Popsugar: Holiday for Her & a January Spoiler!

So after some really upsetting uber expensive limited edition Popsugar fails (to be specific – the 2014 Neiman Marcus and the CFDA box). I finally opted to get back on the horse with their 2015 Holiday for Her box priced at $100. Popsugar released for this that included a bracelet I thought was lovely and since I saved money on my freebie Rachel Zoe winter box, I decided to go for it.

Let’s see if I made a mistake or not.

Box   Open Box 1 Open Box 2 Open Box 3
Bracelet Bracelet On
Elizabeth Cole Jewelry Adelia Cuff
(Suggested Retail: $167.50)
Description: “The Elizabeth Cole Adelia cuff will add an instant touch of sparkle to your holiday ensemble. Featuring Swarovski Crystals with an antique gold-plated cuff created specifically for POPSUGAR, it makes a statement worn alone or looks great stacked with other accessory favorites.
Verdict: Love!
This was the released spoiler and why I opted to take a chance on this box. I think this bracelet is so lovely and the small size works perfectly for my weirdly tiny wrists. They have this same bracelet available in an Opal shade that I am in love with and even though this one is lovely I really wish we’d gotten the Opal version instead.

Lippy
Butter LONDON Lip Service
(Suggested Retail: $29.00)
Description: ”If looks could kill, these bloody brilliant lip crayons from butter LONDON would definitely be to blame. The set of four features two exclusive colors giving you maximum moisture and high pigment to last you through any occasion. ”
Verdict:
Hit/Gift
I really wanted to keep this set for myself but I have so many lip products right now I knew they’d go to waste,  Instead,  I opted to give them to someone on my Christmas List who I thought would enjoy them. I don’t see this available any longer on the Butter London site so I’ll go with the retail value listed on the Popsugar card.

Headband
White + Warren Luxe Knotted Headband
(Suggested Retail: $88.00)
Description: Once you wear this Must Have-exclusive cashmere luxe knotted headband, you’ll understand our obsession. This ultrasoft hand-knit headband helps you stay warm while never compromising style.”
Verdict: Hit!/Gift
This is a must have exclusive so I linked to a similar headband on their site. This headband was high quality, really soft and super warm. I opted to give this as a gift because I’d already purchased this grey headband from Urban Outfitters and I really couldn’t just having two that were so similar.

Lotion
PRTTY PEAUSHUN Skin Tight Body Lotion
(Suggested Retail: $39.00)
Description: “PRTTY PEAUSHUN’s illuminating lotion will keep your skin dewy and radiant despite the Winter chill. Using a luxurious blend of avocado, jojoba, and botanical extracts, this vegan lotion moisturizes the body, face, and even hair.”
Verdict: What the hell is this? A Capri Sun?
Of course what’s important is what’s inside the package, however how you present something does matter and in a $100 box, I expect lotion that comes in some type of container – not a pouch resembling food you give toddlers. I don’t even feel comfortable gifting this because it looks so cheap. No way would I ever pay $39 for something that looks like this.

Candle Holders
Nima Oberoi Lunares Orb Candlestick Holders
(Suggested Retail: $69.00)
Description: “San Francisco designer Nima Oberoi makes it easy to decorate during the holidays with these gorgeous Orb candlestick holders. Handcrafted to not tarnish or break, these exclusive holders are a special way to show off your candles.”
Verdict: More Nima Oberoi
After the December Popsugar Promotion debacle, I have already have two Nima Oberoi stoppers so I guess I just needed something else to fill out my set? I like the idea of taper candlestick holders as you rarely get them in sub boxes and these are simple and classic. I kind of wish they were a touch more interesting. Don’t most people already own basic candleholders? In any case I’ll mix them up with some vintage brass ones I have for an eclectic boho vibe.

CandlesBroken CandleWax Buttons
Et Al Designs Dot Candles
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Description: “We’re swooning over these Must Have-only candles for the home from Et Al Design. Each design is hand painted and hand embellished with silver and glitter for the perfect touch of tinsel.”
Verdict: Sad Candles
I really appreciate that we got fancy taper candles to go with our holders, but sadly mine came broken. I got in touch with Popsugar as soon as I opened them and still haven’t received a replacement yet. I was told that they ran out of the original ones and will send another design and that they’ve been delayed with the holidays and regular boxes. We’ll see when the new ones get here. They also included little wax pieces so you could get your candles to fit properly in different holders. I couldn’t find this silver version on the site but I did find the same style in another shade although Popsugar lists the retail value at $24 and all the candles in similar style on the Et Al website are listed at $22. It makes my hinky meter go off a bit, but since I can’t find the same exact one we’ll use Popsugar’s price.

Perfume
Estée Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge Eau de Parfum
(Suggested Retail: $???)
Description: “Make Estée Lauder’s new Modern Muse Le Rouge your signature scent. This perfectly sized vial captures the aromas of rich roses and velvet créme in one daring fragrance.”
Verdict: Another ##(&#*%& Perfume
Stop putting perfumes in these damn boxes! Do you know how many people don’t like perfume? Do you know how many people who love perfume but are super particular about it? Do you know how many people are fucking allergic? STOP PUTTING THEM IN EXPENSIVE BOXES! Okay, well on the bright side this one doesn’t give me a headache but I don’t really love the scent either. I’m going to try it for a little bit, but it will probably be given to a friend. I’d really love for subs to abstain from perfumes for pricier boxes. Thankfully this one is a small size and since I can’t find a price listed on the card (or online) it won’t factor into the cost of the box.

OVERALL:
Popsugar Holiday for Her Box 2015
Verdict:
Almost amazing, but not quite
I paid $107.00 for this box and excluding the perfume, the estimated retail value on this was $416.50. The big misses were the lotion and the perfume, but I thought the remaining items all were interesting, high quality and felt right for a Holiday box. I wish the lotion and perfume had been replaced with a more posh feeling beauty item instead.

What did you think of the Holiday for Her Popsugar box? What do you expect from higher end beauty items? Do you think the packaging needs to match the pricetag?

JANUARY SPOILER
January Spoiler

The January Popsugar theme is “New Year, Renewal, Organization, & Detox” and this is the spoiler for one of the items. What do you think?
I just got my box in the mail and it’s waiting patiently for me to open it and take some pictures, so be sure to come back for a full review.

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

Popsugar: December 2015 & A Promotion Fail

Okay so I have this love/hate relationship with Popsugar. I love their monthly boxes but I hate the way they treat their existing customers. Popsugar never offers coupons or discounts to existing customers, so cue my excitement when I see an amazing deal from Popsugar posted all over social media and nowhere does it explicitly say “new customers only”. I rejoiced and immediately upped my monthly subscription to a 6 month pre-paid. Guess what happened next? Even though my account had said my December box had shipped I suddenly get another email saying an additional December Popsugar box has shipped. Say What? I email Popsugar frantically thinking this is a mistake because I’ve added on pre-paid months to my sub before and it’s never duplicated a month. Well Popsugar got a lot of people freaking out and when I searched social media, I see that the offer was once again for “new customers only” and would start in the month you purchased rather than just continue your subscription. Cue many, many angry people- particularly those who already had a pre-paid option and would get duplicate boxes for several months. When I logged into my account to make my 6 month purchase it clearly stated my December box had already shipped and nowhere did it say I would receive another December. It simply added “credits” to my account. So I ended up with two of the boxes you are going to see.

