Julep May 2017 (Sun Crush) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Another Julep Maven unboxing! This month’s featured products are some of my favorites from Julep – the Sea Salt Texture Spray, Mint Condition Pedi Creme, and No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel – but I still have those on hand, so I picked other stuff:

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The contents:

  • Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick in Moonlit Sand ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), “Rose Gold Shimmer,” because I ❤ rose gold,
  • Eyeshadow 101 Creme-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Pearl Shimmer ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven), “Soft Cream Shimmer,”
  • CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser ($10 regular, $8 Maven), which I’m hoping will help me clean up my eyeliner accidents (though it’s got mixed reviews on the website), and
  • Sixlets chocolate flavored candy, this month’s freebie. I’d never had them before, so that was fun to try, and the slightly different flavors for each color were kind of interesting!

This month’s quote:

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art” – Madonna

The promo code that came with this box is FREEMAY for a free polish with a $10 purchase at Julep’s website, expires 5/31/2017.

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Here’s a close-up on the Skip the Brush and Eyeshadow 101. I previously picked this up in Sheer Glow and loved it more the more I used it. I find myself frequently using it over other luminizers in my arsenal, so I thought I’d try it in a different shade. I’m not much of a blush person, but this one looks pretty natural, goes on sheer, and is buildable if you want more pigment. I prefer using this on my eyelids and lips more than on my cheeks – yay for multitasking products! Love the subtle touch of rose gold sparkle.

Oh, and I find it works better over bare skin or a BB cream (or similar cream-based product) and not as well with my mineral powder foundation.

Not much to say on the Pearl Shimmer eyeshadow. It’s a pale, shimmery, almost-white eyeshadow. 🙂 As with the other Eyeshadow 101s, I find a primer is necessary to keep it from smearing around.

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This is a close-up of the CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser. It’s designed for removing eye makeup mistakes, and I thought I’d give it a shot, despite mixed reviews on the Julep website. Most of the complaints are that the tip is overly rough. I haven’t actually used it yet, but I’ll post an update when I’ve had a chance to try it out. (I currently use a Q-tip dipped in remover to clean up my cat eyes, and I’d love a more convenient solution!)

(EDIT 7/14/2017 – I’ve since tried CTRL + Z, and it’s awesome. Sharp cat eyes every time now, without wiping off and redrawing them a million times. 😀 The tip’s a bit scratchy, but I use a light hand, and it’s been fine on my sensitive skin.)

That’s it for this box! Still waiting on my Spring 2017 Pusheen Box to show up. I know folks who got their boxes ages ago, and mine hasn’t even shipped yet! Customer service says it was scheduled to ship this past week, but still nothing. :\

Anyway, happy Mothers’ Day to my fellow moms! Can’t tell you how awesome it is the first time you get a Mothers’ Day card from your own kid. ❤

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Julep April 2017 (Relax & Remix) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Not quite as late this month posting my Julep Maven unboxing!

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This month’s quote: “Give me a sun lounger, a pool and a sea view, and I’m happy.” – Miranda Hart, an English actor and comedian that I wasn’t familiar with until I saw the monthly quote card. I’ve found most of the recent quotes a bit less than inspiring, but at least they have some educational value because I end up looking up the person quoted. :]

Anyway, my picks this month:

  • Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eyeshadow Duo in Moonlight & Starlight ($20 regular, $16 Maven), “Lilac Grey Matte & White Sand Shimmer,” a previous release from last May,
  • Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eyeshadow Duo in Cinnamon & Spice ($20 regular, $16 Maven), “Auburn Shimmer & Mushroom Shimmer,” new this month,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Ultraviolet ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), “Blue Violet Shimmer,” new this month, and
  • Brigitte ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), “Bright White Crème” nail polish, which I think was released in April 2014 and is this month’s freebie. ❤

 

The promo code that came with this box is APRIL30 for 30% off a purchase at Julep’s website, expires 5/30/2017.

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Feels Like Velvet really is pretty comfortable to wear, and the colors are great, but so far, I’ve only tried applying them dry, both with and without primer, and they faded more quickly than I would have liked. Reviews on the site seem to say doing a wet application is the way to go, so I’ll have to give that a shot later on.

