Thursday, September 15, 2011

Julep Maven Program – Review Part 2

I really liked my Intro box, except I wasn’t super-crazy about frosty Alfre, but the September box was awesome for me.  Would you like to see?


Same heavy black box, but inside this month was a card telling me what was in it, plus a little flyer about the program.


Different colored ribbon this month, but packed the same in this cute shopping bag.  Boxed items are just in the bag, unboxed items (such as nail polishes) are wrapped in tissue paper.  Sorry, I had it unwrapped in about 2 seconds, so no pic of that!  ;)


All items, unwrapped/unboxed.  I accidentally ripped the tissue paper, so I didn’t unwrap it all the way, but I wish I would have, this is a weird pic.  :P

This box contained a full-sized Everyday SPF 30 Hand Cream ($28 retail – 3 oz), a full-sized Essential Cuticle Oil ($18 – .29 oz), and a full-sized bottle of a new for fall polish, Boris and Nicole ($14 – .27).  Retail value of this box is $60.  Would I pay $60 for these items?  No.  But $19.99 isn’t too bad.  I didn’t mind that.

We’ll start with the hand cream, since I mentioned it last post.  It is 3 oz, which is a pretty decent size, and it contains SPF, which, I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time finding in a hand lotion.  Everyone mentions how important it is, but I don’t see any hand creams laying around here (and trust me, I have many) that have SPF.  The product itself has a slightly sunscreen smell that dissipates a few minutes after rubbing it in and that’s it – I don’t smell anything else, which is a nice change.  Usually I have to ditch lotions with a strong smell, my head just can’t tolerate them.  As there is sunscreen, there is a bit of a greasy feel when you initially put it on, but again, gone in a couple of minutes.  I am able to use this one at work, which is uncommon – most lotions leave my hands too slippery to use at work.  I work with paper all day every day and if my hands are too soft or lotiony (I think you know what I mean), I can’t grab anything.  Everyday SPF 30 isn’t the most moisturizing product I’ve ever used though, and that is its one downfall.  It does help – it’s better than not using anything, but I wouldn’t rave about it’s moisturizing properties.  It’s not bad though – it’s on par with most lotions out there.  Good, but not GREAT.  It is the only one I own that I am able to use at work though, and I appreciate it for that.  Plus the SPF isn’t something I find everyday, and there isn’t the strong scent that I get with most hand creams.  I’d give it a B.  Maybe a B+.

I don’t usually use cuticle oil, as I find it to be extremely messy, but I was intrigued by Julep’s Essential Cuticle Oil – it’s got a rollerball top, so I can just roll it on around my cutes and be done.  No brushes, no dripping.  I LOVE the rollerball.  It is so easy to roll it on really quick at work before I start the next batch of work.  It does have a stronger smell, though not overwhelming.  It contains Vitamin E oil, as well as Jojoba seed, Sweet Almond, Caster, Rosewood, Lavender, and Ylang Ylang oils.  I think what I’m smelling is a combination of Lavender and Ylang Ylang.  It’s a woodsy, herbal scent that I can’t quite put my finger on.  I’m not a HUGE fan of the scent, but it isn’t totally off-putting either.  I keep using it, if that means anything, and my head hasn’t protested yet.  If you have had a messy experience in the past, Julep’s Essential Cuticle Oil might be worth looking into.  It isn’t going to replace my Lemony Flutter for nights, but I love using it during the day.  It’s easy and quick to apply, no mess, and it does a great job of sinking in and moisturizing my cutes.  The rollerball applicator makes it easy for me to actually moisturize at work, which I never did before!

Finally is the polish, which is what we all want to see.  Boris and Nicole (named for hottie Boris Kodjoe and his gorgeous wife, Nicole Ari Parker) is THE color of fall.  Honestly, I was blown away.  It is so damned gorgeous and looks like fall in a bottle.  Is it super-unique?  Well, no… but the idea is absolutely perfected in this polish.


It’s a deep red with gold shimmer… like I said, not the most unique idea, but I haven’t seen another similar polish that is good as this one.  It’s a warm red that pairs perfectly with the gold shimmer, and there is exactly the right amount.


This is 2 coats – formula was perfection, again.  I have only tried 3 polishes from Julep, but the formula has been fabulous on all 3.  It’s a pretty dense shimmer, but no brush strokes.

To be honest, my breath caught when I opened the tissue and saw this one.  I LOVE these kinds of colors.  LOVE.  But then I was like “man… that is a dupe for Essie – Wrapped in Rubies." and I didn’t rush to put it on.  But guess what my lovelies?  NOT DUPES!  :D


Wrapped in Rubies (middle), is a much cooler, more burgundy color, with less of that gold shimmer showing on the nail.  Formula was also thinner and I needed 3 coats for opacity, compared to 2 for Boris and Nicole.  I know I shouldn’t keep both, but I probably will anyway!  ;)

I haven’t comped B&N to OPI – Russian to a Party on the nail yet (since RtaP is HTF, I don’t usually go for the HTFs first), but on paper, whey are pretty similar.  RtaP is a tiny bit darker, cooler, and the gold shimmer blends a bit more with the red base, it it seems more like a warm red shimmer than a warm red with gold shimmer.  Pretty danged similar though… again, I don’t think I would need both.  RtaP was hard for me to get ahold of though, so it isn’t going anywhere!  ;)

Overall, I was quite happy with my September box – a good lotion, easy to use cuticle oil, and a gorgeous polish.  I know some would think $19.99 was steep for that, but I think it’s about right.  I don’t think I could go to Target and buy a lotion with SPF, cuticle oil, and polish for much under $20, let alone things that I am happy with.  To each her own though, right?

A quick word on this… I am not being paid or compensated for this review.  Julep doesn’t even know I did one!  I just wanted to share my experience.  Yes, if someone clicks my referral link and signs up for the Maven program, I will get $15 credit, but I don’t think that’s quite the same.  I paid for the products, I like them, I’m sharing.  I have seen a lot of negative reviews about Julep and unsatisfied customers, but I did want to put one positive review out there since I do like the program and plan on sticking with it for a bit.

Thoughts?  Nice ones?  ;)

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