Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

After last month’s amazing BarkBox (my favorite thus far!), I was sure this month’s theme wouldn’t be able to top it. But I was actually thrilled to open the box to find a London themed box! I’ll be visiting the UK over the summer (literally counting down the days…), and this was just perfect. I always appreciate the simply adorable themes that BarkBox puts out for every month. They’re my absolute favorite pet subscription box! Maddie would probably agree with me, based on how quickly the toys and treats get snatched out of the box.

BarkBox is $29/month if you do the month-to-month plan, but it goes down to only $18/month if you sign up for the whole year! We’ve been subscribed for a year and recently renewed for a whole year since it was such a great deal. Before getting BarkBox we were probably dropping between $30 to $50 a month at pet stores, and now the box usually lasts us through the month. You can use my link to get a free Barkbox added to any subscription, or use my referral code HOARDING. And if you use my link/referral code, they’ll donate a free box to the Bark-N-Rest Retirement Center! It’s a great cause and I’m pleased that BarkBox gives back to the doggie community!

You can choose different sizes when you order, and we get the Large box (for dogs over 50 lbs). Even though Maddie is about 46 lbs, she has the energy and strength of a much larger dog so we always size up for toys.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Sherlock Hat | $14.00
This is a BarkShop exclusive item, much like most of the toys that BarkBox sends out. I love that we get toys that you’ll never find in a pet store, and they’re always well constructed and made by reputable brands. This toy is so cute and silly; the houndstooth pattern is just perfect for the London theme!

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Maddie is definitely a heavy duty chewer, so most toys don’t last long with her. I like that the rubber spiky ball is very durable and that she can still play with it even after she destroys the plush and cloth parts. This must be a popular item since it sold out very quickly this month! If it ever comes back in stock I will probably buy another one.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Superior Farms Lamb Lung Toasters | $9.00
These treats are grain free, gluten free, and high in protein. As always, they’re made and sourced in the USA. Maddie isn’t a picky dog when it comes to treats, so it doesn’t really mean a whole lot when I say “she loved them!”, but…she loved them.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

EOS Turkey with Sweet Potato Treats | $6.00
We’ve received EOS treats before, and I appreciate their simple ingredients list. Maddie adores anything and everything sweet potato, so this was right up her alley. No artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors added. It’s made with USA ingredients, and contains no grain, corn, wheat, or soy. It’s a good treat for dogs with allergies, especially since the main meat is turkey instead of something more common like chicken.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

The Telephone Booth | $14.00
Of course, no London themed box would skip out on the telephone booth! This is another chewer-friendly toy, since it features a puncture-resistance squeaker. Maddie had a great time with this toy, though she was able to pull the cloth wrapping off. Despite all the play, it still squeaks! It just no longer looks like an adorable telephone box.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Smoking Gun Smoke Sticks | $4.00
Guessing on the value here, since it’s not for sale in the BarkShop. Each month the box will contain one chew, which I’ve come to expect and actually work into my schedule. I like to use them as distractions for nail cutting sessions and other grooming needs, so every month when it gets here it means grooming time for Maddie! This one has an ultra simple list of ingredients: pork and sweet potato.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Last month I didn’t get any pictures of Maddie in my review, so I promised pictures this month. And I totally  didn’t get any of her playing with her new toys, so here are just regular pictures of Maddie:

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

Does that look comfortable to you? I don’t know why she likes to sleep all jumbled up like that. This is also photographic evidence of how spoiled she is–that entire couch (and the West Elm throw!) basically belong to her.

Barkbox March 2016 Review plus Free Box

The total value for March comes to about $47.00, which I am more than happy with. Every month has a great theme that they really adhere to, and I’m always so impressed with the curation. Their customer service is also a dream to communicate with. Whenever we have had issues with a product in the past (only twice in over a year), they were responsive and immediately rectified the problem. Even if your dog just doesn’t like a toy, they’ll send you a code for a free one from their shop.

