Popsugar: April Must Have Mini & LE CFDA Box Spoiler!

Popsugar recently launched a downsized version of their subscription box called The Must Have Mini. The box costs $18.95 and features two full sized items with no overlap for their regular sub, so you can opt to receive both if you want some extra Popsugar in your life.
Mini

Despite my ongoing issues with Popsugar customer service, I usually love the items I actually get so I decided to give this one a chance for a month or two (and of course it’s super exciting to review the inaugural box of any sub).

So let’s see what our very first Must Have Mini box has inside:
Box Open Box

CandleCoupon
Greenmarket Purveying Co. White Melon Pantry Candle

(Retail 7 oz: $16.00)
Description: “Hand-poured in small batches by a US artisan chandler, this soy-blend candle has notes of fresh melon, sweet peach, zest citrus, and comforting vanilla.”
Verdict: Like
To start this candle smells amazing, like the best watermelon candy except not cloying at all. The only thing is, it’s well, a candle. I love candles don’t get me wrong but if you’re a sub box subscriber, you get tons of them. It just seems like a bit of a boring choice for one of two slots in the very first box of the subscription. It also came with a coupon for a discount on Greenmarket Purveying Co.’s site, which was a nice bonus.

Lip BalmLip Balm Packaging Lip Balm Open
FARMACY Lip Bloom in Lavender Mint
(Retail: $16.50)
Description: ”Farmacy’s unique variant of Echinacea works with natural seed oils to form a protective barrier that leads to softer, fuller lips – combine these natural benefits with the refreshing scent of your favorite herbs, and you’ve got the perfect lip balm.”
Verdict:
Lovely but boring
Think of the very next thing that overflows from sub boxes right after candles? If you guessed lip balms, ding, ding, you are a winner! This has lovely packaging, and the scent seems nice, but it’s just a fancy lip balm. Not really much to write home about.

OVERALL:
Popsugar Must Have Mini April 2016
Verdict:
Phoned In
We’ll start with the positives. With tax I ended up paying $20.28 for this box and the retail value came out to $32.50, so it definitely delivered in that regard. This box had a spring feel and was seasonably appropriate. Each item was high quality and well suited for gift giving (particularly Mother’s Day). Unfortunately, the items were painfully dull. The only thing missing from making this the “crap you always get in sub boxes” was the inclusion of a mascara. And it’s probably only absent because Popsugar was limited to two full size pieces. With a box of only two items, at least one needs to be a rockstar and both of these were painfully ordinary sub-box fodder. They would be fine in a box filled with other things, but as a set they just don’t scream out “must have”. Also consider that this is the very first box of this subscription and it seems even less inspired. Popsugar really phoned this one in. I’m going to hold on to the sub for another month or two, just to see if it improves, but if I end up with a stack of mascara and lip gloss I’m bailing.

What do you think of Popsugar’s new lower cost offering? Would you have enjoyed this box for the price or found it as lackluster as I did?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
CFDA Box Launch & Spoiler!
CFDA
Description: “For the second year in a row, we’re proud to launch our limited-edition Must Have box with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This fashion collaboration has little luxuries perfect for a relaxing day by the pool or a weekend filled with sun and music. Fifty percent of POPSUGAR’s profits from each box will be donated to the CFDA, in support of the CFDA mission to strengthen American fashion in the global economy.”
Cost: $225.00
Spoiler: every box includes a classic split cover up from lemlem by supermodel Liya Kebede
Last year’s CFDA box was probably Popsugar’s most controversial box ever. There was all kinds of drama from changing prices to misrepresented items, so Popsugar actually broke down and offered returns. Head over to my 2015 review for all the dirty details. This year they’ve opted to release a spoiler and it certainly looks intriguing. Last year’s box was painfully devoid of actual fashion items, so it seems Popsugar learned their lesson. After last year, I’m not willing to risk so much money on a Popsugar LE box, but if you love the spoiler it may be worth the gamble to you.

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 Mini Pricing:
(Features 2 Full Size Items)
Monthly – $18.95

Popsugar Must Have 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

Popsugar: March 2015

It’s time to finish out all the last of my March box stragglers, because I have a stack of new boxes I’m just waiting to rip open, carefully photograph and write about for you guys. Popsugar is one of my favorite subs and they’ve really been hitting all the marks on curation this year, so let’s see if they can keep up the trend.
Open Box

Bliss
Bliss Micromagic Microdermabrasion Treatment
(Suggested Retail: $48.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Scrub away winter dullness with this Micromagic Microdermabrasion Treatment from Bliss. Formulated with vitamin E, volcanic pumice, and aloe, the treatment will smooth and soothe skin for spa-perfect results at home.”
Verdict: Hit!
Bliss is one of my favorite brands, and their spas are my absolute favorite place to get a facial. I’ve always had good luck with their skin treatments and creams so I’m excited to give this one a shot during my next at-home spa day. I also think a microdermabrasion treatment is a great beauty pick for Spring.

Air Freshener
Greenmarket Purveying Co. The Archivist Lemon+Cucumber Reed Diffuser Kit
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “”The smell of spring is in the air with this fresh and invigorating diffuser. Handmade with natural ingredients, this lemon-cucumber kit is the perfect way to refresh your sense for the bright season ahead.”
Verdict:
Love!
It’s that time of the year for spring cleaning, so once I’ve scrubbed down my kitchen and done some organization I’ll be breaking into this diffuser kit. Citrus and fresh scents are my absolute favorites in general and are perfect for the kitchen.

