I received a $40-off coupon in my October Pop Sugar Must Have box to try out a pretty cool-looking food subscription service called Hello Fresh. Since I am addicted to subscription boxes I naturally jumped on the opportunity to try it out. I also thought it was pretty unique, and definitely unique to me personally because I’m not currently subscribed to any food subscription boxes. I figured there was no harm in trying it out and the $40-off coupon made it cheap enough that I wouldn’t care about the money lost if I ended up hating it (I spent $29 total).
So I took a few months off from blogging because I had a lottt going on. I had computer issues towards the end of the summer, and then I started working a new job with crazy hours so as much as I tried, I still couldn’t sit down and write up the posts that I wanted to do. I hardly even did my makeup over the last few months — so I had boxes and boxes of new makeup piling up on the floor of my bedroom and I wasn’t even using any of it! But I am back now, with a MUCH better work schedule (yay) and I have sooooo much to blog about. I will definitely be making AT LEAST one blog post a day from now on.
Pop Sugar sent out their October Must Have boxes a little late this month, so I just received my box a few days ago. I usually like to get subscription box reviews up the day that I receive them but I figured that since I took so much time off from blogging that it really doesn’t matter this month! And this month’s Must Have box was pretty cool so I definitely wanted to review it.
Since Pop Sugar had some issues this month the Must Have boxes were shipped out pretty late and I received mine on Thursday, one day before Halloween. I got it just in time to try out these Halloween nail decals, which came with a sheet of four different designs, and each design has six decals. Only two of the designs are really Halloween-ish (the pumpkin and spiderwebs) so I’m definitely going to try out the other two throughout the month. They’re fall-ish colors, so they would be cute for Thanksgiving too.
Nailed Kit Halloween Nail Decals ($8 for a sheet of 24 decals; nailedkit.com) are non-toxic, “easy-to-apply” nail-art decals which were designed exclusively this month for Pop Sugar Must Have. I always have a hard time with things like this, which is probably mostly because I’m always super impatient and I never apply these things correctly … so my decals fell off within one hour of applying them. I’m going to try them again with the orange designs and actually take my time applying them — and then I’ll post some pics if it goes well!
Pop Sugar usually sends out a food/candy item in their monthly Must Have boxes, so this month everyone received these pumpkin spice malt balls from Dean & DeLuca. I love pumpkin spice anything, so I loved these!
Dean & DeLuca Pumpkin Spice Malt Balls ($5.75 for 5.50 oz.; deananddeluca.com) are gourmet malt balls that “capture the flavor of Fall,” made with real pumpkin spices and dipped in dark chocolate.
This next item was one of my favorites this month. It’s a super cool chalkboard candle that comes with a piece of chalk so you can write whatever you want. As you can see, I’m not the best at writing with chalk (I broke the piece of chalk already), but you can write (or draw!), erase, and then write something new!
Mine Design Chalkboard Candle ($24 for one candle; minedesignhome.com) is a reusable and rewritable chalkboard soy ceramic candle. It comes in the cute ceramic design that was in the October Must Have box, as well as a tin chalkboard design which is smaller and a little cheaper.
A good photo frame is always a great thing to have, and this is one product that I honestly don’t really buy for myself (and I don’t have an acrylic one like this, so yay!).
Isaac Jacobs International Acrylic Photo Frame ($36 for one frame; isaacjacobs.com) is described as a “durable and chic frame” that is “the perfect way to display your special memories for years to come.” You can even use this as a double-sided frame and display two photos in it — all you have to do is slip the photo in the center of the frame, and done! Super cute and easy (and no glass for klutzes like me to break!).
I loveeee fancy new soaps and shower gels so I was super happy to see this one by K. Hall Designs as a “Special Extra” item this month. Every time I am running low on soap/shower gel, I always find one in a monthly subscription box, it’s an awesome cycle 🙂 I don’t think I have actually went out and bought a soap or shower gel for myself in about a year now.
K. Hall Designs Shoreline Shea Butter/Olive Oil Bar Soap ($10 for 8 oz.; khalldesigns.com) is a pure vegetable, triple-milled soap enhanced with shea butter and olive oil to moisturize and protect the skin. The half pound oversized soap bar is “rich and creamy” and it will last longer than your average bar soap.
