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

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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. ūüôā I’ve only worn it on its own so far, but I bet it could make a mean jelly sandwich!

Illamasqua Viridian & Glitterati

I got these polishes on clearance after the holidays from Sephora some years ago, before they stopped carrying Illamasqua products, and I busted them out again this year because I missed wearing them!

Here’s Illamasqua Viridian, one coat, on all nails, except for two coats Illamasqua Glitterati on the accent nail, all topped with Essie Good to Go top coat. In outdoor natural light on day 2:

Viridian¬†is a lovely metallic evergreen (blue-toned, somewhat dusty green) with fine silver shimmer. The bottle seems to show some blue duochrome/dichroic flash, but it doesn’t really show on the nail. Best thing is it’s got a great formula that’s completely opaque in one coat. So awesome. It’s still one of my favorite greens/teals. (I did a comparison post of several similar polishes earlier, if you’re interested!) Dry time was around average.

Glitterati is jewel-toned berry jelly with various sized holo glitters and some kind of fine iridescent shimmer that flashes blue from some angles. I seriously love this polish, and my crappy photo unfortunately doesn’t do it justice. The depth and coverage is good at two coats, but it’s a bit too uneven at one. No complaints about the formula, which dried pretty fast.

Both of these polishes lasted about four days or so with my typical base and top coats – pretty average for me.

Happy new year!

Face-off: Julep Becky vs. OPI Peace & Love & OPI

It’s face-off time! This time, I’ve got¬†Julep Becky and¬†OPI Peace & Love & OPI¬†to compare:

  • INDEX: two coats¬†Peace & Love & OPI topped with¬†Julep Silk Effect Top Coat
  • MIDDLE & PINKY: two coats¬†Julep Becky, no top coat
  • RING: two coats¬†Peace & Love & OPI topped with¬†Essie Good to Go Top Coat (glossy)

This is in outdoor natural light:

My phone camera didn’t capture it well, but both polishes are dark gunmetal-gray shimmers with a green-to-warm-purple dichroic/duochrome flash.¬†Becky strikes me as a silk-effect (semi-matte finish with¬†a fine pearlescent shimmer) version of Julep Blakely, which seems to be a pretty close dupe of Peace & Love & OPI. Here you can see some of the green-to-purpleness, mildly. As you can see, Becky and the OPI¬†are pretty similar, especially when the OPI has the silk-effect top coat over it.

At this angle, you can see the purple flash. You can also see that Becky has a bit more scatter in its sparkle. The OPI polish is smoother and has finer shimmer. (Hmm, I swear I swatched Blakely at some point, but I can’t find the post, so maybe I didn’t take photos or do a write up. Drat.)

Here they are in indoor white-LED light, which shows the very subtle difference between the shimmer texture a bit better:

Yeah, it’s not a big difference, and honestly, it’s almost not noticeable in person.

Formula-wise, they¬†both apply well¬†and dry on the fast side. They’re both almost opaque at one coat but could use a second to even things out.¬†The Silk Effect Top Coat is a bit of a pain because it takes a bit to¬†dry, unlike the speedy Good To Go, so if you’re impatient and like the silk effect (or don’t own the silk-effect top coat in the first place), it could be worthwhile to pick up Becky, even if you already have Blakely or the OPI. I normally like the silk finish, but I wasn’t feeling it with this polish. It reduced the impact of the color shift and¬†detracted from that oil-slick look, which was what I liked best about these polishes.

Bottom line: Julep Becky is pretty much Julep Blakely with a silk finish, and Julep Blakely is almost identical to¬†OPI Peace & Love & OPI.¬†I prefer it glossy, so¬†I didn’t really need to have both Becky and Blakely (let alone all three of these!), but the urge to swatch them side by side is just¬†too great to resist. :] OPI’s the less expensive brand (around $9 full retail for a 15 mL bottle, versus $14 full retail for Julep’s half-size 8 mL bottle), and the formula is great, so if you don’t care for the silk finish or the smaller bottle, I’d¬†go with the OPI.

Julep Summer & Julep Regina

Quick swatch post of last week’s nails: two coats Julep Summer (index & pinky) and three coats Julep Regina (middle & ring), topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, photographed in outdoor natural light:

Summer is a cantaloupey semi-sheer polish with a pink flash and fine shimmer throughout. Because of the shimmer, the nail line isn’t all that visible, even though the polish itself isn’t completely opaque at two coats. No problems with the formula, and the dry time was about average. Personally, I don’t mind the sheerness; looks like candy!

Regina is a pink and purple iridescent glass-fleck-y shimmer, also semi-sheer. I liked it better with more opacity at three coats, though two coats is fine, if you don’t mind a sheerer finish. The cyan to pink dichroic/duochrome flash is what seems to give it that quality of flip-flopping between pink and purple. Formula was good, and dry time was relatively fast – in the time it took for me to apply three coats of this, Summer was still drying.

May 2016 has been my favorite Julep Maven month in a long time – especially Pepper, Francine (coming up in the next swatch post), Regina, and Summer. Of these two,¬†I liked Regina more (personal taste and dry time, mostly), but they’re both lovely. Durability was great, too – they lasted a full week!

Disclosure: This post contains one or more referral links. I don‚Äôt expect you to use my referral links¬†unless you want to, of course, and they don‚Äôt affect me giving my honest opinion. Referrals¬†go toward products reviewed on this site ‚Äď thanks!

Julep Pepper

Quick swatch post: here’s two coats of¬†Julep Pepper¬†from¬†my Maven box this month, topped with¬†Essie Good to Go top coat, in outdoor natural light.

Pepper is described by Julep as a cornflower blue, which is pretty accurate in person, and it’s loaded with silver shimmer.¬†Interestingly, it’s brighter and greener-leaning in the photo than it looks to me in person. It could be the purple/pink flash, but I find the polish looks more indigo in person – not dark, but definitely a bit of a deeper hue than my photos suggest. The dichroic/duochrome-y flash (which I think shifts from purple to cyan) is fairly subtle and shows a bit more in the bottle than on the nail. It mostly leans purple for me.

This second photo from¬†another angle has more of the purplish blue I typically saw, but in person, it’s a bit cooler-toned than this.

Formula was easy to apply, but it dried infuriatingly slow, like Julep Shay. A fast-dry top coat helped, though I didn’t wait quite long enough, and at least one nail got dinged. Oh, well. Just a heads up in case you hate waiting for polish to dry, like me. Love the¬†color, though.

Durability was okay but below average for me. I don’t know if it’s because I was on and off a plane and changing climates so many times while I had this polish on (since that dries and stresses out my skin and nails like crazy), or whether it’s because I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry when I applied it, but it started chipping significantly off after about two or three days. Not great, but since travel’s bound to beat up nails more than staying home, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

Overall, not bad, but I wonder what’s with the long dry times on Julep’s recent polishes. Is it a particular pigment in the polish?