Julep March 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I have my Julep Maven March 2015 collection (POP!) picks on the blog! I know I’ve been a little behind this month with my blogging, but it’s still March and most definitely not too late for a Maven box post! Although pastels are usually not my area, I did find a number of colors in this month’s collection to be quite appealing and chose three of them to put in my Maven box. Now that I’ve been in the customized Maven box program for two months, I’m definitely liking it better than the old system. Since I mostly subscribe to Julep for nail polish, I can make a box of polishes that has exactly the colors I want out of the collection, and I don’t have to include beauty products that I most likely won’t use.

Julep Maven March 2015 Nail Art Clouds

I was inspired by the colors I selected to create some partly cloudy skies on my nails with a little bird as a subtle accent nail. The clouds were really easy to do and quite fun; someday, when I have the time, I definitely want to do a tutorial on how to make clouds.

Julep Maven March 2015 Swatches CompositeHere’s an unboxing photo! Inside my box were the three polishes I chose from the collection – Janet, Marcy, and Nedra – plus some add-ons (Brigitte, Bjork, and another Night Shift mask). Because I got three add-ons, I also got the orbital eyeshadow in Terra included in my box. The coupon I received was TAKE30 for 30% off.

Julep Maven March 2015 Unboxing

Janet (It Girl) was one of the three polishes in the collection with a new “soft focus” finish which is, essentially, a sort of luminescent semi-matte that can be likened to eggshell paint. Since I was curious to see what the soft focus finish was like, I added this polish on to my box because I liked its color best out of the three soft focus ones. Color-wise, Julep Janet is a very pale, pinky peach creme that looks pretty good with my skintone even though it is pastel. It looks a lot more pink in real life than it did in the photos, which is probably why it is so flattering on. However, its consistency is quite thick and difficult to apply, and despite its thick formula, it still takes three coats to be opaque. I had to struggle with this polish a bit to make it look good.

Julep Janet Swatch 4

Julep Janet Swatch 2

So the soft finish: I really like it! I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Julep Janet fully dry down and reveal its subtle luminescence. Honestly, I like the look of the soft focus finish a bit more than normal matte polish because it “glows” a little more. Although it was a bit of a challenge to apply, the payoff with the soft focus finish made it worth it for me…so much so that I didn’t want to take my polish off! I did a quick comparison of Julep Janet without topcoat, with normal topcoat, and with matte topcoat (Essie Matte About You) so that you can see what the soft focus finish looks like.

Julep Janet Comparison 1

I also compared Julep Janet to two other Julep colors: Fifi and Clara. Fifi is lighter in color (practically white, though it’s hard to tell from the photo) and a little more sheer at three coats. Clara is darker and more orange, and fully opaque at three coats.

Julep Janet Comparison 2

Marcy (Bombshell) is a translucent “silk finish” off-white polish with golden shimmer in it. I really like that the base of this polish is slightly off-white and not a stark white because it complements the gold shimmer very nicely. It’s a very delicate and refreshing color that looks sophisticated and elegant, without being too flashy. And it looks good with my skintone! The formula of this polish, though, was slightly disappointing. While it applied nicely in two coats, it simply wasn’t very opaque at that level, and yet I can’t imagine applying a third coat to make this polish fully opaque. It looks better when it’s slightly translucent, but that means that you can see any streaks left behind during application. I don’t know…I’ll have to play around with it more to see what “makes” this polish for me; maybe I’ll try putting it over another polish to see if I like it better.

Julep Marcy Swatch

Julep Marcy Swatch 4

I compared Julep Marcy to another Julep polish – Kathy – but they are highly dissimilar. While they both have a whitish gold look to them, Kathy is a microglitter/glass fleck polish, while Marcy is a shimmer. They look as different as can be on the nail.

Julep Marcy Comparison

Nedra (It Girl) is a light-medium, dusty blue creme that was my must-have from the entire collection. This gorgeous denim blue drew me in immediately after I saw it, and when I finally got it, I was not disappointed! “Worn denim” is a perfect descriptor for this particular shade of blue; it’s exactly the same color as my jeans in the lightest parts. Given that it’s a denim shade of blue, this polish is probably pretty easy to wear with most skintones. The formula was quite good as well: a little thick, but easy enough to polish with and opaque in one to two coats. This one’s a winner for me!

Julep Nedra Swatch

Julep Nedra Swatch 4

The most similar color in my stash to Julep Nedra was Zoya Caitlin, which is a similar color, but more grayed out and purple-toned. I also compared Nedra to Julep Eliana (see swatch here) because I thought it was interesting to see the difference between Julep’s descriptions of “worn denim” (Nedra) and “soft denim” (Eliana).

Julep Nedra Comparison

I was getting a really breezy, easy-going vibe from the colors of this box, so I decided to paint clouds on my nails. I had done clouds on my nails  almost a year ago – before the blog, but the pic is in my gallery – and I loved how it came out. It seemed like time for a repeat! But, of course, I couldn’t do exactly the same manicure twice, which led me to include the bird as a subtle accent nail for a little “something”. Making clouds is really easy with Q-tips and sheer-ish polish. It’s best if you have a couple of polishes that need three coats to become fully opaque because you’ll get a lot more gradation and dimension in your clouds than if you use polishes that are too opaque. In this regard, Julep Marcy and Brigitte (plain white creme) worked well together, since both are opaque in three coats.

Julep Maven March 2015 Nail Art Clouds 2
After starting with two coats of Julep Nedra as the sky, I lightly dabbed a bit of Julep Marcy on a Q-tip and made random splotches on my nails. It’s best to use small amounts of the polish to begin with just to see what looks good, and then to build up the splotches in the center by adding more polish. This creates the outlines of the clouds as they fade into the sky. Then, I took the other side of the Q-tip, dabbed a bit of Julep Brigitte on it, and carefully placed some dabs selectively on the splotches in order to define the highlights of the clouds. Once I was satisfied, I used a small brush to add little bits of Marcy around the edges where I had painted the cloud highlights in order to blend the two colors together. Finally, I freehanded on the bird on my ring finger with Julep Janet. And done!

Julep Maven March 2015 Nail Art Clouds 3

Julep Maven March 2015 Nail Art Clouds 4

The result is very pretty and whimsical. The clouds came out pretty well, and I think the birdie works well as an accent. I like how it came out, except for the topcoat bubbles around the bird; it’s funny – I only noticed them when I looked at the photos, but now I can’t stop staring!

I hope you’ve liked my post! Thanks for reading!

– Emi

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