Julep August 2015 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! Today I’ve got my picks from the Julep August 2015 Collection (Muse Montreal) to show off on the blog! I know it’s been a while since my last post (and it’s no longer August), but I thought I should write my August subscription box posts eventually. Seriously, I feel like I’ve been fighting exhaustion all the time now that my commute is now 2 hours every day instead of 5 minutes. Lesson learned: if you can help it, don’t move an hour away from work.

Julep August 2015 Nail Art Mix and Match 6

Anyways, I almost didn’t take a box this month because I just wasn’t feeling the particular polishes that made up the collection, despite the fact that I liked the color palette overall. While I eventually convinced myself to take a box using up some of my store credit, I don’t think I chose very well and ended up disappointed with most of my selections. The plus side of taking a box, though, was that I received a set of super fun metallic temporary tattoos as a freebie and I LOVED them! I’d been contemplating getting a set before, and Julep sent some for free! So I used them to create some cute, geometric mix-and-match nail art.

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatches CompositeHere’s an unboxing photo! My box came with the three polishes I ordered, plus these awesome metallic temporary tattoos as a freebie (BEST FREEBIE EVER!!!!!). Julep put in a TON of paper  stuff this month to announce their “Brave Pretty” mantra. As I understand it, the Brave Pretty campaign is about rejecting beauty conformity, and doing whatever is enjoyable and makes you feel pretty. This is a nice manifesto, but the way that it’s phrased doesn’t really have much meaning for me because it’s so targeted towards makeup (which I don’t wear). The only cosmetics I use regularly are nail polish (of course), and I think I’ve more than covered my bases when it comes to being adventurous with nail art. I prefer to think of the “Brave Pretty” idea as meaning “feeling confident in your own beauty look in situations where you are uncomfortable with self-expression”. In this vein, “Brave Pretty” is embracing my femininity while working in a highly masculine field. See: #ILookLikeAnEngineer.

Julep August 2015 Maven Unboxing

Lizzy (It Girl) is a light, neutral beige creme that is supposedly a “cappuccino” color (pretty accurate); I got this one hoping that it might be a “mannequin hands” color that closely matches my skintone, but this shade isn’t yellow-toned enough to match perfectly. Color-wise, this polish is a neutral beige that looks like foundation on your nails. Or iced coffee – I prefer to think of it that way. The formula is alright and fairly easy to apply, although a bit sheer. Two coats will get you to opacity if you wait a few minutes between coats to prevent bald spots. While I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t match this color to my skin, Lizzy is a solid polish that looks very elegant and professional.

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Lizzy 4

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Lizzy 2

I compared Julep Lizzy to the closest neutral creme I have: Zoya Avery. Avery is noticeably lighter and more pink-toned than Julep Lizzy, which is browner and darker. This doesn’t translate into my photos, but they are much more different in real life.

Julep August 2015 Maven Comparison Swatch Lizzy

Mari (Bombshell) is – supposedly – a magenta/pink holographic polish, but in reality, not so much. I would expect from something labeled “liquid holographic” that there would be some noticeable rainbow effect, which was why I was really excited about getting this one. Unfortunately, there isn’t much holo pigment in here, and what little there is in the bottle is almost totally masked by the heavily pigmented base. Ultimately, the result is that, if you look closely, you’ll see the holo effect, but there really isn’t much of it at all. It’s not that I’m expecting Julep’s holographic polishes to look like those of indie brands, I just wanted Mari to look as holographic as other Juleps like Tin Man or Hallie (which I got, but haven’t worn yet). And yet, somehow, there’s nothing to see here. I’m quite disappointed.

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Mari 6

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Mari 8

Anyways, now that my mini-rant is over, Mari is a lovely pinkish magenta shimmer polish. It’s quite saturated, and somewhat warm-toned – it looks great against my olive skintone. The formula is absolutely stellar: due to the highly-pigmented base, this polish is opaque in one coat (my photos show two coats) and goes on astoundingly smoothly. Although I am dissatisfied with the (lack of) holo in this polish, Mari does have some nice qualities in terms of color and formula.

Here’s what Julep Mari looks like next to a similarly-hued holographic polish: China Glaze Infra-Red. While my photo doesn’t show the holographic effect very well, you can kind of tell how much more enhanced it is in the China Glaze polish.

Julep August 2015 Maven Comparison Swatch Mari

Penny (Classic With a Twist) is a metallic foil-finish bronze, and my favorite from this box for sure. When I saw the online swatch photos for this polish, I knew this was the one that I really wanted from the collection. This shade of bronze is on the brown side, and maybe slightly warm-toned (but not overly so). I think it looks fabulous! It’s so warm and fall-like. Bronze is such an underrated metallic – I wish Julep would make a bronze polish with their metallic chrome finish (like Mahima or Soleil). The formula of Penny was pretty great too: two easy-to-apply coats gets to full opacity, although waiting between coats helps to prevent bald spots.

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Penny 6

Julep August 2015 Maven Swatch Penny 4

The closest polish I have to Julep Penny is Revlon Colorstay – Fall Mood, which has since been discontinued and replaced with the lookalike Gel Envy – Double Down. Fall Mood is more coppery than Penny, and has silver flecks in it (you can’t tell from the photo, but they’re there).

Julep August 2015 Maven Comparison Swatch Penny

As you can tell, I loved the temporary tattoos that were included in the box – so much so that I based my entire nail art design off of them! I decided to combine the tattoos with some freehanding to get mix-and-match nail art of a bunch of cute, geometric prints.

Julep August 2015 Nail Art Mix and Match 2

I started with a base of two coats of Julep Lizzy, which I let dry for a while because I was worried that the tattoos would smudge the polish (they didn’t). To apply the tattoos to my nails, I essentially followed the included instructions: I cut the sections of tattoos out of the sheet, positioned them over my nails, added a few drops of water, and pressed lightly for 10 seconds. It was SUCH an easy process – way easier than I was anticipating. Temporary tattoos for the win! I am definitely doing that again 🙂 After applying the tattoos, I added freehanded details with Julep Mari and Penny. That’s it!

Julep August 2015 Nail Art Mix and Match 8

Julep August 2015 Nail Art Mix and Match

I do like this nail art quite a lot; the flashy tattoos and the shimmery polish combine really well on top of a neutral base. It’s really cute and eye-catching, without being too off-putting (something I’m worried about with mix-and-match patterns). I may need to improve my pattern selection because I’m not thrilled with how the pinky turned out, but overall I think this is really cute and fun!

I hope you’ve liked my post! Hopefully I’ll be back with more frequent posts in the coming weeks as I figure out a new “rhythm” in my apartment, and things settle down in my life. Thanks so much for reading ❤

– Emi


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