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My October 2016 Julep box: ‘Dark and Stormy Nights’

(Disclosure: post contains affiliate links.)

I haven’t ordered a Julep Maven box in what seems like forever. I haven’t really been doing my nails much lately and I’ve been trying to save cash, but I was really digging the October options and had some Jules saved up to splurge, so I got a sweet little box to treat myself! The theme this month was “Dark and Stormy Nights” and here’s everything that was included:

Julep Dark and Stormy Nights box

Katya (Classic With a Twist)—deep acai berry creme. She’s similar to some other Julep polishes that I already own but I just love vampy almost-black polishes and if I decide not to open her she’d be perfect for giving away. I’m really a sucker for these shades.

Ebony (It Girl)—graphite holographic. This polish is soooooo pretty in the bottle and equally mesmerizing on nails.

Jean (Classic With a Twist)—black cherry creme. Such a vampy twist on classic red nails. It makes me think of a classic horror heroine and definitely fits with the “dark and stormy nights” theme!

Desiree (It Girl)—high-gloss holographic top coat. This was a bonus polish included in all boxes this month and since I adore holos, I can’t wait to play with her.

Fifi (It Girl)—tea time pink creme. This was the October mystery polish. It’s not necessarily something I would have picked for myself but it’s very soft and pretty and a nice pedicure color to offset black or charcoal on my fingertips (or vice versa—I like contrast between my mani and pedi).

Colton (It Girl)—black iris creme. This looks very, very similar to Katya, but I think it’s a shade darker and cooler. Up close you can see that it’s purple, not black.

Silver nail studs and skull print nail stickers (not pictured here, but you can see them on my Insta)—I haven’t played a lot with nail art so I got these add-ons to try out. Wish me luck with the studs!

If you’re curious about Julep, here’s how it works: each month you receive a box of $40+ worth of nail polish and beauty treats for $24.99 ($19.99 if you prepay for a three-month subscription, or $16.66 for a six-month plan). You can opt for a curated box or swap out options and add on exclusively priced extras. Not feeling the monthly options? Skip that month altogether. If you’re interested in becoming a Maven, you can currently get a free twelve-piece polish set when you start a new monthly subscription. And if you’re an existing Maven, don’t forget that you can get $10 off your order of $25 or more with the code “OCT10” now through November 30!

Are you a Julep Maven? Did you post your Dark and Stormy Nights box on your blog or social? If so leave me a link in the comments so I can check it out!

Beauty do or don’t: matching your lipstick to your dress

Beauty do or don’t? Megan Fox attended Ferrarri’s 60th anniversary gala last week with an interesting beauty/fashion combo: red lipstick that perfectly matched her red gown.

 

It used to be going matchy-matchy with your makeup and clothing was a bit of a faux pas, but lately celebrities have been rocking this look more often. Personally I think Megan looks great, but I wonder: is this a beauty do or don’t? Is this maybe something you can only pull off when you’re a Hollywood actress in full femme fatale mode at a red carpet event?

 

If you’re curious about the shade she’s wearing here: it’s Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Icon [$30], but if you want a cheaper, vegan alternative, I would suggest Flower Beauty Kiss Stick High Shine Lip Color in Rose Bud [$6.98 at Walmart stores]. It’s a great classic red! Check out my review here or check out these three swatches and tell me: which one would be your “go-to” red?

Beauty do or don't: matching your lips to your dress? Consider these cruelty-free red lippies!

What do you think? Would you ever wear this look for a daytime/casual everyday event? What beauty do or don’t have you broken recently?

Ethical fashion picks: May 2014

1. Britta top, $29.99, Threads For Thought. Organic/recycled materials.
2. Indian block-print sandals, $65.53, Fashion Conscience. Vegan.
3. Edenham bangle, $25, Roozt. Fair trade and made from plants.
4. Chevron zip pouch, $23, Pure Citizen. Vegan and fair-trade, supporting single mothers in East Africa.
5. Sarong scarf, $33.66, People Tree. Made by Swallows, a fair trade group working with women in rural Bangladesh.
6. Southwestern top, $19.99, ModCloth. Made in the USA.

