Posts Tagged ‘maven’

Julep September 2016 Collection review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Julep is celebrating 5 years! I’ve been with them since December 2013, after resisting the temptation for a long time. I’m happy to say I’ve been a Maven for more than half of their existence now, so I couldn’t resist getting this celebratory box.

Julep ranges from just under $25 to $40 per box based on tier (or as discounted as just under $20 to $35 per box when prepaid three at a time) and comes with combinations of nail polish colors, skincare products, and beauty products (depending on your style profile choice). They offer plenty of upgrade and add-on options too. Boxes are sent monthly unless you choose to skip. You also have the option of gifting your box to a friend. They offer a referral program that earns you $15 store credit per referral.

julep maven september 2016 collection box contents

September 2016’s collection of Cheers to Five Years! box

julep september 2016 collection products open

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme, Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio, get in line Invisible Lip Liner

julep september 2016 collection card and mini lipstick trio

Quote card and Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio

julep september 2016 collection card and note from ceo card

The September 2016 Collection cards.

get in line Invisible Lip Liner
How cool is this?! This lip liner applies on clear so you can use it with any lipstick and prevent bleeding/feathering issues. I think this is fantastic since I don’t have to worry about having different shades and if I apply it a little off, nobody would ever know. I’m not the greatest at drawing lines on my face and this allows me a pretty generous margin of error.

no limits Luxe Hydrating Creme
Ok, I have to admit I got this purely for the cool design. You press on the big round button and the lotion starts oozing out from the small circle! How fun is that? The formulation is also great for hydrating without leaving a residue. It feels great on my dry elbows! I got this as an add-on to the box that I used points to redeem.

Cheers to Five Years! Lipstick Mini Trio
This adorable set has three bright shades – bubbly, fizz, and pop. They all sound very champagne-esque and celebratory, don’t they? I’d say that’s appropriate for the occasion. 🙂 The consistency of these are wonderful and apparently you don’t need lip liner with it.

Happy anniversary to Julep! I had fun with this box and I love the continued innovation they have for a variety of beauty products. My skin has never been happier and I look forward to what else they’ll surprise us with in the years to come.

Join as a Julep Maven to get polishes and/or beauty products sent to you monthly! Use code FREEBOX or FREEMAVEN to get the first box free (you pay shipping).

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Julep Starter Box review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been waiting around for a Julep starter box that I really liked and I finally came across one with a beauty item that I would love to try. A typical box includes two nail polish shades and one beauty item (one of their style profiles features all beauty items). Up until now, every time I checked, that bonus product was something I either already had or wasn’t interested in. But then I came across the most recent one, which included the Luxe Repair Skin Serum and I was sold. I mean, the first box is free (you pay $3.99 shipping) so that’s a pretty awesome deal.

I got this one right after the Naughty & Nice Mystery Box, so I’ve got to admit it looked small and sparse, but I still liked it! I’m not sure if I’d spend $20 for it though, so I’m probably going to be skipping many months of my Julep subscription (luckily you can skip every month so you’re never stuck with something you don’t like). The current starter boxes now include the Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum as the beauty item, which I have, so I’m really glad I snagged this box while it was available!

Julep is just under $20 per box and comes with 2 nail polish colors and a beauty product, 3 nail polish colors, or 2 beauty products (depending on your style profile choice). They offer plenty of upgrade and add-on options too. Boxes are sent monthly unless you choose to skip (which is very easy to do). They offer a referral program that earns you points towards free boxes.

first look at julep maven boho glam starter box contents

First look at the inside of the box.

julep maven boho glam starter box contents with welcome card

I went for the Boho Glam style, so I got a cute card for that.

You also get a reusable baggie, which I’m guessing only comes the first time as a welcome gift!

set of julep polishes in tatiana and michelle

The two colors for this style profile were Tatiana and Michelle.

julep luxe repair skin serum

And the product I was very happy to receive, the Luxe Repair Serum!

I’m excited to try all of these items, but haven’t yet. I’ve been really getting into serums lately, ever since I read about how they penetrate your skin deeper (thanks for that info Yuzen!). I like the idea that it gets into your layers of skin well below the surface. It feels so enriching and nourishing!

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

Julep Naughty & Nice Mystery Box review

laelene Posted in reviews, subscriptions,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

When I saw this offer come through my inbox, I decided it was finally time for me to buy something from Julep. The first time I ever got any of their products was for free to test and since then I’ve acquired some more through trades, but never actually bought from them. The Naughty & Nice Mystery box promised a $125 value box with two colors, Brenda and Aviva, guaranteed. I’m thrilled with what came in it and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for other mystery boxes.

