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POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review + Coupon – Summer 2020

Popsugar Summer 2020 final box review

POPSUGAR Must Have is a lifestyle subscription box for women. Each season, members get beauty, fashion, food, fitness, and home items from top and up-and-coming brands that POPSUGAR editors have tried, tested, and loved. (It was voted one of the Best Subscription Boxes for Women by MSA readers, too!)

In case you missed the news, the POPSUGAR Must Have subscription is ending 🙁

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).

About this Box

The Subscription Box: POPSUGAR Must Have

The Cost: $75/quarter

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)

This is the final POPSUGAR season. Though nothing can totally replace such an awesome box, we did compile a list of alternative boxes you might like if you loved POPSUGAR Must Have. 

My POPSUGAR Must Have Summer 2020 Review

 

Each box comes with a booklet detailing and introducing all the items in the box.

Now, on to the items!

 

Roxanne Assoulin Patchwork Brite Set of 10 Bracelets, Set of 10 – Listed Value $62.50 (Buy 12 for $75.00)

Ok, anything that reminds me of nostalgic friendship bracelets that I can currently wear is a win for me. They are so colorful and fun. This is a set of 10, and the booklet mentions you can share them with friends, but I think I might just keep all of these to myself. They are on a stretchy cord so they should fit most wrists, though I found that all 10 at once on my 6.5-inch wrist did feel a little tight. Stretch bracelets like these do tend to loosen up a little over time. In terms of cost, I can’t say I would ever pay this much for stretch seed bead bracelets in my normal life, but I am a low-key Roxanne Assoulin fan with a wallet that doesn’t lend itself to collecting her colorful color-blocked pieces, so these coming in a box feel like a real treat. Each of the bracelets also has a golden RA bead which makes them feel a little more special, too!

Why do I suddenly miss summer camp?

 

Mar Y Sol “Tanya” Raffia Crossbody – Listed Value $59.00

Raffia always feels quite summery, though often the styling can be difficult to nail. Luckily for us, this purse is spot on. It is a crossbody sort of style with a smaller size that reminds me more of a clutch than a big purse. It is a really adorable little bag. I can see myself wearing this with jeans and a destroyed tee as easily as I can with a fancier dress. I have a few (socially distanced) weddings coming up and I totally plan on carrying this little baby to keep my hands free and my stuff closeby. You can also tuck the strap inside to use it as a strap-free clutch.

Even in my casual top and leggings, this was a cute addition that made me feel less casual when I ran to Target.

 

Antica Farmacista Lush Palm Candle, 9 oz – Retail Value $46.00

Admittedly, I can be real picky about candle scents. On paper, I wasn’t so sure of this one. The notes of aloe, apple, gardenia, saltwater, amber, and vanilla sounded like this would either be really great, or too sweet for my nose. When I first opened the box I could immediately smell it and I liked it immediately. I think the crisper note of salt really makes this candle a lot more sophisticated than I could have expected and the base note of Labdanum makes it a little sexy. It is also a scent bomb in any room, so if you love highly scented candles you are in for a real treat. It makes my office smell really clean, green, and floral, but not especially tropical. I appreciate that since I am in a landlocked state and I am not a fan of piña coladas. The minimal white glass jar is also a great look on my mantle.

 

Farmacy Very Cherry Bright 15% Clean Vitamin C Serum with Acerola Cherry, 1 fl oz – Retail Value $62.00

Yay for Farmacy! And yay for a serum rich in vitamin C (four types to be exact!). This is the sort of serum that over time will brighten your skin and fade hyperpigmentation spots and also help heal acne scars. There is also hyaluronic acid inside (multiple types, again), so expect to see a little hydration boost, too. I did find this serum to be a little sticky, so maybe leave this for your evening routine. It also had a soft cherry scent that I actually liked, even though generally that is a negative for me.

