POPSUGAR Must Have Subscription Box – May 2015 Review

Our May 2015 Must Have box was curated to help kick Summer off right with a box designed to keep you happy, healthy, and, of course, stylish. You’ll find beauty products fit for the beach and bright home goods that scream Summer. We hope you live it up!

The box is $40/month, but I typically get $5 off with coupon: MUSTHAVE5

Here’s what was included this month:

  • Kitsch – Tri’d & True Y-Shaped Necklace – Value $32
  • Middle Kingdom – Mini Plum Vase in Coral Red – Value $20
  • Batiste – Dry Shampoo Cherry – Travel Size Value $4
  • Sisters of Los Angeles – Surf Sand Love Beach Towel – Value $40
  • Sage & Row – Bare Shave Cream – Value $17
  • Hammond’s Candies McCraw’s Flat Taffy – Value $1

At over $110 value, this is great for Popsugar!

Out of everything, my favorite is the Beach Towel, which I have already used a few times since receiving it. I also have been using the Shave Cream, which has already been super useful!

POPSUGAR Must Have Subscription Box – April 2015 Review

What inspired the April Must Have Box? Spring, Simplicity, Markets, Outdoors.

I wasn’t going to sign-up for this month’s POPSUGAR Must Have, but ended up caving. Here’s what was included:

Overall, I was happy with the box because I am in love with the Dabney Lee Umbrella and I have been needing a new umbrella for a long time. I am shocked that it’s only a $20 value because it seems very well made.  The other items are not anything I will get much use out of but they are all very nice products.

The One Love Organics body serum is a high value skin care item and has a very strong and unique floral smell which I like but am not sure it is something I will use often.

I do like that the Produce candle is in a mason jar and can be reused after the candle has burned fully.

CocoFeed @popsugarmh

 

I also thought the Garden in a Bag is absolutely adorable!

CocoFeed: And we have sprouts

 

My least favorite product was probably the reusable bag simply because I do not have a use for that particular style. It is a cool idea though and I could see leaving it in my car for travel uses.

The box total worth is about $100 and at $35 (after coupon) it was a great value for me!

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POPSUGAR Must Have Special Edition Resort Box Review

Dreaming of your next destination? Get ready with all of our travel-inspired favorites inside the Special Edition Must Have Resort Box! Special Edition boxes are indulgent, one-time purchases that feature exclusive items and unique collaborations.

The 2015 Resort box included the following items:

popsugar-must-have-resort-2015

  • Stephanie Johnson – White Dot Train Case ($60)
  • Jane Iredale – Warm My Steppes Makeup Kit ($58)
  • Drunk Elephant – C-Firma Day Serum ($80)
  • Lele Sadoughi – Half-Moon Pendant ($110)
  • Jacobsen Salt Co. – Pure Sea Salt Cocktail Salt ($14)
  • Sloane Stationary – Passport Holder ($48)

 

That’s a $370 value!

Now that I’ve had a chance to look at each item and try them out, my favorite item in the Resort Box is the Stephanie Johnson Train Case.

CocoFeed

I have a few trips coming up so it will be super useful for me! It is really cute and seems to be well made. I absolutely love that it is lined (and in PINK!!), so it should be easy to clean up, especially since I will most likely be housing make-up in it which is notorious for spillage. This bag makes the whole box for me!!

I also really liked the Drunk Elephant Serum. It is nice getting a high priced skin care product, especially since I do not already use a serum on my skin. However, I HATE the way it smells. It is only bearable after masking the smell with lots of make-up. I will probably keep using it, but that was somewhat disappointing.

The rest of the box ended up being a slight miss for me. I was SO excited when I saw spoilers of the Lele Sadoughi Necklace, but in person it just wasn’t my style. It definitely looks nice and seems to be pretty good quality, but the length and and chunky style chain makes it look more like costume jewelry rather than expensive (especially if you consider the $110 price tag). I actually ended up liking the bag the necklace came in more than the actual necklace, haha!

The Sloane Stationary Passport Holder is very simple and would be useful if I actually had a passport. Maybe it will become useful if I end up going out of the country at some point.

The Jane Iredale Makeup Kit was a huge plus for a lot of people (it was the one item that PopSugar spoiled on their Facebook page), but I knew from the beginning I would not be keeping it. I do wear makeup, but this kit is not my taste at all. For one, I have not worn bronzer since I was in high school and I don’t plan on wearing it any time soon. If I can, I might sell or trade this one.

