Julep Mystery Box: Naughty & Nice – December 2013

Happy New Year!  2014 is going to bring some fun, new features to this little blog, so stay tuned.  I’ll also be featuring a review of the top 13 items from all of my subscription boxes of 2013, so be sure to come back for that one.

For right now, I’ve still got some late December boxes to show you.  This is another of Julep’s mystery boxes entitled “Naughty and Nice.”
Box

Julep periodically offers mystery boxes where they guarantee a special polish or two and then the rest is  a big old surprise.  Sometimes there are various price options for different size boxes.  This time there was only one size box, priced at $24.99.  If you purchased this box you were guaranteed two new polishes: Aviva and Brenda, and that you’d receive an assortment of products valued at $125+.
Open Box

Let’s start with our promised polishes….
N&N Colors

This are not currently available  for individual purchase on Julep’s site, but I’m sure eventually they will show up for sale so I’ll use the standard pricing for polishes.

Aviva:(Estimated Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Descripton: Purple with silver full coverage holographic glitter
Verdict:  Love!
Despite my rapidly growing polish collection I have very few purples and none that include glitter.  I think this will be a lot of fun to use.

Brenda: (Estimated Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Blizzard white microglitter
Verdict:  Hit!
I think this will be look great layered over different shades of white polish.

Blotting Papers & Samples
Green Tea Facial Blotting Paper
s (Estimated Retail???/Bonus Item)
Verdict:  Hit!
I don’t see this up on Julep’s site and I have received it before as an extra in one of the past Maven boxes so we’ll call this a bonus and not include it in the overall value. It’s a nice little addition that you can throw in your purse for daily touchups.

Luxe Samples (Estimated Retail???/Bonus Item)
Verdict:  Hit!
Included are a few samples of the luxe serum and hand cream.  I’m always happy to see samples from Julep so that I get a chance to try stuff out before I commit.  The luxe serum is a liquid, so personally I’d probably use it during my nighttime skincare routine.

Lip Gloss    Broken
Timeless Lip Gloss((Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Verdict:  Hit!
Description: Sheer nude
Unfortunately my gloss came broken, but on the bright side, it was all contained in its own box so my other items were unaffected.  I have Julep’s “Charming” gloss and use it frequently, both on its own and layered over lipsticks.  It’s light, not too sticky and has a nice vanilla-y scent.  I know when I get my replacement product (which Julep customer service is shipping to me as we speak), I will end up using this a ton.  I can’t find this product for sale right now on its own, so I’m using the individual pricing they featured previously.  Julep currently has a great sale on the full set of glosses and plumper, which is what I’ve linked to above in case you’re interested.

Eyeliner
Kajal Eye Glider & Sharpener:(Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Description: Two intensely pigmented colors—carbon black and brown shimmer—that glide on smoothly and blend like a dream.
Verdict:  Gift
I don’t use pencil liners very much and almost never use black so this is going to my gift pile. If someone does use pencil liners its dual sides and sharpener make it a nice buy.

Hand Cream
Rock Star Hand Cream:
(Retail $20.00/Maven Price: $16.00)
Description: Anti-aging, emollient blend of shea butter, glycerin, coconut oil, and vitamin E keeps hands hydrated, even after washing.
Verdict:  Love!
I’ve been wanting to try out this cream so I’m psyched to receive it.  I’m adding it into my manicure kit and it will make its appearance the next time I do my nails.

Primer
Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer: (Retail $28.00/Maven Price: $22.40)
Description: This age-defying primer creates a smooth, even canvas for gorgeous makeup that lasts all day.
Verdict:  On the Fence
Most days, I use a CC cream that has a built in primer so I’m not really in the market for a separate primer, but now that this one arrived I’ll give it a try and see if it makes all that much of a difference with my makeup.

Alaina & Joanna
Alaina:(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Driftwood taupe crème
Verdict:  Love!
I’ve been wanting to pick this one up because I think it would look fabulous underneath some of the cool topcoats.

Joanna:(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $2.99)
Description: Lilac frost
Verdict:  Hit!
Now this a color I would never have picked up based on the pics on the Julep site.  I’m not really a pastel person, particularly lavender.  But this shade really turns a pretty gray and I think it will look great paired with a lot of items.

America & Nellie
America:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $2.99)
Description: Sterling silver stars with shiny red and royal blue glitter
Verdict:  Miss/Gift
Despite my now giant Julep collection, this was the only duplicate polish shade I received.  I love this topcoat but I really don’t need another one.  It will go into the gift pile for someone else who loves glitter.

