Popsugar: April 2015 & the LE CFDA Box That Wasn’t

I’m still clearing out a few of my April boxes, before my May ones arrive. First, we’ll take a look at what sprang up in the Popsugar monthly must have and then I’ll discuss the LE CFDA box that I ordered.
Box
APRIL POPSUGAR MUST HAVE BOX
Open Box 1 Open Box 2

Umbrella
Dabney Lee Dottie Umbrella
(Suggested Retail: $18.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “With an umbrella as adorable as this, we’re welcoming Spring shows with open arms. Plus, the auto open-and-close feature and quick-drying fabric are sure to make any outdoor adventure enjoyable, rain or shine.”
Verdict: Love!
I have cute umbrellas and some small practical ones but not a combination of the two. This is cute and the easy open-close button makes it super practical. It’s also a great size (not too big, not too small). This is now my go to umbrella for my commute.

Lotion
One Love Organics Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum
(Suggested Retail: $39.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “”We’re addicted to this luxurious serum that takes moisture to the next level. Infused with antioxidants and other superstar ingredients, this body serum from One Love Organics offers a subtle gardenia fragrance and ultranourishing effects for softer skin.”
Verdict:
Like
I don’t think I’ve tried a body serum, although I’m thinking that might be just a fancy word for body lotion. In any case, I’ll happily give this a try. I like that it’s organic and has unique packaging.

Candle
Produce Candles Rhubarb Spring Candle
(Suggested Retail: $20.00)
Category: Must Have Home
Description: ”Bring the farm stand home to you with this sweet-smelling rhubarb candle from Produce Candles. Handcrafted in Charleston, SC, with all-natural soy wax and premium cotton wicks, this “candle crop” will fill any room with the scent of fresh rhubarb on a crisp Spring day.”
Verdict: Love!
I love scented candles and use them regularly. I love to light one right after I clean a room. While I hate actually eating rhubarb, the scent on this is lovely and I like that they are natural soy wax candles that feature interesting seasonal produce scents.

Bag
Flip & Tumble 24-7 Bag
(Suggested Retail: $12.00)
Category: Must Have Fashion
Description: “From bag to ball, flip & tumble’s 24-7 reusable bag compacts in a pinch — no folding, zipping, or stuffing necessary. Made of a reliable ripstop nylon, it’s perfect for the market to carry all your essentials with ease!”
Verdict: On the Fence/Gift
This is a reusable bag that packs up into a little ball. I have a ton of reusuable bags already and some of them do this same thing. This is a nice practical addition and it certainly fits the market fresh theme of this box, so I appreciate its inclusion. I’ll probably end up adding this as a little extra to someone’s gift.

Herbs
Potting Shed Creations Garden-in-a-Bag Basil
(Retail: $10.00)
Category: Must Have Beauty
Description: “Home-growing fresh basil just got easier with the Basil Garden-in-a-Bag from Potting Shed Creations. No chopping or mincing required — enjoy the miniature leaves straight off the plant for flavorful dishes year round!.”
Verdict: Hit!
Despite the fact that plants tend to have very short life expectancies in my household, I was still happy to see this. I love it when we receive food items that we can use for cooking (like oils, herbs and salts). The whole “grow-your-own” aspect is a lot of fun and fresh herbs are so great in seasonal cooking. Hopefully I won’t kill this before I get enough basil to make some pasta.

SPECIAL EXTRA
Coupons

Mott 50 $25 Gift Card
Description: “With fashion and function in mind, Mott 50 created a lightweight clothing line with a 50 ultraviolet protection factor to combat harmful UVA and UVB rays. Use this $25 gift card toward your next purchase for clothes that do more than just cover.”
Verdict: Miss
Along with some other coupons we got a $25 gift card for Mott 50. They feature clothing and accessories with UVA and UVB protection built in. As a redhead, I love the concept of the clothing, but the items featured are on the pricier side (even a unisex baseball hat is $38). I don’t like inclusions that require you to spend a substantial amount in order to use them. I would have preferred to see a different special extra.

