Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 2015 Julep Maven - It Girl Plus Add-Ons! - Unboxing and Swatches!

Hello! Hope you're all having a great weekend! It's been cold, but the sun's been peeking out here and there, so it's not all bad. I'm recovering slowly but surely and each day has been a little better than the last. Yay!

For this post, I want to show you guys what I got in my January 2015 Julep Maven box! I've skipped the last couple months since the polish colors didn't really interest me, but there were a few colors I wanted this month, plus I had enough points to get another polish for free, PLUS there was special offer where you could get a Metamorphic top coat for free in your January box so...why not? Five (potential; I was worried I wouldn't get the Metamorphic top coat but I'll about that more later) Julep polishes for $20 is a pretty good deal!
As always (well, almost always), I have a video about my Juelp Maven box. Otherwise, click below to see what I got, along with swatches!
Jam packed with fun! Hopefully...
Super quick rundown of Julep, especially since I haven't gotten a box for a while! Julep is a monthly subscription service that's mainly for nail polish; Julep is based in Seattle, WA where they have two nail salons (I think; I think they opened a Julep parlor in New York recently as well, but I haven't been paying too much attention). Side note: I actually got a manicure at a Julep nail salon while my husband and I were in Seattle for PAX! I was even able to get my 20% Maven discount at the salon, which is awesome. I've been with Julep for a while now (at least a year, maybe two...I don't actually remember) and they've been consistently expanding their line with other cosmetics and skin/hair care products. Personally, I think Julep should stick with nail polish; a lot of primarily nail polish lines that try to expand into other cosmetics aren't all that successful. There are five different beauty profiles you can fall into, but they're mostly pointless since you can change your profile whenever you want and you can always pick a different box if you don't like yours. I have an older version of the Maven subscription where I only pay $19.99 a month, but I can only pick between the pre-made boxes. I believe all new Mavens are signed up for the new, customizable subscription. It's $24.99 a month, but you're allowed to pick any products you want from a certain list (there's an even more expensive subscription that let's you pick between a wider variety of products). A lot of times with the pre-made boxes, there's one color (sometimes more) that I really don't like but that I have to get if I want the other products in the box. One nice thing is that you're allowed to add-on products (I think the limit is still three) at a discounted price. You can also earn points, which I think are still called Jules (oh man, it really has been a while...), which you can redeem for free things, like I did!
Sorry for the boring wall of text; here's another picture of all the fun things I got in my box! I went with the It Girl box this month because the other boxes were lame and lip-centric. It Girl is the nail polish lovers box; it generally has three polishes. Boho Glam (which my profile says I am), Bombshell, and Classic With A Twist generally have two polishes and a product, though this month they all only had one polish. I'll touch on that later, too. Modern Beauty is the fifth profile and generally does not include any nail polishes; only beauty products. There are a few other boxes that are sometimes offered, including an essentials box that has things like top coat and cuticle care items. You can also upgrade and get all the polishes in the collection or you can even purchase every single item in that month's collection.
You get candy every month (yay, candy!) and this month we got Junior Mints. My husband loves Junior Mints and he already ate these. He ate them without even knowing where they came from, which lead to a very humorous conversation about where some of the candy in our house is from (he had no idea I got candy in some of my subscription boxes. He was kind of weirded out by it until I told him it was from the place where I got my nails done while we were in Seattle).
Most of the time, there's also an inspirational(ish) quote (though there have been months without one). This month is from J.K. Rowling! Nice.
This month's Maven perk is 30% off! I'm not sure if only Julep Mavens can use these codes (also, I'm not sure if everyone gets the same one or if there are a few different ones. There's almost always a discount code you can use on the Julep website, so do a quick Google search before purchasing anything), but they're not unique or anything, so feel free to give it a try. Not sure if this 30% stacks on top of the 20% Maven discount, but if it does, that's pretty sweet. I wish I could use it on Savvy Deals items though, as there was a set in there I wanted but that I can't bring myself to actually purchase.
And then there's the info card! This month Julep released the Chrysalis collection. They were a little cryptic about it (they actually might not have been; again, I haven't been paying that close attention), but January is going to be the start of a new direction for Juelp, and it appears to be a more cosmetics-centric direction. Admittedly, I'm not too excited since I'm here for the nail polish and a lot of Julep's cosmetics products are "meh" at best. I really feel like they should stick with nail polish and hand/nail care goods.
