Popsugar: May 2016 & Fall Limited Edition Presale!

Somehow in the madness that is my life, I completely forgot about my Popsugar Must Have subscription so I’m a few months behind and definitely overdue for a review.  Since we’ve waited long enough, let’s dive into the May 2016 Popsugar box.
Open Box

Bracelets
Bluma Project – Capri Bracelets – Set of 2

(Suggested Retail: $44.00)
Description: “These delicate bracelets are handcrafted by Guatemalan artisans.  You’ll love the calming combination of blue and gold hues, and won’t want to take these off all season!”
Verdict: Miss
I really appreciate supporting artisans, but these bracelets just aren’t worth $44 and the tassels just make them look even more inexpensive.  They aren’t hideous, but there’s not much to them.  You could craft something really similar, without much effort and for just a couple dollars worth of supplies.

Foot therapy
Kocostar Foot Therapy
(Suggested Retail: $10.00)
Description: ”Whether you’re howing off your feet in sandals or during a barefoot yoga session, this wrap treatment will give you soft soles using natural, paraben-free botanical extracts.”
Verdict:
Hit!
Foot masks are always awesome, but they are a great treat after you’ve been wearing flip flops all summer.

Spongology
Spongellé Spongology Body Buffer
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Description: ”Designed to cleanse, exfoliate, and massage, this body-wash-infused sponge lasts at least 20 washes – and because it’s made with organic extracts and sulfate- free ingredients, you can enjoy moisturizing in the shower worry-free. ”
Verdict: Like
We’ve seen the Spongelle brand in Popsugar boxes before and while a body buffer isn’t exciting, it’s definitely something I will use.

Mat
Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat
(Suggested Retail: $24.98)
Description: “Ultralightweight and compact, this foldable yoga mat is easy to transport in your favorite toe bag.  Plus, its POPSUGAR-exclusive blue hue will help you reach your happy place before even beginning your yoga session.”
Verdict: Poor execution
Normally, I’m not too thrilled with workout items because they tend to be either water bottles (of which I have eleventybillion) or customized for routines/habits not everyone has.  A super portable yoga mat seemed like a great idea since you could use it for all kinds of different exercises and stretching.  I grabbed mine and took it to work to use in our tiny closet, er gym to use on my lunch hour.  I don’t need a super thick mat, but dear lord this thing has no cushioning whatsoever.  It’s really not much better than just being right on the floor.  Great idea, but terrible execution.

Spray
Happy Spritz Breathe Deeply
(Suggested Retail: $25.00)
Description: “Made with peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, this spray helps naturally invigorate and soothe you.  Mist it over your face or breathe deeply while spritzing it on your yoga mat after an intense workout session.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I don’t really use aromatherapy sprays, but this sounds interesting.  Part of the fun of sub boxes is trying things outside my comfort zone, so I’ll give this a shot.

Jimmy Bar
JimmyBar! Peanut Butter Clutter JimmyBar! Clean Snack Bar

(Suggested Retail: $2.49)
Description: “Perfect for a pre-workout energy boost, this gluten-free and dairy-free bar is made without artificial anything.  Naturally sweet dates eliminate the need for added sugar, and peanut butter lends the saltiness you crave from a midday snack.”
Verdict: Okay
I swear every time someone uses “clean” to describe food, my eye starts twitching.  It’s the same way that people decry “chemicals” in their food.  (Because there are things not made of chemicals?)  Repeat after me, there are no damn “dirty” foods.  There is stuff you should eat only in moderation, or once a year on your birthday, but the food isn’t dirty.  And “clean” foods are not some magic pill that will make you skinny and safe from all health related problems.  Now, this bar tasted fine and it’s nice for folks that have gluten or dairy allergies.  I just hate the “clean” labeling nonsense.

