This week’s Manicure Monday features a manicure and a half (sorta!).
I originally went with a really simple but sassy manicure with a fairy-dust pink, OPI’s Pedal Faster Suzi! I’ll be honest – I totally picked this polish because of the fun name. I did a bunch of biking when I was visiting Washington D.C. last week and wanted a polish that reflected my activity (although I have no idea what this shimmery pink has to do with pedaling!).
Pedal Faster Suzi was great buuuuut after my August Julep Maven box showed up, I was dying to try out one of the polishes from their Art Walk collection ASAP. The grey in particular, named Erin, caught my eye, and I decided to update my pink nails with a little bit of geometric flair.
COLORS: Julep Alexandra (cream), Essie Fifth Avenue (red), Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Black Diamond (black), Essie Shake Your $$ Maker (green)
TOP: OPI RapiDry Spray
Time for a new manicure! Poppies are one of my favourite floral designs, with their broad fluttery petals and striking red and black contrast. They’re also fairly easy to make without any tools, which was a huge plus this week because I couldn’t find my nail art tools ( lost?? ;__;!! ).
First I put on two coats of Julep’s Alexandra, a cream color which featured in last week’s manicure as well. Using the brush straight out of the bottle, I made the flower petals by controlling pressure (and thus how wide the bristles spread). Then, using a toothpick and dipping in Essie Shake Your $$ Maker (what a name!), I made the stems and leaves. The black poppy seeds were painted using the bottle’s brush too, by picking up just the tiniest amount of paint and dotting with the corner of the brush. Just goes to show you that you can create nail art without a ton of tools!
THE STATS: $18.00 USD ($14.40 for Julep Maven members) for 8 mL/0.27 oz at Julep and Sephora.
Oxygen Nail Treatment is a formula that protects and improves the condition of your nails, all the while providing a light pink-tinted sheen.
Advanced plant stem cell complex provides anti-aging benefits, while ground-breaking oxygen technology forms a nonocclusive film on the nail, proving resistant to water penetration and improving the permeability to oxygen. Results are nails that are structurally stronger, and less prone to breakage and splitting.
Julep recommends using it once or twice a week regularly for best effect. For the past few months, I have usually been using it for a couple of days every week between each manicure. My nails aren’t particularly soft or brittle, but because they are painted 75% of the time, they are prone to yellowing even though I always use a base coat. They also end up with small chips and cracks at the edges when they are especially long.
I enjoy the delicate nude look the Oxygen Nail Treatment gives me, like a natural French manicure. I use the treatment without any base or top coat, which means that after two days, it loses its shine and tends to lift around the edges. But instead of being a bad thing, I take this to be a great indicator as it reminds me to remove the treatment.
Having used the Oxygen Nail Treatment consistently for a few months, I think the effects are great! Yellowing is removed after one use (it may take a few rounds if your yellowing has been around for awhile), and I am definitely experiencing less cracking and chipping. The downside is that the product does become goopy in the bottle, at about the same rate as a fast-drying top coat, which isn’t too bad all in all.
THE VERDICT: Julep’s Oxygen Nail Treatment does its job while being pretty.
Julep’s Maven box for July brought me Alexandra, a light warm cream. It’s the base for my manicure this week, paired with two of my favourite accent polishes: Zelda, a fine gold metallic, and Gianna, gold flakes in clear polish.
Alexandra is an elegant color that would work well as a neutral base for nail art, or on it’s own for a refined look. I gave Alexandra’s natural elegance a kick by using gold as my accent, with two different ones polishes for extra pizzazz. The result is a manicure that is classy yet has lots of energy.
According to the dictionary, the word “maven” comes from the Yiddish word meyvn, meaning “one who understands.” Sure, I understand – what it means to be a product junkie. Because when you need your fix mailed to you every month, you are seriously addicted.
It may seem weird that out of all the beauty themed subscription boxes out there (Birchbox anyone?), I am hooked on Julep, one of the more niche subscriptions as it focuses on a single brand of nail color and care. Why? It might be their veeery pretty boxes and easy to use website, but I’m not going to lie – it’s definitely because I can reliably count on their products to kick ass most of the time. There’s no such thing as returning the things you don’t like when you hop on the subscription box train, and with Julep, I really don’t feel like I need to. I’ve been a Maven for something like half a year, with no plans to stop.
I love nails because it’s a pop of color that lasts longer than makeup or accessories. I use my nail color and design as a sort of personal mood setter each week. Happy to see the sun? Splash on some canary yellow. Need to get down to business? Switch to a vampy plum. Plus, it’s a relaxing ritual to take care of my nails as I watch TV.
I’ve already forgotten exactly which colors Julep sent me in my first Maven box because I now own so many Julep polishes (needless to say, they were so great that I wanted more). As for the Might Nail & Cuticle Serum, I have finished the entire tube completely! Thank god I have more boxes coming… did someone say “reorder?”
Stay tuned for box reveals as they come. 😉 Want to check out Julep for yourself? Click here for your first box, free!