Julep July 2017 (Neon Nights) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Unboxing incoming! This month, I very nearly skipped my Julep box, but I was curious about Julep’s new Insta-Filter Invisible Finishing Powder. I kept this box small – just two items.

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The contents:

  • Insta-filter Invisible Finishing Powder ($32 regular, $25.50 Maven),
  • Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick in Golden Guava ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), a “Peachy Pink Gold Shimmer,” and
  • oddly, I didn’t receive a freebie (usually candy but sometimes a free Julep product) this month. It’s not the first time this has happened, but it was a bit disappointing. 😦

This month’s quote:

“I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.” – Chelsea Handler

The promo code that came with this box is SUMMER20 for $20 off a $50 purchase at Julep’s website, expires 7/31/2017.

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Insta-filter comes in a fancy, slightly rubberized black paper box with metallic violet print. The round compact inside is metal, about 3 inches in diameter, and hefty. Quality seems good, and it’s nicely designed with clean, modern lines; a little groove for your fingernail to pry up the lid; and a firm magnetic snap.

As for the product, it definitely does what Julep says it will –  “blur the appearance of pores, fine lines, and imperfections while instantly mattifying.” I don’t have much of a comparison point, though, since my usual translucent/finishing powder is BareMinerals Mineral Veil, which I got in a slightly dewy finish instead of a matte. I don’t own/wear enough makeup to compare it to anything else. Insta-filter works nicely enough, though, and the little foamy sponge is so soft, especially the flocked application side. Thumbs up.

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Well, my Golden Guava arrived with this fugly ding from the cap being squeezed on too tightly inside the box. 😦 The ugliness doesn’t affect its function, though, fortunately, so I didn’t even bother telling customer support this time.

It’s pretty similar to the past Skip the Brush sticks that I’ve purchased (Sheer Glow and Moonlit Sand), but the barrel is shiny gunmetal gray instead of matte black, and the formula on this one somehow seems a little creamier or stickier than my other two. The reviewers on Julep.com mentioned “glitter” in this one, which made me curious, since my other two colors don’t have anything coarse enough that I’d call glitter.

I tried it, and sure enough, the Golden Guava color somehow has an odd bit of coarser gold glitter flecks when applied, even though they’re not visible on the stick. The flecks are so occasional, too, that they stand out strangely against the otherwise smooth and finely milled peach/pink. Not my favorite, mostly because it looks inconsistent on application. I don’t know if that’s a mistake on Julep’s part, or if it was intentional. Looks fine on eyes, though, at least, maybe because the area is so small.

That’s it for today. There should be a Pusheen box coming in soon, so that’ll probably be my next post!

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 March 2017 (Spring To It) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Behind on posting, since I was down for the count with whatever slew of viruses ‘Fiend Jr. brought home from daycare the week before last. D: Anyway, here’s this month’s Julep Maven unboxing!

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This month’s quote: “Spring is when life’s alive in everything.” – Christina Rossetti, an English poet known for “Goblin Market.”

  • Skip the Brush creme-to-powder blush stick in Sheer Glow ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), a multipurpose product that also works on eyes and lips,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Clay ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), a new color released last month,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Fig Shimmer ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), a new color this month, and
  • two One-Step Polish Remover Pads, this month’s freebie.

The promo code that came with this box is SPRING30 for 30% off a purchase at Julep’s website.

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Skip the Brush in Sheer Glow works great as a multipurpose highlighter. The finish is lightweight and comfortable. It does look subtly sparkly, which may not be for everyone, but I like it.

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I think I’ve said before that I enjoy the Julep eyeliners, so I keep picking up more colors. I haven’t tried the eyeliner in Clay yet, but Fig Shimmer is more purple and less burgundy than I was expecting from the marketing photos. Still a pretty color, though, and application is as smooth and long-wearing as usual.

And, tomorrow’s monthly selection time again. Looking forward to seeing what’s new!

