What brought me back to POPSugar Must Have?

After about 18 months of buying the POPSUGAR MUST HAVE Subscription box in 2012 and 2013 (reviews here) I decided it was time to move on. The items were always quality ones and I certainly got more than my money’s worth from the subscription but I realized I was keeping 1/3 and giving away 2/3 of the box so I decided to go on a hiatus. But I’m back and going to give it a few months to see whether the boxes changed and/or my taste changed. I started with the September box after seeing their teaser:

Too Faced Brow Envy Kit

Too Faced Brow Envy Kit

PopSugar Must Have sells for $39.95 and the Too Faced Brow Envy Brow Shaping & Defining Kit is $39. That meant I could try a new product plus whatever goodies would be in the subscription and come out ahead. I know that PopSugar only sends full size items that are from great companies so I had nothing to lose. Did it meet my expectations??

PopSugar Must Have for September 2015

PopSugar Must Have for September 2015

PopSugar takes inspiration from the latest fashions and fads when putting together a box. All boxes are the same and they are a blast to open. I try not to read other reviews because I love the surprises inside. September’s box turned out to have a value of $156. Let’s take a peek:

TOO FACED BROW ENVY SHAPING & DEFINING KIT ($39) This is a one size fits all kit. I’ve become brow obsessed in the last year after realizing that my brows are beyond sparse. The kit is interesting but far from perfect. It contains setting wax, a cream highlighter, blonde powder and brunette powder. There’s also a set of mini tools (brush, spoolie, tweezers) along with 3 eyebrow stencils and directions.

Too Faced Brow Envy

Too Faced Brow Envy

Too Faced Brow Envy  swatches

Too Faced Brow Envy swatches

Too Faced Brow Envy tools and stencils

Too Faced Brow Envy tools and stencils

I am not a fan of stencils though I have used them on occasion. I always feel I need a third hand to hold them in place while my real hands do the work. Plus it’s hard to get them to match my brow shape. That said I know some people who need to start from scratch so these can be extremely helpful for them. While my swatches are quite light, the powders apply much better on my eyebrows since they have something to grab onto and a brown base. This won’t take the place of my Pixi brow favorites but it’s a good kit for on the go.

ncLA SO RICH VITAMIN-E ENRICHED CUTICLE OIL ($18) is close to perfect for a subscription box like this. There’s no worrying if you get a color you don’t like or can’t wear (glitters for me) because this works for everyone. Other than nail bloggers I’m willing to guess that most of us don’t take care of our cuticles like we should. This conditioning oil goes a long way and it smells so yummy. When I get my nails manicured I have about a minute with a cuticle oil on so having this is a nice touch.

NCLA So Rich Vitamin-E Enriched Cuticle Oil

ncLA So Rich Vitamin-E Enriched Cuticle Oil

NCLA So Rich Vitamin-E Enriched Cuticle Oil

ncLA So Rich Vitamin-E Enriched Cuticle Oil

BRIOGEO ROSARCO MILK REPARATIVE LEAVE-IN CONDITIONING SPRAY ($20)  is a leave in conditioner that’s different than the ones I have. First of all, it really looks and feels like milk. It’s not the least bit sticky. While it’s a thin consistency you don’t need as much as you’d first think because it’s loaded with amazing ingredients that will help protect your hair from heat and the elements. It contains an antioxidant rich milky blend and nutrient packed argan, rose hip, and coconut oils. I remember when my blog partner Lisa reviewed Brigeo and fell in love with the brand. Now I can too.

Brigeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

So far we’ve hit a triple with three great products. Let’s see if the others can score a run for the home team! Next onto travel, fashion and food!

KRIS NATIONS “XO” STUD EARRINGS ($35) are the cutest earrings I’ve seen. XO of course means hugs and kisses and that’s what these will do to your ears. The packaging is great – they come in the cutest cork topped bottle. I love mini items. The only bad news about these recycled brass & plated with 14k gold earrings is that I don’t have pierced ears. Boo hoo. I’d wear these in a minute but my once pierced ears have closed up after I had an allergic reaction to metals.

Kris Nations "XO" Stud Earrings

Kris Nations “XO” Stud Earrings

Kris Nations "XO" Stud Earrings

Kris Nations “XO” Stud Earrings

One of my favorite items in the box is the HUDSON+BLEEKER LABYRINTH ONYX TRAVEL TRIO ($42). It’s TSA perfect. There’s a see through cosmetic bag big enough to hold a good amount of treasures along with 2 14″X12″ silky drawstring bags to hold things like your intimates and shoes in your luggage. These are so well made and so handy. They fold up easily back into the travel case to store until you need them again. I can see using these at home too for your “special” intimates that you don’t want co-mingling with the reggies.

