Face-off: Essie Leggy Legend vs. Julep Luz

Quick comparison post! I mentioned earlier that I thought Essie Leggy Legend and Julep Luz might be fraternal twins. On a closer look, though, I think they’re probably more like cousins – not too alike, but maybe with some general similar features.

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Here they are in outdoor natural light, two coats each (Leggy Legend on the index and ring, Luz on the middle and pinky), topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, on the third day:

They’re both bronzy and metallic, somewhat coppery and somewhat golden, but that’s about where the similarities end. As you can see, Leggy Legend is definitely redder-toned and has a much finer texture than Luz. The shimmer particles are smaller and have way less scatter when the light hits them.

It’s a bit easier to see the difference in the overall hue in this next photo, also taken in outdoor natural light on the same day and around the same time, but with the sun coming in at a different angle:

I’ve already talked about Leggy Legend in a previous post and am still in love with this polish.

Luz is also a good one, though it’s got a different personality – less slick, more flamboyant. There’s a bit of a rosy, coppery undertone to it, as with Leggy, but in brighter or more direct light, the predominant color seems to be a metallic, less saturated yellow gold. Its loud sparkle makes me think foil – though I guess terms describing finishes are kind of arbitrary, anyway. Formula is great and dries pretty fast, and so far, durability is good. I’m now on my fifth day with these nails, and it’s just showing some expected tip wear. Not bad.

Here it is in indoor white LED light (again demonstrating how Luz’s paler gold sparkle tends to take over):

Not all that similar, but they play well together. 🙂

Leggy strikes me as the stand-out of the two polishes, mostly because its intense, glowy copper-gold is truly one-of-a-kind in my collection, whereas Luz’s predominant gold is more similar to other gold polishes I own. Both are lovely and apply wonderfully, though. Maybe I’ll do side-by-side comparisons of my other gold polishes someday.

Julep Hayley & Julep Rosie

I love beets. There may be other ways to describe Julep Hayley‘s deep red-purple – say, wine or Bordeaux or cranberry – but beetroot describes this color pretty well.

Here’s two coats on all fingers, other than Julep Rosie (also two coats) on the ring finger, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in direct natural light:

Hayley has super-rich color and great color payoff. It’s bright in direct sunlight and deeper/vampier in indirect light. It also has a slightly squishy, slightly translucent crelly finish that seems to glow in the sun but is opaque enough that there’s no visible nail line.

Hayley’s formula is on the watery side for a Julep, which I discovered when I accidentally flooded the cuticle on the first nail. I found it a little bit challenging to work with, especially because Julep’s unusually long brush stem tends to collect more excess polish, and since a thinner formula runs down the stem so much faster, it’s easy to accidentally have too much excess polish drip down the brush while you’re working. The clunky wide and flared Julep brush, which isn’t my favorite, has brush bristles are a little too stiff for easily applying such a liquid polish, though it’s manageable if you’re careful (unlike me). The dry time is also a little long, and a fast-dry top coat really helps here. I’d definitely recommend applying this in thin coats, though, which requires a little bit of care.

On its own, Hayley dries to a slightly squishy, glossy finish that looks even better with top coat. In indirect natural light:

Rosie is a charcoal jelly with what looks to me like multi-sized fuchsia glitters (including microglitter) and silver holo microglitter. The base is pretty sheer and is still sheer at two coats, but the glitters provide a decent amount of coverage. It’s not totally opaque, but I kind of liked the lace-like, slightly sheer effect. The formula was a bit goopy, kind of like Julep Celeste‘s, but it’s workable and suspends the glitter well (no special placement or application technique necessary). Rosie dries fast to a matte finish and isn’t too bumpy for a glitter, but I preferred the smoother, glossy finish with a glossy top coat.

I wish Hayley dried faster, and a different brush would have probably made the thin formula easier to work with, but I’m otherwise pretty pleased with these two polishes.

Julep February 2016 Maven Box + add-ons (with promo codes!)

My Julep Maven February 2016 Maven box arrived this past Monday – yay! I would’ve posted earlier, but it’s hard to fit in time to post on work nights, especially now that I’ve got ‘Fiend Jr. as a second full-time job. :]

Anyway, on to the box! I got the Modern Beauty box this month and tacked on some nail polishes that I wanted to try out.

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White pearlescent tissue paper, cream-colored paper crinkles, loads of nail polishes (which I’ll list out in a moment), Julep Lip Gloss in Captivated (one of the Modern Beauty choices this month), and a smaller box. And, inside the smaller box…

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Charcoal/gold-shimmer tissue paper (maybe my favorite tissue paper from Julep so far) and more cream-colored paper crinkles cradling the rest of the Modern Beauty box items:

  • Julep Gel Eye Glider in Olive,
  • Julep Lip Gloss in Timeless,
  • chocolate heart (this month’s freebie)
  • a quote card doubling as an introduction to this month’s new Eyeshadow 101 colors, and
  • promo code for a free Eyeshadow 101 with a $15+ purchase (use code FEBEYES), expires March 31, 2016.