The next item was this cute pair of combed cotton socks in a leopard print design. I could always use a new pair of socks (somehow I end up losing mine all the time — and I have no idea how), so these are always great to have.
Happy Socks Animal Socks ($12 for one pair; happysocks.com) are “crafted with the finest combed cotton” to “ensure that only the highest-quality material will hug the feet of men and women alike.” Happy Socks come in a bunch of different animal print colors and designs, and the pair that I received in this month’s Must Have box were dark grey with black and red leopard print spots. Not something I would necessarily buy for myself, but that’s what I love about subscription boxes — finding new and unique products that I don’t already own 🙂
This product was probably my favorite item this month — a super long-lasting eyeliner pencil from Butter London. I love Butter London polishes and I was super excited to see this pencil in my October Must Have box because I have never really tried any of their beauty products before (except for the manicure and pedicure products). I only tried this out once really quickly yesterday but I definitely loved the way it glided on so easily and the color (“Earl Grey”) is an awesome smoky grey.
butter LONDON WINK Eye Pencil ($18 for .04 oz.; butterlondon.com) is a blendable eye pencil that sets after 30 seconds, so it’s supposed to stay put all day. Pop Sugar sent out the color “Earl Grey” which is described as a “steel grey shimmer,” and they come in a bunch of other colors too.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
There were more products than usual in October’s Must Have box so that was a plus! This wasn’t my absolute favorite month for Pop Sugar Must Have, but I really liked most of the items and I will definitely be putting them all to use. I also forgot to add above that there was a second “Special Extra” in this month’s box: a $40-off coupon for an Express Box from Blue Jean Bar. It’s a monthly subscription box that sends out hand-picked clothing items based on your style preferences and size. I’m definitely trying this one out! I love getting discount coupons for new subscription boxes so I can try them out 🙂
Pricing & Availability:
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly beauty, fashion and lifestyle subscription service that costs about $40 per month (I am charged $43.39 per month, which includes tax and shipping to. To subscribe click here, or visit musthave.popsugar.com for more information!
I always look forward to my Pop Sugar Must Have box every month because it’s always jam-packed with sweet stuff … all full-sized items ranging from makeup to fashion, home decor and even food. This month’s box was pretty cool, but nothing really blew me away, except for the Too Faced eyeshadow palette, which alone made the whole box worth it, especially value-wise (the box costs about $40/month and the Too Faced palette costs $36).
Every Pop Sugar Must Have box comes with a card detailing every item sent out that month and a message from Pop Sugar Founder and Editor-In-Chief LIsa Sugar.
The first item this month was a cute set of dish towels that I really don’t need … but I’m passing them along to my BFF and her awesome roommate because I know they will definitely put them to use.
Fresh Pastry Stand Totally Awesome Tea Towel Set ($18 for two dish towels; etsy.com/shop/freshpastrystand) are a set of dish towels that are handmade from a water-based ink and completely lint-free, each with a bold graphic print.
I couldn’t really get a good photo of these towels, but I did take a photo of the card that came with this month’s Pop Sugar box and it shows how these towels look when they are folded properly, showing the “Totally” and “Awesome” prints (above).
The next item was the “Must Have Food” item of the month: a trail mix from Nature Box created exclusively for Pop Sugar. Pop Sugar Must Have often includes healthy, good-for-you snacks in their monthly boxes and I usually enjoy them. This one was okay … It was kind of bland, but it’s great for extra nutrients and an energy boost mid-day. I think they should have added another fruity element, perhaps dried apricots or something, just to round it out. They kinda skimped on the dried cranberries in this bag and if they added more of them it really would have made the mix a lot yummier.
Nature Box Pop Sugar Must Have Mix ($5 for 4.5 oz.; naturebox.com/popsugar) is a custom trail mix created exclusively for Pop Sugar Must Have. This specific mix isn’t available online, but you can join Nature Box for $19.95/month and receive a bunch of healthy snacks each month. This mix was a “balanced medley” of almonds, soybeans, corn and cranberries and, like all Nature Box snacks, it contains no artificial colors or flavors, no corn syrup and no hydrogenated oils.