Now to add insult to injury, this month I see a charge for Popsugar, why? I checked my account, I have prepaid for months- it lists credits! I contact customer service and according to Popsugar I still had my monthly sub – even though nowhere did it show clearly that I had two subs! Popsugar had updated their account interface awhile back and it just doesn’t clearly show any of this information. How on earth were customers supposed to know that adding on a prepaid option for their existing monthly would create two subscriptions? Particularly when they list “credits” which makes it appear like it’s a credit to your account. Popsugar opted to make an “exception” this time and send me a pre-paid return label so I can get a refund for my duplicate January box. Typically Popsugar only makes “exceptions” when they know they’ve screwed up royally (for reference see the CFDA box fiasco that bordered on fraud). Popsugar is a great box, but every other company – subscription or not, offers specials deals to their longtime customers and Popsugar needs to do the same. They also need to be clearer on their promotions and cleaning up the messes that get made after the smoke clears.

Now sorry for the long rant, let’s get into the box – well boxes, since I got two of everything.
BoxOpen Box

Bracelet
Luv AJ The Rose Gold Ombré Bracelet
(Suggested Retail: $65.00)
Description: “This Must-Have designed ombré bracelet will be an eye-catching addition to your wristwear rotation. The mix of silver, rose gold and gold plating blends effortlessly together for a unique ombré effect.”
Verdict: Hit! & Gift
This was designed for Popsugar, so I linked to a similar bracelet. I love that this included Rose Gold and that it took a standard bracelet and gave it a twist (with the Ombre). I obviously don’t need two of these so I added the extra to someone’s Christmas Gift.

Stow Away
Stowaway Costmetics Créme Lipstick Trio
(Suggested Retail: $30.00)
Description: ”Stowaway Cosmetics’ #rightsize lipstick trio was designed for the girl on the go. Lisa Sugar handpicked these dreamy hues, perfect for holiday parties and small enough to fit in the smallest of clutches.”
Verdict:
Gifts
I think this is a cute addition to a holiday box. They are just the right size to slip into a fancy tiny bag and they offer a nice trio of shades. Unfortunately I have a ton of lipsticks and I’m not much of a party girl, so I’m adding both sets I received to some Christmas gifts.

Stopper
Nima Oberoi Lunares Geo Stopper
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Description: ”Wine drinkers will love this exclusive geo stopper. San Francisco designer Nima Oberoi handcrafted this bottle stopper to not tarnish or break, so you can reuse it time and time again.”
Verdict: Okay/Gift
I like that this is another exclusive design for this box, but I find it a bit Meh. I linked to the wine accessories and thought there were a lot more interesting wine toppers available from Nima Oberoi. I opted to keep one for my little cocktail/bar collection and add the other to my gift stash.

Jewelry Box 2Jewelry Box Open
Swing Design Nova Blue Mist Jewelry Box
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: “If you’re like us, there’s no such thing as too many accessories. This Must Have-exclusive offers a stylish storage solution with its stitched blue leatherette and suede interior, so you can give your jewels a proper home.”
Verdict: Mine, all mine!
I love this box. The shade is a favorite of mine and matches the duvet in my bedroom. I already have a jewelry box, but I kept both of these and put them on the nightstands on either side of my bed. I keep my glasses and lip balms in the one my side and use one on the other side for my boyfriend’s plethora of chargers and cables. This is also another exclusive so I’ve linked to the other boxes Swing Design offers in this fabrication.

DSC_0312
My Cup of Cake Classic Belgian Chocolate
(Suggested Retail: $5.99)
Description: “In just three minutes, satisfy any sweet tooth with this gourmet soufflé. It uses the finest dark, silky Belgian chocolate and all-natural ingredients, so your guests will never know it was sucah a piece of cake!”
Verdict: Hit!
These were tasty and I kept both for myself. (No surprise there).

Glitter TapeGlitter Tape 2
Meri Meri Silver Stars on White Glitter Tape
(Suggested Retail: $4.00)
Description: “When you have the perfect gift, every detail matters. Meri Meri’s festive white glitter tape will add the finishing touch with an added element of sparkle.”
Verdict: Hit
I like to craft and instead of using this really pretty tape for gift wrapping that will just end up in the trash, I’m going to hoard the two rolls for other projects. I didn’t see this particular one on the Meri Meri site so I linked to a similar one.

Special Extras
Labels Labels 2

Tiny Prints Gift Tag Stickers + $20 Promo Card
Description: “These delightful heart gift tag stickers, designed by Lisa Sugar, are such a sweet way to seal your gifts. If you want even more form Tiny Prints, enjoy $20 off your purchase with this card.”
Verdict:
Like
I like that we actually got an item along with the gift card. These labels are simple and not Christmas-y so they can work all year round. I’m going to add them to my wrapping stash

OVERALL:
Popsugar December 2015
Verdict:
Love the Box, Hate the Drama

I paid $42.75 for my monthly box and my extra box ended up costing me about $24.91. The value on this box totaled $164.99. I actually really loved the contents and thankfully I could gift or use the duplicate items. I really really REALLY want Popsugar to step up to the plate and be better with their promotions and their customer service. I’d gladly prepay a year long subscription if they’d offer a decent discount and be transparent in their account management.

What did you think of the December box? Would you want two of them? And if you were one of the unlucky folks who got screwed, confused by the Popsugar promotion, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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

Popsugar: November 2015 & a Holiday Box Spoiler!

Since I only just received the shipping notice for my December Popsugar box, I’m right on time with my review of their November one. It’s always fun to see what shows up in these boxes around the holidays so let’s jump right in.
Box Open Box 2 Open Box

Hairband Hair Close
Deepa Gurnani Katie Crystal Headband
(Suggested Retail: $56.00)
Description: “This Katie Crystal headband will make any outfit feel more festive. Handcrafted in India , the crystal detailing and elegant scallop design will be your statement piece all season.”
Verdict: Love!
I actually wear headbands regularly and own something similar from Forever 21, that I get tons of compliments on. This one is much more spendy and I’m excited to have it in my collection, although I’m now obsessed with the Deepa Gurnani site so that may be a problem for my wallet. I appreciate that Popsugar included a hair accessory that works for all different lengths and styles. As a tip – for ladies with longer hair, try wearing it with your hair down and some of it pulled in front of the band, rather than the headband pushing all your hair back. The former can look Bohemian chic, the latter can go a bit too schoolgirl.

