Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 Julep Maven + Add-Ons - Endless Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Let's continue my Julep streak (this is what, four or five months in a row now?) with my August 2016 Julep Maven box!
Along with my regular, customized box, I also added on three more products (and got a fourth product for free for doing so!). The theme for the August collection was Endless Summer and it was very holographic-heavy, though I ended up only getting one polish from it. I ended up going in a different direction this month and actually picked out some beauty products to try (normally, I stick to polish and nail/hand/body care).

Quick Run-Down: Julep is a $24.99 a month (I pay $19.99 since I've been subscribed for so long) beauty subscription service that offers a variety of different products including nail polish, body/skin care, and makeup; the Julep Maven box is customizable (within certain value limits) and the selection window starts on the 20th of each month and ends on the 24th; a new nail polish collection is released each month, along with one or two beauty products (these can either be completely new or just different colors of already existing products), though you can pick from older collections/products as well; the best feature of this box, and the reason why I've been subscribed so long, is that you can skip your box each month without having to unsubscribe (you just have to make sure that you select the skip option within the product choice window).
Every month we get an extra coupon, but we got a special coupon this month to celebrate Julep's launch at Ulta Beauty. This isn't the first time Julep's been sold at a different retailer (Sephora currently carries it), but I believe that Ulta carries the most products that have ever been available from someone other than Julep. They also have some exclusive kits included these 'Trend In 10' makeup sets. This is a unique-code coupon for 20% off your entire Julep purchase at Ulta. It's helpful if you want to get one of the exclusive kits, but if you want something that's also available from Julep, you're more likely to find a better deal buying directly from them.
The theme this month is Endless Summer; most boxes right now are all about hanging onto the last moments of summer, whether or not the included products actually have anything to do with it.
The quote is a nice bit of imagery, especially for summer.
Every month we also get an extra little freebie, which is normally candy (I think I've gotten a non-candy item like...twice), but some months are better than others and this is a sad candy month. A single Lemonhead, and the packaging on mine was so mangled it was already opened.
The one polish color (and product in general) I got from the August collection is Eliza.
 Eliza is described as an 'infinite ocean holographic'. Out of all the holos in the August collection, I went with Eliza because I don't have a deep blue holo (at least I don't think I do...) and it looked like the most holographic polish. Some of the polishes I wouldn't even call holographic; in Julep's swatch photos, they just look like they have silver glitter.
I went with something a little different this month and decided to try out two makeup products. I normally avoid Julep's makeup; they're a nail brand through and through and while they can make good non-nail products, they tend to be misses rather than hits for me. The first makeup product I wanted to try is a Skip The Brush blush stick in the color Moonlit Sand.
Moonlit Sand is a shimmery champagne taupe; I debated between this color and Sheer Glow, but I thought Moonlit Sand was slightly more unique. You can use these sticks as blushes, highlights, and contours; Julep also says these can be used on eyes and lips, but I'm not sure if there are some restrictions with certain colors (a lot of red/purple/pink pigments aren't FDA approved for use in the eye area).
Skip The Brushes are big, chunky color sticks with a rounded tip. Since these are intended to be used without brushes (as the name implies), I would have preferred a sharper cylindrical shape that other color sticks have; it would make it easier to do a more precise cheek, lip, or eye application. I don't think it would be very effective to apply this to my eyes or as a contour without using a brush. I do like the rounded tip for all over cheek application, though.
You get a lot of color with this stick and it applied pretty smoothly. It's a little too dark for a highlight and a little too shimmery for a blush (unless I'm going for a really unnatural loo), but I think it will make a good lid and lip color as long as it isn't prone to creasing.
The other makeup product I got (and the final item in my actual Maven box) is the Illume Face & Eye Brightener in Champagne (the box/product don't actually say the name of the color; it just says Pick Me Up).
As the name implies, this is a brightening product similar to the cult favorite YSL Touche Eclate. You twist the product up and use the brush applicator to apply to your under eye area and anywhere else on your face you need a little brightening. I've had some negative experiences with twist-up products like this from Julep (they take forever to get started, then they don't stop and you end up wasting a lot), but this one seemed to function well.
I went with Champagne because I thought it would work better with my more golden undertones, but it might be too yellow for me. I should have known better, that pink tones are better at brightening for lighter skin tones, but I went with the champagne one since a lot of people recommended it in the reviews. I haven't tried it on my face yet, but I think this will work better under my foundation/concealer than over it (whereas I think the pink works better when used on top).
Now for my add-ons! Each month you can add-on a select group of products for a heavily discounted price. If you add three, you get another product for free, so if there's one add-on that I want, I generally get two more to get the freebie. Well played, Julep. For my first add-on, I splurged a bit and got the Cancer polish from the Zodiac collection.
These are special polishes created for each Zodiac symbol, and mine is Cancer. These are also one of the only products that are not discounted as an add-on; you still get the Maven discount so they're $11.20 instead of the regular $14, but that's the only discount you get.
Cancer is described as a 'glistening crab shell duometallic', which sounds kind of gross, but it's a pretty pink/orange metallic duochrome. For being such a light color, it was surprisingly opaque; I got full opacity after two coats, though you have to be careful if you want to avoid brushstrokes. I had some Jules to spend (Julep's version of reward points), so I essentially got this polish for free; I might not have gotten it otherwise since I'm not used to paying almost full price for Julep polish.
In order to get my freebie, I added on two of the least expensive, but still useful, products that I could. So I got a foot file! My feet do need some help, and it's better to file hard spots than to shave them off (...that sounds so gross). Not sure how well this is going to hold up; it's made of plastic and it feels pretty sturdy, but I'm pretty sure these are the same files they use in their salon and that they're made to be disposable.
I also added on some gold triangle nail decals!
...they were cheap and something I might actually use. I also like how they're basically stickers instead of water decals or anything similar since I can be very lazy when it comes to nail art.
So what did I get for my three add-ons? A nail polish! I was hoping for something else, like a makeup product, but as long as it isn't a color I already own, I'm okay with getting a polish.
The color I got is Spencer, a 'vintage gold chrome'. As with all chromes, you get a great metallic finish, but you have to be careful if you don't like brushstrokes. I personally don't mind them for everyday wear since they aren't noticeable unless you're super close, but they are annoying if you're trying to take pictures for Instagram... I thought for sure that I already owned this color, but according to my Julep Master List, I do not.

Overall, this was a good box. I liked the products I picked and, with my Jules, I paid around $30 for everything, including shipping. Since I can now pick the products I want, and skip a month if there's nothing I need, it's not often that I'm super disappointed with my Julep Maven box (unless one of the products/colors turns out to be less than what I expected). I think it's worth it to sign up to be a Julep Maven, especially if you're into nail polish, since then you get the perks of being a Maven (discounts, Secret Store, the option to get your monthly box), but you don't have the obligation to get a box every month if you don't want to (be warned, though, that the 'skip the month' option might not be available right from the start; I've heard that you have to be a Maven for at least six months before you can skip, but I also heard that they changed that rule after a lot of people called them out on it, so I don't know what's current).

Thanks for reading! <3

No comments:

Post a Comment