Popsugar: January 2016, Continuing Customer Service Fails & March Spoilers!

So I’m a little late with my Popsugar reviews. I’ve been very annoyed with their customer service so I’ve been waiting until I’m calmer to review my boxes. And yes, the level of cursing you see below is me being calm.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
If you remember those of us who had month to month memberships and opted to take advantage of Popsugar’s prepay discounts were inadvertently signed up for *two* subscriptions. This was never clearly told to us or indicated on our accounts, so Popsugar said they’d “just this one time” refund me if I sent back my duplicate January box. Great. When no refund appears on my account, I email them. I am now told that they won’t be refunding my account, but instead will just be giving me an extra month of credit. Nope. You said REFUND. And I want a damn REFUND. I have months and months left on this sub and I refuse to tie myself down anymore than I already have with your tomfoolery.

On top of this, my 2015 Holiday Special Edition $100 box came with broken candles. I emailed them immediately and was told they’d ship me out new ones. They didn’t come. Another email. They apologized and said they were backlogged and there were no more of that specific candle, but they would send me similar ones and “something extra for my trouble.” Sounds good. Again, nothing comes. We are well into February of 2016 and I still haven’t gotten my fucking candles from a 2015 Holiday box. Emailed about this again and was told that they had no more candles and would credit my account for the amount. THIS WAS AFTER I EMAILED FOR THE THIRD TIME! So each time I’d heard a different story, and each time it was a lie. And if I hadn’t kept contacting them, would they ever have made it right? Remember this is one of their expensive boxes – for $100 I expect better.

So now I’m pissed. I emailed back that a credit for another month was not acceptable and that I’d been told I would receive a refund, then I once again brought up the fact that I had been lied to about the candles, was told I was getting something extra and was only refunded after the third (maybe fourth, I lost fucking count of how many times I emailed them) email and that I wanted it escalated to a supervisor or manager if necessary. I pointed out that I am a long time customer and a FUCKING SUBSCRIPTION BOX BLOGGER.

I got refunded my money for the box I returned and the candles. No more apologies, no extras (as promised). Nothing to attempt to minimize their asshattery.

Now I’m sorry for the long story, but I feel that it’s important to make it clear that Popsugar’s customer service is absolute crap. Sometimes you’ll get a nice person, but they will lie to you, sometimes you’ll get someone snippy who may eventually, (after threats), assist you, but it will always require you to be up their fucking asses.

It doesn’t seem like being a subscription box blogger helped my cause, but who knows maybe it did. Maybe people who don’t review their boxes never ever get a damn response. This sub is fabulous when you don’t have a problem, but when you do,  prepare yourself for an uphill battle.

THE BOX
Now enough of my boring ranting, let’s get into this box and see if it’s worth even half the hassle.
Box Open Box 1

Bin Bin #2
Pehr Designs Pebble Speck Bin
(Suggested Retail: $40.00)
Description: “Beautifully organize your things with this Must Have exclusive storage bin – great for your hats, scarves, toys, books, or anything that needs a home. We love the gray spotted print, which can easily tie into any room décor.”
Verdict: Love!
I guess this was a Popsugar exclusive only for a brief time because it looks like you can buy this on their website now. I love organizational items and the print on this really appeals to me. It’s interesting but simple enough to match everything. I’m using this in my little office corner to corral all the books and magazines in my “to read” pile.

Kon Mari
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
(Suggested Retail: $11.49)
Description: ”New York Times Bestselling author and expert cleaning consultant Marie Kondo teaches us how to spark joy in our lives through tidying up. This illustrated manual uses her signature KonMari method to help you stay organized in the New Year.”
Verdict:
Hit!
I’ve been meaning to pick up Marie Kondo’s original book, so this was a perfect addition to my box. I think this will be filling the “self help book” slot on my Popsugar 2016 Reading List.

Mask Trio
Patchology FlashMasque Trio
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Description: ”After the holiday rush, we’re all in need of a beauty rejuvenation – and fast! These fact-actin facial sheets will revitalize, hydrate and illuminate your skin in just five minutes, and better yet, there’s no rinsing required.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love me some sheet masks and always up for trying new ones. I like that this one includes three different kinds. Perfect for my next home spa day.

