[Stretch] Causebox Summer 2020 Welcome Box - My First Box, Real Review

I have been eyeing Causebox for a while. I finally treated myself to my first box for my birthday in June. Read more about what I thought and what finally made me decide to take the plunge.

Causebox's mission statement states:
We are: community focused, ethically made, environmentally conscious, for women, and impact driven. 

So, I tried FabFitFun in winter thanks to their Black Friday sale - see what I got in my box and my reviews here. After having a disappointing time customizing my box for spring and not really finding myself too excited about the "leftovers," I cancelled that subscription. I was a little bit on the fence about trying Causebox, but I couldn't resist this box.

I got the Summer 2020 WELCOME BOX. This is not a core box, nor is it an "intro box." This was the box that was available after the core Summer 2020 box sold out. I almost bought the Spring 2020 core box because I loved the Pixie Mood purse and wanted the Bengto box, but I didn't do it because of timing (work was super tough around that time due to COVID in NYC, etc.) and because I wasn't in love with all the other items.

On a side note, I have been eyeing the Bengto boxes on its Amazon storefront (because there are the most robust number of reviews and I will likely purchase from another retailer). Please comment or email me if you have one and love the Bentgo or hate it. I kind of want to purchase one if I ever end up going back into the office since I pack a lunch every day. I kind of want the grey 3-compartment glass one, so if you have a 3-compartment glass Bentgo, I would love to hear what you think of it.

When COVID started to settle down a bit in NYC, the Summer 2020 Core box spoilers came out. I liked some of the items - the PMD, the bowls, the Grace and Stella Hyaluronic Acid Serum, but could pass on the other items. I didn't pull the trigger right away because...I'm a slow shopper, but I am happy I did because they started releasing the Welcome Box spoilers and they fit more with my tastes.

I have since learned that the Causebox schedule is a little confusing, but generally goes: core box --> welcome box (if/when core box sells out) --> intro box (if/when welcome box sells out). The summer 2020 was especially confusing because there were 3 different intro boxes!

Anyway, the first three spoilers came out (Pixie Mood crossbody bag, PMD Clean, and the Swell bottle). At that point, I knew I would get my fair use out of the box and all the additional things that came with those three items would just be icing on the cake and/or be great for gifts in the future.

The nice thing about the colors for the Pixie Mood crossbody bag in the Summer 2020 Welcome Box was that the colors were going to be olive, cognac, or black. (Annual members could choose the color.) This made me happy because these are all three colors I would actually use in my daily life. The spring colors were black, grey, and honey. Personally, the grey and the honey color were not my preferred shade for either of those colors.

The 17 oz Swell bottle is something I have had my eyes on for a long time. Since I live in NYC, there are often Swell sample sales, so I would never have paid full price, but I liked that I didn't have to go to fifth ave. to purchase one.

I have been wanting a new facial cleansing device for a while, so I was happy to get a PMD clean.

The next spoiler came out and it was either these silicone lids or a letter board (I was not really excited about either of them - not a letter board person and I already have silicone lids).

Also, at the time of the fourth spoiler, they released something else about how not everyone would get the Swell bottle, some people would get the makeup brushes. I 100% did not need the makeup brushes and, at the time of signup, all of the social media information said the Swell bottle was included. I emailed them and asked about it because the Swell was one of the main reasons I purchased the box. They said that it was a choice item for annual members, which I wasn't too happy about because I had no intention of becoming an annual member.

I ended up getting the Swell (obviously since you can see it in the photos). I don't know if my email was the reason I got the Swell in my box, but only the Causebox fulfillment team knows why/how anyone gets anything.

So, this is my box below:

I am going to do a very unscientific rating system. I will give the booklet retail value and then give my own personal value of the item and then also give my first impressions (some will be more in-depth impressions). I understand that the box curators look into small businesses and brands that have a focus on community, ethical sourcing, and lower environmental impacts, but I thought this was a fair way to assess since there are many brands these days with similar missions, even in more mainstream stores.

PMD Beauty PMD Clean (Navy):
My value: $60
I put this price because I have been pricing out a Foreo Luna and that was what I found it for on sale.

I have been using this for about 2 weeks. I think this is a fine device. I double cleanse and use a Japanese foaming cleanser. I do think it works for helping me exfoliate my dry patches on my forehead. I have also been noticing that it's helping to clear some of my pores on my nose. To me, the skincare side is a little gimmicky. I am not sure if it does anything and there's really no way to test if it is actually anti-aging empirically for me. If you have any ideas about how I can test it, let me know. I'd be happy to test and give a review later! I am planning on also testing this out for a few more weeks and writing a devoted post about it later.