Julep mystery boxes are just under $25 per box and come with at least 2 polish colors and many other beauty products. These are one-time orders and do not require a subscription.

julep naughty and nice mystery box email with $125 worth of products including brenda and aviva polishes for $25

I just couldn’t resist.

julep black cardboard box

Hello Julep. (And hello my lovely new kitchen counter!)

first look at julep naughty and nice mystery box contents

I was very happy with this first look. Plenty of great products!

julep naughty and nice mystery box contents including rock star hand creme, kajal eye glider, blank canvas primer, green tea blotting papers, luxe repair samples, luxe care samples, lip gloss, and polishes in america, joanna, nellie, aviva, alaina, and brenda

A wonderful assortment of products.

travel size tube of julep rock star hand creme

Rock Star Hand Creme
Cute little travel size tube with a lid that twists to allow the lotion out through a hole on the bottom – interesting design.

julep kajal eye glider in brown shimmer and carbon black with sharpener

Kajal Eye Glider in brown shimmer and carbon black, with sharpener
This double-tipped eye liner has one end in brown, one end in black and comes with a sharpener. Perfect, since I needed one of those.

julep blank canvas mattifying face primer

Blank Canvas Mattifying Face Primer
I wasn’t thinking about getting a primer, but as it turns out I think it’s exactly what I need.

julep lip gloss in timeless shade

Lip Gloss in timeless
This is a nice subtle color and the tube is quite large! It’ll last me a long time and it smells fabulous.

set of julep polishes in america, joanna, nellie, aviva, alaina, and brenda

Polish colors in America, Joanna, Nellie, Aviva, Alaina, and Brenda. All the shades I got lined up… looks so lovely.

julep green tea facial blotting papers, luxe care hand creme, and luxe repair skin serum samples

Green Tea Facial Blotting Papers, Luxe Care Hand Creme, and Luxe Repair Skin Serum samples
All great samples to try!

Estimated value: $171.10 (Rock Star Hand Creme $7, Kajal Eye Glider $22, Blank Canvas $28, Lip Gloss $17.60, Nail Color @ $14 each: $84, Blotting Papers $5, Luxe Repair samples $6.50, Luxe Care samples $1) or $136.88 at Maven prices (20% off)

Join as a Julep Maven to get polishes sent to you monthly! Use code FREEBOX or FREEMAVEN to get the first box free (you pay shipping).

[This post contains affiliate links. Signing up through them helps support my subscription and I’d be ever so grateful. 🙂 All opinions are my own and I received no compensation for this review. I just purchased this box and wanted to share what I got!]

The business of partnerships

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

I’m a strong proponent of business partnerships – not in the legal sense (LLCs seem much safer), but definitely in the collaboration, motivation, teamwork, and synergy sense.  I think it was sometime in college, when I was thinking more seriously about a future as an entrepreneur that I got this idea in my head.  Was it from articles I read?  Companies I looked into?  Other media influences?  I can’t remember now.  All I know is that I soon formed an opinion that the best way for me to find success in business was by pursuing ventures with a partner.  Maybe I’d have a different partner for each project, or one who I could do multiple ones with.  Maybe it’d be a man or a woman.  That much didn’t matter insomuch as 1) we both worked hard toward a common goal, 2) we had similar values, and 3) we had complementary skills.

Once I got this idea in my head, I kept a watchful eye out.  At professional events, at social events, and even during chance encounters.  I met a lot of interesting, smart, driven people throughout my years in college, but none meshed with me the way I wanted my business partner to.  I was always thinking in the back of my head, “Is this person someone I could build a working partnership with?”  Sadly, the answer was always no.  Usually it was because we didn’t share the same interests – they didn’t want to go into the same industries I did, or they didn’t have the entrepreneurial drive that I did.  Sometimes other factors came into play, like clashes in personality.  I thought I might have a chance when I went to work in Singapore, but that fell apart before we ever got going.

After years of dreaming, I decided it was time to address the real life issues I had to face.  I got a normal job at an established company and settled into an average workweek.  Luckily, the company was small, young, and still had a start-up vibe.  I had a lot to learn and got plenty of responsibility.  Over the next two years, I learned a lot and experienced a lot of change at the company!  Things were pretty stable and I was getting antsy.  That entrepreneurial bug came back to bite me and it was an itch that I needed to scratch.  I had a business idea that I felt was worth pursuing and finally, finally, I had met a business partner!  After six long years of searching, it kind of just fell in my lap and I was not about to let it go.  Oh, life.  😛  Well, now that I saw the opportunity, I went for it.  I felt confident that within a couple of months (ok, maybe a year), we could make it work.

Ultimately, I don’t know if I would have pursued my own venture if I didn’t have a partner to collaborate with.  Even in some of my personal side projects, my mom is my proponent and unofficial business partner.  Even if I do the majority of the work, I feel so much more confident when there is someone else there, whether as an equal partner or more of a supporting role.  I’ve even gotten so much self-belief that I’m looking into pursuing some of my own little side gigs!  As they say, nobody succeeds on their own, and I am so grateful to the support network that I have behind me.  While partnerships may not be the optimal approach for everyone, it is for me and I think it’s worth considering no matter who you are.

