Julep Maven: October 2014 – The Black Magic Collection – Bombshell Box

For October, Julep introduced the intriguing Black Magic Collection. I’m still one of the hold-outs with a non-customizable box so I still have to choose between the preset options. This month I went with the Bombshell box and snagged one add-on.
Box Open Box 1 Open Box 2

The one thing I love about the October collection is that it always has that spooky, dark Halloween vibe. Now enough chitchat let’s get to the box.

THE BOMBSHELL BOX

Mask
Night Shift Sleeping Mask
(Retail $34.00/Maven Price: $27.20)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: “A reparative moisture mask that does the heavy lifting while you’re fast asleep so you wake up to a brighter, smoother, firmer complexion.”
I was super excited when I saw this mask. It reminds me a lot of the Korean sleeping packs. It’s basically a heavy moisturizer you apply at night before bed and then wash off in the morning. You only use this a couple times a week. It has an amazing spa-like smell (like fresh atermelon) and it goes on really nicely. On nights I used it I did notice my skin was more moisturized when I woke up. I’m definitely going to keep this in my winter time skin routine.

MargaritaMargarita 2
Margarita:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Gift
Description: Palace purple crème
This is a pretty shade but way similar to a lot of things I own and that Julep has put out in the last couple collections. Since it’s that time of year where I start hoarding box items for Christmas gifts, I will be adding this shade to my stash. It’s a nice deep purple and there are a few folks on my list who I think will enjoy this.

Nancy
Nancy:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: On the Fence
Description: Silvery sage metallic
I chose this box mostly to get this shade but it’s a bit more silver than sage so I’m a touch disappointed. It’s a nice color but I do wish there was more green to it.

ADD-ON:

Tia 1Tia
Tia:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Copper and gold glittered black jelly
Jelly finishes are my favorite and Julep doesn’t put out too many so as soon as I saw this one I knew I was going to snap it up. It’s a fun black jelly that was quite apropos for Halloween and it’s a nice addition to my polish collection.

 

FREEBIE:

Freebie
Candy

While very little says Halloween than the quintessential candy corn, I’d really love to see more Julep sample packets. It’s a great way to try products before committing to a full size. There’s also a coupon code for 30% off – each account can use this twice. Use DROP30 before November 30th to save 30% off your purchase.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Verdict: Like
While I really liked the mask and my add-on, Nancy wasn’t quite what I’d been hoping for and Margarita was very similar to other previous Julep shades. The maven value on this order was $60.60 and the retail value was $76.00. I’d been saving up jules so I was able to grab this order for free so it was still a win.

Did you grab any items from the Black Magic Collection? If so, what did you think of them?

 

JULEP NEWS!
Julep Holiday Glam GWP ($120 value) FREE with any $35 purchase – Use code SHINETIME at checkout. (To receive free gift, add a Shine Time Gift set to shopping bag in addition to $35.00+ of other julep.com products.)

Limited Edition Jingle Bells Welcome Box Valued at $58 FREE for New Maven Subscribers (Pay $2.99 Shipping)

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just 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.

Julep: Jewel Heist Mystery Box

Julep: Jewel Heist Mystery Box

So it’s been a long day of switching out my summer clothes for my winter, (a necessary evil for apartment dwellers in the northeast) and now it’s time to get caught up with one of my box reviews.

Last month Julep featured their Jewel Heist Mystery Box which offered an opportunity for some lucky mavens to win the entire birthstone collection in a lovely gift box. I wasn’t lucky enough to nab the jewels, but I did get some products. Now let’s dive in and solve this mystery.

