Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 2013 Julep Maven Box - Bombshell Plus an Add-On - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a good weekend! It is very cold here (with windchill it's been below 0°F) so I've been stuck at home. It's also really icy out, which makes going by car treacherous. Luckily, my husband is a very good driver and doesn't panic easily so we haven't gotten into any accidents or anything, but there have been some scary moments (we dropped off some books at the library yesterday and on the way out, the car started sliding and we almost hit a snowbank. Yay). I have a touch of cabin fever, but I might go to Target or something just to go out and do something.

Speaking of Target (and I promise this will be the last aside before I get to my December 2013 Julep Maven box), in the men's section, they have this advertisement/signage thing that has the best Christmas sweater ever. It has a cat on it and the cat is wearing a dollar sign gold necklace with a word balloon that says "Meow-y" and then underneath the cat it says "Christmas", using the dollar sign necklace as the middle "S". Seriously, it is the best sweater ever and I need it and it's not there. My husband even went to a different Target to look for it and it wasn't there, either. He asked an employee who said they have gotten a lot of people asking about it, but they've never had it in the store so he didn't know if they were even selling it or not. There's a pair of socks with the same design so I really hope they do make it and will get it in stock soon so I can wear it for Christmas.

Seriously, I'm going to talk about my December 2013 Julep Maven Bombshell box now...
This months theme is Glitterati, very appropriate for the winter/holiday season when being glittery is not only okay, it's practically a requirement.
Julep released a bunch of very blingy polishes this month, especially compared with the toned down colors that were in last months "Right At Home" collection. The only discordant note in this months collection is the eyeshadow palette; neutrals were probably the safest way for Julep to break into the eyeshadow game, but they don't really match the over the top feeling of the rest of the collection. But, like I said, it's safe and pretty everyone can do something with neutrals, where brighter, more glittery colors would be more limited in use.
This is the back of the info card, which talks more in-depth about the new palette included in this months box. Julep's been putting their "Power Cell Complex" into a lot of their beauty/skin products lately. I don't use enough their products consistently enough to be able to have an opinion about it, but I do find it intriguing (though I do use their cleansing oil a lot and I really like it!).
I love these little quotes! It just adds to the overall feel and coherence of a themed box. When it comes to theme boxes, Julep is by far the best that I've seen at sticking with it and including products/packaging that make sense (unlike certain other boxes who seem to pick a theme and then forget about it. Like Glossybox).
Like every other month, Julep included a special extra. These can vary in "value"; sometimes they are little things like foil sample packets or candy, other times they're a bit bigger and are things like hairclips. This month, Julep included two authentic Twistbands (I don't know if "authenticity" makes much difference with these, I've only ever used "knock offs") in glittery silver and purple. Not sure if people got different colors, but I like that even the colors of the extras matched the theme of the collection!

And now we get to the actual products in the box! I'll start with the eyeshadow since everyone except the people who chose the It Girl box got them (and even then, they could have added the palette to their box).
The palette came in its own box; the palette itself ended up being a little smaller than I expected, but they're still pretty good sized; they're not any smaller than most eyeshadows in other palettes.
Here's the back of the box; I think most of this info (minus the ingredients) is similar to what's on the info card. The full name of this palette, "Sweep Eyeshadow Palette: Neutrals" leads me to think that this is just the first palette in a collection and that Julep will release more, perhaps in Maven boxes?
And here's the palette itself! I should have photographed it next to a quarter or something to give you guys an idea of the scale of it. It's about 4 inches long and 2 inches tall (these are very rough estimates. I don't know where my plastic ruler went and I don't want to bust out my dressmakers tape) and it's one of those stiff cardboard palettes that close with magnets.
This is the back, which lists the colors in the order they appear in the palette. These eyeshadows are also paraben-free, which is nice!
Here they are! These picture makes them look a little more washed out/lighter than they are in real life. They all have shimmer, too. This palette also includes a fairly pointless mirror (I find it too small to really be useful), but I feel like it would feel "wrong" for it to not have one. I think I'm just used to compacts and palettes having mirrors.
These are the shadows swatched on my arm sans primer, starting with Tiramisu on the bottom (which you can barely see since it's pretty close to my skin tone), followed by Glow, Dusk, Toffee, and ending with Cocoa at the very top. I found these shadows to be very pigmented; these swatches are only one or two passes, but they were also kind of crumbly and had a lot of fallout. I haven't used them on my eyes yet, so I don't know how they perform in real life.

