Saturday, May 17, 2014

PopSugar Must Have May 2014 Review

There's always a bit more anxiety when you subscribe to a higher-cost box. At $40 a month, PopSugar Must Have is in the you-better-not-fuck-this-up-for-me price point.

Here's what I got this month:

Kerry Cassill Eye Mask, retail value $24

I am sure that there are people in the world that use sleep masks. Clearly, those people exist, or no one would bother make them. (Alternative explanation: this is a money laundering scheme.) However, as someone who has no difficulty sleeping anywhere, I don't really think that this is something I'd be able to integrate into my life. On a boat, with a goat, in the rain, on a train… I can fucking fall asleep. Last night I fell asleep while I was watching one of my fish tanks and I literally just slept the night on the living room floor. I could put this on my face, but it would not affect my ability to get rest.

I will say that the design is really cute, so anyone who does use it can feel really fancy as they wear it.

Tone It Up One Day Fat Blast DVD, retail value $15 (Note: I can't actually find this available for sale anywhere, so I am trusting PopSugar's value assessment here)

I try a lot of products that I otherwise would not touch because I get them in subscription boxes and I want to be able to offer a meaningful review. I told myself I was going to do the same with this DVD. On this one… I can't. I'm sorry. I don't have it in me. Watching a DVD about working out is the exact opposite of the kind of workout I want to do. I want monotonous cardio with a very distracting TV show blaring at the same time so I can try to forget that I'm all sweaty.

This product has negative value to me. I will pay you to come pick it up from my house so I don't have to look at it or store it.

Zing Anything Citrus Zinger, retail value $16.99

When you go to a restaurant and the waitstaff pours from a pitcher with a bunch of lemons in it, my heart sinks. I don't want random citrus in my water. You can wax poetic about how water is too "boring", but water is fucking delicious the way that it is. (Unless you live in Southern California. Southern Californian water is disgusting and helps me understand why people would buy bottled water.)

So, as well-designed as this product is, I'm not necessarily the target audience.

The Zing Anything water bottle opens on both ends. One end is the normal "you drink from here" side and one has a manual citrus juicer.

I had no leaking problems. It's easy to clean. The opening is big enough to fit in ice. It's visually appealing.

I've tried it with limes and with an orange. The lime fit inside the container well, and the orange was fine, although I had to cut it up to make it work. Both were… not appealing to me. The insert inside the bottle had other 'recipe' ideas, but they don't sound like they would work well for me, either. For example, it suggested adding strawberries to the base. If I have strawberries and water, I would rather drink my water and eat my delicious strawberries than combine them to get mediocre strawberry water.

Ultimately, I do think that this will work well for me, even if the intended use isn't up my alley. I'm a big iced tea lover, and I think I would be much more satisfied with a citrus-infused iced tea. And, again, the design is good, so if you do like citrus-infused water, you probably will like this.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer in Pool Boy (0.5 fl oz), retail value $10

Pool Boy is a robin's egg blue cream polish that was opaque in two coats.

I broke my ring fingernail and couldn't bear cutting my other nails any shorter than this. 
Although Lord knows I do not need any more nail polish, I thought the texture on this one was nice and the color is very spring-y.

Smell Bent St. Tropez Dispenser Eau de Parfum Spray (1.7 fl oz), retail value $45

This is the weirdest fucking perfume I have ever used. This was the "big ticket item" for this box and I feel like the smell is weird enough that not a lot of people are going to be making jazz hands when they use it.

It smells like sunscreen and coconut.

A few bloggers have contested the clear fact that it smells exactly like sunscreen, asserting that it actually smells like gardenia. If that is the case, my sunscreen all smells like gardenia.

Although the scent has definitely grown on me in the past few days (it smells like summer in a bottle), there's no denying that this fragrance is strange.

Hi I'm Skinny Sticks in Multi-Grain Sweet Onion (7 oz), retail value $3.50

I want to hate these so badly. The brand name is literally "Hi I'm Skinny". That deserves to be loathed by default. The back of the bag is so condescending it reads as sarcasm: "Well aren't you a smart pup for choosing our Hi I'm Skinny sticks" [sic]. It suggests that I "fear the weekly weigh in" and that "skinny jeans [are] a scary thought". Shut the fuck up and let me snack, you assholes.

To add insult to injury, they don't even bother with commas.

Fortunately/unfortunately, these are fucking delicious. They're an awesome combination of sweet and salty. I have already grabbed a few more bags on Amazon.

Make no mistake: these are not healthy. Saying something is 40% less fat than potato chips is a nutritional cop-out, since potato chips are pretty much just a bag of fat. The Hi I'm Skinny Sticks actually have more fat than comparable foods (e.g. Open Nature Veggie Sticks). That's not a fault, necessarily, but it means that the way they are being marketed is not only dickish, it's misleading.

Indeed, the only reason the standard one ounce serving size seems at all large is because the fucking things are hollow.