This super cute shopping bag, created by Lauren Conrad, conveniently folds up into a wallet-sized zipper pouch and then you can unzip it and it will fold out into a full-sized (rather large) shopper (below). The design is super cute and I am loving the mint green color for spring, so I will definitely put this item to use.
Blue Avocado (Eco) Shopper ($25; blueavocado.com) is a “collapsible tote” made from upcycled plastic bottles that is “perfect for carrying just about anything.” It’s really big .. so it can definitely carry a lot, and the design is super cute. Plus, it’s made from 50% post-consumer recycled bottles and 1% of profits goes to ocean research and conservation.
This palette from Too Faced is awesome and it totally made the whole April Pop Sugar Must Have Box worth it, especially value-wise. I actually was never really a big fan of Too Faced eyeshadows, but these are wonderful and the whole palette includes great shades that are perfect for day-to-night wear.
Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette ($36 for nine eyeshadows; toofaced.com) contains nine blendable, neutral eyeshadow shades for “every age and skin tone.” This palette comes with a “Glamour Guide” that shows you how to use the shadows for three different looks and three of the shadows are brand-new Too Faced shades. I was pretty impressed with this palette — pretty neutrals that blend really well and look great for any type of event, school, work, etc. for both day and night.
I’m a writer and I’m constantly taking notes and jotting things down everywhere I go so I love it when I receive a new notebook. I always get excited even buying new notebooks for myself since I’m such a nerd so it’s even more exciting when I get surprised by one in a subscription box. This little notebook is the perfect size for on-the-go note-taking and it has pretty little pages with a silver trim and a ribbon so that you can bookmark whatever page you like. This particular notebook was designed exclusively for Pop Sugar, but you can purchase the same size and personalize it with whatever word, initials or saying you want printed on the front.
Graphic Image Pocket Notes ($20-$36; graphicimage.com) is a take-anywhere notebook with silver edges, acid-free paper and a flexible cover to keep your life in order “the smart and stylish way.” Graphic Image’s notebooks are leather and they can be personalized.
The last product in the April Pop Sugar Must Have box was this beautifully scented hand soap by Caldrea. Caldrea Rosewater Driftwood Hand Soap ($10.50 for 10.8 oz.; caldrea.com) contains a combination of floral aromas and spicy cedar undertones that leaves hands feeling soft, clean and fragrant. This is a gentle yet hardworking soap free of any harmful chemicals. It contains aloe vera gel, olive oil and essential oils to cleanse and condition and it comes in seven different scents (including this “Rosewater Driftwood” scent).
All in all I think that this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have box was pretty good. I loved the Too Faced eyeshadow, which, at $36, is nearly the cost of the entire subscription box for the month, so the value alone is extremely worth it. I loved the gentle Caldrea soap, it smelled amazing, and I loved the little notebook and shopper. I’m passing the dish towels along to my BFF and her roommate because I know they will put them to use, and the Nature Box mix was okay … definitely packed with healthy, good-for-you stuff, but I just found it to be a little too bland for my taste.
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly lifestyle subscription service featuring beauty products, fashion, accessories, home decor, food and more. It costs $39.95 per month with the option of upgrading your subscription and pay every 3, 6 or 12 months for a lower cost. To subscribe click here or visit musthave.popsugar.com for more information!
Pop Sugar Must Have is usually the subscription box that I look forward to the most each month since it contains all full-sized items ranging from makeup to fashion to lifestyle and even food and the value of the items in the box always exceeds the $40/month price. Some months are better than others and I found this month’s box to be a little on the meh side, especially compared to February’s box (which I loved). Either way, this month enabled me to discover an awesome serum from Jurlique and a cute good luck charm necklace that I’ve been wearing a lot already.
Pop Sugar Must Have arrives with a larger-than-average box each month to hold all of the awesomely full-sized items and it comes with a card that details every product featured that month.
