Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Canadian Subscription Box Reviews, Julep Maven Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | 28 comments

Julep Maven Subscription Box Review – May 2014

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Julep Maven Subscription Box Review - May

Julep Maven is a monthly nail polish and beauty subscription box. They make all their own products, so subscribers get a good value each month – over $40 retail worth of product for $24.99 a month. (Julep recently raised their prices, but apparently there will be more customization too. Current subscribers will keep the $19.99 rate).

Each month Julep releases a new collection on the 20th, and you can decide which box you want, you can upgrade to the entire collection, or you can skip that month. (They recently changed their skip policy – If you’re a new subscriber, you earn a skip every 6 months).

This month I decided to go with the It Girl box!

Julep Maven Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Items

The Subscription Box: Julep Maven

The Cost: $24.99 a month (+$30-55 if you upgrade.)

COUPON: Use code FREEBOX to get your first box for free! (pay $2.99 shipping)

The Products: Nail polish plus beauty items.

Ships to: US and Canada

Check out all of my Julep Maven reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Julep Maven Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Instructions

This box marked the debut of the Julep Plié Wand – a tool designed to make it much easier to paint your nails!

Julep Maven Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Wand

Julep Plié Wand Set – Value $25

I wasn’t expecting too much with this tool – but I’m very pleased. I especially like that you can twist the wand to get the perfect angle. (The wand attaches to any Julep nail polish – just remove the outer polish cap!)

Julep Maven Subscription Box Review - May 2014 Polish

Julep Nail Color in Kam – Value $14

Julep Nail Color in Jules – Value $14

I think my favorite type of polish is creme, so these polishes are both perfect for me.

Verdict: I paid $20 for this box and received about $53 worth of nail polish items. I’m really pleased with the Julep Plié Wand and love my nail polish color picks – so this month is a win for me!

What do you think of the Julep Plié Wand? I’ve only tried it for basic nail polish painting, but I’m curious to hear how it works with nail art.

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I finally received mine and was disappointed the bonus mystery color I ordered (Bess) ended up being almost identical to the Jeanne Boho color. I can’t tell any difference actually…add that to the ciate I received in glossybox and I’m overloaded in pastel blue. In the gift pile.

  2. I have not received my May box yet. Anybody else still waiting?

    • I haven’t received my May box yet either. I did finally get my replacement box for the one they sent incorrectly as my welcome box. Although it took a few days for customer service to get back to me, I was happy with the speedy delivery of my correct box and they let me keep the incorrect one, which is good because I’d already tried the lip gloss! ; )

  3. The last few days of trying to paint my own nails have me reconsidering my Julep subscription.
    Not only has the polish been uber thick and gloppy, it’s been impossible to get on smoothly without bubbling & streaking, and when it’s time to take it off it takes forever to scrub it off. I use the strongest nail polish remover out there too.
    My April box: I love (strike that) ADORE(d) the yellow and blue colors I received, but when I went to use them last night they were so thick on my nails that I couldn’t even polish my nails properly. I went through about eight different colors and tested them on my nails, and the majority of them were the same way!
    The only exception to this thick gloppy rule was the glitter polishes. I’m sorry but I do not want to wear all glitter all the time. That’s my other complaint- for $21 a month I keep receiving a majority of glitter colors. I go through my subscription and change it up according to what I like each month, but it’s either shimmery, glittery, or too opaque.
    I just want pretty, shiny, summary shades.
    when I brought my April color to the manicurist she had to thin it out w/thinner so I could have my pedicure. The color is an absolutely beautiful blue violet shade. Sadly, she had to use polish thinner to make it work on my toe nails. She told me (quite honestly) that she hopes that did not pay a lot of money for it because it’s not that good. Why wasn’t I using my regular Zoya, Essie, Opie, or even the top drug store brands?
    I see the cost of a subscription is going up to $25 a month now. For what?! I’m sorry, but even glossy box which puts out beautiful makeup products, luxury products, is not that expensive.
    Birchbox either.
    I understand it’s going to be a little more customizable, but I until they get the formula of the nail polish down I am canceling from here on out. I’ll just continue to read people’s reviews.

  4. I love coming here and reading about the different subscription boxes. You’re going to laugh at me, but how in Gods name can you afford all of these boxes every single month? I know some of them are gifted to you for review purposes, but from what I reading in your posts a lot of them are not. I know that I have a hard time affording Julep and Birch Box alone, so I cannot imagine ALL you do. lolz
    Are they truly worth it?

