Julep March 2017 (Spring To It) Custom Maven Box (with promo code!)

Behind on posting, since I was down for the count with whatever slew of viruses ‘Fiend Jr. brought home from daycare the week before last. D: Anyway, here’s this month’s Julep Maven unboxing!

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This month’s quote: “Spring is when life’s alive in everything.” – Christina Rossetti, an English poet known for “Goblin Market.”

  • Skip the Brush creme-to-powder blush stick in Sheer Glow ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), a multipurpose product that also works on eyes and lips,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Clay ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), a new color released last month,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Fig Shimmer ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), a new color this month, and
  • two One-Step Polish Remover Pads, this month’s freebie.

The promo code that came with this box is SPRING30 for 30% off a purchase at Julep’s website.

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Skip the Brush in Sheer Glow works great as a multipurpose highlighter. The finish is lightweight and comfortable. It does look subtly sparkly, which may not be for everyone, but I like it.

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I think I’ve said before that I enjoy the Julep eyeliners, so I keep picking up more colors. I haven’t tried the eyeliner in Clay yet, but Fig Shimmer is more purple and less burgundy than I was expecting from the marketing photos. Still a pretty color, though, and application is as smooth and long-wearing as usual.

And, tomorrow’s monthly selection time again. Looking forward to seeing what’s new!

Face-off: Julep Ellis vs. L’Oreal Masked Affair

A couple years ago, in February 2015, I went through considerable trouble to track down a bottle of L’Oreal Masked Affair and was elated when I succeeded in obtaining this drugstore polish that was, for whatever reason, popular enough to be a bit hard to find.

A few months later, in September 2015, Julep released its own silvery lilac called Ellis, and while it doesn’t seem to be a true holo, it’s still got some linear holo in there, and the color is so spot on that I can’t help but wonder if they took a page from L’Oreal’s book.

Anyway, here they are, side by side, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat and in natural light, two coats each (Masked Affair on the index and ring, Ellis on the middle and pinky):

As you can see, Masked Affair has larger shimmer particles and has a more visible linear holographic effect than Ellis, which is a finer and denser shimmer with a subtler linear holo effect. Ellis is also opaque in two coats, whereas I think Masked Affair looks better with three thin coats, as in my original swatch post.

Both have good formulas and dry pretty fast. Masked Affair dried faster but would benefit from a third coat that Ellis doesn’t need. Unfortunately, I didn’t find either polish very durable, and I had minor chips by the second day when I took these photos, but Ellis lasted about one day longer (about three days instead of two) before developing major chips.

Long story short, the polishes are very close in color but not in texture or holo effect. I love them both!

Essie Lots of Lux

I think I’ve worn this color at least a couple times before, but a quick search in my nail journal here says I’ve apparently never posted a swatch! This is Essie Lots of Lux, from the Encrusted Treasures collection from the 2013 holiday season.

Lots of Lux is a royal-blue textured polish that Essie describes as a “shimmering lapis lazuli blue nail lacquer with a super fine matte finish.” It looks a bit brighter and less purplish than the blue I associate with lapis, but it’s definitely multifaceted and jewel-like, with what looks to me like a bright metallic blue base and a touch of both silver and turquoise shimmer, and maybe a pinch of silver micro glitter with the blue texture particles. There’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.

At two coats, the polish was pretty opaque, but it didn’t really dry matte for me and had more of a muted metallic finish. The photo above is on day 2 and without top coat. Application was easy. It dried relatively quickly but chipped pretty quickly, too. I think this lasted all of 3-4 days. Beautiful while it lasted, though! Also, textured polishes touch up easily, so there’s that to make up for the below-average durability.

Removal was easy compared to a hardcore glitter, but it’s tougher than a creme, as can be expected of this type of polish.

…I’ve got naked nails now. What color to wear next?