Popsugar Must Have: December 2014

So I’m powering through the last box stragglers of 2014, so it’s time for my last Popsugar box of 2014. Onto the December box which I hoped was full of Holiday goodies…
BoxOpen Box

Scarf
SPUN by Subtle Luxury Speckled Metallic Scarf
(Suggested Retail: $62.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “To feel even more festive this Winter, add this speckled metallic scarf to any outfit for a subtle sparkle and added warmth.”
Verdict: Love!
I love this scarf. It’s soft, beautiful and surprisingly warm. You can dress it up or down and wear it in different seasons. This was a great way to start the box.

Necklace
Sparklepop Sydney Necklace
(Suggested Retail: $42.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “Dress it up or down – this gorgeous 18K gold-plated necklace is a must have showstopper that can be worn long or layered with shorter necklaces.”
Verdict:
Love!
We so rarely get long layering pieces in sub boxes so I was thrilled to grab this. It’s versatile, classic and can be worn in a myriad of ways. It also looks great paired with the metallic scarf from this box. Another winner!

Bowl
Canvas Dauville Platinum Bowl
(Suggested Retail: $29.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “The hand-painted platinum interior will keep all your little gems or snacks tidy in a unique way!”
Verdict: Love!
This adorable bowl is the perfect size to collect jewelry on your vanity or paperclips on your desk. I love the organic outside paired with the glamourous inside. I checked out the Canvas Home site and fell in love with nearly everything. Popsugar followed up with an email code for 25% off anything off the site just use the code CANVASPOP. There are some seaglass colored bowls that are just screaming out my name….

Gloss
Smashbox Be Legendary Long-Wear Lip Lacquer
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Look and feel legendary with this long-wear lip lacquer—the deep Bordeaux color and maxed-out staining pigment will ensure your color stays put all night long!.”
Verdict: Hit!
I have a fabulous Smashbox palette and some cream shadows, but I had yet to try their Lip Lacquer so I’m psyched to get this. I didn’t include a swatch because I am currently overwhelmed with lip products and didn’t want to open this one just yet.

Tags
Knot & Bow Parcel Tags
(Retail: $4.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “After you’ve wrapped the perfect present, make it complete with tehse classic parcel tags or get creative and use them as organizing labels around the house!.”
Verdict: Hit!
These tags are really versatile and as far as wrapping items go this was a perfect choice for a sub box. The blue color means you can use them all year long, with everything from birthday gifts to labeling boxes of handmade treats.

Mix
Williams-Sonoma Cupcake Mix in Vanilla Bean
(Suggested Retail: $14.95)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “When you’re craving gourmet cupcakes, get your fix with this easy vanilla bean mix for sweet perfection”
Verdict: Hit!
Now I’d never pay $14.95 for fancy cupcake mix, but I love baking and am always up for trying new things. I made these for my friends and their kids and topped them with chocolate frosting. They were tasty (as cupcakes always should be) but I didn’t find them all that much better than good old Betty Crocker.  So while I enjoyed the mix, I wouldn’t purchase it on my own.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict:
Love!

Looks like Popsugar saved the best for last.
I love, love, love this box. Did I mention I love this box? Popsugar really made up a lot of ground with this one. It was so thoughtfully curated and not only did these items all fit the season, they made a beautiful cohesive box. This is my favorite Popsugar box of the year and I hope they keep this momentum up in 2015.

This box cost me $42.95 and I received $175.95 worth of product. I loved or really liked everything in this box and I will use every single item.

In Popsugar News, they released a $65 Limited Edition Fitness collaboration box with Target which sold out in record time. After my recent disappointment with the Limited Edition Neiman Marcus box I’ve been opting out of Popsugar LE boxes, but after this December box I’ll probably be changing my mind.

What did you think of the December Popsugar Box? Was it your favorite of the year?

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 Must Have: November 2014

So with all the holiday fuss, I of course have gotten behind on my reviews and now it’s time to catch up. Today I’ve got my review of the Popsugar November box. I’ve been on the outs with Popsugar since their customer service shenanigans and lackluster Neiman Marcus box so I’ve been slowly letting them woo me back.

Box

Now let’s get to the goods.

Cookbook
The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel
(Suggested Retail: $20.47)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Great for both novice and experienced bakers – or a pretty addition to your coffee table –The Secret Recipes explores never-before-seen recipes from Dominique Ansel, the pastry chef behind the Cronut..”
Verdict: On the fence
Okay to start, has anyone in the history of ever, stated “You know what I need? More coffee table books.” Yeah, I didn’t think so. Maybe sub boxes could start taking note of that.  At first I was thrilled with this – I love cookbooks, especially ones with cool stuff for entertaining, but these recipes seem unnecessarily complicated and  not that appealing to the average baker. It does have nice pictures and the idea of a baking cookbook around the holidays was a good one, but I just don’t think this particular choice was a good one.

Bag
Sorial Saffiano Wallet on a Chain
(Suggested Retail: $49.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “As chic as your favorite clutch but way more functional, this wallet on a chain fits all your essentials for a hands-free night on the town or an easy-to-find item in your large everyday bag.”
Verdict:
Gift
Oh, *another* tiny blue bag from Popsugar. I’ve lost count at this point as to how many we received in 2014. This isn’t a bad bag, but in the context of this sub we have received so many items with similar styling and color that it’s just redundant. It is a cute bag so I was able to gift it. I could no longer find it available for regular retail sale so I used the Popsugar suggested price. I believe that $49 is quite high since, in December, I found one on sale at TJ Maxx for less than half that.

Cream
K. Hall Simpatico Ambergris Shea Butter Cream (Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “For smooth and delightfully fragrant skin, lather this shea butter cream freely and enjoy the sweet musky scent and intense moisturizing qualities.”
Verdict: Hit/Gift!
Come winter time in the northeast you can always find a place for extra moisturizer. I love, love the packaging of this. As much as I wanted to hoard it for myself, I thought it would be a fabulous addition to a Christmas gift I was putting together so I reluctantly let it go.

Notes
Tiny Prints Thoughtful Heart Stationary
(Suggested Retail: $15.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Designed by Lisa Sugar and Tiny Prints, this watercolor design gives you aonther reason to write your loved one something special. In addition, enjoy this $25 gift card for more spectacular stationery perfect for any occasion.”
Verdict: Like
I’m torn because normally I really like stationery but I’m just not wild about this print. Maybe it’s because this royal blue color pervades Popsugar boxes or the heart makes it feel a little young, but I would have preferred a different design. I’m sure I’ll get some use out of it though, so it’s not a terrible addition, even if it’s a bit boring.

Pens
Wine Glass Writer
(Retail: $9.95)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Made exclusively for Popsugar Must Have, these fast-drying, nontoxic glass writers ensure you’ll never lose your wineglass again.”
Verdict: Hit!
At first I thought I’d use these as a gift, since I live in a small apartment and therefore don’t typically throw parties where people lose track of their wine glasses, but when I checked out the website I realized these can be used in more ways. You can write on ceramics or glass and then just wash them off. I think I’ll have some fun using these for decorating during my next get together.

Popcorn
G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popped Corn
(Suggested Retail: $3.69)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “With so much flavor and deliciousness in one bite, you’ll be amazed this caramel and cheddar cheese corn mix is all natural, non-GMO, and gluten free!”
Verdict: Hit!
You know that horrible feeling when you can’t decide if you want cheese popcorn or caramel? Well this bag totally fixes that problem because it gives you both. This snack was really delicious and my boyfriend and I finished it off pretty quickly. I’d definitely buy this again if I came across it in a grocery store.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict:
Like

This box cost me $42.95 and I received $120.11 worth of product along with a $25 coupon for Tiny Prints. While I didn’t love everything, I understood most of the logic with the curation and I could use some of the items as gifts.  I do want to see Popsugar move away from the same shades of blue though.  I’d love to see some red show up in 2015.

While I’m continuing with my regular Popsugar subscription, I did opt out of their holiday box because of my unhappiness with their Neiman Marcus box and their level of customer service the last few months. If you picked up a Holiday box I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

THE BACKSTORY

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar 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 Must Have: October 2014

If you are Popsugar subscriber, you may already know why my October box review is so late. Popsugar updated their website, creating much chaos with billing and subscriptions. This resulted in many longtime subscribers getting our boxes super late.
Box

This lovely guy arrived on my doorstep on October 31st – just narrowly hitting that “October” deadline. Let’s see what my super late box included.
Open Box Open Box 2

Socks
Happy Socks Animal Socks
(Suggested Retail: $12)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “As the days get cooler, keep your feet warm and cozy with these fun leopard-print Happy Socks.”
Verdict: Gift
Socks with a fun print are always welcome in the Fall. This time of year I start analyzing my boxes for items that will be great Christmas gifts while simultaneously trying to quiet that voice that screams to keep all the pretties for myself. I’ve got someone in mind who I think these will work great for so this is going to the Christmas Gift Stash.

LinerSwatch
butter LONDON Wink Eye Pencil
in Earl Gray (Suggested Retail: $18)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Make your eyes stand out with this blendable WINK Eye Pencil – it’s the ultimate beauty tool to achieve an effortless look. This gray is great for a smoky eye.”
Verdict:
Love!
I’ve been wanting to try butter LONDON’s makeup for a long time, so I was happy to see their eyeliner included. I got even more excited when I swatched it and discovered it was a beautiful shimmery smoky grey. I think this is a fabulous shade for the holidays. If you’re super pale like me, a lot of black liners are just too much of a contrast and can give you a sort of Walking Dead vibe. This is a great alternative when you want a dramatic eye but don’t want to look washed out.