I also really appreciate all the sturdy toys we’ve been receiving. I think you can email the BarkBox support team and request your box to be for heavy chewers, and they’ll make a note of it on your account. I remember doing that a long time ago and I do think that’s why we’ve been getting mostly tougher toys now. It’s great that the rope toys and rubber toys last for several months now. I’ve repurchased several items from their shop, and Maddie continues to play with all of them. Her toy collection of getting really big, did I mention that she’s so very spoiled?

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Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Last month I had the pleasure of reviewing a Premium snack box from Tokyo Treat, and I can honestly say it was the most fun I’ve ever had reviewing a box. I mean, is it even possible to not have fun while eating Japanese snacks and candy? When Tokyo Treat was kind enough to offer me another box for review this month, I could not have been more excited!

Tokyo Treat is a monthly food subscription service that sends you snacks and candies directly from Japan. They have three different subscription options: Small ($14.99/month), Regular ($24.99/month), and Premium ($34.99/month). The Small comes with 5-7 candies/snacks, Regular gets everything in the Small plus 3-5 more items including a DIY kit, and the Premium gets everything in the Small and Regular, plus 4-6 more items, a DIY kit, a beverage, and a special item. These prices include shipping, and I’m pretty sure they offer free worldwide shipping–good news for all my non-US friends!! I’ll be reviewing the February Premium box today.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I know I already raved about their adorable new packaging and illustrations in my last review, but it warrants another mention. Seriously, how fun are these?? The box is very sturdy as well. Both boxes that I’ve received looked a little travel-worn upon arrival, but the snacks inside were pristine. Oddly enough, this month I had to actually go to my local post office to pick up this package. Last month they just left it at my doorstep. I’m not sure why there was a difference, but either way I didn’t have to pay any customs fees of any kind.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Each month they include a little booklet about the contents of your box and also some mini articles about Japanese culture. The booklet is meant to be read the traditional Asian way, with the pages opening on the left side and flipping left to right.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

It lists everything in your box along with a brief description. I highly recommend keeping this page, since it will give you more information about your snacks and also the pictures are helpful if you’re trying to track down the same item in your grocery store.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Since all Regular and Premium boxes come with at least one DIY kit each month, Tokyo Treat always includes a page of brief instructions with illustrations. The DIY kits themselves only come with Japanese instructions, so I appreciate the translations!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I really like that each booklet contains interesting tidbits about Japanese culture. This month there was a page about the Sapporo Snow Festival, a “Kawaii Monster Cafe” in Harajuku, and chopsticks. If you’re interested in learning about Japan, these are nice little articles that you can learn more about on your own time. I like to read them while munching on my snacks 🙂

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Okay, can we take a moment to appreciate how amazing this all looks?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Kiki and Lala Strawberry Crunch 
I actually recognize these characters! I used to see them at the Sanrio store back when I lived in California. This packaging makes me feel so nostalgic for my childhood.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

It looks and tastes similar to a Rice Krispie’s Treat, except not nearly as sticky and more dense and crunchy. It was also less sweet, though most Asian snacks tend to be less sweet than American snacks in general. I grew up eating cakes and pastries from Chinatown, and my first bite of American chocolate cake was a serious culture shock moment!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Pocky Strawberry Filled Heart Sticks 
I’ve had lots and lots of different kinds of Pocky over the years, but this is the first time I have seen heart shaped ones! It’s so festive and perfect for Valentine’s Day! Even though I’m obviously reviewing this in March, subscribers received their box in February. Strawberry Pocky has always been my favorite, so this was a slam dunk. It has little flecks of real strawberry mixed in, which was a nice surprise. I wish I could find more of this version in local stores.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Grain Gummy Jelly Beans 
These look just like your regular jelly bean, but have a slightly harder shell and gummier inside. The flavors are also different: apple, grape, muscat, orange, and peach. I’ve always wished for muscat flavor to be adopted here in the US. I mean, we have Moscato wine and it’s delicious and amazing! Why not a candy flavor as well?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Collis Strange Gum 
This contained 6 sticks of gum, two of each flavor (lemon, strawberry, and green apple). As you chew, the flavors all turn into a grape flavor. As with most chewing gum, the flavor didn’t last long at all but they were delicious while they did. I’ve also noticed that Asian gum tends to be very soft–perfect for blowing bubbles!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Nagewa Mentai Mayo Flavor
Okay, I was like way too excited to see this in my box. These potato rings are the same as the Habanero ones we got in last month’s box, just in a different flavor. And those Habanero Rings were so addictive! I couldn’t tell what flavor this was by the illustration, but the handy booklet informed me that it’s marinated roe with mayonnaise. Sounds odd, right? But I figure I eat roe and Japanese mayonnaise all the time in my sushi, this might just taste like a sushi flavored chip or something.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

