Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box from April 2013 Opening

Hello! Like the title says, this post is going to be all about my Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box from April 2013.

This is my very first Julep mystery box and I'm very glad I bought it! I love love love mystery boxes and I can't wait for them to release another one. For this box, they were launching their "Sea Salt finish" polishes, which are nail polishes with a gritty texture. I know it sounds kind of weird, but it looks really cool on and the texture adds some interesting contrast if you use it on an accent nail. I don't think they've added the sea salt polishes to their online store yet, at least not from what I've seen. In the boxes, you were guaranteed one of the new sea salt polishes. There are three different colors; a taupe, a beige, and a black. Each box also contained at least $70 dollars worth of products, but could have up to $200 worth of items (this is "retail value"; Maven's technically got less value for their boxes since they pay less for the products to begin with. The boxes were $25, so it's still a pretty good deal, especially if you got a $200 value box.)
As an added bonus, one of the mystery boxes also contained a $1000 Visa gift card!
This is how my Mystery Box came; as you can see, I wasn't one of the lucky ones and I got a $70 value box.
Here's the box opened! It's very cheery and colorful; around the time I got this, it was dreary outside that I needed something bright and surprising! I believe that everyone got two little bonus items with their boxes as well; some toe separators (mine were in bright orange!) and a Julep nail file.
Not sure that you needed a picture of this, but there you go! I really like that Julep always throws in little surprise extras like these; it makes the Maven boxes more fun since they add some mystery to what you otherwise know you're getting.

With the $70, there were a couple different varieties you could get. There were boxes with three polishes and two products and boxes with four polishes and one product. I don't know what ratios of polish versus products you could get in the $200 boxes since I haven't seen any posts describing what people got in them. I ended up getting a box with four polishes and one product.
Which you can see here! The one product I got was a Matte Top Coat. This was a lot cooler than I thought it would be. I know there have been matte top coats available from different brands for a while, but I never really looked into them. The finish this top coat gives is very interesting and would work really well to add some subtle texture differences to a mono-color manicure. I've seen things like french tips done with just the matte top coat, or designs involving polka dots.

Out of the four polishes I got, my favorite by far was the color Simone.
On the web site, Simone is described as a "soft pastel lilac opalescent shimmer". You can kind of see the "opalescence" here, but in real life this color is just gorgeous. There's this almost duo chrome look, but it's really soft. I've also been really drawn to lilac polishes lately (not sure why...) so I was more than happy to add another, especially one as beautiful as this, to my collection.

My next favorite polish from this box is Jill, the Sea Salt finish polish.
I ended up with the taupe polish, which made me happy. I would have liked to get the beige one as well, but I really, really didn't want the black one. The texture of this polish is very similar to OPI's sand; it dries with a bumpy, almost granulated finish, but it's full coverage. I've never used a textured polish before, so I found myself always touching my nail because it just felt so different! This color paired really well with Simone, I had Simone on four of my nails and then put Jill on my ring finger as an accent. The antiquey smokiness of these two polishes felt very appropriate for spring (even though it didn't feel like spring here...).

The next polish I got was a glitter polish called Vivien.
Julep describes this polish as "'Champagne bubbles'- a full coverage multi-dimensional gold glitter". This polish doesn't have the best reviews on the site because people felt a bit mislead by calling it a "full coverage" glitter. It's more like a really heavy topcoat; even with two or three coats, it's not going to cover your nail completely, you'll still be able to see color/your natural nail through the polish. As a top coat (or even by itself!) it is a very sparkly polish since it has both fine gold glitter and bigger, hexagon shaped pieces.

Finally, I got the color Claudette.
Claudette is a "smoky brick red crème". I wasn't disappointed in this color, but this definitely isn't a color I would pick for myself. That's the fun of mystery boxes, though, not knowing what you're going to get! I've always avoided wearing red polish because I always feel like it's going to look weird on me, but I've been getting brave and trying some out (like Jackie from my other box!). I haven't tried Claudette on my nails yet, but I have swatched it, and it does seem like it looks better (richer, maybe?) on than it does in the tube.

And that was my April 2013 Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box! I'm really sad that I missed the mystery box that came out before this one, especially since it looks like I just barely missed it (I joined the Maven program around mid-March, I think). I keep saying it, but I just really love mysteries and surprises and not knowing what I'm going to get. I definitely feel like this box was worth the $25 I paid for it, especially with Simone and the matte top coat. I'm looking forward to the next mystery box, and I hope they release another one very soon!

As a side note, this is what my backyard looked like around the time I got this box:
Yeah. That's mid-April. It actually snowed pretty bad one more time after this, and it only recently (last few days recently) started to actually feel like spring/summer. I needed some cheering up, and a mystery box was just the thing I needed.

Thanks for reading! <3

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