Nail Friday: Valentines Day Nails & Julep Maven February Bombshell Unboxing

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Today I wanted to share the Valentine’s Day themed nails I did last night, as well as my February Julep Maven Bombshell box, which I used to do my nails :)

Valentines Day themed nails

Valentines Day themed nails

Here’s what I came up with! I used Seche Vite though and there is already major shrinkage :(

Julep Maven

Julep Maven

So this month (and last actually) I forgot to skip my box, so I didn’t actually choose what I wanted. It was fun to get, but gah, $19.99..!

A quick look inside

A quick look inside

This month’s theme was “the Dramatic Collection”

Oooh, so many goodies!

Oooh, so many goodies!

As always the packaging was themed and super cute! It’s always fun opening these boxes. In addition to the usual two polishes and one product, the extra this month was a new colour called “Love”.

Julep Maven February Bombshell Box

Julep Maven February Bombshell Box

My default option is “Bombshell” from the quiz I took when I signed up way back then, and thankfully the colours I got I like quite a bit! Kristen, the blue is described as “deep sea teal with silver microshimmer” and is super pretty! Judi, the purple, is described as “English violet crème.” It’s a bit too similar to what I already own though, so I’ll be trying to swap that soon. Love is gorgeous! It’s described as “gold, pearl & fuchsia microglitter” and is super unique.

Julep Kristen, Julep Judi, and Julep Love

Julep Judi, Julep Kristen, and Julep Love

A look at the polishes outside of the boxes. I don’t know why Julep is using boxes now for the polishes. It seems like a waste of packaging if you ask me, but I guess it makes them more “giftable.”

Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Shadow in Warm Fig Shimmer

Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Shadow in Warm Fig Shimmer

I kinda wish Julep sent a more neutral colour as the default for people who didn’t pick what colour eye sheen they wanted this month. Dark purple tends to make my eyes look a bit bruised, but luckily this one doesn’t! I love how it can be as pigmented or as sheer as you want depending on how much you put on and blend out. I tried to swatch this but my swatches looked nothing like the actual colour, which is a warm brownish purple. I guess I’m kind of glad I didn’t pick, since I would have probably opted for a champagney-taupe colour that I always default to and have a million of. This is definitely different from other colours in my collection!

Valentines themed nails

Valentines themed nails

I loved the look of Love in the bottle, so I knew I wanted to use it for my nails, and figured why not go a step further by literally having “love” on my nails :p I love the fushia microglitter in the gold shimmer base! So fun.

Nail Friday: Valentines Day Nails & Julep Maven February Bombshell Unboxing

Wet Seal red glitter polish, Julep Myrtle, Julep Love, Revlon Blackest Black

Here’s a pic of the colours I used for my nails.

Also, since it’s Valentine’s day here’s some pictures of what I spent my morning doing. I put my domestic goddess hat on (that’s a joke, I’d be an awful wifey) and did my best to make some magic in the kitchen (to varying degrees of success) so I could surprise my boyfriend and family with some treats. Here’s what I ended up with:

Peanut butter pie

Peanut butter pie

I AM SO EXCITED TO EAT THIS! I used a recipe from Skinny Taste and tasted the batter – soo good. I wish I made a third pie just so I could hide it away just for me haha.

Flourless peanut butter cookies

Flourless peanut butter cookies

I used a recipe from the Food Network for these. It was super easy, only five ingredients, but I think they turned out too sweet :(

Chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate covered strawberries

And finally I made a big batch of chocolate covered strawberries. They’re kinda healthy right? That’s what I’ll be telling myself as I stuff my face with them anyways.. Ha.

Are you doing anything special for Valentines Day?

Juelp Maven February 2013 Bombshell Box

Ok, this is (really) late, but I still wanted to show you all my February Maven box because it’s the first box I’ve actually not skipped since the summer – it was just too irresistible!

Bombshell box

Julep Maven February Bombshell box! From left to right is an eyelash curler, Laura, Ginger, Oxygen Nail Treatment, and Freedom Top Coat. 

This month’s box came packed with goodies! The product included in each box was the new Oxygen Nail Treatment, and every box got the new Freedom Top Coat as a extra goodie, so I knew I couldn’t pass this month up! They also sent an eyelash curler as a bonus gift, which was totally unexpected but very much appreciated. Missing in the above picture are also two chocolate hearts, which were promptly devoured upon me opening the box so they didn’t make it into the picture… :p

The inside of the box

The Oxygen Nail Treatment and Freedom Top Coat both came inside boxes. I thought having their motto “Shine on.” on the inside of the top flap was the cutest thing.

I guess the good part about me waiting so long to post is that I have had a chance to try most of the polishes in the box. Here are some pics of Ginger, Freedom Top Coat, and the Oxygen Nail Treatment in action.

Julep Ginger

Julep Ginger topped with Julep Freedom Top Coat in natural light

I absolutely LOVE Ginger! It’s such a gorgeous colour, and it’s my first holographic, which is kind of exciting (for me anyways ha). The picture does not do this colour justice at all, it’s the most beautiful understated colour that shifts from a sandy beige to a purpley taupe colour depending on the light, and always full of sparkly holo goodness, especially in natural sunlight. I’m definitely going to be using this colour all the time in the summer once the sun is out.

As for the Freedom Top Coat, I’m somewhat indifferent. The instructions said to cure it under light for 5 minutes, and it definitely did dry within those 5 minutes to a shiny, hard finish. However I don’t think it was anything particularly special. It prevented my polish from chipping for about 4 days, so nothing special there either. Personally I still prefer Seche Vite, but I really do appreciate how Julep’s Freedom Top Coat is 4 free so I will switch to using it once my bottle of Seche Vite runs out.

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment in natural light

Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment in natural light

I really like Julep’s Oxygen Nail Treatment! It promises to increase oxygen flow to nails and improve them. The picture above is one coat. It dried super fast, super hard, and super shiny on my nails. I’ve tried it twice now, the first time only for three days, and am currently wearing it now and planning to keep it on for another few days to make this time’s trial one week long. I found that the first time I used it, while I was wearing the treatment my nails felt really strong, but after taking them off I’m not sure if I noticed too much of a difference. But since I’m using it for longer this time maybe the treatment will be more effective.

I’m really happy I took this box! This month was also my one year anniversary as a Maven, so I got an extra 300 points, which was very much appreciated :)

If you’re interested in signing up for Julep’s Maven program, you can use the promo code “FREEBOX” to get your first month for free by taking a style quiz and selecting your profile here

Julep Valentines Mystery Box

So the doorbell rang a little while ago and I bolted to the door right away hoping it was my mailman with my Julep Mystery Box – and it was! I feel like I’ve been waiting for aaaggeeesss for this box and have been super antsy to receive it.

010

Yay!

I opened it up right away and immediately knew I had lucked out when the first thing I saw wasn’t nail polish but product…

Is that pink grapefruit body frosting I see?

Is that pink grapefruit body frosting and everday SPF I see?

Sure enough, I dug around and here’s the amazing mystery box I received!

Woohoo!

Woohoo! This is Box 8

Blah

The polishes I received!

I’m so happy with the box I received! I paid $19.99 for this box (actually less, more like around $10 because I used a Bloomspot voucher that gave me a $50 Julep gift card for $20) and in return got 8 polishes ($11.20 x 8), a voucher for a polish of my choice ($11.20), Julep Everyday SPF ($22.40), Julep Topcoat for Hair ($12.80), and Julep Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting ($14.40) for a total value of about $150 using Maven pricing. The best part is that none of the nail polish colours are dupes for me, and I’m actually in need of a new base coat so this couldn’t have come at a better time!

If you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven they offer your first box for free if you use the promo code “FREEBOX” when you take a style quiz here and sign up for your intro Maven box! If you do sign up I’d be super happy if you used my referral code: 1668128 ♥

Did you buy a mystery box? What did you get?

