Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boxfullove news :: Julep preorder, PopSugar Must Have coupon madness, + other deals

Big news from Julep today: the reveal of their May Maven box!

...May, you ask?  What happened to February, March, and April?

This happened:

You're looking at the plié wand, a nail brush entirely designed and developed by Julep in hopes of making polish application easier -- even with your non-dominant hand!  According to Julep, the plié wand provides unprecedented control over your at-home manicure, and even bends to be cradled in your non-dominant hand to steady and direct it.  

If the plié wand actually delivers, it's a totally genius idea.  I'm strictly a DIY-manicure kind of girl, because why pay someone 20 bucks to swipe me with my own polish when I can do it myself and enjoy the job?  But I'm also hopelessly right-handed and I'm fidgety: I'm a messy nail polisher and would make a terrible, terrible surgeon.  So this smart little contraption sounds pretty amazing.  Plus the design is kind of sexay!  Looks like a super-elegant stiletto heel, no?

So anyway, why the preemptive reveal if the plié wand won't be shipping out until May?  Well, apparently Julep needs some help covering the costs of production, so they've decided to crowdfund the project, à la Kickstarter, to raise the necessary dollahs and allow non-Maven donors to secure their own plié wand sets.  Mavens can also pre-pay for their May boxes to ensure they'll be recipients of the first run of boxes in case, based on demand, more than one run is necessary.  If you want to learn more about this upcoming product and check out all the donation and reward levels, click on this link to the Julep plié wand crowdfunding page.

Big news on the PopSugar Must Have front, too, in the form of a --wait for it-- 50% off coupon!!!

I know, I was totally shocked myself: I don't think PopSugar has ever released a coupon this serious!  If I weren't already subscribed, I'd use this guy in a heartbeat!  The magical, mystical coupon code in question is ASK50: if you're a new subscriber, plug it in at checkout watch your total shrink from $42.75 for the first box in your monthly subscription to a mere $21.37!  Be warned though, the code does not work for three-, six-, or twelve-month subscriptions.  Again, that's ASK50.  Plug it in!

Other new goodies:

So, to bring things full-circle, what are your thoughts on the Julep plié wand?  Are you going to crowdfund and preorder your May box?

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Boxfullove big reveals :: Limited-edition La Prairie Glossybox unmasked

boxfullove's inaugural post, waaaay back on January 17, was all about sneak-peeking into Glossybox's fabled La Prairie limited-edition set.  Only three out of the included five products had been revealed at that point: a foam cleanser, a cellular refining lotion, and an "essence of skin caviar" (this still trips me out) eye complex.  I speculated about the identity of the remaining two products, which I hoped might be La Prairie's brand-new, fresh-out-of-the-lab dry skin oil and a cellular ice crystal cream.  

Well, today I speculate no more: here's the big reveal!

YES! The two mystery products were the dry oil and the ice crystal cream! Woo! I'm super excited to try them!

The only downside --and it's a big one-- is that the La Prairie Glossybox sold out completely this morning, in record time.  I was lucky enough to lock one down during the pre-order window, around the time I posted about it, but I'd hoped to get a second one to gift.  Oh well!

Did you manage to get a La Prairie box?  What do you think about the dry oil and the ice crystal cream? 

This post does not contain affiliate links, referral links, nor other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Boxfullove party time :: Share Your Subscription link party!

It's party time!

The lovely ladies of Unpack the Box and Mommy Splurge are hosting a link exchange party --a virtual blogger mixer of sorts-- during which fellow sub box bloggers can exchange links, mingle, and get to know each other.

Unpack the Box

Click on the above link, bring your own cocktail, and get to know some of the talented, creative, and box-obsessed writers of your soon-to-be favorite blogs.

See you there!

boxfullove samples :: Birchbox review :: January 2014

January's Birchbox finally arrived at boxfullove headquarters this weekend after its long, long (eight days long!) road trip south.

I re-subscribed to Birchbox in December after taking a break for a few months, and got to take advantage of coupon code BBZIP, which earned me the cute little makeup zip pouch you see above.  Both the Birchbox itself and the pouch were shipped together in a much larger box (not pictured), so for a moment before I'd opened the package I wondered if, unbeknownst to me, I'd won some amazing giveaway or prize package.  Not quite!