Tarte BoxTarte Close
Tarte Cosmetics Beauty & the Box Eye Shadow
(Suggested Retail: $22.00)
Description: ”Your beauty palette for Fall has arrived in a perfectly packaged eye shadow box. Blend these four dreamy colors together for a creamy matte look with just the right amount of shimmer.”
Verdict:
Gift
Unfortunately these shades look way too warm for my complexion. I do have someone on my Xmas list who I think has the right coloring for these so I’ll add it to her gift. For some strange reason I couldn’t find this particular set on the Tarte site, so I’m not sure if it was an exclusive or some kind of limited run.


Bingo
West Emory Bingo Set

(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Description: Your game night just got a lot chicer with this bingo set from West Emory. The design studio fave this classic game a modern update that you’ll want to showcase long after you play.”
Verdict: Gift
I like games but I’m not a huge Bingo person. This item did spark a great idea for a Christmas gift so it will definitely find a good home.

Candle
Capri Blue Mercury Jewel Box in Rain

(Suggested Retail: $18.95)
Description: “Doubling as a candle and a jewelry holder, this mercury jewel box smells and looks divine. Once the candle burns out, reuse the handblown recycled glass box to hold all your keepsakes.”
Verdict: Hit/Gift!
The scent on this candle is light and fresh, just like the name implies. I think it’s lovely, although the lid is a bit flimsy. I’m torn between keeping it for myself and adding it my giant candle hoard, or giving it as a Christmas gift. There’s one person in particular on my list that I think will really like it. Damn these holidays when I can’t keep all the pretties to myself!

Cards
Gramr Gratitude Co. Exclusive Thanksgiving Postcard Pack
(Suggested Retail: $10.00)
Description: “These beautiful postcards will inspire you to share your thank yous with someone you love. Whether it’s family member or a dear friend, a handwritten letter on one of these press-printed postcards will surely brighten their day.”
Verdict: Like
I often send cards so I always enjoy getting new stationary. You also don’t often see Thanksgiving cards so this is a nice set to have on hand. I used one as a gift tag on baked goods and thought they worked nicely in that capacity as well.

Mustard
Terrapin Ridge Farms Pecan Honey Mustard
(Suggested Retail: $5.84)
Description: “When you combine the rich flavors of pecans and the sweet tang of honey mustard, the results are addictive. Delicious as a dip or marinade, it’s the perfect pairing for holiday meals and appetizers.”
Verdict: Love!
I adore honey mustard and this one sounds amazing. I really appreciate when we get condiments and cooking items instead of just snacks. They last longer and I feel like I can do a lot with more them. I can’t wait to try this with some oven baked chicken fingers.

Special Extras

Inkdot Gift Card
Coupon

Description: “Make your memories last forever with Inkdot, a service that turns your digital phots into prints, coasters, IPhone cases, and more. With the holidays in full swing, enjoy this $20 gift card to find the perfect personalized gift.”
Verdict:
Another Giftcard
Since it’s just a “special extra” the gift card is fine, but I’d rather have something tangible to try. That being said, this item gave me another great idea for a Christmas gift and I ended up ordering from Inkdot. Unfortunately the giftcard didn’t quite seem to work, but they had a 35% off coupon code that ended up saving me more money anyway. I’m not sure if the gift card had an issue because of the promotion or if it just was expired.

OVERALL:
11.2015 Popsugar Must Have Box

Verdict: Love!

I paid $42.75 for this box and excluding the gift card, I received an estimated retail value of $132.79. I thought this box had a nice holiday theme and I liked that so many of the items would make nice gifts. One of the reasons I love sub boxes is they give a great variety of products at a reasonable cost that I can often translate into nice gifts for friends and family. For $42.75, I got 3 gifts and some items for myself. I call that a win.

What did you think of the November box? Would you have kept everything for yourself or given some away as gifts?

SPOILER ALERT!
Popsugar released a spoiler for their 2015 Holiday LE Box for her:
Holiday LE Spoiler
It costs $100 and looks like it’s still available for purchase.
I couldn’t resist trying one out so be sure to come back for reviews on what’s inside!

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

Popsugar: October 2015 & a New Limited Edition Holiday Box!

My Popsugar boxes always arrive late in the month, and since my November box just arrived it clued me into the fact that I hadn’t shared my October review. So let’s dive into some Popsugar.
BoxOpen Box

Kaling
Why Not Me? By Mindy Kaling (Suggested Retail: $15.00)
Description: “Our favorite, actor, producer, and writer is back at it with her second book, Why Not Me? Mindy Kaling shares a collection of essays that are not only laugh-out-loud funny, but they also shed light on her less-than-perfect fit in Hollywood.”
Verdict: Hit!
I enjoy getting books in my sub boxes because it often gives me books to read that I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself. Mindy Kaling seems like a great fit for the Popsugar aesthetic and I’ll be reading this for the nonfiction slot in my Popsugar 2015 Book Challenge.

Pillowcase
Savvy Sleepers Luxury Satin Pillowcase
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: This 100% satin pillowcase prevents sleep wrinkles, reduces hair breakage, and protects salon blowouts for the ultimate sleep experience.”
Verdict:
Love!
I’ve heard all the beauty hype about sleeping on satin pillowcases so I’m excited to try it out for myself. I thought this was a really unique item to include and I’m surprised I haven’t seen it pop up in more of my beauty boxes.

Bags
Easy, Tiger Brown Paper Liquor Bag Set

(Suggested Retail: $8.00)
Description: These Easy, Tiger brown paper bags are perfect for your next housewarming or Halloween party to accompany your favorite bottle of wine. Cheers!”
Verdict: Not my Bag
Normally I really like gift wrapping type items since I have a big family and am always wrapping something. That being said, the design and material on these is questionable. I guess I’m not hipster enough to understand $8 paper bags to drink booze from. And for the record Hobo Chic is not a thing and for more reasons than I can write here, should never ever be a thing. Their website claims “The classiest paper bag that you’ll ever drink out of.” Maybe we just don’t need to drink out of paper bags at all. Maybe.

Waffle
Belgian Boys De Stroopwafel

(Suggested Retail: $1.59)
Description: “Your steaming cup of coffee or tea is now complete with this delicious caramel-filled waffle. With its crunchy outside and chewy inside, it’s the perfect anytime pick me up!”
Verdict: Hit!
This pack came with two waffle type cookies that were quite tasty. A definite thumbs up!

Body Scrub
The Honest Company Sea Salt + Sugar Body Scrub
(Suggested Retail: $16.95)
Description: “This body scrub is just what your skin needs after a season in the sun. The whole grain sugars and sea salts exfoliate while the shea butter and almond oils hydrate for irresistibly silky skin.”
Verdict: Gift
I love body scrubs but thanks to sub boxes I’ve got quite a stockpile and these jars tend to last a long time. Since we’re heading into the holiday season I’ll add this to the 2015 Christmas gift stash.

