Julep August & Julep Karin

My September 2017 Julep box just arrived on Friday, and I haven’t had time to post about it yet, but here are the swatches of the two new colors I got in my box, Julep August and Karin. Here, they’re topped with Essie Good to Go top coat.

August, on all my nails except for the ring finger, is described by Julep as a “Chocolate Cherry Ghost Shimmer,” and I regret to say that I fell for that marketing sweet talk because chocolate cherry just sounded so yummy. 😦 It’s not a bad color, but it’s really more of a warm-toned/brownish off-black, and I already have a million off-blacks. Also, that Ghost Shimmer descriptor? Turns out it was probably a marketing-department euphemism for shimmer you really can’t see at all, except in strong direct light and only sometimes. August might as well be a creme, which is fine if that’s what you want, but I wanted to see at least a little bit of shimmer, and not just when direct sun hits it just right.

Formula-wise, at least it dries really fast. Streaky at one coat and okay at two, but if you have enough light hitting it to actually show the red tones in the polish, you can also see how unevenly it actually goes on (which I could not see while I was applying because it just looked black in regular indoor light). Also, I hate the current Julep flat-tipped wide brush. As I’ve said so many times before, it’s too fat for my small nails, and the flat tip is just too wide when it spreads to make a good curve along the cuticle, so I needed to clean up with a brush and acetone afterward, which I hate.

I guess in direct sun, it has a hint of the red that’s supposed to make it “chocolate cherry.” Meh. Disappointed with this one. :\

Karin‘s much better. It’s got an interesting cookies-‘n’-creme-milkshake finish going on, with darker matte particles suspended throughout, rather than the more standard shimmer particles. The base color’s a milky pale pinkish lilac (Julep calls it a “Powdered Lilac Crème”). Formula’s a bit thick, though (prone to cuticle flooding), and has an average dry time.

Tl;dr – August’s description is misleading, but it could be a decent warm off-black almost-creme, if that’s your jam. I think the Ghost Shimmer finish is pointless, personally, since it doesn’t even shimmer enough for a noticeable subtle effect. Karin is pretty cool, and I’d love this finish in more ice-cream inspired colors.

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Julep Channon, Julep Sarai & Julep Rendee

Catching up swatches from the past few weeks. These matte shimmers debuted this past May (Eve is from the same Sun Crush collection) and are great summer colors!

Julep Channon a shimmery cool-toned white matte. This is two thin coats, but it probably could have used a third for more even opacity. The formula was good and even if applying in thin coats but had a hard time drying if I tried applying more thickly.

Julep Sarai is a blue-leaning (emerald) green shimmery matte that looks almost teal from some angles. This is, again, two thin coats. As with Channon, I found the formula had a bit of a hard time drying if I didn’t use the thinnest coats. (My dog dinged my middle fingernail because it didn’t fully dry down, even after maybe an hour or more.)

This one caused some staining when I was removing it, as teal polishes tend to. It stains after the remover melts it, not before, since the parts that chipped off were clean. I’d advise holding the remover-soaked cotton ball/pad against the nail for the shortest amount of time possible and wiping it away immediately to minimize staining! Stunning bright emerald, though.

Julep Rendee is a a sparkly purple-leaning blue matte. (The base color under all that shimmery blue is pink, giving it that purplish cast.) The formula is about the same as the other two – thin coats work best. This one didn’t stain like Sarai, thankfully.

I picked up these three colors as part of a “Beach Mattes” trio from the Julep Secret Store a couple months ago – for free! I may have mentioned before that Julep’s customer service is pretty awesome and gave us $50 to spend on Julep products when a monthly box item hit some manufacturing obstacles and couldn’t be delivered as promised. Even more awesome, when I somehow missed that there was an expiration date on the $50, they still let me use it when I asked. ❤

Tl;dr: Overall, I really enjoyed wearing these colors, though I was a bit bummed that they didn’t dry as easily as I’d hoped, given the matte finish and no need for top coat. I’d recommend three very thin coats for these polishes, rather than two thicker ones.

Unboxing: Wet n Wild Summer Season in a Box – Unicorn Glow!

I don’t really keep up with beauty trends, so I completely missed the unicorn highlighter craze that apparently happened late last year. I only just discovered rainbow luminizer in a recent Ulta e-mail a couple weeks ago, advertising the limited edition release of Wet n Wild Summer Season in a Box – Unicorn Glow.

Ulta was releasing the box one day early (May 21), and I was pretty excited (rainbow highlighter! iridescent lipstick!) but I hemmed and hawed about it. By the next day, though, the box had sold out at Ulta, and I was a bit disappointed…but I was still on the fence. Was I just being lured in by the holo unicorn marketing scheme? I had to think about this a little.

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In the end, I decided I didn’t care. Wet n Wild is so affordable ($29.99 for this box of nine items!) that I figured I might as well throw in the towel and nab some fun unicorn makeup. I mean, I’m not much of a makeup wearer, but when I do wear makeup, I do it for fun!

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This box was only available at a New York beauty convention, Ulta, and the Wet n Wild website, it seems. Wet n Wild e-mailed a notice the second day after release, around 6am when I was heading into the office, that they only had 50 boxes left. I made my order right then and there on my phone. 😀 Good thing, too – they also sold out shortly thereafter.

Seriously, good job on that marketing, Wet n Wild. Way to reel in the children of the 80s and 90s. 😉

My box came in a few days later on May 27, and it did not disappoint! Wet n Wild may be an inexpensive drugstore brand, but their products are pretty solid.

