Well, my first Bulu Box arrived a couple days ago, and as promised I’m going to review it!
The boxes are rather small, which makes sense as they are sample-only boxes. Here’s the first look at the August 2014 Bulu Box, which was apparently “curated” by celebrity trainer Larysa Didio. I’d never heard of her before, myself, but it seems that she is the creator of “Strogation” – a combination of stretching, yoga, and meditation that really just makes me hungry for Stroganoff. Oops.
Here’s everything unboxed and laid out. As you can see, it’s samples and some information cards/promo codes. Yes, I know the photos look worse than usual, somehow my upgrading my Kindle HD to the HDX has resulted in WORSE photos. I need to figure out if there’s a way to mess with the photography settings, because this is just bad.
The information card! Yes, I know you can’t read it because of the chronic blur that seems to be present in all HDX photos. Don’t worry, I’ll be showing pics & describing each individual product, I just wanted you guys to see that they do provide this information for you, with photos, pricing/sizes, and a summary of each product.
Click the read more to see everything!
First up is two doses of Burn Blend by Shapeology Nutrition. This is one of those ‘thermogenic’ products, where the spiel is that it increases your metabolism and energy. I’m not opposed to trying products like these, mostly for energy purposes since I am naturally an extremely low-energy person – sometimes pre-workout supplements like these are really the only way that I can get the juice for a workout. Also, for me personally, I find that spending money on and routinely taking a supplement like this helps me to stick to my eating/exercise goals a bit just by getting me into the mindset of ‘well, if I slack off this product and the $$ will just be wasted!’ but that’s not really any actual reflection of the product’s effectiveness, haha.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to try this specific product as it contains green tea as one of its main ingredients – I am one of those unlucky people for whom green tea messes with my hormones in a negative way and gives me nasty breakouts. I know from experience that energy pills like this with green tea have that effect just as much as actually drinking the tea does, so this will be given away to someone else.
Metabolin 150 Formula
Green Tea Extract (90% Polyphenols, 75% Catechins, and 45% EGCG), White Tea Extract (50% Polyphenols), Evodia Rutaecarpa Extract (as Tetradium ruticarpum)(fruit)(standardized for 10% evodiamine), Inositol Hexaphosphate, Black Pepper Extract (as Piper nigrum I.)(Fruit)(standardized for 95% Piperine)
White Willow Extract (as Salix alba) (Bark) (standardized for 25% Salicin), Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco Extract (Standardized for 0.3% Alkaloids), DMAE (Deanol Acetamidobenzoate Hydrogen Tartrate), Inula Racemosa Extract (Root) (Standardized for 2% Alantolactone), Troxerutin (as Sophora japonica) (Standardized for 97% Trihydroxyethylrutoside), Cnidium Monnieri Extract (Seed) (Standardized for 20% Osthole), Yohimbe Extract (2% Yohimbine)
CaffeinX™ (Caffeine Anhydrous), Xanthinol Nicotinate, Codonopsis Pilosula Extract (root)
Medium Chain Triglycerides, Gelatin, Soy Lecithin, Glycerol Monostearate, FD&C Red #3, Paprika Extract, Soy Mixed Tocopherol
I actually drink Spearmint tea every day to help my skin – it basically provides the opposite effect of green tea for me – and I just love mint teas in general. This tea blend is caffeine-free and based on “Egyptian Mint”, which apparently is likely the mint referred to in the Bible and also has a flavor similar to apple mint. Interesting!
Kay’s Naturals Tomato Basil Protein Puffs are the next item in this box. I’ve actually had these before, I bought a case of the veggie pizza flavor when they were on sale at a local health store. The sample bag is actually the same size as I remember the individual bags in the case being, so I suppose that makes it a generous sample.
However, the veggie pizza version tasted like literal cardboard. In theory, they’re great – 12g of protein in a crunchy 110 calorie snack – but they tasted sooooo bad that I gave them away to my mom, who then herself disliked them so much that she ended up dumping them off in her break room in hopes that someone there would be hungry enough to eat them. I actually hated them so much that I may not even try this flavor, the memory is too vivid and gross…!
We got two full-sized Volo Vitamins Energy Stickpacks, Citrus flavor. These are powdered vitamins that you mix into water for energy – it’s likely that you’ve already tried something of this type before if you’re at all interested in fitness and health.
