nails

Essie Gel Couture

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Lately, nothing compares to Essie Gel Couture.  I love this nail polish, guys.

Let me start by saying I’ve never gotten a gel manicure before in my life.  I own far too many bottles of nail polish to pay someone else to do them.  I have tried the at-home version before with a brand I thought I liked.  I bought the special polish and the special gel top coat but I actually found the quality to be worse than if I did regular polish & regular top coat.  I thought I’d never bother trying again.

Something about Essie swayed me though, and I picked up the Gel Couture color Pre-Show Jitters. It was the exact color I was looking for; though it’s technically white, there’s just a slight pink hue.  I picked up the Gel Couture top coat too, and instantly it felt different than my previous foray into at-home gel manicures.

I loved the color and rocked Gel Couture at a wedding I went to recently.  I didn’t notice a single chip or scratch, despite doing my nails 3 days before the event.  When I do my nails, I usually get a good week out of a manicure– usually 5 days and I push it to 7 with some chips and scratches.  With Gel Couture, I went a full 2 weeks without a chip.  They looked completely fresh for a good 10 days, with maybe some minor scratches by the time day 14 rolled around.

I’ve done my nails many times since then, but I keep thinking about that Gel Couture… and I can’t wait to add new colors to my collection!

Get yourself some Essie Gel Couture now and thank me later.

Cole at Home: Nail Polish Project

If you haven’t caught on by now, I have a lot of nail polish!  I did a big clean our not so long ago and basically started my collection over.  My Julep Maven subscription, however, has taken my collection to a whole new level of crazy.

Storage and organization (so you can actually see what colors you have) is always an issue.  I’ve been looking for the perfect nail polish rack to display all of my colors for so long, and I finally found one!  Last weekend, I called my favorite handy man (Hi, Dad!) to hang it for me.

Here is the finished product!

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I’ve displayed my Revlon polishes, my Essie polishes, and all of my Juleps!  After I took this photo, I did add a few Sally Hansen Salon polishes that I like and OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark– just sort of the rest of the colors that I actually use and like.  I definitely want to branch out brand-wise (thus, I think my time as a Julep Maven is winding down!) but I do quite like the uniform bottles for display.

My bathroom kind of feels like a nail salon now!

I love doing little things in my home that make it feel more like mine.  I did move in here to all of the previous tenants’ furniture (honestly, it’s beautiful furniture; I’d love to take it with me when I go!), so it feels great to do that.

So, that’s my latest project, completed!

What do you think?

Julep: Afterglow Collection

It’s that time again!  I’ve been doing a nail polish-related project that you lovely readers will soon see!  Until then, I’ll share for you my February box: the Afterglow Collection.

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here’s the box!

I tried to keep it simple this month, choosing just the three polishes promised in the It Girl box.  I did, however, make two swaps to make my three-polish box perfect for me!  Little did I know, my February box also included a free Valentine’s Day surprise!

I ended up with one from It Girl, one from Bombshell, and one from Classic with a Twist.  I’d say I have all of the Julep Maven style profiles in me, so I love that I can pick a color from each to make my monthly box!  (Protip: the only reason I go It Girl is because it has three polishes instead of two and a beauty product.)  The customization option makes it so much more fun.

And here are the details:

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L to R:

  • London (Classic with a Twist) | a heather blossom crème, which reminds me of radiant orchid and makes me so excited for spring!  I have a specific outfit that this polish is made for.
  • Keiko (Bombshell) | a charred olive shimmer.  If you know anything about me, you know I love olive!  It looks almost black, which I love, and the shimmer is subtle.  Pretty perfect.
  • Colton (It Girl) | a black iris crème.  This is the one I couldn’t bear to switch out because I always need a good black!
  • Hartleigh (Classic with a Twist) | a holographic heart glitter top coat that came for free as a surprise!  This multi-color confetti & heart top coat is super fun for Valentine’s Day, but I find polishes like this are super hard to remove!

Leave me a comment if you want to be a Julep Maven like me!  Your first box is free with my referral!

What do you think of my picks from the Afterglow Collection?