And I was totally wrong. These don’t actually taste like anything to me, except slightly salty potato rings. My boyfriend agreed with me and described them as “Original Pringles flavor but so much better”. It has a really great crunch to it, doesn’t taste or feel greasy at all, and you get a rich potato flavor from each ring. They are just so darn good! I took the empty bag to several Asian grocery stores in the area to try and track down some more, but had no luck. Some people on Ebay are selling bags directly from Japan, but with shipping it comes out to about $6.00 for one bag.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Princess’s Lost Treasure Pastry Snack 
Cute packaging! Based on the picture, these are meant to be eaten with coffee or tea. Since the pastry was so buttery and soft, it crumbled apart in the mail. But this one small item was literally the only one that suffered any damage whatsoever. All my other snacks are in perfect condition.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Despite being a bit broken up, it still tasted delicious! It has a strawberry flavored jam on the inside, and the crust has a flaky butter cookie taste and texture. This pastry and everything I reviewed before this is included in the Small box ($14.99/month).

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

String Candy Grape and Muscat 
This is the DIY kit that all Regular box subscribers received. It’s a more simple DIY activity than most kits, since the candy is already pre-made. It’s more of a play-with-your-food sort of activity versus creating your own candy.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

The pink candy strings are grape flavor and the yellow strings are muscat flavor. You can make whatever shapes and patterns you want, or just eat them one by one.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I braided mine and I think it turned out kind of pretty! The texture of these candy strings feels like bubble gum, except it’s actually candy that you can eat. I was pretty pleased with all the muscat flavored items we got this month!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Fujiya Peko Poco Chocolate Lollipops
I’ve seen these around the grocery store before! They are milk chocolate lollipops in the shape of a classic character’s face. Usually I only see the girl, but since this is a Valentine’s Day box I thought it was cute that they included one with the boy and the girl.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I’m always impressed with the amount of detail that goes on these lollipops. They’re pretty pricey for what they are at my store ($2.99 for 2 lollipops) so I’ve never actually purchased them for myself before. I’m glad I finally got to try one!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Lotte Koume Soft Candy 
Another familiar item! I’ve seen these at the store as well, also selling for $2.99. These are soft chews that have the texture of Starbursts. The flavor for this one is umeboshi, or pickled plum. I personally really love the flavor of pickled plum, but I know it’s an acquired taste. These chews are sweet, a little bit sour, and almost have a hint of savory to them. I realize that probably sounds kind of gross but they’re actually quite good. If you get a chance, I would recommend trying it!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Dontaco’s Chili Tacos Flavored Chip
I found it kind of funny that I live in Texas and a box from Japan is sending me taco flavored chips! I was very curious about what the Japanese consider to be “taco flavored”. I was expecting it to be something very different compared to what we have here.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Surprisingly, it tastes just like taco seasoning. The chips look and feel just like a Doritos chip, so I guess because I’m so used to Doritos having a cheese taste that’s what I was expecting on these as well. But there’s no cheese flavor at all, just taco seasoning. Surprisingly tasty! These chips and everything I reviewed before this is included in the Regular box ($24.99/month).