Special Extras
Cayenne Water
Hint Kick Lemon Cayenne Water

(Suggested retail value: $1.69)
Description: “Each all-natural Hint Kick is infused with 60mg of caffeine – the equivalent of a small cup of coffee, minus the coffee-breath. Lightly flavored with a hint of your favorite fruit flavors, this refreshing drink is your perfect pick-me-up.”
Verdict:
@$#$#
You know what I’ve always said will make water more refreshing? Caffeine and cayenne.  Seriously?  I know this is a freebie, but come on.  This is not something that needs to exist.  This is the first time I contemplated just throwing out a product because I couldn’t think of someone who would even want to try it. (Eventually I just brought it to a BBQ to give away to whoever was brave enough).

Half Hitch Goods $10 Gift Card
Description: “Put this credit toward the purchase of a quality-crafted gift for yourself or someone you love.”
Verdict:
Not really an extra
Sorry I didn’t take a picture of this one as I often don’t really think of gift cards that require you to spend money as real extras.

Mascara
Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara
(Suggested retail value: $8.99)
Description: “After using this megavolumizing mascara formula, get ready to experience rich, intense – lashes – if you’re looking to amp up your eyes this the perfect pick!”
Verdict:
Hit!
Mascara is a product I use every single day, so I love trying out different brands.

OVERALL:
Popsugar May 2016 Must Have
Verdict:
Disappointing
With my prepaid discount this box only cost me $24.91 and the estimated box value (excluding the special extras) was $126.47. Unfortunately, I just didn’t really like most of the items in the box.  I think my favorite product is probably the foot mask that only retails for $10.  The ideas for this box were good, like stackable bohemian style bracelets and a foldable yoga mat, but the actual items just didn’t deliver.  I’ve had some great boxes from Popsugar this year, so I guess it was time for a miss.  I’ve got lots more Popsugar reviews coming so be sure to check back.

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Presale

Popsugar launched a pre-sale for their Fall 2016 Limited Edition box.  The pre-sale is open to current subscribers.  As with most Popsugar Limited Edition boxes it costs $100 and so far no spoilers.  My birthday is in October, so I’m considering snagging one as a gift to myself, but I’m just not ready to commit until I have a better idea of what’s inside.

Am I totally out of touch with my hatred of the Hint Kick water, or would you love to try a caffeine infused lemon cayenne water?

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 to Must Have

Popsugar: May Must Have Mini & LE Summer Presale!

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.

Last month’s introductory mini box left me pretty underwhelmed.  I opted to give this sub one more chance to wow me, or at least give me the idea that they would attempt to send something interesting.

So let’s dive into the second Must Have Mini Box:
Box  Open Box

BottleJuicer Piece
Zing Anything Bottle

(Suggested Retail: $12.99)
Description: “This 22 ounce citrus-infuser bottle is the perfect size for bringing to a steamy yoga session or on the go.”
Verdict: Does anyone not have a fancy water bottle by now?  Anyone? Hands?
I guess when I crossed my fingers that Popsugar wouldn’t send a water bottle in their subscription, I clearly should have been more specific.  While it didn’t show up in the regular Must Have box, it made its appearance in the mini.  You know, because when you only have two slots in a box, you should totes choose something incredibly generic that shows up in nearly every women’s lifestyle sub.  Also as far as water bottles go, this one isn’t even attractive.  ZingAnything has cuter ones (which I own and not surprisingly got from a sub box) so it’s not even a great choice in that regard.

H20Gel
H20+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment

(Retail: $38.00)
Description: ”This bestselling product from H20+ for a quarter of a century, this treatment will hydrate your skin for a softer smoother look..”
Verdict:
Okay
A moisturizer.  You know cause, those are so rare in sub boxes.  This seems like a nice enough product and I like that it’s a gel, but it’s just not that interesting.  We get plenty of moisturizers from pretty high end brands in the regular Popsugar so I’m just not feeling that this is all that special. I tried this out and while it feels immediately hydrating, it doesn’t seem like it keeps my skin soft (if that makes sense). The included card suggested using this under make in the morning so I think I’ll try it out that way.

