April Julep Maven Box – The Vivid Collection

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A new record – I received my monthly Julep Box on the 31st!

April’s theme is “The Vivid Collection”. I’m much more excited about this month’s collection compared to last month’s “Riviera Collection”. I had a hard time choosing this month, so I kind of cheated. I wanted a box with the “Pore-Minimizing Blush” in “Petal Pink”, so I chose the “Classic with a Twist” box, which also came with two polishes – “Mariska”, juicy tangerine shimmer and “Caitlin”, shocking hibiscus with gold shimmer. My cheat was adding on “Tatum”neon chartreuse chrome – from the “Bombshell” box. I TOTALLY need to get a job writing the descriptions of these colors.

This month’s extra is 2 pieces of hard candy. Really, Julep? REALLY?

Not a Julep Maven? CLICK HERE to join! Your first box is free with code FREEBOX!

Nekkid Nails

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Well technically, my nails aren’t nekkid. I’m trying out Julep’s “Oxygen Nail Treatment”.

It’s no surprise that since becoming a Julep Maven last November, my nails have been seeing a lot of action. All this painting and de-glitterfying is starting to take a toll on the health of my nails. I’m not able to let me nails grow nearly as long as I used to…they have been peeling and cracking. Oxygen Nail Treatment is supposed to fix that – read the description from Julep’s site:

 

Complete nail care and make-up all in one bottle. Made with a patented Hexanal formulation, nails are restructured to a stronger, thicker, and smoother condition in just one stroke. Advanced plant stem cell complex provides anti-aging benefits, while ground-breaking oxygen technology forms a nonocclusive film on the nail, proving resistant to water penetration and improving the permeability to oxygen. Results are nails that are structurally stronger, and less prone to breakage and splitting.

I was up late watching the season finale of The Walking Dead last night, so I only put one coat after I saw how long the first coat was tacky. 2-3 coats probably would have camouflaged my yellowed nails more completely, but I can’t complain about how smooth and shiny they are.

Since I got my April Julep Box today, I don’t imagine I’ll be able to NOT paint my nails tomorrow, but I’m hoping my nails will be somewhat healthier by then…

Sephora Stop

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Since I have known him…and really, since his early 20s, my husband has been a one fragrance man – “Tsar” by Van Cleef & Arpels. It’s a unique scent that you’ve probably never even heard of…but it’s unmistakably him.

Of course, the fragrance was discontinued several years ago and it’s getting harder and harder to find…and what we do find is OLD. How does he replace a unique scent that he’s been wearing for 20+ years?

So for my husband’s birthday back in December, I got him a gift set from Sephora with samples of 10-12 different fragrances, with a certificate for a full size of his favorite one. After trying several of them, we decided on “Uomo” by Ermengildo Zegna. (I know, I’ve never heard of it either.) I visited Sephora back in February (when I went to pick up the Big Girl Makeup) and they no longer carried it. WTF Sephora? I was going to call Sephora Customer Service and bitch about it, but I haven’t quite fully turned into my mother…yet.

In any case, we decided this morning that the runner up was “Bvlgari Man Extreme”. Whereas “Uomo” was somewhat similar to “Tsar”, “Extreme” is very different. It’s woodsy, but citrusy. So after a hectic hour at Build-A-Bear with Lily and Lexie, I stopped by and picked it up…the beginning of a new era?

While I was there, I also picked up a rollerball of Balenciaga “Rosabotanica”. Those who know me well, know I gravitate towards rose scents, much to the dismay of my husband. He thinks it makes me smell like his grandmother. As much as I’ve been put off by the Kristen Stewart “Rosabotanica” campaign, I had to have some. Next time you see me, please sniff me and give my your thoughts…

No More AntiBac

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It was inevitable that Bath & Body Works respond to the recent furor over Antibacterial Soaps. Last month, they swapped out their entire Hand Soap line and replaced them all with a new non-antibacterial formula…that costs $1 more. I’d been holding off purchasing, but when I got the email today about a one day sale ($3 each) and a $10 off coupon, I couldn’t resist…

I didn’t bother getting any of the standard scents – I just picked up scents I haven’t tried yet. I got “Meyer Lemon”, “Lemon Mint Leaf”, “Garden Strawberries” (my current favorite Hand Cream in my purse), “Aloha Orchid”, “Rainforest Sugarcane”, “Honolulu Sun” and “Mango Hibiscus”.

As I was checking out, I mentioned how excited I was about the new scent coming out. The clerk thought I was referring to the one available now – “French Lavender Honey” – but I meant the new International Collection coming in April. Then she said she just got a box of “Moroccan Orchid” in and she grabbed a bottle of Fragrance Mist from the back and let me smell it…It was divine!

Love, Kennedy

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Since my fingernails were already stained yellow from several weeks of green and blue polish, I decided it was a prime time to try out the Grey Poupon-ish “Kennedy”.

The description on Julep’s site called it “khaki crème,” and I expected to hate it…but on my fingers…I liked it! It reminded me of the butter color leather you’d imagine to be in Beyonce’s white Escalade. It’s smooooth like buttah. They should have named it “Paula” instead of “Kennedy”.

Even so, I quickly covered it up with a coat of Julep “Love.” “Love” looks totally different over a base coat than by itself. It really POPS.