The “Must Have Fashion” item this month was this blue ikat print scarf from Brokedown. Brokedown Blue Ikat Scarf ($72; brokedownclothing.com) is a soft and lightweight “easy to wear” scarf that was originally designed exclusively for Pop Sugar subscribers (that’s what it said on the card). The Brokedown website has it available to buy right now so I guess it’s a newer item. I’m not really that crazy about this color, it’s a little too Civil War-y for my wardrobe, but, at $72, I’m really not going to complain. If I can’t make it work I’m sure my mom or one of my friends will find it useful.
The “Must Have Beauty” item this month, and my personal favorite item, was this awesome face serum from Jurlique. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum ($54 for 1 oz.; jurlique.com) is a “youth defense concentrate serum” that features a “propriety active complex” — Naturadiance PB18+ which helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, helps increase elasticity, restores radiance and increases hydration.
This serum is also formulated with antioxidants to “create a natural defense shield to help protect against environmental aggressors” and leaves skin “visibly glowing, hydrated and younger-looking.” I have had the worst case of dry skin this winter and this serum does a great job at keeping my skin hydrated and all-around better looking all day.
The second “Must Have Fashion” item this month was a cute little lucky horseshoe necklace. Dogeared Lucky Horseshoe Make A Wish Necklace ($30; dogeared.com) is a gold-dipped horseshoe charm on a tobacco-colored silk thread. The idea is that the gold charm will “lock in any good luck that comes your way” and invites good fortune into your life. I’m all about lucky charms and this simple necklace goes with anything. I’ve been layering it with another gold charm necklace pretty much every other day since I got it.
The “Must Have Home” item this month was this funny little elephant ring tree. I actually just got a new jewelry/ring tree on sale at Target, but I have a lot of jewelry so I will definitely be putting this little guy to use. It’s also very sleek looking and pretty much goes with anything, so that’s a plus. BaubleBar Elephant Ring Tree ($12; baublebar.com) is described as a “charming BaubleBar accessory” that will make sure you always keep track of your rings and adds some “pizzazz” (funny word) to your side table or vanity.
This item is currently sold out on the BaubleBar website, but you can get on the wait list to score one. BaubleBar also makes a bunch of other cute little ring trees (the bunny rabbit is my favorite) — it seems like they are all sold out for now (maybe they’re new items?), but they all have a wait list option so they will definitely be available sometime soon.
Sometimes Pop Sugar includes a “Must Have Fitness” item in their monthly box and this month they sent out this hot pink mini fitness ball, perfect a bunch of different kinds of exercises. ActiveForever Fusion Exercise Ball ($9.95; activeforever.com) is described as a “lightweight and portable mini exercise ball,” the standard 7.5″ desired for Pilates and isometrics, abdominal work and “every other type of conditioning, balance training and relaxation exercise you can imagine.” This ball will allow you to achieve a full-body workout and improve your posture, and it provides “an unstable base of support, designed to activate your deepest stabilizing muscles and increase your workout productivity.”
The last two items in the March Pop Sugar Must Have box were these “Must Have Food” items. The Harvest Snaps Lightly Salted Snapea Crisps (~$2-4 for 3.3 oz.; harvestsnaps.com) are crunchy, baked green pea crisps with a little bit of salt to “bring out the flavor” that are a healthy alternative to the usual potato chips. They have less fat and sodium and more fiber than potato chips, higher levels of protein and vitamin B, a lower glycemic index and are gluten-free. They’re actually not that bad, they are super crunchy in a good way and even my dad, who hates “healthy” snacks, likes these.
Nature’s Bakery All-Natural Strawberry Fig Bars (~$2-3; naturesbakery.com) are all-natural, cholesterol-free, dairy-free and kosher fig bars made with minimally-processed ingredients. I can’t find this specific flavor on the Nature’s Bakery website, but it was definitely yummy and pretty filling, too. If I find these bars in the store I am definitely going to pick them up. I ate it as soon as I opened up the March Pop Sugar Must Have box (I was pretty hungry), so that’s why I could only take a photo of the wrapper. 🙂
Pop Sugar Must Have is a monthly beauty, fashion and lifestyle subscription box that costs $39.95 per month. To subscribe through my referral code and receive a discount on your first box click here, or, for more information, check out MustHave.PopSugar.com.