If you're new to Birchbox, it's essentially the subscription box that launched a thousand others (you can read about my gateway drug experience in the about page) wayyy back in 2010.  At only $10 per month, it's one of the most affordable sub services out there.  You can select to be billed monthly, or annually at a deeper discount.  Each month, you'll receive a box of four to five generally sample- or deluxe-sample-sized beauty, grooming, and occasionally lifestyle products.  After you test-drive each product, you can write a review in the Birchbox website in exchange for 10 points; once you've accumulated 100 points, you'll have earned a $10 credit towards any full-sized item in the Birchbox shop.  And that's the program in a nutshell! 

There are two things, in my humble opinion, that really set Birchbox apart from other beauty sub services.  First is their commitment to working only with the best-quality brands, from  boutique (hellooo Juliette Has A Gun!) to luxe -- you'll never find stuff in your box that you could just pick up at the drugstore, which makes it that much more special.  Second is their top-notch customer service: reps are unfailingly courteous, questions are answered promptly, issues are resolved efficiently, no questions asked (like the time my mail carrier misplaced some Zoya polishes not once, but twice).  So that probably has something to do with their popularity and longevity in this super-saturated sub box market.

But enough backstory: let's unbox January! 

Isn't the packaging pretty?  This box is definitely getting repurposed.

January's theme is "Go Time."  On their insert, Birchbox explains that they'll be "flipping resolutions on their head" this year, taking on more rather than giving things up.  If this means more samples in my boxes, I'm all for it!

The back of the insert, as always, lists and describes the box's contents.  By the way, Birchbox curates more than 80 variations of its boxes each month, based on its subscribers' preferences.  I only recently found out when one of my favorite blogs, Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, posted a step-by-step explanation on how to find your box number.  You have to log into your account, click on "BOX" at the top and then select "Women's Box," and finally look at the last digit or two digits of the resulting URL, which will tell you your box number.  I got box number 1 this month.

One more step before unwrapping!  A reminder of Birchbox Sundays: click on the link, which you can visit once a week, and enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree and other BB goodies.

January unboxed!  

The bluish box on the left is the Nail Rock package -- in my excitement, I forgot to flip it over before we photographed the goodies.

Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo ($19.99 for 8 fl oz; sample is 2 fl oz and about $4.99)
Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner ($19.99 for 8 fl oz; sample is 2 fl oz and about $4.99)
Reviver Dry Deodorant Wipes ($17.99 for a pack of 6; single sample is about $2.99)

I was really happy to receive the Fekkais: this is excellent, expensive, salon-quality haircare, plus my unruly hair is in serious need of glossing.  The samples are generous, and should last through two washes, possibly more if I had shorter hair (I don't).

The wipes were the bonus lifestyle item.  This was really unexpected, but kind of cool -- you can rub them on your clothes or hair to eliminate the smell of smoke, food, or, I suppose, BO.

INIKA Mineral Eyeshadow in Eternal Marine ($20 for 0.04 oz -- this was a full-sized item!)

This little guy was tucked inside the green cardboard sleeve along with the wipes.  The shadow is a gorgeous, slightly shimmery silver-gray, and will be an amazing highlight to other gray, gray-black, or dark mauve shadows in my stash (I'm an eyeshadow junkie).  And it's full-sized!  This alone is worth two Birchboxes!  But if you think that's cool, just wait:

Another full-sized product!  And one I'd been pining for after it started making its rounds on the blogs!  Truthfully, I would have preferred the pink glitter version, but this guy, pink's vampier cousin, was my second choice.  I can't wait to wear this out -- but I'll have to figure out how not to wash my hands for a few hours when I do.  Beauty logistics!

Finally, these unannounced little treats, tucked in at the bottom of the box, are detachable cards that are all but asking to be posted up around the house to keep going the momentum of all our new year's resolutions, plans, and goals.  They're super cheerful and, if you flip them over, offer tips about staying happy, positive, and motivated.

