Hi everyone! I’ve (finally) got another post out for you, which I really should have done a looonnnnngggg time ago. I apologize to all my readers for not posting as much as I wanted to in July (seriously, I only wrote like 3 posts last month…). Last month I was just all over the place physically and mentally because of my move, and I was in a pretty bad funk for the remainder of the month. Acclimating to a new way of living takes me an extremely long time; this time is especially difficult now that I have to adjust to having a much longer commute than before. It got to the point where doing anything felt like a chore – even things I wanted to do – so I postponed nail art for longer than I should have. I’m trying to force myself out of my “funk” by pushing myself to do more, and I think it’s working. It’ll just take some time, and then I’ll be back to normal. Anyways, again, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to leave my blog for this long, but I ended up feeling semi-crazed for pretty much the whole month.
This post is all about my Julep July 2015 Maven box (Drenched Collection), which I really should have gotten around to before it became over a week into August. The Drenched Collection was rather interesting because it had a huge variety of polish finishes – Julep said that this collection had the most different finishes out of all collections ever – and the colors were all quite lovely. I settled on four polishes from the collection, including two special finish polishes, which I used to create some super fun butterfly wing nail art. Read on!
Alexa (Classic With a Twist) is a lovely dusty lilac crème that’s not your typical summer color, but – if you think about it – would be gorgeous no matter what season it is. I’m always drawn to muted purples of every tone, finish, and lightness, so I this is one of my favorite polishes from this box. Color-wise, Alexa is slightly blue-toned and very muted; the color is a little bit more purple than my photos show, since my camera tends to think that bluish purple shades are actually blue. The formula is absolutely fantastic with this one: two coats (almost one) to creamy perfection. I’m very glad I got this one!
Like I said, I’m drawn to purple polishes like this, so I have quite a few similar polishes to Julep Alexa. Essie Boxer Shorts is darker, bluer, and more saturated, and American Apparel L’Esprit is considerably lighter but a similar color.
Juliana (It Girl) has a unique, brand-new finish that Julep calls “sheer iridescent”, so I was highly intrigued by this polish. Basically, the “sheer iridescent” aspect comes from a high level of slightly duochrome shimmer in a sheer base that builds to opacity in three coats. It looks so luscious and candy-like – I wanted to lick my nails when I painted them with Juliana! Unfortunately, this shade of bright pink is not my speed; I was hoping the color would be a little warmer based on the online photos, but it turned out to be almost Barbie pink. Other than requiring three coats to become opaque, this polish is not too bad to work with. The consistency is good, and it’s pretty easy to avoid obvious brushstrokes.
A lot of people online were saying that Julep Juliana was a near-dupe for Julep Laree, which is very hard to find. But it’s not even close in my eyes. Laree is much more opaque, darker, and warmer-toned with a gold shimmer. Juliana is sheerer, cooler, lighter, and has a pink shimmer. Not dupes, not even that similar.
Lainey (Wonder Maven) is a stunning magenta/berry shimmer polish that works beautifully as a summer color, but could also be seasonally-appropriate all year round. I was drawn to this polish because I thought its lighter take on magenta was very interesting. This shade of magenta is slightly warm-toned and very saturated; it looks fantastic against my olive skintone for sure. It’s also quite strongly shimmery and looks jewel-like on. The formula of Lainey, though, is sheerer than I would have liked, and requires three coats to become opaque. Also, this polish is somewhat difficult to work with because the consistency is a little thick, brushstrokes are mildly visible, and bald spots show up if you don’t wait long enough between coats. So there are pluses and minuses with this polish.
I compared Julep Lainey to two other similar Juleps: Irina and Neha. Irina dries with a matte finish, but I topcoated it for the photo. As far as differences go, Irina is much more muted, more opaque and considerably warmer. Neha is a lot redder, darker, more opaque, and less shimmery.
Poppy (Boho Glam) is my surprise favorite of the box, and to think I almost didn’t get it because initially I wasn’t sure about jelly polish at all! Admittedly, while I like the color a lot and wanted to maybe try a jelly, I did partly pick this one because Poppy is the name of my family’s dog. Here she is!!!
SO. FREAKING. CUTE. Now back to polish: Poppy is the first jelly polish I bought from Julep, and I decided to go with this one because red-orange polish is one of my favorite things this year (as you can probably tell from my earlier posts). I was not disappointed with this one: this shade of reddish orange is HOT and intense, and looks fabulous against my skintone. As far as opacity goes, the formula of Poppy was a little thick, but this probably helped it flow nicely without flooding my cuticles. Obviously, since it is a jelly polish, it’s not going to be opaque unless you put like five coats on, but I think three coats looks plenty good enough (my photos show three coats).
Here’s what the buildup of Poppy looks like, from one coat to three coats:
Anyways, I decided to try a jelly polish after seeing this blog post on Julep’s website, which showed all the cool combinations you could come up with for layering the jelly. They show their jelly polishes over all kinds of polish finishes including glitters, crèmes, and metallics. I wanted to try Poppy over a shimmer and a glitter, so I tried one coat of it over two coats of Julep Hazel (swatch here) and as a jelly sandwich with Julep Diamond Theory (copper hex and small glitter). Hazel + Poppy is the BEST IDEA EVER!!! Hazel is normally a violet-to-tan duochrome shimmer, but when layered with just one thin coat of Poppy, it turns into a magenta-to-rust duochrome (you can still see a color shift through the jelly). Since my layer of Poppy was a little inconsistent, you could see some variations in color peeking out and it was beyond gorgeous. I’m going to have to do a full manicure of this! The combo of Poppy + Diamond Theory fell a little flat compared to Hazel + Poppy, but it’s quite pretty nonetheless.
It took me a while to figure out what nail art I wanted to do with the colors I picked in the box. I initially thought a sunset would be nice, but then I couldn’t figure out what else to do on top of the sunset so I abandoned that idea. Eventually, I thought about doing butterfly wing nails, which I’d seen a lot but never tried, and decided that was the way to go. And I am so glad I did because these nails are AWESOME!!!
I can’t believe I didn’t try this earlier! Anyways, I followed the instructions from this YouTube video to see how it’s done. I also have my own photos/gif of the technique that I used so you can see the process. I started by painting my nails with three coats of Julep Juliana, and then made a bit of a gradient near the cuticle of each nail using Poppy. Since Poppy is not very opaque, I didn’t bother with a sponge gradient and just used a Q-tip to distribute small amounts of Poppy until I was satisfied. At this point, I topcoated the background to keep it safe from any mistakes. Then, I painted the lines of the wing sections using a small brush and Lainey; you can see the pattern of lines I painted in the photos. To form the exterior of the butterfly wings, I made some small U-shaped lines near the tip of my nails in between each line, and filled in the gap between them and my nail tips using Lainey. Finally, I dotted on little bits of Alexa along my nail tip to finish the wings. And done!
WOW. THIS IS SO COOL. I think the combination of colors here is perfect for butterfly wings because they’re so shimmery and mesmerizing. Juliana and Poppy here are the real stars because they look so crystallic and shiny – I can’t stop looking at how they catch the light. Mostly, I’m rather surprised by how fun these nails are to wear because I wasn’t anticipating to like butterfly wing nails as much as I do. I wasn’t expecting to like Poppy or butterfly wing nails, and I ended up loving them both.
I hope you’ve liked my post! I am very sorry about being less active than I wanted to be; I really wanted to do all this awesome nail art in this past month, but got so mentally and physically exhausted with my day-to-day activities that I felt unmotivated by nail art. Hopefully, though, I can pull myself out of my “funk” and get back to writing posts. Stay tuned for more, and thanks for reading!