I always get super excited when my Pop Sugar Must Have box arrives on my doorstep. This is definitely one of the more pricey monthly subscription boxes at $39.95/month (a little cheaper if you choose any of the multiple month subscriptions), but the value of the items in the box always exceeds the subscription price by a lot. This month’s box would have cost about $122 if you purchased all of the items separately, so it’s really an awesome deal.
The idea behind this subscription service is that Pop Sugar sends out “Must Haves” for the month, including beauty, fashion, food, home, reading and more. It’s like an “everything” subscription, I guess you would call it a “lifestyle” subscription, that features pretty awesome stuff every month. Every person gets the same exact box each month, and the content of the box is pretty much a surprise until it arrives on your doorstep.
The mystery factor can lend itself to a bit of disappointment, since you don’t know what you’re paying for until you receive it, but if you understand how these boxes work, and how every box can’t possibly have something you absolutely love every single time, then you should enjoy it. Besides, they send out enough items that if you’re really disappointed in every single one then perhaps Pop Sugar Must Have isn’t the box for you.
This amazing, wondrous, where-have-you-been-all-my-life?, little tube was my absolute favorite item in this month’s box and probably the best item I have ever received in any of Pop Sugar’s Must Have boxes or any subscription box ever. Yes, I really mean it. I honestly haven’t read many reviews about this stuff yet so I’m not sure what other people thought of it but I can say that it worked SO well for me and my skin type and I am so shocked that I found a product in a subscription box that has instantly become a favorite and staple in my beauty routine.
I really don’t go into subscription boxes with high expectations and I definitely don’t expect to love each item I receive; as I said before, many subscription boxes are a “mystery” and I have no idea what I’m going to receive, I don’t really get to choose what I want, and boxes like Pop Sugar that send out the same items to every subscriber have to appeal to a huge range of women with different skin types, skin/hair/eye colors, different interests and different makeup/beauty/fashion needs in general.
So, with all of these facts taken into consideration, I am seriously so surprised that I found this cleansing mask and I can’t say enough how much I LOVE it. Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask ($40 for 4 oz.; Malinandgoetz.com) is like one of those multi-tasking products that is also wonderful for lazy girls (like me) and provides some serious, NOTICEABLE, results.
I will probably review this product in a post of its own since I love it so much, but, for now, I’m going to rave a little more about it in this post right here. I’m 26 years old now and I have been breaking out more than I ever have my entire life. I think my new puppy might be part of the reason (hugging and cuddling him and rubbing my entire head on his face … he is so cute), especially since my mom is allergic to dog fur. I am not allergic per se, but I think that my skin might not be able to handle anything on his fur (like, after he rolls around outside … should have been more obvious to me), so I think my skin reacts by breaking out a little bit. Either way, I am NOT happy with it.
What I am happy with (ecstatic, even), is that Malin & Goetz’s Detox Face Mask almost instantly cleared up my tiny blemishes upon first use of the product. You don’t need to wet your face before applying (which is perfect for lazy/late nights), you just apply a layer to your skin, let the product oxidize and do its job (it’s so cool to watch the bubbles form up and then dissipate), and then either rinse off or pat off with a warm washcloth.
This product works in multiple ways for people with different skin types; it uses antioxidants and vitamins to seal in hydration, it gets deep into pores and clears out all the icky stuff, and it even brightens skin. You can use it for deep cleansing and hydration, or if you have oiler skin you can use it for night-time deep cleansing and oil control. Read the instructions because you apply it and take it off differently for each one of its different uses.
After trying so many different products to calm the recent breakouts on my face, and finding that most of the products hardly worked, I was so, so happy to find that this cleansing mask worked almost instantly. I figure that any beauty product has to be pretty powerful if I see near-instant results. I’m not sure how it would work for someone with skin different than mine, but it says it’s supposed to work with every different skin type. Either way, I personally think this stuff is awesome and I will be buying it every single time my bottle runs out.
The next product in this month’s Pop Sugar Must Have box were these cute little tech gloves by Jack + Lucy. I can’t seem to find these gloves anywhere online to buy them on their own, but Liz over at My Subscription Addiction (one of my favorite blogs) estimated the value of the gloves to be around $25.
