Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 2016 Julep Maven Box - Into The Sea - Unboxing & Review!

I don't know why, but I'm a little surprised as to how long the mermaid trend has been holding out. Mermaids were huge last summer, and they're still quite popular. Not that that's bad or anything, mermaids are pretty neat, but with the attention span of the internet and social media, I expected some other mythical creature to be all the rage. Why all this talk about mermaids?
Because the Julep Maven box for July 2016 is subtly mermaid-themed! Since I can completely customize it, though, it's more so in name than in content, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Quick Run Down: $24.99 (I pay $19.99 because of how long I've been a subscriber) a month nail polish/beauty/makeup subscription service from Julep, a Seattle, WA based nail salon/beauty company; a new collection of nail polish each month along with one or two new beauty products (can be either totally new or just new colors of an already existing product); product selection is on the 20th of each month, and you can chose a curated box, customize your own (with limitations; you generally end up with three items), send a box to someone else, or skip your box altogether.
My extra coupon this month is 30% off my next Julep.com purchase with the code JULY30. I don't really use these coupons since they only work on full priced products and I rarely, if ever, purchase anything from Julep at full price. I much prefer the coupons that give you a free polish/product with a certain amount of money spent since you can combine those with discounted products.
The theme this month is called 'Into The Sea'...
...and, if that didn't make the mermaid-ness obvious enough, the quote is about being a mermaid.
I didn't think about it before, but now I'm kind of curious as to why Julep didn't try to make the candy freebie a little more mermaid-y, especially since it's hard to maintain a theme with a customizable box; even salt water taffy would seem more appropriate than a jelly fruit slice.
The new product for July is another lip product, called the Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butter (Julep comes up with some really weird names for their products, and they change them quite often). I decided against getting one since I already have a ton of lip products, and it ended up being a semi-positive thing since there was a manufacturing issue and the boxes that included these lip butters shipped late.
I'm going to get the nail polishes out of the way first. I only picked one polish this month since I have a ton of it already, but since I sent a friend a Julep invite e-mail, I got another polish for free (this was a special promotion; normal referrals give you $15 in store credit if the person you referred signed up for Julep Maven using your unique link). Yay!
This was the free polish, Mickey. When the e-mail promo was offered, Julep only said they would include a fun, pink polish; they didn't include a name or any other color description.
I'm pretty happy with this polish; the bright pink color is very summery, and it has purple ghost shimmer to it that it makes it much more interesting then a standard creme finish (but not so shimmery that people who do like creme finishes will be put off by it).
The other polish I got is from the July 2016 collection and is called Annalise.
 Annalise is described as a 'vivid wisteria ghost iridescent' and it has the same shimmery-but-not-shimmery finish as Mickey. This is a pretty color, and the formula is great, but as a lot of people point out in their reviews, this is basically Kayla (also from Julep) without a pink shift.
One thing I knew for sure that I was going to select for this month's box was a fan brush. I only own one fan brush, and it's a really thin, sad one from e.l.f. (no e.l.f. hate, I love my other brushes, but the fan brush is...not the best). I have another brush from Julep (the foundation/concealer brush way back when they tried to make a DD cream) and I liked how sturdy it felt and the bristles were pretty soft, so I was hoping that this brush would be similar. And it is! The handle feels very sturdy and a good heft to it and the bristles are soft with no loose hairs (though they smell plasticky). This brush also has a good density to it; not so thick that you over apply product, but not so thin that you have to go over the same spot a million times to deposit anything.
I had a bit of a time trying to figure out the third thing I wanted to get this month; I could have easily picked up another of my favorite products, but I really wanted to try something new that I otherwise wouldn't purchase. I ended up with a jar of Your Cuticles Look Thirsty cuticle cream (see what I mean about the names? They're memorable, I'll give them that...). Normally, I just use a nail oil (or straight up jojoba oil since I have a bunch laying around) or regular hand crea for my cuticles, but I thought the formula of this cream was interesting. And argan oil free! This cream has honey, shea butter, vitamin B5 (this acts as a carrier to help the other ingredients penetrate and absorb quickly), and salicyclic acid to lightly exfoliate.
This is what my jar looked like when I first opened it. I thought that something might be wrong with it, but I wasn't sure and kind of forgot about it until I picked this box up again to blog about it. When I looked up some images on Google, and those images showed that the jar was supposed to be full of a white, whipped cream, I knew mine was off. I sent Julep an e-mail, someone replied in less than 24 hours, and they kindly shipped me a brand new jar for free! It took a couple days to get to me and it arrived safe and sound; based on my new one, it looks like the seal wasn't very strong and the product had partly leaked and dried out either in the warehouse or during shipping (I think it was in the warehouse since nothing in my box arrived stained or damaged). I've always had very positive experiences with Julep's customer service and it's definitely one of the reasons why I've been subscribed to them for so long.

Overall, I'm very happy with my July 2016 Julep Maven box! I got two nail polishes, a fan brush, and a cuticle cream for $20, which is a pretty good deal (I think it would be a good deal even at the $25 mark). I think a lot of value with this box comes from the fact that you can customize it; mystery boxes are a lot of fun, and the 'treasure hunting' aspect of them can be very exciting, but with the highs, you also have to deal with the lows of poor value products and products that you can't use. With customizable boxes, you're basically guaranteed to like every product; what makes it even better is that, if you don't like anything that month, all you have to do is skip!

Thanks for reading! <3

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