Monday, January 18, 2016

FabFitFun Winter 2015-2016 Review

Yes, that's the condition this box arrived in.  No, I'm not kidding.  The full details ahead!

I loved my Fall FabFitFun box so much that I actually signed up for a full year on the spot (it saves money! plus, I knew what I was getting in that one and was able to use a lot of it for the best Christmas gifts ever!).  This is the Winter box and also has an excellent value and some really great items.  But I don't love it quite as much.  That might have something to do with the fact that I waited 3 weeks after receiving my shipping notice before reaching out to customer service who basically said they weren't sure where my box was.  A few days later (Christmas Eve, in fact), it arrived on my doorstep looking decidedly the worse for wear and missing an item! FabFitFun was apologetic and sent me a replacement item. .  . but with the holidays and all, it just arrived about a week ago.  I'm glad I wasn't planning on gifting it!

Apparently it took a little trip!?!

FabFitFun had clearly labelled the box correctly with my address so I'm assuming the shipping problem was most likely courtesy of the USPS? Or Canada Post? Regardless, FFF made things right for me so no worries!

What is FabFitFun? A seasonal lifestyle box which includes items to help you feel fab, get fit and have fun.  An individual box costs $49.99 or you can sub to a whole year (4 boxes) for $179.99.  I have no idea how they do it but the value of items in this box alone is so outstanding, it covers the yearly cost! And there are lots of coupon codes out there to make it even more of a deal - in fact, if you use my links, you may be offered a $10 off coupon code (it was working when I posted this so let me know if it isn't)!!  While a $50 box does sound pricey, since it's a quarterly box, that really works out to under $20 per month.  So I can justify that :)

Incidentally, if this review makes you want to try FabFitFun, your first box will be a "welcome box" which includes the ear buds featured in this review, Passport to Beauty Tibetan Goji Berry Eye Serum, a Wren 14K gold dipped necklace, and more - those three items alone have an RV of $268!!  So you could sub for the year (like I did) and start with the welcome box or you could just pick up a single box for $49.99 (or $39.99 with my coupon code).  This is a US sub so add exchange and $8 shipping if you are Canadian.  It's still an awesome value. . . check it out:
That is jam-packed, right?
On the "Fab" side of things (I think), we received a Dermalogica skin care set, JUARA Candlenut Body Creme and a Zoya nail polish

Dermalogica Skin Care Set ($45 value)

This set includes Special Cleansing Gel, Multi-Active Toner and a Skin-Smoothing Cream.  I've heard good things about Dermalogica although I've never tried any of their products.  Once I finish up what I'm using right now, this is jumping the queue into rotation!

JUARA Candlenut Body Creme ($38 value)

This year, we are focusing on wellness in my house and to that end, I've been working on taking care of all of my skin - not just the skin on my face.  I have stacks of body creams and lotions that I always plan on using and then forget about until after I'm dressed, lol.  This is really pricey for a body creme and has excellent reviews.  So also jumping the queue! I do love that FFF sends things that I like to use, just traded up so they feel really fancy :)

Zoya Nail Polish ($9 value)

There were 4 colour options for this, all berries / reds.  I received Sasha which is described as "a dark saturated blood red creme with very subtle brown undertones.  Bold and beautiful, a classic Film Noir red."  Now I love nail polish and Film Noir (classic Hollywood in general, really) and was really excited to try a Zoya polish since I've heard such good things. . . and I'm not over the moon for this to be honest.  I'm not really getting the brown undertones in this and the formula felt a little thin - it took 3 coats to get to the opacity I desired (almost like a jelly finish, which I love, without the fun "juicy" quality).  Meh.

I'm going to call these the "Fun" items - an EJH reed diffuser, FabFitFun wine stopper and charm set, and Whitney Eve X FabFitFun fingerless gloves

EJH Reed Diffuser ($37 value)

Since I am a VIP subscriber (since I signed up for a whole year), I got to select which scent I wanted from four options:  sugar cookie, lavender, cinnamon and pomegranate.  I opted for cinnamon since I love spicy, foodie scents - especially in the winter.  This is very modern and stylish - unboxed pic below - and smells nice up close.  Unfortunately, there's not much throw in terms of the scent - I can't smell it unless I'm right next to it.  So that's a little disappointing.  Also, expert tip:  use scissors or pliers to pry out the plastic stopper - it's really wedged in there so there aren't any leaks in shipping (apparently even if shipping to the other side of the world and back, lol).

Pretty though. . .

