Top 13 of 2013 – A Few of My Favorites from Subscription Boxes

So now that 2013 is behind us, it’s time to take a look back through all the awesome stuff my wonderful addiction to subscription boxes brought to my doorstep.  I’ve chosen my favorite 13 items from all of my boxes.  It was so hard to choose, but these turned out to be the ones I either loved the most or got the most use from.

AUGUST

Jelly FishJelly Fish Tripod for Smartphones from the August 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Retail: $10.95 on Amazon)
Original Fancy Box
I had just delved into the world of smartphones when I got this little gadget from Fancy.  It’s great for taking video or watching Netflix.

 

SEPTEMBER

Bombshell BoxAdd-ons
Julep Cleansing Oil & Konjac Cleansing Sponge from the September 2013 Maven Box
(Retail: $28.00/Maven Price: $22.40 & Retail: $12.00/Maven Price: $9.50)
Julep Maven Box
This cleansing oil smells amazing (like oranges) and removes your makeup without drying out your skin.  It’s one of my favorite Julep products ever.  The konjac sponge exfoliates  without being overly harsh and works great with so many other products.

Charger 
Fancy Power Grid by Tego: from the September 2013 Original Fancy Box
(
Retail $60.00 on Fancy)
Original Fancy Box
One of the things Fancy does best is bring practical little gadgets that I know I need but never get around to picking up for myself.  This is a great backup charger that can help your dying Iphone battery last a bit longer.

Ring
Rachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring: from the Popsugar Fall Must Have Special Edition Box
(Retail: $75.00 on Piperlime.com)
Popsugar Must Have
I tend to gravitate toward white metals and super sparkly things so this understated gold ring was a great addition to my jewelry collection.  I would never have picked it out myself but it adds a touch of elegance to my outfits and I’ve worn it a lot more than I would have guessed when I first pulled it out of the box.

OCTOBER

 

Anisa, Valerie & Ciara
Ciara Polish
from the October 2013 Maven Box
(Retail $14.00/Sale: $4.99)
Julep Maven Box
October brought my favorite Julep collection.  It was the only time all year that I did a full upgrade.  And within that awesome “Rebel set” was my favorite polish ever: Ciara.  It is somehow edgy, vampy and ethereal all at the same time.  It’s a magenta polish with a teal microglitter and pictures do not do it justice.  Pick it up, you’ll love it (I promise).

USB Strip
Contort Flexible USB Hub
from the October 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Fancy Retail: $25.00/Amazon Retail: $7.39)
Original Fancy Box
As usual, Fancy delivers another gadget I know I needed but just didn’t bother to buy.  I used to have to take turns plugging in my thumb drive and then my camera. Now with a USB hub I can do it all at once.  (Fancy needs to hope I never get gadget-savvy because then I might not need a subscription).

Purse  Midnight Clutch by Emilie M.from the October 2013 Original Fancy Box
(Fancy Retail: $50.00)
Original Fancy Box
I thought this bag was really cute when I first got it and since I actually didn’t own anything in this style it was a nice plus.  It ended up being my go to bag for my nights out.  You can easily fit your phone, wallet and other essentials plus it matches everything.

 

NOVEMBER

Ear CuffJack Vartanian Ear Cuff from the November 2013 Nina Garcia Quarterly Box.  
(Retail: ???)
Nina Garcia Quarterly Box
I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to be the uber edgy cool girl that can wear stuff like ear cuffs.  And then Nina Garcia sent me a fabulous one by a fancy pants jewelry designer.  I probably wouldn’t have had the courage to try this on my own, but once Nina  sent it my way I realized I could rock it.

 

Eyeshadow
Le Métier De Beauté –  Pretty in Punk Eye Shadow Palette from the Special Edition Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box
(Retail: $95.00)
Popsugar Must Have
This beauty palette opened up a whole new world of eyeshadow application.  Did you know we were all doing smoky eyes wrong?  And who better to tell us how to do it than the French!  This is the most luxurious eyeshadow palette I’ve ever owned and I love that it’s opened up a whole new world of makeup for me.

Candle
Nest Candle in Birchwood Pine
from the Special Edition Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box
(Retail: $34.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Sometimes I fall in love with candles.  Okay,  I frequently fall in love with candles.  But I really, really mean it when I say I love this candle. It is so pretty and while it looked awesome with my Christmas decorations it’s going to look amazing all year long.


DECEMBER

BraceletErickson Beamon Rocks Blondie Stone Bangle from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Estimated Retail $98.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Okay maybe I’m just a sucker for sparkly things, but I loved the rhinestones on this bracelet.  They were just ethereal and twinkly and the captured my imagination the moment I took this out of the box.  They look so much better in person than in my photograph.

TokyomilkTokyomilk’s Dark Body Soufflé in “Chance” from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Retail: $40.00)
Popsugar Must Have
You know when it comes to beauty products I’m pretty easy.  You can win me over with gorgeous packaging so this body cream had me at hello.  It proved itself with a soft fragrance and rich, but not greasy formula.  This is a great gift for the girl who thinks she has everything.

