Julep June 2014 Maven Box: The Three Wishes Collection, It Girl (with promo codes)

I got my June 2014 Julep Maven monthly box in the mail today! I went with the It Girl box this month because I liked the colors best. I did want to try the new oxygen base and top coats, so I threw in the set of them as an add-on. I had enough Jules (loyalty points) to get the whole shebang for free, so that was awesome.

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Here’s what was in my box:

  • Jennine – “[f]ull-coverage borealis blue stardust (matte glitter)”
  • Phia – “[a]lluring orchid iridescent chrome”
  • Savoy – “[a]ntique gold chrome”
  • 3 Pixy Stix, this month’s surprise freebie (it kind of amuses me that Julep misspelled these as “Pixie Sticks” on their ingredient/allergen warning insert)
  • A 30%-off promo code for the new base and top coats (Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat and Oxygen Performance Top Coat): OXYGEN2
  • A $10 off $20+ code: PERK1020
  • This month’s inspirational quote: “Promise me you’ll never stop dreaming.” – Melina Marchetta

Hey, I hate to be a downer, but I feel like I have to get some things off my chest. Is it just me, or is Julep trying just a little bit too hard on their color descriptions these days? I know it’s hard to uniquely describe ten-ish new colors per month, and maybe it’s just my being a straightforward kind of person, but words like borealis and alluring just mean next to nothing to me when it comes to color. Yeah, okay, Jennine’s got a bit of holo sparkle, and borealis could be short for aurora borealis, referring to the rainbow color shifts in auroras, but borealis itself just means “of the north.” I dunno, it’s a bit of a stretch. And alluring? That’s so oddly subjective. Personally, I don’t get how a color can be seductively attractive.

Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway! Close-up on the three nail colors:

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I’m pretty excited about trying out Jennine. It looks pretty awesome. I like Phia, too. It looks like a slightly paler and less holo cousin of Reece, another Julep color I have in my stash. Check it out:

 

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They don’t look like dupes, but they’re similar enough in hue that if I saw both at the store, I admit I’d probably only have picked up one of them, and I think I might have gone with Reece for the extra bling. (Sorry, Phia. I might think differently after wearing you, though.)

Savoy is lovely on its own, though because I have so many Juleps, I can’t help but think it’s basically Sienna (another Julep color) without the metallic sparkle. Here’s a comparison for you:

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Yep, pretty much spot on, with Savoy being only a smidge redder. (The yellower tone near the bottom of the bottles is more accurate. I’m not sure why a pinker color came out in some parts of the photo. Might have been a lighting mistake, whoops.)

Here are the add-ons:

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I’ll likely be posting a review of these at some point in the future, when I have a chance to try them out.

As an aside, my sisters and I were talking recently about how Julep’s marketing and other changes are frankly starting to turn us off a bit. The products are still generally nice, thankfully, but where Julep’s marketing used to be more to-the-point and professional, recent changes, like calling their polishes “Color Treat” instead of nail polish or varnish or lacquer, or whatever just feels very twee and artificial. Blech.

Similarly, their blog used to be mostly more (relatively) practical posts, like this one showcasing variations on the French tip and this one giving a tutorial on how to do newsprint nails. While these techniques can be found all over the web, and Julep still posts tutorials and tips, recently the blog’s also been bloated with a bunch of empty posts, like this most recent post that misleadingly starts off talking about “[m]acaron-inspired manis” and turns out to be just an advertisement for several pastel Julep shades without adding creative insight otherwise. What happened to better thought-out entries, like last year’s Julep MANven April Fool’s post, which actually made me laugh? This year’s Cat Color was just lame and didn’t elicit even a single chuckle from me. I think I groaned and regretted wasting my brain cells clicking that link.

Also, upping the nail polish add-on cost to $6.99 from the previous $4.99 just sucks. Why, Julep? Why? As if your steep prices didn’t already put your polishes out of the reach of many ladies who aren’t as fortunate as we are. 😦 Don’t even get me started on the wonkiness of Julep’s pricing math, either. Someday, I may write a separate post on that (or let my PhD-candidate sister do a guest post on it, since it especially annoys her).

Tl; dr – lately, my sisters and I have been feeling alienated by the shift in Julep’s marketing strategy, which now seems to target more of a flouncy, air-headed crowd than the smart, professional women that I thought Julep was trying to empower and inspire.

Okay, end of rant.

That being said, I’m still pretty excited about trying these guys out. As long as the products don’t let me down, maybe I’ll stick around for a bit longer.

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3 thoughts on “Julep June 2014 Maven Box: The Three Wishes Collection, It Girl (with promo codes)

  1. I agree with absolutely everything you said (other than the Cat Color — my crazy cat lady Mavens and I were all giggly at it) Your cricitism of the recent Julep blog posts is spot on. The macaron post was so meh. I liked that they mention the Etsy macaron case (and Macaron Day) and yes, Kam is a pastel shade, but I think they should save the more vapid material for Instagram.

    I think the unfortunate marketing shift is a fairly common one: maybe sales are lagging, maybe they’re thinking they have to mimic the market? But in the process they’ve alienated their real base: the one they never used to talk down to.

    Julep is the biggest offender when it comes to “retail value of x!” shenanigans as well. I’m still a Maven — and I still love their polish — but the bad blogging, higher add-on prices and inflated, disingenuous value assessments need to go, please.

  2. Thanks for commenting, and I agree with you. Maybe their original target demographic wasn’t enough to keep them afloat in such a competitive market. (And maybe I was a bit harsh about the Cat Color. I love cats myself and guess I was just really hoping to see more clever parallel with the real Julep style profiles, like they did with MANven. :]) I felt like such a curmudgeon making those comments, and it’s a relief to know I’m not the only one feeling critical of the recent changes. I’m also still a Maven and will probably continue to stay one for the foreseeable future, but I hope they’ll make some improvements in at least those few areas.

  3. Pingback: Julep Phia, with Julep Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat and Julep Oxygen Performance Top Coat | Lacquerfiend

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