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PA Anna

The MSA & KB Limited Edition Beach House Box [Spoilers]

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I didn't order this box but I'm confused about the pillow. Is it a bed pillow, travel pillow or what?

It's a decorative throw pillow for a couch / bed.

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  1. Out of three boxes MSA was a part of, two contained scrubs and two contained Tatcha products. Remind anyone of MSA01?
  2. With all the reviews MSA accomplishes, I can't believe it was overlooked that subbies are drowning in sunscreen already.
  3. We JUST got handsoap the April Kloverbox.
  4. The tote is heavy and not easily washable for wet and sandy beach trips.
  5. As someone mentioned earlier, a lightweight throw type blanket would've been luxe, easy to shake out, and quick to dry. A throw pillow isn't practical or luxury IMO.

@@Martha Jimenez has some thoughtful points on collaboration boxes that I never thought of. Thank you for that.

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I remember when Liz did her first two boxes, it seemed like people were too shy to voice any kind of criticism to her face. If they said anything even remotely negative, it was phrased in the most inoffensive way possible. It caught me off guard to see all the complaints and read how angry some people are. 

 

I think it would've been a better box if one of the beauty products were switched with something else, like an accessory or another home item. But certainly there have been worse boxes lately, and the brands and RV are good even with the tote being on sale. It's clever how they managed to fit the pillow in the box. 

 

I can see how it's not for everyone, and the shipping issue is annoying, but I'm surprised people are talking about refusing delivery. 

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I think a lot of those who bought the collab box had developed higher expectations based on both the collaborative partnership involved and due to the fact they expect Liz to have perfect sub box curation experience and intuition, especially in terms of being mindful about shipping issues, engaging in timely/responsive/accurate communication, and most importantly counted on her ability to take into account common sub box feedback, both good and bad, to come up with products that stand out above the offerings sent by other beauty/lifestyle subs. I also think that those who've been MSA regulars for years have come to see her not as a part time, personal blogger but instead as a professional. As a regular etsy shopper I'm a soft touch and more patient than I probably should be at times when dealing with solo artist stores/sellers and the issues that arise in completing a transaction. Over time and as is especially true with sub box addicts, buyers come to view the "little guy" seller who has expanded a great deal as not so much as a "person" in need of patience and pity but start to see them as a business the same as any other they paid $100 months earlier. I think folks expected her to take into account that many subbers were being inundated with sunscreen (with 4 kids we can never have enough living in the desert) and other common beauty products and put the focus instead on brand and product genre discovery as well as not lean as heavily on beauty items in what was partly billed as a lifestyle box. I'm always happy to have a company keep me up to speed on when things will ship if there are delays anticipated. For the most part that happened here but it became a little disjointed in a kicking the can down the road, non-specific way (over promising and under delivering regarding shipping). By shipping in what appear to be waves, there were complaints that bloggers received theirs in the first wave while others hadn't even seen a shipment notice. Then there was the issue of something arriving broken such that another whole wave of boxes were in limbo until replacements arrived at a date TBD. To me it's more professional to say that due to circumstances beyond our control involving vendor shipment delays/damage, shipment has been delayed. We will inform you when we are prepared to ship all boxes and we will provide an update next week. It just doesn't come off as overly professional to talk about having difficulties figuring out how to fit everything into preselected shipping boxes, saying that some items were broken so some of you have to wait even longer....If this was a case of a single artisan with whom I'd placed an order for one unique item I chose and they had a family emergency or a component shipping problem, it wouldn't seem out of place to perhaps go into such detail. But when that information is shared with a large audience, publicly, it tends not to inspire buyer confidence since it can sound akin to "the dog ate my homework, the sun was in my eyes, there was a rock in my shoe...". I did read one comment reminding others that that Liz earlier wrote that she parted ways with Quarterly, in part due to their refusal to accept returns, as she explicitly shared and agreed with subscribers' concerns about the price vs risk. So it seemed a fair comment to me that if Liz's current collaborator is pointing folks to the "all sales are final" fine print- especially to those whose boxes haven't even been assembled let alone shipped- such a policy seems to run counter to Liz's own previously stated position on returns for pricey mystery boxes. I don't really get the unrest about the RV change for the bag since that happens daily when shopping anywhere, other than the aspect that folks might assume MSA+K bought clearance merchandise and then listed them as full value. I doubt that's true but I suppose that might be the source of that particular angst. Overall I think people wanted more unique/fun products both in terms of product category mix (though it seems on point given that the collab was with a beauty sub, to have a fairly even mix, perhaps one less beauty item might have helped in that regard). I loved the first MSA Quarterly box and liked the second though it was decidedly more utilitarian overall, and felt I knew what to expect with this box. To me it's pretty much what I expected, and not in a bad way at all. Everything was perfectly nice for sure, I just knew from experience it likely wouldn't have been my personal taste. I don't know that those who try to dispute the charges however are going to be very successful as they would need to prove they received less than the advertised value/items not as advertised/wrong items/non delivery. Generally speaking, absent some kind of product valuation fraud, "I just don't like what came in my all mystery box" isn't usually sufficient legal (contractual) basis to dispute the charge. Just my take on the situation.

