Sunday, May 24, 2015

Julep May 2015 Mystery Box - Version 1 - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! I apologize in advance for the probably glut of posts that I will be putting up today; I'm falling a little behind and we're going to go see family tomorrow for Memorial Day, so I want to get everything blogged so I can give my mom the items I don't want/can't use!

For this post, I want to share with you guys my Julep May 2015 Mystery Box! Julep is beauty brand that started out mainly as a nail polish and hand/nail care brand and that has expanded to include makeup, haircare, and skincare products. They have two (?) salons in Seattle and I believe they recently (or will soon) added a salon in New York.

Julep also offers a subscription service called Julep Maven where, every month, they release a new collection of nail polish and beauty items. I've been with Julep for quite a long time now, and one of the reasons why is that they let you skip a month if you don't like the colors/products, instead of forcing you to get things you don't want or need. I've been skipping months kind of frequently, and the last few mystery boxes have had some products that I wanted, so I decided to get a mystery box this month. I also had a $15 credit because someone was kind enough to use my referral link to sign up for Julep Maven, so I got some add-ons as well (you can't use the $15 credit on the actual mystery box). If you're interested in signing up, you can either go to the Julep website that I linked above, or you can use my referral link here (which I will really appreciate!
Also, I've heard that you can get your box for free (you just pay shipping) if you use someone's referral link, but I haven't tried it for myself).
I'll start with my two add-ons, which, sadly, are the two items I'm most happy with. I got a mystery add-on for $9.99 that was supposed to worth about $30 and I got a tube of the Brilliance Glycolic Hand Scrub for $7.99. I used my $15 referral credit, making both of these items, essentially, free!
I really wanted to get the $14.99 mystery add-on (which turned out to be the luxe hand care set and two polishes), but when I went to check out it wouldn't add to my cart, so I think it had sold out. I'm always kind of leery of mystery add-ons because I usually get dupes of things I have/had, but this time I got something nice! According to Julep. Mask Noir is an "antioxidant-rich peel-off black mask that leaves skin smoother, brighter, and deeply hydrated". Though I don't like peel-off masks as much as I like wash off masks (which I don't like as much as sheet masks), this will be nice to use on specific areas, like my cheeks, where I'm having breakouts. It has kaolin clay, Hectorite (a derivative of black volcanic ash), and Julep's Power Cell Complex.
The other add-on I got, the Brilliance Glycolic Hand Scrub, was not a mystery. If I had to pick one item from Julep that I would recommend to everyone, this would be a contender (along with the Bare Face cleansing oil and the Mighty Nail and Cuticle Serum). I have a really old bottle that I still haven't used up, but I'm just going to throw that one out and replace it with this one. This product uses apricot seeds and glycolic acid to exfoliate your hands and make them softer and more youthful looking. I paid (except not really) $7.99 for this and it retails for $23-$18.40 (depending on if you're a Julep Maven or not).
For their monthly mystery boxes, Julep normally reveals one or two items to tempt you. This month we were told what two of the polishes would be, plus that everyone who got a mystery box would get this Brika bag. I'm not familiar with Brika or the designer of this bag, Avril Loreti, but it's cute and I like it. It's made of pleather and it has a colorful, abstract jewel kind of pattern. Inside it's sea-foam green with creamsicle orange details, including a zipper pocket. This is a nice sized bag for traveling, though I don't think this is something I'd carry around on it's own (for one thing, I'd probably forget to pick it back up!). This month's box was also slightly more expensive than normal, and I think it's because of this bag. Normal mystery boxes are $24.99; this box was $29.99.
I'll talk about the two beauty products I got next, and will save the polishes for last. The first makeup/beauty product I got was the Length Matters Wow-Impact Mascara. Julep came out with two new mascara fairly recently, this one and a volume one, though I did not try them. There were some mascaras before these, but they weren't very good. I will say, though, that I appreciate that Julep uses un-retouched photos to show their mascaras, even if it does make them look kind of "meh". Noramally, I prefer volumnizing mascara over lengthening, but I like the effect this one gives over the volume-version. This product retails for $24-$19.20, depending on if you're a Maven.
I also got a lip gloss in the color Vivid.
I've gotten a handful of these over my Maven career, and I have kept none of them. I'm just not a fan of these lip glosses. Actually, I don't think I'm a fan of lip glosses in general, so that might be part of it. These glosses include Julep's Power Cell Complex (it says "select colors" have it, but it lists next to each color currently available if it has it and they all do), and come in a bunch of different colors. Vivid is describes as an "iridescent burgundy shimmer".

