nail polish

Julep Feb’14 Maven swatches!

Happy Monday everyone! Here are the swatches from my February Julep Maven box.

I decided to use Roc Solid (a vintage army green creme) on my fingers with Kristen (teal with silver microshimmer) as an accent. I’m really not loving the formula on Roc Solid; it’s so thick as to be almost unmanageable, making for a splotchy manicure, and I had pretty noticeable tip wear after just one day of wear. I think it will just take a little patience to make it look decent for future manicures.

Kristen, on the other hand, is a dream. It’s not too thick or thin and is completely opaque in a single coat. Like most dark blues/greens, it does stain pretty badly. For this mani I did a coat of Julep Sienna (an antique gold) on my accent nail and topped it with a heavy coat of Love (gold/fuchsia microglitter).

Here’s a single coat of Love on bare nails. It’s very pretty but very sheer, so you can either use it solo for a subtle effect or layer it over a base. One of my friends sampled it over pink and purple with great results.

Judi is a deep purple creme. This is a perfect pedicure color and almost a one-coater. Here I’ve used Cameron (lilac matte glitter) as an accent on my big toes; this polish was a one-coater and dried very quickly, making it a great quickie mani-pedi color. (Excuse the catnip all over the scratching post–it was the best place to prop up my foot in the fading daylight!)

Here’s Judi again, this time with two coats. Obviously it’s much darker with that second coat, which is fine by me. It’s a very royal color and was not too thick or thin.

I really want to try Cameron as an accent with Zoya Marley, since the two seem to be the same shade of lilac. I’ve also got all of my new Zoyas to swatch this week, so hopefully I’ll have a nice big swatch post up later in the week!

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

Nail polish swatch: P2 Opulent

Here’s a quick swatch of a new nail color I got for Christmas! My friend Katrin sent me another bottle of P2 Sand Style polish from Germany. This one is called “Opulent” and it’s a dark blue-green liquid sand loaded with teal microglitter. It dries down to a matte gritty finish, but like my favorite Zoya liquid sands it’s a fairly smooth sand, not a bumpy one, so I didn’t bother adding a top coat.

There’s a barely detectable shift to purple at the edge of the nails, but I don’t think it really showed up in these photos. This is the first time I’ve encountered a holo liquid sand, so I’m pretty thrilled with it! I think you can see the purple a bit more at the edges of the polish bottle, if you look closely.

 

Polish swatch: Essence Chic Reloaded

The other day when I was checking out Christine’s weekly polish picks over at MakeUp Guinea Pig, I saw she’d swatched a polish that looked quite familiar–Chic Reloaded from Essence, which I actually managed to pick up a few months ago and then never remembered to test out! So I thought I would swatch it to see what it looks like in person.

Chic Reloaded is a metallic steel grey with a purple/green shift. Depending on the lighting, it may appear to be a very dark grey, a deep shimmery jade green, or a smoky purple. Unfortunately the color shift is not very strong and if you’re not looking for it, it will probably just look like a dark grey polish. Here in natural light you can see a small amount of the color shift, but once you’re in artificial light I feel like you have to really look for the duochrome to see it. Altogether, though, it is a nice autumn/winter polish, and super-cheap too–I think it’s about $2.

I tore a nail at work this week and ended up cutting them all down to nubbins (I hate having long nails and one shortie in the mix!), but I’ll give myself points for being more faithful to my cuticle cream, so at least my knuckles and cuticles don’t look so ragged this week!

Busy Girl Nails Fall Nail Art Challenge: Week 4: Orange

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Today I did a quick manicure using Julep ‘Ingrid’, a glossy pumpkin orange creme. One of the newer Julep formulas, this has a middling wide brush and a formula that’s just a tad thicker then their older polishes, so it’s not nearly as drippy. I felt it had good coverage at two coats but if you’re very picky about your nail lines, you might want to use three for extra coverage. I’m not usually big on orange but I love this autumn polish!

(My hands and cuticles are sooo torn up this week! Yikes!)

Nail Polish of the Month: October 2013

Happy Halloween everyone! This month’s polish pick is P2 “Classy”, which is not available in the U.S. but was very kindly sent to my by my friend Katrin all the way from Germany! Thank you Katrin!

This is a liquid sand polish, so it dries to a gritty matte glitter finish. The base is a deep slate grey with loads of blue, orange and magenta microglitters. Sadly my camera didn’t want to capture the microglitters very well, though you get a hint of them in these pictures. This polish is neither too thick nor too thin, and the brush is a little wider than the standard skinny brush, so it applies like a dream–super smooth and no need for cleanup afterward!

I like this even better with a coat of gel shine topcoat. You can still see and feel the texture (though it isn’t as gritty), but the base deepens in color and the glitters show up even more with the shiny finish. Once again I couldn’t capture the microglitters very well, but you do see a hint of them. I think this is one of those polishes that has to be seen in person to really appreciate how gorgeous it is!