 

 

Friday Favorites: Julep Birthstone Collection

And we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming!  Today’s Friday favorite is something I’ve been waiting to share with you guys for months now, as I started collecting way back when I started by Julep Maven subscription and finished the set last month.  With an appropriate amount of holiday sparkle for New Year’s and a fun look for every month of the year, I present to you, Julep’s Birthstone Collection.

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  • Betty – Garnet for January | My birthstone!  Betty is more magenta than garnet– pinkish instead of the dark red I love.  This color looks amazing over an actual garnet-colored polish, though!  It picks up a shine that really does emulate the stone.
  • Rosa – Amethyst for February | I haven’t had much luck using Rosa yet.  I’ve paired it with pastels, as I have with purple glitter in the past, but it’s not striking the right balance with me.  I’ll have to try it with a dark purple-black, like Julep’s Padma.
  • Aretha – Aquamarine for March | I always forget that aquamarine is March’s birthstone, assuming it’s something green!  I haven’t tried out Aretha yet; I think it’s more of a spring.  Planning on using it closer to March.
  • Coretta – Diamond for April | This is one of the most versatile polishes in the collection.  I’ve enjoyed pairing it with black for a striking combo, but Coretta would truly pair well with anything.
  • Priscilla – Emerald for May | I’ve probably used Priscilla most of any in the collection– green was really my color this year!  I loved using this for Halloween paired with black in a Wicked Witch of the West-type look, and using it with greens!
  • Kathy – Pearl for June | Kathy is the only polish in the collection I have used for an entire manicure.  It’s a great accent nail too, but I dare you to stop at just one nail.  This color is absolutely gorgeous!  Once you see this golden-champagne shimmer on your nails, you’ll be in love.
  • Martina – Ruby for July | One of the first colors in the collection I was attracted to, Martina is perfect for Fourth of July, Christmas, or just your average Sunday as a Patriot’s fan!  Ruby is both of my parents’ birthstone and I’m partial to it.
  • Claudia – Peridot for August | I love this color in general.  Like I said, I’m all about green this year especially olive tones.  Claudia is a perfect match to a peridot, and I see this color as a glitzy camo look… if that’s a thing?
  • Serena – Sapphire for September | Another of my favorite stones, I was attracted to Serena right away as well.  I ordered Betty, Martina, and Serena first before I decided to collect them all!  Sapphire is my favorite stone and my brother’s birthstone.  This is another great one for Fourth of July or life as a Pats fan!  And I just love blue.
  • Julie – Pink Tourmaline for October | Opal is an alternate birthstone for October, and another of my favorites.  Tourmaline, however, is also gorgeous.  Julie is not an obnoxious pink and works well with light colors as a sparkle accent.
  • Joni – Citrine for November | Orange is another big color for me this year.  Joni is a stunning bronzey-orange that I haven’t gotten the opportunity to pair yet, but I can’t wait to!
  • Savannah – Blue Topaz for December | I know what you’re thinking, another blue?  Let me tell you, Savannah and Serena definitely look different.  Savannah is lighter, like a summer sky.  I do wear a blue topaz ring on the daily, so I was happy to see this for December.

 

Check out some swatches on Julep‘s website and snag this collection before it’s gone!  Be sure to check my instagram for monthly manicures featuring the above colors.

Which is your favorite?

 

Julep Maven: Countdown Collection

I got my December Julep Maven box early in the month and this time, I’ve picked something aside from nail polish to tell you about!

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My December box contained:

  • Karissa – A Boho Glam color and an immediate holiday favorite, Karissa is a holly berry red.  This beautiful shade is a festive as Revlon Red and I’m pairing it with gold on my nails right now!
  • Soleil – Another Bombshell color, Soleil is a lustrous rose gold chrome.  You know I’m into rose gold this year so my nails look like Mario Kart’s Pink Gold Peach!  This is similar to Essie’s Penny Talk, but a bit more gold than pink.
  • Orbital Eyeshadow in Moonbeam – This is my first foray into beauty products from Julep and I’ll admit, I picked it completely off of the name.  The Moonbeam color is silver with lilac pearlescence.  It’s not terribly pigmented, but it is very sparkly.  I’m interested in trying out a couple more of these.
  • Paula – This Bombshell collection color is a Persian blue with gold microglitter.  My experience with Shailene from my October box leads my to suspect this might get gummy after one use, but I couldn’t loved this shade of blue.  I selected it as an add on.  I’ll report back after a couple uses.
  • Queen Anne – This It Girl color is a lilac confetti microglitter that I added on for free!  A friend had forwarded me an email with a click-through to add this polish to your Maven box for free.  How could I resist that?

