Friday, September 5, 2014

September 2014 Julep Maven Box - It Girl - Unboxing and Swatches!

Hello! Hope you're all having a happy Friday! It's been an intense week for me due to the holiday, work, and my health, but I'm hoping things will start to mellow out here and I'll get some time to relax. Hard to believe it's already September; soon the weather will change and get cold and then there will be snow and then I'll be forever wrapped up in 12 layers of sweaters. At least until the next thaw... /sigh

I'm not a big fan of this time of year (except for the candy and the food) and the transition from summer into fall is always a little rough on me. It doesn't help that the beauty world follows the seasons and all the colors change and, well, I'm just not a big fan of fall color schemes.

Unfortunately, the first signs of the color change come with my September 2014 Julep Maven box. I went with the It Girl box this time since I really, really don't need anymore lip products in my life (though...I really, really, super really don't need any more nail polish, but I justify it by the fact that nail polishes can last for years if stored properly).
Nail polish fun!
For September, Julep is releasing the Art Walk collection. It has a lot of darker, more jewel-toned colors for fall and it has a feel of walking through a bustling city on a crisp, overcast day. At least, that's the feel and tone I get from it. A lot of people were really excited for this collection since it was so different from the summer ones (which were pretty universally bright). I know I keep harping on it, but I just really am not a fan of darker nail polishes. I think they make my hands look old. I had a hard time picking a box this month, but I went with It Girl since a. I didn't want to waste my box's value on the lip product and b. I really liked the picture of the nail art Julep created using the colors.
This is the back of the info card; it gives a bit more information about the new lip product as well as the colors it comes in and a discount code. I don't know why this is so blurry; I took about ten different pictures of this card and this was the best one. I don't understand my camera sometimes.
The extra again this month was candy, though according to the ingredients these are coconut flavored, so that's actually pretty exciting. I do still miss when we got little product extras, though. I think I would much prefer a nail file than some candy, but I'm happy we get any extras at all.

This is Fifi!
FIFI. It is described as a "tea time pink crème". It is a super pale pink; a lot paler than the swatches and pictures on Julep's website and blog suggest. Probably my biggest complaint right now about Julep are the big differences between the swatches on their blog/website, and how the polishes look in real life. I know that this is not entirely Julep's fault; there are so many different monitor settings and it's nearly impossible to get a photograph to accurately reproduce the color of a polish (my photos aren't perfect, either), but it just seems like it happens a lot where I'll really like a polish based on it's picture and then, when I Google real-life swatches, they look totally different. I really expected this polish to be more pink, but it's basically a pink-toned white. Which is not a bad thing, just not what I was expecting.
This is Ryan, my favorite polish out of the three!
Ryan is actually a cute name for a girl (I'm pretty sure all - well, almost, there is that Boris and Natasha polish - of Julep's polishes are still named after women). Julep describes this polish as an "overcast teal satin". You know, they really should have named this the "Seattle collection" since that's what it reminds me of. Which is pretty cool, actually! I wasn't too sure about this color based on the pictures; it looked way darker and more...I don't know, boring? in the swatches, but it's super pretty in real life! I like the different finish it has, though I prefer Julep's Silk finishes over the Satin ones since I like shimmer.
And this is Mahima!
...My camera didn't want to focus on the words. It was digging my fingers instead I guess. Mahima is an "amber gold crème" and is probably my least favorite out of the three, but only because I really don't like chrome finishes. Working with chromes can be very fiddly since they show brush strokes so easily, and I'm not the best at keeping things nice and smooth. It is, however, a very pretty gold color and I surprisingly don't have anything exactly like it.
Here they are swatched; left to right is Fifi, Ryan, and Mahima. Overall, I'm actually pretty happy with this box! I wasn't too sure about it and I considered skipping another month, but at the last minute I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did! I don't have colors like these in my collection (especially like Ryan since I don't normally go for dark, jewel-toned colors) so I don't feel like I "wasted" any money. I do think, though, that one of the reasons why I liked this box so much is that I had pretty low expectations for it, which is similar to what happened with my other recent boxes.

Not sure, but maybe I'm just "burnt out" on Julep Maven boxes. They've been pretty hit or miss for me lately and I just haven't been as excited about the colors as I was in the past (I remember that I was really close to getting the entire May 2013 collection, but then didn't because I didn't have the extra money and I promised myself that this would only be a $20 a month subscription). Julep does make good polish, and they do make good beauty products, but there's definitely some fail-products lurking in their shop as well.

If you're interested in nail polish, I do suggest at least trying the first box since it's free and you get some nice stuff in it (actually, I think they change it monthly so I'm not sure what's in the September starter kit), though with the higher $25 a month price tag, I'm not sure I can really recommend subscribing. I have mixed and confused feelings...

Thanks for reading! <3

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