 Open Box

Hand Kit
Night Night Overnight Repair for Hands

(Retail $48.00/Maven Price: $29.99
Verdict: Hit!/Gift
Description: “Luxe Repair Skin Serum: A rejuvenating skin serum that delivers deep hydration and essential nutrients to help rebuild skin structure from the inside out. Use on hands, nails, face, or anywhere skin needs repair.
Luxe Care Hand Crème: An intensive moisturizer that offers relief from dry, chapped hands and leaves skin indulgently soft.
Now I have a ton of Julep polishes and products, so the main reason I nabbed this mystery box was to pick up some birthday and Christmas gifts (and maybe find myself a little something too). This is a really nice kit and I’m going to be adding it to a beauty Birthday gift I am putting together. I think this item alone makes the box worth it.

Gloss
Julep Lip Vernis in Peony
(Retail $???)
Verdict: Miss/Gift
Description: “Luxe Repair Skin Serum: A rejuvenating skin serum that delivers deep hydration and essential nutrients to help rebuild skin structure from the inside out. Use on hands, nails, face, or anywhere skin needs repair.
Luxe Care Hand Crème: An intensive moisturizer that offers relief from dry, chapped hands and leaves skin indulgently soft.
This addition is a miss because this is a very old gloss. Julep no longer uses this packaging and this gloss isn’t available on the Julep site any longer. It’s pretty obvious that this is a cleaning  inventory moment. I have a ton of Julep glosses (the newer ones with the nicer packaging) so I can’t use this for myself. I will probably just add this as an extra to a gift or swap.

Faye
Faye:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Gift
Description: Liquid bronze shimmer
I don’t have this shade but it just didn’t speak to me. It’s kinda got this babypoop brown vibe going on. I think I’m going to gift this to someone who will enjoy this color.

Nadia
Nadia:
(Retail $14.00/Sale: $4.99)
Verdict: Gift
Description: Sun-kissed golden frost
I already own this polish so it’s going into the gift stash. It is a bit of a summery shade though so I do wish it matched the current season more, though I’m sure I can find someone who’ll enjoy it.

Padma
Padma: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Royal plum crème
I don’t have many purple polishes so I’m hoarding this one for myself. It’s a super dark purple that can come across almost black. This will be great for edgy Fall mani.

Francis
Francis:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Gift
Description: Celery green crème
This is another one I own so this is another gift polish. I like this shade but it screams out Spring. I know this is a mystery box, but I feel like either the polishes should line up with the season or the theme of the box. In this case it matches neither.

OVERALL:
Full Box
Like
This box was on sale for $24.99, but I was able to use a coupon and bring that cost down to $15.00. According to my calculations and excluding the gloss that is no longer for sale, this box came out with a retail value of $104.00 and a maven/sale value of $68.58.

The only reason I gave this a “like” rating is  because of the low price I paid, in conjunction with the hand kit. I would have happily paid $15 for that kit by itself, so the value worked out for me. However, if I’d paid full price I would have been disappointed.

Many folks were unhappy that the boxes didn’t feature jewel-toned polish, but Julep’s mystery boxes almost never match the “theme” of the box. Personally I’d prefer that Julep put more effort into making cohesive mystery boxes. If they aren’t going to follow a theme, they should at least feature polishes from the appropriate seasons.

Supposedly Julep has taken this feedback into consideration for their latest mystery box. This month they’ve introduced the Trick or Treat Mystery Box, which is supposed to be Halloween themed so theoretically we shouldn’t see them filled with more celery green polish.

Have you tried any of the Julep mystery boxes? If so, were you happy with the contents?

JULEP NEWS!
Julep has a fun offer for new maven subscribers. You can get a Free 4 Piece Halloween Welcome Box.

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just 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.

Julep Maven: September 2014 – The Art Walk Collection

Sorry it’s been a bit too quiet over here at Subscription Therapy in the past couple weeks. I have sadly been inundated with way too much work at my regular job, when I would much rather be talking to all of you. So now we’re going to play catch-up with all the boxes I’ve been hoarding. So get ready.

I’m going to kick off my Posting Frenzy with Julep’s Art Walk Collection that they introduced in September.   It had this 90s vibe (but in a good way) that I just couldn’t resist. It brought back high school and early undergrad with all of its dark colors, flannel and grunge. So I put “In Utero” on repeat on my Ipod and nabbed the whole collection.