There you have it.  I was incredibly pleased with the contents of this box.  Plus,  all tallied up, it has a retail value of abut $40.  Pretty impressive!  I can honestly say I'm going to use all the included goodies this month, and happily.  If you want to subscribe to Birchbox or find out more about the service, feel free to click on any of the Birchbox links scattered throughout this post (they're affiliate links, so I'll earn some points towards boxes or BB products) if you'd like, and use code BBZIP at checkout to get your own little gift pouch, like the one I received.

What about you guys: what did you get in your January boxes, and what did you think?

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Boxfullove geeky goodness :: Loot Crate review :: January 2014

This one's for my fellow geek-chic gamers, comics fans, science and sci-fi buffs, and fun-loving kindred spirits in general.

Because although, as you might have noticed, boxfullove has skewed towards the girlier, beauty-productier end of the spectrum so far, we're also kind of cool nerds at heart.  And so getting a subscription to Loot Crate, genius curators of monthly deliveries "for those [who] live and embrace the geek and gaming lifestyle," was a no-brainer.

And here's our first-ever Crate:

She's a beauty!  (She kind of looks like she was lost in space en route to the boxfullove lair up there, right?)  But wait, you haven't seen anything yet:


This month's theme was "Launch."  Why "Launch"?  Well, we're all launching into a brand-new year, yes; but I suspect the title also refers to the apparent launch of an actual Loot Crate into actual space (!!!).

The Crate opened to this handsome booklet, which takes (nay, launches) the subscription box informational insert to another level.  This mini-magazine announces the month's theme and describes each of the items included in the box, but also features some interesting related articles, and even a crossword puzzle.  

And speaking of interesting articles and space!  I was so psyched to open up my Launch mini-mag right to this interview with Bobak Ferdowsi, the famous mohawked NASA scientist from team Mars Curiosity rover.  Is there a better example of the ideal Loot Crate man?  I don't know, but Bobak is definitely up there.

Ok, all inserts aside, what about the goodies?

Loot Crate unboxed!  So much stuff!

Star Wars Galactic Phrase Book & Travel Guide. ($8.95)  Because you never know  when you might get stranded next to a seedy dive bar in a pirate city on the planet Tatooine.  

Funko Pop! Heroes General Zod vinyl figure. ($11.99)  I love love love Funko figures!  These guys alone are enough justification for me to keep subbing to Loot Crate.  By the looks of the info booklet, we could've ended up with either General Zod, Superman, or Domo Superman.  I would've been over the moon with Domo Superman, but we'll adopt this guy anyway.  We tend to be partial to villains: they're usually more interesting and have far better armor.  Right?

Minecraft 2014 16-Month Calendar. (Somewhere in the $2.99 to $8.95 range?)  I've never actually played Minecraft, myself, but I love the blocky, pixelated, old-school look and scrappy sandbox ethos of the whole thing.  Some of the artwork on the calendar is inspired by rather than taken directly from the game, but it's still pretty darn cute.

Star Wars Pocketmodel Trading Card Game.  ($4.99?)  Ok, this one might be a little too Star Wars-nerdy for me.  The concept, as far as I can make it out, is cool, though: You assemble the crafts (Pocketmodels) included in the package, and use the trading cards to maneuver and, uh, defeat your other Pocketmodel-equipped opponents.  Yeah, not for me, but a perfect present for a good friend who's a crazed Star Wars fan.  

Rubik's Cube Wall Graphic. ($??)
NASA "Meatball" Emblem Patch. ($5.25)
Star Trek Communicator Badge. ($??)
Loot Crate "First In Space" January 2014 Launch Button. ($??)

I could find a price only for the NASA patch, so I'm going to guesstimate the collective value of these four guys at about $8 or $10.  I love the retro look of the NASA patch, but I imagine the rest of the flair won't get too much use around here.  Still, these were cool extras.

I had a great time unboxing my first Crate.  The items were totally unexpected, fun, and well-curated: everything a sub box should be!  And FUNKO!!!