Nellie: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Pink fuschia crème
Verdict:  Hit!
For some reason I don’t usually gravitate toward fuschia, but it’s a fun color and it will be nice to try something new.  It’s a great shade come summertime.

Full Box
Overall

The retail value of my items was well over $100 even using maven values and counting the samples and blotting papers as bonus items.  I was able to use a coupon so I only paid $16.04 for this whole box.   I got a couple items that will be gifts, a few I will get a ton of use from and a few more that are new things for me to try out. It seems like the perfect mix of a mystery box.

What do you think?  Was this box more naughty or nice?

THE BACKSTORY

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Julep Maven Box: December 2013

Julep’s December maven boxes feature their new “Glitterati Collection”.  (Am I the only one who thinks of sparkling vampires and Robert Pattison when I hear that?)   If you want more info on Julep’s maven subscription service and a coupon code, skip down below.  Now to the December Maven box!

If you’ve read these reviews before you know Julep gives you a nifty little quiz to select your style profile.  This month I was intrigued with the beauty products offered so I decided to go with the “Modern Beauty” box (which only contains beauty products).  Of course, I couldn’t resist adding on a few items.
Box Open

THE MODERN BEAUTY BOX:

Palette
Sweep Eyeshadow Palette:Neutrals
(Retail $24.00/Maven Price: $19.20)
Shades: Tiramisu—nude satin; Glow—golden shimmer; Dusk—mauve satin; Toffee—bronze shimmer; Cocoa—chocolate brown with gold shimmer
Verdict:  Miss
I had huge hopes for this palette when they showed it on a ginger model.  As a pale redhead, so many neturals are too yellow or orange on me and I was hoping this one would be different.  Unfortunately it goes so very orange.   The highlight color in particular is very oompa loompa.  The eyeshadows themselves go on smoothly and are well pigmented, it’s really just the actual shades that are the problem.  I am super disappointed these won’t work for me.  I think these would be great on someone with an olive skin or warmer undertones.

Primer
Blank Canvas Mattifying Eye Primer:(Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Verdict:  Hit!
I’ve been meaning to try out some new eye primers so I was excited to see this.  My eyes are very sensitive and this didn’t bother them at all.  I also thought it did a great job of keeping my eyeshadow put.  It has a nice light champagne color and went on smoothly.

THE ADD-ONS:

Addons
Celia:(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description: Icy green metallic
Verdict:  Hit!
I have to say I chose this polish out of sentimentality.  It’s this green metallic that reminds me of the 50s and 60s Christmas balls we had on my tree growing up.  It’s definitely an unusual shade that gives that hint of midcentury modern chic.  I have nothing in my collection like it, so it’s a nice addition.

 

Glitterati
Gianna:(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Jagged gold glitter top coat
Verdict:  Hit!
Who can resist a funky gold glitter topcoat?  Not me, that’s for sure.  I think this could make some fun manicures especially coupled with  jelly polish.  The rough edges of the glitter make it a bit edgier than the average glitter topcoat.  I always appreciate when Julep does unusual finishes and I hope they do more in the future.

Hairband
Freebie
: Hair Ties
Love the colors and since I’m growing my hair out these will come in super handy.

Full Box
Overall

The retail value of my items was $74.00 and the maven value was $59.20.  I paid $32.07.  While I definitely got my value, I’m a bit disappointed since the eye palette was so far off the mark for me.  The shades are definitely very warm and I don’t think they are quite as “neutral” as they should be.

If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just use the code FREEBOX
Just remember this signs you up for a subscription that you will need to cancel or opt out of each month.

 

THE BACKSTORY

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Julep Maven Box: November 2013

Julep’s November boxes feature their new Right at Home Collection.  Since last month’s was an edgy “rebel set”, this comfy, warm collection seems a suitable counterpoint.    Each month along with the new polishes, they include beauty items.  November brought a whole selection of lip glosses and a lip plumper.

If you want more info on Julep’s maven subscription service and a coupon code, skip down below.  Now to the main event!

Now Julep gives you a nifty little quiz to select your style profile.  Maybe I’m just fickle but I tend to jump around a lot.  This month I actually chose the box that my profile results suggested, the “Boho Glam”.  Julep also allows you to select up to 3 add-ons at a discount, so I grabbed a few of those as well.

Open

THE BOHO BOX:

Charming Gloss
Julep Lip Gloss in Charming: (Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Description: Unstoppable shine, luscious hydration. Our Julep Lip Gloss comes in five subtle sheers that feel as good as they look.
Verdict:  Love!
This lip gloss was the big reason I chose the Boho Glam box.  I really liked the sheer mauve shade.  This gloss really does lean toward the sheer side so if you’re looking for something hyper pigmented you may want to try something else.  But if you like something really soft and natural, you’ll probably love this one.

