With all the chemicals that are in our products today, I wanted to learn about going green and finding healthier options for products that I’m currently using. Since I don’t know too much about eco-friendly products, I didn’t want to simply buy full size products and hope for the best. I was able to find a few eco-friendly subscription boxes that send you samples of various items for you to try before you buy.
Eco-Emi was one of those companies. Since I wanted the greatest variety of items, I thought Eco-Emi would be the best match. There are some other companies that only focus on eco-friendly beauty items, like Kara’s Way. I know they sell single boxes, so I’m considering getting one at some point.
As for Eco-Emi, I’ve been thinking about subscribing for a while, but I’ve been hesitant, partly since it costs more than any other box I’m currently subscribed to. I also don’t want to subscribe to too many boxes, since I simply don’t have the budget for it. Even if I did, if I had too many subscriptions, I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with using all the samples before the next ones came in.
From time to time, they have extras of their monthly boxes that you can purchase for $14.99 w/free shipping. They also occasionally sell bonus boxes, which contain products from the last few boxes. Those boxes are $29.99. I wanted to grab their last bonus box, but by the time I found out, they were already sold out. 😦
The November 2012 box was one my recent favorite boxes and I was hoping that they would have extras. I got lucky that they did, so once I found out on their Facebook page, I jumped on the chance to get one. Here’s information on the company.
About Eco-Emi: Each box features 5-10 natural, organic, green, fair-trade, and eco-friendly items. The items can range from beauty, bath, food, candles, teas, and more.
Cost: $15 w/free shipping
- Unlike other monthly subscriptions, you pay per box, not per month. Depending on when you join, that’s when you get charged for following months. It’s possible to be charged twice before you get your first box. You also need a paypal account to subscribe or buy any leftover/bonus boxes, which is the downside if you’re interested, but it’s not a deal-breaker. For international folks, boxes aren’t available at this time, so you have to join a waitlist.
Is there a “skip” option?: No, you can only cancel.
“Dear Eco Emi members, It is that time of year, the holidays are right around the corner and I do not know about you but I’m so excited! This is such a fun time of year and one of the beautiful treats this season will bring to some areas around the world is lovely, sparkly, white fluffy snow. This box is filled with fun samples for the colder months to come. I hope you enjoy your November Eco Emi box and the December one will be the last box for 2012! Warmest, Christine” – November 2012 card
“Deep Steep’s Candy Mint Foot Stick contains powerful essential oils to instantly refresh as organic Shea and Cocoa butters restore you feet to their soft beginnings. *No Parabens *No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate *No Mineral Oil *No Artificial Fragrances *No Chemical Preservatives *Not Tested on Animals”
|Sample received: $5.95||Full price: $5.95 for 0.5oz. stick [LINK]|
Comments: According to the company’s site, it’s certified by the ‘Cruelty Free Bunny’. It doesn’t contain the following: Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Mineral Oil, Artificial Fragrances, and Chemical Preservatives. It’s also not tested on animals.
This was the item that I instantly wanted to try since I love the scent of candy mint. Even though my body butters have kept my feet moisturized, it’s nice to have an item just focused on feet (though you can use it in other places too). I noticed that there’s a slight oily residue where the stick has gone right afterwards. It doesn’t seem to go away unless it’s rubbed in with your hands.
Even when doing so, it takes a few minutes for the oils to be absorbed into the skin. This doesn’t absorb as quickly as my Fortune Cookie Soap (FCS) body butters do, but it’s still much quicker every other lotion and body butter I’ve used, and is just as moisturizing has my FCS body butters are. For me, the oils took several minutes before the oily feeling is gone.
For the price, you don’t get much product, which is the downside of the portable tube design. However, since you don’t need too much per use, and the fact that I got a full size sample, it should last quite some time. It also works great on your dry cuticles, knees, and elbows.
Although, because it’s a wide stick, it’s a little hard to apply on the cuticles. In that case, it may be easier to rub the stick onto your hands, then rub the oils onto the cuticles. Despite the slight inconvenience of needing to rub in the oils to ensure that they’re absorbed into the skin, the product’s effective and I enjoyed the product.
“Mate Factor Lemon Ginger Tea combines Lemon Myrtle and Ginger Root with Fresh Brazilian Yerva Mate! This tea is perfect during the colder months and if you have a cold or the flu, this is a staple! Ginger calms the stomach and is very healing.”
|Sample received: $0.30||Full price: $5.95 for a box of 20 bags [LINK]|
Comments: I’ve read on numerous blogs that teas have apparently become a running gag of sorts with Eco-Emi, since a majority of their boxes have had them. I personally don’t care since I love teas. I’m no hardcore tea drinker, but I definitely prefer it to coffee.
I also love lemons and ginger so it just seems natural that I’d like a tea with those two flavors. Taste-wise, I like it, though I don’t taste the ginger all that much. The lemon seems more prominent to me. The overall combination ends up being slightly grassy and tangy with a very mild ginger kick. It definitely has a herbal taste to it because of the Yerba Mate, so if you’re not into that and/or don’t like ginger, you may not like this.
