Top 15 Sub Box Items of 2015

So it’s time for me to pick my favorite 15 items from all of my 2015 Sub boxes. This was epically hard and I swear I started with twice as many awesome items that I had to painfully work through. There were so many great things that just couldn’t make the cut. I’ve broken down the list for you by month.

JANUARY
BorealisBorealis Swatch
Orbital Eyeshadow – Borealis:
(Retail $18.00/Maven Price: $14.40)
from Julep Maven: January 2015 – The Chrysalis Collection – Modern Beauty
Possibly my most favorite eyeshadow ever. It’s a smoky eye for dummies and the peacock shimmer on it is amazing.

Cream
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
(Suggested Retail: $30.00)
from the Popsugar: January 2015
This product does exactly what it says it will and is unscented. It’s great for both men and women as well as folks with sensitive skin. Since I tried this I’ve recommended it to tons of my friends.

FEBRUARY
Cutting Board
ACME Party Box Company
Bamboo Heart Cutting Board & Cheese Knife
(Suggested Retail: $32.00)
from Popsugar: February 2015
This set was so adorable and I regularly pull out this cutting board to slice fruit.

MARCH
Rings Necklace
Three Gold Rings Necklace
from Amanda Deer Jewelry
(Retail: $32.00)
from Fair Ivy: March 2015
I found myself reaching for this necklace all the time. It’s so simple, lovely and great for layering. I got lots of compliments on it.

APRIL
Brush
Multipurpose Pro Tools Oval Brush by Harry Josh
:
(Estimated Retail: $40.00)
from the Nina Garcia Quarterly (#NGQ05): April 2015
The saving grace of my last Nina Garcia box. This is a great brush and I love the mint shade. It sits out on my bedroom dresser.

CupSpoon Close
Handmade Mug & Spoon from White Peach Pottery (Retail: $32.00+)
from Fair Ivy: April 2015
I adore handmade ceramics and this mug and spoon set is so lovely. It sits out on display on my kitchen shelves.

Bracelet Bracelet on Wrist
Miansai Modern Screw Cuff:
(Estimated Retail: $200.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: April 2015
This is my favorite item of all for 2015. It’s classic and somehow edgy and conservative at the same time. It’s great quality and I really want the exact same one in a rose gold finish.

MAY
Bracelet On Wrist
Silver Chalcedony Bracelet from Simply Lovely Handmade
(Retail: $???)
from Fair Ivy: May 2015
I love the delicateness of this bracelet and how well it layers with other pieces I have. The pink stone is also right on trend for 2016.

JULY
Oribe
Oribe Aprés Beach Wave and Shine Spray (Full Size: $39.00)
from Birchbox: July 2015
Oribe products are always amazing and since I wear my hair wavy, this was a great product for me.

Mineral Peel
O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Face Peel
(Retail: $44.00)
From Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Summer 2015
I was concerned about spraying a peel directly into my face, but this didn’t irritate my skin at all and (I know this sounds gross) it really peeled off all the dead skin. I tried this with my best friend and she was amazed. Seriously, my favorite peel ever.

SEPTEMBER
Watch Case Watch Watch Close
Cluse La Bohéme Rose Gold Watch with dual straps:
(Estimated Retail: $132.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Fall 2015
I don’t own many watches and this one is so lovely and classic. The rose gold on this is epic and the changeable straps make it so versatile. I know I’ll have and use this piece forever.

Gummy Bears
Albanese 12 Flavor Gummy Bears 7.5 oz
(Estimated Retail: $2.19)
from the Treat Chest Candy Club: August 2015 Box
Yes, gummy bears are on this list. Because they are the best damn gummy bears in the world. They were so good I ordered my boyfriend and I a giant 1 lb bag of them.

OCTOBER
Pillowcase
Savvy Sleepers Luxury Satin Pillowcase
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
from Popsugar: October 2015 & a New Limited Edition Holiday Box!
This pillowcase was so soft and comfy, that I used the coupon code in the box to buy some more for my bed.

DECEMBER

Jewelry Box 2 Jewelry Box Open
Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box (Suggested Retail: $36.00)
from the Popsugar: December 2015 & A Promotion Fail
I am a sucker for Mint and this box was perfectly sized to hold all kinds of goodies. I have two of them and they live on each end table on the sides of my bed.

Hairpin 1Hairpin Close
Lelet NY Swarovski Crystal Hair Pin
(Retail: $98.00)
from the Rachel Zoe Box of Style: Winter 2015
This is gorgeous and has an heirloom feel to it. So beautiful.

It was fun to look back and see which items I ended up falling in love with and which ones I adored from the start. Overall, my favorite subscription box for the year was the Rachel Zoe Box of Style. I received so many amazing things from that subscription and if I could only choose one to keep, it would be Rachel’s, hands down.

So that’s what we got in 2015, but what do I want to see in 2016?

FOR BEAUTY
Watercolor Eyeshadows: Enough with the neutral palettes, we have a ton of them. How about some pastels? I’d love to see some fun watercolor shades in blues, greens and pinks. Give us something that we might not already have in our makeup bag.

Practical Luxury: Full sizes of Fancy Shampoo, Conditioner, Bodywash—even deodorant. We get tons of masks and styling items, but I’d love to try out the pricier every day products. If I fall in love with one, I’d probably splurge on it regularly.

Unique Polish Finishes: We get a lot of cremé, glitter and shimmer polishes but there are a lot of other finishes out there. How about more holographics, jellies and duochromes this year?

Tools: I want to see more styling tools. I’d fall over to get a Mason Pearson brush or comb, a fabulous curling wand, or a great Blush brush.

FOR ACCESSORIES
Rose Gold:
We saw rose gold jewelry pop up in a lot of 2015 boxes, but it’s still on trend and most women don’t have a ton of it in their jewelry collection. Send us more please.

Moonstone: I love moonstone and it shines with both Pantone colors of the year (baby pink and blue). It’s gorgeous and mystical and I’d love to see it pop up in some jewelry.

FOR FOOD
Seasonings:
I’d love to see more seasoning and spice blends (particularly salt free ones). Oils are great too—basically less snacks and more cooking items.

FOR LIFESTYLE
Bagged Lunches: Those of us who bring our lunch to work or school are always on the lookout for new boxes, bags or other gadgets that make it easier and more fun to pack a lunch. Cool Bento boxes, insulated containers and thermos are all welcome.

High End Cleaners: Cleaning isn’t glamourous but it’s a fact of life and I’d love to see high end cleaners in boxes. Eco-friendly countertop cleaners, fancy scrub brushes or specialty laundry detergents would all be some great practical additions.

So what’s your wish list for sub box items in 2016?

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.

AUGUST

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.

 

SEPTEMBER

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.

Charger 
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.

Ring
Rachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring: from the Popsugar Fall Must Have Special Edition Box
(Retail: $75.00 on Piperlime.com)
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.

OCTOBER

 

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.

 

NOVEMBER

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.

 

Eyeshadow
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.

Candle
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.


DECEMBER

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.

Nina Garcia Quarterly Box – November 2013

When I opened my mailbox and found a jury duty summons there was only one thing that could make me feel better.  The fact that it was sitting on top of my Nina Garcia Quarterly box.  Quarterly is a service that offers quarterly subscriptions curated by all kinds of interesting folks who send select items in their special area of expertise.  Nina Garcia is listed a “Style Expert” so this is a fashion and beauty focused subscription and November 2013 is the launch of its first box.
Box
I was a little perturbed by the size of the package.  It just didn’t seem big enough for a $100 subscription, but I’m not going to panic because I trust Nina.

First ImpressionThe first thing I find when I open it up is the nicest descriptive info I’ve gotten from any of my boxes.  It’s a long letter from Nina detailing all the items and why they were chosen.

CardsNina writes, “For my first box, I’ve handpicked products from this season that reflect what’s happening in fashion today: hot brands, wardrobe staples, beauty essentials and up-and-coming designers.”  She goes on to explain that she’s connected the items with an underlying theme: Glam Grunge.

Okay people, this is going to be good.

The first item is:
Leather Cuff
Leather Dual Cone Cuff by Baublebar:
(Estimated Retail: $32.00)
Verdict: Love!
This item is exclusive for Nina’s first Quarterly mailing. She writes that it “strikes that perfect balance between polish and edge”.  Okay one, how cool is to have something that only the other folks smart enough to subscribe to Nina’s box will get and 2. This thing is just badass.  What I also love about it is that it has 3 rows of snaps, so whether you have a larger wrist or a freakishly small one like I do, it will fit you.  This item also came with a Baublebar coupon for $15 off of any order of $30+.  Because this is an exclusive, I’m basing the retail on a somewhat similar studded bracelet on the Baublebar Site.

Ear Cuff
Jack Vartanian Ear Cuff:
  (Retail: ????)
Verdict: Love!
The ear cuff trend is everywhere and I think it looks pretty damn cool, but I’ve been on the fence as to whether I could pull it off.  But now that Nina Garcia has given me permission I am totally ready to rock this.  It’s so dainty but edgy, and its subtle enough to make that touch of punk seem effortless.  Now I googled trying to find a retail price only to discover that Jack Vartanian is super fancy – as in jewelry at Barneys with price tags in the thousands of dollars.  This might not be gold and diamonds, but I’m betting the retail on costume jewelry from this caliber of designer is quite high.

Stole
Faux Fur Stole by Adrienne Landau
(Estimated Retail: $39.90)
Verdict:
Love!
How did Nina know that I’ve been pinning fur scarves to my Pinterest board for the last two months?  This little stole is quite soft and has an easy Velcro closure.  It’s small so it can add just a touch of fur without overwhelming your outfit.  Plus it’s warm, which is helpful for facing NYC winters.  This is yet another item made exclusively for Nina (clearly everyone loves Nina or she’s got a safety deposit box chock full of incriminating photos).  So this is another one where it’s difficult to pinpoint a retail value.  Adrienne has products in stores from Saks Fifth Avenue to HSN.  Since this stole is faux we’ll estimate the price to be on par with this piece she has on HSN.

Liptstick
Too Faced La Créme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Teddy Berry:
  (Retail: $21.00)
Verdict: Love!
Nina chose four different shades of plum lipstick and included a different one in each box.  Mine seems to be a little on the lighter side, but I think it will complement my skin tone really well.  I’ve never tried any Too Faced cosmetics so I can’t wait to give this one a whirl.

Essie
Essie Polish in Shearling Darling:
(Retail: $8.50)
Verdict: Hit!
I am a sucker for dark red polishes and this is a lovely shade of burgundy.  I only own one Essie polish, so this will help build my collection.

Soap
Pearl+ Luxury Soap: (Retail: $6.00)
Verdict:
Miss/Gift
This is a detox soap comprised of crushed pearl and charcoal.  It sounds fascinating but I am really sensitive to smells and this one is just too strong.  It’s definitely a manly type soap (think musk and cologne).  I think I will be adding this one to the gift pile.

Open Kit
VBeauté It Kit Anti Age Skin Care System:
(Retail: $99.00)
Verdict: Love!
Okay so the cost of this little kit pretty much covered the entire box.  It is an anti-aging skin care system and this little clutch is designed to be TSA friendly.  I have to say this is the most luxe travel skincare set I have ever seen.  Included with this was a coupon code for $25 off of a $75+ at vbeaute.com. I am unfamiliar with this brand, but if their product is half as good as their packaging I will love it.

Magazine
December 2013 Marie Claire Magazine:
(Retail: $3.99)
Verdict: Hit!
We all knew this would be in here.  I don’t subscribe to this magazine, so it’s nice to get a free copy.

Full Box
Overall:

Amazing.  Badass.  Awesome.
I had high hopes for this subscription and it more than exceeded them.  I paid $100 for this box.  Without including the Jack Vartanian ear cuff or the coupons,  my estimated retail is already at $200.00.  I love nearly everything, and with the exception of the soap I will use it all myself.  It’s clear that Nina had a lot of input and took a lot of care with this box.  I also adore that she gave all the items a theme.  I have to say I think this is my favorite subscription box to date.  Brava Nina!

There is just one downside to this box.  I have to wait a few months until the next one.