Posted by on in Featured Review of the Week, POPSUGAR Must Have Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | 59 comments

POPSUGAR Must Have Box October 2016 Review + Coupon

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POPSUGAR Must Have is a monthly lifestyle subscription box for women. Each month they send a mix of items from categories like beauty, fashion, food, fitness, home, etc.


This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


The Subscription Box: POPSUGAR Must Have

The Cost: 39.95 a month

COUPON: Use coupon code MUSTHAVE5 to save $5 off your first box.

The Products: “Must Have” items for women selected by POPSUGAR editors. (Fitness, Home, Beauty, Food, and more)

Check out all of my POPSUGAR Must Have reviews and the Women’s Subscription Box Directory!


Each box comes with a fold out card detailing the items included.



They also let you know the themes that inspired the box:


Time to dig into the items!



Henri Bendel Packable Umbrella – Retail Listed Value $58


This umbrella is pretty compact when it is closed (9.5 inches). Opened up, it has a diameter of about 38 inches.


It comes with a protective outer sleeve.


And the umbrella has the signature Henri Bendel brown and white stripes, plus a pink accent!


I really like the logo at the top of the umbrella, too.


Opened up, it has a diameter of about 38 inches.



This is a quality umbrella, though I wish that it was automatic. (It’s still the nicest umbrella I own now, and I didn’t have to pay $58 for it!)


Lalicious Brown Sugar Vanilla Shower Oil and Bubble Bath – Retail Value $28

(Good to know for swaps – has inner foil seal)

This brand is new to me, and after sampling it, I’m already a huge fan. Let’s start with the first win: the formula is paraben, sulfate and phthalate free! And the next best part? It smells like Crème brûlée!

It’s an oil/gel formula that converts to a lather when you use it like a body wash. Or you can add a few drops to your bath for a bubble bath, or you even try it as a shaving gel.

So far, I’ve tried it as a traditional body wash, and it did a great job at cleansing while leaving a faint brown sugar scent. (And even though it’s described as a shower oil, it doesn’t leave your skin oily after you rinse off.)

One tip: a little goes a long way with this oil as a body wash, so start off using it sparingly!


Morning Culture Rise & Shine Diner Mug – Retail Value $16

Good news – this mug comes in lovely packaging in case you decide to gift it instead of keeping it for yourself.


It’s a standard mug size (10 oz) and has that classic diner look and feel.


The packaging doesn’t indicate if it is dishwasher safe, but it looked like it would be, so I put it in the dishwasher to test it out. It came out perfect!

I use my other “Best Day Ever” POPSUGAR Must Have mug all the time, so I’m happy to have another one! (Anyone else always happy to get or buy another mug even when you have no cabinet space left?)

And the mug pairs perfectly with the cocoa:


My Cup of Cocoa Dark Drinking Chocolate – Retail Value $5.99


This cocoa just sugar and cocoa, so you can use whatever type of milk you prefer. (I used sweetened coconut milk, and it was super decadent!)


Whenever I’m looking at subscription boxes, I always think of what might be great to gift if you aren’t interested in keeping it for yourself, and I think this mug and cocoa would be a really thoughtful set!



Makeup Eraser The Makeup Eraser Mini -Retail Value $12


I’ve heard a lot about this Makeup Eraser, but I haven’t had a chance to try it up until now.


It’s a tiny micro-fiber towel that is designed to help remove makeup with just warm water. I tried it with removing the eyeliner from this box, and it completely removed it with ease. Then I tried removing the same eyeliner with just water and a regular towel. It got me about 90% clear, but still a difference compared to the Makeup Eraser.

And you wash this in the laundry which is great. I think I may end up buying a few because otherwise, I’ll have to do laundry all the time – the eyeliner definitely transferred to this cloth!


Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar – Retail Value $25 (Special Extra)

Book Summary from Amazon:

Lisa Sugar has an amazing job. She spends her days at POPSUGAR creating content about pop culture, must-have handbags and makeup, healthy recipes, and Instagram-worthy sweets. She manages an enormously successful, growing company with employees who love what they do. And her life is just as great at home. She and her husband have three daughters and she’s the number one soccer mom who loves reading bedtime stories every night.

How did she do it? By figuring out what her dream job was, taking risks, and believing in herself. And now she wants to motivate others to do the same. She wants to show them how to live colorful, interesting lives where every second counts.