Pixie Mood Zoe Crossbody (Cognac):
Published value: $75
My value: $40
I put this price because it is a "vegan leather" and I could find a comparable size and style bag for $40 or less at TJ Maxx. I am also a sale shopper, so I am confident that this would be possible.

This bag is kind of an in-between size. I actually really like it because I can fit my camera in it (I have a Sony A5100 at the moment), my wallet, my card holder with keys, phone, hand sanitizer, etc. But, this is kind of big for an everyday bag for me, but not big enough at the same time. I don't now how to describe it properly, so I hope you understand. It's kind of like an awkward tween of bags. I will definitely use it and I do not own another bag in olive, so this is nice to add to my collection. I am still kind of on the fence about "vegan leather." I know why it exists, it's just not a major selling point for me personally.

Honua Hawaiian Skincare Malu Day Cream SPF 30:
Published value: $42
My value: $20

I haven't tried this yet because I have a day cream I am working through right now. I will try it in the next couple of weeks, though. This skincare line looks great. The products are made with locally sourced ingredients. I like that it has an SPF 30. Some of the attributes that I like are that it's reef safe, so if you are traveling to or live in Hawaii, that's a major plus. Some of the attributes I am a little iffy about is the scent. I am hoping the scent isn't a lingering scent.

Grace & Stella Hyaluronic Acid Serum:
Published value: $25
My value: $10
This price is based on The Ordinary's price.

I haven't tried this yet because I am working through a serum that I was sent for review at the moment, so I will try this Grace & Stella product. A review for this will be forthcoming. I am having some major issues with the change in weather patterns at the moment, so I definitely need additional hydration in my life.

S'well 17 oz. Water Bottle
Published value: $35
My value: $10
As I said, I have gone to sample sales and that's what I paid for them last year in NYC. I know that not everyone has the luxury, so I did a little searching and it seems like the "lower" version sells for $20 at Target and the "sale" bottles on S'well's site go for around $20-$29.

I mean, there's not much to say. This is a great bottle. It's a little difficult to clean, but it keeps my cold beverages cold and my hot beverages hot. I was reading it's possible to swap out the lids to something that is a little more user friendly - like a sports cap, travel handles, and they also sell cleaning tablets.

Underwood Letterpress Letter Board
Published value: $45
My value: $5
I am afraid to admit, but I am not going to use this that often. So, if I had a project in mind and saw this for $5 clearance somewhere, I might pick it up.

Honestly, this particular pick wasn't a huge win for me in general. I already have the silicone stretch lids and I am not the type of person to use a felt letter board.

I would say that if you're that type of person who loves the look of letter boards, this one is great because it comes with symbols and punctuation marks. Since I have never researched this type of product too much, I'm not sure if those particular characters are often found in the ones that are all over every Instagrammer/Youtuber's background. It's also felt, so it's not one of those chintzy plastic ones. The letters are plastic, but the board is felt and the letters fit in snugly.

Total published value: $321
My value: $145
What I paid: $50 or $54 (I believe, I can't find my receipt)
Overall, I am super happy with this box.

However, as I am writing this now and I saw the first few spoilers for fall 2020 and I am not exactly blown away, so I might cancel my subscription and wait to see what pops up for the welcome box and/or future seasons. But, that's the thing with subscription boxes, you never know what you're going to get and it's not possible to make one box that everyone is excited by.

Personally, I would recommend that if you're like me and you've liked previous boxes and you see the spoilers for the core box and aren't wowed to maybe wait for a future release. Maybe they'll put the items you like in the future boxes (welcome boxes, intro boxes, etc) and you'll luck out getting a great mix of items you know you'll enjoy!

I am going to wait for the remaining spoilers and figure out what to do with my subscription. I am also looking forward to the Add-On Market this weekend. I might take some screenshots and write a post, just because I haven't been able to find much about this particular part of Causebox on the internet. I've seen plenty of reviews of people unboxing what they purchased, but no real behind-the-scenes of what kind of products you can purchase. I have a lot of different interests than many of the YouTubers I follow, so I am sure there are things available in the market they skipped that I'd be super jazzed about.

Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see. As you can obviously see, I have been having troubles writing my typical posts as of late because, honestly, I do not want to go out to eat right now and even delivery just feels a little meh to me.

I might do some product reviews, so if there are any products you want to see me review, leave a link below or else email me at eatstretchexplore@gmail.com.

*FTC Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through the links provided and make a purchase.*