I do like it enough that I would buy more of it. It’s not like any tea I’ve had before. I think since I used the 1 tea bag in my travel mug, which is larger than a regular 8oz. cup, the flavors aren’t as strong as I’d expect. It doesn’t bother me, though I’d probably have to use 2 bags if I wanted a stronger flavor presence.
“This warm blend is one of my favorites during the winter months! Citrusy Orange is blended with cozy and warming cinnamon. The beautiful color of this soap is straight from the essential oils! 100% Vegan, no animal byproducts or ingredients, 100% natural, no synthetics, parabens, or sulfates.”
|Sample received: $0.76 for 0.36oz.
(the size was my best estimate for it)
|Full price: $7.99 for a 4.2oz. bar [LINK]|
Comments: It’s certified by the ‘Cruelty Free Bunny,’ like the foot stick. It also 100% both vegan (no animal by products or ingredients) and all natural (no synthetics, parabens, or sulfates). While the sample isn’t huge, I can get at least several uses out of it.
This is definitely a scent combo that fits in perfectly with the winter months. I find the the orange and clove scents are a little stronger than the cinnamon, but not in an overpowering way at all. I noticed that it doesn’t get as sudsy as my usual soap does. It still does its job well and I enjoyed using it.
It’s a gentle soap and left my skin quite soft and clean. I’m definitely considering getting the full version of this at some point. I estimated the price since I wasn’t sure of the exact size of the sample I received. The only slight inconvience is that because it’s a natural soap, it’s gonna dissolve faster if it sits in water, so you have to make sure it’s in a dry place after you use it, to extend its lifespan.
Gray eye shadow is a permanent item in my makeup bag. Gray looks amazing with neutral creams and pale pinks for a very natural look or for a more dramatic and elegant look, perfect for the holidays! This combination is ideal with a touch of festive shimmer!
|Sample received: $??||Full price: $9.00 for a 1.5g jar [LINK]|
Comments: The downside of the way the sample is packaged, when I opened the darker gray container, some of the powder got on my hand. The sample itself wasn’t a significant amount, so losing even a little is a little frustrating. Even with a tiny sample, I can maybe get 4-5 uses out of each lil pot, give or take.
I don’t usually work with loose powders, so these can get messy if you’re not careful. They go on smooth and have a soft texture. The colors are really pigmented, which is nice, and are great for smoky eyes. I found the lighter gray doesn’t show up on my skin all that well. The darker one showed up much better on my skin. I liked the product overall. Not sure if I’d buy them only because I prefer pressed eyeshadows.
“LOVE this face mask so much! Pumpkin is a rich source of antioxidants & enzymes that act like alpha-hydroxy acids. Pumpkin also contains more than 100 beneficial nutrients, which may be used to help reverse the signs of aging. This smooth and creamy mask smells delicious too! Great for the face, hands, body, or feet. Not for those with extremely sensitive skin!”
|Sample received: $2.50 for 0.25 oz.||Full price: $5.00 for 0.5oz. jar [LINK]|
|$20.00 for 4.5oz. jar [LINK]|
Comments: I’ve never used a mask in my life, so not sure how I feel about this item. I generally hate anything pumpkin flavored anything, but I’m very glad to say that this doesn’t smell bad at all. It actually has a pleasant smell. It’s thick and creamy and is a good mask.
I don’t normally use facial masks, so I plan on finishing this sample, but it’s very unlikely that I’d buy actually more of this. If you like using facial masks and don’t have sensitive skin, I’d look into this product.
“Athena Bars are so delicious! They have 40 antioxidants, 2 FULL servings of fruits and vegetables, 9 grams of protein, and are packed with probiotics. But, the best part is the yummy Greek Yogurt coating! Perfect snack anytime and great after a workout!”
|Sample received: $1.89||Full price: $22.68 for a 12 pack [LINK]|
Comments: I usually avoid these types of foods since they almost always taste like crap. While there are occasions where the bars taste decent, it’s not enough for me to really enjoy it. I’ve heard good things about this bar, so I’m very happy that I can try this. On their online store, besides blueberry, they also have Pomegranate Acai and Pumpkin Spice yogurt bars for the same price.
This is really chewy and moist bar. I noticed while I was eating it, because of of how chewy and moist the bar is, some of it got stuck on my teeth. It’s constancy and texture took a lil while to get used to since I don’t eat nutritional bars in general.
I loved the Greek yogurt coating. It adds a smooth and creamy taste to the chewy bar inside. I found the bar to be sweet, but not too sweet. You can taste the blueberry in the bar, though it’s not as strong as I’d like. While it’s probably the best nutritional bar I’ve eaten, and probably the healthiest, it just didn’t impress me enough to buy more.
