Julep Maven Box Sign Up Bonus 12 Polishes

Note: Some of these photos may look edited (particularly the header photo) but they are only edited in an effort to make the photographs look as true to real life color as possible. The header photo is probably actually most representative of the genuine appearance of these polishes in the bottles.

When I signed up for Julep Maven box, 12 full-size nail polishes were available as a sign-up bonus. I think they run this deal fairly frequently just with different nail polishes, but I think the current deal is still these polishes so if you like the ones you see here you can sign up now to get a month or more of a good deal on nail polishes PLUS this bonus. These polishes retail for $14 each.

I have all of these false nails so I’m using them for swatches! let me know if you like this swatch style, as it’s a lot easier for me to get through a lot of polishes in a shorter period of time without putting my nails through it all.

Peyton (Wonder Maven)

Note: The label in the parenthesis of these titles is the collection to which these polishes belong.

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This color is a beautiful bright purple with a shimmer that shines a deep purple-pink. Despite being these bright pinks and purples it’s deep and dark enough that it still looks mature. There is also an almost indiscernible gold shimmer that appears at certain angles. You can’t see it in this picture, but when natural light hits the very brightest curve point is almost gold.

Using falses let me hold these up to the light and see more patchiness than you would ever see on the natural nail. Against a backdrop, this looks totally even but does appear patchy against the light.

If you haven’t had fake nails before you might not know, but paint on fake nails when held to the light almost always look surprisingly streaky, so keep that in mind as I talk about it – streakiness in the light generally doesn’t really matter on natural nails.

Alexandria (Bombshell)

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I did not know what to expect from this. First things first, this is so much brighter than it appears above. Look at the top image of all the polishes in this post for a better idea of how bright it is. It is definitely hot pink. Beyond that, it is labeled matte, but it is so shimmery and a shimmer-matte is not a formulation I am familiar with.

I think it’s interesting. I am still forming an opinion about it because the color is not something I’d reach for and the matte finish is interesting and different enough to sort of confuse me. There’s something about it that reminds me of plastic toys, and the matte finish I think actually makes it more toy-like.

Streaks don’t really appear against a backdrop unless you are actively looking for it but are fairly obvious against the light.

Florentina (Classic With a Twist)

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I don’t love this nail polish but its mostly because it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. When I saw it I thought it would be an awesome metallic holiday red. However, it swatches a little darker and more orange-brown than that. It’s still a lovely color, however, the undertone just isn’t the bright true red I wanted it to be which is what it looks like, to me, in the tube.

Online this is labelled as a duochrome and I think it’s supposed to be duo-chrome with orange, which is probably why the tone is different than I want, however, I really don’t see the orange enough to call this a true duochrome and it has a brown darkness to it that isn’t suggested by the company photo or description in my opinion.

There is zero patchiness on a backdrop. The streakiness is little enough that one more coat (I did two) probably would fix it.

Pacita (Wonder Maven)
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This is the only color other than Alexandria that has a differently labeled finish. This is sheer and to be honest, I’m disappointed because I love how it shows in the tube. However, I think especially over a black or a close-to-black purple or brown this would look really beautiful. The swatch looks muddy I think due to the color of the false nails (“natural”) and therefore it doesn’t look great, but I see potential for this purple-burgundy that has both violet and gold reflects.

Despite being sheer it’s actually fairly even and non-streaky when held to the light (for some reason it looks a lot more streaky in the picture than it does in reality). That said, it really does not look good on its own and needs to be layered over something.

Daylee (Bombshell)

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This is the most gorgeous color that I want to start writing this in my the tone of my actual mental voice right now instead of remaining somewhat proper and professional like I try to just so you can see how much I love it; like, seriously this is so gorgeous I’m in love, the metallics are beautiful and awesome.

It’s a great true gold with a finish that reminds me of chrome powders. You can’t see but at the edges, as the light hits it differently, it becomes green and then blue at the very edgy. It is so interesting and gorgeous, and the color change makes it look even more like a true metal.

