Popsugar Must Have: September 2014

So it’s time for one of my favorite boxes – the Popsugar Must Have. I loved the August box so I was super excited to see what was in store for September.

BoxOpen Box 1 Open Box 2

Tilo Scarves Modal Gradation Scarf in Raisin (Suggested Retail: $125)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “Sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Fred Segal, and Ron Herman, this hand-dyed modal scarf provides warmth and style as you layer your way into Fall.”
Verdict: Love!
Do I have a ton of scarves? Yes? Can I find room for more awesome ones? Of course. This scarf is super soft and I adore the ombre effect on it. I love that it’s neutral but has an edgy vibe. I can already see this becoming a staple in my fall wardrobe. This scarf definitely feels expensive so I can understand where the high retail value comes from. This scarf is also quite large so it has a lot of versatility. This item alone is worth the cost of the box.

Nicole Miller Stereo Earbuds (Suggested Retail: $20)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Listen to your favorite tunes with these fun and functional earbuds with three ear-cap sizes.”
Before my subscription box addition, I used to go through new earbuds nearly every other month because they just couldn’t stand up to my daily commute. Then I got a pair of random Sony ones that somehow still haven’t died. Meanwhile I have accumulated a stack of earbuds and headphones including the super fancy ones from the last Nina Garcia Quarterly box, so I think I’ll be gifting or trading these.

Brownie 2
Urban Remedy Almond Brownie (Suggested Retail: $6.00)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “Made with 100 percent organic, quality ingredients, this almond brownie from Urban Remedy, for which Cindy Crawford is a brand ambassador and partner, is the smart way to indulge.”
Verdict: Miss
Okay so I’ve been doing this low carb thing for a while, so it annoys me when packages (particularly those labeled “healthy”) don’t include detailed nutritional info. This lists the ingredients but not things like calories, carbs or portion size. I had to look this up online to determine that it had way more carbs than I’m allowed so I couldn’t try it myself. Based solely on its appearance and ingredient list, I’d skip this. It lists “almond flour” as a main ingredient which sounds great, because almonds are delicious, but almond flour is a lie. A giant evil lie. If you use too much it makes your baked goods taste like mold. I don’t know why because almonds are awesome, but almond flour. No. Just No. Trust me on this one.

Oribe Superfine Purse Size Hair Spray (Suggested Retail: $21.50)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “When you need to tame those fly-aways in a pinch, this purse-size hair spray from celebrity favorite Oribe will give you reliable hold.”
Verdict: Hit!
Once again, we receive a product from the awesome and super fancy pants hair brand Oribe. I have their texturizing spray from other boxes and it’s wonderful. I’ve been accumulating different hair products in a sad attempt to get into actually styling my hair so this is a great little guy to add to my collection.  Maybe I can finally go all Jersey girl and attempt some big hair.

Letter C Design Gold Foil Arrow Pencils (Retail: $5.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Ditch your average number two pencil and write down all your bright aideas with these hand-foil-stamped arrow pencils instead.
Verdict: Like
I’ve been revamping my desk area so I’m happy to pick up some more fun office supplies. I like that this came with a little sharpener which I promptly used to sharpen all the Clueless pencils I got from my July Jennifer Love Hewitt Fancy Box.

Rifle Paper Co. Garance Doré Assorted Girls Set (Suggested Retail: $18.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Partnering with Garance Doré, Rifle Paper Co. presents a stationery set with blank interiors and iconic illustrations – it’s fabulous and versatile.”
Verdict: Hit/Gift
Looks like we got some stationary to go with our pencils. The Rifle Paper Co. is a staple in subscription boxes and they have lovely designs. These have a Paris Fasion type feel to them. I tend to hoard stationary so I’m not sure if I’ll use them myself. I have a few folks on my gift giving list that I think would adore these.

Special Extras

Nike $20 Gift Card
Category: Special Extra
Description: “After you’ve found your perfect Nike Pro Bra, use this $20 gift card to make the look complete. This new bra collection features over 25 sizes to give you the desired support for the perfect fit.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I know this is a “special extra” but I’m just not typically a fan of items that require you to spend a significant amount in order to use them. The Nike store isn’t cheap so I’ll have to spend some time looking around to see if there’s anything that makes this worth it.