She’ll do so by sharing her personal and business story. Lisa knows that creating your dream job requires hard work, patience, and experience. She’ll give advice, in big and small ways, about exactly how to do that, from starting a company to ditching a relationship that isn’t working to becoming a fabulous boss. And with the great, accessible writing style that has made PopSugar such a hit, she’ll make it fun!

I started reading this book as soon as I got and finished it the same day! There are some mentions of the Must Have box and Lisa’s involvement, which I loved!

From the book summary, I was a little concerned that this book might feel like an unattainable “having it all” type of story, but I found Lisa to be very relatable, and honest about times she came up short, and how she relied on the support of family, friends, and coworkers.

I have two copies of this book since I received one early to share as a spoiler, and I’m planning on saving one to use as part of a graduation gift next year. I think Power Your Happy is great for anyone who is just leaving high school or college (or even just switching careers). Lisa reassures readers that you don’t have to have it all figured out at once, and how to make the most of any job/position you have – to make sure it leads to the next best thing. (As someone who switched the college major two times, I definitely would have appreciated this encouragement years ago!)


And this book goes really well with the hot cocoa and mug – I like the cozy vibe!


Revlon ColorStay Liquid Eye Pen – Retail Value $8.99 (Special Extra)

This eyeliner has a rounded tip to help you easily dot eyeliner on:


The dotting method is great if you don’t have a steady hand – you can just connect the dots! (Word of caution – this eyeliner is smudge proof but NOT waterproof!)

Verdict: This box has a retail value of about $120 BEFORE you add in the value of the book and eyeliner. I think that value is good, and I even though I wouldn’t likely pay retail for the umbrella, it’s a special piece, and it’s a rainy day, today, so I already got to put it to use!

This is one of those boxes that didn’t wow me at first glance, but after using every item, it all works. My favorite discovery in this box is the Lalicious Shower Gel – a decadent bath product pretty much always seals the deal for me and a box. (And that alone practically covers 3/4 of the cost of the box!)

What do you think of the October POPSUGAR Must Have Box? What is your favorite item?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Pop sugar again you surprise me! I wasn’t excited until I actually opened the box. I should never make an opinion until I get the items. I thought the umbrella was well made and so glad this box included a 20percent off coupon for Henry bendel so with that said I was happy! The coco was very yummy and also gluten free ! Yes! The mug was thick so it would not chip in dishwasher and white goes with everything. The eyeliner was a black color with a new twist on the application so this also was something I would not try unless it was in this box. I’m glad it wasn’t a funky color that I couldn’t use. The makeup towel is a great idea for traveling. I’m going to save mine just for this purpose! The shower gel was a brand that I have never heard about and the scent was something that was a warm fall scent. Again something I would not buy for myself and it was a nice size bottle!
    The book will be donated to my 20 year old neice. I think she will enjoy it!
    Thanks pop sugar continue to surprise me!

  2. This was the box that finally made me cancel my subscription after two years. Everything was so blah. I would be embarrassed to even give these items as gifts.

  3. I wasn’t all that excited for this box, and mine came missing the cocoa. That was one item I was actually looking forward to. So bummed!!!

  4. This looks like one of their better boxes! I gave up popsugar for fabfitfun because I don’t need all this stuff monthly, but am definitely sad I missed this one. I’m always losing umbrellas so I love getting extras, and just like you Liz I love getting mugs!

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only one who can never have enough mugs 🙂 Sorry you missed this box!

      • I love mugs too! I am choosy about what I collect, so I don’t have any “tacky ones”. Added this sub mostly because of the umbrella: my family has destroyed/lost/taken my trusty tiny black ones and my splurge for a automatic, huge, black one from Brookstone. Even though it doesn’t rain much in So.Cal I am tired of getting caught without one (always on “perfect hair days”). Really love the other items and also got FFF, can’t afford both at the moment, so hard to decide…

  5. I guess I’m in the minority for liking this box. I know the umbrella was a GWP, BUT the purchase had to be $120+. I still wouldn’t value it at the $58 used here but, if you were to drop it down to a lower-end umbrella (let’s say $15), the items (without the special extras) still add up to more than the cost of the box. Idk, I know some people aren’t going to be able to see past the GWP thing, but that’s how I’m justifying it in my head.
    Even though rainy season is mostly over in most places, I like having an umbrella to use when walking from my car to the office in the snow.
    I’m definitely excited for the bath oil/bubble bath/body wash, and it’ll be nice to have a coffee mug I can just keep at my office. The hot cocoa isn’t necessarily something I’m super excited about, but hot cocoa is always tasty, and I like that they sent that in the same box as a mug.
    I hope the makeup cloth works as well as reviews state, as it would definitely be nice to save some money that I currently spend on makeup remover and cotton rounds. Won’t have to worry about running out either (I wish the box would show up sooner than it’s going to, as I only have about 1 more day of remover left).