Finally, the Jacobsen Cocktail Salt was a huge letdown for me! I love margaritas, but we don’t usually make them at home and I doubt it will ever get used. Hopefully I can gift this one.

Overall, I was pretty excited about the Stephanie Johnson Train Case and I do not regret purchasing the Resort Box, but I do feel like most of these items were not a fit for me.

Instagram filter used: Valencia

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Walmart Beauty Box Spring 2015 Subscription Review

A defining line here. A splash of color there. Every woman has her own unique way of showing the beauty within her. At Walmart, you’ll discover the latest products and most trusted brands at our low prices. Every day.

For $5 each season, Walmart will send you a box full of samples and coupons for Walmart beauty products.

 

Here’s a list of the samples and coupons I received in my Spring box:

  • John Frieda Touchably Full Shampoo and Conditioner (0.28oz/8.3ml each)
  • L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Shampoo, Conditioner, and Instant Shock Treatment (0.34oz/10ml each)
  • TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo(1.15oz/32g)
  • St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub(1.0oz/28g)
  • Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion – Omega Moisture (0.5oz/14ml)
  • Dove Pure Care Dry Oil (0.4oz/11ml)
  • Hard Candy All Glossed Up Lip Stain in Chic (0.081oz/2.3g)
  • Nivea Smooth Sensation Dry Skin Body Lotion (0.14oz/4ml)

 

And the Coupons/Ads:

  • $2.00 Off Coupon for any John Frieda Luxurious Volume styling product
  • $1.00 Off Coupon for any one Nivea Body Lotion or Creme
  • $2.00 Off Coupon for one Covergirl + Olay Simply Ageless Foundation Product
  • Ad for Maybelline’s new pallette: The Blushed Nudes

 

At first glance, I was fairly disappointed in my items compared to others I have already seen, as it looks like others received larger samples and more coupons in their boxes. But now that I am looking into the items more carefully, I am actually becoming more excited in some of the items I received.

hard-candy-all-glossed-up-lip-stain-chic

I was most happy to see the Hard Candy lip stain. I believe this is full size and $5 in stores, so that one item covers the price of the entire box. Chic is a nude color, not my first choice but it’s pretty and glides on silky smooth. I like it!

dial-omega-moisture

I also really liked the Dial 7 Day Moisturizing Lotion. It smells like berries/peaches to me and my skin loved it. It looks like the Omega Moisture is a newer scent featuring Sea Berries. I also saw they have a Greek Yogurt lotion which sounds delicious!

The majority of my box contained hair care type products, which is something I don’t use a lot of. I have quite a few oils that I have received in different subscriptions that have been left unused… so I don’t see the Dove one to be of much use for me. I will have to force myself to use the shampoo/conditioner samples so that they aren’t wasted. I hear other rave about dry shampoo all the time, so maybe I will give it a try, as well.

Once I am able to thoroughly test each product, I might post a review of an item that stands out to me. So far I am most intrigued by Dove’s whole Omega Moisture/Sea Berries line.

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the selection for $5. Since I generally do not shop at Walmart  or buy these types/brands of products, I am probably not their target market. I ended up cancelling my subscription, but I did enjoy getting this box and think the value is good.

Instagram filter used: Valencia

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CocoFeed: January 2015 Pop Sugar Must Have Subscription Box

I decided to try out PopSugar’s Must Have box and I was pleasantly surprised! I absolutely love the glass cup and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. Those two items made this box worth it for me.

Cost: $39.95/month.
Coupon: Use coupon code “REFER5” to save $5 off your first PopSugar Must Have Box.

Included in this month’s box:

I’ve already started using the cup and cream. My boyfriend loves the granola.

Instagram filter used: Amaro

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Sephora Favorites Superstars Set

A $15 off coupon for Sephora arrived in the mail the other day and I knew immediately that I would be making a purchase from Sephora very soon. After some browsing on the site, I decided on the Superstars value set for $75 (worth $225)… which after the coupon, was only $60!!! Not to mention, lots of sample goodies as usual!

This set features bestselling, head-to-toe beauty essentials. With an array of full-size products, from nail polish to styling spray, they’re perfect for every beauty lover. Gift them out to your best friends or indulge yourself with this special holiday treat.

