My Julep September 2014 Maven Box has arrived! And this time it arrived fairly quickly (within the first week of September), so I’m pretty happy about that. September’s theme is The Art Walk Collection (see more here). I don’t always get excited about Julep’s polishes during the Maven Reveal, but once I have them in hand I fall in love. It must be something about Julep’s marketing- what colors they pair together, how inaccurate their swatches can be, that the promo pics for this month collection look like they came from the 1990s… I don’t know what it is, but there have been collections that I thought I hated and then after seeing real-life swatches of individual colors, I had to have them all. I love bright and pastel colored polishes, so I never get excited when I see dark, moody fall colors, but I am so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone with this collection.
Since I have a customizable Maven box, I was able to choose exactly what I wanted. I love the customizable option. I’ve skipped so many Maven boxes in the past because I haven’t liked both colors in a box, but now I can pick and choose what I want. It’s perfect for someone like me! This month I chose Mary Lee (from the Boho Glam box), Ryan (from the It Girl box), and the Aurora Pink Plush Pout Lip Crayon (this month’s new beauty product).
Mary Lee is described as an oxblood satin. I don’t usually wear red nail polish, but I don’t have any colors like this so I decided to try it. Plus, it reminds me of Coco, a color from Julep’s Set The Stage ’20s collection, one that I always wanted to get but never did. I’m already referring to Mary Lee as Coco in my head. Mary Lee has a nice formula that only needs two coats to look good. It’s quite a bit browner than I was thinking it would be. It’s still a red color, but it can look chocolate brown in some lighting. Julep’s swatches make it look a lot redder than it is in real life. The satin finish isn’t super noticeable. It obviously doesn’t have a glossy finish, but it’s not super matte either. It’s almost like a neon polish finish.
Here I added a gold glitter top coat for a couple of accent nails. I used Sephora by OPI’s It’s Real 18k Gold Top Coat (similar to OPI’s The Man with the Golden Gun, but with smaller flakes). This is an older polish that contains flecks of 18k gold. I really like this top coat. It adds just enough sparkle and dimension without being too glittery. I also feel super fancy wearing it. :) I usually wear it over lighter colors, but I thought it would be a nice contrast to Mary Lee. You can see how the shiny topcoat brightened Mary Lee a bit.
Here is the mani with Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat over it. I love the shine this topcoat gives nails. I liked Mary Lee a lot better with the shiny finish. It looked richer and not so one-dimensional. I’m really happy I got this color (even though I wish it had more of a red tint), it’s great for fall. Mary Lee is $14/$11.20 Maven here.
The second color I chose was Ryan, an overcast teal satin. I was more excited about Ryan than Mary Lee, but I was disappointed with the formula. My bottle was very watery and streaky. It was hard to get good nail coverage without polish going everywhere. It wasn’t as smooth as Coco and showed every imperfection. It also had a very strong smell (similar to Julep’s India and Ally- maybe it’s the blue coloring?). Ryan was slightly more satin-y than Mary Lee, but was still a little too shiny. It is just a little greener than Julep’s swatches.
I really wanted to pair Ryan with Julep’s Ciara. I thought the teal sparkles in Ciara, along with the shiny finish, would work well with Ryan. It didn’t turn out quite as I had planned (partly due to Ryan not looking that great on its own), but I still liked the colors together. Next time I think I will use Ciara as a base, and add dots or chevrons with Ryan.
I really like Ryan with the Freedom Top Coat. I thought it made the color pop more and added a lot of depth. The shiny finish made it go from being a so-so color for me to being one that I actually want to wear. I’m happy I got Ryan, if only because it will make me wear Ciara more. Ryan is $14/11.20 Maven here.
The third item I selected was Julep’s new Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Aurora Pink. I usually think of nail polish when I think of Julep, but I’ve been really happy with most of the beauty products I’ve tried. However, this lip crayon is an exception. I was expecting to like this a lot, but I actually hate it. Not so much that I’m just going to toss it, but enough that I don’t think I’ll ever be happy wearing it. Julep says this is a full-coverage lip crayon with a moisturizing treatment core. Well, it’s pretty much full coverage, and it is moisturizing, but that’s about all it has going for it.
First, I was expecting a medium, warm pink color. In reality, this is pretty orange. It’s not orange enough to be considered a nice bright orange shade, or even a pretty coral color, but it is definitely a pink with an orange tint. I found that it went on patchy and was hard to blend, and it settled into my lip lines. This is supposed to have a semi-gloss finish, but it seemed to be more matte than glossy, but not matte enough to say that’s the look you were going for. (Kind of like how the satin polishes aren’t quite matte, but they’re not glossy either). It reminded me a lot of the finish I got when I used Revlon’s ColorBurst Matte Balms (felt slippery but looked matte, patchy, settled into lines a lot). These lip crayons have gotten a lot of good reviews though, so maybe it’s just me. $20/$16 Maven here.
This isn’t my favorite Maven box I’ve ever gotten, but it’s not the worst, and overall I’m satisfied with my Julep September 2014 Maven Box. I really like the colors of Mary Lee and Ryan, although Ryan’s formula isn’t that great and I will probably always use each color with a shiny top coat. I did not like the Plush Pout Lip Crayon, but I will give it another shot. You can check out the rest of Julep’s polish colors here. They have so many great ones to choose from!
There were four promo codes in the Julep September 2014 Maven Box:
Use 10FORYOU for $10 off a $20 purchase (through 9/30, not valid on Mystery Boxes, Secret Store items, Jule Boxes and gift cards).
Use COLORFORYOU to get a free polish with a $15 purchase through 9/30.
Use JULEPPERK for 30% off a purchase, through 9/30.
Use PLUSHPOUT for 30% off Julep’s new Plush Pout Lip Crayons, through 9/30.
Sign up for Julep Maven using my referral code here and use the promo code FREECITY to get your first box (3 polishes and 1 beauty product) for FREE, just pay $2.99 shipping.
You can read more about Julep’s Maven program and my experiences here.
Julep Maven is a subscription service. By signing up you agree to their terms of service. You can call or email to cancel at any time. Their window for choosing products is the 20th-24th of each month, and then you are billed on the 27th and boxes start shipping. You can earn a skip every six months. My Maven is $24.99 per month or $59.97 if you pay for three months upfront. Maven Luxe is $39.99 per month or $104.97 if you pay for three months upfront.