Ten on Tuesday: Oscars fashion edition (2014)

I skipped the Oscars Sunday night (too tired), but I was really eager to see all of the gorgeous dresses come Monday morning. I eagerly turned on my computer and started flipping through slideshows of the red carpet, waiting for the slew of really jaw-dropping gowns that I knew just had to be hiding in there somewhere.

I’m still looking for them.

Truthfully, this year’s Oscar fashions sucked. I wasn’t feeling the plethora of nude gowns–they made most of the actresses look really washed out, and after a while they all just blended together. Also blah were the capes (Jada Pinkett Smith, Camilla Alves). And as much as I wanted to love the dresses on Elsa Pataky (aka Mrs. Thor) and Olivia Wilde, they both looked insanely uncomfortable–not to mention there was something weird going on in the boob area on both dresses.

Other offenders: Anna Kendrick and Ireland Baldwin seemed to be wearing dresses that didn’t know what they wanted to be. So many were just boring, like Meryl Streep and Emma Watson. And some were just harsh on the eyes: Gabourey Sidibe and Chirssy Teigen both looked like they were wearing prom cast-offs, not red carpet gowns.

With all of that said, I did see a few winners, so I thought I’d share them here!! Read more (and see pics) after the jump! And don’t forget to swing by Alyssa’s blog to link up for Ten on Tuesday!

1. Lupita Nyong’o in Prada. Of course I knew she’d knock it out of the park!


2. Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen. She looks so youthful yet classy and elegant.


3. Jenna Dewan-Tatum in Reem Acra. She had the best out of all the nude gowns on the carpet.


4. Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab Haute Couture. Second-best nude gown. For some reason people really disliked this one, though.


5. Olga Kurylenko in Alice Elia from Red Carpet Green Dress. Her dress is eco-friendly!


6. Rachel Smith in Sherry Hill. She’s a beauty queen and TV personality, not an actress, so she didn’t show up in a lot of the slideshows I browsed. But she definitely had the best black gown on the carpet. (I wanted to like Charlize Theron’s number, but the strap/boob situation was weirding me out!)


7. Kerry Washington in Jason Wu. I was kind of torn on this dress, but it’s Kerry, and she would look good in a trash bag, so…yeah. She just looks so glowy and happy, even for being pregnant on the red carpet!


8. Viola Davis in Escada. Love the green, and love the hair.


9. Sari Mercer in Suzanne Neville. Isn’t it kind of bad when a nominee’s girlfriend is more pulled-together than the majority of the celebrities on the red carpet? Doesn’t that mean all those high-paid stylists are really dropping the ball? (That’s 12 Years A Slave nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in the tux.)


10. Jared Leto in Saint Laurent. Surprise, a dude! I liked that he didn’t go with the traditional tux. He truly looks like a rock star.


So who were your best-dressed ladies (and gents) of the night? Tell me in the comments!

Ethical/vegan/USA fashion picks: March 2014

I thought it would be fun to start doing a regular feature of ethically sourced, charitable, vegan and/or made in the USA fashion picks. I don’t know if I’ll do this on a monthly basis or just as the mood strikes me. For now, here are some spring picks for you, all under $100.

1. Folk Like Us cotton crinkle maxi skirt; $54 (converted from pounds) from Fashion Conscience. Fair trade.
2. Crowned Earrings; $28 from Roozt. Designer Glit-Z donates a portion of proceeds to charities benefiting autism awareness and child abuse prevention.
3. Hopeful of Life tank; $27.99 from ModCloth. Made in the USA.
4. On Deck sneaker in pink; $60 from Pure Citizen. Vegan, fair trade, recycled and eco-conscious.
5. Chinese Laundry Vegan Milk Shake Tribal Wedge; $80 (converted from pounds) from Fashion Conscience. Vegan-friendly synthetic design.
6. Ellie Bouquet Dress; $80 (converted from pounds) from People Tree. Organic and fair trade cotton.
7. Everyday Hobo; $32 from One Mango Tree. Locally sourced and stitched by Ugandan artisans.
8. Heads or Tailwinds top; $37.99 from ModCloth. Made in the USA.