Aisha & Alexandra

Aisha:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Wildberry purple crème
Verdict:  Hit!
I wasn’t sold on this color when I chose the box, but once I received it I really liked the shade.  It’s a really pretty mulberry color and has more red in it than you’d expect.  It’s definitely more of a berry than a straight purple.

Alexandra:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Blonde crème
Verdict:  Hit!
This is something I probably wouldn’t pick up on my own, but the color complements my uber pale skin surprisingly well.  I think this color will look amazing layered under Beatrix from last month’s collection.

Add-ons

THE ADD-ONS:
Nic:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Black crimson crème
Verdict:  Hit!
No matter how much I adore sparkly or funky shades, super dark red is always my favorite so I couldn’t resist picking this up.  If you’re someone who doesn’t go for the super trendy, picking this up might be a great way to edge up your regular red or pink selection.

Swatch Stickers:  (Sale Price: $3.99)
Description:  Set of 3 Swatch Me Sticker Sheets
Verdict:  Hit!
Julep has some really unique packaging which is one of the things I love about the product.  They offer these little swatch stickers you can put on the cap.  Their caps pull apart in two pieces and you can easily swatch a little drop on the lid, so when you store them in drawers or boxes you can see all the colors without pulling them out.  Rows and rows of neat polishes with identical swatched stickers?  I can’t tell you how much this appealed to the little Martha Stewart demon that lives inside me and wants everything to match.

Lip Plumper
Blank Canvas Lip Pumping Primer: (Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Description: A multi-tasking marvel that plumps, moisturizes, and preps lips for flawless color application. The tingle tells you it’s working. The ongoing hydration and smoothing tell you it’s still working.  This pale pink primer works well on its own, too.
Verdict:  On the Fence
Since I currently don’t have any lip plumpers or primers I thought I’d give this one a try.  It does sting a little, but that’s the norm for this kind of product.  I did find it a touch drying, so I layered a moisturizing lip balm over it.  It seemed to plump my lips a little but I’m not sure if I’d be able to wear it with lip products that aren’t hydrating.  I’ll have to experiment a bit before I can decide on this one.

Bonus

Freebie: Luxe Repair Serum Sample
I love that Julep included a free sample of a beauty product.  I’d love to see more of this, that way Mavens could try some of the items out before committing to purchasing a full size.

Full BoxOverall:
The retail value of my items was $89.99 and the maven value was $72.79.  Julep offers “jules” which can be put toward Maven boxes or add-ons.  You accumulate these through referrals, purchasing maven boxes and on your birthday.  I accumulated enough jules to get my boho box for free so I ended up paying only $25.65 for my three add-ons.

While I originally chose my box solely for the lip gloss, I ended up liking my polish choices much more than I expected. I’m excited to play around with Julep’s new lip products and I think they are a great addition to their beauty line.

What did you think of the “right at home” collection?  Did you find it’s warmth and comfort appealing or was it too familiar and boring?

If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just use the code FREEBOX
Just remember this signs you up for a subscription that you will need to cancel or opt out of each month.

 

THE BACKSTORY

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Popsugar: October 2013 Must Have Box

Because I so enjoyed my Popsugar Special Edition Fall Style box, I decided to try out their regular monthly subscription.  It was supposed to start off in November, but they managed to sneak me in the October box.

Part of this box’s theme was Breast Cancer Awareness so Popsugar donated $1.00 from every box to Breast Cancer research and teamed up with brand and products that also supported breast cancer charities.

Box

Now that I can feel like my subscription addiction is actually benefiting charity, let’s get inside this box.
Open Box

NYX Makeup
NYX Cosmetics Liquid Liner
and Smokey Shadow Palette (Retail:  $6.00/$7.00)
Verdict: On the Fence
I appreciated that instead of the ubiquitous black eyeliner this one included a chocolate brown (which works much better with my pale skin and red hair), but I’m not crazy about liquid liners in general.  I’m also not sold on the colors in the palette, but I’m going to give them a try and see how they work with my other makeup.

Bracelet
Gorjana Charity Bali Bead Bracelet (Retail: $45.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
This Gorjana-Griffin bracelet was described as “delicate and playful” and that’s exactly what it is.  It’s on the smaller side which is perfect for my freakishly tiny wrists.  I think it would pair surprisingly well with even dressy gold bracelets for a chic layered look.  100% of the proceeds of this piece go to charity so you can feel good while you look good.

