Julep July 2017 (Neon Nights) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Unboxing incoming! This month, I very nearly skipped my Julep box, but I was curious about Julep’s new Insta-Filter Invisible Finishing Powder. I kept this box small – just two items.

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The contents:

  • Insta-filter Invisible Finishing Powder ($32 regular, $25.50 Maven),
  • Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick in Golden Guava ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), a “Peachy Pink Gold Shimmer,” and
  • oddly, I didn’t receive a freebie (usually candy but sometimes a free Julep product) this month. It’s not the first time this has happened, but it was a bit disappointing. 😦

This month’s quote:

“I’m very much about letting other people shine, because it makes us all shine brighter.” – Chelsea Handler

The promo code that came with this box is SUMMER20 for $20 off a $50 purchase at Julep’s website, expires 7/31/2017.

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Insta-filter comes in a fancy, slightly rubberized black paper box with metallic violet print. The round compact inside is metal, about 3 inches in diameter, and hefty. Quality seems good, and it’s nicely designed with clean, modern lines; a little groove for your fingernail to pry up the lid; and a firm magnetic snap.

As for the product, it definitely does what Julep says it will –  “blur the appearance of pores, fine lines, and imperfections while instantly mattifying.” I don’t have much of a comparison point, though, since my usual translucent/finishing powder is BareMinerals Mineral Veil, which I got in a slightly dewy finish instead of a matte. I don’t own/wear enough makeup to compare it to anything else. Insta-filter works nicely enough, though, and the little foamy sponge is so soft, especially the flocked application side. Thumbs up.

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Well, my Golden Guava arrived with this fugly ding from the cap being squeezed on too tightly inside the box. 😦 The ugliness doesn’t affect its function, though, fortunately, so I didn’t even bother telling customer support this time.

It’s pretty similar to the past Skip the Brush sticks that I’ve purchased (Sheer Glow and Moonlit Sand), but the barrel is shiny gunmetal gray instead of matte black, and the formula on this one somehow seems a little creamier or stickier than my other two. The reviewers on Julep.com mentioned “glitter” in this one, which made me curious, since my other two colors don’t have anything coarse enough that I’d call glitter.

I tried it, and sure enough, the Golden Guava color somehow has an odd bit of coarser gold glitter flecks when applied, even though they’re not visible on the stick. The flecks are so occasional, too, that they stand out strangely against the otherwise smooth and finely milled peach/pink. Not my favorite, mostly because it looks inconsistent on application. I don’t know if that’s a mistake on Julep’s part, or if it was intentional. Looks fine on eyes, though, at least, maybe because the area is so small.

That’s it for today. There should be a Pusheen box coming in soon, so that’ll probably be my next post!

Julep Carrie Ann

Sometimes after wearing some bolder colors, I just get this urge to wear something more boring – relatively anyway. Here’s Julep Carrie Ann, a sheer nude with some subtle holo sparkle:

You can’t see the holo sparkle that well in my photos, unfortunately, but it’s definitely there and shows up better in brighter light. It just happened to be an overcast day.

I liked the way this polish looked better at one coat, actually, but it’d be a no-go if you don’t like sheer polishes/visible nail line. At one coat, it applies evenly and has a your-nails-but-better look, and the holo shimmer seems to be, if anything, more visible. (Sorry I didn’t take a photo!) At two coats, I ended up with what you see here – something that somehow looks infinitely more boring and more humdrum creme-like. Oh, well. Work appropriate to the max.

Formula was fine, easy to work with with average dry time and average durability. Like many lighter colored polishes for me, though, it started getting a bit dingy looking after a few days, with some dark stains at the tips that didn’t come off with even vigorous hand washing. :\

Next time (if I get around to a next time with this polish), I’ll wear it with one coat and see if I like it better. At two coats, it’s okay but a little too drab for me!

Julep Danica

Julep Danica, from maybe a couple weeks ago. Three coats, topped with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat and taken in outdoor natural sunlight.

Danica‘s a lovely sheer-ish blue-violet metallic (what Julep calls a chrome finish) with a pink-to-turquoise shift. I think it’s primarily the pink flash that pushes it over to blurple. The base color seems to be more of a straight-up car-paint blue.

No problems with the formula, though it took a little longer to dry than average and needed three coats for reasonable opacity. Durability was roughly average, though I can’t tell if it chipped because I was hard on my nails that week.