My main reason for trying this set is because I already love Nars Orgasm blush and thought it would be fun to try a few new products. And I have to say… I am way more pleased than I thought I would be! For one, I am actually using the eye liner! And I ALWAYS hated eye liner and Stila. I think this set is definitely a winner and a great gift as well.

I like just about every product in this set and I cannot wait to use them everyday.

This set contains:
– 0.003 oz Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown
– 0.25 oz Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional
– 0.10 oz Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real Mascara In Jet Black
– 1.7 oz Bumble And Bumble Surf Spray
– 0.34 oz Chloè by Chloè Rollerball
– 0.4 oz Formula X Nail Color in Ignite
– 0.08 oz Fresh Sugar Rosè Tinted Lip Treatment
– 0.5 oz Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil
– 0.16 oz Nars Cosmetics Blush in Orgasm
– 1 oz Smashbox Cosmetics Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 in Light
– 0.016 oz Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day® Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner In Intense Black
– 0.05 oz Urban Decay Eye shadow in Sin

The eye liner surprised me the most. If I keep up with wearing eye liner, I will definitely be purchasing it again. The Argan Oil smells wonderful. And of course, the Nars blush is always a winner.

The jury is still out on the Smashbox BB Cream (I haven’t been a huge fan of Smashbox in the past). And the Benefit POREfessional hasn’t lived up to my expectations, but I will have to use it a few more times to really know for sure.

Regardless, I am very impressed and excited to have this set!

Yes To Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes

Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes help fight acne and blemishes when you’re on the go with powerful blemish-fighting ingredients that are proven to help heal and clear skin.

A few months ago I signed up for the subscribe & save deal on Amazon to receive a monthly shipment of Yes To Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes mainly because I had wanted to accomplish a few things:

  • Clean off my makeup EVERY night
  • Fight acne
  • Save money, time, and effort

According to the brand, Yes To Carrots, online store, these face wipes are $5.99, and I would also have to drive to buy them every month… which I am notorious for NOT doing. Amazon offers them for only about $5.00 a month with free shipping when you sign up for a subscription. And so, Amazon having the best price and offering the easiest way to enable me to ACTUALLY have a new pack every month, I thought it was a pretty safe bet.

I am currently into my third shipment, and I am already in love with this product. I have already noticed a difference in my acne level and I feel a peace of mind knowing I am keeping my skin free of the harsh effect of wearing makeup overnight.

I cannot wait to start testing more of the Yes To products! They have a bunch of different products for different wants and needs.

  • Yes To Carrots – nourishing
  • Yes To Cucumbers – soothing
  • Yes To Tomatoes – clear skin
  • Yes To Blueberries – age refresh
  • Yes To Grapefruit – correct & repair
  • Yes To Carrots Fragrance Free

I whole heartedly recommend this product, and I will probably be a lifelong customer.

 

Olay Fresh Effects

Olay Fresh Effects keeps skin sparkling from morning till night! The six cleansers and moisturizers offer all-day freshness, and can be mixed and matched for a totally unique experience. The simple yet effective formulas will spruce up your beauty routine, for a long-lasting, beautiful look.

Included in my Influenster SweetHeart Voxbox was the Olay Fresh Effects {Va-Va-Vivid!} Powered Contour Cleansing System!

To start, the Cleansing System comes with two items: the {Shine, Shine, Go Away!} Shine Minimizing Cleanser and an electric facial cleansing brush.

When I first opened this kit, I assumed the brush was just like any face brush… and then when I was writing this review, I realized it was actually electric! The brush itself is designed to get around your face’s contours—the T-zone, hairline, and nose. I would have to agree that the triangular design of the brush is very efficient in reaching those places!

Olay Fresh Effects Va-Va-Vivid! Powered Contour Cleansing System

Now lets talk about the cleanser… I really, really like the way it smells. It is a relatively common smell, I have quite a few products that are similar. But it is very fresh and clean. The cleanser is a pearl-y silver color, and goes on very smooth. I have VERY oily skin, and anything that combats shine is awesome in my book. I am always looking for cleansers to use with my Clarisonic, and I think Olay’s Fresh Effects cleanser may be a contender!

