Julep Jocelyn

This is Julep Jocelyn, the polish that convinced me to pick up this month’s Julep Maven Classic with a Twist box. It’s a burgundy-to-cranberry shimmer, courtesy of shimmer particles that seem to shift from magenta to gold and impart a bluer or more orange cast to what looks to me like a metallic maroon base, with holo particles interspersed throughout. So pretty.

Here is two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor direct natural light:

These photos in bright sunlight show off the complexity of this color pretty well. The holo microglitter throws off more rainbows in person, though.

The formula is a tad on the thicker side, so it has a tendency to cling to the brush stem and drip (so be careful with that extra-long Julep brush stem) but it provides good coverage and is almost opaque in one coat. You could probably get by with a single coat if you apply it carefully, but I still used two coats for better evenness. You can see the brush strokes a little bit, but it’s not too noticeable. The Julep brush still seems to be the slightly wider than average, slightly flattened, square-tipped one. It’s all right, but as I’ve mentioned in other reviews of more recent Julep polishes, it’s not the easiest brush for hugging the cuticle curve.

In outdoor indirect natural light (shade):

In indirect light, the dichroic/duochrome flash doesn’t show as much, so the maroon base predominates. It’s a lovely deep purplish red that reminds me of Dr. Pepper cans and cherries – the ripe, dark-red ones:

Finally, one more angle to better show off that golden shimmer:

Jocelyn is, in short, everything I was hoping for in this polish color. With fall coming on, I had such a hankering to wear a spicy, fruity color like this, and Julep totally nailed it (no pun intended). I imagine it’d be a fantastic color for winter, too. Thumbs up on this one!

If you’re digging these Julep colors, you might be interested in checking out Julep’s monthly Maven box, which is $24,99 a month individually, or $19.99 a month, if you prepay for three months at a time, and you can skip boxes and cancel whenever you like (a must in a subscription box, in my  book). I believe you can get the first box for free. :)

Anyway, Arielle is up next for swatching, probably, unless I end up obsessing over another color when I change colors at the end of the week. :) Did you pick up this month’s Julep box, and what did you think of this collection?

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep October 2015 Maven Box: The New York Never Sleeps Collection, Classic with a Twist + add-ons (with promo codes)

My Julep Maven October 2015 monthly box came in last Thursday! I went with the Classic with a Twist box this time, since I liked the cranberry shimmer with holo so much. Here’s what came in the box:


The box was packed with burgundy paper crinkles and black tissue paper with iridescent silver glitter. The Classic with a Twist items were:

  • Julep Eyeshadow 101 Creme-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick – I got this in Orchid Shimmer
  • Arielle, a “[s]moked fig crème,” and
  • Jocelyn, a “[c]ranberry shimmer with holographic microglitter,” plus
  • an description card describing the new Eyeshadow 101 stick and Your Happy Look blush (which I didn’t get),
  • 30% off promo code (30EYES), and
  • this month’s freebie, candy corn, same as we’ve gotten every October for the past few years.

I can now confirm that not every box includes the same promo code. My sister received a $10 off $20+ promo code (NYC10) instead.


I hardly ever wear makeup, but the eyeshadow stick seemed potentially handy for easy application during those few moments that I might need to dress up. I also loved the Orchid Shimmer color, which is a warm, brown-leaning purple. When it comes to eye stuff, I love reds and purples, so I’m pretty excited to try this thing out.

The eyeshadow stick is shaped like a pen, and the plastic has an attractive smoky chrome finish. One side’s the eyeshadow crayon, and the other has a spongy smudger tip. Here’s a close-up on the crayon end:


And here’s the smudger end:


My sister got it in Stone, a warm gray/taupe creme, which we both thought was an interesting color. I usually don’t do makeup swatches, but if we somehow get photos worth posting, I’ll blog them.


Now for the polishes (from top to bottom):

  • Arielle, new this month
  • Jocelyn, new this month
  • Tanith (“[w]arm putty with gold microglitter”), from January’s Classic with a Twist box, one of my add-ons, and
  • Myriam (“[c]asino red crème”), the bonus for picking up three or more add-ons this month, from Julep’s March 2014 release.

