Monday, July 21, 2014

PopSugar Must Have June AND July 2014 Reviews

You may have noticed (or not, I don't know how much time you spend randomly refreshing the page here) that I missed reviewing the June PopSugar Must Have box. I did get the box! I just have been very overwhelmed by the real world as of late.

This review, then, is going to be a twofer: both June and July side-by-side.

June 2014

One Potato Two Potato Kettle Potato Chips in Hawaiian BBQ (2 oz bag), approximate retail value $0.99

Every time I get a PopSugar Must Have box, I have to photograph it immediately, or I'll eat the food item before I get in my pictures.

These potato chips were pretty yummy. They were definitely more spicy than a typical barbecue potato chip. Unfortunately, I can't find anywhere to buy them that doesn't require buying them in bulk, and I don't need 24 bags of chips.

You Smell Lemon Verbena Aloe Wet Wipes (12 wipes), retail value $5

I'm a big fan of wipe-type products for really quick cleaning. I feel that they are very convenient. I've mostly been using these after cleaning my guinea pig cage so that I don't stink like my adorable-but-not-necessarily-the-best-smelling pets for the rest of the day. I think these would also be nice if you expected to sweat a lot during the day. Since they are individually wrapped, they're easy to carry in your purse.

The other scent available, in my opinion, would have been vastly preferable: Honeydew Mint. That scent sounds fan-fucking-tastic. I'm not a big lemon person in general, but the lemon scent was a little too "you could clean your floor with this" for me.

I also feel that the wipes are a little overpriced for what they are. At $5 for 12 wipes, I'd have to consider just using a damn washcloth. I think I would purchase the other scent if it was Prime-eligible on Amazon, but it's not. These feel way fancier than baby wipes, but baby wipes aren't $5 for 12 plus shipping.

The One & Only: A Novel by Emily Giffin, retail value $16.52

I was going to read a chapter or two of this so I could give you some actual information about it, but I kept being distracted by books that are actually appealing. Reviews are not positive, and I'm not much a "chick lit" person, even if they were. Do you think PopSugar would ever consider sending out a scifi novel? I'd love to have someone send me some Margaret Atwood...

Turkish T Mykonos Breeze Towel, retail value $32

This towel was definitely my favorite thing in the June box. It's super lightweight, which is really appealing for those of us who are getting temperatures upwards of 110 degrees right now. I've actually been using it not only as a towel but as a blanket. As a result, I can blast the air conditioner on my body without getting chilly.

I'm not in love with the print, but it's definitely been really helpful to have.

Lollies Hair Ties Basics Three Pack, retail value $8.00

These are cute, but they're not very successful as hair ties. I could only get them around my hair twice, but they didn't stay in place, so they really need to go over other, more effective hair ties.

Sachajuan Body Lotion in Shiny Citrus (full size at 300 ml), retail value $24

I've said it before, but I think most body lotion is pretty much interchangeable to me. This has a light citrus scent and a so-boring-they-must-have-tried packaging.

Native Union Coupon Code, retail value $15 (if you are generous and count it)

I had not heard of Native Union, but they're basically a tech accessories company, with things like speakers and phone handsets. The price point is significantly higher than $15 and I genuinely just don't particularly want anything on the site, so I have not used this.

Total Box Value: $86.51 (or $101.51 if you count the coupon)

Overall, I found the June box to be pretty lackluster.

July 2014

TKO Jump Rope With Soft Grip Handles, retail value $13

I was actually really excited about this jump rope because, although I haven't jump roped since I was a child, jump roping is a really awesome cardio workout and I don't have a jump rope! The design is also pretty snazzy.

Unfortunately, I really don't think that this is the best design of jump rope out there. One of the big issues is that it is much too long for me (I'm 5'6") and it's not adjustable. You just kind of have to be the right height. I've been wrapping it around my wrist a couple of times, but that's neither elegant nor convenient. I'm also having a really difficult time getting it fully untwisted. I've been hanging it from the center and it's still twisting under my body as I jump. I might try weights, or I might just buy a fancy-ass leather jump rope that's adjustable in size.

Dang Foods Toasted Coconut Chips (1.43 oz), retail value $2.49

I have seen these at Safeway a gazillion times but I'd never picked them up because I'm not a huge coconut fan. I was kind of expecting them to be like crunchier shaved coconut.

Happily, they turned out to be a million times better than expected. They're crunchy and nutty, without overwhelming you on the coconut flavor.

I actually purchased the other available flavor recently. For the record, the Caramel Sea Salt flavor is near-identical.

Sun Bum SPF 30 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion (3 oz), retail value $11.99
Sun Bum ‘Cool Down’ Hydrating After Sun Lotion (3 oz), retail value $7.99

I am not one to turn down sunscreen. Minis are always helpful because I can carry it around in my purse. The Sun Bum sunscreen has a very distinct piƱa colada scent (apparently it was a coconut-y month).

I was expecting the "Cool Down" lotion to have menthol or peppermint or something in it, but it's just a regular, coconut-scented lotion.

