Thursday, August 6, 2015

Julep: a Lukewarm Welcome Box

I saw and offer to try the Julep beauty box if I paid just the $2.95 shipping.  It is usually $24.99.  For $2.95 I'm satisfied.  For $10, I would have been disappointed.  For $25, I would have felt ripped off.  

The Julep Welcome Box contained two nail polishes, a Plush Pout Lip Crayon, and a Konjac Sponge.  On one hand, all products were full-sized.  On the other hand, the return on investment with this box is much lower than other beauty boxes.  Julep says its boxes are worth around $40.  That's about the same stated value as Birchbox and ipsy, but the other boxes are only $10 per month.  At $25, the Julep box feels a lot more like paying full price for products. 

Apparently in subsequent months Julep will allow you to choose your monthly beauty products, but I didn't see that as an option in the welcome box.  

  • The Julep Konjac Sponge is nice.  I will give this beauty box that as a point in its favor.  It gently exfoliates, and came with a little suction cup to store it in the shower.  I've used it the past few days, and I like it.  You can, however, get a two-pack of comparable sponges on Amazon for less than a single $12 sponge from Julep (see the SpaWorks Konjac Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Sponge - 2 pack,** among others).  I'll use this sponge for the recommended 2-3 months, and I may even replace it, but I won't replace it from Julep.  
  • The Plush Pout Lip Crayon has great color and feel, but no staying power.  It smeared all over at the first sign of a coffee cup.  Unfortunately it is highly pigmented enough that it left my face a mess.  If the lip crayon had staying power, it would be a winner, but, as it is, it just doesn't have what it takes.  I tried lining my lips to prevent the color migration, but it didn't help.  To top it all off, this product is $20 on the Julep site.  I like lip crayons, but for a little over $6, you can get a Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain with moisture, color, and staying-ability.
  • Julep boxes all seem to come with two nail colors.  Someone else might find this great, but I'd quickly become overwhelmed if I started receiving two nail polishes per month.  I rarely paint my fingernails, and my toes get a couple quick paint jobs per month.  According to the Julep site, these polishes are $14 each.  
I see how they came to the "over $40 value" total.  The sponge ($12), lip crayon($20), and two nail colors ($28) would total $60 on the Julep site.  It might be a $40-60 value to someone, but it isn't to me.  The lip crayon and nail polishes both went in the give-away box.  

My other gripe about Julep is that you can't cancel online.  This can't be anything other than strategic.  I know I'm not the only one who prefers to interact with customer service online instead of by phone.  By making you call to cancel, they reduce the likelihood that you will cancel.

Customer service was good when I called to cancel.  The representative was cordial and prompt about canceling my account.  I wasn't hassled or pressured to keep my account.

Julep could be a good option for someone who loves nail polish, wants to customize their monthly beauty box, and isn't as focused on getting the most, random products for their money.  It's not a great value for me.  

*This post contains referral links.  If you sign up for Birchbox or ipsy through the links I may receive points towards future purchases.  This is not a sponsored post.

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through those links, I will receive a small commission.

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