Julep Dana, Ledi, Tia, and black cat nail decals

It’s been a while since I last posted, but I’m still around. I’ve just gotten a bit busy with life stuff to keep up as frequently with this blog, but I’ll still be posting when I have a chance. :]

Anyway, quick post-mortem on my Halloween nails this year, using polishes and nail decals from the Julep October 2014 Black Magic collection:

  • Julep Dana (2 coats) on the index,
  • Julep Ledi (2 coats) & Julep Tia (1 coat) on the middle,
  • Dana (2 coats) with a Julep black cat nail decal on the ring, and
  • Ledi (2 coats) on the pinky,

all topped with Julep Freedom top coat. This is in natural light:

I was rushed when I painted these right before Halloween, so sorry for the sloppy bits here and there! ;P

Dana is basically a cool-leaning neutral white creme polish with a very subtle blue sheen. The white has the barest touch of beige to it, so it’s not as harsh as a stark white, but it still looks somewhat on the cool side to me, possibly because of contribution from the blue sheen. To be honest, though, you can barely see the blue once the polish is on the nail, as you can see in the photo above. It’s extremely subtle. In any case, Dana’s a flattering shade of white, and the hint of blue lends a feeling of cleanness to it.

Application was okay, but it wasn’t my favorite. It tended to go on a little patchy, and for some reason, the polish didn’t dry right on my ring finger, and I ended up having to redo the entire nail because it wouldn’t dry enough for me to apply the nail decal. The other nails with Dana were fine, though, so I’m not sure what the problem was. (I always wash my hands with soap and dry them completely before applying nail polish.)

Ledi is a black superfine shimmer. The shimmer is so fine, in fact, that it’s not all that visible, unless you’re actively looking for it, as you can see in the photo. Generally, Ledi will probably look like a black creme to a casual observer, though a closer look reveals a velvety texture from the very fine shimmer, which gives it a finish that reminds me of car paint. The shimmer gives Ledi a subtly more elegant look to it than plain creme, but it’s definitely not immediately obvious. Depending on how closely you stare at your polish, you may not particularly find this one particularly worth getting over a regular black creme. Formula on this one was great, though, and it went on very smoothly.

Tia is a sheer-ish black jelly with a smattering of gold and copper/orange glitters that flash green from certain angles. I like this one a lot, especially how well it layers over Ledi’s subtle shimmer. I didn’t swatch it on its own on a nail this time, but the swatch I did on the Swatch Me cap sticker suggests an opacity level similar to a smoky black top coat, like Sally Hansen’s Big Smoky Top Coat or L’Oreal’s Smoky Top Coat, except with glitter, of course. Glitter payoff is good, with no special placement needed to get the even distribution I have on my middle finger nail. No complaints about this formula, either.

The black cat nail decals worked just fine, though as with nail decals in general, there’s a little bit of a learning curve and patience needed to get the sticker on right. Even on polish that feels dry to the touch,  from my experience, a misplaced sticker may damage the polish and require a complete do-over. It’s best to work carefully and get it right on the first try. These decals are perfectly smooth with two layers of Julep Freedom top coat on top to seal them in.

These nails lasted at least a full week without noticeable damage, and all of it removed relatively easily, including the cat sticker. My only complaint about them is that the nails with Dana somehow looked more and more discolored over the week, and by the end, they looked practically beige. No amount of scrubbing with soap and water seemed to remove the weird brownness, which really bothered me. I have no idea if that’s because of Dana or the top coat or something else. If you have any insight into this, please let me know in the comments – thanks!


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