OVERALL:
Popsugar April 2015

Verdict: Practically Market Fresh but a touch lacking.

There were a lot of great things about this box.   Pretty much everything included was a practical item and they all fit perfectly into the “market fresh” theme. On the other side, it’s easy see why some subscribers might find this box a touch boring. I also felt like it was a little light on items and value. The giftcard really doesn’t count as an item (since you need to spend quite a bit to use it) and our boxes usually  include more products. I paid $42.75 for this box and not including the giftcard, I received $99 worth of product. I will use or gift all the items so the value is there for me, but if someone didn’t care for the serum (which is the high priced pick), their box wouldn’t have held up against what they paid.

THE CFDA BOX THAT WASN’T

Popsugar is one of my favorite subs and I’m usually thrilled with both my monthly boxes and the one time limited editions I’ve purchased. That changed last year with their incredibly overpriced and even more incredibly disappointing Neiman Marcus box. After that, I decided to take a break from future Popsugar LE boxes until I’d seen enough reveals, that I felt they were worth the risk again. After some fabulous LE unboxings over the last few months, I opted to take a giant leap of faith with their $195 CFDA LE box. It sold out in record time and promised luxurious and emerging designers and over $600 retail value. It was a big investment but I love fashion boxes and I was so excited to see what new designers would be included.

I’m always late with receiving my Popsugar boxes so I was able to get a sneak peek at the spoilers, and the giant controversy that surrounded them. My box still hasn’t arrived, but I do know the contents. I’ll give you pictures from store and manufacturer websites with prices and links. Prepare yourself, it’s not pretty.

Earrings
Maiyet Poison Dart Earrings

Estimated Retail Value:
$295
Value on Popsugar Card: $395
The Controversy: These earrings are the big ticket item in the box, and Popsugar over-estimated their value by $100.  Yes, more than half the cost of this box.  Noticeably angry over gold plated brass earrings being quoted so high, customers inundated Popsugar with complaints. Magically, Maiyet’s website then listed the earrings at the higher price and Popsugar claimed it was an error on Maiyet’s side..except…Maiyet then went on to lower the price back to the regular retail cost and you can follow the link here to see a purchase price of $295. This is a whole new level of shady. This is fraud and Popsugar should be ashamed – not just for bilking their customers but also for putting Maiyet in a terrible position. Hopefully none of the issues with this item will poorly effect their brand.

Lipstick
Anna Sui Lipstick

Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $30

Bracelet
Marc by Marc Jacobs Logo Bangle

Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $80
The Controversy: As most of you fashionistas know, this label is now defunct. Meaning that these bracelets are popping up at TJ Maxx and various shopping sites for a bargain.   Remember this box was supposed to be about “new” and “luxury” brands, not leftover goods from an axed fashion label.

Nail polish set
Milly Nail Polish Set
(couldn’t get a working link on this one)
Estimated Retail Value: $30
Value on Popsugar Card: $80

Book
The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg

Estimated Retail Value: $17.77
Value on Popsugar Card: $28.00
The Controversy: When was the last time you paid $28 for a book? Been awhile, right? This book is priced much lower on Amazon. And many subscribers feel a book *about* fashion is not the same as an actual fashion item.

Tote
Apolis+Claire v. Market Bag

Estimated Retail Value: $68.00
Value on Popsugar Card: $68.00

Now friends, it’s time to do some math. According to Popsugar’s made up prices, this box has a value of $637. In the real world, in actual stores and online shops, these products retail for about $476.77. Now subscribers were promised $600+ retail value box that “features an assortment of established and emerging designers, including some of fashion’s most coveted brands.” Most of the products don’t fall under either these categories.

If this had been a $100 LE box, this would have been fine but still a slight bummer since there’s not much fashion to this box. At $195 it’s a disgrace. I actually really like the Anna Sui lipstick (it’s been on my wishlist for awhile) and the market tote, but they are minor items at this price point. Where is the fashion? Where are all these upcoming designers? Popsugar squandered a chance to have a true emerging designer make something special for this box. It’s like they went to a warehouse full of old stuff, dusted it off and shoved it into boxes.

