When it comes to nail polish, I am a huge fan of Julep’s five free formula. I find these polishes chip less than most, and the polishes themselves are a good deal when you have a Maven membership. They are quality polishes, so I would probably purchase them at $14 each if I did not have my Maven membership. Luckily, I do not have to pay that much. The color selections and polish finishes are more vast than almost any other nail polish line. Every month, they release nine new colors.
I have not skipped a box since I first subscribed in May 2014, because I find something I want every month. More often than not, the nail polishes are what draw me in, but I like to try Julep’s beauty products as well.
My box was pretty beat up when it arrived. Someone at the post office tried to add extra tape to it to keep it together, but it was still falling apart. Everything inside seemed fine other than a bit of loose powder rolling around in the blush. From my experience, that is normal with Julep powders. The box was in no condition to photograph, so I hope you enjoy the bag I used as its stand in.
I have a membership that auto renews every three boxes for $59.97, $19.99 per box. Paying month to month charges $24.99, so I like paying in advance to save $15 every three months. New Maven subscriptions allow you to swap products in, so I always suggest trying that. You can at times get a higher valued box with swaps. Assuming you really want an item you are swapping out, you can generally get it in the add-on section, so put the more expensive item inside the box. Plus, swaps make the box possibilities almost endless.
You will usually get special inserts, which include some information on certain products, a notification you received a bonus (if applicable), and a discount code toward future orders. There are usually a few codes floating around, so yours may be different from mine.
After seeing candy (a usual staple) absent from the box for a while, it is nice to see it return for the “Halloween” Box. As usual, it is a candy I have no interest in. My boys do not like this candy either.
I love trying new blushes, because blush disappears on my skin faster than anything else. It has a lot to do with how dry my cheeks are. There is not a lot of moisture for products to latch on. Julep blushes have done a decent job in the past, so this new offering interested me. Your Happy Look in Rosewood was the one that caught my eye from the swatches. This groundbreaking blush should minimize complexion imperfections. Julep claims the blush is an improved version of the one I already own, so I looked forward to putting that to the test. This retails for $24.
Like most powder blushes, all traces disappeared on me within a few hours. The color, while it lasted, was stunning and already one of my favorites. It is a very wearable rose-gold.
I paired it with a neutral eye and Urban Decay Streak lipstick for this look. It really is a stunning color, and the blush does appear almost pore minimizing as it claims. My skin looks smooth. It really is too bad it does not last longer on my skin.
Paulina is a peacock duochrome. It looks blue with a hint of green. This retails for $14. Compare this to my other blue polishes.
Sherri is an opulent purple stardust. It has a rough finish, so you definitely need two topcoat layers to smooth this out. This retails for $14. Compare this to my other purple polishes.
That makes the base box I paid $19.99 for worth $52. This is the usual amount, which is why I love when swaps get me over $60. The best swaps allow you to swap polishes for beauty products (that are more expensive). Swaps were more limited this month, and only older, lower valued beauty products were available in place of the new polishes. Both polishes are beautiful, so I am happy with getting a lower valued box this month.
You can select add-ons with each box. If you select three add-ons, you will be a surprise bonus for free. I used to order add-ons as much as possible, but the surprise freebies have been items that already exist in my stash lately. That means I only order add-ons when I see something I really want now. Then, I am not as disappointed if the free item has a low value, is a duplicate, or both. There were four items I wanted this month, but I limited myself to three. On 10/05/15, I ended up ordering the fourth item from the store anyway, so it all worked out.
My first add-on is Nicola, an orange glow-in-the-dark iridescent microglitter top coat. I have not painted my nails in a while, but I plan on starting again and doing something special for Halloween. An orange glow in the dark topcoat for Halloween is the perfect polish to start painting with. This $14 polish was free thanks to redeeming 600 Jules. It was a $6.99 add-on for those who did not redeem Jules. Compare this to my other coral and orange polishes.
I did not notice Nicola glowing in the dark, so I can only assume the topcoat activates opaque color underneath. On the website, it was paired with a white polish to create the effect.
I usually am not a fan of cream shadows, because they crease on me no matter what I do. Eyeshadow 101 is a crème-to-powder shadow stick. It boasts huge color payoff, being crease-proof, and staying put all day. Those are claims I doubted, but I admit I wanted to see for myself. Adding it on for only $8.99 when it retails for $18 seemed like a nice price to test its claims. Orchid Shimmer intrigued me, because the swatch looked nothing like the pictures. Both look lovely, but this was a true enigma to me. It made my decision on which color to get easy. I had to know what it would swatch and look like in person. Would it really look this different?
When I swatched this, I was able to see the difference between the swatch and the way it photographed on the model, so the mystery is solved. If you take a light application and blend it out, you will end up with a very similar look to what the models got. You can apply it thicker and blend less if you want to wear this full force.
I decided to try it between the super soft look the models used and the bold look of not doing much blending. Before applying this, I did use NARS Pro Prime Eyeshadow Base. This was not easy to blend. The more I blended, the more I looked like the models with a light application. To combat that, I had to apply even more product. That means it rubs off too easily for a cream shadow. Within minutes of applying, it had already creased. For the sake of testing, I did not use any other products.
Cream shadows, even from expensive brands, have a hard time staying put on me unless I put a powdered shadow over it. Yes, it changes the look and is the main reason I do not usually go for creams. Now that I’ve satisfied my curiosity, I would not buy any more of these. If you do not have super oily lids and are able to wear other cream shadows, this may work for you.
I wore it a second time the way I prefer to wear my cream shadows, with a powder on top. The powder (Julep Showtime) and cream shadow were far from a perfect color match. You’ve seen what the shadow stick looks like alone. To show the difference between what the shadow stick adds and the natural powder, I only applied the shadow stick to one eye. My left eye (picture right) is eyeshadow only. On the right, I am wearing eyeshadow and this shadow stick.
Neither side creased, which made me happy. The shadow stick made the color pop so much more than it did on its own. It also helped the color last longer. The difference in color intensified as the day went on and the side with only shadow faded slightly while the side with the shadow stick stayed as vibrant as when I put it on. I found the way I will wear this. Too bad the color does not match any of my Julep eyeshadows, because I will have to search through my other brands for a better pairing.
I wore this a third time with the shadow stick only and it was a repeat of the uneven creased mess from the first attempt. This is definitely not something I can wear alone.
Twiggy is a mauve frost. On top of the fact that I find this polish very gorgeous, I have this thing with collecting as many polishes with gold and silver lids as possible. They look so classy. I am also a huge fan of the mod look Twiggy brought to the forefront in the 60s. Though she was a little thinner than I prefer, she explained on America’s Next Top Model that she was just naturally thin. That is nothing to fault her for, and she is a timeless beauty. This polish is a great tribute to her. It retails for $14, but I was able to add it on for $4.99. That is an incredible price for a gold lid polish. Compare this to my other pink polishes.
My free item for selecting three add-ons is Myriam. She is actually a polish I did not own yet, so it was a good month to select the add-ons for me. This is a casino red crème worth $14. Compare this to my other red polishes.
I paid $33.97 for this box valued at $112. My personal value is also $112, because I want everything in this box.
If you want to join Julep, visit my Julep Maven page to see all start-up offers. Visit my regular Julep page to see more offers for shopping. All polishes above are swatched once. They get darker with more swatches. See all Julep Subscription articles. Tips For Getting the Best Deal lays out every way I can think of to save money at Julep. View my main page for the guide map to the site and deeper deal exploration.
Disclosure: Affiliate Links
I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.