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POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review – January 2014

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanJan 16, 2014 | 65 comments

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 first look

UPDATE: April 8th, 2019. Since this review was published, POPSUGAR Must Have box has transitioned to a $75 a box quarterly subscription. Please read my most recent POPSUGAR Must Have Box reviews to see the differences before you subscribe! (It is now a much more high-end box, and was voted the #2 Best Subscription Box for Women and the #1 Best Luxe Subscription Box in the 2019 Subscription Box Awards!)

POPSUGAR Must Have is pretty much my favorite subscription box for women. Each month they send you their must have picks in fashion, beauty, home, fitness, food, etc. The value is always great (usually over $100), and it’s probably my most anticipated box each month – just because I have no idea what to expect!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 items

The Subscription Box: POPSUGAR Must Have

The Cost: 39.95 a month

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!

Make sure to add POPSUGAR Must Have to your subscription box list or wishlist!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 card

Each box comes with a fold out card. It details each of the items included and features a note from POPSUGAR founder Lisa Sugar.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 pipcorn

Pipcorn Truffle Mini Popcorn – Value $6

This popcorn is extra tiny and super addictive. I think it’s a pretty healthy snack too, so I’m happy to see it in the January box after all the chocolate in the December box!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 malin

Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask – Value $40

I read some reviews of this mask today and it sounds like it’s amazing. I can’t wait to try it! (Apparently it’s a foaming gel mask and it bubbles while you wear it!)

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 gloves

Jack + Lucy Tech Gloves – Value $25?

I can’t find these gloves online (the card doesn’t even have a website to buy these), so I’m estimating on the value. I am really excited to get these gloves though. I seem to lose a pair of gloves every month, so I need a constant supply!

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 juice book

The Juice Generation Book – Value $20

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 book pages

I don’t have a juicer, but fortunately there are quite a few smoothie recipes, and I feel like you could make any juice recipe a smoothie recipe? (I could be wrong on that!)

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 nail files

Revlon Marchesa Box O’ Files – Value $3?

This is definitely the item I’m least excited about. The pattern is cute, and I’m sure I’ll use the files, but it just feels like a random drugstore item to me.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 rifle

Rifle Paper Co. 2014 Flip Around the World Desk Calendar – Value $16

I love everything Rifle Paper Co. makes, so I was very happy to find this cute little calendar in the box. (They also included a 10% off coupon code for anything in their shop).

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review - January 2014 calendar

(A look at January).

Verdict: I paid $39.95 for this box and I received about $110 worth of items. I think this box had a good mix of items and I’ll use everything included, so I’m happy with the value. (I definitely think it’s an improvement over last January’s box!)

What do you think of the January 2014 POPSUGAR Must Have Box?

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!

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!
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This was my first Must-Have box and, frankly, I was underwhelmed. The popcorn was okay and I really like the mask, but the rest of the box? Snore. By mid-January I’ve purchased my calendars so this one, while cute, was totally redundant. The nail files are pretty but…yeah, they’re just nail files. I gave the gloves to my BF who spends more time texting outdoors than I do. And the juice recipe book was really disappointing. I love cookbooks but don’t own a juicer or Vitamix, and the small number of smoothies and nut milks didn’t warrant a place on my shelf. Beyond that, though, the book is just poorly printed. On many pages, the text was illegible as it was printed against a background that obscured the writing. Surely there are better books out there? Or is the author a friend of someone involved in curating this box? Because this was just bad.

If February is anything like January I’m cancelling. $40 is too much to spend on giveaways like this.


After reading all the posts, I finally decided to pull the trigger and subscribe to this box. I hope it’s as great as I think it will be! Anyone know when they usually start shipping? I can’t wait to see what the February box has for us!

Liz Cadman

It varies depending on the month, but I’m guessing they will ship the February box in the first month of February.


This was my first popsugar box & I absolutely LOVE THIS BOX!


Popcorn: tastes great but why would I want popcorn in my box?
Face mask: a reputable brand but again I’m hesitant to use too many different skin products as LUSH cosmetics facial products are working well for me but I appreciate the size and value and will one day give the mask a try or gift it.
Tech gloves: useful but not cute. Not useful for warm-weather subscribers
Calendar:chic but this and all notebooks and planners and calendars should be extras.
Juicing book: also nice to have as I love juices and smoothies but would be more excited if there was juice in my box.
Nail files: Why?!
Overall value? Don’t think I can justify it. Are these must-have items as the box is labeled? No. I need useful items I can be excited about. I did get the Holiday for Her 2013 box and loved a couple of items in that box but Popsugar really needs to pack more practical value and delight into their $40 monthly box. They could do a lot better with selection. 3 months, 3 strikes, canceled subscription.