 

Subtle Luxury Pool to Party Birds of Paradise Pareo – Retail Value $68.00

As someone who rarely finds herself poolside, I never really use items like this as coverups. I do pull them out frequently in the fall though, because I love an oversized and lightweight scarf. Happily for me, the shades on this pattern are actually perfect for any season, and although it is inspired by the Birds of Paradise plant, it really doesn’t read as overly tropical to me. It is a very soft poly fabric and is trimmed in white tassels.

Here is a shot of me trying to battle the wind. As you can see, this piece is quite large! Excuse the sawhorse in the background, Will is in the middle of a project. 🙂

 

C’est Moi Gentle Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes, 30 wipes – Retail Value $10.00

I can never have enough makeup wipes, especially in class! We have been really focusing hardcore on makeup application (on ourselves due to safety precautions) and my skin is pretty crabby. It doesn’t help that the makeup we are using is basically stage makeup and it is SO heavy. These wipes immediately went into my bag for class in the evening, and I am happy to report that they make quick work of even professional makeup. They have aloe and green tea inside too, which has helped with how irritated my face feels after 3 looks over and over in a single night. As an added bonus, these wipes are also biodegradable!

 

R.E.D.D. Oatmeal Plant-Based Protein Bar – Buy 12 bars for $35.88

I am someone who never remembers to pack a lunch (or in my case at night, a dinner) and I often find myself in the breakroom at school with nothing to eat. This was another item that I tossed into my bag for a quick energy boost. When you work from 8-4 and go to class from 5-9:30, easy snacks like this are a must. This bar doesn’t actually taste super “oatmeal-y” but reminds me more of like a normal protein bar with a dense texture. I happen to enjoy healthy bars so this was fine with me! With 10 g of protein and only 4 g of sugar, this was a nice little end-of-day hunger buster.

 

Daily Crunch Coffee-Soaked Sprouted Almonds, 1.5 oz – Buy 12 bags for $39.99

I like almonds and find them to be a great snack. These were unique because they are “sprouted,” meaning they are soaked in water to start the seed growing process, but then dried. This destroys enzymes that make them harder to digest. I have never had trouble digesting almonds, but I am down for people who do having delightful almond snacks! These were also soaked in espresso, which gives them a smokey coffee flavor. I found them to be a little too dehydrated for my taste, but I still ate them all, happily.


Now, time for the Special Extras in the box! (If you aren’t familiar, these are extra items that don’t count toward the value of the box. AKA bonus freebies!)

 

Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water, four 0.33 fl oz samples – Buy 16.7 fl oz for $14.90

Micellar water is one of my fave gentle cleansers, but also the one I like to travel with the least since it is literally like water and totally prone to leaking! These little samplers make that easy! I am going home to visit my family in August and I will totally take these along for easy cleansing at night if I skip a shower and my normal cleansers. Just a little bit of this on a cotton round is enough to remove nearly an entire face in just a few swipes while leaving your skin feeling soft and retaining its moisture.

 

Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium Supplement, 4 oz – Buy 8 oz for $23.95 (on sale for $14.37)

I am really terrible about taking supplements. I don’t even take a multivitamin! So this is not something I would likely reach for, but I am intrigued by it. I would normally classify myself as a very carefree and sanguine individual, but these last few months have been full of transitions and loads of stress. I am not my normal positive sunshine self. Magnesium is said to help with stress (something I didn’t know before reading this bottle) and adding some of this to a drink or smoothie is easy. The taste is fine too, just a mix of lemon and berries, and pretty mild. I didn’t notice a huge difference after my first try, but I love the idea of using supplements to chill out. Anyone else out there recommend magnesium??

 

Batiste Waterless Cleansing Foam, 3.6 oz – Full Size! Retail Value $9.99

Our last item is a waterless cleansing foam from a dry shampoo brand I used to use constantly! I kind of backed off when I realized the first ingredient was butane, but dang does their dry shampoo work miracles! Honestly, butane is simply a propellant, but it is wildly flammable. This formula has butane as the second ingredient after water, which has to be a slight upgrade. I felt pretty skeptical about a waterless foam, but I diligently waited to wash my hair and I tried this on day 3. I applied loads of this to my hair (for science!!) and while it left my hair smelling and looking pretty refreshed, I wasn’t crazy about the slickness left behind.