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(1) Unicorn Glow Highlighting Brush – check out that oil-slick iridescence! This is one of those rare cases where the actual product is way prettier in person than in the marketing photos. I like how you can see the colors of the highlighting powder really well on the white brush, and it does a decent job, too. It looks small, but it’s just the right size for sweeping over the top of a cheek bone.

Gotta admit the brush was a large reason for my attraction to this box. This and the rainbow highlighter:

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(2) Color Icon Rainbow Highlighter in Unicorn Glow – surprisingly wearable rainbow highlighter. Once applied, it’s not as garish as you might think – just a hint of sparkle and color. It’s buildable to greater opacity, too, but I’ve only worn it sheer. The pan is a bit too large for applying every color of the rainbow over the cheekbones, though. I settle for about half the colors at a time.

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(3) Color Icon Rainbow Highlighter in Bronze Over The Rainbow – this one imparts a warmer, gold-tinged glow.

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(4) Color Icon Rainbow Highlighter in Everlasting Glow – this one is a cooler-toned pale golden pink when applied. A surprise favorite for me!

I’m guessing these highlighters probably go fine with most complexions, though I found that the cooler-toned Everlasting Glow looked a bit more flattering on my cool-leaning neutral-toned light complexion. I’m guessing Bronze Over The Rainbow might look better on warmer-toned complexions.

Each of these can be applied as is or swirled together. I kind of like the subtle bands of different colors, though!

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(5) Color Icon Loose Pigment in Mythical Dreams (purple),

(6) Color Icon Loose Pigment in Pegasus Flutter (pink), and

(7) Color Icon Loose Pigment in Unicorn Wishes (blue) – I haven’t tried these yet, but the packaging says they can be applied anywhere, not just the eyes.

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(8) Mega Last Prismatic Lip Color in Immortal Tears – sheer with blue-purple shimmer. It’s pretty similar in effect to Bite Beauty Opal Creme Lipstick (which I bought sometime earlier and really like), as you can see above.

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(9) Mega Last Prismatic Lip Color in Unicorn Soul – this lipstick looks blue, but it’s one of those color-changing lipsticks that turns pink/fuchsia after application. The blue shimmer remains, though. I think it’s Wet n Wild’s version of Too Faced La Creme Color Drenched Lip Cream in Unicorn Tears, but I don’t own that one (yet), so I can’t compare. In any case, I really like this one, even though it feels slightly gritty and doesn’t glide on as smoothly as other, nicer lipsticks that I own. (Immortal Tears is smoother.) Surprisingly wearable (though I wouldn’t wear it to work).

I was surprised by the quality of the products, especially for the price. (Where were these fun colors when I was a teen and didn’t have to worry about looking appropriate for work?) Even better, they’re all vegan and cruelty free, and my sensitive skin didn’t react badly to them. ❤

Woot! Guess what arrived over the weekend! #wetnwild #unicornglow #rainbow #unicornmakeup

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The Unicorn Glow box may be sold out, but it looks like the individual items are still available as of this writing if you’re interested in them, and they may be eligible for promo codes that the box wasn’t eligible for.

Next up on my radar, Chaos Makeup Kaleidoscope Rainbow Highlighter, my dream rainbow luminizer.

Zoya PixieDust Beatrix

All right, last swatch for tonight, and I’ll be all caught up. This is Zoya PixieDust Beatrix from my untried stash, three coats, no top coat, outdoor natural light:

Zoya describes Beatrix as a “tangerine metal sparkle,” textured, matte, and foil twinkle. I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. The sunny, yellow-leaning orange is so juicy and cheerful looking! The texture is pretty much identical to that of other similar Zoya PixieDust polishes, not too chunky or rough, and it dries down to a nice textured metallic sparkle. The base is a little squishy-feeling, like a jelly.

I found Beatrix to be a little thinner than other PixieDusts, though, as it took three coats instead of the usual two, and the formula seemed to take longer to dry than usual – about average for nail polishes generally instead of super speedy like many textured polishes. Application was a piece of cake, though.

Thumbs up overall – fun color from the summer 2013 collection. 🙂

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!

Zoya Muse

Zoya Muse, from the summer 2014 Bubbly collection, topped with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat, photographed in outdoor natural light:

The jelly-ish sheer and squishy medium blue base is transformed to a shifty teal because of the gold shimmer, and it’s packed with iridescent glitters. I love this one, even though it takes three (thin) coats for good coverage. The formula’s a bit on the watery side, but it’s not too hard to work with. Dry time was average.

Such an awesome mermaid polish, perfect for #MerMay. 😀

LynBDesigns Oh Captain, My Captain

I had LynBDesigns Oh Captain, My Captain sitting around in my stash for a long time, and I have no idea why I’d forgotten to wear it until now! (This polish is from the October 2014 Spark of Madness collection inspired by Robin Williams.)

As usual, two thin coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light:

Oh Captain, My Captain is a beautiful polish, with what looks like a sheer black (or maybe super dark blue?) base with scattered holographic shimmer particles and an oil-slick-like multichrome (iridescent, if you want to skip the nail polish jargon ;)) flash. At the edges of the nail, I could maybe see some dark blue, but for the most part, it seemed to shift from purplish pink to gold and olive for me. The overall effect reminds me of outer space – stunning!

Application was great, covering well in two coats and drying faster than average. Durability wasn’t so good, unfortunately. I had major chips on the third day with my typical base coat and top coat. So awesome while it lasted, though! Ah, well. I guess that gives me a good reason to repaint my nails in pastels for Easter. :]

P.S. Here’s a link to the Walt Whitman poem “O Captain! My Captain!” the polish name references. 😀