    • We do spend a lot of $$$ on subscription boxes each month. I consider it part of the cost of running the blog though, so that helps me justify it, and the blog in turn helps me pay for some of it 🙂

      • thank you for answering my question. I love your blog and I am glad that it does well. Your blog has help me subscribe and unsubscribe from quite a few different types of the monthly subscription boxes. I will happily support your blog in anyway I can (using affiliate links, etc.)
        because I do not want to see it go anywhere. Thank you so much for all you do 🙂

        • Wow – thank you so much! 🙂

  5. I’m very confused and upset here!!!
    I purchased the “front of the line” from their plié wand fundraiser that was $40. I thought that was essentially prepaying for the first Maven box that had the pile wand.
    But I see that I was charged twice~ once in January for the fundraiser and once for this months box.
    Ok~ so wth is up with that?
    Also~ they totally messed up my order this month. I ordered 10 caps and only got two, got all the wrong polishes, no cuticle pusher, etc.
    I am soooo disappointed I’m thinking of canceling Julep.
    Can someone enlighten me with this? I’m so confused!

    • They messed up my order last month too. I ended up email twice and calling 3 times to try and get it strait. That was after calling and emailing before my order went out to make sure the correct maven box went out. Still not sure if they sent out the correct box. I should find out next week. I also have been thinking of canceling. I ended up ordering the new mystery box. I’m starting to think I might just order the mystery boxes when they come out and cancel my subscription. I just don’t need all the nail polishes since I find besides the maven box, I get the mystery boxes and when ever they have a buy one get 1 free i order that too.

    • If they charged you twice for the same thing, you should contact your credit card company (assuming you used a credit card) and file a complaint. It’s an automatic safeguard against a company mis-charging you.

  6. Just wanted you to know I used your referral code! Thanks!

  7. So I can’t get the plie caps off the nail polish that i put them on. The caps that are snapped onto the brushes won’t come off. When I try to pull and remove them the brushes just pop out.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    • If you push down to hard they get stuck. I have one stuck forever 🙁 Just be careful when putting them on! 😀

  8. I tried Julep a couple months ago with one of their mystery sets and I really don’t understand the hype of this polish. I tried a couple different ones and they went on horribly and took forever for me to remove. I ended up giving almost all of my polishes to some little girls I know. My collection of nail polish (100+) is mostly of Zoya, which has consistently good coverage with most of their colors. Also with Julep, how come they have the “swatch me” on top of the nail polish brush? how are you supposed to swatch that color?

    The tool looks interesting but it looks like you have to clean the brush in between polishes. I’m not really sure who’s going to do that. Seems like a cool idea, but maybe a more universal handle needs to be designed.

    • The regular cap is actually 2 pieces. You can pull it apart so its the square lid and the actual brush. This is how you swatch. With the plie wand it comes with a new type of cap, which is also two pieces. Its the brush and then a magnetic lid that sticks to the plie wand. So you buy the new lids, pop off the old lid while leaving the actual brush screwed into the nail polish, and pop the new magnetic lid on. The brush never leaves that color. Hope that makes sense.

    • Actually, the Julep nail polish heads separate between the square cap and a round one underneath. That way you can swatch them.

      Also the Plie wand doesn’t require cleaning the brushes if attached to a julep polish because it has a magnetic attachment that attaches to the round cap of Julep polishes. You would however have to clean the brush between using other bottle head types.

    • The magnetic caps with the attached brushes fit into “normal” sized polish bottles, so if you like using the Plie wand you can just replace the cap of a different brand of polish with one of these caps and leave it. You could buy caps for your other bottles of polish if you don’t feel like cleaning one brush and switching it between bottles. It would cost a little money but it can easily be done. Personally, I like that they made the other caps so that you can easily use the wand with non-Julep polishes and don’t have to worry about cleaning a single brush.

    • I don’t get it either. I have a lot of Butter, OPI, Zoya and a couple Julep and Zoya is far and away my favorite with Julep being my least favorite. If there was a Zoya nail subscription I’d be ALL over that!

