Friday, January 25, 2013

January 2013 PopSugar Must Have Review

I've had some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket.  I thought about saving it, but then I decided that gift money is meant to be spent on fun stuff.  I did a lot of research and decided that I really wanted to try out a few months of the PopSugar Must Have Box.  I am overloaded on makeup samples to the point that I'm seriously considering cancelling EVERYTHING, and I'd love to find a new box of random goodies to replace the hole that would leave in my life.  

Beautyfoolreview's video of the September box was what really sold me (there are also really great reviews at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom if you'd prefer to see it on a blog).  I mean, are you kidding me?  Spend $35 and get an $84 scarf (at the time - it's $64 now) AND benefit's cabana glama AND the perks of being a wallflower book and movie tickets AND a bunch other other great stuff?

In my opinion, the boxes haven't been as great as the September one, but that just means they are due for another amazing box, right?  Each box is guaranteed to be at least $100 in value, and based on the past boxes, anything that's not my style would definitely still make a great gift.  I put in my order and have been dying to see what would come in the mail ever since.

Date of arrival: The boxes ship on the 10th and then take FOREVER to arrive. I got mine January 24, 2013.

Packaging: The must haves came in a package the size of a large shoebox.  The box was white and pink, with pink tissue paper inside and a cardboard divider inside.  The contents were packed tightly with no extra packing material for protection, but nothing was damaged.  There is a little booklet explaining why the goodies were selected and showing pictures of the products.  According to PopSugar, January is a time to start on fitness resolutions while still indulging in warm treats.  I like that they don't go overboard on the fitness theme, since that's boring and overdone and doesn't apply to everyone.   I personally like to work out and then shove my face full of chocolate.  That's the whole reason I work out!

Contents and mini reviews: There was a good mix of food and non-food items.  Probably a bit heavier on the food than I expected, but that's okay by me.  

Foodie stuff included three think Thin bars, two popbars, and a container of Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits.  

I haven't tried out the thin Thin bars yet because it's my coworker's last day and she brought in bakery deliciousness.  These look very promising; I am looking forward to having them for breakfast at work next week.  There is a crunch bar with caramel chocolate dipped mixed nuts (9g protein, 6g sugar, 4g fiber), a divine dark chocolate coconut bar (6g protein, 10g sugar, 8g fiber), and a creamy peanut butter protein bar (0g sugar, 20g protein, gluten free).    

I was really excited to see the popbars - I haven't heard of these before!  They are "hot chocolate on a stick" bars in milk chocolate and dark chocolate.  You heat up milk, dip the bars in, and let the chocolate melt.  This sounds DIVINE.  I am planning on trying these this weekend while wearing leggings as pants and a cozy scarf.  

I had to laugh at the Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits, because it's kind of a pointless item.  Any grocery store across the country has these, so I'm sure I could have bought some myself if I really wanted them.  They taste just like Lucky Charms marshmallows, which means I am going to have a hard time keeping them out of Adriana's grubby little fingers.  Fake marshmallows are pretty much her favorite thing ever.  I am probably going to use them for potty related bribery [THE KID IS STILL REQUESTING DIAPERS TO POOP IN, OMFG].

Non foodie stuff included a PopSugar exclusive Remix watch, a Stott Pilates Stability Ball, and Epicuren lip balm. 

It seems that most people got either a pink, white, black, or blue watch (similar to the TimeBomb shown here).  I haven't taken mine out of the package yet because I want to see if someone who got the black or pink would want to trade me.  Blue isn't really my thing.  I know a lot of people thought it was more of a kid's watch, with the chunky style and the colorful lights, but I kind of like it.  I would definitely wear this while working out or hanging out with the kids on the weekend.

I am waiting for Justin to blow up the stability ball for me this weekend to test it out.  This is another sort of weird item to include because I kind of feel like 95% of people who are into this type of subscription service would already have one of these if they wanted one.  However, I am in that 5%, so I'm psyched.  This is one of those things that I have always wanted but wouldn't really buy for myself.  And now I have one!  Yay!  Does anyone have any stability ball workout DVD recommendations?