I was happy with this box: I will be using all the items. I especially liked the cookbook and the popcorn. I am REALLY into making green smoothies so it’s something I will use. The popcorn was really yummy and friendly on the calories.


I actually really enjoyed this month’s box! It seems a lot of people were less-than-thrilled with it, but I’m pretty happy with all the products. I’m in love with the Malin + Goetz Cleansing Mask … it’s a really unique product and I actually had noticeable results in the look and feel of my skin after using it. ALSO the cleansing mask is a great product for those late late nights where you don’t feel like doing a whole wash routine — you apply the mask without having to rinse off your face first, wait and let it do its job, then just rinse off or dab off with a wet washcloth. I’m just so surprised that I found such an awesome amazing beauty product in my Pop Sugar box of all places. They send out a lot of great beauty products but this one has instantly become a favorite.

The Juice recipe book was eh at first, but I love any kind of recipe book so I’m going to make some smoothies and put it to use. This isn’t something I would buy for myself and I’m not into the whole juicing craze but I will definitely make some of the smoothie recipes in there.

The calendar is cute, again, not something I would buy for myself, but it looks cute on my desk. I can always use more nail files so those were a plus, and I could also always use another pair of gloves (I always end up losing mine) and these are the perfect gray/black that go with anything.

As for the popcorn, well I do usually like any of the “Must Have Food” items that Pop Sugar includes in their boxes — they have sent out some pretty yummy stuff, and this popcorn tastes pretty good but I’m not such a fan of the mini-size, I find they get stuck in my teeth way more than regular-sized popcorn … ha.

Well I guess I just wrote a mini-review myself right here but I was just kind of surprised that so many people didn’t like this month’s box. I thought it was great and included items I wouldn’t necessarily buy for myself, which is kind of the point for me — to discover new products and try to avoid duplicates of anything I might have already.


This box was a BIG ZERO just like December’s. I’ve unsubscribed. What a pitiful waste of money.


I didn’t realize everything would be so big! The bag of popcorn was huge, so was the face mask. Even the gloves were big (too big for my hands, but I’ll gift them). I was very pleased with this box! Super excited about the calendar; it’s perfect!


The popcorn was my favorite item in the box! I didn’t look at your picture or the bag closely before I started eating it and was very pleasantly surprised that it is truffle-flavored popcorn. I love love love anything doused with truffle oil. Plus, as advertised on the bag, it does not get stuck in your teeth. Love it!

My second favorite item are the tech gloves. Always wanted but never wanted to pony up money for them. So score!


I really loved this box. I also received the double box thing box of the coupon deal. I think I’m going to just divide and gift the second box.

I was less thrilled with the popcorn but my husband ate it all in a sitting. I loved the face mask and the gloves. I think I may try the juicing book thing…even if I don’t it is a nice book.

My absolute favorite was the calendar. I love to travel and seeing the cities either brought back fond memories or impetus to break out the passport! I loved it!

Angela Hiteshew

I think last month and this month I was underwhelmed after reading your reviews (you’ve gotten your boxes before I’ve gotten mine), and then I’ve ended up being pleasantly surprised when I get mine. I put the calendar up in my office immediately, and I’m surprised the face mask is full size! I didn’t much care for the pipcorn, but my coworkers will eat it, and I wanna try the coupon that came with the juice book, too.

Emily W.

Does anyone have experience with PopSugar’s Support system? I was shipped and billed for two boxes this month when I only wanted one and I am wondering approximately how long they take to reply and if they are helpful or not.


I just got TWO boxes today too, charged for two boxes also! I just sent an email to customer service about it, but I hope they aren’t as bad at responding as some have said. I am irate at being charged twice, especially with their no refund/ no return policy! I love Popsugar Must Have boxes, but not enough to want to pay for two of the same box.


I also have had to use their CS and while not super fast to reply, they did a good job and sent me a replacement.


I’ve had really good luck with their customer service through emailing them. I’ve had two issues before, once when an item was broken in my box, and once when an item was missing from my box. They emailed me back within about 2 days, and sent me replacement items within about a week or so.


They aren’t the best. It usually takes several days to hear back. Check out the MUT popsugar thread, some women there had the same two box issue and were offered a box of “favorite items” as a customer service gesture (though no refund for the second box.)

