Julep Maven: “French Twist Collection” May 2014 – It Girl Box

May was a much anticipated month for Julep since they were finally releasing the long awaited (and contested) plié wand. May’s collection was entitled “French Twist” and featured a few bright shades mixed with softer pastels. My choice this month was “It Girl” which included the infamous plié wand.

It Girl usually contains three polishes, but this month it only had two in order to accommodate the plié wand. Those who only wanted polish had an option called “color crush”.

BoxOpen Box

“IT GIRL” BOX:

 

Plie Wand
Julep Plié Wand: (Retail $25.00/Maven Price: $20.00)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: An ergonomic nail polishing tool designed to solve common polishing pain points and give you better results. Long, balanced design improves leverage, comfort, and control. Flexible handle twists and bends so you can get a better grip. Plié overcap fits on any Julep nail polish and attaches to Plié Wand. Precision brush lets you polish closer to your nail
Once Julep had redesigned this to fit with existing bottle designs I was excited to try it out. So far I’ve only used it for a manicure, but I found it did help a lot when I used my non-dominant hand. I can’t wait to try it out for pedicures and nail art. I think if you have a large Julep collection, you should definitely consider giving this a try. It’s important to note that they give you an extra cap and brush but the wand fits over all your existing Julep polishes. Just remove the rectangular plastic cap to reveal the round plastic top, then snap the wand on and voila!

Plie Attachment
Plié Wand Precision Brush (2 pack for$6.00)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Our precision brushes feature a shorter stem that lets you get closer to your nail while polishing. For best results, pop on a Plié overcap and attach to the Plié Wand.
We got one set with our plié wand and I’m happy to receive it since it will let me use the wand with other polishes. The instructions say to clean it with nail polish remover when you finish with it. I’m not sure how it will hold up after being cleaned lots of times but since most of my collection is Julep I shouldn’t need to use it that often.

Now the colors…
It Girl Colors

Kam
Kam: (Sale Price: $7.00)
Verdict: Like
Description: Vintage spearmint crème
After swatching my polish collection on nailsticks, I came to the realization that I don’t have much in the green or pink categories. I was hoping this shade was a little more of a sagey green, but it definitely is mint. It’s a lovely color, but I do have quite a few mint shades. Then again, can you really have too many different shades of mint?

Jules
Jules: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Warm powder pink crème
I realized that I don’t have a ton of pinks and I reach for the few I have a lot when I’m trying to use fun topcoats. I picked this up to use with some of my metallic topcoats (like Gianna).

This month there were a lot of issues with shipping which I’ll get into during my overall review, but a lot of add-ons were shipped separately. So my creativity kit came in its own separate box.
Add On Box Open Box Add on

ADD-ONS:

Creativity Kit
Plié Wand Creativity Kit
: (Retail $10.00/Maven Price: $8.00)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Kit includes: Dotting tool with a rounded tip for dots, heart, and more. Striping brush with superfine bristles for French manis, stripes, and more.
This kit goes with the plié wand. You snap these attachments in and voila you now have nail art tools. While I am a creative person I am not neat and I keep my nails short, so nail art has always eluded me. I’m excited to try this kit and see if I can pull off some fun new looks.

FREEBIE:
Free Gift

Yumi: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Pink, silver and holographic glitter.
As a thank you, they included Yumi (named after Julep founder Jane’s daughter). It was so nice to get an additional polish. This is a glitter topper and I can’t wait to try it out in some jelly manicures.

OVERALL
Full Box
Hit!

The retail value of my items was $70.00 and the Maven value was $57.40. I pre-paid $19.99 for this box during the crowd-funding period and with my add-ons and tax, my total came out to $26.73. I’m happy with the plié wand and while these colors didn’t wow me, I like them and will definitely use of them.   It was also very nice to get that free glitter polish.

JULEP NEWS!

So it seems friends, that things can never stay too peaceful on the Julep front for long. As I mentioned earlier there was much drama with the shipping of the May boxes and there are mavens (many of which crowd-funded) who still haven’t received their boxes.

To compound that, Julep has started what at first seemed like a great option: customization. For $24.99 a month you can opt for a “My Maven” subscription to customize your box (instead of choosing from the set types) and if you prepay for 3 months, you can stay at $19.99 per month. They also added on a mysterious Maven “luxe” option for $39.99 a month (or $34.99 with the 3 month prepay option.) At this point it’s unclear to many what this luxe option does. It seems to just give access to add in pricier beauty items to your box (like their luxe creams), but you can’t really get any detail unless you sign up for it.

