From awareness to purchase: Julep

A product I recently bought through advertising was nail polish from Julep. Here are the steps from brand awareness to purchase:

Hearing about it initially: I’ve become interested in nail polish as I wanted some way to accessorize without buying a lot of jewelry. Since I prefer to shop local/small, googling took me down the rabbit hole of indie nail polish brands.

Indie nail polishes are tiny, often one-person, startups that are not necessarily polished (pun intended), and doing ridiculous things. We’re talking holographic toppers and multicolored chromes, vivid color-changing solutions, and glitters typically reserved for craft projects.

A few weeks after my research, I decided on purchasing a few test bottles from Rainbow Honey, a brand that was getting a lot of love online. Within a day or so, Julep ads began popping up on the sites I frequented. I’d initially heard about Julep through acquaintances and occasionally walking by the Bellevue store, but I’d never actually gone in. Now I was getting blasted by ads whenever I went to read my morning webcomics.

A few days of these ads, and having checked that at least a few bloggers were excited about Julep, I finally clicked the offer for a free trial of their subscription service. This sent me to their Maven profile quiz, which was so ridiculously awkward for my needs/interests it bordered on hilarious.

Julep nail profile

Julep, highlighting that only some nails can be fun.

I mean, I am not someone who will ever make “trendy” or “glam” nails. And what exactly are “timeless nails,” a manicure using polish previously trapped in the basement of the TARDIS?

I’d be intrigued if they paired with someone like Espionage Cosmetics. Then we would have some seriously geeky local nail options.

From awareness to purchase: Even after all that, I decided to sign up for their mailing list to see they might have a good sale. (Their nail polishes were interesting colors, but most indie polishes are cheaper and/or have larger bottles, and Seattle is home to a lot of nail polish startups.) A few weeks later, Julep hosted a fairly huge sale, knocking their price point from $14/bottle to $4-5, including a spend $35 and get a mystery box deal. (I admit I have a huge soft spot for grab bags and mystery boxes, particularly when glitter is a large possibility.) At this point I purchased a few to try out and now have a collection of shiny Julep colors sitting in a box.

Other forms of awareness: Most of my interest in Julep wasn’t from their ads, it was from reviewers and online information. This included:

  • Blog posts. There are a lot of nail polish reviewers out there, and even if I didn’t peruse them intensely, the pictures and comments on how many coats it could take to get a decent look were helpful. Since nail polishes can require 1-4 coats to look decent, this is vital information for time management.
  • Pinterest. If you search for nail polishes, bloggers and other influencers will comment there on what worked well for their manicures.

I’m still not sure if I’ll return to Julep any time soon, as while they have some nice products they’re not as experimental as the other brands I found through research, even though they are local. For now, I guess I’ll just keep on watching.

Screenshot from


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