I’ve only ever done the full upgrade once with last October’s “The Rebel Set”, so I didn’t feel too bad about going for the full upgrade this time. I’ve got tons of polish, lip products and swatches for you, so let’s get to it.

Box  Open Box 1 Open Box 2

 

BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Lip Plumper
Blank Canvas Plumping Lip Primer (Retail $22.00/Maven Price: $17.60)
Verdict: Big Old Miss
Description: “A multitasking primer that preps lips for flawless, all-day color.”
So this is one of the Julep’s maven program changes I absolutely abhor. They keep putting old products into the Modern Beauty box. This item has been featured before in the maven sub and I wasn’t crazy about it the first time around. I understand that Julep might not be able to produce two new beauty items every month, but there are a ton of things they’ve introduced that were never featured in maven boxes. They should use one of those instead of pulling items that maven subscribers already received.

Lip Boxes
Plush Pout Lip Crayon:
(Retail $16.00/Maven Price: $20.00)
Description: “A full-coverage lip crayon with a moisturizing treatment core in the middle. Rich, creamy formula glides on and delivers long-lasting color with a semigloss finish.”

These plush pouts are a huge part of why I went for the full upgrade. I really wanted the red and the nude shades, and once you start adding on too many items it becomes a lot cheaper to just opt for the full upgrade. There were four new shades introduced.
Lip Crayon Lip Swatches
Magenta Plum
Verdict: Hit!
This one leans a bit cool and it’s a perfect rich plum shade for fall. I think this one would look great on the folks with darker complexions.
Aurora Pink
Verdict: Like
This one leans a little warm and I really like the color, but it’s not quite the best match for my skin tone. I’ll still use it but I will probably layer a pink gloss over it.
Almond Nude
Verdict: Hit!
This shade leans a bit warm, which is usually a problem for me, but it’s neutral enough that I can pull it off. I top it with a bit of a shimmery gloss for a great every day look
Cardinal Red
Verdict: Love!
This is a cool, vintage type red. I love it. It has incredible staying power. While it will fade and smudge a bit, if you’re not eating a ton it can go for hours looking decent. It’s definitely a bright “notice me” shade and I got a ton of compliments when I wore it. I’ve seen photos of tons of different ladies wearing it with all different skin types and hair colors and it looked amazing on all of them.

Overall I loved and will use all the crayons and I’m hoping Julep will come up with some new shades for the Holidays.

THE POLISHES
Polish Colors Polish with Names All Swatches

 

Ana
Ana:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love
Description: White jagged glitter top coat
This was an add-on and I couldn’t resist it. It reminds me a lot of Butter London’s Doily and it’s a pretty close match. The big difference is that Ana doesn’t have the round white glitter pieces and doily leans a touch pink. I’m going to have a lot of fun using this for some different nail art. If you want to try nail art and aren’t the neatest or most talented with a brush, these topcoats make it easy to do fun, new things.

Kirby
Kirby:
(Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Silver jagged glitter top coat
Another fun topcoat. When I first saw this one I thought it would be a silver version of Julep’s Gianna and it is similar. I think this will be fun to use over the holidays for some sparkly manis.

Fifi
Fifi: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Tea time pink crème
I wasn’t super excited by this one when I saw it in the collection, but it’s growing on me. I really love using pale pinks and nudes beneath sparkly topcoats like the ones above. I just heard a great trick for getting paler polishes to go on without too much streaking. You should put a matte topcoat after your first layer of color is dry. Once that topcoat is dry then layer another coat of color polish and finish with the topcoat of your choice. I haven’t tried it yet, but when I use this one I am definitely going to try that trick.

Erin
Erin: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Hit!
Description: Oyster grey crème
For a long time I stayed away from grays. They seemed pretty boring, but it turns out they are quite lovely and sophisticated when you give them a chance. This is a nice neutral gray that doesn’t lean super dark. This is a great neutral and would work even in more conservative environments when you don’t want to stick to nudes or pinks.

