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Favorite Find of the Week: What the MSA Team is Eyeing Right Now

Throughout the holiday season, we’ve found ourselves adding more and more items to our wishlists! In honor of the first day of winter, we’re sharing the products we’re loving this season.

The MSA Team’s Favorite Finds of the Week

A big part of our day at MSA includes scoping out new subscription boxes, and we’re constantly discovering new products that we love – both in our boxes and from browsing online. Our wishlists are always about a mile long, and we wanted to share some of our favorite finds and recent purchases with you. From last-minute gift ideas to wintertime snacks, makeup and skincare essentials, and activities, here’s what the team has eyes on this week:

Becca, Contributing Writer:

Becca’s pick: “After checking out Megan’s review of Vine Oh!, I just had to sign up for the extra bottle of wine offer and fun lifestyle items! I love the fact that I was able to sign up for all sweet wines, and buffalo plaid is my fave! While I’m not a fan of scented lotions, I will totally add that to my dice game prize bin, so it’s all a wine-wine, or should I say win-win!”

 

Caragh, Contributing Writer:

Caragh’s pick: “I tried Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark in the store once, and remember it being utterly divine, so I decided to get some for us (total splurge, I shouldn’t have) and one as a special gift. It has just the most amazing chocolate, white chocolate, and peppermint layers!”

 

Megan, Senior Writer:

Megan’s pick: “In addition to being 10-free, vegan cruelty-free, and nontoxic, ‘The Tomb of the Wresters’ Polish by Death Valley Nails is made by a totally rad small business and a percentage of their profits is donated to the Mojave Desert Land Trust, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, and Soul Fire Farm. Nail polish doesn’t like to stick to my nails, but I find their formula is super long-wearing, even on my sad stubs! While all of their colors are gorgeous, the neon of this one, in particular, spoke to me. Neon Winter, amirite?”

 

Andy, Photo Director:

Andy’s pick: “I’ve had two Apothia candles on my wishlist for literally years, Soul (which I splurged on over the summer) and Chrismukkah which is a holiday branded version of their Breathe scent. It’s that time of year, so I ordered one and started burning it the evening it arrived. It filled the whole house with a mellow fir scent that never overpowered but was always sort of there – akin to having a fresh tree in the house.”

 

Sara, Content Manager:

Sara’s pick: “Masterclass! I love the hours and hours of inspiration and learning from the best in their industries! My go-to Masterclass right now is Sara Blakely’s, thanks to Liz’s recommendation. Even if you’re not planning to develop or invent a new product, her attitude and mindset can be adopted for any type of goal.”

 

Sarah, Channel Manager:

Sarah’s pick: “I always love having a nice planner and after months of staring at my computer screen more than I normally do, this year I really wanted a physical planner. I thought Golden Coil was awesome – the planner is fully customizable so you pick your layout, upload calendar events, add-on quotes, etc. I really love that you can pick any start and end date so you can make it as long/short/detailed as you want. It also arrived in a really nice box so it feels very giftable if you have a planner fan in your life.”

 

Lacey, Product Manager:

Lacey’s pick: “This holiday, I have really struggled with finding good winter-time gifts for my 5-year-old. We’re really big on outdoor play in general, and he’s been building a ton of forts inside the house this fall, so I was super excited about finding Stick-Lets Mega Fort Set! The silicone connectors can be used indoors with dowel rods or outside with found sticks to build basically any structure you can imagine. I’m saving them for Christmas, but I did test them out a bit myself and they seem like they’ll be easy for him to use on his own. Love that it also packs up small and could be taken camping or on other adventures in the future, too. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!”

 

Mallory, Community Manager:

Mallory’s pick: “As someone with a naturally round face, I’m very intrigued by the idea of an easy, at-home contouring hack. I’ve heard great things about microcurrent treatments, especially NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device, and I’m excited to try it out for myself!”

 

Brad, CRO:

Brad’s pick: “WellPutt Putting Mat is a great training tool to get a feel for shorter putts. Living in Chicago and not being able to play for 4-5 months out of the year, this mat allows me to keep my putting sharp. Also, unlike other putting tools, this rolls up super nicely to put away when guests come over!”