These gloves are cute, practical, in a color that goes with everything, and works with touch-screen phones or tablets thanks to their special finger panels. I heard that a lot of people weren’t too happy with these gloves because they live in warm weather regions, and that I can totally understand, but for me they are awesome in New York’s single-digit weather this week. I can also always use another pair of gloves since I constantly lose the ones I already have, which is why I never spend much money on gloves. Good thing I got these for free (sort of).
Pop Sugar usually includes a “Must Have Food” in their monthly boxes (actually, it might even be included in every box, but I’m not 100% sure), and I almost always enjoy the food choice they include. For example, in December everyone received Ghirardelli chocolate squares which were yummy and for Halloween everyone received a version of a marshmallow square with Halloween sprinkles. I’m actually excited to see what they include this February, hoping for a Valentine’s Day candy theme to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Besides sweets, Pop Sugar often sends out other treats, like this month’s Pipcorn. PipSnacks White Truffle Pipcorn ($18 for three 4.5-oz. bags; ManyKitchens.com) is an all-natural, gluten-free, whole grain mini popcorn in a yummy white truffle flavor. I love truffle anything, so I enjoyed the flavor, but I didn’t quite get the mini popcorn thing. The whole idea is to make popcorn that’s easier to eat/doesn’t get stuck in your teeth but I actually found that this was kind of harder to eat and the mini kernels got stuck in my teeth more than regular popcorn would. Also, sizing down on popcorn pieces leaves you without that fluffy popcorn feeling — these kinda tasted like I was snacking on something small and non-puffy like nuts or something. Either way, it’s cool to try a full-sized bag like this.
I love when Pop Sugar includes books in their monthly Must Have boxes, whether they be regular fiction/non-fiction books or recipe books … any kind of book is fine with me. I am a huge book nerd, so I was happy to see some sort of book in this month’s box.
I have to say I never really jump on these trendy diet bandwagons, especially juicing. I don’t even think that detox juicing is that good for your body in the long-run, but I haven’t done enough research myself to come to a serious conclusion (and I do realize that the detox thing is only a part of this whole juicing craze). Either way, The Juice Generation by Eric Helms ($15.93 on Amazon, $20 at most other retailers; Amazon.com) contains enough regular smoothie recipes for me to find it useful. I wouldn’t buy this book myself, but it’s always great to get a new recipe book for free (well, sort of … as part of the nearly $40/month I spend on the Pop Sugar Must Have box).
This book contains “100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies” (which is also the book’s subtitle), as well as tips and information on different super-foods. I will definitely be trying out some of the smoothie recipes soon and sharing the finished products here on my blog.
The other “Must Have Beauty” item this month were these cute mini nail files from Revlon. Revlon by Marchesa Box O’Files ($3.49 for pack of six nail files; Target.com) are brand-new, easily portable, high-quality nail files. I can’t find them anywhere online to purchase but Target’s website has a listing for them, which says they are “not sold online,” so they must be available in Target stores.
They come in three different pretty patterns (the one I received is shown in the photo) and I found that they actually work quite well, judging from the one time I have used them so far. I can always use more nail files as mine are constantly worn down and/or get lost, so this was a good addition to the Must Have box for me.
And the last item from this month’s box is this cute stand-up desk calendar. Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around the World Desk Calendar ($16 for one 6″ x 7.5″ calendar; RiflePaperCo.com) contains 12 “charming illustrations” of international cities like New York, Paris and Istanbul. It’s a cute little addition to my desk, and another one of those items that I wouldn’t necessarily buy for myself, but I will make use out of, so I’m glad it appeared in a monthly subscription box.
All in all I enjoyed this month’s Must Have box. I pretty much enjoy every Pop Sugar Must Have box since they send out a bunch of different products which are always “full-sized” products, so it’s a nice change of pace from some of the other boxes I subscribe to where I would mostly receive small or deluxe-sized sample items.
Pop Sugar Must Have costs $39.99 per month if you choose the month-to-month payment option. The price-per-month is lowered if you buy in bulk (i.e. 3, 6 or 12-month subscriptions). To subscribe to the Pop Sugar Must Have box click here, or for more information check out musthave.popsugar.com.