Julep Nail Polish and Maven Boxes

Date Fri, May 2 2014

Julep’s Maven Subscription Service

I have had a lot of issues with Julep. My first box “disappeared” after it was delivered. They resent it. Then, I got a box with some lip gloss, which I quite liked, that immediately broke. Again, customer service took care of me.

Julep's unique polish bottles

Julep’s unique polish bottles

However, even when I received my boxes without issue, I wasn’t super impressed. Because I signed up for my first box — get your first one free here  with code FREEBOX— I was in the middle of the window that they allow to change products during the next month, and I missed the opportunity. The result was that I only ever liked about half of the stuff in my boxes. The first month, I gave away both nail polishes and kept the cuticle serum. The second month, I liked one polish and the broken lip gloss. Last month, the colors were better but I received blush that I didn’t love because, seriously, who uses blush in 2014?!

The thing I’ve come to realize is that I don’t really love subscription boxes. I’d rather pick and choose exactly what I want. In fact, I received a coupon code with my Madison Reed order, and I used that for two polishes that were on sale that I really like.  Otherwise, $19.99 just feels like a waste. I’m not the only one, either. There’s a Facebook group with almost 4,000 members dedicated to swapping the nail polish you don’t like.

Julep has responded to this by introducing a new subscription, which will allow you to choose all the items in your monthly box from the monthly collection for an addition $5 per month or you can purchase 3 months in advance for $19.99 each.

Aside from the box, that fee gets you a discount on everything in the store. It also gives you access to the “Secret Store.” According to the site,

The Secret Store opens on the 1st of every month for 72 hours. Mavens who take their monthly box will have access to exclusively priced colors, sets, products…

Essentially, you have access to pay even more.

It’s not necessarily without kickbacks, though. Every Maven box you buy rewards you with jules, which you can save up to use for add-on items with your Maven boxes or for a Maven box itself. However, you cannot use these on general things in the Maven store. Next month, I’ll have 1450 jules, and it requires 2000 jules for a free box. According to the site:

You earn 1,000 Jules for inviting friends who become Julep Mavens, 300 Jules for each full priced Maven box you are billed for, 200 Jules on your Birthday, 500 Jules during your Anniversary month, and 750 Jules when you pay for the monthly upgrade box. You even get Jules just for becoming a Maven!

Because my birthday is next month, I’ll get 200 jules. If I keep going for June’s box, I’ll have earned July’s box for free with jules. It takes about 6 months with plain purchases and bonuses. Of course, it’ll go faster if you refer people.

But what about the quality of items in the box?

Julep Nail Polish — Worth it?

So maybe it’s a bit expensive and a lot of trouble. Perhaps Julep’s Maven program is clumsy and overly complicated, but the nail polish is to die for, right? Not so much.

As a whole, the nail polish chips easily. It has no staying power. I’m paying over $6 per bottle. This is a shame.

My second complaint is that there are so many different formulas. I just never know if I’m getting a good one or not. Some are streaky. Some are so thin that you need 4 layers, and then it takes forever to dry. Some are creamy. Others are metallic and foil-y. Some are gloppy and drippy. You can get a better idea by looking at the color itself, but it’s really hard to tell what you’re getting.

So far, I think that solid-colored polishes with creamier formulas are easier to work with. They’re all super boring, you guys. Because of this, I also have very few photos of Julep nail polish on my nails. It just doesn’t last. Below, you’ll see Monaco, which was a decent formula because it was creamier.

Julep's Monaco Nail Polish

Julep’s Monaco Nail Polish

On top of that, I haven’t kept all the nail polish I received. In fact, I’ve given away about half of it.

So here’s my top 3 Julep polishes

  1. Evie — pink with gold shimmer
  2. Kayla — violet with blue shimmer, pictured above
  3. Celia — green foil

Julep’s Beauty Products — Yay or Nay?

So I’ve already stated that I just don’t understand Julep’s blush. Get with the times. What do I think about the other products? I really liked the lip gloss. Unfortunately, because it’s limited edition, my replacement was a different color. Bummer. Still, it smells good, and it’s not sticky. That’s awesome for a gloss.

The Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum comes in an easy-to-use pen, but it doesn’t do much more than any other cuticle oil I’ve been using. It’s more convenient to use on a daily basis, but I hadn’t seen drastic results.

If you sign up for a Maven box, you won’t necessarily get a beauty product — especially with the new ability to swap out products. My first box was based on my style profile. I was able to change it, but I opted for the box that had the most things I was interested in.

Still, this leaves me out $20 with nail polish that’s definitely not any higher quality than what I could buy at Sally Beauty and in colors that don’t usually knock my socks off.

If you’re still interested in Julep, you can learn more about customizing your box and sign up below. Remember code FREEBOX gets your first one free. Just make sure you call to cancel if you’re not into it because you cannot cancel online.



This post contains affiliate link. I will make a small commission if you sign up for a box or make a purchase through my links.

2 Responses

  1. Luran May 19 2017 @ 7:25 pm

    Is $6 per bottle of nail polish is supposed to be expensive? Lmao.

  2. Cole May 20 2017 @ 9:23 pm

    Gotta be honest, even I don’t know where I got the $6 from? Perhaps the average price per bottle in the box at the time? But their polishes go for $14 per bottle, which is what is truly laughable when you consider how inconsistent the formulas are. I’ve certainly paid less than $6 for better polish. I haven’t bought myself any Julep polish since canceling the subscription more than three years ago, and that says a lot.

    Also, you might not realize that not everyone has the same budget that you do and your comment came off ignorant and classist. Then again, you also misspelled your own name??

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