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Sweet Red Bean Soup 
Red bean soup always reminds me of home, because my parents used to make it for me as a dessert. It’s traditionally served hot, which might be a little disconcerting to the American palette. Since I grew up with this stuff, I found it to be a nice little treat. If anyone out there is hesitant about the idea of a sweet bean soup, I would highly recommend trying red bean ice cream first! It gives you the flavor in a form that you’re already comfortable with. If you like the taste, then move on to the soup.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Kracie’s Mr. Fun Bakery 
I love DIY kits and wish we had more of them readily available here. Some of them are surprisingly challenging and require a good amount of dexterity (like this one!), but would also be fun for kids.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

This kit has two colored powders that you mix with water to make a sort of thick icing. It also comes with 2 ice cream cones, several wafers, and 1 tart base. You put the icing into the included piping bag and decorate your desserts as you wish. As a finishing touch, add sprinkles!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

The packaging even has patterns for you to cut out that can serve as wrappers for your ice cream! This part requires pretty precise cutting skills, so I decided to skip it. Too advanced for me!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Ta-da! My finished ice cream cone. The icing part tastes like vanilla and the cone is an actual cake cone taste and texture. What do you think of my creation?

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

LOOK Two Types of Strawberry Chocolate
Strawberry and chocolate is such a classic combination, so I knew this was going to be a hit. The packaging is quite luxe on this chocolate. The middle opens up as a flap and each piece of chocolate is pre cut. I’m always really impressed with the amount of care that goes into the presentation in Japanese candy!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

I managed to stop eating these long enough to grab a good picture of the center. The chocolate is filled with two types of strawberry filling: one that is creamy and one that has a jelly/jam texture. The end result? Amazingly good chocolates. I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for them when I go shopping!

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

Good Luck Fortune Chopsticks
This is the “Special Item” that each Premium subscriber receives. Each pair of chopsticks comes with a fortune that is revealed inside the sleeve. Mine was “average good luck”, but I’ll take that over bad luck! I was excited about getting chopsticks, since I use them all the time and can always use a new pair. Also these are pretty cute! The quality is also pretty good, and I can see them getting lots of use in the near future.

Tokyo Treat February 2016 Premium Japanese Candy Box Unboxing & Review

If you can’t tell, I totally love Tokyo Treat boxes! I had so much fun trying everything and found the curation to be perfect. I think the love theme for Valentine’s Day was cute and thoughtful, and the balance of sweet and savory snacks meant there was something for everyone. I enjoyed every single item and would totally buy a duplicate box if I could!

I did not include any retail values, since it’s quite difficult to calculate due to the fact that many of these items simply aren’t sold in the US. Some of the products that are available in stores near me are quite pricey, and I think Tokyo Treat does give you a good deal. I’ll reiterate what I said in my last review, because I think it’s still relevant: I know there are various other Japanese snack subscriptions out there, but I think this is the only one that has their headquarters in Japan. Their office is located in Tokyo and Ayumi (the founder) personally sources the snacks.

For me, that holds value in itself because I know that these are authentic snacks that I could not have discovered otherwise. Many of the snacks they send out are limited edition or seasonal. It’s great to know that the products are fresh and not overstock!

I find myself wishing more than ever that there was a way to purchase more snacks! I would love the chance to buy more of my favorites, and I’m sure others feel the same way. Tokyo Treat recently redesigned their website to be more user-friendly, so it seems that they are really striving hard to better serve their customers. I hope in the future we’ll be able to order previously featured snacks directly through Tokyo Treat!

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Peaches and Petals has been such a fun box discovery for me this year, and I’m happy to report I received a March box to review. So far this box has been on an upward trend in regards to my tastes, with the February one being my favorite. The price for this box recently went up by $5, but even with the change it is still the most affordable box (that I’m aware of) that sends out a combination of lifestyle, fashion, and beauty goods. They have a different theme each month and I’ve found the curation to be thoughtful and unique. The theme for March is “Live Life in Color”.