I don’t know if you can see it in this photo (it’s visible in some of my swatch photos from the recent past, I think), but I’d accidentally sliced into my middle fingernail with a cleaver sometime ago while cutting a particularly recalcitrant lime, and it left a gross (and painful) U-shaped flap in the nail that finally couldn’t hang on any longer after I removed Danica. I had to take a little break from nail polish to let it grow out and heal, but it’s nearly there , so I’ll probably resume this lacquer journal soon!

Julep Eve

Two coats Julep Eve, no top coat, in outdoor direct sunlight:

Two coats #Julep Eve, no top coat, outdoor natural light. #nails #swatches #nailpolish #shimmer #matte #notd

A post shared by Lacquerfiend (@eternaldecember) on

This one turned out to be an unexpected favorite for me. Julep calls it an “Iridescent Lilac Matte Shimmer,” which is spot-on. It’s a soft lavender with pink-to-green shifting shimmer, and it has a matte finish meant to be worn without top coat. In softer lighting, it matches my natural nail color pretty well, so it looks almost like a nude polish until the light hits it. I think the green shimmer contributes to that. Surprisingly subtle for a purple, but not at all boring!

The formula is pretty good but needs to be applied in thin layers. I accidentally put a thicker layer on some of my nails, and they didn’t dry well. I expected this polish to dry quickly because of the matte finish, but it definitely takes a bit longer than average to dry.

Otherwise, durability is good; not much tip wear, though some dings in the finish, and it’s already day 4. Not bad for me. Thumbs up!

Julep Kayla

From my untrieds, Julep Kayla, described by Julep as an “electric iris sheer with violet sheen.” This is two coats, topped with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat, in outdoor natural light (both direct light and shade):

Kayla‘s got a jelly-like sheer, somewhat milky, quality, but it’s loaded with duochrome-y shimmer that flashes pink/purple. The base color is an interesting periwinkle blue-leaning kind of pastel-neon lavender – it’s hard to describe. The pink flash warms it up a bit, but it’s overall a cool-toned polish. By the way, my bottle isn’t nearly as dark as the swatches on Julep’s website.

It takes three coats for decent coverage, though it’ll still be sheer (as intended). Could be great for layering, I bet. Application was great, and dry time was average.

It’s a fun spring/summer color that’s somehow both bright and understated. 🙂 I’ve only worn it on its own so far, but I bet it could make a mean jelly sandwich!

Julep May 2017 (Sun Crush) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Another Julep Maven unboxing! This month’s featured products are some of my favorites from Julep – the Sea Salt Texture Spray, Mint Condition Pedi Creme, and No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel – but I still have those on hand, so I picked other stuff:

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The contents:

  • Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick in Moonlit Sand ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), “Rose Gold Shimmer,” because I ❤ rose gold,
  • Eyeshadow 101 Creme-to-Powder Eyeshadow Stick in Pearl Shimmer ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven), “Soft Cream Shimmer,”
  • CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser ($10 regular, $8 Maven), which I’m hoping will help me clean up my eyeliner accidents (though it’s got mixed reviews on the website), and
  • Sixlets chocolate flavored candy, this month’s freebie. I’d never had them before, so that was fun to try, and the slightly different flavors for each color were kind of interesting!

This month’s quote:

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art” – Madonna

The promo code that came with this box is FREEMAY for a free polish with a $10 purchase at Julep’s website, expires 5/31/2017.

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Here’s a close-up on the Skip the Brush and Eyeshadow 101. I previously picked this up in Sheer Glow and loved it more the more I used it. I find myself frequently using it over other luminizers in my arsenal, so I thought I’d try it in a different shade. I’m not much of a blush person, but this one looks pretty natural, goes on sheer, and is buildable if you want more pigment. I prefer using this on my eyelids and lips more than on my cheeks – yay for multitasking products! Love the subtle touch of rose gold sparkle.

Oh, and I find it works better over bare skin or a BB cream (or similar cream-based product) and not as well with my mineral powder foundation.

Not much to say on the Pearl Shimmer eyeshadow. It’s a pale, shimmery, almost-white eyeshadow. 🙂 As with the other Eyeshadow 101s, I find a primer is necessary to keep it from smearing around.