Julep
Julep for Popsugar Duo: Freedom Polymer Topcoat & Myrtle Polish
(Topcoat: Retail: $18.00/Maven: $14.40; Myrtle:  Retail: $14.00 Maven: $11.20)
Verdict:  Hit!/Gift
If you’ve read much of my blog, you’ll know that I’m already a Julep maven, but I was in desperate need of more topcoat and this showed up at the perfect moment.   I find that Julep’s topcoat has a great shine to it and lasts for quite a while.  I already own Myrtle, but it’s a wonderful shade and I think I will be incorporating it into some Christmas gifts.  If you’re interested in a Julep maven subscription, I’ve got lots of Julep reviews on my blog and if you decide to sign up, I’d love it if you used my referral link.

Pins
Jane Tran Metallic Bobby Pins
(Retail: $12.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
My hair is my last real beauty frontier.  Thanks to Julep I have gotten into the habit of doing my nails and I have pretty much always been into fashion and makeup, but hair has been the one place where I’m a serious slacker.  The last couple years I’ve sported some modern bobs, but I decided to grow out my hair and attempt to actually start “doing” it.  I am currently in the awkward growing out stage so these bobby pins will come in handy.  They are substantial enough to hold something with a bit of color to them, but not so much that I’m going to resemble a kindergartener.

Wet Brush
The Wet Brush (Retail: $14.00)
Verdict:  Love!

So you know how I said that I’m a total slacker when it comes to my hair?  I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same plastic detangling comb in my shower for the last decade.  I’m excited to upgrade and try this out.  I know it will come in handy as my hair gets longer.  They are also another company giving a donation toward breast cancer for every brush included in this Popsugar box.

Treat!
The Crispery Halloween Crispycake (Retail: $3.95)
Verdict:  Hit!
This is one a big ass rice crispy treat and it has sprinkles!  What’s not to love?  In the spirit of Halloween, I cut a little (okay big) slab off and had it with some pumpkin spice coffee.  It was delish and very very marshmallowy.  Mmm..Marshmallowy..sorry, I got distracted.

Stitchfix
StitchFix Gift Card (Retail $20.00)
Verdict:  Hit!
Stitchfix is another incredibly intriguing subscription box.  You sign up, fill out a very detailed fashion profile and pay a $20 styling fee.  The Stitchfix stylists send you 5 fashion items that you can try out at home.  You keep what you like and send back the rest.  If you purchase anything, your $20 styling fee is applied to your purchase and if you elect to keep everything sent to you, you also get 25% off. I have been wanting to subscribe to this for a long time, and there’s only one reason I haven’t.  They can only currently offer styles up to a size 14.  I’m a 14/16 right now and am leery of jumping in when I may or may not fit into what they have.  I’ve been working on slimming down, so this is a great motivation and reward.  I didn’t see an expiration on the card so once I’m a 12/14, I’ll put it to good use.

Cookbook
The Can’t Cook Book: Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! By Jessica Seinfeld (Retail: $16.76)
Verdict:  Love!
I really enjoy cooking, and I think I love collecting cookbooks even more.  This one is geared more toward beginning cooks, with incredibly useful how-tos (like chopping onions and herbs), lots of photographs and even guides on how to stock your kitchen.  The recipes are accessible, quick, easy and only use a few ingredients.  I think I’ll find some great go-to recipes for during for during the work week in this book.
Recipe
I already found the first one I plan to try: “Baked Egg Noodles with Cheese”.  Hmm, noodles and cheese..although if I want to fit into the Stitchfix gift card, I should probably make the “Roasted Cauliflower and Sage” instead. Decisions, oh decisions.

Full BoxOverall:  Love!

Because I paid for 6 months in advance, I got a discount and paid $33.88 for my October box.  The retail value, including the gift card was $156.71.  Removing the gift card and using Julep maven prices the value is still an excellent $130.31.

I’m going to use every item in this box except for the red polish, which will be part of a fabulous Christmas gift.  That’s a pretty great haul for my first regular Popsugar box and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next month.

If you love reading up on the Popsugar boxes, please head back soon as I am one of the lucky subscribers who snagged the Moby Dick of subscription boxes, the now infamous Neiman Marcus Popsugar Must Have Box.  Even at the hefty price tag of $250, it sold out in twelve hours.  Popsugar claims it will have a $600 retail value, so I’m assuming it’s filled with wish granting genies and unicorn tears.  Subscribe so you can be the first to glimpse the magical subscription box to end all subscription boxes.

