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Our Subscription Box Forever Favorites: December 2021

Christen Russo
ByChristen RussoJan 18, 2022 | 2 comments

We here at MSA love singing the praises of standout items we've received in recent subscription boxes. You may be familiar with these monthly favorites posts highlighting discoveries across a variety of categories, like books, beauty, pet subscriptions, and more. But now we're taking it a step further. Thanks to suggestions from you, our community (special shoutout to Carol!), we're rounding up our favorite subscription box finds that have stood the test of time. In this monthly series, you'll find the MSA team picking a product or two from subscription boxes past that has gone above and beyond those positive first impressions and continue to impress us. Don't forget to let us know in the comments if you've tried any of these items yourself!

Want to know what we loved most from the past month's subscription boxes? Head to our December 2021 favorites post!

Our Forever Favorites

Naomi's Forever Pick

The Item: Balance Me Congested Skin Serum

The Cost: $23.00

From: Birchbox, February 2021

How it’s impressed me: This serum is an incredibly lightweight spot treatment. It works perfectly to target blackheads and blemishes. I always have one or two stubborn blemishes on my forehead near my hairline, thanks to all the oils, conditioners, and serums I apply to my hair. So, this little guy is a godsend. It clears my congested pores and eliminates redness and inflammation without drying out or irritating my skin. A lot of blemish treatments are harsh on my sensitive skin, and some have burned me in the past; but not this one. It will continue to be my go-to.

Read our full February 2021 Birchbox review & more reviews by Naomi.


Julie's Forever Picks

The Item: Milan Leather Belt Bag 

The Cost: $148 

From: Nordstrom Trunk Club, April 2021

How it’s impressed me: Your girl loves a fanny pack, and this supple leather pack from Aimee Kestenberg - which I chose to keep from my Nordstrom Trunk Club Women’s review - has proven to be a closet staple over the past 10 months. I love this bag – it’s simple and low-profile, two things I look for in an everyday bag, but the chunky zipper and pebbled leather make it feel somewhat more polished than other “belt bags” (fanny packs – let’s all admit they’re fanny packs) I own. Plus, the white leather goes with everything. Depending on how I style it, this versatile bag can feel sporty or dressed-up, and best of all it’s hand-free and the perfect size to carry my keys, phone, wallet, lip balm, and sunglasses – and not much else. Just the essentials.

Read our full April 2021 Trunk Club review.

The Item: Mazama “Intake” Reservoir

The Cost: $22.95

From: Cairn, February 2021

How it’s impressed me: Guess who finally got a new hydration pack? This lady! And with a new pack and a new season, I’ve been rediscovering my love for winter trail running. Winter conditions have a way of tricking you into thinking you’re hydrated when you’re not, which can be dangerous, so it’s super important to always carry water with you whether you’re running, hiking, snowboarding, skiing… really, when you’re doing anything outdoors. Having this extra hydration reservoir from Mazama on hand has been super convenient and the insulated drink tube sleeve that arrived in the same box ensures the tube doesn’t freeze in cold conditions.

Read our full February 2021 Cairn review & more reviews by Julie!


Nicole's Forever Picks

The Item: Elise Block Heel Gold Snake Bootie

The Cost: $59.95, VIP Price $39.95

From: ShoeDazzle, January 2020

ACTIVE DEAL: Get 75% off 1st pair. No coupon needed - just use this link.

How it’s impressed me: These boots for me are absolutely timeless! If you are a fan of glam rock and country-western wear– well these are for you. Any time I wear them I want to blast “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glenn Campbell. They add glamour to everything from jeans and a t-shirt to your favorite button-down and mini-skirt. Two years later and I am still raving on about these cuties!

Read our full January 2020 ShoeDazzle review.

The Item: Street High- Rise Shine Leggings by FILA, Size 3x

The Cost: Originally $60, on sale for $45

From: Dia & Co, November 2020

How it’s impressed me: These leggings are so durable and fashionable! They are certainly great for the gym, but I love wearing them like disco pants. I have worn them with t-shirts and booties as well as button-down blouses, open-toed platforms, and my faux fur leopard print coat! They are so versatile and stylish!

Read our full November 2020 Dia & Co review & more reviews by Nicole!


Sanna's Forever Picks

Image via UnHide.

