Julep Maven is another box that both Jill and I pay for and enjoy each month so it’s time for another joint review! For those of you new to Julep Maven, for $25 a month you receive a box of a few nail polishes or beauty products. When you first join Maven, you take a style profile quiz which will then assign you a default box that you will receive every month. However, you aren’t locked into that choice! Once the Maven window opens, you are able to view your box, choose a different box, and maybe customize and pick different polishes and add-ons. Suffice to say, this is a fun box.
Every now and then, Julep will randomly upgrade someone’s box for free and they receive all the polishes available for that month. This month I received my box about 2 weeks later than most people so I was secretly wondering… what if *I* am going to be the lucky recipient of an upgrade? When i checked my mail, I saw a big box! I was so excited…. until I opened it and saw the ridiculous packaging. Way to get my hopes up, Julep. Womp, womp. But I still got some awesome polishes so all really is right with the world.
Lauren: I bought 4 polishes this month: Janae, Cool charcoal crème; Paula, Persian blue with gold microshimmer; Shelley, wintergreen mint; Margit, Mushroom with rose shimmer. HOWEVER. Julep sent almost everyone a free polish this month– a “Metamorphic Top Coat.” There were 3 shades and I received Bjork. These polishes will transform darker colors and change them into a lighter color. I got my box so late that I haven’t had a chance to try it yet but that seems neat. I appreciate that Julep sent me a free polish. I was worried that they would run out of the free polish since my box was so late but I was worried for nothing!
I also bought this Orbital Eyeshadow in Borealis. This is my first time trying a Julep eyeshadow but I am incredibly impressed. I swiped it on my hand (below) with no primer earlier in the night and it wore on and on and on throughout dishes and other activities. I feel like this will have good staying power on the lids with a primer. You might notice on my swatch some fallout, but that doesn’t bother me so much since the color is just so beautiful. It’s a dark grey that has a green and purple shift–almost like a little oil spill. I can’t wait to try this on my lids tomorrow!
Mini rant: I did finally reach out to Julep a few days ago about my shipping issue and they told me that some boxes were shipped very late due to the holidays and they provided me with my shipping information which was nice. I’m still slightly annoyed because most people I know received them around the 1st of the month and as a blogger, I try to get reviews up quickly. But what can you do? Hopefully next time it will be better. I understand things happen. However, today something kind of weird happened. Julep sent emails to many Mavens, basically telling them they were extra special and had earned access to a private line called the ” Julep Pink Phone.” The email states that they always answer this Pink Phone line first, no matter how busy they get. Now, I will be the first to tell you that I did not receive one of these emails and I am a little bitter about it. I spend a lot of money with Julep, why don’t I get access to the special line? And then I started thinking about it on a bigger scale… the Julep community is a tight knit one– there are countless facebook groups devoted to Julep, there are often Maven Meetups in different cities and CEO Jane often talks directly to her customers (I saw pictures of her out to dinner with some Mavens just the other night!) I don’t understand why they would favor some of their customers over others when this is obviously something that people would talk about. It just seems incredibly alienating towards customers who spend a lot of money and time on Julep products. It just seems odd since there didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to it– Some were customers who spent a lot of money and were active in the Julep community, and others just receive their monthly boxes and aren’t involved at all. From a communications standpoint, I’m interested to see what they are going to do about this. I would understand if there was some sort of tiered system where if you spent xx amount you received xx benefits. But just random benefits to random people feels like it’s missing the mark. I think it’s making more people bitter than it is aspirational.
Rant over. I’ll turn it over to Jill for her take on the products she received this month!
Jill: Alrighty. This month’s Julep Maven box was a total bust for me. I spent so much money during Julep’s holiday sales that I limited myself to just taking the monthly box and didn’t treat myself to any add-ons (though I really, really, really wanted the borealis eye shadow that Lauren got). I have a customizable subscription, so I can swap items for other (usually similar) items from the standard set boxes.
I have amassed a ridiculous nail polish collection in my year as a Maven. I mean, I could open my own nail salon in my living room at this rate. As such, I decided to take a break from polishes for the January box and focus on beauty products. Julep introduced colorful lip treatments this month called Luxe Lip Treatments. They boasted how nourishing, healing, and moisturizing these colorful tubes are, plus each gives you a bit of color on your lips.
My lip gloss addiction being what it is, I devoted 2/3 of my box items to these lip treatments. I am of fair complexion, so corals and pinks look good on me. I chose coral and magenta and then added a polish (I’ll get to that later) to round out my box.
On screen these lip glosses look great. On paper their benefits sound amazing. In real life they are complete and utter bullsh*t.
They give you absolutely no color. They go on your lip as clear (seriously, no color at all). The pictures Julep shows are majorly enhanced. Instead of color, the glosses give you shimmer. And not sparkly, cute shimmer. They give you frosty 90s shimmer. I’m not even all that bitter about the color, because I can get color from other things (though seriously, the photos are very misleading). I’m not even that annoyed by the shimmer, because I took a risk when I bought them without reading any reviews and some people dig the frosty look. No, the real issue with these lip treatments is that after applying them once, they left my lips so raw and chapped that it took over a week for them to heal and I looked like the Joker in the process. I would chalk it off to an allergic reaction, but judging from reviews online, I am not alone in my experience. My lips were so red and painful that my fiance recoiled in horror when I pointed out how dry they were. What a waste of money.
I wish I took a picture of how the gloss looks the one time I wore it, because I will definitely not be reapplying it again.
Moving on, the polish I added to my Maven box was Alicia, a color that was previously discontinued but Julep brought back temporarily. I haven’t been a Maven for long enough to have gotten this polish when it was previously released, so it’s new to me. I love this color for spring and summer, maybe not so much for winter. But when the weather gets rough and the only place I want to be is on a beach with a rum drink in my hand, a coat of this may bring some sunshine into my day.
Lauren Final Grade: B
Jill Final Grade: D (sorry, Julep.)
Lauren: I probably would have given this box an A if I was not so annoyed about the shipping. I realize that this is just nail polish and it’s not that big of a deal but when it’s a product you pay for and you expect to get it around a certain time, it’s just irritating to have to wait almost 2 weeks after that. I’m also irritated about that Pink Line thing but that didn’t affect my grade here. I loved the nail polish colors I received and I love the eye shadow. I’m excited to see what other makeup products Julep comes out with soon. I’ve heard cream blush and highlighters… Time will tell!
Jill: The polish was nice, but the lip treatment was SO BAD that there was no compensating for it. My lips were in so much pain from that stuff that I’m considering talking to Julep about it. They do have a colorless version of the lip treatment (which is not a new product) that did not give my skin that kind of reaction, so I have no idea what they added to it when they added the (nonexistent) pigment and weird frosty shimmer.
This subscription is really fun and even though we all occasionally have our annoyances, this is not one I would cancel anytime soon. If you are interested in joining, feel free to use our referral link by clicking here! Help us help you by using our links. Also the Julep sites uses ebates but you are already using ebates, right? Please don’t tell me you hate money. We wouldn’t get along. 😉
Jill and Lauren both pay for these subscriptions. Post contains referral links.