Planner
Blue Sky Day Designer Weekly Planner
(Suggested Retail: $15.99 (now reduced))
Description: “Day Designer and Blue Sky collaborated to inspire you to make 2016 your best year yet! This chic and portable weekly planner will keep you on track all year long.”
Verdict: LOVE!
I have spreadsheets for everything in my life – from meal planning, to budgets to giving gifts so this automatically appealed to the Organization demon that lives inside me. Unfortunately, most of the time when I’ve tried using a real planner, I just end up not keeping up with it. This one is so well organized with goals for the month and slots to write in your week. It’s perfect and I’ve been using it religiously since I got it. I love the color and I want to get one exactly like it next year.

Shower Gel 1
Not Soap, Radio Bath & Shower Gel Gift Set
(Suggested Retail: $22.00)
Description: “Perfect as a gift, for travel, or at the gym, this exclusive shower gel gift set is ideal for anyone on the go! The set includes various scents, each infused with different herbal extracts that’ll inspire you as you being the New Year.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve tried this brand via Birchbox and enjoyed it. I love getting shower gels in my boxes since I regularly go through bottles of them. I’m excited to get to try a sampler of scents from this brand.

Gum
Project 7, INC Summer Snow Sugar Free Gum
(Suggested Retail: $4.00)
Verdict: Miss
The flavor on this gum isn’t great – sort of grape-ish? And it dissipates quickly. I wish the food item was some seasoning or maybe an interesting condiment.

Special Extra
Chapstick
Chapstick Total Hydration 100% Natural Soothing Vanilla

Description: “Give life to your lips with this naturally soothing vanilla ChapStick! This age-defying formula uses argaon oil and other natural butters and oils to replenish your lips to combat any Winter dryness.”
Verdict:
Gift
I have so many fancy lip balms that I just don’t need this chapstick so I’ll pass it along to someone who can use it.

OVERALL:
January 2016 Popsugar
Verdict:
Damn it Popsugar, I Can’t Quit You
With my prepaid discount this box only cost me $24.91. The value on this box (excluding the Chapstick) totaled approximately $111.47. I really really wanted to hate this box since Popsugar has been so difficult to deal with, but it was awesome. I loved nearly everything in it and I thought the curation worked well for a new year box. If Popsugar just had decent customer service I’d be all over it and would probably be buying every LE box they put out in addition to my monthly sub, but they are just so unreliable. I recommend the box for it’s contents, but go into it with your eyes wide open that they won’t be the best company to deal with.

MARCH SPOILERS!
So this was the spoiler released for the March theme:
March Theme Spoiler
And this will be in the box:
March Spoiler
I have to say I’m in love with the watch and I can’t wait to see what’s in the rest of the box.

How much do customer service issues impact your subscription purchases? Do you overlook them if a box is wonderful? Do you stick with a so-so box, because they have fabulous customer service? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

THE BACKSTORY
Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

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.

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

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

Birchbox: September 2014

This month’s Birchbox theme is “Fresh Paint”, and tells us that “September means turning the page on summer, and diving into fall’s colors, textures, and inspiration”. That’s funny, I thought September meant we pumpkin-all-the-things and try to ignore that stores have Christmas trees up already. In any case let’s dive in and see what Fall stuff Birchbox has brought us.

Box

Because it’s Birchbox’s anniversary we get one of the super cute printed boxes. I love this and it will go into my ever growing box pile.
Box 2

Now for what’s inside.
Open Box 1 Card Open Box 2

Cream
Acure Organics Day Cream
(Retail 1.75 oz: $18.99)
Description: Made with gotu kola stem cells this anti-aging moisturizer firms and protects skin”
Verdict: Miss
I tend to prefer day time moisturizers that are multi-taskers like CC/BB creams and those that have SPF. It’s nice that this is an organic product, but it’s just not particularly interesting or useful for me.

