Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Julep - February 2014

UPGRADE SET (plus add-on)

It's been a while since I've done a Julep post! My poor nails have been recuperating and now they're getting back in swatch shape! Hooray!

So heeeere is Julep's fabulous Dramatic Collection for the month of February! They now have three different types of upgrades you can select to add to the main profile choices for each month including a Polish Upgrade (all the polishes in the collection, no beauty products), regular Upgrade (all the polishes in the collection plus the main beauty product), or the Deluxe Upgrade (all the polishes plus all the beauty products). I chose the regular Upgrade for this month with a single add-on item.

Do you have a flare for the dramatic? If so, you may love this month's collection! Colors that are deep, rich and perfect for a night out on the town!

Here's the polish line-up:

 So pretty! I love the difference in vibrancy from brighter to darker as well as some shimmer and sparkle!

And now for each profile...


in Warm Fig

"This gorgeous liquid eyeshadow glides on easily and sets to a satin finish that stays put all day. The buildable, blendable formula is enriched with our proprietary Power Cell ComplexTM." - julep.com

These new Eye Sheens from Julep were the main beauty product that came with each profile as well. There are four color available:

  • Pale Nude
  • Dusty Taupe
  • Warm Fig
  • Bronze Shimmer

The color selection was customizable during the selection, so you could pick which one of the four shades you wanted, either for a single profile or an upgrade.

Warm Fig is a gorgeous pink-tinted brown with a slight bronze shimmer throughout. One thing that I was somewhat thrown off about with the product, though, is that on Julep's website it appears to look a bit thicker in consistency, similar to that of Maybelline's Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows but in person it looked very different. Here is what the product looks like on Julep's website:

Even the color is a bit different as well. On the website it's much pinker in tone, but in person it appears a bit more brown. As you can see from my photo the formula is bit more of a thick pudding consistency. However, when I turn the bottle upside down, it doesn't slide right out. Not that there being a difference in the photos is necessarily bad, but that is a big enough difference that some people might have been very disappointed. I always prefer a product be displayed in online photos as similarly to the actual product as possible, with little to no photoshopping. Especially in regards to color and consistency.

Now all that being said, I actually LOVE Warm Fig! It glides on super smooth and dries relatively quick, finishing in a solid base, but still with a gorgeous sheen. You can see it's easily blendable or can be worn thicker and more pigmented. The best way I found to apply is with a small concealer brush. I dab one side of the brush lightly in the sheen, then gently pat it on and blend out lightly with my fingertip. I blend it in fairly well that way I can build up the layers as I want instead of just applying big blobs on that could take forever to dry. I continue applying thin layers, letting each one dry before applying the next, till I'm satisfied with the result. One thing to note, once the product is fairly dry, if you try to apply a layer over it, you need to blend as little as possible...or as gently as possibly I could say. Once the base has set, it can lightly rub off if you blend over it too much. It won't rub completely off, but you'll see some patchiness. 

The smell is a bit unpleasant, though, it reminds me a bit of tar. Although, the longevity and wear definitely makes up for the weird aroma! With the thin layer application technique I used, my eye color and sheen lasted...oh....all day. Haha! Really, after 12+ hours only a teensy bit of sheen had lessened, and just the tiniest bit of product had creased, but only when looking closely in a mirror could you see it. When I wore it a couple of times I applied an eyeshadow primer, then about 4 thin layers of the Sheen, and used a setting spray to finish. I definitely recommend the setting spray as I went without it one day and did notice a bit more creasing.


 "This creamy jet-black eyeliner is packed with encapsulated pigments that deliver intense lines with a silky-smooth, smudge-proof finish." - julep.com

I've tried a variety of gel eyeliners but none of them have really impressed me yet so I don't use them often. I definitely was excited to try a new one out! You never know when you may find that magical product that just makes the sun shine, the flowers bloom and the birds sing!

The packaging is a standard gel eyeliner jar, with a twist-off cap. My only complaint with it is that the product is a teensy bit far down in the jar so you have to aim your brush fairly straight down, and I typically prefer to angle it a bit. I don't know why they couldn't have just made the jar a bit shorter or brought the product up higher. Once again, in this regard, I feel a little deceived by Julep's website photo. You can clearly see in their picture that the product comes all the way up to the top of the jar....

