Julep Maven March 2014: Skip!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

I have a confession, I have never once skipped my Julep Maven box.  Until today.  Even in December when I didn't much care for the colours I ordered it to give as a gift to my little cousin for Christmas.  But this month?  No thank you.

The full collection.  If only the pairings weren't so awful.

Lilou - Lemon chiffon crème
Monaco - Pantone Colour of Spring 2014 - Dazzling mariner blue crème

Classic With a Twist
Myriam - Casino red crème
Soraphine - Classic sheer white crème (What an awful colour.  Its somewhere between milk and a top coat).

Boho Glam
Elisa - Soft wisteria shimmer
Harriet - Gauva coral crème

It Girl
Lizanne - Sea gren shimmer
Margaret - Light periwinkle crème
Princess Grace - Rich papaya crème (Love the name)

If you want to see swatches feel free to click here and check it out on Julep's blog.  

I can't be the only one who isn't a huge fan of the pairings.

This month's collection is the Rivera Collection.  Though this month rather than spend my money on nail polish, I will spend it in France.  Thank you very much.

The special products are the Buff Lip Scrub and the Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment.  Both are targeted to bring back moisture to your lips in the dead of winter.  Unfortunately they only way to get even one of these products (other than to add a costly add on) is to order the Modern Beauty box.

The beauty product included in the rest of the boxes is lip gloss.  Does it look familiar to you?  It should.  It is effectively the same as November's lip gloss, only in slightly different colours.  Though awestruck is pretty (nude and gold shimmer) it isn't unique.

Which brings me to this month's most beautiful colours, the Features Add Ons:

Rae the 2014 Pantone Colour of the Year.

Very pretty.  This colour could be a lot of fun to wear in the spring and summer.

Tania a Multidimensional mermaid teal glitter.

The finish reminds me of Love.  I get the impression that this is a colour that is pretty in the bottle but perhaps not so much for everyday wear.

Rae was sold out when I opened my email.  Boo.  So was Monaco, the only other colour I really liked. When I came back for the screen shot Monaco was back in.  

This month I liked Monaco - Pantone Colour of Spring 2014 (Bombshell), Myriam - Casino red crème (Classic With a Twist), and the two featured add ons Tania and Rae.  

If I had ordered I would have opted for Bombshell because as much as I love Myriam I really was turned off by Soraphine.  I still think the yellow is weird.  And then I would have added on Rae.  I also thought about ordering Boho Glam because even though I didn't  love it, I didn't hate it.  

But that is no way to buy nail polish... so!

My $20 and I will have a fantastic time in Paris.  

All photos are screen shots from blog.julep.com and julep.com.

February 2013 Topbox - Deborah Lippmann Box

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Standard Topboxes have been hit and miss lately and in my experience.  Last month I received the Benefit box.  This month I did not want to risk a standard box, so I ordered the Deborah Lippmann box.  I have heard good things about her nail polish, though was not exactly in love with the two colours.  I figured at very least it would make for something worthwhile to give friends.  I already get more than enough nail polish through Julep (selection window opens tomorrow!!).  But lets give this luxe brand a shot.

No anticipation in opening this box because I already know what I will be getting.

From a re-gifting standpoint, I like that the nail polishes came in the standard clear boxes.

On the left: Swagga Like Us, on the right: Since I Fell For You.

I can't be the only one who thinks this is a pretty odd selections of colours: green-bronze, and a shimmery cranberry?  I find the green rim on the copper polish to be interesting.  I'm not sure how that will play out on the nail.

Swagga Like Us, one coat.

The emerald green is no where to be found!

Swagga Like Us is much more flattering with a second coat.  It is a copper metallic with a weird greenish tinge.  Not exactly a winter colour, this may work well in the summer, or the fall.  The longer I wear it the more it grows on me.

One coat of Since I Fell For You.  Gross.

Coat #2 doesn't make things much better.  This is a fairly weak colour that is more of a stain than anything.  Also, the sparkles are hiding.  In the bottle it is such a pretty and rich colour, but I can't say the same for once it is on my nail.

I was so uninspired by this crappy colour that I gave up on doing a neat job.

Nothing special to see here.  I think I will end up cancelling my TopBox account and just focus on Julep and LuxeBox.  Its not that this was bad, it just wasn't good.  Despite the $40 value (polishes are $20 each at Sephora), and the fact that it only cost me about $12, I know I could have better spent the $12 at Sephora.  I have basically given up ordering the regular box.

Beauty from Israel: Ahava

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Last month I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in Israel.  Ever since I could remember I wanted to travel to the Dead Sea and bask in its salty mineral filled glory.  And here was my chance!  The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and boarders Israel, Jordan and the West Bank.  The best moment in the Dead Sea, after covering my whole body in mud, was gently floating facing the Jordan Mountains knowing that no sharks or scary fish could hurt me because basically nothing can live in water this salty.   When I got out of the water my skin felt a little... slimy?  I had to rinse off in fresh water.  Annnnnnyways naturally I had to bring back some beauty products, because the minerals in the Dead Sea are super good for your skin.

We were told that Ahava was the best brand to bring back.  It was the most expensive, but also seemed like the best quality.  Bonus!  If we spent over $100 USD we got a special form to get our taxes back on that purchase.  And so I bring you Ahava!

Ahava Clear Purifying Mud Mask (Middle) was about $30 USD,
Ahava Mud Intensive Hand and Foot Cream (Left, Right) was about $30 USD for the pack of two.

Free samples!

Hand cream, foot cream, face mask.

Hand cream: The hand cream has a nice clean scent to it, and is super hydrating. Perfect for Canadian winter.

