Wednesday, March 26, 2014

fabfitfun VIP spring 2014 box review

hi everyone!  i am so stoked to share with you my very first fabfitfun VIP box!!  i first heard of this box through another blog that i follow, tickled pink in the rain, and it seemed like a really cool thing.  i love beauty boxes and this one seemed like it had even a little extra towards the fitness part of it, and since i always am willing to try new things to stay healthy (since it's always a struggle for me!), i thought i would give this a shot.

what is the fabfitfun VIP box?  this box was started by giuliana rancic and is delivered once per season, or four times per year (spring, summer, winter, fall).  each box has that season's theme, and contains a variety of beauty, wellness, health, fashion, and fitness products, with a minimum of $120 retail value, for just $49.99 per box.  two items are revealed per season in the weeks leading up to the boxes' release (you don't have to find out what they are if you don't want to) and each box is limited edition.  you can check it out here, and use code SPRING5 to get $5 off your first box!

let me say to begin with, i was kind of hesitant about this box.  i looked at the products in the past boxes and they all seemed pretty nice, but $50 seems kind of expensive to me for a box.  granted, it's only quarterly, and the guaranteed products' worth is at least triple what i would be paying for the box.  but i was on the fence about it.  i have tried a bunch of beauty boxes in the past that i have ended up unsubscribing from just because, as someone who is chronically ill and doesn't have the social life that i used to, i don't use all these products that other people might, and would rather spend $50 on a quality pair of sweatpants than on a bunch of makeup that will probably just sit in my drawer.  but, eventually, i thought, what the heck, and i signed up.  and you know what?  i am VERY glad i did!

the team at FFF obviously don't know i have a chronic illness but the products that were in my box this season were so beneficial for someone like me!  i'm really happy about everything i received and am going to get good use out of all of it, and that's hard to do with a surprise beauty box.  so let's dive right in and let me show you what i got!!

to begin with, i thought the shipping was pretty good.  i got my tracking number on the evening of march 19, and i got my package on the afternoon of march 24.  that's pretty fast, especially considering the tracking number was sent at night and there was a weekend in there.  the box it came in was just a plain black cardboard box, and when you opened it, it was bursting with color!  i love nice packaging, and this was great.  everything was wrapped in tissue paper and the hot pink was a great contrast to the black.

when i opened the box, i was pretty surprised at how bursting it was with products!  i could tell right away that i had definitely gotten my money's worth, and was happy that i had ended up subscribing.

kai perfume oil  (retail value: $48)

so the first product i pulled out was this kai perfume oil.  i think the packaging is really nice and simple, and holy crap, it smells AMAAAZING!  i'm a sucker for floral scents, and it smells like this lovely mix of gardenias, lilies, roses... just like you stuck your face in a bouquet of the most amazing freshly cut flowers.  i sat there like a doofus for a good five minutes just sniffing, sniffing, sniffing... the dogs thought i was crazy but eh, what's new?! ha :)  but seriously, it's awesome.  it says that it smells different on everyone, which i think is very interesting.  it is a rollerball application which is nice, so you don't have to worry about it spraying everywhere if you carry it in your purse.  plus, it's a pretty big size at 3.7 mL and this product alone is over the price i paid for the entire box, plus i will strongly consider repurchasing it since i love the smell so much.  score!

cover fx spf30 protection primer (retail value: $38)

the next product is this face primer from cover fx.  i had never tried their products before, but i like face primers in general, and i love any face product with spf.  i am prone to having my moles develop into pre-cancerous lesions, so i am always careful to wear spf every day.  this is a great way to get extra coverage on my face!  plus, it's water-resistant (a big plus in the super humid northeast), paraben-free, gluten-free, mineral-oil free, talc-free, and vegan.  it also says it's fragrance-free, although i did detect a slight smell.  it doesn't bother me at all, and it was that baby powdery/clean smell, so it is a nice one, and not strong at all.  it goes on easily and sinks right in without being greasy or oily, as some primers tend to do.  it's a full fluid ounce, which is a lot of product to be able to decide if you like it or not.  at $38 i don't think i will be repurchasing it after this tube runs out, but i do appreciate it in my box.

merrithew mini stability ball and dvd (retail value: $28.94)

i was very pleasantly surprised by this being in my box, as i've never seen anything like it in a beauty/fitness box!  it is an exercise dvd that is 88 minutes long (with 48 minutes of actual exercises), containing 16 exercises designed to strengthen your breathing techniques and affecting your posture, your core muscles, improving your mobility, and breathing away your negative tension, using the included stability ball.  the exercise difficulty level is the easiest level.  i have to say, i am really pumped about this!! anyone with chronic pain knows that it suuuucks to try to exercise!  the pain is sometimes just so overwhelming that it's hard to go out and get the freakin' mail, let alone try to walk (or, gasp, run!) a mile, let alone try to contort our bodies into some crazy yoga poses or something like that!  and for me, with my heart condition, i have to be very careful of what type of cardio i do, because my heart rate shoots up faster than you can say heroine.  so this seems like it is going to be really great -- easy level, easy poses using a stability ball, breathing techniques that even *i* can do, building up my core muscles -- woohoo!  can you tell i'm excited to try this?!  plus, they included a 15% off coupon for my purchase at the merrithew store, sweet.

