April 2015 Julep Maven Box

This month’s collection is called the Paradise Collection.  It’s a stark contrast to last month’s Pop! Collection.  After seeing this month’s assortment, I realized that I really like to buy brightly-coloured nail polish.  This is first time I’ve ever done the Ultimate Upgrade, and I’ve been a maven for almost 2 years.

My first impressions were:

There are 5 polishes in the collection that I am dying to try!  They are Danielle, Randi, Danica, Jenna and April.

The next 3 are ok.  I would have put these on my nice-to-have list if I didn’t opt for the Ultimate Upgrade.  They are Drew (Back from the Vault), Cassidy and Connie.

Addison (A tart lemon creme) is lovely, but from my March post, I mentioned that I need not have any more yellow nail polish.

My real live impression, once they arrived:

Danielle was a lighter blue than I was expecting and with a greener shimmer/chrome to it than I anticipated.  Randi is almost a neon pink (I’m in love with pink right now, so I’m happy), Danica is a beautiful purple.  April is a darker version of Jenna, but I’m without any true oranges in my polish collection so I’m still really happy with these.  Drew is beautiful, and pinker version of Julep’s Shawn.  Cassidy was surprisingly nice, its a brighter, bluer version of Julep’s Lissa.  Connie is super really close to Bette.  This purple colour is one that I never choose to wear, but when I see it on other people, I’m like oooh, I love that.  So I’m not super disappointed in this.  Addison is a really bright, almost neon yellow.  Really pretty, but this for sure, for sure, for sure my last yellow polish!

Angie was the add-on polish, which is an amped up holographic silver.  I decided not to add this on, to save my wallet from some damage, but also, I already own Tin Man, which is Angie’s less holographic cousin.  Somehow, days later I picked up Angie in the secret store.  It’s underwhelming when you first put it on, but is marginally more holographic once dry.  You don’t need this if you have Tin Man.

The Ultimate Upgrade (UU) also includes the Oxygen Bonding Base Coat – I love trying new base coats.  I used to love the Oxygen Base Coat, but then I tried Nail Therapy, which I liked better, so I’m excited to see how this one compares to them both.

Also, the UU included 2 new shades of lipstick (Girl Something and something else)

And the focus beauty products this month were for the Brows.  “Don’t Leave Your Brows At Home” available in 4 shades:  Taupe, Warm Brown, Cool Brown, and Rich Brown, and “Lock Down Your Brows” a clear brow gel.  The 2 shades included in the box were Warm Brown (second lightest colour), and Rich Brown (the darkest colour).  If I were to get one shade, I probably would have gone for the Cool Brown.

Julep is working on having a fully customizable UU box.  They posted on Facebook, that you could call to get a shade if this didn’t work for you, which helped me make the decision to go with the UU.  No harm, no foul, if I could get the Cool Brown Brow Colour, right?  They annoyingly wouldn’t honour requests before we received the actual box, but my box arrived on April 8…sadly with all the make up products missing.  I still like Julep but it was disappointing to find that half of what I ordered didn’t arrive, but this also the first time this has happened to me.

Despite the Brow colour debacle, this box is still amazing value at $74.99 USD (Even with the exchange rate).  It also hurts less, because I had prepaid for the 3 month subscription last month, so $20 USD of it was prepaid.

If you want to check out Julep, here’s the link!

https://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/

Konad Nail Stamping

So I recently started getting interested in nail stamping.  Why?  Mostly because I can hardly draw a straight line with a nail brush, but I feel like stamping is something I can handle.  I’m totally impressed by and in awe of people who can hand paint designs.  It’s amazing.  I am not one of those fabulous, artistically blessed people.

Anyways, back to nail stamping.  I recently purchased a nail stamping starter kit from nail polish canada (nailpolishcanada.com). It was about $16 CAD, upon arrival it looked different than what I was expecting, so I’m pleasantly surprised.  My kit came with a plate, 2 mini (5ml) special stamping polishes (in shiny black and white), and a full sized top coat, as well as a scraper and stamper.  I also bought a full sized black Konad stamping polish to get my total above $25 so I could get free shipping.

I have relatively small nail beds, and keep my nails shorter, so the konad stamper works fine.  Something to note, is that the Konad scraper has a metal piece on it, which is great for getting a clean surface, but the plate is already showing scratches after a few test stamps.

