Monday, June 15, 2015

June 2015 Julep Maven Box

Hello there, friends! I think I've been a bit distracted from blogging lately thanks to my buddy Netflix. Pretty Little Liars is totally my guilty pleasure show, and I basically just spent the past week binge watching the 5th season so that I could catch up and start watching the new one that just began airing. Maybe that's not the most responsible move, but unless you've seen the show, do not judge. That 5th season was FLIPPIN CRAZY. I don't want to ruin anyone's day by hinting at any spoilers, but man. SO MANY PLOT TWISTS.


Back to the real reason you're here - my June Julep Maven box! This month Julep decided to change things up a little bit for their Mavens, and give them more flexibility and product choices than ever. While there were still your usual Limited Edition polishes to choose from for that month's theme, you could also add basically any Julep staple product to your order. This gave me the opportunity to finally try a bunch of products that I've had my eye on since I became a subscriber.

The skinny on Julep Maven.

Julep Maven is a beauty subscription service that sends $40 worth of nail polish and beauty goodies to your doorstep every month.

What it costs. $24.99 per month, or $19.99 per month if you pay for three months at a time.

Why it's special. Your Maven box is fully customizable. Towards the end of the month you'll get notification that the monthly reveal page is open, and you can choose exactly which products you'll receive in your next box. Depending on the value of the items you choose, each box contains 2-3 full sized Julep products. You can also add on additional products at a special discount, and for every three add-ons you purchase, Julep will send you a free gift! Anytime you need a break, you can also opt out during the reveal and skip that month's box. Any prepaid boxes will remain on your account until you're ready to redeem them.

What you get back. Every time you opt to get sent your monthly box, you'll earn 350 Jules. You can redeem 2000 Jules for a free Maven box, or use your Jules to add products on your monthly box for free during the reveal.

Join Maven today with my referral link and you'll get a code for a free welcome box!

Want to see more? Browse through all of my previous Julep Maven Box reviews.

If it looks like I got a lot more than usual this month, your impression would not be incorrect. I made out like a bandit because I decided to redeem some of the Jules I'd be stockpiling to include three add-on products to this month's order. That also meant I got sent a free gift. Hooray for free things! My original box choices included the Bare Faced Cleansing Oil, Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover, and the Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops. I redeemed 1600 Jules for the Konjac Sponge, Cuticle Pusher, and Brigitte nail polish, and my free gift was the Marcy polish. Not to shabby for $20, eh?

As someone who really enjoys an at-home manicure, the quick dry drops, cuticle remover and pusher have been on my wish list for quite some time, but typically aren't included as options to add to your box. It was hard to justify making another separate purchase from the shop, and now I'm really glad I held off! I'd also heard great things about the cleansing oil and Konjac sponge, and wanted to see for myself what the hype was all about.

3.5 fl oz, ($28)


You know how there are some songs you hear on the radio, and they take few listens to grow on you, while others you only get 30 seconds in before you are totally and completely obsessed. This cleansing duo is the beauty version of the latter situation. From the very first time I washed my face with these bad boys I was totally smitten. First off, let's talk about Bare Face, which is totally unlike your standard cleanser. This oil based formula is applied directly to dry skin, and immediately breaks down makeup, dirt, and impurities without stripping any of your skin's natural moisture. With a combination of grape seed oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and rosehip oil, it also does an amazing job of nourishing and repairing your skin. The scent is also amazing - sort of fresh and almost citrusy. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it reminded me of, but thinking about it now, it might be the telltale scent of Caudalie products, which are often infused with grape oils and extracts.

While the cleanser alone does a great job, adding in the Konjac sponge really takes your skincare to the next level. This black sponge is made from the Konjac plant and is enriched with charcoal to help detoxify and further remove impurities from your skin. After you've massaged in your Bare Faced Cleansing Oil, all you need to do is scrub your face with a moistened Konjac sponge to give your skin an even deeper clean and some gentle exfoliaton. You can let it hang dry on the included suction cup hook in between uses, and sterilize in boiling water once a week.