It has very little streakiness when held to the light, but looks less pigmented all over in the light (I think probably because most of the color seems to come from microglitter rather than general pigment).

Jonna (It Girl)

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This is a great green edging on yellow-green and has the same chrome finish that the above nail polish has. This one shines a deep bright teal that the edges which doesn’t show in my pictures but looks beautiful in real life.

This has the same non-streaky but sheer in the light look that the above one does.

Eunice (Bombshell)

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This is a beautiful metallic blue. It’s a true bright blue with a metallic finish that I think is a pretty unique color but still a good everyday color.

This one is one of the least patchy and most fully colored when held to the light.

Lolo (Bombshell)

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I’m actually kind of sad about this. It’s this great almost black blue in the bottle, it’s one of the few that has zero glitter in it (though supposedly the website says it has shimmer), and unfortunately, it does not translate onto the nail. It’s the only one I don’t really suggest.

This is streaky against a background (and therefore, on the natural nail) just to the naked eye. Where it is fully pigmented it’s the same dark beautiful blue that is in the bottle, and perhaps another layer would bring it to the color I want, but every other one of these swatched fine on two layers and I find that going above that begins to exacerbate any problems with texture, splotchiness, and generally not-drying that can happen, so it underperforms compared to all the other polishes.

Hana (Boho Glam)

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This is a smokey purple that I think leans a bit toward a dusty pink rather than a true purple. There is some larger multicolored glitter in it that shifts mostly between silver and green in my opinion. It definitely goes on with a lot of glitter.

This is another that goes on very evenly and shows up fully pigmented in the light.

Aimee (Boho Glam)

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This is a very bright light purple with a lot of silver shimmer in it. There’s something very young about it to me like this is something middle school me would have loved. The website says this is a metallic finish but this does not finish like the other metallics – the glitter is simply too much for that.

I know that it looks very full on the nail, however, I actually misplaced my swatch as I write this so I can’t let you know how it is against the light.

Alaina (Classic With a Twist)

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This color is so totally beautiful, I love it as a neutral nail and I am not someone who generally loves neutral nails so that’s a lot for me. It’s a really amazing color that is almost a purple-tinted gray.

This is a creme finish that goes on very smooth and full with just one coat and becomes even in the light on the second coat, so it’s really great.

Jenica (Bombshell)

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The final nail polish! We end with a good one that I actually really like. It’s a glitter polish, and it definitely looks glitter. It’s hard for me to describe but it’s definitely not a metallic however the amount of and smaller size of the glitter makes it look closer to a metallic than a glitter polish.

This one looks totally fine on a background but does look pretty patchy in the light.

The Verdict

Overall, these nail polishes were a great value, and worth it even if I didn’t like the subscription. I did, in fact, like the subscription, so it was an awesome bonus on top of a great subscription that I really like. I find these nail polishes of a good quality and they’re all very unique.

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Julep Mystery Box – Bling It On

Julep occasionally does mystery boxes and I got this one in late November. I wanted the chance to review some of the products in here fully so this will be posting after the box is no longer available. I hope, however, that this gives you some idea of what their mystery boxes are like. If you are interested in them, they seem to run approximately monthly. December’s is all gone but January’s should be available soon!

Your Lip Addiction Tinted Lip Oil Treatment in Obsessed ($22)


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I wasn’t sure how this was was going to go at first, because I haven’t worn anything sheer in a while, but I was ready for the oil treatment. My lips are currently all messed up because of the winter months, and this felt amazing on them. It really felt hydrating and worked like a charm at keeping them smooth. I would only say it has a very lipstick-y smell that isn’t necessarily pleasant, and a slippery feel that didn’t bother me but I could see bothering some people.

It’s Balm Full-Coverage Lip Crayon in Magenta Plum Creme ($20)

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This was much more familiar to me than the lip oil, though I haven’t used a tinted lip balm in a while. Let me tell you, when they say full-coverage, they mean it. This basically covers like a lipstick, smells amazing, and works like a really quality lip balm at hydrating.

