Thursday, April 18, 2013

Maven Madness: Julep Sea Salt Mystery Box Version 1 (Swatches and Review)

Hi everyone!

I know I've gone missing for a day or two. 
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter then you already know that I am preparing for a third roommate. A good bit of my time this week has been dedicated to clearing out the guestroom, combining my boyfriend and I's closet (which was a daunting task) and moving furniture in just about every room.
So I'm back outside for pictures until I get a new lightbox. My current one didn't survive the room shifting. :(

With the warm weather rolling in, you're probably ready to dip your feet in the ocean. 
Once again, Julep's got you covered with the most recent mystery box debuting the brand's first textured polishes, the "Sea Salt Finish," a matte sandy finish that's beachside beautiful.

The Box

Every month Julep offers a Mystery Box for $24.99 which includes $70-$200 worth of Julep polishes and beauty products. There are multiple versions of the mystery box, and from time to time Julep will include a special price for a few lucky Mavens including gift cards, jewelry and more.

You do not have to be a Julep Maven to purchase a mystery box, but Mavens will receive the benefit of free shipping.

To learn more about the Julep Maven Program, you can read my in-depth review of the entire program here.

The Polishes

Version One of the mystery box contained four colors: Barbara, Joy, Madeline, and Otte.

Barbara is a full coverage mix of purple glitter that shifts magenta.
(Retail Price: $14.00, Maven Price: $11.20)

Julep "Barbara"

This full dimension of this glitter was camera shy in the overcast weather. Unfortunately with my house currently torn apart, there is currently no way to take pictures inside.

The formula was actually kinda chunky. Not thick, but after the first layer I noticed little globs coming out of the bottle that had to be worked through. In the end it doesn't affect the finished look, but it's something to mention. You only need two coats to completely cover the nail.

It's not my favorite Julep glitter just because I have a few others like it, but it's still pretty!

Julep "Barbara"

Joy is a dusty mauve creme.
(Retail Price: $14.00, Maven Price: $11.20)

Julep "Joy"

 Joy is actually a dupe for me. It came in the March It-Girl Maven Box which I reviewed here

If you read my original review of this shade you know that I loved it and the formula was flawless. I applied it in thicker layers this time and reached full opacity in two coats as opposed to three.

Julep "Joy"

Otte is a light, milk chocolate brown creme from the Fall 2012 Trina Turk Collection.
(Retail Price: $14.00, Maven Price: $11.20)

Julep "Otte"

The formula is identical to Joy, gliding on perfectly even. It will require three coats to eliminate the nail line completely.

Despite the warm undertones, this shade  is extremely flattering even on pale skin tones like myself.

Julep "Otte"

Madeline is the star of the show in this box: the pale, baby pink with a "sea salt" finish.
(Retail Price: I assume they will be $14.00, Maven Price: $11.20)

Julep "Madeline"

I fell in love with Madeline on the first coat. It went on like a creme and you actually see little speckles as it applies. It was almost opaque on the first layer, but if your nails are really white you'll notice the tips shining through. Some may prefer that look and leave it at one coat, but I added a second coat to full cover the nail and bring out the color.

If you are nervous about diving into the textured trend, start with this one and you won't regret it. The delicate color is sophisticated enough for any woman, but the sandy texture gives it a subtle edge. 

Wedding season is already here, and I immediately saw this as the prefect beach wedding mani or for any bride who wants something different than the normal french tips.

Julep "Madeline"

Beauty Item

Version one of the mystery box included the Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener.
(Retail Price: $32.00, Maven Price: $25.60)

I immediately noticed that this smelled like the cream version of the Hand and Cuticle Stick from the January Maven Box, which is also available on Julep's website for $22.00 ($17.60 for Mavens).

The scent is very fresh but not overpowering. I can't say much about the "brightening" aspect as I have only owned it for a day, but it is very moisturizing.

It's not an extremely thick lotion making it ideal for the hands, but I wouldn't use it as all over body lotion, which it's not made for anyway. It's a bit sticky for just a second after application, then fully absorbs leaving the hands soft and smooth.

The Extras

Julep will always include a couple of extra goodies in version of the box, and version one included a basic standard Emory board and a pair of tow separators. I have quite a few of these at this point, but they are always good to have around...
...especially when the cats get a hold of the toe separators and absolutely destroy them. Gotta love 'em.


Approximate Final Retail Value: $88.00 (not including file and separators)
Approximate Final Maven Value: $70.40 (not including file and separators)

I'm extremely pleased with this mystery box. The Seal Salt polish is divine and I will most certainly be picking up the other shades when they become available.  Version one knocked off a couple of shades from my wishlist I had overlooked when they were first released, and for a better price. 

Even though I already owned Joy, it is a shade I absolutely love. As much as I would love to keep it as a backup, my mother has yet to own a Julep polish and I know she would love this shade for Mother's Day.
Hope she doesn't read this!

The best part about this Mystery Box is that it is still available! It will gone soon, so grab it now by clicking here!

**Also, Maven selection will be open in just two days so if you're not already a Maven, you can sign up at Julep's website here and get your first box for free! Just enter "FREEBOX" at checkout.

Which polish/product was your favorite from the Julep Mystery Box?
Are you thinking of becoming a Julep Maven?

Let me know in the comments below and share your thoughts about the Julep brand.

And don't forget to stay updated with the Manicured Amateur on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks by clicking the icons in the top right hand corner.

Wish me luck as a tackle life with not one, not two, but three 20-something year old men and all the mess that comes with them. Ha!
Thanks for reading!



  1. i absolutely love joy, i got it in march too!

  2. Oh man, now I regret not buying this. I love every single one of the colors!

  3. I completely agree with you about Otte. I have fair skin too and I never would have thought it'd look good, but it's actually pretty gorgeous. Thanks for posting your box! I got box number 7, which I was pretty happy with too!

  4. Great review - I love all the colors! So funny, because I just moved too! Imagine we are secretly roommates ;) Too funny!

    1. Haha, too funny! I could use the break from all these boys. -_-

  5. How do you make the skin around your nails so smooth? mine always look like they are peeling :(

    1. Coconut oil! You can buy a jar of solid raw coconut oil at any grocery store. I rub some onto a cotton pad, and then take the cotton pad to my fingers and cuticles every night! It moisturizes, heals and softens peeling skin. I truly will notice a difference over night.

      It's also good for you hair. :)

      I hope that helps!

    2. I always use coconut oil for my hair :D thank you, that was a quick reply! I will definitely try it out.


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