Foot cream: The foot cream is in the same set as the hand cream, and also smalls clean.  It is much thicker than the hand cream, and more hydrating.  I love to put a bunch on my feet before bed, put some socks on, fall asleep, and wake up to softer, nicer feet.

Face Mask: I am a bit undecided on this front.  Its nice, but it burns a bit.  I left it on for the recommended 2-5 minutes, and it burned.  My skin wasn't noticeably better afterwards.  I'll give it another go.  If it doesn't work maybe my friend who was in Israel with me will want it?  She loved hers!

Julep Maven February 2014: The Dramatic Collection

Monday, 10 February 2014


This month's maven boxes include bold colours, shimmers and glitters, and a new finish called "Stardust".  My interest was piqued when I found out the monthly beauty product was a cream shadow.  For those of you who haven't heard, Julep had some PR issues in how they communicated some changes to their Maven program.  Existing Mavens (like me!) are "grandmothered" in. In other words we get to keep our skip option.  However new Mavens can only earn 1 skip every 6 months.  This was poorly communicated in the form of a "Note from Jane" on their website.  No email notice.  Nothing.  Just a post on their blog.  They claim is makes things more simple, though that is a bit of a stretch.  I understand that one can abuse the free shipping offer by constantly skipping the box, while remaining a Maven.  I think they (or... well Mavens) would be better off to say if you skip your box 3 months in a row you lose Maven/free shipping status.  Maybe I will email that to them...

This month I ordered "Classic With a Twist" and then added on the Stardust polish.  Julep also included "Love" as an additional free polish for Mavens who took this box.  Probably to help smooth over their PR disaster.

I must admit, when I first saw "Love" (far left) online I wasn't too excited.  But its growing on me.  After I put it on, I was thrilled, and oddly enough my boyfriend loved it too.

From Left to Right:

Love - Gold, fuchsia and pearl microglitter (Jane's Gift)
Greta - Loganberry multidimensional microglitter (what on earth is that?!?) (Classic With a Twist)
Cameron - Silver lilac stardust (matte glitter) (Boho Glam add on)
Octavia-Smokey indigo crème (Classic With a Twist)

I like Octavia.  It is a pretty, classy colour, but I found it a bit streaky to apply.

I LOVE Cameron.  I could just wear it forever.  With one coat it is fully opaque, and my nail became a glitter bomb.  I tried it out as an accent, and I liked it.  I would love to wear it full out to a fancy event.

I gave Cameron and Octavia a try.

And then I had tea.  It was a good day.

I'm not as thrilled with Greta.  It is a pretty shimmery pink, that's about it.  Nothing special, except for its absurd description. I didn't wear her outside.  And none for you Greta-Co-Co.  Mean Girls references are always valid.  Also I looked up what a loganberry is- it is a raspberry-blackberry combo that looks like an elongated raspberry.

I have been wearing Love for the last two days and I don't have any plans to take this gem off.  So that should give you an idea about how I feel.

To show you how much I love Love, I have been typing this post with it on.  So much pretty.  I love the gold sheen and pink flecks and the nude shimmer.  So much to love about Love.

I love, love, LOVED getting to select my cream eyeshadow colour, and ended up with Warm Fig.  Dusty Taupe is my go to eyeshadow colour so I wanted to reach outside of the box.  And I am so glad I did.

 The product is smaller than expected, maybe the size of a loonie?  But a little goes a long way with this baby so I don't think it will get finished any time soon.

Here is Warm Fig in various states of blending.  You really only need the tiniest of bits of this product.  When I first applied it I was shocked.  I looked like I had a black eye.  So I began to blend and blend and blend and put some "Kitten" by Stila (champagne shimmer) on top.  Here are the results!

I used "Warm Fig" to contour, and "Kitten" by Stila everywhere else.  I used the still liquid pen liner in dark brown and the Marc Jacobs mascara.  "Warm Fig" has a certain Naked 3 quality about it.  I like it!

Over all I am much happier with this box than I thought I would be.  The colours look lovely on my nails, and the cream shadow is so pretty.  I wasn't excited about Greta when I selected Classic With a Twist, and I still don't love it.  I may end up giving it to a friend who said she thought it was pretty.  Greta at least deserves to find a nice home.

I can't wait to see what they have next month!  Right now they have some mystery boxes, but I think I will have to abstain.  They also threw in a "buy one get one free" coupon code this month for nail polish which was a nice touch.

On top of that, because this was my 3rd month in a row taking my box I got a code for a free polish of my choice.  The lucky winner was Clio, which is pink, lilac and silver glitter which would look great on top of another polish.  So much free Julep :)

New Years (Blog) Resolution + The Best of January

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

My New Years Resolution for my blog this year is to regularly post twice per week.  Over the last few weeks I have been lucky enough to discover some new brands (Ahava, Gamila's Secret, Ojon), attend the CAFA after party hosted by Sephora, make my own Z palette, and book some spring travel.

I will also be making a post once a month looking at what I enjoyed the most about it.

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

I loved seeing the changing colour Jellyfish display and watching them float along. 


My Trip to Israel

Walking through the Old City of Jerusalem was like being brought to a whole new world.  The architecture is fantastic, the food is delicious, the cats look like they are going to kill you, and the markets are oh so fun.  Simply beautiful.

Did I mention the food?  So much yumminess.  This pita was hand made in front of me and oil and spices were added.  It was everything food should be, fresh, delicious, and cheap.

Roses!  Pretty roses in Northern Israel!

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea!

An amazingly delicious Druze snack- a thin pita all wrapped up and filled with a light cheese and zatar!

The beautiful woman behind Gamila's Secret- more to come!

Ripley's Aquarium, Israel, work, and school.  That was my January.  Looking forward to posts about the new brands I discovered in Israel and the new items I picked up along the way!