I think this palette is fairly nice; the neutral shades are versatile and they seem to be of good quality, though I don't know how I feel about Julep branching off from hand/foot/nail products. I always feel like it's better for a company to focus on what their good at, but I do appreciate the diversity and desire for growth as a brand and company.

Now for the nail polishes! As stated, this month I went with the Bombshell box and I added on an extra polish. I had a hard time deciding between the Boho Glam box and the Bombshell box (per usual); the Boho Glam box was on the cool side with a smokey blue and silver color, while the Bombshell box was on the warm side with a pinky red shimmer and gold glitter. What I wanted to do was get the Boho Glam box and add on the pinky red color from the Bombshell box, but this color was apparently very popular since it sold out as an add-on. Since I preferred one color from the Boho Glam box over the other, and because I really wanted the pinky red color, I went with the Bombshell box and added on the Boho Glam color. And I am soooo happy I did!
Here are my polishes all boxed up! The Bombshell colors are together, which the Boho Glam color is all by itself. I'll start with the Boho Glam color since you can already see what it is.
This is (somewhat blurrily) Joelle! This is by far one of my favorite polishes ever. Julep describes it as a "full coverage smoky holographic glitter", but I'd call it more of a silver color. The holographic pieces flash in a rainbow of colors and it's! There's a lot of glitter in here and you could wear it alone if you wanted to, but I feel like no matter how many coats you put on, you'll still be able to see the natural color of your nail peeking through (or whatever color you're wearing underneath). I love wearing this as a top coat and it adds a lot of sparkle to whatever I wear it over!
Now onto the Bombshell polishes. This is Cara, the polish that I wanted that was sold out as an add-on. This is described by Julep as a "cranberry frost"; it's like a bright cherry red with pink shimmer. I can see why this polish sold out as an add-on (it's in stock at full price on the website right now); it's gorgeous and very appropriate for the holiday season. It's also a very easy to wear red because of the pink shimmer; I have a hard time wearing reds, but with the added shimmer I think it softens the look of the red, which can be harsh. If that makes sense.
And this is the other color from the Bombshell box, Andrea. Andrea is described as a "brilliant full-coverage bronze glitter". This polish is similar to Joelle in sparkle, but instead of holographic glitter, it just has gold. I was worried that this would have a brownish tint because Julep called it a "bronze", but it almost looks more like an antique gold to me. When I selected my Maven box, I was pretty sure I wouldn't like this polish that much, but now that I have it and have swatched it, I'm very, very happy I went with the Bombshell box!
Swatches! This is in indirect natural light. I'm also wearing Joelle as a top coat over another Julep polish (Fina, I think. It's a blue frost).
And this is in sunlight. I really wanted to show off how glittery and beautiful Joelle and Andrea are, but my camera just couldn't capture their majesty. Needless to say, they definitely fit in with a collection called "The Glitterati".

And that's my December 2013 Julep Maven box! I really loved the polishes I got this month. The eyeshadow palette was interesting and I'll definitely get some use out of it, but it wasn't the main reason why I decided to get a box this month. I'm thinking about maybe skipping a month or two since I have so many Julep polishes (and I even get more nail polishes in my other subscription boxes) and it's getting to the point where I can't even wear them all anymore. I'll have to see what the next collection is like before I can make any concrete decisions.

Thanks for reading! <3

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