  6. Where’s the snack? 😢

    • The cocoa

  7. I signed up because I like the cozy theme and liked the umbrella… had I known that would be the only decent steal I would never have gotten the box. I was hoping for a mittens or socks or something cozier than a package of hot chocolate. I subscribe to fabfit fun which is ten dollars more but always has a really great value even when I don’t love everything in it. Like I gave my mom the serum from the last box which cost more than I spent on the box as a whole so we were both thrilled. I will definitely use the eyeliner but commons I can buy it at CVS. The book was a promotional item that benefited the company more than any of us. The mug looks cute but if we’re going with cozy I would expect one of those big soup coffee cups that you want to curl up with for a few hours. Not sure if I’ll keep subscribing after this one.

  8. I find that mugs tend to breed in my kitchen cupboards. There must be some wild times going on in there while I’m asleep!
    A couple of times a year I fill a wine bottle box with mugs (they fit quite well into the compartments) and donate the lot.
    Meanwhile, socks disappear one at a time ALL the time. Maybe Popsugar could send some breeding pairs – just a thought.

  9. For anyone interested in a makeup eraser type product, Ulta sells their own brand of eraser in a 2 pack box for $10. They are also a charcoal grey color so eyeliner and mascara does not stain them. They are the best thing I ever used for makeup removal and also for wash off face masks! You throw them in the wash about once a week and hang dry. Plus you get 2 so you’re never without one!

    • Thank you ! I think these will be great for travel too 🙂

    • Yes, I use the ones from Ulta already! Not to mention, they qualify for just about every coupon they put out (the ones for “Ulta brand makeup tools” as well as their usual $3.50 off $15). They work great! They don’t show my eyeliner and mascara, but they do show my foundation. They actually get more off with less swipes than my makeup removal wipes.

  10. I think that if I was receiving this box at a discount or doing the 6 month thing I wouldn’t feel so dissapointed. But for those of us that pay full price EVERY month this box is lacking and very disappointing. I can totally see been ok if I paid $25 but for $43 definitely not worth it. I’m sorry for the negative comments but we have to be real and even when I try to see the best in every box this one feels like it’s lacking that wow factor. With the free manual umbrella, and normal mug… Where is the cozy, snugly?😕

    Can’t wait for my mystery PSMH to save the month!

  11. So let me get this strait. People actually buy $58 umbrellas and at the same time provide Henri Bendel with free advertising? I’m sorry but I am not a walking billboard!

    • The same could be said for any product with a logo, and there are plenty of them walking around…Louis Vuitton, Coach, Abercrombie, etc.

      • Haha. True. :> I don’t have any of those either. Maybe I have a deep psychological adversion to being a billboard. LOL

  12. So if you take out the 2 (Special Extra) items that only leaves 4 items. 😒

    • What do you mean?

    • 5

  13. I wasn’t thrilled with the umbrella spoiler (immediately swapped it), but now that I see the whole box, I’m very pleased. I LOVE shower oils for fall and winter; so moisturizing. The drinking chocolate sounds delicious and the mug looks like that thick, sturdy diner style and the minimalist font is right up my alley. Not sure if I’ll read the book or use it as a gift. I so wish they would offer the option to receive a paper book or a redemption code for an ebook.

    • I agree about the eBook!

  14. I have loved the last two boxes but this one is a huge bomb for this gal who lives in the desert (no rain–and I have 4 umbrells already), has a bad back and doesn’t get in a tub, and is not in the least bit interested in the book or another coffee mug. I’ve never used the swap portion of this site, but if I don’t do that, this is going in the trash. Soooo disappointed.

    • Donate it. As the saying goes: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
      I do think this box is 75% a dud.

      • I second the donation suggestion. I can’t imagine just throwing away brand-new, useful things. Someone will appreciate them.

  15. It’s alright. I think what’s giving me a weird feeling about this box is that if you take out the “special extras” (like supposedly the box would have been complete without them), and don’t include the snack, there’s only four items. August and September’s boxes, while decent, also kind of felt to me like they could have used just a few more items. My all time favorite box was February 2016 and I hope they can get back to boxes like that.

  16. Do umbrellas really cost as much as $58? I’ve been using the same umbrella I got in high school (I’m now 51!!!) so I’m a bit surprised by that value!

