Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Julep Maven Review: It Girl Sneak Peek Box

Hi everyone! I'm back to follow up on my post earlier this month about the Julep Nail program.  I, being a beauty - and sample - lover, have signed up for Birchbox, new beauty test tubes, and the latest to my addition is the Julep Maven program.  Julep is a boutique nail salon with several locations in Washington.  To sign up for the Maven program, you take a quick style quiz on their site to determine the best sneak peek box to receive.  They send these boxes to various magazine editors, and now we get to sample their products as well! It's a monthly subscription and the great thing is that if you do not want to receive the package, you can put your subscription on hold, do a shelf pull to get another box if you don't like what they selected, or you can actually send your package to a friend to share the wealth.  It's nice to have so many options with the membership.  Oh, and I almost forgot the price. Membership is $19.99 a month and you will receive at least $40 dollars worth of product. 

You can check it out here:
And once you become a Maven, you also receive a link and get 15$ credits for friends that sign up.

Onto the products!  The box was sleek and black with the Julep logo. Once you open the box they package your items in a nice bag with a bow.

My bag came with the following (Retail value is $76):
New, not released Fall color in Emilie ($14)
Sienna, in consideration for October Vogue ($14)
Nail Therapy with Vitamin E ($16)
Facial for hands Glycolic Hand Scrub ($32)

Not too shabby, and I got two samples as well.

First up is Emilie, a green cream color. Just as a note, their polishes are 3-free, which is pretty much standard in industry these days.  It's a nice, slightly dusty green. For reference, I put OPI Jade is the New Black on my index finger. You can see Emilie is slightly darker, less green, more of a dustiness to it.  It applied nicely with two coats and dried fairly quick, formula is nice and not thick. The bottles are long and thin,  which is different for a polish.

Next up is Sienna, a gold color. I typically do not wear golds but I found this one to be really nice.  Also applied smoothly with two coats and seems to dry pretty quickly.  Formula is nice and thin but still not watery.  I also used a comparison color on my index finger, Revlon Gold Coin.  The texture is different between the two. Julep is smoother and more light gold, versus Revlon which has a chunkier texture and slightly darker. Both are actually really nice shades. I took two different photos so you can see the difference.  With the flash it's harder to tell.  In the second photo you can see how nice and smooth the Julep formula is. Since I don't own many golds not sure what else this is close to.

I did not use the nail treatment yet, but seems like it would be nice to be used alone to strengthen. It says on the site it can also be used as a base coat to help hydrate and protect dry and brittle nails.

Last up is the Facial for hands. I was really looking forward to this product.  Since I prefer to do manicures at home versus at a salon, I like to really pamper my hands before I apply polish. It has glycolic acid and apricot seed powder, which are great but gentle exfoliators.  It also has an emollient texture, slightly oil/silicone feel but does not leave any residue.  It also has a faint orange scent.   It says to use a dime size, and it is a full size 3 fl oz tube, so this will last a while. They say it is gentle for daily use, but I would probably stick to twice a week.  It made my hands instantly softer, but was not greasy and did not leave any residue.  I attached the ingredients as a reference.  Has a lot of extracts, and the glycolic acid is high on the list so they did not skimp. 

They also do not use parabens, sulfates or phthalates in their products.  I personally am all for parabens, but it is good for those that do not like them.

Overall, I was impressed with my first box. It was a great value for the money.  The polishes are great quality, not watery and applied nicely and with two coats. The only downside is the cost, $14 for .27 ounces, whereas OPI is $8 for .5 ounces. It ends up being more expensive than Chanel for retail value of the polish.  But since you get the package for a fraction of the cost, it ends up being more reasonable.  Plus, you also get the treatment and hand care which typically is higher in cost. It's also nice that you get to share or suspend packages for a month. Gives you a lot of leverage and you can really customize how you want to receive your order.

Oh and a nice plus about the brand, they donate $1 from every polish they sell to organizations thats support women through their Powered by Girlfriends program.  It's always nice to know that buying something for ourselves also provides support for others. Score!

Looking forward to the next box, will keep you posted!  If anyone else has subscribed, I would love to hear your feedback as well.

And please don't forget to Subscribe!  Once I get some more followers I plan on doing a giveaway...maybe even a Julep polish!! 


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Body Scrub & Passion Fruit Nourishing Body Cleansing Cream Review

Ok so since my first review on Salma's line wasn't a glowing one, I wanted to post a second one on some products I really liked.  They are two from the body line, the Walnut Scrub and Cleanser.

I will start with the packaging. It is really nice! I love the flower design and the neutral yet pretty colors.  The body cleansing cream is a thick and creamy formula. It has ingredients like passion fruit, acai, rice bran oil and shea butter.  It applies nicely and rinses off easily. It also made my skin feel nice and soft.  It also has a nice yet subtle honey scent.  I definitely liked this, and it was a good size.  Retail was $9.99 - although it is on the high end, since I got it as part as the buy one get one free, it was pretty affordable.  

Next up is the Walnut scrub. I have to say I really loved this!   It contains ingredients like walnut shells, acai and passion flower seed oils, annato and rice bran oils and caffeine. Wow, pretty long list of promotional ingredients in one product! I was pretty surprised.  I like scrubs that have a grit to them instead of the exfoliating beads, I never feel that the beads actually exfoliate well. It has a sand-like texture which really exfoliated well but is still pretty gentle.
Retail was $7.99, which is a decent price. And it also has a great, nutty scent.

I give both of these an A+, and if you can get them on sale, even better. I definitely recommend picking up both items, they were excellent.

Salma Hayek Nuance Full Effect Ultra-Volumizing Mascara Review

So I am sure most of you know that CVS recently had a big introductory sale for the Salma Hayek line, Nuance. It's a fairly extensive line, and exclusive to CVS. She has cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and body care.  Although the cosmetics range isn't huge, she still has everything from primer to lipstick and translucent setting powder. Basically, everything you need from head to toe. Naturally, with a buy one get one free sale, I had to stock up. I got a little from each of the 4 areas, and overall I was impressed with her products. And I love Salma, and I enjoyed the reason she was inspired to do the line. 

"My line is inspired by my grandmother, who dedicated her life to keeping women beautiful. My products are designed to help every woman enhance the nuances that define her individual beauty, and make my grandmother proud."

She used very interesting ingredients in her line, like agave and meadowfoam.  If you have not had a chance to pick up anything, I would definitely recommend several items. I will post more reviews soon. There were also some samples on some displays. I managed to get some for tinted moisturizer, body cream and firming body cream. And the body products came with a  $2 off coupon. Nice!  And I have to comment on the packaging. She really paid attention to detail on the packaging she used. She kept the design consistent throughout and it is very understated yet elegant.

Onto the review. Unfortunately I am starting with a negative review.  I am a mascara fanatic, and the more volume the better. I typically do not prefer a light, day look. My current fave is Maybelline the Falsies mascara. 

Salma had two mascaras in her line, a defining and volumizing. So I went straight for the volumizing in Black.  It seemed to be a pretty good formula based on the information on the CVS site. 

"Silk powder thickens and strengthens your lashes without clumping. Vitamins A, C & E condition and nourish. Meadowfoam, chamomile, sweet almond oil, sodium hyaluronate & panthenol prevent your lashes from becoming dry and brittle."

The packaging was nice, seemed pretty sturdy and pretty.  Sadly, this is where my being impressed with this mascara ended.  I could tell by the brush that it would not deliver on the volume claim.  The bristles were just too far apart. I do like that it's not the increasingly popular molded brush, and is the traditional bristle.  I also like that its on the shorter side. I don't really like really long brushes. My eyes are not that big! lol. I digress.

The formula seemed nice, not too thick or dry, and it did not clump at all. I applied three coats, and still could not build up this formula. The brush did provide some length and definition, but this is a volume mascara.  It is nice for someone looking for a light day look. On the plus side, it did not flake, and was easy to remove.  Sorry for the creepy eyeball but I didn't pluck the brows.

