Sunday, May 5, 2013

March and April 2013 Julep Maven Boxes - Opening and Review

Hello! I have been putting this off for so long, and I have no idea why. I feel like the longer I wait to post these, the less I want to do them (which might be because I think that I've forgotten a lot...). So without further ado, here's the opening and review of the March 2013 Modern Beauty Julep Maven box and the April 2013 Classic with a Twist Julep Maven box! Incidentally, if you don't feel like reading things, I have videos on Youtube now!

I'm sorry if this isn't the most detailed opening/review, like I said, it's been a while since I've received these boxes and I've gotten even more stuff in the meantime, so it all kind of blurs together. After getting my Boho Glam welcome box, I was pretty hooked on Julep products. I had gotten a sample of their Glycolic Hand Scrub and I fell in love. Luckily, their March 2013 Modern Beauty box (it's called "American Beauty" now) had both the Glycolic Hand Scrub and their Rock Star Hand Cream at a much cheaper price than if I were to buy them from the store. I also wanted to get an April 2013 Maven box because I wanted to try the Nail & Cuticle Serum and because I missed getting an April box (I signed up to be a Maven at the very end of March, so I missed the 20th-24th box selection time frame. So, even though I'm on my...fifth box from them, I've only actually gotten one subscription box during the actual subscription time frame. I do really like that they let you buy the past boxes while they're still in stock.).
I had a hard time deciding between the Bombshell box and the Classic with a Twist box, though now I kind of regret not getting the Bombshell because people have described one of the polishes included in it as "Tardis blue" and I have been known to enjoy Dr. Who...oh well! I'm still very happy with my choice to get a Classic with a Twist box and the polish colors it came with.
So this is the huge box I got in the mail! It's upside down so you can't see my address... I was a little surprised to see such a big box for two littler boxes.
Here are my two boxes inside my weirdly huge bigger box. I suppose since the boxes are two different shapes and sizes that it might have been hard to find a better sized box. The little white card on top was a nice thank-you for ordering message from Julep.
So this is the first box I opened, my March Modern Beauty box! It had really cute bright blue tissue paper and included a quote from Lucia Capacchione ("Without play, life just doesn't taste good.") on the smaller card. The larger card showed the two products included in the box, and the back of it described how to enter Julep's first "Be Good To Yourself Challenge". This is a monthly contest on their Facebook page where you post a picture of yourself enjoying your Maven box items for the month. The prize for winning is three months of Maven boxes for free, which is a pretty awesome prize.
So here are the contents of the March Modern Beauty box. As you can see, I got the Rock Star Hand Cream, the Glycolic Hand Scrub, and the little extra was a tube of their strawberry mint lip balm!
I really, really like this lip balm. I've been trying to find a good, "healthy" lip balm and have really been struggling since I seem to react adversely to a lot of natural ingredients (ugh, especially Argan oil). I've used this almost daily since I got it, and I haven't had any bad reactions to it. It smells and tastes really good, very strawberry-ish but in a fresh, non-artificial way. This is a very, very soft balm. When I first tried it, I thought maybe it had gotten warm and had melted slightly, but I think it's just very soft and creamy. You can't really apply it like you would a regular Chapstick since you'd get way too much product on your lips. You have to have a very light hand and almost dab it on. It is very moisturizing and is overall a great lip product.
This is the Rock Star Hand Cream out of the box, This hand cream feels really silky and moisturizing when you apply it and it absorbs really quickly and doesn't leave a greasy residue. It does have a smell, but it's really hard to describe. It's almost a floral, but it doesn't really smell flowery, if that makes sense. There are layers of fruity-ness and freshness to it as well. It's a very distinctive (but not unpleasant) smell; when I put it on, it makes me actually think about Julep, which is good marketing on their part (I think it's because the other Julep products smell very similar). My only semi-issue with this product is the way you dispense it. It doesn't have a traditional cap like you'd see on other lotions. You actually twist the silver cap to open and close it, so the hole in the bottom is exposed. I thought it would get dirty really quickly, so I keep it in the box, but so far it's been good.
And this is the Glycolic Hand Scrub! Nothing special about the packaging, though I do like the bright pink and minimal design; it makes it stand out in my bathroom (it's the same kind of graphic label design as my foot scrub, so I can immediately recognize which products on my bathroom counter are Julep products, which, again, is very good marketing and branding on their part). It has the same scent as the hand cream, so you don't have to worry about mixing scents when you use them in tandem. It says it's gentle enough for daily use, though I only tend to use it a few times a week at most. It has both glycolic acid and little apricot seed beads so you get both a chemical and a physical exfolilator. I've found that it can sting just a little, but my hands are so soft and smooth after using it that it's totally worth it. I loved this product when I first tried a sample of it, and I love it even more now that I have a full size!