I think that happened to current subscribers who put in the code for the new subscriber buy two for three deal. They basically just added a new sub for those people.


I managed to stay spoiler-free for this and was totally psyched with my box. I was just telling my husband that I wanted a Vitamix for Christmas 2014 so I may have to change it to Valentine’s Day 2014. I love my calendar, my popcorn, my gloves, it was so much fun.

Windy City Lane

Between this box and last January’s box, I preferred the contents from January 2013. Hot chocolate, marshmallows, stability ball, lip salve and a novelty watch.


Me too! I still wear the watch all the time and I purchase those Kraft mini marshmallows like it’s my job!


I agree I don’t understand why so many people was hating on the January 2013 popsugar box, and then act like this years box was the best ever! smh


I have to agree with you. I wasn’t even a subscriber last January, but from looking at her previous review it looks pretty amazing. It was also much more relevant for the subscribers, what with the whole New Year/ Get Healthy & Fit theme. This has to be the most random box they’ve ever produced.


I think this is absolutely a great box for their target audience, an organized, fit, healthy, and beautiful woman. embrace the change in a better direction. If you weren’t going to push yourself at least they will!


I was so excited to get my box today. I already tried the face mask and it is amazing! You can actually feel the bubbles working. I am also very much into juicing, so I really am happy with this book. ( I lost 30 lbs last year juicing!) I take walks everyday during my lunch at work while I listen to my iPod, so the gloves will come in handy. The calendar and nail files were cute too.

The only thing I am not sold on is the popcorn. I love trying new foods, but I am not sure how I feel about the taste. I do like the product and would definitely would try another flavor from this company.

Thank you for your blog Liz. I love it!

Amie Perrett

Wow Robin, I felt exactly like you about everything with this box. The face mask was amazing and I loved everything except I was not 100% sold on the popcorn. I’m not trying to be rude about the popcorn, I’m sure others might think the flavor was awesome and I’m sure the other flavors might taste better it just wasn’t my favorite. With that said about the popcorn I really did enjoy this box and I am excited about the juice book because I was in the process of buying a juicer this month so it just worked out for me and now hearing your inspiring story really makes me want to run out in get one ASAP. Keep up the good work. You are awesome!

Liz Cadman

Sounds like this box (minus the popcorn) was made for you! (And now you’ve convinced me that I need to try juicing!)

Thanks so much for reading the blog – I appreciate it! 🙂


Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Good or bad. They help sub companies improve their products for everyone. No, I don’t need to stick to “non surprise” subs. I get 6 others, all but 1 of which are total surprises. And this is the only consistent flop. It used to cost less, have higher quality products and ship in half the time. Now the price went up and it takes 2 weeks to arrive? Some of us have been subscribers for a LONG time and have earned the right to share negative reactions when they feel let down after paying more to get less. I wish others could just respect and even appreciate the full range of opinions and take them for what they are – constructive feedback. The companies absolutely read these comments, just like on MUT.


I was pretty happy with this month’s box but then I realized that a lot of the people who were disappointed have been subscribers for awhile and compared this month’s box to past boxes, going back to January of last year.

I think I subscribed last March (around there) so I haven’t been with the company for even a year yet, so I actually can’t really compare the box to this time last year, but I understand how people feel. That’s how I feel about Birchbox — I’ve been receiving Birchboxes for a few years now and I just remember the first boxes I received and how great they were and I feel like the more recent boxes have been completely useless for me (well except this last month — I was surprised that I actually enjoyed it for the most part). I was on the verge of unsubscribing but kept trying to hold out “just for one more month” to see if my boxes would improve. It’s only $10 so I can’t really complain. PopSugar is a lot more, especially when you are being charged every single month.


I don’t see anyone on here who has said that the people with negative opinions shouldn’t share their point of view…of course they should, and it’s helpful! But doesn’t that mean, on the same vein, that those of us who ARE happy with our boxes and think this month was great should share our point of view too? I paid 39.95 for a box where I will use everything in it, and it was a great value. I think it was a wide range of products, and generic enough that a range of people would be able to enjoy it. You don’t think it was. No one’s telling you not to say that, but people do have a different experience with PopSugar than you do this month. I’m sorry that you feel so let down <3


I think Lrin was referring to another post further down (“I think if people are too picky, they maybe shouldn’t get a surprise box and stick to the ones where you know what you are getting”).


