème (*no latex in formula)
Verdict:  Love!
The unique latex finish on this polish makes it edgy without trying too hard.  I recommend wearing without a topcoat for the full effect.  Just swatching this one made me feel a little badass so I can’t wait to try a full manicure.

Kendra Swatch

Kendra:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Army green frost
Verdict:  Hit!
The second I saw the name on this all I could think of was Kendra the vampire slayer from Buffy and I think this color would have suited her.  Of all the shades in this collection, this one is the most difficult to discern from just looking at the bottle.  The olive coloring makes it a dark neutral alternative for the go to black or gun-metal nails.

Add-ons Casper & Beatrix

Casper:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Glow-in-the-dark shimmer. Can be worn alone or–better yet–on top of color.
Verdict:  Hit!
A shimmery glow in the dark polish?  How could I possibly resist. I didn’t swatch this since I figured it wouldn’t show up in the photos anyway, but the shimmer on it is actually quite lovely so even if doesn’t glow in the dark it’s still a damn pretty topcoat.  This was one of the two add on polish options.

Beatrix over Dahlia
Beatrix:
  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Coal black with multidimensional glitter
Verdict:  Love!
This was the other add-on to the maven boxes.  If you’re like me and you think nail art is cool, but when you attempt it you just look like a toddler who got into the finger paints, then you should pick up Beatrix.  I’ve swatched it over Dahlia, but I think it will look amazing over some pale crème polishes in whites, blush pinks, greys and beiges.  People will think you spent hours on your nails when all you did was add this topcoat.

Freebie: Candy Corn!
Because who could have a Halloween box without candy corn?

Full Box

Overall
I am thrilled with this collection and it’s my favorite since joining Julep. It’s dark steampunk with a hint of Halloween that’s just perfectly me.  Since my birthday is in October I was able to treat myself to the full collection without feeling guilty.  The retail value of this collection is $194.00 and with the Maven discount it would be $145.57.  As part of the monthly maven subscription I was able to buy it all for $69.52.  This included 10 products I will use and 2 products I will be giving as gifts.

What did you think of the rebel collection?  Did it appeal to your dark side?

Polishes

If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just use the code FREEBOX
Just remember this signs you up for a subscription that you will need to cancel or opt out of each month.

 

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.

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

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.

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