The ingredients don’t seem to be groundbreaking – you can view the nutritional info here, and it’s mostly just B Vitamins and various forms of caffeine. This can absolutely boost your energy if you’re normally deficient in B vitamins, but IMO they’re a bit overpriced for what they are.
I actually tried one of these before I noticed green tea as an ingredient. They smell totally awful in the packet – well, like B vitamin powder, haha – but once blended it’s actually very inoffensive and only lightly flavored with citrus. Unfortunately, the green tea present was enough to give me breakouts the next day, so this won’t be a repurchase for me! However, if ypu’re like most people, green tea will be a plus for you so you might really like these. I didn’t notice higher energy, but that’s likely because I’m already taking B vitamins and drink plenty of caffeine!
Probably the item that I’m most excited about in this box, the Soap Box Soaps Lavender Body Wash sounds really nice. It includes aloe, jojoba, sea salt and shea butter in its formula, and the brand’s mission is admirable:
SoapBox Soaps is dedicated to making a difference through everyday effort.
There are millions of people both home and abroad who do not have access to soap, clean water, or crucial vitamins that they need to survive. Without proper hygiene, these people run into health problems that can lead to something much worse.
When you purchase our soap, you’re helping us extend the right to be clean to someone who needs it. We’ll donate soap, a month of water development, or a year’s worth of essential vitamins to a person in need.
Hygiene and health are human rights, so join the SoapBox movement and help us make the world right, one bar of soap at a time.
Very, very awesome. The price point – $7.99 for a 14oz bottle – is good, great when you consider the added charity aspect. If I like this body wash, I’ll definitely try some of their other products – the Black Body Wash and the Autumn Bundle look really nice!
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Natural Fragrance Blend, Sodium Chloride (Sea Salt), Citric Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol
And then there’s the Zestra Libido Booster sample. I don’t really know what to say here, as this really wasn’t something I was expecting to see in a weight loss/fitness box, lmao. I guess sex does burn calories…?
Apparently it’s a topical blend and it’s really expensive – $50 for 15 uses – though I suppose I don’t really have a basis for comparison, since I’ve never shopped for this sort of item before, myself.
I can’t find a full ingredients list, just this:
Zestra’s unique, patented blend of botanical oils and extracts create deep pleasurable sensations. The botanical ingredients in Zestra include PA-free Borage Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Angelica Extract, Coleus Forskholii Extract, Theobromine, and the Anti-Oxidants Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Zestra’s botanical ingredients work together to safely and effectively enhance female sexual pleasure, sensation, sensitivity and satisfaction.
Xooma Focus Up is another drink mix, this time with the pitch that it will improve mental clarity and help you focus.
I’ve heard of all these ingredients before for alertness/energy:
However, once again we have my nemesis green tea as one of the key ingredients, meaning that I won’t be trying this. Call me shallow, but a minor boost in ‘mental clarity’ is not worth a big ol’ cystic blemish and a week of treatment to get it to go away. I guess I’ll have to do a give away of all these green tea samples at the end of this subscription, so someone without my green tea reactions can test and enjoy them!
Lastly, we get some coupons (for the Bulu web shop, Cory Vines active wear, and the aforementioned Strogation) and an insert with some exercises and advice from Larysa Didio. Nothing earth-shattering, but if you found yourself interested in any of the items or Didio’s fitness videos, I suppose these would be useful.
Overall, my August 2014 Bulu Box review can be summed up as…. “eh.” I hope that they don’t rely so heavily on green tea formulations in all of their boxes, otherwise this subscription will be largely unusable for me! I’d like to see more of the Soap Box styles of items, and coupons for activewear brands and the like. Mostly, I just want products WITHOUT GREEN TEA IN THEM so that I can actually try them without my face punishing me! I guess I forgot how flavor-of-the-decade green tea still is in fitness products, so that might be a hopeless wish.
I will say that the normal $10 per box price seems like highway robbery to me, since you really only get a couple samples. $4 per box via the Amazon Local deal is much more palatable, but I still don’t know if I’d ever renew even at that price – however, I have a whole year of my prepaid sub yet, so we’ll see if future boxes change my mind. Obviously, I’m just feeling a little sour over being unable to try so many of the items in this box, so hopefully that isn’t a constant issue with Bulu Box.
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