Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Julep Donna

Tonight I have the last add-on polish from my November Maven box, Donna. This was the only previously unreleased creme that was offered last month and I loved the way it looked, so I added it to my box. Julep describes Donna as a "smokey peacock blue creme" and I can't really argue there. This polish is simply stunning. The color is deep and gorgeous-- a perfect jewel tone for winter! I can definitely imagine wearing this with a soft creamy white sweater, curled up on a couch drinking hot chocolate. Alternatively, and this might be just because of the name, but I am totally reminded of the character Donna Noble from Doctor Who. She's one of my all-time favorite companions and I think this color would look awesome with her red hair.

Donna is, predictably, a great Julep creme polish. It's incredibly well pigmented and could probably be a one coater with careful application. I used two coats here. I had no issues applying-- went on smoothly and evenly.

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I also tried Donna with the new Julep matte top coat!

The matte top coat worked very well! I think this looks cool matted, but I would love to try it over some glitter.

Overall, Donna gets an A+ from me-- gorgeous color, great formula.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Julep Minka

I'm going to keep this short and sweet tonight! I have another suede polish for you guys tonight! This is Julep Minka, which was one of the add-ons to my November Maven box. Julep describes Minka as an "oxblood red suede." I'm not quite sure if I would really classify this as 'oxblood' just because I generally imagine a darker, vampier red-- but maybe this as close as you can get with the suede finish. Minka also has a fairly strong silver shimmer running through the polish.

The formula here was basically exactly the same as with Amber-- a little thick, but very well pigmented and it dries very quickly. Here I have used two coats and no top coat.

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Another great polish! I really like these suedes. I love the textured look.

And, I have something to report in terms of wear: I have been wearing Amber for about 24 hours now and so far I have no chips, though I do have some minor tip wear (which is probably because I'm not very good about wrapping).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Julep Amber

Tonight I have Julep Amber for you, one of the polishes I got with my last Maven box. This is a polish from Julep's new suede formula, so these dry down to a matte finish but the shimmer in the polish gives it the look of texture. Julep describes Amber as a "golden bronze suede." This is a pretty spot on description-- this shade has golden tones in it, but definitely isn't just gold.

The formula on Amber is a little bit on the thick side, but fairly easy to work with. I did notice that my bottle is becoming a little gunky around the neck where I wipe off the brush, so that's something to watch out  for. Because it dries quickly, you definitely need to watch how many brushstrokes you use so you don't drag the polish away from your cuticle if you go over it again. I'm writing this review after the second time I applied this polish (now as a full manicure) and I did notice that I got a few bald patches when I went over areas I had already painted-- so that's something to be careful of. However, two coats was still good enough to get nice opaque coverage. The finish on the nail is smooth, but I did notice my edges were a little rough. You also need to be careful about getting too much polish on your brush, because you can get streaks of pigment when you apply it (you can see this on my middle nail).

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In real life Amber has a sort of antique feel to it, which I love. I also love the suede finish and how it looks, even if it's not a new thing.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November Julep Maven It Girl Box

For the month of November I had a hard time picking my Maven box, because I wanted a bunch of the polishes. I ultimately decided on the It Girl Box because it had two polishes and the matte top coat, which I really wanted to try. Then I added on three polishes as well (of course).

As per usual, Julep gets an A+ for the presentation of their Maven Boxes. I love the colors.  This month's box included some new polish removal pads, but I haven't had a chance to test those.

Now, a lot of people are "over" the suede finish, but I love it! Certainly it's not a new thing in terms of polish, but it's nice to Julep putting a few more options on the table aside from mainly creme polishes (even though the creme polishes are great). These polishes were very easy to use, which can sometimes be a problem with this finish. The formula was a little on the thick side, but not unmanageable. The polishes are all very well pigmented, almost too much so, and you need to be careful about overloading your brush, because you can wind up with too much pigment on the nail. These dry down to the suede finish very quickly. The polish looks textured but is smooth. So far I have just swatched these polishes so I can't testify to their wear time, though a friend was complaining about how they chipped quickly. I also found them a bit of a pain to remove, so you probably need to let the polish remover soak in a little bit during removal.

The matte coat I really liked. When I first applied it, I didn't think it was working but then it dried down (fairly quickly) to a nice matte finish. At the moment I don't have any other matte top coats to compare this too, but I think it worked quickly and very well. The matte does have a bit of a sheen to it, but it's definitely not shiny or glossy in any way. I can't wait to try this over some glitters!

