Monday, June 30, 2014

Personally: I Broke Up with Julep

Subscription boxes are all the rage these days. Maybe you go in for the bookish ones like Book Riot's Quarterly or Powell's Indispensible or maybe you have more of a beauty and fashion passion for Stitchfix or Ipsy

I decided my first subscription undertaking would be Julep Maven. You may have seen the ads for Julep. They offer high-end beauty products...primarily nail polish. They're also wildly prolific in my Facebook feed, and I completely ate the bait. When they offered a free introductory box for the cost of shipping ($2.99), I was in! I received three nail polishes, a double-ended eyeliner, and a full-size cuticle serum.

I was initially attracted to Julep products because 1) the nail colors are gorgeous and 2) truthfully, the packaging and advertising are really attractive. Apparently, I'm not just a #coverho, I'm an #adho. Just keepin' it real!


The introductory box arrived lightning fast, and I got three nail colors I liked: a dark purple, a light purple creme, and a glittery green.

And then I tried the polish...

The formula was ridiculously runny, and after three coats (two were unacceptable), it was still streaked and partially translucent. I can't even tell you how disappointed I was. It also dried this really odd, matte quality that was just yucky. Given the price of the products outside of the subscription ($14 per bottle), I expected decent quality.

I quickly hopped on the phone to cancel my first regularly-priced Julep Maven subscription box. I was excited about the colors initially, but after the failed attempt with the free box colors, I was not paying $25 for anything. Luckily, the cancellation process was easy, even though it's required that you cancel via phone (lame!). I did not receive my confirmation of cancellation until after the date by which I was required to cancel to get out of the first paid box, but the company did honor the call time which was within the cancellation requirements. I had nightmares that I'd receive another box of sub-standard product and still get charged after reading some horror stories online.

Yesterday, I had a weak moment and thought, "Well, maybe the other colors aren't so bad. Maybe it was just a formula problem with that one bottle?" Not so much. I tried the light purple creme, and it was like painting my nails with white out. So. not. cool.

Needless to say, I made the right decision to break up with Julep Maven, and I thought I'd share my experience just in case you were thinking of jumping onboard. Run for your lives!


37 comments:

  1. Oh yuck! There's nothing worse than sub-par nail polish. I actually have found that my favorite polish is Wet n' Wild's, Wild Shine line, of all things lol. It goes on nicely and lasts forever! And it's like $2 a bottle :D

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    1. Right? I was so bummed out because the $2 bottles I buy at the drug store are better quality than this! Just...wow! I'll have to try Wet n' Wild. I saw it at the drugstore just yesterday, actually! :)

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  2. I'm not at all a fan of nail polish (can't stand the way it feels, so I always pull it off within hours, haha) but WOW this sounds like a terrible experience!

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    1. It was pretty damn terrible. Such a disappointment!

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  3. I haven't dived into a subscription service because I hate recurring payments! I think they make you call to cancel so they can try to talk you out of it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. LOL, Kathy! I expected them to try to talk me out of cancelling, but when they asked why I wanted to cancel, and I said "terrible quality polish," the woman was just like, "Oh, I'm sorry." And said nothing more. I suspect this is a regular problem. lol

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  4. I had to break up with Maven too. The nail polish seemed to go on better for me, but, I don't know what it is with their formula, but it makes my nails splinter and break every time I use it. Needless to say, we had to break up as well.

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    1. Boo! Can't have splintering, breaking nails. That's even worse than terrible looking polish!

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  5. Stitchfix had me intrigued until I looked at the price of those clothes. Then Gwynnie Bee but again never signed up.

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    1. Right? I would love to try Stitchfix, even if just for a time or two, but they don't carry my plus size. Boo! Will look over Gwynnie Bee.

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    2. I think Blogger ate my comment :( I think that Gwynnie Bee's system sounds so much more appealing that Stitchfix and have been tempted to sign up multiple times. I just run more on the high end of regular sizing (10-12) and was worried there wouldn't be as much available (since Gwynnie Bee starts at 12). If you end up using it, I'd be super interested in hearing how it goes.

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  6. So glad it wasn't just me! I also didn't like this box!

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    1. Oh thank goodness! I thought maybe I was just a bonehead at painting my nails. lol

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  7. Well, is a good thing that you knew with the introductory kit and not by paying the full subscription!. Personally I have never tried their products, but I guess I won't now. I do like China Glaze, I always do 2 coats, but the darkest red I have from them would be perfectly fine with just one, is just that since I have to wear latex gloves all the time at the lab I prefer to do the double coat, plus a top coat. I got some from Essie as a gift too, and I have to say I am pretty happy with their texture too.

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    1. Exactly! I'm a big fan of Sally Hansen products and I've had decent luck with Sinful Colors even though they're super cheap. Must try some China Glaze!

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  8. I've broken up with Birch Box and StitchFix. I quit Birch Box just because I was becoming overwhelmed by the sheer amount of samples filling my drawer. They are easy to join and cancel, so I tend to dip in and out. With StitchFix, I did it for four months and no matter how much feedback I gave them they just couldn't get it right. I kept one item. When they got it right, the item was generally similar to something I already had or it was the wrong size. When they got it wrong, they got it REALLY wrong. I felt like they ignored my feedback and just sent me the trendiest stuff.

