Thursday, January 3, 2013

December 2012 PopSugar Must Have Box! AND Luxury Must Have Box.

This was my first time getting a Popsugar Box. I was really interested in it because it wasn't a one tone kind of box with a specific theme like only having beauty items or only having food items. It's a lifestyle box that includes everything from accessories to books to food to household items. Of course, it's a $35 a month box, which is absolutely nuts for a college girl with no real income to have, which is why I didn't sign up for it before.

So seeing as it was December, I felt the urge to try it out since I had a suspicion that the December box would have to be awesome, being the holidays and all. AND in addition to subscribing to the regular Must Have Box, I decided to purchase a luxury box that they were offering as well for the holiday. I really couldn't help myself. They just made it seem so special since only 1,000 were supposed to be sold (although it's debatable if they really had capped the number at that - story later).

Quick rundown of things you should know about Popsugar's Must Have Box:

- $35 a month (It used to be $30, but I guess they've bumped it up this year)
- Lifestyle box for women
- Referral program

Popsugar Must Have Box

Pretty big box that came. Luxury box was even BIGGER.

I know you can't really see it, but I just wanted to show you a picture of the fold out brochure it comes with the features all the items. I like the layout. It's very professional and helps you appreciate the products that come in the box with details. Now, if only they had included the retail prices of all the items, that would have given me less work to do. :)

December's regular Must Have Popsugar box featured: 

Bodum Bistro Mugs, Tea Forte Sampler, Jaboneria Mirianella Soap in Amendra, Pinch Provision Minimergency Kit in Hot Pink, Bogdon's Peppermint Pole Candy, and GoSwype Cleaning Cloth Wipe

Total Value:
(And that is exactly how it should be, ~3x the price you pay for it)
$117.98 (counting the $30 Rent The Runway Gift code)

Bodum Bistro Mugs - $40.00 for set of two

I was pretty pleased to see these mugs in the box. They're really pretty and I love drinking tea! Plus, it was the perfect month to have these in, since it's so cold out. I fell in love with them even more because you can actually hold the outside of cup with your whole hand, which I can't do with any of my other mugs. Since it's double walled, you can't feel the hot liquid inside. It's a little warm, but that's actually a nice feeling on a cold night. They seem pretty fragile, more than a regular glass, I guess because they are hollow, so I feel like I need to be more cautious with them. It also says that you can put cold liquid in there and it won't cause any condensation on the outside. I like!

Tea Forte Petite Ribbon Box Sampler - $15.00 for 10 pyramids of different teas

I was pleasantly surprised to see Tea Forte in the box, since I used to actually buy these a while back. They're very elegant and pretty. The tea comes in a little pyramid shaped vessel and it has a little wick on top with a paper leaf. The tea is very mild too. We've tried to Green Mango Peach and Jasmine Green teas so far. I liked the Green Mango Peach, but the Jasmine was a bit too bitter for me. I believe I liked African Solstice before when I drank it too, though it's been a while. It came with 10 different teas, listed below. I can't wait to try them all!

one pyramid infuser each: Earl Grey, Black Currant, White Ambrosia, White Ginger Pear, Green Mango Peach, Jasmine Green, African Solstice, Chamomile Citron, Raspberry Nectar, Lemon Ginger

Here's a picture of the Jasmine Green in my Bodum Mug.
Isn't it pretty? ^_^

Jaboneria Miranella Soap in Amendra - $14.00 for 6 oz

I haven't had the chance to use this yet, but it smells nice, although I wish it had more coconut and less sandalwood fragrance. I would probably never ever pay $14 for a soap of this size, so I'll use it tonight and indulge and let you know what I think. It better be damn good soap for it's price! It says that the rejuvenating version that I received in my box has anti-aging properties and a bit of exfoliant.

.: Update - Used it last night, and it is a very nice soap. It did leave a sort of film on my skin though afterward, kind of like if you ran your hand down your arm, it's not smooth but kind of does a slip and stop kind of thing. I hope that makes sense. Anyway, the smell is nice, and it's HUGE bar. It's gray in color with a little bit of sandyness in it, I believe that's for the exfoliating properties. It's a nice soap. Hopefully it lasts long! :.

Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit in Hot Pink - $13.00

I was actually really excited to see this in the box because I've always wanted one of these but could never bring myself to pay $13.00 for it! I always thought, what if I never use anything in it? But now that I have it, it's awesome. Especially being a pharmacy school student who practically lives at school on some days. As you can see, there are so many things in that tiny bag. Although I would have preferred something a little more inconspicuous than hot pink for the bag, I just love the concept of it. I might throw a couple more bandaids in there for good measure. I did need a needle to stitch up the doggy bed for Boomer and Sookie, and remembered I had a needle in this little baggie, so it's already come in handy! Not sure if I could get away with bringing a sewing needle onto an airplane, but at least this way, I'll always be prepared. This would make a great gift for any bridesmaid, and I actually think they make a men's version too. Oh, and the bag is about the size of the palm of my hand, so it's really small.

Bogdon's Peppermint Pole Candy - $3.99 for 21 sticks

I think I've said it before in one of my other posts that I love peppermint and chocolate. These were delicious by itself, but I've also tried it with the peppermint hot chocolate mix I made this Christmas, and it goes GREAT with that too. Stirring in the stick till the end melts and then eating the rest of the candy while livening up my hot chocolate was really fun and relaxing. At 17 calories a stick, I really didn't feel bad about having something so delicious and sweet.

GoSwype Cleaning Cloth Wipe - $1.99

This was a cute and practical product that I'll probably throw into my purse once I get the chance to clean it out. It's true that every girl needs to wipe off her cell phone screen after she talks on the phone with it, and with all the texting and facebooking we do on our phones now, it's good to wipe off those germies once in a while. I'm hoping that it works better than my shirt. I'll update once I actually try it. :)

Overall, I really liked everything that came in December's box! I know that some people were very upset with it not coming on time and disappointed in the products, but I guess I was just one of the demographics they were going after this time. Oh! And I almost forgot, it came with a special code for $30 off order just for popsugar must have subscribers (it says you have to be one) for Rent The Runway, which is kind of like a service that let's you "rent" designer clothes for about a week. I haven't tried looking yet, but I will probably use it in March before it expires to rent something nice to wear for a wedding I'm going to. Based on December's box, I would keep my subscription to Popsugar. In reality, I will have to check with Henry if I can keep it or not since I said this would only be a temporary thing for Christmas. You do get about three times the amount of stuff than you paid for it, so I believe that it's worth it. And these are all things that I would use up in my everyday life, which Henry is all for. In all actuality, although he wants me to be more girly, he'd probably make me cancel my beauty boxes if I wasn't really using all the things I got in them, and let me keep this one. If you'd like to sign up for a Popsugar must have box, click this link here and use the code "REFER5""REFERFRIENDS" and it's good until 2/28/13. You can get $5 off your first subscription and you'll help me earn more boxes at the same time! We both win! Plus, I work really hard on these reviews, and it'd be nice to know that people are reading and appreciate the effort. :)

PopSugar Must Have Luxury Box

Just wanted to throw in some pictures of the luxury brochure. It's glossier and nicer than the regular must have brochure, and instead of being foldable, it has pages that you flip like a booklet.

Featured in my December's Must Have Luxury Box:

Vosges Mini Chocolate Bar Library, Compagnie De Provence Liquid Hand Soap in Fig of Provence, Epicuren After Bath Moisturizer in Papaya Pineapple, Heather Belle "Niki" Cuff in Polished Brass, Jewelmint Brass Envelope Clutch, Tocca Scented Candle in Kyoto, and Deborah Lippmann Lip & Nail Duet in Midnight Confessions

Total Value:

Vosges Mini Chocolate Bar Library - $25.00

I couldn't find this variety of library under her website, so I wonder if Popsugar did a mix and match and just requested a certain type of chocolate, or if it was a holiday theme. In any case, I love Vosges! It's one of my favorite boutiques to go to when I'm in Vegas. I would have loved a bacon bar library since those are so delicious, but I was content with being able to try out new flavors. My library came with three types: Peppermint Candy Cane bar (dark chocolate), Amalfi Bar (lemon white chocolate with a hint of spice), Woolloomooloo Bar (deep milk chocolate with coconut, hemp seeds, and macadamia nuts). My favorite was the Woolloomooloo Bar. I thought it would have been the Peppermint Candy Cane but there was just too much dark chocolate and not enough peppermint. The Almafi bar was yummy, but it tasted a little of too much lemon to me and I really prefer the chocolate taste. In any case, I enjoyed this, and will probably end up saving the rest for days when I'm feeling down.

Compagnie De Provence Liquid Hand Soap in Fig of Provence - $24.00

I was a little disappointed to see hand soap as one of the items of the box. Just because I would probably never spend $24 on a bottle of soap. I also wasn't very fond of the scent that I got. It kind of smells like Christmas trees, but it's not. It's also made with vegetable oils, so it's got a very oily feel to it rather than actual soap. I probably wouldn't have bought this particular fragrance, but it does wash your hands nicely, I guess. And I've noticed that because it uses oils, it doesn't dry out your hands afterwards, so that's a plus.

Epicuren After Bath Moisturizer in Papaya Pineapple - $38

At first, I was a little disappointed in seeing lotion in the box because there are so many great lotions out there with cheap price tags. But when I read the brochure and trying to find the price, I realized that this particular brand was only sold to spas and salons to use, so that was kind of neat that we got to have something that isn't available to the masses. It's a nice lotion... a little greasy at first. It doesn't absorb right away. I actually got a little annoyed because it left greasy fingerprints on my keyboard after I applied. I do like the smell though. It reminds me of Hawaii. I've lived there practically my whole life. It's a nice lotion, but I probably wouldn't purchase a bottle for the price. Maybe I can get a massage from Henry with it for a real spa experience. :)

Heather Belle "Niki" Cuff in Polished Brass - $52.00

This took me FOREVER to get out of the little velvet baggy it was in. It was just too tight. Too tight! Anyway, it's pretty. I am not an accessory kind of girl, so I don't have anything like it. I'm not sure if I would ever purchase this for this price either though. It kind of has this gladiator, cleopatra, rock star vibe to it. I will try sporting it with the envelope clutch (see below) I got and see if I get any comments. In the brochure, it says that Charlize Theron sports this same cuff, so that makes me feel sorta special to have it. Charlize Theron definitely knows her fashion.

Jewelmint Clutch in Bronze Envelope - $60.00 
(wasn't sure if it was $30, since a subscription to Jewelmint is that much, but that's what ebay says, so I'll go with that)

At first, I was a little iffy about this "clutch" because it has two hinged triangles on the side of it intended for a chain or strap of some sort, but there was no chain or strap included. That would have been nice. And it seemed a little impractical because it closes using a magnet, and with my clumsiness, I could just imagine all my stuff spilling out onto the street and my struggling to pick everything up. These are the kinds of things a clumsy girl thinks about. Anyway, I think maybe if I could get a strap for it, it would be really cute to wear on a shopping day out or even out to a club. I even think I lucked out, because out of all the four possible clutches I could have gotten, I got the one that goes with the cuff that came also. This is very convenient for me since I never buy accessories. Ever. So hopefully I will remember to put these on one day I go shopping. Another thing I didn't like about this clutch though, is that, although it's very cute, it's tiny. I can't even fit my Samsung Galaxy SIII in it. It has a case, but even without the case, there is no way my phone is fitting in there. So I would have to carry my phone in my hand or my pocket if I wanted to use the clutch and that's no bueno for a clumsy girl. There are ups and downs, but I'll update once I actually try it out one day.

Tocca Scented Candle in Kyoto - $38

This smells like peaches and flowers, and you could definitely smell it once you opened up the subscription box. It's a nice scent, but $38 for a candle?! Holy smokes. Diamond Candles come with a ring inside, probably lasts just as long (60 hours), and is cheaper. I've seen these candles before but the price tag just made me turn my head in the other direction. I have a lot of half burned Diamond Candles laying around so it might be a while till I get to this one. I'm sure it burns just fine though.

Deborah Lippmann Lip & Nail Duet in Midnight Confessions - $38.00

I haven't been able to try this out yet but it came with a very sultry pearl crimson nail polish (Bitches Brew), and a sheer berry lipstick (Under a Spell). I might try these on for me and Henry's 4 year anniversary dinner coming up. I'll update with more pictures if I do. Hopefully they will look nice on me. I don't wear darker colors on my lips very much.