Verdict: This box has a retail value of over $300 which is fantastic for a $75 box. I am so sad this is the last one! At least my one POPSUGAR review was a good one. I loved the colorful bracelets from a designer I love, as well as the adorable purse. The cherry serum was a win and I also have been burning that candle regularly for its amazing scent. Face wipes are always welcome in a box for me, and all the smaller edible items and samples were really great. Although this was my first (and last) PS review, I thought this was a great box that most anyone would be thrilled with for $75, especially since the serum alone almost makes up the cost of the whole box. I miss you already, POPSUGAR!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, it looks like you can still snag this final box.

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to get $20 off your first box!

Value Breakdown: At $75 for this box, each of the 8 items has an average cost of $9.38. I did not include the bonus items in this calculation.

Though nothing can totally replace such an awesome box, we did compile a list of alternative boxes you might like if you loved POPSUGAR Must Have. 

What do you think of the final POPSUGAR Must Have Box? What’s your favorite item in the box? 

POPSUGAR Must Have

How do subscribers rate POPSUGAR Must Have?

Shipping
Customer service
Retail value
Quality of products
Curation
Ease of canceling

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Posted in POPSUGAR Must Have Box Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: POPSUGAR Must Have Box | 67 comments

Comments (67)

  1. Hopping on this thread bc I’m hoping to get answers about my box credits and store credits… Popsugar is not responding and I’m getting nervous!

  2. Hi . I just purchased this. How do I customize. I didn’t see the option.

  3. This isn’t my favorite of the Popsugar boxes, but it sucks that Popsugar is ending. I’ve purchased almost every single box since they started in 2012. The annual NM LE box is my favorite box of the year, and even when I didn’t love something from a box it eventually grew on me.

    End of an era of wonderful surprises.

    • It wasn’t my favorite Popsugar box either, but I bought it for the bracelets, candle, and serum, and I love those 3 items. The other items are just extras for me. And of course I also got it because it’s the last Popsugar box, probably ever- which does totally suck. I’m
      sure glad mine came complete too with nothing missing, broken, or leaking. So many complaints about that for the past couple of boxes.

      While I certainly didn’t get every box since I discovered PSMH in 2014, I got a lot of them. And I’ll miss them. And their warehouse sales! Truly the end of an era of wonderful surprises.

  4. I figured out the coupon issue.

    I guess at some point (YEARS ago) I must’ve used the coupon. I assume it’s a single-time-per-account.

    I made a new account with another email and it went through easy as pie. I’ll have to remember to log in and make sure to delete my card info and such after I get the box.

  5. Did anyone else have their package sit at FedEx for a week + after it said it was shipped? Mine has been pending since the 30th of june. 🙄 no add ons either.. getting a little concerned but no one at popsugar has helped me.

    • I had this happened with the spring box; I received an email saying it had shipped, when in reality it sat for almost two weeks in the Popsugar warehouse before actually being sent on to USPS. It’s because they print the shipping label – which prompts a shipping notification – long before they actually send out the box.

    • Same thing happened with my Spring box. Try to be patient and understanding. They are working with a very reduced staff due to COVID. They are also slow with responding to emails for the same reason. I reached out to them in May when I noticed my Spring box had a label generated but it had not get been pulled at the warehouse for shipping pickup.

  6. Is the coupon no longer working? I just tried and it says that it’s invalid.

  7. Anybody have luck using the coupon code? It’s not working for me.

    • Just now used it. Worked fine. Total came out to be $58.85 with tax.

