Julep September 2014 Maven Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Julep September 2014 Gilded Leaves Nail Art

Julep September 2014 Gilded Leaves Nail Art

Hi everyone! I’ve got a big post today featuring polishes from the September 2014 Julep Maven collection (Art Walk). I swatched all the colors I picked and then combined them into nail art. That’s kind of becoming a “thing” on my blog with the Julep Maven colors I’ve been picking…you know, nail art with all the colors. This month, I picked the It Girl box because it was the only one with colors I liked and didn’t have dupes for. It was kind of astonishing that I was so decisive about picking; usually, I pick a box quickly but I have a hard time choosing polishes to add on. For this month, I was FOR SURE picking It Girl only. It helped that the beauty product in all the other boxes was a lip crayon, which I couldn’t see myself using at all.

The colors Julep had for this month were mostly cremes, which was a bit underwhelming to me. Considering how much I’ve enjoyed the shimmers, metallic foils, and glitters from Julep that I’ve tried in the past (here’s looking at you, Phoebe), I keep hoping for more of those finishes instead of cremes. I feel like there’s a lot more room for innovation and outside-of-the-box colors with non-creme finishes, since there’s only so much you can do with solid colors. At least the It Girl colors from this month filled some gaps in my collection, and I was pretty excited about the gold (Mahima). Plus, there was one satin finish polish in the box (Ryan) that I was curious to try. Anyways, on with the swatches!

Julep September Maven It Girl Swatches CompositeI took a neat-o unboxing photo this month! The code pictured is COLORFORYOU (free polish with $15+ order). The two hard candies tasted like pineapple and coconut. This is just me, but I think coconut should not be a flavor for hard candy…

Julep September 2014 Maven Unboxing It Girl

I also noticed something about the color combo of the It Girl box:

Julep September 2014 June 2014 Colors Comparison

Haha, Julep, very funny. The It Girl collection from Julep September 2014 (Fifi, Mahima, and Ryan) has an equivalent color combo in the June 2014 It Girl box (Phia, Savoy, and Jeannine respectively). We’ve got a pink (ish), a gold, and a teal. And the teal is even textured in both months!

Fifi is described by Julep as a “tea time pink creme” polish, but I think that’s only somewhat accurate. The truth is: Fifi is a “crelly” – a creme-jelly hybrid. It is mostly opaque in three coats, but doesn’t get all the way there. And it’s very squishy-looking and dries glossy. So I’m sorry to report that Fifi is definitely a crelly and not a creme. Application is kind of difficult because the first coat is so streaky, and you have to be careful of bald spots when putting on additional coats. The color is lovely, though, and I like it better on my hands than I thought I would. It’s slightly pinker in real life than it is in photos; my camera makes it look more white than it is. It’s a versatile shade that can be worn all year round, and it’s also very work-appropriate.

Julep Fifi Swatch

Fifi was actually one of the big reasons I picked this box because it’s my nickname for one of my grandmothers! If you remember from my previous post, getting the polishes with my family’s names from Julep and Zoya (or, in general, people I care about) is really fun for me. Unfortunately, Fifi missed the cut for the nail art because I got the September box after I had already done the manicure.

I compared Fifi to another new polish – Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure In the Flesh – that was released in Sally Hansen’s fall lineup. These two are soooooooo close! In real life, I could barely tell them apart. Sally Hansen In the Flesh was a teeny bit pinker and more saturated than Julep Fifi. But most likely, you wouldn’t notice unless you were looking for a difference. They are insignificantly different from each other in terms of color and formula (the Sally Hansen was slightly easier to apply, with fewer streaks), so I think they can be considered dupes. I’ll probably keep both, though, since I ran down the bottle of Fifi quite a lot while polishing. Once I finish it up, I won’t be too upset since I have this dupe for it.

Julep Fifi Comparison Sally Hansen

Mahima is described as an “amber gold creme” on the website, but it’s clearly mislabeled. It definitely has a chrome finish (very strong metallic shimmer). This means it does show brushstrokes when you polish, so you have to finagle it somewhat to get it to be unidirectional. The formula wasn’t too bad otherwise: two coats for full coverage, no streaking, no balding, no bubbles. As for the color, Mahima is a medium yellow gold that’s on the warm side. It’s quite a lovely polish to behold, and I am quite glad I got it. This polish was another big reason why I chose the It Girl box for September. I have been searching for the PERFECT gold shimmer polish (not a foil or glitter – a SHIMMER), so I was interested in trying out Mahima to see if I had found my golden holy grail. It turns out that Mahima comes close, but it isn’t exactly perfect. Compared to other golds, Mahima is decidedly less saturated, and I’m looking for a really saturated color. Like OPI Goldeneye, but a shimmer (if you have any recommendations, let me know in the comments!). Oh well, Mahima is plenty nice to have in my collection.

