Battle of the Boxes: Julep Maven Review
You know how most people’s coffee tables are covered with books or remote controls or pizza boxes? Mine is covered in nail polish and manicure accessories, and I have photographic evidence:
So it’s no great shock that the moment I read about the Julep Maven box, I knew this was going to be my jam. Oh, and just a quick warning – this post is basically going to be me dry humping Julep, but that’s how happy I am with my Maven subscription so far.
At $19.99, it’s double the $10 price point that Birchbox and Glam Bag. But I’m guaranteed at least $40 worth of products every month, which come in the form of 2 nail full size polishes (which retail for $14 a piece) plus one additional product.
Julep is a brand I’d seen a lot in Sephora and on QVC. Their colors are beautiful and I heard great things about the formula, but at $14 a bottle, I hesitated to try it. The Maven subscription suddenly made it more accessible.
When I received my intro box, which only took a couple of days to get here, it was pretty dazzling. It did not come in a hot pink, metallic mailer. Just a box with the logo splashed across the side, but it was big enough that it was the first thing I saw when I opened my mailbox, which is how all the dazzling business started. It continued when I opened it up.
Inside the box was:
• 1 full size bottle of nail polish in Sophie (From the Trina Turk
• Fall collection) ($14 value)
• 1 full size bottle of nail polish in Jodie ($14 value)
• 1 full size essential cuticle oil ($18 value)
• 2 glitter pots ($4)
Total value: $48
The nail polish itself is fantastic. The formula is everything I thought it would be and the brush is out of this world. I despise a shitty nail polish brush (I’m looking at you, L’Oreal!) so that was a big deal. The colors were rich and very durable. I applied two coats in addition to my base and top coats, and each manicure lasted for 4 or more days before I started to see any evidence of chipping, which is really impressive for me. Normally I get about 2 days out of a home manicure.
This month, I received my December box, which was just as exciting as the first one. It contained:
• 1 bottle of nail polish in Petra ($14 value)
• 1 bottle of nail polish in Jordan ($14 value)
• 1 full size Instant Warming Foot Scrub ($22 value)
• 1 DIY Cabachon Ring (No actual value )
Total value: $50
When I signed up (which was just last month), I was given the option at check-out to select three additional polishes for $4.99 a piece (more than 60% off retail!). I thought it was a one time thing, and though I only selected two add-ons, I immediately regretted not choosing a third. I was very excited to learn that these add-on options are available every month. This month I made sure to fill all three add-on slots. Hey, big spender!
After receiving my December box and my add-ons for my second month (add-on purchases are shipped separately from Maven boxes), I realized that I’ve quickly amassed a nice little Julep collection. If I would have bought all these items from Sephora or at retail from the Julep website, I would have paid $168. But since I had a coupon code to get my first box for a penny, and add-ons are only $5, I paid a total of $35. For everything. Even if I had paid full price for my intro box, I would still only be at $55 for $168 worth of products. In terms of value, this subscription gives me more for my money than any of the others, making it my favorite of the bunch.
Julep requires you to fill out a style profile when signing up for a Maven subscription and my result was “Classic With a Twist.” I thought this profile was an accurate choice, though I did opt for the Boho Glam box the following month. Other profiles include American Beauty, Bombshell, and It Girl. Your box each month is based on your stye profile, but here’s the thing – you get to preview what you’re going to get each month, and if you see another box you like better, you can swap it out for that one instead. You can also opt to skip a month, or have your box shipped to a friend instead of yourself.
If you’re a nail polish lover, you’ll love this service. I think $19.99 is a bargain for what I’m getting, though I can also appreciate that it’s double what you’d pay for Birchbox or Ipsy. However, the value and flexibility of Julep more than makes up for the price difference.
If you’re interested in signing up for the Julep Maven box, I’ve got a pretty amazing coupon code for you. You can get your first box for a penny. A penny. Just click the link below to sign up and enter the code COLOR2012 at checkout.
Even though Julep is my favorite subscription box right now, the winner of this round’s Battle of the Boxes goes to Glam Bag! It’s the $10/mo price that clinched the winning spot for Glam Bag. It’s ultimately the most accessible and offers great return.
We’ll battle out some different boxes in the spring of 2013. Contenders will include Glossy Box, Beauty Army, and a few surprise fighters.
In the meantime, are there any other Maven subscribers out there? What do you think of the service? And am I the only person who wishes Butter London would get on the subscription box train?
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