The Great Gatsby-inspired boxes for May finally convinced me to sign up for Julep, a mail-order monthly subscription box of nail and skin care. If you’re interested after viewing the post — and hey, why wouldn’t you be? — I’d appreciate if you clicked the blue box here on my sidebar to sign up through my referral, as it grants me reward points.
Julep costs about $20 a box. You take a beauty quiz to get a profile, from which Julep recommends a curated box each month, but you can chose a box from any profile or opt out of a month. You pay when you choose your box, and if you do nothing, you get charged and sent the box according to your profile. Boxes are shipped at the end of each month. Becoming a member, or maven, gives you an automatic 20% discount on individual products in the shop and gift sets, but not curated boxes. Julep has more than nail polish and skin creams; with the Gatsby sets they’ve put out lipsticks and lip scrub, and they had members take a new beauty bio quiz that implies they’re broadening into other makeup and skin care products.
With colors inspired by the Jazz-age, the May polishes were dark cremes and light shimmers, flapper red and East Egg pale. I chose the Boho Glam set, which gave me two polishes and a lip trio. Other sets got three polishes, or no polishes and a lip scrub.
Julep included a little freebie, a set of hair pins with plastic flower attachments, perfect for pinning curls in that 1920’s style.
The polishes I got were Alice, a shimmery soft lilac, and Millie, a navy creme. Both formulas are nice and even, and the colors look great on my skin. I didn’t do a whole swatch set, since you can find swatches for pale and dark hands at Julep’s site. I tried to do a little nail art with them and just messed it up, but they looked pretty before I gave up and took it off.
Finally is the New York Jazz lip trio. These are little samplers, but a decent size for the price. The box is a pretty foil-stamped slide box, decorated with art deco designs on the front and side.
The lipsticks are two sheers, Tea for Two and Satin Doll, and one matte color, Lady in Red.
Tea for Two is sheer pink, a nude but better color. You can barely see it on my arm in either direct or indirect sunlight. Julep describes Satin Doll as a sheer poppy color, also a nude but better, in this case leaning coral. You can see it a little better on my arm. Lady in Red is a full color neutral red with a matte finish. Despite washing with makeup remover, this was still a shadow on my arm the next day.
I swatched my lips on two different days, so sorry for the weird lighting. The sheers I did in indirect light and the red was in light that I wanted to be indirect but was really streaming in the window despite the trees. as you can see, Tea for Two is basically my lip color. I have balm more pigmented than this, but I’m sure if I layer it over something it will soften the undercolor nicely.
Satin Doll is also almost nude, but with that faint coral wash to it. I think on its own, no one could necessarily tell I’m wearing it, although you can see the difference next to the Tea for Two lip swatch. I layered Satin Doll over Revlon’s Just Bitten Kissable in Rendezvous today and it punches up the orange coral just a bit, giving it a nice extra pop.
Finally, Lady in Red is gorgeous. I shy away from bold reds, even though I know I can look good in them, because it’s so hard to find a good red that matches my skin tone and doesn’t make me look like a clown. This is one of those reds that seems to be a true neutral, with no blue or yellow undertones. I’m a cool tone, but this makes me look hot, if I do say so myself.
The lip colors glide on smoothly and are fairly moisturizing, and the staying power on Lady in Red at least is good. The maven boxes are still available if you join Julep, or you can buy individual products for the Jazz Collection here. As Nick Carraway says, you can’t repeat the past, but in these sophisticated shades, you can certainly celebrate the 1920s aesthetic.