OVERALL:
May 2016 Popsugar Mini
Verdict:
Canceled
We’ll start with the positives. With tax I ended up paying $20.28 for this box and the retail value came out to $50.99, so that was a nice improvement over the first box.  It seems the mini boxes are continuing the regular subscriptions theme so this is clearly a “hydration” box but the choices made were so lackluster.  If I were curating this box I’d try something like a cool pitcher and maybe a hydrating scalp treatment.  Things that fit the theme, but don’t show up in every other box.

After two months of these boxes, I’ve figured out that this sub is basically for people who don’t have a bunch of other subscriptions.  If you’ve never subscribed to a sub box, you *might* enjoy this, but if you’re a subscription junkie, there is absolutely no point for you to get this subscription.  You get the same items that make the rounds in all the other boxes – including the main Popsugar box.  The four items they’ve sent out so far: A Candle, a lip balm, a water bottle, and a moisturizer.  That doesn’t scream out “must have” – it screams out “we already have”.  This could be a really interesting sub, featuring more unique finds but instead it’s a snoozefest.  Really disappointing.

I’ve canceled for now, but if the box curation changes I might give it a try again.

What did you think of the Popsugar Mini Box?
Am I being too hard on the little guy, or do you find the items as boring as I do?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Summer LE Box Presale! The Limited Edition Summer box will be on sale May 19 at 10am PDT
LE Summer Presale
Description: “As the weather heats up, prepare yourself with stylish essentials made to keep you cool in every way. Spending time outdoors never looked so good.”
Cost: $100.00
This box is typically pretty popular and I think if you want to gamble on an LE box, the summer box is probably most likely to have some really fun stuff.  If I see some fabulous spoilers I might treat myself to this, but unless something compelling comes out, I’m sticking with my LE No Buy.

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 2016 & another CFDA Spoiler!

It’s another rainy day in NYC and my best way of fighting it is with Harry Belafonte tunes (Shake, Shake Shake Senora!) and by wearing my favorite Jeffrey Cambell boots. I’ve been quite distracted and apparently been saving my March Popsugar review for a rainy day (which seems to be every day this week). Besides the scoop on this box I’ve also got another CFDA spoiler for you and the inspiration for the May Must Have Box, so let’s jump in.
Open Box Open Box 2

Watch On Wrist
Nanette Lepore Classic Rose Gold Watch
(Suggested Retail: $55.00)
Description: “We can’t get enough of the rose gold trend, and you’ll understand why after slipping this stylish watch on your wrist. The strap on this elegant timepiece – exclusively designed by Popsugar – is neutral enough to wear with all of your favorite outfits.”
Verdict: Love!
I love this watch so so so much. Rose gold is on trend and I have so little of it, and this watch is so classic and elegant I can wear it in a million different ways. The pale strap color works well with my skin tone and is perfect as we head into warmer weather. I love that it’s an exclusive and looks a lot more expensive than the $55 retail value. A great pick.

Palette
Pixi by Petra Book of Beauty, Minimal Makeup
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Description: ”Complete with two highlighters, two cheek tints, and four eye shadows, this sophisticated beauty kit is your new secret weapon for creating the perfect ‘no make’ look. Its luminous, barely there hues will subtly enhance your natural glow, eliminating the guesswork from your daily beauty routine.”
Verdict:
Like/Gift
I didn’t remove this from the packaging or swatch it because I may end up using it as a gift. I think the shades are lovely and they do look like a great natural makeup collection. I currently have so many neutral palettes, I didn’t want to open another. I regularly clear out my makeup case and add in new things so this might make it into the next rotation. For ladies that aren’t makeup junkies with too much overflow, I’m sure this was a great pick.


Necklace Necklace Close
Miss Ivy Pearl Five-Tassel Necklace
(Suggested Retail: $38.00)
Description: ”Our editors can’t get enough of tassels these days1 Minimal enough to be worn with other beachy baubles or fun enough to wear on its own, this piece will quickly become one of your favorites.”
Verdict: Almost, but not quite
Popsugar didn’t have a link for this in the included card so I’m going to assume it’s an exclusive product. Now tassels are on trend and popping up everywhere.  They can look festival chic or horribly cheap. Unfortunately I think this falls a bit on the latter side. The color  is lovely, but the fringe on the tassel has super thin strands and it just screams out curtain tie from 1979. I kept the plastic cover on it, because I think as soon as I take it off, this thing will start disintegrating in record time. I love the color and the idea, it just needed better execution. I also am not seeing $38 here.