As a girl with oily skin it might seem counterproductive to use these kinds of products, but in reality, harsh drying cleansers only trigger your skin to produce even more oil, on top of making it flaky and irritated. This combo leaves my skin feeling so incredibly smooth, and I think it's also helping to significantly control breakouts and bumps. While you can definitely use this both morning and night, it's an absolute must for my PM skincare routine.

1 oz ($18)

No matter how refined my polishing technique becomes, an at home manicure is not quite the same without a little bit of cuticle control. I'm not a big fan of cutting cuticles, which can promote infections, but I do think it's helpful to push them back and create a nice smooth surface to paint on. This handy little dropper bottle contains a serum which both helps to breakdown overgrown cuticles and to remove stubborn color from your nailbeds. So far I've tried a few times alongside the handy stainless steel cuticle pusher I also picked up (which I'll be getting to momentarily), and found it to be really quite excellent! It may not be the most exciting or innovative product to talk about, but if you're a die hard diy manicurist, it's a totally awesome thing to have on hand.

1 fl oz ($14)

Speaking of manicure essentials, I also decided to get a bottle of Ta Da! Quick Dry Drops. I've never tried Julep's version of this type of product before, but I have found other brands of quick dry drops to be totally handy. They not only help to set your manicure even faster, but they often also nourish your cuticles, leaving your fingers looking all kinds of glossy and healthy. I've still got a mini bottle of the Zoya drying drops left to finish before I want to break the seal on this, but I am definitely looking forward to trying it out and seeing how it compares.


And of course, my manicure essential kit wouldn't be complete without this handy little tool. This teflon coated stainless steel cuticle pusher lets you easily remove overgrown cuticles from your nail bed in preparation for a perfect mani. Rather than buying orangewood sticks, I figured this durable tool will last me ages. You can also easily sterilize it in boiling water in between uses to keep things hygienic. I've used it a few times and find that it works pretty well, and also has a nice hefty feel in the hand.

Finish: Silk/Satin
Color: Prosecco Silk (semi-matte opalescent)

Classic with a Twist
Finish: Créme
Color: Bright White Créme


I suppose after all those manicure essentials it wouldn't be right to not get at least a polish or two. I selected Brigitte as an add on, and was gifted Marcy as a freebie for choosing 3 add-ons to my box. Brigitte is your standard white cream polish, which I figured is always handy for a french manicure or fancy nail art design. I decided to pass on swatching this one, as I figure you all know what white nail polish looks like, and I will almost never wear it as a stand alone color. Marcy, on the other hand, is a little bit more unique. It's got a milky white base with fine gold glitter, which is sort of reminiscent of bubbly champagne, and also has a semi-matte silk finish. I don't have anything even remotely like this polish in my collection, so it was definitely a pleasant surprise!

The formulation of this polish is quite sheer, but you can easily build it up to full opacity with two or three coats. One of the handy things about silk finish polishes is that you can actually see the texture change as the polish dries, which clues you in to when you're ready to add another coat! I haven't really rocked white polishes much before, but I think this would probably look really great against a summer tan.

And that rounds up my long overdue Julep Maven box review! I think this month was a total knock-it-out-of-the-park-winner. I got a ton of manicure essentials so that I can give myself the full spa treatment at home, a couple pretty new polishes, and an amazing new skincare duo. In total my $20 earned my $114 worth of product, which you seriously can't beat!

If you are not a subscriber (or even if you are), but would like a crazy amazing deal on Julep products, they do have a Mystery Box for sale right now that you might want to check out. For $24.99 you get over $100 worth of product. It looks like there are two versions available - one that focuses mainly on nailpolish, and another that's more focused on beauty. I think Julep does a pretty excellent job on both fronts, so really it's just a matter of personal preference!

I've shopped the Julep mystery boxes a few times before and they've been pretty amazing, so I think it's definitely worth checking out if you're feeling a little adventurous. And if you do, I'd love to hear all about the products you got and what you think!