Alert driving

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Tonight a car started to merge into me, which made me grateful that I was an alert driver, noticed the drifting, and promptly moved and braked to avoid a collision. I would have honked too, to warn the guy, but I was just about to take a sip from my tea so my hands were too occupied. I wonder if he ever had a clue how close we were to scraping against each other.

It used to be common for me to be tired on my drives home and if this had happened last year when I was commuting, it may not have panned out the same way. Thankfully, I have a secret weapon under my belt that has been helping me stay alert during my drives. It has been very effective and I can’t wait to unveil it someday! For now Maven and I are working on launching it so I’ll keep it under wraps. One day though, you’ll hear about it!

Writing challenges

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday was the deadline to apply to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business in the second round (there are three rounds each year and you can apply in any single one you choose).  This entire week, I had been working to perfect everything for my application, particularly my essays.  I had found the Harvard Business School essays to be easier to tackle, with only a few rewrites.  When it came to Stanford’s though, I was a mess.  Let’s take a look at both schools’ prompts:


  1. Tell us about three of your accomplishments.
  2. Tell us three setbacks you have faced.
  3. Why do you want an MBA?
  4. Answer a question you wish we had asked.

Stanford GSB

  1. What matters most to you, and why?
  2. What do you want to do – REALLY – and why Stanford?
  3. Tell us about a time when you made a lasting impact on your organization.
  4. Tell us about a time when you generated support from others for an idea or initiative.

I felt like Harvard’s were more practical and Stanford’s were more emotional, if that makes sense.  What made Stanford’s challenging for me was how personal those first two are.  It was really getting to the core of what is meaningful to me and it’s hard to express something you believe in so deeply.  I had to work backwards, first sharing stories of my workplace successes, then tackling what I want to do and what matters to me.

The first versions of my responses to questions 1 and 2 came out extremely idealistic.  I realized that I sounded like my mind was in the clouds and my feet weren’t on the ground.  I knew I had to present things in a more concrete manner so the selection committee could see the logic behind how what mattered to me drove what I wanted to do and why that all tied into going to business school.  Unfortunately, I cared so much about properly expressing something so close to my heart that nothing sounded right.  I would write a paragraph and start the next only to decide that I wanted to add a paragraph to the beginning instead.  I labored over those two for so long!

Finally, I was satisfied with how the second essay came out, but I was still pretty stumped by the first.  How do you share your greatest dreams without sounding unrealistic?  Again and again, I would rewrite my response to that question until I started to create a structure that made sense.  I then made the very smart move of sending my writing to Maven for a proofread.  One of my greatest challenges in writing essays is making everything flow.  I tend to let my ideas out stream-of-consciousness style, which usually results in random connections and scattered ideas.  He was able to help me reorder some of my sentences to make my structure infinitely better!  At that point, I was finally ready to turn everything in.  I had put forth a great effort and now it was time to officially apply to one of the most prestigious programs in the world.

I feel so relieved now that it’s in and strangely, I’m not really nervous about decision day.  That’s probably just because it’s still over two months away!  As the time nears, I’m sure I will nervously anticipate the news and hope for the best.  I can really see myself going to a top business school and excelling.

The Maven

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , ,

Oh what a marvelous thing has happened!  It has been years since I started developing and talking about my business philosophy, one of the key components of which is a business partner.  Finally, I have stumbled across the first viable lead and I am thrilled!  I’ll call him Maven, since that’s what he is as per Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point.  Maven and I both have a strong interest in business and our conversation recently led us to budding partnership.  He has a fantastic idea for a business and I have all the eagerness and complementary skills that he could ask for.

I feel like it’s been a long time coming, so it’s really rewarding to find someone who has a vast number of skills that I don’t, and who needs the very skills that I do have.  At the same time, we share many values and both believe in the synergy that can be created to make a partnership more than just 1 +1.  It’s just enough overlap to agree on the important things, and plenty of complementary abilities to pack a powerful punch.  I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect scenario!  If nothing else, 2011 will go down in history as the year I met Maven.  A very fortunate experience indeed!

Whether or not we are able to get this idea off the ground (and I am confident that we can and will), I have a great feeling about just knowing Maven.  There’s a lot to learn from him and he is a fantastic conversationalist!  I’d been craving the kinds of discussions we’ve been having – about business, personal philosophies, psychology, and so many other topics.  We’re both very curious, inquisitive folks who think a lot, ask a lot, wonder a lot.  I’ve never had someone ask me so many “whys” about my beliefs and it really helps me understand myself better.

In addition, I got a kick out of the fascination we both seem to have with personality tests and what can be gleaned from them.  I love reading personality profiles!  I feel like I learned a lot about him when I read the description of his “type,” whether or not all of it was accurate.  At least it gave me a good basis for understanding the type of person he is.  The more I get to know, the better it all seems.  With our work ethics, determination, and combined efforts, I wouldn’t put anything past us.  You just wait!

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