  8. I was worried the bracelets would not fit as I’m larger but they fit fine .also purse is smaller than I thought

    • I have small wrists, the bracelets are loose enough for me to easily slide my index finger between the bracelets and my wrist without them being the least bit tight. Maybe I’m just an oddity as I have large hands (wear size 8 gloves) so have to careful stretching them over my “Seinfeld man hands”. Wish I had a abnormally thin waist instead thin wrists.😂

  9. Initially I wasn’t all that interested in his box, as I’m not at all a beach person or into beachy-style items—so the purse, bracelets, and pareo didn’t really draw me in. But once I found out that this was PopSugar’s last box, I decided to go for it since I’m a huge fan of their’s and have purchased the majority of their boxes over the last 2 years. Well now I’m SO glad I got it, because the entire cost of this box is worth it for that candle alone. It is the best candle scent I have ever experienced, and I have tons of candles. It’s also strongly scented, not weak at all, so your whole room will smell like it. I would normally never buy a $46 candle at full retail price, but I will definitely be purchasing more of these candles directly from the retailer. Also, the pareo is gorgeous and I will be using it as a spring scarf instead of a beach coverup.

  10. There’s no way I’d pay $9+ for wipes or small snacks, so I’m considering this a box of 5 items and well worth the price. I’m fortunate to have small fingers and wrists despite being tall, so the bracelets fit loosely and just right for me. I can see how they wouldn’t work for many. They could be restrung into 8 bracelets sharing the blue or gray ones to expand the others. I love the candle, pareo, and serum. I don’t have an occasion for the purse yet, but I will go someplace beachy eventually. I’ve really enjoyed Popsugar

    • I was charged for this box weeks ago, but it still hasn’t shipped. When I checked my account, it still says “processing.” I emailed customer service, and was told to be patient . Anyone else experiencing the same? I did order some add ons, & am wondering if that could be why? COVID?
      Looks like a nice box… frustrated!

      • same, I actually got an email that said ot shipped last Tuesday but the tracking number isn’t actually showing any movement

      • Would have to be the add-ons slowing it down. I ordered on July 1st and received my box today.

      • I ordered 6/18. It shipped 6/30 and arrived 7/6. No add one.

  11. I received my box today. It was missing two standard items (the serum and the makeup wipes) and one add on that I had paid for (the detangling brush). The shampoo bottle was open and leaked on everything. The box had been opened and repacked at some point, badly, and it arrived partly open but wrapped in tons of clear packing tape.

    Still awaiting an email reply from Popsugar about my refund for the missing items.. Maybe this is why they are canceling this part of the business. They obviously can’t pack a simple box and their customer service is crap.

    • Right. Because it couldn’t have possibly happened while in route. I’m sure it was done on purpose at the warehouse and then shipped that way intentionally – just to upset you.

      • Yikes JB. Taking things personally? You need a therapist. Have a great day psycho.

    • I just received my box and was missing the serum, make up wipes, protein bar, and crunch snacks. My shampoo was broken, too. My box was definitely ripped open (at the tear pull thing) then taped back together with everything thrown in and the interior packaging and bubble wrap thrown on top. I just emailed CS…I really hope we both hear back from them.

      • Update – CS replied today and they placed a replacement order for the missing items. There is a shipping delay of up to three weeks due to warehouse delays.

      • I hope you’ll get your replacement and won’t have my same experience. My replacement for spring (spring!) was issued during the first week of June And should Have been shipped in 2/3 weeks – as I was told back in June . One month later, I just got the same exact answer after inquiring about the item: they issued a replacement and will be shipped in 2/3 weeks. This entire process is going to take 5 months, assuming I’ll ever get a replacement.

    • I had a similar issue – missing LARGE items and lots of tape. Someone is definitely stealing

    • I had same experience. My box had clearly been repackaged, and was sealed with clear packing tape. When opened it everything just spilled out. Also did anyone else notice, instead of tissue paper or a dust bag for the purse– we got plastic bags?

      I also was not sent my add-on, but my credit card was charged for it months ago. My candle was melted and leaked all over everything in my box.
      I too am concerned because they no longer have any incentive that they will just blow off these issues. Popsugar use to be the Gold Standard, So Sad.

      • My box was different from others’ descriptions. Mine had everything, was in good shape with only 1 flimsy layer of tape, no packing bubbles, nothing was broken, but the was did somehow get to the bottom of the box, so I’m thinking it might have a crack on it?

