I am breaking up with Julep.
This was a long time coming and the reasons are many and varied. I’m sure many of you out there have had some of the same issues and experiences. My latest experience is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I ordered a Jewel Heist Mystery Box to check out the mystery box thing and with the hope of winning the birthstone collection which has, admittedly, been a really nice collection. My box arrived yesterday and, while I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, thought it was a pretty decent box. They are supposed to be valued at over $100 but, that’s only if you take everything at its original full price.
My box contained the following items:
Luxe Repair Skin Serum – $28.00 ($22.80 Maven)
Blank Canvas Plumping Lip Primer – $22.00 ($17.60 Maven)
Zoe – $14.00 (on sale for $4.99 but now out of stock)
Valerie – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
Sunny – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
Fiore – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
A neon green hair tie that I’m going to value at $1.00 since I can make these for less than that.
Total at full price: $107 Total at Maven/Sale Price: $79.99
First things first – I won’t be swatching any of these colors because I won’t be swatching Julep at all anymore. (I know, I know – what have I been swatching lately, anyway? Don’t worry! I haz posts set up!)
Now – on to my complaints. Upon first sight, I immediately noticed that Zoe wasn’t packed in a traditional Julep polish box. It was shrink wrapped and to me that says “We’re sending you some seriously old, returned product that we decided to make money off of instead of donating it to a women’s program.” Another complaint about Zoe is the fact that they have a swatch on the site that looks NOTHING like the polish. The site described it as “smoky burnt umber metallic.” Yeah, no. It was described best in a review of the polish on the site as “fiery orange copper color with a faint gold shimmer.” And the swatch on the site is DEFINITELY not the color I got. They’re valuing it at full price even though they hucked ’em in the Mystery Box old, unboxed, and thereby ridding themselves of the clearance priced stock. As for the other polishes – I really have no complaints. Valerie and Fiore are lovely. Unfortunately, Sunny was a dupe for me since I’d order the entire Vivid Collection earlier this year, but that’s not really Julep’s fault. I figured that was a risk I was taking.
Ugh. The Luxe Repair Skin Serum (LRSS). I was SO excited to try this. I pulled it out this morning to give it a try. I put on my Shiseido Ultimune Serum Booster that I received in my Birchbox this month, let that set and then put a couple of pumps of the LRSS in my hand, added a couple of drops of Paula’s Choice Super C15 and applied it. The moment it hit my face I was overwhelmed with the smell of rancid oil. That unmistakable, icky smell that no one wants to smell emanating from ANY product, let alone a skin care product. It was FOUL. I had to wash my hands and face immediately and just GET. IT. OFF. That’s going in the trash. *grumblegrumble made me waste an application of two perfectly good, high quality products grumblegrumble* Same experience with the Lip Primer. After clicking the dumb button on the tube a million times (approximately) the product FINALLY erupted from the tip with the same horrible, rancid stench that the serum had.
I spoke with customer service and they agreed to send new products out and said that, yes, they DO pull the stock for the Mystery Boxes from much older stock and I asked her to confirm that I would not be receiving old stock. I think it’s pretty disgusting to knowingly send out skin and lip care products that could be rancid.
Are you ready, because I’m about to make Deborah Lippmann polishes seem like a deal and who doesn’t want an excuse to buy new Deborah Lippmann polishes? The other little things that have piled up are things like them charging $14 for 8mL bottles. Standard polish bottles are 15mL. You can get 5-free (free of dibutyl pthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor), vegan polishes from Deborah Lippmann for $20/15mL bottle. Julep is $1.75/mL ($1.40/mL at Maven prices) and Deborah Lippmann is $1.33/mL. How do you like that?
We’ll go with an indie polish comparison now – Black Sheep Lacquer is vegan, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free, and 5-free. Her 14mL bottles will only run you $10-12 dollars, dependent upon the finish (multichromes are a touch more expensive). She also does a subscription service for $16 for US subscribers, $20 for Canadian subscribers, and $22 for international subscribers. You receive 2 full size bottles and a mini and she does super cool thermals, glitters, and holos. And I dare not forget to mention Zoya which has a HUGE selection, fun finishes and is 5-free, vegan, and cruelty free. All of these companies have much better, more consistent formulas with a bottle and brush design that doesn’t create the inevitable giant drop of polish that slides down the brush as you’re in mid-stroke.
So, there it is — my (very) long-winded explanation as to why I’m leaving Julep. What is your experience with Julep and how are you feeling about them now?
*The Birchbox link is my referral link if you’re interested in trying them out! I was not reimbursed by any of the polishes mentioned above. These are just examples and some of my favorite polishes. If you decide to try out some of the Black Sheep Polishes, be sure to tell her you saw it on nailtipsy!