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POPSUGAR Must Have Box January 2016 Review + Coupon

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMay 2, 2017 | 106 comments


3.9 overall rating
530 Ratings | 71 Reviews

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.

FYI – January boxes are still available if you sign up for a monthly subscription.


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 code MSA20 to get $20 off your first box!

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

Ships to: US via USPS

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.


Patchology FlashMasque Trio – $20 Value

Trio includes:

– Exfoliate Facial Sheet (1 sheet): an exfoliating masque that gently removes dead skin cells for more even tone and texture.

– Hydrate Facial Sheet (1 sheet): a masque that delivers a mega-dose of long-lasting moisture to soften and replenish skin.

– Illuminate Facial Sheet (1 sheet): a masque that restores fresh-faced radiance to lackluster, dull complexions.

I love that these are 5-minute masks – I have very little patience for mask treatments! I just tried the Illuminate Facial Sheet while writing this review, and it was super refreshing!


Not Soap, Radio Bath and Shower Gel Gift Set  – Retail Value $22


This set includes:

  • Liquid Freud (coconut milk mango + vanilla)
  • When life gives you one too many lemons (lemon + sugar)
  • To sleep full of sweet dreams (lavender + clementine)
  • Bathing with sharks (beach + sky blue water)
  • Awash in a field of four-leaf clover (green & white tea + clover)


I’ve sampled this brand before thanks to Birchbox, and I actually like every single scent of body wash in this set! (I’m pretty picky with fragrance, so that’s surprising for me!) The one thing I’m confused about is the price of this set. If the 2 oz travel size Body Washes are $3 each, and these body washes are only 1 ounce, then I don’t see how this is a $22 set. Value issues aside, I really like this set, and I think it would be great for gifting too!


Blue Sky Day Designer Weekly Planner – $16 Value

I know a few readers were not happy with getting a planner after 2016 had already started, but for procrastinators like me, the timing is great! I love the color of this planner too:


And the lining is cute:


A tip from MSA readers: if you already have a regular planner for 2016 – use this as a separate meal planner, or workout planner!


This planner has monthly and weekly views with a to-do list for each day:


I’m going to try to use the to-do list part each day. There is something so rewarding about being able to cross something off a list!


Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class to the Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo – Retail Value $18.99

(On Amazon for $11.49)

I had purchased The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing last year, and read most of it. I still need to make a lot of progress with organization so this book will be a good referesher, but I think I’ve gotten better at consistently donating items we don’t need/want/use. (My husband Eric almost died of laughter finding me reading this book while surrounded by tons of subscription box items in my office).

This book provides illustrations for organization:


Looking over a few chapters, it looks like this book carries over a lot from the first book, and also provides new details like specific drawings for how to fold/organize lots of different items.


Project & INC Summer Snow Sugar Free Gum – Value $2

If you avoid artificial food dyes like I try to, good news – this gum is not colored. It also does taste just like a summer treat! (And for every 7 packs purchased, Project 7 donates to Anti-Bullying efforts in the US!)

Chapstick Total Hydration 100% Natural Soothing Vanilla – Value $3

I got this in the December 2015 Allure Beauty Box, and I’ve been using it ever since! I love that it is all natural, and it is super moisturizing too. I’m happy to have a spare!


Pehr Designs Pebble Speck Bin – Value $40

This is my favorite item in the box! (And I love that it alone is worth the cost of the box!) It is made with 100% sturdy cotton canvas, and it has a 13-inch height and a 12-inch diameter. Here it is with a faux fur blanket to show what it looks like in use:


I think this is such a unique and useful item from POPSUGAR – I love it! And I’m hoping this print will work with most subscribers’ decor. (This also came with a 25% off coupon for Pehr Designs – expires Feb 15th).

Verdict: This box has a retail value of about $122 (or $100 if I adjust the values for the book and body wash set). I think that’s a great value, and I really like the assortment of items this month. I think POPSUGAR did a good job at putting together a useful box that also feels special. (A tricky task!)

What do you think of the January 2016 POPSUGAR Must Have box? What is your favorite item?

POPSUGAR Must Have is a quartely lifestyle subscription box curated by the editors at POPSUGAR. Each box features their "must have" products for beauty, fashion, home, food, fitness and more. Every box has a value of $250 +!
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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LOVE this box. Everything in it made me happy. And I will use everything in it. Yay!