No Limits Lux Hydrating Cream ($24)

I, unfortunately, haven’t used this yet! But, it came with the box so I wanted to make sure I included that it was in there.

Skip the Brush Creme to Powder Blush Stick in Moonlit Sand ($24)

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I have mixed feelings about this. It is a pretty nice feeling cream – it doesn’t feel too sticky, or heavy, or greasy. However, I’m not sure on the color. It is not a blush color to me, so I want to use it as a highlight, but it’s too dark for that. It blends out lighter except it blends out to a point I don’t think you can really see. I would be willing to try a different color for this, and have found some success using it as a blush topper.

Maxine (Not Available)

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I’m so sad that this isn’t available because it is a great, true, silver holographic. There are no big chunks, it just leaves a great glittery holographic sheen on the nails.

Reina (Not Available)

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I was interested that this was “textured” and it did not disappoint. It felt so interesting that I was rubbing my nails all day – like a soft grit. It looked really nice, a very good deep black with a holographic shimmer.

Missy ($14)

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This is almost a chrome color – the silver shimmer is that finely milled. You can still see some specks, however it is so awesomely close to a silver chrome and goes on in one coat.

Eunice ($14)

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This is a perfect true dark blue metallic. It goes on very opaque in two coats, and is a great all-purpose blue. The metallic is very pure metallic; you don’t catch any glitter specks in it at all, it shines like polished metal.

Shawn #Shine ($14)

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This is almost just like Missy with its chrome style, however it ha a gold-silver shift that makes it a unique metallic to me.

Jane ($14)

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This is the only chunky glitter I’ve gotten. I think it would work best as a top coat but as you can see it can be layered to get pretty opaque – the photo above used three coats. It’s a beautiful shiny copper glitter that is big without being so chunky it becomes tacky.

Let me know if you are interested in more of these mystery boxes, or if you’ve ever gotten one yourself!

PolishedThirteen False Nails Review

I have had a long nail journey. For years and years I had issues with my nails, bending, breaking, not growing long at all, peeling all the time, and just overall not working out. My index fingers used to grow in turning downward (trained out of them finally by months of acrylics). I couldn’t afford to maintain my acrylics and often ended up jamming them and breaking the nail underneath in awkward, painful places. Press-ons seemed like a great idea until they fell off within two days. I couldn’t do nail art of my own on my nails due to my shaky hands and the short length my nails would grow to.

And then, admittedly late in life, I discovered false nails, attached with nail glue rather than the crappy press-on stickers, and I become obsessed. I bought a ton of pairs all at once, I started painting the false nails I bought attempting DIY acrylics (much easier to paint with two hands and more length), and I went out and bought two special sets for the coming holidays from PolishedThirteen. Those are the sets I am reviewing today!

Fall Word Art Nails ($15)

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I bought these nails for a couple of reasons. The first was that I wanted a full set; at this point, I wasn’t yet sure what my nail sizes were and was too lazy to figure it out.

(Lo, and behold! I had false nails of my own that I easily could have used to figure out my sizes. Whoops.)

The other was that I was simply struggling to find something for Thanksgiving. A lot of the fall nails were just fall colors, or they were leaves on a plain white background I didn’t love, or they were little turkey and pilgrim nails stickers I wasn’t about to try to stick to my tiny nails.

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Then I found these, and I loved them at first sight. I was a tad worried about whether the word art would really show up on the nails, but the picture doesn’t do it justice; in person, the art was so much clearer on the beautiful nude used for these nails. Really these were just a unique item in the plethora of fall collections, and they fit perfectly with the simple, clearly fall-themed but not cliche aesthetic that I wanted.

Festive Nails ($23)

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I will openly admit that one of the biggest influencing factors in me buying this set was the completely rhinestone covered nails. Because I’m extra like that. Let me say, they looked even more amazing in person, shining and sparkling. I barely got anything done with how much I stared at these.