Julep February 2017 (Cozy in Love) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Late post, but no biggie, since it’s another custom with previous releases. This month’s box was a birthday gift to my mom, with some of my recent Julep favorites.

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This month’s quote: “Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” – Elinor Glyn, a British author who, according to Wikipedia, “specialised in romantic fiction that was considered scandalous for its time.” 🙂

  • No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven), which I previously talked about in September 2016 – I love it because it’s lightweight and dries smooth and matte;
  • Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil ($36 regular, $28.80 Maven), which I tried and enjoyed when it came out last month – I love the delicious bergamot scent, which always reminds me of Earl Grey tea; and
  • a sample of Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil, this month’s freebie from Julep, which was unexpected but also a favorite Julep product of mine because it gently and easily removes makeup without stripping skin oils or irritating my sensitive skin.

The promo code that came with this box is POLISHLOVE for a free polish  with a $10+ purchase at Julep’s website.

I hope she likes them – sometimes it’s hard to tell!

Julep September 2016 (Cheers to Five Years!) and October 2016 (Dark and Stormy Nights) custom Maven boxes (+promo codes)!

It’s been a while since I posted a Julep Maven box unboxing, and I’m going to catch up today by posting about this month’s box (which came in last weekend) and last month’s box! Hoping to make this short and sweet:

Julep September 2016 (Cheers to Five Years!) Maven box (customized)

“Celebrate what you’ve accomplished but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

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September was Julep’s fifth anniversary, and they celebrated by releasing some anniversary items, including a Cheers to Five Years! Mini Lip Trio (which I passed on because I don’t really wear lipstick), a nail polish trio with three of September’s new releases, and the Cheers to Five Years! Mini Eyeliner Set ($40 regular, $32 Maven), which I did pick up because I’ve been a fan of Julep’s gel eyeliner pencils so far. I also got an It’s Fun to Exfoliate Charcoal Body Konjac Sponge ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), which I love because it’s gentle on my easily irritated skin.

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Closeup on the 5-piece mini eyeliner set (from left to right): When Pencil Met Gel in Galaxy Black Shimmer (black with purple glitter), Deep Sea Foam ShimmerGilded Gold ShimmerLilac Shimmer, and Ultraviolet. I wore Galaxy Black and Gilded Gold to a wedding, and they went on smoothly and stayed put all night. (FYI, Gilded Gold is an actual metallic gold, unlike the disappointingly terracotta-y Sunset Gold.) Galaxy Black, with its deep purple glitters, is awesome. Thumbs up.

Promo code: FALLCOLOR for a free polish with a $10+ purchase (expires 10/31/16).

No freebie in my September 2016, not even a piece of candy like we usually get. 😦 I asked Julep’s customer service about it and was told this: “This month we were supposed to include a makeup bag for our anniversary. However, the bags arrived flawed and not up to our standards so we were not able to ship them with the September box.” Boo. I read some people got emery boards, but not me.

Anyway, onward!

Julep October 2016 (Dark and Stormy Nights) Maven box (customized)

“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle” – Marilyn Monroe

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Yep, I picked up the No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven) that didn’t make it into my August 2016 Maven box. It was smaller than I expected, which you can kind of see from comparing it to the nail polish bottle. It’s roughly palm-sized and really skinny at that.

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The gel came out looking a teensy bit gelatinous and chunky-looking, as well as slightly sparkly and pink-tinged, when I first squeezed it from the bottle. (I’ll add photos later if I’m able to capture any decent ones.) It applied smoothly, though, and dried down matte as promised (no evident sparkle). It was lightweight, didn’t irritate my finicky skin, successfully protected me from sunburn, and took to mineral powder foundation well, so I’m pleased with it.

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I also picked up a What Your Skins Needs Restorative Facial Milk ($38 regular, $30.40 Maven). I would’ve picked this up earlier, but it wasn’t available as a Maven box selection for a while. This stuff is amazing. I didn’t think I needed another moisturizer in my rotation, but I tried it last winter when my sister got one in her Maven box, and I changed my mind when a few drops of this stuff fixed the eczema patches on my face faster than my expensive prescription meds. It smells a little funny (kind of like Elmer’s white glue, if we’re being blunt), but man, does it do the job.