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Moonlight & Starlight is an matte-finish duo and looked subtle and creamy when I wore it. Again, though, maybe a wet application could amp it up a little. Work-appropriate for sure, and super fine/soft texture.

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Cinnamon & Spice has two shimmer colors and shows up more dramatically on my relatively fair skin but also seems pretty work-appropriate. It wasn’t overly sparkly when applied dry.

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The Ultraviolet eyeliner looks great on the pencil – a nice cool-leaning violet with blue flash – but on the lid, the blue flash didn’t really show up. Still a beautiful color with excellent application, but I was hoping for more blue shimmer!

I’ll give it another shot and see if I like it better next time. After all, the Sunset Gold color looked almost terracotta to me the first few times I wore it, but later on, the gold metallic shimmer finally made an appearance. No idea why it took a few applications to kick in, but it did, and now I love it!

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I haven’t tried Brigitte yet, but as I understand from reading various reviews, it’s a standard bright white creme polish, and some people have some issues with the application (pretty typical for bright white polishes, unfortunately). I’ll update the blog later when I’m able to give it a try.

I’m still well satisfied with the value and quality of the Julep Maven box. I just checked, and Julep’s new subscription options now include prepaying for 6 months and getting boxes for $16.66 each (whoa)! I’m still under the oldbie $19.99 month-to-month plan, but either way, it’s a pretty great deal for trying new products or stocking up on past favorites. If you’re interested in trying it and find my posts helpful, please consider using my referral link! (You can also use the code FREEFALL to score an extra set of 12 full-size Julep polishes ($168 value), if you’re a new Maven. :D)

Anyway, that’s it for now. I better get to bed so we can take ‘Fiend Jr. to an egg hunt tomorrow morning!

Julep January 2017 (Future Fresh) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!) | Julep Ginny & Julep Yulia

A bit of a late post, but here it is: my customized Julep January 2017 Maven box! Since I took so long to find time to post this, I’ve also already swatched the polishes that came in it, so I’m throwing that in here, too.

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Looks like Julep’s cutting down on packaging. Instead of the usual pretty tissue paper and paper crinkles, everything was cushioned in utilitarian brown paper. (Hey, I don’t mind. It works and is easier to clean up.) My picks this month:

  • Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil ($36 regular, $28.80 Maven), this month’s featured new product that I was pretty excited to try;
  • Ginny ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), from Julep’s collection last month, described as a “Sapphire Sunset Holographic,” which actually isn’t a bad description; and
  • Yulia ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), new this month, described as a “Turquoise Sheer Iridescent Shimmer,” which is also accurate.

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Boost Your Radiance was new this month and comes packaged like What Your Skin Needs Restorative Facial Milk in a frosted glass bottle with a dropper. Julep touts this as “[a] reparative ‘wonder booster’ that leaves all skin types radiant and hydrated. Prevents and repairs the appearance of fine lines and hyperpigmentation while regulating oil production.”

I tried the oil for about two weeks, and it really does wonders for my face. I love that it takes only a drop or two, and though I have the annoying kind of skin that gets dry patches and eczema here and there, this oil seems to smooth out those spots without making the rest of my face feel greasy. It’s pretty great! Might be too early to tell, but I have no idea if it helps for hyperpigmentation, and I don’t really have fine lines to repair yet, so hopefully it’s doing its job preventing them!

And, for your reference, here’s some swatches of the two polishes from this month, Ginny, plus one coat of Yulia over accent nail, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat:

Ginny is quite possibly my new favorite Julep polish and is a sapphire-blue jelly packed with just the right density of fine holo shimmer/microglitter to create that starry-sky look. It’s similar to Zoya Dream, another favorite, but it looks like it’s probably more purplish, with finer holo shimmer, and it has that extra, subtle pink flash. I love it.

Yulia is sheer, as advertised, and designed to be a topper. It reminds me of Pure Ice Heartbreaker, but I’d have to do a side-by-side comparison to really tell. You can see from my photo that from some angles, it’s hardly visible (at least at once coat), but at some angles, it’s got a strong teal flash.

