Julep in Review: 2014

Jan 30, 2015

You've heard me talk about Julep boxes quite a bit on this blog,  but I usually don't go back afterwards to update you on my thoughts after I've used a product for a while. Thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do so, especially since I've found so many great products from Julep! (though in full disclosure, there have definitely been a few duds too!)

Eye Sheen ('Pale Nude') - I saw a lot of comments about the formula of this; how people were expecting a more solid cream shadow & thought this liquid one was odd. I love the formula of this though because it 'sets'. So my oily lids aren't a total grease-slick halfway through the day like they would be if I used a regular cream shadow. A total keeper for me.

Ink Gel Eyeliner ('Black') - I liked this a lot. My first experience with gel liner & while it would never replace liquid for me, I did like it. However, I looked at my jar a few weeks ago & saw something similar to this photo here. Don't think I'll be using this again...

Angled Brush - Nice bristles, good weight to the handle, great brush.

Polish ('Love') - I don't think I've worn this since, but it's so pretty! I thought it was a great bonus item for Valentine's day & the gold cap was extra special.

Polishes ('Lilou', 'Monaco', 'Lizanne', 'Margaret', 'Princess Grace') - All the cool blues & greens? Love, will wear a lot. The yellow & orange? Not as much - they're just not my colours. In fact, I wore Lilou to see if I could wear a yellow & several people commented that it was not their favourite colour on me.

Lip Gloss (in 'Awestruck') - I still reach for this almost every day. In fact, I bought a backup in November because I love this gloss so much!

Blush ('Peach Bellini') - Love. Use this almost every day. Packaging is great, colour is gorgeous, love!

Bronzer ('Light Golden Bronze') - Julep's customer service was great & sent me out a new bronzer asap when my original one was smashed in the mail. The colour runs a little warm for me, but I'm super pale so most bronzers do. I do like it & use it quite a bit, just with a light hand haha

Polishes (Jet & Brigitte) Classics! I didn't have a black or white (shocking I know...) so these have both been used multiple times, usually for nail art but also for full manis. Great shades!

Polishes ('Jeanne', 'Paulette', 'Kam', 'Jules') - Gorgeous spring shades! I love how they all work together & I will wear all of these again & again.

Plie Wand - Truth time. I don't use the Plie Wand. I was excited to try it out & see, and it's not a case of dislike or anything, but I already have a routine for painting my nails & I found the Plie Wand a bit awkward. I still want to work with it & I'm planning to pick up the creativity kit because I think it will be GREAT for painting thin lines or dotting, but for my everyday manis? Not something I use. However, I think if you struggle with painting your nails & want something to help steady your hand, this would be perfect.

Gel Eye Glider ('Blackest Black') - A great black eyeliner! Glides on smoothly, stays put. I do prefer self-sharpening or twist up liners, but this one is still really nice.

Polishes ('Neha' & 'Tazeen') - I wore both of these at my best friend's wedding in August :) Tazeen on my hands (our dresses were hunter green so it was perfect) and Neha on my (hidden) toes. Gorgeous colours & I can't wait for summer again to paint my toes! haha I also used Tazeen for this holiday mani.

Mascara ('Go Big') - A nice, black mascara. I wouldn't repurchase, but it creates nice, natural looking volume and doesn't go too 'spidery' or clumpy for me.

Polishes ('Shari', 'Devon', 'Malala') - Shari ended up surprising me & became my new favourite neutral polish. Devon is lovely too with it's microshimmer, but Shari stole this box for me. Malala was a bonus item that came with my favourite 'Awestruck' gloss (it was cheaper to buy the add on than to buy the gloss separately) and I'll admit I haven't worn it yet. Warm pinks don't usually work for me, but I'll have to give it a try soon.

Orbital Eyeshadow ('Supernova') - Beautiful shadow! I like applying this wet to get the full impact of the purple/pink colour shift, but it works dry as well for a more toned down look.

Polishes ('Sienna', 'Ilga', 'Paula', 'Nell') - Loved all the shades! Sienna is a gorgeous gold foil & Ilga is that perfect vampy red that doesn't look black. Paula is just my kind of colour :) And while Nell wasn't a perfect match for Butter London's Tart with a Heart, it's still a gorgeous sparkly polish!

