Monday, May 20, 2013

Not that Kind of Black Box: Julep for a Non-Lacquerista

I've always loved surprises, so I like the general idea behind beauty subscription boxes, but I honestly don't use a lot of common beauty products (e.g. mascara, blush, perfume, nail polish) and have limited funds, so I've held off on the whole subscription craze until now. I like the model used by Julep - you're shown all of the possible boxes ahead of time, and you can choose any of the month's boxes, send your box to a friend, or skip the month entirely - but I rarely use nail polish, and usually stick to clear or sheer pink.

Julep has five different "style profiles": generally, Boho Glam, Bombshell, and Classic with a Twist all contain one beauty product + two polishes, while Modern Beauty contains two beauty products and It Girl contains three polishes. You're not forced to stick with the same profile month to month, and all the items from the other sets are available as add-on items (up to three) for a discounted price, so there's a lot of flexibility.

Since I'm not much of a polish person, I didn't consider subscribing until they introduced the Modern Beauty profile. I came across a "free first box, just pay $3.99 S&H" code (FREEBOX) and figured it was worth the hassle of canceling the subscription later to pick up the Modern Beauty Intro Box, which contains their Glycolic Hand Scrub and Rock Star Hand Creme ($20).

I'm a sucker for travel-size anything, so I ended up adding on the Beautiful Hands to Go set (1 oz. travel sizes of Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener and Facial for Hands) for $4.99.

I love receiving packages, even when I know exactly what's in them. Maybe that's why I like shopping online so much - not only do I feel like I have more time to decide what I really want, but I get a double rush of endorphins - once when I make the purchase online, once when I receive the package.

Lots of things in a tiny box! They included a single-use nail polish wipe and an emery board.

Official photos of the Glycolic Hand Scrub (left) and Rock Star Hand Creme (right)

The Glycolic Hand Scrub smells a bit odd to me, but the apricot kernel granules are much less rough than the ones found in drugstore scrubs - It feels like it would be gentle enough for use on the face. Since it contains 10% glycolic acid, it's a combination physical and chemical exfoliator, and it definitely softened my hands after a short scrub. I like the product overall, but it's too pricey for me to slather it all over my arms (my normal modus operandi for exfoliating products, thanks to keratosis pilaris). I'm going to try it as a facial scrub, and if that works out well, I'd be willing to re-purchase.

Honestly, I'm not that impressed by the Rock Star Hand Creme. It sinks in quickly and seems fine for locking in moisture after I've just washed my hands, but it doesn't last that long and doesn't work that well when directly applied to dry hands. I'm not a fan of the floral scent, either, but that's just personal preference. I won't be purchasing  this again.

Also, the Rock Star Hand Creme has an odd cap - from the side, it looks like a normal screw on/off cap, but really it just pops up a little bit and lets you squeeze the lotion through a hole in the top. Doesn't seem very sanitary - not something I'd be okay with tossing directly into a purse, or even standing upright on a countertop - and might be harder to handle with wet hands.

I haven't tried the Beautiful Hands to Go set - after some reflection, I don't really need these products - the Glow On Age Defying Hand Brightener is targeted towards more mature skin, and Facial for Hands seems pretty similar to the Glycolic Hand Scrub. I'll use them as a stocking stuffer for my mom this Christmas.

While I think Julep's list prices are a bit too extravagant for me (even with the 20% discount offered to subscribers), their monthly boxes are definitely a good deal. I'm going to order the June Modern Beauty box with its "DD Crème" and "DD concealer" - $20 is about as much as I'd pay for a drugstore foundation + concealer anyway.

DD Crème, $36

For the DD Crème, DD = "dyanamic do-all," meaning SPF + primer + moisturizer + anti-aging + coverage. Silly name aside, it's the basically the same as any other BB/CC cream - a multipurpose moisturizing foundation, though supposedly with heavier coverage than a BB cream. For the DD concealer, DD = "disguise and diminish." As far as all these alphabet creams are concerned, I've been loyal to my Skin79 BB Cream (Pink Label) for a while, but it's a bit too light for my skin and I've been needing heavier coverage lately due to breakouts and subsequent hyperpigmentation, so I'm willing to experiment a bit. The June boxes don't start shipping until the 27th, so I hope they arrive before I leave for Taiwan!

1 comment:

  1. I would like to purchase this ?
    is this available ?
    my email address is