Both polishes had excellent formulas and dried on the faster side of average for me and had pretty good durability. They almost lasted an entire week!

Also in this box:

  • Monthly collection intro & quote card: primarily introducing Boost Your Radiance and this month’s quote, “Never dull your shine for somebody else,” from Tyra Banks;
  • Tootsie Pop, this month’s freebie (which amused my toddler, then fed my husband); and
  • Promo code card: $10 off $25+ purchase at Julep.com (use WINTER10, expires 2/28/17).

That’s it for this box…and it’s already time to make our choices for the February box. Where does all the time go?

Julep December 2016 (This Way to the Soiree) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Has it been a month already? Life’s been so busy that I can hardly keep track!

Anyway, time for another quickie unboxing post! Here’s my customized Julep December 2016 Maven box!

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Teal paper crinkles, wine-colored tissue paper (though it doesn’t look it from the photo), and:

  • Lock Down Your Brows Iconic Brow Gel ($22; website doesn’t list a Maven price, for some reason), “Clear-setting gel infused with brow-boosting peptides and nourishing Power Cell Complex™ that shapes and tames brows with a flexible, natural-looking hold,”
  • Bree ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), described as a “Golden Gardenia Multidimensional Glitter” (whoa, uh, I somehow got two, even though I actually only ordered one!),  and
  • Light on Your Lips Full-Coverage Creme Lipstick in Shimmy ($22; again, no Maven price listed) a sort of rusty, orangey red.

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I’m still riding out those gel nails, so I haven’t painted my nails in a long time, but maybe I can try out Bree with last month’s Mercedes next. I had a hard time choosing out of Bree, Ginny, and Kristjana when I first saw the December 2016 reveal, and I’m still not sure I picked the right one of the three! Bree reminds me of those Maybelline Color Show Brocade polishes from 2013.

Other than the polishes, my choices this month are maybe a bit weird for me. My sister likes the brow gel, so I decided to give it a go, but my wiry brow hairs are adamant about sticking the way they want to stick, and the gel honestly didn’t seem to make any difference, even with extra coats. I like the brush, though. It’s spiraled like a shorter mascara brush, or a bottle brush, and is firm without being too scratchy. The gel itself hardly feels like anything.

Finally, I’m not typically one to wear lipstick because of skin sensitivity issues, but that just means that when I need to wear some, I can’t seem find any I can or would like to wear. I’ve, therefore, made a point of nabbing a lipstick here and there (when economically prudent ;P) to try out so I can figure out what works. I didn’t have an orangey one like Shimmy yet, so I’m going to give it a try!

Also in this box:

  • Monthly collection intro & quote card: info on the new It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse colors (which I didn’t pick up) and a quote from socialite and fashion designer Lilly Pulitzer, “That’s what life is about: Let’s have a party. Let’s have it tonight.”
  • Gilliam Green Apple Old Fashioned Candy Stick, this month’s freebie (yum), and
  • Promo code card: free polish with $10+ purchase at Julep.com (use FREEDECEMBER, expires 1/31/17).

Oh, also, I love the Julep bird-and-stars print compact mirror I picked up during Black Friday. It’s really cute and happened to be free with a $30 purchase:

The chameleon eyeliner trio is pretty good, too. In that subtle Julep way, the liners look black but have a hidden shimmer (silver, gold, or violet are the shimmer colors in the trio) that’s visible (when the light hits just right) but not too flashy for work. 😀

That’s it for now!

Julep November 2016 (Light & Shadow) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Quick unboxing post for my customized Julep November 2016 Maven box!

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Brown paper crinkles, pearly white tissue paper, and my selections for this month, all new products introduced for November:

  • Eyeshadow 101 in Burgundy Shimmer ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven), a lovely warm berry/wine shimmer,
  • Eyeshadow 101 in Evergreen Shimmer ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven), a cool-leaning deep green shimmer, and
  • Mercedes nail polish ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) which Julep describes as “Canyon Rose Metallic” but looks more like a cocoa with gold shimmer to me.

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I haven’t tried the eyeshadows yet, but I liked the previous one I got in Orchid Shimmer, and I liked the product photos of these colors. I’ll probably post an update when I have a chance to give them a go.

