What I thought of Julep

Back in the summer, I signed up for Julep’s free welcome box, which includes three not-so-toxic* nail polishes and a random beauty product.

*Julep polish is 5-free.

(In case you missed the original post, Julep is a subscription-based monthly beauty-product/nail polish service.)

I promised that I’d update you once I’d had a chance to try out the service and products, so here I am!

The Welcome Box

My Welcome Box contained a tube of Body Milk lotion and three nail polishes.

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I’m kind of meh about the lotion just because I don’t tend to have dry skin.  I may just freecycle it or my girls may use it during the winter.

The nail polish was good, though.  The containers are fairly small, but the polish works well and seems to last just as long as regular nail polish, despite missing some of the chemicals in regular nail polish.

I did get some slightly odd colors in my box, but sometimes I find that to be an advantage.  You know how my produce box makes me cook vegetables I wouldn’t normally buy?

Well, a random selection of nail polish colors sort of functions the same way.

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Also, I found that a layer of the pink sparkle polish over the greenish sparkle polish looks marvy-fab.  ;)

The Regular Box

Because I was curious what a regular box was like, I purposely let my subscription go past the free trial box.  Happily, once the free trial is over, the box is totally customizable.

I sort of, um, forgot to customize mine, though, and here’s what I got:

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(As you can see, one of the girls used the blue polish.  ;) )

Julep has oodles of beautiful colors to choose from, so if you choose to continue past the welcome box, you’ll definitely be able to pick shades you love.

Cancellation

To get the sample box, you do have to sign up with Julep, and if you don’t want to continue the service, you’ll need to cancel after the free welcome box.

The cancellation process was pretty easy.  I just had to call Julep, tell them I was cancelling, and that was it.  I didn’t have to deal with any pushback or hard sell.

Is it worth it?

I think the the free welcome box (just pay 2.99 shipping) is definitely worth it.  Even if you don’t use the free beauty product they throw in, you’re still getting three nail polishes for $2.99.

Halloween Treats Welcome Box

(If you have nail polish lovers on your Christmas shopping list, get the sample box and use the polish as stocking stuffers.)

The continuing subscription, though?  I’m not sold on that, mainly because I feel like $24.99/month (19.99/mo. if you prepay) is a lot to spend on nail polish.

Maybe it would be worth it for someone who’s way into beauty products, but for me, it’s not a great fit.

Still, I’m glad I got the Welcome Box and I think it’s definitely worth getting if you use nail polish.

(Make sure you use the code FREETREATS when you order so that the welcome box is free.)

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I know some of you ordered a welcome box when I did.  What did you think of it? 

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This post contains affiliate links, which support The Frugal Girl at no extra cost to you.  This post was not sponsored by Julep, and I purchased my own welcome box and regular box.

In which I try an Android and miss my iPhone miserably.

I’m sure you all know by now of my love for Ting WirelessThe $21/month bill for two iPhones is a little bit hard to beat.

But joining up with Ting does take some cash up front if you want a nice smart phone.  You’re not locked into a contract with a high monthly bill, but the tradeoff is that you do have to pay for the phone instead of getting a “free” one.

(Which is obviously not free any more than breakfast at a hotel is free!)

Ting droid vs iphone

A little while ago, Ting emailed me to see if I’d like to give a an Android phone a trial run, since the upfront cost of Androids is less than iPhones and they thought you guys would be interested in reading a review.

So, a Nexus black arrived at my house, and I gave it a shot.

Now, do keep in mind that this is the only Android phone I’ve ever tried and also that I’m an awfully new smartphone user (I got my first one in January!).  So, if you want a very technical Smarty Mcksmarty pants review, this is not the place.

Upsides

How about I go over the good first?

The Nexus has a beautiful display, a lovely large screen, and the camera is pretty awesome.

This means that Instagram is pretty fun to use on the Nexus.

Which, you know, is very important.

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The battery life is good and the touch screen was every bit as responsive as the iPhone’s.

Downsides

You guys. Navigating this phone seem way more confusing to me than navigating the iPhone.

I don’t think I’m particularly stupid about technology, and I’m also not a huge Apple nerd (I use a Windows desktop!), but geezy peasy, the Google phone is not nearly as intuitive as the iPhone.

When I got my iPhone, I’d never used a smartphone before in my life, but I quickly understood how to find, install, and open things.  And let’s just say that such was not the case with the Nexus.

Friends of mine tell me that if a Android is your first phone, it’s a lot easier to adjust to it than if you’ve had an iPhone first, and I can imagine that being the case.

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Also (and this is probably going to sound really paranoid), I wasn’t a huge fan of how everything on the phone was tied to Google.  It made me feel slightly uncomfortable in the way that Facebook makes me feel uncomfortable.

I’m not sure that made sense.

So to further confuse things, I’ll compare the phones to social media.

(Ha.)

I don’t like how Facebook goes with you all over the internet if you don’t sign out.  It’s a little creepy.

So I sign out of my account the moment I’m finished with my news feed.

Twitter and Instagram don’t follow me around and I like them better for their simplicity and the ease of controlling what is publicly shared.

The Google phone to me felt a little like always being signed into Facebook, whereas the iPhone feels more like Twitter or Instagram.

I know not everyone feels that way, and I know Apple is certainly collecting my data (as I’m sure Twitter and Instagram are), but there you have it.

Navigation and Google-centric-ness aside, the other major downside to the Android is that I was without my beloved iMessage.

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iMessage allows me to send free text messages over wifi to other Apple users, and it’s part of what helps me to keep my Ting bill so crazy low.

If your friends and family have Androids, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but most of the people I text have iPhones, which means I can do lots of completely free texting.

This makes me happy.

Price Comparison

Ting recommends that you buy a Nexus right from Google and then get a Sim card.

The phone will run you $350 and then you’ll just need a $10 Sim card.

This is definitely cheaper than a NEW iPhone.

But Mr. FG and I didn’t buy new iPhones, and we didn’t buy the latest and greatest.  We’ve both got refurbished iPhone 4S’s, and we’re completely happy with them.

You can get a used iPhone 4s from Ting for a mere $160, or you can do like we did and buy a refurbished one from Amazon for around $250.

(at the time we bought our phones, Ting didn’t carry iPhones.)

So, the way we did it, our iPhones actually were cheaper than the Nexus.  But if you’re deadset on getting a brand new phone, a Android will be a less expensive option than an iPhone.

 Zee bottom line

If you’re used to a Android and you really want a new phone rather than a refurb, then the Nexus could be a great money-saving option for you.

But if you’re new to the world of smartphones and want something super easy, get yourself an iPhone.

(Don’t forget, if you’re a recent grad, you can get a free Optimus Elite phone until July 14th. Just click the link at the top of the page to get all the details.)

Regardless of the phone you choose, though, I wholeheartedly recommend Ting’s wireless service, and I think you should click on over to their savings calculator to find out how much you could save on your phone bill.

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So, I’m curious where you guys stand on the Android/iPhone divide.  Talk to me!

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Ting sent me a Nexus for review purposes but this post was not sponsored in any other way.  I signed up for Ting’s affiliate program because I am a happy customer.  This post contains those affiliate links, which, as always, support this blog at no extra cost to you.