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!

Julep Big Picnic Mystery Box

I’ve got some general info about Julep and their monthly maven box subscription below.  But first is a review of their latest mystery box. (It’s picnic themed.)

The options are:

Picnic Mystery Box at $24.99 (which gets you $70-$150 worth of fun polish and fab products)

or

Big Picnic Mystery Box at $39.99 (which gets you $120-$250 worth of fun polish and fab products)

In each box you are guaranteed to receive the new and exclusive polish, “Evie”, described as a raspberry crème with gold shimmer.
Evie

In addition, a la the Golden Ticket from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, one lucky soul will find a $1000 VISA gift card in their box.

I opted for the Big Picnic box because I am putting together a kickass manicure gift for a friend’s birthday gift and I figured I could probably pick up some great items for her–and myself, because whenever I buy someone a gift I feel like I should get one too.  (The beauty in being a grownup is buying yourself stuff because it’s someone else’s birthday, or it’s Tuesday, or the internets keep tempting you with random subscription boxes).

Shipping BoxOpened Box

When I arrived home today I was pleased to see I had I received Big Picnic Mystery Box Version 1.

Paris Trio

I received the Paris Lip Trio including: Set Includes:
Charleston: Cranberry lip sheer
Sweet Lorraine: Bubblegum pink lip sheer
Lady in Red: Matte crimson lip color
(Retail Value: $28.00)

I already own this set and adore it.  The lady in red is perfect for a fancy night out.  The other colors are a bit sheer.  I’ll probably be gifting this to a friend since I own both this and the New York set (which also contains lady in red).

I received seven polishes and amazingly none are duplicates.

Polishes
In order from left to right:

Annette: Light dove grey crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I probably wouldn’t have bought this on my own but I actually think it will probably end up being a nice neutral.

Maya:  Peachy pink seashell, like a shimmering pearl.  (Retail Value $14.00) – This one has a nice shimmer that I think would complement a lot of skin tones.

Catherine: The original classic, go-to red crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I’ve actually been pining after this one.  I adore dark and classic reds so this one will get a lot of use.

Evie: Raspberry crème with gold shimmer (Retail Value $14.00 – but as of right now you can’t buy this item on its own).  You can really see the gold shimmer and I think this one will look amazing on.

Gloria:  Coral orange crème.  (Retail Value $14.00) – This is my least favorite in the box.  I’m a pale redhead so orange can go really, really wrong.  I think this one might go into the gift pile.

Dianna:  Mint green crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I am a sucker for nearly every shade of mint and this one has been on my wishlist for a while so I’m psyched to have it.

Vanessa: Opalecent glitter in a clear base.  (Retail Value: $7.99)  While I’d love to keep this for myself and glitterfy all the colors, it’s perfect for the manicure gift bag I’m making for a friend so it’s going there.

So I paid $39.99 for this box.  The retail value of the box was $119.99.  The “maven” value (with the maven subscription discount) was $97.59.

Overall I’m satisfied with my bag as I got a few colors I desperately wanted, and a couple that will make great gifts.  The one thing I’d like to see with these mystery bags is for there to be more manicure basics included.  We can all use an extra base or topcoat or nail polish remover.  I don’t see the lipsticks really connecting to a picnic theme and they seem more like an afterthought.

GIVEAWAY!  Julep is currently having an End of the Rainbow giveaway.   One winner a day through Friday! Click here for entries.

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.

To try out a being a maven get your first box free (you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time) use the code FREEBOX.  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.

%d bloggers like this: