Julep June 2016 Review

I am used to being the fancy pants lady who gets her Julep Maven subscription way the fuck before everybody else. Although it’s still pretty damn early in June, that didn’t happen this month, meaning other people got to laugh at Julep’s hilarious new gimmicky product before I did.

This month, Julep released a “DD cream” as their monthly product, capitalizing on the trend of BB creams and CC creams. BB creams, which are, at their heart, tinted moisturizers with SPF, are hardly revolutionary. Not only have they existed since the 1960s, they really only constitute a very minor change on a common product (the addition of SPF). However, their explosion in popularity in the last few years has led many companies to seek ways to stand out in a newly competitive market.

Enter the CC creams. Singapore-based brand Rachel K. introduced the first CC cream in 2011. Since then, CC creams have been sneaking up in popularity, but they lack a consistent product message. I have heard it claimed that CC creams are supposed to have more coverage than a BB cream, but I have also heard it claims that they have less (the few CC creams I have tried have very, very little coverage). Because there is no coherent message about what a CC cream is and how it differs from a BB cream (because there is no true difference), they haven’t achieved the same level of popularity. It seems that, in order to generate some buzz for their first foundation-esque product, Julep jumped the gun on this trend and released a “DD cream”.

In addition to their DD cream, my Bombshell box contained two polishes and three surprisingly delicious saltwater taffies.
The DD cream itself, like the CC creams that came before it, fails to express any message about how it may be different from a BB cream. It had SPF 25, which is fine, although no reasonable person would apply enough foundation to get the full SPF protection. It has “two patented anti-aging ingredients”, which is a claim that makes me roll my eyes more than a character played by Aubrey Plaza. (I am constantly annoyed at companies who acts as if a patent equates to medical evidence of efficacy.) Finally, “hibiscus and olive extracts keep skin hydrated”. Although this is almost certainly true, it also makes the product one big grease machine.
The product comes in four colors: light, medium, medium-dark, and dark. Of course, I got the “light” color. Although I appreciate that Julep put the effort into making darker shades, as women of color have very few BB creams available to them, that doesn’t make this orangey-yellow mess any closer to my actual skin color. Even when mixing it with a white foundation, the color was still off because my undertones are much, much more pink than this product is.

The coverage is comparable to any drugstore tinted moisturizer. It would absolutely require a concealer for anyone with even the faintest acne or acne scarring. If you take a piece of orange construction paper and a sharpie and randomly place a couple dozen dots all over it, that would be an approximation of how my skin looked after using this product. This is fine for people who don’t have a lot to cover up, but not so great for those of us who have a lot more flaws.

In addition, this product is greasy to the point of feeling slimy on my face. I feel like I rubbed my skin on a plate of french fries. This might be fine for some people, but I am already a disgusting greaseball, and it is summer.

Finally, the product itself was not full.  I feel pretty confident that there was less than an ounce of product in my container. I weighed it to check my suspicions and got 1.1oz as the weight, but that’s with all the packaging.

In essence, this product embodies everything that is wrong with BB creams and their various spin offs:

  1. It is gimmicky. There is nothing accomplished by calling this product a DD cream unless you think your customers will jump on absolutely any bandwagon you put in front of them, even if it makes no sense at all. Even the name “dynamic do-all makeup” sounds terrible and is a huge stretch. (That said, I look forward to the Exquisiteness Enhancing Creams, Flashiness Founding Creams, and Glamor Goo that seems destined to come next. I’ll just be sitting here giggling to myself.)
  2. It’s poorly thought out. There is no way that Julep thinks that this is going to become anyone’s makeup staple, or they wouldn’t have based the whole premise around a gimmick. Thus, it’s no surprise that they didn’t bother making a product that won’t melt off your face in the June heat.
  3. It makes claims it cannot fulfill. You won’t get 25 SPF using this product because you would just need way too much of it. This product won’t help fix your wrinkles. Like, I pinky promise.
  4. It’s limited in color choice. Although this is better than the selections of BB creams offered by many companies, this is still trash to me because it’s completely wrong for my skin.
  5. It’s absurdly priced. $36? $36 for this totally untested product that you will never be able to see in person? Made by a NAIL POLISH COMPANY? Fuck no.

Luckily, my box contained things that Julep doesn’t suck at, as well: nail polish. The colors in the Bombshell box were Raegan, a dark watermelon pink, and Payton, a kelly green. They are both super pretty colors, especially for summer, and they applied beautifully. Payton was opaque in two coats and Raegan was opaque in one (although I put on two for good measure).

Overall, I don’t have very strong feelings about this particular box. I think that if Julep continues to move more into cosmetics, they need to stick to things like lipsticks and maybe blushes, as those would be much harder to screw up.

If I somehow managed to convince to join Julep through this totally snotty review, I would love if you decided to use my referral link here. You can get your first box free with the code “FREEBOX”.


1. I pretty much can count on one hand how many people are actually happy with these DD creams, No one “light” actually seems to be able to use it. And if they can use there’s no product whatsoever. The images I’ve seen of people cutting open their tubes and how little is inside is just depressing.

I’m a pale-y mcpalerton and I really should have known better then to think this would have worked for my skin.

2. I chose the polish-only box this month for precisely the reasons you outline above, and am really glad I did. I mistrusted the claims made by Julep for this DD cream, and not being able to try the product first or return it if I didn’t like it were dealbreakers for me. This month, Julep’s reach exceeded its grasp.

3. I found the DD cream to be drying on my skin, which was disappointing. I received the same polishes as you, but mine are on the thick side an gloopy. Peyton especially takes a very long time to dry. I want to love Julep so much, but I’m starting to worry that as the company is growing, the quality is going down a little bit. I still think the Bombshell colors are beautiful though.

4. What sucks is by them releasing such things as this completely pointless DD cream, I’m actually starting to lose respect for them as a company. It was already a hard enough pill to swallow when I saw how little product I was getting for the cost, so this is just an added tarnish. I also really hope they stick with nail polish and accessories – leaving the real makeup stuff to the experts.

5. I actually liked their lipsticks and the mascara I have from them has a REALLY pretty result, although it’s very difficult to get off at the end of the day. This was a big dud, though.

6. I am soooooo glad I skipped this month. Thanks for confirming my decision!

7. P.S. I bet you would enjoy this breakdown of the DD crème ingredients: http://musicalhouses.blogspot.com/2016/06/julep-dd-creme-ingredients-review-and.html

8. That’s a fabulous breakdown! That blogger deserves major props.

9. I did order this insane product and by no means would a person call me pale, in every other makeup brand I am between medium light to medium. following that theory I ordered medium and let me tell you that even blew. this product is a total fail. even with pigments I barely got a close to matching color but it felt like paste and stepping into my backyard ( in Az mind you) this junk slid down my face and ended up giving my neck an awful fake looking ” tan effect” I’ll stick to polish from now on. epic makeup fail!

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