This month's box from Julep wowed me big time. I was happy to see a designer collaboration this time, and some really good shades. Some in the collection looked dupeable to me, but the ones I got were exceptional, and pretty unique. I went for the Bombshell box this time which included Alma (the greeny yellow) and Annie (the creamy electric blue) as well as a volumizing mascara which is a new product for Julep and which I will review seperately, though I will tell you now it's better than decent, but not anything heart-stopping. I also added on Otte, which is a weird-cool camel color. This month there was the opportunity to buy the whole collection (every box) for $50 as opposed to $20 for just one, which is a really good deal if you were interested in all the colors. I passed on this option as I have shades that look comparable to the rest that were available, but they all did look pretty solid and nice.
Before I go on to the swatches, so you know, you can join Julep Maven and get a pretty sizable discount off their website/Sephora price by opting for the monthly subscription box. I have been a member for several months now and I like it a lot, myself. You can read my review on the service here, or you can view all my Julep swatches so far here. And if you're interested in joining, you can click this link which is my referral link, and I will get credit towards my subscription if you join (or just click to join at Julep.com if you'd rather.) Don't forget you can get your first box for one penny plus free shipping with the code COLOR 2012 or PENNY. Either one I believe works.
Click to view the swatches...
Tagged with: fall, green, blue, nails, yellow, Nude, september, trina turk, camel, Julep, subscription box
Nails Inc. Special Effects Sprinkles in Pudding Lane - $9.50 at sephora.com
The Sprinkles range of polishes is a relatively new one in the Nails Inc Special Effects line and they're beautiful! They consist of semi-transparent bases with a range of glitter polishes. With the rise in popularity of glitter polishes, especially those like Revlon Whimsical/Lippmann Glitter in the Air that show the glitter through the different layers of polish that give it more depth. In these cases the glitter isn't about sparkle; it's about texture, depth, and color.
In Pudding Lane the semi-sheer medium blue-leaning aqua is filled with gold and purple (maybe it's blurple) glitter. It's surprisingly pigmented, so two coats is all you need for full-coverage, but I did use three for a little more glitter, hence the more densely speckled look you see here. This dried slightly gritty, but not nearly as bad as I expected and a coat or so of topcoat should fix things. I only used one and it's not glassy, but it's not gritty at all. I am already eyeing up the other three polishes, but can't find a great reason to justify it considering I've had two Zoya orders, a Sephora order (for this and the LORAC Pro palette which is AMAZING, btw!) plus my Julep stuff this month. I really need to get around to that blog sale...
What do you think of this polish? are you interested in any other other polishes available in this range? Let me know!
Click to see a close-up of this polish...
You may have heard of Julep Nail Vernis at some point recently, be it on the Sephora site or one of their stores where the polishes are $14 a pop (for a .27oz bottle, whoa). Or you may have seen the name on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest, jeez man that name is everywhere. I watched the Julep Mania for a few months with a jaded eye until I finally gave in. If you haven't heard the name Julep, well, it started with a salon in Seattle, then grew to include a nail polish line, and now there is a monthly subscription box where you can have a selection of these polishes delivered to your door at a much lower price than their retail stickers.
If you'd like to join, here's a referral link if you click it, thanks in advance, that's awfully nice of you:) (if you refer people, it counts toward getting a free month, pretty nice) Don't forget to enter your code COLOR2012 to get the intro box for a penny. There are other codes to only pay $5 and $10 but I used the penny one and it worked just fine.
You can get the gist of what's going on here on their site, or on their freakishly busy Facebook page, but here's basically what happens:
- Take a quiz about your favorite things and Julep will magick up your perfect style profile (you don't have to buy the one they choose for you)
- You pay $19.99 (or a penny if you use the code COLOR 2012, duh which one would you rather pay?) and they send you your intro box. This box at this point comes with your two colors and a fairly amazing pedi creme, or three polishes and no creme if you choose the It Girl style profile).
- If you like it, every month afterward you will have a four day period, between the 20th and 24th of each month to decide if you want to skip that month's box, or if you'd like to choose another style profile.
- If you continue past the intro box, you get billed your $19.99 for your first monthly on the 27th of the month, which is the day the box is sent out.
Here are some interesting things to add:
- Each month has a new theme, and there are several new polishes added to the line each month, so there's nearly always something new.
- Recently they have been doing a thing where you can add on two (sometimes more) items to your box for $4.99 each (which is way cheaper than you pay at Sephora).
- You get a 20% discount on anything that's not "new" that month in the Maven Boutique. (In my opinion the price on these items is still pretty steep, though I did purchase Taylor at retail price so who's stupid now, lol).
- Each month in addition to polish there is another product. Last month it was a lip gloss (which I really liked) and this month it is a tote bag and a polish remover in a pump.
- They always send little extras which range from files, cuticle oil, creams, to free polish vouchers, to candy, so it's sort of fun to open each month.
- Each month tons of "Golden Boxes" get sent out randomly to subscribers and they include the polishes from every style profile box that month which is actually a pretty rad idea.
- The customer service is very fast, very nice and very effective.
Click to read more and see the swatches...
Tagged with: green, nail polish, blue, nails, white, glitter, swatches, peach, Julep, subscription service, Julep Maven
Rescue Beauty Lounge - IKB:2012 - $20 at rescuebeauty.com
I was so excited about this release because the blue known as International Klein Blue is my favorite color. Since it's such a rare and distinctive color, I decided to splurge. I only have three or four RBL polishes and like with Chanel, I only buy the ones I find to be unique enough to add to my inventory. I was a little sad about this one.
First off, the color lacks the gorgeous glow of IKB, it's positively dull. Secondly, it's a lot more purple than IKB. I can understand it's hard to make a polish that exact color, as it's so complex, but the promotional bottle pics all made it look exactly IKB. My photo makes it seem a little brighter than it was in person due to the flash. Regardless, it's still a very pretty color and I'd have been willing to forgive it for it's very un-IKB-ness except that applying this polish is like trying to spread craft paste on with a popsicle stick in a room with a high-velocity fan blowing directly at you. I've used literally a couple thousand different polishes in my life and I was just horrified by this. I love my other RBL polishes, but this one is a stinker. I saw at least one pre-release review that shouted that this polish was "self-leveling" and although I've met precious few polishes that DO NOT self-level, I'll be damned if this one DID NOT for me. The finish is plasticky, and the polish that inevitably dries around the neck of the bottle turned into a flaky, cheap plastic-like mess.
I hate to give such a negative review, especially for a product by a brand that I admire so much, but I intensely disliked this polish and want to put this out there for anyone debating what to do with that $27.50 ($20 plus $7.50 in shipping) burning a hole in their pocket. I heard that the early ones that shipped to people for reviews had the same sort of symptoms that I'm experiencing, but that they would be addressed, but unless I got one of the original formula, the issues were not addressed, so caveat emptor my friends.
OPI Just Spotted the Lizard - $8.50
OPI's new The Amazing Spiderman collection is about to be released in store and there has been a lot of noise about this polish. Not only because it's a pretty rad multi-chrome, but because it's a Chanel Peridot (see my Peridot review here) dupe. With Chanel polishes now fairly assaulting wallets at a price of $26, it's nice to see a less expensive alternative to a popular shade. I've got several photos of OPI JSTL, and then below I have a couple comparison photos.
As far as this polish, It's pretty much a dead-on dupe of Peridot. It's somewhat sheer, but with three thin coats you get full coverage. The color in most lights is pre-dominantly an amber gold with a seafoam green and light turquoise showing up from time to time. The wear was pretty average, I tested it for two days and didn't have any tip wear or chipping. It doesn't show stroke lines as much as Peridot, which really didn't have much in the way of stroke lines in the first place; it's just mainly more metallic whereas Peridot does have some foil-like flecks which scatter light a little more. JSTL doesn't really have that and so it has a more linear light reflection.
Click for more photos!
Tagged with: chanel, green, nail polish, blue, nails, gold, amber, OPI, holographic, duochrome, multichrome
As far as I know, this is the first time my name or any part of my body has been in a national magazine, so I had to share. My hand/name is in the May issue of LHJ. A couple months ago I got an email from someone at LHJ asking if they could use one of my photos in a column, and of course I said "totally." Very cool. Nothing huge, just a pic of my hand wearing Esse Mesmerize and a little blurb where I said that to me it's a very nautical feeling color. Plus my name. I didn't recognize all the other names, except for Michele Mismas of All Lacquered Up. It's on page 48 if you've got the issue :)
Click to see the pics...
Tagged with: blue, nails, media, essie
Here's a pretty self-explanatory nail design, the Swedish flag. I took some liberties with my interpretation, but I think it's recognizable for what it's meant to be. I did large flags on a couple nails and then small flags sort of scattered over a couple and the pinky, hell, I have no idea what that's supposed to be. I love the colors together on the nail, especially with the white!
- Wet n Wild White On
- Sally Hansen Mellow Yellow
- Finger Paints Blue Raspberry Taffy
I've long been a fan of Pucci prints as they're colorful and bold and always interesting, so I decided to try to emulate that style of pattern for a nail design. In the end, I didn't really think it looked very Pucci-esque, it's a little too random, but all-in-all I do like it a lot and the color combination was really cute. All of the design was done with a striping brush and six different nail polishes.
- China Glaze Recycle
- China Glaze White on White
- China Glaze Concrete Catwalk
- China Glaze Aquadelic
- China Glaze Dance Baby
- China Glaze Sweet Hook
- Seche Vite topcoat
- China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat
- China Glaze Reggae to Riches
- Sephora by OPI Opening Night
- China Glaze Millenium
- Seche Vite Top Coat
I did this right before I changed my nail shape from square to oval. Man, it feels weird to see them so square, lol. Anyway, I'm really into half-moon manicures right now, and I like the added interest of contrasting colors and a little something extra to deliniate the place where the colors meet. I used China Glaze Reggae to Riches for the base, which is a beautiful bright magenta shimmer with a really, really intense blue flash to it. Then for the rest of the nail, I used the incredibly well-pigmented Opening Night by Sephora by OPI which is a rich sapphire shimmer. For the line of "beads," I used a dotting too and China Glaze Millenium. I'm thinking of trying this same manicure out with black, white and grey soon, I think that would be really elegant. Maybe with some 3D pearl action...
Click for more photos!
Recently at NYFW, CND did a really cool look they called Flirty Flowers for Rachel Antonoff's runway show. I think it was a real eye-catcher for everyone considering the interesting pattern and the use of bright, bold colors juxtaposed on the small canvas of the nails. I wanted to recreate it, and in fact did start out by using CND Anchor Blue as they did, but I found it was far too dark to get the look in the photos without adding a lot of white to it. I'm probably not using the same technique they did, so maybe they added the Anchor Blue designs while the white was still wet, but either way I ended up using different polishes to acheive this look.
I painted the nails white, added the blue "petals" freehand with a brush, then added the red to the top, using a thin brush to get the red into the angles left behind by the blue.
- China Glaze White on White
- China Glaze Electric Beat
- OPI Red Lights Ahead... Where?
- Seche Vite Topcoat
Click for more photos...