Now in an unprecedented move, most likely due to the fact that Popsugar’s skating some serious fraud issues, they are allowing refunds on unopened and complete boxes. I have already contacted them (even though I didn’t yet get my box) and will be returning this for a refund. If you ordered this box, you can contact Popsugar through their website and ask to return it. They should email you a pre-printed label.

A special thanks to these fabulous box bloggers with awesome posts of the spoilers and values of these products: Subscription Box Ramblings, Hello Subscriptions, and My Subscription Addiction. Thanks to their heads up I am able to get a refund and I greatly appreciate it.

I am extremely disappointed in Popsugar’s dishonest curation and my trial separation from purchasing their LE boxes is now going into divorce proceedings. They need to come clean, apologize to their subscribers (and Maiyet), and make sure whoever was in charge of this curation is not allowed to put together any more boxes.

What did you think of these boxes? Do you have an opinion on this latest Popsugar LE box controversy?

THE BACKSTORY

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.

In addition to Popsugar’s monthly must have boxes, they have some seasonal special edition boxes that contain uber luxe items.  The price tag on these boxes is higher, but the products you receive are high end.

Popsugar Pricing:
Monthly – $39.95
3 Months – $109.85
6 Months – $214.70
12 Months – $404.40

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off site wide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lisa attended Syracuse University where she studied singing in a giant castle surrounded by ice and snow. After she earned her music degree, she headed to the island of Manhattan, down to the West Village, to a place called the New School. There, she earned another degree in the great art of writing stories for children. She currently works on that same island trying to help real people, while making up stories about imaginary ones. Her first book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale,” a fairy tale adventure, was released on May 30, 2017 and is up for sale on Amazon. In the meantime, she keeps herself occupied by obsessing over subscription boxes and home renovations.

12 thoughts on “Popsugar: April 2015 & the LE CFDA Box That Wasn’t

  1. Wow, this was a juicy read! I have never taken the plunge with PopSugar sub box because it’s too expensive for me. I really wanted the scarf with the gold dots a couple of months ago, and I was lucky enough to find it or one just like it at the Peabody Essex Museum store for $18.99. I’m not so big a fan of mixed category boxes. I pretty much want a straight beauty box. I can’t believe the hi-jinx that went on with the N-M box. Pretty much everything from N-M can be purchased on sale these days, and changing the price up and down doesn’t help anyone feel better about the “actual” price. I would not be happy with the earrings whatever the price. But I must say, I really enjoyed reading about it!

  2. Even though I did not buy the LE box, I felt I was ripped off. LOL. I was so tempted to splurge on this so I could cancel my monthly sub, but glad I didn’t. I still get my money’s worth from the monthly subscription, though some items I end up gifting. It’s a good move for PopSugar to refund unsatisfied customers. Those earrings are seriously A JOKE! Lemme just go to Claire’s and surely will find something similar to that for less than $10!

    • If those earrings were actually gold, I’d say they were a bit boring, but the materials make it worth the price. They are gold plated brass! I don’t know who’d pay the $295 for them, nevermind the imaginary price of $395.

  3. I am a monthly PopSugar subscriber and have been for almost a year. I took a plunge and purchased the CFDA box as my first limited edition box, as a graduation present to myself. Though I have yet to receive the box, when I saw the spoilers, I could cry! I am so disappointed in this box and do plan on contacting them for a full refund. I don’t even want to open it when it arrives. I figured a brand like PopSugar could actually afford to provide us with luxury items and would live up to it’s advertising and clearly I was wrong. I can’t even wear the earrings since my ears are super sensitive and really, for $300, we would have gotten a Tory Burch necklace or something actually valuable. Ugh. So disappointed.

    • I completely understand. When I splurge on these super expensive boxes, I am really counting on getting some nice accessories that I can use for the season (since I’ve allotted a chunk of my fashion budget for the box). I received my box this weekend and didn’t open it. I just stuck the label on and I’m going to have my boyfriend drop it off at the post office tomorrow. Don’t delay in contacting Popsugar because they want all the boxes sent back by the 27th.

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