ACME Party Box Company Pastel Chevron Straws (24 straws), retail value $7

These straws are adorable and they just scream that they need to be placed in a fancy little mocktail. One day, if I ever have a dinner party, they may just get used.

 Michael Stars Sea Grass Crusher Hat, retail value $48

I love wide brim hats, but I hate this wide brim hat. I don't think it's fashionable; it looks like something an older lady would wear gardening.

If the brim was substantially wider, I think it would be more forgivable.

French Bull Ziggy Salad Servers, retail value $12

These salad servers, on the other hand, belong on Project Runway. I love the design.

The only problem is that they are sort of "aspirational" salad spinners. I don't have a salad bowl cute enough to pair with them! Perhaps I will have to buy one for that hypothetical dinner party?

 Revlon Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Mascara in Blackest Black, retail value $7.99

Revlon has been doing their darndest to make their new mascara release exciting. Unfortunately, there is really nothing about it that feels new or exciting. If aliens invaded Earth and were, for some reason, really interested in cosmetics, this mascara could be used as a prototype to represent all mascaras.

It's fine, but very bland. It's the potato of mascaras.

The formula is neither wet nor dry and the brush is regular, straight shape.

I found that, despite the product's name, it wasn't a very intense mascara. It gives some nice length, but it gives almost no volume. Building it up too much results in clumps, but I think it might work better with just one or two coats, giving a nice, natural appearance.

Here's my no-mascara eye:

And here is my eye with the addition of Revlon's Bold Lacquer Length & Volume Mascara:

It's a perfectly nice mascara… it just doesn't come anywhere close to the claims it makes.

Total Box Value: $110.49

I definitely preferred this box to June's iteration, but I'm still waiting on a PopSugar Must Have box that really wows me. I think this is an especially difficult subscription to do well. The price, at $39.99 a month, is pretty high, meaning misses are bigger financial bummers. The topic is general (e.g. PopSugar doesn't know if people like makeup or books or salad spinners or none of the above. At least if one subscribes to Ipsy, the company can assume people probably like makeup.) There is no personalization. I think the box does well for what it is, but it's not surprising, given the format, that you occasionally get things that make you go, "Uh… who even wants this?"

If my review has magically convinced you to try PopSugar Must Have, you are always free to use my referral link by clicking here. You can use the code REFER5 to get $5 off your box.


  1. "It's the potato of mascaras."
    Lines like this are the reason I love your blog so much, haha

  2. I read two of Emily Giffin's novels when I was holed up in a hostel in Argentina and the English-language pickings were slim. They were surprisingly good. That doesn't necessarily mean that The One and Only is, but eh. You might give a couple of chapters a chance.

  3. I don't think I've posted before, but I just wanted to say that I found your blog a few months ago and it's become a complete favorite. Besides being tremendously informative and appropriately critical (often too rare among beauty bloggers), you have the most hilarious writing of any beauty blog I've read. Whatever real-world stuff is overwhelming right now, I hope it's overwhelming in a *good* way!

  4. That hat is so silly! It's like the "emergency" sun hat my 65-year-old mom keeps in her car. Stylin'.

  5. Those damn salad tongs though... mmmm.
    your hypothetical dinner party sounds fab, can I come on a hypothetical plane ticket from Wales?

  6. I cancelled after June. They've gone downhill in the past 6 months...oh well. I'm reading the book right now but honestly, meh. You know how it's going to end.
    And it's gross.

  7. For the jump rope, just tie knots in it until it is your desired length.

  8. I would trade a year of my life for a bag of Dang coconut chips. They are delicious as hell

  9. The end of the handles on the jump rope unscrew. Take that off, pull the rope a bit through, re-attach the fastener and screw the end cap back on. ;)

    1. You beat me to saying it! So glad I wasn't the only one that thought this :)

  10. I like these reviews because they have the delicious element of surprise. In an Ipsy review, you know kind of what to expect. Here, you're like: 'A BOOK?! a JUMP ROPE?!?! a STRANGE OLD LADY HAT? :P Endless variety...

  11. l absolutely fell in love with your blog, following you!<3
    Make sure you also check out my blog and follow me as well.

    Love John Setrodipo

  12. "It's the potato of mascaras" really cracked me up! I got that stuff in Beauty Box 5 and did not see what was great about it either. Anyway, love your blog, please don't quit! Love the honest reviews of stuff. Too many blogs are too nice, which is useless.

  13. That salad spoon is without a doubt the cutest salad spoon I've ever seen.

  14. I might add, I for one refresh this page on the regular. :)

  15. Yeah, that hat is a little disappointing. And I agree the Honeydew Mint scent sounds great!

  16. I have a quibble. I'm not sure if PopSugar gives you the retail value or if you're researching it yourself, but Emily Giffin's book is actually priced at $28.00. $16.52 is most likely the loss-leader cost that certain multinational online conglomerates like to use to screw over small independent retailers that have to pay $15.12 to even get the book from the publisher and could never stay in business if they marked it down to only make $1.40 for every sale.


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