I’m always really excited when I come home to that familiar pink and white box on my doorstep. There is something about the mystery of the goodies awaiting me in my monthly POPSUGAR Must Have box that keeps me eager for the next installment. Perhaps that obsession might be a little bit unhealthy buuuuut–do I care? Nah; not really.
“Spring is finally here, which means its time to think about getting outside, cleaning house, and going green. Embracing eco-friendly habits can be chic and gun, and we’re here to show you how. Plus, make not only your home but also your makeup routine a little more awesome with some help from a gorgeous palette. You’ll find all the essentials to keep you healthy and beautiful for April and beyond. Now you’re ready to run the world.”
~ Lisa Sugar, POPSUGAR Founder & Editor In Chief
Yaaaaaay, spring! As I write this, it is a gorgeous Saturday morning here in northern NJ. I have all the windows open in the bedroom where my laptop is located and am just loving all the fresh air and sunshine. I had indeed planned on some spring cleaning today, which struck me as fitting when I read the pamphlet for this month’s box. Tomorrow our favorite local farmer’s market opens back up and I just cannot wait to get over there, to see all the lovely, fresh produce and flowers and–oh my, I hope the lady with the local honey is there because I’m buying a bucket full. ::sigh of dreamy contentment::
Anyhow; enough of my loving on sunshine–let’s break into that box and see what goodies POPSUGAR has given is to prepare for spring!
The first item that drew my eye was a box-within-a-box, containing a Must Have Home item: Caldrea Rosewater Driftwood Hand Soap (Retail price: $10.50)
“Slip into a dreamy oasis with this Rosewater Driftwood hand soap from Caldrea. The combinaiton of floral aromas and spicy cedar undertones create a subtly divine experience.
We believe what goes onto your body is just as important as what goes into it. That’s why this gentle yet hardworking soap is free of any harmful chemicals.”
You know, its funny how POPSUGAR regularly sends me something I was just thinking I needed. In the bathroom adjacent to our bedroom, I’ve had my Crisp Apple hand soap going since last fall. I was just thinking, as the current bottle dwindled, that I should probably switch it up and get something a little more seasonal when it runs out. So–thanks POPSUGAR, this fits the bill perfectly!
I had never tried a Caldrea hand soap before, but this one is rather nice. (Not sure I’d shell out $10.50 for a bottle of hand soap–mine are ususally the $1.00 deals from Harmon’s!–but it was a bit cheaper on Amazon when I checked today.) It has a nice lather, doesn’t leave any residue, and also doesn’t leave your hands feeling dry after it washes away. This Rosewater Driftwood scent is lovely as well. I’m not a fan of florals, but this one is very delicate and is tempered by the “driftwood” notes. It almost has a sandalwood-y note to it, which appeals to me.
Next we have our Must Have Fashion item, a BlueAvocado (Eco) Shopper. (Retail price: $25.00)
“Leave it to Lauren Conrad to make reusable bags chic. She joined forces with BlueAvocado to design an (Eco) Shopper bag that is perfect for carrying just about anything.
This collapsible tote is made from upcycled plastic bottles and folds neatly into a wallet-sized pouch. If that doesn’t give you an excuse to go shopping, we don’t know what will.”
Alright, sad confession time–I really don’t know who the hell Lauren Conrad is, aside from having heard her name before. Wait–that’s not entirely true. They used her in a Family Guy episode once, didn’t they? I’m pretty sure Brian dated her in that one or something. Sooooo; yeah. I have my finger faaaar from the pulse of the Hollywood scene, quite obviously, and the celebrity tie-in aspect of this item was completely lost on me.
