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!

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. ūüėÄ

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. ūüėÄ

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. ūüėČ 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. ūüôā

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. ‚̧

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.

Face-off: Zoya Dillon vs. Julep Francine vs. Julep Shay

This past week, I thought I’d compare a couple similar recently released¬†green-blue Julep polishes, Julep Francine from this May and Julep Shay from January, in case you (like me) were wondering if you’d accidentally bought two nearly identical polishes.¬†I threw Zoya Dillon in there, too, just for the heck of it.

In the bottle, they look somewhat similar, but definitely not identical, and this held true on the nail, as well.

LF_160610

Here they are, two coats each and topped with Essie Good to Go top coat, Dillon on the index finger, Francine on the middle and pinky, and Shay on the ring. Photo taken in outdoor natural light.

As you can see,¬†Zoya Dillon¬†(on the index nail) is, by far, a mintier, less saturated color, I think partially due to the base color itself, but also because of its predominantly silver shimmer. I really only threw it in there for kicks, since it’s not super similar.

Julep Francine has a¬†somewhat sheer aqua/turquoise base filled with metallic shimmer, but the flash¬†tends to lean gold in typical lighting, giving it a warmer, greenish overall hue. In some lighting, though, the gold shifts to blue, giving the polish a totally different look. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to capture that, since it tended to happen in dimmer lighting when I couldn’t get a good shot. I think Francine’s meant to be worn semi-sheer at two coats, but¬†it’s sisters with¬†Regina, and I’m guessing it can probably be mostly opaque at three coats. Anyway, the shimmer tends to mask the sheerness, even at two coats.¬†In any case, the formula was easy to work with, and it dried on the fast side.

Julep Shay I’ve talked about in a previous post. Maybe it’s the drier weather we have here, but Shay dried slightly faster this time¬†than in the humid tropical climate I last tried it out in. Compared to Francine, Shay’s shimmer texture looks chunkier, though it still dries smooth. I can’t tell if it’s from the scatter effect of the holo shimmer or from the shimmer particle size itself. In any case, the overall effect is more glitter-like and less smooth than Francine. Shay also tends to lean bluer/cooler than Francine when Francine flashes gold. They’re more similar in hue when Francine leans¬†blue.¬†Francine doesn’t have Shay’s glass-fleck iridescence, though.

This next photo in indoor white-LED lighting is a bit blurry, but hopefully it shows a bit better what I mean about the finer shimmer texture in Francine, as compared to Shay.

Durability was typical for me on all three polishes and lasted around three or four days, at least. Dillon chipped first, but it was on my more heavily used index fingers, so that could have also been the reason it lasted the fewest days.

(UPDATE 6/11/2016:¬†Francine and Shay were both mildly staining. They left a slight turquoise tinge after removal with nail polish remover, though the parts that chipped off on their own didn’t leave stained nails underneath. Dillon didn’t stain at all.)

Tl;dr –¬†Francine’s gold flash and Shay’s coarser and cooler holo sparkle are what set them slightly apart, and Dillon’s noticeably more muted than the other two, cooler than Francine, and possibly a tad warmer than Shay. From a distance or at a glance, they could pass for the same polish, so whether you’d want both completely depends on how granularly you distinguish between colors and finishes.

 

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!