 

The last thing in my Maven box (aside from a few peppermint candies!) was my coupon!  This one is a great one: a free polish!

If you want to be a Maven too and get a free box, leave your girl a comment.

Julep Maven: Friendsgiving Box

My November Julep Maven Box (#4) featuring the Friendsgiving Collection was HUGE!

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When I first saw the giant box, I thought there must have been some sort of mistake.  I checked my order history and found that this box was actually cheaper than my normal monthly box because I applied my Joules rewards points.  That’s right; I got all of this for $20!  My little Maven box with the six polishes I selected was inside a box that housed my second double free surprise and what I thought might be the plié wand.

What’s actually in this little plié wand packet is the most confusing advertisement I’ve ever seen.  It’s just the cap, without the wand-part and a cryptic marketing message to go to julep.com/better.  I assumed I received this because I participated in a survey about their plié wand that ended after the first question: “Do you have the plié wand?  / No.”  Would I have liked to try it out?  Yes!  I wish they’d send me one so I could review it for you!  Instead, they just sent me a piece of plastic that I don’t know what to do with.

My Maven box held a Holiday Gift Guide that I’m drooling over.  I haven’t tried any Julep make-up yet, but there’s an eyeshadow pallet in here that I think I need.  They’re apparently just giving us candy now, too.  I got some caramel vanilla cremes in the little box.  My coupon this month is a great one too– $10 off!

Here’s the good part, the polishes:

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  • Linden: This It Girl pool blue was one of my surprise gifts!  My friend selected this as one of her add-ons, and I saw her box before mine.  I wanted Linden instantly, so this was serendipity!
  • Kiki: This oceanic blue-silver shimmer was part of my original It Girl November box.  I don’t think I could ever swap a blue out, especially one that works so well for multiple seasons!
  • Marzia: This is another of my original It Girl box components.  This gorgeous pewter chrome almost looks tan or brownish in certain lights, which to me is an absolute delight!
  • Isla: The final piece of my Friendsgiving It Girl box is this ink blue.  This navy-almost-black is a must-have neutral for me.
  • Fazia: I’m obsessed with this Bombshell color.  I absolutely couldn’t resist adding on this garnet shimmer.  It’s my birthstone!  And perfect for the holidays.
  • Devon: I couldn’t pass up adding this Classic with a Twist color, described as “slate grey with fuchsia microshimmer.”  With Devon, I add another pretty metallic for the collection with a slight purple sheen.
  • Sawyer: You know this girl loves her earth tones.  This Boho Glam polish is copper shimmer– the browns and reds get me every time, which is why I had to add this on.
  • Nadia: To be honest, I would have never selected this marigold color, however, I think this It Girl polish makes so much sense in my box!  Described as a “sun-kissed golden frost,” I’m planning on using this, my second surprise freebie, as a holiday gold.

 

I can’t WAIT to play with all of these new colors!

Ready to join and get your first box free?  Leave me a comment with your email address for an invite!

 

Julep Maven: October Box!

I kept it simple when choosing my October box– I actually didn’t change or add a thing!  The October It Girl box was just so perfect, that I couldn’t wait to get these great colors from the Black Magic collection!

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fun black sparkle tissue too!

Here’s what I got:

  • Shailene: bewitched purple with gold flecks, as described by Julep.  It looks brown in the bottle, but it’s a dark, almost black, magical purple glitter on the nails!
  • Dana: white with “electric blue sheen” as activated by UV light!  You can see some of the fun sheen in the photo above.
  • Ledi: black pearl shimmer.

These beautiful colors from the Black Magic Collection are perfect for Halloween, but also just great basics for any collection.  They look very neutral, like simple black & white, but pack a pretty punch!

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As always, I got a coupon.  This time I got $10 my next $20 purchase.  I also got this pretty little goodie:

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I’m obsessed with this card, and tucked it into the corner of my mirror.

Finally, I got candy corn in this box!  How cute!

Any other Julep Mavens out there?  What did your October box look like?