 

Christen, Copywriter & Editor:

Christen’s pick: “The holiday season for my family is usually spent bopping around seeing friends and enjoying the festive spirit together, but this year in the absence of all that activity, I’m upping my homemade cookie game. I decided to order Neon Yolk Christmas Sprinkles to add to my selection and am going to go big on gingerbread cookies & cutout sugar cookies with my toddler by my side. It’s going to be the most glorious mess!”

 

Julie, Copywriter & Editor:

Julie’s pick: “I heard about Honest Beauty Pure Retinol Serum through a friend who is a licensed aesthetic nurse and clean skincare blogger – so she knows her stuff. I’d been looking to try retinol but couldn’t justify the cost of many clean options on the market, but this product seems to deliver – all while ringing in under $30. The bottle is designed in such a way that minimizes contact with air – key for keeping it stable – and it applies easily after cleansing. I’ve been using it twice a week for a few weeks now, and while there’s been some expected drying and a little purging, I’ve noticed fewer clogged pores (and my face mask covers any dry skin on the few occasions I leave my house). I don’t expect to see any major results for another couple of months, but so far I’m liking it. If you try it yourself, just remember to moisturize and use SPF religiously.”

 

Haley, Contributing Writer:

 

Haley’s pick: “I have heard a lot of hype about EltaMD UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+, and I’m so glad I finally tried it because I love it, too! First and foremost, it’s SPF 30+ (zinc oxide) that protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays – there’s hardly any point to good skincare if you don’t also wear sunscreen daily. This one is also fragrance free, contains hyaluronic acid for moisturizing, and vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. But maybe most importantly? It FEELS fantastic. My skin loves this stuff – it’s hydrating, soothing, and doesn’t leave any film or white cast behind. It saves me a step by combining moisturizer and SPF, and they sell a tinted version for even more multitasking. TIP: after applying, rub it on your hands! Hands are one key place for signs of aging and we never give them any attention to protect them!”

 

Brandi, Contributing Writer:

Brandi’s pick: “I did some small business Black Friday shopping and this is one item that I have fallen in love with: Just Ingredients Face Serum in Vanilla Mint! Ever since getting pregnant with my first child I’ve been more ingredient-conscious and I’ve been slowly trying to make some swaps for cleaner beauty products over the years. I have been looking for a good serum that would provide adequate moisture for my dry skin and came across this small mama-owned shop. This serum is awesome! It makes my skin feel smooth and hydrated and the scent is so good! It’s kind of like a subtle candy cane scent (in fact this is actually labeled as their candy cane scent during the holiday season) and it has a simple organic ingredient list of only jojoba, frankincense, and essential oils. Plus the dropper bottle is a fun push button that makes me feel so fancy each time I use it! I’m eager to try the other fragrances they offer, but I don’t know if I can give up this wonderful scent!”

 

Samantha, Contributing Writer:

Samantha’s pick: “I had originally discovered the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil way back in the Summer 2018 Causebox, and rediscovered it again this week when I decided to spring for the full-size bottle. I’m not much of an oils person, but this one is a definite keeper! It makes my skin silky smooth, is the best for exfoliating and works as a pre-shave base, not to mention it smells amazing! I love that it foams when it makes contact with water. It has totally reinvented showers for me!”

 

Jessica, Contributing Writer:

Jessica’s pick: “I love the shimmery glitter finish of Sephora Collection Colorful Eyeshadow – and at $9 a pop I can afford to grab a few more colors in other shades. The shade Twinkle Twinkle came in the Sephora Favorites Baby, Let’s Glow Outside kit and now I have my eye on Unicorn Dust and Fairy Princess. I think they would add a fun pop of glittery color to my eye makeup now that bold lips are on hold during this perennial mask season.”

 

Ragan, Contributing Writer:

Ragan’s pick: “I was looking for something to buy for a little over $100 to maintain my Ulta rewards status for the rest of the year.  Fragrance purchases are a quick way to get there.  I love most Tom Ford scents and the description of Noir Extreme Eau de Parfum sounded like something I would be happy with. I was a little concerned because it’s listed under men’s fragrances, but I read a bunch of reviews online and decided to take a chance anyway. And it’s just perfect for me. Notes include mandarin, cardamom, Indian kulfi accord (kulfi is a type of dairy dessert), orange flower, amber, and sandalwood. It’s warm and spicy and it was totally worth the money.”