Julep Maven July It Girl Review

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(Squeal) I love seeing this box waiting on my doorstep :)

Hellooooo! So I finally got my July box a few days ago after hoping and wishing it’d come ever since I switched my box for it.  I’d just done my nails a few days before so I couldn’t try out the polishes right away but around midnight last night I decided I couldn’t wait any longer to use them.

Here’s some unboxing pics (my favourite part of getting these boxes is probably the excitement and surprise of opening them ha):

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Super cute wrapping inside! It’s supposed to be Canada Day themed but it’s a a little too American with the stars on the tissue paper mefinks. I bet you anything they probably had blue confetti for the US customers and took it out for all the Canadians :p The fireball candies (same flavour as those spicy cinnamon hearts you always get for Valentines day in elementary school) were a cute touch :)

My It Girl box! I switched to this box this month because 1) I have too much lipgloss, which all the other boxes included instead of an extra polish, and 2) I couldn’t resist the seafoam green polish. Oh and 3) I’m pretty much a sucker for anything sparkily.

From left to right: “Kate” a pearly white, “Daphne” seafoam green cream, “Mila” a “charcoal multi coloured glitter”, and “Oh Canada” iridescent and red glitter, which was freebie for this month. Normally $14 each x 4 = $56. Not bad for $20.

 

Daphne, the seafoam green, was basically the reason I picked this box so I had to try it out first.

Daphne with a few coats of Nicole by OPI’s “Make U Smile” (from their JBiebz line… which I totally got from Claires. Please don’t judge me).  Sorry it’s super hard to focus because of the glitter.

As always, super great formula that goes on opaque pretty much in one coat.  I used 2 coats in the above picture, with a few swipes of glitter topcoat, followed by some OPI topcoat.   Super happy with this box!  I wasn’t so happy with the June box which is why I haven’t bothered posting a review yet but maybe I’ll do that sometime this week too.

Julep’s still offering an intro Maven box for 1 cent if you’re interesting in signing up (you can always unsubscribe) if you enter “PENNY” or “COLOR2012” at the checkout after picking out which box you want at www.julep.com :)

xx

Julep Maven April Box Review

Yay I got my Julep Maven box in the mail on Friday!  I love getting packages in the mail, even if I know they’re coming… it’s always a surprise when they finally do :)  Super good motivation to get my studying done for my wine science final so I could do my nails too.

I love seeing this little black box on my doorstep :)

Super super cute! The April box had an Easter theme to it with chocolate eggs hidden in the crinkly green confetti. It's such a little thing but it put a huge smile on my face :) The bright pink paper and green grosgrain ribbon looked so cute hiding in the "grass".

The contents! I changed my style to the "Classic with a Twist" box this month because of the gorgeous mint green polish. Included was The Best Pedi Cream Ever - 60mL ($22), Mandy - 8mL ($14), Susie - 8mL ($14), some toe spacers, and a makeup bag ($18, not shown).

Close up of The Best Pedi Cream Ever, Mandy, a "fresh, bright, deep coral-pink", and Susie "a delicious mint creme".

I painted my nails with Susie during my study break. I looove this colour!! It reminds me of Essie's Mint Candy Apple, which I really wanted but never got around to buying.

As a bonus Julep added on a makeup bag for this month, but they forgot to put it in the box... So I got this as a separate package :p The huge waste of cardboard made me sad but the bag is super cute! It's got the Julep logo quilted on and the inside has 3 elasticized pockets perfectly sized to hold Julep polishes.

The side charm on the bag is super cute too :)

I was super happy with this month’s box.  I love the colours of the polishes, the bag is super cute, and I needed a foot cream so this is perfect.  I tried the cream and it’s a great moisturizer although I can’t vouch for the exfoliating properties yet, although it should since it’s formulated with glycolic acid.

I noticed when I was painting my nails that they changed their brushes since last month – they’re wide brushes now like OPI’s prowide brush, not the skinny brushes they used to have, which is awesome!  So much faster to paint your nails with haha.