Overall I would give this mascara a C. It has a nice formula (didn't flake or smudge and easy to remove) and package, but it did not provide the volume I was expecting even after 3 coats. My lashes looked sparse. If you like a lighter mascara that does not give that full on false lash look, then this is for you.  Otherwise, this was a pass for me. 

Luckily, there were way more positives to her line than negatives, so look forward to reading more!

This mascara retails for $9.79 on

Nail of the Day: China Glaze For Audrey

So I had been reluctant to actually buy this polish. Not sure why, but I figured it was a shade I could easily find a dupe for. Well, I never really found anything, and so I went ahead and snatched it up. And, I'm glad, cause I love it. I love China Glaze polishes, they apply well, have great formulas and the bottle design is nice. Oh, and they are not expensive at all. I used two coats in this picture. It applied nicely, formula was good, not too thick or watery. Typically a cream needs 3 coats to get it even but not in this case. Once again my picture does not do it justice. It is supposed to be close to the blue in the Tiffanys packaging. I would say it's pretty close. It's not a true blue as my picture shows, it's a tad dustier with a little bit of grey. Amazing color!  Sorry the application is not perfect. I am lazy and don't usually go back to clean up the edges.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Nail of the Day: Color Club Disco Dress

Hi everyone! I have a bunch of catching up to do on reviews, so I will start with my nails. CVS is having a sale on Salma Hayek's new line, Nuance, and I bought a bunch of products. Will be doing reviews soon. Onto the nails. Today I have on Color Club in Disco Dress. This is an amazing purple color. I am not sure why it did not photograph true to color, but it dries matte, which makes it part of the neon family.  So, I figure that's why the color wouldn't come up accurate no matter how many pix I took. This is an amazing and vivid purple. It looks blue in the pic but it is not, it is a true royal purple color. Very bright yet deep if that makes any sense. And I got it for about 3 bucks, so definitely go out and pick up this color!  It applies nicely and evenly, this is two coats in the pic.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Julep Nail and Becoming a Maven! Birchbox for Nails!

Hi, I just wanted to give a quick update on something new I checked out today.

Click on the link to check out their site and sign up for a monthly membership. They offer polishes that are tailored based on a quiz you take, and also have other hand treatments like lotions and glycolic washes. I will update more when I get my first order but wanted to share this new site. It's like Birchbox but with all polishes. Their polishes seem pretty nice. Also Beautystat is offering a 50% off for the first month by using the promo code'beautystat'.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Nail of the Day - SinfulColors Pull Over

Ok so I was checking out  a recent review on the Daily Varnish on this shade, and I just so happened to stop at a Rite Aid. I saw the color and had to get it.  It's such a bright taxi yellow color I couldn't resist.  It applies nicely, but a tad on the streaky side, but this seems to happen with all yellows I have.  It was opaque in three coats.  For two's worth picking up for a nice sunny pick me up. I used another SinfulColors shade I picked up in Paradise on my thumb. It's hard to tell here, but its a nice sky blue.  Definitely cheered me up all day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Review - Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer/Concealer

Hi! I wanted to do a quick review on the Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer/Concealer. I received this as a sample, which I am really happy I didn't spend the money on this.  First off, here are the claims it makes on their site: This dual-action power primer works 360° around the eyes to make concealers AND eyeshadows STAY PUT. Concealers don't crease, eyeshadows stay vibrant and'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Application: It applied nicely, and i thought it was promising. The formula is lighter and less creamy than a typical primer, more like a liquid concealer.

Wear: By lunch, I have barely any shadow on, it looks awful. It did not really crease it which is odd, it just disappeared completely.

Normally I do love Benefit products, but this is a pass for me. I have oily lids so I need something that is really durable.  I took a photo of my eyes at lunch, on the left is my HG Urban Decay Primer Potion, on the right is the Benefit.   You can see it barely looks like I have shadow on. I loved their FY Eye...and I'm thinking they need to reinvent it and bring it back to life!