Sunday, October 11, 2015

Julep Maven October 2015 Review

Julep is best known for being a monthly nail polish subscription box but they've also expanded into offering other beauty products.  Their polishes are 5-free and vegan-friendly which I love! For $24.99 per month (or $19.99 per month if you sign up for 3 months up front), you will receive your choice of 2-3 nail polish / beauty items each month according to your profile.  "Classic With a Twist", "Bombshell" and "Boho Glam" profiles receive 2 polishes and 1 beauty item; "It Girls" receive 3 polishes and "Modern Beauties" receive 2 beauty items.  But now, no matter what profile you are, you can totally customize your box or even switch to a totally different box! And you can skip any month after your first month as a Maven (Welcome Boxes don't count).  Sounds perfect to me!  

If you're interested in trying out the subscription, my links will take you to a FREE Welcome Box, just pay the cost of shipping - this will sign you up for the subscription so be forewarned about that (if you scroll down though, you can get in for the 3 month rate of $19.99 per month).  Check out the Welcome Box I received here.  This is an American sub so do factor in the cost of exchange although, aside from Welcome Boxes, shipping is free for Mavens - even Canadian ones from what I can tell! :)

This was my first month as a Maven and. . . I got a lot of stuff.  October's collection is the "New York Never Sleeps" collection and it was so gorgeous, it was really hard for me to narrow things down.  So what did I get?

Hooray indeed! Julep's packaging always makes me feel like I'm unboxing a gift.  They also include coupon codes for future purchases. . . just give me a reason!

And, without all the paperwork in the way. . . a special treat! I'm not huge on candy corn but my husband and son were happy to take care of eating this for me :)

My regular profile is "Bombshell" which would have included two lovely polishes and a make-up item (I can't remember which ones, just that they were a lot like things I already have).  But Julep lets me swap out whatever items I like to create the perfect box for me. . . so I had way too much fun swapping things around lol.  Ultimately, I ended up getting the "Modern Beauty" box this month which included "Your Happy Look" blush and one of Julep's new "Eyeshadow 101" eye shadow sticks.  Then I added on all 3 items from the Boho Glam box (another eye shadow stick and 2 polishes) in order to qualify for a free gift :)

Clockwise from bottom left, we have:  mmm candy, Eyeshadow 101 sticks in Plum Shimmer and Orchid Shimmer, Your Happy Look blush in Peach Bellini, Michaela (Boho Glam), Anya (Boho Glam) and, my free gift, Colton (It Girl)

 Here are close-ups of the polishes with flash so you can see that they do have some colour since they all look black in the above shot :)  Their true shades are darker than they look in this pic though.

Michaela (Boho Glam, $14 value)

Michaela is described as a "blackcurrant microglitter shimmer" and I had to get this because, besides being gorgeous, I have nothing like this in my collection.  This polish is very dark, almost black really, but the shimmer gives it nice depth and brings out the purple-y tones.  Definitely a 2-coat polish, Michaela has an easy-to-apply formula and the microglitter isn't overly "glittery".  It'll probably still be a pain to remove though. . .  so I'll just wear it for a while :)

Anya (Boho Glam, $14 value)

Anya is a "climbing ivy creme" and a one-coat polish! I'd probably do two just for my own comfort but Anya was smooth, easy to apply, and covered in one coat.  I have a lot of cremes and sometimes wish for more exciting finishes but there is something beautiful and easy about a good creme. . . and this is a great one.

Colton (It Girl, $10 special)

Colton is a "black iris creme" originally released in February 2015.  This is a beautiful deep purple, almost black, and has a similar formula to Anya.  I preferred this one in two coats because it is so dark.  This was a nice surprise for a "free gift" and I will wear Colton a lot, I think.

Eyeshadow 101 ($18 value, each)

These eyeshadow sticks have a creme to powder finish which means they glide on with a creamy texture (really creamy) but once they set, they wear like a powder - no smudging, creasing or wearing off during the day.  I haven't worn them for a full day yet (I don't always do make-up these days so I've used them for special events so far) but these do have great staying power.  I find that if I want to smudge them, I have to do it soon after application because they do set fairly quickly.

The packaging is, like most of Julep's products, a great selling feature.  They are sleek and shiny with a good weight to them.  The built-in smudger in the base (it's under another cap for cleanliness) is a thoughtful touch.

I expected both shadows to be a bit more purple than they are but I do like them.  Plum Shimmer (bottom swatch) is probably my favourite of the two simply because it is more purple and I love purple eyeshadows.  That said, it is a still a browner plum than I thought it would be - maybe because my skin is so pink-white.  The Orchid Shimmer (top) definitely reads more brown than purple but I do like it.  I've been wearing it over my whole lid and then adding Plum Shimmer as a crease colour.  I think they work well together.

All told, I think these are really nice eye shadow sticks and might consider picking up another colour or two - but not for $18 each!  The good thing with Julep is that there are always lots of coupon codes, sales, and other ways to save so their somewhat inflated pricing isn't a problem.

Your Happy Look Blush ($24 value)

This is a "glow pore minimizing" blush and, while I am not sure it does anything to minimize my pores, I think it's a great blush.  I used to wear peachy blushes quite often but found myself with a drawer full of pinks and in need of a change so I decided to give this one a try.  It is a lovely soft formula with a subtle shimmer that I really like.  It is quite pigmented so a little goes a long way. . . but this colour is quite light (I did swatch it above the shadows in the above pic but you can barely see it).  That actually works for me since my extreme paleness means a lot of blushes can veer into clown territory rather easily.  I imagine others might not be as happy with how light this blush is though.  The package feels fancy and substantial and includes a mirror in the lid.  Again, I like this and will use it. . . but would never pay $24 for it!

Overall Verdict:

I'm so happy I gave Julep another try! While I do think that the values they put on their products are inflated, for the cost of a Maven box, I am more than happy with the quantity and quality of what I received.  And I love that I can pick my own items as well so I'm sure to get colours and products that interest me.

If this review piques your interest in Julep, please consider using my links.  Thank you!

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