Julep September 2017 (Flawless Without the Fuss) “Peaches & Dream” Maven Box unboxing (with add-ons and promo code!)

Just a quick unboxing post! I went with one of Julep’s curated boxes this month, “Peaches & Dream” (the box they suggested for me), and threw in a few extra nail polishes:

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My picks:

  • Skip the Brush Creme-to-Powder Blush Stick in Sweet Peach ($24 regular, $19.20 Maven), a “Light Peachy Pink Sheen,” plus these nail colors:
  • August ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), new this month, “Chocolate Cherry Ghost Shimmer,”
  • Karin ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), new this month, “Powdered Lilac Crème,”
  • Eve ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) as an add-on, sold as the Unicorn Party Mystery Polish, “Iridescent Lilac Matte Shimmer,”
  • Signe ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) as an add-on, “Red-Hot Coral Shimmer,” and
  • Ange ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven) as an add-on, “Tidepool Blue Crème.”

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Extras:

  • Katya ($14 regular, $11.20 Maven), freebie for getting three or more add-ons, “Açai Berry Crème,”
  • Julep stickers, this month’s freebie, and
  • the collection description card with the monthly quote (below) and featuring Julep’s primers, new cushion skin perfector, and new finishing powder (which I picked up in July).

I got two each of the sticker sheets and paper inserts this month, for some reason. Not that I’m complaining!

This month’s quote:

“Find a sense of self, because with that, you can do anything else.” – Angelina Jolie

The promo code that came with this box is FALLPOLISH for a free nail polish with a $10+ purchase at Julep’s website, expires 9/30/2017.

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I have Skip the Brush in three other colors already because they’re so versatile, and I’ve liked them all to varying degrees. I thought Sweet Peach would be a little more of a cream finish and a little less shimmer/glitter than Golden Guava, but that was only maybe somewhat true. Though you can’t see it in the tube, Sweet Peach ended up having some of those odd chunks of gold glitter inside, too. I think there’s less than I saw in Golden Guava, but if you can’t stand glitter, this is not for you.

I think Sheer Glow and Moonlit Sand stand as my favorite shades of this product. They have that glowy shimmer a good luminizer has, but no random chunks of gold glitter.

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I’ve already swatched new colors August and Karin in another post, and Eve is a duplicate I’ve also swatched, if you’re interested. (I love Eve, which you can read about at the swatch link.)

In short, August disappointed me because the shimmer doesn’t show, and in person, it reads as an almost-black creme. Here, you can see it next to an older Julep polish, Ledi, which has the same largely gimmicky “ghost shimmer” finish. You can see in strong direct light (this is taken in harsh sunlight) that it’s actually a very dark chocolaty brown compared to Ledi’s black, but it doesn’t look that way on the nail. Also, the shimmer is silver, not, say, reddish. Too bad.

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Signe and Katya are new to my collection and will be swatched at some point. 🙂

That’s all for this box. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or comments about the products I got, Julep, etc. Happy fall!

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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.

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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!

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. 🙂

Essie Lots of Lux

I think I’ve worn this color at least a couple times before, but a quick search in my nail journal here says I’ve apparently never posted a swatch! This is Essie Lots of Lux, from the Encrusted Treasures collection from the 2013 holiday season.

Lots of Lux is a royal-blue textured polish that Essie describes as a “shimmering lapis lazuli blue nail lacquer with a super fine matte finish.” It looks a bit brighter and less purplish than the blue I associate with lapis, but it’s definitely multifaceted and jewel-like, with what looks to me like a bright metallic blue base and a touch of both silver and turquoise shimmer, and maybe a pinch of silver micro glitter with the blue texture particles. There’s a lot going on when you take a closer look.

At two coats, the polish was pretty opaque, but it didn’t really dry matte for me and had more of a muted metallic finish. The photo above is on day 2 and without top coat. Application was easy. It dried relatively quickly but chipped pretty quickly, too. I think this lasted all of 3-4 days. Beautiful while it lasted, though! Also, textured polishes touch up easily, so there’s that to make up for the below-average durability.

Removal was easy compared to a hardcore glitter, but it’s tougher than a creme, as can be expected of this type of polish.

…I’ve got naked nails now. What color to wear next?

Nuance Nightshadow | Face-off: Julep Desiree vs. Revlon Holographic Pearls

Here’s a quick comparison of Julep Desiree, a holographic top coat that came as a free gift with this month’s Julep Maven monthly box, and Revlon Holographic Pearls, which I previously tried over a shimmer polish with less dramatic effect. (They’re not all that similar, and I may even own other holo toppers that are more dupe-y, but this is just what I grabbed.)

In outdoor natural light, I’ve got two coats of Nuance Nightshadow (a dark blue creme) on all nails, plus:

  • index: Essie Good to Go top coat (1 coat)
  • middle & pinky: Julep Desiree (1 coat)
  • ring: Revlon Holographic Pearls (1 coat) + Essie Good to Go top coat (1 coat)

First things first: Nuance Nightshadow is great – dries on the fast side and super glossy even without top coat, and the formula is easy to apply. Opaque in two coats. (Nuance is Salma Hayek’s CVS-exclusive brand, and the nail colors I’ve seen aren’t especially adventurous, but the ones I’ve tried have good formulas and durability.)

Julep Desiree is a delicate holo top coat with a clear base. It’s a subtle and beautiful effect, and the formula is easy to apply and provides good coverage (in terms of shimmer density, not opacity, obviously) in one coat. It dries a tad on the slow side, though. A quick-dry top coat could help with that.

Revlon Holographic Pearls is like a gaudy disco ball next to Desiree, but hey, sometimes that’s what you want! Against Nightshadow, it’s clear how glitter-packed HP is in just one coat, and it’s definitely not subtle. HP dries matte on its own, but I added an extra layer of glossy top coat for better rainbows. This one dries pretty fast, and no complaints on application.

Here’s another shot in different lighting, to give you a better idea of the holo rainbow effect:

I had the coffee shakes and was pretty sloppy, sorry!

Anyway, there you have it, in case anyone ever wondered how these two holo toppers look side by side.

Zoya Dhara & Zoya Oswin

Playing catch up on a couple Zoya PixieDust colors, both textured and shown here without top coat.

Here’s Zoya Dhara, a bright reddish orange sandy-textured with a metallic finish and iridescent flecks. It’s got that fine PixieDust texture that’s not too rough to the touch.

Zoya Oswin is a raspberry red textured polish packed with various size glitters, including large hexes. It’s got significantly more texture than the fine sand of Dhara’s finish and kind of reminds me of a geode (in a good way!), mostly because of the larger glitters. It’s also got the usual sand-like PixieDust texture beads. My photos don’t really do it justice. In person, the glitters flash a bit more, though the overall finish dries to a classy matte.

Please excuse these oddly dark photos. My phone camera sometimes adjusts oddly for lighting.

Oswin’s a bit brighter than this in person!

Formula for both polishes was great, as Zoya PixieDusts tend to be, and both dried fast. They’re also both pretty durable, though Oswin’s craggier texture meant it got caught on stuff and chipped after a day, sadly.

Both great polishes that I’m sure would also look great with glossy top coat. :]