Julep January 2016 Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! I’m back with new material today: a subscription box post! Instead of going through the backlog of subscription boxes that I didn’t get around to last year, I decided to skip ahead to this month’s Julep box to keep it current (well, sort of current, since it’s not January anymore). So today I have my January 2016 Julep box (New Year, Fresh Look) to show off on the blog, replete with swatches and nail art!


This month’s collection was full of gorgeous cool-colored shimmery shades that immediately caught my attention, so I was very taken with the polishes this month since those are right up my alley. For this month’s box, I just stuck to my favorite three shades from the collection, but there were so many other lovely polishes. I used the three colors plus Julep Mahima to create some eye-catching peacock feather nail art, which came out so very nicely. Read on to see all the polish!

Julep January 2016 Swatches

Here is my Julep box from this month! It has the three polishes I chose from the collection – Joss, Shay, and Tali – plus some silver triangular nail art studs. It seems that, because Julep increased the monetary value of the Maven boxes, subscribers who opt for three polishes in the box have the option of including some bonus nail art decorations in their boxes, which is pretty awesome. I also added on Jamie from the 2015 Gem Collection because it looked so lovely and flaky.


Joss (Bombshell) is a really rich and decadent deep purple-to-forest green duochrome shimmer. It’s got a whole lot of depth to it that drew me in when I saw it, leading me to put it in my box. In terms of color, this polish is a slightly warm-toned dark amethyst when viewed head-on, and a lush forest green when viewed at an angle. The duochrome effect is very prominent, and easily visible in most lighting situations. The formula is quite pleasant: full coverage in two coats, and fairly easy to apply although a bit thick. Overall, Joss is a very nice polish.


As you can probably tell, I must really like this color because I found some pretty similar polishes to Julep Joss in my stash. Carpe Noctem Interstellar Towel (swatched here) is very, very close, but is much closer to black than purple. Julep Reece is lighter and grayer, and also has some holographic glitter mixed in.

Julep Joss Swatch Comparison

Shay (Bombshell) is a completely unique aqua green glass fleck polish that reminds me strongly of beach glass. The color of this polish is a fantastic sea green that is neither cool- nor warm-toned. However, what really makes this polish is the finish: I can’t describe how awesome it is to look at this glass fleck polish, you just have to try it yourself. When my nails were reflecting on each other, it was utterly astounding and mesmerizing. Anyways, Shay had a not-so-outstanding formula that was really sheer and thick at the same time. Also, if you lay on too much polish at your tips, it kind of beads up at the tips and reflects weirdly. I would recommend putting on a thicker first coat, wrapping the tips, and then put on thinner second and third coats, not wrapping the tips. All the trouble was worth it, though, for this result:


Tali (It Girl) is an icy, cool blue holographic polish that has a decidedly wintery feel to it. This shade of blue reminds me of the dress from Disney’s Cinderella because it is the same powdery blue shade, with a ton of sparkle. While I was hoping the shade of this polish would be more of a darker cornflower blue, the pale iciness of this polish is lovely anyways. Although my camera isn’t picking it up, the holographic effect is very visible and prominent in most lighting situations; this is a huge step up from some of the other Julep holos I have (Julep Mari, for example). The formula of Tali was great to work with: opaque in two thin coats and easy to apply, although it could have been opaque with one really thick coat.


There isn’t anything in my stash that was really similar to Tali, but I compared it to Girly Bits More Cowbell (greener, grayer, darker, and more holo), and Carpe Noctem Clear Skies (more saturated, with pink shimmer, sheerer formula).

Julep Tali Swatch Comparison

With these three fantastic polishes, I wanted to find a way to emphasize their cool, shimmery lush qualities, leading me to this peacock feather idea. I’ve definitely seen peacock nails before (they seem like a pretty popular nail art idea), but I hadn’t done them before – so why not now! It suits these three polishes really well, although I did have to add in Julep Mahima (swatched here) to make the feathers complete.


First, I started with a base of two coats of Julep Joss, which I had been wearing as a full manicure for a few days prior. Then, I used Shay and a very thin brush to draw a line from the cuticle to midway down my nail, at which point I forked the line and had it curve around to rejoin at a point; this formed the outline of the feather. I then added some extra feathery bits around the first line, and filled up the curvy space of the feather with Mahima to complete the body of the feather. Finally, I put an oblong blob of Tali in the center of the feather, and another smaller blob of Joss in the center of that. And done!


Oh, do these look fancy! I wish I had an LBD to wear with this somewhere because these nails look gorgeous! The final result is exactly what I was hoping for – dark, glam, and elegant. And it wasn’t all that difficult to do the nail art either despite the fact that it seems like it has so many steps, since feathers don’t have to be very precise to look good. Definitely worth it with these polishes.

I hope you’ve liked my post! Hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later next time. Thanks for reading!

– Emi


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