Reviews

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!

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.

Prismatic1

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.

Aquaflux1

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

Aquaflux2

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!

Bubble_Goth1

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??

Bibble_Goth2

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.

Bubble_Goth3

You can check out her many NEW polishes just released in her store at baronessofglitter.com. 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 demiflux.com 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!

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!

 

 

 

 

And so it begins… A review of Jillian from Julep

Welcome to NailTipsy!

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to say hello and check out my latest venture!  This blog is for those of us that are middling on skill but still completely obsessed with polish.

Let’s jump right into the fun, shall we?

We’ll make the first post of NailTipsy a review.  Below is Jillian from Julep’s December Classic with a Twist Maven Box.  It is STUNNING in the bottle!  On the the nails?  Well, let’s just say it’s much more understated.

The shimmer doesn’t come through as much after application, but it’s a very lovely wine color with an almost bronze hue to the shimmer. The finish on it isn’t extremely shiny so it can be a nice understated shimmer polish if you’re not looking for an explosion of frost or microglitter.

Jillian by Julep from the December Classic with a Twist Box
Jillian by Julep from the December Classic with a Twist Box

I did find the application to be a bit disappointing.  The formula became progressively more goopy on the end of the brush as I got further into the mani.  It didn’t get sticky and stringy, but it did seem to collect at the end of the brush in such a way as to make getting clean edges a bit more difficult.

I can’t see myself wearing this on a regular basis, but I can definitely see wearing this with an LBD for a vampy look.

This color is available on Julep’s website for $14.00 ($11.20 for Mavens).

http://www.julep.com/jillian.html