 

Carlos, Contributing Writer:

“The slender, elongated design of these precision screwdrivers in the Milwaukee 4-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set make is easy to work in tiny spaces. They reach where your average screwdrivers can’t, especially small devices such as electronics.”

 

Abby, Contributing Writer:

Abby’s pick: “Maskne. It is such a bummer! My sensitive skin rejects any leave-on blemish treatments and exfoliants, leaving me red, flakey and itchy. Well, out of desperation, I ordered Cerave Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser,, and I couldn’t be more excited; Cerave whipped up a moisturizing acne cleanser, and it actually works! I’ve been using this product a little over two weeks once a day, and I’ve noticed such a huge difference in my complexion. It prevents and treats blemishes using Benzoyl Peroxide while ceramides keep my skin hydrated and happy.

 

Lindsey, Contributing Writer: 

Lindsey’s pick: “I purchased Jacobsen Salt Co. Hot Honey Sauce on a whim while shopping at a local butcher shop, and I brought it home with the intention of using it on homemade biscuits. I’ve had spicy honey before and thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but this packs way more of a punch than I’d anticipated. It’s far too potent to eat by the mouthful, so I’ve been challenging myself to use it in recipes. I’ve fallen utterly in love. I drizzled it over buttery pancakes and bacon the other day and almost melted into my chair from endorphin overload. If you’re not afraid of heat, I highly recommend picking up a bottle. (It would make a great stocking stuffer for the hot sauce-lover in your life!) Just be warned: you might want to use it sparingly. “

What are your favorite product finds this week? 

Looking for more? Check out our 2020 Subscription Box Gift Guide and the Best Subscription Boxes of 2020!


Written by Mallory @ MSA

Mallory @ MSA

Mallory joined the MSA team in 2020. She focuses on engaging with our community online, through daily emails, and across our social media channels. Based in New York City, she can often be found biking through Central Park, scoping out under-the-radar coffee shops, and listening to the Hamilton cast album on an endless loop. Her current favorite subscriptions are Hello Fresh and Fabletics.

Posted in MSA Community, Subscription Box News| Tags: masterclass | vine oh | 37 comments

Comments (37)

  1. I liked this post!

  2. Love this feature! There are so many sub boxes now that it’s nice to focus in on what you’re really enjoying (especially as we’re looking for holiday gifts).

    • Thank you so much for your feedback, Eliza!

  3. I love reading these types of posts. It’s interesting to see what products people love and are enjoying. I mean, that’s partially why I got into subscription boxes- to see different products that they are highlighting along with getting a good deal.

    • Hi Lydia! Glad to hear you enjoyed this post – we had so much fun putting it together 😄

  4. I’m not sure what all the hub bub is about. I thought this list was great! I personally wouldn’t want to recommend anything to the whole world unless it was truly fabulous so I’m thinking there are some really good picks here.

    If I could play devil’s advocate, I know some other subscription review sites promote products that wouldn’t be classified as a “subscription box.” I’ve seen single items, online classes, and digital items as well. Some reviews I read, others I just pass on by, but for some people, the more content the better.

    Bottom line, MSA is a business. And all businesses need to cover their expenses and make money. Or else they fold.

    I will continue to support and visit this site every day because I enjoy it so much. I’d even read a review on olive oil or teeth brushing if it meant helping the team. Life is too short to fret about silly stuff.

    • Thank you for your continued support, Snow! We really appreciate it, and are so thrilled that you loved this post!

  5. I needed this list back in October when I was getting Christmas presents! Haha.

    Agree about that shower oil. Received it in the Allure box back in the day, and really liked it.

    • Excellent point, Cc! We hope to do more of these team roundups in the New Year. 😊

  6. I’m going to have to try that Tom Ford! I read all of Ragan’s reviews because I think that we have similar tastes in scents.

    I like these lists. I don’t even get any subscriptions anymore (after a bit it is just so much stuff and waste), I just come hear to read reviews of the products lol.

