Hi everyone! First up, I have an announcement: my giveaway to celebrate my one year blogiversary has ended and I have picked a winner! Congratulations, Cheri M!!! Thanks to everyone for reading my blog, and entering my giveaway – I really do appreciate all of you awesome readers ❤
Today I have my picks from the Julep Maven June 2015 Collection (The Deep End) to show off on the blog! This month’s collection, like the last two, was full of fun brights and mostly cremes, with a few other colors and finishes thrown in. While I loved the color palette and overall look of the collection, I limited myself to my three favorite polishes from the group, one of which has been my dream polish for a LOOONNNG time. As usual, I swatched the polishes, compared them, and did some fun summer nail art with all of them. Read on!
Here’s an unboxing photo! Since I only picked three polishes from the collection (no extra add-ons or freebies), my box was pretty small. Included were the polishes (both Boho Glam and one CWaT), some paper, and two lollipops.
Isabela (Boho Glam) is a fantastic polish that has everything to love about blue creme polish wrapped up in one bottle; haha, this is why I own so much blue polish… Anyways, this shade of blue is super saturated, and leans cool toned – essentially, it’s an ultramarine blue. This color is crazy attention-grabbing because it’s so gorgeous! The fabulousness doesn’t stop at the amazing color, though; the pigmentation and formula of Isabela are both stellar. Applying this polish is completely painless, with an easy-to-apply formula that reaches opacity in two coats. My only, very minor gripe about this polish is that it has a faint “stank” to it that’s characteristic of blue polishes, but it’s barely noticeable compared to other polishes (*ahem* Julep Danica).
If you looked at Julep Isabela and wondered to yourself, “Did Julep just make a dupe for the original Sally Hansen Pacific Blue?!?” then wonder no more. No, Isabela is not an exact dupe for the sadly-discontinued older version of Sally Hansen Pacific Blue, but it is pretty darn close. Isabela is just slightly lighter and less bright than Pacific Blue, and you can tell the difference between the two pretty easily. However, they’re immensely similar, and Isabela could be a decent substitute (albeit an expensive one) for Pacific Blue if you can’t find it anywhere.
Jacqueline (Classic With a Twist) is another stunner from this collection that fits right in with my red-orange obsession from earlier this year. Color-wise, I would say that this is a really vibrant “tomato red” because it leans heavily towards orange, but is still red. While this polish is considered a shimmer according to Julep, the finish is almost glass fleck-like, which is kind of neat. The color and finish put together are so luscious! In terms of the formula, this polish is unfortunately a bit sheer when you apply only two coats (which is what’s shown in my photos; I was hoping it would be fully opaque), but at least it’s reasonably easy to apply. I didn’t have anything worth comparing to Jacqueline, so I don’t have a comparison shot.
Manda (Boho Glam) is the polish I was HOPING and PRAYING that Julep would make, and they finally DID!!!!! Ever since last May’s collection with Laree, Saaya, and Paulette, I was desperately hoping that Julep would make a similar polish that was a sky blue with a gold shimmer; I looked everywhere to find something similar with no luck. And then, this month, THERE IT WAS!!! To say I was excited about it would be an understatement 😀
Anyways, back to the polish: this is most definitely a light sky blue polish that leans a bit warm, and has a gold shimmer. The shimmer of Manda is maybe a little less noticeable than that of the similar polishes I mentioned earlier, and it’s more of a sheen, really. No matter – I love it anyways! While I was SUPER DUPER THRILLED with the color, the formula left something to be desired. This polish was kind of thick and tacky, and I had to thin it out to make it cooperate. Thinning it out, though, meant that the polish wasn’t opaque in two coats, and I had to apply a third to some nails. In the photos, my middle and ring fingers have two coats of polish and the others have three. Once I thinned it out, Manda became much easier to work with, and it wasn’t too difficult to apply. I suggest thinning the polish out a bit if it helps you.
Like I said, I had a hard time finding anything that vaguely resembled a sky blue polish with a gold shimmer, so my comparions kind of suck for Julep Manda. Nevertheless, I compared Manda to Julep Shelly (has a very similar color, but is a creme, less saturated, and more green) and Zoya Lillian (looked like the same color in the bottle, but very different on nails). Not great comparisons, but it was the best I could do.
When it came to doing nail art with the collection, I was strongly inspired by “festival” nail art, and the flash tats that Julep sold in the Maven window that month (even though I didn’t get them). I thought it would be fun and a little “boho glam” to make some fun, bright geometric nail art using the three polishes I got plus a tiny bit of gold (I used Julep Mahima). I don’t have a tutorial for this process, so you’ll have to follow along with my written instructions.
I started off by painting my nails with two coats of Julep Isabela, which I wore around for a day to make sure it was 100% dry. The next day, I cut some sticker paper into strips that were approximately 1/8″ thick (striping tape was too thin for me), and taped off a triangle at the bottom of my nail near the cuticle; I made sure to get a good point where the stickers met, with no excess sticker paper hanging over. Using a striping brush and Julep Jacqueline, I made a thin line adjacent to the stickers (on the opposite side of my cuticle), and then made the jagged pattern around the line. I then put a thin stripe of Mahima next to the stickers, where I had put the original line. Once that was finished, I painted Julep Manda around my cuticle area up until the stickers, and quickly peeled off the stickers right after I laid down the polish. To finish off the design, I freehanded the small geometric pattern close to the free edge using a small brush and a dotting tool (I’m not going to go into details here, that would take too long). I very carefully blobbed small amounts of topcoat over the design to set it in place, and then brushed another layer of topcoat over the whole nail once the first layer dried. And done!
The whole ordeal took a while, but it is sooooo worth it! This design is super fun! I absolutely love the geometric design and the bright color mix going on here. It’s so delightful and summery! The gold really adds a necessary amount of bling, too; I think it really helps complete the design.
I hope you’ve liked my post! I sure do love that I finally got one of my long-searched-for dream polishes, despite the formula issues. Thanks for reading!