The Item: Unhide Lil’ Marsh Blanket in Beige Bear

The Cost: $65

From: FabFitFun, long ago

ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Use code MSA10 to get $10 off your first seasonal box (reg. $54.99/season).

How it’s impressed me: I received this faux fur blanket in a Winter FFF box years ago and I wasn’t that excited about it at first because I didn’t choose it (I forgot I was subscribed and everything was picked for me and I had just bought a similar faux fur blanket and I didn’t think I needed another one). But honestly, this blanket is sooo much better and I’m really glad to have it now. It’s the one I grab first and it looks so chic on my couch or at the end of my bed where it’s currently residing. It’s also held up way better than the other one and still looks brand new.

Check out our FabFitFun details for more info on this quarterly lifestyle subscription.

Image via Rent the Runway.

The Item: Theory Felted Wool Sweater

The Cost: $395

From: Rent the Runway, long ago

ACTIVE DEAL: Limited Time Only! Get your 1st & 2nd months of 8 items/month for $99 (regularly $135/month)

How it’s impressed me: I rented this sweater years ago from RTR and I loved it so much that I purchased it. I’ve been wearing it every Winter since and it’s the warmest sweater I own because of the felted wool, which also makes it super sturdy and it hasn’t pilled at all. It’s the perfect basic because of the medium koala grey color and the shape is interesting enough that it can be dressed up a bit with jeans and boots or worn at home for an elevated comfort look.

Check out our Rent the Runway details for more info on this women's clothing subscription & more reviews by Sanna!


Christen's Forever Pick

Little Feminist 2-4 July 2021 book: Cook It!

The Item: Cook It! by Georgie Birkett

The Cost: $5.99

From: Little Feminist Book Club

How it’s impressed me: This simple book continues to be such a fun one for my three-year-old daughter and me to read! The story walks us through a child and her parent planning, shopping for, and making dinner, and the text is filled with questions that really help get my daughter into the mindset of figuring out what is needed to complete each task. It always leads to more questions from her as we read, which I love!

Read our full July 2021 Little Feminist Age 2-4 review & more reviews by Christen!


Abby's Forever Picks

The Item: Earth Harbor Samphire Sea-Retinol Digital Serum

The Cost:$49

From: Kinder Beauty Box, August 2021

How it’s impressed me: My skin is sensitive to retinol, so I’ve always felt that I’ve been missing out on some great anti-aging products in my skincare routine. Well, I have found (or, something’s found me, rather) an alternative that could potentially beat retinol in a steel cage match. Samphire Sea-Retinol uses all vegan ingredients to deliver a gentler anti-aging serum that brightens, tightens, and even soothes the skin. It is sustainable, plant-based, and completely lovable.

Read our full August 2021 Kinder Beauty Box review.

Front of Anastasia Beverly Hills Mini Dipbrow Gel in Dark Brown for Ipsy Glam Bag October 2021


The Cost: $20

From: Ipsy Glam Bag, October 2021

How it’s impressed me: I recently got a touchup on my micro-bladed brows, so I basically just need a brow gel to whip my brows into shape. This lovely gel acts more like a pomade; it makes your brows appear fuller and it keeps them in place with a soft hold that won’t flake off or crunch when you touch your brows. It is my absolute go-to, and since I received this little baby sample in October, I’ve purchased two full-sized tubes so I am never without.

Read our full October 2021 Ipsy review & more reviews by Abby!

Do you think you'll try any of these awesome items? And what were your favorite discoveries this month?

Christen Russo
Christen Russo

Hi there, I'm Christen! I've been writing with MSA since 2017. I am all sorts of things: a writer, a mother, an outdoors-lover, a low-maintenance self-carer, and general hungry person.

You'll find me collecting stationery and squirreling away stickers, riding bikes and swimming with my family, creating outfits in colors and silhouettes that make me feel amazing, wearing big earrings, drinking beer and asking my husband to feed me harmonies to sing, taking my vitamins, living for live music, roping everyone into a craft, being human and vulnerable, and celebrating the phenomenon of being alive.

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Julie, I’m not sure how you made a fanny pack look cool, but you did! 👍

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Jody E

I have a few Unhide blankets. Once the kids touched mine I had to get more. The sweater looks really cozy too.
My months blend into one another and I can’t remember which products I like the best to comment. lol

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