Julep December 2017 Review

I upgraded my Julep box again this month. Again, I would not have chosen to do so if I didn’t have the Jules (points) to do it for free. I’m super happy that I did, though, since there is not a single thing in this box that I didn’t like at all. (Typically, Julep would cost $20 and an upgrade would be an additional $35 on top.)

Julep also opened up a bunch of new box options this month, presumably with the intention of luring in frequent-skippers.

The bonus item this month was a non-Julep brand name product, which totally caught me by surprise. I own a few wristbands already, although none were acquired intentionally. I thought that this was a really nice inclusion by Julep.

Julep also included a 40% off coupon (which I am totally going to use).

Nail Polish

I nail polishes that I received included:

Mia (Classic With a Twist) – A silver metallic with a slight green tint.
Cara (Bombshell) – A cross between a hot pink and a red with a frosty finish. (This is my favorite of the lot.)
Jillian (Classic With a Twist) – A rich, deep red.
Evelyn (It Girl) – Magenta cream.
Celia (It Girl) – Mermaid in nail polish form.
Shoshanna (It Girl) – A dirty-looking, greenish yellow glitter.
Misti (Boho Glam) – Blue/gray.
Joelle (Boho Glam) – A silver glitter.
Andrea (Bombshell) – A gold glitter.

I’m really excited about all of the colors. They’re all really fun and unique. I think that this is the best color selection that Julep has released.

So far, I’ve paired Cara (opaque in one coat) and Andrea (opaque in two coats) for my first seriously-it-looks-like-the-holidays nails of the season.

Eyeshadow Palette
I didn’t have very high hopes for the Julep “Sweep Eyeshadow Palette”. I found the colors on the website to be really uninspiring. Furthermore, I feel that Julep doesn’t really throw their energy behind all of their makeup releases, meaning that many of them are shoddy quality. After testing the palette, though, I was pleasantly surprised. The palette is certainly (in my opinion) flawed, but I feel totally comfortable endorsing the quality of the eyeshadow.

The first flaw is evident the moment you pull the palette out of its unnecessarily bulky packaging: each of the eyeshadows is teensy weensy, at 0.02 oz. That’s smaller than the eyeshadows that come in Coastal Scents palettes. The total palette has a net weight of only 0.1 oz. At Julep’s full retail price of $24, that’s a whopping $240 per ounce. I usually view $100 per ounce as a reasonable per-ounce eyeshadow palette price. (At the Maven price of $19.20, the eyeshadow is $192 per ounce.)

The second flaw, in my opinion, is the color scheme. The theme of this month is GLITTERATI, for fuck’s sake! How could you product a color scheme that is so utterly boring?! The palest shade, Tiramisu, is too dark to be an effective highlight, and it has a weird yellow tone to it that isn’t particularly flattering. If I’m doing a neutral eye, my highlight need not be twelve shades darker than my skin. The next shade, Glow, is a shimmering, neutral bronze. It’s my favorite color in the palette. Dusk is the coolest shade. It’s a brown with slight mauve tones. Next comes Toffee, a medium brown, and Cocoa, a very similar medium brown. I don’t find the swatches on the Julep website to be true to color. I think they really emphasize the differences in the shadows. When you actually see them, though, several of the shades look very similar and are clearly redundant (my swaches below are true to color). Additionally, without a good highlight, these colors don’t provide a lot of flexibility. They needed to pull out two of those three near-identical browns and replace them with a very dark brown and a pearly white highlight.

I’m also baffled by the eyeshadow names. Three of the four are dessert-themed, but “Glow” and “Dusk” are not. I kind of wish that they had embraced the “tiramisu” idea, called it the Tiramisu Palette, and named the colors accordingly. In my hypothetical improved palette, the fictional pearl could be called “Cream”. What is now Tiramisu could be called “Ladyfingers”. Glow could be called “Rum”. We could keep Cocoa. My fictional dark color could be called “Espresso”.

BAM. Superior product conceptualized.

The shadows themselves, though? They’re fabulous. I was expecting them to be chalky and unpleasant, but they’re smooth and buttery. They are, dare I say it, reminiscent of the best LORAC eyeshadows.

 Eyeshadow Primer
The eyeshadow primer is thick and gooey, almost like you’re rubbing frosting on your face. It applies with a doe-foot applicator that is weirdly floppy.
I did a quick four-hour test using Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray, a medium-performing primer, and NARS Smudgeproof (the winner of my eyeshadow primer comparison, which you can find here) as yardsticks.
From left to right, I have my control swatch, the Julep Primer, Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray, and NARS Smudgeproof. I used Cocoa from the Julep Eyeshadow Palette for the test. The initial swatches showed that Julep definitely did intensify the color, but not as much as NARS. It also changed the color of the eyeshadow slightly, cooling it down.
After four hours, it was clear that Julep performed comparably to Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray, meaning that it would qualify as a “medium performing” eyeshadow primer.
This is a totally adequate performance.

If you have discovered your new-found dream of being a Julep Maven subscriber, you are welcome to use my referral link here. Don’t forget to use the code FREEBOX to get your first box for free!


1.  This month is really fantastic… Jillian LOOKS red in the bottle, but when you put it on, it’s a really pretty deep eggplant. I had to wear it first because I couldn’t figure out what color it was supposed to be, and it GORGEOUS. Andrea is fantastic, too, completely opaque glitter in one coat.

2. Ah, thank you! When I have so many of these suckers, I don’t try them all on immediately for obvious reasons.

3. I got the Bombshell box this month. I don’t like the color of Cara, and though the Dusk eyeshadow is pretty the other colors in the palette are redundant and a bit boring, so I’m going to be giving both of them away on Reddit at some point. I do love Andrea, though.

4. That’s a bummer! I love Cara.

5. I love your posts, but I have a hard time finding similar bloggers. So, who DO YOU read and follow?

6. I’ve been asked this quite a few times! I may have to make a post about it.

7. Yeah! Do that!

8. This was my first month not counting the intro box. I hemmed and hawed so much, finally decided to skip it, and am regretting it pretty hard. The swatches look so much prettier than I expected for both the polishes and shadows. On the bright side, because of all the crazy sales they’ve had this month, I’ve spent barely $3/bottle so far.

9. The link and referral are still good 🙂

(As of about 10 minutes ago on the left-hand coast)