    • I have the Tom Ford Noir pour femme, and it is fantastic. And much less potent than the black orchid, which triggers my allergies/asthma. This one I can wear without coughing my head off, and it smells delicious.

    • I like the TF Metallique.

      • I love that perfume! I only have maybe a 100 different scents, but I’m always reaching for that one. Too bad it doesn’t have much staying power.

        I like lists like this! I agree it should have been done last month, there are a couple I would have thought about purchasing for others. My dh would like those screw drivers! I am going to go for that polish though, I love a good neon. The more obnoxiously bright, the better.

    • You can get a sample from Surrender to Chance (Google it, I’ve bought from them twice and find them reliable) if you don’t want to shell out full price for a bottlie like I did. It may be available in the men’s section of some of the fragrance subscriptions, as well.

      For what it’s worth I also love Black Orchid and Velvet Orchid (and used to get compliments on them back in the days when I still was going into the office).

      • I like Black Orchid quite a bit (didn’t mean to sound like I was dumping on it), it just doesn’t agree with my airway, and for some reason it has insane sillage on me, like offensively overwhelming with just one spray. So I dilute it with unscented body mist base to tame it down, haha.

      • Thank you!
        I have Black Orchid, which I actually hated at first spray and then became obsessed with after it dried down. I am going to check out the samples at this site!

  7. Loved these!

  8. @Mallory: Could you please review the NuFace device?

    • I’m curious about the NuFace as well!

    • Hi Inge! I’m so happy to hear you’re interested in this one too – I’ll chat with the team and see what we can do! 😉

  9. Love the recommendations!

  10. I keep seeing Nuface on Instagram! Mallory, please add reviews for this and Death Valley nail polish if possible

    • Hi Brooke! We’re so thrilled that you’re excited for some of our picks 😊 I’ll share this feedback with the team!

  11. I think something like this only once a week is fine. It’s kind of cool seeing the ‘wow’ products people find, so I don’t mind that. And since it’s a mix of sub box and non-sub box items, it seems relevant. It’s also a bit more personal than the general “hey, look at this coupon for this random thing!” posts. I do like seeing what people’s favorite item of the moment is. (I actually think a seasonal “MSA readers favorite items” spotlight would be fun, too, if we could send in a product review of something from a sub box we absolutely loved!)

    Now daily posts of non-sub box stuff and endless ‘should we review?’ posts on non-sub boxes do really clutter the site, and make it harder to find the sub-box content, so I’d have to agree there. Those remind me of Brad’s Deals, or any number of other ‘deal’ and content aggregator sites.

    • I agree!

    • Thanks for your feedback, Jennifer! I’ll share this with the team – I agree that a seasonal “MSA readers favorite items” spotlight could be great!

  12. Please stick to box reviews!

  13. Haley I have been eyeing that sunscreen too!

  14. Wow! Are you all so disconnected with the comments on your site? Or do they not matter. This feels very buzz feed “click her to buy items so I can get a kickback”.

    • You do realize that less than half of these products have affiliate links, right? If the point of this article was just to make money, I’m sure MSA would have made every single staff member choose a product that they’d get a kickback on. I don’t understand how you can blame a company (who’s content you consume for free) for using a few affiliate links in an effort to make a small profit…

      • Brooke I agree with you! I’ll gladly take a few affiliate links on a fun post like this if it means I don’t have to worry about an annoying paywall

      • You do realize that MSA is a business, right? The content is “free” because they make money off click throughs – its far from a “small profit.”

      • Completely agree with you. I can’t understand it either. It’s not difficult to easily browse through the different posts to read the ones that interest me. This one being one of them.

    • Yup, and it’s making me go elsewhere for sub reviews.

      • Where? I agree — how do they need all these people to run so little substance? But the only other site I’ve found that has regular content uses so many ! I can’t stand it. (“There was a free Hello Fresh coupon! The necklace comes wrapped in plastic!”). And there are only rarely any commenters, which are the most valuable part of this site.

    • Agreed. After all these years, coming to this site is sad to me now. I will miss what it was.

      • sooo true. they’ve lost their mission, and they’re loosing readers!!

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