Ghirardelli Milk chocolate Sea Salt & Almond Minis
Category: Special Extra
Description: “Individually wrapped, these mini Ghirardelli sea salt and almond crunch cholates make snacking on the go so much simpler”.
Verdict: Gift
So once again the low carb thing spoils my snacking fun. But I can totally add these to my stockpile of candy for the Halloween trick or treaters so this is still a win.

Full Box

Excluding the “special extras”, this box had a value of $195.50 and I only paid $42.75 (with tax). The scarf alone is well worth the $42 and the other items are just fun extras. I thought that the plethora of upscale brands in this box gave it a luxury fall fashion type of aesthetic that really appealed to me.

What did you think of your September Popsugar Must Have Box? Did you love the scarf as much as I did?


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: March 2014

This month Birchbox’s theme this month is “Spring Forward”.  Let’s get into the box and see if Spring has finally arrived.
Open Box 1 Open Box 2


COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face
(Full Size Retail – 1.7 oz. : $36.00)
Description: COOLA suspended two skin-safe mineral sunblocks—titanium and zinc dioxide—in a moisturizing base to ensure a smooth, even application. Shea butter naturally softens skin. Age-reversing antioxidants like evening primrose extract and borage seed oil deflect free radicals, while naturally water-resistant plankton makes the formula extra-durable.”
Verdict:  Miss
I am a pale redhead who burns at the idea of sunshine, so SPF 35 is just not strong enough for my face.  My daily routine includes a CC cream with SPF 50.  Maybe for someone who’s not translucent.

Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches
(Full Size Retail – 15 Bags: $9.95)
Description: “All five flavors are made with natural ingredients, and packed with antioxidants, blending organic tea leaves, dried fruits, and spices in a silken biodegradable pouch. Each satchel is cleverly marked with its caffeine content and brew time, ensuring you always make the perfect cup.”
Verdict:  Love!
I am not really much of a tea drinker.  I usually reserve it for times when I’m not feeling well or I’m freezing at work.  Since it’s been super cold, I took these to work and gave the Earl Gray (hot) a try.  First of all the bags are super fancy (some type of silky fabric) and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  They also had instructions on each bag for how long you need to steep them. 

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
(Full Size Retail 4.23 oz: $34)
Description: “This powerful exfoliator mimics the results of professional microdermabrasion, minus the potential for redness and sensitivity. First, papaya enzymes break down dead cells while evening out your skin tone. Next, dermatologist-approved microderm crystals fade the appearance of fine lines and acne scars, leaving skin smooth and free of imperfections. Finally, aloe vera, coconut, and vitamins B and E nourish and soothe skin.
Verdict:  Hit!
I love trying out different scrubs and exfoliators so I was happy to see this sample in the box. 

CurlCurly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
(Full Size Retail – 100 mL: $10.00)
Description: “Curls and waves are notoriously temperamental, and this hardworking serum fights off the frizz-inducing effects of humidity and dryness alike. The water-activated formula provides weightless hold and brings misbehaving strands into line.
Verdict:  On the Fence
I saw the word “curly” and I got a little nervous.  I have wavy hair. How wavy it is depends on the weather, my haircut and the product I use.  When I read the description on the birchbox site it included “waves” with the curls so I’m going to have to see if this product will do much for me.  My other issue is I hate the packaging on this.  The size seems quite generous – way more than you would use on one application of medium length hair.  I don’t know how I’m supposed to store the excess when I’ve got this one time use container. 

Air Repair Rescue Balm
(Full Size Retail – .9 oz: $12.00)
Description: “This ultrarestorative salve works its magic by preventing transepidermal water loss, a primary cause of dry skin. Sweet almond oil, fatty-acid rich lanolin, and vitamin E hydrate and nourish skin upon contact. Anti-inflammatory lavender helps quell irritation, while geranium promotes circulation and rejuvenates skin.
Verdict:  On the Fence
I have a lot of balms and salves already and I’m not sure how this one differs.  I also think that item feels a bit “winter” to me, like this would have been much more helpful going into December than April.


Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango
Description: “These delicious chocolate squares are filled with cherry and almond bits, offering rich, no-holds-barred flavor.”
Verdict:  Hit
Dark Chocolate, cherry and almonds.  I don’t think I need to say much else.