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I was going to try to quote but I would be quoting several of you! I agree with everyone. And I love that the comments here are so thoughtful and reasoned. (I'm assuming that the chatter about refusing delivery, etc., must be going on at MSA? I haven't been over there in the last 24 hours).

 

This box wasn't for me - if I had known the contents, I would not have bought it. But I think the value is there and it fit the theme. I love the idea of a spray sunscreen that you can reapply. I was just thinking that with all of my sample sunscreens, I don't have anything that I can reapply over makeup without washing my face and starting over, so I'm actually excited to try that. And while I'm not a scrub person, it does smell delicious, so I'm going to make myself relax and take a few baths and use it - it will be good for me to splurge on something I would not have bought for myself!

 

I figure these sub boxes are live and learn. I've made a couple mistakes recently, but now I'm going to be more judicious in what I choose to buy. I've been surprised recently by the trend (?) of people being really angry about boxes - I guess it was mostly with the Popsugar fashion box (not to get off topic) I get being unhappy, but you signed up for a mystery box, just don't buy again. Returning it gleefully seemed a bit off to me. And I've seen it in other threads too at MSA, like the recent Fourth of July box at Julep, and a couple of people seemed to have called and demanded a refund when the colors were ugly. Of course they were, they were sending you something like 20 colors for 20 bucks or something, they're not going to send you their best mainstream sellers.

 

Anyway, I think Kelly and Liz are both fairly new at this, and it sounds like they ran into a few unexpected roadblocks here, at least as far as packing and shipping. I'm sure they are learning their lessons too, and hopefully this wasn't an overall bad experience for them because I think they both have good ideas and connections within the natural products industries.

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I'm one of the people who hasn't received their box yet, I'm assuming i'm in the last wave. It is on its way, and should get it tomorrow or Friday. I'm very new to sub boxes, so to me I don't have a problem with the shipping issues. I know I will be getting it, so I can wait on it, although I understand how everyone feels about the lack of communication.

 

I knew it was a gamble when I paid the $100, and its the first one I've bought at this price. I personally like all the items that I have seen, and really had no idea what to expect from this box, being a newbie. All of these products are new to me, and that's why I subscribe is to find new products to try out. Of course not having much experience, most products are new to me! I'm fine with getting more sunscreen, I live in the hot and humid south and frankly I can never get enough sunscreen. I won't have to buy any at all this season, so that works for me. I plan on being very careful about spending this kind of money in the future however, as it is definitely a gamble.  

 

I do understand why some people are not happy with the curation of this box and the shipping issues. I'm glad we have a safe place to express our opinions, and I really respect all the thought that has gone into the comments in this thread. I am learning so much from all of you, and its great to hear about your experiences. I love this forum! 

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There's a lot of good commentary on this thread. I enjoy reading it.

 

I noticed that people are being careful when it comes to $100+ boxes. I think it began when the PopSugar Neiman Marcus 2014 box was a bust. Oui Please was introduced around the same time which excited a lot of people. Then the PopSugar CFDA had value issues and wasn't what people expected. The last Oui Please box had a value variation from $150-$350 with some subscribers still waiting for promised items. I also feel that people (not all) expect Liz to know intuitively what to put in a box. The thing is what works for some,  may not work for others.