(Links are provided for ease of shopping only; they are not affiliate links.)
 
 

February 2014 Julep Maven unboxing

(Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.)
 
 
Happy February everyone! I had enough Julep reward points sitting in my account to earn a free box, so I thought I would treat myself this month and get some new polish to make the gloomy winter weather a little less dreadful. February’s Maven theme was ‘The Dramatic Collection’, and it did not disappoint! The colors were definitely dramatic and there was a nice mix of gloss and sparkle inside. 
If you’re new to Julep, it’s a monthly nail polish subscription box that brings you $40+ worth of fashionable polish shades and new beauty products for $19.99. When you sign up you’ll take a style quiz that will match you to the box type that best suits you: Boho Glam, Bombshell, Classic With a Twist, It Girl or Modern Beauty. Each month you can preview the box selections and elect to try a different box style or skip the month altogether. If you decide to sign up, I’d be super-duper thrilled if you’d use my referral link
Now, on to the polish. This month I decided to go with the “Bombshell” box, which contained two gorgeous shades: “Judi”, an “English violet creme”, and “Kristen”, described as “deep sea teal with silver microshimmer”. Personally I think Kristen looks nothing like the Julep blog swatches in her bottle, but maybe once she’s swatched the teal will really show up.
 
 
 
I also chose two add-ons. “Roc Solid” is described as a “vintage military creme”, while “Cameron” is a “silver lilac stardust (matte glitter)”. I’m really into matte glitters (or any glitters, really) right now so this is right up my alley.
There were two extras in the box this month. The Eye Sheen Liquid Eyeshadow should be interesting–I got the shade “Warm Fig”. The “Love” polish is a mix of “gold, pearl and fuchsia microglitter” and I really can’t say whether it will be full coverage or not. (I hope so.)
Both my Julep box and my Zoya promo order arrived within two days of each other, so clearly I have a lot of swatching to do! If you’d like to check out even more nail polish, take a look at my new Zoyas over here. Hopefully I’ll have a ton of swatch spam up for you over the next couple of weeks!
 
 
(Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.)

My Zoya promo order arrived!

My Zoya order (from the 2014 Color Your World promo) finally arrived! I ended up ordering three extra polishes to get the free shipping, so I now have a total  of six lovely polishes waiting to be worn. Zoya is my favorite polish brand–the formula is great, the color selection is massive, and the polishes are all vegan–plus they release tons of trendy new fashion colors each season that you won’t find in the drugstore.

 

I tried to order with an eye toward the polishes I’ll want to wear this spring and summer, rather than snagging more glitters and “winter” polishes. To that end, I grabbed “Charisma”, a neon orchid shade, to fit with the Pantone color of the year: Radiant Orchid! I also picked up “Darcy”, a warm yellow, and “Destiny”, a coral PixieDust that I’ve been craving since last summer. I think both of these colors will make great pedicure colors once the weather warms up.

 

I also picked out three wild card colors. I don’t normally go for blues, but “Song” was too pretty to pass up. “Purity” is a solid white that should be great for nail art, while “Rue” is a blush nude from the spring “Natural” collection that was just recently released.

 

Here are some shots in cooler light. I think you can see the shimmers in Song a bit better. I’m wondering what Charisma will look like on the nails, because it’s insanely bright even in the bottle! I’ve heard it has a semi-matte finish, so I might have to use a high-gloss topcoat with this one.

 

 

Now the swatching begins… :D