The Backstory

Popsugar is a women’s lifestyle subscription that delivers a monthly box of fun, full-size products hand-selected by Popsugar editors.  For details on the different subscription prices and some coupon codes, jump down below.  Now onto the review!

If you’re really digging these Popsugar boxes, I suggest you order asap.  After November 4th 2013 the price will go from $35 to $39.95 for a monthly subscription.  There are discounts for ordering for several months in advance.

Coupon Codes:  REFER5 = $5 off sitewide
POPSUGAR10 = $10 off a 3 month subscription

Julep: Maven Box October 2013 – The Rebel Collection!

Julep’s October boxes feature their new Rebel set  which is billed as “a collection to light up your dark side.”  Well, my dark side must need an LED because I fell in love with nearly everything in this set, so for the first time since I’ve been a maven I did the full upgrade and got both add-ons, so you folks get to look at all the goods.

If you want more info on Julep’s maven subscription service and a coupon code, skip down below, but now to the review.

Unopened Opened

Julep ran into some packaging issues and their Mask Noir was left out of the upgrade boxes, so it shipped out asap in its own little box.

Mask in Box

Mask Noir

Mask Noir: (Retail $32.00/Maven Price: $25.60)
Description: A peel-off mask of gentle kaolin clay and black volcanic ash.
Verdict:  Hit!
This was one of my must have items from the box.  I have a great charcoal mask from Origins, but it isn’t peel-off and I can’t tell you how messy and awful it is to remove.  My white bathroom sink ends up looking like a swamp, so you can understand why I am so excited to see a mask that can be peeled off.  I’m going to use this along with my Julep foot masks and have a spa day.

Eyeliner

Kajal Eye Glider & Sharpener: (Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Description: Two intensely pigmented colors—carbon black and brown shimmer—that glide on smoothly and blend like a dream.
Verdict:  Miss/Gift
I was surprised Julep opted to feature this as the main beauty Item in its boxes (instead of the more compelling mask).   This liner just seems pretty boring and it’s not waterproof which is a requirement for me if I don’t want to do my raccoon impression approximately 5 minutes after application.   I prefer gel liners and most people I know tend to prefer liquid/gel/cream.  I think Julep is better served by focusing on more unique beauty and makeup items.  There are a million eye pencils, and this one doesn’t seem particularly special.  I do think the fact that it’s packaged with two different colors (one on each end) and with a sharpener makes it a bit nicer than an average liner.  I’ll be packaging it up with some other makeup to give as a gift.

Missy, Winona & Dahlia

Missy:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Titanium metallic
Verdict:  Miss/Gift
This color is an uber shiny silver.  It’s not bad, but not something I would use for a full manicure.  It would probably go great as a fun tip on a French manicure or with some cute nail art.  Since my polish collection is growing by leaps and bounds, I’m going to gift this to someone who will use it far more than I will.

Winona & Dahlia

Winona:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Buff greige crème
Verdict:  Hit!
This shade is one of the reasons I love the maven boxes.  They force me to both step out of my comfort zone and not to ignore the “boring” shades.  It’s easy for me to grab something fun and interesting, but everyone needs a basic.  This is a great neutral that will work with so many different fun topcoats.  I can’t wait to try it out with Julep’s Paris.

Dahlia:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Goldenrod microglitter
Verdict:  Hit!
This shade is just a pure golden sparkle.  I think it would work great paired with a simple dress for holiday and New Year’s parties.

Anisa, Valerie & Ciara

Anisa:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Deep burgundy crème
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a lovely shade of red that I think will complement a lot of skin tones. I think I’m going to get a lot of use out of it come Christmas time.

Valerie:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Teal with iridescent microglitter
Verdict:  Hit!
This is a pretty color that seems to walk the line between teal and emerald.

Valerie, Ciara & Anisa

Ciara:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Vampy magenta with teal microglitter
Verdict:  Love!
Somehow this polish manages to be both vampy and ethereal.  It’s a beautiful color and very unique.  It’s my favorite item from this collection and a must have for a Julep maven.

Kendra, Stevie & Cleopatra

Stevie:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Concrete gray frost
Verdict:  Hit!
This polish has a gun-metal feel to it, which I think is a great edgy alternative to black nails which for some of us pale girls can read a bit goth.

Cleopatra & Stevie Swatch
Cleopatra:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Black latex crème (*no latex in formula)
Verdict:  Love!
The unique latex finish on this polish makes it edgy without trying too hard.  I recommend wearing without a topcoat for the full effect.  Just swatching this one made me feel a little badass so I can’t wait to try a full manicure.

