Is anyone else wondering where October went? It feels like it zoomed by and Halloween is just around the corner! I finally got a chance to break out all my fall decor and adorn the front door with pumpkins, so I’m one happy camper right now. Up for review today is the October POPSUGAR box!
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.
All the goodies!
My Cup of Cocoa Dark Drinking Chocolate | $4.99
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the first item I pulled out was the hot chocolate! It took a lot of resolve not to finish this whole can right away. We’ve tried this brand before from POPSUGAR, when they sent out a cake product. I remember the chocolate taste being rich and full, so I knew this would be a great hot chocolate. And I was not disappointed–great chocolate flavor and not too sweet! I also love that it’s a milk-free product, so you can add the milk of your choice. My fiance is lactose sensitive so I love that he will get to enjoy this with almond milk! Would definitely repurchase!
Lalicious Brown Sugar Vanilla Shower Oil and Bubble Bath | $28.00
Most of the year I shy away from overly sweet scents, but once October hits I can’t get enough! The holidays and rich vanilla scents really go hand in hand, don’t they? I think the choice of a shower oil is really smart, since it’s so moisturizing and decadent when cold weather is notorious for stripping skin of moisture. Of course, we don’t have any sign of cold weather here but it’s never too early to prepare for when it does come around. Shower oils are also perfect for shaving, I swear by it! Happy to receive a huge bottle of this!
The Original MakeUp Eraser Mini | $12.00
I already own the full sized version of this, and totally swear by it! I’ll admit that I was initially really skeptical. I mean, how?? How does a little cloth remove makeup with nothing but water? But it seriously works! I don’t like to use it for my eye makeup since it doesn’t do an amazing job with mascara (especially waterproof mascara), but for everything else it removes all traces of makeup. It’s gentle, reusable, effective, and perfect for travel. I’m very pleased to have a mini now!
Henri Bendel Packable Umbrella | $58.00
I’m a little confused about this item, since it’s the “hero item” of this box. At $58, it’s by far the most expensive item in the box. But it doesn’t really feel like a fall item, and it’s a super overpriced umbrella for the quality. This same umbrella was actually a gift with purchase at Henri Bendel a while back, so it’s probably overstock or something. I’m disappointed that the most expensive item is a gift with purchase manual umbrella (seriously, they couldn’t splurge a couple bucks for an automatic??) that should be valued at $15 max. On the Henri Bendel website all their umbrellas are automatic and retail for $58. That stands to reason that this one definitely should not be $58 estimated retail.
Now that I’ve said all the things I dislike about this umbrella, let’s talk about some of the good. I like the pattern even though I usually dislike brown. I think it’s simple enough to work for anyone and interesting enough to stand out. It’s a signature Henri Bendel pattern so it’s classic and recognizable by people who know the brand.
Holds up fairly well in the light wind (you can’t tell but it was sort of a windy day when I tested this, haha) and the construction is decent but nothing spectacular. Again, I think this is a $15 or less umbrella. I’ve put it in my car as a backup option, but my current umbrellas are sturdier and automatic and they only cost $20 each!
Morning Culture Rise and Shine Diner Mug | $16.00
I admit to being a bit of a mug hoarder, so it’s always exciting when I get a new mug in a subscription box. Unfortunately, diner mugs aren’t really my style. I like the simple typographic design, and wish I could get it on a more sleek and refined mug shape. The good news: it comes in its own box so it will be really easy to gift.
For those who don’t really know what a diner mug is (I didn’t!), here’s a picture of the rim. You see how thick it is? The handle and the rim are really hefty and makes the whole mug feel really heavy and clumsy. I guess I would describe this as a really “clunky” mug. I’m sure it’s a lot sturdier than your regular mug, but I prefer thinner walls and a more elegant handle.
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen | $8.99
I’m all about finding great drugstore makeup, because I really don’t believe price always correlates with quality. Covergirl makes some fabulous mascara for a fraction of what designer high end mascara costs! I’m glad to see this is considered a “special extra” though, so it isn’t supposed to count towards the value of the box and is a sponsored item. I don’t have much experience with Revlon products but I’m very happy to try. I need another eyeliner like a bullet in the head but I do see a lot of great reviews for this. I’ve promised myself I won’t open any more eyeliners until I finish my current one, so into the pile it goes.
Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar | $25.00
This is another “special extra”, which I’m relieved about. It would be so tacky to include your own book in your box as an actual item! I haven’t read this from cover to cover yet but have sort of skimmed through a few sections. Overall it’s not really my type of book, but I think would make a good gift for a recent graduate or someone making a career transition. It’s very upbeat and positive, not at all one of those “here is a strict plan for how to be successful” books. You know what I mean?
Overall October felt like a mixed bag for me. I liked many of the items but feel like the box was missing something. I guess because the most expensive item is a manual umbrella it feels a bit lackluster. The box comes to a total of $118.99 without the two extra items. It’s good, but once you factor in that half the value comes from an umbrella, it seems really overinflated. And without the 2 special extras, this box would feel especially sparse. I think if you’re going to add extras, you have to make sure the box can stand on its own without them. Because otherwise they aren’t truly “special extras that don’t count towards the value”.
Luckily I did enjoy several items in the box: I love the drinking chocolate, the makeup eraser, and the body oil. But the value of those only adds to $45, which is a tiny bit more than what the box costs. Overall I still think it was worth it because I can gift the mug and the book, and I’ll still use the umbrella. Just not one of my favorite months.