Julep Maven: June 2014 Boho Glam Box – Three Wishes Collection

So I’ve waited a bit to post my June Julep Maven Box review because I’ve been super disappointed with a lot of the changes Julep has made to the Maven program, and I needed time to digest. I had a super tough time choosing a box, because despite telling mavens that “nothing would change” when Julep created the “my maven” customization sub option, the add-on prices increased from $4.99 to $6.99. They also began adding old products to the “Modern Beauty” box which is my default. For example, this month featured a new topcoat and a new basecoat. Instead of adding both those products to Modern Beauty, they added only the basecoat and then included the oxygen treatment that has been out on the site for a very long time. (They have done this old/new combo again with July boxes).

I spent a lot of time crunching numbers to figure out what the best value would be since I really wanted both the top and basecoat and there were two colors I liked. I swear it was like doing Calculus. Picking my Julep box used to be so much fun and this was just frustrating.  And if you chose the option that allows you to customize (my maven), you would need to prepay for 3 boxes to keep your regular $19.99 price or start paying $24.99 per box. Even more disconcerting is that you can’t opt back to your regular maven sub once you switch to “my maven”.  Once you switch to a customized box your subscription has to stay that way. (Are you raising your eyebrows at that, cause I am. That’s pretty damn sketchy, Julep.) Frankly, Julep’s constant policy changes and lack of transparency have made me very leery of getting stuck in the My Maven sub. Who’s to say they won’t make more changes (like with the skipping policy) once they’ve got you locked into the new sub?

So after all the math and angst, I opted to go for the Boho Glam box to pick up Natalia and added on the basecoat. With the price increase for add-ons I will be scaling back on the items I select. It’s a much better deal to wait for sales or coupon codes at the Julep site than pay the $6.99 per polish.

BoxOpen Box

“BOHO GLAM” BOX:

Basecoat
Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat: (Retail $18.00/Maven Price: $14.40)
Verdict: Like
Description: “A perfecting, hydrating base coat powered by breakthrough Oxygen Technology and smoothing silica minerals.”
This basecoat goes on very smoothly and I like that it has a bit of a white finish. I have a problem with polish peeling off in sheets, and unfortunately this basecoat seemed to exacerbate that issue a bit. I still like it so I’m going to try it with different configurations of polish and topcoat.

Colors

Natalia
Natalia: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Refined copper metallic
Natalia was the reason I opted for this box. (The only other polish I cared for was in the It Girl box). I think the copper shimmer is lovely and reminiscent of rose gold. I also don’t have anything like this in my collection. I think it will work great on accents and nail art as well.

Harlow
Harlow: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Golden dragonfly iridescent chrome
I wouldn’t have chosen this shade on my own and I do have a lot of gold already, but the iridescence on this is nice. I’m not sure I’ll do a full mani with it, but it might be a good accent.

ADD-ONS:

Topcoat
Oxygen Performance Top Coat: (Retail $18.00/Maven Price: $14.40)
Verdict: On the Fence
Description: “A fast-drying, long-wearing top coat powered by breakthrough Oxygen Technology, nutrient-rich caviar extract, and scratch-resistant platinum.”
The good points – I felt like this applied easily and did try very quickly (especially in comparison to Julep’s freedom topcoat). Unfortunately, it seemed to make my manicures chip quicker than usual. Just like the basecoat I’m going to try some different polish and topcoat combos to see if that makes a difference.

FREEBIE:

Freebie
Pixie Sticks!
Freebies of any kind are always nice, but I’d really love some small samples of new products, that way I can try things out before I order.

 

Full Box
OVERALL:
Unsatisfied

Even though I found most of the products to be okay, the maven experience I had was just so frustrating. Julep was my first sub box and I used to look forward to picking out my box each month. Now I get aggravated. It seems that Julep is finding every sneaky, sketchy way to shoehorn mavens into switching to the customizable option. They stated over and over that nothing would change for mavens who did not wish to switch to the customizable box. Except they have increased add-on prices, added old products to the Modern Beauty box, removed the ability to buy past maven boxes. Why not just be transparent and say they are changing the sub, outline the new rules and prices and let people choose to stay or go?

Sigh. It’s just not fun anymore and the constant changes with no notice are disconcerting. Add to that their limited skips for mavens after the December deadline and their recent large scale shipping and packing issues and Julep gives more aggravation than it does satisfaction.

I paid $32.08 and received $64.00 worth of product ($51.20 maven price). I got my moneys worth, but again the whole process left me annoyed.

I won’t have a review of the July box, because despite having enough jules to get it for free, I chose to skip because of the Modern Beauty box once again featured an old product, despite their being three additional new products they could have included. Instead of the maven box, I will be reviewing one of their “Truth or Dare” mystery boxes, and we’ll look at the items and discuss some of the packing, shipping and customer services issues that are happening with Julep right now.

Are you a Julep Maven? If so, are you frustrated with all the changes or are they just part of an evolving brand?

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for freejust use the code: FREECOLOR
Just remember this signs you up for a monthly subscription. If you don’t wish to receive boxes you will need to call Julep to cancel .

Julep specializes in toxin-free nail color but also features beauty products. They are a small company based in Seattle and have been featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things List.

Monthly Maven Options:
Maven Subscription: $19.99 – Monthly Maven box where you choose from the boxed sets in each category.

My Maven Subscription: $24.99 per month – Allows you to customize your box
3 Month Prepaid: $19.99/month

Maven Luxe: $39.99 per month – Gives you access to add on more expensive items
3 Month Prepaid: $34.99/month

The options:
Modern Beauty – (For those who prefer beauty items over nail color) – “You’re a savvy tastemaker obsessed with the art and science of beauty.” Get two full-size beauty products in every box.

Boho Glam – “You’re a dynamic free spirit with a creative eye.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Bombshell – “You’re a confident frill-seeker with magnetic appeal.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

Classic With a Twist – “You’re an iconic beauty with a timeless aesthetic.” Get two limited-edition nail colors and one full-size beauty product in every box.

It Girl – (For those who want polish only) “You’re a colorful trendsetter who’s not afraid to be bold.” Get three limited-edition nail colors in every box.

Julep will email you with the contents of your regular box selection, and at that time you can opt to keep it as is or change it. Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons along with access to Julep’s “Secret Store” that lets you get other products at great prices.   Another perk is that when you’re a maven you get 20% off anything you purchase from Julep’s website along with free Shipping. Julep polishes retail at $14.00 each, so a Maven box of two to three brand new polishes for under $20.00 is a great steal.

Julep also has a rewards program that gives you “jules” for taking your monthly boxes and on your birthday. You can use jules to pay for monthly boxes and some other items chosen by Julep

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