I tend to go big or go home when it comes to new hobbies, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on stamping…stamping plates, stamping polishes, scrapers etc.

Pics attached, of what the kit looked like.

Until Next Time!      

March 2015 Julep Maven Box

Wow am I ever late to the party this time around!  I totally forgot to post this!

I guess that happens.  So the March 2015 Maven box was named POP!  It largely consisted of pastel like colours, that remind me a bit of Easter.

They also released a number of beauty products, including a clear lip liner, new full-size lipsticks called “Light on your lips”, a liquid eye liner (Fluid Eye Glider) and a make up corrector stick (Called Ctrl-Z).  The polish colours were lovely, I decided to get the “soft focus” trio – made up of Ali, Lulu, and Janet.  Soft-Focus is somewhere between Matte and Creme…kind of egg-shell like in finish.  I tried Lulu, the application was ok, but I need some more practice with it.

I’m not a big lipstick wearer, despite owning a lot of lip products, but I really like the lipstick I received.  I also went out of my comfort zone and went with “Happy Hour”, which is a bright pink, maybe berry-coloured is a good description.  I love it.

I also tried the corrector stick (Ctrl-Z), I don’t love this.  It’s hard and kind of hurts.  I think I get better results removing make up mistakes with a wet Q-tip.  For $5, it was ok to try, but I don’t recommend this, due to discomfort, and I have sensitive eyes, so I don’t like to poke at them too much.

I use liquid liner more for nights out, which I haven’t done in a while, so I’m going to reserve judgement on that.  Overall, a lovely collection.

Also, I got a mystery polish.  This was a mistake.  I received Lilou, which looks great with the trio in the box, and I don’t need yet another yellow polish.  I have 4 from Julep that I already don’t use.  I’m over Julep’s mystery offerings, until they offer an option to exclude.  I don’t want anymore yellow nail polishes.

My gift for adding 3 add-ons was Francis (a medium light green), not only was this a dupe, but I just don’t really like it.

The positive points is that it was a really well curated box, when I opened it, it was really pleasing visually…but when I dug deeper it had a number of things that I wasn’t going to use…this might be a sign that I have just too much nail polish!  Ha ha ha.

Until Next Month!

To try Julep https://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/

I love this service, and it’s worth checking out.  You get your first month’s box free.  I think you only pay the shipping.

Emjoi Micro-pedi Power Review

Truth be told, I actually got this device a few months ago, so this review is long over due.

With a new baby and winter in our midst, I don’t have a lot of time to get to the nail salon as regularly for mani/pedis.  This device is a life saver for dry skin.  I use this specifically on my heels.  I’m also a not a big sock-wearer.  I blame many years of avid yoga practice, but seriously, I just prefer to be bare-footed.  Walking around bare foot can lead to additional dryness on the feet.

This device works really well.  I noticed an immediate difference with my first use.  It literally takes seconds to use, and in fact, I think you’re better off using this device for about a minute daily to get prolonged improved results, rather than using it for a long time once in a while.  I keep this stored in my bathroom where an outlet is readily accessible.  It is also really easy to clean.

As far as devices go, I think being easy to use, delivering effective results and being easy to clean are pretty well-defining and probably everything I look for in a beauty device to invest it.  Totally give this a thumbs up.

I believe the Micro Pedi is more popular, as it’s battery powered.  I have this item as well.  I’ll post a comparison review about these 2 devices shortly.

IMG_1904

February 2015 Julep Maven Box Unboxing

It seems I’m on fire these days with my blog posts!  It’s nice to be getting back up to date :)  What’s also really exciting is that I received my box today Feb 2 (despite a snow storm), and it was originally tracking to arrive on Feb 6.  So this is a big win and a fabulous surprise!

So this month’s collection is called the afterglow collection, featuring their glow highlighting powder and illuminator.

My profile is boho glam, which would have contained Brandis (a teal), and Hazel (a duo-chrome purple/violet colour with bronze tinged chrome), and the highlighting powder.  Since I recently upgraded to the customizable box, I kind of feel obligated to customize my box.  Although Brandis is a really pretty teal, it looked pretty close to couple I already have.  Hazel is pretty, and I’m thinking about adding it to my wish list.

