#MSA02 Quarterly Box Reveal!
It’s finally time for the MSA02 Quarterly box reveal!
I was waiting until after Christmas to do this box reveal since quite a few readers let me know they were waiting until the 25th to open the box. And then… well I’m still getting caught up on reviews from December – so my apologies for being a little behind on getting this posted!
For the winter box I had two main themes I wanted to cover: a cozy day at home, and a little holiday sparkle. And to round out the box I also included one of my favorite winter skincare items.
Here is more background on each of the items and why they were selected:
Yes to Carrots is a brand we originally reached out to for MSA01, and while the timing wasn’t right then, they let us know they were definitely interested for the Winter box. I’ve been a fan of Yes to Carrots for years now since first discovering them through subscriptions boxes, and I love that they are a natural and affordable brand. (It’s one of my go-to brands on Target shopping trips).
As soon as I found out we would be getting a Yes to Carrots product in the Winter Box, I knew I wanted to get the fragrance-free hydrating night cream. I love their fragrance-free line (especially in the winter when my skin is extra dry and sensitive), and this cream is fantastic. If I was blindly testing products and you told me it was a $60+ cream I would believe you. It absorbs so quickly, yet leaves your skin moisturized. It’s a thick cream but feels lightweight. I know it’s described as a night cream, but I’ve also been using it as a day cream too.
I hope you like it as much as I do – it’s one of my favorite affordable natural skincare products, and something I was really excited to share.
Bauble Bar Ice Crystal Necklace – Value $32
One of the two main themes of the box was Holiday Sparkle. When I was first thinking about the box, I knew I wanted a jewelry piece and a makeup item for that theme.
I browse Bauble Bar several times a week, and as soon as I saw this Ice Crystal Necklace I knew it was the one! I love delicate gold jewelry, and I think this piece has just the right amount of sparkle to feel special, but still be wearable for everyday looks.
I also think Bauble Bar makes the best quality jewelry at their price point – I’ve always been happy with every Bauble Bar purchase I’ve made.
I remembered Quarterly had worked with Bauble Bar for the original Nina Garcia box, so I immediately reached out to my Quarterly buyer to see if she could connect with them again. And fortunately for me they were excited to work with us and get the necklace in the box!
(I also love this necklace layered with other pieces for a more dramatic look, and I’ll be sharing some of those ideas in a follow up post).
FYI – Bauble Bar currently is having their Stash Up and Save event now through the 20th. Save 15% off 1 item with coupon code STASH15, 25% off 2 items with coupon code STASH25, or 30% off 3+ items with coupon code STASH30.
Au Naturale Creme Shadow in White Quartz – Value $20
Au Naturale Creme Shadow in Addiction – Value $20 (Not available online – exclusive for subscribers!)
I discovered Au Naturale makeup through a Gilt City deal early in 2014, and quickly fell in love with their entire line. The shades and formulas are beautiful, and they only use the best ingredients. (Their makeup is organic, non-toxic, gluten-free, paraben-free, vegan, non-nano, and made in the USA!)
When we reached out to them to be in the box, I let them know I was most interested in an eye shadow to go with the holiday sparkle theme. (Specifically a creme eye shadow – I love how easy they are to apply and blend). I described the Bauble Bar necklace to them, and how it would be great if the shades could play off the necklace without matching. So we decided on White Quartz to reflect the micro pave crystals in the necklace.
The White Quartz shade is an almost-matte pearlescent white. It goes on somewhat sheer, and is great to use as a brow bone highlighter, or as an all over highlighter. I liked this shade because I have a lot of white eye shadow highlighters – but almost all of them have a lot of shimmer, which means they aren’t great for me for everyday use. The White Quartz though is something I like to use everyday for a very subtle highlighted look.
When I was describing the gold part of the necklace, I let them know I was looking for something that was in the gold family, and was special, but a little more wearable than a yellow-gold shade. They sent me a ton of samples to try – including some pigments that haven’t been made into their final line of cosmetics yet – and “Addiction” is the shade I picked. (As you can tell, I also got to name it!)
It has a bit of an antique gold feel to it, and some green undertones, and I absolutely love wearing it.
(FYI – like with almost any eye shadow, I recommend using an eye lid primer with these shades.)
So that rounds up the Holiday Sparkle section of the box – I was going for special but also very wearable.
Now onto the cozy day at home items:
For the cozy day at home theme, I pictured a blanket to wrap yourself up in, super cozy socks, and something to curl up with and read. (I’ve also substituted watching Friends on Netflix instead of reading and that works just as well!)
Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Recycled Wool Blanket – Value $65
You can’t tell from the photo, but this blanket has a wonderful weight to it. The quality and detail work of this blanket are top notch too. I’m so thrilled we got such a quality American-made brand in this box! This is one of those items that will be in our household for years to come, and if you subscribed to this box, I really hope that it becomes a bit of an heirloom in your home too! (I’ve been using it as a throw on the couch, and also as an extra blanket on the foot of my bed when it gets chilly. A reader also recommended it as a great road trip blanket!)
One thing to keep in mind with this blanket – it is made with recycled wool and acrylic, which makes it softer than a typical wool blanket. And you can make it a lot softer if you like by putting it through the laundry a few times. For me the perfect level of softness was two laundry cycles, and my cousin told me it was perfect for her after just one round of laundry with fabric softener.
After Quarterly connected me with Faribault, I picked this variation of the blanket with the red stitching. I think the red is so festive (and works for holidays – including Valentine’s Day!) and the mixed grey blanket keeps the throw neutral enough to go with most decor.
FYI – Faribault is currently offering their Winter’s Best Sale, along with free shipping on all orders!
Foot Traffic Non Skid Fuzzy Slipper Socks – Value $9
It might sound silly, but I was determined to get fuzzy slipper socks in this box! They were a part of my cozy day at home vision, and one of those items I’m always happy to have more of on cold winter days. (My mom has also given me fuzzy slipper socks every year in my stocking for as long as I can remember, so maybe in a bit of a subconscious way I wanted to share this holiday tradition with you). To be completely honest, every year I’d never be too excited about getting the slipper socks, but then I’d go home, and a few days later put them on, and eventually realize I was using them more than anything else I received for Christmas that year.
Admittedly, I was not going for style so much as I was for comfort with these socks, and these were by far the softest socks I sampled. (Quarterly sent me a few options to try from different brands).
Next Issue Free Trial Offer – Bonus
To complete the cozy-day-at-home with some reading, I wanted to share one of my most used apps – Next Issue. (Next Issue regularly offers a 30-day free trial, and for MSA subscribers, they also included the 2nd and 3rd month at 50% off – regularly $14.99 a month).
They have over 100 digital magazines on their app, and I pretty much use it everyday. (It is a lifesaver anytime I go to the salon for highlights!)
One thing to keep in mind with this app is that the magazines can take up a lot of memory, so make sure to delete them when you are done with them!
So that rounds out the MSA02 box. I’d love to hear what you think – any feedback or critique is welcome! (And of course if you have any questions about any of the items or anything else – let me know!)