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One of my favorite things about this is they are all very different, but go together. I love sets where every nail looks unique but still makes sense with the others. It’s also Christmas-y without being straight up Santa and reindeer; even the tree one and the holiday lights are tasteful.

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One of the biggest details that I appreciated was actually the plain colored nails. Some of the reds and greens were glossy with no glitter, and some had glitter, and I appreciated the choice and the ability for mixing and matching this gave, especially with something that it would have been easy to do just one way or the other.

The Verdict

These nails stuck as good as any other nail; sticking really depends on the nail glue. The colors were opaque, rhinestones stayed on, and the shape was even and well done. I got so many compliments, and I personally loved the nails even more when they got to me than I did from just the pictures. PolishedThirteen also responded quickly to timing concerns I had about the shipment, and shipped very quickly, with good packaging that protected the nails well. I would highly suggest ordering nails from them and I definitely will again.

ORLY Color Pass Darlings of Defiance – Winter 2017

ORLY Color Pass is a subscription service from ORLY that gives you their seasonal collection four times a year. I signed up in time to get my hands on the winter collection, and I wanted to show it off and let you know what I think of the colors. The polish is good and the same polish every time so unless there is a noticeable quality flaw I’m going to skip over reviewing the polish formula. You can sign up for Color Pass here and watch my YouTube unboxing here.

Penny Leather

 

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Ignore my ugly nubs.

 

Alright, the website described this as red. No. It is not red. Look at the title you gave this. It is a red tone brown reminiscent of leather penny loafers. Despite my complaints about the description, it is a beautiful color. I only wish I had it for fall; I would have worn it a lot more then than I will in winter.

Once in a Blue Moon (Paired with Julep Missy)

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Once in a Blue Moon might be my favorite polish in this whole collection. I absolutely adore this color. It’s a perfect shining icy blue for the winter months and went great with this icy inspired winter design I wanted to do on my nails.

Faux Pearl + Stilleto on the Run

 

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I can paint false nails but apparently, everything goes to shit on my real nail.

 

A nude and a red. Not a lot more to say about it. That’s not to say they aren’t nice. Faux pearl has a totally awesome gold shimmer in it that I only wish showed up more on the nail, and Stilleto on the Run is really a beautiful deep red. They just aren’t particularly exciting to me.

Secondhand Jade + Champagne Slushie

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Can I really say anything too nice about Secondhand Jade after whining about a basic red? Yes, I can because this is my blog and I’m in charge. I am so in love with this green. It is a perfect deep evergreen color and I adore it. Is it equally basic? Yes. Am I 5000% more into it? Also yes.

Champagne Slushie is a great shimmer/metallic in, you guessed it, champagne gold. It’s got the lightest pink but is mostly gold, and it’s really just a well-done shimmer polish. It looks beautiful, the glitter is properly finely milled to leave a beautiful sheen and sparkle, and it looks awesome paired with Secondhand Jade if I do say so myself.

The Verdict

Overall, I do love the colors, but I will say this: it seems like a very safe holiday time collection. You have a winter blue, you have a holiday red, green and gold, you have a neutral, and you have a brown that almost doesn’t work even if it’s a beautiful color.

So don’t get me wrong, I really love this collection. I loved every color, and they are awesome for winter, but I think that there is also an opportunity to be a little more creative with the next season.

Did you know? Two of these designs are available on Etsy at Brightline Nails

Ipsy Glam Bag One Month Re-Review – November 2017

It’s been about a month since I got my November ipsy glam bag, so I thought I would return to the products and see how I feel about them now that I have had the opportunity to use them for longer. You can read my original first impressions post here.

Oribe Hair Care Gold Lust Dry Shampoo ($22)

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Unfortunately, this continues to be useless to me. I have sprayed it once and not touched it since then. This one is my fault for not changing my beauty preferences – I know nothing about the product quality but it’s not like ipsy knew I shaved my head.