Socks
Richer Poorer Hope Slipper Socks
(Suggested Retail: $15.00)
Description: “We’re wearing these pink slipper socks designed by Poposugar through October to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Richer Poorer proudly supports the fight against breast cancer and the important work of Right Action For Women.”
Verdict: Love!
I love slipper socks during the cold winter months and these are super soft and cozy. Richer Poorer is a fabulous brand for socks.  If you haven’t tried a pair, I recommend a splurge. I’ve already used these slippers and I know I’ll be reaching for them even more as the temperatures drop.

Special Extras

Coupons
Danielle Stevens Monogram Gift Card

Verdict: Bah Humbug
Along with some other coupons we received one for $40 off our “own monogrammed statement piece from Danielle Stevens”. Maybe I’m just cranky but I find the monogrammed style pieces on the site to be really tacky and extremely overpriced. An acrylic monogram costs $78, even with the coupon that’s comes out to more than I’d be willing to spend. And stop calling coupons “special extras”. They aren’t. We need to spend considerable money to use them so they aren’t on par with other freebies.


Hair Product
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product
(Suggested Retail: $11.96)
Description: “Detangle, add shine, and stop frizz with this leave-in product that works miracles. Beyond offering 10 benefits in every bottle, it’s a 10 Haircare is a product partner of Right Action for Women, helping provide advanced cancer screening to women.”
Verdict: Like
This item is also labeled a “special extra” but unlike the coupon this one actually is. I’d never heard of this brand before, but it’s always fun to try new hair products and this is an “extra” that doesn’t require us to spend any additional money so I’m quite happy with it.

OVERALL:
October 2015 Popsugar

Verdict: Like!
I paid $42.75 for this box and received an estimated retail value of $104.50 which includes the cost of the hair product. The value on this box is a bit lower than a typical Popsugar because they overestimated the cost of Kaling’s book. I really liked most of the items (particularly the socks and pillowcase), but I wish that the box felt a bit more Autumnal.

What did you think of the October box and how do you feel about coupons in subscription boxes?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Holiday LE

Popsugar has announced a new LE Holiday Box!
They have “Him” & “Her” options that cost $100 each.

Popsugar hasn’t released any spoilers yet so I’m still on the fence about taking a gamble on a box.
What about you? Do you think it’s worth the risk?

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

 

Popsugar: September 2015 & October Spoiler!

It’s time for my favorite monthly lifestyle box, the oh so fun, Popsugar Must Have. The September box inspiration included “Travel, refresh, fashion fix, beauty recover, to-go snacks, and XOXO”. Let’s see what that translates to in physical items. For a peek at one of the items in the October box, jump down to the spoiler.
Box
Open Box Open Box 2

Must Have Home
Travel 1 Travel 2
Hudson+Bleecker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio
(Suggested Retail: $42.00)
Description: “This printed travel trio will make the inside of your suitcase look just as put-together as your packed outfits. The TSA-friendly clear pouch perfectly holds your toiletries, while the drawstring bags neatly keep intimates and shoes separate from the rest of your clothes.”
Verdict: Love!
I’m heading off to a conference next month so this item is perfectly timed for me. While you see a lot of toiletry and makeup bags in boxes, you usually don’t see these other type of luggage organizers so I think it’s a really nice, practical set. I didn’t see this particular configuration on the Hudson+Bleeker site so I’m guessing it was put together just for subscribers.

Must Have Fashion
Earrings
Kris Nations “XO” Stud Earrings
(Suggested Retail: $35.00)
Description: Feel the love wherever you go with this handmade California XO jewelry. Cut from recycled brass and plated with 14k gold, it will add an understated sophistication to any ensemble.”
Verdict:
Gift
I normally love stud earrings but these aren’t quite my style. I do think they will make an awesome birthday gift for someone a bit younger than me. I also want to note that Popsugar sent out a variation on this and the subscribers who indicated on their profile that they didn’t have pierced ears received a bracelet instead. It’s really nice to see that level of detail in these type of sub boxes so kudos to the Popsugar team.

Must Have Beauty
Brows
Too Faced Cosmetics Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit

(Suggested Retail: $39.00)
Description: For envy-inducing brows, use this fool-proof kit filled with all the tools you’ll need for defined arches and framed brows. It has customizable colors, so you’ll get the perfect brows no matter your face shape or hair color.”
Verdict: Like
I’m slightly intimidated by this kit since brows are something I only recently started experimenting with. I typically use the straightforward and easy to apply Julep all in one brow product, but the color isn’t quite a perfect match. I think this kit is definitely more versatile and I’ll have to experiment with it before I’m confident in using it.

Must Have Beauty
Conditioner
Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Description: “If summer has left your hair dry and damaged, try this reparative leave-in conditioning spray that will make your hair softer and stronger. The antioxidant-rich milky blend and nutrient-packed argan, rose hip, and coconut oils will act as a barrier against heat and will make your hair softer and stronger for months to come.”
Verdict: Like
Despite my overabundance of hair products,(thank you Nina Garcia!), I don’t have much in the way of leave in conditioners.  This is a new brand for me, so I’m happy to give this product a shot.

Must Have Food
Almonds
Nourish Snacks Almond to Cherries
(Suggested Retail: $2.00)
Description: “Finally, a healthy snack that tastes just as good as it is for you! Packed with six grams of protein and three grams of fiber, it’s the perfectly portioned snack to keep you energized and satisfied throughout the day.”
Verdict: Like
I always like receiving snacks I can take to work. This one is simple and healthy and I’m going to pair it with some lowfat yogurt for breakfast.

Must Have Beauty
Oil
NCLA So Rich Vitamin-E Enriched Cuticle Oil
(Suggested Retail: $18.00)
Description: “It’s easy to postpone your next trip to the nail salon with this conditioning cuticle oil that both softens and conditions! With just a drop to the cuticle, this strengthening oil will keep your nails moisturized and smelling divine.”
Verdict: Hit!
Yes, I have a ton of different nail oils, but I don’t have *this* one. I love trying out nail products and NCLA is pricey so I only have a few items from them.  I think nail oil was a great choice since even ladies that don’t polish their nails can use this.

Coupon
Coupons
Verdict: Tired of being excluded
Also included in this box were some coupons we can share with friends and family..except new subscribers *always* have coupons available. Popsugar never offers discounts to existing subscribers and frankly, I’m over it. I’d love to see a coupon for existing subscribers to get X off for one of the prepayment options. Right now folks are better off canceling, then resubscribing to get the deals. Loyal subscribers should be able to take advantage of discounts from time to time.

OVERALL:
September 2015 Popsugar
Verdict:
Hit!

I paid $42.75 for this box and received an estimated retail value of $156.00. I will use or gift all of the items so this was a solid box for me. I think the curation here definitely had a luxury and high end feel to it that a lot of subscribers will appreciate. October is my birthday month so I’m hoping Popsugar has a really special box planned.

What did you think of the items in the September box?  Were they to your taste and style?

OCTOBER SPOILER!
Popsugar has released the spoiler for their October box:
October Spoiler
What do you think of it?

SUBSCRIPTION THERAPY NEWS!
You’ve got until Sunday at midnight to enter the fabulous giveaway from Coterie Sampler for a free box. For more info, head here.