Hailee, a khaki green suede :

Nora, a silver aubergine suede:

Matte top coat, over Donna:

My add-ons were the following:

Donna, a smokey peacock blue creme:

Amber, a golden bronze suede:

Minka, an oxblood red suede:

Do you guys like this new way I'm doing these posts? I will be reviewing these polishes individually a little later on.

Because I like the suede polishes, I really liked this month's Maven Box. The polishes were all good, the theme was good and of course Julep always does such a nice job of putting the boxes together.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Football Friday: Apple Cup Edition

This week is end of regular season football and means that, in general, it's time for all the annual rivalry games that fans eagerly await. Rivalry games, especially in-state (and sometimes, inter-state rivalries) stir up a lot of crazy feelings in the fans and a lot of times, the games are crazy in and of themselves. Our annual rivalry with our other in-state public university, Washington State, is called the Apple Cup... mostly because Washington (the state) in known for it's apple production. This year is a little bit odd because not only is the game after Thanksgiving (it used to be the weekend before), it's also on the Friday after Thanksgiving! This is the second time this year that the Huskies will play on a Friday-- something that is highly unusual for us. Of course, this game is highly contentious in my extended family, as many of in-laws are WSU Cougars, while my husband and I are UW Huskies.

Because it's the Apple Cup, I decided to pull out all the stops. I purchased my first two Illamasqua polishes at the beginning of November, but only just got to play with them because I sent them to my parent's house in Portland (hooray no sales tax!). First I pulled out Prosperity, which is an eye-searing neon purple. I used this on my pointer, middle, and pinkie fingers. Then I pulled out Jindie Nails Geaux! which was inspired by the LSU Tigers (boo, hiss) but according to Jindie Nails description is supposed to be worn to support any football team with the same colors, which UW has. As a superstitious sports fan, that works for me. On my ring finger I decided to go with American Apparel Gold Flash and a UW nail tattoo. Then on my thumb I decided to go back to my very first Football Friday manicure of the season and do the UW football helmet. For that I used Gold Flash, Illamasqua Faux Pas, and the Stripe Rite white stripper polish. Ta-da!

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Go Dawgs! Beat the Cougs!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Nails!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because of all the awesome food! My husband and I have made it a tradition to take the whole week off so we can spend time with both our families (and do some shopping and watch some (a lot) of football)-- all of which are pretty integral components to Thanksgiving for us. Most times I would wear something seasonally appropriate for Thanksgiving, like a brown, bronze, dark red, or something equally fallish and autumnal. But when I started thinking about what I wanted to do for my Thanksgiving manicure this year, I decided to branch out a little bit. Two polishes that immediately came to my mind from my stash were Nostalgic Lacquer Gluttony and Essie Very Cranberry.

Anyway... on to my Thanksgiving manicure! The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Thanksgiving is food-- at least for me. So while there are tons of polishes out there that are perfectly suited to capturing the color of the season, I decided to get down to the meat of matter. (See what I did there? Hah!) I pulled out Nostalgic Lacquer Gluttony, which I have had sitting in my stash since forever. I decided to try it over Julep Alyson, which is a nice tan neutral. I love the way the multi-colored glitters looks against the neutral backdrop. Why haven't I tried this before?! I also didn't want to do just glitter, so I decided to go for two accent nails using Essie Very Cranberry. I bought this a very long time ago and had an idea of what this looked like in my head-- which unfortunately didn't quite match up with the actual color. Very Cranberry is much lighter and more pink than I thought it was-- I think of cranberries (one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving-- I love canned/jellied cranberry sauce!) as being much darker red. In any case, even though I wasn't in love with the color I decided to go ahead and use it as my accent color. Very Cranberry get deeper in color the more coats you apply, so I used three here, along with two coats of Alyson and two coats of Gluttony.

Despite my initial hesitation over using Very Cranberry, I'm really happy with the way this looks. The deep creamy dark red-pink keep this manicure from being too flashy with all the glitter. At least, that's how I feel when I look at these pictures.

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This manicure in no way matches what I'm wearing for Thanksgiving (I'm usually very matchy-matchy with my outfits and nails), but I don't care because I love it! And at some point in the future I will do individual reviews of both these polishes, so you'll get to see them in their full glory.

Hope everyone out there who is celebrating Thanksgiving is having a great time! Enjoy all the good food and time with your families!