I can also now confirm that the bonus for picking up three or more add-ons is not the same for everyone. Instead of Myriam, my sister received Colton (“[b]lack iris crème”) as her bonus item.


And the last two add-ons (left to right):

  • Kayla (“[e]lectric iris sheer with violet sheen”), from Julep’s April 2014 Bombshell box, and
  • Nicola (“[o]range glow-in-the-dark iridescent microglitter top coat”), new this month.

I’ve got Jocelyn all swatched and ready to go, so stay tuned for a swatch post soon. :)

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don’t expect you to use my referral links unless you want to, of course, and they don’t affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals go toward products reviewed on this site – thanks!

Julep Waleska

This week’s swatch is Julep Waleska, borrowed from my sister, since my own polishes are packed away for moving at the moment. :) Waleska is from last August’s Julep Maven Boho Glam box, which I may have chosen poorly in skipping, since it also had India, another color I regretted not picking up. I sure wish I picked up Waleska, too, even though I apparently have a tendency to collect similar teals and already have a lot of polishes in the same family.

This is two coats, topped with Zoya Armor top coat, in indirect outdoor natural light:

Waleska is an amazing blue-green to emerald-green metallic shimmer that could be Zoya Remy‘s greener sister. The base is a bright blue-green, packed densely with green and gold shimmer particles that give it that greener overall cast. It’s stunning.

The formula is excellent, too. It’s opaque in two coats and applies like butter. Dry time seemed average.

In direct outdoor natural light:

It seems to shift between bluer and greener, depending on the lighting and angle. I love the richness of the color and am again kind of regretting that I didn’t grab the August 2014 Julep Maven Boho Glam box when I had the chance! Waleska’s currently out of stock at Julep, but if it comes back, maybe I’ll consider picking up a bottle. Maybe. I need to check over my teals again and see if I really feel the need for another teal, even if it’s an awesome one like Waleska.

Thank goodness for awesome sisters who share their polish stashes! :D

Do you have a color you’re hooked on?

LynBDesigns I am Beyond Impropriety

This is another polish from LynBDesigns‘ Meet Me at the Abbey collection, I am Beyond Impropriety.

Here’s two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor indirect natural light (shade):

My bottle of I am Beyond Impropriety is a neutral-ish, slightly blue-leaning, slightly dusty lavender crelly base with a good helping of what looks to me like somewhat iridescent golden flakies. That is, in person, the fine flake glitter seems to flash pink sometimes, though it just looks gold in the photos. My bottle wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, since the official swatch photos are definitely way more pink/mauve, and LynBDesigns even describes the color as “a mauvey purple crelly with intense golden shimmer.” My photos of this color are pretty much color accurate to my bottle, and it’s definitely more of a lavender. The base also looks more opaque to me, such that the flakies don’t layer as visibly. The flake glitter looks a bit coarser and more random-sized in my bottle than in the official swatch, but that’s all right with me. Such is the way of indie polishes, though, so even though I’d have preferred the pinker tone and more translucent base, I’m cool with it.

Here’s a shot in outdoor direct natural light (bright sunlight):

This polish was pretty easy to apply and was opaque in two to three coats. I used two for these photos, but on my other hand (not pictured), I applied it thinner and needed three. Dry time was faster than average. The polish dried fairly smooth, but the finish was something of a semi-matte. I thought it looked better with a coat of glossy top coat.

Again in indirect outdoor natural light (shade), but different color temperature:

Here’s another angle on those flakies:

Durability doesn’t seem to be this color’s strong suit, unfortunately. It started chipping pretty badly on me at the end of the second day, and the typical polish usually lasts four or five days.

Long story short, it’s a pretty color with easy application but only lasts a couple days, even with a generally reliable base and top coat. That’s not necessarily much of an issue if you like to change your nail color often, though, and as always, your mileage may vary, particularly since this is an indie polish that may have some variation from bottle to bottle.

Do you have any thoughts on this color or indie polishes in general? I’d love to hear from you!

LynBDesigns Defender of the Downtrodden

I’m still alive! Not surprisingly, it’s even bigger of a challenge to post regular swatches now that I’m back to working full time and taking care of a newborn, but I’ll still be posting when I can. :)

Here’s LynBDesigns Defender of the Downtrodden from the Meet Me at the Abbey collection, three coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat.