I had a pretty sketchy experience. I was charged on Jan 6th. Never got my box. Sent in a contact form and had a back and forth about what might be the problem and they said they would correct the email address linked to my account, but didn’t mention anything about the fact that I was charged and didn’t receive a box. I re-opened the request and asked again about what they would do about the charge on Jan 27th. Finally, with no contact, I called my bank Feb 1 to dispute the charge and they said to cancel my subscription. Fine. I submitted a contact form for an “Account” issue rather than “Cancellation” in case those get lower priority. Of course, one hour later I get a response that my subscription is cancelled. The same day I get an email regarding my inquiry about the January Box that there’s “high traffic volume” and they can’t get to my request. Something very unethical is going on with their customer service practices.


I purchased a 6 month subscription in December 2015 and I paid for it in full. This January popsugar charged my CC with $43.15 for an order I didn’t make or worst, I am being charged again for a subscription I had already paid in full. I tried emailing them with the contact provided but I did not get an answer at all. Are they charging me month to month for a fully paid for 6 month subscription? Does anyone know how to contact them other than through email? Thanks. Other than this I like the subscription.


For January I got charged twice technically. I paid for a 6 month subscription in December, so like everyone I got two boxes in December. I thought I was just getting one box in January, but like half way though the month, I got a tracking number for a second box and a charge. And I was like huh?! So I just emailed them, and they actually responded pretty quickly, and canceled the second subscription that came later in the month. They said it was from my month to month subscription from before I had my 6 month subscription, and since I never cancelled it, I kept getting changed for it. Maybe the same thing is going on in these situations? I don’t know all the facts, just know went through something similar.

(I wouldn’t mind getting two of this month’s box though! It’s so good!!)


I love Popsugar and this box in particular. I especially love the canvas bin – it’s beautiful in real life and works perfectly in my scandinavian inspired house. The only thing I could do without was the gum — I loved the packaging, really pretty, but the gum itself was yuck!
I am so looking forward to using the day planner and the Spark Joy book – both things I wouldn’t necessarily buy but I think I will get a lot of use out of them. Love!


I live in MN and I got this box on Jan 14. I think in the last year I just about always got my box between the 13-19th of the month (even on the months they don’t send me tracking info).

I LOVED this box!! Two thumbs up! I don’t think I used a single thing from last January’s box, so my expectations were low.

The bin in awesome – I spent some time ironing it and now it stands and looks perfect. I’ve always wanted to try a planner. And I haven’t liked any book PSMH has sent in the past year – on this one I’m already 40 pgs into! The only thing I would maybe change is the snack, but I’ll try the gum.

I got my box today and I actually love it. I agree the boxes are arriving later and later in the month, which is frustrating.
First off, I love the planner. It’s perfect size and I love the color. I’ve already started filling in the pages.
For once a book I want to read right away. I am already getting tips and I just picked it up!
I love this chapstick. I keep chapstick with me everywhere I go and I love how smooth and long lasting it is.
The gum I could give or take. I don’t love the flavor but my kids will take it.
I LOVE this tote. It’s a great size and matches most any room in my home.
The bath gels I an definitely use as I travel quite a bit so they are the perfect size.
I am anxious to try the masks. I have only recently tried a mask similar to these. They are kind of fun and I am anxious to see how the are with my skin.
This is one box I can actually use most of the items in. Lately I haven’t been overly thrilled with what I have been receiving. I liked the variety of the items, the colors were great and matched my color scheme in my home and all the items in the boxes made me feel good as I opened them! I think as I tidy my home with Spark Joy most of the items will be keepers!


I finally received my January box yesterday. Most of the items are up for swap, although the canvas storage bin was nicer than I was expecting, and will be very useful. Here is the unrelated and very strange thing: On 1/1/16 I emailed pop sugar CS to let them know that the mercury glass candle with lid that I received in my November box was cracked and I requested a replacement. I received a prompt reply advising that a replacement would be sent. In the next few weeks there was some back and forth involving me checking the status of my replacement, and being told that they were trying to address a backlog of requests due to the busy holidays. I wasn’t ignored, and I wasn’t in a hurry, so I didn’t have any issue with how the matter was being handled. Today (the day after I received my January box) I received a pair of Kendra Scott earrings from popsugar and the 20% off coupon for capri blue candles that also came in the November box. No note or email accompanied the earrings, so I am assuming this is my replacement for the damaged candle??? I have pierced ears and like the earrings, which is good. I just thought this was such a strange was to handle the situation and I was definitely expecting a replacement candle, not a substitute. However, I still seem to be in a better position than those who received a damage item and haven’t had any luck receiving ANYTHING as a replacement or substitute. It sure seems like popsugar has been struggling a lot more this holiday season/winter than last year.


