Julep October 2016: Dark and Stormy Nights


The Dark and Stormy Nights Collection Included:

  • 8 Nail Colors
  • 3 Existing Beauty Products: Night Shift Face Mask, Fluid Eye Glider, and CTRL + Z Eye Makeup Eraser

The October Collection features dark, wintery shades almost exclusively, with the exception of the holographic top coat. This month did not feature any new products, so The Whole Shebang option included existing products. The collection page on the website includes these products, even though they premiered in other collections, so I’ve listed them above. I was excited to see a collection without a pink (no hate to pink, it’s just that there are a million pink Juleps) and with lots of rich, deep shades.


Jean (94) is a Classic with a Twist polish, in black cherry crème. This is a great fall shade because it appears to still have some brightness to it, but leans a bit darker. Jean is a rich, bold red that’s a great go-to shade.

Jean’s formula was slightly on the thinner side, but applied evenly without streakiness. It required three coats to reach full opacity, which is disappointing for a plain crème. The dry time was pretty standard. Also, please be aware that Jean is a stainer, so use a good base coat. In terms of color, I think Jean was just a tad darker than I expected. It still has some hint of brightness, deeper and more saturated than the online swatches suggested. It’s a burgundy red that has just a bit of brown tones. Despite not being exactly as expected, it’s still a great fall color, if you don’t mind needing three coats.


Ebony (95) is a graphite holographic shade in the It Girl profile. This was one of the more interesting shades of the collection, as it’s not a crème or ghost shimmer. It’s a medium-dark grey packed with holographic shimmer, giving off a strong rainbow effect.

Ebony’s formula was slightly on the thicker side. Unlike many Julep holographics, Ebony did not have a streaky application, and went on smoothly and easily. I used two medium coats to achieve full coverage. The dry time was just slightly longer than average. The holographic power of this polish did not disappoint. I found it to be true to my expectations, and it really caught and reflected the light. The grey, neutral base really allows the holographic effect to come through, creating a colorful effect that appears to be both linear and scattered. Ebony will be my measuring stick for all future Julep holographics.


Gladys (96), another It Girl polish this month, is a neptune blue ghost shimmer. This polish is a blend of navy and cobalt, with just a touch of silvery blue shimmer. The dollop photo appears to show a very strong shimmer effect, but it’s much more subtle in the manicure shot.


Gladys had a slightly thick formula, which wasn’t quite as easy to work with, but still usable. It applied evenly. I was pleased to find I could achieve full coverage in two coats. The polish had a standard dry time. Like Jean, this one is definitely a stainer. As expected, Gladys is an interesting blue that catches the light like a brighter cobalt, but is deeper and richer like a navy blue. Despite my skepticism of ghost shimmers, this one did have a subtle but present shimmer effect, giving it a hint of a metallic look, and really making it stand out.


Skylla (97) is a Boho Glam shade, described as black coffee ghost shimmer. Skylla is a deep, dark brown that’s nearly black, just like coffee. Much like Gladys, the dollop seems to show a stronger shimmer effect, while the manicure photo shows little to no shimmer.

Skylla had a normal formula that applied well and didn’t have any streakiness. It took two coats to achieve full opacity, and dried slightly faster than average. The color is true to description. It’s dark, almost black, but has just a suggestion of warmer brown tones. I’m not sure if I’d call it a black leaning brown or a brown leaning black, but you get the idea. While I love the richness of the base, the shimmer was nowhere to be found. No matter what lighting I used, I didn’t find any shimmer in Skylla at all, which is why I’m skeptical of the ghost shimmer finish. It’s hard to balance between just being a shimmer and just being a crème, and Skylla didn’t achieve that. This one is a coffee colored crème polish.


Lolo (98) is an intense indigo ghost shimmer in the Bombshell profile. Lolo is a dark, rich navy polish with slight purple tones. Overall, however, it seems to be a fairly true blue. Once again, this shimmer is barely there in the manicure picture, but quite noticeable in the dollop.

Lolo’s formula was a tad thin, and had just a bit of streakiness upon application. This resolved after the first coat, but it did take three coats to reach complete coverage. The dry time was standard. I didn’t have significant staining, but felt like Lolo definitely has staining potential. The color is a dark and deep blue that can lean indigo, depending on the lighting. I found it leaned navy blue more often than anything else. Like Skylla, I did not detect any shimmer in Lolo at all, and would classify this one as a crème. Given the lack of shimmer and the fact that it needs three coats for full coverage, this is a disappointing shade for me.


Krystle (99) is the Wonder Maven polish for October. It is listed as a hunter green ghost shimmer. It’s a wintery, saturated green perfect for the cooler months of the year and Christmas as well. The silvery shimmer seems more apparent here, and is visible in all the photos.

Krystle’s formula was very average, and I didn’t have any problems with application. I applied three thin coats to achieve full coverage and remove any visible nail line. I really like the rich, evergreen shade of this polish, which is pretty true to the online photos. When Krystle catches the light in the right way, you can see the subtle shimmer effect. However, you have to be pretty close up to the nail to see it. Perhaps ghost shimmer is more for the wearer than anyone else, but it’s just not a concept that works for me.


Desiree (100) is a high-gloss holographic topcoat, a third It Girl polish for October. Desiree appears to have a scattered holo effect, in a clear base that can be applied on top of any manicure. Julep showed it swatched over multiple shades, and it appears not to be too greying, while still providing lots of holographic power.


Desiree had a great formula that was easy to work with and applied very smoothly, which is key in a topper. The holo particles distribute evenly. You can apply as many coats as needed, depending on the look you want, but you can get a good holo finish with just one coat. The dry time is standard. For my swatches, I applied over nothing, black, and white polishes. My ring finger has two coats, and I applied just one over the black and white. Unfortunately, the white nail appears to be washed out. I was really pleased with the amount of holographic coverage, and found that it wasn’t overly greying, as you can see with the black swatch. This is definitely my favorite of the collection, and I look forward to seeing how it compares to other holographic toppers.


Katya (102) is listed as açai berry crème, in the Classic with a Twist profile. It’s a burgundy that leans purple, but is still a very warm shade. Berry is a great description for this dark, bold shade.

Katya’s formula was very standard, not too thick and not too thin. I had no problems with application, but needed three coats to achieve full opacity on the nail. The dry time was normal. In person, the color is pretty true to the online swatches. It’s a very saturated and dark shade, bold and rich on the nails. While the burgundy is probably the most dominant color, it has clear tones of brown, berry pink, and purple, keeping it from being just another red polish.

Final Thoughts

In terms of theme, I have to say this collection is probably one of the best curated this year. Seven of the eight colors are darker, intense shades, really fitting with the Dark and Stormy theme. Although the holographic top coat isn’t a deep shade, I think it still works with the collection, especially as a special effect that can be added to any color of polish. Overall, though, I’m thoroughly unimpressed by the ghost shimmer finish; it has no shimmer, and I would consider most of these shades to just be crèmes. I was also disappointed to find multiple polishes requiring three coats, because three coats is just too much for a crème. Beyond this, my big concern with this collection is that like last month, a lot of the colors appear to be close to existing shades, making the collection not very unique. I’ll have to wait and see the color comparisons to judge that. So, overall, I’d give this month high marks for curation, but low marks otherwise.


p.s. Sorry for using dark, deep, and rich, way too many times in this post.


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