Peaches and Petals is a monthly subscription service that sends out vintage-modern items and beauty goods. For $19.99 a month (includes shipping), you’ll receive a mix of jewelry, fashion accessories, lifestyle goods, and beauty samples.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Each month they include a card that lists all the items. Usually there is one item that is listed as a “surprise” and varies from box to box. Last month I received a marshmallow recipe book, and I think other options were a dessert-inspired canvas print or a different dessert recipe book. The variations are always similar in value, which I appreciate. I hate it when some boxes send out items that have huge value variations–it just feels so unfair!

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

“Be a Fruit Loop in a World Full of Cheerios ” Mug with Spoon | $8.00
Sometimes it’s hard to place a retail value for Peaches and Petals items since the exact item can’t be found online. I can’t find this mug so I’m estimating on value here. The mug is on the smaller side and comes with a matching spoon that fits into the slots in the handle. It’s cute and practical, and I like the message. I’ll be gifting it to a friend who has a toddler who LOVES cheerios and fruit loops (and who happens to be an absolutely adorable fruit loop!). Almost too perfect.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Sassy Fras Splatter Paint Bath Bomb | $6.00
I know it’s a little hard to tell from this photo, but this is a big bath bomb! It’s super colorful and is supposed to change the color of your bathwater without dyeing your body or your tub. Definitely a fun item for the theme! The bomb smells like jellybeans and is infused with grapeseed oil to help moisturize your skin. I’m glad to have discovered this brand because everything is handmade in Texas and never tested on animals. And since each item is less than $10, I can plan to try more of their products at a reasonable cost!

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Everyone Loves Coloring Birds Coloring Book | $6.12
Coloring books are very on trend right now. Last Christmas I saw coloring books everywhere and it felt like all of my friends were requesting them! No complaints from me, I’m loving this trend of advanced coloring books for adults. I used to think I was a really weird person for always buying children’s coloring books to fill in, but I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one. Coloring is so relaxing and therapeutic and now (thanks to books like this), you can end up creating some really beautiful pictures.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

You can get as intricate as you want with detailed drawings like this. Each page is blank on the back so you can frame the finished piece if you want to.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Colored Pencil Set with Sharpener | $1.00
I was very pleased with this thoughtful inclusion. A lot of adults don’t have colored pencils or pencil sharpeners around the house. Even those who buy coloring books often forget to pick up a pack of colored pencils or a sharpener! I’ll admit I was one of those people. I bought a set of colored pencils and a coloring book, then had to make an emergency run to Target a week later when I discovered I had no way of sharpening my pencils!

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Eye Majic Eyeshadow | $1.29
An interesting concept, but definitely not for me. These are single use eyeshadow pads that you press to your eyelids to transfer the color. It’s supposed to help cut down your beauty application time and give you a symmetrical application for each eye every time. I can definitely see this being useful for travel! But I think this would work well only if you have very standard Caucasian eyes. For my Asian eyelids that have a much smaller crease, these looked hilariously strange. It took a lot of blending to get a look that I liked, which negated the benefit of having a faster beauty routine from this product.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Pretty In Pink Ultra Slim Portable Power Bank | $12.00
This was one of my extra “colorful surprise” items. Again, I couldn’t find this exact model but I think similar products usually sell for around $10 – $15. I had several portable power banks already but this is actually the smallest one I own now. I love the size and color!

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Used my iPhone 6 for a size comparison. This is definitely very portable and very slim. It will fit nicely in a small clutch, making it perfect for going out.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Enjoy Everything Small Pouch | $2.00
Another “colorful surprise” item. I know there were pattern variations to this pouch, and I’m pleased with the one I received. I like to use small bags like this for storing all my beauty sample packets.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Like I said earlier, calculating value for this box can be difficult, but I’m estimating about $36.41 for March. I’m pleased with the value but I think if they could bump it up another $5-$10 or so it would be perfect. I’m hopeful that eventually we’ll start seeing their boxes with bigger brands and better value, since as their subscriber base grows so does their purchasing power.

As usual, I found the theme to be interesting and unique and the curation to be on point. This is the first coloring book I’ve gotten from a subscription box! It definitely feels on trend and it’s something that I am definitely going to use. I’m already planning on bringing it on a 9 hour flight I have coming up. It will definitely be nice to have something to do, and the mini colored pencils are perfect for travel. The external battery is also something I plan to bring with me!