Application: Splash your face and the cleansing brush with a little water. Squeeze Olay Fresh Effects cleanser onto the bristles, turn on the brush and apply it to your face in gentle circles. After about a minute, rinse your face and the brush with cool water. Va-Va-Vivid! Is safe for use in the shower, but do not submerge in water. Avoid contact with eyes.

You can find Olay products at most major retailers, and online at Olay’s website and Amazon. Suggested retail price: $12.99 for the cleansing system, $6.99 for 5oz cleanser.

Courtney’s Rating: A

Disclaimer: I received these products to test for free through the Influenster VoxBox program.

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response

Secret Clinical Strength is designed to provide prescription strength, extra-effective, wetness protection for women even with the most demanding body chemistries.

Included in my Influenster SweetHeart Voxbox was a full size of Secret’s Clinical Strength Stress Response deodorant in Serene Citrus!

As I said in my initial impression, I have never used a deodorant quite like this one! One thing I did not realize about this product is they recommend using it before bedtime, but you can use it in the mornings, too. The directions encourage you to use 2 “clicks” per underarm, but I find that one is usually enough.

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response

I’m not a very heavy sweater, so I am not sure this product is specifically designed for me. But I can definitely see the benefits for using it when you know you will be doing something more active or stressful. I really like the fact that this product has a moisturizing effect. It really is like armpit lotion!

Not to mention how awesome the Serene Citrus scent is! I am very picky when it comes to fragranced products, but this one is wonderful!

Secret’s campaign for their new deodorant mainly focuses on the fact that it combats stress sweat, so for one of the challenges they asked us to tweet how it helped us! Here’s my tweet:

Here’s a little interesting information for you about sweat and stress:

Did you know there are actually three main causes of sweat? Sweat is induced by physical activity/exercise, environmental/heat and stress.

Stress sweat is different – it can happen instantaneously and smells the worst, because it comes from two different glands. Sweat from physical activity and heat comes from the Eccrine sweat glands – made up mostly of water. Stress sweat however also comes from a different gland, the Apocrine. The Aprocrine gland has more nutrients, which means more bacteria, which can cause more odor.

Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response offers a lot of protection from nasty armpit sweat, and keeps you smelling fresh all day (and sometimes even longer!). Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of this product. I had never used this kind of deodorant before, and was hesitant at first, but I am quickly becoming a fan!

You can find Secret products at most major retailers. Suggested retail price: $7.99-$9.99 for a 1.6oz.

Courtney’s Rating: A

Disclaimer: I received these products to test for free through the Influenster VoxBox program.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen

With its ultra-luxurious hydrating silk ribbons, Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration™ lotion sunscreen nourishes and pampers skin while providing broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and 12-hour moisturization when out in the sun.

Included in my Influenster Summer Beauty Voxbox was a sample size of Hawaiian Tropic’s Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen with SPF 30.

My skin has always been very sensitive when it came to being in the sun for an extended amount of time, and because of this, I have always needed some kind of sunscreen to protect my skin from burning. My biggest complaint has always been that most sunscreens were, to be perfectly honest, gross! What I absolutely love about Hawaiian Tropic’s new Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreens is that they are a sunscreen AND a lotion. The sunscreen applies more like a lotion, and less like a sticky or greasy sunscreen. The smell is also very pleasing with a hint of coconut and something else.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SunscreenThe Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen is very hydrating and keeps your skin moisturized during outside activities. I have used it on three separate occasions at the river; the lotion and the sunscreen did their job on every outing. Overall, I definitely could see myself continuing to use this product. It kills two birds with one stone by moisturizing while giving adequate sun protection.

You can find Hawaiian Tropic products at most major retailers. Suggested retail price: $8.99 for a 6oz bottle. Also available in SPF 12, 30, 50!

Courtney’s Rating: A

Disclaimer: I received these products to test for free through the Influenster VoxBox program.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Peel-Off and Clay Facial Masks

I stopped into Walgreens for a quick trip and spotted these Freeman facial masks near my usual brand for face masks. I was hesitant to switch, but the Freeman face masks were on sale (Buy One Get One Free) and only $3.99 each to begin with… way better priced then what I was buying before. It was a no-brainer, I grabbed one of each and checked out. I do not know much about the Freeman brand, but in my research I found they were founded in 1976 and based in the Beverly Hills area of Los Angeles in California. They are a subsidiary of pH Beauty Labs, Inc. The facial masks are a part of their Feeling Beautiful collection that have “all natural extracts from mother earth’s bounty of fruits, oats and botanicals… combined to make you look and feel your unique personal best.”