So by my rough calculations, the total retail value of the January Crate is approximately $38.  A Loot Crate subscription will run you $19.37 per month, which includes shipping and handling, so that's a pretty excellent value.  

If you're interested in signing up for your own sub, feel free to click on any of the Loot Crate links scattered throughout this post.  If you sub using my links, I'll get credit towards a free box, and I'll be eternally grateful!  You can also use code LOOT2014 at checkout to get $3 off your first box.

What did you think of the January Loot Crate?  And more importantly, do you find Funko figs as irresistible as I do?

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Boxfullove news :: The solution to overflowing sub box products

A plastic watch in a particularly garish shade of green.  A necklace encrusted with really large, really fake rocks and rhinestones.  Nailpolish in a shade you'd never be caught dead wearing out of the house.

It happens to the best of us.

It's the inexplicable, unwanted, unlovable subscription box reject.

It comes with the territory for most of us subscription box addicts.  I mean, most of the time we're signing up to receive stuff we'll never get to vet or even preview before it's officially ours, which is both the appeal and the drawback of the sub box idea.  So no matter how much research we do beforehand, reading up on services and checking out blogs (ahem) before deciding The heck with it, this box is for me, this box gets me; once the commitment is made and the purchase button hit, we're pretty much guaranteed to get stuck with a dud or two.  We might regift some of these sub box black sheep to our unsuspecting coworkers or extended family members, but really, most of these orphaned samples and accessories end up stashed in the back of our closets or the cabinet under the bathroom sink, never to see the light of day again.

And that's where eDivv seeks to come in, to the rescue of these poor unloved products.

eDivv links up to your Facebook profile, which ensures you'll only create a single account, and basically hosts a virtual store for you to rehome all your sub box rejects.  Because as we know, one woman's reject is another woman's treasure, and there's bound to be some charitable soul out there who actually wants that plastic watch or gaudy necklace.  So when she finds the item at your store, she (ok, or he) can send you a virtual trade request in exchange for an item at her store, which you then get to accept or reject.

It's a fantastic idea, and one that the amazing, encyclopedic My Subscription Addiction also has in the works.  From what I understand, the MSA sub box trading portion of the site rolls out next Monday, January 27, so you may want to check out her site that day for more details.  

I'm pretty sure the MSA trading platform is a labor of love, meaning totally free to access for MSA subscribers.  As for eDivv, at the moment they're entirely fee-free, although the Terms & Conditions section of the site advises that the company reserves the right to change their fee policy, providing their members 14 days' advance notice before doing so.  But so far so good.

So are you setting up a reject photo shoot as I type this?  Or, like I am, making mental lists of old items stashed around the house that need to be rediscovered and prepped for rehoming?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

This post does not contain any affiliate links, referral links, nor other forms of advertising for compensation. All opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above. 

Boxfullove snacks :: Love with Food review :: January 2014

My first Love with Food box arrived yesterday!

If you're not familiar, Love with Food ships out a tasting box filled with natural or organic snacks every month, and also donates a meal to a food bank or other charitable organization for each box sold.  You really can't feel guilty about treating yourself to these healthy snacks, because you're simultaneously providing a service to your community (in case you needed some justification -- I'm here for you!).

I received and am reviewing the deluxe box, which doubles up on the regular shipment's contents, and costs $17 flat per month.  As an added bonus, an order of the Deluxe Box also means a donation of two meals instead of one.  If you prefer a smaller shipment of goodies, you can sign up to receive the Tasting Box, which is about half as big and is a mere $10 a month.  If you'd subscribed to the now-defunct in the past, like I did, Love with Food will seem familiar -- but these guys really step up the snack delivery service concept by offering only natural and organic products, and by giving to charitable organizations.  Also, their selections are yum:

Check out that bountiful bonanza of snacky goodness!  The box was overflowing!

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself: there's a methodology to this unboxing business!  Bear with me, I'm new around here.  This was our first look at the contents of the Deluxe Box:

January's theme is "Wake Up to the New Year!" so a few --though not necessarily all, from what I could tell-- of the selections were breakfast-oriented.