Now here’s where Julep pulls they old switcheroo. They claimed adamantly over and over that “nothing” would change if you didn’t want this customization option, except the price of add-ons has now increased from $4.99 for a current polish to $6.99. In addition, if you switch over to My Maven or Luxe Maven you cannot switch back to the regular subscription.

I’ll report back with my June box on not only my selections but on any ensuing Julep backlash and drama. Be sure to stop by for all the gory details.

What do you think of Julep’s new changes? Should they have announced their price change plans?
Was it dishonest to keep it a secret until the window open or were they under no obligation to tell their subscribers in advance?
Should Julep have held off on customization until July in order to prioritize the existing May boxes that are still a mess?

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for freejust use the code FREEBOX
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 at a huge discount 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 Maven: April 2014 – The Vibrant Collection

I think this awful, awful winter has created an insatiable need for bright cheerful colors and this month  Julep won us over with their Vibrant Collection.  

Box

The makeup options this month included blush and bronzer.  At first I was going to choose the “Modern Beauty” and snap up some cheek color then just add on some fabulous polishes, but after my Nina Garcia box sent me that amazing Laura Mercier cheek palette I knew I’d have way more blush than I could use.  Instead I switched gears and opted  for “It Girl” with an awesome add-on. 

Open Box
Now to the colors!

“IT GIRL” BOX:

It Girl 

Maren Swatch
Maren: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Electric bubblegum sheer with blue sheen
This is a sheer jelly type finish that you wear in buildable layers. This is a wonderful polish if you want to try nail art and have very little patience (like me). Besides jelly sandwich manicures, you can layer Maren over other colors to create awesome shades. I layered this over Julep’s black latex Cleopatra and ended up with an amazing dusky Maleficent-esque purple. You can have a ton of fun experimenting with the sheer finishes and I highly recommend picking up at least one.

Flora Swatch
Flora: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Exotic dragonfruit with blue shimmer
With my original configuration (Modern Beauty +add-ons) I did not have this color in my order. I’m so glad I opted for the It Girl and picked it up because it is so vibrant and beautiful. It makes me think of Hawaiian hibiscus flowers and islands in Tahiti.

Bailey Swatch
Bailey: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Hyped cobalt sheer
Once I saw the words “Cobalt” and “sheer” I knew this was for me. I love this color. It’s a perfect blue and the sheer effect gives it a unique depth when you layer it. I can’t wait to try it out with Tania (the mermaid teal glitter) from last month and have an “ode to the ocean” manicure.

ADD-ONS:
Felicia

Felicia Swatch
Felicia: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Black speckled mint crème
I have been waiting forever for Julep to get on the speckled polish bandwagon so the moment I saw this I grabbed it as an add-on. I love speckled finishes and I think they are a perfect fit for spring time since they have a sort of bird egg/nature feel to them. I think this one might be my choice for my Easter manicure.

FREEBIE:
Freebie

Candy!
We also got a few coupons with the candy. Freebies are always nice but I’d love to see more sample packets so we can fall in love with more items and spend even more money on Julep products.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict: Love!
The retail value of my items was $56.00 and the Maven value was $44.80. I still had Jules left so I was able to pick this box up for free but I would have gladly paid the regular price for these items. I feel like the polishes were fun, seasonally appropriate and a bit different than the usual assortment of crème finishes. I hope we see more sheers and speckled heading our way this year.

What do you think of speckled polishes? Do you love them? Hate them?  Think they look like you dipped your polish in Oreo crumbs?

JULEP NEWS!

Plie Wand Update!

So as you all recall there was much rumbling and angst about Julep’s new plié wand. The big issue was that the plié wand design would require all the Julep polish bottles to change. Since so many mavens were upset at losing their beloved packaging, Julep managed to redesign the plié wand to fit with the existing bottle design and then those who wanted to try the wand and those that wanted the same packaging all lived happily ever aftter (or until the next polish kerfluffle). We’ll be seeing this new fangled plié wand in next month’s May Box and thankfully all our polish bottles will look as lovely as they do right now.

Did you preorder a plié wand? Are you excited that the packaging is staying the same or were you intrigued by the originally proposed magnetic bottles?

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for freejust use the code FREEBOX
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.

Their monthly maven box that costs $19.99. You simply take their beauty quiz and it will match you up with a specific style.
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.

The real beauty of a maven box is that you to choose what you want. You can change profiles each month and choose whichever box tickles your fancy. 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 at a huge discount 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, referring customers and on your birthday. You can use jules to pay for monthly boxes and some other items chosen by Julep.

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