Revlon Parfumerie Wintermint & Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet with Julep Gloria

I’d bought Revlon Parfumerie Wintermint sometime ago and never gotten around to wearing it. Good thing I met up with my sister over the weekend, and she was wearing Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream, which reminded me to do that. In fact, for fun, I decided to duplicate her nails, except with similar polishes that I had on hand.

This is Wintermint, two coats, on all fingers, except for the accent nail, which is two coats Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Mint Sorbet and a heart painted on in Julep Gloria, all topped with one coat of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat. Outdoor indirect sunlight:

I’ve heard that Wintermint is pretty close to Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream, if not an exact dupe. I don’t own the latter, but here’s a detailed comparison from KittyKam’s Nails.

Wintermint is a frosty minty, seafoamy green base with small marine-blue hex glitters and what looks to my naked eye like holo microglitter. The round Parfumerie bottle cap was a little more awkward for me to hold than the typical cylindrical cap, and the brush stem is a bit shorter than average, but the brush itself is pretty standard: round, flat-tipped, and medium width. The formula is smooth, easy to apply, and reasonably opaque in two coats, with no special glitter placement needed. Despite the glitter, it’s not too bumpy when dry. Dries fast.

By the way, my nails smelled pleasantly minty for all of one evening before the scent was no longer noticeable. That was kind of disappointing, since Autumn Spice kept its smell for maybe a few days. Still, the fragrance is a fun novelty.

Mint Sorbet is a straightforward mint creme and can probably be a one-coater, if you’re careful. I wasn’t, so I smoothed it out with a second coat. This polish also dries fast and has a good formula. The brush is flat, flat-tipped, medium width, and very easy to use.

Gloria is a reddish coral creme, one of Julep’s older colors, I think. I’ve never worn it on its own, so I’m not sure how it’d apply normally, but in my application dotting it in a heart shape, it felt a bit thick and dried almost too quickly. I was getting bald spots and threads of dried polish as I lifted my dotting tool sometimes! The upside is that it was very opaque on the first application.

The heart ended up bleeding a little because, as I mentioned before, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat tends to melt the polish under it, even when the polish already feels dry to the touch. I guess it’s a risky top coat to use with nail art, though maybe it could’ve worked out better if I’d let the polish dry even longer after it felt dry to me. My right hand (not shown) had more smearing because I top coated it first. Oops.

By the way, Julep’s Plie tool did help me out here. I tried the Plie dotting attachment both with and without the Plie handle, and I think the handle does help with balance. I’m not sure it’s superior to a typical dotter, though, since I haven’t used others.

And, here’s the original manicure that I was imitating. :] My sister used Deborah Lippmann Mermaid’s Dream instead of Wintermint, Revlon Jaded instead of Mint Sorbet, and Revlon Provoke instead of Gloria:

Can you tell our hands are related?

I was hoping to do a face-off of sorts, comparing her nails to mine in the same photo, but she tells me her nails have already chipped, so I don’t think we’ll be able to do that this time. I’ve got to get her to try the Miracle Gel top coat!

Maybe next time, we can collaborate on something.

Julep Laree & Saaya, plus Plie Wand review

Over this past weekend – at a childhood friend’s bachelorette party, no less – I had a chance to try out my Julep May 2014 Bombshell box nail polish colors, Laree (“[g]olden pink taffeta shimmer) and Saaya (“[g]olden apricot shimmer”).

This is two coats of each (Laree on the index and pinky, Saaya on the middle and ring), topped with Julep Freedom top coat, in natural light:

I’m not sure why it looks like there’s a wrinkle on the ring finger nail, but it was smooth in person.

Another angle to better show the subtle warm gold shimmer in both colors:

Laree is a juicy-looking pink that reminds me of strawberry candy. Saaya similarly reminds me of a peach smoothie or sorbet. Both have a lovely understated gold shimmer that, like many Julep polishes, isn’t immediately obvious but does wonders for adapting the base shade to different skin tones and outfits. I’m a big fan of the glowiness of both colors from certain angles, thanks to that embedded shimmer.

These two polishes have similar formulas that are workable but, unfortunately, not the best. They’re a bit on the thick and chalky side, which doesn’t make for the smoothest or easiest application, though they do dry relatively quickly. They’re both reasonably even and opaque in two coats if you brush them on carefully, but Saaya was still mildly patchy and probably could have used a third coat for good measure.

