Subscription Box Insanity: Popbasic (Alice)

Popbasic Box

Popbasic Box

Popbasic is a subscription box service, but it’s not. Their model is centered on what they call “micro collections” of items made especially for them. You can see (barely, I’m sorry) from the photo that this is featured in their motto: “Create your style one micro collection at a time“. The other part of their concept is that they will send you a “basic”- like a t-shirt or little black dress- and then something(s) that “pop” or are more statement pieces. Basics and statement pieces are the foundation of any good wardrobe. And boy did I just throw that out there like some sage, fashion guru!

What makes Popbasic different is that every month they launch a new micro collection with a snazzy name, it’s limited in number, and you choose to order or you don’t. No money upfront, no subscription to cancel. The only downside is the limited part and also the non-refundable part. More on that later.

I believe this latest collection called Alice sold out within two days of launch! Luckily it was birthday month and when I got the email notifying me to take a look at their newest collection I went, I saw, I purchased. So get ready for a relative exclusive, dear readers!

THE DETAILS: Each collection starts at around $50 and features two to three items, typically a mix of a clothing piece and an accessory(ies). The company also usually includes surprise bonus items in your box. The cost of the collection includes shipping and Popbasic ships for free WORLDWIDE. As noted, once you order and they ship, the collection is non-refundable. Reading the fine print, I believe they note that they may exchange an item for a different size, if one comes back to them. And/or you can return for a credit towards another collection. For the Alice collection, the original price was $70 but I used a first-time purchaser referral code (use mine and get this same deal!) and got $15 off. So I only paid $55 for this micro collection.

Before I get on with the review, I’d be remiss in noting two things that blow me away about Popbasic. First, it has a really amazing marketing strategy that makes for a breath-taking website. Each collection launches with a video that features a gorgeous model, in gorgeous surroundings, utilizing the pieces you’ll get that month. It’s always very high-fashion in style and just pulls you in to seeing the pieces not as just mere clothing but as part of a lifestyle or vignette.

The second thing is their very appealing and interactive Facebook page. I got a response to a comment almost immediately and they have all kinds of fun announcements, giveaways, and queries they put to their subscribers on everything from what to name the next collection to what colors, patterns, etc. a bag or top for their next collection should be. It’s very cool!

Popbasic paper materials.

Popbasic paper materials.

Okay, so here’s what you’ve been waiting for.  Above you see some of the paper materials included in the box. Australis is the company providing the bonus items which were two, full-size makeup pieces!

Note from founder Maddy.

Note from founder Maddy.

On the back of the product description card is a pre-printed but personal note from founder Maddy. A nice touch!

Two silky jewelry bags.

Two silky jewelry bags.

Here are the first things I pulled out of the box. The two jewelry pieces were packaged in these cute, classy little jewelry pouches. It’s a nice touch and adds to the feel of luxury.

Key necklace.

Key necklace.

This was the gold-tone key necklace. I am still waiting to find out if the gold-plating is actual gold and will update this when I do. The chain doesn’t seem as high-quality (very wide, thin loops) as I’d perhaps like to see in my jewelry but it’s a decent length and the key is not a bad size, though the detail is only on one side. I’m neutral on this. Here again because this a Popbasic original the value is hard to peg. It’s a 25-inch chain and the key is another 1.5 inches. A similar necklace on Etsy was going for about $42.

IMG_1049[1]

This gold bracelet is really cool in terms of its construction. You pull back the pin, slide it on and then slide the pin back in, which stays secure with a tiny magnet embedded on the inside. However, it is SERIOUSLY TINY! I’m a petite gal with small hands and wrists and even I sucked in a an anxious breath when I pulled it out of the pouch, worried that it wouldn’t fit. It did but I can only imagine that it didn’t for many. Mine also had a dimple in the gold plating right on top which, while not hideous, was still an imperfection that discounted the value for me. A similar bracelet by Rebecca Minkoff retailed for $128 but because of the lesser detail, size, and imperfections, I’d have to peg this quite a bit lower…maybe $50?

Bonus item: lip gloss.

Bonus item: lip gloss.

This is one of the bonus items included in the box this month. It’s from Australian line Australis, a certified-cruelty free make-up line. This full-size, lip gloss & stain is in color Malibu Fun, a hot pink. You can find a swatch here. It retails for about $8 US dollars.

Eyeliner pencil.

Eyeliner pencil.

This is the other bonus item courtesy of Australis. It is their Cray for Colour Eyeshadow Stick in the color Clouding Judgement. It’s a shimmery, dark blue/gray color and retails for about $7 US dollars. See here for a swatch.

Little black dress.

Little black dress.

The grand finale was this little black dress. As promised, it was a super soft, synthetic, and stretchy blend. I’m petite so it hits me past my knees, usually not a problem when the styling of the dress is slim and clean like this one is. Perhaps the only complaint is that it is unlined and thin…I wouldn’t wear anything but black or possibly nude undergarments with this and it definitely clings. So possibly the Spanx are coming out, too! I found a dress of similar make/material here for an original price of $45.70. (But on sale for $15.23 at the same site.)

Naturally, being a September baby, Fall is my favorite season. It’s when I begin to feel my best and most ready to come out of my shell on all fronts, including style-wise. The Alice collection is one of two recent collections featuring a “little black dress-esque” clothing item from Popbasic, perfect for the season and the approach of holiday festivities. I loved the long, clean lines of this month’s dress and the gold jewelry pieces were very classy yet glamorous because of the gold tone . So this collection appealed to all my favorite fashion loves: glamour, simplicity, and timelessness.

All in all then, you are looking at a box with a total value of $152.70 maximum, $122 minimum. That’s still well above the original $70 asking price and certainly above the $55 I paid with my discount. To be honest though, I’m still a little on the fence about whether I got the value I was looking for.

Maybe a different way to look at it is that if shipping costs were about $7.95, and the two make-up items were priced fair value at $15 together, then that would leave about $47 for the other three items- i.e. a cost of about $15 per piece. If that’s the case then I feel a lot more convinced there’s at least a break-even value there and for me at a price of $70. It is certainly a win insomuch as I applied a discount to the order and got the micro collection for $55.

One thing is for sure, I’m looking forward to seeing the next micro collection and taking part in the fun online community. Maybe you’ll join me there?

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