Julep February 2016: Modern Smolder

FebruaryCollectionHeaderThe Modern Smolder Collection included:

  • 8 nail colors
  • 6 new Eyeshadow 101 colors
  • 2 lip glosses, one of which is back from being retired

This review will cover the 8 polishes. Stay tuned for a review and comparison of all 12 Eyeshadow 101 colors, as well as color comparisons for the polishes. I have to be perfectly honest, I was a little surprised when I saw the collection reveal and realized how many dark colors were in this month’s collection. However, when I looked back at Julep’s past collections, it seems like they tend to do a darker collection each February. More thoughts on the collection at the end of the review.


Hayley (12) is a Boho Glam polish, described as beetroot crème. It’s a pretty true red, although it may lean a hint purple, depending on the light.

Although Hayley is described as a crème, and I know Julep doesn’t refer to any of their polishes as crellies, I would definitely think of this one as a crelly polish. It wasn’t fully opaque, but wasn’t translucent enough to be a jelly. Pretty much the definition of a crelly. Hayley was not the easiest to work with. I thought it was a bit thick, and went on a little streakier than I would have liked. The dry time was also longer than average. Pictured is two coats of Hayley. I think it would be fully opaque in three coats, but it would definitely require some patience for drying time.


Luz (13) is also a Boho Glam polish. This one is referred to as a sunset gold metallic. It’s a gold with almost an orangey hue to it, and a shimmery metallic finish, rather than a more chrome look.

Overall, I really liked Luz. The formula was on the thicker side, but was actually still pretty easy to work. It might have a tad longer dry time than normal, but not so much that it was irritating. It had full coverage with two coats, but I think could be used as an interesting topper as well, with one thin coat. I thought Luz was quite unique, given the shimmery metallic finish and dark gold hue. While not my favorite of this collection, it definitely makes the top three.


Finley (14) falls under the Bombshell profile. It’s listed as a navy smoke crème. This description is pretty accurate, and there’s not too much to say about the color beyond that- it’s a navy crème. I love crème finish polishes, but there isn’t really anything new or different about this one.

Despite not being particularly enthused about Finley, I have to admit it was a great polish. Excellent formula that went on easily, dried quickly, and was fully opaque in two coats. And while the color might not be unique, it is a lovely shade of navy. If you don’t have a good navy in your collection, Finley would be an excellent choice.


Jenica (15) is the other Bombshell color in the collection. It’s described as a wrought iron metallic. It has the shimmery metallic finish. The shimmer definitely makes the color shift in the light, and can appear as a light and dark silver. I was excited for this color as it looked very unique.

Jenica did not disappoint. The formula was pretty standard consistency and easy to apply in the thinner coats I prefer. You could probably get full coverage in one thick coat, but I went with two thinner ones. It also dried pretty fast. I really loved the color of this one and it definitely felt like something new. It reminded me a bit of Nancy and Mia, but without the green tones. Jenica also makes it in my top three for this collection.


Kay (16) is a Classic with a Twist, polish, which Julep calls a warm taupe with gold microshimmer. It was hard to see how Kay fit into the theme of smolder, but it’s a lovely neutral. It actually reminds me a lot of the new Eyeshadow 101 putty color, except with a shimmery twist.

Kay went on easily and was opaque in two coats. It dried within a normal amount of time. It had a little more pink than I was expecting from the description- I’m not sure taupe is really accurate. The gold shimmer was very pretty, and despite the pink hue, I really liked this one. Kay felt like a very mature color, but in a good way. I think different polishes have a different feel, and for Kay I would call it “mature and classy”.


Meghan (17) is also a Classic with a Twist color, which is described as flaming red crème.

Meghan went on well, dried quickly, and was opaque in two coats (I am starting to feel like this is my standard line for most Julep colors). They aren’t kidding when they say flaming red- Meghan is bright and bold. It’s a very fun red, but a word of caution- I noticed some light staining when I removed Meghan, so you definitely want to use a base coat with this one. I recommend using one all the time, but especially with potential stainers.


Giselle (18) is part of the It Girl profile, listed as midnight forest shimmer. A dark green shimmer seemed particularly not February to me, but it was nice to see a lot of variety in the collection in terms of colors.

I was generally unimpressed with Giselle. It wasn’t particularly thick, but I found it didn’t go on as easily as most colors do. I also felt that it was pretty streaky, and probably needed three coats for true full coverage. Pictured is two coats. It also had a longer than normal drying time. I also found that it was really hard to get a picture where it didn’t look very black. It’s a very dark green, but is definitely green and not black. The shimmer is also quite subtle- really a barely there shimmer like Ann, which Julep classified as a ghost shimmer.


Rosie (19) is the other It Girl polish. Rosie is a charcoal grey with magenta glitter, and probably the color I was most interested in seeing from this collection. I thought the darker base would really make the glitter pop, and it’s very different compared to other Julep glitters.

Rosie definitely lived up to my expectations, and I’m a big fan. Rosie was my favorite of this collection (which is surprising, as I’m not a huge glitter fan). Rosie could be used in as many coats as you wanted, depending on the look you’re going for. Pictured is two coats, which went on easily and dried very quickly. I think it could be used as a topper in one coat, or for full coverage with two or three. I hope to see more polishes like this one…aqua with a charcoal base would be cool. Rosie is definitely the highlight of the collection for me.

Final Thoughts

The Modern Smolder Collection clearly has a strong theme, and with the exception of Kay and maybe Meghan, I felt the polishes really did reflect the smolder idea. That being said, I can’t help but feel that this collection belongs in the late fall. The dark, rich colors remind me of autumn and the holidays. While I can’t find the connection to February, it is a cohesive collection, and I really liked many of the colors.

Thanks for stopping by,


p.s. Don’t forget to stop by the blog Facebook page for my Valentine’s Day giveaway!


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