Cancelled My Julep Maven

This passed weekend, after using up all my Julep points I decided to cancel my Julep account. Over the last year and a bit I’ve enjoyed the customer service and the product but I am just tired of being locked in. Even with the option to skip a month, sometimes I would not be on computer for days at time, it was just not making me happy.

My last Julep order with all my Maven points used up.

I have a lot of their nail polish and will continue to share my favorite colors that I haven’t shared already, and there are a lot! It just felt like it was time to move on. There are so many brands out there to try.

Now if a nail polish beauty box came out with a selection from across the board, I’d snap that one up. I’m fickle with my polish like I am with my beauty products which is why I like beauty boxes so much.

Anyway, I called on Saturday, because you have to call to cancel your account (this is incredibly irritating by the way). I was expecting a hard “Don’t Leave” sales pitch but the woman I talked too was polite, took my email, confirmed my name and said I would get an email in a few minutes confirming. Cool. As of Monday afternoon I still hadn’t received my email so I gave them a quick call a few minutes ago and another nice woman confirmed that indeed my cancelation was in the system but the confirmation emails go out in batches and I would probably get one later tonight. If I had a problem I should call back but I needn’t worry.

Overall, I have had a great experience with Julep, I have gifted it to people I love on numerous occasions, and if ever I had a problem they were quick to fix and provide me with a token of appreciation for the trouble. Even though I am leaving, I would totally recommend them if you are a fan of nail polish or want to build up your color collection quickly.

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Topic Links
* Visit Julep and find out about their Maven program (no, it is not an affiliate link).

Visions of Love

Julep’s Love is described as a gold, pearl & fuchsia micro-glitter. It came in my February Maven box and I believe it was a “gift” for Valentine’s but am not sure. I took it with me as a back up nail polish when I went back home for a week. I ended up using it towards the end of the week. For some reason I only took one image of it and it was on my phone in the hotel. This is just one coat and I was happy with that.

My nails with one coat of Julep's special edition Love microglitter.

But I did make a few videos for Instagram. Go figure. The first looks like I’m still in the hotel:

And the second I’m playing with the sparkles under fridge water lighting. S.P.A.R.K.L.Y… I noticed I could see a lot more gold and glitter than I could with the previous one.

One coat goes on really nice and at first I thought I was really in love with the color and sparkle because it is so pretty but it has an overall gold sheen to it that I think is too much gold for my skin tone.

Wizard of Oz Nail Polish

This is kind of a long post because it involves the four nail polish collection from Julep celebrating the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz movie starring Judy Garland — one of my all time favorite movies that I have watched at least once a year since I was a little girl. I even have the soundtrack. That being said it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I purchased the collection as an add-on for $19.99 (but not enough that I would pay the full price of $56) with my April Julep Box and if you follow me on Instagram/Facebook you know I have been playing with them over the last few weeks.

Glinda the Good Witch Frost

I found this pale pink frost nail polish to be thick, hard to control, and streaky. Also for this nail polish to be Glinda I felt there was not a strong enough glitter component. What there is you need a magnifying glass to see.

I'm wearing the Glinda frost nail polish from Julep's Wizard of Oz collection.

Emerald City Creme

This bright emerald nail polish definitely goes on nicer than Glinda. Even one coat gives super coverage! It has a nice shine too. On the downside, even with a base coat it stained my nails. Nothing as bad as some yellows and oranges but there was definitely a green tint left behind.

My nails with Emerald City nail polish from Julep.

Ruby Slippers Glitter

I was expecting Ruby Slippers to be my favorite but on its own it was OK. It applies nicely and I was able to easily manipulate glitter without it getting gooey. This is three coats. The glitter is not super bumpy, maybe a light sand but with a top coat I didn’t notice enough for it to bother me. I want to try it again with a deep navy.

A bright red glitter nail polish from Julep called Ruby Slippers.

Here is the video I posted to Instagram so you can see it in motion:

Tin Man Holographic

This Tin Man nail polish is so awesome both in color and formula. It looks awesome with one coat or two and is my favorite of the Wizard of Oz collection.

My nails wearing the silver nail polish from Julep's Wizard of Oz collection.

