Saturday, April 5, 2014

julep april 2014 maven box review

hi everyone!

i am so excited to share with you today my review of the april julep maven box!  their new products this month were a blush and bronzer, but i chose to get just the entire nail polish collection and boy, am i glad i did.  this collection has to be their most beautiful collection yet!!  it is absolutely stunning, and i was so thrilled when i pulled them out of the box.

for those of you that aren't familiar, julep is a 4-free nail polish & beauty box that lets you pick what you receive each month based on a quiz you take when you sign up.  there are four different options that you can pick from, with the three of the options including 2 nail polishes and one beauty product (ie. this month was the blush), and one option being 3 nail polishes, all for $19.99 per month (free shipping, score!).  you always have the option of upgrading to the entire nail polish collection, or various other upgrade options, and each month a secret store is available where select nail colors are available at super discounted prices (usually starting at $3).  you also rack up points to use towards purchases, and always get discounted pricing on products when you are a maven.  check it out here if you're interested in more info!

onto the review...

this month they introduced the vivid collection.  when i got the options for my box, i just couldn't decide on which polish to pick because i thought they were all so gorgeous, so i upgraded to the full collection and got them all, nine polishes in total, and didn't get the blush because i have a lot of blushes anyway.

i love that they always include a little card with an inspirational message! it always makes me smile :)

even pulling them out of the box, i was stunned by the vibrant colors!

first up is bailey.  this is described as a 'hyped cobalt sheer'.  this is a very vibrant dark, bright blue (if that makes sense).  it is always hard to find a good blue that is both dark but also maintains the brightness on the nail that it shows in the bottle.  this does that.  it is a lot more sheer than i expected, but the buildable color allows it be dark without it losing its brightness.  application was easy and it is actually really cool looking with just one thin coat -- the spotty, sheer color looks marbled.  this color is so pretty!

next is flora, an 'exotic dragonfruit with blue shimmer.'  this is the polish i was most excited about in the box, and the most disappointed with on the nail.  in the box, it is gorgeous.  as you can see, it does have quite a blue shimmer, and the picture doesn't even do it justice with how strong the shimmer is.  it is beautiful.  i was so excited to get it on, but when i did, the shimmer all but disappeared.  :(  i painted all my nails with a white base coat in order to let the neons really pop, and this color took a good four coats to get mostly solid, and even then, some spots were still patchy and a little see-through.  

this is caitlin, a 'shocking hibiscus with gold shimmer.'  this is the typical hot pink neon in most summer collections, and it definitely holds its own.  it's difficult to spot much of the gold shimmer unless you really squint for it, and out of the bottle, it's even less visible.  in my opinion, neon pinks have a tendency to be pretty watery and hard to get opaque, even over a white base, but this was opaque after one thick coat.  very pretty, even without the shimmer.

next up is mariska, a 'juicy tangerine shimmer.'  this looks more like a creme to me in the bottle, even though the description says shimmer.  i didn't see much shimmer on the nail, either, but it had a flawless application.  one easy coat and it dried beautifully.  it seemed to dry into a matte finish, which i actually really liked for the look i was working with, but it usually indicates that it's a matte finish and i didn't see anything about that.  either way, this color is flawless.  another great one in the collection!

this stunner is kayla, an 'electric iris sheer with violet sheen.'  ah, the inevitable color-shifting blurple.  i adore this color!!  it is unbelievably stunning in the bottle and just as gorgeous on the nail.  it took about four coats to get to the color shown in the bottle (it started off as a hazy periwinkle with one coat over my white base) but it is simply beautiful.  the middle picture shows the pinkish purple tilt to it, and the bottom shows the more bluish tint it takes on, depending on the angle.  this might be my favorite polish from the collection.  it's such a great shade for spring, and i love how it changes colors in the light and is so versatile.  i will definitely be using this one a lot.