Nail Stickers - I wore them for this mani, and they lasted a few days before I had to apply a bit more topcoat to keep them laying flat. I was able to use one sticker for 2 nails which means they'll last longer, since you don't get a ton of stickers in the pack.

Blank Canvas Lip Primer - I haven't been able to bring myself to use this much, the chemical smell is just a bit off-putting. Maybe that will wear off with time though? I'll give it another few shots before I give up, but I'm glad I didn't pay for this (was a bonus item in my box).

Overall, I was really pleased with almost everything I received in my Julep boxes last year! I use the beauty products a lot, and their polish is consistently good. I already picked up January's box (review coming soon!) and February's box has another bonus this year so it might just need to be picked up too haha

Have you tried Julep? I know you can buy a few polishes in Sephora, but the pricing through the boxes is a way better deal. If you join the Julep Maven program, you get future discounts on products, free shipping & of course, first pick of their new products!

You can get your first box free (& skip boxes whenever you like!) if you sign up through this link (which is an affiliate link, but there's no extra cost for you & we both get free polish - win-win ;). 


Winter Reading List

Jan 22, 2015

Along with the cold weather always comes this deep desire to curl up in front of the fire with a good book :) Here's what I've been reading lately & what's on my to-be-read list...

As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust - Alan Bradley
I adore the Flavia de Luce series & the newest release is just as good - maybe slightly better simply because it's set in Canada! If you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it!

A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson
I read & loved 'Life After Life', and when I saw this on the pre-order list I was intrigued simply because it was by the same author. Turns out it's a companion novel to 'Life After Life' which just has me even more interested...

The Girl on the Train - Paula Hawkins
This one was recommended to me, and after reading the description I had to put it on my list. "Just what goes on in the houses you pass by every day?" I'm thinking I might have to pick this one up tomorrow to devour all weekend :)

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr
A novel that weaves a story so beautiful, it has to be recommended! I read this over the holidays and so enjoyed it.

What are you reading? Any books you're looking forward to this year?


The Story of a Gallery Wall

Jan 21, 2015

I love a good gallery wall (if you follow me on Instagram you already know that!) and I have to admit I'm pretty proud of mine. But it's not something that happened overnight. It has been collected & curated over 3 years and it's still not quite finished - there's a good chance it never will be 'done' - but I've learned a lot along the way.

I shared this thought a few months ago with a photo of my wall & it's still true now:
Wherever you are, remember that all good things take time. This gallery (which, lets be honest, is so not important compared to many things) took over 3 years. And there were many moments of not-so-pretty (and more than a few extra holes in the wall) to get it to this point. Things take time - nothing in life happens overnight. So keep asking and seeking and working, you'll get there soon.

All the photos I could find of my gallery over the past 3 years - along with my thoughts on collecting & curating your own gallery - after the jump.

Behind the 'Gram

Jan 19, 2015

I really do love Instagram, but sometimes it's styled ideal can be more than a little unrealistic. Thought I'd share some behind-the-scenes thoughts from a few photos I've posted in the last month :)

There are days the top of this desk can barely be seen, so it was in dire need of a clean-up. I'm happy to report it still resembles this photo, although there might be a few other beauty bottles added ;) 

This shot taken from the car a few weeks ago is still one of my faves, even the dirty windows. This is real life after all ;)

While my desk is often this messy, it's only ever this 'styled' when the camera comes out :) Other wise I'm sure I'd be bleeding everywhere from those gold tacks. And my pen holder is usually kept upright haha

I get a bit bored with the usual nail photos, so I tried to style these a bit. Needless to say, this was a great idea in theory, but oh man the outtakes are awkward haha

On the few 'milder' days we've had (read: barely above freezing), getting outside for a walk has been a nice break from my desk. I took this same shot back in the fall - what a difference 12 weeks can make! 

And finally, my challenge for 2015 is to learn calligraphy! I bought some ink & nibs online, took a course from Molly Jacques on Skillshare, and have been practicing every day since. The topmost sheet in this photo was full of capital B's, and the bottom sheet has a nice splat from when my nib & I didn't quite agree ;)

ps, if you sign up through this link, we both get a free month on Skillshare. They have tons of classes - I have my eye on several more!

Any stories to go along with some of your Instagrams?

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