Much like Project Runway, in the subscription box world, some days you are in but the next day you could be OUT. Today is one of those Out days. I took a risk on a very expensive box and it did NOT pay off.

I was pretty excited to sign up for my very first POPSUGAR Must Have Special Edition box. Jill usually gets all of them but I’ve shown restraint. But this time, it was around when we were moving, and I felt delirious and I was like, “OK. This time *I’ll* try it. I saw no spoilers. I just went for it.

The theme was a collaboration of POPSUGAR Must Have with CFDA: the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is one of the most expensive boxes I have ever seen at $195 but  based on past awesome collaborations with brands like Target, I was expecting super high end fancy fashion brands.  What could go wrong?

Turns out, things can go very, very wrong. So wrong.

It starts out nice enough… Those special edition boxes and packaging are super nice. Very sturdy, you could definitely use this for a gift box or for storing (all of the box things you are saving for re-gifting) things under your bed.


Everything in the box was wrapped with black tissue paper. Just waiting and ready to be super fashion-y.

The card even looked promising.   But then you see what the card says and things start feeling definitely less promising.       Behold! All of the things! INCLUDING A BURLAP BAG. When was the last time you were like, “Oh shucks. I was going to go to the store but I don’t have my burlap bag so I guess I better not.” More on that later. 

I had seen spoilers for this box and these earrings make up for the majority of the “value” of the box as these Maiyet Poison Dart Earrings ring in at $395 retail. Seriously. Let that sink in. I was hoping that the most expensive earrings I ever owned would feel nice in my hand, have a weight to them that said, “I’m worth $400!” No. That was not the case. I feel like I could get something of equal quality from BaubleBar. I love BaubleBar so this ain’t an insult to them. I was just hoping for so much more. The next item that I feel mildly positive about is the Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelet (retail $80) that isn’t even current stock. You can’t get similar items anymore because these are old bracelets. These were sent in several different metals and I do think I like the gold version I received better than the other silver/rose gold versions I saw. I don’t hate this but I also don’t consider Marc by Marc Jacobs a luxury brand. Marc Jacobs singular = luxury brand. But Marc by Marc Jacobs is more the Gap to Banana Republic.  Not really high end, and I’d certainly never pay $80 for a Marc by Marc Jacobs bracelet. The bracelet was very shiny, so it was hard to get a great picture of it. I will say that the bracelet itself is pretty cool and I think would look great in a bracelet stack.  Oh good! The burlap bag I’ve always wanted! Oh wait. I’ve never thought about wanting a burlap bag.  I mean, it’s cute, in comparison to  other burlap bags I’ve seen that hold potatoes or livestock feed. But this Apolis + Clare V. Market bag sells for $68 and I’m sorry, but ain’t nobody got time for that. My 99 cent Trader Joes bags work just fine. Maybe they don’t have a cute French saying but at least I’m fairly good at remembering to take them to the store. However, I will say that the fact that they lined it is nice. The bag won’t get soggy if you put your cold produce in it. But I like to have long straps on a market bag so I can put it over my shoulder for easy carrying of things so these small handles, while nice and leather, just don’t cut it for me. 
All right.  This is probably the one thing in the box that I actually proactively like. The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane von Furstenberg (retail $28) is bound to be fascinating and I am excited to read more about her life and career. I know a little bit about her and her wrap dresses but I want to hear her story from her point of view. (However, I have to admit I would have preferred a DVF accessory in this box instead of a book!) This Anna Sui Lipstick (retail $30) is very pretty to look at but is more packaging than substance in my opinion. I didn’t swatch the color because I think by this point you know I am planning on sending everything back but it looked like a color that was going to be too pink to be flattering on me. And while the star shape is cute, thinking about application kind of confuses me.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I need more nail polish like I need a hole in the head. I will say that this Milly Nail Polish Set ($36) are pretty classic colors that everyone should own. I just love Julep so much so I just hardly pay attention to other brands, especially sets that contain colors that every woman probably already owns.

Final Grade: D

I actually spent several days pretty upset about this box. (As upset as one gets about a box.) Then I decided to share my profound unhappiness with POPSUGAR Must Have and ask for my money back. I’ve come to have very high expectations of POPSUGAR Must Have collaboration boxes and this one disappointed me so much. I’m sure I’m not alone, as I’ve browsed some message boards about this and most people feel like I do. I think POPSUGAR knows they made a mistake with this box because normally they won’t do returns on these types of boxes but I think they completely inflated the value and also misled people as to what the box would contain.

I learned a big lesson here and will NEVER spend that much on a box ever again. That is way too much money to spend on a box of products I don’t know. I feel very silly having done it at all. I’m so glad I’m able to get my money back here but sometimes that’s not always the case. So I need to cut my losses and focus on the more affordable boxes I love!

I’m now a bit wary of the POPSUGAR Must Have Special Edition boxes even though Jill gets them and loves them but their monthly boxes at $40/month are still our favorite here at Boxy Ladies. Check out our past reviews here and click here if you’d like to subscribe! 

I purchased this box, all opinions are my own. 

A self-proclaimed beauty junkie/hoarder with a serious Sephora problem. After years with Birchbox, she now has a subscription box problem as well. Her free time is a mixed combination of cats, TV, and finally trying to figure out how to do her hair.

6 Comments on POPSUGAR Must Have CFDA Special Edition

  1. Oh my gosh, I would have been so upset! I never even knew there were boxes that expensive available so I definitely would have had high hopes, and bag?! Really?!

    • I felt so stupid after I bought it. I should have known it would be tragic. I’m so glad I was able to send it back!

  2. Don’t be embarrassed for taking a chance. Usually this box is great, according to your partner? At least you could send it back. Like you said, PopSugar must have gotten a lot of negative feedback on this one.

    • Yeah, you’re right. I am definitely glad I was able to send it back and I have gotten my refund already, which is great. But I did sign up for Rachel Zoe’s box but that one is “only” $100. There’s a waitlist so I’m not able to get in til September but I’m looking forward to cool fashion stuff that should have been in the PopSugar box!

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