Julep June 2016: Midsummer Light


The Midsummer Light Collection included:

  • 7 Nail Colors, including one re-release
  • 4 New Skip the Brush Blush Stick Colors
  • New When Pencil Met Gel Eye Glider in Sunset Gold

In terms of polish, the collection is a mix of brights, deep shades, pastels, and nudes, without a clear theme. The beauty products are a bit more cohesive, with highlighting and bronze tones of blush and a golden hued eye glider that seem to better fit the Midsummer Light theme.

Before I start my review, I have to admit that while I was on a cycling trip last week, I betrayed my nails, and picked off my polish. This is a bad habit I’ve largely broken since starting my blog, but still fall victim to sometimes. Don’t do it! It weakens your nails and has definitely put me several steps back in growing them out, just when they were starting to look good. I really did some damage to some of them. In return, my nails betrayed me, and a number of them broke and had to be filed back down (and after writing this, my pinky nail decided to fully break off. Tragic!). So now they’re relatively short and I need to work on growing them again.


Naveena (53) is June’s Wonder Maven color. It’s described as lush jungle teal jelly, and it’s Julep’s first jelly not in the red/pink/purple family. It appears to be a true teal, with deep color saturation.

Naveena had a good formula that applied pretty evenly and dried in normal time. As a jelly, it really builds with additional coats, to the point where it becomes more of a crelly with the third coat. Above, I have one coat on my index finder (bottom), two on the middle finger, and three on my ring finger.  It is a rich, deep teal that pops off the nail; I like the boldness of the shade. Upon removal, Naveena showed the potential to be a stainer, so make sure you use a good base coat with it.


Lindsey (54), is a melon splash ghost shimmer in the Boho Glam profile. It’s a medium pink with tones of orange, creating the melon-y shade. In the swatches, it really looks more like a crème than a shimmer, although the dollop photo suggests the shimmer is stronger.

Lindsey had a great formula that provided excellent color. It was almost one coat coverage, but not quite, so I applied a second coat. It did have a slightly longer dry time, but I didn’t mind since it was opaque in two coats. The color leans more pink than orange (think watermelon rather than cantaloupe, if you’re thinking in terms of melons). The shimmer is very fine and subtle, but does make the finish extremely shiny.


Adrian (55), the other Boho Glam color for June, is a daffodil crème polish. It’s a bright and cheery shade, and the first yellow Julep has made this year.

I was pretty disappointed by Adrian. Julep usually produces excellent crèmes that cover in one or two coats. Adrian had a thin formula, and applied rather streaky. It took three coats to reach opacity. It did dry quickly, and had a very strong shine. It did photograph slightly differently in various light, and is a fun and vibrant medium yellow. However, I think this was a missed opportunity. Julep has a tendency to neglect yellow, so it would have been nice to see a yellow in a new finish, rather than another crème that will probably be pretty similar to the existing catalog. There is no yellow sheer, holo, holo jelly, jelly, glitter, stardust, or fizzy, just to name a few. I understand if there are less yellows than pinks and purples, but I’d love to see more yellows in more than just crème and shimmer finishes. Okay, pro-yellow rant over.


Lorraine (56) is a Classic with a twist shade in mulberry passion microshimmer. It’s a pinky-purple with medium color saturation. There’s a silvery shimmer that appears in both the swatch and dollop photos, and really adds to the color.

Lorraine is probably my favorite of this collection. The formula applied well, and I had full opacity in one coat (which made me quite happy). It also dried quickly, so it’s basically a perfect formula. I applied a second coat to my ring finger so you can see that the color does become slightly more purple with a second coat. The subtle shimmer definitely shows on the nail. I feel like the pink/purple blend is very versatile and could be used to create either a classy and simple look or a bright and fun mani, and fits with many seasons.


Luella (57) is one of two Pantone 2016 Color of the Year shades. It is a rose quartz crème. Luella is a pretty standard pale pink polish.

Although I didn’t have high expectations for this shade, I was disappointed by Luella. I felt the formula smelled a bit more than usual, was thin, and had a very streaky application. It needed three coats for full coverage, and had an average dry time. In all honesty, it’s a pretty boring color, and I feel like Julep has already produced more light pink crèmes than most of us will ever need. Because of the formula, I have to recommend that if you need a light pink, you pick a different shade. Again, this was a missed opportunity to produce a finish that hasn’t been done in this shade, while still honoring the color of the year. I also feel like the 2016 colors of the year are better suited to spring, especially if they were going to do crèmes (although maybe spring cremes is too much of a polish cleshay).


Matilda (58) is a serenity blue crème, and is the second Color of the Year. In the phots, it appears to be a periwinkle blue with tones of light purple.

Matilda had a pretty standard Julep crème formula, although it was on the thinner side. It also smelled worse than usual, although I’ve come to expect that with blues (from various brands). Matilda applied evenly and had a good dry time. I had full coverage in two coats, with a very shiny finish. Matilda is true to the online pictures, and has a suggestion of purple, although it is dominantly blue. Again, I would have rather seen a more creative finish, but there are many fewer blue crèmes than pink crèmes, so I’m curious to see how this one will stack up compared to the rest of the catalog.


Alaina (2013, 86) is a driftwood taupe crème in the Classic with a Twist profile. Alaina was not in the vault, so this is not a back from the vault release, just an inclusion of an existing color. Alaina appears to have hints of pink and purple, making it a very warm taupe.

I found Alaina’s formula to be a bit thin, but it applied well and had full coverage in two coats. The dry time was pretty standard. It’s much greyer than it appears online, and leans more cool than warm in person. I would still call it taupe, but it’s really a blend of grey and a hint of brown, with no other tones. Because Alaina was not in the vault, it’s really unclear to me why it’s being included in another collection. I do not believe it is a high demand color, and I do not think there is anything summery about a taupe/grey (although it was released originally in the summer). I found the decision to include this shade disappointing.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this collection is pretty mediocre for me. I don’t see a cohesive theme at all, and feel that there’s a real lack of curation here. More than one formula was lackluster, despite having no new finishes in the collection. A number of the colors were missed opportunities to release more interesting and unique shades. I especially don’t know why they re-released Alaina, which was not even in the vault, and is a very wintry shade. I really like that the collections have been smaller and more manageable lately, but if Julep is going to do smaller collections, they need to be well curated, unique, and include all new colors. While I don’t want to be overly negative, this collection really missed the mark, and I hope Julep does better next month.



2 thoughts on “Julep June 2016: Midsummer Light

  1. Great review! I picked Luella and a blush stick/ liner for my box but was curious about Matilda. Do you think it is similar to Isabela from last year?


    • Thanks for reading! I’m not sure I can comment with a photo but I’ve taken a comparison pic of the two and Isabela is a bit darker and bluer, whereas Matilda is lighter and has more hints of grey. I will post a full collection comparison in the next week and a half, and will be sure to include Isabela in the Matilda comparison. I need to figure out how to enable photo comments!


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