dermasuri deep exfoliating mitt (retail value: $19.99)

this mitt is freakin' awesome, let me tell you.  i have been searching for some sort of an exfoliating glove/product for a long time, and haven't been able to find one.  with my fibro and other problems, my skin is very sensitive.  loofahs seem to be too soft and don't do enough exfoliating, but even a lot of the sugar scrubs or those harder scrubs that come inside of soaps were way, way too rough on my skin and hurt too much to even use them.  this mitt is the perfect inbetween texture!!  it is slightly rough but not too rough that it hurts my skin.  the bottom has an elastic band so that it won't come off of your hand while you are scrubbing, and it has a large, double-sided surface area so that it is easy and quick to do your scrub down.  there was also a 25% off coupon included with this as well, which i plan on using to order another of these gloves!

cult gaia turband (retail value: $48)

this was probably the most anticipated item of the box, at least in my case.  this item, along with the kai perfume, was one of the two items that was revealed in the weeks leading up to the shipping of the boxes.  this is the cult gaia turband, which is a sort-of headband accessory from the brand cult gaia, which is super big right now.  a lot of celebrities have been seen wearing these, and it's the big trend for spring.  the first picture is a picture from the so that you can see what they look like when they arrive.  they are kind of strange when they come out of the package, just a weirdly bendy length of fabric.  the magic about them is that they have a fairly thick wire in them that allows them to be twisted and bent in all different ways, making them really versatile and useful.

i was somewhat disappointed at the pattern i got.. i saw a few people's boxes before i got mine, and i really really REALLY wanted one of the cherry print ones.  however, this print is really adorable and will actually match more clothes that i have, so it's okay.  it also reminds me of taylor swift and we all know how much i love taylor swift, so.... :)  i was also kind of hesitant because i am not a big headband girl because they also slide off my head, but i LOVE this turband!!  it must be because of the wire being able to mold to my head, but it does not move.  at all.  it's wonderful!  in the picture, i twisted the ends once around each other and then tucked the tails under the sides, but i've seen other people do it so many other ways and they all look adorable.  these will be perfect for summer, and the wire will help so much to keep them on my head when it's slippery and sweaty!  they also included another coupon (loving all these coupons!!) for 20% off cult gaia so i can get that cherry print one i wanted too.  ;)

oscar blandi pronto dry shampoo invisible spray (retail value: $25)

i have heard so many raves about this product but for $25 i just haven't been able to justify it to myself, so i haven't gotten it.  some things i can justify spending the extra money on for good results, but i buy the tresemme dry shampoo that works great for me and that's like $7? dollars i think?  but anyway, i was really excited to see this full-size (!) can in my box so that i can finally try it.  it's a super hassle for me to take a shower (standing up too long causes pain, hot water makes my heart race, it makes me so tired i usually have to lay down after, etc etc) so i don't wash my hair as often as i would like to, and i really rely on dry shampoo to get me through.  i am pumped to see this has a "no white residue" promise, so that i don't have to go out looking like i need to dye my greys.. that's always a nice look, haha.  but anyways, i am very happy about this, and once again, another 20% my next order at their website!

level naturals shower bombs (retail value: $7.99)

these shower bombs were the one and only product in my box that i did not like, and it's not even their fault.  they seem really awesome... you put one in the bottom of your shower, and the organic menthol&eucalyptus-scented bomb mixes with the steam of your shower to create a spa-like experience right at home!  it has tea tree oil in it to help relax your feet (and it's good for your skin), and a bunch of other stuff to relax you and help you unwind.  they seem great and i'm bummed i can't try them, but since i was little, the smell of menthol has made me super sick to my stomach.  =(  as soon as i opened the little box these were in, i had to quick take the photo and put them in a plastic bag.  eek.  i am giving them to my mom, though, who i am sure will love them, as she loves eucalyptus.  if they were another scent, i would be thrilled about them.  either way, i think they are a great addition to the box and would be a nice thing for someone to relax with!

the better chip spinach and kale with sea salt (retail value: $1.99)

the last product from the box, these chips are a gluten-free corn chip made with spinach and kale, with sea salt.  i thought it was a nice touch to add a food product in with everything else, and a healthy one at that!  it's hard to find good, gluten-free snack foods that don't taste like dried animal poo (trust me, i've tried almost every variety), but these are actually pretty good.  i bet with some sort of low-calorie dip (i like dill dip), they would be a great snack.  the only thing i am wary of is that the whole bag is 130 calories, which seems like a lot for a small snack bag, but just like anything else, it's all about adding these in and subtracting something else out.  :)  there is also a $1.00 off coupon with these as well.

overall, i am SO glad that i signed up for this box!  the grand total for the retail value of all the products was $217.91, and the box cost me $44.99, including shipping and handling.  that is a steal!!  plus, almost every single item also gave you a coupon for the brand/store that the item came from, which is a lot more savings, too.  i know i will be using at least a few of those coupons, and most of them don't expire for a few more months or until the end of the year.

like i said in the beginning, they certainly don't know me or know that i am sick, but it seemed like this box was tailored for us chronically sick people, doesn't it?  between the dry shampoo and the headband for the days we can't make it through the shower, the mitt for the days we can, the exercise dvd on the days we're feeling up to it, the perfume oil when we want to feel a little bit pampered, the chips to help us eat right, the primer to help us feel just a bit more glamorous, and the shower bombs to help us relax after a tough sick day... this was a perfect box in my opinion, and i can't say enough good things about it.  i can't wait to see what is in the summer one, either.

there are limited quantities of the box left, so if you want one, you should sign up as soon as you can.  use code SPRING5 to get $5 off your first box, and you can sign up here.  go check it out!! :)

what did you think of the box if you got one?  are you planning on getting the summer one?  i'd love to hear your opinion in the comments!

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