        Sounds like even the good experiences, like mine, there’s something a little off. Anyways, it was bittersweet opening up the box, because I truly have adored PSMH. It was one of my first boxes. BarkBox was my first, and PSMH was possibly second or third. I’ll miss their curation that was ALWAYS au courant.

        Will miss your NM holiday boxes so much. Those were fun! I still wear some earrings and use items from those boxes on the daily. Please come back as close to your current state as possible. I don’t want to say, “Good-bye,” to you yet!

      • *wax*

  12. I love Calm magnesium, so its great to see it in this box. Its not something I use everyday, however, it does help calm me down a lot when I am feeling a lot of anxiety and having a panic attack.

  13. Now that I gave in and bought it I wish I’d done so sooner! It’s my bff’s birthday in a week and there are so many great gifts inside.

    • You could possibly get it in time for BFF’s B Day. I ordered my box on the first 1st of July, it shipped the next day and is scheduled to be delivered on the 8th. (NY to FL) Very fast shipping if there are no Fed Ex snafus. Going to miss Popsugar.

  14. If you’re using a Ben Nye kit or similar oil based makeup my stage makeup class routine was always to use a makeup remover wipe to get the thickest layer off and then Lancome bi-facil eye makeup remover on my entire face (I had a sample at the time and that ish was great!) and then a micellar wipe (heavy on the wipes for classroom portability but I assume a reusable option would work just as well!)
    That got my face decently prepared for the day (I would pile foundation on since class was in the am and I didn’t get home till late at night)

    Once home I showered and used Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean with my foreo and that was a real face-saver in keeping my pores clear. The cleanser smells like peaches which is eh to me but it remains one of my favorite cleansers it breaks down oils very well!

    • Hi Amy! Thanks for the tips! We are using M.U.D. which I would be happy to not use again. Its hard when you are into a more natural look! I have been using my Foreo SO MUCH! I feel like its hard to get all of that cake out of my nose pores. Yuck! I will def try and pick up some of the Bi-Facial eye makeup remover. Also will grab some of the Soap & Glory once I run down my stash a little. I think they have it at my local Target, so an easy win! Thanks again 🙂

  15. My box was not sealed properly the front flap was just tucked into the top of the box, so 4 of the items were missing. The candle, Pharmacy, bracelets and wipes MIA. I emailed and they said they are sending them. We will see if I get them. I am so bummed.

    • Same here! Missing three items, box obviously opened after packing and poorly re-taped shut. Not surprised this is their last box, hope I get the items I paid for or a refund.

  16. How long does it normally take once receipt of the FEDEX notification to get the box? It has been in “estimated delivery date pending” mode for me since Tuesday.
    TIA 🙂

  17. Really bummed those bracelets are so tight. I’ve heard a lot of people with small wrists complain. I have at least a 7 inch wrist so not sure they would work. They are my favorite item and if they didn’t have this issue, I’d definitely get this box. Really bummed.

    • I’m bummed, too. They’re the main reason I ordered the box, but there’s no way they’re going to work for me if they’re tight on those with small wrists. Since I have more time on my hands than usual, I might try restringing them to make them fit.

      • I was worried the bracelets would not fit as I’m larger but they fit fine

  18. “Scent bomb” is a perfect description of the candle!

  19. Says coupon code isn’t valid; that is, it asks for a valid code, instead.

  20. Megan, thanks for the review. This will be my first box. Everything looks fantastic. Can’t wait. My question, are you studying to be a makeup artist?

    • Hi Noelle! I am in esthetician school but we have a heavy emphasis on makeup. I am much more into the skincare end of things, but we have to hit so many hours of makeup. Admittedly, I am still not super great, haha!

      • Don’t worry Megan,you will be really good once you get a clientele. I went to school
        years ago to be a Nail Tech and I was worried I wasn’t that great either. It comes with practice. Funny about the heavy emphasis on makeup, back in my day there was very little attention to makeup and a ton of skin care practice. You’ll be great.

