Friday, November 14, 2014

Julep Maven Box November 2014

For the longest time I had thought of November as being my least favorite month of the year. The temperature here in New England evens out to a constant, generally unpleasant level of cold. The trees are left looking particularly disheveled, holding on to the last of their leaves. My evening commute through the heavily trafficked darkness confuses my body into think it's 9 pm by the time I arrive home. It's a month of constant tired, cold, and crankiness. And yet somehow, despite the impending doom of winter, I've come to find many a thing to appreciate and look forward to. Cozy nights snuggled up with hot chocolate. Starting my Christmas shopping and crafting. Seeing friends and family while stuffing ourselves full of delicious Thanksgiving feasts. There's a buzz, an energy about everyone and everything, full of holiday excitement and festivity.

When my November Julep Maven Box arrived on my doorstep, I was immediately reminded of why my feelings of the 11th month of the year have done a complete 180. This month's theme is Friendsgiving, a word that has a special place in my heart. For about 8 years I was a competitive ballroom dancer at the University of Connecticut, and made many a lifelong friend doing so. We've made it a bit of a tradition to host our own Thanksgiving celebration, post the ones we have with our families, and dubbed it our annual Friendsgiving dinner. There is usually an abundance of delicious food (which may or may not include a turkey), wine, and good company. Its one of the things I look forward to most in the year, and now I'll be able to sport a super festive manicure for the occasion!

One of the many cool things about the Maven program is that your monthly box is totally customizable. I picked two shimmering polish shades that I thought would be perfect for the holidays as well as the Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat ($18), which I had been interested in trying. I also had the option to choose add-ons to my box at a discounted price. I choose to purchase a fabulous looking glitter polish for only an additional $4.99.

I'm really quite impressed with Julep's presentation and packaging. It truly feels like you're opening a gift, complete with adorable crinkle filling and a few caramel creams for that special touch. Of course I had to immediately swatch all of my new colors to see how they looked, and was totally in love with all of them!

Faiza (Bombshell)
Finish: Shimmer
Color Description: Liquid Garnet Shimmer

What says Christmas better than a gorgeous red nail polish? While I've got a few of the bright cherry varieties at home, I didn't have anything resembling this deep, shimmering shade. I apologize for the slightly messy and rushed paint job. It was one of those mornings. However, I did find that this polish is beautifully opaque with two coats and has a really lovely finish.

Sawyer (Boho Glam)
Finish: Metallic/Chrome
Color Description: Copper Patina Molten

The warm, rich tones of this copper polish feel so perfectly autumn to me, I had to have it! I don't think my swatches do the finish to this polish justice. It reflects light beautifully, and has this really interesting gold-green sheen to it when looked at from a certain angle. The texture of the polish itself was a little thicker than some of the other shades that I've tried, but I was still able to apply it with minimal streaking or pulling.

Diamond Theory (It Girl)
Finish: Glitter
Color Description: Full-coverage multidimensional copper glitter 

Of all the polishes I got this month, the pictures truly do not do this one justice. It's in-your-face glittery and amazing. I think it's a little much to wear alone as a full manicure, but I think it makes for a perfect accent nail (especially alongside Sawyer). Compared to some glitter topcoats, this particles in this are densely packed, so two coats will leave your nail completely covered. It dries to a textured finish, and may flake a little even with top coat. It's also a bear to remove (so much glitter everywhere...seriously, it's a mess). Still, for a festive glittery touch, this polish was more than worth the $5 investment!

I still have yet to really test drive the Freedom topcoat (I've given my nails a bit of a holiday from polish this week) so I will definitely have to report back on that later.

Are you a November lover or hater? Do you have any special Thanksgiving traditions with friends or family?