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

Popsugar: August 2015

It’s Popsugar time again and since I only got my September box last night, I’m technically not too late with this review. Popsugar is one of my favorite boxes, so let’s jump right in.
Box
Open Box Open Box 2

Scarf
American Colors Mediterranean Plaid Scarf
(Suggested Retail: $79.00)
Description: “Transition into fall effortlessly with this ultrasoft, double-sided plaid scarf. Made from 100 percent cotton gauze, it will be your go-to accessory as the weather cools down.”
Verdict: Love!
My picture doesn’t show it, but this scarf has a gingham print on the other side and I just adore the combination. I love gingham and pretty plaids so this is right up my alley. The scarf is a good size and super soft. This item alone is worth more than the cost of the whole box!

Eye Cream
Royal Apothic Tea Balm Firming Eye Treatment
(Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Description: ”For the royal treatment, try this firming eye cream to rejuvenate your skin. The next-generation peptides smooth fine lines, while the super extracts banish dark circles for an overnight refresher.”
Verdict:
Love!
I love eye creams, and they tend to be one of the pricier skincare items, so I’m psyched when sub boxes include them. I’ve heard good things about the Royal Apothic brand so I’m excited to try out one of their products.

Lunch!
Happy Jackson Yay Lunch! Lunch Box
(Suggested Retail: $10.00)
Description: ”If you’re in a lunch rut, this bright lunch box will inspire you to pack food ahead of time! The cheerful design will make lunchtime wherever you are more fun.”
Verdict: Love!
How adorbs is this? Seriously. As someone who brings breakfast, lunch and snacks to work, I’d be perfectly content if I got a lunchbox related item every month. This guy is so cute and makes it easy to corral things like my small container of hummus and little baggies of crackers and cheese. This is a British brand, so compounding the cuteness, is the fun of trying out a brand from another country.

Mug
Pastel Best Day Ever Mug
(Suggested Retail: $12.00)
Description: “When you enjoy your morning coffee or tea with a mug like this, it’s easy to have the best day ever! This dishwasher and microwave-safe mug will inspire you to make every day amazing. Never have a case of the Mondays again.”
Verdict: Hit!
Never have another case of the Mondays? Does a genie come out of this mug when I rub it to grant my wishes? Despite the false advertising, the shape and print on this mug are lovely and the saying is sweet. I’m leaving this one out in my kitchen for display. Hopefully it will be a good luck charm and give me endless “best day” evers. The site listed on the card, doesn’t take you to any products. Nordstrom previously sold a version of this (with gold lettering) so I linked to them.

Pancake
Southern Culture Shortstacks Pancake & Waffle Mix
(Suggested Retail: $7.99)
Description: “Imagine breakfast reinvented. After tasting Southern Culture’s birthday cake pancake and waffle mix, we could not resist sharing this all-natural sweet treat perfect for breakfast or dessert!”
Verdict: Hit!
I love baking and cooking, so I’m always up for fun mixes.  This is a “birthday cake” flavored pancake and waffle mix. How awesome does this sound? I picture a great Autumn brunch with these pancakes, some bacon and cinnamon apples.

Napkins
Meri Meri Toot Sweet Pink Stripe Napkins
(Suggested Retail: $7.99)
Description: “No party is complete without these adorable napkins. Great for birthdays, baby shower, or picnics, the pink stripe and red scalloped edges will brighten up any occasion.”
Verdict: Hit!
I love hosting little parties and get togethers so these will definitely get used. I’m thinking they’ll be perfect for a fun girls night.

Not Pictured: MyYogaWorks 3 Month Trial (Suggested Retail: $45.00)
Description: “Even though summer is winding down, you can still feel motivated to stay in shape with MyYogaWorks’s three month online trial. With over 700 online classes, it’s easy to personalize your practice.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I didn’t take a picture of this because I figured it was just a coupon. Cue my surprise when I read the little card and see that it is actually considered part of the box. If this was an “extra” I’d have no problem with it, but they are including it as part of the box and I’m not a fan of something intangible, that you need to register for being considered part of the sub box. I’d list this as a “hit” if it were a “special extra”. As part of the box, I’m just not a fan.

SPECIAL EXTRA!
Folgers
Folgers Iced Café Caramel Macchiato Flavored Coffee Drink Concentrate
Description: “We’re ending our summer with all the iced coffee we can get our hands on – including this special extra from Folgers. Its iced coffee made easy.”
Verdict: Like
I enjoy iced coffee and I’ll take this little guy to work to try out.

OVERALL:
Popsugar August 2015
Verdict:
Love!

I paid $42.75 for this box and received an estimated retail value of $150.94 (excluding the value of the Yogaworks card and the iced coffee freebie). I will use and enjoy everything in this box. I felt the curation on this was very tight and all the items had a back to school, heading toward Fall, feel that was spot on. I can’t wait to see what shows up for September.

What did you think of the August Popsugar box? Did you love it as much as I did?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Popsugar has released their “inspiration” for the October box as a spoiler:
Screen-Shot-2015-09-10-at-1.33.39-PM
What do you think will be inside?

SUBSCRIPTION THERAPY NEWS!
Giveaway!
You’ve got until Friday to enter the fabulous giveaway from Terra Bella Box for a natural lip trio. Enter here!

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

 

Popsugar: July 2015 & September Spoiler!

It’s Popsugar time again and when I went to review my August box, I realized I had forgotten about July! So let’s get to my July review and if you’re itching for a spoiler, jump down for a sneak peek into the September box.
BoxOpen Box

Case
Henri Bendel Signature Stripe Canvas Dopp Kit
(Suggested Retail: $28.00)
Description: “We’ve found the perfect pouch to store all your travel and on-the-go necessities! This Small Stripe Canvas Dopp Kit is weather-resistant and expandable, simplifying travel so you can focus on the adventures head instead of the stress of packing.”
Verdict: Like
I really like the stripes on this and I thought it was a cute little travel case. I just wish it was a touch bigger since I’m not really sure how many of my travel items or makeup will actually fit inside. This also came with a 20% off coupon, but I’m on a tight budget and Henri Bendel is a bit much for me (even with a discount).

Setting Spray
Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50
(Suggested Retail: $28.00)
Description: ”Stay refreshed even in the heat of July with this rosemary-infused Defense Refresh Setting Mist. This three-in-one mist delivers SPF 50 protection, sets your morning makeup and controls oil and shine, giving your skin a flawless matte finish..”
Verdict:
Like
I know, I know I’m just as shocked as you are that I actually like a Supergoop product. But this one is SPF 50 and not an item I already had in my arsenal. As a vampire, I can always use an extra layer of SPF protection during the day and including it in a makeup setting spray is a great idea. I’d love to try this same type of product from other brands for comparison.