    Although I suppose it is about time I start using a different umbrella. Lol

  17. I think I’ll love everything in my box when I get it….I always want more umbrellas( I lose them all the time, along with mittens scarves and hats!) and body oil. I was too cheap to buy a makeup eraser when they came out, now I get to try it, and I love getting coffee mugs, I like picking out one every morning that reflects how I feel, or want to feel that morning. I haven’t found a book I liked yet that was randomly sent to me,except for a cookbook, but I’ll give it a try. Looking forward for my box to be delivered!

  18. Am I the only one who thinks the Makeup Eraser looks like a feminine hygiene product? LOL I can’t even figure out why it’s shaped the way it is. I would think a washcloth shape or rounded shape would be easier to use on the face.

    • I thought the EXACT same thing when I saw it. hahaha Glad I wasn’t the only one. I agree the shape is very odd.

      • I think that is because it’s the mini. I imagine the full sized cloth would be the size and shape of a washcloth. Funny. . .

  19. I think if that umbrella was replaced with a nice throw or something else for the “home” which was the theme of the box, this would have been a really great box. After using an automatic umbrella ( which are not expensive) I would never go back to a manual, if you haven’t tried one they make getting in and out of the car when it’s pouring out a lot easier.

    But I do really like everything else this month, that body wash has been on my ulta wishlist for months!

  20. I’m sitting here in 40-degree weather, leaves turning everywhere, and we have snow in the mountains, so I am gearing up for cold weather. It definitely puts me in the mood for this box.

    I’m looking forward to the creme brulee shower gel. And I could always use another umbrella. Everything looks pretty useful!

    My 6-month subscription is up with this month and I am debating on whether to continue. I had some hits and some misses over the past six months but the price was very good, considering. I will likely continue if they have a similar deal for the holidays.

  21. There’s a lot of negative comments on this box but I am actually pretty stoked on it. I’ve been wanting to try the makeup eraser but I didn’t want to go out and buy it.

    The only thing I would’ve liked better was a throw instead of an umbrella since a throw would work better in the cozy theme. But there are still months left for winter!

    I’m looking forward to the coco as well

  22. Last box of my 6 month sub and cancelled. I realize I’ve been swapping most of the new stuff for older 2015 items. Unless a great deal comes for the holidays I’m done.

  23. Meh. Was very excited by the theme, hoping for a candle or a throw or even heaven forbid something pumpkin themed lol. Cocoa and a blah mug detract from the value for me. No thanks on the promo book. Trying to be satisfied with umbrella and shower gel. Ugh a splurge I kinda regret :/

  24. The umbrella is very boring to me. And $58 is an absurd retail price. The book seems kind of like a cop out item. Obviously it’s a benefit to PS to send this book out in the box.

    Meh. None of this excites me. I got bored with PSMH awhile ago. The only times I’ve bought in the last year and a half have been the reduced price mystery boxes. For $20 or $25, I can’t be disappointed.

    • I was going to sign up months ago, so I kept an eye on it. I never signed up. I would never pay this kind of money for mugs, cocoa, umbrella, book and an eyeliner I can get in the drugstore hahaha. The bubble bath was the only thing I liked in this box. I don’t think I’ll be signing up anytime soon.

      Isn’t it weird IMO the last mystery boxes were WAY better than the original boxes lol. I ordered 2 mystery boxes again, just like this past summer. Hoping for another 2 great boxes!!!

  25. Hmmm. It’s 90 degrees out, and I’m in shorts and a tank top…so I’m not really feeling the warm, cozy, drinking-cocoa theme. 😉 Being in still-drought-stricken California, I’m hoping I’ll have use for that umbrella soon…though I do think the huge name logo is really tacky…and agree with others that using what is basically a GWP as a hero item, is pretty lame. This is the last box of my 6 month subscription, and I cancelled. Will most likely re-subscribe if there’s another good deal or I see a spoiler I really like, but lately I’ve been feeling fairly lackluster about PSMH, so it’s not a difficult drop for me at the moment.

    • I’m in 40 degree weather so the cozy works out, but we’re in the snow season, so it will be at least 6 months until the umbrella comes in handy. This was my last of a six month sub and I’m kind of grateful that it’s such a letdown. May and August were good but June, July , September, and October were flops, so I’m happy to let this sub go.

    • You can always use the umbrella as sun protection. I most always use an umbrella or parasol in the summer month to carry along my own shade. Very helpful especially at faires and festivals.