Quinn
Quinn: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Charcoal purple satin
I like it when Julep experiments with different finishes. I don’t find Quinn to be super exciting, but I don’t really have anything else like it in my collection. I’m going to experiment a bit with some matte looks and I think it might work well with that.

Eliana
Eliana: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: On the Fence
Description: Soft denim crème
There’s nothing wrong with this polish and I love dark blues, but it’s just not interesting enough and I feel like we’ve seen this same shade from Julep over and over.

Ryan
Ryan: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Like
Description: Overcast teal satin
Teal is one of my favorite mani shades so I had to grab this dark teal satin. I wish it was just a tad less dark so the teal would come through more, but I still really like the color.

Lupita
Lupita: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Ripe rhubarb crème
This is a gorgeous berry shade and I love it. Julep’s forte is crème finishes and this one is lovely. It’s a perfect option for Fall if you don’t want to go too dark. It’s also a great option for pedicures.

Mary Lee
Mary Lee: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Oxblood satin
You had me at “oxblood satin”. I have to say that this color was probably the one everyone was buzzing about when the collection first came out. Oxblood is huge for fall and the satin finish gives this shade a bit more interest. Dark reds are my favorite colors so this was a must have for me. The nice part is if you don’t want to keep it satin, just add a shiny topcoat and it’s transformed.

Mahima
Mahima: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)
Verdict: Love!
Description: Amber gold crème
This one was the biggest surprise for me. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on my own, but I love it. The shade of the gold is just amazing. It almost feels a little art deco to me. It’s a subdued super warm gold, almost like it’s got a touch of caramel mixed in. I can’t wait to use this one for the Holidays.

FREEBIE:
Freebie

Candy
I appreciate all freebies, but I’d love it if Julep would add more free samples. It’s a great way to try things out before you commit.

 

OVERALL:
Full Box
Love!
With the full upgrade and the Ana add-on, my box cost me $87.72. I totaled up all the products and it came to a retail of $242.00 and a Maven cost of $193.60. The only item I won’t use is the lip plumper, but even excluding it, I received a great value. These are a nice assortment of Fall colors and most are pretty versatile in how you can wear them.

This season 90s fashion has been bleeding into a lot of designs. I walked into Urban Outfitters last week and I swear it was more 90s than the actual 90s were. It was really too much. I appreciate that Julep made this collection both super tasteful and 90s reverential without going overboard.

I’ve got plenty more Julep stuff to review including the Jewel Heist box and my October Maven box, so be sure to come back for your Julep fix.

So do you see the 90s in Julep’s Art Walk collection, or do you think I’m off-base?

 

JULEP NEWS!
Julep has a fun offer for new maven subscribers. You can get a Free 4 Piece Halloween Welcome Box.

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just 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.

Julep Maven: August 2014 “Mani-versary Box” –The Wanderlust Collection & Julep Truth or Dare Vanish Mystery Box

So if you’re a maven (or if you just read Julep’s facebook page) you’ll be aware that August 2014 is the month that shall live in Julep infamy. Julep has been experiencing more issues than the National Geographic and their ways of dealing with those problems have caused even more.

So before I get into the maven box, I’m going to do a quick review of Julep’s Truth or Dare Vanish Mystery Box. I actually had no intention of getting a mystery box. And it came about as a result of one of Julep’s (now commonplace) errors. Julep had a red marker sale in which I placed an order for a few assorted items for myself and a couple of gifts. According to my Julep account, the order is placed, my checking confirms it was charged and I have a shipping notice. Each week the dates on the shipping notice change. Almost a month goes by and I decide it’s time to call. Apparently, my order just never shipped. Despite, being placed, charged and receiving a shipping notice, someone just decided never to send it and their computer system decided to just cover that lazy dude’s tracks.

