Face-off: Julep Becky vs. OPI Peace & Love & OPI

It’s face-off time! This time, I’ve got Julep Becky and OPI Peace & Love & OPI to compare:

  • INDEX: two coats Peace & Love & OPI topped with Julep Silk Effect Top Coat
  • MIDDLE & PINKY: two coats Julep Becky, no top coat
  • RING: two coats Peace & Love & OPI topped with Essie Good to Go Top Coat (glossy)

This is in outdoor natural light:

My phone camera didn’t capture it well, but both polishes are dark gunmetal-gray shimmers with a green-to-warm-purple dichroic/duochrome flash. Becky strikes me as a silk-effect (semi-matte finish with a fine pearlescent shimmer) version of Julep Blakely, which seems to be a pretty close dupe of Peace & Love & OPI. Here you can see some of the green-to-purpleness, mildly. As you can see, Becky and the OPI are pretty similar, especially when the OPI has the silk-effect top coat over it.

At this angle, you can see the purple flash. You can also see that Becky has a bit more scatter in its sparkle. The OPI polish is smoother and has finer shimmer. (Hmm, I swear I swatched Blakely at some point, but I can’t find the post, so maybe I didn’t take photos or do a write up. Drat.)

Here they are in indoor white-LED light, which shows the very subtle difference between the shimmer texture a bit better:

Yeah, it’s not a big difference, and honestly, it’s almost not noticeable in person.

Formula-wise, they both apply well and dry on the fast side. They’re both almost opaque at one coat but could use a second to even things out. The Silk Effect Top Coat is a bit of a pain because it takes a bit to dry, unlike the speedy Good To Go, so if you’re impatient and like the silk effect (or don’t own the silk-effect top coat in the first place), it could be worthwhile to pick up Becky, even if you already have Blakely or the OPI. I normally like the silk finish, but I wasn’t feeling it with this polish. It reduced the impact of the color shift and detracted from that oil-slick look, which was what I liked best about these polishes.

Bottom line: Julep Becky is pretty much Julep Blakely with a silk finish, and Julep Blakely is almost identical to OPI Peace & Love & OPI. I prefer it glossy, so I didn’t really need to have both Becky and Blakely (let alone all three of these!), but the urge to swatch them side by side is just too great to resist. :] OPI’s the less expensive brand (around $9 full retail for a 15 mL bottle, versus $14 full retail for Julep’s half-size 8 mL bottle), and the formula is great, so if you don’t care for the silk finish or the smaller bottle, I’d go with the OPI.

Julep June 2016 (Midsummer Light) custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

It’s that time of month again: my Julep Maven June 2016 Maven box arrived this past Wednesday! Julep’s monthly Maven box is still great, especially now that it’s fully customizable.

I customized my box this month because one of the main new products was a blush (Skip the Brush), which I pretty much never use. It’s a multipurpose makeup that can be used on lips and eyes, too, but I didn’t feel compelled to try it this time. I was also sort of lukewarm on the nail polish colors this month, so I skipped those as well.

Here’s what I got in my box instead:

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White pearlescent tissue paper, turquoise paper crinkles, and:

  • Intro/quote card – “When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” – Wilma Rudolph, fastest woman in the world in the 1960s.
  • Promo code – use JUNE30 for 30% off a Julep.com purchase through July 31.
  • Julep Voila! Nail Polish Thinner ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) – can you believe I didn’t have a polish thinner on hand up through now? Figured I’d pick one up, since it fixes up those older polishes that start congealing on you.
  • Julep Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven) – really wanted to try this since it came out a couple months ago!
  • Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Sunset Gold Shimmer ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven) – I like these eyeliners, and Sunset Gold is a new color this month.

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And, this month’s bonus freebie was Necco candy wafers. Never had these before; they’re like super-hard flavored fondant. I’m going to make a public-service announcement: don’t try chewing them like I did. I was scared I broke my teeth! Overall not my favorite, but it was still interesting to try this old-fashioned sweet from the 1840s, which I promptly felt an urge to learn about on Wikipedia. The flavors I got were orange, wintergreen, cinnamon, lemon, lime, and clove. Definitely old school.

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The Voila! Nail Polish Thinner comes in an opaque dropper bottle with the glass dropper packaged separately in the same box. I haven’t tried this yet, so I can’t speak to its effectiveness, but I’ll let you guys know when I give it a shot.

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This is the Love Your Bare Face Detoxifying Cleansing Stick with the screw-on cap removed but with the protective clear plastic shield still on. The clear shield pops right off if you carefully lift it around the edge with a fingernail, and the stick underneath is close to the consistency of a solid lip balm.

Julep recommends using the cleansing stick with their konjac sponge, but I also had good results using it with a silicone scrubby. It’s got a light, clean, citrusy scent that I like, and it left refreshingly clean but moisturized skin. It didn’t irritate my very sensitive, allergy-prone skin, either. I’m pretty impressed with this one and adding it to my skincare rotation. Thumbs up!