All that aside, I appreciate reusable shoppers. I forget to use them as often as I should, but I do think they are a great idea. This one folds up and zippers into a “wallet size” pouch, though it is on the large side in my opinion. I’m one of those people who carries a huge purse all the time because I feel the need to be ready to found a new civilization with the contents of my bag at all times. I could probably squeeze this in there, but more likely I’ll save it for quick trips to the grocery store (or the farmer’s market!!), when I’m just carrying a wristlet or something. The bag itself is quite roomy once it is unfurled, with the official measurements being 18″ x 6″ x 14.5″
I also wish they had chosen a different print to send us. We received the print called “Ivory Roses” which is just like is sounds; tiny little red roses against an ivory background, with green on the pouch side, and matching green nylon straps. While the bag is nice, I’m not much for flowery things and this is a tad old lady looking for me. I would have much rather the black and white tuxedo striped option they show on the website. Oh well. Not my style but still useful.
Next is another Must Have Home item, the Fresh Pastry Stand Totally Awesome Tea Towel Set. (Retail price: $18.00)
“Revamp your dish towel collection with Fresh Pastry Stand’s Totally Awesome tea towel set.
Handmade from a water-based ink and completely lint free, these graphic towels totally live up to their name. Keep them for yourself, or step up your gift-giving game at your next housewarming soiree.”
These aren’t exactly my style either; I personally wouldn’t go hanging these in my kitchen. They’re adorable; don’t get me wrong–I’m just a very “matchy” kind of person and the bright blue and green print doesn’t go with anything else I have right now. Still, they are pretty cute and I’m thinking of throwing them into the trunk that houses my working makeup kit. I think they’d be nice to have on hand (you never know when you’ll need a towel, right?) and they’re that cheeky kind of cute I wouldn’t be embarrassed to use on a job. The fabric is very soft and looks durable.
I also love that POPSUGAR is featuring an Etsy seller! I’ve been a longtime Etsy shopper and have found some really amazing handmade items there over the years. I took a look around the seller–Fresh Pastry Stand’s– store and love the adorable vintage designs they have there. I have the feeling I’ll be purchasing stuff from them in the future. Great find!
Our Must Have Food item of the month was a NatureBox POPSUGAR Must Have Mix. (Retail value: $5.00)
“NO artificial flavors, NO artificial colors, NO corn syrup, and NO hydrogenated oils. YES, please! NatureBox teamed up with Lisa Sugar to design this custom snack mix especially for POPSUGAR Must Have.
Enjoy the balanced medley of almonds, soybeans, corn, and cranberries for a satisfying crunch. Grab a handful (or two) with no regrets!”
I really like everything this company promises–all that natural goodness to snack on sounds lovely! They also included a coupon for 1/2 off our first box, if we were to sign up for the NatureBox monthly subscription (which is $19.95/mo). I took a look at the website and it sounds lovely, with all sorts of dietary needs addressed for your boxes–lactose free, nut free, sugar free, etc. Awesome, right?
Only… When I went to the sign-up page, I couldn’t find anywhere to input that requirement. Going to the subscription page through the link provided on the coupon only listed it as “POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox” with no area to select “nut free” (which I would need). Hmmm. So, I emailed the company to see if, for some reason, those dietary options aren’t available for this offer (which would be both silly and rather annoying to me), but haven’t received an answer back yet.
And, sadly, the one damn nut I am allergic to is almonds–which are included in the mix we received. Womp, womp. Granted, I am only mildly allergic, luckily, so I could eat around them in this mix if I were so inclined but… I sampled a taste of the other bits in this trail mix–the crunchy little sticks, soybeans, corn, and dried cranberries–it was only meh. Not terrible, but not so tasty that I was eager to dive in for more, and probably just not worth the effort to weed out the almonds.
Sadly, this has been my least favorite snack item from POPSUGAR.
Our last Must Have Home item was the Graphic Image Pocket Notes. (Retail value: $20.00)
“Who runs the world? You do! With this Graphic Image notebook designed exclusively for POPSUGAR, you can remember all the important stuff to conquer the world.
This isn’t your average notebook, either–with silver edges, acid-free paper, and a flexible cover, it’s the smart and stylish way to keep your life in order.”
