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!

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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

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Julep InstaGrim Part III: Chevron Candy Corn

Hi everyone! I’ve got the third installment of my Julep InstaGrim series, which completes my Halloween manicures! As I’ve described before, I created a series of Halloween nail art designs for Julep in order to help them promote their contest on Instagram, and am dedicating a blog post to each one; you can read more about it in my first post of the series. This latest one is about my version of candy corn nail art, which is to make a “Chevron Candy Corn” manicure. In total, the designs are:

  1. Haunted Hollow
  2. Ghastly Gradient
  3. Chevron Candy Corn

Julep Chevron Candy Corn Nail Art

The chevron candy corn design was inspired by some chevron decals that Julep sold in the October Maven window, which I picked up. When I was thinking of nail art to do for the InstaGrim contest, I thought of candy corn nail art because I love candy corn, but then I thought – nah, that’s been done to death. But then I thought: well, what about candy corn with a twist? And then these chevron decals came to mind, and I was sold on the idea! Chevrons are a great graphic pattern (quite suitable for bright colors) and they’re very of-the-moment. Plus decals/stencils are so easy to use to create clean lines. I didn’t end up using the Julep decals because I thought my friend Kimi might like them, so I came up with a DIY alternative for those of you who are not in possession of chevron decals. They work, but you can probably get better results with the professional ones. Read on to learn how to do them and see the tutorial!

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Julep October 2014 Maven Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Hi everyone! I hope you’re ready for this because I have my biggest post EVER! My biggest work task got postponed to November/December so I had more free time to make this post amazing. Today I have a huge review post about my picks from the Julep October 2014 Maven collection (Black Magic). Like I have done in previous months (July, August, and September), I swatched all the colors, did some comparisons, and then combined all my picks into nail art. This month, I have a tutorial for my nail art as well! Julep’s October polishes were mostly dark colors with a mix of different finishes. I was most interested in the Classic with a Twist (CwT) box, but added on two polishes from the It Girl box (Shailene and Dana) because they looked intriguing. Funny enough, CwT is my default style profile, but I never picked that box for any of the months I’ve been in the Maven program…until now.

I was much more intrigued by the color choices for October than for September. If you recall, I tend to prefer other finishes than cremes because I think they allow for more diversity and originality compared to solid colors, especially when I’m buying expensive nail polish. Given the abundance of non-cremes in this collection, I was hopeful that I’d get something I was really happy with. From the online swatches Julep provided, though, I had some reservations about what some of the polishes would look like in real life. The shimmers looked a little, well, “un-shimmery” in the photos. Since I’m not interested in shimmers that basically look like cremes, I was apprehensive I wouldn’t like my choices. Thankfully, I am quite happy with most of the colors I chose, so, without further rambling, I present: my Julep October 2014 swatches!

Julep October 2014 Maven Swatches Composite

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Pumpkin Patch Nail Art with Julep

Hi everyone! I am back with exciting nail art…finally! This month’s outrageous workload may be wearing me down a lot, and we’re only one week in, but I still really wanted to do nail art so I made it happen.

Today I’ve got another seasonal design to add to my fall nail art catalog: a pumpkin patch! The idea for this design came about when I shopped at Julep’s secret store this month and picked up the “Pumpkin Patch” duo (Mariska and Lizanne). When I thought about the two colors together, I went with the obvious and decided to use both polishes, plus a whole bunch of others, to paint a pumpkin patch on my nails. Since this idea was pretty heavily related to Julep’s “Pumpkin Patch” duo, I decided to go with Julep polishes for the whole thing. Besides, so many Julep polishes are sitting in my box of untrieds – just waiting to have their moment to shine – so I thought I’d give a bunch of them a go. I have a mini-tutorial at the end for anyone interested in seeing the process!