Did I mention that this silver is awesome? I have it on right now and it is just the right amount of sparkle and holographic that I’d feel comfortable wearing it anytime.

I am in love with this silver Tin Man nail polish.

This collection should have and could have been so much more than it is. Four colors? Really? What about a Toto Black, Yellow Brick Road, Taupey Lion, or some bright color for the Munchkins? How about A Polish of a Different Color and The Wicked Witch? Seriously, I could go on. I think the collection should have been at a minimum of eight colors.

Playing with the Wizard of Oz

This collection came in a book size case featuring images of Dorothy, the Tin Man, Glinda, and the Emerald City. I think it is nice for gift giving but I’ll probably remove my polishes from it and add them to the rest of my color coordinated collection.

The outside and inside of my boxed set.

Before I even got to applying them on my nails I wanted to test them on my swatch fingers. My plan was to try and get all four colors on in some amazing nail art fashion.

My mini swatches of the Wizard of Oz nail polishes from Julep.

The most obvious and easiest option was to add the Ruby Slippers red glitter to the tips which I thought looked really good with the emerald green and OK with the silver.

Ruby glitter on tips of green and silver.

I decided to use Glinda as my basecoat and applied the Tin Man to the tips — I should have stopped there (Tin Man was excellent for applying to the tips by-the-way). I then decided I would add the red glitter under the tips thickly then thinner going to the cuticle. I definitely should have stopped here!

What I eventually ended up with .

I guess it is not super bad but I definitely didn’t love it.

Same look different lighting and angle.

Then I decided to add my favorite dots along the nail line technique. Well, talk about a helluva mess! This mani did not stay on long and because I didn’t like it is the reason I didn’t start off with it at the beginning of this post. But I wanted to still share it with you anyway. Even though I didn’t like this four color look — the process was fun and painting my nails has a learning curve for what works and what doesn’t. I can’t skip it in the real world so I thought I shouldn’t hide it either.

Silly me thought I should add green dots. Did not like it.

The Wizard of Oz collection is currently on sale for $29.99 but as a Maven member I have seen it as low as $19.99 during the monthly add-ons. The polish were sold separately at one point but I just did a search and that no longer seems to be the case.

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Topic Links
* Purchase The Wizard of Oz Collection from Julep

DIY Nail Strips

You know those expensive nail strips that come in a box with different patterns. Well you can make your own… sort of. Last year I saw a video (shocker!) for DIY nail strips with a water marble look to them and it has always been in the back of my mind to try it. I searched high and low for the original video but couldn’t find it — not sure if she removed it or I imagined it. This week I decided to give it a try based on what I remember.

First off, colors. I chose three from my Julep stock: Lena, an iridescent green; Myrtle, a deep red; and Charlie, a bright yellow.

My three color choices for DIY nail strips.

I took a piece of Saran Wrap and tightened it over a white cereal bowl. On it I painted 10 spots with my base coat (I tried a test without base coat and I couldn’t get them off the Saran). On the dried base coat I put a few drops of each color and swirled them around with a toothpick. I put the bowl aside for a few hours and tested, still not dry enough to peel off. I promptly forgot about them.

A few days later I peeled them off — it wasn’t super easy but once I lifted an edge up it peeled right off. I crumpled up the Saran to save for another nail project. I put the strips aside and forgot about them again for a few more days.

When I finally sat down to use them I was afraid they would be too brittle but I lucked out.

I started by laying out the nail strips in order from thumb to pinky. I applied a basecoat to my nails and because my nail strips were not perfectly engineered I decided to paint one coat of Lena to act as a base color for any show through — I worked one nail at a time by the way.

My nails showing the DIY nail strips process: one with a base coat, one with the color coat, and done with the strip in place.

While Lena green was drying I used nail clippers to shape the strip I was working on to give it a straighter edge and alter sides to look more like a strip.

I applied the strip, base coat side down because it is the smoother side to the tacky nail polish and pressed it into place with a finger on the opposite hand. I then used an orange stick to gently press over it with a little more pressure. And clippers to carefully shape the tip to match my nail edge.

I did each nail in this manner then applied my Julep top coat.

