Monday, August 25, 2014

- - Monthly Manicures | July 2014 - -

Hi friends!

As you can see in the photo above, there was nothing too crazy about my manicures last month. In addition to trying out some new polishes, I did also get a chance to try out two base coats. Take a look at how everything worked out right after the jump...

*  Most of the photos in this post were taken indoors with either flash/no flash. *
*Click on the photos to enlarge them.*

Mani #1
Brigitte (Julep) 
Drops of Jade (Maybelline)

Following on the heels of Blue Marks the Spot (my favourite polish from June), I decided to try out Drops of Jade, which is also 3-Free (no Formaldehyde, DBP and Toluene) and from Maybelline's 2013 Polka Dot collection. The name reminds me of "Drops of Jupiter" by Train. Love that song!

Drops of Jade has a teal-minty-green-crossover sheer base and tons of black and white hexagonal glitter that come in three different sizes. The formula is that of an average nail polish that's packed with glitter. The formula is also fairly fast-drying, so I was fully able to layer on about 3-4 generous coats of polish fairly quickly to make DOJ darker.

I'll admit it - I was a little hasty with this manicure, and I think I just didn't give Julep's Brigitte (the white polish I used as a base) enough time to dry. I ended up taking off this manicure shortly afterwards because you could literally slide DOJ off of Brigitte! Although this was a nice colour, I think I prefer BMTS a lot more.

 Mani #2
Kimberly (Julep)

Kimberly is one of the two polishes that were released for the Speckled for Spring mystery boxes (which I didn't end up purchasing). I've been wanting to pick up any of the Julep speckled polishes for some time now, but I've been hesitant because I know how much of a struggle removing glitter polishes really is. What finally pushed me to get both Kimberly and Emerson was Julep's Red Tag sale a few months ago (I believe the polishes were $2.99 each - who can say no to that?).  

Also, the only reason why I went ahead with trying out Kimberly is because I used it with The Face Shops' Peeling Base Coat, which I'll talk about a little bit more below.
L - natural lighting | R - artificial lighting

I'm a little bit disappointed that Kimberly is sort of translucent, but I knew it would be like that when I ordered it. I didn't try layering it on like I did with DOJ and BMTS, but I'm sure that Kimberly will get darker if I do so. I have yet to try Emerson, but you might see it pop up in the next few months!

Mani #3
Red Sea (Models Own)

This polish came in my July Ipsy bag and it was my first from Models Own.

Ugh, I hated this polish. The formula was very thick and it takes forever to dry. The polish is crossover of red and orange and it's got colourful flakes in it.

On the bright side - this isn't a shade that I would've chosen on my own, so in that respect I am grateful that I got a chance to try it. On the down side - I spent 1/5 of the bottle on one manicure because of the stubbornly gloopy formula of this polish. Honestly? I'm just not a fan at all.

Mani #4
Brigitte & Phoebe (Julep)

Phoebe is such a difficult colour to capture on camera! Julep describes the shade as "vibrant jungle metallic," which I would argue doesn't go a long way to explaining the colour. Is it vibrant? Yes. Metallic? Sure. Jungle? ...? In person, Phoebe is a much more vibrant green than Julep leads you to believe. Here's the photo from

...and here are a couple of photos from when I reviewed The Vivid Collection (which is the set that Phoebe is from):

L - Phoebe | R - Sunny (indoors, direct sunlight)

The photos are similar, but the point basically is that Phoebe is a lot darker in person. In the photos it looks more blue than it does green.

The formula was a dream to work with and I could've easily gotten away with just putting on 1 coat (I did 2 coats out of habit). I ended up messing up on the white dots on all of my nails, so I covered it up with a third coat of polish - that's why the polish might look strange. There may also be a tiny bit of streaking, but for the most part it isn't visible.
L - natural lighting | R - artificial lighting

Base Coat #1
Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat (Julep)

This base coat was one of the feature products of Julep's Three Wishes Collection this past June. Here's what this base coat promises to do (as seen on
  • Allows oxygen to permeate the nail bed, encouraging strong, healthy nail growth
  • Refines nail texture to hide ridges and imperfections
  • Helps color last longer and prevents it from staining your nails
  • Works with Julep's Color Treat nail polish and Oxygen Performance Top Coat to create a long-wear system that lets your nails breathe
I was initially a little weary of trying this base coat because I remember how Julep's Oxygen Nail Treatment made my nails peel after a single use and I definitely didn't want a repeat. Luckily there was none! While I don't really agree that this base coat works well at hiding significant ridges, it does smooth over small imperfections and I do like the matte effect that it has.

I don't typically use a base coat for anything other than glitter polishes, but I might consider using Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat regularly since it seems to work with my nail chemistry and it does promise to strengthen nails over time. Plus I do need a base coat to prevent certain polishes from staining.

Base Coat #2
Peel Off Base Coat (The Face Shop)

I went ahead and purchased this $6 base coat after reading a well-written review about it by Amy of Michi-Mochi. What this base coat does is that it allows you to simply peel off your nail polish instead of using nail polish remover. Now you may actually need to use a polish remover anyways because you may have little pieces stubbornly holding onto your nail, but for the most part this base coat will help you remove nail polish. Another thing I noticed is that hot water removes this base coat pretty well, so if you find that you have some sort of residue from it then you can just wash it off.

This kind of base coat comes in handy specifically for glitter nail polishes. I can't tell you how many times I have passed over glitter polishes in stores and in my own collection because I absolutely hate how difficult it is to take them off. As cheesy and commercial as this sounds - now I can try as many of them as I want to!

I kept being warned at The Face Shop against doing housework when using this base coat. The main reason for this is that if you're doing a lot of work with your hands, this may result in your manicure lasting for less time than you want it to since it often doesn't take a lot of pressure to peel off the polish. This is definitely the downside to this base coat. But hey - if you don't intend to keep your manicure on for very long anyways (like me on most days), then this shouldn't be a problem for you.

I believe I have two coats of the base coat in the photos above and as you can see it is completely transparent. It's sort of difficult to explain, but the second thing I really like about this base coat is that it seems to really nourish my nails. After removal my nails seem really smooth and not dry, so much so that sometimes I just put on the base coat even if I have no intention of putting any kind of polish on top.


Have you come across these polishes/base coats before?

Thank you for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment