Thursday, August 20, 2015

August 2015 Julep Maven Box & Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette Review

There were a lot of really gorgeous options for this month's Muse Montreal Julep Collection. With the launch of the Skip the Brush Crème-to-Powder Cheek Sticks as well as the release of some new shades to the Feels Like Velvet and Eye Glider ranges it was really hard to choose what I wanted for my box. And then my eyes came across the Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette as being one of the possible options and knew what my decision was going to be. Because that palette is relatively pricey it counted for two of the three items in my box (which was a bummer but understandable), and I decided that a matching eyeliner would make for a nice second item, rather than adding another polish. And now that they're here and I've had plenty of time to play with the both, let's chat a little bit about what I thought!

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.

Alongside the products you selected there are always some fun goodies and inserts in your monthly Maven box. This time around I got a mini sheet of temporary tattoos that can be worn on your skin or nails. Considering my recent obsession with Flash Tattoos this was a lovely little addition to my box. There was also a little card explaining the Julep #bravepretty campaign, as Julep hopes to inspire each and every one of us to feel comfortable and beautiful in our own skins. Being Brave Pretty is about being authentic, taking risks, and doing whatever it is that makes you feel pretty and confident. We were also encouraged to share what makes us feel #bravepretty and share it on social media. I'm all about empowerment, and I think this is a great campaign. To see other people's Brave Pretty moments search the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram!

Anywho, back to this month's products. As I mentioned before I snagged two makeup items this month, The Long Weekend Eyeshadow Palette and the Gel Eye Glider in Smoky Plum. Let's take a closer look at each.

A palette of eleven universally flattering spring eyeshadows with reparative benefits.

Despite my owning way more eyeshadow palettes than is ever necessary, there were a lot of things about this particular one that drew me to it. First of all, let's note the incredibly similar design to the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. Everything from the pan size, to the layout, to labeling the shade names is basically identical to the UD best sellers, so I was curious to see if this palette would be comparable quality-wise. I also adore the whole watercolor/rose gold packaging theme. I mean, really, isn't it gorgeous? The only thing that kind of disappoints me is that the packaging is made of a sturdy cardboard, which means it will be more easily subjected to getting stain/torn/worn. Even if the quality of the materials is not the best, you do get a nice, sizeable mirror inside each palette, as well as a dual-sided eyeshadow brush.

The colors in this palette are all very neutral and daytime wearable, so I also figured I could get a lot of use out of. I appreciate the little pop of muted purple, which I think is a universally flattering color, however I would have perhaps liked a little more variety in tones or finishes. Most of the shadows have a satin finish, and a few are matte, but there are no truly shimmery or metallic shades. Here are some swatches (sans primer) to give you a better look at each individual one.

One of my worries upon looking at the palette in the pan was that a lot of the shades would be too dark or too similar looking on the skin. However, I found that this was really not the case. The shade Getaway makes for a great base color, while the shade Friday is perfect for highlighting. Many of the other shades are great as crease colors, or even to use as liners, and I think you can great a lot of pretty neutral looks in both warm and cool tones. I used this palette in my everyday summer makeup tutorial, so check that out to see these shadows in action.

Quality-wise I think these eyeshadows are quite lovely. They are very soft and smooth, and blend out really easily. That being said, they do kick up a lot of dust in the pan, so you want to be careful not to go crazy with your brush when you're trying to pick up the product. Speaking of brushes, the one that you get in this palette is actually pretty nice. The flat shadow brush is a little stiff and small in my opinion to apply color all over the lid, but you could probably use the pointed edge to smudge out color along your lash line or to pat highlighter into your inner crease. The blender end, however, is super soft and works amazingly well at blurring out transitions or applying color to the crease.

Long story short, I think this is a nice all-around palette, but I'm not sure that I'd spend $54 on it. The quality of the shadows themselves is pretty great, but I would have liked to see at least one metallic/sparkling shade to add a little drama, and maybe one extra dark shade to double as a liner. On the flip side, if you're someone who typically only uses subdued eyeshadow shades and isn't a big fan of glitter or super dramatic smoky eyes, you might find yourself loving this palette. If you are a Maven especially and have the opportunity to add this to your $20 box it's an especially great deal.

Clinically proven to last for 10+ hours, this easy-to-use eye pencil delivers the creamy formula & intense color payoff of a gel eyeliner. The waterproof formula glides on, sets in 30 seconds, and then stays put. Because eyeliner shouldn’t stand in the way of adventures.
1.20g ($16)

To pair along with my eyeshadow palette I decided to get another Gel Eye Glider in the shade Smoky Plum. It looks like Julep recently renamed this product to "When Pencil Met Gel Long Last Gel Eyeliner" but it's essentially the same thing. I love the formula on these eyeliners - they're super creamy, glide on without tugging or skipping, and don't budge once they dry down. Knowing that there was a little hint of purple in the Long Weekend Palette I thought it would be fun to try this purple eyeliner to match. It's a nice change of pace from black or brown that isn't too extreme or dramatic for the everyday.

While I may have missed out on all the new launches this time around, I was still pretty happy with my decision to try out the eyeshadow palette this month. The total value of my box was $70, so I definitely feel like I got my $20 worth. It looks like the customization window for the September Maven Boxes opens today, which is exciting. Next month's theme is Kisses from London and it looks like there are some really fun new lipstick shades for fall that I might need to check out. I seriously can't believe September is almost's kind of freaking me out. Anywho, I hope you all are having wonderful weeks and I'll see you again tomorrow!

Are you a Julep Maven? What were you loving from this month's collection?