My nails strips completed on one hand and laid out ready for the other hand.

It still didn’t fill in the bumps like I wanted it to so I applied two more coats of my Zoya base coat because it is thin and it was what was handy. A day later I did file the tips to make sure I had a smoother edge and gave them another top coat and sealed the tips.

My designs were pretty random and I probably could have assigned more control over what colors showed up the most but I really created them all willynilly this first try. Here’s a close up of one of my favorites.

A close up of one of my favorite designs.

Overall I didn’t mind the process. I love the marbling of three colors and the fact that it is not as messy as the true water marbling process — but there is something that is so perfect about water marbling that still makes me want to do it. That being said I know I will probably attempt this technique again. The DIY nail strips lasted me for my usual four days before I got bored and peeled them off — I just had some touch up cleaning to do with remover. Not sure what is happening with the middle nail of this photo but there definitely isn’t a chunk missing. The strips were all intact when I removed them except for a small chip on the ring finger.

DIY-Nail-Strips-Yellow

How about you are you game to try or have you already?

I went looking for the original video again because I really like to show where I get ideas from but still couldn’t find it. But I did find three others you might find helpful if what I have said up above wasn’t enough:

Reese Dixon’s Nail Art Stickers

Reese uses parchment paper which is a great idea. I use parchment paper for baking cookies so I’ll have to remember this the next time I try.

DB DIY Nail Decals

This video shows how to make simple nail art on clear polish and put it over a darker color. Kind of like mini decals.

Julie Ventura Large Nail Strip

A completely different method that makes a large nail strip and pastes in reverse.

I’m confident you will come away with great techniques from each video to get you through the process.

Julep Nail Polish Addict

It All Began with a Little Box

At the beginning of 2013 I was flicking through my Instagram stream and noticed a pretty little box with crinkled paper and tall bottles of bright nail polish. In the photographer’s description she had “Julep Maven” but otherwise no description. I did a quick search on Google and was quickly alerted to the world of Julep and their nail and beauty products.

Becoming a Maven

Basically the Maven program involves filling out a survey to determine your style type, for instance I came up as having a “Boho Glam” style. They use the style type to determine what colors to send me each month in their Maven Box. Usually it is two to three bottles of nail polish but sometimes they include extras like: lipstick, eyeliner, candy, hand lotion, lip scrub.

The monthly subscription is $20 a month (that includes shipping). The price is the same in the U. S. and Canada and still with free shipping. Every month around the 20th they send an email saying my box is ready and I have four days to visit the site and approve or skip the current month. There is no penalty or payment if I don’t get a box and I can skip as often as I like. Or if I don’t like what is in my style box I can switch to one of the others (UPDATE: they have a two tier program now. With the $20 box you can’t switch but with the $25 box you can pick your own). If I don’t visit the site to approve/skip the box comes automatically.

I always like to visit when I get the notice because they always offer “add-ons” — popular nail colors at fab prices. I was introduced to another favorite product of mine called the Freedom Polymer Topcoat via an add-on.

The Discount and Other Perks

There are a few other perks to becoming a Julep Maven outside of the monthly boxes. If you shop at the site you automatically get a 20% discount on all purchases and any orders have free shipping. I even purchased a bunch of polishes for my god-daughter (one had her name as the color) and they sent it to her with free shipping!

Every so often they also offer Mystery Boxes that you can purchase at a discounted price. For example they offer a $35 Mystery Box that contains $75 worth of product. I have purchased two of these over the last year and I personally did not care for them. I actually prefer the petite monthly Maven boxes.

One of my mystery boxes.

Another perk is that you can collect points. Points can be made for accepting the monthly boxes or for having friends sign up to become Julep Mavens. The points can be redeemed for free product or even free Maven boxes (It is pretty exciting when you log in and notice you have enough points to get a free box. I have enjoyed a few over the last year. Personally, I like to save the points up and use them on my boxes when money becomes tight that way I still get a guilt-free treat.

You Don’t Have to Become a Maven to Shop Julep

If you don’t want to be bothered with the commitment of a monthly subscription you can still purchase their products from their website or from sites like Amazon at the standard pricing.

