Julep March 2016: Lighten Up


The Lighten Up Collection included:

  • 10 Nail Colors
  • 2 new shades of When Pencil Met Gel (Gel Eye Gliders)

The review will discuss the 8 new polishes. Stay tuned for a review and comparison of all of the Eye Gliders, hopefully this week (sorry, I just really liked the name Gel Eye Gliders, compared to When Pencil Met Gel). This month’s collection features mostly lighter, less saturated shades, with the exception of a few of the shades, which are a tad stronger, but still not overly bright or bold.


Skylar (23) is an It Girl Polish. Julep lists it as harbor blue chrome. Skylar looks like a very soft periwinkle blue shade, and I really like the metallic chrome finish. This is probably the color I was most excited for in the collection.

Skylar definitely lived up to my expectations. I love the icy blue sheen, and it really is metallic. The formula was really easy to work with, and dried quickly. I applied three very thin coats, which gave me full coverage. I think you could also have full coverage with two medium coats. I really like Skylar, and think it’s a perfect spring color.


Charlene (24) is a hint of lavender chrome polish in the Bombshell profile. It’s a pale but clearly lavender color, with a hint of silver. The chrome finish really seems to make the lavender pop.

Charlene, although it appears a bit blue in the above photo, was a great lavender shade. The purple is complemented by the silver undertones. Like Skylar, the formula was really easy to work with, and dried quickly. I used three thin coats (but again, 2 thick coats would also work). I was afraid that the metallics would go on streaky, but didn’t find this to be the case. It’s definitely a very springy shade, perfect for March.


Monique (25) is a Bombshell polish, listed as a mother of pearl chrome. It’s a lighter and very bright silver that is emphasized by the chrome finish.

Monique had more tones of gold than I expected, but the gold/silver combination definitely gave it a mother of pearl look. Just as before, great formula, fast dry time, and three thin coats to opacity. I feel like it’s a very versatile color that would work well in many seasons and with many other shades.


Sage (26), Boho Glam, is referred to as green tea chrome. The green hue appears to be very subtle, and there’s almost a hint of blue in the photos. I was curious as to how green it would seem in person.

I had a hard time capturing the green of sage in photos. It’s a pretty clearly green metallic in person, but without being overly saturated with color. I did smudge it a bit on my index finger…oops! Sage’s formula made it simple to get a thin coat, and dried quickly. Like the rest of the metallics, I used three thin coats for opacity, but it could be achieved with two thicker coats if you wanted (are you tired of me saying this yet?). I’m quite pleased with how Sage turned out.


Trudy (27) is a Boho Glam polish, described as botanical teal crème. While it’s a more saturated color than most of the rest of the collection, it’s not neon or overpowering. The color is hard to describe, but I might call it a lighter teal with some shades of grey.

Trudy was a fun, bright color, and I really liked how it looked on my nails. I wouldn’t call it a spring color, though. Trudy was the thickest of the polishes in this collection, but still very easy to apply, and I wouldn’t call it a thick formula. I used two thin coats, but I think you could achieve opacity with one thicker coat if you wanted. The only downside is that Trudy did stain my nails a tad, so you’ll definitely want a good base coat. You can see a bit of the stains around my cuticles in the picture of Yen, below.


Yen (28) is the wonder maven color for March. Yen is a concord grape crème, and the only dark shade in this month’s collection. It looks like it has some red in it, and really does remind me of concord grapes.

Yen had a really glossy finish, and even though it’s a simple purple, I found myself really liking it. It really did remind me of concord grapes, and now I’m wishing I had some grape juice in my fridge. It was easy to apply, fully opaque in two coats (you could probably do it in one thick coat), and dried within normal time.


Kenna (29), Classic with a Twist, is described as dove grey crème. This isn’t the first time Julep has described a polish as dove grey crème (or light dove grey crème, etc.), so it will be interesting to see how it stacks up to other greys. Kenna looks like it has a hint of purple, and is a lighter grey shade.

Kenna was a pretty standard crème polish, with a very shiny finish. It had a good formula; I had no problems applying it. The dry time might have been a bit more than normal, but not significantly long. I used two thin coats to achieve opacity and didn’t have any issues with streakiness. For the most part, I’m just curious to see how this will compare to the other dove grey crèmes. Stay tuned for the comparison.


Abby (30) is a Classic with a Twist polish, in honey almond sheer crème. It looks very sheer with a hint of tan tint in the online swatches. To be honest, I was really unexcited about this color, because I’m not a fan of sheers, and if you’re going nude, I think it makes more sense to use one of the Oxygen Nail Treatments and build some strength.

Abby was pretty much exactly what I expected, although the color looks a bit pinker in person. The formula was pretty standard and easy to work with. I was impressed with how quickly it dried. Pictured is Abby with 3 coats. With 1-2 coats, it was essentially clear, and there’s really not much color even with 3 coats (although you do see color on the swatch sticks). I’m really disappointed with this polish, because I’m not sure what the point is. If I was going for a nude look, I’d use one of Oxygen Nail Treatments, which has extra benefits. Some people might find this one a good color for doing a french tip or other nude mani, but it’s really not for me.


Yiyi (31) is a Bombshell polish, one of two polishes in a new finish: holographic jelly. It is described as a pink freesia holographic jelly. It’s not an in-your-face hot pink, but is still a bright and cheery floral pink.

Yiyi was even better in person than I had expected. To show how it builds, I did one coat on my ring finger, two coats on my middle finger, and three coats on my index finger. The top and left pictures are Yiyi in the sun, and the right side picture is in indoor light. The formula was very easy to work with. Dry time was pretty average, and I’m so impressed with how holographic this polish is, especially compared to Julep’s previous holographics. I think Yiyi would be great on its own, or as a topper. You could definitely but a lot of different colors under it to get a number of interesting color combinations (yellow undie for orange, blue undie for purple, etc.). I’m really pleased with this one and can’t wait to try out different possibilities.


Cecile (32) is an It Girl color, and the second of the two new holographic jellies. Julep lists it as caribbean breeze holographic jelly. In the online photos, it looks fairly holographic, and seems to lean a bit more green.

Just like Yiyi, Cecile definitely was above and beyond my expectations. It’s also quite holographic. I did the same building of the polish in these pictures; one coat on the ring finger, two on the middle finger, and three on the index. The top and left pictures are in the sun again, and the right side picture is in indoor light. I wasn’t able to capture this one quite as well as Yiyi, but you can tell it’s just as amazing. Dry time was average for this polish as well. Cecile will also be great alone, or as a topper with different undies. I really hope Julep makes many more of these holographic jellies.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, the polishes fit the Lighten Up theme pretty well. Trudy, Yen, Yiyi, and Cecile were a bit bright to be in a light collection, but it’s nice to see a mix of colors. In terms of formula, this collection really hit the mark as well. I didn’t have any formula problems at all. I’m very pleased with the metallics, and of course, extremely impressed by the holographic jellies. All in all, a well done collection.

Thanks for reading,



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