Friday, May 02, 2014

Julep May Maven - Classic With A Twist & Plié Wand!

For those of you who do not already know, Julep Maven is a monthly nail polish subscription. You fill out a quiz to profile your "style" and each month you receive a box with a few polishes and a product (this depends on which style you are -- but each month you can select another style or upgrade to a bigger box at an extra cost). The subscription is available to US and Canada and shipping is free. Basic monthly boxes are (at present) $19.99 -- but note that they are creating new options for their subscription boxes effective for June 2014 (essentially the next box) so the pricing and options will be different. I have been a Maven since September 2013 and usually upgrade. They also offer Mystery Boxes and a Secret Store -- both allow you to get the goods at a pretty good discount. If you are interested in subscribing, your first box is free. I will put a link at the bottom -- but I urge you strongly to read the details about the subscription to make sure it's right for you and ask questions if you don't understand!

Anyway, this month I DID upgrade to the Polish Lovers Upgrade (9 polishes) and added on a few things. This month is kind of wonky because they crowd funded several months ago for the new Plié Wand so those of us who pre-paid for our Maven boxes had ours shipped out a bit early -- minus all the extras. My other polishes are en route but have yet to arrive. In the meantime, I thought I'd give my impression of what I DID get -- my style is Classic With A Twist -- Maddy & Ramona. I'll also talk about the Plié Wand. As a "Thank You" to the crowdfunders, Julep added Yumi to our boxes for free. I already have this and will likely gift it, it's a pretty pink glitter. :)



Photos and review after the jump...




Of course, I was most interested in the Plié Wand! I paint my nails very well on my own and have no trouble with my non-dominant hand. However, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about which is why I pre-ordered.

It comes in a long box that slides out to reveal the wand & a magnetic cap/brush packaged firmly in foam.



My box also included an extra magnetic cap (to use over existing Julep polishes) and a Precision Brush cap, as well as instructions.


The only surprise really was how lightweight the system is. I don't know why, I expected it to be heavier. The Precision Brushes are almost identical to the regular Julep brushes except they are shorter in length to give you more control. They also allow you to use the Plié Wand with other brands of polish. I used the wand for the next few manicures and I found the Precision Brush *does* makes a difference! I like the shorter brush. Julep's regular polish brushes are longer because they need to reach to the bottom of their bottles (which are elongated compared to some other brands). I noticed if I rushed, I would get "wobbly" and drag the brush over my cuticles -- so I'd suggest taking your time! Maybe it's just my weird thing but you never know. I used it straight mostly. I tried bending it for my non-dominant hand but I didn't find it was overly helpful. But like I said, I don't really have much of a problem painting my nails to start with. Do I think it's worth getting? Yes! I think it would help a lot of people who have problems with controlling where the brush goes. It will also be very helpful for people who have arthritis or joint disease, muscle weakness, or hand injuries -- or any other physiological reason that grasping a regular polish brush is tricky.

OK. The polishes! Both of them had an amazing formula -- seriously, I could've gotten away with ONE coat (I did 2 coats out of habit). No streaking at all. They would make good stamping polishes, I think. First one I did was Maddy. Julep describes her as raspberry sorbet shimmer. I'm normally not a pink person but I *really* like this shade! It is very close to Dior's Bloom (spring 2014) but a bit darker and it has a faint gold shimmer. Like Julep's other faint shimmers, however, once you paint your nails the shimmer is gone (think Bunny). I took a few shots in different lighting to give you an idea of how it looks.

Maddy under LED desk lamp.

Maddy indoor/daylight.


Maddy outside (unfortunately, cloudy).


Next up is Ramona. I don't usually wear such pale colours on their own since I'm pretty pale so they just look weird. Julep describes her as muted lavender rose crème. It was hard to photograph to show the true shade. Definitely not white but you can see the lavender. I was surprised there was NO streaking at all! And, as I already mentioned, I could've gotten away with one coat. I was impressed with it!

Ramona, indoor lighting/window.


Ramona, under LED desk lamp (the colour is really washed out in this one).


Ramona, outside (cloudy). I think this one shows the colour truest.


For both shades I applied 2 coats of polish and one of topcoat.

Julep polishes can be purchased from Julep online/phone (or in their salons) or from Sephora. I purchased these items for myself as part of my Maven subscription. To subscribe to Julep Maven (or to learn more), click here.

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