 

It seems that there are 4 issues that keep coming up. 1. Shipping delays. 2. Tote price reduction 3. Perceived value 4. Item selection. don’t know how much control they have over the shipping delays especially if fulfillment is outsourced. It takes tome to vacuum seal the pillows. I doubt they have control over the tote price. Would people feel different about the box if the price wasn’t reduced? Or if the weekender wasn’t in the PopSugar summer box? I thought they did a great job on value. Eco boxes generally don’t have an insane high value. I found the selection comments interesting. Free market research. Would more people be happy with an out of the box type thinking in item selection? It’s hard to say.

 

There is good information in the comments on the blogs and forums. I hope they can reap from the information provided and not to take to heart all the other stuff.

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I recieved my box yesterday and I liked it more than I thought I would. I'm happy with the tote and the price change doesn't bother me much. The shipping issues were frustrating and I don't think they would be acceptable at all coming from another company but oh well, what's done is done.

I do think they should have switched out the hand soap or sunscreen for a "fun" item like a piece of jewelry and people would have been happier and felt the box was a little more well rounded.

 

My only issue now is with the sunscreen. I partly purchased this box because Kloverbox is supposed to be all natural, but the sunscreen contains benzophenone which is labeled as the most toxic sunscreen ingredient by the environmental working group. Here's a quote describing it: "it penetrates the skin very easily and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Once inside your body, it mimics the hormone estrogen, which, over the long term, can lead to reproductive issues and thyroid problems, and autism researchers suspect that the chemical is also neurotoxic." They highly recommend avoiding it. Yikes. I won't be using this.

 

Overall, lesson learned. I probably won't be buying another box curated by Liz just because I don't think our tastes mesh well, but I do think she did her best in this situation. I need to cut back on boxes anyway ;)

Edited by smarw
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I'm getting my box today, I'm excited! I can't wait to see the items for myself.

 

Thanks @, I didn't know that about sunscreens and benzophenone. I already have thyroid issues and I'm also on an estrogen patch, don't need more estrogen! I think I won't be using that item. Oh well, I already have plenty of other sunscreens, but now i'm going home and reading the ingredients on all of them!

 

I also got my shipping notice for the regular Kloverbox, so glad to see that it is going out as well. Hopefully next month shipping for the regular sub will go more smoothly. 

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So @ is this really true?  I find it hard to believe (please don't take that the wrong way, I'm not attacking you).  How could KB/MSA not have known this?  This is a HUGE MISTAKE (if it is really true).  But how come it is even being sold here in the US at all?  Why would the FDA allow a chemical that toxic to be in a product that we put all over our skin?  What if a mom puts it on her child?  

 

There are a group of batshit crazy women over on MSA blaming everybody BUT KB/MSA for all of  these mistakes, they even blame LLB for all of this.  Do you work for a subscription box company?  I'm only asking because I use sunscreen all the time and now I'm paranoid.  I stood up for this box, but if this is true, I will be very embarrassed for supporting them. 

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This is true and I defenitley don't work for a sub box company. I'm a mom and work part time in health care. I'm also breast feeding so I've been looking for more natural ingredients. I talked my sister into buying this box as well and she contacted Kloverbox for clarification regarding this ingredient, and to call it to their attention. Still no word from them. She also has a baby and is breatfeeding too right now so we're both a little concerned. The ingredient is banned in other countries. if you google it you can see lots of info. Other than the sunscreen I think the box was pretty nice

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This is not good and I got this box.  I just tried to post this as a question on MSA and Liz deleted them.  Maybe that's my answer, but I'm going to reach out to KB as well. 

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Thank you @smarw.  It looks like Liz at MSA doesn't want to have anyone post something that will add to their woes over there.  What a mess.  I won't make a mistake like this again.  I'll let you know if I hear from KB, they've been great so far, so maybe it's just Liz at MSA.

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Smarw, I found your information interesting and I did Google it as suggested.  I couldn't find a country where the chemical is completely banned, with most countries (including the entire EU) allow inclusion up to at least 6%.  Sweden has a partial ban on using it in children under the age of 2.

 

Considering that the ingredient can be metabolized and then excreted in urine, I understand your concern in using a product containing it as a breastfeeding mother.  I also understand that others should be concerned because of the contact allergen problem experienced by some users, as well as the possible hormone-like interaction.  I really appreciate you bringing this to everyone's attention because I think it's important information for us all to have.

