Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Quick and easy nail art

My Mash nail art dotting tool set arrived today, so of course I had to try them out!

I used the largest tool for this quick and easy mani, with Zoya Zuza and Julep Georgia.

Just a little something to brighten this damp cold weather and remind me of summer!

The kit comes with 5 tools, each with two different size ends. Quite the deal at $3.98! MASH 5 X 2 Way Marbleizing Dotting Tool Pen Set for Nail Art Manicure Pedicure

*Disclaimer - links contained within this post are referral links, and I will receive credit for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Julep New Years Mystery Box

I swear Julep will be the end of me! They had a 72 hour sale on a New Years Mystery Box that was guaranteed to contain a never before released glitter polish and a minimum total value of $100 up to a maximum of $500 with one box containing an iPad mini.

My sweet, sweet hubbin said to go ahead and order one, but  if I got the iPad that it was his. Considering he bought me the iPad mini as an early Christmas gift already I figured that I was still getting the better end of that deal so I snapped one up!

My box arrived today and I'm quite happy with it. Inside I found:

  • Age Defying Hand Brightener
  • Matte top coat
  • Isla
  • Portia
  • Hoch
  • Mystery glitter
  • Silver glitter pot
  • 3 nail polish remover pads
  • 2 foil package samples of Age Defying Hand Brightener
  • Reusable Julep shopping bag
I already have both the matte top coat and Hoch, so those will likely be swapped out for shades I don't already have. All in all I really enjoyed what I received, and while I'm not really a fan of glitter polishes these are so different than anything else I already have that I'm sure they will be put to good use. Ironically I was just getting ready to buy a white polish so I'm pretty excited to give Isla a try!

The only problem with getting the box today is that now I'm itching to swatch the new shades, which means taking off the lovely Scarlett polish that I've been enjoying for the last couple of days! This was one of the new microglitter shades for December, that I picked up at the Warehouse sale.

*Disclaimer - links contained within this post are referral links, and I will receive credit for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Beauty Army

Last week I decided to cancel my Ipsy subscription (formerly Glam bag) and subscribe to Beauty Army instead. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with Ispy - each month I received a cure makeup/travel bag FULL of makeup - but I honestly got more pink lip glosses and black eyeliners that I can use for a good long while so I thought I'd switch subscriptions for a while to get some new items.

Beauty Army is a little different in that you get to choose 6 products to try each month from 9 options, and if you don't like the options you can redo your profile to get another set of 9 products to choose from. My first kit arrived tonight and I'm looking forward to trying out some new products!

The samples I chose are as follows:

  • Lipsi Cosmetics Aphrodite Powder
  • Nelson J Beverly Hills Argan Oil 7 Non-Foaming Shampoo
  • Whip Hand Cosmetics Loose Pigment Eyeshadow (Green Beret)
  • Enspri Moisture Duo
  • Mark Hook Up Lip Gloss (Blow Kisses)
  • GG Gatsby Raise Volume Conditioner
The Mark gloss is full size, and they even threw in the connector that you would use to connect another gloss at the other end. I'm actually a Mark rep (though I never sell anything - just buy products for myself) and I've been a big fan of these glosses for years. The formula is great and it's a perfect sheer red that is nicely buildable. As far as glosses go it's actually slightly less sticky than some other formulas (I'm looking at you, Bare Minerals) and the wear time is pretty good for someone like me who can't seem to keep lipstick color on for more than a half an hour.

The eyeshadow pigment is a nice green, slightly lighter than I expected from a color with a military theme but I'm actually quite happy with it and it will go nicely with the pearl pink eyeshadow pigment I got from Ipsy last week.

I'm almost out of my Bare Minerals Mineral Veil so I'm looking forward to trying the aphrodite powder, and I'm always interested in trying out facial serums and moisturizers so the Enspri duo will also be put to good use. While they are in foil packs they are a good size and should give me at least a couple uses.

Normally I would not get a conditioner without the shampoo but I got a volumizing shampoo without the conditioner from Birchbox last week so the timing on the GG Gatsby sample couldn't be better! And the argan oil shampoo is really a multi-use product that claims to take the place of shampoo, conditioner, and treatment all in one! I absolutely love argan oil for my hair so I'm anxious to see how this compares to my current Organix products.

All in all this costs me $12 a month, I can choose what products I want to try, and since they are based out of CA the kit arrived within days. Each month on the 11th (the day I signed up) I will receive a notification that the selection window is open and I can select my products, or I can choose to skip for the month. This service is very much like Julep in that aspect, though instead of selecting from several pre-selected boxes I can choose exactly what I want! While most of my products were deluxe sample sizes it seems that they also include full size products, so I feel that this subscription is a great value for the money!

*Disclaimer - links contained within this post are referral links, and I will receive credit for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Julep Maven Program (aka my newest obsession)

I signed up for the Julep Maven program back in October, right before I left Portland to move to Seattle (home of Julep). While I've only received two subscription boxes so far (my intro box in Oct and my first Maven box in Nov - I skipped Dec's glitters box) my collection has already grown to 23 Julep polishes - my husband calls it my newest obsession!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to attend Julep's warehouse sale at their distribution center here in Seattle, where I bought 12 polishes and some miscellaneous beauty products at a huge discount, most of the polishes were only $3 (regular price $14) so I just could not resist! Not only did they have tables upon tables of polishes and products for purchase, but they also had cupcakes and mimosas, a DIY nail art table, and a free gift for everyone who purchased. The first 50 in the door got a free goodie bag, but when we arrived 30 minutes before they opened there were already at least a hundred people in line! It was absolutely PACKED but everyone was so nice and friendly and there was plenty of opportunity to look at everything and pick out exactly what you wanted. At one point the CEO of Julep was actually standing right next to me but I was too chickenshit to say hello (did not want to go all fangirl on her and totally embarrass myself), though it was really awesome that she was out circulating with everyone. I took one of my coworkers from my new job with me and we had such a great time, I jokingly told her that I had a budget and she had to keep me reigned in but she was an enabler and ended up with a nice haul of her own (though mine was much bigger).

The Julep Maven program is a monthly subscription for $19.99 (plus tax if you live in WA, so it's $21.89 for me) where you take a quiz to find out your style profile - mine is American Beauty - and each month you will receive at least 2 polishes plus another beauty product. On the 20th of each month they allow you to preview what you will receive for the following month, and you can either take your usual style profile or choose from one of the others (Classic With a Twist, Boho Glam, Bombshell, or It Girl). If none of those strike your fancy they will occasionally offer another Maven's Choice option, or you can choose to skip for the month at no charge like I did for December. In addition to your monthly subscription you can also add on up to three additional polishes or products at a huge discount, and you save 20% off the regular price and get free shipping on any other purchases through their site throughout the month. They also offer a secret store once a month for those Mavens who purchased that month's box and there are some fantastic bargains to be found there as well!

Over the last couple of months I've seen Julep pop up on several other websites such as and, and they were even featured as one of Oprah's Favorite Things under $100! It's absolutely amazing to me that a local company is doing so well, and I absolutely love supporting the local 'girls' and spreading the word about Julep's great formulas to everyone who comments on my polish.

I've never really thought of myself as a girly girl but I have been absolutely loving my pretty nails and switching my polish up every few days so I can wear something new, who knew I had it in me? ;)

Julia - American Beauty December 2012

*Disclaimer - links contained within this post are referral links, and I will receive credit for anyone who signs up and makes a purchase.