Thursday, February 6, 2014

Popsugar Must Have Box February 2014 Review

I have been insanely excited to try the Popsugar Must Have Box for months now. From everything I've seen, it looked like the subscription box that included the coolest products! I love how it's usually a mix of home, beauty, and gourmet food products. I've even been keeping a Pinterest board of all my favorite products I've seen bloggers post from Must Have Boxes! 

Despite my enthusiasm, I had a lot of difficulty justifying the $40 + tax to buy a mystery box of items. So, when I saw a discount code for 50% off on MySubscriptionAddiction, I decided to finally give it a try.

I found this product to be a severe disappointment. What is so special about a bag of heart shaped red hots? They are not gourmet or unique in any way. They're basically what some people would call "penny candy" or "pic n' mix". The smallest order you can place on Sugarwish is for a box that contains 4 bags of candy (1/4 lb each) for $25. So, this sample was 1/4 of a box. I suppose the start-up is a nice idea. However, I think it would be much nicer if they offered something more unique to send to your friends or loved ones. They also included a 20% off voucher for a future purchase. Personally, I don't think I will use it. Value: $6.25

I had never heard of this brand before and do not typically shop for face serums. So, I was not overly excited about this product. I looked up the brand and it is not available anywhere except on Nourish Organic's website. I tried it on part of my face and the texture felt extremely oily. The apricot + rosehip fragrance sounded like it would be nice but it actually smells more like an artificial citrus + vanilla sort of scent. Not at all what I expected. It may have some great effects on my skin, but I do not think I would ever purchase it at the retail value. Value: $23.99.

At the highest value, it is pretty clear that this jewelry roll is meant to be the highlight of the box. I love Gorjana, so I was pretty excited to see the brand included in my box. Unfortunately, I did not find this jewelry roll to be of the same quality as their jewelry. It is made of a very cheap feeling polyurethane with a plain cotton lining. There are not any special hooks or snaps to hold jewelry in place inside the roll. It just consists of 3 zipper pockets sort of like a pencil case might have. The pockets are each pretty flat so I think they could only hold 1 necklace each or a couple pairs of earrings. I don't know who would purchase this at the full price, as I don't think I could get $20 for it on Ebay. Regardless, I'll probably use it for some short trips. Value: $45

There was also a Gorjana Griffin Voucher for $25 off any purchase included in the box. The offer cannot be combined with any discount codes, applied to shipping/tax, or used on sale merchandise. Since Gorjana has sales all the time, this voucher might actually encourage you to spend more money than you would if you just purchased something in a regular sale. I see it works on some of the $35 rings though, so I might use it for something like that.

This exact product is not currently available at any online retailer, even at ModelCo's own shop. There is just a trio set with a mascara priced at $49. I typically like subscription boxes because they introduce me to a new product I can then order/buy somewhere if I really love it. So, I was pretty disappointed to see that they included a product that isn't available for purchase anywhere, unless I pay $49 for the whole set. It really is just a sample.

I have received a ModelCo Lip Gloss (without the lipstick) before in a similar color in a Birchbox. Although I don't know much about the brand and it is virtually impossible to find anywhere except the brand's site and Amazon, I actually really like the lip gloss I already have. It's one of the best I've tried. It adds a lot of moisture and shine to my lips. So, I think I'll really like this product too. The lipstick part does look a little dark / brownish though. Value: Unknown - $17?

I have never heard much about NCLA. So, I was not overly excited about this nail polish. I have purchased cheaper boxes like Sample Society and Glossybox and received nail polishes by better known brands like Butter London and Zoya. However, it looks like it will be a high quality polish too. In my opinion the color I received is quite off-putting. It is a very deep blood red that looks kind of goth to be honest. I think when I put it on my nails it will look almost black. It's really not for me and I think I will probably give it to someone else who would actually wear it. Value: $16.

This candle smells absolutely lovely. I adore the Peony scent. It is so feminine and smells like a solid perfume. However, the travel candle is quite small at 2 oz. You can tell by the comparison to the nail polish bottle in the above photo. For a brand that isn't as well known as something like Illume, and that is only available on the brand's own site and Amazon, I would have thought that Popsugar would send us a full size candle. Value: $11.

This product was described as a "Special Extra". So, I understand that it is supposed to be viewed as sort of a freebie add-on. However, I think the Dial product is a total miss for the Popsugar audience. I think most subscribers would agree that they purchase these boxes to treat themselves with luxurious products from well established or hip new brands. I don't think this audience would expect or particularly appreciate a drugstore brand product in this box. I also hadn't seen any drugstore brand featured in a Popsugar Must Have Box before so this was really unprecedented and unexpected. Value: estimated at $2.97.

The Verdict: Having seen the amazing brands and products included in previous Must Have Boxes, I'm not going to lie to you...I was severely disappointed with this box. I thought it would be a special way to treat myself for Valentine's Day. Previous boxes had included some of my favorite brands like: May Designs, Lulu Frost, Rifle Paper Co, Fatty Sundays, Land's End, Illume, Baublebar, and House of Harlow. Many have even included books that I would have loved to receive.

I've already seen several reviews from others who were equally disappointed with this box. In the end, I definitely got my $20 + tax worth. The items in the box had a retail value equating close to $122.25 + the vouchers. However, I'm not sure that's $20 I would have spent on these items. Definitely not $40. I certainly wasn't convinced to keep my subscription going for next month at the full price. I think I will continue to discover new and creative gift ideas through Must Have Box reviews; however, it would take a lot of work to convince me to spend $40+tax on another one. I'd rather save the money by not subscribing and purchase the products I like from the reviews on my own - at full price. In the end, I think I would save money by doing that. This was also much more of a beauty focused box than a home/gift focused box - 4 out of the 7 products were beauty products. Since I already subscribe to Birchbox, I was not looking for another beauty box this month and was really looking forward to something different. 

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