Friday, April 8, 2016

Reviewed: Julep Introductory Maven Box

Happy Friday!

The box came early. Very early. Which kind of surprised me because it came by way of FedEx Smartpost, which normally takes a lot longer. At least, that's been my past experiences. Don't know what the difference was this time but I hope it continues. 

The Julep Maven box is $24.99 when subscribed monthly. You get your first box at 50% off with that subscription. Or you can sign up for three months for $19.99 per month and get the first month free, which is what I did. 

The idea is that for your monthly payment, you get products worth over $40. These are full sized products, not samples. Since the average cost of Julep products is around $20, don't expect more than two or three unless you upgrade or get add-ons. 

Though you might not get as much in the box, the fact that you can completely customize your box is the big draw here. You start by answering some questions about yourself. There is also a beauty bio you can complete. This is so they get an idea of your preferences as well as basic information like eye, hair, and skin color. This helps them to choose products you might like. If you don't like what they've chosen, you can switch the products out for something you do prefer. The switching out takes place during a certain time of the month. Once you've created your box, they send it out to you.

Additionally, Julep releases new collections every month and it's possible to upgrade your box to get the entire collection. I looked at some unboxings on YouTube and the one YouTuber stated she paid an additional $55 to upgrade her box to the full collection for the month of March. Not bad, really, and she received a bonus product for choosing 3 add-ons. 

And there's more. After you have received your first, fully paid box, you can opt to pass on receiving a box if there is nothing offered that interests you. I'll get my next box then if I don't want anything offered for the third, I can pass and see what's offered the next month. Judging from this box, however, I'm thinking I won't be doing any passing for a while, if ever. 

As I was signing up, I had a choice of three options for the introductory box. I could choose all makeup, all polish, or a mixture of both. I chose all makeup. I also took advantage of the add-on items that were offered at extremely discounted prices.

So, my first shipment from Julep looked like this.

Which was a bit confusing until I took a closer look. The items for the actual introductory box are these.

The add-ons are these.

Sorry for all the glare. The packaging is a little deceiving. It looks matte but when the light hits it...

Anyway, I'll start with the actual box items - a primer and a stick blush.

The primer is the Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer.

It comes out of the tube as a milky gel.

It blends completely away and felt slightly tacky. It does contain dimethicone but also contains skin treatment ingredients. The description on the box says it "absorbs shine, minimizes pores, and keeps skin moisturized for 24 hours." I don't really need a primer now that my skin has improved so much but with all of the skin care ingredients, I don't see where it would hurt to use it anyway.

A repurchase of the product will run me $28.

The blush is a cream to powder stick blush called Skip The Brush.

The color is Golden Guava.

All that gold kind of intimidated me a bit and it will go on pretty strong.

I could not get a good picture because of all that golden shine. The base color is darker than it appears here. It does blend out so that the gold isn't nearly as blinding but it still retains a bit of that glow.

Again, the glow makes the color appear lighter than it is. The flush left behind after blending is of the coral variety and would be very natural looking without all the gold shimmer. There are larger gold glitters in here that really pick up the light. Not sure this is an everyday kind of product but would look very pretty for a night out.

The cost of the product is $24.

Now for the add-ons, starting with the product Julep is best known for, their polish.

This one is called Tali. I did not realize it would be a holographic when I chose it but I'm glad I did. It reminds me of L'Oreal's Masked Affair but in blue. Thankfully, Tali is much easier to work with than was Masked Affair, although the first coat had me a bit worried. It was very streaky and left unsightly bald spots no matter how hard I tried to cover them up. The second coat resolved that problem beautifully.

This is two coats without base or top. It dries to a slightly textured matte finish and dries fairly quickly. The glittery holo is very strong and both linear and scattered - there's actually so much sparkle and holo here that my camera just couldn't deal. Thankfully, Julep provides a way to swatch the polish on the cap so that not only can the color be identified while in storage but I can show you the holo a little better.

Okay. Maybe not much better. While I was taking this picture, the camera focused and refocused so much, the polish looked like it was moving. 

I really like the fact that the cap is in two pieces so that I can reposition the outer cap when it becomes skewed with use. You know what I mean? The square caps eventually can no longer be closed enough to be in line with the bottle? All I have to do is remove the outer cap and reposition it and viola! Back in alignment. Yes. I'm weird that way.

These polishes sell for $14. I paid $4.99 for Tali. 

The rest of my add-ons are makeup items. 

You know how I've been on the hunt for the perfect olive colored shadow. Well, now I've found the perfect olive eyeliner.

This is the Gel Eye Glider in the color Olive. And it's the best Army Olive I have ever seen. It'll look awesome with the other olive-y greens I have but I'm considering using it first with Havoc from Makeup Geek. Dirty Martini from Makeup Geek would also be a good pairing. Gonna have to go play here real soon.

The eyeliner sells for $16. I got it for $6.99.

Next up - what goes with eyeliner? Eyeshadow! Although I'm not sure how well Olive would go with these.

This is the Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eyeshadow Duo in Lo & Behold. Not sure which is which here but I'm not sure it really matters. Both are shimmers so I would need a matte to balance out all that shine. I just don't like how I look with all shimmer eyeshadows. These shadows are buttery and well pigmented but they are also on the powdery side. I also like how the packaging is so elegant and understated.

There is a decent mirror in here. No applicator but then, I don't use what comes with eyeshadows anyway so no big deal there.

The shadow sells for $20. I paid $9.99.

And finally, a lipstick.

This the Light On Your Lips Full-Coverage Creme Lipstick in the color Primp. We all know how I love those pinky nudes and this one is no exception. It feels like a lip balm and has a satin finish but doesn't completely dry down to become transfer proof. This will wear off. It feel fairly comfortable on, although I will probably use a lip balm before applying, as I always do. This is one I will probably reach for a lot.

And the coolest thing about this product? The cap is magnetic. The packaging is made of metal and has a satisfying heft to it but not too heavy. So when replacing the cap, the magnet catches it and pulls it all way closed. No more loose caps in the purse. Hallelujah!

The Julep lipsticks sell for $22. I got this one for $9.99.

All told, this box is worth $124. As part of my first month's Maven box, the primer and blush were free. I paid $31.96 for the add-ons. Very good value for a subscription box.

If you would like to become a Julep Maven, just hop on over to their site and get started. So far, I'm liking being a Maven.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned!


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