Julep Christina

Late post of my Valentine’s week nails/swatch. 😀 Julep Christina is an older Julep polish (from 2011, I think), one of the first I ever bought, yet untried until this month.

This is two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, taken in outdoor natural light (please excuse the second-day tip wear):

Julep calls Christina a “deep orange shimmer,” and I don’t know if it’s just me, but it looks to me like a hot red-pink glass-fleck shimmer in person. The photo didn’t capture the pink tones I saw in person somehow. After seeing  Julep’s description, though, I am sort of reminded of OPI Jinx, one of my favorite hot orange-pinks, but orange isn’t the first color that came to mind for me.

Christina has a hot-pink base (which is more obvious on the first coat), but it’s loaded with enough gold-flashing fine flakies that it ends up reading as more red than pink. At angles that the gold’s more muted, though, it definitely looks pink. Either way, the bright color, sheer-learning base, and the dense iridescent flakies combine for nice depth and juiciness. 🙂

Formula is good and dries on the fast side of average. It was durable, too, and didn’t have major chips until maybe five or six days in. No staining (with my usual base coat), either! Thumbs up.

Advertisements

Julep February 2017 (Cozy in Love) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Late post, but no biggie, since it’s another custom with previous releases. This month’s box was a birthday gift to my mom, with some of my recent Julep favorites.

julep170204

This month’s quote: “Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” – Elinor Glyn, a British author who, according to Wikipedia, “specialised in romantic fiction that was considered scandalous for its time.” 🙂

  • No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel ($28 regular, $22.40 Maven), which I previously talked about in September 2016 – I love it because it’s lightweight and dries smooth and matte;
  • Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed Facial Oil ($36 regular, $28.80 Maven), which I tried and enjoyed when it came out last month – I love the delicious bergamot scent, which always reminds me of Earl Grey tea; and
  • a sample of Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil, this month’s freebie from Julep, which was unexpected but also a favorite Julep product of mine because it gently and easily removes makeup without stripping skin oils or irritating my sensitive skin.

The promo code that came with this box is POLISHLOVE for a free polish  with a $10+ purchase at Julep’s website.

I hope she likes them – sometimes it’s hard to tell!

Sonnetarium Strawberry Smoothie, Banana Pudding & Cucumber Salad

I bought these three minis from a blog sale some years ago and somehow never got around to swatching them! These are three colors from Sonnetarium‘s Fresh collection from 2013 – Strawberry Smoothie, Banana Pudding, and Cucumber Salad. They’re as yummy-looking as they sound, and there are two additional colors, Blueberry Yogurt and Raspberry Sorbet, that I wasn’t able to track down at the time. (Someday!)

I feel so hungry just typing out those polish names. All of these are milky jellies (ugh, that sounds yummy, too), so they’re pretty sheer, but they all create that lovely, squishy, sugary jelly-sandwich look in three thin coats!

Strawberry Smoothie is a light pink jelly liberally dusted with fine white, red, and pink glitters – plus some holo ones, too, if I’m not mistaken. Yum! It’s got the densest glitter of the three. This one was also the most challenging to apply of the three, since it’s got the densest glitter and is sometimes a little clumpy. It’s also chipping pretty noticeably on day five of this manicure.

Cucumber Salad reminds me more of mint than cucumber, but it’s a lovely shade of blue-tinged green with a speckling of white and dark green glitters. This one was easiest to apply and is holding up beautifully at five days.

Banana Pudding is a pale yellow with white and yellow glitters. This one was had the least even application, but it dried the smoothest and had the glassiest finish. It’s starting to lift a bit at the edges but has only chipped minimally after five days, even on my heavily used thumb.

All three have thin formulas that require at least three coats for some semblance of coverage, but they dry fast! No glitter placement necessary for these, either. They self-distribute perfectly.

I love how tasty these polishes look and hope to someday find Blueberry Yogurt, which was my actual favorite of that collection, but which sold out before I even knew about it. Again, someday! 🙂

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment (Take a Breather)

After that gel manicure in October 2016, somehow, my nails were just not as robust as usual. I know gel manicures aren’t supposed to really damage your nails, and maybe it was just the soak needed to remove the gel polish, but it definitely did a number on mine.

To try to combat the sudden peeling nails, I decided to try just using Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven) for a few weeks. Julep calls it Take a Breather now, but I got mine before Julep rebranded everything. This is the original color, which is now called Sheer Pink, since there’s also other colors available:

This is a nail treatment and not meant to really provide much color, but the sheer pink tint seems to even out nail color and make it look brighter and cleaner. I only applied one coat, no base or top coat, and left it as-is for about a week each time. Then I’d take it off with a little of my home-brewed nail polish remover (just pure acetone with a tiny bit of distilled water and glycerin – I’ll make a note to share my recipe later!), wash my hands with soap, let them dry, and reapply one coat.

The good: The nail treatment seemed to be pretty durable and lasted almost a week. It’d start chipping after about five days, though, which is pretty average for me and polishes, but it seemed to hold up pretty well and glued together the separated nail layers nicely. The peeling parts were almost invisible while it was on. Easy to apply and dries fast, too.

The neutral or less good: I realize this is highly dependent on each person’s nails/nail chemistry, so I don’t hold it against the product itself, but it did seem to make my nails more brittle, unfortunately. After a couple weeks, I noticed chunks of the nail tips chipping off from just everyday activities, nothing rough. The brittleness got a tad worse in the third week, so I stopped using the treatment. My nails are naturally on the sturdy/hard (rather than flexible) side, and my skin and nails tend to be dry, so I guess I’m not surprised that I’ve been less compatible with the strengthening/hardening treatments I’ve tried. I think I might need something that encourages more flexibility instead. This treatment might work better for someone with softer or more flexible nails, though!

Overall, I like Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment and will probably still wear it sometimes when I feel like taking a break from nail polish, but I’ll probably have to restrict wearing it to one week or less at a time. I’ve heard good things about OPI Nail Envy but haven’t tried it yet. Do any of you have recommendations for me?