this bad boy is tatum (fitting name, eh?), a 'neon chartreuse chrome.'  this color is actually more bright on the nail than it photographed in the bottle, but the shade is still the same, and i really like it.  i'm not big on green polish in general, but the chrome makes it spring-y and cool.  one thick coat and it was opaque.  i'm still not sold on this green because i don't really like green polishes much in general (they remind me of gangrene haha) but i really like it under the emerald in the saran wrap design i made.  i can see myself using it in a lot of designs, but i'm not sure that i will wear it on its own.  either way, it's a really pretty color and i didn't have any problems with it.

this bright, lovely hue is sunny, an 'overexposed yellow chrome.'  i am very picky on yellow polishes, but this is definitely going down as my favorite yellow polish.  it's not too dainty, and not too chalky or milky, either.  the overexposed chrome part of it refers to an almost frosted look that is really cool and make application a dream.  one coat and i was done.  i did a second coat to make it even more saturated, but it didn't even change the hue that much.  i'm pretty pale but it doesn't look bad with my complexion, so it seems like a good tone to complement many skin tones as well.  this will definitely be a re-purchase for me, and one i will be wearing a lot this summer!

this is phoebe, a 'vibrant jungle metallic,' and the most pain in the ass polish to photograph!! even these pictures don't do the color justice.  the ones on the julep website don't even reflect the color i got in my box, so i don't know.  the color i got is an emerald teal color, super gorgeously pretty.  i just could not get the color translated to the picture, no matter how many pictures i took.  very frustrating. however, on the nail it was gooooorrgeous, just like in the bottom!  the jungle description is so accurate -- it reminds me of the amazon or something like that.  this will definitely be gracing my nails and toes frequently this summer.  i am so in love with this color!!

and last but not least, we've got maren, an 'electric bubblegum sheer with blue sheen.'  this was a color i ended up liking a lot that i didn't think i would.  however, it was not what i expected.  it was definitely not as sheer as i had thought, or maybe it was because i had a white base on.  one thick coat made it fairly opaque.  the bubblegum description is spot-on, it's very girly and neon, perfect for summer.  unfortunately, this one also lost a lot of the blue sheen it had in the bottle once it got on the nail.  i am hoping that maybe a full set of nails of the polish will look differently, but with the design i did, the sheens were all but gone.  bummer.  :(  it was still gorgeous and another color that will be in heavy rotation this spring and summer!

instead of doing complete swatches for each color, i decided to do a fun manicure including all the colors.  there were so many great combinations that instead of only five designs for both hands,  i wanted to do one design for each finger.  i chose fun geometric and dotted designs that were fun and bright for summer.  nothing fancy, but i think they are fun and colorful.  i really love how the starburst, saran wrapped nail, and the blue and purple dotted nails came out.

what do you think?  which style did you pick this month, or did you get the full collection?  which polish is your favorite?  i would love to hear from you!  leave a comment letting me know what you think!  if you're interested in signing up to receive a julep box every month, check it out here.


  1. Thanks for this great review! I really like the quality of your pictures. :) I ended up getting Tatum, Kayla, Phoebe, and Sunny from this collection, but I was seriously considering getting the Polish Lover Upgrade at one point. Gabbi, I'd love to be able to follow your blog better. Are you on Bloglovin' at all?

    1. Hi Anastasia, I am so sorry it took me so long to answer! My computer's hard drive died and had to replaced -- it was a miserable two weeks and I just got it back today! :( Anyway, thank you so much for the compliment on my photos. I would love to talk to you more about the blog world and blogging in general. I am very new to it and want to be more involved. I am so new in fact that I don't even know what Bloglovin' is! lol. Hopefully we can chat a little bit about things. :)

    2. Not to worry at all! I was a bit worried, but I'm glad that everything is alright and you're back now. :) Not everyone uses Bloglovin' (there are many bloggers that have been around for a while that don't use it), but I think it's a great and easy way for people to follow your blog. The website is: Try exploring it when you get a chance and maybe consider registering your blog on it. I'd love to talk to you as well! Here's my personal email: Feel free to get in touch with me anytime. :)


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