Julep Maven September 2018 Subscription Box Review
Julep Maven is a subscription program. While Julep started as a nail polish brand, it expanded to include a large variety of beauty products. Members get to select the items they want inside their boxes so there are no surprises. Mavens can stick to nail polish, try products from the ever-growing beauty line, or both in their monthly Julep subscription boxes. Products are always full-sized. Many of these beauty products are just as incredible as 5-free nail polish the brand offers. As a nail polish lover, I can say with certainty that these polishes chip less than most brands. A Maven membership helps subscribers get full-size products for a fraction of the cost to purchase them separately. They are quality polishes so I would probably purchase them at $14 each even if I did not have my Maven membership. The color selections and polish finishes are more vast than almost any other nail polish line. Almost every month, Julep releases seven new colors (and at times re-release 1-2 from the vault).
Julep also releases a new beauty product or two most months so its chemists are always hard at work. With rare exception, the new items are box options. That means you can place 2-3 brand new items in your monthly subscription box each month. Older items are always available to select as well. Members just need to select the swap option to bring up all the possibilities. A standard box has 3 items, but with swapping and other options, members can end up with 2 (selecting more expensive items) or 4 (selecting cheaper items). If nothing appeals to you that month or you want to skip for any reason at all, Mavens can skip any month. There is no limit to how often one can skip as long as they are not grandfathered into older plans without as many options.
All Mavens pay sales tax and get free shipping on subscription boxes. Paying month to month charges $24.99. Charges get processed the day you subscribe or on the 27th of the month for the following month. This means someone subscribing on the 20th would get charged $24.99 for this month and $24.99 again on the 27th for the following month. Those who pay in advance get a 20% discount. My subscription renews after three boxes for $59.97, or $19.99 a box. There is a subscription option that offers six boxes for $119.94, or $19.99 a box. I do not recommend this one, because there is no discount over the 3-month plan. Maven Luxe Boxes (get more products than standard boxes) are $39.99 a month or $104.97 ($34.99 a box) for three. Boxes are auto-filled for Mavens with products based on the beauty profile they complete. If a member wants to swap items or skip the month, s/he needs to login from the 20th-24th (the Maven selection window to do so).
I always like to look at the options so I never let Julep select them for me. You can get a higher valued box with swaps. Mavens can also select add-ons. These add-ons get charged on top of the cost of the subscription, but they are cheaper than buying the item separately from the Julep store (where anyone including non-Mavens can purchase Julep items). Those selecting add-ons should play around with the box options to make sure they are adding on the cheaper ones and placing the more expensive items inside the main box. Swaps and add-ons make the box possibilities almost endless so the box I am sharing will almost certainly differ from the one you’d receive. Swapping gives the member a subscription where s/he actually wants all the box contents every time. If you cannot find enough items to swap in, skip the box that month and pay nothing.
Mavens also get Jules (rewards points) for every box they purchase. Standard boxes get 350 Jules. Luxe boxes get 700 Jules. Each year, on the Maven anniversary, the Maven gets 500 Jules. Redeem these Jules for add-ons or future Maven boxes. When they reach 2000 Jules, they can trade them in for a free standard box. It takes 4000 Jules to receive a free Luxe box. Those on longer term subscriptions can only redeem Jules when they have no pre-paid boxes left, but there is no need to fret. Jules do not expire. Subscribers can also use Jules to reduce the cost of add-ons inside their boxes. Most products charge 100 points per dollar so a $5 product would go for 500 Jules.
All Mavens get access to the Secret Store. This is a pop-up sales event that takes place for 5-6 days at the end of every month. The secret store has discounted items for subscribers only. Mavens who select a box for the month get early access and lower prices on select items during early access. Subscribers also get 20% off (deducts automatically on all full-price items when logged into a subscriber account) and free shipping on every order. That 20% Maven discount will usually combine with a discount code, but it is usually not applied to items that are already on sale. So, a Maven will get each $14 nail polish for $11.20 but will have to pay the full $7 on polishes already discounted to $7.
Every box usually comes with a coupon code. The code in my box was WORKIT. This code gives a free color polish with a $10 purchase through 09/30/18.
Everything comes inside a purple box wrapped in cardboard colored paper pulp. This provides some protection, but more fragile things could still move around.
Julep used to put candy inside every box, but that happens a lot less now. There was candy in the February box (Valentine’s Day), so there will probably be candy in the October box (Halloween).
I really love the It’s Balm products. Julep released three new colors this month. Because I need to have them all, I will grab the third color in my next box. That will complete my collection, because I already own all the past colors. It might be the only collection where I own every color. Granted, I wear some colors more than others.
The center part of this product is a clear balm. That increases hydration, but it also means one pass of color is not enough for these. For those who dislike inconsistent application, they might not like this product. I do not mind, because the few extra seconds in application results in hours of comfortable lips. They seriously wear like a lipstick but feel like a lip balm. A pigment lip balm or extremely moisturizing lipstick is my favorite lip product, from any brand.
Julep Bradley is a mesquite green with gold ghost shimmer. It retails for $14 ($11.20 Mavens). This has a semi glossy and smooth finish. I have so many polishes that ordering even new ones gives me redundant colors. The stock photo of this looked unique and unlike any of the polishes I already own. It basically looks like a gray polish with gold glitter. Almost no green is visible at all. However, I go by the product description. Compare this to my other green polishes.
It’s Balm Canyon Rose is a stunning, almost wine-colored rose. This is the only shade that is currently sold out, so it looks like a lot of people were interested in this launch. I really love this color, but I would have ordered it even if I did not for all the reasons I mentioned above. It retails for $20 ($16 Mavens). Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture.
It’s Balm Sepia Mauve is a sepia mauve hybrid. Those are two of my favorite lip colors, so I knew I would love this. I know it is too early to say, but I am thinking this might be my new favorite shade in these. Getting a shade I love in a formula I love makes me so happy. It retails for $20 ($16 Mavens). Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture.
If you select three add-ons, you get a free surprise item. I usually only get 3 when I select some, because I can wait for items to go on sale and/or use promo codes. If I cannot find 3, I get 0. That is better than buying everything I see in the add-on section when it only takes three to get the gift. This month, I did not select any add-ons.
I made some substitutions to my standard bombshell box, so this is custom. The total box value is $54. That is also my personal value, because I will use everything (a given when I select everything in the box). I redeemed 2000 Jules, so I did not pay for this box. Whenever I accumulate enough Jules to redeem a box, I must call Julep customer service to remove me from the 3-month subscription to apply them. Only someone on a month-to-month plan can redeem them without assistance even if you are due for your 3 or 6 month renewal. That has only happened since 2017. Prior to that, I could redeem a box without assistance. It would be nice if Julep would change it back, because it is annoying. This is a subscription I love, because I have complete control over the items I want. When I cannot find enough items I want, I just skip the month. As such, it is always a given that I am happy with my box.
Use code POLISHGIFT for a 12-piece full-size nail polish gift ($168 value) with a new subscription.
If you want to join Julep, visit my Julep Maven page to see all start-up offers. Product reviews do not always make it into the haul article, but you can always type the product into the search bar to see if I’ve mentioned it or reviewed it elsewhere. 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 and all Nail Polish Swatches. 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 (13 and 8) 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 13-year-old to apply it.
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