Pouch
Samudra Pink Pina Zip Pouch

(Suggested Retail: $40.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “”We love this hot-pink zip pouch from Samudra. The see-through material is great for easy access to all your beach items. If pineapples and pina coladas don’t get you excited for warmer weather, we don’t know what will.”
Verdict: It’s like we took a trip to the dollar store in 1985
Lucky for you this is a Popsugar exclusive, so there is no chance of you getting stuck with one from a different sub box. I’d be stating the obvious to tell you this is ugly and cheap looking. You have eyes and my pictures are pretty clear. The part that really needs to be expanded on is that this is supposed to be worth $40. Like if you were paid minimum wage, you would need to work a little over 5 and a half hours in order to purchase this monstrosity. In NYC city speak it would be more than the cost of a weekly metrocard, plus a Big Mac from the giant Mickey D’s on 42nd, a dirty water dog from a street cart, with a couple bucks left over to tip the awesome bluegrass band that plays on Thursday mornings next to the shuttle train. Popsugar included a Samudra pouch in their 2014 Summer Box and that one was cloth and had a lovely costal scene. This one is just an insult.

Pad
Knock Knock What to Pack Pad
(Suggested Retail: $7.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Never forget to bring anything again! Knock Knock’s hand drawn What To Pack pad makes packing fun and easy.”
Verdict: Hit!
I’m a list-maker. I’ll admit it. It’s pretty much a compulsion. When it comes to packing for a trip I have spreadsheets. Yes, I meant that as plural. And yes, I absolutely need more than one, because…reasons. I don’t know if I travel enough to use this pad too frequently but it might pry me away from my computer and make my packing a little less…intense. At the very least it’s inspired me to put aside some of my sub box items into a travel kit for my next vacation (which will hopefully come sooner rather than later.)

Wet Brush
Wet Brush The Squirt
(Retail: $4.99)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Detangle your locks pain free with the Squirt from Wet Brush. Ideal for wet or dry hair, the famous intelliflex bristles eliminate hair breakage while also massaging the scalp. Plus, this travel size is perfect on the go.”
Verdict: Love!
I got the regular Wet Brush in my very first Popsugar Must Have box and it is a staple in my shower. I apply conditioner, throw on a shower cap, let my hair marinate for a few minutes, then brush through it and rinse. This is perfect for travel since I don’t want to lug that larger brush around. Another item that I’m adding to my in-progress travel kit.

Popcorn
Halfpops Halfpopped Popcorn
(Suggested Retail: $1.69)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “With more crunch and less fluff, Halfpops’ tasty air-popped kernals prove that good things come in small packages. Delicious and gluten-free, get ready to experience ethe new generation of popcorn.”
Verdict: You’re not fooling anyone, this is the stuff you’re supposed to throw away after you make actual Popcorn.
I like popcorn except when I get a halfpopped kernel in my mouth. It’s too hard and gets stuck in my teeth and yuck.  Like nails on a chalkboard but in your mouth. It’s really the only thing I dislike about popcorn at all. And this is an entire bag of them. Why, dear lord why? Who thought of this? Do they also package up the little strings stuck to bananas or the shells on pistachios? I’m going to pretend I never saw these, we’ll all be happier for it.

SPECIAL EXTRA

Benefit 1 Benefit 2
Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara and POREfessional
Description: “This deluxe sample set is a must when it comes to packing! For smoother-than-smooth skin, apply POREfessional for a lightweight primer and finish eh look with this ultracurling Roller Lash Mascara.”
Verdict: Gift
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll remember that I already reviewed the Roller Lash and found it sorely lacking. I also own the POREfessional primer and I think that’s a fabulous product for minimizing pores. I already have a few of the primers in a trial size so I’ll be gifting this kit to someone else.

OVERALL:
March 2015 Popsugar Box

Verdict: Halfhearted

Oh Popsugar you were doing, so so well this year, but the streak is broken.   While this box does have some high points, its lows are just too hard to overlook. Excluding the Benefit deluxe sample, the “value” on this box is supposed to be $121.68, but if you remove the $40 pouch that is nearly worthless, the value jumps down to $81.68, which is far below what you expect from a Popsugar box.  Luckily I like and can use the Bliss product, but if you can’t this box is not even going to be worth the $42.75 pricetag you paid to get it home.

From a curation standpoint, this box has too many ideas going on. One was Spring! Rejuvenation! Fresh! And the other was Travel! Vacation! (Although I have no idea where halfpopped corn fits into either). I wish Popsugar had gone with Spring for this box, and done the travel one in April or May (which would be a perfect transition to summer). January and February had such thoughtful, tight curations they made this one seem like even more of a mess.

Did you get the March Popsugar box? If so, what did you think of the $40 Pouch and halfpopped corn?

POPSUGAR NEWS!

Remember how I said that I was taking a break from Popsugar LE boxes, because I was uber disappointed with my 2014 Neiman Marcus box? Well, I finally took the plunge and decided to give Popsugar another chance with one of the pricey CFDA LE boxes.  I’m taking a bill risk on this box, because I devoted a chunk of my Spring wardrobe budget to it, so be sure to check back to see if my gamble paid off.

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