This month’s quote is from Martha Beck:

“Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but feeling beautiful exists solely in the mind of the beheld.”

I hadn’t heard of Martha Beck before seeing this quote card, but it looks like Dr. Beck is a life coach and author. I find the quote kind of interesting because unlike the other, more lighthearted quotes I’ve seen from Julep, this one sounds like tough love to me: your self-perception is your own responsibility. I’d agree with that message, though I don’t know if that’s how it was meant. Anyway, I guess the quote goes along with Julep’s recent #bravepretty campaign, which might not really resonate with me personally, but hey, I won’t knock a positive message.

Onward to this month’s new nail polishes that I picked up!

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These four are new colors for this month, which I picked up in two add-ons:

  • All Gold EverythingKay (“[w]arm taupe with gold microshimmer”) and Luz (“[s]unset gold metallic”) – plus it was supposed to include a roll of Thin Gold Line Nail Tape for nail art, but this was missing from my box (boo) 😦
  • Beet It Duo –  Hayley (“[b]eetroot crème”) and Rosie (“[c]harcoal grey with magenta glitter”)

Luz strikes me as a possible fraternal twin to Essie Leggie Legend, so I may compare those two in the future. I’ve got my eye on Hayley for Valentine’s, though. It could be because I really love beets (yum). 🙂

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Next up:

  • Sienna is a classic Julep color (older) and a duplicate for me, but I don’t mind having a backup because I’ve used it quite a few times, and it’s a great polish. Very versatile and matches with everything. This was the freebie for taking 3+ add-ons this month.
  • Hartleigh is a “[h]olographic heart glitter top coat” – new for me, but first released last February as that month’s Valentine’s freebie. Julep gave it out as a freebie this year, too – they sent out an e-mail that gave you the opportunity to opt in if you took this month’s box. (To be honest, I might have skipped this box, but that extra incentive might have given me the little push needed to change my mind. Well played, Julep. Well played.)
  • Hazel (“[w]ild violet and bronze duochrome) – a polish I wanted before and was able to snag for $4.99 as an add-on.

Here’s the new olive eye liner (I need to find a better location to take photos at my new place, but in the meantime, please excuse the bad lighting, etc.):

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Close-ups on the lip glosses:

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Here’s where I discovered something wonky with this month’s Modern Beauty box. The default items in this month’s Modern Beauty box were the Lip Gloss in Timeless, the Eye Glider in Olive, and Eyeshadow 101 in Olive. As usual, Julep offered the option to swap your color if you preferred something else. Most of the options were other shades of Eyeshadow 101, but at least one of the options was the lip gloss in Captivated (another new release this month). I liked the olive eyeshadow and eye liner, so I picked the alternate lip color, since I’ve already got a nude one in my collection. Oddly, against what I expected, instead of swapping out Timeless, though, Captivated ended up replacing the Eyeshadow 101!

I e-mailed Julep customer support about this in case it was a mistake and was told that the Eyeshadow 101 was the swappable item in the Modern Beauty box, never mind that it wasn’t the same product as the option I chose. Weird. I wanted to find the selection-time original text for the Modern Beauty box, just to check if I had a brain fart and didn’t read something that would have tipped me off, but I wasn’t able to find it, since the selection window’s closed now. I’m a bit bummed out, but at least the lip gloss is the higher-value item of the two (regular retail price of $20, versus $18 for the Eyeshadow 101), and it’s not like the gloss won’t be put to good use.

Also, they did refund me for the gold nail tape that was missing from my box, and they offered me a free nail polish for the inconvenience, which was nice of them. All in all, everything’s copacetic.

Did any of you get this month’s box? Any issues with yours?

Happy Valentine’s!

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 Celeste

Finally had a chance to paint my nails again. This is three coats of Julep Celeste from January 2016‘s Julep Maven collection, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat.

Indirect natural light:

Celeste is a charcoal-gray jelly base loaded with various round/hex iridescent glitters. Julep calls it a “[c]osmic gray iridecent glitter” (sic), which describes it pretty well. At two coats, the glitter is less dense and less busy-looking, but the base also applied a bit patchily, so overall, I didn’t think two coats was enough. Maybe with some undies, two coats would be fine, though!

Formula-wise, Celeste is a bit goopy, so it takes a bit of care to apply without making a mess of things. It dries fast, though, and isn’t too bumpy for a glitter. On its own, it dries to a kind of squishy semi-matte finish. I preferred it extra shiny with a glossy top coat.

For comparison, here’s a shot in indoor bright white LED light:

As you can see, for the most part, some of the glitters seem to predominantly lean indigo/purple, and some seem to lean green. It looks kind of like Mardi Gras on the nails. In sunlight, though, I saw more color variation.

These photos were taken on day two of this manicure, and so far, so good, other than the usual tip wear. Great color overall. I’m so glad Julep is making some more interesting polishes these days and that they generally have pretty reliable consistency and durability.

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!