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.
If you’re not already familiar with the Julep Maven program, read my review. 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.
The luxe up your lips in Blushing Rose is a mauve-pink. It is the same formula as the sheer versions of this product, but it imparts a little more color. Sadly, the color dissipates fast. Within twenty minutes of putting it on, it was almost clear just like the sheer versions of this product. Unlike the sheer versions, which swatched smoothly, this was gritty. I have not worn the sheer version I received in January 2015 yet, but I have worn the sheer version I received in April 2015. It applied smoothly and had a formula that was between a gloss and a balm. It was not as moisturizing as a traditional balm. Had I tried the January one before purchasing the April one, I may not have. After trying this one, I definitely will not purchase any more of these.
The gritty feeling kind of freaked me out, because the April one was not gritty. I did not try or swatch the April one until I prepped the article in September, so it was already five months old when I did. This was not used or swatched until yesterday (10/26/15). That made it less than five months old. Did the formula already go back or did adding a little color make the formula gritty? I took to the Julep site to read reviews. Seems like no one knows for sure. Some people do report theirs being gritty though. Sadly, I put it on my lips before I swatched it (the reason for the crazy swatch), so the damage was already done if there was something wrong or growing in it. I sent Julep an email to ask about the texture.
This product was not even as moisturizing as the April one (which was only slightly better than a gloss and nowhere near a balm), and the product faded away completely in less than two hours. Some reviewers reported that this product tastes bad. I am sensitive to bad tasting lip products and did not find this bad. Of course, I did not find it pleasant either. Between the grittiness, fast fading wear and even faster fading color, I cannot recommend buying this. It retails for $24.
After applying it and being freaked out by the grittiness, I applied a healthy chunk to my hand to see if I could spot mold or anything dangerous in the grit. I could not, but that does not mean it was not there. The grit could be naturally occurring in this product, but it could mean something is wrong with it.
Julep did respond to my email and offered to send me a replacement. While I was waiting for the replacement, I Googled and read as much as I could on how this could happen. Most people agree that the product is safe to use even with the grittiness. It does not stay gritty on the lips and melts smoothly within 10-20 minutes (about the same amount of time it takes for almost all of the color to disappear). After having no reaction from my initial application and reading that products causing grittiness inside are not unsafe, I will probably not open the new one for a while. I will keep it new until I’ve used up the other one or pass it on if I never do.
Of the nine polishes released this month, the jelly polishes are the ones that caught my eye, so those are the two new polishes I selected for my main box. Tiffany is a pink radish jelly with a sheer/frost/pearl finish. These jelly polishes are very shiny, which is what I love about them. It retails for $14. Compare this to my other red 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.
I added on three items and while I cannot remember how many Jules I redeemed for each item, I know it required 1600 Jules for all three. Redeeming Jules meant I did not pay for my upgrades this month. Getting a 500 point bonus for my one year anniversary was immediately reinvested.
My first upgrade was a Konjac Cleansing Sponge for my face. It took me a little over a month to open this, and it was still wet when I did. They ship it wet to prevent the sponge from breaking in transit, because it gets very hard when it is dry. After cleansing whatever fluid is on it when it arrived, it took a few days to dry out. I used it for the first time days before I ordered my August Box on 07/20/15. Presenting the boxes out-of-order is strange, because I can tell you in the June article that I have not yet opened the body sponge from the August order, and it is still wet! The face sponge obviously impressed me or I never would have ordered the body version. It is solid and does not scratch my face at all. My only complaint is it is difficult to rinse the soap out of the sponge. This retails for $12.
Lucky is kelly green and gold coin multi-dimensional while being full coverage with a glitter finish. When I saw her, my first thought was she is perfect for Saint Patrick’s Day. Even though that was nine months away when I ordered her, it is only five months away now. Most of my polishes are new, so I never worry about ordering a polish too far in advance. She’s a beauty worth $14. Compare this to my other green polishes.
I actually had a hard time selecting a third item this month, and I usually will order zero or three add-ons, no more or no less. Despite hating the Julep Nail Polish Remover pads, I decided to order the Clean Slate Conditioning Nail Polish Remover & Pump. Once I try it for the first time, I will report back on whether it is as terrible as the pads or if the pads are the dud and not the remover. If it were not for Jules, I never would have ordered this, but using Jules allows me to satisfy my curiosity on where the problem lies for free. Is the problem the pad, the remover, or both? It retails for $14.
Whenever you add three or more items, Julep gives you a free gift. This month, it was Marcy. She is a prosecco silk (semi-matte opalescent) with a silk/satin finish. It is a long way of saying she is a shimmery off-white. I did not own her yet, so she was a good freebie worth $14. Compare this to my other sheer and white polishes.
The total box value is $106. I only paid $19.99 thanks to my Jules redemption. My personal value is also $106, because I will use everything in it.
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.
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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.