Saturday, June 15, 2013

Julep June 2013 Secret Shop Purchase - Opening and Review

Hello! Today is the first real warm, sunny summer day we've had since, well, winter! And, somehow, I managed to catch a cold... I'm not even sure where I got it from since no one around me has been ill...very odd. I think my immune system has been kind of depressed from my lack of sleep and all the cold, damp gloomy days we've been having. I'm hoping, now that there's finally sun, my cold won't stick around very long. We'll see...

Onto the point of this post! This is my purchase from the June 2013 Secret Shop on Julep.com. The Secret Shop opens the 1st of the month for all Mavens who purchased a box for that month. It has a lot of really great deals on nail polish (there are a lot of trios) and beauty products. I especially like the sets; the ones where you get a lot of products that are kind of "themed" together (so like my last set, the Spring Clean Skincare which came with a scrub, a body butter, and some scrubby towels) for a great price. I get the feeling this is how Julep gets rid of its old stock and extra products as I've noticed some of the packaging is older or products are discontinued.

This month I spent a little more than I intended to, but I got a good set that included some products I really wanted to try and nail polish trio that had a color I really wanted. I don't remember exactly how much I paid, but I believe it was around $35-$38. I got the "Anchors Away" nail polish trio which included the colors Ally, Leila, and Lena and the "Primped n' Proper Mani Set".
Everything came in a big box, though the "P n' P" set came in its own white box as well.
Box O' Julep! All the nail polishes were swaddled in bubblewrap to protect them, though it was kind of weird to see that my "Anchors Away" trio was just...floating around the big box. They arrived safe and sound, so it's not that big a deal.
This is Leila. I was a bit unsure of this color when I first purchased the "Anchors Away" set since I already own a pastel yellow polish, but after seeing it in real life, I'm glad I bought it. Julep describes it as a "lemon yellow opalescent shimmer" and I'd say that's pretty accurate. The "lemon yellow" threw me off at first, but it really does look like a very pastel, toned down lemony yellow. The other pastel yellow I have I would describe as more of a "banana yellow" This polish also has a beautiful shimmer to it, which is one of my favorite finishes.
Next is Lena. Now, this picture is not very color accurate. No matter what I did, I could not seem to capture Lena's color correctly. It looks far too blue in this photo; in real life it's much more green. It also looks really blue in the official swatch photo on Julep's website, so maybe that's just how it photographs.On the site it is described as a "teal with gold shimmer"; the gold shimmer is what made me want to purchase this polish. It really adds a nice depth to the already gorgeous teal color. A very pretty polish!
Finally, this is the polish that made me purchase the "Anchors Away" trio: Ally. Ally is described on the site as an "electric blueberry frost", but elsewhere on the internet it is called "Tardis Blue". Yes, this is a very close color match for the Doctor's time-traveling, police box-shaped spaceship, the Tardis. And yes, that is the main reason why I wanted it. This was one of the colors in the April 2013 Bombshell box and, when I first became a Maven, I debated between getting that box or the Classic With a Twist. I went with the Classic box because I thought the colors would be more wearable, but ever since then, I've had this polish on my wishlist, hoping it would show up in a set like this. And it did! Hurray!

I'm very pleased with my "Anchors Away" trio; I think all three colors are beautiful and very wearable, and it only cost me about...$15 I think, so $5 a polish. An excellent deal!

Next up is my Primped N' Proper Mani Set.
 It came in it's own little white box, which makes me think Julep has these sets all made up and ready to go when they put them in the Secret Shop. It does kind of bug me that they had to ship it in another, bigger box just to add my nail polish trio, especially since the trio was packed loose (no box, but it did have bubble wrap) and could have easily been slipped in the Primped N' Proper Mani Set box.

I got the Primped N' Proper Mani Set for two items; the essential cuticle oil and the nail polish remover. The other items were kind of like free bonuses for me, which is awesome. For the $18 I paid, I would have been happy with just the oil and remover!
This is the oil. It comes in a glass bottle and it has a rollerball type of applicator. At first, mine was really stiff so I had a difficult time getting the product out. I was worried that it would be a problem later on, but the more I used it, the easier it was to roll. One of the main reasons why I wanted this, was that I heard it was something like a better version of Julep's Mighty Nail and Cuticle Serum, which I love. The essential cuticle oil absorbs quickly and has a nice, herbal scent with a strong hint of lavender. I don't necessarily think that it's any BETTER than the Serum, but I do think it's a good daily treatment to use to maintain your cuticles. The rollerball does make it very convenient to stash in your bag and use whenever you want, which I like. I think this is a great product for anyone looking for some extra love for their cuticles!

This is the other product I really wanted, the remover. I've heard that Julep's nail polish remover is good, but it's nothing special (and honestly, I'm pretty attached to my Sephora by OPI nail polish remover. It smells like licorice!). What I really wanted this for was the pump! As you can see, you get the bottle of remover with a little black cap, and then you get this awesome pump so you can use your nail polish remover one handed. It even has a lid that snaps shut on the top and you can twist it to an open or closed position, so your remover stays nice and safe in the container. I haven't seen this type of pump with any other brand of remover (which really surprises me, I think it's a great idea), outside of what pros use. What's even better is that, when I use up all the remover, I can just refill it with a different brand! Very awesome.

If my Primped N' Proper Mani Set stopped right there, I would have been perfectly happy. But I still got three other products!
I got another bottle of the Glycolic Hand Scrub. I love this stuff, so I'm more than happy to get a back-up. I use it after I take off my old polish to help remove any residual glitter particles and to get my hands ready to be re-polished. Since this is an exfoliating product with both physical and chemical exfoliants, Julep recommends that you wear a sunscreen on your hands for up to one week after using this product. You're basically taking off a layer of sun protection when you remove dead skin. You can also make your skin more sensitive and can compromise its natural barrier when you use chemical exfoliants. Sun protection is very important not only because of the risks of cancer, but because it can age your hands significantly, which then ages you. Not fun at all.
Julep also included a bottle of nail polish. This is Lauren, which is described as a "hot tropical pink crème". It looks very similar to another polish I have, Avery, though Avery is little more cooler in tone. Lauren looks like it's a little older of a polish since it's lacking the "Swatch Me!" sticker on the cap and the label on the bottom just has the name and color number (the newer polishes list which style category the polish fits into, as well as the year it was released). It's a pretty color; a fairly standard hot pink.

The final item in my set is a little pot of nail glitter.
This is another picture where I had a difficult time capturing the right color. It looks a lot more cold-toned in the picture than it does in real life. It's a very vibrant, warm, hot pink. I also wouldn't really call this a glitter since it isn't actually, well, glittery. It's more like...a sugar, almost. It's fairly fine and it has a sheen to it, but it's not sparkly or anything. The color is called Ultra Pink and you get quite a bit so I'm sure this will last for many, many manicures. I'm sure how often I'll use it, but I'm glad to have it.

So there you have it! Another very successful Julep Secret Shop purchase! I'm very pleased with everything I got and I look forward to July's shop (actually, what I'm looking MOST forward to right now is the Warehouse Sale which is happening right now in Seattle, WA and then online on the 17th).

Thanks for reading! <3

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