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I thought Mercedes would be rosier from the product shots, but I love how reminiscent the actual polish is of cinnamon and other autumn spices. Definitely wearing this one once my current gel manicure gives out!

Also included in this box:

  • Collection intro card with this month’s quote: “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte
  • Freebie of the month, a gold foil-wrapped milk-chocolate marble, and
  • Promo code card (free polish with a $10+ purchase at Julep.com, use FREENOVEMBER) with candy ingredient list on the back.

Looking forward to trying these colors out!

Julep February 2016 Maven Box + add-ons (with promo codes!)

My Julep Maven February 2016 Maven box arrived this past Monday – yay! I would’ve posted earlier, but it’s hard to fit in time to post on work nights, especially now that I’ve got ‘Fiend Jr. as a second full-time job. :]

Anyway, on to the box! I got the Modern Beauty box this month and tacked on some nail polishes that I wanted to try out.

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White pearlescent tissue paper, cream-colored paper crinkles, loads of nail polishes (which I’ll list out in a moment), Julep Lip Gloss in Captivated (one of the Modern Beauty choices this month), and a smaller box. And, inside the smaller box…

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Charcoal/gold-shimmer tissue paper (maybe my favorite tissue paper from Julep so far) and more cream-colored paper crinkles cradling the rest of the Modern Beauty box items:

  • Julep Gel Eye Glider in Olive,
  • Julep Lip Gloss in Timeless,
  • chocolate heart (this month’s freebie)
  • a quote card doubling as an introduction to this month’s new Eyeshadow 101 colors, and
  • promo code for a free Eyeshadow 101 with a $15+ purchase (use code FEBEYES), expires March 31, 2016.

This month’s quote is from Martha Beck:

“Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but feeling beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.”

I hadn’t heard of Martha Beck before seeing this quote card, but it looks like Dr. Beck is a life coach and author. I find the quote kind of interesting because unlike the other, more lighthearted quotes I’ve seen from Julep, this one sounds like tough love to me: your self-perception is your own responsibility. I’d agree with that message, though I don’t know if that’s how it was meant. Anyway, I guess the quote goes along with Julep’s recent #bravepretty campaign, which might not really resonate with me personally, but hey, I won’t knock a positive message.

Onward to this month’s new nail polishes that I picked up!

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These four are new colors for this month, which I picked up in two add-ons:

  • All Gold EverythingKay (“[w]arm taupe with gold microshimmer”) and Luz (“[s]unset gold metallic”) – plus it was supposed to include a roll of Thin Gold Line Nail Tape for nail art, but this was missing from my box (boo) 😦
  • Beet It Duo –  Hayley (“[b]eetroot crème”) and Rosie (“[c]harcoal grey with magenta glitter”)

Luz strikes me as a possible fraternal twin to Essie Leggie Legend, so I may compare those two in the future. I’ve got my eye on Hayley for Valentine’s, though. It could be because I really love beets (yum). 🙂

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Next up:

  • Sienna is a classic Julep color (older) and a duplicate for me, but I don’t mind having a backup because I’ve used it quite a few times, and it’s a great polish. Very versatile and matches with everything. This was the freebie for taking 3+ add-ons this month.
  • Hartleigh is a “[h]olographic heart glitter top coat” – new for me, but first released last February as that month’s Valentine’s freebie. Julep gave it out as a freebie this year, too – they sent out an e-mail that gave you the opportunity to opt in if you took this month’s box. (To be honest, I might have skipped this box, but that extra incentive might have given me the little push needed to change my mind. Well played, Julep. Well played.)
  • Hazel (“[w]ild violet and bronze duochrome) – a polish I wanted before and was able to snag for $4.99 as an add-on.