On the back/inside of the info card, they also include information about the products that are new in that month's collection (or sneak peeks of upcoming products). I really don't need anymore lip products ever, so I didn't pay much attention to these.
 And finally we get to the polishes! I'll kind of go in the same order I did in my video; I'll start with the three polishes from It Girl (starting with the one I liked the least), then my add-on, then the Metamorphic top coat. So we'll start with Janae! This is a "cool charcoal crème" and...that's it.
It's a very, very dark charcoal grey and it's pretty boring and dupable. As I was saying before, I can only choose between the pre-made boxes, so sometimes I just have to take a polish color that I don't like. I don't feel too miffed about it, though, since I got four other polishes that I do really like.
Next is Margit, a "mushroom with rose shimmer". This color is super pretty! It's kind of like the RSVP polish I got for $1 from Ulta; I really liked that color, but the formula was not good (not that I expected it to be for $1, though I have gotten some pretty nice $1 polishes before).
The shimmer makes it look almost mauvey and it's soft and pretty and comforting. It's kind of like a mash-up of the December Glamour Doll Eyes OTM colors Fade To Fall and Vintage Cardigan. Very happy I got this polish!
 This is Shelly, a "wintermint crème". This polish is almost the whole reason why I even thought about getting this month's box. I love mint green/blue polishes and this is a very beautiful one!
Ahhhh I can't even stand how pretty this is. I probably have some polishes that are similar to this, but I don;t care since this is one of my favorite colors, ever. The only negative thing I can say about it is that the formula is a little on the thick side, which you can kind of see in my swatch. However! Because it's thicker, it applies very opaque, which can sometimes be an issue with these paler/pastel colors. You have to be a little careful, but I got a very nice opaque finish with two thin coats.
This is the polish I added on and got free with my points. Every month, Julep releases a polish or two that isn't included in any of the pre-made boxes and can only be purchased as an add-on (this isn't really a problem if you have a newer, customizable subscription). This is Luna, a "light blue duochrome with jagged cut glitter". It's a fairly unique color and I love the name Luna (I'm surprised Juelp hasn't used it before. Also I like because of Sailor Moon. No judging. At least out loud. You can judge me in your mind. That's your own space).
It's definitely more of a topper/transformative color and I'm not sure if you can build it up to be opaque without a ton of coats. It's a little on the thicker side as well, but that might be because of the the jagged glitter pieces in it.
Finally, this is the Metamorphic top coat! I wasn't sure if this was going to actually be in my box; you gave Julep your e-mail address (for reasons I don't fully understand; they already have my e-mail so it's not like I'm subscripting to their news letter. I feel like it was just an artificial hoop to jump through) and you were told that they would include a Metamorphic top coat in your January Maven box, but, you wouldn't get any other confirmation of it nor would it be on your order summer or invoice. I've watched a videos on Youtube where people had issues getting items they had actually ordered and paid for, so I was concerned that I wouldn't get an item that I have no paper record that I was supposed to get, and that I didn't even pay for. But it was in my box so yay! It came in an orange organdy bag with a little piece if paper with some info on it.
I ended up with Bjork! I'm actually not sure if there is more than one color or if Bjork is the only one. On the teaser image it looked like there were three different polishes; one blue/green toned, one pink toned, and one like Bjork, but that may have just been a lighting thing. These aren't in the Julep web shop and I didn't find any other reviews about it, so I'm not sure.
It's kind of hard to see anything in the swatch since this is a top coat and is intended to be used over a base color, but you can kind of see the iridescence. Julep touted this as a revolutionary kind of top coat, but I've seen it done before (there was a SpaRitual duo at my Marshalls that had a pink polish and a top coat very similar to this; I think it had more of a transformative effect, actually). That being said, it is a handy polish to have around since it can change up the look of your current polishes. ...I have too many polishes to ever want for more colors, but if you only have four or five bottles, with this polish you just doubled your options.

And that's my January 2015 Julep Maven It Girl box! After skipping a few months, it was nice to get another one, especially one where I got a bunch of stuff for a good price! I love four out of the five polishes I got, though I'm not sure I can say I liked this collection as a whole. I don't really like any of the other polishes and I'm just really not a fan of Julep's lip products. I'm curious to see what path Julep will continue down, but I really, really hope they stick with what they know and what they are known for: nails.

Thanks for reading! <3

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