What About the Nail Polish

Like with any brand there are hits and misses. For the most part I have loved most of the nail polishes I have received from them. There were a few exceptions where I experienced next day chipping, I thought the color was horrendous, or it was goopy. But I have experienced this with other brands too.

Each polish has to be judged on its own merits. Some require only one coat while others may require three. I love the assortment of colors Julep offers and that they are keeping up with the latest nail trends which not only colors but textures i.e. the Cleopatra black latex.

Every month I look forward to receiving my monthly Maven box because I know it is a treat I am going to enjoy. So far I have only skipped a few months because I was away and I will probably skip December too because it is a busy time and funds get allocated to other things.

Overall, whether you choose to sign up to the Maven program or shop on an individual basis I recommend trying out their products.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments.

images in Julep lens review in squid files

More of My Favorite Julep Products

Julep Acetone Free Conditioning Nail Polish Remover

My other favorite hands down product is their pump action nail polish remover that literally whisps old polish away with no harsh smells or skin breakdown.

I like Julep's pump action polish remover.

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Topic Links
* Get nail polish from Julep
* Get Julep nail polish from Amazon

Holographic Shimmer

It was love at first stroke for this grape holographic shimmer nail polish from Julep. Mostly because of the glitter, it is right up my sparkle alley. The polish is quite sheer with one quote so I had to apply two quotes to get an opaque look and to bring out the purple — it almost looks dark grey with the one coat. But even with one quote the holographic shimmer is awesome. Even better with two.

This holographic shimmer has a grape backdrop that shows off the shimmer nicely.

This holographic shimmer nail polish is called Reece. Which automatically brings up images of Terminator and John Conner’s dad.

A holographic shimmer in artificial light.

These types of glitters are more for the wearer’s benefit than for the viewers — I am personal obsessed with looking at the shimmer.

In different light you can see the base colors changes.

Surprising to myself the glitter practically disappears in daylight and just looks like a solid grape.

The holographic glitter almost disappears in natural light.

To really see the sparkle check out my quick Instagram video:

This polish is still available as of this post at Julep for $11.20 if you are a Maven (highly recommend if you wear a lot of polish) or $14 for everyone else.

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Topic Links
* Get your holographic shimmer from Julep

Dusty Rose Frost Nail Polish

It has been a rough couple weeks nail/cuticle wise. I reverted into some bad habits for a short time but I think I have come out of the gloom and have them back under control. I decided to celebrate with a fresh coat of nail polish from my “haven’t tried yet” stash box — yes it is a real box. I actually call it my “to-do” nail polish box and it comes before my “to-do nail polish shelf. It is sad but exciting at the same time, at least for me it is.

I decided to go with the neutral Lois which came in one of my Mystery Boxes I purchased last year from Julep. I would normally not choose a color like this for myself and when I took it out of the box I was like, “Meh”. But having actually put it on I’ve decided I love it.

One coat of the dusty rose frost nail polish called Lois, from Julep.

Lois is a dusty rose frost and has a nice finish. I was quite happy with one coat which was slightly sheer with a fine sparkle, but I did two coats because I always find it more durable and I am a week bit opaque obsessed.

I added two accent glitter nails to the thumb and ringer finger.

My plan was just to wear the one polish but the Cuccio Remix glitter I got in my Top Box was screaming to be used as an accent so I applied two coats of that to my ring fingers and thumbs.

How Lois nail polish looks under artificial light.

As you can see the color is slightly different under natural light — it’s a little rosier. I just love all the different colors (pink, green, blue, silver) and sizes (fine to medium grade) of glitter in the Cuccio Remix. It goes on really nice too without having to work the glitter placement.

The nail polish is a little rosier under natural light. I love it.

I took a quick trip over to Julep’s website and they still have the Lois nail polish available and it is on sale for $3.99.

A final look at Julep's Dusty Rose and Cuccio's glitter Remix.

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Topic Links
* Get your Lois nail polish from Julep

Racing Stripes

This weekend I decided that Julep’s Isla and Cover Girl’s Grapevine should meet. I think it was a pretty good collaboration and that the sheen of these two polishes work well together. I decided to paint the purple on in two blocks leaving a clear strip down the middle for Isla to fill in. I thought about using strip tape but didn’t bother as I didn’t have the patience (working with tape makes me cranky too).