Here’s the new olive eye liner (I need to find a better location to take photos at my new place, but in the meantime, please excuse the bad lighting, etc.):

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Close-ups on the lip glosses:

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Here’s where I discovered something wonky with this month’s Modern Beauty box. The default items in this month’s Modern Beauty box were the Lip Gloss in Timeless, the Eye Glider in Olive, and Eyeshadow 101 in Olive. As usual, Julep offered the option to swap your color if you preferred something else. Most of the options were other shades of Eyeshadow 101, but at least one of the options was the lip gloss in Captivated (another new release this month). I liked the olive eyeshadow and eye liner, so I picked the alternate lip color, since I’ve already got a nude one in my collection. Oddly, against what I expected, instead of swapping out Timeless, though, Captivated ended up replacing the Eyeshadow 101!

I e-mailed Julep customer support about this in case it was a mistake and was told that the Eyeshadow 101 was the swappable item in the Modern Beauty box, never mind that it wasn’t the same product as the option I chose. Weird. I wanted to find the selection-time original text for the Modern Beauty box, just to check if I had a brain fart and didn’t read something that would have tipped me off, but I wasn’t able to find it, since the selection window’s closed now. I’m a bit bummed out, but at least the lip gloss is the higher-value item of the two (regular retail price of $20, versus $18 for the Eyeshadow 101), and it’s not like the gloss won’t be put to good use.

Also, they did refund me for the gold nail tape that was missing from my box, and they offered me a free nail polish for the inconvenience, which was nice of them. All in all, everything’s copacetic.

Did any of you get this month’s box? Any issues with yours?

Happy Valentine’s!

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep December 2015 Maven Box: The All Night Long Collection, Eye Contact box + add-ons (with promo codes!)

My Julep Maven December 2015 Maven box arrived yesterday! I had enough Jules saved up to snag a free box this month (birthday present to myself! ;)), and I have to admit, Elsa had me pretty excited. More on that in a bit.

Here’s what was in my shipment this month:

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The Eye Contact box had all four new “dial up your glam” (previously Orbital Eyeshadow) colors:

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  • Cosmos, “Moss Green with Gold Pearlescence,”
  • Andromeda, “Fig with Chrome Pearlescence,”
  • Luna, “White Gold with Gold Pearlescence,” and
  • Eclipse, “Slate with Silver Pearlescence.”

Here they are, opened up (photographed in indoor warm-white LED lighting):

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The colors look pretty, though as with Zenith in a previous box, sadly not as intense as they look in Julep’s marketing photos. That’s a bit disappointing, since that makes Andromeda and Luna, especially, pretty similar to other shadows I already own. Drat! Well, I’ll give them a try later on before passing judgment.

I also picked up three add-ons and received a freebie:

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  • “Chilled Bubbly” – a set with Elsa (“Snowdrift iridescent stardust”) and Judy (“Moonbeam iridescent chrome”), new this month,
  • Brandy (“Steel grey with blue microglitter liquid holographic”), previously an exclusive new color from October’s Night Lights mystery box (woo, I wanted this one but didn’t get the mystery box!),
  • Becky (“Oil slick duochrome silk”), from February’s Afterglow collection, and
  • Katie (“Orchid iridescent chrome”), from last August’s Wanderlust collection, the freebie for picking up three or more add-ons.

I may have lukewarm feelings about Frozen, but Elsa is a beautiful polish. I’m a snow-loving December baby, and it singlehandedly decided whether I was getting a box this month. :] I was kind of afraid it wouldn’t apply like shown in Julep’s official swatch, but it did! Love the snow-flurry look – but more on that in my next swatch post.

The freebie this month was a Gilliam cinnamon-flavored stick candy. I’m not sure if Julep sent out other flavors, since my sister and I both got cinnamon. Fine by me, since I love cinnamon candy!

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Everything was packaged in purple paper crinkles and wrapped in a glittery tissue paper. There was the usual new-product description card (with a horrible comma splice that I’ll not repeat here), but no quote card this month. Instead, the inside of the box was printed with “If you can put it on, you can pull it off. #bravepretty,” which seems like Julep’s new thing. The campaign doesn’t really strike a chord with me, but I guess it’s cool that they’re advocating acceptance and healthy self-esteem.

Anyway, onward to the promo codes!

  • DECEMBER gets you a free color with a $10+ purchase, and
  • DEC10 gets you $10 off an order of $20+

Enjoy!

Did you get a Julep box this month, and if you did, which one? What did you think of this month’s products?

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!