So today's Julep challenge day is black & white.
I'm sure most of you are aware that I'm doing an entire month of only Julep nail products & colours. No?? Okay, read all about it HERE!
Before I jump into today's mani, let me tell you how I got yesterday's thick glitter mani off in a few minutes with no stress, hassle or crying. :) I used Julep's Party's Over Glitter Removal kit! I seriously cannot rave about this enough, it beats the foil method and the scrubbing/soaking. It's so fast and easy! I did a review about it recently, skip onto it HERE!
I had no idea what to do for today's black & white mani. I'm not really the creative/artistic type when it comes to my nails and prefer straight colours, nothing too crazy. But I figured I needed to branch out a bit and try something new -- which is kinda the whole point of doing a daily mani challenge, right? This is what came out of it! Not perfect by a long shot, but I'll explain why & give you some tips. :)
More after the jump!
So I dug in and picked out my favourite black: Jet. This was a no-brainer. Jet is my all-time favourite black polish. It's a nicely saturated black and dries super shiny. If you're careful you could probably get away with one coat. The formula is *perfect*! And trust me, I know my black polish. As a former goth, I have been through many bottles and brands of black polish. Julep's Jet is still my fav. :) I used 2 thin coats for this mani.
As for white, I have a few in my Julep stash to pick from. I choose Bunny because I wanted a solid stark white. She does have a gold shimmer but I know from doing the swatch stick that it doesn't actually show up (which is unfortunate because it would be soooo pretty if it did!). The formula was okay, a little streaky but self-leveling. A bit thick but I used 2 thin coats and it worked out well.
For the artistic part I decided to use the Plie Wand for the mani and the dotting tool that comes separately. I think this was a few dollars for the set and was an add-on in May when they released the Plié Wand. I haven't used either of these tools yet. I know there was a lot of confusion about it, a lot of people thought these tools came with the Plié Wand but they do not, sold separately. They are caps so you just click on the Plié Wand, dab some polish onto a piece of foil and dip the tool into the polish. Nothing super special about this dotting tool except that you can use it with the Plié Wand. If you already have a dotting tool set, you'd probably find it works better since you get different sizes of tips.
As a huge warning though, to clean the brushes/tools for the Plié Wand, you have to use polish remover. HOWEVER, if you get remover (either acetone-based or non-acetone) anywhere near the cap or wand, it will melt the plastic. No idea why they didn't realize this when designing it but hindsight is 20/20. You can only use remover on the brush or the tip of the dotting tool.
This is what happens when you get polish remover on the cap -- a melted-on thumbprint because I had remover on my thumb when I was cleaning the brush. :/ It still works just fine so I'm not bitching at Julep about it but I can see how this would make people mad. Especially because there was no advance warning or heads-up about this happening. :/
For a run-down of the Plié Wand and my first impressions, you can read my review HERE.
Okay, mani time!
One caveat: I have never used a dotting tool before, this is my first time. I didn't touch-up or re-do any mistakes. Partly so you can see what to avoid and partly because I'm still sick and feel like crap and don't want to do my nails *again*. :)
Basically I did alternating black & white nails with contrasting dots of various sizes using the Julep dotting tool. I didn't really have a plan and wasn't concerned about even-spacing or making all the dots the exact same size. I was going for a more abstract dotting experience. :) I only needed one drop of polish for each dot as both Jet & Bunny are pretty opaque.
In sum: My usual mani prep, Julep's Nail Therapy base coat, 2 coats of polish then I cleaned up with pure acetone and a small brush and applied Julep's Mighty cuticle serum around my cuticles. I then used the dotting tool to apply the dots and finished with Julep's Freedom Polymer topcoat.
A few things I noticed:
* Pour out enough polish onto some foil that you don't have to stop mid-mani to get more. How much you need will depend on how many nails you need to do. I have a feeling this is something that gets easier with practice!
* When dotting your nails, make sure you lift straight up. The polish gets a little stringy as it starts to dry out and those "strings" will fall across your nail as you move to do the next dot. It makes it look messy. You can see this in some of my photos.
* WAIT longer than you think before applying topcoat. I didn't and the Freedome smeared my dots. :(
Under LED desk lamp:
Indoors, bright daylight near windows (no direct sun).
Outside, direct sun.
Overall, I like how it turned out. It reminds me of a black & white glass Pandora bead I have on my bracelet. I think I would (next time) lift the dotting tool straight up AND wait a bit longer before applying topcoat. I like the randomness of the dots. I'm kind of a random person so it fits my personality more than lining everything up perfectly. :)
Still totally in love with Jet. I need 10 backup bottles!! Bunny is okay. Maybe a drop of thinner would help the formula out a bit.
I purchased all these items myself. I just checked the Julep website and Jet is presently available and in stock. Bunny shows up in the search but is presently sold out. The Plié Wand and all the accessories are available and in stock.
NB: I am doing this Month of Julep independently. I have NO affiliation with Julep whatsoever. It is just for fun!
What's up for tomorrow's mani challenge?? Come see… :)