Kendra Swatch

Kendra:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $7.99)
Description:  Army green frost
Verdict:  Hit!
The second I saw the name on this all I could think of was Kendra the vampire slayer from Buffy and I think this color would have suited her.  Of all the shades in this collection, this one is the most difficult to discern from just looking at the bottle.  The olive coloring makes it a dark neutral alternative for the go to black or gun-metal nails.

Add-ons Casper & Beatrix

Casper:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Glow-in-the-dark shimmer. Can be worn alone or–better yet–on top of color.
Verdict:  Hit!
A shimmery glow in the dark polish?  How could I possibly resist. I didn’t swatch this since I figured it wouldn’t show up in the photos anyway, but the shimmer on it is actually quite lovely so even if doesn’t glow in the dark it’s still a damn pretty topcoat.  This was one of the two add on polish options.

Beatrix over Dahlia
Beatrix:
  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Coal black with multidimensional glitter
Verdict:  Love!
This was the other add-on to the maven boxes.  If you’re like me and you think nail art is cool, but when you attempt it you just look like a toddler who got into the finger paints, then you should pick up Beatrix.  I’ve swatched it over Dahlia, but I think it will look amazing over some pale crème polishes in whites, blush pinks, greys and beiges.  People will think you spent hours on your nails when all you did was add this topcoat.

Freebie: Candy Corn!
Because who could have a Halloween box without candy corn?

Full Box

Overall
I am thrilled with this collection and it’s my favorite since joining Julep. It’s dark steampunk with a hint of Halloween that’s just perfectly me.  Since my birthday is in October I was able to treat myself to the full collection without feeling guilty.  The retail value of this collection is $194.00 and with the Maven discount it would be $145.57.  As part of the monthly maven subscription I was able to buy it all for $69.52.  This included 10 products I will use and 2 products I will be giving as gifts.

What did you think of the rebel collection?  Did it appeal to your dark side?

Polishes

If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just use the code FREEBOX
Just remember this signs you up for a subscription that you will need to cancel or opt out of each month.

 

THE BACKSTORY

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Julep Galaxy Mystery Box – September 2013

I’ve got info about Julep’s monthly maven box subscription below along with a coupon code.  But first let’s get to the review of their September mystery Box.  This one is galaxy themed.Box
There were three options offered:

Pluto Mystery Box for $19.99, with a retail value of $50.00+
or
Cosmic Mystery Box for $24.99, with a retail value of $75.00+
or
Supernova Mystery Box for $39.99, with a retail value of $129.99

The Cosmic and Supernova Boxes guaranteed the new and exclusive polish, “Estelle” described as
a “full-coverage black holographic glitter that’s out of this world”.
EstelleJulep also included giveaways of $100 gift cards each day the mystery boxes were available.

I opted for the Cosmic mystery box because I’m becoming a polish hoarder and I figured it best to avoid the largest box.  According to my packing slip I received Cosmic Mystery Box Version 1.

Opened

Masks
Moisture Mask Trio:
(Retail Price: $20.00, Maven Price: $16.00)
Each Trio includes three single-use treatments: Nail Moisture Mask, Hand Moisture Mask, and Foot Moisture Mask.

Verdict: Hit!
I’ve tried this set before and I loved the foot and hand masks, although I didn’t care for the nail one.  They are plastic slip on masks so it’s an easy clean up.  I do wish Julep would offer these in sets of each type so that you could stock up on just the one you want, rather than having to buy all three kinds.


Hand Model
Hand Model Set:
  (Retail Price: $40.00, Maven Price: $25.00)
Three piece set includes:

Glycolic Hand Scrub (1oz): This “facial for hands” packs a 10% glycolic acid punch. Whisk away dirt and oil and reveal noticeably softer and younger looking hands after just one use.
Rock Star Hand Crème (1oz): Anti-aging, emollient blend of shea butter, glycerin, coconut oil, and vitamin E keeps hands hydrated, even after washing.Oxygen Nail Treatment: Complete nail care and make-up all in one bottle. Made with a patented Hexanal formulation, nails are restructured to a stronger, thicker, and smoother condition in just one stroke. Results are nails that are structurally stronger, and less prone to breakage and splitting.

Verdict: Hit!
I own a larger size of the Glycolic Hand scrub and it’s wonderful.  While I tempted to keep this set for myself, it’s packaged perfectly for a gift so I think this is going to my Christmas present stockpile.

Polish
Polish Names
I received eight polishes including Estelle.   In order from left to right:

Nicolette: Opaque french white crème. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some nail art and I don’t have a simple opaque white to use as a base.  This will be perfect.

Amity:  White gold metallic (Retail Value $12.50; Maven Price: $10.00; Currently, you cannot buy this color on its own, it’s only available in sets.  I chose the cheapest set of two that included it and divided the price.)
Verdict: Hit!
I don’t have this color and actually don’t have too much in the silver category.  Not sure I would do a whole manicure with this, but it looks like a great accent color.

Stefani: Gold flecked grey metallic. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $7.99)
Verdict: Hit!
I adore edgy polishes and love anything that resembles a gunmetal shade.  Happy to add this one to the collection.

Adele: Golden reflective top coat (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I was really excited to see a topcoat included in the box and can’t wait to try this one with different polishes.

Dakota:  Rose gold metallic chrome (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
I probably wouldn’t have chosen this on my own, but I’m happy I got it because I think it will make a nice complement to other shades I have.

Raegan: Electric dark pink crème. (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
This is a cheerful, fun shade and I don’t have any other Julep like it.  I can’t wait to try it out with a bright green accent nail.

Tracy: Sparkly ocean blue sea salt (Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Gift
I adore this polish and I think it’s a must have for any polish wardrobe.  I already own it, so I’m adding it to my gift collection.

Estelle: Full-coverage black holographic glitter (Currently not available for sale, but we’ll estimate it at the regular retail and maven prices; Retail Value $14.00; Maven Price: $11.20).
I knew this one was coming and I don’t have much glitter so I was psyched to get it.

Full Box

Overall:
I paid $26.74 (including tax) for this box.  The retail value of this bag was $170.50 and the “maven” value (with the maven subscription discount) was $126.19.
I am thrilled with this box.  I only had one duplicate and got an amazing selection of products that I can’t wait to use.

The Backstory

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Julep Maven Box – September 2013

Julep’s September boxes feature their new Cityscape collection.  For more details on their subscription options, costs and a coupon code, skip down below.  But for now, onto the unboxing!

Box

Julep allows you to choose your own boxes and gives you the option of adding on up to 3 items at a big discount on each.  Despite my original profile being “Boho Glam”, I skip around every month and choose what tickles my fancy or what I need in my collections.

This month I chose the Bombshell Box.  This box includes Bare Face Cleansing Oil, Karmen and Catrina nail colors along with a free polish remover pad.

Bombshell Box

Bare Face Cleansing Oil: (Retail $28.00/Maven Price: $22.00)
Description: This lightweight, antioxidant-rich cleanser gently and thoroughly dissolves makeup, dirt, and excess oil without over-drying skin, then rinses clean with no oily residue. Recommended for all skin types.
This is the item I was most excited to receive.  I currently use cleansing oil and I adore it.  This one feels light, non greasy and has a lovely citrus scent.

Nail Polish Remover Pad:  (Retail $9.99 for 10 pack/Maven Price: 7.99 for 10 pack)
Description:  Each no-mess, lint-free pad is infused with aloe vera to moisturize and condition your nails. A great on-the-go solution for polish removal.
I love these things, can’t have enough of them.  A very useful freebie.


KarmenKarmen:
  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Golden crimson microglitter
I wasn’t sure about this color when I chose the box, but its actually really lovely.  It’s more shimmery than glittery, and more red than gold.  It will be a great color to use on the holidays.

DariaDaria:  (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Description:  Dark slate grey crème
This shade was one of the reasons I chose this box over the other options.  Gray is big for fall this year and I thought this would be a nice sophisticated option for work.

As I mentioned earlier, Julep gives the option to add on up to 3 items from the collection.  I decided to pick the Konjac Cleansing Sponge, and two polish colors Catrina & Josephine.

Add-onsKonjac Cleansing Sponge: (Retail $12.00/Maven Price $9.60/Add on Price $7.99)
Description: This super-soft sponge is an all-natural exfoliant made from the fibrous root of the Japanese Konjac plant.
I think the idea with this item is to use it in conjunction with the cleansing oil, but I find oil is best to use with just your fingers.  I did want to try this item with some other cleansers since I’ve heard so much hype about Konjac sponges.

CatrinaCatrina: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20/Add-on Price $4.99)
Description: Marigold yellow crème
Before I joined Julep, I don’t think I would have considered a yellow polish, but this is the third one I’ve picked up and I adore the gold yellow tone to this polish.  It’s perfect for fall.

JosephineJosephine: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20/Add-on Price $4.99)
Description: Deep teal grey crème
I’m a sucker for teals and I didn’t actually own one that was more grey.  This is a really lovely shade, but it is somewhat close to the Daria color from the bombshell box.  I’d say if you’re on a limited budget, that you don’t need both colors.  Just choose whether you want a straight gray or one with a blue undertone.

