Julep Ness & Julep Vibrant Virgo

Slowly catching up on journaling my Instagram posts again…

This is Julep Ness and Julep Vibrant Virgo, both polishes that I picked up in my last ever Julep box in February.

I wish I had tried these polishes earlier because now that I’m writing the post so late after Julep’s upheaval early this year, a lot of the polish colors are gone from the store, and I’m not able to retrieve the official information about them. Oh, well. I’ll do my best with my notes!

Ness was one of the new colors for the February 2019 box (the last box ever T_T), and it was described as a “Bittersweet Cocoa Microshimmer.” It’s got a chocolaty, but almost purplish-leaning (kind of like Julep Fiore or Julep Rooney, but lighter), creme base and a subtle rose-gold/copper shimmer that doesn’t really show in my photos but was slightly visible in person.

Formula is good, opaque in two coats, and dry time and durability were average for me.

Vibrant Virgo is a rose gold metallic/foil. Formula is good, and dry time and durability were unremarkable. I wore this on my ring fingers, which seem to get the least wear and tear, so they were still perfect when I removed the polish at the end of the week.

I wore KBShimmer Nail Strengthener as my base and KBShimmer Clearly On Top as my top coat. I’ve just started using these, and they seem to work well. Clearly On Top does have toluene, so it’s not entirely toxin-free, but it doesn’t have formaldehyde resin like Seche Vite does, and I’m trying to figure out what it is about Seche Vite that makes my nails start breaking horizontally when I use it (the reason I discontinued it). I hypothesized that formaldehyde resin may be the culprit because I read that it’s a protein cross-linker, and my already rigid nails might be prone to getting too brittle with additional extra cross-linking. I can’t be sure, though, and I seem to be springing a new horizontal split on my right thumb as of this writing, though that could be because of the nail strengthener base coat for all I know. Sigh. There are too many variables between products to be really scientific about it, but I guess I’ll just have to continue my trial-and-error testing. So far, Sally Hansen and Nail Aid products have been the best for me, as they haven’t caused my nails to become weirdly brittle and crack as most other products seem to. Ironically, the Sally Hansen nail strengthener is my current go-to base, but despite being a strengthener, it hasn’t caused any problems in the over one year I’ve been using it exclusively as a base coat. I love the thick glossy Seche Vite-like shine of Clearly On Top, but I’ll have to test it out without the Nail Strengthener base and see if my nails still split when using it.

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