Card
Sorial Card Case
(Suggested Retail: $28.00)
Description: ”On your next trip or night on the town, ditch your bulky wallet for this lightweight Card Case instead! Although compact, there’s till plenty of space to hold your ID, credit cards and some cash”
Verdict: Hit!
I have a giant wallet full of reward cards and credit cards so I always downsize for special events and evenings out.  This case is perfect for paring down to the basics for an evening out. This also came with a coupon card, but nothing really appealed to me on the Sorial website.

Toothbrush
PopDental Portable Toothbrush
(Suggested Retail: $19.99)
Description: “With its sleek design and compact size, PopDental’s Portable Toothbrush is about to make your daily ritual a lot more stylish. The toothbrush delivers 22,000 brush strokes per minute, leaving your teeth clean and smile-ready.”
Verdict: Like
Nothing says fun and fashion like dental care! Although, a lovely smile can make any outfit better. I have a super fancy rechargeable toothbrush I use every day, but this is a great option to have just for travel. Not exciting, but definitely useful.

Wipes
Yes to Blueberries Cleansing Facial Wipes
(Suggested Retail: $5.99)
Description: “Sometimes travel can take its toll on our skin, but with Yes To wipes, you’ll get clean skin wherever you go. Formulated with blueberry and apple extracts, these wipes gently cleanse, remove makeup and moisturize all at once.”
Verdict: Like
In general I find facial wipes drying, but the Yes to brand is a lot better on this front than most. Wipes are great for travel or when you’re so tired you can’t bother with your full cleanser routine. Another practical addition.

Bar
The Good Bean Fruit & No-Nut Bar, Chocolate Berry!
(Suggested Retail: $1.99)
Description: “Packed with protein-rich chickpeas instead of nuts, this bar is lower in fat and calories. It’s entirely vegan, non-GMO, and gluten free. Enjoy the tangy mix of blueberries and cherries with dark chocolate chunks and roasted chickpeas!”
Verdict: Hit!
I was concerned at the “roasted chickpea” and “chocolate” combo but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this bar and would gladly take it to work for breakfast or as a snack. It’s gluten free and vegan so if you fall under one of those dietary requirements, you may want to check this one out.

SPECIAL EXTRA!
Cards
Hallmark Signature Greeting Cards
(Suggested Retail: $14.97)
Description: “There’s nothing better than receiving handwritten cards in the mail – especially when they’re this beautiful! Hallmark Signature’s unique greeting cards are perfect of any special occasion to show your love in style.”
Verdict: Love!
These are fancy pants greetings cards very reminiscent of the Papyrus brand. If you watch Project Runway, then you’ll note that these are the same cards they just used in their “unconventional materials” challenge. We received a nice little variety pack. The cards are high quality and I know I’ll use them.

OVERALL:
July 2015 Popsugar
Verdict:
Hit!

I paid $42.75 for this box and received an estimated retail value of $126.94 (excluding the coupon values). This box had a really nice cohesive travel theme that I appreciated it. It wasn’t the most exciting, but it was full of practical items and I will use everything so I’m chalking this box up as a hit.

What did you think of the July Popsugar box? Too practical, or practically perfect?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Popsugar has released a spoiler for their September box!
Sept Spoiler

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

Popsugar: June 2015 & August spoiler!

Since it’s throwback Thursday and I’ve got a bit of a backlog with my Popsugar box reviews I decided I’d catch up with a review of my June Box. The inspiration for June was “Sun-Kissed, Soft Skin, Papaya, Outdoor Fun, Coconut, Yoga Warrior”.  Am I the only one disturbed by the phrase “Yoga warrior”?  I keep seeing someone doing downward facing dog and getting hit by a spear.  Enough with my tangents and let’s see  what’s in the box.
Box
Open Box Open Box 2

Sunglasses
Quay Australia Mandate Sunglasses
(Suggested Retail: $45.00)
Description: “With sunny days, ahead, you’ll need a reliable yet stylish pair of frames, and we’ve found just the one! Quay Australia, a celebrity favorite, designed these matte black Mandate sunglasses with your active lifestyle in mind.”
Verdict: Gift
I couldn’t find these specific kind on the Quay website, so we’ll go with Popsugar’s suggested retail value. Thanks to my previous Fancy box subscriptions I already own several Quay sunglasses. These are nice, but they just aren’t that interesting especially after the TOMS I received in my Spring Rachel Zoe Box. Quay has a lot more unique designs available, but I do understand why Popsugar opted for something more classic. These are going to a friend I think will enjoy them.

Judy Blume
In the Unlikely Event
by Judy Blume
(Popsugar Suggested Retail: $27.95/Amazon Retail: $16.77)
Description: ”We’re adding Judy Blume’s newest adult novel, In the Unlikely Event, to the top of our Summer reading list. Blume takes us on the journey of a disaster-stricken town where an unlikely group copes together – reminding us all that life goes on.”
Verdict:
Like
I like it when sub boxes include books, and this is one I probably wouldn’t have grabbed on my own. The Jersey girl in me appreciates that it’s set in the Garden State and I’ll be using it to fill a reading slot for my 2015 Popsugar Reading Challenge.

Pacifica
Pacifica Enlighten Eye Brightening Shadow Palette
(Suggested Retail: $14.00)
Description: ”Beauty junkies know all about the benefits of coconut oil, and this coconut-water-infused eye shadow takes makeup to new bounds. One-hundred-percent vegan and cruelty free, the innovative formula is creamy, is crease free, and brightens the eyes to perfection.”
Verdict: Like/Gift!
I love trying out new makeup, but sadly I am currently overrun with eyeshadow and I’d hate to open this lovely palette and not use it. I have a friend who I think will look awesome in these colors so I’m going to give it to her.

Headband
Yogitoes Peacock hBand
(Suggested Retail: $4.00)
Description: “Every yogi will love this peacock-patterned hBand, which acts both as aheadband and an eye mask during Savasana. Made from organic cotton and a touch of lycra for stretch, it’s where style meets function.”
Verdict: Hit!
I confess that I don’t practice yoga as often as I used to but I still really like this headband. It’s great for keeping your hair back during any type of exercise or just during housecleaning on the weekend. The color is lovely and at a $4.00 price tag I’d happily recommend this to anyone.

Spongelle
Spongellé Boxed Flowers-Fleru en Boite
(Retail: $16.00)
Description: “Massage, smooth, and rejuvenate the skin with this hypoallergenic papaya yuzu body wash infused buffer. It contains extracts of yuzu, edelweiss, and vetiver, so your skin will feel –and smell-simply divine.”
Verdict: Hit!
This little sponge with the super fancy name should make showering feel super fancy too since this is a “body wash infused buffer”. I’ve never tried a shower sponge that was infused with anything so this should be fun to try out.

Candy
SNAP Infusion SUPERCANDY
(Retail: $4.00)
Description: “These gummies are packed with B vitamins that boost your energy, antioxidants that keep your immune system strong and electrolytes that help you stay hydrated.”
Verdict: You had me at “gummies”
Listen I’d eat these even if they didn’t have “B vitamins” or “antioxidants”. I don’t discriminate when it comes to gummies. Fish, bears, sour, sweet, vitamins—I’ll eat them all. These were tasty and if they really help me “stay hydrated” they are a wondrous miracle since I can never seem to drink enough water.

