POPSUGAR Must Have Box: September 2015.

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Having been so completely impressed and pleased with August’s POPSUGAR Must Have Box, my first with the service, I was practically pacing the floor while awaiting the arrival of my September one. I already knew one of the products that was going to be included this month thanks to the e-mailed spoiler POPSUGAR sent out to subscribers near the end of August, but the rest was a mystery!

September’s theme/inspiration, also revealed near the end of last month- contained items centered around ‘Fashion Fix/Travel/Refresh/Beauty Recovery’. With a Vegas and San Diego trip planned for mid-October- I was especially excited to see what fit into the ‘travel’ aspect of this month’s assortment of products. Whatever can make my packing and/or time spent in the airport easier and less stressful is always a welcomed treat.

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Oh, hello again, Briogeo’s Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray! The last time our paths crossed was in my May Ipsy bag– and I had taken quite a liking to a sample of you that I’d received! Coincidentally enough, I had said I would *definitely* purchase a full-sized bottle in the future- and now I don’t have to since POPSUGAR was nice enough to send me one! This conditioning spray is just as lovely as ever (and just as strongly fragranced- but I don’t mind!) and I’ve been using it daily with another styling product over the past few days to protect my color-treated curls and keep my hair soft and shiny.

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I’ve been doing an “au naturel” look with my nails lately, which is just a fancier way of saying that I haven’t been able to find the time to get a proper manicure for a couple of weeks now so my fingertips are looking a little rugged. Even with a fresh coat of polish, my cuticles are in need of more than a little TLC these days. I was really happy to see this cuticle oil- in the cutest little dropper bottle- from NCLA in September’s box (retail value of $18) because I know it’ll come in handy when I finally sit down to give my digits the attention and affection they deserve!

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I love that POPSUGAR includes at least one food/beverage item in each month’s box. This month, it was this slightly-sweetened almond & dried cherry mix from Nourish Snacks. These are great to keep in your bag for travel since they’re a much healthier (and tastier) alternative to a bag of potato chips, cookies or any other regrettable temptation. Nourish Snacks also has a bunch of other varieties available at their website- all of which look pretty good!

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The item I knew I’d be receiving this month was the ‘Brow Envy: Brow Shaping and Defining Kit’ from Too Faced (a $39 value!) My brows have always-thankfully- had a natural high arch and decent thickness to them, so having to maintain and shape them every day as part of my makeup regimen was never really a concern for me- but I feel like this will come in handy in those days between waxings when I need to keep bushy-ness at bay. The kit comes with two brow powders, brushes, tweezers, stencils, instructions for the stencils, a highlighter- and setting wax- all packaged nice and neat. It’s convenient for travel or for simply keeping on hand at home.

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I was really happy to see these travel cases (one TSA-friendly clear pouch and two black & white patterned drawstring bags) from Hudson + Bleecker in September’s box. During my last mini-vacation to the West Coast, my usual toiletries pouch was all but destroyed after an impromptu inspection by the TSA in Logan Airport and I haven’t had a chance to replace it. With not one- but three flights scheduled within a few short weeks- I think these bags are really going to make my packing 100x easier. I’m hoping that TSA is gentler with these then they were with my last ones- especially because these are of much higher quality!

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My favorite item in September’s POPSUGAR box had to be these XO stud earrings from Kris Nations ($35 value.) I’ve been starting to gravitate towards smaller earrings after years of wearing dramatic dangling ones or chandelier styles (especially in the Fall and Winter when they can easily get snagged on sweaters! Ouch!) and these are perfect transition pieces. Plated in 14K gold, the earrings are subtle, lightweight, and so, so cute.  I have a feeling I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of these. Also? They’re packaged so simple- but it’s still beautiful and unique at the same time!

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Finally, the coveted coupons. September’s POPSUGAR box included two 20% coupons for Kris Nations and Too Faced. I’ll be using both since I’m a big fan of both brands (I’ve been eyeing the Massachusetts state pride necklace at Kris Nations for a couple of days now- and I think now is a good time to order it!)

I also received two $10 coupons for anyone looking to subscribe to POPSUGAR’s Must Have Box. Each card has a unique code printed on the back to give you the $10 discount on your very first box!

Overall, September’s POPSUGAR Must Have Box was another wildly successful one for me. The total retail value of the products included surpassed $150- and each item was carefully selected to go hand-in-hand with the listed theme/inspirations. I really loved everything- and I can’t wait to see what’s coming in October!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box: August 2015.