    • Others already explained the caps so I won’t beat a dead horse, but in regards to why there is so much hype over Julep… I think it honestly boils down to the fact that they came out with a subscription box. I personally just love nail polish in general so I was thrilled about getting some each month in the mail! My first few Juleps went on very smooth and I loved the colors, so from there I was hooked. It then progressed to where I was anticipating the new colors each month and the other products they introduce (they have makeup and beauty products as well) and next thing I knew I was addicted to Julep haha. I don’t love ALL the polishes, but I love most of them. I think all polish brands have good and bad colors/finishes/etc and the others don’t have a sub box so that is why I’m sticking to Julep– for now.

    • Julep is one of my favorite nail polish brands along with Essie. However, I think they throw crap in their mystery boxes. Maybe that is why you had a bad experience with their polish. I’ve never had a problem getting their nail polish off my nails. The worst polish I got was in the Valentine box. It was this glittery pink stuff that was so goopy. I took it off right away. I threw the bottle away.
      I love the swatch me stickers. It makes browsing my collection easier. (although I admit I was confused at first also)

  9. I recently received my first box, and it was the Modern Beauty box. Unfortunately I ordered the It Girl box. I double checked my order history to make sure. I emailed customer service a few days ago, and I haven’t received a response yet, other than the stock “we will get back to you” response. Does anyone have any experience – good or bad – with their customer service?

    • Hi, I just had an issue with them to about the same thing. Last month I got the box which is in this post “Its a Girl” even though my maven profile stated I would get the box with 3 nail polishes “May Color Crush”. I even called to make sure and sent them an email to make triple sure I would get the right box. I still got the wrong box. I emailed and called yesterday ( I was on the phone for 20 minutes ) supposely they are sending out the right box now. I’ve found calling after sending an email to be the quickest way to get ahold of them. The email I sent I took a photo of the box I got, so they knew that it was really the wrong box sent.
      This is the first issue I’ve had with them. I’m not sure if it was because of of them changing the maven program.
      Even though they said they would send me the “May Color Crush” box I wont believe it till I see it, because they said that via email and via phone prior to me getting the wrong box to begin with.

    • Usually their customer service is great, but it does sometimes take a few tries to get through on the phone (it’s often busy) and a day or so for a reply by email. This month has been realllly hectic though, between introducing the new plie wand as well as a new shipping warehouse… I think they are really overwhelmed and trying their best to help everyone and work out all the kinks. You can always try reaching out to them one more time and they will almost certainly replace your box! Though they may ask you to send the incorrect box back (with a shipping label they will provide to you).

    • Try calling them. They probably get tons of emails. I forgot to add a promo code with my last order, and when I called they were able fix it quickly.

  10. I used to paint a lot in high school and college, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much this felt like naturally holding an art brush vs. making due with a short nail polish brush. I figured it would either be an overblown gimmick or something I used a couple of times and then tossed to collect dust in the gadget graveyard. But I really think I will use it quite often. I got the add-on striping and dotting accessories but haven’t had a chance to play with them yet – hoping I like them just as much!

  11. I was hoping the Plie wand would be helpful to me, considering it usually looks like I used a paint roller when I try to paint with my non-dominant hand. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but it definitely surpassed my expectations. I was able to get straight, even strokes without getting polish all over my cuticles. The thing I liked best is that it took me a lot less time to polish my nails than it usually does. I’m a convert! I also used one of the included caps with the built-in brush with a different brand of nail polish, and was really pleased that the brush length was perfect with the more standard height bottle.

    I usually don’t like polishes that look too pastel, or that are too close to white because they don’t flatter my skin tone. I took a chance after seeing the swatches on the Julep site because I know they colors usually look a bit darker in person. I did the full upgrade and I’m really glad I did – I ended up loving every single color, even Saaya which I really thought I was going to hate. It’s much less yellow in person, it’s more like a bright peach. My least favorite was Laree, it’s more of a medium hot pink than the peachy-pink it looks like on the site. I still like it, but I’d probably use it as part of an ombre nail instead of by itself. Most people seem to love Laree though, so I’m probably in the minority.

  12. I’m glad I subscribed at the $19.99 rate. As far as customization , I think it is fun having them pick out the colors and being able to change during the few days if need be. I’m not liking the wand idea, my hands are small and it seems to long and just one more thing to deal with. I’ve always liked Juleps boxes. Even if I get the same color twice it is still a great deal. Juleps customer service is great, and the value is always good. The maven boxes is one I doubt if I would ever cancel.

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