Overall, the March 2013 Modern Beauty Maven box was more than worth it to me. I only paid $20 for this box, where if you were to buy this set in their online store (and this doesn't include the lip balm) with your Maven discount, it would be $34.40! So, yeah, this was a really good deal!

Next up I have my April 2013 Classic with a Twist box. April was all about bright colors, and they even included the packaging with their theme. The tissue paper was a bright fuchsia and the little crinkle paper things were bright yellow. The quote this month was from RuPaul and is "Life is about using the whole box of crayons.", so very appropriate. The product description card showed off the two polishes and the serum and the back had instructions for the "perfect DIY pedi" (which I desperately need to do to prepare for summer...if summer ever comes. Snow in the first week of May is just...not cool.).
Here's how the products looked tucked away in my box. I'm not sure if the sample of the Rock Star Hand Cream actually came in this box; it was kind of stuck on the outside of it (like it had fallen almost all of the way out) so I just assumed it did. Even though I got the full-size, I'm more than happy to get this little sample because then I can bring it to work and hide it in my desk (I used to have a couple of bottles of lotion on my desk for myself since my hands get really dry, but then I discovered that someone was using it when I wasn't there; they had left the cap popped open and covered in goo. That really grossed me out, so now they're communal lotions and I keep my lotions in my bag or at home. I'm really upset someone thought they could just...come behind my desk and use my hand lotion without asking me. They weren't even in a super obvious spot where someone could mistake it as being for everyone to use; they were tucked behind my computer. They were from Bath and Body Works, so it's not like they're super expensive or hard to get or anything, but it still really bugged me.)
The little extra for April was some rock candy! I think this was a super cute idea and was very nostalgic for me since I used to get rock candy all the time when my family went on our yearly summer vacation. Julep included a little card with the ingredient and allergen info, which was thoughtful.
This was the product that everyone got in their April 2013 boxes. It's a Mighty Nail and Cuticle Serum. It's like a silver pen with a brush applicator; you turn the dial on the bottom to get product into the brush, and then you brush it on your cuticles (it looks almost exactly like the lip glosses from Stila and works on the same principle). The serum is clear and absorbs really quickly; from my experience in less than a minute. The directions say to use it twice a day for two weeks, then once weekly after that for maintenance. I did the twice a day for the first two weeks (in the morning before work and then at night before bed), but I do it once a day every few days now (whenever I think about it) instead of once a week. I've noticed an improvement in the health of my cuticles (I haven't noticed much difference in my nails, but I actually have naturally very healthy nails, so I don't normally see improvement in them, anyways) but it wasn't as drastic as I was hoping. They're definitely smoother and more even, but they still have some dry patches along the edges. It's possible that this could be fixed if I was more proactive about putting my cuticle lotion on (I use the Burt's Bees lemon stuff; it's amazing and I can't recommend it enough! If you don't have some, go get some), but I haven't tested it out. But overall, I am pleased with this product.
Finally, these are the two polishes I got! The bright pink one is called Avery and the bright red one is Jackie. I had debated between this box and the Bombshell box because bright colors tend to look off on me, but I was worried that the darker colors of the Bombshell box would make my hands look older (my hands are pretty prone to dryness and irritation, so they already age me, which is annoying). I went for the brighter colors because they felt more..."me", though I am a little sad I didn't get the "Tardis blue" color from the Bombshell box as an add-on. I also couldn't resist a color described as a "Maraschino cherry red" because I love cherries and I think they're adorable. The colors actually look pretty decent on my nails (not anywhere near as weird as I thought they would) and they're super bright and cheerful and make me think of summer.

And that's all for my March and April 2013 Julep Maven boxes! I can't say enough good things about Julep and their Maven program. If you like nail polish at all, I highly suggest that you sign up. There are so many good deals available to Mavens and their products are top notch. I'm starting to see Julep in my Sephora stores, so I get the feeling that even more people are going to be getting into the brand now. Which is awesome!

Thanks for reading! <3

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