Thursday, November 14, 2013

November 2013 Julep Maven Subscription Box - Modern Beauty and Add-Ons - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're all enjoying November! I can't believe we're already half-way through; Thanksgiving is in two weeks and Christmas is only a month and a half away! ...I actually started Christmas shopping, but that's mostly because I was in the mood to wrap presents. I refuse to put the tree up until after Thanksgiving, though!

This month, Julep released their "Right At Home" collection; a selection of nail polish colors that can only be described as "comfy" and "cozy" (which I will be saying. A lot.). Julep also launched a new line of lip glosses and a new lip primer/plumper. This was another month where I had a bit of a difficult time picking which Maven box I wanted; a lot of the colors didn't really appeal to me (which isn't to say they aren't pretty, they're just not for me). I ended up going with the Modern Beauty box, the one that doesn't come with any polish! Weird, I know.
Because I can't seem to buy just my Maven box, I also added on two of the new polish colors.
Like always, my Modern Beauty Maven box was packaged beautifully, using colors that matched this month's theme of "At Home".
Julep's always been very good at color and packaging selection, which is something I commend them for.
The quote this month is, appropriately, by Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. I also really like how Julep changes the images on these quote cards to match the monthly theme. It all feels very cohesive and well thought-out.
This month's extra is a foil packet sample of Julep's new Luxe Repair Skin Serum. I'm a little leery of Julep moving into skincare; I feel like it's a very delicate and over-saturated market with a lot of well established and trusted brands. I'll give this a try and see how it is, but I don't have particularly high expectations. If you want to give it a try, too, there's a special code for 30% off a full size, LUXE, though I don't know if it's still valid.
Julep also included a cute little holiday catalog! For this month's Secret Shop, all Mavens were invited to shop (it's usually only if they get a box that month) and they had a bunch of the new holiday sets for super cheap. There were a couple I did really want to get, but I held myself back. I really have waaaaay too much nail polish and, with Christmas coming up, need to tighten up my spending.
This is just a quick picture of the huge set Julep is offering for the holidays. It's called the Extraordinary Gift Box and it's $225. Intense!
 Here's a pictorial overview of what I got in my Modern Beauty box! I went with Modern Beauty this month because, like I said above, the color combinations of the other boxes didn't really appeal to me. There were only three polishes which I actually liked enough to consider purchasing. Two were fairly neutral colors (and the two I ended up getting) and one was a very pretty glitter topcoat. The only reason why I didn't get the topcoat is that I don't like chunky glitter in them; which is based purely on how much I hate removing them (does that make sense? I can't tell...). All the boxes, except the It Girl box, also included one color from the new line of lip glosses and in the Modern Beauty box, I got "Timeless", a sheer nude.
Here's the gloss out of its box. Excuse the flash photography; it's getting harder and harder to get natural light photos with the seasons changing. I don't have any experience with the glosses Julep had previously (I think you can still get them for super cheap in the Savvy Deals section) so I can't make any comparisons, or say whether this is an improvement or not, but I like this gloss! It's not sticky and it feels nice one my lips. It has a very gentle, pleasant vanilla scent, almost like MAC lipstick. It has a pretty average staying power as far as lip glosses go (which for me isn't very long, but that's okay because I have yet to ever finish a tube of lip gloss before it gets too old) and the color is, indeed, sheer.
Here's a swatch on my arm, which you can barely see. There is a subtle gold shimmer, so I can see this as being a nice topper for my nude lipsticks if I want to make them pop.

The other beauty product released with this collection, the lip primer/plumper, was only included in the Modern Beauty box (you could add it on to the other boxes, but it was pretty expensive).
As you can see, it's a click-and-brush type system, which may not have been the best choice. In my experience with products like these, I tend to over-click and waste a lot of product, especially at first. Which is exactly what happened. At first I went slow, to make sure I didn't waste too much, but I wasn't sure how many times I needed to click to get it "primed" and I ended up clicking waaaaay too much and I feel like I wasted a lot of product. Another issue I have with this design is the opaque tube; I can't see how much is left so I don't know when I need to replace it! If I really like this product, and I want to use it before a special night out, and then BAM! it's all gone and I have no time to get anymore, I'm going to be pretty disappointed. It's especially annoying since this isn't a product I can just go to the store and pick-up; I have to order it from the website (unless Sephora starts carrying it, which they might, but then I wouldn't get my Maven discount of 20%!).

As far as the actual lip primer/plumper goes, I like it! I've used lip primers before, and I've used lip plumpers (and lip color products with plumpers) before, but I've never used a product that was a combination primer/plumper before. It doesn't show in the picture (because I took it before I used it), but it's a peachy-pink color. It does leave a little color on my lips, but it's pretty sheer and it seems to "sink in" as the plumpers go to work. The plumping action does sting a little, and it did turn the skin around my lips where it touched red, especially on my cupids bow (I have a very defined cupid's bow, which is kind of annoying. It makes putting on lip products without a mirror tricky), but it went away fairly quickly and my lips ended up feeling soft and hydrated.

I like the idea behind this product, and the actual product does deliver on its promises of plumped and hydrated lips, but the packaging is kind of annoying. Not sure if I will purchase this again after I run out, but it was nice to try!

And now onto to the nail polishes! I went pretty basic this time and I got two neutrals; Alexandra (from Boho Glam),
described as a "blonde crème", and Cynthia (Classic With a Twist),
a "desert sand microglitter". Out of the two, Cythia is by far my favorite. It's gorgeous! It's a beautiful, taupey neutral, but what really makes it special is the iridescent microglitter. The glitter sparkles in a multitude of different colors, which really makes this polish unique. With the sheer amount of polish I have now, I find myself especially drawn to colors with special glitters or effects, which Cynthia definitely has. Alexandra is a little more on the "so so" end of the spectrum; it's a pretty color, but it's nothing too special. It's extremely similar to another neutral I recently got from Julep (Florence), but it's a bit more yellow (hence the "blonde" in it's description). Overall, though, I'm glad I got these two polishes!

These are the polishes swatched; they're the two in the middle with Cynthia on the left and Alexandra on the right. These are pretty accurate to real life and you can really see the gorgeous sparkle Cynthia has.

I'm very glad I went with the Modern Beauty box this month. The nude gloss is very pretty and versatile and the lip plumper/primer is an interesting and fairly unique product. I really like that Julep let's you add on things to your Maven boxes (from what I can tell, this was not always the case) since you basically get to make your own custom box (to a point, you still have to pick a base, pre-made box). As always, I'm excited to see what the December collection brings!

Thanks for reading! <3

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