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And, I picked up a Get In Line Invisible Lip Liner ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven). This product has mixed reviews on Julep’s site, so I’m don’t know yet if I chose wisely, but I’ve always wanted to try a clear lip liner. All I’ve done so far is remove the cover (carefully, by first twisting the cap until it loosened before trying) to photograph it, but the tip didn’t immediately fall out like it did for many of the people who gave it a 1-star review, so I might be in the clear (no pun intended). I’ll update this blog when I’ve had a chance to give it a whirl.

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Finally, the freebie for October, Desiree, a “high-gloss holographic top coat.” ❤ (I’ll be posting up swatches in the next post. EDIT: Swatch here!) 😀

Promo code: OCT10 for $10 off a $25+ purchase at Julep.com (expires 11/30/16, two uses per customer).

That’s it for now!

Julep July 2016 (Into the Sea) custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

I received my Julep Maven July 2016 Maven box almost a week ago (last Friday) but I didn’t have time to post about it until now.

I’d been thinking of skipping to save money, but I thought I’d give Julep’s new Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butter a try, since my lips need something with SPF that they’re not allergic to, and I’d yet to find the magic lip balm that fits that bill.

On to the box!

 

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Neon yellow tissue paper and turquoise paper crinkles: nice, bright summer colors. And:

  • Intro/quote card – “I must be a mermaid… I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin, Cuban American poet.
  • Promo code – use JULY30 for 30% off a Julep.com purchase through August 31, 2016.
  • Glow Highlighting Powder ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven) – I think this product currently only comes in one color, since the Julep website doesn’t actually specify a color choice, but mine is labeled as Champagne.
  • Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butter in Macaroon ($22 regular, $17.60 Maven) – Julep’s new product this month, with broad-spectrum SPF 30.
  • Julep Tomi ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) – “Bermuda blue holographic jelly”
  • Julep Mickey ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) – “Pink geranium ghost iridescent,” a freebie!
  • Pizzazz Juicy Jelly – This was pretty yummy, actually. It’s a soft jelly made of agar (a kind of algae), which seems more common in Asian candies. These are made in Canada, though. (Mine was cherry-flavored, and TiO2’s was lemon.) A freebie!

Onward!

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The Glow Highlighting Powder case has a simple and clean modern design, matte-black cover, and shiny sides. The hinge opens easily, though not so easily that I’d be afraid of it just swinging open in a bag. I did notice some loose powder inside the cardboard box, though, so I wouldn’t want to just throw this naked into a purse.

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Here it is, opened, though with the protective film still covering the powder well. I don’t typically carry makeup with me since I hardly wear it and don’t bother to touch it up when I do, but the large mirror seems handy for that, so I dig it.

Glow seemed like it could be a fun, subtle addition to barely-there makeup, so I gave it a shot. I swiped some on over the usual highlight areas (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin, etc.), and it looked fine over my favorite mostly matte bareMinerals. The sparkly diamond dust added a bit too much shine to some of my tinted sunscreens/BB creams, though. Guess it takes some trial and error not to end up looking sweaty. 😉

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Lip products are always such a gamble for me because of how often they irritate my skin, but Lip Shade Sheer Lip Butter in Macaroon is okay so far! Only time will tell if my skin will eventually hate it, but it’s otherwise a nice product. It smells a bit like cotton candy or cookies, goes on smoothly and semi-sheer, and feels moisturizing. (Macaroon turned out to be not the most flattering color for me because it’s not as bright as my natural lip color and makes my lips kind of disappear into my face, but a little lip liner helps with that.)

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And, finally, Tomi and Mickey, this month’s polishes. I’d completely forgotten that Julep promised to throw in a free surprise pink polish for sharing a Julep e-mail coupon earlier in the month. I’ll be trying these out soon and posting up swatches.

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!