Wednesday, April 10, 2013

April 2013 Popsugar Must Have Review

My April Popsugar box came yesterday!  I tried to say that with excitement, but I have obviously already looked at what was in it and let me tell you guys, this one was my first disappointing box.  It's so blah that I think I might go back and show you what I got in February and March so you can see why I'm not immediately canceling.  [Side note: I strongly prefer cancelling and travelling over the American spellings and have to fight not to spell it that way.  Is that weird?]

Sorry for the bad lighting in all of the pics, I opened it first thing this morning when my house was super dark, and ever since I broke my phone (shattered the edge of the screen) the camera is all wonky. 

Date of arrival: April 9, 2013

Packaging: Same size box and same packaging as the last two months - white and bright pink.  

Contents and mini reviews:
You can kinda see in the top right how the nuggets don't lay down.
The first thing I saw was a little Shashi jewelry bag, and last month's fashion item was so amazing I was really excited to see what was in it.  I got the nugget bracelet, which is one of those adjustable cord bracelets with beads (in this case, gold plated "nuggets") down the center row. This bracelet goes for $28.  I think these are pretty enough, but every time I see one I think I could totally make it myself.  In fact, I think I DID make really similar bracelets when I was a kid.  There are 10 color options; I received a brown bracelet with bright blue accents.  If the brown was black I would like it a lot better - I hardly own anything brown or blue.  It's also really tightly woven so the gold beads get pushed up at awkward angles instead of fitting nicely to your wrist.  Every time I push one down, another one pops up.  Which I'm sure is the kind of thing only I would notice.  I don't know.  I'll wear it, but it's not something I'd pick out on my own.  If I was allowed to pick anything off the website, I'd go for this one instead, with the black crystals (3rd color option from the left).  Pretty!

Next up was a fair trade dark quinoa organic chocolate bar by Alter Eco (cute name), which costs $3.99.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it's not long for this world.  How delicious does the Dark Coconut Toffee one sound? Yum.  We got a $1 off coupon, so I might go for it.  

The next item was Kai perfume oil.  This one looked like a really nice size vial of any oil you can get in a cute little hippie store.  I was surprised to find that it's apparently a cult favorite semi-fancy perfume oil you can purchase from Nordstrom for a whopping $48.  It's a little more affordable on Amazon (apparently from a non-authorized dealer) at $37.15, but, to be honest, I am not a fan.  It says it smells different on everyone...when I first put it on, it smelled heavily of soap, then after about 30 minutes it faded to "generically floral".  It's light and fresh, but it doesn't seem much different from how I'd smell after a (free) shower.  Other people seem to think it smells exactly like gardenias (there is a strong possibility it does and I just don't know what gardenias smell like), so I'd recommend sampling it if you love that scent - maybe it will react to your body chemistry different than it does with mine and you don't get the soap notes.  Will use or give to my mom, but I would not repurchase.

Gold flakes in charcoal paper.  Click if you want to read the background info.
The last item on top of what appeared to be a popsugar bag (clearly hiding all of the GOOD STUFF) was a pack of fancy night time oil blotting papers - Tatcha evening aburatorigami, to be specific.  There is kind of a cool story on the package about how it was originally crafted by gold leaf artisans and used by geishas, but meh.  I'm dry as a freaking desert, I have no use for $15 oil blotting papers.  I would have preferred to get the rice enzyme powder kit (listed as a dry skin product) instead.  I won't use or repurchase it.  

I didn't feel like unfolding and photographing, but you get the idea.
The last item (trust me, I checked several times) was a 4-in-1 garment bag by Green Garmento, which retails for $9.99.  The company seems cool - they have a really cute website and were apparently featured on Shark Tank.  You are supposed to take it to the dry cleaner's and ask for your garments to come back in it instead of the plastic wrap.  I actually JUST BOUGHT this super fancy expensive ass garment bag from target for all of my work travel, so it's kind of unfortunate timing.  However, I will definitely use this on days when I'm only going down for a night or two and would rather carry a duffel bag or small suitcase and just need something for a suit or two.  I am glad they went with black instead of the hideous green, and I don't mind that it has the pink popsugar logo on it.  I also like the little earth day nod since this is the April box.  I am guessing this item will get the most use out of anything else in the box.  

Value: So, if you were keeping track, that all adds up to $104.98 or $94.13 depending on whether you buy the Kai from an authorized dealer.  Popsugar claims their $35 box will be worth at least $100, so that's spot on. 

Overall impression of the box: As I said before, I found this one to be pretty disappointing.  The only items I really like are the two cheapest, so this wasn't worth my $35 this month (unless I can regift or resell or trade or something).   I also felt like there was hardly anything in this one compared to previous boxes.  The past 2 boxes had an $84 item in it and there was still more goodies to test out.  Boo.  If I had liked the Kai I'm sure I'd feel differently - I kind of feel like your whole opinion of a box depends on whether or not you like the big ticket item.  

Overall impression of the service:  Normally, I am really excited to open my popsugar box and I feel glowy and happy afterwards.  Even after over a year of subscription services, I still love getting packages and seeing what's inside and the little high afterwards and petting all of my shiny new things.  Popsugar is extra fun because it could be LITERALLY ANYTHING at all - beauty, fitness, home, fashion, food, you name it.  The only problem is that it's impossible to make everyone happy and there is bound to be stuff that simply isn't your taste (like the bracelet) or is something you already have (like the garment bag) or you just can't use it (like the blotting papers).  I think it's one thing to be sad or even frustrated about stuff you can't use, but I think it's super funny when people complain to popsugar about how much they hate the box.  It's just part of the deal with a subscription service!  No one forced you to spend your money on what is basically a fancy grab bag!  So I'm not going to let one lame-o box cause me to cancel, but if next month's isn't for me either, I'll probably choose to spend my money on stuff I KNOW I like instead of stuff I MIGHT like.  

Edited to add: I think because I didn't love this box I was a little down on the service.  I should also say that I have been pleasantly surprised by how many things popsugar sends that I end up loving, including (and maybe especially) things I would have never picked out myself.  It's a good mix of things that are SUPER HANDY but I wouldn't actually think to go buy and things that are SUPER TRENDY that I wouldn't have bought myself but I totally love.  I get TONS of compliments on popsugar things I wear in public, and either myself or my girls have loved all of the snacks.  I also think they get a lot more value out of my $35 than I would, since the boxes are worth $100.   If you only have $35 to spend a month on frivolous things, I'd say do your own shopping and get what you know you'll love.  But if you have room in your budget and like the element of surprise, this is a fun service.  Hope this helps if you are on the fence!

1 comment:

Thom Yorke´s Bad Eye said...

Hi! Just found your blog and have been reading old posts. I agree completely with your sentiments about the Pop Sugar box. I did not love April's box but I overall LOVE this subscription box. It is still my favorite (and I do a LOT of them now hahaha.) There are always things that you would never think to get yourself. Such a treat.And like you said, some things you would not expect to be thrilled about you end up loving. Perfect example for me were those Kraft mini marshmallows - they are probably one of the cheapest things Pop Sugar has even given but I fell in LOVE. I add them to my boring Special K or Crispex in the morning to make my breakfast more fun:-)