If you have to buy it, get the best deal!
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 seven to nine new colors (and at times re-release 1-2 from the vault). 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 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. Swapping also gives a subscription where you actually want all the box contents every time. If you cannot find enough items to swap in, skip the box that month and pay nothing.
Every box comes with a coupon code. There are usually 2-3 codes, and while I’d love if mine was always the best available, it is not always the case. I keep a listing of all promo codes I am aware of. My code is JUNEBRIGHTER for a free Brighter is Better Nail Treatment with a $15 purchase through 07/31/16. The candy this month is one I have not seen since I was a kid.
Julep launched new Skip the Brush and Eyeliner shades. I wanted both, and the box allowed swaps for both beauty products from the new launch. That is unusual, so I had to go for it. I still wanted nail polish, so I decided to select some add-ons this month.
When Pencil Met Gel in Sunset Gold retails for $16. These glide on easily, are waterproof, have intense payoff, and do not smudge. I was excited to see this new shade, because it is so beautiful. It pairs well with orange and peach shades.
This looks so similar to the Marc Jacobs Sunset Highlander, which I really want. While I would generally give a slight edge to Marc Jacobs Highliners, I think Julep Gel Eyeliners are really good and comparable, considering the price savings. I think this missed the mark and cannot even be compared to the Highliner.
It definitely glides as well as other Julep When Pencil Met Gel Products, and the color is as beautiful as I pictured. Although, I think the Marc Jacobs is slightly different, and I prefer it. This has more shimmer than the average Julep liner, and it will not distribute evenly. Some areas had chunks and others did not. The result was a somewhat patchy application. Gels still look more polished than most Kohl liners, but I prefer a smooth, steady line. I should have known this would miss the mark, because the swatch was not even as smooth as it normally is.
I was not as pleased with the first application of this product as I usually am, so I decided to give it another chance. This time, I applied it with a lighter hand to see if I could limit the chunky glitter clumps that bothered me with the original use.
Application and wear went a little better, but I am convinced this particular pencil has a little too much glitter for my taste. It may be perfect for others, and this look proves that it can be applied without chunky glitter bunching up.
Skip the Brush Sweet Peach retails for $24. Peach is all the craze, so I could not help myself. I received a different color in a box after the original launch. The color was beautiful, and I loved the ease of application. It did not last as long as I would have liked. If this beautiful peach shade lasts any longer, I will try the original one again.
Even with a heavy application, I could barely notice this on my skin. This was not the best color for my skin tone, even though I really wished it was. The only benefit I noticed is it made my cheeks look a bit more dewy than they would have with nothing on.
I tried it again. Although I still barely see it, I do see the dewy glow it left again. It convinces me that this adds more radiance than color on my skin tone.
The Essential Cuticle Oil retails for $18. This is something I’ve wanted to try for a while, so it was nice to see it as an available swap. My cuticles have been a wreck lately (mostly because I have not been applying products like I should). I like the rollerball design on this, because I am more likely to apply cuticle products when they are easy.
I swap when possible to increase the value of my box whilst still getting things I actually want to use. By skipping nail polish in the main box, I ended with a $58 box value for the $19.99 base. Getting a box without polish seems weird, so I decided to get some for less in add-ons.
If you select three add-ons, you get a free surprise item. I usually get 0 or 3, because I can wait for items to go on sale and/or use promo codes. That is generally better than buying everything I see in the add-on section when it only takes three to get the gift. It was difficult finding a third item I actually wanted without spending over 2000 Jules.
My first selection for 1000 Jules was Gemini from the Zodiac Collection. This is the fifth polish in the collection. She retails for $14. That is more Jules than I would usually pay for a nail polish, but Gemini was a brand new release. It also saves me from having to make a separate purchase this month in my quest to collect all polishes from this collection. This social Chartreuse has a duo chrome effect. The finish is semi glossy and smooth. Compare this to my other green polishes.
Alaina is a driftwood taupe crème from the new polish line, so this was 600 Jules. I love these earth tones with a hint of purple. She retails for $14. The finish is semi matte and smooth. Compare this to my other beige and nude polishes.
I am not happy with my third selection. The only thing I wanted that kept me at 2000 total Jules was Silver Linings for 400 Jules. This is no longer listed on the site, so I cannot look up the original list price. My guess is it retailed for $8. It is a self-sticking silver nail tape. In the add-on section, this item looked large in the picture. When it arrived, it was much smaller looking. Talk about creative photographs. Although I do look forward to playing with this, there is not a lot to play with. Had I known, I would have used the 400 Jules to purchase an older polish I do not already own. There were at least a couple of those available.
My free item for selecting three add-ons was Julep Saaya. This retails for $14. It is not only a polish that I did not already own, but it is a golden apricot shimmer. That fits perfectly with my golden peach theme from the beauty products I selected. I could not have asked for a better polish as a freebie. The finish is semi glossy and smooth. Compare this to my other orange polishes.
The total box value is $108, and I only paid $19.99. I also used 2000 Jules, which also redeem for a free three item box (the main reason I did not want to redeem more than 2000). That is also my personal value, because I will use everything. Read my program description to learn more about Jules. Jules redemption are more valuable if you select beauty products instead of polish, but I got the beauty products I wanted and the polish I wanted for the best value.
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 Zodiac Collection, Julep, or 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
Use code MIXNMATCH for a free nail polish with a nail polish purchase. Expires 06/08/16