Julep December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have my picks from the Julep December 2014 collection (Countdown) to share with you! As I wrote in a previous post, I got to see what all these polishes looked like first-hand at the San Francisco Maven Meetup in November, so I was absolutely sure what I wanted to get. This time around, I chose the Bombshell box with no add-ons, since I was only really interested in the two Bombshell polishes out of the selection. Fun fact: for the entire time I’ve been a Maven, the Bombshell box is the one I have most frequently picked out of the four main profiles…in spite of the fact that my default profile is Classic with a Twist. Discounting the month of June (I went with Polish Lover’s), I’ve picked the Bombshell box 50% of the time. Funny how that turned out!

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel

Anyways, the two Bombshell polishes were absolutely gorgeous and I am quite glad that I picked those two. I thought about doing a two-color nail art design with just those polishes, but I had no good ideas. So I decided to add a few more colors and do something more awesome: Hanukkah nails! In the spirit of the season, I wanted to do a fabulous manicure that celebrates my favorite winter holiday (Chanukah/Hannukah/Hanukkah/whatever spelling variant), and I opted for a dreidel nail art design. For those of you who don’t know what the game of dreidel is, I’ll write down the game instructions at the end, if you’re curious. Read on!

Julep December 2014 Maven Paula SoleilHere is what the unboxing looked like! My December Bombshell box contained two polishes, one eyeshadow, candy, and some paper. The code I got (THIRTYOFF) is for 30% off.

Julep December 2014 Maven Unboxing Bombshell

Paula is a really interesting polish, and was hands-down the one color from the Maven Meetup that I wanted to come home with me. It’s a medium “Persian blue” (purple-leaning blue) with a golden iridescence to it that comes out as kind of a sheen more than a shimmer. I suppose this makes it a shimmer polish, but a subtle one if so. Anyways, I am SO glad I got this one because it was everything I was hoping for. The color is a really rich and saturated purple-y blue, and the golden shimmer comes out so beautifully in direct lighting. In indirect lighting, the sheen fades to only a faint luminescence, but the color is fantastic anyways. As for the formula, this polish is pretty easy to apply: the first coat goes on a little sheer, but a second coat will get the polish to reach opacity. The consistency of the polish was workable, though a little thick. I am very happy with this polish – it’s such a unique and awesome color! I wore it around for two days by itself, and the whole time I was thinking to myself, “Yep, this was a good decision.”

Julep December 2014 Maven Paula Swatch 3

Julep December 2014 Maven Paula Swatch 4

I tried my hardest, but nothing in my stash looks much like Paula so I have no comparison. I tried, I really did.

Soleil is a really nice rose gold chrome, which I am fond of because this particular shade works with my skin tone. As far as rose gold goes, the color of Soleil leans more towards gold and less towards pink; you can see this pretty well in the comparison that is a few pics down. It looks pretty great on, actually. Given that this polish has a metallic chrome finish, it is somewhat difficult to apply in a manner that avoids showing brushstrokes. All the same, it is opaque in one to two coats and the consistency is easy to work with. Overall, Soleil is a pretty nice polish if you’re looking for a rose gold metallic color; I imagine it would be the perfect accent for an LBD at a holiday party.

Julep December 2014 Maven Soleil Swatch 2

Part of the reason why I picked Soleil is that I don’t have an exact dupe for it. The closest polish I have to Soleil is Sally Hansen Color Foil Rose Copper, which is different in a few ways. Rose Copper is way more cool-toned and pinker than Soleil, for starters, although this is difficult to ascertain from the photo (sorry! My camera was thrown off by the metallic shine and things got funky. Just believe me here). Beyond that, Rose Copper has an unusual formula that requires you to apply the polish without a base coat or topcoat, unlike Soleil. But in the end, you get a finish that is WAY more reflective than most other metallic chrome polishes. Consequently, Soleil is less reflective than Sally Hansen Rose Copper, but it does play nice with a base coat and topcoat, making it easier to deal with and wear for a long time than Rose Copper.

