Sunday, July 7, 2013

Maven Madness: Julep It Girl Box + Blakely and Fireworks Add-Ons July 2013

Hi everyone!

I hope all of my fellow American lovelies had an exciting July 4th holiday.

I'm boxes deep into my move, but things have been slow trying to move things in between rainstorms.
Everything polish related is still packed and ready to be moved over, so hang in there with me and I'll be up and running again within the next day or two.

Luckily I was able to photograph my Julep box before packing everything away, and I finally had some time to sit down and share it with you!

The Box

This month's selection was inspired by the California Coast. 
I live in Georgia on the completely other side of the country, so I have no idea how these shades specifically correlate with California beaches, haha.

With no interest in the featured hair products this month, I went with the It-Girl option which includes three polishes instead of two plus the beauty item.

Julep Maven boxes are delivered right to your door every month for $19.99 and usually include two polishes, a beauty item, and one or two random extra gifts.

For a more details on all aspects of the Julep Maven program, read my in-depth review here.

The Colors

Nadia is a pale, banana yellow frost with the ever slightest orange undertones, and silver microshimmer.

I wanted to like it, I really did...but I just couldn't.

The formula is on the thicker side, which is becoming more and more consistent with Julep polishes.
This can cause a problem with application due to the frosty finish. If applied too thick the stroke lines will be wonky and crooked. While it can be opaque in one coat, I recommend two thinner layers for best coverage.

If I could ignore the formula, I would love this color. 
It's an interesting pearly yellow, but at the end of the day the overall finish looks dated and formula isn't top Julep quality.

Angela is a black-based, shimmery teal with a slightly frosty finish and subtle color shift.

Once again, the formula is thick, so careful not to apply too thick. 
However, this one can provide nice, full coverage in just one coat.

The finish can be slightly frosty, but not quite enough to bother me. 
It's also a duo-chrome wannabe, shifting from deep blue to teal.

As much as I think this color is stunning, I think I have a dupe that'll cost you less than a dollar.
Remember my Polish4Pennies post back in May? If not, click over here and scroll down to Sinful Colors "See You Soon." Close enough?

In short, it's higher priced slightly frostier version of SYS or Essie's "Dive Bar."
Angela may have a smidgen more of turquoise tint, but not enough for most polishers to care.

Tracy is a shimmery denim blue textured polish - the newest addition to Julep's Sea Salt line.

This was the whole reason I chose the It Girl box.

I love the other three Sea Salts, mainly for the sophisticated neutral colors.
I was very excited to see Julep add a bolder color to the line, and at first I thought the color was totally unique to my entire textured collection. 

In truth, it's actually pretty close to JulieG's "Blueberry Fizz" from the Frosted Gumdrop Collection. 
There are two minor differences between the two. 
Both the glitter and texture are much finer in the Julep version, as opposed to the JulieG shade which contains slightly larger glitter pieces. Julep's version is also deeper while the JulieG shade is a lighter and icier.

I am also aware that there is a Nicole by OPI shade "Blue-berry Sweet on You" that might be even  more similar, but I don't own the shade to compare.

Which you choose is a matter or price or preference, but I love this one. 
The only complaint I have is that the texture took FOREVER to develop, which is a problem I didn't experience with any other of the Sea Salts...or any of my other brand's textures either. 

It also applies thinner than any other texture I own, so I recommend two god coats for full coverage.

The Extra

Included in every box this month was a new item, Green Tea Facial Blotting Papers.

This is another one of the items I prefer to save for when I actually need it, so unfortunately I don't have an personal comments on how well these work.

Other bloggers seemed to be more excited for these than the actual polishes this month.
Overall feedback notes that the green tea smell is extremely pleasant and that they are truly effective at removing oil during touch touch-ups throughout the day.

The Add-Ons

There weren't many other colors in the whole selection this month that caught my eyes, but the announcement of a true duochrome in the Bombshell box was something I just couldn't ignore.

Blakely is an oil slick reminiscent, purple-to-jade duochrome with a hint of frosty shimmer.

The formula is identical to Angela, except the frostiness is a bit more prominent.
In short, I wish it wasn't.

I was really excited for this shade, but once again the formula and finish brings the excitement down a few notches.

I can't deny how gorgeous the color shift is, and if nothing else it'll make an intense stamping color!

In addition to Blakely I picked up this year's 4th of July inspired glitter topper.

Fireworks is a patriotic mix of red, white, and blue fine and small hexes.

Now I deserve a slap on the wrist for forgetting to individually swatch this shade before packing up my stash for the move, but you did get a good glimpse of it in my Independence Day Nail Art look.
(Click on the photo below to see more of this design!)

It's not as full coverage as most of Julep's glitter selection, and I like it this way. 
It's much more buildable and is absolutely beautiful on it's own, built up as a full accent in three coats, or gradated as I did above.

What was your favorite shade from this month's box?

Let me know in the comments below or give me a shout on Facebook or Twitter.


In the end, I think Mavens appreciated the variety of finishes Julep had to offer this month.
Personally it wasn't my favorite box with my well-known bias against frosty polishes.
I do love the summer-inspired shades but the fact that I already had them  in better-priced, better formulated versions left something to be desired.

Lately, Julep's formula is become less and less consistent.
Sometimes the formula is a dream, and something the quality reminds me of polishes that have been sitting in a hot mailbox for quite some time.

I'm also catching word of other bloggers and Mavens alike become increasingly disappointed with Julep's customer service and overall value of the products. 
Cynthia from Of Life and Lacquer provided some important insight as a blogger affiliate in a comment left on my detailed review page which I really appreciated. 
Check her out by the way, she's always been one I've looked up to.

I don't share the same horror stories as her and others (except for DD creme debacle), so it's only fair that I not provide any insight into the matter.
It is something I'm keeping my eye on, but I'm not giving up on Julep just yet.


Interested in becoming a Julep Maven?

The selection window for this month opens in two weeks, so join now with my referral link below and get your first box free!
 I think you have to pay shipping now, but it's still worth it!


If the link has not already filled it in for you, enter my referral ID# 3488485 and then enter promo code "FREEBOX" at checkout. It's that easy!

Thanks for reading!



  1. Gah, I swear Julep need to get it together in their formula department, way to many of their polishes have terrible formulation!

    1. Yeah. I'm holding out for fall when all my favorite collections are usually released. The formulas in last month's colors were perfect. I'm hoping maybe after the hotter month's are over things will go back to normal? ...

  2. I'm glad you posted a dupe for Angela because I fell in love with that color from your swatches but I'm not so big a fan of Julep!

    1. Glad I could help! I need to start doing full dupe posts. I have so many!

  3. I stumbled across this website looking for someone's referal code and I actually quite enjoyed the 4th of July nail art. Kudos!

  4. Your manicures look so wonderful, especially this one!
    I’ve just discovered this blog and I love reading it <3
    I’m looking forward to see your next article ;)

    Xx julia


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