The Epicuren lip balm smells like vicks with a hint of gasoline, which sounds like it would be disgusting but I really secretly like that sort of thing.  Is that the tea tree oil that makes it smell like that?  It's been a while so I can't remember what tea tree oil smells like.  The balm is comparable to a carmex pot in texture.  This is the kind of balm I like to keep on my nightstand to put on right before I go to bed.  It would also be good for the beach since it has sunscreen in it, but I doubt it will still be around past winter.    

Paper stuff included a $15 off unique Casetagram code, some stability ball exercises, and a $1.00 off any two think Thin bars coupon.  Nice!

I normally toss any of the coupon codes, but I think I'm actually going to order a Casetagram case after playing around on the website a bit.  You can link it to your instagram or facebook account, or upload pictures from your computer.  The only frustrating thing was that I'd get really far in designing my case and then the website would reload and not save my images.  I didn't even get far enough to take a screen shot to show you guys!  I don't know if this is an issue with the computer I'm on or a problem I'd have at home as well.  I guess I'll find out this weekend.  

Value:  I used the REFERFRIENDS code to get $5 off, but since it normally isn't that cheap, I'll say the box cost $35.  This box was either valued at $111.39 or $126.39, depending on whether you use the Casetagram code.  That is the equivalent of a $28.32 or a $32.14 value for a $10 subscription.  I am using the Casetagram, so that means this is exactly on par with Birchbox, Ipsy, and QVC Test Tube this month.  Crazy!  And the watch and the stability ball will get way more use and last years longer than any of the stuff I got in the other three boxes.  

Click to enlarge
Overall impression of the box: I liked it!  I would have definitely been disappointed if I already had a stability ball, but I don't.  The watch isn't my style so I'm really, really, really hoping to find someone to trade me.  Even if I don't, I feel like I will use it.  The marshmallows are the least exciting thing in the box to me, but they will make Adriana happy, so I can honestly say that every last thing in here will be used and useful.  B.

Overall impression of the service: I only have one month to go off of here...I think the website is a little janky in that I honestly didn't know if it took my credit card information until I got the confirmation email.  And when I go to the choose your subscription section of the main site, it still has my credit card information listed, which is definitely a little scary.  I'm guessing it's not a very secure website.  The shipping also took crazy long for no apparent reason.  I do like that they have a good referral program and think they put a lot of thought into what items to include, so I'm really looking forward to sticking with this one for a bit.  I'll start them off at a C.  

What do you guys think?  Would you pay $35 for something like this or would you rather use the money to shop yourself?  I always find it amusing when people complain to the company that they hate the box, as if it's not totally obvious when you sign up that you might not like every single thing, or like they were forced to spend their money on this instead of something else.  Too funny.  

Please let me know if you got a black watch and want to trade!!!

Like what you see?  I'd love it if you would use my referral code to sign up!  Make sure you use the REFERFRIENDS code to get $5 off your first month, it worked for me!   


Swistle said...

I love when you show us this stuff. Definitely "getting to see what's in the box" is one of the things that makes such a subscription fun and valuable---so I feel like I'm getting one of the good parts for free!

Not Insane...Promise! said...

I'm sighing in relief that this doesn't seem like a box for me...I do NOT need to covet another box. I just can't get excited about subscriptions that aren't 95% beauty related. I wouldn't pay the $35, but I definitely agree with you that pretty much everything in this box is highly gift-able.

I also agree with Swistle, I LOVE these posts.

Marie said...

How do you find out about these boxes? If I wanted to get a hair one where would I look? ;) After seeing all your reviews I'm dying to try a hair based one to try to get my curly hair under control but I have no idea where to even start! Any advice/direction would be much appreciated!

Laura Diniwilk said...

Hi, Marie! I answered your question over here: