Nail polish

Dear Julep – It’s you, not me.

I am breaking up with Julep.

This was a long time coming and the reasons are many and varied. I’m sure many of you out there have had some of the same issues and experiences. My latest experience is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I ordered a Jewel Heist Mystery Box to check out the mystery box thing and with the hope of winning the birthstone collection which has, admittedly, been a really nice collection. My box arrived yesterday and, while I wasn’t overwhelmed by it, thought it was a pretty decent box. They are supposed to be valued at over $100 but, that’s only if you take everything at its original full price.

My box contained the following items:

Luxe Repair Skin Serum – $28.00 ($22.80 Maven)
Blank Canvas Plumping Lip Primer – $22.00 ($17.60 Maven)
Zoe – $14.00 (on sale for $4.99 but now out of stock)
Valerie – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
Sunny – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
Fiore – $14.00 ($11.20 Maven)
A neon green hair tie that I’m going to value at $1.00 since I can make these for  less than that.

Total at full price: $107    Total at Maven/Sale Price: $79.99

First things first – I won’t be swatching any of these colors because I won’t be swatching Julep at all anymore.  (I know, I know – what have I been swatching lately, anyway?  Don’t worry!  I haz posts set up!)

Now – on to my complaints. Upon first sight, I immediately noticed that Zoe wasn’t packed in a traditional Julep polish box.  It was shrink wrapped and to me that says “We’re sending you some seriously old, returned product that we decided to make money off of instead of donating it to a women’s program.” Another complaint about Zoe is the fact that they have a swatch on the site that looks NOTHING like the polish. The site described it as “smoky burnt umber metallic.” Yeah, no. It was described best in a review of the polish on the site as “fiery orange copper color with a faint gold shimmer.” And the swatch on the site is DEFINITELY not the color I got. They’re valuing it at full price even though they hucked ’em in the Mystery Box old, unboxed, and thereby ridding themselves of the clearance priced stock. As for the other polishes – I really have no complaints. Valerie and Fiore are lovely. Unfortunately, Sunny was a dupe for me since I’d order the entire Vivid Collection earlier this year, but that’s not really Julep’s fault. I figured that was a risk I was taking.

Ugh. The Luxe Repair Skin Serum (LRSS). I was SO excited to try this.  I pulled it out this morning to give it a try.  I put on my Shiseido Ultimune Serum Booster that I received in my Birchbox this month, let that set and then put a couple of pumps of the LRSS in my hand, added a couple of drops of Paula’s Choice Super C15 and applied it. The moment it hit my face I was overwhelmed with the smell of rancid oil.  That unmistakable, icky smell that no one wants to smell emanating from ANY product, let alone a skin care product.  It was FOUL.  I had to wash my hands and face immediately and just GET. IT. OFF. That’s going in the trash. *grumblegrumble made me waste an application of two perfectly good, high quality products grumblegrumble*  Same experience with the Lip Primer.  After clicking the dumb button on the tube a million times (approximately) the product FINALLY erupted from the tip with the same horrible, rancid stench that the serum had.

I spoke with customer service and they agreed to send new products out and said that, yes, they DO pull the stock for the Mystery Boxes from much older stock and I asked her to confirm that I would not be receiving old stock.  I think it’s pretty disgusting to knowingly send out skin and lip care products that could be rancid.

Are you ready, because I’m about to make Deborah Lippmann polishes seem like a deal and who doesn’t want an excuse to buy new Deborah Lippmann polishes?   The other little things that have piled up are things like them charging $14 for 8mL bottles. Standard polish bottles are 15mL. You can get 5-free (free of dibutyl pthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor), vegan polishes from Deborah Lippmann for $20/15mL bottle.  Julep is $1.75/mL ($1.40/mL at Maven prices) and Deborah Lippmann is $1.33/mL. How do you like that?

We’ll go with an indie polish comparison now – Black Sheep Lacquer is vegan, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free, and 5-free. Her 14mL bottles will only run you $10-12 dollars, dependent upon the finish (multichromes are a touch more expensive). She also does a subscription service for $16 for US subscribers, $20 for Canadian subscribers, and $22 for international subscribers. You receive 2 full size bottles and a mini and she does super cool thermals, glitters, and holos. And I dare not forget to mention Zoya which has a HUGE selection, fun finishes and is 5-free, vegan, and cruelty free. All of these companies have much better, more consistent formulas with a bottle and brush design that doesn’t create the inevitable giant drop of polish that slides down the brush as you’re in mid-stroke.

So, there it is — my (very) long-winded explanation as to why I’m leaving Julep.  What is your experience with Julep and how are you feeling about them now?


*The Birchbox link is my referral link if you’re interested in trying them out! I was not reimbursed by any of the polishes mentioned above.  These are just examples and some of my favorite polishes.  If you decide to try out some of the Black Sheep Polishes, be sure to tell her you saw it on nailtipsy!

Stash Shots on Facebook!

With all of the reorganizing going on in preparation of the relaunch on June 23rd, I thought I’d take some pics of my stash and share them on Facebook! Hop on over to the official nailtipsy Facebook page and give it a like! I’ll be posting throughout the evening!

Exclamation point overload brought to you by Lone Star Beer.

Relaunching Soon!

Hello, my darlings!

nailtipsy had to be pushed to the side for a while so I could get some things in my life in order.  We recently made a big move and I now have a nice big area just for me and my polishes so I will begin swatching polishes and doing nail art again VERY soon!

Look for the official relaunch of nailtipsy on June 23rd (earlier if I can swing it)! I’ve missed doing this and I can’t wait to get back!

Thank you to everyone that visits and I’ll see you soon!

Baroness of Glitter

As I’ve made evident in previous posts, I love glitter polishes.  When I came across the Baroness of Glitter, I was intrigued for obvious reasons.  I grabbed 3 polishes from her etsy store and today I’m going to share them with you. First up are two polishes from the Chromatic Love Collection.

This is Prismatic – a multichrome holo topcoat.


Below is just one coat over OPI’s Black Onyx and Polish Alcoholic’s Zoisite.  I really wanted to see how this would layer over a brighter color and I was quite happy with the results.  I only used one coat because there was a whopping 5 minutes of sun and I wanted to grab it in natural light.

In natural light

In natural light

The formula on this top coat is quite thin. Mind the amount on your brush so you get nice even coats.  The photo below is two coats of Prismatic.  The purple color shift really comes through over the Zoisite. It has a beautiful galaxy look.

Prismatic3Next is Aquaflux.  This is a multichrome microglitter top coat with a green to magenta shift.


I loved the color shift on this one!  I did my best to capture it in full flair.


This is two coats of Aquaflux over OPI Black Onyx.  The formula on this top coat is thin as well so exercise caution on that brush dipping. But really, is there such a thing as too much glitter? (No.)

Aquaflux3I like the intense green shimmer you get when looking at it straight on.

Finally, we have Bubble Goth! An adorable mix of pastel pink, purple, and blue matte glitter in a white crelly base.  There’s also the very tiniest hint of blue microglitter.  Plus – skull and crossbones!


I love the concept of this polish.  As with most heavy glitters, you have to do a bit of fishing for the skulls.  Let the bottle sit upside down for a few minutes and they’ll come up closer to the surface. Give it a good shakin’ and you should be good to go.  This is two coats over OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls and how freaking cute is it??


On my middle finger is a reappearance from Prismatic.  I used two coats of it over the OPI.  This worked really well as a canvas for the holo.


You can check out her many NEW polishes just released in her store at She’s also on twitter @glitterbaroness and on Instagram as baronessofglitter.

Multi-talented lady that she is, she also has a jewelry store on etsy! Check out to see her inspired creations!

Pop over to facebook and like Baroness of Glitter and Nailtipsy so you don’t miss out on anything! Cheers!

Hit Polish Tribute Day 2 – Sunset Over Sedona

Hit SOS_4

This is my personal favorite – Sunset Over Sedona.  An absolutely stunning mix of gold, magenta, turquoise, and copper hexes and circles that perfectly emulate a desert sunset in the background of sheer magenta shimmer with gold and turquoise microglitter.

Hit SOS_1


Hit SOS_2

I used Zoya Mason as a base coat on my ring finger to provide some contrast.  I used a base coat of Glitter A-Peel, two coats of SOS, then topped it off with a coat of Glitter Food and Digital Flash.  Glitter A-Peel, Glitter Food, and Digital Flash are all from the glorious Nail Pattern Boldness.

Hit SOS_3

In natural light

Remember to follow @nailitpsy on twitter (you can just hit that handy little button over on the left side of the page) and facebook at for all the latest updates.