PolishesOverall I love the items I received.  I will use all of them and the discount is great.  I paid $19.99 for the Maven Box and about $18.00 for the add-ons.  Even with maven discounts on the items, that’s still a huge value.  If you enjoy Julep products, it’s worth it to subscribe to the box.  And just remember you can opt out each month.

About Julep’s Maven Box

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

Coupon: To try out a box for free, use the code FREEBOX
(you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time).  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

Julep Big Picnic Mystery Box

I’ve got some general info about Julep and their monthly maven box subscription below.  But first is a review of their latest mystery box. (It’s picnic themed.)

The options are:

Picnic Mystery Box at $24.99 (which gets you $70-$150 worth of fun polish and fab products)

or

Big Picnic Mystery Box at $39.99 (which gets you $120-$250 worth of fun polish and fab products)

In each box you are guaranteed to receive the new and exclusive polish, “Evie”, described as a raspberry crème with gold shimmer.
Evie

In addition, a la the Golden Ticket from Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, one lucky soul will find a $1000 VISA gift card in their box.

I opted for the Big Picnic box because I am putting together a kickass manicure gift for a friend’s birthday gift and I figured I could probably pick up some great items for her–and myself, because whenever I buy someone a gift I feel like I should get one too.  (The beauty in being a grownup is buying yourself stuff because it’s someone else’s birthday, or it’s Tuesday, or the internets keep tempting you with random subscription boxes).

Shipping BoxOpened Box

When I arrived home today I was pleased to see I had I received Big Picnic Mystery Box Version 1.

Paris Trio

I received the Paris Lip Trio including: Set Includes:
Charleston: Cranberry lip sheer
Sweet Lorraine: Bubblegum pink lip sheer
Lady in Red: Matte crimson lip color
(Retail Value: $28.00)

I already own this set and adore it.  The lady in red is perfect for a fancy night out.  The other colors are a bit sheer.  I’ll probably be gifting this to a friend since I own both this and the New York set (which also contains lady in red).

I received seven polishes and amazingly none are duplicates.

Polishes
In order from left to right:

Annette: Light dove grey crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I probably wouldn’t have bought this on my own but I actually think it will probably end up being a nice neutral.

Maya:  Peachy pink seashell, like a shimmering pearl.  (Retail Value $14.00) – This one has a nice shimmer that I think would complement a lot of skin tones.

Catherine: The original classic, go-to red crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I’ve actually been pining after this one.  I adore dark and classic reds so this one will get a lot of use.

Evie: Raspberry crème with gold shimmer (Retail Value $14.00 – but as of right now you can’t buy this item on its own).  You can really see the gold shimmer and I think this one will look amazing on.

Gloria:  Coral orange crème.  (Retail Value $14.00) – This is my least favorite in the box.  I’m a pale redhead so orange can go really, really wrong.  I think this one might go into the gift pile.

Dianna:  Mint green crème. (Retail Value $14.00) – I am a sucker for nearly every shade of mint and this one has been on my wishlist for a while so I’m psyched to have it.

Vanessa: Opalecent glitter in a clear base.  (Retail Value: $7.99)  While I’d love to keep this for myself and glitterfy all the colors, it’s perfect for the manicure gift bag I’m making for a friend so it’s going there.

So I paid $39.99 for this box.  The retail value of the box was $119.99.  The “maven” value (with the maven subscription discount) was $97.59.

Overall I’m satisfied with my bag as I got a few colors I desperately wanted, and a couple that will make great gifts.  The one thing I’d like to see with these mystery bags is for there to be more manicure basics included.  We can all use an extra base or topcoat or nail polish remover.  I don’t see the lipsticks really connecting to a picnic theme and they seem more like an afterthought.

GIVEAWAY!  Julep is currently having an End of the Rainbow giveaway.   One winner a day through Friday! Click here for entries.

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.

They have a 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 only get what you want.  You can change profiles each month or simply opt out of a box.   Julep will email you your monthly box selection, at that time you can choose a different box than your regular beauty profile or opt out entirely.  Every time you purchase a box you get the option of add-ons at a huge discount along access to their “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 their store 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.

To try out a being a maven get your first box free (you’ll just have to pay for shipping this time) use the code FREEBOX.  Just remember this is a subscription service so your free box will sign you up to get a box every month.  Either opt out each month when you don’t want a box, or cancel by calling Julep’s customer service.

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