Below are my reviews of the two face masks I purchased:

Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask

Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay MaskDirections: apply mask to face and neck, avoiding contact with eyes. Let dry and rinse with warm water. This amazing clay mask purges pores and draws out excess oils and dirt. Skin is left feeling clean and soft. Perfect for normal to oily skin.

The first thing I noticed was the smell: it was not that pleasant. Now I am not saying it was ‘bad,’ but it most certainly was not good either. I love Avocados but I am not sure I love them on my face so close to my nose! I am sure some people will like it, but I personally did not. You do get used to the smell, however, and it is not that noticeable. The formula is a light green and goes on very smooth and creamy. I did not notice any stinging or irritation, but there was a light tingle. I left it on about 20 minutes, and when finished it washed off very quickly and easily. I immediately noticed how smooth and fresh my skin felt and even the next morning it was still very supple. I have absolutely no complaints, other than the smell is not my first choice. I will definitely purchase again in another scent.

COURTNEY’S RATING: A
6.0 oz (Orig. $3.99) from FreemanBeauty.com

Cucumber Facial Peel-Off Mask

Freeman Cucumber Facial Peel-Off MaskDirections: Apply evenly to face, avoiding eye area, Leave on 5-10 minutes or until dry. Gently peel off mask. Rinse with warm water. This ever so fun mask gently peels away impurities while Cucumber extract leaves skin silky smooth. Perfect for normal to combination skin.

This is my first experience with a Peel-Off Mask, and I was very intrigued by the process. The formula is a thick, sticky almost honey-like substance. It applies and dries clear, so it is somewhat hard to know if you have missed a spot. It is a little messier than the clay mask process, but overall not very difficult. I am not a huge fan of Cucumber smells, but I decided to give it a try anyway. Unfortunately, I still do not like Cucumber, which is not a fault of the product, just personal preference. It is not a very strong smell, so that is a plus and like the Avocado, you get used to it after awhile. The mask has a light cooling sensation in the beginning, and while it dries your skin feels very tight. You MUST let the mask dry completely (leaving no sticky spots) for removal. I was able to peel off the entire mask in about a minute in one piece going slowly. It felt like pulling off an extra layer of dead skin. The mask left my skin super clean and healthy looking, I am very pleasantly surprised. I definitely want to include peel-off masks into my routine.

COURTNEY’S RATING: B+
6.0 oz (Orig. $3.99) from FreemanBeauty.com

Overall, I love the bottles and the ability to choose how much I want to use. Some face masks come in single serving packets, which I thought was cool at first, but this is much more convenient and useful (but if you like the packets, they have those available for $1.99 each!). I would really love to try their other Clay Masks to find a smell more suited for me!

Bikini Zone Medicated After-Shave Gel

Get Rid of the Bumps. If you’re like most women, you’ve experienced irritation after shaving your bikini area. Bikini Zone is uniquely medicated to provide fast relief from the irritation, bumps and redness that can occur in the sensitive bikini area after shaving.

I have been super busy and stressed out with the Spring semester ending and studying for finals, but my favorite stress reliever has always been getting some sun at the beach or the river! And if you are one of the brave souls like me who love wearing a bikini, you also know there is also a lot of upkeep when it comes to hair removal. The bikini line and pubic area is very sensitive, and when waxed or shaved can cause irritation and NASTY bumps! I don’t think ANYONE likes ingrown hairs!!! My friend Christina introduced me, last year, to an AMAZING product called Bikini Zone. A few dabs of Bikini Zone after shaving or waxing, and the problem is solved!

I have been using Bikini Zone for the past year, and I have to say I have not had any issues with irritation or bumps. In fact, when I DON’T use Bikini Zone, I end up getting horrible bumps from shaving.

Bikini Zone costs about $7.99 for a 1oz tube, and that small tube lasts a LONG time! I’m still on my first tube that I bought last year. They also have a non-medicated Anti-Bumps Shave Gel, $4.99 for 4oz and varying hair removal products. Bikini Zone products can be bought from Wal-mart, walgreens, and many more places in-store, and also from online retailers (directly from CCA Industries). For more information about Bikini Zone Medicated After-Shave Gel, please visit BikiniZone.com.