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    1. I considered BirchBox, too, but I could easily see myself getting overrun with samples. Stitchfix doesn't carry my size. Boo!

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  9. What a bummer! Those colors looked really cool, too. Ack! I have thought of signing up, but am glad I decided not to. I tend to buy cheap bottles of polish - like Rimmel's 60 second ones. Although I do splurge once in a while and get Marc Jacobs polish - which I LOVE!!. I just remember one time buying a bottle of Chanel polish and how it chipped so quickly after using it, so I tend to be a bit more cheap now. Well, at least you were able to get it cancelled before your next order would have shipped. How disappointing :(

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    1. I know! I need to try the Marc Jacobs the next time I'm in a splurging mood. for the most part I keep my polishes inexpensive because I wash my hands so much and type all the time, it chips in no time.

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  10. I had the Julep subscription for a bit.. I probably did 3-4 boxes before cancelling. And I think it might just be their matte nail polishes that need like a thousand coats. Because some of their more glittery polishes were super easy to apply. Not always easy to remove, but meh what can you do. The reason I cancelled was just because I didn't need that much nail polish in my life and it wasn't the best value.

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    1. That's good to know about the matte polishes. Although, I didn't have much better luck with the creme. It was so thick and streaky. Hello, happy medium! Where are you? lol

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  11. I was just reading your post when you posted on mine! Good for you for breaking up with Julep. I had contemplated signing up for them, but I honestly don't spend much time on my nails that I didn't think it was worth it. I am interested in these bookish subscription boxes, though...hmmmm... :)

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    1. Great minds, Amanda! I've been on a nail kick here lately. It comes and goes, so it's probably best I broke up with them for value's sake. lol

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  12. I don't subscribe to anything but I am so tempted by the bookriot boxes! I used to get weekly fruit & veg boxes, and it was great for getting us to try new things, but in the end it was too expensive compared to buying whatever is in season from the farm shop.

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    1. Me too, Sam! They look amazing and so much fun, but the $50 price tag always puts me off a bit. Maybe one day I'll give it a try.

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  13. That's too bad because the Julep colors are gorgeous but bad quality nail polish is awful and expensive bad quality nail polish is worse! I have Birchbox, Ipsy and MyIreland box (stuff from Ireland once a month) and do Golden Tote for clothes occasionally and I love them all. My main question is how did I miss that there were bookish subscription boxes????

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    1. Exactly! I just couldn't stand trying and failing further with Julep. lol I'm really looking forward to receiving my first Ipsy bag! That service seems like a GREAT value with a couple of full size products in each bag. I haven't heard of Golden Tote! Will have to check it out.

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  14. How in the world do they sell $14 nail polish that is runny and streaky? Thanks for getting the word out about it!

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  15. That's horrible. For such a high-end product too. I almost caved with Julep (the 1 penny deal ha!) but I have so many bottles of nail polish already its ridiculous. I'm eyeing Love Lula because (shameless plug) I started a natural/organic cosmetic blog ... when it takes off, I'll let you know if you like!

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  16. I was looking at the Julep subscription, but since I don't use nail polish very often decided against it. Good to know the quality isn't very good. I am on my 4th month with Birchbox. Love getting the little boxes, but have to admit I haven't used may of the samples yet. Not sure if it is worth the $10.

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  17. My daughter has been begging me to give Julep a try. I'm so glad you wrote a review of their products. At $14 a bottle, I expected a quality product too.

    I'm currently doing the whole box thing with Stitch Fix and loved my first box. Are you going to try something else next?

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  18. That's really disappointing. I love the idea of subscription boxes, but there's nothing that I consistently spend money on that would be worth it.

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  19. Seriously?! That's ridiculous. I can buy a $3-5 bottle of polish at the grocery store that won't run. Grrr. Sorry this was such a disappointment, the colors look awesome.

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  20. Oh no! I use to have a subscription to one of these boxes and cancelled it after getting bad quality products, most of which were sample size that you can get free in stores anyway. Glad you got out of this one.

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  21. Sorry to hear this was such a disappointment! I recently bought some nail polish from Sephora and was really disappointed with it; I love the color, but it goes on really streaky. I guess I'll be sticking with my drug store Sally Hansen polish!

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  22. So surprised! I had Julep for a while -- canceled because I don't truly need that many colors of nail polish -- and I didn't have any problem with their nail polishes. Sometimes my fingernails would chip after being painted, but I figured that was because I am a twitchy girl and I can't stop myself from peeling it off.

    It's really too bad -- I love subscription services and would subscribe to them all if I were richer. Getting things in the mail is the BEST.

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  23. I always think I want to sign up for boxes like this, but then I remember that I rarely paint my nails. I go through stages where I’ll do them for two weeks and then stop for months. I’ll steer clear of this one if I end up with a moment of weakness during my nail-painting weeks (which is currently happening).

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