Hit Polish Tribute Day 1 – Pennies From Heaven

Over the next week, I’ll be paying tribute to a wonderful indie polish company – Hit Polish.  It is with a heavy heart I inform you that her esty shop closed earlier this month.  However, so she is moving on to bigger and better things.  So, hooray for that!  In honor of her glitter polish brilliance, I will be posting a few of my favorites over the next few days.

Today, we look at Pennies From Heaven.  This is a beautiful rosy bronze base with gold and copper hologlitters in various shapes and sizes.

Hit PFH_1Her formulas are consistently wonderful and her glitter loads always juuuust right.

Hit PFH_2This is Mr. Tipsy’s favorite of the bunch.  What about you?  If you have any Hit Polishes, what are your favorites?

Buttoned Up in Blurple

Buttoned Up 1

As soon as I saw Square Hue’s West End and Julep’s Charlotte together, I knew they were meant to be.  I’ve been wanting to try this manicure for a while and these are colors that would actually look cute as a little collared shirt. Here’s how I got this look!

The tools:

A tray, dotting tool, capful of acetone and brush for edge clean up, Julep Charlotte, Square Hue West End, stencil stickers

A tray, dotting tool, capful of acetone and brush for edge clean up, Julep Charlotte, Square Hue West End, stencil stickers

The stencil stickers are actually a little treat that my darling Mr. Tipsy whipped up for me in his workshop.  They’re vinyl strips to lay on the nail to create shapes and patterns and I looooooooove them! If I didn’t have these, I would have used two binder reinforcing stickers and reversed the polishes, making Charlotte the base color.

Step one was, of course, applying base coat.  Then I used the Square Hue as my base color.  Once it was COMPLETELY dry I applied one of the stencil stickers. Never attempt using adhesive stencils of any nature (binder reinforcers, scotch tape, or vinyl stickers) until your polish is absolutely, completely dry or you will end up peeling your polish up with the sticker.

Buttoned Up Stencil

Then paint the exposed tip:

Buttoned Up TIpImmediately after painting the tip, peel the sticker straight across in one motion. This avoids the possibility of the polish drying to the sticker and leaving you with a stringy mess.  After removing the stencil, I placed a few drops of Charlotte into the tray and used the dotting tool to make the buttons. Let your buttons dry as long as possible before using a top coat.

This is the final product!

Buttoned Up 2

Buttoned Up 3

Feel free to ask questions!  I always read and respond to my comments!

London Calling! – SquareHue’s 01.14 Box

The weekend is finally upon us!  As we kiss the first full week of 2014 goodbye, let’s say hello to SquareHue’s January Box! This is part of the Passport Collection and this month they took us to London!

Square Hue January 2014


For those not familiar with SquareHue, they are a pretty unique company.  Each month they send out themed boxes that contain 3 .5 oz premium polishes in shades that suit not only the theme, but the season as well.  There are really so many things to love about Square Hue.  The polishes are 5-free, cruelty free, and all handcrafted right here in the USA.  I love the square bottles. What I wouldn’t give for a backwards time machine so I could’ve been subscribed since their inception in 12.12.

First up is Buckingham! This brickish red creme has a very nice formula and is opaque in two coats.  The thing that I found most amazing about all three of these polishes is just how shiny they are without a top coat.  None of these pictures have a top coat, but you can see how well they stand on their own.  Great stuff.

SH Buckingham 1

SH Buckingham 2I love this color.  It’s so different from all the other reds I have.  I tend to lean toward true reds and blue leaning reds, with the occasional vampy red.  It was nice to be pushed out of my red comfort zone.

Next up is Westminster – a white that’s so yellow leaning as to be a pale yellow. It reminds me of lemon gelato that I used to buy at a little shop a few years back. It’s opaque at three coats and can be a little streaky so just watch your brush work.

SH Westminster 1

SH Westminster 2When I finally get around to doing my white polish comparisons, this will definitely be included.  And still, look at that shine!  No top coat!  Amazing.

Last, but certainly not least, is West End.  This deep navy shimmer borders on a blurple but definitely goes on navy.  The formula is nicely opaque in two coats, the shimmer is very subtle, and the shine, again, is outrageous.

SH West End 1

SH West End 2I love this for the winter season.  It’s a great alternative to black out nails and can be worn with most any outfit and still hold its own.

A portion of the cost of monthly subscriptions goes to HueGive, SquareHue’s charitable venture.  The current focus is human trafficking, which is a cause near and dear to me.  A SquareHue subscription is $14.99/mo plus shipping (so, basically $20/mo) and you receive it the first week of the month. I have no problem handing over $20/mo for this quality from a socially conscious company.  Give it a shot!





Lingerie for Your Nails – Julep’s Boudoir Collection

If you’re a Julep Maven, you’ve likely received your January box by now.  This month Julep presented us with their Boudoir Collection.  They chose to take familiar neutral tones and put a spin on them with silk and satin finishes. They also have some lovely cremes, as well.  I got the Classic With a Twist (CWAT) box and I added on a couple of polishes. With this box, you get two polishes and a product. This month the featured product was the Ta-Da! Quick Dry Drops. I didn’t know I needed them until I had them.

January 2014 CWAT Maven Box

The first polish included with the box was Abigail.  It’s a lovely pink leaning shimmery nude that dries to Julep’s silk finish, which is essentially a matte frost.  If you’re careful, it is opaque in one coat, but I used two for good measure.  You’ll want to skip a top coat so that the silk finish comes through.  It really does remind me of a silk nighty. The formula is very nice but do be careful because, like any frost, it can show brush strokes.

Julep Abigail 1

Julep Abigail from the Boudoir Collection

Julep Abigail 2

The second polish that came in the CWAT box was Mona – a deep charcoal creme. It’s a nice formula and is opaque in two thin coats.  It had an outrageous shine when topped with Digital Flash top coat from Nail Pattern Boldness.

Mona from the Julep Boudoir Collection

Mona from the Julep Boudoir Collection

Julep Mona 2

As a Julep Maven, you get to add on other colors from the collection at super reduced prices so I chose to add on two other polishes.  First I’ll show you Hope.  Hope is a bright white satin finish polish.  It goes on a little streaky so you’ll need to do two coats on this one.  Honestly, more than one person said it looked like a professional white out job.  I felt like it was too stark at first, but it really grew on me.

Hope from the Julep Boudoir Collection

Hope from the Julep Boudoir Collection

Julep Hope 2

Finally, we have Farrah.  A gray leaning lavender frost, this was probably my favorite of the bunch.  The formula is smooth and opaque in two coats.  You do have to be a little wary of brush strokes but it’s not difficult to manage smooth lines.

Farrah 2

Farrah from the Julep Boudoir Collection

Farrah from the Julep Boudoir Collection

The Ta-Da! Quick Dry Drops were nice to have with the satin and silk finishes.  Since you can’t use a top coat, it does help to speed up the drying time a bit. And I really like the lemongrass-y scent to it.

Overall, I was pleased with this collection.  All colors from the boudoir collection are available now on Julep’s website.

Favorite Nail Product of 2013: Nail Pattern Boldness – Glitter A-Peel


Yeah, yeah.  I tweeted that I would have this up yesterday. Unfortunately, the hangover was strong with this one.  I hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve! The ceramic flying pig we found in our car that I took from my friend’s bar (Sorry, Khon! I promise you’ll get it tomorrow!) with absolutely no recollection of taking it was a very good indicator of the level of silly we got up to.

On to the good stuff!

I’m just going to say it.  I am madly in love with all three items in that picture but my favorite item of the year is, without a doubt, Glitter A-Peel from Nail Pattern Boldness.  Gone are the days of soaking cotton balls in acetone/nail polish remover and then wrapping it up in tin foil around each nail. This is a Holy Grail product for me.

DSC01838I started off with two coats of Glitter A-Peel on clean nails.  I made sure to let the Glitter A-Peel dry between each coat  and before I applied the polish.  I used China Glaze’s For Audrey on all but my index fingers where I used OPI’s My Boyfriend Scales Walls.

Then came two coats of Nail Pattern Boldness’ The Girl With The Most Cake, which is also probably my favorite glitter polish that I bought this year.  I get hypnotized looking at the bottle.


It is jam packed with light pink (two sizes), bright turquoise, and purple square matte glitters as well as pink, purple, and turquoise microglitters.  I swatched it on a color wheel with about 10 different colors and it goes with just about everything.  It’s on sale for $6 right now so I’d HIGHLY recommend picking up a bottle.

I finished it all off with two coats of NPB’s spectacular Digital Flash Top Coat.

I did a quick video so you all could see just how easy the Glitter A-Peel makes glitter polish removal. This is a must have for your arsenal!