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When I canceled my membership with Ipsy at the end of July, I had mentioned in my review of the month’s bag that I was eyeing another subscription service to take it’s place. That service was the monthly POPSUGAR Must Have Box. Although considerably more expensive than Ipsy, (POPSUGAR’s service costs $39.95 a month as opposed to Ipsy’s $10 a month fee,) the value of the items included- which cover beauty, fitness, fashion, food, home decor and much, much more- ALWAYS surpasses the cost. I wanted variety and more importantly- quality- and I felt I would get that with the POPSUGAR box after reading so many positive and pleased reviews from current subscribers.

I decided to give it a try, and August’s box- my first with the company- arrived at my door shortly after I’d subscribed.

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Like my GlossyBox and Loot Crate subscriptions, POPSUGAR included a pamphlet in the box that detailed each product inside and their estimated retail value. The service curates the items based on themes and inspirations (which I love because it means real thought into the box as opposed to just random selections,) and packages everything very neatly! I was already excited even before I saw what was inside.

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Starting with the food items, of course, I received a package of birthday cake pancake and waffle mix from Shortstacks (who have other interesting and awesome-sounding mix flavors available at their website!) and a bottle of Folgers‘ iced coffee concentrate in the caramel macchiato flavor. I haven’t tried the concentrate yet (but will soon, since my mornings can get pretty hectic sometimes and this seems like it’d be convenient!) but I LOVED the pancakes. They were colorful, easy to make, fluffy- and tasted really good.

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Since starting my job at the firm nearly five years ago, I have mastered the art of preparing a balanced, healthy, and usually tasty lunch the night before I head to the office. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and maybe some chocolate here or there (if only to keep me going after 2 p.m. when I start to crash,) I try to cover it all so I’m not left famished by the time 5-o-clock rolls around. Even though preparing the meals I bring with me has been a piece of cake- packing them neatly is an entirely different story- and on more than one occasion I’ve suffered a casualty as my food has gotten squashed inside of my bag.

I thought this plastic lunch box from Happy Jackson was just the cutest. It’s so bright and cheerful and will serve as great protection for the more-fragile sandwiches or fruits I store at work!

And I can never have too many napkins with all the cooking and baking I’ve been doing lately, so these pretty pink ones from Meri Meri will come in handy the next time I’m having guests and need something a little more presentable to use than paper towels when serving them!

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Recently I noticed that my usual coffee mug at work, a cute black & white number with mustache-prints on both sides of it, had an unfixable crack running along the inside of it- causing some of my coffee to slowly but surely seep out onto whatever surface I had rested it on. I was a little bummed, since I’d had it for quite a while- but I think this “Best Day Ever” mug will serve as a nice replacement. It’s simple and it’s cute- and it’s microwave and dishwasher-safe!

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I’ve only been using this eye cream from Royal Apothic for a few days now, typically at night before I go to bed, but I’ve already been seeing fantastic results with it. Each morning after use, the area around my eyes where I’ve gently tapped it on it looks noticeably brighter and smoother (which is really important to someone like me who is prone to dark circles from time to time.) The formula is really gentle, non-greasy, and absorbs pretty quick- so I don’t get it all over my pillowcases during those instances where I cover my head with one in the morning in a desperate attempt to avoid my alarm clock. A little goes a long way, too- so I know this full-sized container will last me a while. I’m thrilled with it so far!

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I think my favorite item in August’s POPSUGAR box was this beautiful, lightweight, and two-styles-in-one cotton gauze scarf from American Colors. I know I’m hanging onto Summer with all my might- but Autumn is still my favorite season (by far!) and I think this scarf is going to be perfect to integrate into my wardrobe when the temperatures start to drop here in New England. It’s so cozy, comfortable, and chic. It also retails for $79, which completely blew me away.

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Finally, POPSUGAR included a couple of digital surprises, too- the first being a 20% off voucher for any purchase through American Colors (the makers of the aforementioned beautiful scarf I received and who have so many other pretty things available at their site!) and a free 3-month trial of My Yoga Works (a $45 value!), which offers free online video lessons/yoga classes, playlists you can customize, etc. 24/7. I CANNOT WAIT to set up my mat at home and get started with this! It’s so exciting!

Overall, my POPSUGAR box had a total retail value of just over $200! I’m thrilled with everything that came in the August box. This was truly worth every penny I spent when signing up and I’m already so psyched to receive my September box (I received a couple of spoilers in my e-mail earlier this week and wow! That’s all I can say! It looks like it’s going to be another good one!)

xx