Okay peeps, it’s that time again. That oh so special time of year when the Nina Garcia Quarterly box shows up on my doorstep! This is only the second box in the subscription and yet it’s at the top of my favorites list. 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 of course is a “Style Expert” and this is a fashion and beauty focused subscription.
I was super excited to see what the theme of the box would be. Nina Garcia invites us to celebrate her fifth anniversary with Marie Claire and the arrival of spring. So it turns out it is a “celebration box that includes a mixture of accessories, beauty products and home items”.
Once again the first thing in the box is a lovely letter from Nina describing her items and why she’s chosen them. The inclusion of personal and detailed letters from the curator are a feature that make Quarterly stand out from a lot of the other boxes. The letters make these boxes feel extra special and like the curator took time and care putting the box together.
Okay, okay enough backstory, let’s get into this box! Drumroll, please…
Muy Cool T-shirt by SpƎnglish: (Estimated Retail: $55.00)
Nina’s Description: This oversize tee can be worn dressed down with jeans and stylish sneakers, or dressed up with a skirt and blazer.”
This is a special edition T-shirt created especially for Quarterly subscribers and includes Nina’s signature on the tag. I was incredibly surprised to find a sized item in the box since Quarterly doesn’t ask for that info. Amazingly the shirt came in a size I can wear (large) and I think it will fit great. I love the flared cut and because it can be worn “oversized” it will probably fit a lot of the smaller folks as well. I do think including this was a gamble since it won’t fit everyone, but for me personally I love it. Because this is a special edition, I’m estimating the value based on the only women’s tee available on the SpƎnglish site.
Sterling Silver Shark Tooth Necklace by Sara Beltran: (Retail: $100.00)
Nina’s Description: “It’s an incredibly versatile piece—you can wear it alone, or mix it up with other necklaces to create a bolder statement. Its happy and brightly colored cord will seamlessly transition from spring into summer and the silver shark tooth gives it a trendy edge.”
My first instinct was that this looked cheap and sort of dated. Color me shocked to find out it actually costs $100.00. I like the daintiness of it, but the shark tooth just doesn’t feel fashion forward. I do think it might be cute layered with some other pieces, so I’ll give that a shot. If the pendant had been something that felt a little more fresh I would have adored this item.
O.P.I “Greenade” Polish (Estimated Retail: $9.00)
Nina’s Description: “As with clothing and accessories, nail polish also changes from season to season.”
This is another exclusive item for Nina’s Quarterly subscribers. You all know I love polish and O.P.I is the first brand I really started using. I like their polish, but this shade will in no way work for me. I think this bright yellowish green is a really hard color for a lot of folks to pull off. I also don’t get a Nina Garcia vibe from it. It’s not a color I imagine her wearing—even in spring. I’m sure someone else will enjoy it though so I’ll probably trade this one out. Since this is another exclusive I based the value on regular O.P.I. polishes.
C Wonder Delicate Skull Cuff: (Retail: $34.00)
Nina’s Description: “This fun bangle can be worn alone or stacked with other bracelts you wn to create a signature look.”
I don’t know about you but for me “skulls” do not scream out springtime (or celebration). If this had come in a fall or winter box, I’d probably like it, but I’m looking for birds and flowers right now, not skulls and shark tooths. It kind of looks like something I could pick up from a discount accessory place. After googling, it seems like other folks got different styles, so I may have just been unlucky. I may try it out with some other bracelets (like my hot pink gorjana and griffin from a long ago popsugar box) and see if I can “spring” it up.
ReVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Serum : (Retail: $??? Full Size: $235.00)
Nina’s Description: “I wanted to include some of my favorite beauty products that turn back the clock for my skin. Apply..every night and you will wake up feeling naturally refreshed with dewy skin.”
So throughout my boxes I am quickly accumulating a billion serums, but I love trying out uber fancy pants expensive products so I’m excited to give this one a shot. I hope I don’t love it too much because $235 for one beauty product is not going to happen.
Wallet from Charming Charlie(Retail: $15.00)
Nina’s Description: “The radiant floral print will be the perfect finishing touch and pop of color for all your spring outfits.”
After this never-ending winter, I’ve been craving florals so this cheerful wallet was a nice addition. It is extremely practical with lots of slots for cards and the hardware has a rose gold color that is really nice. I don’t know if the fabric on the wallet will stand up over time, but it’s an extremely affordable piece so if it lasts for just a season I’m fine with that.
LAFCO “Fleurs de Baies” soap (Retail: $17.00)
Nina’s Description: “The scent leaves subtle floral notes on your skin without being overwhelming, and the packaging is beautiful.”
This is a lovely soap and Nina is right the packaging is beautiful, but the scent is just not for me. I’m super picky and sensitive about scents and this one is too reminiscent of heavy old lady flower perfumes. I’m going to gift this to someone who will love it and appreciate it.
