Buyer Beware!!! Julep Maven subscription box

Click for full disclosure.  ~Affiliate links will be designated with asterisk *around link*. Other links provided for convenience.

Hi everyone!!

Today I have an informational post for you about the Julep Maven subscription nail polish box program. I’m completely fed up with Julep at this point and I hope that anyone thinking about buying reads this before joining.

Julep Maven lured me in with their “first box for only a penny” several months ago. When I joined, you got a box of 3 polishes for a penny, SHIPPED! Hard to pass that deal up, right? So I joined. The three polishes I got were pretty colors. The polish gets really thick though and tends to be a struggle to get it out after a few nails. It can be fairly streaky too. Which, for a penny was still not doing too bad….so far.

The bottle is a tall rectangle. Which is not convenient in any way. If I actually finished a bottle, there would be a bunch in the bottom that would be completely inaccessible. Some of you may not know this, but my son has Autism. Which leaves him prone to clumsiness. Add to that the fact that he is an adolescent boy growing crazy fast and it’s a recipe for disaster. Plus, my daughter is young and can be clumsy and wild too. A tall and thin bottle of nail polish is not a good idea. One of mine got dumped over on my coffee table. Thankfully there happened to be a piece of paper underneath so crisis averted!!! I wrote to Julep to let them know how inconvenient and somewhat hazardous their bottle shape was. They truly couldn’t care less. They told me to buy a bottle holder. Something I don’t need for any other nail polish I own…. hmmm, no thanks.

The next month my Julep email notice to cancel/select went straight to spam, so I ended up with another box. For $19.99, I got 3 polishes. Not anything I would’ve bought. Since I was stuck, what could I do? I cancelled the boxes for several months after that because the choices were boring.

I purchased their “Velvet polishes” the month those came out. Mind you, there were not tons of matte top coat options at the time, so it seemed semi-novel then. The colors I got were all gray, yuck. Not worth $19.99 to me, so I have major buyers remorse on those.

Since I purchased items from them, I ended up with some reward points. I used them recently to get a box that had lippies in it. I thought it was odd that Julep is offering makeup, but I like trying new things.


I must say I was excited to see an orange lippy!! And a nude! They look like they should be quite awesome, right?! Let’s just see how they swatch…

L-R: Tea for Two; Satin Doll; Lady in Red Can you even see the first one?!

L-R: Tea for Two; Satin Doll; Lady in Red
Can you even see the first one?!

Can you see Tea for Two AT ALL?! Yeah, it’s there. The swatches only showed up after I rubbed the first two on about 18 swipes. NOT even kidding!!!!!!!! Well, maybe it’s because that’s a hand swatch right?

Top is my lips without any lip product. Then Tea for Two; Satin Doll; and Lady in Red. REALLY?! There's barely any difference in the first two colors/

Top- Tea for Two, Middle- Satin Doll, Bottom- Lady in Red


Top is my lips without any lip product. Then Tea for Two; Satin Doll; and Lady in Red.
REALLY?! There’s barely any difference in the first two colors. Hmmm….

WRONG! As you can see, Lady in Red is a nice opaque color. The other two were listed as “sheer”. Sheer, as in almost non-existent. When I applied Tea for Two and Satin Doll, I had to go around and around on my lips several times to get any color. With Satin Doll, you can see that the lippy didn’t even cover much of my middle lip area.

I emailed Julep about the lippy color fail and their reply was that they intended for the other colors”to be worn over Lady in Red” to alter the color. I’d post a picture of what happens when you try this, but it’s identical to Lady in Red ALONE. Ok fine, here’s a pic…

L-R: Lady in Red; Lady in Red with *4* swipes of Satin Doll; Lady in Red with *4* swipes of Tea for Two

L-R: Lady in Red; Lady in Red with *4* swipes of Satin Doll; Lady in Red with *4* swipes of Tea for Two

So, can YOU tell the difference? Me neither…

Nice try Julep. Just take the shame that you make mediocre (at best) lippies. TAKE THE SHAME!

After the plethora of mediocre products I’ve received, and the lackluster customer service. Oh, and I used my “reward” points too. I decided to CANCEL the service.

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA! That doesn’t happen apparently.

