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!

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.

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. 🙂 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. 😀

Throwback Thursday: Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle Precious Pearl

I’ve never done a Throwback Thursday post, but hey, I just happen to be wearing the first nail polish that started this whole nail polish obsession: Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle Precious Pearl. More on that in a bit.

This is in outdoor natural light, two coats, topped with Essie Good to Go top coat:

Precious Pearl is a very sheer, frosty ivory pearl with a strong pink shift. At two coats, it’s still almost transparent, especially from certain angles. The formula’s a bit watery, but it’s not bad to work with, especially in thin coats. It had an average dry time for me. Overall, it’s a decent polish, if you feel like wearing something sheer (which I was, for some reason, probably as a palate cleanser, so to speak).

I think the formula does possibly speed up nail growth a tad (at least when worn without base coat), though I can’t be sure because I haven’t taken down empirical data or anything. 😉 I have pretty fast-growing nails as it is, and I itch to trim them every few days, so I’m basing this purely on my qualitative impression that I’ve felt like trimming my nails again even sooner than usual.

Precious Pearl probably isn’t in production anymore; I haven’t seen it in stores in years. Also, if I saw it now, I think I would scan over and pass it up almost immediately, in favor of something loud, like a neon orange or teal holo. A few years ago, though, I owned zero nail polishes and had no interest in nail polish whatsoever.

So what got me started on nail polish? Wrecked nails after a gel manicure (my first manicure ever!), which I got for my wedding. I think my nails got buffed a bit too much before the gel polish was applied, so they felt horribly sensitive after the polish was removed. I ended up going to the drugstore that night and picking this up, hoping the Nailgrowth Miracle part wasn’t just a gimmick and wanting something that looked as close to my natural nails as possible…without being too boring. 🙂

And with that, my fate was sealed. I’m still not big on getting salon manicures (well, I’ve only ever had three in my life, two for weddings and one freebie when I got that first gel manicure removed when I didn’t know how to do it myself yet!), but maybe fourth time’s the charm? I usually feel bummed out afterward that my fingers are sore and that I could have painted my own nails just as well and cheaper. Maybe tomorrow’s (again wedding-related) salon visit will be better. ❤