I’m still waiting for my replacement. I have been emailing them since November, with the same experience as yours. I got am email about 2 weeks ago saying they were shpiping me something along with something thrown in for my trouble. I’ve yet to receive anything. …


Thats really strange! I received just last week, a replacement mercury glass candle AND the kendra Scott earrings with a little note that said something along the lines of ‘thank you for being a loyal popsugar customer’…. I should mention, I’ve been subscribed (on and off) since their very first box, but I don’t think that gives me any reason for special treatment. If I were you, I wojld send them a kind email asking for an explanation. It’s possible it was an error, since they were overwhelmed with those candles breaking…


I did send nice emails to CS and was promised a replacement I their return nice emails. Last week a I received an expired coupon for Capri blue candles and Kendra Scott earrings–no note or email. I was pretty puzzled and sent nice follow up emails asking if an expired coupon and earrings were my replacement for the damaged Mercury glass candle. I never received a response. Oh well. I think I fared better than most. The February box looks much better for me than January and I received a shipping notice yesterday, so fingers crossed.


They must really like blue over there at Popsugar. After the jewelry box in December and the planner almost looking identical this month it would be fun to see a larger variety of color included. Especially for those of us who are not a fan of blue lol


Apparently blue is Lisa Sugar’s favorite color. Officially.

But I’m loving the mint! I’ve been infatuated with this color for a few months now, so I’m really happy to see this shift away from the usual royal blue.


I LOVE this box. The bin is my favorite – much larger than I expected and of nice quality. I plan to buy another one with the discount. I like the Planner, although I would agree that it should have come in December, so January would have been of use. But it’s a lovely thing, just the right size, well organized – I am looking forward to using it every day. The book will be a quick read that I can pass to other friends. I’ll happily use the masks and the gum myself, and have the bath gel set and chapstick on hand as little gifts. I think this is one of the best boxes! Love it!

Karol Bauman

I’ve always gotten my monthly boxes later in the month. I know to delete the email with the MSA review immediately. I like the variety: food, beauty, home, and a few things I don’t know if I really need. Unfortunately got my daughters subs for Christmas so I can’t regift to them. Liked this box, not my fav but mostly useful. Can’t wait to try the masks. A bin is always welcome for the stuff I get in my overload of boxes.


This box was a winner. I live in Ohio and just got my box this week. The bin is my faborite thing. I even think you could carry it like a tote ! I’m putting my craft items inside and will take it to textile class . Next the book had tips that I never knew ! At least this topic was better than the last book. Shower gels smell great and I loved the selection. Chapstick a need. It would have been nice to get a nice hand cream to go with this. Gum tasted artifical. I would like yo try some new natural products I think this box was one of the better boxes if the year !


Got my box today, love how the planner matches the jewelry/catch all box they previously sent!


What’s frustrating to me is that each month the box comes later and later and if I received a shipping notice and tracking number at all I get it the day that my package is delivered or I get it a few days after. And for everyone that doesn’t get a reply back from customer service I say just the right away with having your credit card company go after them because if they’re going to charge you money and not send your items and not reply that’s stealing money from you


You said exactly what I have been fuming about all day. Later and later delivery every month, useless tracking info (if you get an e-mail at all). I came here to see what is in the January box that I don’t have yet. What a disappointment. Usually there is at least one thing I really like and a few items I’m willing to give a shot, but this box is a complete waste of $40. Chapstick, wastebasket … really?


I got the 6 month special in December, which resulted in my getting two December boxes. I was not happy about that, but fine if that is how they decided to play it. Yesterday I got my January box, great, happy camper! Today I got a second January box, no longer a happy camper. And yes I did cancel my month to month subscription when I got the 6 month deal. Did this happen to others? I sent an email but judging from comments on here that may not get me far. Any suggestions?


The exact same thing happened to me and I was charged twice. I contested the charge with my credit card company and got refunded from them. After multiple customer service emails, finally got confirmation that the second subscription had been cancelled.


I got the box today and love it!! Received shipping notice last week with expected delivery yesterday. Unfortunately fed ex delivers it to the post office who then waits a day.


In defense of the post office (my husband works there): it’s not that they wait a day, it’s that it takes a day for any package to go through the machinery. When you think about how many packages they deal with, it’s really quite amazing that it only takes a day. And, according to Lee, there’s not really enough people to keep the machinery in tip-top shape at all times (that’s a condition that exists nationwide).