After a multitude of calls that go to voicemail, messages left and unreturned, I still can’t cancel. The outgoing voicemail says if you leave your name, email, and phone number, you’ll get a cancellation confirmation email. Yeah, WAIT for it. I have called a bunch of times and don’t get a human EVER! I’ve never received an email cancellation confirmation either. Oh, and somehow Julep was able to charge my EXPIRED credit card without my consent for this month’s box. Hmmm, that seems a bit shady, dontcha think?! I’ve reported them to my bank and the charges will be corrected. They may have alreadty, I just haven’t looked.

As for Julep, I’ve called again and left yet another message that won’t be returned, and sent another email that they’ll just reply to by saying “sorry, you have to cancel by phone”. LOVELY.

The last and best part about Julep is the fact that they are insanely overpriced.

I saw this on Facebook one day, check it out!


Click the image to go to the Facebook post which has even more info!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you break it down a little bit more to align with the box price, they’re still higher priced than Opi, Zoya, Essie, China Glaze, Orly and of course Sinful Colors. They are barely under Nails Inc’s price per ounce. The box price is $19.99, typically you get 3 0.27 oz bottles. So $19.99/0.81=$24.68 (rounded up). I think I’d rather get some better quality and more original items for that. Or just save my money. You can get unoriginal and mediocre drugstore polish like Sinful Colors for FAR LESS!!!!!

So, if you want to have mediocre products sent to you for $19.99/month for the rest of your life, JOIN! I’m currently unemployed so I personally need that money to pay bills…..

Hoping Julep cancels me soon…. I will be reporting them to the Better Business Bureau to be sure. Maybe the FTC would be interested in their business practices too.

Click for full disclosure.  ~Affiliate links will be designated with asterisk *around link*. Other links provided for convenience.

Click for full disclosure.
~Affiliate links will be designated with asterisk *around link*. Other links provided for convenience.

About Harajuku GirlFL

Beauty Evangelist/Glitterholic/Lover of Sparkly Things/Japanese-American HAPA. I have a special affinity for all things sci-fi, kawaii, girly, 90's rock, punk, and great books. Sort of like a dork mom smoothie with added in kick-ass'ness.... or something like that.
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30 Responses to Buyer Beware!!! Julep Maven subscription box

  1. Sachiko says:

    Yeah, I have NOT been impressed with them at all. I have wet n wild 99 cent polishes that are better. I know some people LOOOOOVE them some Julep…I am not one of those! I just keep skipping months since cancelling is such a total pain in the butt. For the money I would rather wait for a Zoya sale. Or go CRAZY with a Sinful sale lol.
    Sachiko recently posted…Manicure MondayMy Profile

  2. dana h says:

    I cancelled my Julep after 4 shipments. I didn’t have any problems cancelling mine. I think I was able to email them. Don’t give up in trying to get it cancelled.

    • Interesting. I’ve emailed them repeatedly and all they do is reply that I have to call to cancel.
      I’m so over them.
      I’ve filed complaints with BBB and FTC now.
      I also disputed the charge on my card.

  3. jess says:

    post this on their facebook page. I’ve found companies rush to either hide what they do when complaints go there or rush to correct the issue to save face.

  4. Rose J. says:

    Thank you for reposting Lace & Lacquer’s chart. I remember when she first posted it and Julep took it down. I couldn’t remember who in Polish Land had originally posted this so kudos for bringing it back. I’ve never purchased any Julep polishes, have filled out the “free box” thing multiple times, but just couldn’t push that final button. The bottle shape has always bothered me as far as ability to use all the product. There are too many brands out there, both mainstream & indie (shout out to Ruby White Tips) that I am very happy with so I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

    • I had seen the chart back when it was first posted but couldn’t remember where it was myself. A blogger friend of mine helped me find it again. I’m sure Julep loves that chart!!!

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that there are far too many other options out there to put up with Julep!!! I am a lover of Indie products!!!
      I hadn’t heard of Ruby White Tips, but will check it out. ^_−☆

      Still no response from Julep……

  5. Bridgett says:

    I agree with you COMPLETELY on all points. I, too , was lured in by the “free box”. (I didn’t get free shipping, but still thought it was a good deal – WRONG!) Their nail color selection is often hideous and the quality is nowhere near what it should be for what they charge. (Read my review here: Their other, non-nail polish products don’t seem to be that great, either. Total rip-off. If I had known what a hassle “cancel anytime” was going to be, I NEVER would have ordered.