Tom Ford’s “Jasmine Rouge” Perfume (Retail: Freebie/Sample; Retail – 1.7. oz: $210.00 )
Nina’s Description: “…Jasmine Rouge as another way to get your floral fix…this scent is lovely and I like the finish.”
So like I said fragrances for me are problematic. I hated this one. It was too strong and overpowering. I think a lighter floral would have been better for spring. Despite my perfume pickiness, I do think spring is the perfect time to pick out a new fragrance so including one was a good idea.
Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Compact (Retail: $48.00)
Nina’s Description: “…contains neutral colors for blending, to give your skin a fresh spring glow. Additionally..100% of the proceeds to go toward the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund, which is a cause close to my heart.”
I adore Laura Mercier and use her products regularly. I’ve been eying plenty of cream cheek products for spring but luckily haven’t committed yet. This product looks like it will work well with my skin tone and I’m going to have fun trying it out. The best part is not only does this palette make you pretty and the proceeds go to charity, so this is officially my favorite item in the box.
Donkey Co. Tea Bag (Retail: €$7.95; USD $10.97)
Nina’s Description: “Donkey Co. makes absolutely adorable tea bags and in honor of my 5th anniversary at Marie Claire, they created a Nina Garcia 5th Anniversary Marie Claire Special Edition of their Pret-A-porter.”
So now I can have morning tea with Nina Garcia! Well, sort of it. It’s a fun little whimsical addition and I’m trying to broaden my tea horizons so I’m going to give this one a shot. Since this is special edition, I based my prices on similar tea bags from their site.
X Pen Ballpoint Pen (Retail: $??? Estimate: $8.00)
Graphic Image Pocket Notes Notebook:(Retail: $36.00)
Nina’s Description: “This X-pen ballpoint pen is both functional and fashionable—an accessory that works with any outfit. The graphic image pocket notes notebook is the perfect size (and weight!) to carry around with you on a daily basis. I think there is something classic about taking handwritten notes and keeping a personal touch.”
These guys were packaged together so I figured I’d review them that way. I hoard blank notebooks so this is right up my alley and I love high quality pens. For spring I had planned to re-organize my workbag and these items will be my new go-to pad and pen. I couldn’t find the retail value of the pen so I’m estimating it at $8.00.
Happy Chic By Jonathan Adler (Retail:12.00)
Nina’s Description: “The modern design on this Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler picture frame makes it perfect for holding some of your fondest memories.
I guess this item was included because Nina is the “resident style voice at JC Penney” and they want us to know they have low budget Jonathan Adler items. Problem is this one is boring and the quality on it is pretty cheap. It looks like something you’d get on sale at Target. Don’t let the Jonathan Adler name on this fool you, you could spend the same amount at TJ Maxx for a similar but much better quality frame. I think other folks got different designs, which I may have liked more than this one.
Philosophy’s Time in a Bottle Serum (Retail:74.00)
Nina’s Description: “For long lasting beauty, start your morning with philosophy’s time in a bottle serum. Its impressive cocktail of antioxidants will protect and perfect your skin. I use it on a daily basis to keep my skin healthy and smooth.”
Another serum? So I guess we have learned that serums are really important and this is Nina’s day serum. It’s been a long time since I tried a Philosophy product so it will be nice to revisit the brand. Although at this point I’m going to need to create a spreadsheet to figure out when to use all the serums I have now accumulated.
Marie Claire Magazine & Fausto Puglisi Collage (Retail:4.99; Freebie?)
Nina’s Description: “one of the most special items in the box is the illustrated Fausto Puglisis Collage which he create din celebration of my 4th year at Marie Claire. I adore Fausto’s runway collections.”.
We all know there will be Marie Claire in the box and I always enjoy reading the magazine. I understand the idea behind the collage and it’s a nice thought, but it’s not particularly attractive and I don’t know many people who would want to put this up on their wall. Sadly, it will most likely end up in the recycle bin. So sorry, Nina.
The tshirt, notebook/pen and cheek palette made this box for me. Unfortunately, there were also a lot of misses, but the value on this is so high that overall it was still an uber fabulous box. I paid $100 for this and received about $420.00 worth of items even excluding the cost of the two sample items.
While I do love this box, I found her first one to be much more cohesive and on trend. Perhaps the nature of the “anniversary” and “my favorite things” pushed this box into being less thematic and more random. I had been hoping for an amazing spring fashion box and I did get some great items for spring, but this box had quite a few things that felt out of place for the season.
I’m interested to see if the next box is more thematic (like the fall) or more eclectic like this one. And as usual I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
If you’re interested in the celebrity boxes at Quarterly, check back soon because I should be receiving the Andrew Zimmern box shortly!
Which box did you like better? The November box or this one and why?