Julep: October Maven Box

October’s theme was “Rebel Set,” and once again I splurged on an upgraded box. I didn’t love all the colors, but got more out of the beauty products than I expected, so it turned into a good deal.

formul8edphrase julep 102013

I swatched almost all of these on the same day, in direct sunlight. Missy and Stevie were swatched on a different day at a different time, in indirect sunlight. Sorry! I just forgot about those two when I was pulling the bottles from my shelves. The formula on all of these was good, with a little patching on the cremes that was fixed in a second coat. All of these are two coats unless otherwise noted.

Out of the box I didn’t like two polishes — taupe creme Winona and yellow glitter Dahlia — so I set them aside for gifting and didn’t swatch them. Otherwise, this is the whole collection (plus one).


Florence (camel), and Anisa (red)

For some reason, I thought camel colored Florence was part of this collection, but it’s actually part of September’s collection. It’s a great neutral, about a shade between OPI Don’t Pretzel My Buttons and My Vampire is Buff. Red Anisa is also a great staple color, a shade darker than Zoya’s Livingston. Neither of these are really unique, but I like them both, and I’m good with adding more reds and nudes to my collection.


Ciara (magenta), and Valerie (teal)

Ah, I love these colors! The camera doesn’t really capture the depth of Ciara, a magenta jelly with teal shimmer that gives it a sort of duochrome effect. The color looks dark, almost blackened, on nails, but in the sun the jelly layers and shimmer give it a glow-from-within sort of effect. I don’t have anything else really like it. Valerie is a green-leaning teal with microglitter that is supposedly iridescent, but shines gold in all the light I’ve observed. Both of these are lovely autumn colors, and in the sunlight they come alive to the point where I admire them on my fingers at red lights instead of paying attention, heh. There’s no topcoat on in the photo, which makes them both look bumpy, but a single layer of topcoat smooths them out just fine.


Kendra (green), Casper over Kendra, and Casper (sheer)

I have enough olives to start my own Army surplus store, but Kendra is a bit different from the rest in my stash. It’s a few shades darker, nearly blackened, with a shimmery finish that catches the light. It’s closest to essie Armed and Ready, but darker. Casper, meanwhile, is a sheer pearlescent glow-in-the-dark top coat. Casper can be worn alone (I did three coats on my index finger) as a pretty pearly finish, but it probably looks best layered over another color, where it adds a silvery sheen. I haven’t tested the glow yet, but some Mavens have suggested priming either the bottle or your polished nails under a light for a few minutes before going into the dark.


Missy (platinum) and Stevie (steel)

I really liked the formula of Missy, a platinum opaque metallic. It wasn’t as streaky or as glittery as I expected, and applied without any trouble, almost in one coat. Stevie, a shimmery medium to dark gray, was a little more trouble, but I was also rushing.


Comparisons for Missy and Stevie.

I was curious about how these two stacked up against colors I already have. As you can see, Missy is a smoother texture and more silvery color than its closest match, essie So Cozy. And while it’s hard to see in this photo, Stevie is a shade lighter than Zoya Claudine. I originally kept Stevie because of that difference, but after looking at it in the photo, I think the difference, while there, might be slight enough that I don’t need both.


Cleopatra (matte black), Beatrix over Cleopatra, Beatrix over Florence, Beatrix (glitter topper)

I had to have Cleopatra, a matte finish black. Julep, in what has to be one of the least forethought marketing decisions, decided to name it a “latex finish,” which had people confused about whether or not the polish contains actual latex. It doesn’t. It simply dries to a rubbery-looking finish that’s perfect for this season. I know I can get the same effect with any black polish and matte top coat, but whatever, I love it anyhow. Beatrix is a glitter topper with black and gold hexes and black and iridescent small glitter. It could probably be opaque in three coats (I just used one on my index finger above), but I think it looks best layered. Over a light polish like Florence, the black glitter dominates. Over a black polish like Cleopatra, the gold and holographic glitter shows up more, giving it a glittery cosmic look. Glitter payoff was good with just regular brush strokes; I didn’t need to dab and place.

The two beauty products were Mask Noir, a peel-off black mask, and the Kajal pencil. I’ll admit, I got the upgrade basically for the mask, because I love masks. I subject my poor face to every mask I can slather on it. Mask Noir applied very thickly, and started to dry immediately, so I had to be fast or I would remove any sections I already applied as I patted more product on. It was rather cumbersome, and took a little practice to get my whole face covered before it started to dry. The mask dried to a latex-looking finish (again, no actual latex is in the product), shiny and stiff. I peeled it off almost in one go, and could see the imprint of my pores on the mask (ew). After a couple of seconds, I could see blemishes on my face that had been subsurface coming to a head, and a few that had been whiteheads (it was a bad week in my cycle, okay?) looked drained. Would I buy it again? Probably not, because Boscia’s black mask is a very similar peel-off with a better application, is a little larger in size, and about the same price; I’ll probably buy the Boscia in the future. But I do like Julep’s Mask Noir, and will use it happily until it’s gone.


Julep Kajal pencil on bare skin, no primer

I didn’t think I’d use the kajal pencil at all, because how many black eyeliners can a girl have? I guess the answer is one more than I thought I’d need, because I’ve been using it pretty much every day since I got it. It applies smoothly and smudges really well, staying in place once set (I do use eyelid primer and apply over shadow). The black end is deep black, perfect for a smokey eye or a more defined line. I don’t like lining the lower waterline in black, because I’m so tired all the time that I need to open my eyes as much as possible (and the circles under my eyes can be dark enough to lose a small child in), but even though that’s basically what kajal is for, I use it to give myself a tight line on the upper lashes and a softer smudge on the outer corners. The shimmer on the brown side doesn’t really show up well on my eyes, but the brown is a softer look for daily wear and goes well with my brown and copper shadows. I have normal skin and not only use a primer, but set my eye makeup (especially under my eyes) with powder. If you have oily or combination skin and/or don’t use primer and powder, you may find it smudges too much throughout the day.

So that’s all of the collection I chose to keep. You can see the missing colors here at Julep’s site. If you’re interested in becoming a Maven, I’d appreciate it if you clicked the blue box in the sidebar; I get reward points for referring people.

I know Julep has had some major issues lately, especially with switching to DHL for shipping. I haven’t personally had problems with them, but my friend Becca has, and while the Maven boxes seem to be coming on time, regular purchases seems stuck in DHL hell. Julep also is the most expensive per ounce of product of all the non-luxury nail polishes I buy. I rationalize it for myself, but there are certainly less expensive brands and subscription services out there.

What do you think? Are these autumn colors enough to tempt you into becoming a Maven?


2 thoughts on “Julep: October Maven Box

    • Julep is $20 a month for a normal Maven box, which contains two beauty products, or two polishes and a beauty product, or three polishes, depending on which you choose. You can skip months with no penalty. An upgraded box is $55 and contains nine polishes and both beauty products. The colors and products are revealed during a selection window each month, when you can decide which box to get, or skip.

      It’s expensive per volume of polish compared to just buying other brands online or in stores, but as subscriptions go, I think it’s reasonable. Makeup and lifestyle sub boxes like ipsy or Birchbox are $10 a month, other polish subs like Bondi or SquareHue are $20 a month, and higher-end beauty subs like Glossybox are around $20, if that helps you compare. 🙂

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