(from julep.com)

Not cool, Julep, not cool. That is a HUGE difference in quantity. This definitely makes me question whether or not I want to continue purchasing their beauty products. I've always been happy with their polishes, but their products have been iffy at times and when it looks like you're receiving a decent amount of product but you only receive about half....hmmmm.

Here is the brush:

I have several angled liner brushes that I've accumulated in brush packs, but it definitely never hurts to have more brushes!

The brush is a great size for applying eyeliner, however, I prefer mine to be a little bit smaller in size only because I like getting a very sharp, clean wing tip and when the brush is larger it's a bit trickier. This size is great, though, if you want a thicker cat eye or for a kitten eye.
Now I'm definitely sad I didn't receive more product in the jar, because this gel eyeliner is GOOOOORGEOUS, dahling, just GORGEOUS. It is blacker than black! Look how crisp and clean it stands out! Just to note, these swatches were applied with the Julep Angled Liner Brush. You can see the thin line isn't super thin, and although gel eyeliner formulas are thick, I've still been able to produce a super thin line with a thinner/smaller angled brush. You can also see the formula isn't too soft from the curve line, but that also means that it will last after application for quite some time. Speaking of....check out the line I wiped off! I did that about 10 seconds after applying...isn't that fantastic! It set right away! Love it. 

So longevity-wise, it lasted forever on my UPPER lashes. As long as it stayed dry, it stayed perfect and put all day long. However, I had also applied it under my bottom lashes (yes, you shall see later ::winkwink::) and that pretty much smudged off within an hour or two of wear. My eyes water so easily. Any little yawn, and I can produce tears. It's ridiculous I tell you. That's always such a bummer for me because applying any eyeliner on my bottom lashes is always so amazing for about 30 minutes, then it starts to smudge and I end up just using a q-tip (which I've learned to carry with me) to wipe it off. Yes, I've tried primers (a large variety), I've tried patting eyeshadow or powders over it to help set, all to no avail. It's just part of my daily beauty dilemma. We have have them! 

So, if you have any problems with watery eyes or eyeliners smudging, I'd say as long as you keep this on your upper eyelids, you'll have deep, rich, velvety black color ALL day with no problems! However, if you're lucky enough to never have problems with bottoms liner smudging, then you will ADORE this product! It has fantastic staying power, except it's not waterproof. It won't smudge, smear or flake off when dry!


Rooney (left) - walnut bark creme
Cameron (right) - silver lilac stardust (matte glitter)

So here is the profile that I matched with when I first signed up and usually, I absolutely love the Boho Glam colors! Even though these seem a bit duller - especially for a Dramatic Collection - I still think they're lovely and look great paired together. 

Julep's Stardust finishes are similar to OPI's Liquid Sands. They have that rough, textured look and feel that can be worn without top coat for a textured finish or with it for a glossy shimmer/frost effect. 

Rooney appears much darker in person that it does on Julep's photos. The formula was a bit thinner for a creme, but it became opaque after two coats. I didn't have any problems with it being runny or streaking. Cameron, which I ADORE, dried super fast and barely even needed a second coat. The great thing about polishes like Liquid Sands, Stardust finishes, etc is that you really could get away with one coat if you had to. Especially if you're in a rush and need it to dry super fast, which they do. Cameron does spread very easily and in the photo above, I'm wearing two coats for full color and deep texture. I'm not wearing top coat in any of my photos so you can see the true finish of each polish. Rooney dries very glossy and Cameron, well, haha, has a gorgeous Stardust rough effect. 


Judi (left) - English violet creme
Kristen (right) - deep sea teal with silver microshimmer

Oh my. Words cannot describe how much I LOVE this combo and how obsessed I am with Kristen. SO PRETTY! I think this is a great Bombshell combo, especially for a Dramatic Collection. The colors are rich, sexy and even though they're dark they have beautiful color.

Loooooook at this! Didn't I tell you they're stunning together? I'm really happy that Julep produced an actual dark purple color as opposed to a dark purple that shows up black but lightly purple around the edge color, as they've done that sort of thing before. These photos are taken in filtered indirect sunlight (a white curtain over the window) so they're not super bright. IN direct sunlight it appears much more purple. Regardless, Judi is beautiful and has a very glossy finish. For it's formula it was a bit thinner for a creme as well (like Rooney) but it easily became opaque with two coats and I had no problems with it being runny or major streaking.