  26. I think that the themes all connect with the book, mug and cocoa. I know the themes are often loosely connected, but based on the themes i was thinking home items like a candle, or autem scently diffuser and cozy, comfortable accessories like maybe gloves, or socks. I would love earmuffs. This box is definitely not my favorite, the mug, book and eye liner are going up for swap.

  27. Would you say the book is equally appropriate for males to read or is it geared towards women?

    • I think the book is just a self motivation book so anyone can read it: man, woman, or child.

  28. I am sure the book is a good read but I think picking out what I want to read. It’s kind of like shoes… I don’t order this subscription normally but I always want to but the price is to high for my budget. I almost jump on board when I heard cosy, home, and warm…. Whatever it was I thought it would be way different. Also I normally alway love most everything in their boxes but this box was one of my least faves. I did order the Mysterybox and I am praying there isn’t a book, or a coloring book, or floaters with water bottles. Please god noooo.

  29. Knowing that I can use the Lalicious as body WASH makes me a bit more happy about this box.


    I’m still kind of annoyed that they used a GWP umbrella as the hero item. I would be less annoyed, even okay with it, if it were automatic and didn’t have the giant name across the top. Otherwise, I like the brown and white stripes with the pop of hot pink.

    No mugs, tyvm. I have two matching sets plus some extras and don’t have room for any more.

    I still haven’t used up the Mariebelle Aztec hot chocolate from Luxor’s January box. I guess I don’t drink it that often. (Which seems odd. Maybe because I only get a couple of months here in FL in which hot chocolate is appealing??)

    I’ve been kid of curious about the Makeup Eraser, so that’s cool. (Even though I’m all about my Koh Gen Do wipes.)

    No interest in the book. I’m picky about what I read and self-help/inspiration type books aren’t up my alley.

    I’m okay with the eyeliner. At least it’s liquid (!) and something a little different from other eyeliners.

    As with many others here, this is the last box in my 6-month sub. I think I’ll probably cancel and wait for good spoilers to make a choice on a month-by-month basis. Unless (until?) a really good deal like last year comes up. I paid $29 for this box and I’m okay with that. Not happy, but okay. If I had paid $42, I’d be pretty unhappy.

    • I use the cocoa to make chocolate pancakes 🙂

      • Oh now THERE’S a thought! 😀

  30. Why sending another umbrella? Didn’t we get one from PopSugar already? Not much excited of this box but I found some stuff here great for gifting.

    • The last umbrella we got from PSMH was in April of 2015. That was long enough ago that they probably have plenty of subscribers who didn’t get that box.

  31. If you are one of the New Yorkers who always buy MANUAL umbrella over the street when rain comes (because for sure it’ll disappear in the restaurants or nail salons), you would definitely not paying $ 58 for it (no matter how durable it is). If it’s a automatic one, I would probably feel much better for the value. For this retail value of about $ 120 before adding the book, I just can’t find my excitement in this box. Yes, I like to try the Makeup Eraser, the Drinking Chocolate, & the Shower Oil, but “like” to me means I don’t necessarily need or I have other alternative/replacement for it. I seriously think I should cancel after my last box in Nov, then buy the box only when I see something I love in the spoiler. This might make me feel better towards PSMH.

  32. The book description kind of makes me want to vom, but I think the rest of this looks really practical, classy, and fall appropriate. Nice box.

    • I feel exactly the same way. I’m also kind of superstitious and feel sorry for the author… best way to have something go wrong is to go about trumpeting about how perfect your life is…

  33. the super plain mug looks like something i’d find at the dollar tree. i got an automatic pop-up totes umbrella for about $15 at tj maxx. i like ps better when they had a hero item… the curation seems pedestrian now. it seems like everyone is curating the same items over and over. i dont need anymore mugs, scarves, candles, etc.

  34. I’m excited about this box! I was kind of hoping for a sweater, but I guess it’s not smart of them to send clothes items since they don’t know what size each subscriber needs.

  35. I’m excited about this box. Seems like everything I want in a fall subscription

  36. I always feel like books and note books are cop outs. I use kindle and nook and I like to pick my own books. Umbrella is cool, but not 58$ cool.

  37. I tried out PopsugarMH starting with August, September, and finally, October. I have to say for the high price, these items are not what I was expecting and are not comparable to the items I saw in previous boxes, which is why I signed up in the first place. Yes, the box has a few fun items, but the monthly price is just too high for mediocrity and/or items I will never use (i.e. a makeup cloth… seriously?). Thank you for the reviews, though, if I see improvement in the future maybe I will consider resubscribing!

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