Julep Mahima Swatch

I compared Mahima to two other gold shimmer polishes I have acquired during my quest for the perfect gold shimmer. The first is OPI With a Nice Finnish from the new OPI Nordic Collection: a golden bronze shimmer. I knew they wouldn’t be dupes because Julep Mahima is way more yellow, but I wanted to see them together anyways. Yeah, nope, not even close.

Julep Mahima Comparison OPI

I then compared Julep Mahima to Wet n Wild Megalast Pot o Gold, which just appeared recently in the Halloween lineup for Wet n Wild. In the bottle, I thought Pot o Gold might be an exact dupe for Mahima: slightly muted yellow gold with a strong shimmer. But it turns out they are actually not very similar at all. The Wet n Wild is more of a shimmer than a chrome polish, and it has little flecks in it that catch the light. It also covers in three coats rather than two for the Julep. And the base color isn’t exactly the same.

Julep Mahima Comparison Wet n Wild

Lastly, I have Ryan: the teal satin finish creme. Indeed, the polish is a green-leaning teal and, indeed, the polish dries with a satin finish. I personally don’t care for satin finish cremes, so that aspect wasn’t a draw for me. But I can always put on topcoat to add the shine! Ryan was easy to apply, and I got full coverage in two coats. This polish had some serious stank to it though; it has that funkadelic skunk or weed smell that a lot of teal and blue polishes have. I was expecting to like Ryan the least, but I like it more than I expected – especially considering my struggles with applying Fifi and Mahima. I took photos of it both matte and with a layer of topcoat so you can see the effect. The color is more green in real life than in my photos:

Julep Ryan Swatch Satin Finish Matte

Julep Ryan Swatch Topcoat Shiny Matte

I compared Ryan to two other Julep colors: Roc Solid (pine green) and Donna (blue-leaning teal). Neither of them was a dupe, of course, but you can see the difference here if you’re interested. FYI: Donna and Roc Solid don’t have the stank that Ryan does.

Julep Ryan Comparison

As in previous months, I took the three polishes from the September It Girl box (Fifi, Mahima, and Ryan) and did some nail art with all three! I ended up doing this random floral-ish design with dots because the “Art Walk” theme didn’t inspire me especially, unlike last month. I suppose it reminds me of gilded leaves falling off a tree? That’s stretching it, but I’ll still refer to this design as “gilded leaves” because I can’t think of anything else.

Julep September Maven Gilded Leaves Nail Art 3

I started with three coats of Fifi as a base. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t get completely 100% opaque in three coats, but I stopped there because it was close enough for nail art purposes. I then painted on the leaves in Mahima using a striper brush, and put on the dots with a dotting tool. At this point, I put topcoat on to protect those layers because I wanted to leave Ryan matte while still sealing in the majority of the manicure. Finally, I painted on Ryan in the middle of the leaves and let it dry. Unfortunately, the satin effect got a bit messed up on some nails (my index finger especially) because I didn’t wait long enough for it to dry fully before going to sleep; I got some slight sheet marks on most fingers.

The overall look is OK, but I usually prefer designs with less color contrast. I’m not especially partial to the combination of Fifi and Ryan, but Mahima ties them together reasonably well. At least I got some good colors from this box that I can use individually or in other nail art.

Julep September Maven Gilded Leaves Nail Art 2

Overall, I’d say that this Julep box was not as exciting as the other Julep boxes I’ve gotten in the past, but I at least got some good colors out of it. I was really hoping for more innovative polishes from Julep, but it seems that I’ll have to wait at least another month for some amazing-ness. Hopefully October will have some incredible colors! I’ve seen the spoilers on the internet, and it’s too hard to tell yet whether I like the polishes or not. From the sound of the beauty product, I may actually use it, so I won’t feel like I’m wasting money if I get it in one of the boxes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these swatches and my nail art! Thanks for reading!

– Emi

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