Some of you may have read my post back at the end of March where I did an unboxing for my April Julep Maven box. I had planned to do one for the May Maven box as well, but the best laid plans usually go awry. This time, they were completely out of my control. For those unfamiliar, Julep is a prestige nail polish brand that has a monthly subscription that they call their Maven box and it costs $20/month or $25/month if you want to make your box completely customizable. I get the $20/month box. When you join, you fill out a style profile and Julep matches you to one of their categories: It Girl, Bombshell, Boho Glam, Classic with a Twist, and Modern Beauty. Each box comes with two limited edition nail colors, released to Maven subscribers first, and a beauty item, such as a blush or lip gloss. The exceptions are the It Girl box, which has three polishes and no beauty product, and the Modern Beauty box, which has two beauty products and no nail polishes. At $20/month, it’s pricey, but a good deal considering that each individual Julep polish retails for $14.
I was already on the fence about taking May’s Maven box. That is one thing I do appreciate about Julep – you can look at what is going to be in your box before you’re charged and if you don’t like it, you can decide not to get your box and you aren’t charged. Julep launched their Plié Wand in May and every Maven box included one. The Plié Wand is a tool that is supposed to improve the experience of polishing your nails and make it easier to polish with your non-dominant hand. The wand “bends” and rotates to provide stability in your hand.
When I first heard about the Plié Wand, I thought it was really gimmicky. It strikes me as something for a young girl who is new to nail polish. I have been growing my polish collection for about 15 years now and I know how to polish my nails easily with my non-dominant hand. Plus, this system only works with Julep polishes because of the way it attaches to the polish bottle, so really it’s a ploy to tie you to only using their polishes, if you find the Plié Wand to be a life changing tool.
I really did not want a Plié Wand. It’s just something I don’t see myself using, but I took May’s box anyway because the Bombshell colors for this month were gorgeous and two colors that I haven’t seen a lot of in drugstore brands. One was a shimmery coral with orange undertones and one was a shimmery, creamy orange with pink undertones.
I am getting neither of those colors. There were issues with this month’s Maven boxes. A lot of peoples’ were delayed up to two weeks in shipping because Julep massively underestimated the interest in the Plié Wand. Julep charges customers on the 27th of each month and that is also the date the box is supposed to ship. I was charged for May on April 27th, but my box didn’t ship until May 7th. Then it got “lost.” I use quotes there because I’m not sure my box was ever actually mailed. I got a tracking number and the package was supposedly delivered on May 10th, but I never received it. I called USPS and gave them my tracking number only to be told that they had no record of the package – the tracking number wasn’t valid. I was tracking it through Julep’s own tracking system, not directly through the USPS website, and sure enough when I put my tracking number in at USPS, it said the number was invalid. It just struck me as…suspicious.
So I e-mailed Julep. It took them two weeks to respond to my inquiry. It’s just unacceptable on so many levels, but especially because they had already been paid for items they hadn’t produced yet. I finally heard back and Julep said they would ship me another May box, free of charge, but the May Bombshell colors were sold out because by that point, Julep had opened up the colors to the general public. I got to pick three polishes of my choice and they sent me the Plié Wand as well. They shipped them separately, so I got the wand today and should get the polishes next week. As nice as it was that they worked to rectify the situation, it just came a little too late for me. I had already been thinking about canceling Julep because it is pricey and I’ve got enough polishes for now (seriously…I don’t think I’ve ever finished a polish, so I don’t need two or three new ones every month). This experience just really cemented the fact that I don’t want to do business with this company any more, so I have cancelled my Julep subscription.
But, since I did get the Plié Wand, I thought I’d go ahead a do a review. Honestly, it’s as gimmicky as I thought it would be. The cap that attaches to the nail polish bottle is hard to get on and off and the wand only bends securely into two positions. You can twist it into others, but if it’s not snapped into the straight up position or a 90 degree angle, it will move around while you’re polishing your nails. While it is nice to have something more substantial to hold onto while polishing, I didn’t find this any easier to use, especially not with my non-dominant hand. I got the same quality manicure I would get without it, so I don’t see myself using this a lot. I could see it being useful for toenail painting, since it makes the brush longer though. Overall, this performs as I expected it to and it’s just not impressive. I suspect that the real point of the Plié Wand is the dotting and striping tools that attach to the wand, which you can purchase separately, for nail art and designs.
This month’s Julep Maven box was an absolute bust for me.