Next month the theme will be an “April Showers” theme.

Peaches and Petals March 2016 Box Review plus 50% Off Promo Code

Each box will contain a 5-in-1 facial cleansing brush!  Even though I have a Clarisonic, I’m excited to try this one since it has so many different heads other than a brush. I’m also excited to get potentially get some spa themed items and skincare! If the April box catches your eye or you just want an affordable little gift for yourself every month, get 50% off your first month with the code PEACHWENDY. (That’s only $10 for your first box!)

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Despite the fact that I’ve been subscribed to Birchbox on-and-off for almost 4 years now, I still get excited to see the little pink carton in my mailbox. Birchbox is $10/month (less if you sign up for a longer subscription), and it’s the original beauty subscription box. I think my favorite part about Birchbox is that they have an amazing point system. Every 100 points is worth $10 in the shop, and you get 10 points for each sample you review from your box. So you’re basically guaranteed to get at least $5 worth of store credit from each box, making the subscription an amazing deal.

Each month you get 5 samples based on your profile, and you can choose one of the samples from a short list that they released the previous month. It’s usually an option between 3 or 4 samples, and you can log into your account to add one to your box. You can also opt to be surprised for all 5 samples, or go for a curated box. Curated boxes will list all the contents so you won’t be surprised, and are usually curated by a guest or with a partnership around a theme.

Two promo codes: Get $5 (50 points) to spend in the Birchbox shop when you subscribe with coupon code SUBSCRIBENOW50 or use coupon code EYEKOGIFT to get a free, full-size Eyeko Fat Liquid Liner with your first month of Birchbox!

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Every month I praise their design team for the beautiful boxes, and this month is no exception. I love the soft colors with gold foil, and the geometric shapes are so on trend!

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo | $4.00
This was my sample choice for this month. I chose it mostly because I’m going on a few trips soon and want to stock up on travel sized shampoo and conditioner. I tried this shampoo once just to see how I would like it, and it works well for me. I think I may have actually sampled it before, but don’t remember. It’s not really a memorable shampoo for me. It cleaned my hair well and it felt soft and shiny afterwards, but nothing spectacular to warrant the price tag.

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Number 4 Hydrating Conditioner | $0.78
This was included as a bonus for me since I got the shampoo, so I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about a freebie. But I so wish the sizes were reversed! I use more conditioner than shampoo and would love it if I could opt to get a larger conditioner size. Like the shampoo, it worked just fine but personally I wouldn’t purchase the full size.

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Wilma Schumann Skin Care Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads | $3.60
I tried these eye pads after a sleepless night to get rid of dark circles and puffiness, and it worked! It wasn’t a miracle fix or anything, but I definitely did notice the puffiness was significantly decreased and the dark circles were not as pronounced. Perhaps over time these could do more. At $18.00 for 5 sets it’s not a bad price at all. I might buy more just to help with puffiness, since it did a great job on that.

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Living Proof PhD Fresh Cut Split End Mender | $7.06
I love Living Proof products and have several of them, and I’m always happy to have travel friendly sizes. I personally really like this as a styling and heat protection product. My hair is always soft and easy to style when using this, and since it is so lightweight I can even use it to touch up dry hair without having it look greasy. And like all Living Proof products, it smells fantastic!

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil | $5.46
Oil products seem to be so popular right now! I didn’t know there was primer oil on the market, but it sounded intriguing and I’m glad to have received a sample. It worked surprisingly well for me, since I was expecting it to feel super oily and unmanageable. It absorbed quickly and my face felt very moisturized. It did get a tiny bit greasy as the day wore on,  especially when I went outside and started sweating a little. (It was over 90 degrees here this last week, can you believe that??) So I do have concerns about when it gets hotter here. Summers in Houston are no joke–high temperatures and humidity through the roof. I think this is a primer better suited for people living in areas with a dryer climate.

