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Julep May 2015 Set Sail Ultimate Upgrade

When it comes to nail polish, I am a huge fan of Julep’s five free formula. 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.

There are times when the collections are so impressive and the value so great that you just have to upgrade the box. This was one of those months. I had a really hard time choosing, so I decided not to choose at all. This is the second month in a row I went with the Ultimate Upgrade. The Set Sail Ultimate Upgrade spoke to me, because I liked most of the nail polish colors. These upgrades give all nine new polishes plus the new beauty items introduced this month. I am already a huge fan of the Plush Pouts, and the upgrade included two. The shadows have not been my favorite, this upgrade included three. Unlike last month where I selected the upgrade as an add-on, this month I chose to substitute my box with it. That means I paid an extra $55 on top of the $19.99 I prepaid, $74.99. With five beauty products and nine nail polishes, that makes each item $5.36.

If you’re not already familiar with the Julep Maven program, read my review here. My subscription renews after three boxes for $59.97, or $19.99 a 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.

Julep May 2015 2

The colors really pop above with the flash.

Julep May 2015

Amanda is a pink dahlia crème. Compare this to my other pink polishes.

Julep Amanda

Jessica is a soft baby blue crème. Compare this to my other blue polishes.

Julep Jessica

Spencer is a vintage gold chrome. Compare this to my other yellow and gold polishes.

Julep Spencer

Becca is a viridian tide shimmer. That is a fancy way of calling it a shimmery teal/green. Compare this to my other green polishes.

Julep Becca

Shelby is a navy ink crème. Compare this to my other blue polishes.

Julep Shleby

Denise is a purple crocus crème, a bright purple. Compare this to my other purple polishes.

Julep Denise

Vanna is a Magnolia crème. Compare this to my other sheer and white polishes.

Julep Vanna

Lee is a spitfire red crème. Compare this to my other red polishes.

Julep Lee

Carolyn is a Melon Fusion crèmea creamy orange. Compare this to my other orange polishes.

Julep Carolyn

The Plush Pouts are worth $20 each. Have I mentioned how much I love the Plush Pouts! I collected the first four colors over several months. My willpower was nonexistent when the next four came out. They were introduced with this box, and I bought them all at once. Luckily, two came in the upgrade. The other two, were add-on options for $9.99. That is 50% off, so I was happy. This is the best product Julep makes outside of the nail polishes (and I’ve tried a lot of Julep products). All colors: are moisturizing, long-lasting, and feel wonderful. Most do not accentuate lines, and do not highlight dry patches. They are almost like a balm with the color payoff of a lipstick. None of the new ones disappointed either. These are all A to A+ lipsticks.

It’s Balm, Plush Pout, Fuchsia Berry is beautiful. The color is slightly darker and more shimmery than Tom Ford Francesco (one of my favorite lipsticks pictured below where I am wearing the pink shirt). Both formulas are incredible and the difference in the colors is noticeable enough for me to keep both. If you only own one or the other, they are great dupes for one another.

Julep Plush Pout Fuchsia

I used it before taking a picture of the bullet, so you can see some of the shade covered the moisturizing center. It is still there and works very well.

Julep Plush Pout Fuchsia 2

Julep Fuchsia

Tom Ford Francesco (picture for color reference).


It’s Balm, Plush Pout, Electric Coral is one of my favorite coral shades ever. This leans more pink-coral than orange-coral. As much as I want to love orange shades, they do not always love me back.

Julep Plush Pout Coral

I used it before taking a picture of the bullet, so you can see some of the shade covered the moisturizing center. It is still there and works very well.

Julep Plush Pout Coral 2

Julep Plush Pout Coral 3

The eyeshadow duos retail for $20 each. Feels Like Velvet Coconuts & Cabanas is Chocolate shimmer and metallic antique gold. These colors blend together for darker neutral look. They blended decently well. I liked the light shimmer. It faded, creased and wore unevenly as the day went on. This picture is from seven hours in. You can see light creasing and it was not as dark as when I put it on that morning.

Julep Eyeshadow Swatches 2

Juelp liner shadow

I wore it again to get some pictures while it was still a bit more fresh. It did not fade or crease as badly the second time, but I still was not pleased with the way they wore. There was definite fading and very light creasing. After two disappointments with this duo, it will probably be a while before I wear it for the third time.

Julep shadows

Julep shadows and roller lash

Feels Like Velvet, Moonlight & Starlight reminds me of the late 90s. I wore a lot of really light white/cream eyeshadows and thought it looked beautiful. Trying to make a palette with a light shade as one of only two shades works almost means I have to apply it to the lid. I prefer to work with darker shades in the crease, but I admit I want to see what this will look like with the white shade in the crease and brow bone. The shadows did not crease but like the other mini palettes, the colors faded a little as the day wore on.

Julep Eyeshadow Swatches 3

Julep Shadows 6

Julep Shadows 5

Feels Like Velvet 5th Ave & Broadway is matte peach and metallic rose-gold. They pair for a very natural look even with the shimmer in the rose-gold. The shades did not crease at all and barely faded. This duo is a lot nicer than Coconuts and Cabanas, so there is not consistency across the product.

Julep Eyeshadow Swatches 1

Julep eyeshadow palette

Julep Black Shimmer

Although, I was uncertain how the new shadows would do compared to the ones I’ve used in the past, I needed Feels Like Velvet, Sequins & Showtime. The colors are pearl and slate shimmer. Purple eyeshadow is one of my favorites. It was 800 Jules, which was the exact number I had.

Julep Eyeshadow Swatches 4

Julep Shadows 2

I received a shadow stick in my October box (five months later, but I tried it first). 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. The powder and cream shadow (Julep Eyeshadow 101 Orchid Shimmer) were far from a perfect color match. You’ve seen what the shadow stick looks like alone.

Julep Shadows 3

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 out 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.

It’s Balm, Plush Pout, Flamingo Pink does highlight lip lines a little but it is still not bad at all. The formula is comfortable, and I love the color.

Julep Plush Pout Hot Pink

Julep Plush Pout Hot Pink 2

Julep Pink

It’s Balm, Plush Pout, Vintage Mauve highlights lines and slightly accentuates dry patches. The color is still beautiful and the wear is extremely comfortable.

Julep Plush Pout Pink Nude

Julep Plush Pout Pink Nude 2

Julep Mauve Pink

Whenever you add three or more items, Julep gives you a free gift. This month, it was DoubleStep. I already know and love this product. When I run or visit amusement parks, I put this on my feet to prevent them from sliding. On successful days, I do not get blisters. It works more than it does not. Receiving this for free is awesome, because it is something I have bought in the past and will buy again. DoubleStep retails for $22.

My total was $94.97. I saved a whole penny over last month. With nine $14 polishes, four $20 eyeshadow duos, four $20 Plush Pouts, and the $22 Double Step, this box is worth $308. That is also my personal value, because I want every item in this box. Although, I spent almost $100, I saved over 69% this month with my Maven membership.

Julep Beauty Box Subscription

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 articlesTips 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

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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.

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