Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 2015 Julep Maven Box

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

No really, though. I'm cozied up at home on a Tuesday morning thanks to the blizzard that rolled in to the Northeast last night. It's looking pretty crazy out there, and I am thankful to be indoors with plenty of fun and relaxing things to do to pass the time. This morning's activities have already included taking a lovely bubble bath (and cracking open a new book while I soaked), making some delicious french toast, and busting out my Julep Creativity Kit to attempt some nail art (pictures of which are sure to be shared later). And on the subject of nails, I realized I still haven't shared my January Maven box with you yet!

I've got to say, I've been really pleased with my Julep subscription so far. Getting to customize my box is a big win, and I've yet to dislike or regret something I picked. January's collection has been dubbed the Chrysalis Collection, and features some wintery pastels, shimmers, and bold jewel toned polishes, as well as a new collection of colorful Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatments. I decided to stick to the basics, especially with it being winter and needing some head to toe TLC, and chose these three goodies:
I also received a special gift in my box this month - one of the brand new Metamorphic Top Coats. I don't see it available on Julep's website yet, which makes me think Maven's got early access to it.

Enriched with natural ingredients that soothe, hydrate, and plump lips, this silky-smooth moisturizer sets a new bar for balm.

Full Size: 0.42 oz ($24, $19.20 for Mavens)

I can never have too many lip balms. Okay, so maybe technically I can, but I never seem to stop wanting to try new ones. There are a lot of things I like about this particular one. The packaging is beautifully simple and streamlined, and I really like the metal applicator tip, which feels nice and cooling on the lips. The product itself is a very sheer, almost shimmery nude that gives lips a nice shiny finish. I do find it to be very moisturizing and softening, although the texture is slightly on the greasy side. Online reviews say that some people are put off by the smell or taste of this, but I thought it to be pretty non offensive. Perhaps some people received a bad batch? Either way, while it might not be the most interesting or revolutionary thing, I will certainly appreciate having an extra nourishing balm to use in this cold weather!

Complete nail care and make-up all in one bottle. Made with a patented Hexanal formulation, nails are restructured to a stronger, thicker, and smoother condition in just one stroke. Advanced plant stem cell complex provides anti-aging benefits, while ground-breaking oxygen technology forms a nonocclusive film on the nail, proving resistant to water penetration and improving the permeability to oxygen. Results are nails that are structurally stronger, and less prone to breakage and splitting.

Full Size: 0.27 oz ($18, $14.40 for Mavens)

This was kind of an impulse choice, or rather, an unintentional selection. I really am in need of a Julep Base Coat, which I confused with this nail treatment. However, it may have been a truly happy accident because I love this stuff! It's the perfect in-between mani product to use. One coat leaves nails with a glossy, ever-so-slightly pink finish that makes them look incredibly healthy. Sometimes I don't have the time to remove and reapply polish, and sometimes I just want to give my nails a break, and now I don't ever have to leave them bare. I also love that in addition to making them look a little more neat and polished, it also helps to strengthen my nails.

It Girl
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Mushroom with Rose Shimmer
Full Size: 0.42 oz ($14, $11.20 for Mavens)

I picked this polish because I had nothing else like it in my collection. It seemed like a sort of soft purple-toned gray with flecks of rose gold shimmer - an interesting and uncommon combination. But once I actually put it on my nails I felt a little bummed with how it looked against my skin. It's kind of on the dead looking side of gray that's unfortunately unflattering. The polish itself applied well and two coats had decent opacity. I just wish the finish was maybe a little more purple and a little less gray, or perhaps a little deeper in tone.

Finish: Crème
Color Description: Soft denim crème
Full Size: 0.42 oz ($14 regular price, $4.99 Special)

So, while Eliana was NOT a shade that came in my January Maven box, it is one of the newer colors I've acquired (from the Diamond Mystery Box I bought back in November or December) and I thought it would make a great base color for my Tilda Metamorphic Top Coat. I have to say Eliana on it's own is a gorgeous denim blue and I will totally rock it on it's own at some point soon. However, the top coat just takes things to an entirely different level! Tilda has a green shift, which against a blue background makes for a stunning turquoise color. There are also two other Metamorphic Top Coats available - one with a Magenta shift (which I ordered to come with my February box) and one with a Blue shift. While I haven't seen the top coats available for purchase yet, I hope they will be eventually because I think they're pretty amazing. Also, as a side note for wear, while this is categorized as a top coat, it doesn't have a super glossy finish when completely dry. I would still recommend sealing things in with a layer of clearcoat to prolong your wear and increase shine.

So there you have it! I think this was another stellar box. The total retail value of the products I selected was $56, not including the free Metamorphic Top Coat (which I'm assuming is worth at least $14). For the $19.99 a month my subscription costs I think my money is often well spent, as I've yet to hate a product I've chosen. It looks like we're also going to get another fun free top coat for February, which I can't wait to get my hands on. Gold star, Julep. Gold star.

Want to become a Julep Maven? Use my referral link to join! You can also read reviews of all my previous boxes here.