Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Julep review and swatch spam!

By now, you've probably heard of the polish company Julep.
They've got this pretty cool thing called Maven where you subscribe and pay $20 a month to receive a box that has polish and other stuff in it like hand creams or cuticle oil. I really like the idea. But the execution... not so good.

There have been several long blog posts about people's issues with Julep before and my experience was no different. Their customer service leaves so much to be desired, and makes it difficult to want to ever support them.

I joined Julep Maven a few months ago during one of their sales where you can get your first box for just one cent. After that I paid for one box (because I wanted the cuticle oil in it and the colors seemed nice) and then I got a free box for referring two people. Since then the boxes have just been boring and I'll probably never pay for another one.

I don't like Julep but I sure like that photo I took of them! Hahaha.

Okay, here goes the review on the actual polish. I'm going to make some general complaints before showing the swatches.
1) The bottle is just horrible. I have no idea who thought it was a good idea to put nail polish into such a tall, skinny bottle. It has no stability and is so easy to knock over.
2) Because of the long and skinny bottle, the brush suffers. It has to be longer to reach the bottom of the awkward bottle. Because of this, it is way harder to paint your nails because the brush is further from the handle. Imagine trying to write your name with a pen, but holding it way further away than you're used to. It's just messy.
3) You know how sometimes, you're painting your nails, and suddenly a big drop of polish drips down the brush and onto your nail? That happens pretty much every time with these. Again, it's due to the bottle. More of the brush handle is dunked into polish in the long bottle. So more polish stays on the brush handle waiting to drip down and flood your cuticles. It annoyed me so much as I was swatching that if I had to put the brush down for some reason, I laid it on the table instead of putting it into the bottle so it wouldn't get coated in polish again.
4) The brush itself... Ugh. It's too thick and hard and won't conform to the nail. I've got a photo illustrating that after the first swatch.
5) The price. These retail for $14. Good lord, I hope no one actually buys these for $14 a piece. So so so so so so not worth it.

Okay. Do you even want to see the polishes after that? Haha!

Julep - Chloe
A black jelly with lots of magenta glitter. This polish has probably one of the worst formulas I've ever used. It was like glue. Black, glittery glue. Just awful. 2 thick coats.

Here's the photo showing how the brush does not conform to the nail:

See that empty spot along the sidewall? Good luck getting the brush to fan enough to get down there. Especially when you're working with glue.
So annoying. So bad.

Julep - Hayden
This polish I like. The formula is good, and the color is really different. It's like a neon peach. No complaints about this one, besides all the general bottle/brush complaints.

Julep - Oscar
Oscar is a gold glitter that was inspired by The Oscars.  This is just one coat over Hayden. You could probably get full coverage with this glitter. As far as glitter goes, this is nice, but not original.

Julep - Kim
Kim is a streaky, awful mess. This is three frosty coats, and each one dragged the other. It was a nightmare to apply. No bueno. Yuck.

Julep - Megan
This one is an alright color, not unique, but again the formula just sucks. Frosty and streaky and draggy. 3 coats.

Julep - Helena
Nice color, alright formula... But you can get the same color from Sinful Colors for $2. Sometimes $1. (The color is Dream On.)

Julep - Marisa
Nice color, decent formula, nothing special.

Julep - Leah
I love this color. Great formula, too. 2 coats. Really nice shimmer. Thank the lord I actually got two polishes I like.

Between my three boxes I also ended up with a bottle of their topcoat which is really sucky.
I also got a bottle of Nail Therapy which I haven't tried but I'm sure it's nothing to write home about.

Now I'll show you the one thing that made my $20 spent on Julep worth it:

The cuticle oil.
I just love it. Not necessarily the oil itself but the delivery method.

It's a roll on! How smart. Man, I love it. Just roll it onto your cuticles. No mess, no fuss.
The oil smells really good, it smells like fruity cereal! Seriously! It doesn't absorb as good as OPI's AvoPlex oil (which is my favorite) but it is better than some other brands I've tried.
So the oil is decent but the bottle is awesome.
When I use it up I'll be refilling it with AvoPlex! Good job on this one, Julep.

One last little complaint before I go:

Why are the labels all in different places?!

Ooooooooh, Julep.
I hope this post has been informative... heh.

I wish there was China Glaze Maven. OPI Maven. Color Club Maven. Essence Maven. Those things I'd pay for!