Frame
Isaac Jacobs International Acrylic Frame (
Suggested Retail: $36.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description:
Verdict: Love!
I’m not normally too excited for picture frames since I don’t have much space in my apartment and I already have plenty of frames, but I love the design of this. It’s an acrylic rectangle that is held together with magnets and keeps the picture encased inside. I’m going to be keeping this for myself and using it on my desk. I think it will look great with some cute quotes inside.

Candle
Mine Design Chalkboard Candle
(Suggested Retail: $24.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: “Reusable and rewritable, this chalkboard soy candle lets you put a personal spin on your average wick.”
Verdict: Love/Gift
Candles tend to go in my gift pile, just because lots of people I know love them, but this one is just too cute. This is another item I really want to keep for my desk. I can write stuff like “Keep writing, jackass” to remind me to get off Pinterest and work on my novels. You can get all DIY with this and use chalkboard paint on your existing candles to get the same effect. I’m leaning toward hoarding this item for myself, but goodness may win out and it could end up in someone’s Xmas stocking.

Malt Balls
Dean & Deluca Pumpkin Spice Malt Balls
(Retail: $5.75)
Category: Must Have Food
Description: “Made with real pumpkin spices and dipped in dark chocolate, these gourmet malt balls capture the flavor of fall.”
Verdict: On the Fence
I like the idea of these and including a Fall flavored treat was smart, but I just didn’t care for the actual taste of them. I love pumpkin flavored things and pumpkin spices but these just weren’t quite tasty enough for me.

Decals
Nailed Kit Halloween Decals
(Suggested Retail: $8.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “It’s fun to get in the Halloween spirit with these nontoxic easy-to-apply nail-art decals designed exclusively for POPSUGAR Must Have.”
Verdict: Miss/Potential Hit
As you know I got my October box super late, so I didn’t have time to actually use these. It’s quite a shame because if I’d received them earlier in the month they would have been a hit. It’s also nice that they were designed especially for Popsugar. I’ve tucked them into my polish case and will pull them out next Halloween.

SPECIAL EXTRA
Soap
K. Hall Designs Shoreline Shea Butter/Olive Oil Bar Soap
(Retail: $10.00)
Description: “This soap is enhanced with shea butter and olive oil to moisturize and refresh your skin. This item we love is sponsored by Progresso.”
Verdict: Gift
This is a really nice special extra and the soap gives off a fresh scent. I currently have a stack of soap bars to go through so I think I’ll add this as a little extra to someone’s Christmas Gift.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Hit!

This box cost me $42.75 and I received $113.75 worth of product along with a $40 coupon for The Blue Jean Bar’s Box.  Except for the lackluster pumpkin balls, I really liked everything in the box. The only  downside was that it came too late for me to utilize the Halloween item.

Along with many other subscribers, I struggled this month with Popsugar and their customer service. I kept getting emails that I hadn’t updated my CC info, even though I had. I reached out to customer service about the continued emails and that my box hadn’t shipped yet and I received no replies. My box eventually showed up at the very last moment, but that’s just not an acceptable level of customer service. Based on Popsugar’s Facebook page, the customer service issues were not isolated incidents.

Because of these customer service issues and an incredibly lackluster Neiman Marcus box (review coming very soon) I have not jumped on Popsugar’s latest offering of Limited Edition Holiday Boxes. I loved last year’s holiday box, but I’m not sure I’m willing to gamble $100 on Popsugar right now. I’m currently waiting for a spoiler in order to make up my mind.

Did your October box arrive on time? Are you considering the Popsugar Holiday LE boxes?

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 Limited Edition Fall Box: September 2014

So it’s time for one of my favorite reviews – a Popsugar Limited Edition box. If you are a frequent reader, you know these boxes are like crack to me. As soon as they come out, I must grab them, so when Popsugar introduced the Limited Edition Fall box I just couldn’t help myself.
Package
Box
Now one of the things I love about Popsugar LE boxes is the actual box it comes in. They are sturdy and full of win. I use the giant Neiman Marcus box to house my polish collection, while the others like this one, hold my gift stashes from boxes.