Colourpop Cosmetics Pressed Powder Shadow in Paper Tiger ($4)

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I just…haven’t touched this. It’s not a bad product; it’s just as good as the other Colourpop pressed shadows from what I can see in the swatch, but the color …I blame this one on ipsy and not on the product.

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‘Tini Beauty Barfly Highlighter in Candlelit ($12)

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In terms of my bag, this was super exciting, because I love highlighters. In terms of product, well, it’s a highlighter. It stays on well and blends out beautifully into a light highlight. However, if you want a strong highlight you have to put on a lot of product and as a cream, it starts to feel greasy. If you are okay with the light highlight, this is a good product that remains on and does not feel greasy or heavy with the first application.

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 Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in Lit (Full-Size $18)

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This lip looks so amazingly beautiful on. It has a beautiful bright truly gold metallic shimmer. It dries down so it doesn’t transfer, but it doesn’t feel dry at all. I wore it without anything under it, but I would suggest a neutral pink on your lips under this to help it pop more.

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Tarte Amazonian Clas 12 Hour Blush in Feisty (Full-Size $29)

Note: I can’t find this color online right now.
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I reach for this all the time now that I have it. The color is good for my complexion and works well with a lot of looks because of how neutral it is. It stays on all day without rubbing off at all and it goes on light but buildable in a way that gives a lot of control.

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Bonus: Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara (Full-Size $27.50)

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To be honest, I have been reaching for my newly purchased drugstore mascara more than this for one simple reason; this stuff deposits so much product. I can feel wetness on my eyelashes when I put it on and I really just don’t like that sensation. It is a good mascara, but at a high price like that smaller issues become more serious problems. If the sensation bothers me that much, it’s not really worth it. That said, that is a personal problem and the quality of the product is good. It stays on all day and makes your lashes thick and very black.

The Verdict

This bag turned out not to be a huge hit for me. Everything was good enough. The blush was great, I love getting highlighters no matter what, and the Lime Crime lip is so unique and cool. All the products that I could use (aka everything but the dry shampoo) were good quality, but some of them I just don’t reach for.

I hope that this was helpful to you. If you would like me to continue to revisit my bags and give a full review of the products after about a month of use, be sure to let me know down in the comments!

 

Ipsy December 2017

This month’s ipsy theme was Snowglobe, which came in a beautiful silver and mint bag that I adored. Following are my first impression reviews of the items that I got. Coming on Friday will be my one-month re-review of my November bag, and one month from now you can see how I feel about all these products after trying them out for a while. If you prefer, you can watch my unbagging for December 2017 on YouTube.

pixi by petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament (I could not find this item, but the Mineral Palettes are $12)

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This looks like a very pretty light pink-gold and brown-purple duo, but it swatches out much closer to just gold and brown with some pink-purple undertones. Despite being more neutral than they looked in the palette, they do swatch nicely and the colors are still pretty. There is something of a powdery sensation when you touch the shadow but it isn’t too bad.

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Ignore the black, I was swatching something else earlier.

Nyx Slide on Pencil in Black Sparkle ($8)

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This was a little bit of a disappointment just because there were four different shades available and even though I list in my beauty profile that I prefer adventurous colors, I got the black. However, when I thought more about it, it’s looking like I’m going to get some use out of this soon (New Year’s parties, anyone?) so I’m trying not to be unreasonable.

The swatch doesn’t look great but my eyelids don’t exactly have the lines my hand does for the liner to settle in, so I’m not really worried. The sparkle shows up really nice and shiny, and the pencil is smooth. It seems like it might be so creamy it disappears, but I’m going to try to use a lighter hand and not go too hard on the product in hopes that I can prevent it from just crumbling away.

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Rodial Glamolash XXL in Black ($28 for Full-Size)

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Mascara! Not something that really excites me much, but I actually just changed my beauty profile to include mascara as an item I want because I’m really trying to find my go-to holy grail product; I want to love something! This mascara is promising to me. It looks very true black, and it has the type of very full-bristle wand that I tend to prefer.