      • Thanks for the encouragement Katie! <3 I would 100% prefer to be more skincare focused, but my school has so much makeup. I didn't even know we would be doing makeup at all when I signed up. I think it will be fun to pick out my own line and go from there. I think when I finally like the products I am working with I might be more into it!

  21. Just received my box today and, as always, I loved everything in it. This box always felt so special to unpack. I will definitely miss it!

  22. You and your wonderful reviews, Megan! I wasn’t going to get this one, but this review totally sold me.

    • Thanks Tiffany! I hope you enjoy it as I did. I am so sad it was my first and last one. (Also sad that I want more of those candles. My wallet is like NO.)

  23. I use a water filter that adds magnesium to every glass of water I drink. It also helps with the nervous system.

  24. Ugh I just bought it. I was trying not to but I guess I wanted that last hoorah (and the bracelets)

  25. Also magnesium helps with sleep. I take it at night for my insomnia.

    • Same. It gives me really vivid dreams, but I love it for those nights I really need a good night’s sleep.

      • I very rarely remember my dreams, so I am kind of excited to report that I have been finding them more vivid too! I am blessed with mostly pleasant dreams, so this has been great.

  26. I haven’t subscribed to Popsugar in a long, long time but since this was the last box and I really wanted the Very Cherry serum and the CALM supplement I felt the value was there. The rest of it will probably be up for trade soon.

  27. For the record, magnesium really helps with migraines– and my neurologist suggests that brand in particular because it absorbs much better than in pill form. It also really helps with foot and other muscle cramps.

    • I take Magnesium Glycinate for light sensitivity migraines, it is a miracle! I wouldn’t be able to use a computer without it.

      • Thanks so much for sharing that info! I’ve been struggling with light related migraines lately. What dosage do you find most helpful?

    • Yes! In addition to affecting nerve conduction, magnesium it also is a lifesaver if you tend to get bad muscle cramps in your legs at night, as helps to relax muscle tissue.

      • What dosage And brands would you recommend for migraines?

        Thanks 🙂

      • I think I’d start with a half tsp and work your way up to a full one since it can be a little hard on the stomach. By the way— your body also absorbs magnesium through the skin, aka epsom salt baths! In fact, it is a very good method of absorption. But you would have to do it literally every day.

    • SO thrilled to hear this. I have been a chronic migraine sufferer since 13. My grandmother also had them. They have eased over the last few years (the 30s have been great!) but I still fear randomly falling into one randomly. Do you take it regularly to prevent migraines or do you take it when you have one coming on? Mine appear with auras and loads of dizziness so getting on the other side asap is always a good thing.

  28. This was my first, and apparently, my last Popsugar box. I loved it. Pretty much everything in it was great either for me or someone close to me. Admittedly, I did keep most of the stuff in this box. Which is great. I usually end up giving at least half of a sub away.

    The candle… absolutely love it. So perfect to me. As much as I love it, I will not pay retail to replace it when it is gone. So I appreciate such a nice candle.

    I love anything that makes me feel like I’m at the beach. Which is most of this box. The bracelets, purse, wrap etc. I think I will wear these more in my mind, on a warm sandy beach. Not so much here in Syracuse, NY. But I feel good knowing I have them when I can go to the beach.

    The magnesium drink I gave to my husband. He is one of those naturally over stressed people. Just a warning…. it bubbles up at first. A lot. I put 2 scoops in a cup and added a little warm water, as directed and it came bubbling out of my 24 oz cup like a high school science experiment. He says it doesn’t taste bad but doesn’t notice any calming. But maybe over time. As long as I make it, he will drink it. So it will get used.

  29. I love everything in this box, but for me the revelation is that candle! I thought I would never pay the amount this brand costs, but now having tried it…I might. I hate that this sub is ending. It was hit or miss for me, but when it did hit, I was in love.

    • Is it that good? I’m getting FOMO here lol

      • I am a candle collector and have paid over 300.00 for a candle. This candle is worth every penny. Absolutely stunning scent.

      • Ok, I actually need more info here because this is fascinating to me. (I am a perfume collector!) What has been your fave candle so far? Fave brand? I need deets! <3

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