    • I read your review. I think it’s super lame that you had to pay for shipping AND only got 2 colors.
      Not like another boring and streaky polish would make it worth it though. Lol.

  6. I’ve been hearing about these Julep cancellation issues for a couple of years now. I’ll never, ever purchase from them ever–not even if I like the polish color I see in their bottles when I go into Sephora. I just can’t support a business with such shady business practices (or terrible CS at best). I hope you get things sorted out soon. What a pain!
    KissMySparkle recently posted…The Perfect Red Lipstick – Burberry Lip Velvet Military Red No. 310My Profile

    • I did finally get some resolution. I feel like it was a lot harder than it really needed to be.
      I’m hoping the BBB or FTC take a look at their practices.

      Lame how the FTC is focused on blog disclosure and not crap like this.

  7. Angela says:

    I am really glad to have come across this. Was thinking of trying them out. Won’t be!! Thx!!

    • Glad you were able to make an informed decision. It could be my bad luck.
      Except if you google Julep cancellation, it appears to be a repeat thing!

      Use a pre-paid card if the mood strikes you. Lol

  8. I cancelled, then I started back up again… I thought the Gatsby collection was amazing and I’m bummed that I missed out on it! I’ve honestly had nothing but good experiences with Julep, service-wise, but I know it is spotty, in a way that goes beyond someone on the team having a bad day, and that’s kind of unacceptable. I cancelled in the first place because their boxes just weren’t doing anything for me. I do like their polishes, though. My only real complaint is with the non polish products. Twice in a row I’ve really liked my selected colors but not the beauty product, so I’ve skipped. $19.99 for two small bottles of polish is no deal, lol. I hope the company decides to allow Mavens to customize their boxes… I know it would be more work for them, but they would also move more product and I could get what I want for the price I signed up for, lol.
    Liesl (lieslloves) recently posted…Happy Independence Day!!My Profile

    • You were lucky to have been able to cancel.
      I think they are overextending themselves trying to do beauty products and polish. Do one thing well, not lots of things halfway.

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  10. They seem a bit dry on to me
    I’m your newest follower – Facebook
    Beauty Blogazons

    • Thanks for following! I got you back.

      I’m just not a fan of the polishes in general.
      The best thing I got in all my boxes was the hair pins in the “Jazz” collection.

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  12. Amber says:

    WOW. That chart is a little bit mind boggling, no?? Thank you so much for an honest post like this. I’m probably the last blogger that hasn’t joined the Julep bandwagon.
    I hope you get everything sorted out with them!
    Amber recently posted…Beauty Blogazons Weekly Round Up!My Profile

    • That chart is definitely food for thought!
      I think if rather save up and get a higher quality product. Them seem so spotty in their quality.
      Seems like they need to perfect things a bit.

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  14. Lulubelle says:

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, especially with the cancelling issues! For the most part, I’ve been really happy with my Julep subscription. No way do I think the polishes are worth $14, but the Maven subscription plan makes them much more reasonable, which is why I subscribe.
    Lulubelle recently posted…Storing Foil Samples: What Works for You?My Profile

    • Glad Julep is working for you.
      I find the price too high even with the box price.
      Plus, they are trying too much new beauty stuff that’s not working out.
      So really, 2 polishes for $19.99 plus a hit or miss beauty product just isn’t for me.

      Maybe it’ll change.

      It’s good that you’ve gotten some things that work for you. My boxes weren’t spectacular.

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  16. Brooke says:

    I’m sorry you had such a bad experience!! I’ve gotten one Julep box, and I like the polishes okay. They’re certainly nothing exceptional. It’s been several months and I’ve skipped every box, because I just don’t feel like they’re worth it!! However, when I got my first box I used a one-time use credit card number for my credit card because I was totally wary of having a “subscription” where they automatically charge your card every month.

    • A “one-time credit card number” sounds great for this type of thing!!! I need to explore that myself ^_^.
      Not for Julep, but am now really wary of recurring charges.
      I was glad that my bank was understanding about it.

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