Sunday, September 15, 2013

September 2013 Julep Maven Box - Classic With a Twist Plus Add-Ons - Unboxing and Review

Hello! This post is going to be about my September 2013 Julep Maven box!

This month, Julep released their Fall-appropriate "Cityscape Collection". I'm not the biggest fan of Fall colors since I don't like the darker, more jewel-toned shades that seem to come out around this time of year, so this was probably the least interesting collection Julep's released since I became a Maven (which doesn't mean it's a bad collection! I just don't like it). Even though I'm considered a "Boho Glam" girl, I ended up going with the "Classic With a Twist" box this month which is a rarity for me. As the name implies, "Classic With a Twist" tends to have, well, the more classic colors like reds and pinks and it tends to include only creme colors.
I usually go for the "Boho Glam" or "Bombshell" boxes, but the colors in them didn't appeal me to this month (well, one did in the "Bombshell" box, but I got that as an add-on, which you will see!).
Here's what my box looked like right after opening it and moving the tissue.
I'm not sure what happened this month, but everything was pretty shaken up inside. As you can see in the first picture, the tissue paper was all crinkled up as well; this is how it actually came, I hadn't messed with it yet. Our apartment complex has a few different mailpeople; there's an older man who is really nice, a younger woman who isn't so nice, and then a bunch of random people who seem to fill in for the first two every now and then. For a while, it was just the younger woman, but then the older man took over and she only seems to come around a few times a month now. When I get packages, the older man will buzz our apartment and if you're home, you can go down to the mailboxes and pick up your packages. If you're not (or if you don't come down), he'll leave a slip and bring it to the office like normal. If it's the young woman or one of the random people, they will come to your door and leave your package outside of it (some knock, some don't). Over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I were in Seattle, WA for PAX (which I swear I will post about soon...) and I was worried that my Maven box would come while we were gone and that we'd have one of the mailpeople who will just leave it outside our door. Since the older man has been delivering our mail pretty consistently, I wasn't too worried, but there still was that chance. When we came home, there was my package, sitting outside my door. I wasn't too sure how long it had been there, and I was a little upset that it had been left in front of our door, but since it was still there and looked intact, I shrugged it off. I'm not sure if it got knocked around somehow while it was sitting outside our door or what, but it was definitely weird.

Like last month, and I assume from now on, Julep didn't include a "Style Card", which is great since not including one will save a lot of paper. While the style tips were fun and all, I usually just gave it a quick glance and then threw it in the recycling bin. I am happy that Julep does still include the little square quote cards since I like collecting and keeping the ones I really like!
Here's the front with the quote and the back promoting Julep's referral program. I like the quote; it's very appropriate for a "city" themed box (after all, what great dreams don't lead to a big city like New York, Chicago, or LA). Julep's been really pushing their referral program lately, but the chance for a free Maven box is very tempting. Unfortunately, I don't really have any friends who like nail polish as much as I do, so I'm not sure if it's something I will ever be able to take advantage of.

As always (well, usually? At least they have in ever Maven box that I can remember...) Julep included a special little extra. This month I got a One-Step Polish Remover Pad.
I was really to happy to get this as an extra since I've always wanted to try this product. I believe that one pad is good for all ten of your nails (an intense color or a heavy glitter may need a second one). What I really like about these pads is that they are lint-free. I usually use cotton rounds to remove my polish, and they can leave little fluffs of cotton behind which are very annoying and get in my polish and just. Ugh. I've heard that you can use a fabric like silk instead of cotton to remove nail polish, but I haven't looked into it to much. If this pad removes my polish well and doesn't leave behind any little bits of fluff, I may have to pick up more (they sell them in packs of 10 in the online store).

I'll start with this month's new beauty product (though technically Julep released three new beauty products; one was included in the three polish + product boxes, one was included only in the Modern Beauty box, and one was add-on only, if I recall correctly), Julep's Bare Face Cleansing Oil.
Oils have been a big thing this summer, especially with all the face, body, and nail oils that have come out and that have been included in all the different sample boxes that are out there. If you subscribe to a beauty sample service, you've more than likely gotten at least one. I've used an oil facial cleanser before (I forget which brand, though...) and I liked it, but ever since getting my Clarisonic I haven't really been interested in them. They work a little differently from other cleansers; you apply it to your face dry and then rinse it off with warm water. A lot of people use facial cleansing oils incorrectly the first time they use them, which leads a lot of them to say that they don't work. Used correctly, cleansing oils can be very beneficial; they are good at taking off make-up and they don't dry out your skin as much as, say, a foaming facial cleanser.

Julep's oil facial cleanser is formulated with a special "Power Cell Complex" which is a trio of "skin boosting super stars". It includes Rosehip Seed Oil (which has vitamin A and C to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and post-acne marks), Malvaceae Lipid Extract (a lipid complex that hydrates), and green coffee bean oil (which is an anti-inflammatory that helps promote cell turn-over). I've used this a couple times and I like how it makes my skin feel. I use my Clarisonic in the morning, so I used this to clean my face before bed since I was worried the oil might make my skin feel greasy (from what I could tell, it actually rinsed away cleanly and left my skin feeling hydrated, not slick). It has kind of a strange citrusy scent, but it goes away fairly quickly. It can be used by all skin types.

And now for the polishes! I ended up with four this month; the two from the Classic With a Twist box and two add-ons.
Julep decided to introduce a new way of packaging their polishes, and I can't say I'm really thrilled by it. For one, they no longer wrap them in bubblewrap which means a. no more clear rubberbands for me and b. I don't feel like the polishes are as travel-ready anymore, especially since it looks like my box got a little roughed up. Before, the polishes were shrink wrapped, which I liked since I'm a germaphobe. Now they just come in boxes that call them "Julep Color Treat", which is unique but admittedly kind of weird.
I can see where they are trying to go with this new packaging, but I'm not sure if it "works" yet. Perhaps they'll switch it up as time goes on and they get feedback from customers.
Starting from the top and working my way down, the polishes I got were: Florence, from the Classic With a Twist box, which is described as a "classic camel crème", Padma, also Classic With a Twist, which is a "royal plum crème" though I swear it looks like it has shimmer in it (you can even kind of see it in the picture!), Reece, which was the special no-box-included add-on though it's labeled as "It Girl", which Julep describes as just a holographic shimmer (they had a much better description during the Maven box selection window, not sure why they dumbed it down), and Karmen, from the Bombshell box, which is a "golden crimson microglitter".

These four are really the only ones I would consider wearing from this collection, and while at first I was pretty "meh" about the first two, Florence and Padma, they've really grown on me. I had a hard time deciding which box to get since I knew I didn't like the polishes in the Boho Glam box (brown and orange aren't my thing, though I did pick up an orange polish from Zoya specifically for the month of October), and while I really, really like Karmen (it reminds me of Chinese New Year and Christmas), I didn't like the dark slate grey that also came with the Bombshell box. I really wanted to try the cleanser, and since it's cheaper to buy it in the box than to add it on, It Girl was out, and I didn't want to go with the product-only Modern Beauty because I have terrible luck with primers (they usually make my skin very, very angry). After getting the polishes though, I'm actually really happy I went with Classic With a Twist; Florence is a beautiful neutral and it goes incredibly well with the deep, almost black, Padma, both very on trend for fall. I knew from the beginning, too, that I had to have Reece. Color-wise, it's very similar to Blakely, the purple/green duochrome from the July collection, but it has this gorgeous holographic shimmer, which really adds a lot of dimension to it.
Here they are swatched in fairly bright sunlight. From left to right it goes Reece, Karmen, Florence, and Padma (seriously...there is shimmer in this polish...Also on my thumb I'm wearing "Suzie"). Very beautiful colors, and very fall appropriate I think.

As I said before, the new packaging, boxes instead of bubbles, makes me kind of nervous about the shipping safety of my polishes, and for good reason. One of my polishes, Reece, arrived with a split cap.
I didn't notice it at first since from the outside it looks unharmed (which makes me question whether this was actual shipping damage or if this happened before while it was still in production or the warehouse), but when I tried to swatch it it was kind of thick, like it was getting dried out. I took the outer cap off to mark the "Swatch Me!" sticker, and then it made sense. It's a pretty big crack and it splits threeways, making it impossible to close it all the way. Usually, if a polish bottle arrives damaged, but it doesn't affect the polish in anyway, I just let it go (like my Clio bottle), but this crack was preventing me from closing my bottle all the way, putting it at risk to dry out. I contacted Julep's customer service and they got back to me very quickly. I didn't have an order number to give them (I deleted my confirmation e-mail after I got my package because when I gave it a quick once over everything looked okay and for some reason this box didn't include an invoice. Being the silly person I am, I didn't think to go look at my order history on Julep's website, which has the order numbers for all my purchases) but I gave them my tracking number. They requested pictures of the broken cap, which I was more than happy to supply, and after they reviewed them, they sent me out a replacement bottle of Reece free of charge, telling me I would be getting a shipping confirmation and tracking number shortly.

Julep's had some issues in the past with their shipping department/partner (not sure how they work it) where sometimes you never get a shipping confirmation or tracking number, but your package will just show up. In past experiences, Julep shipping usually only takes 1-2 business days to process and about three to get to me, so, after not getting any notifications nor receiving any package after five days, I was starting to get a little worried. I had also purchased a Cosmic mystery box on the 9th that I was also still waiting to get a shipping confirmation and tracking number for. I grew especially nervous when people on Julep's Facebook page started talking about what they got in their boxes. I purchased my box pretty much right when they were announced (I'm pretty sure it was that Monday morning), so why hadn't I gotten mine yet, or any shipping info on it whatsoever? I sent another e-mail to Julep's customer service yesterday, asking about both my Reece replacement and my mystery box, but obviously I haven't heard anything yet since it's still the weekend. I'm pretty nervous about my mystery box since tomorrow, the 16th, is the final day you can get them and I don't want to miss out on the special polish included with them.

I do feel somewhat better, and a little silly for sending that e-mail, since I actually did get my Reece replacement yesterday (but still no tracking or confirmation number). My mailperson (the older man) buzzed me down for a package yesterday. I was expecting my Blush Beauty Mystery Box and I was hoping he'd also have my two Julep orders. I got down there and, unfortunately, he said he only had the one package (the Blush one) for me. I told myself that morning that, if I didn't get a tracking/confirmation number for my Reece and mystery box or if I didn't actually get them in the mail today, I would e-mail Julep about it. So I did. It wasn't until later in the afternoon, when I went downstairs to get the other mail (for some reason he never gives me my mail with my packages) that I found the other, little Julep package with my Reece in it (if it fits in the mailbox, the mailman won't buzz you). I didn't want to clog Julep's customer service's inbox, and I am still worried about my mystery box, so I didn't e-mail them back telling them I got my Reece. Hopefully, my mystery box will come Monday, but we'll have to see.
This is my replacement Reece, all snug in it's very own box with yellow crinkles!

And that was my September 2013 Julep Maven box! I'm very happy with this box, especially since I got some beautiful and very on trend colors for Fall. The cleansing oil is very nice, too, and will be great for winter, when everything is all dry and harsh. I thought that this was a very appropriate Fall collection and, while I wasn't too excited about it, I know that, if you like Fall colors (or just deeper, darker colors in general), you'll love what's on offer in this collection.

Thanks for reading! <3!

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