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Subscription Addiction: Julep Brings Brave Pretty To Your Makeup Routine

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | January 4, 2017 |

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | January 4, 2017 |

What was once a clever title has become an all-too-true reality. The Internet tubes or sex robots or whatever have learned of my “addiction” and employed their web magic to stoke its flames. Every time I log into Facebook, I get ads precisely targeted at my tender love of subscription deliveries. This is how Julep’s beauty box found me:


How could I resist? This ad played to my aforementioned addiction, and my love of birthday gifts, deals, personality/style quizzes, and sparkly nail polish. So, I signed up for a free shipment from Julep.

How It Works

The quiz was concise, asking my eye color, if I like to experiment with makeup, and my style preferences.


Because I was signing up for a starter/gift box, I didn’t get to pick what was put in. But once you subscribe, there are two ways to Julep. One is to allow the site to curate a kit for you based on your profile/tastes. The other is to log in between the 20th-24th of a month, and pick out the products you want.

Here was the default box for December.


From this, I was offered the chance to swap out these items for others.


There were plenty of options (more than pictured above). But if they don’t appeal, you can skip a month. The site was easy to use, and it was fun perusing the possibilities.

How That Went


The nail polish pictured in the Facebook ad was a given. The other two mystery items were determined by my quiz answers. This box was free, but to get it I had to sign up for the subscription, which ranges from $16.66 to $24.99 a month, depending on how many months to which you commit.

Julep Nail Color: Joni: Citrine for November
I admit, I was initially underwhelmed by the products: a nail polish, eyeliner, and face-scrubbing sponge. But I was also in a funk, because you know that thing that happened in November? Yeah. It put me in a pretty shit mood that even free goodies couldn’t assuage. Ahead of Thanksgiving, I rallied enough to give the nail polish a go.

I got a lot of compliments on my “festive” polish. Yet, I was disappointed. The color meant to resemble my birthstone, the November Citrine, was more brown/orange than yellow/orange. And I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. To its credit, it had staying power, barely chipping in the two weeks I wore it. However, all that glitter meant it took nail polish remover and some elbow grease to get it back off. But the small bottle size also means I’m not committed to using it for as long as your standard drug store bottle.

When Pencil Meets Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner: Sunset Gold Shimmer
The gold glittery eyeliner I liked much better. At first I worried it’d look a mess, because I am not a woman who ever figured out how to do a classy cat-eye. I grew up in the grunge era, so sloppy, smudgy black was fine. It’s all I can manage. And now, it makes me look a mess of an adult. But this! This is subtler, and pretty idiot-proof. The gold sets off my blue eyes, and pops enough on its own that I’ve been using it without any eye shadow for support.

eyeliner wide.JPG

It’s a glam liner that makes for a subtle but solid pop. I’ve been experimenting with different widths, layering, and designs. And I’ve been collecting compliments along the way.


Kaolin Clay: Konjac Sponge
I was conflicted about the polish, enamored with the eyeliner, yet my favorite thing in the box is the weird little sponge. About the size of my palm, it comes on a small string, with a suction cupped hook to allow it to hang in your shower. You moisten it to activate (soften) the clay embedded within. And then you rub it in circles around your face to cleanse and exfoliate.

I’m not much for fancy skincare; I favor Burt’s Bees and Jergens. But this. This was divine. The natural sponge is the texture of properly cooked ramen. And while that might sound like a weird thing to rub on your face, it’s weirdly but deeply soothing. This little indulgence is something I’ve come to look forward to each day. The sponge gets dry and stiff between uses, but let some water run through, and it’s good as new. I’ll definitely be hunting down a replacement when it’s out of clay.


Conclusion: This is a glam box with moxie. The pamphlets inside dare you to “brave pretty,” meaning using Julep to “draw outside the lines” of our makeup routines. And with the eyeliner, I did just that. Not only has it been a fun edition to my make-up, but it’s making me reconsider giving eyeliner another go. I’d never have bought the eyeliner or sponge on my own; one seemed too glitzy, the other too posh. But I’ve reveled in both. So if you’re seeking to experiment with your look, Julep could be the perfect opportunity.

Their line seems to specialize in nail and lip color, with splashes of skincare products and eye makeup. Personally, I prefer to impulse buy lipstick and nail color to suit my mood, so CVS is better suited there. But the adventurous items in this box are what might lure me back.

Full Disclosure: I cancelled before I was charged for the December box. The decision was motivated mostly by my sour post-election mood and my failure to have gotten into the November bounty yet. But each day of golden-lined eyelids and natural-sponged complexion is wooing me back to resubscribe. And the promises of free gifts to join doesn’t hurt.

Check out Subscription Addiction reviews for Level Up, Stitch Fix, Try The World, Darby Smart, Treatsie, Chococurb, Loot Crate, Candy Club, and Blue Apron. In the comments, tell us which subscription service you’d like to see reviewed next.