I’m disappointed (again). Where did the boxes like last Nov go? Dec was “meh” and this is worse. I hate, and I mean hate juicing, and smoothies for that matter don’t rank really high either. I’ll be giving to a friend who’s a strict vegan to see if she can get some use out of it. But this box is starting to resemble the giant ripoff that was the Coco Rocha Fancy box from Nov (that I got in late Dec, so I don’t understand it being the Nov box as there was apparently no Dec box at all). A bag of popcorn, a paper calendar and some nail files by Revlon? For $40? The mask is nice but the gloves were poorly timed for most of the western and southern US. Should have gone out in Nov or even Dec. It was almost 80 every day this week in Vegas. Don’t see me getting any use out of them this year. I got way cuter ones at Target for $8 in Nov, with color and print, not drab gray. Isn’t winter blah enough without blah accessories?

So this is the end of my 6 month sub and I’m glad. At least I got some good ones early on. Half were great. I can find much better ways to spend my $40. And since they raised the price, the shipping has gotten absurdly slow. Mine won’t arrive until next Tues! It started shipping on Jan 9! That’s 2 full weeks. For heavens sake I could have it delivered media mail class faster! Wantables gets their boxes to subscribers in 2-4 days, not weeks. Ridiculous and the last straw for me.


I agree. Gloves really are not the most practical item to include in a box that ships to people all over the US, and certainly not mid-way through the winter season. They just aren’t suitable for a broad audience. Disappointing box all around.


The gloves are actually perfectly timed for Southern states. Our winters do not get cold here until Feb or March.


Better than last time. I don’t use facials/masks so I’m starting at a disadvantage but I realize that’s my own idiosyncrasy, not PopSugars’ 🙂

LOVE the popcorn. Also the calendar – I have it on my counter where my mail goes – I didn’t buy any 2014 calendars yet, so it’s not to have one.

Don’t like the juicing book – it reads a little too obsessive like for me (like it’s trying to convert me away from my horrible unhealthy lifestyle) and I don’t own/plan to buy a juicer, so it’s a bit of a waste. A healthy cookbook – which used normal equipment found in most kitchens would have been a better idea. Appreciate the thought, but not the product.

Nail files are just boring and drugstore – again, I’m using PopSugar to learn about *new* products – anyone who goes to a drugstore knows Revlon.


Juicing is definitely a niche trend. Not a wise choice when trying to appeal to a wide range of women. Actually, it’s a pretty awful choice.


Agreed – it’s like PopSugar was given a batch of those books to promote them or something! To niche for the wide audience they’re trying to appeal to for sure.


This will be my first Popsugar box and I am excited to try the mask and popcorn.

The juicing book probably won’t stay in the house…we don’t own a juicer and already have a few smoothie books; however, I have a couple of super fit friends who might like it as a gift or I can take it to the used book store and get a credit for it. I’m pretty “meh” about the gloves as I see those EVERYWHERE (I live in Alaska for heaven’s sake) and I like the gloves I currently have, but they will either be put in the gift box or my hubby might wear them. Also, the nail files are pretty and I will use them…they are just sort of “blah” but still, the mask and the popcorn make the box for me. Also I don’t have a use for the desk calendar but I’ll probably still find a place for it.

Iris S

I was still on the fence on whether or not I liked this box, but after seeing what was in LAST January’s box… I’m happier with this year’s January box! Can’t wait to receive my box this Saturday – super excited for the truffle popcorn!


So glad I waited to order after seeing December! We have a vitamix which came with a ton (5 books!?!) of juicing recipes. Thanks for your reviews! They’ve been so helpful!!!

Amber S.

I really loooove POPSUGAR boxes and there is always a least one thing in my monthly box that I adore. However, I live in South Florida so I won’t get much use out of the awesome tech gloves and I don’t have a juicer. Everything else in the box is great and I did know it was a mystery box when I ordered it. I just hope they stick to items that don’t require expensive kitchen appliances in the future, lol 🙂


I’m surprised that so many people are disappointed with the juicing book – smoothies are an important part of my week 😉 Haha!

This was my first box, and I for one am thrilled. The calendar went right on my desk, I’ll use the mask tonight, and I’m wearing the gloves when I leave in a few minutes. I’m excited to try out some new smoothie recipes (I don’t have a juicer, so juice becomes smoothies for me 😉 ), and the files are cute and fun. A big hit on my end!


disappointed about the juicing book (just seems like the latest fad, and just not interested) but everything else looks great! this is the last month of my 3 month sub and I’m not sure if I should continue or try that SocialBliss box!

jenn @ hello, rigby!

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