Govino
Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set
(Suggested Retail: $14.95)
Description: “It’s easy to stay hydrated when you can do it in style! Use this shatterproof carafe and glass to hit your daily water intake goal, and because the set is mad BPA-free polymer that resembles fine crystal, it will easily elevate any bedside table or picnic.”
Verdict: Love!
This was perfectly timed because I’d been looking for a carafe and glass set for my bathroom (to use with mouthwash). Most were glass and in my teeny-tiny, overcrowded bathroom I was sure I’d knock it over. This version is plastic and unbreakable so perfectly suited for my purposes. This would also be great to keep on a bedroom nightstand. I couldn’t find this exact set on the Govino site, but I linked to a similar one with two glasses.

Toothpaste
Hello Extra Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste
(Suggested Retail: $4.49)
Description: “Feel good about your dental hygiene when brushing with this peroxide- and preservative-free toothpaste. Good for you and the earth!) From start to finish, this extra-whitening paste is vegan, packaged in a recyclable carton and made in the USA.”
Verdict: Love!
One of my wishlist items for sub boxes this year were more everyday luxury items, so I’m actually excited to get fancy toothpaste. I really appreciate the “green” qualities to this brand.

Toffee Cookies
Goodie Girl Cookies – Toffee Chaos
(Suggested Retail: $4.99)
Description: “You don’t have to live a gluten-free lifestyle to love these tasty toffee cookies! Made with kosher dairy and sans peanuts, Goodie Girl’s delicious bites have a low fat, sugar and calorie content that makes them better for your body and taste buds.”
Verdict: Hit!
These were super tasty. I paired them with the lemon cookies and tea I got from my Try the World box and had a little tea party in my living room. I thought it was quite nice for Popsugar to include a gluten free treat for the folks that often get left out of the fun baked goods.

Special Extra
Lola
LOLA Gift Card

Description: “Many feminine care products use synthetic ingredients and harsh chemicals, bu LOLA’s 100 percent cotton tampons are refreshingly different. Use your gift card to pick up a box, then check out its customizable subscription service.”
Verdict:
Miss
Despite being a sub box junkie, I’m very particular about my feminine hygiene products so I’m not going to use this one. It does look like the card covers 1 box of tampons so at least you don’t have to spend money in order to use it.


OVERALL:
March 2016 Popsugar
Verdict:
Hit!
With my prepaid discount this box only cost me $24.91 and the estimated box value (excluding the special extra) was $141.43. I loved the watch so much that it really made everything else in the box an extra. I thought the box had a nice light spring feel to it and that the curation made a lot of sense. This was another good collection from Popsugar.

 SPOILERS!
THE CFDA Box

Spoiler #2:
CFDA Spoiler 2
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 pair of Illesteva Leonard sunglasses.
Popsugar has released a second spoiler for their CFDA box. (To see the first one, check out my review of the April Mini Box). I’m guessing after last year’s CFDA box disaster, sales on this one are slow. These shades definitely look fun, but they haven’t swayed my resolve in staying far away from this LE box.

May Must Have Inspiration
May Spoiler

Popsugar has released the inspiration for the May Must Have box. I’m going to be a bit controversial and say that I’m disappointed. I sort of hate fitness items in non-fitness sub boxes. You end up with a cardio DVD even if you don’t have space to do use it or a jump rope when you have joint problems. Fitness is so personalized that it can be difficult to find items that really work for a majority of folks.  I’m also hoping hydration doesn’t mean we get yet another water bottle. I have glass, plastic, with filters and fruit infusers and so on. I really don’t need or want any more of them.

What do you think of the May theme? Are you disappointed like me, or looking forward to it?

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 to Must Have

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