I was planning on skipping my December 2018 Julep Maven box, because I was out of pre-paid boxes and was very close to my beauty budget for December with all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. The problem is I forgot to skip. You have to log in between the 20th and the 24th to skip a box. With all the emails I received for that week on the best deals of the year, I missed the email reminding me that selection was open. It was there (as I discovered later), so it was 100% my fault. It also means this was the first box in the history of my Julep subscription (which originated in May of 2014) that I did not get to customize. One of the things I love about Julep is I get to pick everything that goes into my box. Whenever I cannot find enough things to buy or want to take a break for financial reasons, I do. Since I am on a Bombshell subscription, I could not even see what items I was receiving. My order history lists my December 2018 items as Wintry Florals. So, the items I received below were 100% a surprise. You can call it a Christmas gift I “sent” to myself by forgetting to skip the box. Keep reading to see if I regret not skipping or consider this a happy mistake.
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 about seven new colors (and will 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).
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 PARTY. This code gives a free color polish with a $10 purchase through 12/31/18.
Everything comes inside a purple box wrapped in cardboard colored paper pulp (which I recycled before the photograph). 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), but there was no candy in this December box (Christmas).
The Julep Light on Your Lips Full-Coverage Crème Lipstick in Muse retails for $22 ($17.60 Maven). It is new to my collection, so I will keep it. I’ve always enjoyed Julep’s lip products. As soon as it arrived, I put it on. This seemed a little more drying than it used to. My lips are either more dry than usual (it is winter), the formula changed, or I’ve only used more hydrating products recently. That said, this is a matte formula. For a matte formula, it is still pretty moisturizing. It does wear off fast for a matte formula though.
This is a vintage rose crème. I love rosy nudes, which is part of the reason I applied this immediately after swatching it despite the fact that I had no other makeup on my fave. The color is not as flattering on me as I would have hoped. Then again, I was not wearing other makeup. Maybe with a full face of makeup, this could look nice. Once I wear it again (with makeup), I will upload a photo.
Julep Marleny retails for $14 ($11.20 Maven). This is a cool, peony shimmer. Peonies come in a variety of colors, but I would describe this as a red wine shade. Though I love the color, I have so many like it and probably would not have purchased it (had I not forgotten to skip the box). It is a new polish to my collection, so I will keep it. The finish is semi glossy and smooth. Compare this to my other wine polishes.
Julep Sloan retails for $14 ($11.20 Maven). This is an icy primrose shimmer. Julep gets fancy with its descriptions, but I think this is pink. I love the color, but again, I have so many like it. It is a new polish to my collection, so I will keep it. The finish is semi glossy and smooth. Compare this to my other pink polishes.
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. Since I forgot about this box altogether, I never got a chance to even view the add-ons this month. As I am on product overload, I am sure I would have passed anyway.
The total box value is $50. That is also my personal value, because I will keep everything as I have no duplicates. I redeemed 2000 Jules on my last box. In order to redeem Jules when you are on a multi-month payment plan, customer service has to move you to a month-to-month plan. This is a relatively new pain that did not exist before my last two redemptions. Since I switched to a month-to-month plan and did not have any months left, I should have paid $24.99 plus tax for this box. For some unknown reason, I was only charged $19.99 plus tax. It is possible Julep messed up, but I will not call to confirm (as I do not want to get charged another $5). I think it is also possible Julep decided to give me grandfathered pricing based on how my account is. Considering the price has always been $24.99 a month since I first signed up (on boxes you can customize anyway), I find my $19.99 charge odd. My plan is not to prepay three months on the next box I get and see what I get charged. If Julep charges me $19.99 again, I will stay on the month-to-month plan. There is never a need to pay up front unless you get some benefit. I’d rather hold onto the money until it is due than let Julep hold it. Interest free loans are not cool with me (the reason I also advise against the 6 month plan which has the same pricing per box as the 3 month plan).
Use code POLISHGIFT for a 12-piece full-size nail polish gift ($168 value) with a new subscription.
What do you think about my December 2018 Julep Maven Subscription Box? Let me know below. 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 (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.