Saturday, March 29, 2014

Urban Outfitters Green Holo

For St. Patrick's Day I wanted to wear something green on my nails to help celebrate, so I managed to squeeze in a polishing session on Sunday night. I decided to pull out a polish that is long untried-- Urban Outfitters Green Holo. I bought this soon after it first came out but it's just been sitting around so it was time to wear it! (Of course... now it's almost April, blargh.)

Green Holo (original name, right?) is a silvery green holographic polish. I keep wanting to call it celadon green, but that's not really accurate. The green seems much deeper in the bottle than it does on the nail. The holo is incredibly strong, to the point of almost overwhelming the base color.

I did find this polish to be a little patchy-- best to let the polish dry first and not go over areas you have already polished. I used two coats in my pictures, but in the future I would use three coats. However, given how strong the holo is, it covers up a lot of flaws! I had some patchiness on my ring finger, but it only showed up in low light. The formula is a little thin and I am not a huge fan of the brush (too small for my giant nail beds) but it did dry incredibly quickly.

Artificial light with flash:

I wore this for several days with only minor tip wear and minimal chipping. The pictures I took in natural light are after 3 full days of wear, so please forgive the wear.

Natural light - sun:

You can still see the holo in the shade, which is pretty amazing-- though obviously it is not quite as strong.

Natural light - shade:

To be honest, I'm not sure if this polish is still available. It's not on the Urban Outfitters website, but might pop up there again. You may be able to find it stores. These polishes seem to come and go, so there's a chance it may be available again!

Where do you fall on the holo train? Yay or nay? Do you prefer them to be a strong linear holo or a more scattered holo? 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Julep Lip Buff Scrub and Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment

This is a slightly different post than normal for me. I have been a Julep subscriber for a long time-- basically since they started their Maven program. I know a lot of people have issues with Julep for various reasons; fair enough. I am not one of those people, so feel free to skip this post if you are. I initially joined Julep for the nail polish and was a bit put off when they started expanding their line to include other beauty products-- especially when they turned the American Beauty box into the Modern Beauty box. I wanted nail polish, damnit! Yet, as I have gotten more into makeup thanks to the gateway drug of polish, and the fact that I have limited time to wear and swatch polish these days, I find myself glad that Julep has expanded their horizons because I can pick to get beauty related items instead of polish that will lanquish in a drawer until I have time to get to it (though let's not kid ourselves-- I still buy polish of course!).

I haven't talked much about my personal beauty regime on this blog, but I'm a relatively simple person. My biggest beauty struggle is probably my lips-- they dry out extremely quickly and I usually exacerbate the problem by picking at them and making them worse. I try and wear chapstick constantly, but will absentmindedly pick at my lips (and not drink enough water), leading to a chronic problem of ugly, scarred, flaky lips. Pregnancy (and now post-partum), to my surprise, has actually helped solve this issue to an extent-- I am constantly drinking water and this has definitely improved the condition of my lips. So when the March Modern Beauty box had these two lip products in it, I decided to take a chance and try them!

Julep Lip Buff Scrub is described as an "exfoliating, hydrating scrub makes it easy to de-flake on the go—just massage on and wipe off. Your lips will look and feel better right away." The scrub has fine sugar crystals, vitamin B5 and shea butter to exfoliate, heal, and moisturize. It's a pen/wand with a felt applicator and you twist the bottom to get product.

It took me quite a few twists to get any product out (like 10+ at least)-- at first I thought I had a dud because nothing was coming out! So if you got this and got really ticked off (I was getting there, believe me), try twisting it a few more times. Now that I've gotten it started I only need one twist to get product out. Once it comes out, it goes on the lips smoothly and has a nice consistency-- slightly on the thick side but thins out as it is absorbed into the lips. There doesn't seem to be a ton of sugar crystals in here (or they are very very fine) so my personal opinion (not in any way verified) is that this is gentler on your lips than a normal sugar scrub and you could probably use this every day if you wanted to. Julep recommends leaving this on for five minutes and then wiping off. After wiping it off (which I do gently with a tissue) there is still some residual moisture on my lips.

Julep Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment is basically a fancy lip balm. It is described thusly: "enriched with natural ingredients that soothe, hydrate, and plump lips, this silky-smooth moisturizer sets a new bar for balm." This has a metal applicator and a slight coconut smell to it (at least to me).

The balm comes out easily and goes on smoothly. It has a slight pink color to it and doesn't feel too thick on the lips. I usually apply both these products before bed so I can let them work their magic while I sleep, but they are a nice size for throwing in your purse if you feel like you would use them during the day. When I put it on at night, I can't necessarily feel it on my lips the next morning but my lips don't feel dry.

Overall, I'm not sure if these products have miraculously made my lips better, but I like how they feel on my lips and they certainly do seem to moisturize, which is what my lips need.

These two product are available individually or as a duo on Julep's website. Quite honestly, I'm not quite sure how the prices compare to other similar products on the market-- many companies make lip scrubs, and you can even make your own if you're a DIY kind of person. Lip balms are almost a dime a dozen, depending on what you prefer. Since Julep is a boutique brand, I think the prices are a little on the high side, but since I got them together in a Maven box, the price was okay with me! Will I purchase these in the future? Well, maybe if there is a sale on the set. While I do like them, I think you can find similar products that work for less money, depending on what you like and what your budget is!