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

theBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen | $2.27
I have received a Stainiac sample from Birchbox before, though I can’t fault them for that. Since I keep subscribing with new accounts, they have no way of knowing that I’ve already tried this before. Stainiac is similar to Benefit’s Benetint (one of my favorites!), but with a gel formula instead. It doesn’t last as long as Benetint does, but I do find the gel formula more easy to apply. This is a better alternative for on-the-go application and also has a lower price point. It’s also more forgiving if you’ve had trouble with Benetint in the past. This one gives you a little more time to work, so if you’re using it as a cheek tint you have more time to blend before it sets.

Birchbox March 2016 Review plus April 2016 Sample Options

My overall value comes to $23.17. It wasn’t my favorite Birchbox, but I did like most of the products. I will certainly use everything. I guess it just felt like nothing was that exciting. I am glad that I got to try a primer oil, something that I didn’t even know existed until this box.

Now onto April. The sample choices are:

  • rms beauty The Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes (2)
  • Au Naturale Cosmetics Lively Trio Set
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair! Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

Or you can get the curated box:

  • Marcelle 3-In-1 Micellar Solution
  • PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Volumizing Lifting Spray
  • Tocca Crema de Mano Guilietta
  • Dr. Jart+ Liftra Cream
  • Laura Geller New York Baked Blush-n-Brighten

Is it sad that I’m the most excited about the box design? They’re partnering with Rifle Paper Company again (OMG!!!) and their floral patterns are simply to die for. I think I’ll get the curated box, since I’ve tried both the makeup remover wipes and Briogeo mask before. How about you? Anything catching your eye?

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

 

My highly anticipated March POPSUGAR Must Have box got here today! Ever since I saw the watch spoiler I’ve been compulsively checking my tracking number to see when it would arrive. Perfect timing too, since I had just gotten an email about the April box spoiler this morning! Getting a POPSUGAR box and a POPSUGAR spoiler for next month sure makes this Monday a whole lot better 🙂

POPSUGAR Must Have is a subscription service that sends a variety of items for women that are curated by the POPSUGAR editors. Items typically include food, beauty, home, among other miscellaneous things. Each month is $39.99/month, but you can use the code REFER5 to get $5 off your first month. It’s hands down my favorite subscription thus far, and consistently has a great cost to value ratio. Almost every month the value of the box is more than $100.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Goodie Girl Cookies Toffee Chaos | $4.99
Is it sad that the first thing I pulled out of my box was the bag of cookies? In my defense, it was lunch time and I was hungry! I’ve never heard of these cookies before but they’re really quite good (do keep in mind that I was pretty darn hungry when I tried them though). The main ingredient is rice flour, which makes these cookies naturally gluten free. The rice flour is caramelized and loaded up with toffee bits and chocolate. They’re crunchy and delicious but also pack a hefty number of calories (130 for 2 cookies). Good news for people with peanut allergies: these don’t contain any peanuts and are processed in a peanut-free facility.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Pixi by Petra Book of Beauty Minimal Makeup | $24.00
Usually I don’t get excited about Pixi products since I see them all the time at Target, but this palette is totally perfect for me. It contains 2 highlighters, 1 blush, 1 bronzer, and 4 eye shadows. Everything is in a very neutral shade and is designed to give you that “no makeup” look. I’ve been trying to take a more natural looking approach to makeup lately and this is exactly the type of product that I have been looking for.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

I really appreciate the compact size of this palette and how slim it is. I can see this becoming a staple of mine for travel! I loathe having to pack a bulky bag of makeup when I go on trips, so this will definitely come in handy. It’s also cheap enough that I would not be heartbroken if any pan broke during travel.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set | $14.95
We’ve received Govino products from POPSUGAR before, and even though I don’t like to use plastic cups, sometimes it just makes sense. My boyfriend is the type of person who simply must keep a glass of water on his nightstand, but he’s knocked his glass over so many times in the past. Going plastic for him is really the best and safest solution! Since I already have a similar product for him, I think I’ll keep this set for when we have out of town guests.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