I opted for the highlighting powder, the fan brush and Keiko (charred olive shimmer).  I don’t have anything olive in my collection so I went with this.

Other colours I really like are Colton (described as black iris) and carla (a light pink creme).

Since I now prepay for my subscription in 3 month blocks, it’s hard redeem jules for the box (you have to call CS and they manually do something to help you), which is fine, I guess, but I think I’ll just use them for add ons.

I also selected the new illuminator product (illume eye brightener) in champagne.  This product is meant to distract the eye from shadows.  It’s not really a concealer though.  I’m a little obsessed with eyes, so this was on my must-try list.

I also selected the other 2 metamorphic top coats released last month.  I received Tilda (green tinged) in my January box for free, so I ordered Bjork and Tyra (blue tinged, and magenta tinged). Tyra had the most mixed reviews, but it’s the last one of the three so I went with it anyway.

Also this month, Julep gifted maven’s with hartleigh, a super cute topcoat with heart shapes and glitter in it.  And as a gift for selecting 3 add-ons, I received Queen Anne ( a lilac confetti micro glitter released in August 2014), and Tatiana (a sparkly burnt orange from Sept 2013), nice but I have 2 already.  Tatiana is pretty, but I don’t have a need for this many.

I’m overall really happy with my box, a little disappointed that Julep keeps giving Tatiana away as their gift for adding 3 products to your monthly box, as this is how I got my second one, and how I ended up with a third.

Either way, I feel like I made out like a bandit, because I only ended up paying $19.99 USD for this, since I redeemed Jules for my add-ons.

If you want to check it out, here’s a link to Julep.

https://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/

It’s a fabulous subscription service, they give you your first box free, and always have great deals available for their mavens!

IMG_1875

IMG_1878

IMG_1877

IMG_1879

January 2015 Maven Box

So this month, my box arrived super quick, (much quicker than the time it took me to write up this post).  I’m pretty sure this arrived around January 3rd-ish.  In any case, I’m making the most of my  “My Maven” subscription, so I had to customize.

As a side note, I’m in the process of organizing and cataloging my nail polishes, since I somehow seem to have amassed a collection of about 100 (give or take), so I definitely need a tracking system, and a way of using all this nail polish!

I went with Margit, a shimmery mushroom colour, and 2 lip luxe treatment glosses.  It’s super cold here in Toronto during the winter, so that seemed like a great choice.  I ordered the coral and magenta glosses.  I love them both.  I’ve read complaints that they taste bad.  I’m kind of neutral on that front.  The gloss is flavourless in my opinion, but I’m not a big fan of scented product, so the lack of scent doesn’t really bother me.

The lip luxe treatments are really, really sheer.  On me, I couldn’t really see the colour.  In terms of looking put together, you definitely need a lip colour product underneath, otherwise it looks kind of bare.

Either way, I’m happy with my box.

To subscribe, use this link, the first box is free!  It’s totally a subscription service and so worth it!

https://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/257005/

2015/01/img_1727.jpg

December 2014 Julep Maven Box

Everytime the Maven window opens, I must admit that I get pretty excited.  Julep launched the My Maven (customizable Maven subscription this past April), and until now I didn’t bother to upgrade, because I like getting a surprise and often end up with a colour that I wouldn’t have purchased otherwise.  But now my collection has grown, and I feel like I have room for what I love, so I decided to take the plunge.

Pros of the upgrade, you need to be diligent and make your swaps, it doesn’t seem like good value just to keep what they would send you and pay $5 more.  But I think I can commit to that.

For this month, my profile would have been Boho Glam, but none of those polishes appealed to me, nor did their new orbital eyeshadows.  How am I supposed to declutter with this maven subscription (says Faye to herself).  Anyways, they also launched a new silk top coat, which has been on my wish list of new items they should make.  I love the silk and satin finish nail polishes they have, and they just don’t look right topped with a matte top coat and get too shiny with a high shine top coat.

I upgraded to my maven, mostly so I could get the top coat as a part of the box rather than as an add on (so I saved myself $6.99 – in my head).  I also have a mascara addiction, so I added the go big mascara that launched last month and got Paula, one of the new December polishes.

Paula is kind of between blue and purple with some shimmer.  I’m excited to try this one.

(Sorry for the late post)