Shower GelHarvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah
(12 oz Retail: $21.00)
Description: Infused with a grapefruit-vanilla fragrance, this wash hydrates and softens skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love getting body washes because they are something I will always use up. I adore citrus scents and this one was wonderful. Grapefruit can sometimes read a little bitter to me, but this was one fresh and fruity. I didn’t notice any discernible difference in my skin after using it, but it had a nice lather and the smell wasn’t overpowering. I probably won’t buy this since my subscription box habit keeps me well stocked with shower gel, but it’s a nice splurge if you’re in the mood for a high end bodywash.

OilMacadamia Professional™ Healing Oil Spray
(2 oz Retail: $14.50)
Description: “Lightweight, quick-absorbing formula that combats frizz, boosts shine, and blocks UV rays”.
Verdict: Hit!
This was the sample I chose from the selections and I really like the product. It doesn’t weigh your hair down like some oils and I did feel that it helped contain my frizz. I’m not crazy about the scent, but it fades away rather quickly so it’s not a problem. This was a really generous sample (it’s 2 oz size!) so it should last me awhile. This item alone more than paid for the box.

PeelReal Chemistry Luminous 3 Minute Peel
(1.7 oz Retail: $48.00)
Description: “”This acid-free peel gently exfoliates for instantly softer, smoother, brighter skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve always wanted to try one of these at home peels, but my skin can be pretty sensitive so I’ve generally avoided them. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet but I’m excited that it’s acid-free and gentle. This is the type of item I’d probably never purchase unless I tried it first so I’m psyched to get a sample of this. (Cross your fingers it doesn’t make my face look like a tomato).

HighlighterTemptu S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer
(1 oz – Retail: $27.50)
Description: Liquid shimmer that illuminates and contours your complexion or gives an allover glow.”
Verdict: On the Fence
First, this is the teeny weeniest bottle to ever teeny. Seriously this thing is almost Barbie sized. Putting aside the packaging, I just can’t figure this product out. I am super pale and the color looks really dark in the bottle so I was worried it would make me look weirdly orange.  Once I applied it, the liquid totally disappeared into my skin. I didn’t see a shimmer or a contour, or a shimmer of a contour. Maybe I’m using it wrong? I’d love to hear what you other Birchbox ladies thought of this one.


BIRCHBOX FIND

Chapstick
ChapStick® Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Moisturize & Renew
(2.2 g.   – Retail: $2.99)
Description: For instantly smoother, younger-looking lips, use the “moisturize” side of the stick, which has antioxidants CoQ10 and vitamin E. Flip to the “renew” side for an infusion of replenishing plant butters (think: shea and mango).”
Verdict: Like
I know this isn’t high end, and it’s sort of like Chapstick is playing dress up as fancy skin care, but it’s a full size product and now that cold weather is heading our way, it will be useful. I haven’t opened this yet since I have about eleventybillion balms already being used. I may pass this along to someone else, or it may find it’s way into my commuter bag during the winter. In any case it’s a practical little guy that will definitely get used.

 

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
Hit!

The healing oil spray alone made the $10.70 I paid for this box totally worth it. I loved the scent of the bodywash and I’m psyched to try out the peel. While the day cream wasn’t a hit, and the Temptu is a bit challenging, overall the items were a win.

After reviewing all the products, I got $6 worth of Birchbox points so my great deal at $10.70 turns into an even better deal at $4.70.

I have plans to head out soon to the Birchbox store in Soho, so if you want to get a peek at the Brick and Mortar Birchbox, be sure to stop back.

What did you receive in your September Birchbox? Did you also get the Temptu Highlighter and did it work with your skintone?

THE BACKSTORY

Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year.

Your options: Women’s Box or Men’s Box

Points System:
Whenever you buy something at Birchbox they give you Birchbox points. $1.00 = 1 Birchbox Point.
Each 100 Birchbox reward points can be redeemed for $10.00.
You can also earn points by reviewing the samples they send you (10 points per sample) and referring/subscribing friends. If your review all the items you receive in your box each month, you’ll receive 50 Birchbox rewards points!
If you purchase a full size of one of the sample items they sent you in that same month, you receive free shipping on them and often extra points.