DatebookGraphic Image 2014 Datebook: from the Limited Edition Popsugar Holiday Box
(Retail: $97.00)
Popsugar Must Have
Okay so I’m going to be honest.  A planner that costs $100 is for some other girl.  I would never even think of buying something like this and maybe that’s why I love it so very much.  Along with calendars, maps and room for notes it has lists of common words and phrases with translations in English, French, Dutch, Italian and Spanish (including the dates of all their different holidays!)  Just ask me how to say chicken in Dutch (Huhn) or for two nights in French (pour deux nuits).  ASK ME!  Okay, I got a little carried away, but this little book makes me feel like I’m a jetsetting socialite who spends spring time in Paris and summers in the Hamptons, which is exactly what I need when I’m trapped in my windowless, basement office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Now a few winners in the larger subscription categories:

Overall Favorite Subscription:
Popsugar Must Have & Nina Garcia Quarterly Box
Since Nina’s box was brand new and only had one come out this year it was hard to judge it against the others, but it was cohesive and chic and exactly what you expect from Nina Garcia.  Popsugar is the most consistant when it comes to awesome items I can use in my life so I chose it for the top spot.

Favorite One Time Box:
Popsugar Limited Edition Holiday Box
As super fancy as the Neiman Marcus box was, the Holiday box just fit my needs and lifestyle so perfectly (as you notice it had three of my top thirteen picks).

Did you subscribe to any boxes in 2013?  I’d love to hear your favorite things.

Popsugar Special Edition Fall Style- Must Have Box – September 2013

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.  For details on the different subscription prices and some coupon codes, jump down below.  Now onto the review!

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.  This particular box is sold out, but you can still subscribe to the regular monthly box.

Box

As soon as I opened the package, I got the luxury vibe.  It had this big slide out box and all the packages were beautifully wrapped in black tissue paper.  It really was a joy to unwrap.
Unwrapping

RingRachel Zoe Gold Knot Ring: (Retail: $75.00 on Piperlime.com)
Verdict: Hit!
They had posted a sneak peek of this item so it was the only item I knew was guaranteed.  It’s a lot nicer in real life than in the photo and has a substantial weight to it.  It’s sophisticated, simple and will go with everything.  While I wouldn’t pay $75 for this, I have very few gold tone rings so it’s welcome in my jewelry wardrobe.  It’s important to note Rachel Zoe rings only come in size 7.  This ring is a little big on me, but still wearable.  If you’re a much smaller or larger size, you’d have to gift this.  Rachel Zoe has a matching bangle to this ring, which might have been a better item to include because of the sizing issue.


Shopper
Cynthia Vincent Classic Shopper Bag:
 (Retail: $49.99 on sale at Piperlime.com)
Verdict: Miss
Unfortunately I’m not an animal print person and I do have a lot of reusable tote bags.  (They, along with blank books are one of my addictions.)  While the print is not my taste, I have to say the fabric is very luxe and it feels more like something that should be on a dress rather than a tote bag.  If you dig this print, and like slouchy bags this would be right up your alley.

Bubblebath
Library of Flowers Bubble Bath:   (Retail: $36.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
While I wish they’d chosen a slightly more practical offering from Library of Flowers perfumery (like shower gel or perfume cream, because I just don’t take enough bubble baths), the packaging on this was so adorable I couldn’t help but fall in love.  Mine had a dent in the back but the lovely print was unscathed.

Notebook
Christian Lacroix Notebook:
  (Retail: $12.00 at Kate’s Paperie)
Verdict:  Hit!
As I mentioned earlier, along with an unhealthy addiction to collecting tote bags, I also hoard blank books.  I don’t know if it’s because I’m a writer or I just like fancy pants stationary.  This book has a lovely print and is a nice medium size.  I may end up giving this as a gift because I know someone who would just adore it.

Scrub
Goldfaden MD – Doctor’s Scrub Ruby Crystal Microderm Exfoliator, 3.5 oz:
 (Retail: $75.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
I love exfoliators and this claims to “improve skin tone and evenness” and “reduce pore size” without unwanted chemicals.  Sign me up!  I would probably never have splurged on such an expensive scrub, so this was a great addition to the box and I’m uber excited to try it.

Cookies
Buerre & Sel Rosemary Parmesan Cookies:
(Retail: $10.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
The description says these savory cookies are made with freshly grated aged parmesan, minced fresh rosemary, chopped toasted pecans and and-harvested fleur de sel from Guérande.   I don’t know where Guérande is, but it sounds fabulous and mystical, like you’d magically find yourself there via a secret door in your wardrobe closet.  I’m saving these to serve with white wine and a nice cheese plate.

Stila 1Stila 2 
Stila Luxe Eye Shadow Palette:
(Retail: $45.00)
Verdict:  Gift
I have worn a lot of Stila products and their eyeshadows are my favorite product from them.  This palette has a lot of very practical colors included that most people could get a lot of everyday use from.   That being said, I will most likely end up gifting this since the colors seem to learn toward purplish and with my skin tone and complexion, that usually means they will make me look like someone punched me in the eye.

Full BoxFor this luxe, special edition box I paid $107 (with tax) and even with the sale price on the Cynthia Vincent bag, I got $302.99 worth of product.  From the packaging to the items, this box really did feel luxurious and like an extra special treat.

I only have one complaint and that’s just that box did not scream “Fall Style” to me.  The flowery bubble bath felt like spring, as did the print on the notebook.  The cookies seem like a wasted opportunity to feature fall flavors like apple, pumpkin, cinnamon, maple,etc.  I also expected some cool/cold weather accessories (like hats, gloves, scarves or umbrellas.)  If someone asked me what “season” this box represented Fall would not be my first, or even, second choice.

Putting aside that one issue I loved this box so much I decided to try out a three month Popsugar regular subscription so be on the lookout for more reviews.

So what did you all think of the box?  Did it feel like “Fall style” to you?

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $35.00
3 Months – $95.00
6 Months – $190.00
12 Months – $380

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off sitewide
MUSTHAVE10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

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