Monday, January 7, 2013

January 2013 Julep Maven Bombshell Box

After much waffling, I decided to go ahead and use 2000 Jules to get the January 2013 Julep Maven Bombshell box.  I initially wasn't impressed with the collection, but the swatches on the Julep blog swayed me. 

My box arrived December 31, which was weird because I didn't get my shipping notice until January 4.  Very confusing.  

I was pleased to see some cute neon Twistbands in the box.  I think the fact that they made me happy and not annoyed (my reaction whenever they show up in Birchbox) is a sign that Julep does a nice job with choosing their themes and with making the extras feel like a true bonus.  For some reason I always end up feeling like the BB extra is just a waste and that I'd rather have a fifth product.  Plus there were three of them, so I guess that helped.  

The other extra is a sheet of the swatch me stickers.  I'm not really going to use any of these so I wish Julep hadn't stuck them on the two nail polishes this month.  Hopefully it's a one time thing and I won't have to peel them off every bottle going forward.  
I immediately tested out the Hand and Cuticle Stick, as it was one of the main reasons I caved and got the box.  It was just okay.  It's not that it didn't do a good job, it's just that I feel like Julep's Age Defying Hand Brightener and Essential Cuticle Oil (which are both fantastic) pretty much make this product irrelevant.  I use this after the brightener on my knuckles, and let the much more powerful oil handle my disgusting cuticles (my hands get SO DRY in the winter).  The cuticle stick doesn't really have much of a smell, and is sort of a cross between a glue stick and a chapstick in consistency.  I would not recommend paying the full $22 for it, but don't forget that you can pay $19.99 for the previous boxes by shopping in the Maven Exclusives section (if you are a Maven, that is).  It's probably worth the $20 when two polishes and three twistbands are thrown in.  

The bombshell box came with two polishes -
Ava: Ballet slipper pink frost
Bette: Electric neon purple creme

So far I have only tried Ava, and...well, it's not my favorite.  The application was rough.  I knew from the first coat this this was going to be a pain - streaks everywhere and lots of pooling in my cuticles, which is not an attractive look when you are trying to draw less attention to your hideous winter hands.  

I needed three coats before I was happy with it, and I will still need to go in and do some serious cleanup tonight (a step I can normally skip when the polish goes on smoothly).  After it dried, there were tiny bubbles everywhere (this can be caused by not allowing enough dry time between steps, but I didn't paint them any faster than I normally do, so I blame the thickness of the polish).  I know you might be thinking that the polish is fine and that the problem is with me, and that's probably true.  As a working mom, I just don't get a ton of time to devote to manicures, so I need my polish to be really easy to work with from the get go.  I likely won't reach for this one often for that reason - too much effort.  

The color is pretty though - it looks whiter here than in real life.  The top right pic has no flash, and that's a little closer but it's still a bit pinker than that.  
Do you have any tips and tricks for hard to work with (gloppy, streaky) polish?  Do tell!  I found some good ones here but am always looking for new tips. 

If you didn't skip this month, what did you think?


susan said...

I love the color of those twistbands. I dont know why I like them s much as I do.... I avoid polish colors like that, I can never quite get it looking nice. you did a nice job :)

Alicia Curley said...

That purple looks to die forr!! I don't have any tips or tricks for nails - when I do mine I end up with polish all over my fingers :( I've got steel grey going on now, with one finger painted with the same grey but with iridescent glitter. Kinda trendy but not too much :)