Since I was so patient in waiting for my box, by now, a few of the items I ordered are sold out. One was the Vanish drops that I had picked out as a gift. I noticed there was a Truth or Dare mystery box that included it and I was told they couldn’t split it up. So I swapped my missing polishes and Vanish drops for the mystery box. I figured I’d guarantee myself the item I wanted to gift and maybe pick up some other things to add to the package (or for myself).

So enough boring backstory, and let’s get to the mystery box:

Mystery Box Mystery Box Open

 

VANISH TRUTH OR DARE MYSTERY BOX:

Vanish

Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover: (Retail $18.00/Maven Price: $14.40)

Verdict: Gift

Description: “This conditioning formula quickly removes overgrown cuticles, clearing the way for a cleaner, prettier mani (or pedi). Over time, you’ll notice a dramatic decrease in cuticle regrowth.”

I own this and really enjoy the product. Not only does it remove cuticles but helps with any nail stains you might have. This item was the reason I purchased this box.

Clean-up

Cleanup Tool: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Gift

Description: “Designed to clean under nails and wipe polish off skin.”

I already own this so it’s being added to the nail kit I’m gifting.

Nail Sticks

Julep Color Fan: (Retail $8.00/Maven Price: $6.40)

Verdict: Gift

Description: “Take a spin on the color wheel while organizing your favorite colors! Twenty-two nail spoons in a convenient fan to swatch your collection.”

I purchase nail swatches on Amazon for much cheaper and the shape on them is a bit better than these and they are easier to move around. To keep my collection uniform, I’m going to add these to that nail gift I am putting together for my friend.

Fiore

Fiore: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Gift

Description: Espresso brown crème

I already own this one so I’m adding it to my gift pile.

Tatiana

Tatiana: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Gift

Description: Golden burnt orange microglitter

Tatiana has been a staple in the last few mystery boxes, so I’m guessing Julep is trying to unload this shade. I don’t own it, but it just doesn’t work for my complexion so I’ll be gifting it to someone who can pull it off.

Valerie

Valerie: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Gift

Description: Teal with iridescent microglitter

I own this one and have worn it a few times. I’m a sucker for teal and this has a lovely micro-shimmer. Another one for the gift package.

Brielle

Brielle: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Like!

Description: Deep autumn orange crème

Finally, an item for me! I don’t have this polish or anything close to it. Oranges are tough for me, but this deep shade looks great with my vampire complexion and it’s a perfect color for fall.

Full Mystery

OVERALL:

The cost on the Mystery box was $24.99 and it guaranteed $100 worth of products. The retail value came out to just under that at $96.00 and the maven retail was $76.80. I can’t tell you exactly what I paid since I swapped out missing items for it. I think maybe I got $2 off the regular price when swapping my products for their red marker value. I think the box is nice for $24.99, but I do think Julep should have hit the $100 they promised. If anything throw in some buffer blocks or a buffer sticks.

Mystery boxes are a great option for the folks building their collections or who aren’t mavens and want to try some new colors. For folks like me with a Julep hoard, it’s mostly going to be repeats. I got a lot of nice items for my gift pack and a polish for myself so I think I did pretty well.

Now moving on to the August Maven Box and the Wanderlust collection. Now this is where we get into the real drama. It seems that the super popular August collection became the catalyst for an epic Julep meltdown. From the start, entire boxes and products were sold out within hours of the window opening. And from there on it was all downhill.

The Wanderlust collection was filled with bright colors that really were more Indian/Sari inspired. I was super disappointed to find that once again the Modern Beauty box featured an old item. This time it was the eye palette that had been featured in all the maven boxes just a few months back. Since I had some jules I opted to use them toward Julep’s special Mani-versary box that featured Queen Anne, their anniversary polish and a few other items. Once again I opted for a choice that would allow me to gift a few things and keep a polish for myself.

