When I opened my mailbox and found a jury duty summons there was only one thing that could make me feel better. The fact that it was sitting on top of my Nina Garcia Quarterly box. Quarterly is a service that offers quarterly subscriptions curated by all kinds of interesting folks who send select items in their special area of expertise. Nina Garcia is listed a “Style Expert” so this is a fashion and beauty focused subscription and November 2013 is the launch of its first box.
I was a little perturbed by the size of the package. It just didn’t seem big enough for a $100 subscription, but I’m not going to panic because I trust Nina.
Nina writes, “For my first box, I’ve handpicked products from this season that reflect what’s happening in fashion today: hot brands, wardrobe staples, beauty essentials and up-and-coming designers.” She goes on to explain that she’s connected the items with an underlying theme: Glam Grunge.
Okay people, this is going to be good.
The first item is:
Leather Dual Cone Cuff by Baublebar: (Estimated Retail: $32.00)
This item is exclusive for Nina’s first Quarterly mailing. She writes that it “strikes that perfect balance between polish and edge”. Okay one, how cool is to have something that only the other folks smart enough to subscribe to Nina’s box will get and 2. This thing is just badass. What I also love about it is that it has 3 rows of snaps, so whether you have a larger wrist or a freakishly small one like I do, it will fit you. This item also came with a Baublebar coupon for $15 off of any order of $30+. Because this is an exclusive, I’m basing the retail on a somewhat similar studded bracelet on the Baublebar Site.
Jack Vartanian Ear Cuff: (Retail: ????)
The ear cuff trend is everywhere and I think it looks pretty damn cool, but I’ve been on the fence as to whether I could pull it off. But now that Nina Garcia has given me permission I am totally ready to rock this. It’s so dainty but edgy, and its subtle enough to make that touch of punk seem effortless. Now I googled trying to find a retail price only to discover that Jack Vartanian is super fancy – as in jewelry at Barneys with price tags in the thousands of dollars. This might not be gold and diamonds, but I’m betting the retail on costume jewelry from this caliber of designer is quite high.
Faux Fur Stole by Adrienne Landau (Estimated Retail: $39.90)
How did Nina know that I’ve been pinning fur scarves to my Pinterest board for the last two months? This little stole is quite soft and has an easy Velcro closure. It’s small so it can add just a touch of fur without overwhelming your outfit. Plus it’s warm, which is helpful for facing NYC winters. This is yet another item made exclusively for Nina (clearly everyone loves Nina or she’s got a safety deposit box chock full of incriminating photos). So this is another one where it’s difficult to pinpoint a retail value. Adrienne has products in stores from Saks Fifth Avenue to HSN. Since this stole is faux we’ll estimate the price to be on par with this piece she has on HSN.
Too Faced La Créme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Teddy Berry: (Retail: $21.00)
Nina chose four different shades of plum lipstick and included a different one in each box. Mine seems to be a little on the lighter side, but I think it will complement my skin tone really well. I’ve never tried any Too Faced cosmetics so I can’t wait to give this one a whirl.
Essie Polish in Shearling Darling: (Retail: $8.50)
I am a sucker for dark red polishes and this is a lovely shade of burgundy. I only own one Essie polish, so this will help build my collection.
Pearl+ Luxury Soap: (Retail: $6.00)
This is a detox soap comprised of crushed pearl and charcoal. It sounds fascinating but I am really sensitive to smells and this one is just too strong. It’s definitely a manly type soap (think musk and cologne). I think I will be adding this one to the gift pile.
VBeauté It Kit Anti Age Skin Care System: (Retail: $99.00)
Okay so the cost of this little kit pretty much covered the entire box. It is an anti-aging skin care system and this little clutch is designed to be TSA friendly. I have to say this is the most luxe travel skincare set I have ever seen. Included with this was a coupon code for $25 off of a $75+ at vbeaute.com. I am unfamiliar with this brand, but if their product is half as good as their packaging I will love it.
Amazing. Badass. Awesome.
I had high hopes for this subscription and it more than exceeded them. I paid $100 for this box. Without including the Jack Vartanian ear cuff or the coupons, my estimated retail is already at $200.00. I love nearly everything, and with the exception of the soap I will use it all myself. It’s clear that Nina had a lot of input and took a lot of care with this box. I also adore that she gave all the items a theme. I have to say I think this is my favorite subscription box to date. Brava Nina!
There is just one downside to this box. I have to wait a few months until the next one.