At a relatively high $40 a month, I always have a few reservations about PopSugar Must Have. It's nice when that hemming and hawing ends up being completely unnecessary. I was quite happy with my box this month!
Lollia at Last No. 17 Perfumed Shower Gel (8 fl oz), retail value $22.00
Although I am totally body-lotioned out at this point in my career of receiving subscription boxes full of goodies, I have managed to avoid getting gallons of body wash. This fancy-pants shower gel, then, is actually an appreciated bathroom addition.
I was expecting the smell to be a little more floral, given the bright yellow blooms all over the tube. The subtle smell, though, is still very pleasant, and the packaging looks lovely chilling out in my shower.
PaddyWax Ocean Tide + Sea Salt Mini Jar Candle (3 oz), retail value $10.00
This candle doesn't smell like a literal ocean, but the faintly soured sweetness is definitely evocative of one.
As a child, I got very excited about scented candles. I haven't had one in about ten years, though! Since crappy tea lights can't fulfill 100% of my need for unadulterated fire, I'm excited about using this when the weather cools down a bit.
Think Thin High Protein Bar in Brownie Crunch (2.1 oz), retail value $1.99
I have been experimenting with protein bars lately, so I was really happy to get this one. It's frustrating as hell to find something promising, be unable to buy a single bar, order a box, and find out that they are actually disgusting. (Seriously, fuck Quest bars, you guys. I don't care how popular they are or how excellent their macros are; they taste vile.)
This one is neither the best nor the worst that I have tried. It's sweetened with maltitol, which is a sugar alcohol that is used as a lower calorie sugar substitute, at about 2 calories per gram to pure sugar's 4. If you've read the hilarious reviews of the 5 lb bag of Haribo Sugar Free Gummi Bears, which went viral a while back, you may already know that maltitol has a laxative effect, but it's not potent enough to matter if you're eating a single protein bar. The sugar on these is at 0g, but it's worth noting that there are 12g of sugar alcohol. Maltitol does have a pretty high glycemic index (not quite that of sugar, but close), so it's not like it's an amazingly healthy alternative. I personally would prefer to just go ahead and eat the sugar.
It contains 20g of protein, which is pretty standard. It's a mix of calcium caseinate, whey protein isolate, and soy protein isolate. Most research suggests that whey protein is best for people who are serious about gaining muscle, but for many of us, a blend like this will be good enough.
There is a very slightly chalky taste to these and they're a bit bland, but the flavor is not bad.
Personally, the best-tasting protein bar I have found is Clif's Builder Bar in Mint Chocolate. It certainly comes with its downsides: It's slightly higher in calories (270 vs. 230), it gives you your fucking sugar (and lots of it at 22g), and it's soy protein isolate, not whey. However, I am just the kind of person who would rather eat things that taste good. I'll find the perfect protein bar one day.
The Mason Jar Cookie Company Festive Celebrate Cookie Mix (20.2 oz), retail value $12.99
Inexplicably, the Mason Jar Cookie Company chose to send us something that was not in a mason jar-- it was in an opaque pouch printed with mason jar pattern that did not reflect the contents of the pouch (as there is no chocolate in the cookie mix). Hm…
The mix is a sugar cookie base with chocolate candies and sprinkles.
In theory, you add an egg, half a stick of butter, and a little vanilla, mix, bake, and you get cookies! Despite the mild annoyance of using half an egg, I was able to split the recipe in half.
Right out of the pouch, it looks like this:
I think the bake time was a little too long on these (they ended up too crispy for my taste. I use an internal oven thermometer so I know my oven was the recommended temperature!), but they were definitely yummy.
Kendra Scott Elle Earrings in Slate, retail value $52
These earrings were definitely my favorite thing in the box. Not only do I love them, I am considering purchasing another (more expensive…) pair of Kendra Scott earrings. Her style just hits the mark for me; they're the perfect combo of gaudy and classy.
The stone is chrysoberyl (also called cat's eye) and the metal is rhodium over brass.
I've been getting a crapload of use out of these and will almost certain continue to do so.
Goodbyn Small Meal Box, retail value $6.50
Goodbyn Little Dipper, retail value $1.49
This is a neat little storage tub option.
Although I believe it's intended for lunches, I feel like it will be most handy for storing leftover taco supplies.
Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lip Gloss in Popsugar (0.13 oz), retail value $22.00
This limited edition Bite Beauty lip gloss is a fandango pink. As a lipgloss, it looks like a near-radioactive melted candy.
It's a bit sheer. I wish it truly committed and packed a color punch!
It's also very, very, very sticky. It's a classic lipgloss for people who like not a lot of color, stickiness, and an ultraglossy look.
I assume that those people are out there.
Total Box Value: $128.97
Overall, I think that this is the most consistent PopSugar box that I have received. Usually, there are some things I love and some things that are basically trash for me. Even though every product wasn't flawless, everything I got this month had value to me. It was a good box. That'll do pig. That'll do.
If you feel that PopSugar has been desperately missing from your life, you are always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here. I believe the code MUSTHAVEYT will get you $10 off for at least a few more days. After that, REFER5 will get you five bucks off. (Side note: The September box is scheduled to include a Tilo scarf that retails at $125… so that should be good.)