Julep Review, April 2017

Julep, $24.99 per month (US and Canada only)

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This baby bun did not want to hold still!  I love how her adorable little ears stick up.  She's a lop, though, so they'll be going down in the next couple of weeks.

Julep is a monthly beauty subscription that contains a mix of nail polish, skincare products, and makeup.  Originally, Julep did only nail polish, but they've branched out over the years.  Subscribers are able to customize their boxes, so you can get all nail polish, all makeup, all skincare, or any combination of the three.  If you don't want to customize your box, Julep will put together a box for you based on your profile.  Each month, Julep releases a new collection of nail polish and then either a new product or new range of products.  You can choose any three of those or they also have a selection of products from past months that you can choose from.  You can also add on additional products at a discount.  Julep lets you skip a month or have a month of your subscription sent to someone else.  Besides the monthly boxes, Julep also has a secret store for subscribers and offers subscribers a discount on all of their products.  Normally, I don't like beauty boxes that feature products from only one brand, but Julep's skincare, makeup, and nail polish are of really great quality, so I make an exception for this box.

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Here's what I got this month:

My April Julep was worth $116.  I had also chosen the Julep Thin Iridescent Holo Nail Tape but that wasn't in my box.  That's the second time in the past few months that that has happened.  I e-mailed Julep and they offered me a nail polish of my choice to make up for it.  They do have great customer service.  If you add in the value of the extra nail polish I get to choose, it will take the value of the box up to $130.  The eyeliner, lip liner, and Liesl nail polish (plus the holographic tape I didn't get) were part of the regular box.  I chose three add ons -- nail polish in Independent Aries, Adrian, and Ebony -- and, because I chose three add ons, I got a free gift, a nail polish.  Julep also throws in a little extra each month, usually a piece of candy, but sometimes a product sample.  This month, though, the extra was another free polish!  The free gift polishes I got were Margit and Eliza.  

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Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ultraviolet

Swatch of Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ultraviolet

I love the When Pencil Met Gel formula, so I often like to pick up new colors Julep releases.  This month's color was Ultraviolet, a blue-based purple with tons of shimmer.  I love purple, so I couldn't pass this one up!  My skin tone is slightly warm/almost neutral (1Y, according to Sephora), so I usually go for red-based purples, but I like a good blue-based purple on occasion.  This color is gorgeous!  It's definitely bright and bold, so it may not be an everyday color, but it's a lot of fun.  The formula stays on most of the day.  I find that the dark When Pencil Met Gel colors stay on all day, while the lighter colors, such as this one, don't have quite as much staying power.  The formula is very smooth and easy to apply.  This isn't one of those hard eyeliner pencils that you have to warm up with a lighter.  If you love purple eye makeup, you're going to love this liner!  

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The other non-nail polish item I chose was kind of boring, but very useful.  The Get in Line Invisible Lip Liner isn't part of this month's collection of new products, but Julep also offers a lot of older products to choose from each month if you're not in love with the collection of the current month.  I use clear lip liner every day and am getting low on it, so I decided to try Julep's.  A lot of people ask what clear lip liner is for as it seems kind of pointless.  While lip liner can give you some color, it's primary function, at least for me, is to keep my lipstick  from feathering or bleeding.  While you can use colored lip liner to do that, having one good clear liner means you can use it for any color lipstick you have.  I have lipstick in every color imaginable, so it's so much easier to use clear liner than to try to find a liner to match each lipstick.  You also don't end up with an obvious ring around your mouth if your lipstick wears off before your liner, as is often the case.  I liked the Julep formula.  It reminds me of Sephora's clear liner.  The formula is softer than OCC's and harder than Urban Decay's.  It went on smoothly and kept my lipstick in line.

Swatches of Julep Nail Color, left to right:  Eliza, Liesl, Independent Aries, Margit, Ebony, Adrian

Swatches of Julep Nail Color, left to right:  Eliza, Liesl, Independent Aries, Margit, Ebony, Adrian

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The only nail polish I chose from the April polish collection was Liesl, which Julep calls a "cloudless blue crème."  Usually I prefer shimmer and glitter to crème formulas, but I loved this sky blue.  Strangely enough, they didn't have any sparkly polishes this month.  They had three crèmes (Liesl, Josie, and Dylan), a sheer jelly (Ming), and two matte glitter topcoats (Marianne and Ani).  This formula was like their other polish -- it goes on smoothly, but it can take a while to dry.  I recommend using a Seche Vite topcoat to reduce drying time substantially.

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Each month this year, Julep is releasing a new polish for each zodiac sign.  They had a different polish for each sign last year, too, and did birthstones in previous years.  Last year's Aries color was a "red iridescent flash."  While I was born in April, my sign is Taurus, not Aries.  My friend who loves nail polish, though, is an Aries, so I chose this color for him.  This year's color, called Independent Aries, is a "whisper pink sheer iridescent."  I can't say I understand how this color relates to Aries, but it's pretty.  It's a very pale pink and it was hard to capture the color in the picture above, but it's a very pretty color.  My friend loved it and was so happy to get it in his box of birthday presents.

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In addition to the Aries polish, I chose Adrian, a "daffodil crème," and Ebony, a "graphite holographic," for add ons.  Since you get a free gift (which always seems to be a nail polish) if you get three add ons, I figure I might as well get three.  The add on shop offers a selection of Julep products at a significant discount.  I've had my eye on Adrian for a while, and it just seemed like such a happy spring color, so I had to go for it.  I read reviews of Adrian from a couple of years ago where people complained it went on thick and that the formula was horrible, but Julep seems to have corrected that issue.  Ebony is way more gorgeous in person than in the picture above.  When you get it in the sunlight, the holographic glitter makes a rainbow on your nails.

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One of the polishes above is my free gift from my add ons and one is the free gift Julep threw in for all subscribers.  I love that they gave us a free polish this month instead of a piece of candy or a foil sample of a skincare item.  I wish they would do that every month!  The nail polishes always vary, so not all subscribers got the same color free gift polish.  The polish on the left is Margit, which Julep calls a "mushroom with rose shimmer," and the one on the right is Eliza, an "infinite ocean holographic."  The shimmer in Margit really comes out in the light, making your nails look a beautiful shimmery mauve.  It's much pinker in person.  Eliza looks like an average medium blue glitter polish inside, but when you have it out in the sun, you can see the beautiful rainbow holographic effect.  I thought Eliza was boring until I saw it in the sunlight.  The thing I love about Julep's free polishes is that they often send me nail polish that I never would have chosen after looking at it online, but that ends up being gorgeous in person.  The free polish they send often ends up being my favorite polish!

I loved my Julep box, as always.  It's hard not to love a beauty box when you get to choose your own products, though.  Choosing a favorite product is hard.  The lip liner was necessary, but boring.  The eyeliner was gorgeous and was such a fun color to play with that I would probably have to say that was my favorite product this month.  As for nail polish, I think Margit was my favorite color, but all the colors were beautiful.

What did you think of this month's Julep box?  What color was your free nail polish?