If you want to be a Maven, leave me your email address to get your first box free!

Fierce, No Fear + Candace & Chloe

Happy Manicure Monday!  I couldn’t wait to try out all of my new Julep colors from my last Maven Box.  Today’s post features two of them, and there’s another on my instagram!

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This is what I like to call Earth Sign Divine– perfect for a Capricorn like me!  I’m using my new favorite, Essie’s Fierce, No Fear.  I’ve been toying with the idea of doubling down on the accent colors and Candace and Chloe were just the opportunity I was waiting for!

 

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My traditional accent nail is done in Candace, the sparkle golden brown.  My middle finger sports Chloe, a chocolatey shimmer.  Fierce, No Fear and Candace will be making frequent appearances as I’m especially in love with both of them!

Meanwhile, I keep getting coupons and discount codes from Julep, so I have tons of new colors to try out!  Keep checking my insta for these, and if you want in on the action, leave me a comment with your email address for three free colors!

Julep Maven: Box no. 2!

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My September Julep Maven box sure was a big one!  On the twentieth of the month, I was allowed to log into my Maven account and edit my monthly box.  You can swap out colors for certain others, and you have the opportunity for some reduced price add-ons.  Well, here’s where Julep got me.  If you add-on three products, they send you an additional surprise.  Apparently, that surprise for me was two additional nail polishes!  Here’s what I got this month:

  • Mahima (It Girl) – This silky, shimmery gold was one of the original It Girl picks for September and I was not getting rid of this!  It’s fun, and usable in all seasons!
  • Fifi (It Girl) – Another It Girl pick for September, this light pink is prettier in person.  I originally swapped this out for another color, but ended up adding it back as an add-on.  I’m so glad I did!
  • Ryan (It Girl) – Rounding out the It Girl September Maven box is this gray-blue that is absolutely perfect for fall and winter!
  • Mary Lee (Boho Glam) – This is the color I originally swapped Fifi for.  I love this deep red so much and think it’ll be beautiful with Ryan!  You know I’m always looking for color combinations.
  • Chloe (It Girl) – I’m an Earth sign, so I’m always very attracted to shades of brown.  This mocha metallic grabbed me instantly.
  • Padma (Classic with a Twist) – This is another shade that caught my attention right off the bat.  This deep purple has a slight metallic glint to it, which I wasn’t expecting.
  • Candace (It Girl) – Another color that could not have been better selected for an Earth sign like me!  This chocolate metallic shade came as my surprise!  This is absolutely something I would have picked.
  • Daria (Bombshell) – I think my friend Jill, who got me started on this Julep kick, was wearing this shade last week.  I wanted this gray badly.  This was my second surprise shade– the fact that I even got a second was a surprise too!  Again, I couldn’t have chosen better.

Oh, if you thought this was a little overboard, let me just tell you I have about 9 others on the way… As a Maven, your monthly box includes coupons!  My first coupon was 50% off, and I got a 30% off coupon with this box.  I just can’t help myself!

So, September’s Julep Maven Box has been absolutely fantastic.  I can’t wait to get to work with these nail colors!

If you want your first box for free, get at me!  Leave me a comment, tweet at me, or send me an email.  I’d love to email you a code.  These polishes run $14 apiece, so you can’t pass this up!

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Labor Day Manicure Monday

I hope you all are enjoying your long weekend!  It’s crazy here in Boston with most of the leases turning over this weekend!  I helped a friend move on Saturday, then celebrated St. Anthony’s feast in the North End.  Yesterday, I literally did nothing.  I sat in bed watching my latest binge and just relaxed.  So, I’ve got to admit–  I was a bit blind sided by the lack of Sailor Moon Crystal this weekend!  I got used to the every-other-weekend thing, and that’s too hard as it is.

Today, here’s the last summer manicure of the season.

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These are my two favorite brands: Essie and Julep.  Featured here are Julep’s Sydney, which I’ve showcased before, and one of my two new Essie colors, In the Cab-ana.  My other new Essie is Fierce, No Fear, which I’ve been wearing on my toes for weeks now!

Sorry for the quickie post, but can you really complain when Monday’s your new Sunday?

Doctor Who will be up tomorrow!

Until then, my sweets!