What Is PopSugar Must Have?
PopSugar Must Have is a monthly subscription box that markets itself as “[t]he best in fashion, beauty, home, fitness, food, and more delivered straight to your door.” Unlike services such as BirchBox, PopSugar Must Have does not limit itself to beauty products and instead includes lifestyle products from a range of categories. This makes it a good option for someone like me who enjoys beauty products, but already has her favorites.
PopSugar guarantees that each box contains “surprises valued over $100.” It has featured brands such as Loeffler Randall (love this brand’s shoes!), M Missoni, deborah lippman, and Jonathan Adler, among others.
How Do I Get It?
Subscription plans start at $39.95/month, although you can save money if you have a promo code or get a longer (3 month or 6 month) plan. It’s a little more high-end than other subscription boxes, which is why the price is higher.
Once you sign up, you usually have to wait a month or so for your next box. (There’s often a “waiting list”) If you are interested, you can sign up here. (Full Disclosure: Although I do not receive compensation from PopSugar to review their products, I will receive free months when people sign up through this link.)
In addition to its monthly boxes (see here for a review of May’s box), PopSugar sells special edition boxes. There are limited quantities of these boxes available and each one is curated around a pre-announced theme. If you’re interested in receiving alerts when the limited edition boxes are available, you can do so my submitting your email here.
CFDA Special Edition
The one I’m reviewing here is the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) box. This box was marketed as featuring “coveted brands and emerging designers, curated with a passion for philanthropy and fashion.” It wasn’t cheap – $195! – but was guaranteed to have $600+ worth of products. Apparently enough people thought this was a good deal, as it sold out within hours.
I was really looking forward to this box. I was so excited when it arrived. Here’s what it looked like upon opening:
Retail Value of Items
The above is a picture of the box as a whole and the items it contains. Here are pictures of the card:
The box includes:
- Maiyet Poison Dart Stud Earrings (PopSugar says: $395; Actual Retail Price: $295) Why is the price so different? That’s some shady stuff.
- Anna Sui Lipstick (PopSugar says $30: Actual Retail Price: $30)
- Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Bangle (PopSugar says: $80; Actual Retail Price: The prices varied online, but, based on what I see, $80 seems accurate).
- Milly Nail Polish Set (PopSugar says: $36 ; Actual Retail Price: N/A. I don’t think Milly makes nail polish normally).
- “The Woman I Wanted To Be” by Diane von Furtstenberg (PopSugar says: $28; Actual Retail Price: $17.77 or $13.99 on Kindle)
- Apolis + Clare V. Market Bag (PopSugar says: $68; Actual Retail Price: $68)
Total Retail Value of Box: $637 (PopSugar); $496.77 (Actual)
This is a huge difference. Since PopSugar guaranteed that the box would be worth $600, it’s really disappointing that it isn’t.
Maiyet Poison Dart Stud Earrings
This is clearly the big ticket item in the box. The earrings are nice, but I HATE gold. I’m actually really annoyed that PopSugar sent these to everyone, because they specifically ask in your profile whether you like silver or gold jewelry. Why ask if you’re not going to honor it? If this wasn’t the big ticket item, I’d be okay with a gold piece. But for this to constitute half of the promised value? Not cool.
I’m not a fan of the earrings, but, after reading about them, I am now a fan of Maiyet. They have a great philosophy and I hope they continue to succeed in the cut-throat world of fashion.
Anna Sui Lipstick
I feel like lipstick is a tricky item to include in a box like this. The booklet says that the colors vary, but it’s hard to send out a few colors and expect them to look good on everyone. The color I got was 371. It looks okay on me, but I found that the star shape made it more difficult to put on. I wouldn’t purchase this if I was sampling it at Sephora, so I’m disappointed it was included in the box.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Bangle
I love Marc Jacobs and I have several accessories by him, so I generally like the Marc by Marc Jacobs logo. But this bangle is ALL about the logo. And whenever something is a “logo” item, I feel like I’m a walking ad. That’s why I’ve never been into Louis Vuitton bags. I’ll probably wear it just because I don’t want to feel like I wasted my money, but it won’t be my favorite. I also can’t help my cynicism and think that since Marc by Marc Jacobs is folding, they just had a bunch of bangles lying around that they needed to get rid of.
Milly Nail Polish Set
I like Milly, but I am surprised that they included Milly nail polish in the box. It’s just not inspired at all. I can’t be the only person who gets a gel manicure and therefore has no use for regular nail polish. I guess I’ll gift it or use it to paint my daughter’s nails.
“The Woman I Wanted To Be” by Diane von Furstenberg
What is this ancient item? A book in paper form? I love Diane von Furstenberg, but I probably won’t read this.
Apolis + Clare V Market Bag
This bag is pretty big and it’s really nice – for a market bag. When I think CFDA, I don’t think about bags in which I toss my food. Plus, this isn’t a great market bag. I try to be eco-friendly and use reusable bags, but I like ones that I can easily store in my purse. This bag was featured on The Zoe Report back in February, however, so at least it has the fashionista stamp of approval.
When I heard about this box, I expected something like the J Crew/ CFDA collaboration, with items from new, emerging designers. I figured this would be a box full of items that would be coveted (and easily put on sale on eBay – not that I planned to do that.) Instead, I honestly can’t even think of people to whom I could give away most of these items. I’m kinda bummed that I purchased the Summer Special Edition Box, because I feel like that may be a waste of my money too. Hopefully, that box will redeem PopSugar Special Edition!