This is in outdoor direct natural light:

Defender of the Downtrodden has a pale taupe crelly base and linear holo shimmer. The holo is pretty muted in this one, though in a good way. It’s subtle enough to be work-appropriate at a somewhat conservative workplace, yet the holographic shimmer keeps it from being too plain. The rainbows really don’t come out except in bright light. Otherwise, it’s got more of a soft, sugary sparkle.

The formula is a bit goopy and not the absolute easiest to apply, but it’s workable. (Forgive my sloppy application – it’s hard not to rush with a baby to get back to!) It’s somewhat opaque in two coats but looked better to me with three.

Here it is in indirect natural light (shade):

While I don’t usually go for neutrals/nudes, this is a beautiful, soft neutral that I enjoyed wearing for a week. Durability was pretty average on me; it lasted about four days before chipping significantly.

And here’s another shot in bright sunlight to show the rainbow sparkles:

Again, subtle but lovely. I’m not sure how often I’ll feel like wearing such a demure color, but it’s nice to have one in my collection for when I’m in a more subdued mood, like three weeks ago when I wore this. :)

It’s been nice having my bare, natural nails out for three weeks, but I think I’m ready to polish these suckers again, so maybe I’ll post again before long. Let’s hope ‘Fiend Jr. cooperates!

Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Kiss

This is three coats of Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Kiss, from the summer 2013 The Mermaids collection (spin-offs of the original Mermaid’s Dream), topped with Essie Good to Go top coat.

In direct natural light:

Mermaid’s Kiss is a sheer, slightly milky, blush-pink base with pink and champagne-gold microglitter/shimmer, as well as a smattering of small raspberry and gold hexes. At three coats, it’s still somewhat sheer, but the shimmer effectively hides the sheerness in most lighting. The overall effect is similar to Milani Golden Romance, Julep Love, and, of course, the original Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream and its doppelganger Revlon Wintermint. It reminds me of sweets, like strawberry ice cream or Pop-Tart frosting. :)

The formula applies smoothly and dries faster than average, even with three coats. No special glitter placement was necessary, and I had no problems with the fairly standard round, square-tipped brush.

In indirect natural light:

To be honest, I like Mermaid’s Kiss more than the original Mermaid’s Dream, even though I typically go for minty green shades over pinks. I also found it interesting that Mermaid’s Kiss often ends up looking pretty close to my skin tone, despite looking obviously pink in the bottle, so it looks like a dressed-up nude, almost.

This polish normally goes for $20, but I managed to snag it off the Deborah Lippmann website on sale for $10. The sale’s over now, but it may come up again.

I’ve heard some people have issues with the durability of Deborah Lippmann glitter polishes, but so far, this has lasted a day without visible wear. I’ll update this post in about a week or so, when I’ve more to report on that. :)

LynBDesigns Slay

Quick swatch post: this one’s LynBDesigns Slay, a blazingly neon watermelon red-pink crelly, from the Vocab collection.

This is two coats in outdoor natural light – and believe me, it’s even brighter and more vibrant in person, as cameras can’t capture its fiery fluorescence like our eyes can:

Imagine this red-leaning pink in full neon glory, and you’d get Slay. The formula is amazing for a neon – in fact, I’d say it’s just about perfect. No white base coat required! It could be even more opaque with three coats, but I liked the slightly translucent candy-like look at two coats. It applies smoothly and dries faster than average to a matte finish. I used Essie Good to Go top coat for the glossy look.

I’m so in love with this polish. <3 <3 <3 It’s so saturated and juicy, just the way I like my colors.

I’ve still got more from my LynBDesigns haul to swatch, so stay tuned! Meanwhile, do any of you have favorite neon polishes to recommend to me?

Durability & removal update 8/9/2015: Slay did pretty well over a week, but in the way of other neon polishes I own, the polish layer started to gradually separate from the nail plate a bit as time went on, and the heaviest-use nails (index & thumb on both sides) chipped by around the 5th day. Not too shabby, considering all the typing, piano playing, and baby-stuff washing I did. The polish (with a base coat underneath) didn’t stain my nails, despite the intense color, and removal was a breeze.