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This is a close-up of the CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser. It’s designed for removing eye makeup mistakes, and I thought I’d give it a shot, despite mixed reviews on the Julep website. Most of the complaints are that the tip is overly rough. I haven’t actually used it yet, but I’ll post an update when I’ve had a chance to try it out. (I currently use a Q-tip dipped in remover to clean up my cat eyes, and I’d love a more convenient solution!)

(EDIT 7/14/2017 – I’ve since tried CTRL + Z, and it’s awesome. Sharp cat eyes every time now, without wiping off and redrawing them a million times. 😀 The tip’s a bit scratchy, but I use a light hand, and it’s been fine on my sensitive skin.)

That’s it for this box! Still waiting on my Spring 2017 Pusheen Box to show up. I know folks who got their boxes ages ago, and mine hasn’t even shipped yet! Customer service says it was scheduled to ship this past week, but still nothing. :\

Anyway, happy Mothers’ Day to my fellow moms! Can’t tell you how awesome it is the first time you get a Mothers’ Day card from your own kid. ❤

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Julep April 2017 (Relax & Remix) Custom Maven Box unboxing (with promo code!)

Not quite as late this month posting my Julep Maven unboxing!

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This month’s quote: “Give me a sun lounger, a pool and a sea view, and I’m happy.” – Miranda Hart, an English actor and comedian that I wasn’t familiar with until I saw the monthly quote card. I’ve found most of the recent quotes a bit less than inspiring, but at least they have some educational value because I end up looking up the person quoted. :]

Anyway, my picks this month:

  • Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eyeshadow Duo in Moonlight & Starlight ($20 regular, $16 Maven), “Lilac Grey Matte & White Sand Shimmer,” a previous release from last May,
  • Feels Like Velvet Full-Coverage Eyeshadow Duo in Cinnamon & Spice ($20 regular, $16 Maven), “Auburn Shimmer & Mushroom Shimmer,” new this month,
  • When Pencil Met Gel long-lasting eyeliner in Ultraviolet ($16 regular, $12.80 Maven), “Blue Violet Shimmer,” new this month, and
  • Brigitte ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), “Bright White Crème” nail polish, which I think was released in April 2014 and is this month’s freebie. ❤

 

The promo code that came with this box is APRIL30 for 30% off a purchase at Julep’s website, expires 5/30/2017.

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Feels Like Velvet really is pretty comfortable to wear, and the colors are great, but so far, I’ve only tried applying them dry, both with and without primer, and they faded more quickly than I would have liked. Reviews on the site seem to say doing a wet application is the way to go, so I’ll have to give that a shot later on.

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Moonlight & Starlight is an matte-finish duo and looked subtle and creamy when I wore it. Again, though, maybe a wet application could amp it up a little. Work-appropriate for sure, and super fine/soft texture.

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Cinnamon & Spice has two shimmer colors and shows up more dramatically on my relatively fair skin but also seems pretty work-appropriate. It wasn’t overly sparkly when applied dry.

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The Ultraviolet eyeliner looks great on the pencil – a nice cool-leaning violet with blue flash – but on the lid, the blue flash didn’t really show up. Still a beautiful color with excellent application, but I was hoping for more blue shimmer!

I’ll give it another shot and see if I like it better next time. After all, the Sunset Gold color looked almost terracotta to me the first few times I wore it, but later on, the gold metallic shimmer finally made an appearance. No idea why it took a few applications to kick in, but it did, and now I love it!

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I haven’t tried Brigitte yet, but as I understand from reading various reviews, it’s a standard bright white creme polish, and some people have some issues with the application (pretty typical for bright white polishes, unfortunately). I’ll update the blog later when I’m able to give it a try.

I’m still well satisfied with the value and quality of the Julep Maven box. I just checked, and Julep’s new subscription options now include prepaying for 6 months and getting boxes for $16.66 each (whoa)! I’m still under the oldbie $19.99 month-to-month plan, but either way, it’s a pretty great deal for trying new products or stocking up on past favorites. If you’re interested in trying it and find my posts helpful, please consider using my referral link! (You can also use the code FREEFALL to score an extra set of 12 full-size Julep polishes ($168 value), if you’re a new Maven. :D)

Anyway, that’s it for now. I better get to bed so we can take ‘Fiend Jr. to an egg hunt tomorrow morning!