Cover Girl's Grapevine in two blocks on each side of my nail.

My husband said they look like racing stripes, hence the title.

In some light Isla looks like a shiny white.

While Cover Girl’s grapevine is very forgiving with the brush strokes I didn’t find it to be the case with Isla even though I was working with such a small area. I have a feeling on a full nail it would show all kinds of horrors — that being said, I would like to try it as a french tip with a dark blue or matte black for kicks.

Grapevine is pretty true to color with what I see in the bottle.

When I ordered Isla I actually thought it was a silver chrome but it looks more like a mother of pearl white to me. If you are interested it is currently on sale at Julep for $4.99. It looks like Grapevine is still available from drugstores and I found it on Amazon and linked it below.

My racing stripes nail art in natural light.

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Topic Links
* Get your Grapevine from Amazon
* Get Isla from Julep

My First Jelly Sandwich

I have been reading about nail polish jelly sandwiches (glitter top coat between two sheer coats of colored polish) for ages but never tried one. When I was testing Sally Hansen’s Jaded nail polish for Influenster I thought it might make a good jelly sandwich so this week I got out a few of my glitter nail polishes to see what I could come up with.

My first attempt at making Jelly Sandwich nails.

It was not until I went digging through my polishes that I realized most of my glitter based polishes are super fine and color based and I only have three somewhat visible ones that are top coat based (four if I include the Copper Penny one but I have been going crazy with that one lately so I left it out).

The glitter on the pointer finger is Essie’s Set in Stones. It is my fave glitter and is like having little mirrors on my nails. Of the three glitters I sandwiched it is probably my favorite because it provided a lot of medium sized glitter for effect. You can’t tell in the image but it does still have a bit of sparkle.

My nails with Essie glitter sandwiched between Julep nail polish.

Next up is Julep’s Oh Canada which has a mixture of small silver glitter and medium red glitter. I wish I had put on two coats of this glitter but it is not a bad result.

My nails with Julep's Oh Canada glitter sandwiched between the jaded nail polish.

This Revlon Celestial FX is brand spanking new. I didn’t like it. Well, not as a sandwich anyway. I can see all the fine glitter if I look really close (but who wants to look that close — you can see it if you look really close and use your imagination too) and the larger pieces were really hard to get out of the bottle. After two days they lifted off my nails a bit and kept catching on things. It’s really pretty in the bottle though!

My nails with Revlon glitter sandwiched between the Jaded nail polish.

Of course I took an Instagram video at the time so you can see the sparkles a little better.

I would like to try the jelly sandwich nails again with this color but I think it would look better with a medium multi-colored glitter with lots of bits.

Have you tried a jelly sandwich? Do you like the effect?

Freedom Polymer Topcoat

I was first introduced to Julep’s Freedom Polymer Topcoat in the first few months as a Julep Maven. It came up as an add-on for $4.99 and I took it. It was love with the first manicure.

The black bottle containing Julep's Freedom Polymer top coat for nails.

This top coat comes in a black bottle and one of the recommendations to help it set quicker is to hold your painted nails up to a light source for 30 seconds. As far as top coats go I find it pretty thick — but that is not a bad thing as I find it fills in any crevices or imperfections I might have.

Showing the thickness of this top coat.

Within two to five minutes I find my nails are dryer and safer from smudging than with any other top coat (or nail polish) I have tried so far. Interestingly, comments I have received from others revolve around them looking like gel nails — but they are definitely easier to remove.

My nails without a top coat:

One of my nails without a top coat.

And the same nail with the Freedom top coat:

My nail with the Polymer top coat from Julep.

Regardless of how good it is I would not pay their asking price of $18 ($14.40 if you are a maven) per bottle — it just does not last that long (small bottles) to warrant the price in my opinion. So I try to stock up when it goes on sale.

I picked up 3 vials of top coat when it was on sale.

Have you tried Julep’s Freedom Polymer Top Coat — what do you like or dislike about it?

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Topic Links
* Get your Freedom Polymer Top from Julep