FabFitFun Wine Stopper and Charm Set ($15 value)

I wasn't too psyched about these when I saw the spoiler.  I thought the wine stopper looked a little NSFW in the pic to be honest.  But in person, it's actually pretty cute.  My 3-year-old says "he has his head stuck in it! That's too silly!" And the wine charms are cute but we're not currently in a place in our lives that involves hosting lots of boozy parties during which people misplace their glasses.  But someday, right?

If I hadn't just told you what the stopper's supposed to be. . . what would your first thought have been?

Whitney Eve X FabFitFun Fingerless Gloves ($26 value)

More like fingerless mittens? Or are all mittens fingerless? VIP members had the choice of black or grey and obviously I went with black :) I actually really like these.  While not practical for the dead of a true Canadian winter, I have been using them pretty steadily this year (with El Nino and all) and enjoying them.  Since I've been working on taking better care of my nails, it's nice to show them off and I really like the button detail as well.  The other mitt (not the one pictured) did arrive slightly damaged - the yarn attaching the strap with the button on it had come undone.  It was an easy fix but I was a little disappointed nonetheless.  For $26 mitts, I'd expect them to be more sturdily constructed.  To be fair, it did appear that my box had been opened at some point on its journey so who knows what went on?

Super cute!

"Fit"? FRENDS The Donna Earbuds

FRENDS The Donna Earbuds ($80 value)

This was the final VIP choice item - I opted for black/rose gold over black/gold and white/silver.  I really have no idea why since I won't actually use these.  Earbuds and I don't get along - until recently, I had a piercing that would actually make them fall out.  I also don't really know where I would use them since I don't jog (I think that's how they fit the "fit" category) or take public transit.  Also, I'm not a teen ;) These will make a lovely gift.

Gift cards!

FabFitFun seems to always include some gift cards to shops and services I've never heard of.  And I love that - new places to shop plus an incentive to do so? I'm in! That said, if using one of these is going to require me to spend more money on top of the value of the card (with the exception of reasonable shipping b/c how often can you avoid that in Canada?), I am hesitant to include it in my valuation of the box.  I'll probably still use it though :)

Sweet and Spark $40 Gift Card ($40 value)

Sweet and Spark sells "curated vintage jewelry" from the 1950s-1990s (and now I feel old - the 90s are vintage? ouch!).  They offer lots of necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches and clip-on earrings (and some for pierced ears but mostly not since piercing ears wasn't popular for much of that time - learn something new every day!).  Although most of these pieces cost more than $40, there are some available for just under that and shipping is free - everywhere! So I will include this in my valuation.  I picked up a gorgeous silver statement necklace for about half price with this card.  It shipped quickly, with tracking, and nets me tons of compliments.

Shoptiques $25 Gift Card ($25 value)

Shoptiques is a massive online marketplace selling anything from clothing to housewares to art. . . seriously, it was a little overwhelming how much was there.  There are definitely items for under $25 but shipping is not free.  I did find some boutiques in Canada which helped to minimize shipping costs as well.  I do think that you could probably purchase some items straight up with this card so I will include it in my valuation as well.  I got a beautiful vase for our mantle for 1/3 of the price (I had been looking for a large statement piece and this gift card allowed me to get one for less).  Love it!

Hello Fresh 3 Free Meal Coupon (*thud* no value for Canadians)

Hello Fresh is an American meal subscription service - they send recipes with all the ingredients to make them.  While I would love to try a service like this (for especially busy weeks as they are a little pricey - although less so if you tend to eat take-out a lot), this one doesn't ship to Canada.  FabFitFun tried to make this up to Canadian customers by sending us via email a free meal with a similar Canadian company. . . that only ships within the GTA.  Nice effort but weak execution - contrary to popular belief (I guess?), there are many Canadians who live nowhere near Toronto.  So no value on this one!

Overall Verdict:

Shipping issues aside, I am pretty happy with this box.  I loved the Fall box so it is hard to compare, really, but I love the mitts, the Dermalogica set and the body butter.  I had a great time shopping on the Sweet and Spark and Shoptiques websites as well.  I will use the nail polish but I won't reach for it very often, ditto the wine charm set although the stopper will likely get more use.  It's good that the diffuser looks nice since it doesn't really "diffuse" much scent.  And the ear buds will find a lovely new home.  The Winter FabFitFun box works out to an overall value of over $300!!

If this review piques your interest in FabFitFun, you can pick up the Welcome Box at this link which should also offer you a $10 off coupon code - it is a referral link and I would greatly appreciate your use of it :)

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