I like the simple and clean design of this decanter and cup. I can see this being a really useful set to bring for picnics or to the park. Most of the parks around here don’t allow any glass containers.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Hello Extra Whitening Fluoride Toothpaste | $4.49
The designer in me is in love with this packaging! Such a posh look for toothpaste, I love it. It’s funny how the branding can make an ordinary product feel so much more luxurious. I know I feel very fancy using this toothpaste! It has no peroxide, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives in the formula. Otherwise, it’s pretty much just a regular toothpaste in a very beautiful tube.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Miss Ivy Pearl Five-Tassel Necklace | $38.00
When I saw the spoiler for this item, I knew it wasn’t for me. It’s just not something I can pull off. But I have a friend who would absolutely love it and it will make a great gift for her. I think that’s one of my favorite parts about POPSUGAR. Even if something isn’t for me, I can always use it as a gift to brighten someone else’s day.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

I couldn’t find this product online so it could be an exclusive. The tassels came in a plastic wrapping to keep it pristine. I haven’t removed mine since I’ll be mailing it to my friend. If I had kept this for myself, I think I would have removed the tassels to make individual keychains or something else with them. They’re of good quality and I do like the colors. The gold chain can definitely be repurposed into another necklace. All you need is a jump ring and a pendant! Just throwing some ideas out there for anyone who might want to try and DIY something with this!

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Nanette Nanette Lepore Classic Rose Gold Watch | $55.00
The first spoiler that came out for this box! I bought a second box so my best friend and I could have matching watches. The strap is an exclusive collaboration between Nanette Lepore and POPSUGAR, and is in honor of a new line of watches that Nanette Lepore will be launching soon. I adore Nanette Lepore’s designs and think it’s really wonderful that we get to sample a little piece of her newest line before it hits the stores!

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Gorgeous rose gold details on the face. The beige trap is neutral enough to go with everything but also very feminine and pretty. Paired with the rose gold it looks almost like a blush pink color in the right lighting.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

It’s comfortable and sits well on my arm. Even though the face is oversized, the sizing really shows off the rose gold which prevents it from looking too clunky. I’m definitely feeling very ready for spring! How cute would this be with a floral dress?

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

LOLA Gift Card | $10.00
I can appreciate the practicality of sending a gift card for tampons instead of an actual box of tampons, since everyone has their own preferences. I had never heard of LOLA before, but I’m happy to try their service! One box is $10, so this gift card will get you your first box for free. You get 18 tampons in each box and you can choose whatever assortment of light, regular, and super that you want. The default comes with 6 of each. All the tampons are made with 100% cotton and come with BPA-free plastic applicators.

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

The overall value for March comes to $151.43. For me, it was a really great box. I loved everything! Even the necklace, because I love that I got to send my friend a fun little gift that will make her smile. I think it was one of their best months for me, and I thought the mix of fun items with practical items was very successful. I’ve got my hopes high for April now and would love to see some home items for spring in there.

—–

Speaking of April, we have a spoiler:

POPSUGAR Must Have March 2016 Box Review plus April Spoiler!

Each box will contain a hardcover copy of Chrissy Teigan’s new cookbook Cravings: Recipes For All The Food You Want To Eat. It’s getting tons of buzz and I can totally see why this book was chosen as a “must have” item. Even though Chrissy is a model, the recipes won’t be only light and healthy meals. According to the overwhelmingly positive reviews, there are a lot of easy to follow recipes for hearty and decadent foods in there.

At first I was a little underwhelmed at the idea of getting a cookbook, but then I remembered how often I use my copy of The Can’t Cook Book from October 2013’s box. I actually just made one of the recipes from that book for dinner last night! So the more I thought about it the more excited I was to get another practical cookbook. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on it and try some of the recipes!

If this cookbook interests you, grab an April box with the code REFER5 to get $5 off. March sold out early this year, so I wouldn’t wait too long for April. Once the full spoilers come out, the box usually sells out within a few days.