Still… they're really yummy. I will eat them. I'll just glare at the awful bag.

Total Box Value: $114.49

This isn't the best PopSugar Must Have box I have gotten, but I'm definitely satisfied. When you subtract the value of the sleep mask and the DVD (both of which I will never use), the value is about $82.50, which isn't bad. The biggest problem with this box is there is no item that I was completely over-the-moon about.

If you are interested in joining PopSugar Must Have you are always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here. Don't forget to use the code REFER5 to get $5 off.


  1. I envy your ability to fall asleep anywhere. Having been on numerous 20 hour train trips and 10+ hour plane rides, I can say that sleep masks make the difference between OMFG NO SLEEP FOR TWO DAYS and a little bit of sleep (for me). So I would use the shit out of something like that.

    I wouldn't really have a strong objection to the water bottle or stupidly-named chips or DVD as individual items, but this box seems awfully fitness/diet-centric for a thing that is not a fitness/diet box. Hrmm.

    1. Rebecca: I feel your pain! I can never sleep on a plane, and when you live in NZ and want to go...anywhere else, really, that means you're going up to two days without sleep :-P I'm not sure a mask would help, honestly, but the design and colour on the one here is at least pretty :-P

      Robyn: I totally understand your position on the chip/snack things. When I saw the bag, my eyes rolled so hard and I scowled so much that for a moment I was unsure whether my eyes were going to pop out or be sort of sucked backwards into my head. When such things are also delicious, it makes you kind of dislike them even more for not being *universally* dislikeable...if that makes sense.

    2. I think if there had been, say, a really awesome lipstick on top of what was in the box, it would have been much more appealing. And I didn't even think about the diet-y aspect of it: you're right. That's probably part of the problem. I'm not on a 'diet' and don't think diet-y words make a product more appealing.

    3. Seems like they went for the ubiquitous spring "bikini ready by summer" theme.

  2. I am a person who has to have an eye mask to fall asleep. That one is beautiful. (Would you sell it?)

    1. I am far too lazy, but it seems that many other people are selling their masks:

  3. I didn't know there was a weekly weigh-in.

  4. I can fall asleep on a boat with a goat, too. I find a sleep mask to be useful when I have a bad headache or am sick and the light hurts my eyes.
    I love how the more you hate shit, the funnier you get:)

    1. If someone turns on the light when I'm trying to get some shut eye, I just go under the covers!

  5. I learned to love sleep masks when I had a bout of Bell's palsy and suffered for nearly six weeks with a right eye that would not close all the way. I no longer use sleep masks as my facial nerves are all working properly these days, but I will be forever grateful to sleep masks for helping me during that time. Even if they are a money-laundering scheme.

    1. Oh man! That would be really frustrating and would definitely fuck up your bedtime a little.

  6. I laughed so loudly at the "Hi I'm Skinny" sticks that my boyfriend asked me what was so funny. I tried to read your description of the product and was laughing so hard I couldn't even get through it. That has to be the most insulting, condescending packaging I've ever seen; thank you for calling out bullshit wherever you find it.

    1. I did the same thing with my husband! Eventually I just sent him the link and he made the most AMAZING face. (Hint: it was not a happy face.)

  7. Oh god, I hate when food packaging is supposed to be "cool". Stfu and let me snack is right.

  8. Hey Robyn! I'm not a big fan of subscription services, myself. However, I am a big fan of your blog! And also of subscribing to blogs I love via email, because I never remember to check bookmarks... I don't see that option on your blog, though. Am I missing it somewhere? If not, would you ever consider adding that option? :) thanks!

  9. Ok, I also hate lemon in my water, and I hate cucumbers, but adding 1 slice of cucumber to your water makes it REALLY refreshing. Like, surprisingly so. If you have some cucs hanging out, you should try it.

  10. I live in Alaska, so sleep masks are a must-have for me. Ramping up to and peaking in the summer, we have less and less darkness, and unless you want to totally black out your bedroom, a mask is the way to go. We did black out the room last year, but I've found that waking up in total darkness is much harder than allowing a bit of natural light to filter in and signal my sleeping body that it's getting near time to wake up. So this year, it's masks!

  11. I think my [filtered] SoCal water is tasty :(

  12. Those snacks could taste like manna sprinkled with chocolate and unicorn laughter and I would never buy them. I would be too deeply ashamed to ever be seen with that packaging.

    BTW I've been reading your blog for a while and adoring it. Sorry it took a crappy diet product to bring me out of lurking.

  13. Oh god. I would be too embarrassed to be seen with that bag in public. I hate when people assume that all women are constantly afraid of the size of their arses.

  14. I can't hardly help but to fan-girl right now. I seriously love your blog, enough to decide to give it a try. Started a handful of subscriptions with the intent of reviewing them, along with other stuff. Just had to let you know. Thank you for setting a marvelous example of "beauty blogging". :]

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