In May, Julep released a four-piece Spring Neutrals set on QVC. The set included an It’s Balm Lip Crayon in Almond Nude, Take a Breather Oxygen Nail Treatment in Sheer Pink, Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and a new, exclusive color, Gracie. I also recieved a foil packet sample of No Limits Luxe Hydrating Cream. The set was offered for $29.96 plus shipping, and is still available.
I can’t help but compare this set to the Shine Like Shawn Set I purchased a few months ago, as some of the products are the same and it includes another QVC exclusive color. I’ve already expressed my frustration with exclusive colors like this, but have to say I was pleased to get an advertisement email about it from Julep. While I’m never going to get fully behind QVC exclusive products, I’d much prefer Julep tells me when they offer them. I don’t mind Julep’s promotion emails, as they don’t send them frequently, and don’t crowd my inbox.
The Shine Like Shawn set included the same It’s Balm Crayon (Almond Nude), Freedom Polymer Top Coat, and the Shawn #shine polish, for $35. In my review, I noted that it seemed odd to not include a base coat in the set, as it didn’t include a complete manicure. In comparison, this set is a much better value, as you get an additional item for $5 less. I also liked that it was a complete manicure, including a nail treatment (base coat), nail color, and top coat. That being said, I was disappointed to see that two of the items were the same (Almond Nude Balm and Freedom Polymer Top Coat), as they really could have included more variety, and Shine Like Shawn is still available. The only other difference was that this It’s Balm is in a new, shiny gunmetal packaging.
Gracie is a Classic with a Twist color, described simply as a taupe crème shade, and it’s a very accurate description. It’s a brownish grey (aka taupe!) with tones of purple.
I found Gracie had a great formula, and was very easy to work with and apply. I had complete coverage in two coats. The polish dried quickly, to a very shiny finish. I topped with Oxygen Performance Top Coat.
Gracie isn’t the first taupe Julep has made, so I wasn’t sure how unique it would be. While it is different from most shades, oddly enough, it is most similar to Alaina. I found this surprising, as Alaina is coming back in the June collection. They are quite similar, and I think this was a missed opportunity to release a more unique shade, rather than a color that’s almost the same as another shade due out in a few weeks.
I wore Gracie as is for a day, and it felt like a very mature, sophisticated color. However, I wasn’t feeling mature and sophisticated this week, especially with the sun finally coming out. With summer on the way, I wanted something sparkly and fun. So I decided to top Gracie with Fair Maiden’s Chasing Rainbows (a holographic top coat).
C gifted Chasing Rainbows to me, and it is beyond awesome. It has so much shine and rainbow sparkle, and these pictures don’t do it justice. It is hard to look away, especially in direct light. In indirect light, it has a really neat blue and purple shimmer. Either way, the color really pops, and is absolutely lovely. All in all, a very pleasing mani.