One of my friends also brought a bunch of her Julep colors, including the Boho Glam set for May with the “[g]olden lilac tulle shimmer” polish, Paulette, which I’d almost picked up as an add-on and now sort of wish I had!

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A bunch of us did try the new Plie Wand, though. I’m not sure the longer handle made much of difference in control for me, but some of the girls felt it was helpful, especially for painting toenails. The wand handle was comfortable to hold, but I had to screw the polish cap completely closed and remove the wand each time I took a break, since the wand unbalances the bottle. I guess that’s the trade-off.

Also, as I suspected in my last post, the attached brush cap couldn’t be easily removed without screwing the cap onto a polish bottle for leverage. We ended up having to pop the brush off the pre-inserted cap, then screw the brush-less cap onto a polish bottle to remove it. After that, it was a cinch to swap between caps.

I’ll update my thoughts on the wand if I have any stronger feelings after using it some more.

Julep May 2014 Maven Box: The Fresh Twist Collection, Bombshell (with promo codes)

I skipped last month’s box, so it feels like it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Julep Maven box. I went with the Bombshell selection this month.

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Pearlescent lavender tissue paper, ecru/cream scrunchy paper shreds, and:

  • a thank you note from Julep’s founder, Jane, for helping to fund the Plie Wand
  • quote of the month, from Coco Chanel: “The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.”
  • 30%-off discount coupon for this month that only works on full-priced items (PERK30)
  • Fresh Twist collection intro card with a 25%-off code for Brilliance Glycolic Hand Scrub (BRILLIANT25)
  • instruction manual for the Plie Wand
  • the Plie Wand, which comes with one magnetic overcap already fitted with a typical Julep screw-on nail polish brush (as a demo, I guess)
  • two extra magnetic caps, one of which is already fitted with a typical Julep screw-on nail polish brush
  • Yumi, “[p]ink, silver and holographic glitter,” this month’s freebie – it’s apparently named after Jane’s daughter
  • Laree, “[g]olden pink taffeta shimmer,” one of the two Bombshell colors, and
  • Saaya, “[g]olden apricot shimmer,” the other Bombshell color

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I didn’t have Yumi from before, and it looks like a fun color, so that’s pretty awesome. I’m looking forward to trying out Laree and Saaya later this week – or maybe this coming weekend, when I’m chillin’ at the beach with my lady friends, woot woot. ;] I’ll post swatches when I can.

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This is the Plie Wand I was so curious about. I actually wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to get this at first, since I paint my nails perfectly well with my non-dominant hand without any fancy tools, but I like trying new things, and the engineer in me was curious if this was really going to be ground-breaking innovation. I also don’t have any nail art tools yet, so I got the wand partially so I could pick up the dotter and striper add-on (though those aren’t here yet – we were told they’d ship separately). If it’s more ergonomic for all kinds of nail art-related activities, all the better.

I haven’t tried the wand yet as of this writing, but from a quick inspection, the overall quality seems fine. It looks like the nail polish cap (the round one under the square Julep overcaps) fits very tightly inside the magnetic attachment, though. It’s so tight that I didn’t feel comfortable yanking too hard to see if I could remove the one already wedged into the magnetic overcap that comes with the wand, for fear I might break the brush or cap. I’d try screwing it onto a bottle to tug it off, but I don’t have any empty Julep bottles to try it with. I know that with this design, the fit’s got to be tight so the brush doesn’t fly off while you’re painting your nails, but I really wish it used some kind of release mechanism instead of mechanical friction to hold and easily release the polish caps. It’s probably a cost issue, I’d guess. Just some initial thoughts.

Also, the attached brush arrived with an…interesting hairstyle:

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No biggie, since I probably won’t be actually using it (and I have several ideas how I might be able to fix it, if I do), but given that Julep isn’t an inexpensive brand, I kind of expect better. But, hey, they’re a start-up, stuff happens, and I’m pretty easygoing.

I’ll update this blog when I’m actually able to try the wand. I’m not going to have any expectations until I use it firsthand. Maybe it’ll be amazing. We’ll see!