Full Box 

This box was way too unbalanced for me.  My Birchbox profile has skincare unselected and I received THREE skincare items and two food items. 
I understand that they have a lot of skincare and I truly don’t mind one with each box, but this was overkill.

With tax I paid $10.70 and after reviewing each item, my points got me the equivalent of $6.00.  I hope next month’s box has some makeup and a better balance of products.

How does your Birchbox stand up to your profile preferences?  Are your products fairly balanced or do you end up getting a plethora of the same stuff over and over?


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 extra points. 

Popsugar Must Have Box – December 2013

And it’s that time again for the Popsugar Must Have Box.  For info on Popsugar subscriptions along with some coupon codes jump down below. Now let’s dive into the December Must Have Box.

BraceletBracelet Closeup
Lulu Frost for Popsugar Bracelet
(Retail: $110.00)
Verdict: Hit!
Lulu Frost seems to be a big hit with a lot of celebrities and is “known for mixing vintage and modern elements to create timeless baubles”.  This bracelet won me over because it has baguettes (they are a favorite of mine and don’t show up as frequently as I would like) and it has an art deco vibe (another favorite but this one does show up pretty often).  The only downside to this piece is that the design is only on the front while the back has the “Lulu Frost for Popsugar” logo.  With this style bracelet that logo is bound to show when the charm dangles.  I wish it had something more decorative in the back and maybe just a little dangle tag by the clasp to indicate the designer. The retail value of this item is more than three times the cost of what I paid for this box, so we’re off to a great start.

Wrapping Paper
Mixt Studio Holiday Gifting Set
(Retail: $9.00)
Verdict:  Hit!/Gift
It seems no matter how much wrapping paper I buy, I always run out at an inopportune moment, so I was happy to see this in my box and it promptly made it’s way onto Christmas gifts.  The “snow drift” print in particular is incredibly striking and has made my Mom’s Christmas gift look all the more amazing.

ModelCo Fibre Lashxtend Black Mascara
(Retail: $)
Verdict:  Hit!
Once upon a time I fell in love with a Fibre mascara and then..gasp..they changed the formula.  Then, of course it didn’t work for me anymore.  I’m still in search of a replacement for that fibre mascara I once loved and lost, so I’m happy to try out a new one.  I’ve never tried anything by Modelco so it will be fun to play with a new brand.  The mascara also includes a cute little mirror right on the tube.  This  came with a coupon for $10 off plus a free ultra lip gloss.

Govino Go Anywhere Flutes
(Retail: $12.95)
Verdict:  Gift
I have a lot of glasses.  It’s one of those things that people seem to love to give me plus I inherited a ton of my grandmother’s, so I am well stocked up.  In order for me to add on a set of glasses I have to love them and these just don’t speak to me.  The fact that they are shatterproof and plastic isn’t really appealing either.  I feel like if I’m at an event casual enough for plastic, it’s time to bring out the giant red beer cups, that I won’t have to wash when all is said and done.  These do however complement a Christmas gift I already had planned so they are getting packed up with that.

CC Caramel Corn
(Retail: $4.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
The only problem with this was that there wasn’t more of it.  It was delicious and I had to fight my boyfriend in order to get some.

Nail Wraps
NCLA Peppermint Lane Nail Wraps
(Retail: $16.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
As I’ve mentioned before, 2013 was the year that I got into doing my nails.  I’ve been meaning to try some nail wraps but haven’t gotten around to it.  These designs seem pretty basic and I think they’d work great as accent nails with my Julep colors.

Ghirardelli Squares Chocolate
(Retail:$8.40/Retail: $4.25)
Verdict:  Gift
I love chocolate but since this time of the year is filled with so many amazing confections and treats I decided to add these to some Christmas gifts and share the calories—eh, I mean the love.  Yeah, the love.

Full Box

With my discount for purchasing multiple months in advance I paid 33.88 for this box and it had an estimated retail value of $184.60.  I either liked or could gift everything  so it was definitely a win for me.  I do think the appeal of this box lies with the high ticket item.  If you like that Lulu Frost bracelet, everything else is just gravy.

What did you think of this box?  Hit or Miss?

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 sitewide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

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