Now enough of my love and adoration for the box and let’s see what’s inside.
Open Box

Scarf
Marchesa Voyage for Shopstyle Printed Scarf
(Suggested Retail: $140)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “Impulse makes a great accessory. Inspired by designer Georgina Chapman’s own scarf collection, this printed scarf details an all-over floral pattern that encircles the Marchesa’s logo. A vibrant accent, it instantly wraps a flash of luxe to any look.”
Verdict: Ambivalent
I love Marchesa, (or better said I have loved Marchesa from afar because I am mostly poor), so I should be psyched to get this, but I just can’t muster up to much feeling for it. It’s soft and excellent quality but the print feels very ho hum to me. I also don’t understand why Popsugar would put a scarf in the September box and a scarf in this box when they come out at about the same time? The ombre scarf from the September box was more my type of vibe. This scarf is also being given as a free gift if you purchase the knit zip dress or moto jacket if you use the code SCARF at checkout. The fact that it’s a free gift and not all that interesting sort of lowers the value to me. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice scarf and I’m going to keep it because I want a Marchesa piece in my collection, but I’m just not as thrilled with it as I expected.

Lipstick
Make Silk Cream Lipstick in Radicchio
(Suggested Retail: $25)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “When it comes to lipstick, long –lasting color and hydration should go hand in hand. Using a unique blend of waxes and oils, this creamy lipstick delivers both intense color and luxurious nourishment for pigmented perfection.”
Verdict:
Like
Red lips are huge for fall and I really like this brick red shade. I am unfamiliar with the Make brand so I’m excited to try it out. The packaging on this was a bit unique as well which made it a little more interesting than the usual lip product. I currently have a ton of lipsticks and glosses in use, so I didn’t swatch this one and am setting it aside until I finish up a few more products.

Gummies
Sugarpova Chic Gummy Candy
(Suggested Retail: $5.99)
Category: Must Have Food
Description:
Verdict: Hit!
I have a weakness for gummies. As you can imagine this low carb diet crap has been very very sad news for my gummy addiction. Good news is that I am going on a carb bender for my birthday so I am reserving this bag for my little birthday trip. I probably wouldn’t have grabbed this on my own as I am partial to Swedish Fish and Twizzlers, but it’s a fun, cute treat.

Perfume 1Perfume 2
Capsule Parfums Byway Eau de Parfum
(Suggested Retail: $38.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Influenced by fashion, beauty, and street culture, this boutique fragrance might just become your new signature scent. With notes of crystal spun sugar, vanilla essence, amber petals and twilight jasmine, this sweet and playful blend is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.”
Verdict: !#$#$@$
Damn it Popsugar!  How many times have we had this conversation? Stop sending large perfumes in these boxes!!! I don’t care if you think a scent is a “guaranteed crowd pleaser”, the odds are a lot of your subscribers won’t like it or just won’t be able to use it. I don’t mind small parfum sprays, but it’s always a bummer when I see a perfume as a large item. It’s doubly sad when it shows up in a LE box. We had this same problem with that awful Coconut perfume in the May Must Have Box. Setting aside my inherent dislike of perfumes, this one is super sweet and to me reads a bit young. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it either.  It also seems much more like a summery scent than a fall one.

Hat
Joie Zorina Knit Hat
(Retail: $98.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “As the cooler months approach, this knit hat will keep you warm in style. With a wool-cashmere blend, this chic cream-colored hat will prepare you for the chilly days ahead.
Verdict: Hit!
I love that we finally got an item that totally screams out Fall. My current go-to Fall/Winter hat is a slouchy knit cream, so this is write up my alley. This one is a bit more fitted, but I think it will look great with my hair and complexion. I’m psyched to try out the Joie brand and I think this is a nice classic piece that a lot of ladies could use.

Cleanser
Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
(Suggested Retail: $32.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “…this cult-favorite brightening cleanser is your one-stop shop for flawless skin. The all-natural pink formula oxidizes into a buttercream hue to exfoliate, tighten, and soothe your skin to perfection.”
Verdict: Hit!
As you know I love trying out new beauty products and this one sounds particularly intriguing with its whole “oxidizes” spiel. It’s also fun to try out “cult-favorites” and see what all the fuss is about.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict:
Like, but with some reservations…

This box cost me $107 and according to my math skills (aka Excel spreadsheet) we received $344.99 worth of product. So from a strictly technically standpoint I got plenty of retail value out of this box. So what’s the problem?

Well, this box really felt like it was missing a lot despite the high retail value. There was no home item included at all, and as much as I love the Marchesa brand I think a piece of jewelry would have been a much better choice given that a hat is already in this box and loyal subscribers already snagged a scarf with the September Must Have. Not only is the perfume a frustrating item to receive for so many of us, but the scent had nothing to do with Fall and neither did the food item. For me, the two “Fall” items were the hat and the lipstick. The others could have been in any box at any time. Fall has so many visceral connotations that this box just doesn’t work in that context.

What did you think of your LE Fall Popsugar Box? Did you love the contents or  were you missing the “Fall” part of the box?

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