Underwhelmed by this box. The book is useless to me. I already bought a planner. The bin thing is ok but the price for it is grossly overestimated …$40.. Yea right. They have the same ones ad homegoods for $5.99


Mine shipped on the 12th, and I just received it today. It was missing the Patchology FlashMasques. I have sent something to customer service, but I am just expecting yet another canned response back. I have been a subscriber for 2+ years, and have gotten most all of the LE boxes, but have never had the customer service issues that I have had recently. There was a billing issue with my subscription renewal (they overcharged), and it took 6+ frustrating emails to resolve over a period of a month and a half. The candlesticks I received in the LE for Her Holiday box were broken and completely unuseable. I sent a photo, and they said they would send replacements. They closed the “case”, and I have sent at least 5 emails, and gotten just canned responses about them being behind with the holidays. NO REPLACEMENTS, but I did receive a mystery $6 credit from Popsugar, I hope they are not considering this compensation for the broken candlesticks. And now a missing item in my January box. I like all of the other items in the box, and used to think this was a quality subscription, but their customer service is sliding off a cliff, and this is what makes or breaks a subscription to me.


How sad is it that I didn’t even bother to send in a report/claim about my broken candles because I assumed this is how things would go?


I finally received my box today, but it was missing two items! I’ve contacted customer support. My box was missing Spark Joy and the Summer Snow Gum.


Is it too late to get this box??


I don’t think so! Their website says this is the box you’ll start with if you subscribe now and even when they say they are out they’re usually not.


Thank you, Kristin!

Alyssa Chapman


Do all users get the same items in their box each month?


Liz Cadman

Yes. Occasionally there may be variation with a color, but all subscribers get the same items. Hope that helps! 🙂


Still no box, no shipping notice or tracking info. It doesn’t even show that my box is being processed in my account. I have no clue whats up. Usually when i get my shipping notice it takes about ten business days to reach me , so its looking like i am not going to get my box untill late jan or early feb. I really could use my planner, i hate missing a whole month. Is anyone else not receiving their shipping notice yet ?


Just came by to see if anyone else was in the same predicament. 🙁 Sad to see this is indeed the case.


I haven’t and I’m so frustrated. What the hell that’s a huge time difference in when people receive the box. On their Facebook it looks like there’s people like us and popsugar just says all boxes will ship by the 20th.


I just received a shipping notice for my January box today, checked tracking and saw that it is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. It sounds like the January PSMH box has finally made it to the Pacific Northwest! I wonder if my replacement candle from the November box will be arriving with it??


I’m in south bay california, the box shipped from Gilroy, which is 1.5h drive, but still not receiving my box and no tracking(and it literally takes them more than 5 days to ship from gilroy because fedex detour through sacremento, meh…)

I subscribed a year ago and last 3 months have been very disappointing. Dropped from Nov but resub for the 6-month deal bc I literally can’t resist it! This box used to promise shipping by 15th and I usually get them by 10th. But recently we have all witnessed their crappy customer service along shipping, replacing and double charging. I personally like Jan box but it’s 18th already and I’m still not hearing anything about my box, and they are charging us early for next month ? Not good.

PSMH has been my fav monthly box all along and I really hope they can put themselves together soon. Take care of the mess of back orderS and secure the quality of their regular box first, rather than throwing out all kinds of random LE boxes when their services couldn’t catch up.


I totally agree with you! Why on earth would they be doing so many side boxes when they can’t pull it together with their regular box?! It’s the 20th, I still haven’t received my monthly box! It gets pretty frustrating as each month goes by, my box arrived later and later.


I love this box. Especially the Pehr storage thing. Does anyone have the 25% code? I got it in my box, stuck the paper in my coat pocket and now I can’t find it. I remember it was a generic code and I really want to order a few items from them. They also have a Canadian site and it drives me crazy that there pricing is exactly the same but the exchange rate isn’t!!

So provided is not against the rules to share the code if be obliged if someone would post it here. It’s that OK Liz cadman?


I’ll never sign up for Popsugar because $40 is just too much of a risk to spend each month for me & my particular taste, and usually I am never wowed by these boxes. But OH MAN. This month’s box is jammin. Literally every single item is something I would use & is a style I like. Totally jelly!


I’m annoyed that I haven’t gotten a tracking number for January yet. They better be sending my boxes together at this point…


my boxes came on saturday. and it still says processing (no tracking) for each box.


I haven’t received anything. No email, no tracking. I’m nervous about the early billing for Feb if I may not even have Jan yet?

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.