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio pouch

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio pouch

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio bags

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio bags

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio

Hudson+Bleeker Labyrinth Onyx Travel Trio

Yes ladies and gents, we’ve scored! The only thing I can’t use are the adorable earrings but I’m sure they’ll find a home with one of my daughter-in-laws. To celebrate …. let’s eat!

NOURISH SNACKS ALMOND TO CHERRIES ($2 for 1.4 oz) is an absolutely delish snack that is totally my taste. Their website is loaded with mouth watering products that are gluten free, dairy free, GMO free and vegetarian. They were founded by Joy Bauer, the Today Show’s nutritionist. I need these to carry around with me to stop my cravings!

Nourish Snacks, Almond to Cherries

Nourish Snacks, Almond to Cherries

Nourish Snacks, Almond to Cherries

Nourish Snacks, Almond to Cherries

PopSugar September Must Have Box

PopSugar September Must Have Box

A winner!! I’m so happy that I resubscribed and hopefully I’ll be filled with joy on subsequent boxes. I do have a referral code that will help me earn money off future boxes if you decide to subscribe yourself.

What do you think of this PopSugar Must Have Box? Is this worth $39.95 to you? — Marcia

October's teaser

October’s teaser

NCLA Nail Lacquers – swatches and review

I love having new brands of nail polish. I especially love when I take my new polishes to my beauty salon and every person in the shop comes up to see how gorgeous they are. When I took myNCLA Nail Lacquers in, every nail tech, every hairdresser and every client were checking these out. I was terrified that my gorgeous NCLA Nail Lacquers ($16) would find their way into someone’s purse. That’s how much attention they attracted.

Everything about these is interesting – from the square bottle and caps to the tempting colors within. The company itself is interesting as their start was in fashion inspired nail wraps. They were inspired by the city of LA and the beautiful fashions around. From there they created their nail lacquers with this promise: “All our top of the line color formulas are 5 Free. No harmful carcinogens such as DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde or Camphor. And nothing is tested on animals. Ever!”

NCLA nail lacquers

As beautiful as they are, they are just as fabulous to work with and wear. I’m able to share 4 different polishes with you with 3 different finishes.

West Hollywood It-Girl

West Hollywood It-Girl

NCLA West Hollywood It-Girl

West Hollywood It-Girl will knock your socks off. This burgundy cherry glitter is amazing. The base is clear, the cherry glitter creates the color. This needed 4 coats to be opaque on me but it was worth the extra time since the color is so striking. If it’s too bright for your nails then choose this for a pedicure since it will surely attract attention.

Mulholland Maneater

Mulholland Maneater

NCLA Mulholland Maneater

The best formula comes with NCLA’s crème polishes. Mulholland Maneater is an example of that. The color was basically opaque in 1 coat but with 2 coats it was absolutely perfect. The beautiful rich dark purple has a blue undertone. It applied like a dream. It was like it was applying itself.

NCLA Light Up the Night collection

Two of my beauties are in a set called the Light Up the Night Collection ($39): Hollywood & Vine Starlet and Bel-Air Trophy Wife. It also has LAX Jet Setter.

Hollywood & Vine Starlet

NCLA Hollywood & Vine Starlet

Hollywood & Vine Starlet is a black sparkle nail polish. The glitter in it is silver but the silver takes on colors when you are out in the sun. I wore this without starting with a black base coat so it took 3 coats to be opaque. Next time I’ll start with the black. Without a top coat it has a slightly rough finish which is typical with a glitter polish. Adding a top coat smoothes it out nicely but it’s not a glassy finish.

Bel-Air Trophy Wife

Bel-Air Trophy Wife

Bel-Air Trophy Wife

Bel-Air Trophy Wife is my favorite and the one I’ve been wearing for the last week. NCLa calls this a bronze metallic gold. My nail tech, my husband and I all described it as a dark champagne. However it’s described, it’s fabulous. Because it’s a metallic it could be streaky but I didn’t find that at all. It did show some imperfections on one nail that wasn’t as smooth as my others but no one other than me noticed it. The metallic finish gives it a burnished look. I will wear this polish in any season since it fits them all.

This is the perfect time to invest in NCLA polishes since they are 20% off with the code VALENTINE20. There is also a contest going on to win the Light Up the Night Collection but you’d need to enter on their website by Feb. 9th so hurry!

Win these or buy these, if you love polish then you want this brand. These are as wonderful as the true stars you’d see in LA. — Marcia

 *pr samples