Julep October 2014 Maven Box: The Black Magic Collection, Polish Lover Upgrade (with promo codes)

I’m a total sucker for Halloween stuff, it’s no lie. As long as something evokes the magic and fun of the holiday for me, I think I’m a pretty easy sell. Regardless, Julep’s October collection last year was way above-and-beyond fantastic, though, so I had high expectations for this year’s, too. I wasn’t as floored by this month’s colors, but I still saw quite a few I really liked, and it was a better value to just nab the entire Polish Lover Upgrade (all polishes in the collection), rather than picking and choosing, so I just went with that.

I was so excited when my box arrived yesterday. Here’s what was inside, packaged with maroon paper crinkles and glitter-studded black tissue paper:


…plus a freebie that I got for ordering three add-ons this month:


Catrina (“[m]arigold yellow crème”) and Karmen (“[g]olden crimson microglitter”) are both from last September’s Cityscape collection and colors that I wished I’d picked up, so I was happy with these. :] I also appreciated that they were separately packaged in their own bag, so I could clearly tell what items were in the beauty freebie. Thanks, Julep!

I love the quote this month, probably because I’m a Poe fan: “There is no beauty without some strangeness.” :] The freebie is a little packet of candy corn, just as in past Octobers.

Here are some closer shots of the colors in my box:


  • Logan (Classic with a Twist), “[s]ultry aubergine shimmer” – the shimmer is superfine and almost looks like a pearl finish
  • DeAnn (Classic with a Twist), “[r]ipe loganberry crème” – this color looks like a deeper version of last August’s Nellie (“[p]ink fuchsia crème”)
  • Shailene (It Girl), “[b]ewitched purple with gold flecks (iridescence)” – this polish looks like a purple (and less golden) version of Candace (“[g]olden chocolate microglitter”) from last September’s Cityscape collection


  • Dana (It Girl), “[w]hite with electric blue sheen (black light reactive)” – the electric blue sheen barely shows up when swatched, but the creamy white has just a touch of beige that should be flattering to wear
  • Ledi (It Girl), “[b]lack pearl shimmer” – the shimmer is also black and very fine, giving it a velvety texture in the bottle that doesn’t seem to show up much when swatched
  • Briana (Boho Glam), “[s]ailor blue crème” – brighter and bluer than last month’s dustier Eliana, not navy in person as it looks in the photo, but a bit lighter and less saturated

FYI, I wouldn’t exactly call it bogus marketing to call attention to Dana being blacklight reactive, but it seems just a tad gimmicky, since many (not all) white compounds are blacklight reactive, and I’d be willing to bet lots of other white and fluorescent nail polishes are blacklight reactive.


  • Margarita (Bombshell), “[p]alace purple crème” – a nice royal/grape-y purple
  • Nancy (Bombshell), “[s]ilvery sage metallic” – though the sage part is a bit of a stretch, to be fully honest
  • Marla (Boho Glam), “[b]urgundy velvet with silver shimmer” – very juicy-looking wine shimmer – yum!

My sister and I both got Nancy, and we just don’t really see too much sage in Nancy. Unlike in the official marketing photos, Nancy doesn’t seem to have a discernible blue-green sheen, which we were disappointed about. I’d probably consider it a very subtly greenish-toned gunmetal metallic, myself. My sister said she may have picked a different box (she got the Bombshell box with Margarita, Nancy, and the Night Shift overnight mask) if she’d known Nancy was basically just another slightly differently tinted gunmetal/silver. I’d have to agree with her that the lack of sage-y flash really changes things. 😦 It’s a nice enough color, but not as interesting without the advertised sheen.

For comparison with Nancy, here’s a few similar Julep colors:

julep141004g julep141004h

These are the add-ons I threw in:


  • Black cat nail decals – my family has always owned black cats, and I’m really partial to them :]
  • Tia (Boho Glam), “[c]opper and gold glittered black jelly” – the featured add-on this month
  • Queen Anne (It Girl) “[l]ilac confetti microglitter” – Julep’s third anniversary commemorative polish from this August

And, finally, the promo codes:

  • 30% off an order – DROP30
  • 30% off Night Shift Sleeping Mask – SLEEP30

Despite the couple marketing choices that made me raise an eyebrow a little, it’s a varied-enough collection, and I’m still excited about trying these colors out. What did you think of this month’s collection?

Sorry for the lack of swatches lately, by the way. I’ve been way busier with work lately and feeling exhausted, so it’s been tough to feel up to painting my nails. I hope I can find the energy to swatch some of these new colors for you all sometime, though! Stay tuned, and thanks for visiting. :]


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