Julep Fall Pumpkin Patch Nail Art

There really have been quite a few fall designs that I’ve done recently. Autumn is definitely nail art season for me.
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Julep “Family” Vintage Rose Vines Nail Art – Starring My Family

Hi everyone! I’ve got a very special manicure to show off today: these lovely vintage-looking rose vines. Look closely to find the hidden message:

Julep Vintage Family Rose Vines

Yes, that’s right, this manicure is about my family! I took advantage of the fact that Julep gives their nail polishes women’s names, and acquired a bunch of the colors with the names of my family members. The ones I have here are all from my maternal side of the family, since Julep doesn’t have many names from my paternal side. When I looked at the colors all together, I came up with the vintage rose vines idea and it was perfect! At first, I was worried that the colors would be too disharmonious to look good as nail art, but in this design they look awesome together – kind of an antique look. Plus, the vines allowed me to spell out words on my nails (left: “family”, right: “love”), which was what I really wanted to do. It’s also very appropriate that these are rose vines, since my maternal great-grandmother was named Rose.

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My Favorite Things Series – Dichroic Glass Earrings with Rainbow Foil

Hi everyone! I’m continuing my series of nail art designs inspired by patterns on my favorite things today, which began with the minty star scarf a bit over a week ago. This manicure was inspired by a FABULOUS pair of dichroic glass earrings that I bought at a craft fair two years ago. As best as I can tell (I’m no expert), these stud earrings are made of an ultramarine blue glass base layered with some rainbow film, and then coated with clear glass. I bought them for $10 or less, so they were quite inexpensive. Unfortunately, I can’t credit the artist because I can’t find her info 😦

According to Wikipedia, dichroic glass is made by layering glass and micro-layers of metals or oxides to yield a piece of glass with color-shifting properties. The dichroic appearance of the glass is due to thin-film optics effects, which you can also see at play with rainbow soap bubbles and oil slicks. Since I don’t have micro-layers of metals/oxides to use on my nails, I created the dichroic effect using some shiny rainbow transfer foil. It looks AMAZING!!! The finished look is really close to how the glass looks in real life…almost better than how it looks in real life. Plus, the technique I used wasn’t too difficult, so I made a tutorial! Check it out:

Rainbow Foil Dichroic Earrings Continue reading

Julep August 2014 Maven Swatches, Comparisons, and Nail Art

Julep August 2014 Maven Sari Nail Art 3

Hi everyone! I’ve got some polishes from Julep’s August 2014 collection today (Wanderlust) that I swatched individually, and then combined into a sari-themed nail art design (with a tutorial!). Most of the polishes from this month were very vivid shimmers and microglitters, plus one glitter bomb. It’s a very rich and opulent bunch of colors – I love how it all together looks like jewelry! This month I picked the Bombshell box (again) with Neha and Tazeen, and added on Avni (Classic with a Twist) and Waleska (Boho Glam).

The whole collection seems to have been inspired by India, specifically sari colors. I can definitely see how the colors fit the theme, with the vibrant, saturated jewel tones. So I used all of the colors to create sari-inspired nail art! It’s easier than it looks, and I made a tutorial for it if anyone is interested. You can see everything below, starting with swatches:

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Disney Series – Tangled Sun Half Moons + Tutorial

Hi everyone! Today I have the third installment of Disney-themed manicure series that I originally designed in anticipation of my trip with my friends to Disneyland, which happened last week. As I have said in some previous posts, I offered to paint my friends’ nails prior to the trip with designs they wanted, and ended up painting two designs on them (I still have two more that I haven’t done yet). So far in the series, I’ve featured this Minnie Mouse-inspired French tip design for my friend Kimi, and a manicure of Prince John’s crown that I designed for myself. The newest addition to the Disney series is this Tangled-inspired design that uses the sun motif from the movie in a half moon manicure. My friend Emma picked up this idea from the various other designs on the internet, and I augmented the basic idea to make it more interesting and complex. I had to make the design (very) abbreviated on her due to time constraints (you can see it by clicking on the Prince John link), so I executed the full look on myself. This post even has a picture tutorial for the design (my first tutorial ever!!!) so you all can see the process. Here is the result:

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