That's the main insert above, which lists each of the products included in the box along with a brief description of each and, in some cases, a social media link to the producer or manufacturer.  I also got an unexpected mini insert in my box:

That's a tearful Love with Food box on the front, under a headline that reads "Sorry, we messed up."  Here's the back:

I thought it was considerate of LwF to acknowledge the omission -- I always appreciate that kind of thoughtfulness.  More about the subbed items as we go along.  Now on to the contents!

Sorry about the glare, guys: we were experimenting with lighting and ended up with a bunch of orangey flare versions of this photo. Anyway, here's what you see above:
  • Jer's Squares, Original and Pretzo Change-O.  There were actually four squares in the box, two of each: but I ate the second Pretzo Change-O before we noticed!  Oops. I can report, though, that it was deeeelicious, like a rich peanut butter cup mixed with ground-up pretzel. Mmm mm!
  • Lovely Candy Co. Super Fruit Chews. I haven't tried these yet, but they kind of look like taffy squares (like Now and Laters).   
  • Annie's Organic Berry Berry Chewy Granola Bar. Perfect work snack: granola bars are always welcome.

  • Home Free Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Possibly a better-for you version of the old Famous Amos standby?
  • Oskri Orange Fruit Bars. I just realized I've never had an orange-based fruit or granola bar -- how odd.  I love oranges and orange marmalade, so I'm psyched to try these.  Plus they're low-cal, which doesn't hurt.
  • Blue Diamond Lightly Salted Almonds.  Maybe the least exciting item in this otherwise-excellent box.  I'm not a big fan of almonds, but hey, they're healthy and we'll find a use for them yet.

  • Bare Fruit Crunchy Cinnamon Apple Chips.  This was one of the two replacement items I received instead of the Mama's Magic Mix Banana Split trail mix and the Hi I'm Skinny Sea Salt Skinny Sticks -- and honestly, I couldn't be happier!  I love apple chips, so this was a gain for me.  Woo!
  • Caffè Borsa Hand Drip Premium Coffee, Colombia.  At first glance,  was super disappointed when I saw this, assuming it was a bag of instant coffee.  Once again, that just goes to show what good assuming does (not much).  Turns out this operates on a similar principle as pour-over coffee, which is purported to be one of the best brewing methods by coffee snobs everywhere: in this case, you take the little coffee bag/filter out of the package, put it in a mug, and slowly pour hot water over the ground beans so the coffee drains into the mug.  I'm a French press semi-snob myself, so I'm totally down to try this convenient yet old-school little treat.  This was such a cool surprise!
  • Lisa Harris Pantry Rise and Shine Morning Sunshine Cookie.  Cookie for breakfast?  And it's good for me?  And it's made with coffee?!  Um, yes please!  I'll have to report back on these stat.  

  • Oskri Dried Cranberries.  This little guy had such oddly-shaped packaging, he was a mission to photograph.  But here he is!  You really can't go wrong with dried cranberries.  These'll be added to a salad or possibly tossed in with those pesky almonds for a snack. 

  • Dang Toasted Coconut Chips.  This was the second replacement item in my box.  I'd actually received these in another food box a while ago, either or Foodzie (RIP), and really liked them.  They're awesome thrown into salads or on top of chocolate ice cream.  Another win!  I have to say, I loved my substitutions.

And that's it!  Whew!  As you can see, the Deluxe Box is serious: these snacks should last me through a good month of take-along work pick-me-ups.  Remember, if going Deluxe is too much for you, you can scale back and subscribe to the Taster's Box instead.

If you're interested in learning more about Love with Food or know you want to sign up, you can use any of the Love with Food links scattered through this review, which will earn me some points, and earn you my eternal gratitude.  If you decide on the Taster's Box, use coupon code FB7OFF at checkout to get it for just $5.  I'm not sure if it'll work on the Deluxe Box, though -- please report back if you try it out!    

And how did you like the January Love with Food box?

This post may contain affiliate links, referral links, and/or other forms of advertising for compensation. Regardless, all opinions are my own and never affected or influenced by sponsorship. For full disclaimer and disclosure details, click the disclosure tab above.