Maven Box Maven Box Open

“MANI-VERSARY” BOX:

Cuticle Serum

Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum: (Retail $28.00/Maven Price: $22.40)

(Photo from Julep.com)

Verdict: Gift

Description: “Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum’s secret weapon to transform dry and damaged cuticles almost overnight. Plus, get visibly stronger, smoother nails with fewer ridges and less splitting and brittleness in only 2-3 weeks.

For some reason I forgot to take an individual pic of this item, so I grabbed one from the Julep site. I already own this so it’s going into the gift package. I do think it’s a bit overpriced (even with the Maven discount) so I thought this box was a great way to pick it up at a more reasonable cost.

Tada Drops Low Fill

Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Houston, we have a problem

Description: “these game-changing drops will leave your manicure touchably smudge-free in just a few minutes.

I love these drops and use them regularly so I grabbed this one as part of that lovely gift…except the fill line on this is super low. As you can see the bottle is sealed and the contents are well below the pink label. The issue with these drops is that the packaging allows for a lot of evaporation. But Julep’s faulty packaging doesn’t mean that I’m going to settle for a package with over a quarter of the product missing.

Cleanup Tool: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Houston, we have an even bigger problem

Description: “Designed to clean under nails and wipe polish off skin.”

This item was left out of the box (although you can see a pic of it above in the mystery box). After some sleuthing on different forums it seems it was left out of nearly all the mani-versary boxes.

Queen Anne Swatch

Queen Anne: (Retail $14.00/Maven Price: $11.20)

Verdict: Hit!

Description: Lilac confetti microglitter

Lilac isn’t usually my first choice but the glitter on this is lovely and the hint of gray to it makes it very wearable.

FREEBIE:

Screen Cleaner 1 Screen Cleaner 2

Screen Cleaner

Julep included this nifty phone screen cleaner and a note that we can get extra jules by downloading their app on our phone. I thought this was a cute, useful bonus and I will definitely be taking advantage of that app.

 

OVERALL:

Lucy, you got some s’plaining to do

Maven Full Box

Well, once again I sent Julep an email, waited about a week to not hear back from them and then followed up with a phonecall about my cleanup tool and Tada drops. At first the customer service lady said that that fill line was the normal one for the Tada drops, but I knew that was incorrect having received them previously and having seen others. They said they’d mail me out the missing tool and the drops.

The saddest part of all this is that those mistakes are not even close to the worst I’ve seen from Julep this month. There were folks that received empty boxes, boxes missing polishes, boxes filled with random extra products, boxes with tons of wrong items, boxes with 5 duplicates of the same polish, boxes where polishes had been replaced with random choices because the current collection was “out of stock” and my personal favorite, a box that included a chewed up pen. Some folks still haven’t gotten their boxes, others had their boxes sent to old addresses they haven’t used in some time.

In combating the shitstorm of issues, Julep customer service choice various tactics. Some folks got 1900 jules for late shipments, others were told they couldn’t get refunds when they didn’t get a box or polish and that they had to take jules instead, while others got refunds.  Some got giftcards for a polish, others got sent random “replacement” polishes without any input on whether the choices were appropriate.  Some were told products were sold out and more would not be made, while others were told they would be sending replacement of those same out-of-stock-never-to-be-seen-again items.

A few days ago, those of us with the mani-versary box finally got an email acknowledging that problem and saying the missing item was being sent. Today was the first time Julep made a statement referencing the insane amount of problems and what Julep is doing about them.

The retail value on this box was $74.00 and the maven value was $54.60. My only issue with this box is about the packaging problems  and lack of communication from Julep. I like the items included and think the anniversary polish is lovely.

I’ve decided that everyone deserves a second chance and I’m going to give Julep the opportunity at redemption with my September box.  I really do love their products and before the muddied up the Maven program with all these changes it was so much fun. I don’t mind delays or hiccups, I just want clear communication and a set policy for all customers with issues.

Are you a Julep Maven? If so, did you have any problems with your August box or was it smooth sailing?

THE BACKSTORY

COUPON CODE: If you love Julep’s products, you can try out a box for free just 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.

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

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.

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