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The When Pencil Met Gel eyeliner in Sunset Gold Shimmer doesn’t look quite as glittery on the pencil as it does in Julep’s promotional photos, but maybe it’ll have more of that foil effect when it’s actually applied. I’ll update this when I find out!

(EDIT 7/1/16: Well, the Sunset Gold’s got a bit more foil sparkle when applied onto the skin than seen on the pencil, but it didn’t come out nearly as metallic on me as in Julep’s photos. It was more like a mild shimmer in a matte burnt-gold base – maybe conservative office-appropriate, even. Mildly disappointing!)

What can I say? You can’t go wrong with a custom box, and it was awesome of Julep to extend customization to legacy Mavens. I’m happy.

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!

Face-off: Zoya Dillon vs. Julep Francine vs. Julep Shay

This past week, I thought I’d compare a couple similar recently released green-blue Julep polishes, Julep Francine from this May and Julep Shay from January, in case you (like me) were wondering if you’d accidentally bought two nearly identical polishes. I threw Zoya Dillon in there, too, just for the heck of it.

In the bottle, they look somewhat similar, but definitely not identical, and this held true on the nail, as well.

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Here they are, two coats each and topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, Dillon on the index finger, Francine on the middle and pinky, and Shay on the ring. Photo taken in outdoor natural light.

As you can see, Zoya Dillon (on the index nail) is, by far, a mintier, less saturated color, I think partially due to the base color itself, but also because of its predominantly silver shimmer. I really only threw it in there for kicks, since it’s not super similar.

Julep Francine has a somewhat sheer aqua/turquoise base filled with metallic shimmer, but the flash tends to lean gold in typical lighting, giving it a warmer, greenish overall hue. In some lighting, though, the gold shifts to blue, giving the polish a totally different look. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to capture that, since it tended to happen in dimmer lighting when I couldn’t get a good shot. I think Francine’s meant to be worn semi-sheer at two coats, but it’s sisters with Regina, and I’m guessing it can probably be mostly opaque at three coats. Anyway, the shimmer tends to mask the sheerness, even at two coats. In any case, the formula was easy to work with, and it dried on the fast side.

Julep Shay I’ve talked about in a previous post. Maybe it’s the drier weather we have here, but Shay dried slightly faster this time than in the humid tropical climate I last tried it out in. Compared to Francine, Shay’s shimmer texture looks chunkier, though it still dries smooth. I can’t tell if it’s from the scatter effect of the holo shimmer or from the shimmer particle size itself. In any case, the overall effect is more glitter-like and less smooth than Francine. Shay also tends to lean bluer/cooler than Francine when Francine flashes gold. They’re more similar in hue when Francine leans blue. Francine doesn’t have Shay’s glass-fleck iridescence, though.

This next photo in indoor white-LED lighting is a bit blurry, but hopefully it shows a bit better what I mean about the finer shimmer texture in Francine, as compared to Shay.

Durability was typical for me on all three polishes and lasted around three or four days, at least. Dillon chipped first, but it was on my more heavily used index fingers, so that could have also been the reason it lasted the fewest days.

(UPDATE 6/11/2016: Francine and Shay were both mildly staining. They left a slight turquoise tinge after removal with nail polish remover, though the parts that chipped off on their own didn’t leave stained nails underneath. Dillon didn’t stain at all.)

Tl;dr – Francine’s gold flash and Shay’s coarser and cooler holo sparkle are what set them slightly apart, and Dillon’s noticeably more muted than the other two, cooler than Francine, and possibly a tad warmer than Shay. From a distance or at a glance, they could pass for the same polish, so whether you’d want both completely depends on how granularly you distinguish between colors and finishes.

 

Julep Summer & Julep Regina

Quick swatch post of last week’s nails: two coats Julep Summer (index & pinky) and three coats Julep Regina (middle & ring), topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, photographed in outdoor natural light:

Summer is a cantaloupey semi-sheer polish with a pink flash and fine shimmer throughout. Because of the shimmer, the nail line isn’t all that visible, even though the polish itself isn’t completely opaque at two coats. No problems with the formula, and the dry time was about average. Personally, I don’t mind the sheerness; looks like candy!

Regina is a pink and purple iridescent glass-fleck-y shimmer, also semi-sheer. I liked it better with more opacity at three coats, though two coats is fine, if you don’t mind a sheerer finish. The cyan to pink dichroic/duochrome flash is what seems to give it that quality of flip-flopping between pink and purple. Formula was good, and dry time was relatively fast – in the time it took for me to apply three coats of this, Summer was still drying.

May 2016 has been my favorite Julep Maven month in a long time – especially Pepper, Francine (coming up in the next swatch post), Regina, and Summer. Of these two, I liked Regina more (personal taste and dry time, mostly), but they’re both lovely. Durability was great, too – they lasted a full week!

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!