Julep May 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! It’s past the end of the month, but I still have my monthly Julep Maven box post for you! Today I have my picks from the Julep May 2015 collection (Set Sail) and some really adorable chintzy nail art that I made using the polishes. This month’s collection was very creme-heavy, but I did find that I liked a number of the polishes and, luckily, was able to fill some gaps in my collection. While the collection overall seemed to have a nautical theme, I instead used the polishes I got to make some nail art that had been on my to-do list for a long time: floral china patterned nails! You know, like fine china that people serve afternoon tea in. Kinda kitschy, kinda girly, very cute.

Julep May 2015 Maven Nail Art China Pattern 6

By the way, if you haven’t yet entered my 1 year blogiversary giveaway, it’ll be open until the 21st of this month! Follow the link!

Julep Maven May 2015 Composite SwatchesHere’s an unboxing photo! You may notice that this is not what Julep Maven boxes usually look like – it’s missing all the paper info, freebie candy, and specially colored paper. Why? The shipment of my box was bungled by USPS (they thought they delivered it, and they didn’t), and so I never received my Maven box. Instead, I had to ask Julep to reship me the contents of my box plus another order that USPS lost, which they very kindly did. As things have gone with me in the past, Julep’s customer service was able to fix this problem very well, and I eventually got a box containing my Maven polishes 🙂

Julep Maven May 2015 Unboxing

Amanda (Classic With a Twist) is described on the Julep website as a “pink dahlia creme” and, yeah, this is a very intense floral pink color. While this is usually not a shade I would pick at all (bright pinks make me uncomfortable), I liked how light colored and purple-ish this polish looked in the bottle and I hoped that it would look like that on my nails. As it turns out, this is not the case – Amanda is a very saturated, cool-toned pink creme that isn’t very light at all. Inaccurate pictures aside, this is definitely a color that I can see being popular in spring/summer. The best part about this polish is that it’s amazingly easy to apply: almost opaque in one coat, and is only slightly thick in consistency. I’m just not especially enthused about this shade of pink because it’s not “me” :/

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Amanda 2

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Amanda 6

Since I don’t have many pink polishes, my comparisons for Julep Amanda were not all that close. Revlon Gel Envy Royal Flush is warmer, darker, and has a slight shimmer to it. Zoya Caprice – while it looked almost exactly the same as Julep Amanda in the bottle – is darker, warmer, more vibrant, and much more sheer.

Julep May 2015 Maven Amanda Comparison.jpg

Becca (Boho Glam) is much more my style than Amanda. This polish is an absolutely fabulous shade of oceanic bluish green, and the fine silvery shimmer puts it over the top and into polish perfection. I can see why they called this color “viridian tide”: it’s definitely an aquatic/mermaid-y polish that’s perfect for summer. Although my swatches don’t show it very well, this polish is more green than blue. As for the formula, it’s pretty decent to apply (opaque in two coats, not too thick), but it does stain so be careful! For me, though, this polish is worth the stain because the color is just so amazing. Besides, Julep’s Vanish stuff removes it pretty well.

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Becca 6

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Becca 4

Initially, I thought Julep Becca would look very similar to another Julep polish – Lizanne – but that wasn’t the case at all. Lizanne is much darker and greener than Becca, plus the shimmer is less prominent. The other polish I compared to Julep Becca, Nicole by OPI Respect the World, looks almost identical in the swatch photo I have, but in real life they aren’t the same. The NOPI has a green “sheen” to it rather than the silvery shimmer of Julep Becca, and it’s also a lot more sheer, requiring three coats to reach opacity instead of two. It’s just unfortunate that the photo doesn’t show any difference between the two polishes :/

Julep May 2015 Maven Becca Comparison

Denise (Bombshell) is an utterly outstanding purple polish that I can’t believe I didn’t have in my life before it came in my Maven box! As much as I like Becca, Denise is clearly the star of the collection (and the #1 most popular item, according to Julep). This almost neon, bluish purple creme is absolutely stunning in person, and it looks just about as great on nails as it does in the bottle. I didn’t check to see if it fluoresces under black light, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does – it’s THAT bright. The formula of this polish is easy to apply and a little bit sheer, but it covers nicely in two medium-thick coats. It dries to a semi-matte, waxy-looking finish, which is what my swatches show. There is no other polish I have that remotely compares to Julep Denise, so I have no comparison photo to show.

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Denise 6

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Denise 4

Vanna (Bombshell) is another unexpected pick for me because I usually am not a fan of neutrals. All the same, I picked this one up because it looked like an appealing neutral. I do like it quite a bit, actually: it’s a good, peachy-toned off-white creme that makes my skintone look super tan and gorgeous. If you have olive toned skin like me, this is a good polish to pick up for sure, although I’d imagine this color would look good on most people. I’m really compelled to wear this as a full manicure now because it makes my fingers look so elegant and lovely! The formula of this polish is pretty good as well: three easy-to-apply coats gets to full opacity, with pretty solid coverage.

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Vanna 1

Julep May 2015 Maven Swatch Vanna 2

I compared Julep Vanna to Julep Glinda the Good Witch from the Wizard of Oz collection because they seemed pretty similar aside from the shimmer in Glinda. Color-wise, Vanna is much more peachy than Glinda, which is pretty pinky, and of course Glinda has that shimmer in it that Vanna doesn’t. Revlon Brilliant Strength – Allure is a super similar shade of off-white in the bottle, but it’s actually a lot more sheer and so it looks different on the nail. It also has a red “sheen” to it, whereas Vanna is a creme.

Julep May 2015 Maven Vanna Comparison

It’s been a longstanding item on my nail art to-do list to paint china patterned nails, like you would see on a tea set. I figured that this bunch of polishes would be perfect for the job, so I set about doing it! For this manicure, I opted to only paint two nails with the china pattern to have those as accent nails; the other two I wanted to leave plain or with a small accent (like a pearl!). So that’s how this manicure came together:

Julep May 2015 Maven Nail Art China Pattern 7

I don’t have a step-by-step for how to do the china pattern, so you’ll just have to figure it out from my description. I started off by painting my middle and ring fingers with Julep Vanna (off-white) and the other three nails with Julep Amanda (pink). On the off-white nails, I used a small dotting tool to make a bunch of evenly spaced dots using Julep Savoy (muted gold metallic). I chose a few of the dots to turn into flowers, which involved placing six dots of Julep Denise (purple) around the dot using a dotting tool and then a pink dot in the center. Finally, I finished off the flowers by adding green leaves around them using a small brush and Julep Becca. On the pink nails, I placed a pearl rhinestone  near each cuticle. And done!

Julep May 2015 Maven Nail Art China Pattern 3

Julep May 2015 Maven Nail Art China Pattern 2

Aaaaahhhh it’s so cute! I LOVE the china patterned nails, and kind of want to do a full manicure of this in the future. I’m not as fond of the pink nails because I probably should have used a smaller pearl, but I had to work with what I had. All together, this is definitely the effect I was going for.

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

– Emi


6 thoughts on “Julep May 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

  1. Kayla Bae says:

    Thank goodness for Julep’s costumer service! They helped you and it went smoothly! I agree with the color Amanda though, I was surprised I got the color in my box too and wasn’t too happy –but mostly because I’ve been getting that shade (or a shade or 2 off) in other subscription boxes. I must be a magnet for that color lol But overall, lovely nails and lovely box!


    • emismanis says:

      Huzzah for Julep’s customer service! Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with them so far, and this time was no exception.

      Yeah, I think the swatch of Amanda was kind of misleading. I was expecting it to be the color that Marcella turned out to be, but oh well.

      And thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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