 

However, I think it's also important to point out that the American Academy of Dermatology continues to recommend using sunscreens with this chemical.  Thus, there seems to be two sides to the debate . . .

 

That being said, you've provided us all with some very valuable information and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.  You definitely got me to educate myself and I will look for sunscreens with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as more healthy alternatives - something I wouldn't have known to do without your information.  Thank you again!!!

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I've seen that warning on a yoga mat I bought at Walmart, made me a lil scared so I returned it without using it. Who wants to use something that may cause cancer?? I don't pay attention to ingredients at all though honestly, but if something has a sticker on it that says may cause cancer, I don't use it. Same goes for talc powder and mouthwash with alcohol in it, but what doesn't cause cancer these days? 

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Thank you @ for the info about the ingredient. I didn't order this box but I'm always trying to educate myself on the ingredients and what products are considered toxic even though I use many makeup and skin care items that are probably considered toxic. During pregnancy and breastfeeding I followed the environmental working group and read everything but since then I'm moved back to mainstream products. I'm still careful with whole body moisturizers though since skin is the biggest organ. As a side note, I highly recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby for any expectant mothers and for post partum and breastfeeding as well as for baby care. Their products are the least toxic (zero) per the environmental working group and they perform well. I used them for many years. I even took the Earth Mama Angel baby wash to the hospital with the last baby and they looked at me like I was crazy when I said that our baby needed to be bathed with the soap I brought not the hospital soap. :D Our last baby got this type of treatment (everything natural and organic), our first one didn't and he survived. :)

 

I feel like here in California we have that warning on almost everything. It's crazy. I try and do mostly natural and non-toxic at home but I try not to think about it too much because everything seems to have some kind of carcinogen.

 

I just recently read a study that was done in Europe about chemical sunscreens being more dangerous than being in the sun and the chemical sunscreens were found to be a risk for skin cancer. I wish I could find the reference now so I could post it here. I just ran across it quickly couple of weeks ago and forgot to bookmark it. I still haven't found a natural sunscreen that performs well or doesn't leave a white film and I've tried so many.

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Ok here is a response I found in the comment section of MSA about the sunscreen:

 

Here is some information from Goldfaden about the SPF – hope it helps clarify:

“Based on the formula in Sun Visor, benzophenone is at 1% and bound to other ingredients allowing for the application of the product to sit on the surface of the skin and I am confirming that this formula DOES NOT penetrate the skin. I am confirming that we go through rigorous testing and follow all guidelines for safe sun protection allowable in cosmetics.”

Nice to have more info on this matter.  I m definitely curious about this ingredient now and will have my eyes open.  Thanks  ladies!

Edited by Teach22

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NM

 

I had a long thing typed out about the sunscreen. Summary - I am not going to use it.

Edited by PA Anna

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Here is the response via email that my sister received from Kloverbox:

 

"Thank you for contacting Kloverbox. Per the Goldfaden website "Rest assured our products continue to be safe. The warning has been given to ensure compliance with Proposition 65 so that we can continue serving our customers in California."

It is clear this Goldfaden wants to be in 100% compliance. The ingredients check out to be completely safe."

 

This isn't really addressing the concern I don't think. She wrote them back stating that they market themselves as an organic and natural company and she doesn't believe this item falls into that category, but I think that's the end of their correspondence because she hasn't heard back.

 

I am not one to preach about ingredients but like @@Reija I've been trying to slowly move toward more natural ingredients for things that stay on my body like sunscreen and moisturizer especially since I'm breastfeeding and along with @@PA Anna I have sadly known a number of young people developing cancer over the past few years. If this item had come in another box it wouldn't be a big deal because it is a luxury item. I'm only having an issue with it because it came in a box that markets itself to be void of any added chemicals which is a big reason I wanted to try it. Thanks to all of you who have researched this more. I'm slowly educating myself on the subject with your help!

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@ I understand. Since you read my post before I deleted, you are aware of my other concerns. I did email Kloverbox about them. I did use the sunscreen a couple of times on arms. I've used much worse in the past. My goal is to stay cancer-free preferably to at least my younger one graduates high school. I hope I stay cancer free my whole life! I am an older mom and the odds are slowly being stacked against me. I'm actively trying to do what I can to ensure that I am there for my children as they grow up. It's scary when your peers in their 30s & 40s have cancer and even more scary when they die from it.

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