I love notebooks. I have dozens, of all sizes and colors, each with a specific purpose. I’ve always kept a small one in my purse for as long as I’ve been carrying a purse, to jot down writing ideas and snippets as they come to me (and now blogging ideas as well). This adorable little notebook is perfect for that purpose; its small but study. It doesn’t look like it will fall apart if it gets banged around a bit, yet also looks flexible enough to bend a bit with the shape of my normally over-stuffed bag. I love that is in lined and the phrase on the front is cute, in that self-empowering sort of way. (I’m just cheesy like that, I guess.)
I’m looking forward to using this!
I saved the best for last, of course–the Must Have Beauty item: Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette. (Retail price: $36.00)
“If you love the natural look, then this Too Faced Natural Eyes palette will be your new addiction. With nine different shades, there is a color for every age and skin tone.
Don’t worry if you’re not a makeup pro; there’s a Glamour Gide that will teach you the ropes. Go ahead and show the world just how naturally beautiful you are!”
I’ve caressed this palette just every time I make a trip to Sephora, but–luckily!–never purchased one myself. Yeah, yeah, I know–I need another neutral eyeshadow palette like a hole in the head. I am overflowing with neutral eyeshadows, between my MAC collection, Naked palettes and so forth, but… its just so… pretty!
I am a fan of the Too Faced brand, and adore their Boudoir Eyes palette (which I really do mean to get around to reviewing, not that I think about it.) Their updated packaging is great (now being housed in little metal tins, rather than the clunky cardboard they once were), and their shadows are always lovely: pigmented, smooth on the skin, and great to blend. And don’t even get me started on the color names! Too Faced has some of the cutest names for their shadows ever, which tend to lean toward the “naughty” side of things. (And that’s probably why I love them so damn much!)
This set includes six 0.03 oz shadows in Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso, Push-Up, Erotica, Honey Pot, and Chocolate Martini. There are also three larger 0.07 oz shadows in Heaven, Silk Teddy, and Nudie. The larger shades in Too Faced palettes tend to be the lighter shades, which are great for using as bases, highlights, or for blending out the other colors.
I’m going to stop there and hold off on swatching the individual colors in this palette as well. This bad boy deserves its own in-depth review, which I plan to do later on this weekend, so come on back during the week to see what I think after I’ve finally gotten a chance to try it all out!
The total retail value of this box was $114.50. Not bad, for a $39.95/mo subscription.
Still; this was the first POPSUGAR Must Have box I had mixed feelings about. It had some big hits with me, with the Too Faced palette and Caldrea hand soap really hitting the mark. However, it also had some items I found a bit lackluster; namely the NatureBox snack, which I wasn’t fond of, and the (Eco) Shopper, whose print really just didn’t appeal to me. I wasn’t unhappy with this box by any means, but I wasn’t 100% blown away either. I’d say I’m happy (because, let’s face it, I’m going to be happy any time you give me a new makeup palette), and I’ll get a lot of use out of 85% of this box’s items.
This month also marked the end of the three-month subscription I bought myself at the beginning of the year. At this time, I think I’m going to just let myself go back to month-to-month, rather than locking in to another subscription. POPSUGAR has been throwing discount codes around all over the internet lately, and since those codes are only good on new subscriptions (rather than being applicable to those of us who have already paid for months to come), I want to keep my options open.
Now, I don’t think it is very fair that they continually do this. In a way, it almost feels like they’re punishing their more loyal subscribers for that loyalty. New comers can get $10.00 off here, a free box there–but those of us who have been with them for months get squat? Not cool POPSUGAR. I don’t like being shady, and planning to cancel and re-sub to take advantage of a deal does feel shady to me, but if that’s the only way to save a few bucks here and there, I will until POPSUGAR starts giving back some of the love to their regular subscribers!
Also–keep a eye on my Facebook page. When I come across any of those discount codes, I’ll post them there for anyone who wants to give POPSUGAR a try!