POPSUGAR Must Have October 2016 Box

I always jump at the opportunity to review POPSUGAR Must Have boxes because they are either entirely a hit, like last month’s September Must Have Box, or they are complete misses like the July box. (You can read the tea on that in the September box post.)

If you’re new to POPSUGAR, let me give you a brief rundown. POPSUGAR was founded by husband & wife Brian and Lisa Sugar. List originally had a celebrity gossip blog and blossomed it into a gigantic, profitable company that powers ShopStyle, POPSUGAR, and the POPSUGAR Must Have Box. This is their 10th year in business, and they aren’t planning on stopping. I’ve been a ShopStyle Select Blogger for about half of those years, and they’ve given me some really cool opportunities. I use ShopStyle all the time and am happy to represent it!

The Must Have boxes, though… It’s seen some ups and downs. At $39.95 per month, the Must Have Box is one of the more expensive fashion & beauty subscription boxes, so the pressure is really on them to please everyone. That’s a tall order for a brand that has actual millions of readers from all walks of life.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box Review: Kendra Scott Jewelry

The Kendra Scott Elisa necklace I received in the September 2014 Must Have box.

POPSUGAR Must Have Boxes consistently break the $100 value mark, but sometimes I wonder if they’re picking labels over quality. Obviously, getting something from a well-known designer is really exciting, but if the price tag is too inflated by the label, it can warp the overall value of the box. There was a beautiful Kendra Scott necklace in my 2014 box in 2014 – the best Must Have box I’ve ever received, btw – and having seen the exact necklace on everyone from Taylor Swift to JoJo from The Bachelorette, I was delighted. Then again, the value of the necklace was just about half of the overall value of the box.

In that scenario, I was kind of gaga over the necklace, so it went over really well. But… in the aforementioned July box, I didn’t have the same experience. They included a”sarong” which was a gigantic square of white fabric, and valued it over $60. Again, half of the entire value of the box. Not okay with me. But then last month’s PopSugar Must Have Box had a ton of great, unique items that I just loved!

popsugar must have box feat

So every time POPSUGAR asks me to review a Must Have box, I am both extremely excited and highly skeptical. While the last box was a smash hit, I’m perpetually unsure whether or not the POPSUGAR box is a worthwhile investment. When money is really tight, $40 could be an entire week of groceries. Handing two Jacksons over to a company with the trust that they’ll return with something valuable to you is a big risk.

Anyway, let’s get on to the goods.

Here’s the PopSugar Must Have Box for October 2016:

PopSugar Must Have Box -October 2016

The theme of this month: Home is Where the Heart is.

Here’s what was included in the box.

  • Henri Bendel Packable Umbrella
  • LALICIOUS Brown Sugar Vanilla Shower Oil and Bubble Bath
  • My Cup of Cocoa™ Dark Drinking Chocolate
  • Makeup Eraser The Makeup Eraser Mini!
  • Morning Culture Rise & Shine Diner Mug
  • Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar
  • Revlon® ColorStay™ Liquid Eye Pen

Total value: >$150 for 7 items

The theme was pretty clear: fall coziness. Curling up with a good book on a rainy day, taking a warm vanilla-scented bath, or doing both at the same time with a healthy dose of hot chocolate. Each product fit nicely into the theme, and nearly every item made me smile when I saw it.

Henri Bendel Packable Telescoping Umbrella from the PopSugar Must Have Box

Henri Bendel Packable Umbrella
Value: $58

I have always had an affinity for old movies. Having never ever been to an actual Henri Bendel, this umbrella made me feel like Audrey Hepburn. Despite living in Washington for the vast majority of my life, I do not own an umbrella. This will actually prove useful on top of being a total novelty to a PNW resident like me. But… an umbrella that’s $58? I don’t know, man. In this case, they’re definitely offering the value of the label as opposed to the product. On the other hand, the product’s label is honestly what makes it so exciting to me and reminds me of old movie stars in New York. It holds value for me, but might not hold value for everyone.

rise and shine mug with hot cocoa drinking chocolate

Morning Culture Rise & Shine Diner Mug
Value: $16
My Cup of Cocoa Dark Drinking Chocolate 
Value: $4.99

Having spent the majority of my high school years in my town’s local Denny’s, diner mugs are very important to me. This mug and dark chocolate cocoa mix is a cute combination for this box, and that cocoa looks like no joke. In fact, it’s drinking chocolate which means you’ll need like 1 tbsp at a time in order to satisfy your sweet tooth. Considering these two products are just over $20 together, this was a smart move. I’m also kind of hooked on Morning Culture’s mugs now!

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vanilla sugar scented shower gel bubble bath

Lalicious Vanilla and Brown Sugar Shower Gel & Bubble Bath
Value: $28

Who doesn’t need shower gel? I definitely wouldn’t expect to see a $28 bottle of shower gel in my bathroom, but it looks pretty good in there, I must say. “Brown sugar and vanilla” is two of my favorite scents for body products and it’s been a long, long time since I’ve had it around. I haven’t tried this out yet, so I can’t comment on how worth $28 it is, but the packaging definitely makes it worth at least $15.

makeup removing cloth and liquid eyeliner pen

The Original Makeup Eraser Mini
Value: $12
Revlon Colorstay Ball Point Liquid Eye Pen
Value: $12 

If your subscription boxes aren’t introducing you to new beauty products, they’re not doing their job right. Of course, everyone’s heard of Revlon, but did you know they made a liquid eyeliner pen with a ball point? So far, I’ve only swatched it, but the intensity of the black is gorgeous, and it flows like a dream. On the other hand, we have the Makeup Eraser Mini. This is a small, foot-sized (but not shaped) cloth that allegedly removes the toughest of makeup with only a little water. They even claim they can remove waterproof formulas with this fantastical tool. If it works, you’ll be seeing it on this blog again in the future. If it’s not, it’s going in the wash cloth pile.

self-help book by shopstyle founder

Power Your Happy by Lisa Sugar
Value: $25

This book by POPSUGAR’s founder was included in the Must Have Box as a special bonus item. As far as reading about internet moguls, I (maybe ironically) couldn’t care less. If I’m interested about someone’s backstory, I’ll go seek it out. I also have major reservations about anything that claims it can affect my happiness, or “build my dream life,” particularly when it’s in book form.  Self-help gurus are to be examined with extreme scrutiny. That being said, I’m going to give this book a chance and hopefully prove myself wrong. You’re toeing the line with this one, POPSUGAR!


This POPSUGAR Must Have Box gets a 7/10.

The value is clearly high and, though I didn’t fork out the $39.95 for my box, I think that I would be pretty pleased with this if I had. If you took two $20 bills to the store, you wouldn’t even be able to buy that umbrella, much less the other six items in this box.

If you want to give the POPSUGAR Must Have Box a try, take $5 with the (unaffiliated) code SHOP5. This will bring down the total to $34.95 which brings even more value to the box as a whole. If you don’t like a couple items in your first box, cancel and do what I do: give them as Christmas presents. It’s not like any of the items are terrible, surely there is someone in your life that would LOVE a self-help book from a celebrity gossip blogger.

Click here and use code SHOP5 to get $5 off your first POPSUGAR Must Have Box!

Thanks to POPSUGAR for sending me this box for review! I did not receive compensation and was not instructed to say anything other than #Ad and use my tracking link and offer the $5 off code. 

Lindsay Ginn

Livin' in your basement, eatin' your canned foods.