Julep November 2016 Review

Julep boxes normally cost $20 a month, but they also have an “upgrade” feature for an additional $35 that gets you the whole shebang: all the polishes and all the products that were sent out for the month. This is the first time that I have upgraded, and I appreciated the fact that Julep congratulated me for choosing to upgrade with a sticker that reads, “excellent UPGRADE choice!” Thanks Julep, I do have fabulous taste.

There were actually two upgrade choices this month. The products for the month were a lip primer and a lip gloss. You could upgrade to get all the polishes, the primer, and a gloss of your choice for $35 extra, or you could upgrade to get all the polishes, the primer, and all the glosses for an additional $55. I opted for the former choice. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t pay for this box with money. I paid for it with Jules, which a part of Julep’s point system. You get Jules for making referrals, for accepting boxes (as opposed to skipping), and for having birthdays.

If I was paying for this with cold, hard cash, I would not have upgraded. I would have gotten the “Bombshell” box, which had an orange polish, a so-vampy-it’s-almost-black red polish, and a “black honey” lip gloss.

Instead, though, I got a way-more-exciting nine polishes, plus the lip gloss and primer.

Pictured from left to right, the polishes included:
Cynthia (from Classic With A Twist)- This is a taupe with iridescent glitter that seriously looks like Christmas in a tube.
Sheila (from Classic With a Twist)- This is a cherry red that would look right at home on a lady in a soda fountain.
Nic (Bombshell)- A gothic-looking reddish black.
Aisha (Boho Glam)- The color of a really good berry smoothie. None of that yogurt filler.
Brielle (Bombshell)- A rusty orange. If you were painting a Thanksgiving scene, this color would definitely be involved.
Alexandra (Boho Glam)- An eggshell.
Lola (It Girl)- A deep navy.
Winter (It Girl)- A light gray.
Chloe (It Girl)- A shimmery coffee.

I didn’t swatch them all for you purely for laziness-related reasons, but I did paint my nails using Nic and Brielle, the two Bombshell colors. I’ve been told that the fact that my nails are always so messy makes me more “relatable”, so I’m glad that my crappy attempts at manicures make y’all feel better about yourselves, I guess.

I swear to god, all the polish on my fingers will get picked off when I shower.

My upgrade came with one lipgloss of my choice. Julep released four glosses this month: a nude, a mauve, a pink, and a red. I picked out the lipgloss “Posh” (the red), which is described as a “sheer black honey”. Although it looks dark in the tube, it looks like candy apple color on my lips.

Julep Lip Gloss in Posh

I was worried that this would be really sticky, and it definitely was not. There was some “stick” to it, but no more than you would expect from a conventional lipgloss. The color is really pretty and I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Julep Lip Gloss in Posh Swatch

The Julep lip glosses are retailing for $22 for non-Mavens and $17.60 for Mavens. The gloss contains 0.25 fluid ounces of product, putting the price at $88 and $70.40 per fluid ounce, respectively. That’s actually on the lower end simply because the lip glosses are bigger than the 0.15 fluid ounces you see more typically. I’m not necessarily sure that I would purchase this at this price, but I’m also not a lip gloss person. If you love lip glosses and are digging the colors, I would say to go for it.

Julep Lip Gloss in Posh on Human Face

Additionally, I got a lip primer. Sadly for Julep, ELF’s remarkably good packaging is not doing Julep any favors. When I look at this product, I think, “Wow… that looks like it cost exactly three dollars. This is how many dollars it looks like this product cost.” Sorry, Julep.

Inside the primer is this sort of spongy applicator. You click the button on the back and the product oozes out of the tip like the sponge-version of a Stila Lip Glaze. The product is basically sheer, with a tiny bit of a light pink tint. It feels quite sticky when you first put it on, but it feels normal under a regular lipstick.

I tested its efficacy the same way I tested the Chapstick “primer” I got from Birchbox: one half of my mouth got primer, the other did not. This time I used MAC’s Russian Red as my testing lipstick. I waited four hours and a meal and photographed my results. I don’t think my picture really did justice to the primer’s efficacy. There was a huge difference between the side that got primer and the side that did not. I was actually pretty impressed at its ability to keep my lipstick on. I don’t tend to wear lip primers, but I’m beginning to think that I may need to modify that stance. That being said, I didn’t compare this to any other lip primers, so all I know is that lipstick + Julep primer works better than lipstick alone.

Finally, I got a sample of the Luxe Repair Skin Serum. I actually didn’t quite realize what this was before I opened it, but, uh, it’s oil. So if you are into the whole oil thing, go for it. For me, I just spilled it all over my hands and body and then grumpily threw the packet in the trash

Overall, I’m really happy with this box. I liked that there were so many non-glitters since I get so damn frustrated trying to remove glitter nail polish that I tend to avoid it completely now. The lip primer was totally functional, which was great, and the lipgloss was surprisingly fabulous (and I say this as a non-lipgloss lady). I also would have been happy with the Bombshell box if I hadn’t upgraded. As an added bonus, after I accepted my box, they sent me an online code for free nail polish.

If you are interested in joining Julep, you are more that welcome to use my referral link by clicking here. You can get your first box free using the code “FREEBOX” or “SCENIC ROUTE.


1. The only lip primers I have ever tried I hated, so at least you found a good one!


2. I haven’t experimented much with lip primers yet!

3. I use Mac Prep and Prime for my lips and have no idea if it actually does anything. Maybe a lip primer test off is in order?

4. What’s the best way to give you post suggestions? Randomly jamming them in comments sections seems a little weird, although I am absolutely happy to do so if that’s what works for you, but I can’t find an email address or anything. (Or if that’s your gentle way of saying you don’t really want them, that’s cool too!)

5. The comments are great. I’ll set up an email address for this eventually, but I haven’t yet.

6. 🙂 My request is: All your makeup has disappeared into a parallel dimension in a horrifying quantum tunneling accident. (Your skincare, brushes, and nail polish are spared, the explanation of which is outside the scope of this question.) Your insurance company looks askance at your valuation of the disappeared cosmetics and only cuts you a check for $100 while they investigate. What do you buy for that $100? What if it was $350?

7. Those nail colours scream fall. A very nice set to have.

I’m not a huge nail polish person, but for some reason, I really love your Julep reviews.

And your “relatable” nails. 🙂

8. Glad that my messiness can be of use!

9. I totally understand hating to remove glitter nail polish (it’s a pain in the ass) but have you tried the PVA glue base coat method? Essence makes a peel off base coat as well as Nail Pattern Boldness but I’ve had good luck with just making my own. It’s awesome! Made wearing glitter doable for me again.

10. Not yet! I intend to, though.

11. I recently tried MAC’s Prep and Prime and was really impressed with how hydrated my lips felt and how long the color lasted. I really enjoyed your posts on eye and face primer comparisons so perhaps sometime we could see a lip primer comparison?

12. It will happen! Eventually!

13. A pro tip is to blot concealer over your lips, which will not only neutralize your lip tone so the lipstick/color/gloss/etc. is true to color, but it also keeps it on all day. Can also lightly put a pressed powder over the lips to keep it on all day. So instead of spending money on a primer made supposedly special for lips, just use concealer or sealing powder 🙂