Top 13 of 2013 – A Few of My Favorites from Subscription Boxes

So now that 2013 is behind us, it’s time to take a look back through all the awesome stuff my wonderful addiction to subscription boxes brought to my doorstep.  I’ve chosen my favorite 13 items from all of my boxes.  It was so hard to choose, but these turned out to be the ones I either loved the most or got the most use from.


Jelly FishJelly Fish Tripod for Smartphones from the August 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Retail: $10.95 on Amazon)
Original Fancy Box
I had just delved into the world of smartphones when I got this little gadget from Fancy.  It’s great for taking video or watching Netflix.



Bombshell BoxAdd-ons
Julep Cleansing Oil & Konjac Cleansing Sponge from the September 2013 Maven Box
(Retail: $28.00/Maven Price: $22.40 & Retail: $12.00/Maven Price: $9.50)
Julep Maven Box
This cleansing oil smells amazing (like oranges) and removes your makeup without drying out your skin.  It’s one of my favorite Julep products ever.  The konjac sponge exfoliates  without being overly harsh and works great with so many other products.

Fancy Power Grid by Tego: from the September 2013 Original Fancy Box
Retail $60.00 on Fancy)
Original Fancy Box
One of the things Fancy does best is bring practical little gadgets that I know I need but never get around to picking up for myself.  This is a great backup charger that can help your dying Iphone battery last a bit longer.

Rachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring: from the Popsugar Fall Must Have Special Edition Box
(Retail: $75.00 on
Popsugar Must Have
I tend to gravitate toward white metals and super sparkly things so this understated gold ring was a great addition to my jewelry collection.  I would never have picked it out myself but it adds a touch of elegance to my outfits and I’ve worn it a lot more than I would have guessed when I first pulled it out of the box.



Anisa, Valerie & Ciara
Ciara Polish
from the October 2013 Maven Box
(Retail $14.00/Sale: $4.99)
Julep Maven Box
October brought my favorite Julep collection.  It was the only time all year that I did a full upgrade.  And within that awesome “Rebel set” was my favorite polish ever: Ciara.  It is somehow edgy, vampy and ethereal all at the same time.  It’s a magenta polish with a teal microglitter and pictures do not do it justice.  Pick it up, you’ll love it (I promise).

USB Strip
Contort Flexible USB Hub
from the October 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Fancy Retail: $25.00/Amazon Retail: $7.39)
Original Fancy Box
As usual, Fancy delivers another gadget I know I needed but just didn’t bother to buy.  I used to have to take turns plugging in my thumb drive and then my camera. Now with a USB hub I can do it all at once.  (Fancy needs to hope I never get gadget-savvy because then I might not need a subscription).

Purse  Midnight Clutch by Emilie M.from the October 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Fancy Retail: $50.00)
Original Fancy Box
I thought this bag was really cute when I first got it and since I actually didn’t own anything in this style it was a nice plus.  It ended up being my go to bag for my nights out.  You can easily fit your phone, wallet and other essentials plus it matches everything.



Ear CuffJack Vartanian Ear Cuff from the November 2013 Nina Garcia Quarterly Box.  
(Retail: ???)
Nina Garcia Quarterly Box
I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to be the uber edgy cool girl that can wear stuff like ear cuffs.  And then Nina Garcia sent me a fabulous one by a fancy pants jewelry designer.  I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to try this on my own, but once Nina  sent it my way I realized I could rock it.


Le Métier De Beauté –  Pretty in Punk Eye Shadow Palette from the Special Edition Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box
(Retail: $95.00)
Popsugar Must Have
This beauty palette opened up a whole new world of eyeshadow application.  Did you know we were all doing smoky eyes wrong?  And who better to tell us how to do it than the French!  This is the most luxurious eyeshadow palette I’ve ever owned and I love that it’s opened up a whole new world of makeup for me.

Nest Candle in Birchwood Pine
from the Special Edition Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box
(Retail: $34.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Sometimes I fall in love with candles.  Okay,  I frequently fall in love with candles.  But I really, really mean it when I say I love this candle. It is so pretty and while it looked awesome with my Christmas decorations it’s going to look amazing all year long.


BraceletErickson Beamon Rocks Blondie Stone Bangle from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Estimated Retail $98.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Okay maybe I’m just a sucker for sparkly things, but I loved the rhinestones on this bracelet.  They were just ethereal and twinkly and the captured my imagination the moment I took this out of the box.  They look so much better in person than in my photograph.

TokyomilkTokyomilk’s Dark Body Soufflé in “Chance” from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Retail: $40.00)
Popsugar Must Have
You know when it comes to beauty products I’m pretty easy.  You can win me over with gorgeous packaging so this body cream had me at hello.  It proved itself with a soft fragrance and rich, but not greasy formula.  This is a great gift for the girl who thinks she has everything.

DatebookGraphic Image 2014 Datebook: from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Retail: $97.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Okay so I’m going to be honest.  A planner that costs $100 is for some other girl.  I would never even think of buying something like this and maybe that’s why I love it so very much.  Along with calendars, maps and room for notes it has lists of common words and phrases with translations in English, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish (including the dates of all their different holidays!)  Just ask me how to say chicken in Dutch (Huhn) or for two nights in French (pour deux nuits).  ASK ME!  Okay, I got a little carried away, but this little book makes me feel like I’m a jetsetting socialite who spends spring time in Paris and summers in the Hamptons, which is exactly what I need when I’m trapped in my windowless, basement office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Now a few winners in the larger subscription categories:

Overall Favorite Subscription:
Popsugar Must Have & Nina Garcia Quarterly Box
Since Nina’s box was brand new and only had one come out this year it was hard to judge it against the others, but it was cohesive and chic and exactly what you expect from Nina Garcia.  Popsugar is the most consistant when it comes to awesome items I can use in my life so I chose it for the top spot.

Favorite One Time Box:
Popsugar Limited Edition Holiday Box
As super fancy as the Neiman Marcus box was, the Holiday box just fit my needs and lifestyle so perfectly (as you notice it had three of my top thirteen picks).

Did you subscribe to any boxes in 2013?  I’d love to hear your favorite things.

Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box – November 2013

So it came.  Finally.  The holy grail of subscription boxes.  The now infamous Popsugar Special Edition Neiman Marcus box that cost $250 and sold out in 12 hours.  I have one and now it’s time to see what’s inside it.

BoxBox Half Open

To start, this frick’n box is so heavy that there has to be something breakable in there.  Only stuff fragile stuff can weigh this much. If I thought the $100 Fall style box was luxurious, this was like it’s uber snobby, super rich, older cousin. The box itself is really high quality and I plan to reuse it for storage, so we’re already off to a great start.

Neiman Box Open Wrapped

Chevron Printed Throw:(Retail: $195)
Verdict: Hit!
This item was the spoiler Popsugar released when the box was first announced.  The big question was what color you’d find in your box. I ended up with the gray which is the shade I wanted.  I had planned to gift this if I ended up with certain colors, but sorry suckers, this one is mine.

Jonathan Adler Carnaby Zebra Stacking Dish:
(Retail: $24.00)
Verdict: Gift
We’d been told this box would include something by Jonathan Adler.  Now I love me some little dishes for rings, keys or paperclips, but I’m just not feeling the design.  I got the navy blue and, something about the navy + animal print just isn’t working. It’s like nautical, but not. I think if this had come in the shiny gold they offer on the Jonathan Adler site I’d have loved it.  As is, I’m putting it in my Christmas gift pile.

Le Métier De Beauté –  Pretty in Punk Eye Shadow Palette:(Retail: $95.00)
Verdict: Love!

The last clue Popsugar gave us is that there’d be a Le Metier De Beauty item in this box.  This punk palette was made exclusively for this Popsugar collaboration so I don’t have a link to the item itself, but I’ll price it the same as their similar palette on the Neiman Marcus site.  Before I signed up for this box, I was unfamiliar with the brand but now that I’ve seen it, I’m so excited to try it out.  These folks are so fancy pants, I can’t even figure out how you order from their site (apparently everything is in sets?).  At first I was startled by the colors  and was afraid that my translucent self would be unable to use anything but the shimmery gold.  After googling I came across Le Métier’s video of their Couches de Couleur technique.  (You know it’s super fancy because the name is in French).  It seems that you layer these colors on top of each other to achieve a smoky eye.  After watching the whole thing, I think I can actually attempt this!  It has totally rocked my beauty world.  Just keep your fingers crossed that I don’t waste a $95 eyeshadow palette making myself look like I got punched in the face.

Neiman Marcus “Twist” White Fudge-Covered Corn Twists:
(Retail: $19.00)
Verdict: Hit!
This tube of calorific goodness is described as “white fudge-covered corn snacks.”  I’m game for trying all kinds of food items and while I’m normally not a fan of white chocolate this looks intriguing and will be a perfect to munch on when I put up my Christmas tree and decorations.

Slim & Sage Dinner Plates:
(Retail: $99.99)
Verdict: Gift
So these porcelain dishes are supposed to help you lose weight by being smaller (9 inches versus the standard 12) and with super secret portioning via geometric design (two quadrants for veggies, one for protein and one for carbs).  I seriously love dinnerware, but I’m just not in love with this pattern.  For the most part I’m not a geometric person and I don’t think I’d get much use out of these.  Another disappointment is that on the bottom of this beautiful box it reads “made in china” (as does the Jonathan Adler).  I don’t mind stuff being “made in china” when I buy it at Target, but for a super luxury box from Neiman Marcus, I’d kind of like to see it come from France, or Italy, or some other place that makes crap I can’t normally afford.  The plates are packaged really nicely and there are a few people on my Christmas list who I think would really love them, so they most likely will be gifted. ( Although the red is so perfect for Christmas I still might change my mind!)

NecklaceNecklace Closeup
SHY by Sydney Evan Love Pendant Bezel Diamond Necklace
: (Retail $125.00)
Verdict: Hit!
This is a 14K gold plated (over silver) necklace with an itty bitty diamond.  Yes, I said DIAMOND.  (Apparently Neiman Marcus is well aware of what’s a girl’s best friend.) I don’t own any word jewelry so this is a nice addition to my collection.  It’s really the offset diamond that makes it interesting.  The strange thing about this necklace is that it is very, very tiny.  It’s pretty much choker length. I think this could actually be a really cute gift for a tween aged girl, and if mom wants to go super cutesy she can get one for herself and they can match.

Nest Candle in Birchwood Pine:
(Retail: $34.00)
Verdict:  Love!

First, I love candles.  Second, this one has a really authentic pine tree smell.  This is perfect since I have a fake tree and every year my compromise with my boyfriend is that I’ll burn a pine candle and get a real wreath (he complains that there’s no Christmas smell with my fake one).  The glass container is adorable and has this fabulous mid-century modern holiday vibe to it.  This will be making its way into my holiday decorations come November 29th.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray:
(Retail: $39.00)
Verdict:  Love!
The description makes this sound like magic for your hair: “This invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).” So as I’ve mentioned in other posts, my hair is my final beauty frontier.  This year I conquered nails (thanks to Julep) and 2014 will be my hair year.  The last couple years, I’ve been going with a short bob, but I’ve been growing it out in search of long hair.  Right now I’m having an Ally Sheedy Breakfast club moment, so I’m hoping this item is as amazing as it sounds and will give me some much needed help with styling my hair.  I mean people it has patented polymers  which is so sciency it just has to work.

Full Box

With tax I paid a whopping $267.50 for this box, but the value tops out at $630.00.  Now under normal circumstances I don’t splurge this much, but every year since I turned thirty I allow myself one luxury purchase at my birthday.  It should be something high end and special that will last a long time.  This year I decided to gamble on this box.  I’m actually quite happy I did.  Not only did I get a diamond, but I got a fabulous throw and candle that will look great in my apartment, a yummy treat to have during my holiday tree decorating, hair and makeup products that will totally help me try out new looks and a couple of fabulous Christmas gifts.

Popsugar also has a sold out Holiday box, but I snagged one so if you want to see what’s in it, be sure to check back.  Currently available along with Popsugar’s regular subscription there is also a Must Have Holiday Box for Men

So what did think of the Neiman Marcus Popsugar box?  Was it as luxurious as you thought it would be or did you expect more?

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 Subscription 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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