SPECIAL EXTRA!
Sweet & Spark
Sweet & Spark $30 Giftcard

Description: “Sweet & Spark searches flea markets and antique store for one-of-akind vintage jewelry so you don’t have to! Use this gift card to find your own timeless piece like those feature don The Zoe Report and InStyle.”
Verdict: Miss
This site features vintage jewelry, so at first I was really excited, but everything is uber expensive and there’s stuff from the 1980s – is that really “vintage” or is it just old? Hipsters need to let go of the 1980s fashion – listen to the music, but leave the rest. Please. Sweet & Spark even has…(gasp) 1990s “vintage”. SOMEONE TELL ME WHEN THE 1990S BECAME VINTAGE! I guess I should have saved all those chokers from high school. Damn it. I’ll just be over there in the corner clutching my “vintage” flannel and Nirvana CDs. The upside is this gift card doesn’t have an expiration date, so maybe I’ll fall in love with something enough to justify the pricetag.

OVERALL:
June 2015 Popsugar
Verdict:
Like!

Even though I ended up gifting a chunk of this box, I still thought it was nicely curated with interesting brands.   It felt cohesive and seasonally appropriate.  I paid $42.75 for this and with the lower Amazon retail for the Judy Blume hardcover (and excluding the gift card) I received $99.77 worth of product.  It’s a littler lower than the usual Popsugar value, but still a good buy.

What did you think of the June Popsugar Box? And do you consider the 1980s and 1990s to be vintage?

POPSUGAR NEWS!
Popsugar has released a spoiler for their August box!
August Spoiler

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

Popsugar: May 2015

Since my June Popsugar box just arrived, I’m way overdue to review my May one so let’s dive right in.
Box
Open Box

Towel
Sisters of Los Angeles Surf Sand Love Beach Towel
(Suggested Retail: $38.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “We count down the days until we can spend more time basking in the sun at our favorite, beaches, parks, and pools. This year we are even more prepared with our perfect Popsugar-designed beach towel with sunny yellow and blue awning stripes that scream California Summer!”
Verdict: Like
I don’t go to the beach much since my skin tends to burst into flame when exposed to the sun for more than an hour, but this is a nice towel that I can use for all kinds of outdoor events and it makes sense for the season.

Vase
Middle Kingdom Mini Plum Vase in Coral Red
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: ”Display our fresh flowers in this bright coral vase designed to spruce up any space for spring. Middle Kingdom’s bud vase is the perfect size to hold your favorite floral stems.”
Verdict:
Love!
This vase came packaged up so nicely that it would make a perfect gift. I say *would* because I love this little guy so much that I’m keeping it for myself. I don’t know how Popsugar knew I was updating my living room, but this will look perfect with my new coffee table and area rug.

NecklaceNecklace Close
Kitsch Tri’d & True Y-Shaped Necklace
(Suggested Retail: $32.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: ”Once we laid eyes on this Tri’d & True necklace, we knew it’d be an instant favorite. The unique Y shape and triangle charm make a statement on their own, but the piece looks just as great layered.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I’m not sure if I’ll keep this necklace or gift it. It seems a bit long for my taste, but I do like to try out new accessories. I’ll see how it looks layered with some of my other pieces.

Shave Cream
Sage & Row Bare Shave Cream
(Suggested Retail: $17.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “You’ll want to show off your legs all summer long with Sage & Row’s heavenly scented shave cream. This aloe-based goodness will lock in moisture and leave even the most sensitive skin smooth and radiant.”
Verdict: Love!
I love it when we get luxury versions of practical items like shave cream. Sage & Bow offers awesome shaving kits and a fancy pants razor. If I like this cream I may consider picking up some of their other items.

Dry Shampoo
Batiste Dry Shampoo
(Retail: $4.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Say goodbye to lifeless hair forever with a cherry-scented dry shampoo that does it all. You’ll get major body and texture wherever you are, and its convenient travel size is just the cherry on top!”
Verdict: Love!
You had me at “Cherry-scented”. I know dry shampoos show up in every women’s sub, but I love the adorable packaging and the scent. I’ve heard great things about this brand so I’m leaving this in my locker for when I work out during my lunch hour.

Taffy
Hammond’s Candies McCraw’s Flat Taffy
(Retail: $1.00)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “This Multicolored McCraw’s Flat Taffy is just as delicious as it looks! Sicne it’s made with no artificial colors or flavors added, you can feel good about satisfying your sweet tooth.”
Verdict: Like
I know that I’m a Jersey girl, but I’m not really big on taffy. (I’m not big on Atlantic City either so they may revoke my Jersey girl status). In any case, I actually really enjoyed this taffy. The thin texture really sets it apart from regular taffy and it was a fun, summer inspired treat.

OVERALL:
May 2015 Popsugar Box
Verdict:
Hit!

I really enjoyed this box. All the items felt summery and the box had a cohesive feel. I paid $42.75 for this box and received $112 worth of product. I will use or gift all the items, so this one was definitely a win for me. As unhappy as I’ve been with a lot of Popsugar’s Limited Edition boxes, their regular monthly sub still delivers surprises I really enjoy.

What did you think of the May Popsugar Box? Did you enjoy the items as much as I did?

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

Popsugar: April 2015 & the LE CFDA Box That Wasn’t

I’m still clearing out a few of my April boxes, before my May ones arrive. First, we’ll take a look at what sprang up in the Popsugar monthly must have and then I’ll discuss the LE CFDA box that I ordered.
Box
APRIL POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Umbrella
Dabney Lee Dottie Umbrella
(Suggested Retail: $18.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “With an umbrella as adorable as this, we’re welcoming Spring shows with open arms. Plus, the auto open-and-close feature and quick-drying fabric are sure to make any outdoor adventure enjoyable, rain or shine.”
Verdict: Love!
I have cute umbrellas and some small practical ones but not a combination of the two. This is cute and the easy open-close button makes it super practical. It’s also a great size (not too big, not too small). This is now my go to umbrella for my commute.

Lotion
One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum
(Suggested Retail: $39.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “”We’re addicted to this luxurious serum that takes moisture to the next level. Infused with antioxidants and other superstar ingredients, this body serum from One Love Organics offers a subtle gardenia fragrance and ultranourishing effects for softer skin.”
Verdict:
Like
I don’t think I’ve tried a body serum, although I’m thinking that might be just a fancy word for body lotion. In any case, I’ll happily give this a try. I like that it’s organic and has unique packaging.

Candle
Produce Candles Rhubarb Spring Candle
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: ”Bring the farm stand home to you with this sweet-smelling rhubarb candle from Produce Candles. Handcrafted in Charleston, SC, with all-natural soy wax and premium cotton wicks, this “candle crop” will fill any room with the scent of fresh rhubarb on a crisp Spring day.”
Verdict: Love!
I love scented candles and use them regularly. I love to light one right after I clean a room. While I hate actually eating rhubarb, the scent on this is lovely and I like that they are natural soy wax candles that feature interesting seasonal produce scents.

