One Cent Nails with Julep Melissa, Jodie, Charlotte and Glycolic Hand Scrub

As soon as I came across the one cent Julep Maven box sale, I immediately signed up. The quiz online told me I was an It Girl and the colors in the box seemed nice so I stuck with that one. I was very impressed when I got a notice that my box shipped later that day and I got it within a few days! Very cool.

The box came with Melissa, Jodie and Charlotte as well as a full size Glycolic Hand Scrub! That was a lovely surprise. Best of all – all of these for one cent!!

Julep describes the colors as:

Melissa Julep Nail Vernis – sheer opalescent shimmer adds a soft glow when used alone and a high-fashion holographic effect when used over another color.

Jodie Julep Nail Vernis – deep rose with a golden shimmer.

Charlotte Julep Nail Vernis – demure lavender creme. Sophisticated with a twist.

Overall, these are pretty accurate. I decided to do Melissa on my fingers and Jodie on my toes. After a few days, I took off Melissa and I used Charlotte on my fingers.

Melissa is a very pretty iridescent pearl green shimmer. It’s very sheer, two coats does not cover the whites of my nails. It’s very unique in that in certain lights, you can’t even tell you have nail polish on and then in in others it looks almost completely opaque white with a beautiful seafoam/mint green sheen. I really love it on my fingers.

I know some people have used it as a top coat, but I really liked it all by itself! I think it would be fun experimenting with it as a top coat though.


Inside, showing minimal shimmer

Julep Melissa SwatchOutside, to show sheen/shimmer

So as you can see, depending on the lighting the color can be very subtle or very bright. Just depends on the lighting and where the light hits it.

The only problem with Melissa is that it chipped kind of easily. Now, I did do quite a bit of cleaning and dishes over 2 days, so that doesn’t help, but after 2 days I had to take it off because it was so chipped. Very sad :o(

When I first saw Jodie, I immediately thought of Zoya’s Shivon. So I dug it out and put them side by side. They are very similar. In some lighting, you can’t tell the difference but in others you can see that Julep is a little more warm red while Zoya is a little more purple.

Julep Jodie vs. Zoya Shivon

Like Julep’s description, Jodie is a deep rose with golden shimmer. I would really love to wear this on my fingers, but this time, I wore it on my toes. To see how similar Shivon was, I painted one toe with it – can you tell which one?

Julep Jodie outside nail swatch

I painted Shivon on my middle toe.

Both Melissa and Jolie nail polishes had a thinner formula that made it easy to apply. I had read reviews of other colors that said they were streaky, but I did not find that to be the case with these two. Sometimes with iridescent colors, you can see lines of the shimmer, which is the case for these two, but I’ve had that with all nail polishes I’ve used. I’m not sure if that’s what they were referring to? I don’t really consider that streaky though. I can only tell if I’m looking very very close (inches), so I have never considered it a problem.

Now for Charlotte. I have to say the description is accurate. It’s a darker lavender creme, with no shimmer or glitter. It’s odd that while it is a darker lavender, it is still bright. It’s a fun color for spring.

Julep Charlotte Swatch

What’s interesting about Charlotte is that the formula is quite a bit thicker than Melissa and Jolie. One coat made it completely opaque and was so thick it even looked like two coats! The picture above is one coat, and after 2 days! It’s a strong formula that hasn’t chipped yet and I’m on day 4!

A pleasant surprise was that all of these dried really fast! It reminded me of Butter London, which is always nice because I get very impatient with sitting around waiting for my nail polish to dry.

The Julep containers are smaller than standard sizes. The bottles are 8 mL while Zoya’s are 15 mL – almost twice the size. Since I got 3 for one cent, I’m not going to complain! But I don’t know if I could pay $14 for one.

The bottle is pretty cool looking, but I find when painting I am nervous about leaving it open standing up because it is so narrow. I think it could easily topple over if you aren’t careful. A slightly wider base would be nice!

Now for the formula. Julep states they are free of paraben, sulphate phthalate, DBP, toluene and formaldehyde. Pretty cool!

The ingredients are (pardon if there are mistypes, I had to type this manually from perhaps the smallest ingredients sticker I’ve ever seen!): Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Nitrocellulose, SD Alcohol 40, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol, Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Trimethyl Pentanyl Diisobutyrate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Acrylates Copolymer, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Silica, Diacetone Alcohol, Citric Acid, Benzophenone-1, Polyethylene Terephthalate.

Unfortunately, after typing up the ingredients, I was really bummed to see that last ingredient. Polyethylene Terephthalate is also known as PET-1. It is common in plastic bottles and plastic food containers. The Environmental Health Perspectives in April 2010 suggested that PET leaches phthalates as well as antimony. Summary here. So while PET isn’t a phthalate itself (although it’s in the name), it can leach them as well as antimony. I’m surprised it’s in a nail polish, it is not in Zoya or Butter London (at least the ones I’ve previously reviewed). So this is a huge bummer :o(

Because of the PET-1, I cancelled my Julep Maven subscription so I won’t get any more. Phthalates and other endocrine disruptors are something I work very hard to keep out of my system, so I just can’t take the chance of using anything with them. Others may not find it a make-or-break deal, but for me, it is. These are great nail polishes too! Very sad.

On a more positive note, a pleasant surprise was the glycolic hand scrub included in the box! It is the full size, 3 oz one.

The consistency is clear, kind of thin and a little gloopy, and has little scrubbies that remind me of St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Once you rub it in your hands it spreads nicely and you can feel the scrubbies exfoliating. The smell is very nice. It’s a fresh, citrusy smell.

After using, the package recommends following up with the Julep lotion. Well, I don’t have that but I do have Pai’s hand cream that I love! (my review here). After some scrubbing and some Pai lotion, my hands are very soft.

The package also says you can use this every time you wash. Well, I think that might too much for my sensitive skin, but I could see using this a couple times a week with no problem. It’s pretty gentle.

Would I pay the suggested $32 for it? Probably not. That’s a little steep for me for a hand scrub. But it is a nice hand scrub that I’m glad to have!

Ingredients (also typed from the container, so pardon typos): Glycerin, Water, Polyacyrlate-1 Crosspolymer, Glycolic Acid, Apricot Seed Powder, Microcrystalline Wax, Glyceryl Sterate,  Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Orange Oil, Grape Seed Extract, Sage Leaf Extract, Chamomile Flower Extract, Lavender Extract, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tropolone, Sodium Hydroxide.

Overall, the hand scrub is a great find! As for the nail polishes, I am going to choose not to use them for now and hope they reformulate!

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  1. I also got the deal and found the same things you did. I am sad that it has PET in it as I want to stay way from that as well. I will be cancellong also :(

  2. love the Charlotte Julep Nail polish! x

  3. Some websites list PET-1 in Zoya, some don’t. It may depend on the color. I know most LA Colors colors don’t contain it, but some of the glitter colors do. I will only buy polishes that I can read the ingredient list of before buying, for EACH color. Because the formulation can vary from color to color. :/

    • Interesting, I have never noticed PET-1 in Zoya but will certainly take a closer look now! Thanks for letting me know!

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