Sunday, October 18, 2015

New York Never Sleeps: October 2015 Julep Maven Box

Hello there, friends! It's about that time in the month where my nail polish collection grows ever (and ever unnecessarily) larger. That's right, my Julep Maven box is here once again, with a few hand picked goodies carefully tucked inside its happy purple facade. In keeping with the cities around the world theme that Julep has taken on this year, October's collection is aptly named "New York Never Sleeps". With lots of bold metallics and glamorous glittering polishes, this month's collection definitely channels the edgy attitude that the Big Apple is known for. On the makeup end, Julep has also launched brand new eyeshadow sticks and a reformulated powder blush this month. Basically, lots of exciting things are happening in the Julep world! Let's take a closer look.

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.

Once again I decided to keep things simple this month by not opting to purchase any additional add-ons. I picked out two polishes that I thought were super gorgeous - one from this month's collection, and one from last month that caught my eye. I also decided to try out the newly launched eyeshadow sticks to see how they performed. Since I've gone a little bit blush crazy over the past few months I decided that I should probably skip out on the newly formulated Your Happy Look powder blushes. However, the ingredients list does look pretty impressive - light diffusing diamond powder, Rosehip Oil, Vitamin B6, and Green Coffee Bean oil just name a few of the powerhouse elements that comprise the new formula.

A crème-to-powder shadow stick on top with a smudger on the other end. Expect huge color payoff and crease-proof, stay-all-day power.

Cream eyeshadow sticks have been having a bit of a moment in the beauty world as per late. From the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks to the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Sticks to the ever-covetable By Terry Ombre Blackstars there are quite a few popular options in the market for getting a wash of budge-proof color. As much praise as I've heard for all of these other shadow sticks, they're also all quite pricey, so I had my fingers crossed that Julep would make an amazing mid-range option for those of us who don't want to shell out $30 on a single shade.

So far I'm generally pretty pleased with this formula, although it's not knock-your-socks-off amazing. It's pretty smooth and doesn't tug on the lids, however the pigmentation is somewhat sheer. On the plus side, this means you can easily build up the color and have more control over the look. It definitely smudges out pretty easily when you first apply it, but once it sets it will not budge.

The shade range right now is pretty limited, although it's quite possible that Julep will expand it in the future. There are 6 colors you can choose from - bronze, champagne, taupe, stone, plum, and the one I chose, orchid. With the exception of Stone, all of the shades have a shimmery metallic finish. Champagne Shimmer would be a great product for highlighting and adding brightness to the inner corner of the eye, while the rest of the colors are much darker and would work better as a smokey, all-over lid color, or as a base under cream shadows. I decided to purchase the Orchid shade mainly because I a. am obsessed with purple and b. wanted something a little different than your standard neutral. I think it's a really pretty color and would pair beautifully with gold tones.

Long story short, I think these shadow sticks are good, but for the price I was hoping they'd be even more creamy and pigmented like some of the other high-end ones. There are probably some very comparable (and way more affordable) dupes for this type of product at the drugstore, so I don't know if I would opt to get another one of these in a future box.

Boho Glam
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Blackcurrant Microglitter Shimmer

At first when I saw this polish I thought to myself, "eh, you don't need another dark purple polish in your collection Lauren". But for some reason, something about it just drew my attention and I found myself clicking the "add" button to include this in my box. I'm really glad that I did because this color is STUNNING. It's also so unique and even prettier than it appeared swatched on the website. This polish has tiny flecks of microglitter with a blue-green tinge that looks amazing against the rich purple backdrop. The formula is quite pigmented and you can easily get full opacity with two coats. As someone who's a die-hard creme polish fan, the shimmer in this is subtle enough to add a little something something without being over-the-top. It's just a super fun and vampy polish that I'll be wearing all season long.

It Girl
Finish: Créme
Color Description: Sea Spray Créme

I really love the look of a blue-gray nail, so I thought this polish would be fun to add to my collection. I think it's really fall-appropriate pastel and is a nice change of pace from all the dark colors I've been wearing. Like all other Julep créme polishes this is very nicely pigmented and will be fully opaque with two coats.

And that about wraps things up! This month my total box value rings in at $46, which definitely still meets Julep's promise, but is not quite as impressive as some other months have been. I'm totally in love with the Michaela polish and will definitely be wearing it a ton this fall. While the shadow stick maybe didn't knock it out of the park, the color is still very pretty and something I think I can get a fair amount of everyday use out of. Perhaps I'll have to share a picture of it in action on my instagram. Make sure you're following me @littleblushingbirdie so you don't miss it!

What fall polishes are you most excited about wearing?
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