Merkaela Subscription Box Review – Fall 2016
Merkaela is a seasonal subscription box focused on promoting your spiritual wellness and connection to nature.
Every December, March, June, and September, Merkaela sends its subscribers a package of 7-10 natural body and home items centered around a seasonal theme. According to the Merkaela site, the company uses Alchemy to “activate” their products, meaning you might get additional, unseen benefits from these pretty potions!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Box: Merkaela
The Cost: $48.00 per quarterly box, or $44.00 per box when you pay annually.
The Products: 7-10 natural, handcrafted, cruelty-free self-care products for home and body. Each box also gives you access to a monthly playlist and content around the seasonal theme.
Ships to: US and Canada. Shipping is free within the continental US.
I’ve been getting more and more into these kinds of mind-body products. Shopping for them on my own can be hard, though, since there are so many potions to pick from, each with different specific specialties. This box takes the guesswork out of the process, supplying high-quality, energy-infused products chosen to serve the needs that come with the season at hand.
The theme of this fall box is “Awaken”. According to this card, the ingredients featured in these items are meant to energize, uplift, and even boost immunity.
On the back of the card, there’s a list of all the products, as well as notes about what makes them special.
There’s also a business-card-sized “affirmation” to use during the season. I like that it’s convenient enough to keep in a wallet, where it can be a handy reminder to take a breath and remember to connect, no matter where I am in the world.
Elevate Soap – Retail price $8.50
This handmade soap comes wrapped in paper and soft twine. I like the simplicity of the packaging.
The top of the soap is speckled with a sampling of its essential ingredients. Palm, coconut, olive, and palm kernel oils make up this smooth, light soap, along with a touch of a lemongrass essential oil blend and rosemary extract. The lather is light, and the scent is fresh and gentle.
Awaken Body Butter – Retail price $21.00
I immediately fell in love with the lilac color of this jar of body butter. It’s not what I’d typically think of as a “fall” color, but in a way, that makes it more fun. The springtime shade is a nice pick-me-up in the midst of a dim autumn day.
Compared to other body butters I’ve tried, which are really just thick lotions, this barely scented product is very firm—I had to swirl my fingers around the top for a minute or so before it was soft enough to get a small scoop for my hands. I think that’s because of the natural oils (shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil) in the recipe. It definitely feels like when you open a new, cold jar of coconut oil and have to work at it before it loosens up.
The butter melted nicely into my hands. It left a slight sheen on them, but it was far from greasy. I don’t think this was the best moisturizer I’ve used—my cold-weather hands were less dry, but not as supple as I would’ve liked—but I do feel good about the fact that it’s made of natural substances. It also has vitamin E, calendula, and liquorice in it, which will probably do my skin much more good than typical drug store brands.
Awaken Exfoliator – Retail price $8.80
If there’s one thing I can’t stand about colder weather, it’s how super dry my skin gets. A good exfoliator is key to keeping my skin comfortable and healthy looking, and I was really pleased with this amber-brown concoction.
The “grit” in this one is sugar, which is gently abrasive. It’s suspended in a fleet of nutritious oils, vitamins A and E, and a splash of frankincense, lemongrass, and cinnamon essential oils. The essential oils are fragrant, but not overpowering and divinely early and sweet. I used a smidge of this in the shower, and I loved that it was so rich that my skin felt smooth, but not zapped afterwards.
Awaken Mineral Bath – Retail price $14.00
I don’t take baths that often, but I was eager to try this blend of salts, minerals, herbs, essential oils and more. It doesn’t look too pretty in the jar, but boy did it make my bathroom smell nice! Lemongrass, frankincense, and cinnamon appear again here, creating an aroma that’s both comforting (almost like a sweet tea) and invigorating. I didn’t feel like these salts had any noticeable impact on my skin, but it did make for an aromatherapeutic bath time!
My only concern is that the image of this product on Merkaela’s site looks way different than this once does—on the site, the salt and herbs are neatly separated and bright, whereas here, they’re mixed and muddy in color. Again, the bath worked great, but I wonder if things got shaken up in shipping!
Awaken Elixir – Retail price $11.11
This spray bottle is about the size of a lip balm, so it’s easy to tote in a skirt pocket or purse. It’s basically a wearable version of the lemongrass, frankincense, and cinnamon essential oil blend found in the other products. I spritzed a bit on my wrists like I would perfume. I like the idea of using this natural blend as a fragrance, plus, wearing it on my wrists means I can easily bring my hands to my nose for some instant aromatherapy!
Awaken Tea Potion – Retail price $7.70
Wow, what a unique tea! Merkaela also refers to this loose-leaf tea as their organic “Pu’reh Caramel Chai”. It’s sweet in a rich, warm, slightly spicy way—it’s the most traditional representation of “fall flavors” in the box.
The top has a quote from Carl Jung on it. I love the little bits of inspiration sprinkled throughout this box!
Awaken Face Mask – Retail price $7.70
Unlike most face masks, this one comes in the form of a powder, packaged in a tiny glass pot.
To make the face mask, you mix a small bit of the gray powder (which is Bentonite clay and spirulina) with a splash of water. I spread a very thin layer of the resulting paste across my T-zone and cheeks, then let it sit. It made my face feel very clean, though I didn’t notice any dramatic difference in moisture, etc.
Merkaela includes some tiny spatulas in the box to use in the creation of the mask.
They’re about the size of a pinky finger, with a little scoop at the end for picking up just enough powder to make a “serving” of mask.
Chakra Meditation Candle from Crystal Journey Candles – Value $2.14
This purple candle is meant to assist meditation on the crown chakra, which is located at the very tippy top of your head. The color is what’s traditionally associated with the chakra and echoes the amethyst palette of this box.
The candle comes with a little slip of paper with details on the chakra and its specialties.
The candle is infused with frankincense, but this time, I recognized more floral notes than in the other pieces. Maybe that’s the olbanum in the candle. I wouldn’t really be able to say, as this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this fragrance!
Palo Santo – Retail price $4.40
This wood burns like a smudge, purifying the air and clearing the energy of the space. I’m getting over a cold, so I was eager to give this cleansing smoke a try. Whether it purifies or not, I love the earthy smell it left in my home.
Amethyst Bracelet – Retail price $8.80
This elastic bracelet was a pleasant surprise! I think it’s cute that they included something to wear—I like having a trinket I can look down at while I’m out and about as a reminder to stay grounded and connected with the world around me. This bracelet is comfortable and has the prettiest color. Plus, amethyst supposedly draws contentment. Gray days won’t get me down this year!
The Verdict: I really loved this Merkaela box! It’s kind of like a self-care kit for getting through the season. I was easily lured in by the crisp, modern design of the packaging. And the products themselves proved to be pretty high-quality and effective. Mostly, I appreciate the natural and often organic nature of the ingredients. It’s a goal of mine to get further away from the weird chemicals that fill big brand products—these items were creepy-ingredient free, worked about as well as anything I’d find at the store, and smelled absolutely divine. The one hesitation I have about this box is the price, which is pretty steep at $48.00. Granted, this box comes quarterly, rather than monthly, but it’s still a lot for ten items. The value of this box was about $94.15, meaning the price is worth what’s inside. I wish it wasn’t so expensive to get simple, natural items—while the retail prices of the products were on the high side, I can’t say that’s much different than the prices I see at stores for similar natural items. I think if you’re passionate about natural mind-body products and can afford it, this is a great box to choose!
Which of the Merkaela box products are you most eager to try?