 

Late Ulta Post

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I was so caught up in my fingernails, I didn’t do my Ulta post last week. As you’re reading this…pretend it’s last Friday…

After visiting Bath & Body Works and Bed, Bath & Beyond, I slunk over to Ulta. I was ready to spend some money! The first thing I hit was the nail polish. I wanted to try Zoya Pixie Dust. No dice. This location didn’t have a Pixie Dust display.

My next stop was back to the front to test high end BB Creams. First I tried Benefit “Big Easy,” which claims to be “Better than BB” right on the tube. It was shit and settled into every pore and crack on my wrist. I moved on to Smashbox BB. It was even grosser. Why do all these high end cosmetics company call their products BB Cream, when they’re plain old foundation? I tried a few more brands, but it was too late – I was devastated…

Then I tried to buy a gift for someone and this location was out of stock of what I was looking for. Fuck.

After aimlessly wandering down every aisle, I finally realized that I couldn’t find a single thing to buy. I think I have a mental block and was unable to buy anything without my bestie there with me. (She had the same thing happen to her at Ulta earlier this week – I wasn’t there and she couldn’t find anything to buy either!) I was sad until I got home and checked the mail…and found my Lucky Mystery Box AND a box of stuff I ordered from Ulta.com last week!

I used a $3.50 off coupon to try Physician’s Formula BB Cream. I freaked out at first when I saw I received “Light/Medium,” until I realized that it’s the lightest color available. I tried it on my face and it is actually a good match, maybe one tick too dark for me. By summertime, it will be perfect. It’s a lighter texture than the L’Oreal and blends more smoothly. It’s not white out of the tube, but it feels more like a BB Cream than the other products I tried that day.

See that cute makeup bag? It was a gift with purchase from Laura Geller. It had Spackle Primer, lip pops Lush Waterproof Lip Gloss in “Sunrise Rose” and Eye Rimz Baked Wet/Dry Eye Accents in “Supernatural Smoke” with a matching brush. Obviously, I needed more primer!

Since I had such bad luck with fragrance sample, I chose mystery samples this time. I got Butter London Scrubbers, Hempz Body Wash and Biolage Shampoo and Conditioner. Interesting…but I probably won’t try them until I travel…

Herpes or Duct Tape?

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Although glitter is widely considered to be the “herpes” of the craft world…glitter is definitely the “duct tape” of the nail polish world.

Why? Because it fucking fixes everything!

I managed to take a sizable chunk out of my fingernail last night while trying to remove the plastic safety seal from a bottle of Taco Bell hot sauce. I screeched and immediately my husband ran over and said, “Did you break a nail?” I appreciate that he showed the right amount of concern AND didn’t laugh at me (too much) when I responded that I only chipped the polish.

ANYWAY…I just smeared a bunch of glitter all over the tips of my nails and they look as good as new. On top of the Julep “Tracy”, I used Sally Hansen “Shooting Star” but I couldn’t see it. So I just slapped on some wet n wild “Bow in my Presence”. It’s not bad, but still not the chunky look I was going for. A chunky silver glitter with a clear base would have looked bad ass, but I actually don’t have any chunky silver glitter. Time to go shopping…

Tracy

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Two fingernail posts in a row…uh OH!

“Tracy” was one of the polishes I received in my Lucky Mystery Box. I thought it was just another sparkly blue, but “Tracy” had a surprise in store for me – it’s texture! As the first coat started to dry, I realized that “Tracy” had a sea salt texture. It’s amazing!

Two coats dried super fast, but not quite as fast as I thought it did. I screwed up one of my thumbs getting my usual mid-Walking Dead ice cream.

I’ve got an idea about how to fix that…

Aislinn is prounounced “Ash-Ling”

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Irish names are pronounced weird.

I didn’t waste any time getting the Easter Egg polish stripped from my nails so I could go back to the dark side with Julep “Aislinn.” Since my fingernails are already stained green, now is the prime time to try more dark polishes.

It was impossible to get a good picture of “Aislinn.” It’s a black base that’s sheer enough to let the forest green glitter peek through. No matter which way I let the light hit it, no angle does it justice. The texture is also pebbley and a bit dull. Unfortunately, it would benefit from a topcoat, which I was too lazy to put on last night. There are already tiny chips on the ends…sigh. Probably repainting tomorrow…

 

Lucky Mystery Box

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That’s what I get for hemming and hawing over whether to order a Lucky Mystery Box – it arrived 4 days after St. Patrick’s Day. (I ordered too early though – I was livid that the day after I ordered, Julep offered a free gold polish with purchase and I missed out!)

I chose the “Aislinn” box. “Aislinn” is black polish with green glitter. I also received 4 other polishes: “Tatiana,” a coppery shimmer; “Jennifer,” a sheer, fleshy tone; “Tracy,” a a baby blue microglitter; and “Kennedy,” which frankly reminds me of Grey Poupon.

I am pumped about the Mint Condition Pedi Crème – me feet need help!

I’m less excited about the Neon Nail Dips Kit. It appears to be little pots of neon bead that you dip your nails in, after coating with clear polish and the beads stick to your nails like nonpareils. Maybe I’ll make Lily my experiment monkey.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with the Forget-Me-Not seeds