Julep Kris & Julep Cheyenne

Today’s swatch post is two coats of Julep Kris topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, except the ring finger, which is one coat of Julep Cheyenne. These were the November 2015 Julep Maven Bombshell box colors, which I borrowed from my sister, since I skipped that month. (Application’s kind of messy, since I slapped these on in a rush before Thanksgiving preparations. Also, please excuse the tip wear – I didn’t have time to take photos until day two!)

In direct outdoor natural light:

Kris is described by Julep as a “[a]rctic iridescent chrome.” The polish isn’t what comes to mind for me when hearing the words “iridescent chrome,” but I guess I can see where they’re coming from. It’s a clear base suspended with super-shiny cool-toned silver shimmer particles – not especially densely so, but it’s buildable and semi-opaque in two thin coats, like in my photos. The shimmer particles are a bit chunkier than a typical shimmer and give a slightly textured effect, but it’s not quite chunky enough that I’d call it microglitter. The particles are a touch iridescent, but it’s not immediately obvious. The finish also isn’t a smooth metallic, like I associate with chromes. Instead, it strikes me as more of a slightly sheer/sparse foil, if that makes sense.

The formula was easy enough to apply, but as I’ve mentioned, it’s a tad sheer and could have maybe used a third coat for better opacity, though it looks fine with two. It also seems to have a longer than average dry time (unfortunately).

Another shot in direct sunlight:

Cheyenne is a brick-red matte metallic, which Julep describes as a “[a]uburn matte metallic.” The description is spot-on, though I found the color a tad more orange/brown-leaning than the swatches Julep posted. The formula was perfect on this one: applied carefully, it was opaque in one coat, and it dried fast! Gorgeous color overall.

In indirect sunlight (shade):

So shiny!

I liked both these colors pretty well. The slow dry time on Kris stressed me out before meal prep, but the shininess of the finish kind of makes up for it. No complaints whatsoever about Cheyenne.

Did you get a November 2015 Julep box, and how did you like your box?

Julep Aubrey

Julep Aubrey is a color from September’s It Girl Maven box, labeled as a “[r]osewood shimmer.” The color’s hard to describe, but if I were to give it a shot, I’d say it looks like a dusty, rose-leaning deep grape to me; a little too purple for a rosewood color, at least to my eye. The finish is a frosty metallic shimmer, and brushstrokes do tend to show, but somehow it doesn’t look bad with this color. Maybe it’s just because it’s been compared to a wood that I expected the brush texture, but it doesn’t bother me with Aubrey.

Here’s two coats in direct outdoor sunlight, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat:

And in the shade:

And, finally, in a combination of indoor fluorescent lighting and sunlight coming in from a window:

In person, I find that it’s usually got the warmer tones of the first photo in direct sunlight, even in indirect light. Formula was easy to work with, opaque in two coats, and dried in average time – no complaints. Durability is excellent, too. At this point, I’ve worn this polish for almost a week – five days, at least – and it’s just showing some minor tip wear and no chipping, even with the usual beatings my fingertips get from rigorous piano playing.

I actually like the color a lot more than I expected: a little edgy, almost vampy in some lighting conditions, and unlike any other color in my collection. Overall, I give Aubrey a thumbs up.

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!

Essie Leggy Legend

As soon as I saw Essie Leggy Legend from this fall’s rock era-inspired collection, I knew I had to have it.

This is two coats in outdoor natural light in overcast weather, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat:

Leggy Legend isn’t just any gold-toned polish. The color is a unique bronze-y, shimmery metallic with bright gold and rosy copper notes that I haven’t seen in any other gold-family metallic polish I own. I expect the multi-faceted color makes it adaptable to many skin tones. It’s also super shiny and overall amazing.

The formula is fantastic, too. Like most Essies I’ve tried, the consistency is very fluid, but it’s not as runny as some, yet goes on buttery smooth. It dries on the faster side, and requires only two coats for good coverage. Win! The shimmer particles do tend to show some mild brushstrokes, but it’s minimal if applied carefully. No complaints about the fairly standard brush.

Here it is again from another angle, also in outdoor natural light (still overcast), for more dramatic lighting:

The richness of this color – I don’t even know how to properly express how much I love it.

I snagged my bottle from CVS (regular $8.50) with a 25% off coupon for about $6.38 + tax. Probably not the lowest price you can get an Essie for, but I was dying to wear it. Worth it. :]

Julep Nicola

This year, I didn’t do particularly festive nails for Halloween – no time! I did put on Julep Nicola, though, for the glow-in-the-dark finish. :)

Nicola is a very sheer peachy apricot base loaded with iridescent glass-fleck-y micro particles. It’s way sheer, though – way more sheer than I anticipated from the marketing photos. Even at three coats, like shown in my photos, you can barely see the polish, except that it adds a little bit of a blush tint to the nail, as well as the lovely iridescent sparkle and glossy sheen. It’s a subtle beauty, but definitely not for people who hate sheer polishes.

This is taken in strong direct outdoor natural light:

The consistency is fine, but it has a weird, strong skunky smell (blech) and seems to take longer than average to dry. Be prepared to sit tight – and maybe hold your hands away from your nose – especially if you use more than one coat of this polish!

Another angle in strong direct outdoor natural light:

The iridescent flakes stand out more in slightly less direct outdoor natural light. They mostly flash cyan to pink for me:

The peachy tint is nice, but it does make the whites of the nails look discolored.

I couldn’t snap a photo of the glow-in-the-dark effect because my phone camera couldn’t capture it. It does glow visibly greenish yellow in the dark, though.

Nicola is a pretty polish, but it’s a little more sheer than I typically like in a polish – almost more of a nail perfector, though blingy. The smell and long dry time are also not my favorite. Maybe it’ll be good layered over something else; I might experiment with that later on. Ultimately, I’m not sure it was the best use of my $6.99 (it was an add-on for my October 2015 Julep Maven box). I certainly don’t hate it, though.

Did you pick up Nicola? What did you think?

Julep Arielle

This week’s swatch is the other color from the October 2015 Julep Maven Classic with a Twist box, Arielle.

Julep Arielle has a creme finish and looks something like a cross between charcoal gray and dusky purple. I don’t have another like it, and it’s neutral enough of a color that it goes well with a wide range of outfits. The formula is great – goes on like butter – and takes two coats for good opacity. Dry time seemed about average.

Here it is, two coats topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor direct natural light. In the morning, the sunlight brought out more of the gray:

And here it is again in outdoor direct natural light, but at a different time of day (late afternoon). The light quality brought out more of the purple tones:

I’m on day five of this manicure, and other than some minor tip wear, it still looks pretty much perfect. Great relative durability on this one! (UPDATE 11/1/15: This manicure ended up lasting me almost two weeks before chipping more noticeably – wow!)

Arielle strikes me as a cooler toned, purpler version of Julep Fiore. I may do a comparison post later on.

Happy weekend!

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”), one of my add-ons, from January’s Classic with a Twist box, 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. :)

UPDATE 11/1/15: Jocelyn, Arielle, and Nicola are now all swatched and linked in this post!

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!