Kristen...::sigh::....is amazing. If I was a mermaid...I would wear this polish. It was opaque with ONE coat, however I went ahead and applied two for the photo. It spread like an absolute dream and why haven't you bought it yet? The finish is a bit more like a satin with very subtle gloss, but with a top coat, the shimmer comes out more. Be still my Kristen-loving heart.


Octavia (left) - smoky indigo creme
Greta (right) - loganberry multidimensional microglitter

I'm so happy to see the Classic With a Twist profile showing off some bright fun colors instead of reds and nudes! This profile was really the whole reason I decided to go for the Upgrade instead of picking just one profile. 

Although I'm obsessed with the Bombshell combo, I feel like this is a close second! The colors remind me a berries! Octavia has the same formula as the other cremes - Rooney and Judi - a bit thinner for a creme, but very smooth upon application and with a very glossy finish. It glided on like a dream and I had no problems with it streaking or running. It also barely needed a second coat. Greta is fairly thin with a single coat, it definitely needed two for full coverage with no streaks and a strong vivid color. The finish is a teeeeeensy bit streaky, but not much. You can see it more on my pointer finger than my pinky, since for some reason it went on a bit thinner on my pinky. The streaks are very visible though. The shimmer shows up just as well on the nail as it does in the bottle, which I love! The formula was easy to work with as well. I think it's a very flattering shade! But seriously....I have tasty raspberry and blueberry fingertips! ::smacks lips::


Diamond Theory (left) - full-coverage multidimensional copper glitter
Glam Roc (center) - midnight purple and gold stardust (matte glitter)
Roc Solid (right) - vintage military creme

This trio was a selection of colors that I only felt so-so about when I first saw them online but once I swatched them I thought they were fantastic! According to Julep's website, they're curated and named by Jay-Z's Roc Nation, which is a "full-service entertainment company, inclusive of artist, songwriter, producer and engineer management; music publishing; touring & merchandising; film & television; new business ventures; and a music label." (rocnation.com). I think the color choices are fabulous! If you think about the music and entertainment industry and check out the celebrities, singers, artists that are associated with Roc Nation, you can totally see how these colors are the perfect choices!

Couldn't you just die? LOVE! I think Glam Roc is one of my all-time favorite Liquid Sand/Stardust/Textured finished polishes, although it is a possibly near perfect dupe for OPI's Alcatraz...Rocks. Alcatraz...Rocks is just a teensy bit more purple in shimmer, but barely by much. You have to study them super close to notice it. I really don't have anything like Roc Solid and Diamond Theory though! I'm really impressed with all the cremes in this collection, they all have similar finishes, again, that of a thinner creme that spreads easily without being runny or streaky and are perfectly opaque in two coats, barely needing it. All with an extremely glossy finish and all evening themselves out well. As far as Diamond Theory, I know it says that it's supposed to be a copper glitter but to me it leans more gold than straight up copper. Here's a close-up of it:

This is with two coats, which it definitely need for full coverage, but I love how well it covers! The glitter spreads super well and doesn't become overly clumpy in any spots. There's the perfect mix of small glitter dots and larger hexagonal glitters. Packed, glamorous and fabulous!

Here's a close-up of Glam Roc. I LOVE THIS. I love the subtle purple sparkle all over, however the gold doesn't show up quite as well on the nail as it does in the bottle. Don't care...it's fabulous. It does show up a teensy bit better with a topcoat, though. It applies wonderfully, is almost opaque with a single coat, but I applied two for the photos. The Stardust finishes are a bit harder to remove, I actually like soaking them a bit in polish remover to soften the formula, rather than try to wipe it off quickly.


in Bronze Shimmer

Haha, I chose this Eye Sheen as an add-on because honestly, I couldn't decide between it and the Warm Fig!

Again, a thicker liquid pudding type of consistency, although Bronze Shimmer is PACKED with...well...SHIMMER!

Ok....if I was a bronze goddess...haha, actually some friends of mine and I were discussing dressing up as Roman or Greek goddesses for a Renaissance Festival and one would go as a Golden statue, another as a Bronze statue and I would be the Silver. I need a bigger jar of this for the Bronze goddess because woooooooooow...this stuff is gorgeous!

Compared to Warm Fig, the bronze shade is more consistent whether blended or swiped on thick, just a slight change in tone. It's also more of an all-over sheen than packed with shimmer that stands out more when blended, however there is definitely some gorgeous shimmer in the sunlight.

The longevity and wear is exactly like Warm Figs. It stayed on all day with very little creasing. The Bronze Shimmer was a teensy bit trickier to blend multiple layers, it did wipe off a bit quicker underneath so I had to work faster while it was still slightly tacky but set enough. However, the color was a bit more pigmented to begin with compared to Warm Fig, so I didn't need to add multiple layers as much!


Julep Nail Polish
in Love

Love - gold, pearl and fuchsia microglitter

This was the absolutely stunning Valentine's gift that came in every Julep box, whether you picked an individual profile or an upgrade. OH myyyyyyyyyy. Best Valentine's present ever! ::drool:: I positively love (hehe, Love) microglitters such as this. I love the gold against the fuchsia, although the fuchsia comes off a bit more red to me. I actually thought it was red at first (very Valentinesy)! The coverage is great, although I think it needs three coats for full opacity. This picture shows two, and if you look closely you can somewhat see my nail line. The finish isn't too glossy but very shimmery! Look how pretty the gold picks up in the light! Magical!


1) Eye Sheen in Warm Fig (.15 oz) - $18 (or $14.40 for Mavens)

2) Eye Sheen in Bronze Shimmer (.15 oz) - $18 (or $14.40 for Mavens)

3) Ink Gel Eyeliner (.15 oz) - $22 ($17.60 for Mavens)

4) Angled Liner Brush - $18 ($14.40 for Mavens)

5) Nail Polish - $14 ($11.20 for Mavens) x 10 polishes = $140 ($112 for Mavens)

Total Paid for Box: $66.98*

Total Worth of Box:  $216 (or $172.80 for Mavens)

Breakdown: $19.99 for main subscription, plus $35 for Upgrade plus $11.99 for extra Eye Sheen. IIIIIIIIII don't know if I'd pay near $20 for a single angled eyeliner brush. That's a little ridiculous if you ask me. I also don't think those little jars are worth near $20, especially for only .15 oz each. I love the blacker than black gel eyeliner because the velvety color is amazing, and I even love the shimmer of the Sheens, but $20 is pretty darn expensive! Although at first glance it seems like I got a great deal compared to the original price I paid, I just don't feel like it was quite worth near $70, especially for the sizes. 




So of course I needed a dramatic eye, am I right? This IS the Dramatic Collection! Haha! I didn't go too full-on dramatic, but definitely with a flare...

I did use both the Warm Fig and Bronze Shimmer and of course the Ink Gel Eyeliner for some sharp lines!

I blended it the Warm Fig over my eyelid about 2/3 of the way across, then blended in some Bronze Shimmer on the outer 1/3 of my eye. I used a bit of the Bronze Shimmer on my waterline as well to add some subtle shine, but blended in alongside the Warm Fig, the Bronze Shimmer ended up looking a bit muddy looking. Harumph. I mean, I do love the deep, romantic effect they have together, but I was hoping for a bit more bronze. I used the Gel eyeliner for a long winged out cat eye then used it on my bottom lash line for a shorter bottom wing to line up with the top. My apologies if the photos are great quality, it was super dark and rainy outside so I had a hard time taking bright, crisper pictures. That could also be why the Bronze Shimmer isn't showing up as well either. My poor little iPhone doesn't take good pics in darker light! 

Well that's it for this month's Julep subscription box! March's Selection Window is already closed, so I can't wait till my box ships! At this time I've decided to stop with the Julep REVEAL Sneak Peek posts for each month since they didn't seem to get a big response, however, I'd love ya'lls input on that. Would you like me to start them up again or would you prefer I just stick to posting the goodies once I receive them?

Happy Dramatic Makeuping and Polishing!



  1. Wow is it Christmas again??? SO many things I am awed! Everything looks so gorgeous! :DDD

    1. Hahahaha! I know, right? It's one of my favorite collections of theirs, I really did love every shade of polish!

  2. i love that eye look! i am with you though, wow the product info from julep was misleading. i'm glad it was a good result all the same though!

    1. Thank you for the compliment! :-D Yeah, it's sad companies do that sort of thing with their photos, but I'm still happy with the product for the most part :-) I just hope they step up their game a bit!

  3. Great reviews. I usually skip my Julep box, but I did get the It Girl collection for February since I loved the shades and I had enough points to get it for free. I was also very happy with the addition of Love.