Thursday, September 20, 2012

September 2012 Julep Maven Mystery Box Review

I arrived home yesterday to find a box that looked suspiciously like the box from the end of the movie Seven.  Perfect for a human head.  The only packages I was expecting were the three Product Lover's and one Polish Lover's box from Julep Maven's September Mystery deal, so I was instantly intrigued.  Did I get one of the $200 boxes and the other three are on their way???

Nope, all 4 boxes were in there.  Dang.  On the plus side, these boxes are perfect to reuse for future packages.  Yay!  All four boxes had the goodies packed into the Julep tote bag from August.  Note that this bag goes for $5 on the Julep website. but I'm not including that in the value of the box, because who doesn't have a million bags like this?

The first box I opened was the Polish Lover's box:

This box was worth $56 with the .27 oz nail polishes going for $14 a pop.  Hmm.  Aren't we supposed to be getting at least $60 value?  Ah, yes, the tote bag.  Sneaky sneaky.  

I received Sasha, Sienna, Renee, and a "mystery color".  I have mixed feelings about this, because I already have the first three colors - see pics of Sasha, Sienna, and Renee from past posts.  However, they are actually 3 of my all time favorite Julep colors.  I may never get through my Sasha and Renee so I'll probably give those away, but I will definitely use the extra Sienna - it's GORGEOUS.  

Now let's talk about this so-called "mystery color".  Julep claimed in the mystery box email that there was a chance of receiving a "never before released" color, and this mustardy-yellow guy is one of them.  I am wondering if these colors were meant to come out in past collections and didn't make the cut.  The reason I say this is that they have the old labels on the bottom with no name (Julep used to put the name sticker on the lid, and people complained).  Plus, and this TOTALLY BREAKS MY HEART, the brush was all sorts of wonky.  Julep had a problem with this in the past, and actually sent out new wands in the box right before I signed up.  

Ugh, this brush!  If I used one side, the polish was way too thin and I'd need a million coats.  Flip it over, and the polish poured off the brush crazy thick and super chunky, even when I thought I didn't have too much on there.  I think the tube that the brush hairs come out of was hiding extra polish, and it all slops out when you use the brush or something.  I have never seen anything like it.  I am pretty sure I am sporting a manicure that would have been better done by 12 blind monkeys: 
I actually have to go home at lunch to take this monstrosity off (when will I learn to not paint my nails at work?!!)  The image doesn't capture it here, but it's also all sorts of streaky.  This may be a case of a formula issue too, but the brush was so screwy I couldn't tell.  Too bad - I really do like the color.  It's not as bright as the picture above, more of a mustard.  

The next box was the one I was most excited about:

Yay, cuticle oil!
I received an Age Defying Hand Brightener ($32 for a 3 oz bottle),  a glass nail file ($6), fast dry topcoat ($14, .27 oz) and the cuticle oil ($18, .28 oz).  A $70 value.  I am excited to see how the fast dry top coat compares to my beloved Seche Vite (LOVE), and my haggard cuticles are begging for some oil.  And, let's be honest.  I'm no spring chicken - I should probably be paying more attention to my ever-aging hands.  Sigh.    

The other 2 Product Lover's boxes were exactly the same, but instead of the cuticle oil, I got 2 more mystery colors (so those boxes were $66).  I was hoping those would only be in the Polish Lover's boxes, because I'd obviously rather have the products.  The other two colors are a You Don't Know Jacques-type mushroomy brown cream (but darker) and a peacocky shimmery blue.  Pretty enough in the bottles; hopefully they don't have the wonky brush from hell.  If all 3 do, I will be calling Julep and requesting more brushes.

All in all, I am pretty happy with my September Mystery Box experience.  I obviously didn't need to get 3 Product Lover's boxes, but then I might not have received the cuticle oil, which is something I really wanted to try.  And I will definitely USE everything I got, so that's cool. 

I am going to have to look around and see what everyone else got.  If all of the product boxes were just like mine, I'll be kind of disappointed that they didn't make more of an effort to mix it up, and will be less likely to play along for the next mystery box round.  Okay, that is a total lie.  I will get one, but won't order more than that without first checking out what everyone else got :)       
Also, the October colors came out today...crackle polish.  Good for Halloween I guess, but don't we all already own it from OPI?  I think I'll stick with American Beauty to get the orange crackle (useful one day a year!) and maybe add on Kiera and Caroline, the two vampy reds.  Because, you know, I don't own enough of those (hoarder hoarder hoarder).  So I'll end up with polishes 4, 5, 9, and 10, plus the fast dry drops.  [Update: Hey!  You can also add on Sofia, the glow in the dark top coat, which isn't pictured here.  Adriana and I will have so much fun with that!]

Did YOU get a mystery box?  What did you get???  Which box are you getting in October?

The mystery boxes are no longer on sale, but if you like the idea of a monthly nail polish subscription service and want to help a hoarder out, you can use my referral link (details below). 

[Like what you see?  Learn more here.  If you want to use my referral link or enter code 2669282 and contribute to my nail polish addiction, I would be forever grateful.  I don't know if COLOR2012 or MAVENINTRO will still get you your box for a penny, but MAVEN50 should get you half off.  I recently saw $9.99 for the intro box and 2 colors by using the code FREEGIFT, so try that one before the MAVEN50.]   


Jessica said...

Damnit, Julep. I swore I'd cancel this month, but orange crackle polish for Halloween is pretty tempting.

Lacey said...

I love that you paint your nails at work. Haha! I am still so irritated that I messed up and never got you your credit from me. So stupid. :P

Amanda Pearl said...

Did you see that you can order the 3 solid cremes without the crackles now!? I was super excited because crackle is not my thing at all.

Sarafan2 said...

Is it fun receiving these boxes, and is it pricey?? Just wondering what you think? Thanks! :)