“I am a huge fan of The Seaweed Bath Company and this Seaweed Powder Bath is right up there on my list of favorites! Designed to soothe your irritated skin and the cozy orange scent will stimulate your senses while uplifting your mood as you relax in your bath tub!”
|Sample received: $3.89||Full price: $3.89 for a 2oz. bag [LINK]|
Comments: I do like the concept of the product. This could help with my sensitive skin as it gets irritated quite easily. Despite that, I don’t think I’ll get any use out this any time soon, since I never take baths. Only reason it’s getting a “3” is because I can’t test it any time soon. If I do get a chance to use it, I’ll update the rating. 🙂
“I sparkle eye cream is made with evening primrose, organic rooibus tea, organic pomegranate, and a touch of pixie dust to nourish and refresh the sensitive skin around your eyes; where you need to sparkle the most! Great morning or night!”
|Sample received: $5.25 for 0.25oz.||Full price: $42.00 for a 2oz. jar [LINK]|
Comments: Like the pumpkin mask sample, the eye cream is also an item I’ve never used. On the company’s site, it’s both paraben and sulfate free. The full size is rather expensive, so I’d want to be sure that I loved this before committing to it.
It doesn’t take much of the product per use. A small dot of this is more than enough for both eyes. To me, it smelled like aloe with hints of citrus. Not sure why, it also had some grassy notes as well, though that’s probably from the aloe. It’s a rich, thick cream, that proves moisture and smooths out skin. This sample will last me a long time. I plan on using and finishing this sample, but I don’t think I’d buy the full size version of this.
“Lotion is a must during the colder months and this lotion moisturizes to silky perfection, loaded with Super Berries, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Organic Shea Butter to keep skin youthfully soft. We are featuring two scents that are both perfect for the holidays!”
Sample received: $0.62 for 0.50 fl oz.
|Full price: $9.95 for an 8oz. tube [LINK]|
Comments: Besides samples of the two scents that were featured in this box, the company also sells Lavender & Plumeria and White Nectarine & Orange Blossom as well. The lotions are 100% natural, free of SLS, parabens, gluten, mineral oil, petrolatum, animal products, and artificial fragrances or dyes.
Like most lotions I’ve tried, these are quite thin and runny, in comparison to body butters. The Orchard Pear & Fig has a very sweet pear scent, to the point where I really don’t smell the fig in the product. With the Sweet Cherry & Almond, you can smell both scents, though you’ll smell the cherry more initially. This one reminded me of the Jergen’s Cherry Almond lotion one of my old roommates used to have.
Both scents tend to fade rather quickly, which considering how sweet the Orchard Pear & Fig one is, that’s a good thing. There’s a slightly oily film that’s left behind on the skin before the it absorbs the oils. To ensure the oily film goes away, the lotion has to be thoroughly rubbed into the skin. I’m happy the oily feeling doesn’t last long since if the oil isn’t absorbed into the skin, it defeats the purpose of moisturizing the skin.
I probably won’t buy the full versions of these as I find that lotions don’t provide enough moisture that my skin needs during the winter months. I find body butters more effective in this aspect. That, and I rather not buy a large tube/jar of any scented lotion or body butter since I tend to get bored of the scent after a while.
I already have enough half empty bottles around… XD If the company offered body butters in a smaller size, I might consider it. However, I find that my samples and full size unscented body butters from Fortune Cookie Soap to last me a while and nothing I’ve used has been better.
Overall, I liked the product. It does its job, but I wouldn’t recommend these lotions to anyone who has really dry skin. If you don’t have super dry skin, check these out. Otherwise, I’d look into body butters.
- Box Score: 3.94/5 (not the most accurate scoring because 1 of the items I couldn’t actually use at this time, so to be fair, I just gave it the neutral score of “3”)
- Total Value: $21.17 (not including the eyeshadow since I honestly couldn’t even guesstimate the amount I received)
Final Thoughts: Even though I couldn’t get an estimate for the eyeshadow, the box is still worth more than the $14.99 I paid for it. 🙂 There’s a great variety in the products featured and is a great box overall. Since this is a leftover box from November 2012, I already knew what the items were beforehand and knew I’d like most of the products.
If I didn’t like most of the items, I wouldn’t have gotten this in the first place. If I subscribed, I wouldn’t have the luxury of knowing what I was going to get beforehand. Going off the previous boxes, that’s a risk I’m willing to take at some point in the future.
Other needing a paypal account to subscribe or buy any extra boxes, the only other con that I’ve found with Eco-Emi (going off the box I got and reviews of previous boxes) is that they have foil packets. As long as the majority of items aren’t foil packets, I’m okay with that. From what it looks like, at least in recent months from what I’ve noticed, most of the items are either full size or a decent sample size.
I’m also pleased with their customer service. I’ve contacted Christine, the owner and creator of Eco-Emi, once before and she’s very nice and helpful in answering any questions I had. She makes sure that her customers are satisfied and helps solve any problems that they may have.
Besides great boxes, their customer service has to be good too, which Eco-Emi has proven. I definitely plan on subscribing at some point, but for now, buying leftover or bonus boxes works for me.