Overall, I liked the luxury box, but was a little disappointed in it at the same time. I probably wouldn't purchase it again next year. Some people might have loved it! But I think it was just a little TOO luxurious to me. I guess I just wouldn't pay so much for hand soap, lotion, and a candle. I have great products that I use in those categories that cost much less, but I guess that's what luxury means. It was really nice getting all those expensive things to try out at a fraction of the cost, but I guess I was just expecting more from the box since it did cost so much. Also, it was very aggravating from the start with the whole luxury box thing.

Now, getting to my story of the luxury box fiasco... So the luxury box was announced and everyone was really excited about it. There was a countdown on the site that was counting down from 1,000 (the amount of boxes that were going to be sold). Unfortunately, the demand was so high that night, that everyone clogged up the server and the site was acting very slow or not going at all. I'm not sure how long this went on for, but some people were afraid that weren't going to be able to get one. It sort of reminded me of when me and my classmates try to sign up for electives that only have limited spots and we're all fighting to get into the server (it's a fiasco, and lot of people are really disappointed afterwards). Anyway, Popsugar ended up fixing it somehow but the count started over a little while after that, which was very suspect. The point of a luxury limited edition box is that it really is limited, and if they decided to make more boxes to sell, it takes away from the people who fought to get one and takes away from the "specialness" of it. I ended up sending an email to Popsugar about this, and although a lady got back to me in a timely manner, and her answer was professional, she definitely dodged my questions of how much the box would be worth and if it really was limited to only 1,000. I think I was just bothered by the shady business practice. The whole thing was very aggravating to us who actually went out of our way to sign up for the box early, and made us feel like we were going to be the special few who got it. I had also heard through the grapevine that there were a lot of people who didn't receive their box before Christmas, which is a huge no no in my book, especially when Popsugar guarantees that it will be at your mailbox before then. Luckily, mine came a few days before Christmas and I was able to open it that day. This caused a few people cancel their subscriptions with them, I think. Apparently, Popsugar has had a few missteps in their business practices like these incidences in the past and people were getting tired of them. They don't even have a facebook page just dedicated to their box where we can communicate with them and post reviews. What is that??

On the other hand, it was really fun to open it in front of my friends and family. Especially my almost sister in law, who was reading the brochure while I was tearing open tissue paper, trying not to say anything. If I could go back in time, I would decide not to get it. It was just too impractical of a box for me, and I've realized now that I actually like getting things in boxes that I could try and actually purchase in real life. Besides the chocolate, I can't imagine myself indulging that much money into any of the products that came in the box in my regular life. But this is just one girl's opinion. I'm just not in that place in life to be spending so much money on special hand soap or candles (okay, besides Diamond Candles, but at least you get a chance at winning your money back with a $5,000 ring!).

Anyway, this was one of my longer posts, so thank you for reading if you got through all of it! If you got a luxury box, how did you like it? Comment down below. I'd love to hear your opinions!


P.S. - Again, if you'd like to sign up for a regular Popsugar Must Have box every month, just use this link and type in the code "REFER5" "REFERFRIENDS" *Thanks Hillary!* at checkout to get $5 off your first month! Code is good until 2/28/13!

Update: Thank you Hillary and Jaime for using my referral link! I really appreciate it!


  1. Great review Nina! I think I'm FINALLY convinced in getting the Popsugar Must Have box. I really liked all of the items from the December box and wish I could have gotten it.

    I tried to use the code you provided after using your link and it didn't work. I did a bit of googling and found the "REFERFRIENDS" code instead. Apparently the "REFER5" doesn't work the same anymore and it's only for current subscribers. I think. Anyways, I don't know what you get for referring me but hopefully it counted for you!

    Love your reviews! :)

  2. Thanks so much Hillary!! You're completely right, I had my card with the code on it somewhere but I couldn't remember if they had changed the code or not. Thanks for the correction! And I wish you would have gotten the December box too! But I'm sure the next ones will be awesome. Based on what I've seen in past boxes, they all seemed like they would be fun to have. And thanks so much for using my link! I really appreciate it!! I guess I will also be keeping my subscription to it too... lol. At least until February!

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