  1. I would love a roll-on cuticle oil for my desk at work!

  2. The roll on cuticle oil sounds great! But I have never signed up for Julep and probably never will!

  3. Hahaha I freaking hate Julep loool! We ranted about the same exact things in our Julep posts hahha! I HATE everything about their brush, bottle and too thick formulas.

  4. I would never sign up after all the terrible things I've heard...

  5. I think Julep oversaturated the market in the WORST way! Everyone had problems in the beginning with referral codes, and honestly- who would pay $14 for this polish? I think they like to *think* they are un upscale brand when really, they are far from it!

  6. Your blog is constantly creating me new nailpolish necessities! And those look really really pretty! I wish there were, in Spain, lots of colours and nailpolish brands as in USA :( Kisses x

  7. I would be completely broke and loving it if there were a China Glaze Maven, or OPI Maven, etc.

    I have not experienced the customer service issues that others have and I haven't really had the polish problems others had either. I like the product but I don't love it.

    1. same here...i signed up (before reading reviews) just because of the penny intro price...overall i like the colors i have received so far...even though they are basically re-issues of colors i have from orly and opi. i get the boxes for the lotions and "extras" the free polish for this month and the pixie stix.


  8. Thank you for this honest review. I hate seeing people kiss their butt so they can keep getting free boxes. BARF! I agree tho, I like the cuticle oil thing.

  9. Beautiful colors!

  10. Thanks for the review... I felt the exact same about the bottle of Chloe I bought from your blog sale.. I liked the color but the bottle and brush were brutal to work with! However... I LOVE the roll on cuticle idea.. brilliant! :)

  11. yeeks! It sounds like the polishes I have received thus far have definitely been more winners. I will agree with you about the bottle being awkward. So far, other than the last batch of brushes being squished into the bottles, thus damaging the shape.. I haven't run into any real struggles getting the polish swiped onto the nail. BUT BUT BUT... their customer service is bothering me. The first time I had an issue I received a call back in 2 hours time. The second time (and maybe it says something that I had issues 2 months in a row and needed to call customer service) I had called...nothing. I called again... nothing. I emailed...nothing for multiple days later. Still waiting on the last issue to be resolved and in 4 days it is time for the next months box... so.. yeah, that has me a bit turned off. I do understand that they are a very small company and probably didn't expect it to blow up as big and fast as it has, but as the customer I don't want excuses.. I want solutions in a timely manner.

  12. I know there's a lot of complaints about this polish and brand, but I don't really have any. But then again I tend to stick to the creme colors, and stay away from the frost colors. I like the quality of the polish, no real complaints honestly.

  13. Thank you for your review! I've heard some pretty bad things about Julep, so I'll stay away. On top of the bad customer service, you shouldn't have to deal with boring colors and so so formula when a polish is $14. Some of them are beautiful though, probably not worth the headache though.

  14. I think their cremes are great, but from the looks of it, the frosts/glitters are not. Charlotte (the purple creme) is a one coater for me. Niecy is a good one too. I totally agree on the awkward polish bottle though, it makes it really hard to do your mani when you always have to hold onto the base of the bottle. They are also a bitch to store! I have the rollerball oil on my desk though and I do love it!

  15. It's so refreshing to read a blog post that is actually brutally honest about Julep. And thats why I love your blog =P

  16. I'd join a Zoya Maven! I just got my first Julep Maven box. I like the 3 colors I got. Thanks to your review, I know which ones not to try.

  17. Everything about this post has just confirmed my suspicions about Julep...

    Also, it's not like I didn't try to get the box for one cent, the stupid website wouldn't take my card.

    Needless to say that whole website/brand pisses me off now. I'm not rolling in money but I do have PENNIES to spare!!

  18. I got the penny box. It was....ok. Now I'm trying to figure out how to skip this month.

    Poetry much everything you said has been true for me with this brand.

  19. I love leah but all of the complaints makes never want anything to do with these polishes and why would they be 14 bucks anyway if there not high quality???!!!

  20. Oscar is nice, but if you wanted to use it on your own, you're basically stuck using half the bottle to get full coverage on all your nails. :/ I liked how sparkly it was in the sun but it didn't make up for how poor I felt it applied.

  21. I cancelled my account after I ordered my last box (specifically for the names of the polishes) and 2 of them weren't labeled at all... I also think they're insane to think these are worth $14!

  22. i was shocked at how small the bottles were. and i had the same dripping brush issue last night glad to know it wasn't just me. i got my box for 1 penny, though I think the pedi creme is awesome. the polish, meh. i might do one more box if i like it what's in it but defn. not worth $20 for two polishes and a lotion.