Julep December 2014 Maven Soleil Comparison
It took me a while to figure out what nail art to do with these two polishes, since I initially wasn’t sold on the combination of the two. I first thought of some filigree floral pattern, but decided instead to incorporate them into my Hanukkah nail art idea because I am rather short on time this month and had to prioritize my nail art ideas. So Hanukkah nails it was! I decided that a dreidel-themed design would be pretty festive and also awesome as nail art. But my idea required other polishes than just Paula and Soleil, so I added two more – Margaret and Dana – to make it happen. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the results! It’s so fun and festive – and of course very Hanukkah! This really gets me in the “holiday spirit”.

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel 2

I don’t have a tutorial for this design because, like I said, I am REALLY running short on time this month. The polishes I used were:

  • Julep Paula (purple-toned blue with golden sheen) – background
  • Julep Dana (white with blue sheen, black light-reflective) – Hebrew letters and olive leaves shading
  • Julep Soleil (rose gold chrome) – outlines of letters and small dots
  • Julep Margaret (sky blue creme) – olive branches

I began by painting my nails with two coats of Paula (medium blue), and adding topcoat. I wore this around for two days because it was AWESOME! Anyhow, I then used Dana (white) and a very fine brush to paint the letters on each nail, and followed up by outlining the letters with Soleil (rose gold). On my thumb, I decided to do a Magen David (Star of David) since it fit well with the Hebrew letters. Once I was satisfied, I used Margaret (light blue) to make the four olive branches around each letter. This was kind of tricky since my letter placement on some of the letters was a bit off-center…oops… The leaves looked like they needed a little something, so I added a bit of Dana to add dimension. Finally, I added three dots of Soleil on each side of my nail in between where the two branches meet to finish things off. And done!

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel 3

I am unbelievably pleased with this design! It’s even better than I thought it would be; I didn’t realize that it would be so awesome that I’d get all excited for Hanukkah just by looking at my nails! The colors look fantastic together, and I especially like how the shine of Soleil makes everything pop just right. Yay!

Julep December 2014 Maven Hanukkah Nail Art Dreidel 4

I felt so Jewish while doing my nails that I took this photo mid-manicure:

Hanukkah Nail Art Chicken Soup Dreidel

Yes, that is homemade chicken soup. And Hanukkah nail art that looks like a dreidel. And a real dreidel.

In case any of my readers haven’t played the game of dreidel before, I’ve written down the basic instructions (and a link to WikiHow in case this is insufficient). To play, you need the four-sided top called a dreidel, which has a letter written on each side. The Hebrew letters (nun, gimel, hey, and shin) were chosen because they are actually an acronym for the phrase, “Nes gadol haya sham,” meaning, “A great miracle happened there.” Notably, dreidels made in Israel have a change to the lettering (pey instead of shin) because the acronym changes to, “A great miracle happened here,” and that requires a different letter.

In addition to the dreidel, each person playing the game (two or more players are needed) will require a pile of tokens. The tokens can be peanuts, chocolate coins, pennies, or whatever is convenient. Since you have to spin the dreidel around on a flat surface, it’s best to have the players sit around a table when playing. To begin a round of dreidel, everyone puts one token into a center pot/pile. Then, each person around the table takes turns spinning the dreidel. Once the dreidel stops spinning and lands with one letter facing up, the person who spun the dreidel will need to take one of the following actions depending on the letter (the last letter on this particular dreidel is a shin, not a pey):

Dreidel Instructions Table
You can probably imagine that, if the dreidel lands on gimel, the center pot will be emptied and the round ends. This means that you simply begin another round by having each player put another token into the center pot, and continue playing as before. The game can go on like this until one player has all the tokens and everyone else runs out. Or until sufganiot (jelly donuts) are served, whichever comes first.

That’s it for how to play dreidel! Pretty simple, huh. And now my nails can match the game and get in on the fun!

I hope you’ve liked my post! To any of my Jewish readers, Happy Hanukkah! Thanks for reading 🙂

– Emi


7 thoughts on “Julep December 2014 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

  1. Alyssa says:

    This is so adorable! As much as I love all of the festive Christmas manis I’m seeing, it makes me really happy to know there are fellow Jewish Julep/polish lovers. Happy Hanukkah in advance!


    • emismanis says:

      Thanks! Yeah, I also like seeing the occasional Hanukkah manicure hiding amongst the multitude of Christmas manis…makes me feel happy that us Jews get all festive with nail art too. Happy Hanukkah to you too 🙂


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