If you haven’t already you should grab the 1 penny Julep Maven’s intro box! They extended the promo so you can get your first box for a penny with free shipping and you can cancel at any time so there’s really nothing to lose.  Just go to www.julep.com, take the style quiz, and enter “PENNY” at the checkout :)

Ok, back to studying accounting (wah).  I think I’ll do my toes with Mandy as a study break later :)

Julep Maven Box Review

Woooo!  A few weeks ago I saw a promo for a 1 penny Julep Maven box (yes – a penny!!  I’ll put the new code they sent me to share at the bottom of this post) and of course ordered it right away – and today it finally arrived!

I was super exhausted coming home from class but perked up right away seeing this box :)

The box was really cute with red and gold confetti and a big red ribbon tying together all the goodies. They enclosed a letter welcoming me to Julep and explaining how the box works, plus a postcard with a description of the products.

All of my goodies! Viola, "deepest dark purple creme" ($14), Oscar, "ultra chic, multi-dimensional gold glitter" ($14), Julep Topcoat for Hair ($16), and a 2mL sample of their SPF 30 handcream.

You have to take this quiz that matches you up with the box that best suits your personality, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the American Beauty box, so I picked Bombshell!  I thought the purple looked gorg and I’m super excited to try out the topcoat for hair – basically it’s supposed to be like, well, topcoat, but for your hair instead of your nails to make it super shiny.

Viola - super gorgeous dark purple. This is after two coats with no topcoat. The lighting makes it look a little brown but it's a dark dark glossy purple with no shimmer that reminds me of an intensely hued red wine. This colour was too pretty to resist - I did my nails right away after opening my box.

The boxes are normally $19.99, so I wasn’t really planning on continuing my subscription but I’ve gotta say – I am such a huge fan of their nail polishes now!!  I haven’t yet tried the gold Oscar nail polish, but this purple one was soo nice to put on.  Just one coat and it was pretty much opaque.  When I first pulled out the brush I was a little worried because it was so thin but it was pretty easy to use.  The formula is so beautifully smooth it doesn’t show brush strokes at all and dries super glossy and smooth.   It’s definitely dries smoother and is more pigmented than most of my OPI, Nicole, Essie, etc. nailpolishes.  Though at $14 a bottle for probably less than half the volume, it better!

I did some reading up on Julep before I ordered as well, and I think it’s a really great company.  I’m still definitely on the lookout for an opening for Topbox or Luxebox but I think Julep does have a few things on these other beauty subscriptions.  For one, you actually get to see what you’ll be getting each month, and change it if you don’t like it.  And if you don’t like any of the options, you can just skip that month completely for free, which is what I’ve been worried about with these other subscriptions.   Besides that, I really like the message that they’re putting across – it’s all about empowering and inspiring women, and I love that they’re doing some CSR by donating a dollar from each sale to organizations that support women.

Their “About” section reminds me of Lululemon’s manisfesto.  Here’s one of my favourite lines:

Beauty thinks we should all lighten up already.
Beauty is finding your own place in the world. Or making it up as you go along.

However, as much as I like them, I think they’ve definitely got room for improvement.  I really feel like the packaging is pretty lacklustre, especially compared to all the other gorgeous boxes out there!  I’m going to recycle the box, because it honestly just isn’t pretty enough to warrant being reused :(  I’m not a big fan of their printed materials either – I know I’m being picky but the pictures and text they used on their postcard and letter weren’t high resolution enough to print crisply, and the welcome letter is printed on plain printer paper and just folded up, which feels a bit cheap.

Overall though, I think although the price is higher than the typical box, it’s worth having a subscription to since the polishes are super fab quality and you can basically just skip months until you find a month with colours you like.  I’m happy with my box :)

And like I said.  The box was a penny!!  Normally it’s $19.99 a month but they sent me a promo code (I think it’s only valid for March so get on it!) to share with friends/family so they can get a box for a penny too :)  If you want one use “SHAREONMARCH” at www.julep.com

Ok, time for me to head to bed!  I realized I haven’t posted in forever but I have tons of pictures from my last month in Europe still to post so I’ll try to get those up in the next few weeks :)

xx Betty