Bag
Flip & Tumble 24-7 Bag
(Suggested Retail: $12.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “From bag to ball, flip & tumble’s 24-7 reusable bag compacts in a pinch — no folding, zipping, or stuffing necessary. Made of a reliable ripstop nylon, it’s perfect for the market to carry all your essentials with ease!”
Verdict: On the Fence/Gift
This is a reusable bag that packs up into a little ball. I have a ton of reusuable bags already and some of them do this same thing. This is a nice practical addition and it certainly fits the market fresh theme of this box, so I appreciate its inclusion. I’ll probably end up adding this as a little extra to someone’s gift.

Herbs
Potting Shed Creations Garden-in-a-Bag Basil
(Retail: $10.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Home-growing fresh basil just got easier with the Basil Garden-in-a-Bag from Potting Shed Creations. No chopping or mincing required — enjoy the miniature leaves straight off the plant for flavorful dishes year round!.”
Verdict: Hit!
Despite the fact that plants tend to have very short life expectancies in my household, I was still happy to see this. I love it when we receive food items that we can use for cooking (like oils, herbs and salts). The whole “grow-your-own” aspect is a lot of fun and fresh herbs are so great in seasonal cooking. Hopefully I won’t kill this before I get enough basil to make some pasta.

SPECIAL EXTRA
Coupons

Mott 50 $25 Gift Card
Description: “With fashion and function in mind, Mott 50 created a lightweight clothing line with a 50 ultraviolet protection factor to combat harmful UVA and UVB rays. Use this $25 gift card toward your next purchase for clothes that do more than just cover.”
Verdict: Miss
Along with some other coupons we got a $25 gift card for Mott 50. They feature clothing and accessories with UVA and UVB protection built in. As a redhead, I love the concept of the clothing, but the items featured are on the pricier side (even a unisex baseball hat is $38). I don’t like inclusions that require you to spend a substantial amount in order to use them. I would have preferred to see a different special extra.

OVERALL:
Popsugar April 2015

Verdict: Practically Market Fresh but a touch lacking.

There were a lot of great things about this box.   Pretty much everything included was a practical item and they all fit perfectly into the “market fresh” theme. On the other side, it’s easy see why some subscribers might find this box a touch boring. I also felt like it was a little light on items and value. The giftcard really doesn’t count as an item (since you need to spend quite a bit to use it) and our boxes usually  include more products. I paid $42.75 for this box and not including the giftcard, I received $99 worth of product. I will use or gift all the items so the value is there for me, but if someone didn’t care for the serum (which is the high priced pick), their box wouldn’t have held up against what they paid.

THE CFDA BOX THAT WASN’T

Popsugar is one of my favorite subs and I’m usually thrilled with both my monthly boxes and the one time limited editions I’ve purchased. That changed last year with their incredibly overpriced and even more incredibly disappointing Neiman Marcus box. After that, I decided to take a break from future Popsugar LE boxes until I’d seen enough reveals, that I felt they were worth the risk again. After some fabulous LE unboxings over the last few months, I opted to take a giant leap of faith with their $195 CFDA LE box. It sold out in record time and promised luxurious and emerging designers and over $600 retail value. It was a big investment but I love fashion boxes and I was so excited to see what new designers would be included.

I’m always late with receiving my Popsugar boxes so I was able to get a sneak peek at the spoilers, and the giant controversy that surrounded them. My box still hasn’t arrived, but I do know the contents. I’ll give you pictures from store and manufacturer websites with prices and links. Prepare yourself, it’s not pretty.

Earrings
Maiyet Poison Dart Earrings

Estimated Retail Value:
$295
Value on Popsugar Card: $395
The Controversy: These earrings are the big ticket item in the box, and Popsugar over-estimated their value by $100.  Yes, more than half the cost of this box.  Noticeably angry over gold plated brass earrings being quoted so high, customers inundated Popsugar with complaints. Magically, Maiyet’s website then listed the earrings at the higher price and Popsugar claimed it was an error on Maiyet’s side..except…Maiyet then went on to lower the price back to the regular retail cost and you can follow the link here to see a purchase price of $295. This is a whole new level of shady. This is fraud and Popsugar should be ashamed – not just for bilking their customers but also for putting Maiyet in a terrible position. Hopefully none of the issues with this item will poorly effect their brand.

Lipstick
Anna Sui Lipstick

Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $30

Bracelet
Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Bangle

Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $80
The Controversy: As most of you fashionistas know, this label is now defunct. Meaning that these bracelets are popping up at TJ Maxx and various shopping sites for a bargain.   Remember this box was supposed to be about “new” and “luxury” brands, not leftover goods from an axed fashion label.

Nail polish set
Milly Nail Polish Set
(couldn’t get a working link on this one)
Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $80

Book
The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Estimated Retail Value: $17.77
Value on Popsugar Card: $28.00
The Controversy: When was the last time you paid $28 for a book? Been awhile, right? This book is priced much lower on Amazon. And many subscribers feel a book *about* fashion is not the same as an actual fashion item.

Tote
Apolis+Claire v. Market Bag

Estimated Retail Value: $68.00
Value on Popsugar Card: $68.00

Now friends, it’s time to do some math. According to Popsugar’s made up prices, this box has a value of $637. In the real world, in actual stores and online shops, these products retail for about $476.77. Now subscribers were promised $600+ retail value box that “features an assortment of established and emerging designers, including some of fashion’s most coveted brands.” Most of the products don’t fall under either these categories.

If this had been a $100 LE box, this would have been fine but still a slight bummer since there’s not much fashion to this box. At $195 it’s a disgrace. I actually really like the Anna Sui lipstick (it’s been on my wishlist for awhile) and the market tote, but they are minor items at this price point. Where is the fashion? Where are all these upcoming designers? Popsugar squandered a chance to have a true emerging designer make something special for this box. It’s like they went to a warehouse full of old stuff, dusted it off and shoved it into boxes.

Now in an unprecedented move, most likely due to the fact that Popsugar’s skating some serious fraud issues, they are allowing refunds on unopened and complete boxes. I have already contacted them (even though I didn’t yet get my box) and will be returning this for a refund. If you ordered this box, you can contact Popsugar through their website and ask to return it. They should email you a pre-printed label.

A special thanks to these fabulous box bloggers with awesome posts of the spoilers and values of these products: Subscription Box Ramblings, Hello Subscriptions, and My Subscription Addiction. Thanks to their heads up I am able to get a refund and I greatly appreciate it.

I am extremely disappointed in Popsugar’s dishonest curation and my trial separation from purchasing their LE boxes is now going into divorce proceedings. They need to come clean, apologize to their subscribers (and Maiyet), and make sure whoever was in charge of this curation is not allowed to put together any more boxes.

What did you think of these boxes? Do you have an opinion on this latest Popsugar LE box controversy?

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