It seems more opaque than some other colors I've had and I like the shimmer. I'll give it a try before I pass it off to my mom, but I'm still not 100% sure about it.
On to the polishes! I got five polishes in my box, including the two that we were told about. I'll start with those two, the first being Shayla.
 Shayla is probably my favorite polish in this box (I really liked Bea, too, but I'll talk about that in a second); it is described as a "purple perennial full coverage micro-glitter" and it's super pretty! It has iridescent glitter, so it almost looks like a holographic polish. It dries with a subtle matte texture finish, but if you want a glossier look you can use a top coat. It fully covered my nail wheel in three coats.
The other polish we knew we were getting is Marcella.
 Marcella is a "weathered pink crème", which some people were calling a pepto-bismal pink. I guess I like pepto-bismal pink because I really like this color! It has just enough dusty purple in it to make it more unique.
I was actually kind of worried that this was a dupe for my Smith & Cult City Of Compton polish, but it's just different enough for me (though for some people it's a dupe). Marcella is on the left and City Of Compton is one the right.
Shockingly, I got a dupe! One of the reasons why I wanted to get a mystery box this month is that I thought I had been skipping enough Maven boxes that I wouldn't have to worry about getting any dupes, but. Yeah. This is Brandis, a "taos turquoise crème". It's a very pretty polish and if I hadn't already gotten it I would have been happy to get it in my mystery box. I didn't swatch it or anything since I'm going to give this to my mom or a friend or something.
Next I got Chatoya, a "bright platinum glitter top coat".
 To me, Chatoya looks more like a mix of silver and bronze glitter and I've heard some people say it looks kind of purple (it does in the bottle). I don't think you'll be able to build this up to full opacity by itself, so it really is best as a top coat.
Finally, I got Bea. My Bea did not come in a box; it came all by itself, which I thought was kind of weird. After seeing other people's mystery boxes on Instagram and that their Beas came in boxes, I got worried that mine was a return or something. When I looked at it more closely, there seemed to be product missing, like someone had already used it. I e-mailed Julep about it and, unfortunately, they weren't able to send me another Bea because it was sold out. To make up for that, they offered to send me another polish of my choice! I pick Danielle and they sent it out to me and I just got it yesterday. I'm sad that I had a problem in the first place, but Julep took care of it quickly and satisfactorily.
 Bea is described as a "lemonade crème" and I really, really liked it! I know that the likely-hood of catching something from a used nail polish is slim to none, but I still feel uncomfortable using this polish since it really seems like it was a return or something.

And that was my May Mystery Box from Julep! Overall, I'm not too happy with this mystery box; I was hoping for different products and I even got a dupe nail polish color. I'm happy that Julep was able to help me out so quickly with my issues with Bea, but there are other issues I had with this box that I didn't feel warranted an e-mail to customer service. I had some issues with the brushes on a couple of my polishes; one polish had some errant bristles that I had to cut off and the others seem weirdly splayed. Hopefully it doesn't affect my polish application. For a more expensive mystery box, I'm just not sure this one was worth it. I'm very happy with my add-ons, but I picked those myself (well, I picked one, at least) and I technically got them for free anyways.

Julep said this box would be worth $150+, but I didn't calculate the box value because Julep tends to over-estimate box values anyways (they calculate value based on the full retail price of an item and I would never ever pay full price for anything from Julep; if you're a Maven you get 20% off of everything automatically and things go on sale/are included in mystery boxes/can be purchased as add-ons so frequently that if something you want isn't on sale now, it will be soon). I am getting my Maven box for June, but I'm not sure if I'll be getting another mystery box.

Thanks for reading! <3

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