Sunday, January 19, 2014

Boxfullove polish :: Julep Maven review :: January 2014

Are you familiar with Julep?  It's a boutique nail salon based in Seattle, Washington, which has recently developed a whole range of cosmetics in addition to their famous nail polish, and which also runs one of my favorite monthly membership programs, Julep Maven.

Once you sign up for Maven on the Julep website, you're prompted to take a short beauty and style quiz, after which Julep will reveal your Maven personality: you might be a Modern Beauty, Boho Glam, a Bombshell, Classic with A Twist (me!), or an It Girl. Depending on your quiz results, Julep will suggest a box containing, generally, two polishes and a full-sized beauty product or tool; or, in the case of the Modern Beauty, two full-sized products and possibly a bonus item; or, in the case of the It Girl, three polishes. You can select the box recommended by your style profile, or choose any of the other profile's boxes instead.  And that's about it! On the 20th of every month, you'll receive an email featuring the contents of the new month's boxes (no unwelcome surprises here) so you can pick your favorite or skip the month.  Yep, you can skip the month any amount of times you'd like, or even send the box to a friend instead -- they make really pretty gifts.  Anyway, you have until the 24th to pick a box or skip the month.  You're billed $19.99 on or about the 25th, and your box ships out a day or two later.

This guy arrived on December 31, right in time for the new year.

(I took this pic with my iPhone -- the rest are all Nikon-made and -approved)
The box itself is a magenta-pink this month, and appears to have been redesigned for 2014: it now features the word "Maven" in a sassy font (like the one you see on the logo sticker above) below the Julep logo.

The larger pink card you see leaning against the box lid announces this month's theme, the Boudoir Collection, and all the products included in it.  The smaller black card says "2014 will be my year."  Way to set the tone with this gorgeous, box, Julep!

My style profile is Classic with A Twist, and Julep gets it right nearly every month.  This one was no exception: I got Abigail, a light, shimmery pink polish with mauve undertones labeled "silk finish" on the cap; Mona, a gorgeous creamy slate-gray polish; and a generously-sized bottle of Julep's new Ta-Da! Quick Dry Drops.  The little orange rectangles are buffing pads, a welcome bonus item.

Before receiving my box, I'd been reading other January Maven reviews online, and a common complaint seemed to be the smell of the Quick Dry Drops, so of course I was anxious to see if I'd be able to use this product at all, based on its stink quotient.

I'm happy to announce that the smell isn't bad at all -- I thought it was like a mixture of tea-tree oil and sinus drops, sort of herby-medicinal.  And it's really not that strong at all.  I can't vouch for the efficacy of the drops, because I haven't gotten around to using them yet, but the scent definitely won't keep me from trying them out.  On an aesthetic level, I love the retro lab look of the glass bottle and glass dropper tip.  Love love love.

Another cool thing about the Maven boxes is that, during each selection window, you can upgrade your package to include the entire month's collection of products and polishes, or a selection of the month's collection, at an additional cost.  If you don't want a full upgrade but covet a particular product or polish from another profile's box, you're also given the option to add it to your box, at a discount, at checkout.  This month the selection window totally escaped me, and I missed out on adding on the Vanish Cuticle Softener & remover, which has been getting rave reviews from other Mavens.  I hope it's still available in February!  Also, during the early days of the month, those Mavens who didn't skip and elected to receive a box get exclusive access to the Secret Shop, which is full of deeply-discounted Julep products and gift sets.

As you can see, I could go on and on about Julep.  The quality of their products is excellent, the design and packaging is gorgeous, and it's a tremendous treat to receive their little sub boxes every month.  Oh!  And I almost forgot to mention their membership perks: as a Maven, every purchase you make earns you Jules, which you can accrue and exchange for products and monthly boxes.  

Any other Mavens out there?  What did you think of this month's box?

If you're considering becoming a Maven, feel free to use this link to sign up, and use code FREEBOX at checkout.  I'll get some Jules and you'll get your first Maven box free!  Not a bad deal at all.

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