Julep: October 2014 box + coupon + Julep review

Procrastinating from studying for my biochem midterm by catching up on all my Julep box reviews. Time well spent, if you ask me. Also, this is my last Julep box and I’ll be including some of my thoughts about the subscription at the bottom. TL;DR: it’s not worth it.

What I got this month:

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First look

Super excited for this month. Vamp-tastic first look 😀 Loving the black/glitter paper and maroon packing stuff (anyone know what it’s actually called?)

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Candy corn ingredients

I think it’s smart of Julep to include ingredient lists when they send out treats. This way, customers know if they can or can’t eat the treat and Julep can avoid getting in trouble. However, I am not a fan of candy corn so I passed this onto my roommate who happens to love them.

Here’s a coupon code (made sure to read the fine print!):

IMG_7208The polishes:

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L to R: Cleopatra, Shailene, Logan, Marla

On point.

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Logan- Sultry aubergine shimmer

The least exciting color of all the ones I picked. I debated between getting Ledi (black pearl shimmer) or Brianna (sailor blue crème) but realized I already have polishes of almost the exact same colors (Zoya Raven and too many dark creme blues). So I ended up picking Logan because I don’t have anything similar. Not sure why, but I actually have little to zero purple nail polishes. This one happens to be the definition of an “okay” polish. No complaints, but no accolades either.

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Shailene- Bewitched purple with gold flecks (iridescence)

Again, another shimmer polish done right. I’ve always loved the combination of purple and gold. See the photo of all four polishes to get a better idea of what this looks like in the bottle. It was really hard to pick up the iridescence, but it’s so beautiful. Unfortunately, the application and formula of this one is a bit lacking. The formula of mine was really clumpy and thick (like when you’ve left it open for a while) so it didn’t apply very smoothly at all. Also, it looked like it had been opened before (there was some polish near the neck of the opening). It might have just been mine and everyone else’s is fine, but I’m a little disappointed by the lack of QC. But the color is truly wonderful.

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Cleopatra- Black latex crème (*no latex in formula)

While I already have a matte black nail polish (Zoya Dovima), Dovima still has a shimmery-sheen to it and I’d love to have a straight-up black non glossy polish so I was intrigued by this one. In the bottle, it looks most definitely jet black with no hint of shine. Super cool looking on the nail. A winner in my book.

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Marla- Burgundy velvet with silver shimmer

Picked Marla as my add-on mainly because Fight Club is one of my favorite movies and Helena Boham Carter just knocks it out of the park with her portrayal and line delivery. I also realized I don’t have any dark deep red (how), so I’ve been looking to expand my vamp-y nail polish collection. This one is great and appears more raspberry on the nail. I’m also surprised by how much coverage this one has for one coat, especially since this is, by no means, a creme ;). The longer it’s on my nail, the more I like it.

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On a human being. One coat each. No base or top coat.
pinky to index: Marla, Shailene, Cleopatra, Logan

And in case you wanted to know the difference between Cleopatra and Zoya Dovima, here’s Dovima on my nails (two coats, no top coat):

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Zoya Dovima (a “smoky charcoal-black with strong silver shimmer and a velvety MATTEVELVET finish”)

Final thoughts:

I think Julep can be worth it if you can sign up for a subscription with a code (like I did) to bring down the cost per month. Personally, I think $24.99 (or $19.99 with a longer subscription) a month is still quite pricey in terms of what you’re getting.

Here are some factors to consider:

If one month happens to be glitter month, and you hate glitter, then the polishes for that month are not going to ones you’ll get the most use out of and you’re out of that $$ you could’ve spent on something you would’ve actually liked and used. Same goes for their beauty products. And since they’ve they changed their “skip” policy, you earn a skip every six months which is just annoying. I think one skip every three months would be fine, but six months is a long time and a lot of money spent.

Their formulas can be hit-or-miss. On the whole, they tend to be thinner than what I personally like and it usually takes at least 2-3 coats per nail (vs. 1-2 coast with some of my Zoyas). They also tend to chip faster even with base and top coat (1 day vs 3 days with Zoya), but admittedly, I am very hard on my hands (due to lab work being all hands-on).

Lastly, if you’re buying individual polishes at $11.20/polish as a Maven, at .27 fl oz each, it comes out to $41.48 per fl. oz.

For reference:
Zoya’s $9 polishes: $18/fl oz
OPI ($9 a bottle): $18/fl oz
Sephora’s Formula X polishes: $26.25/fl oz
Chanel: $67.50/fl oz

I am sure there are people who see the smaller size as a positive, since most people rarely finished a bottle anyway. But for me, I’d rather cough up less money for more polish, especially if the brand has a better track record in terms of formula (again, I should mention I’m a Zoya loyalist at heart). Or I’ll cough up the extra money and buy a Chanel nail polish with the knowledge that I can potentially resell it when I no longer love it for a decent price or swap it for another high end nail polish with another nail polish addict.

I’m ambivalent about their customer service in the sense that while they try to help, they’re not always the best at helping (make sense?).

Also, when I picked my polishes in August for September, my page indicated that my subscription had one more box (even though September was supposed to be the last month of my subscription) so I decided to go with it on the chance that Julep had awarded me an extra box. And in September, my Maven window still opened even though there was no indication that my subscription had ended, and it even said that I had, yet again, one more box left! Super confusing. I loved the colors enough for October to stick with the subscription but realized today that they had charged me for another three-month subscription for $59.97 or something. Mostly my own fault for trying to see if I could get another box, but I’m a little peeved that there was no email notifying me of the charge, especially since it stated I had one more box. I called and was able to get two months refunded (so I ended up paying $24.99 for October which I am more than okay with since I loved this box). But all-in-all, I feel like their system is a bit glitchy, and they’re not the best about informing their customers about what’s going on.

And what’s up with the whole “must call to cancel” deal? It’s 2014. Make that option available online.

This whole last bit may come off as very anti-Julep but I just wanted explain my thoughts from as objective a view as possible. I just feel like subscription boxes (especially since you’re paying for them!) are supposed to leave you excited about products, and I just didn’t feel that way. Instead, I often felt annoyed by Julep (mostly the way they handle things) and that’s definitely not a feeling a well-run subscription should induce.

I think Julep could be worth it if you’re just starting out with nail polish and you want to build up a collection to get a feel of what you like and dislike, or if you’re someone who gets a lot of Jules and can qualify for free boxes, but for the average nail polish consumer, I just believe there are cheaper and better options out there.

-amy

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