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Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Legendary (Full-Size $21)

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Not important but, I love tiny sample size lipsticks. I don’t know why. The mini bullet is just so hilarious and adorable to me. I’m a weirdo, I know. This lipstick looks like it’s going to be a true red, but it’s a little more blue-toned in my opinion. It took three swipes to get the full swatch I have below, which isn’t promising but also isn’t a huge deal. The sensation of the lipstick is a little tacky and I’m not sure how it’s going to feel on my lips. I have mixed feelings on first impression and I’ll really have to use it to know how I feel.

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Seraphine Botanicals Lip Polish in Orange + Cream ($18)

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Okay, looking this up I truly did not believe it would be over, like $10. Or maybe $15. This is because I am cheap and don’t buy nice things. So it’s kind of actually cool to get a weirdly expensive lip scrub. And my lips are a disaster because of winter and my inability to remember to put on lip balm. I am liking the smell of this and it feels like it’s going to be a good balance of abrasive and moisturizing.

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The Verdict

I don’t know guys. There’s really nothing wrong with this bag. But also, I’m not feeling really excited about it. Mostly, I think it’s just my mood and not ipsy’s fault. This was generally a good match for me as a bag, and I’m going to get good use from these products. The value of the bag is decent, as always. Remember to check in in a month to see what I think after usig these products.

December Julep Maven Box

I signed up for the Julep Maven Box. If you don’t know, its a beauty box run by the cosmetic company Julep. It includes cosmetics and nail polishes, and you can personalize it every month; I chose to only receive nail polishes and will likely continue to use this as a nail polish subscription.

Mira (Bombshell)

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This is such an interesting nail polish because I wasn’t sure how a matte was going to transfer with all this glitter, but it actually looks so super awesome. It’s a great black matte color. It’s a true black and it looks badass, and the glitter that is in it is itself dark so it gives an interesting shine and sparkle without lightening up the black at all.

Lonelle (Boho Glam)

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Okay, I didn’t notice until I just now went to the website to grab the title link, and apparently, this is holographic. Looking more closely at it, it’s not a lie! It has shimmer that reflects the entire spectrum of the rainbow so it is in fact holographic. This is a pretty cool toned back holographic because the rest of the shimmer is a very true yellow gold that looks pretty awesome. This is a glitter nail polish and goes on like one, however, unlike most glitters that I would personally say need to be put on with a sponge, swiping three coats on will actually give you fairly full coverage. It also works as a glitter top coat on another nail polish if you only put a layer or two down.

Emmaline (Classic with a Twist)

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This is a great deep, deep burgundy that leans toward dark purple but with a definite red note. The shimmer basically matches the color of the polish. It goes on with minimal streakiness that disappears on the second coat. It’s a really good fall color, in my opinion, and I wish I got it earlier, because I’m leaning toward bolder dark colors as we move from fall to winter rather than these colors that I wouldn’t call neutral, but I wouldn’t call vivid.

Leia (Boho Glam)

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This literally looks like a Christmas tree with multicolor lights, and I am in love. If I hadn’t bought a (beautiful) set of false nails (that you will see a post on soon) I would be wearing this for Christmas because it really genuinely reminds me so, so much of a Christmas tree. I think it’s totally wearable as a non-holiday color, but that fact of it is what is making me love it so much. It is bright evergreen with holographic shimmer, which is what gives it that lit tree effect.

Bonus

As you can see in the header, I also got little gold studs that came with it, which I think will be great to make an interesting12 look, especially paired with Lonelle – Lonelle as an accent nail with the gold studs on a more basic color is a great idea to me (which you might see soon 😉).

The Verdict

The thing with this subscription is that it should be worth it because you get the opportunity to choose your own nail polishes; none of them should really be misses unless the formula just sucks in real life. So far, all the formulas are good and pigmented and look even better in real life than I expected when I chose them online. So, for me, this is great and worth it. The subscription is $20 a month and you can sign up here if you are interested.