  23. Thank you for being so informative. Being a person that does not spend big bucks on polish, I have felt bad for not doing so...but no longer thanks to you. I am glad to hear that 'cheaper' nail polishes can do the job and sometimes better than the expensive ones that I can't bring myself to purchase. Thanks again.

  24. Thank you for your honest review. I did sign up for the Penny maven box and was not impressed. So much so I don't want to write a review on it. I called to cancel but only got a recording. I never received a shipping notification either. The monthly fee is $19.95 which is not worth it.

  25. honest review . Thank you. Hayden looks nice. Any dupes? :)

  26. I really want to love Julep, because i think the idea of the program is awesome, but i just can't. Their polish sucks, and it is so overpriced. If i didn't have to actually call to cancel i would have by now

  27. I hate Julep. Whenever I see good reviews I can't help but feel that people are lying :(

  28. I had a Maven account for a couple months before cancelling because I realized that I wasn't even using the polishes. Then I tried some that I had won in a giveaway before the Maven program even started, and I hated them. I am not a fan of them at all, and I really do hate the bottles and brushes as well. And a lot of their colors can be duped easily or they are frosty and streaky. I have one friend who loves Julep polishes, but she's not into polish like me, so I don't think she really understands the troubles with the brush or the formula. And she pays full price for hers. I'm glad to see someone with a big blog is stating the truth about how problematic Julep actually is.

  29. You just saved me $14. Thank you!

  30. Thank god someone saying the truth about this absolute CRAP. It really boggles my mind when I see good reviews for this brand. I only have one polish by them (Kate), and it's an absolute nightmare. The polish in the bottle is very pretty (white and pearly with a slight hint of shimmer), but when I put on it's so goopy and thick and streaky. I end up needing to put on 3 layers to get good coverage and then it is so thick on my nails it chips easily. And the shimmer does not come through at ALL so it looks like I have fricken white out on my nails. GROSS. Why do people like this crap???

  31. I could not agree more with the negative reviews. I got a gift box of 6 colors for my birthday a few months ago. One of the brushes was having a bad hair day. A few of the strands were curled up. Julep promptly sent me a replacement but I was terribly disappointed with how it applied to nail and how looo-ooong it took to dry. I thought well maybe it's just this one color. Nope. Same thing with the 2nd one I opened.

    Like a glutton for punishment, I bought a bunch of colors on Cyber Monday for $2.99/each. Some are going to be Christmas stocking-stuffers. Some were for me. OMG. Same thing all over again. The color (Bette) poured down the brush and pooled on my nail and cuticle. The color took forever to dry. I had to apply 3 thin coats to get good coverage and color saturation. This stuff ended up smudging even after 30m of dry time.

    Mascara: who the F#@! designed this packaging!? The wand is about a foot long!!! No control over application. The formula and the brush are just okay. Nothing special at all.

    I also ordered the Bare Face cleansing oil which did not ship with my order. I was so disappointed. They sent the oil and a complimentary Konjac sponge. The cleansing oil and sponge are awesome!! Mmm...maybe they should stick to skin care!

  32. I am a huge fan of Julep polish! I've had a subscription for over a year and for the most part, my colors have been great! They make some unique shades/finishes. The most current Julep box I received had some great spring colors. I posted my Mani Monday today, you should check it out if you'd like to see some new shades!

    1. Just curious if you read the post because I doubt the author will be wanting to try any juleps again (nor do I blame her).

  33. My husband ordered it for me and I hated it too. He emailed and called to cancel the subscription so he assumed it was done, we didn't get anything last month. Well, he just saw they charged his account! So, he called to ask them why they would do that after he canceled?!?! The woman, Helen, says they only got his email and they don't except emails for cancelation! He told her he emailed then called to make sure it was canceled. Then he told her it says on their website you can do it either way, but he did it both just to make sure it was canceled. All she did was argue with him and refuse to refund his money. He called the bank to handle it and they said to call the BBB and the attorney general's office.
    I would hope anyone considering to use this company think twice before u give them your account number.
    I will also tell you what I tell my husband all the time, nobody is giving anything away for free! Always find and read the fine print carefully, somewhere in there they are going to have the upper hand. I hope this was helpful. God bless!

  34. Great review. I joined because of the penny deal but didn't get a polish in my first box. Here is my review: