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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Julep Swatches and Review - Six Colors

I didn't sign up for the Maven Program Julep has. I started to several times, but never was able to make the commitment for some reason. Then I began hearing discontent. I thought perhaps it was because of growing pains and every company goes through those. Well, they do if they want to make it. But the negative comments didn't stop.

Now I'm not going to get into any of that here. I wasn't involved and don't really know much about it other than I was a bit relieved I didn't join after hearing some of the scuttle. I'm fairly lazy and I don't have the time nor the inclination to keep up with "staying on top of them" and calling customer service all the time. I did actually always hear great things about their customer service though, but to tell you the truth, I don't really want to have to deal with all of that.

I received a few Julep polishes in swaps/from blog sales and I bit the bullet and grabbed one of the Valentine Mystery Boxes from Julep.

So I have six colors to review.

Julep Anne, Julep Gayle, Julep January, Julep Maria, Julep Sharon and Julep Vera.

First, in general...I am not a fan of the bottle design. They are cute and I do like square bottles, but when you go to use them, they're no longer cute. The brushes/stems are long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle, but because of this, they gather a lot of polish. That's a problem for me. I do one nail, put the brush back in the bottle and use my thumb nail to skim the sides for any stray polish. If the formula and brush were perfect, I wouldn't need to do that, but that's not the case here. So each time, I pull the brush out and have to fool with trying to get the excess off before doing the next nail. What I ended up doing was juggling the bottle and brush in the hand I was painting while I used my free hand to clean up.

I used two coats and no top coat for all photos.

Because the first one I tried was Anne, I really had a mess. Anne's formula was goopy and I had quite a bit of cuticle drag. The application was not good at all.

Julep Anne is a light but vivid violet color that's hard to capture. Hard to capture is an understament with these types of violet colors - notice the huge difference in the photos below. It really is a gorgeous color so when the formula turned out to be so thick and goopy, I was very disappointed. I used two coats and had to fool with it a LOT for these photos and as you can see, it's still not good. The third and fourth photos are the most color-accurate as far as the polish, so please excuse the orange hands I had to leave in order to show you the color. It dried semi-matte so if you want it shiny, you'll need a top coat.


Julep Anne
Julep Anne

Julep Anne
Julep Anne

Julep Anne
Julep Anne

Julep Anne
Julep Anne


Julep Gayle is a mid-toned aubergine purple creme. The application on this one was a lot better than on Anne.  I was actually a bit relieved when I didn't have issues with the formula. I still dealt with the bottle/brush/stem issues, but that's going to be with every Julep. I truly dislike the bottle design.

Julep Gayle
Julep Gayle

Julep Gayle
Julep Gayle

Julep Gayle
Julep Gayle



Julep January is a tomato red crelly (creme jelly hybrid) and I didn't really have formula issues, even though I am not a fan of jellies or most crellies. I did still have visible nail line after two coats though. It would need at least 3 or 4 coats to be opaque, which would make me not reach for it. The color isn't at all unique, so I'd have several choices with better formulas from which to choose without ever using this one.


Julep January
Julep January

Julep January
Julep January



Julep Maria is a frosty metallic pale rose and actually had the second best (first being Sharon) application of all six I tried out. The only issue with this one I'd say was that you *think* it's a one-coater, but later in the sun, you realize you have balding in places. This one should have two coats to even things out. I had a little bit of a streaking issue as is common with a lot of frosty metallics, but it's not the worst I've tried by far. You can see in the photos.

Julep Maria
Julep Maria

Julep Maria
Julep Maria

Julep Maria
Julep Maria



Julep Sharon is a medium-to-deep red with a foil-like glowy finish. This one had the best application out of all six I tried. Other than the previously discussed poor bottle design, this one applied the easiest and had the fewest issues. Again, as with some of the others, it's not the most unique color. I probably have at least 3 or 4 others just like it color and finish-wise.

Julep Sharon
Julep Sharon

Julep Sharon
Julep Sharon


Last up is Julep Vera. Julep's site describes it as a "sable brown" and I wouldn't necessarily say they're wrong, but I'd describe it more as a dark camel or light taupe. I'm sure on some, it might be considered in the nude family, but on me, it definitely isn't. It's a creme that I found extremely runny and I had an issue with it pooling along the sides and cuticle area. I am sure part of it is that so much polish stays on the long stem and part of it was because it's on the runny side. I used two coats but you can still see a little balding in spots so I'd say a third coat is necessary to even things up.

Julep Vera
Julep Vera

Julep Vera
Julep Vera

Overall, I am not really impressed with much about these polishes. I seemed to have one issue or another with all but one and I have an issue in general with the poor bottle design. I agree they're cute, but cute doesn't cut it when the bottle design causes application issues.

So there you have it. I've been putting off this post for a while because I don't like to give poor reviews. But I'm not going to lie. I'm going to give you my honest opinion and experiences EVERY TIME. Even when I don't like to. I would be really upset had I read glowing reviews and then received these polishes. I read other blogs and reviews for honest opinions. I use those opinions to make MY purchasing decisions and I appreciate the good and the bad. I hope you do as well.

Each polish contains 0.27 ounces (8ML) and they retail for $14.00. I am the first one to splurge on an expensive polish if I think the color is unique or the formula is outstanding, but since I found neither to be true with the Julep polishes I tried, I think the price is quite high for what you're getting.  The polishes are available on julep.com if you want to try them out for yourselves.



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6 comments :

  1. You may not like them, but Julep loves you! You wear it so well!!!

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  2. Anne and Gayle are my fav ! Yet ! ALL THE COLORS ARE AMAZING !

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  3. You did a thorough review, thank you for your efforts! Honesty is the best policy & that is the purpose:)

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  4. Love the honesty! And Anne's one of my favorites :)

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  5. I happen to agree with you on a lot of that too. I am in the Julep Maven program, but have skipped this month and am seriously considering ending my subscription so that the $20 I spend there can go to someone else. The colors DO look fantastic on you, but nothing is worth horrible application issues. I have found the seven that I own to be either runny or thick. Great review!

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  6. Thanks for your honesty! Personally, I don't have an issue with the bottle...I've been using the nail therapy for a while now and I've used one polish for a full manicure (as underwear) and don't remember having any application issues either. Ah well :)

    ReplyDelete

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