Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review: Coco Rocha Fancy Box (April)

I was absolutely thrilled with the debut of the Coco Rocha Fancy box. It had a great selection of items and lots of them. So imagine my surprise when I opened up box number 2 and it only had 3 things in it. That's right 3. If you received a box yourself, you may be a bit confused by this. It turns out that one of the items had been left out - but not the info card for it.

I have a love/hate relationship with Fancy. I love their stuff, but hate their customer service. It took 72 hours and several attempts to even hear back from cs about this issue. I wanted to wait for the replacement (er, original) item to arrive before I reviewed the box, but I'm not sure it's actually going to come, so after almost 2 weeks - I decided just to go ahead.

Like I said, the first Fancy box curated by Coco Rocha was phenomenal. This of course set a standard for the level of merchandise to expect. I almost wonder if it's better to go the other route and start of super weak like the first two P!nk boxes before putting out an exceptional one like the third one (I am kicking myself for cancelling now).

The items in this month's box weren't bad, but I was definitely expecting more.

One of the first things I noticed was that the greeting card was a repeat from the January Fancy box - so now I have two sitting around. I think that as a rule of thumb, Fancy should have a policy against picking items that have already been included in other boxes. There are definitely enough other merchandise options out there that this doesn't need to happen. There was nothing so special about this card that it was worth including again.

The creature cup was my favorite item. I got the octopus one and it is super fun. I probably wouldn't have bought it on my own, but it will surely get a lot of use. On top of that, it's a conversational piece. I can't wait to serve someone a beverage in it and see what their reaction is.

I never received the heels door holder and honestly besides being upset that I was missing an item, wasn't too bent out of shape. I don't have any doors that need help staying open. I'm not sure where or when I would have an opportunity to use it.

The biggest score in this box price-wise is the watch. Mine came in a shade of teal, but I would have preferred the pink. I already have a blue watch that came in my PopSugar Must Have box earlier this year and the pink would have been a nice option. The color is still really nice. In person though, the rhinestones look kind of cheap. I know the watch retails for a significant amount of money, but I would never pay that much for it.

Item Breakdown:
  • All Purpose Greeting Card - $15
  • Creature Cups - $15
  • Heels Door Holder - $17
  • TKO Watch - $135
Total - $182 ($165 without the door holder)

The value of this month's box was almost double last months.

Overall, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with this month's box. The missing item was an oversight that I couldn't ultimately overlook and I decided to cancel. If this was the first time I'd had an issue with Fancy I might have been more obliged to continue. However, third time's a charm - I didn't think twice about it. Also, Fancy had just announced the Jennifer Love Hewitt and I'd rather check that out.

What did you think of the second attempt from Coco Rocha with her Fancy box? Were you equally disappointed or did this box do great things for you? Let me know!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Review: Birchbox (May)

After last month's Women's Health magazine collaboration, Birchbox had it's work cut out for them. Although I always get really excited to open my box when it arrives, this month's curated goodies were a bit lackluster.

Like always, the box was filled with four items and a bonus gift. Unfortunately, none of the selections stood out to me. I've had such good luck with this subscription that a) this was bound to happen eventually, and b) this will do very little to sway me toward cancelling.

This month's theme was 'Beauty Diaries' and it focused on choosing products that matched your Birchbox profile. I haven't updated mine in a while, so that could be why I didn't end up with more of a customized selection. It was easy enough to go on and fix, so hopefully next time will be even better.

Check out this month's sneak peek video below before you see what came in my May Birchbox:

This month I got:

My Reactions:
  • Beauty Protector - I straighten my hair at least once a week, so I'm always looking for something to protect it from the heat - there's nothing attractive about fried hair. I'm not crazy about it doubling as leave-in conditioner though. Sometimes I find that adding extra conditioner to my already conditioned hair makes it appear oily.
  • COOLA - With summer coming a product that has SPF in it is very practical. However, I feel like every box I get comes with some sort of moisturizer/lotion and they are starting to pile up. I like this it's organic, and the smell is nice too.
  • Joie - I am a big fan of perfume and this one screams summer. It's a little on the heavy side but has a great floral scent.
  • Sumita - This was my favorite item in the box. My one 'can't leave home without' product is definitely eyeliner. I love how easy it is to put on in the morning and how it makes my eyes look. I used to use black for both day and night, but I recently started wearing a chocolate brown during the day - it has a warming effect on my look. I'm actually pretty excited to test out this item.

**The bonus item this month or 'Birchbox Finds' was 'the new Acroball PureWhite hybrid ink pen' by Pilot. It came with a coupon for $1 off a pack, but honestly I have more pens then I'll ever be able to use up already. It came in a fun teal color and I'm sure I'll use it, but I wish it had the Birchbox logo on it.

I'm already looking forward to seeing what's in my June box. I'm leaving for a summer adventure in Los Angeles mid-month so hopefully it arrives before my trip, otherwise it's going to get buried in 2 months worth of mail and packages. If you don't see a review for it - you'll know why.

What did you think of this month's Birchbox? Was there anything you would have liked to see instead?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: Fancy Box (April)

Two month's ago I tried to cancel my P!nk Fancy box after a lackluster first experience with the celeb curated box and since then things have only went down hill. I have been in a frenzy over the horrible experience with customer service over the last several weeks, and between the frustration and the lack of resolution, I almost forgot that I had a box on the way. Fortunately, this box was pretty snazzy and completely made me overlook what seems to be the ongoing issues they are clearly having keeping up with the growing demand for their service/product - at least for the moment.

This month's box contained some great products. I'm especially thrilled with the Bento box. I've always wanted one, and even though it wasn't exactly like the ones I had shopped around for in the past, it's definitely something that I will be using. I like to bring my lunch to work in an effort to save money - even though it doesn't always work out - and I've run into the problem of finding the right way to transport it several times. This item in particular is one of the best things I've seen come with the box. Usually I feel like several of the items are more gimmick than practical, however this box contained way more of the latter. It makes me feel a lot better about shelling out the money each month if the items are at least partially useful.

Another one of the items that will be really useful is the iPod armband. I spend a considerable amount of time at the gym - or as my schedule allows - and I've always wanted one of these. I bought one on Ebay once, and it wasn't the right size for my iPod touch, so I ended up donating it and never re-invested. Also, the USB hub, since I seem to have an endless supply of chords waiting for their turn to be plugged in.

Besides that, the Fancy box came with a stick-on LED light that you can use on your keys when it's
dark. I have a light right next to my doorway, so I don't know how helpful it would be for me personally, but I am looking to buy a house which might not be so nicely equipped. Plus, the box included two bottles of nail polish customized just for Fancy. Again, I don't know how much I need more nail polish since I have enough to last for pretty much ever, but I am a fan of it. And, I like that it was custom made for Fancy, and especially that the company doesn't test on animals.

All in all, I think it was a great haul. There was a nice mix of useful, practical products with items that were just for fun - and some that fit in both categories. My only complaint is that I paid the $39 for the box, instead of the $30 that I was locked in at because of a customer service mistake that they can't seem to correct. Even so, it was surely worth the extra money (that they keep saying I will be getting a refund for). Also, I liked that the box was green this month instead of the usual white!

Item Breakdown:

Black + Blum Bento Box - $23
Merkury Innovations Motion - $25
Thumb-Lite Stick-On LED - $15
Contort Flexible USB Hub - $25
Rainbow Honey Fancy Nail Lacquer - ?

Total - at least $88 (there was no price listed for the nail polish - best guess, between $15 and $20 for the 2 shades)

What did you think of April's Fancy box (which almost came in April)?