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It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written a nail polish post. This one is a little special, so keep reading.

I used to take dance classes when I was in elementary school. This was not the sort of competitive dance that I think a lot of people are familiar with. It was ballet, mixed with modern dance elements, taught by an aging-hippie. Her name was Linda. She let my mother pay her in sewing lessons when she found out we couldn’t really afford it. She put glitter gel on our faces before performances, calling it “faerie magic.” We warmed up to Two Princes by the Spin Doctors.

For my first Sugar Plum Fairy performance, I wore my mother’s blush and a frosted pink nail polish. I felt beautiful. I felt like a different person, or a braver, slightly pink-er version of myself. For that few minutes on stage, my insecurities and ongoing worries completely melted away. My closest friends in that group of girls carried burdens that I wouldn’t learn about until much later (burdens much to heavy for any child to bear), but I think and I hope, that those Saturdays helped them as they helped me. Linda was a faerie godmother.

Winter will always remind me of our abridged version of The Nutcracker, and that feeling of beauty, despite being so awkward and shy and unsure of the space my body took up. Whatever happened on stage for me  was magic. I never wanted to take off the glitter off my cheeks or the polish off my nails. I wear about as much pink now as I did then (which is… not much), and I still have a penchant for shimmer.

When December arrives, my polishes come out of their summer-induced hibernation. These are four of my favorite festive shades from my current collection.

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from L to R: Zoya Seraphina, Julep Harlow, Julep Natalia, Julep Valerie

And these are on my wishlist.

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from L to R: Julep Chatoya, Julep Sienna, Sparitual Home, Zoya Imogen

Now for  the fun part:

If you like glitter, some of these swatches may have you tempted to become a Julep Maven. The new Snow Day Welcome Box from Julep (a $58 value) is the perfect opportunity to join, and will get you in the holiday mood. It’s got a bit of shine, a bit of sparkle, and a top-rated beauty product as a bonus. As a Julep Maven subscriber, you get first access to trend setting colors and top-rated beauty products every month in addition to plenty more perks.

I love being a  Maven. Julep is the only customizable box of full-size, limited-run nail colors and new beauty products. That means no surprises, no duplicates, or any colors you don’t like. You see what’s in your box each month and have the option of swapping out colors and products you already have or don’t want. You also have the option of skipping out on a month, without losing your opportunity to participate the following month. This is one of my favorite things, especially when the colors aren’t up my alley (neons), or I just don’t have room for polish in my budget (holiday shopping).

  • Julep polishes are vegan-friendly and free of toxins!
  • You get over $40 of full-size products in every box for an affordable $24.99 per month.
  • Mavens get benefits all month long at Julep – like 20% off, free shipping, early access to secret sales and more.
  • A Maven subscription makes a great gift, too.

Become a Maven today, use the code FROSTY to get your own Limited Edition Snow Day Welcome Box Valued at $58 FREE for New Maven Subscribers (Pay $3.99 Shipping).

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Spread a little faerie magic with some sparkle on your fingers!

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Julep’s September Collection is called “Cityscape,” and it’s full of beautiful skyline inspired colors, which are perfect for transitioning into fall. I am typically a “Boho Glam” girl, but this month I went for the “Bombshell” box because it featured a lovely slate grey creme polish. I normally don’t pick any “add ons,” even with their deeply discounted pricing, but this month I chose one more polish and Julep’s new Konjac Cleansing Sponge.

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from l to r] Candace, Daria, Carmen

One of Cityscape’s featured beauty products is Bare Face Cleansing Oil, which is an oil-based facial cleanser that you apply dry and then rinse with warm water.  This product was included in all of September’s Maven boxes, and while I no longer regularly wash my face, I decided to give it a try. I used some of my Julep points to cover the add-on cost of the konjac sponge.

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The Konjac sponge appealed to me for a couple different reasons. The shape makes it easy to hold and use, and the sponge is made from natural plant-based material with added charcoal. The product description said that it’s gentle enough for everyday use, which for me means it’s safe to use every other day or so in the shower. I was also drawn to it because as an anime-obsessed teenager, I went through a brief obsession with Japanese beauty products.

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I’ve been using the sponge during every other morning shower, and a small amount of the cleanser every night before bed. One or two pumps does the trick for me, as I don’t typically wear makeup. In the winter, I’ll likely be adding a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer to my routine, so I’ll probably end up increasing the amount of cleanser I use. It’s supposed to be great for makeup removal. It’s been a week and a half since I started using these products, and my ultra-sensitive skin hasn’t yet broken out, so I think I’m safe to continue! The cleanser is seriously a treat. It’s made with grapeseed oil, olive oil, vitamin E, and rosehip seed oil, and it smells divine. Julep’s site recommends using the sponge in conjunction with the cleanser, but I’ve been enjoying using it in the shower on its own. It’s a soothing process to wake up to, and my face always feels great.

I was originally going to completely skip over the September Maven box, but I’m so glad that I didn’t.

If you’re interested in becoming a Julep Maven and receiving two new polishes every month, feel free to sign up using my referral link. I’d really appreciate it! Julep is a great company, and I fall more in love with them every month. Their nailpolishes are free of toxins and none of their products are animal-tested.

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It’s been ages since I’ve written a proper Mail Day post! Truth be told, I’ve been feeling a little jaded since the Amazon iron pills debacle. Today’s mail changed my tune! I spent a leisurely twenty minutes or so at the kitchen table with my coffee, sorting through and photographing my prizes while the tortoise scaled mountains in the background.

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Hello! No mail for you, unfortunately. [*]

Today I not only received my monthly Julep Maven box, but I also got my Sketchbook Project 2014 kit and my gift from my Snail Mail Collective partner. It’s been a great way to start my day off, and a perfect way to reboot the Mail Day feature!

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I’m too impatient to wait for the official Snail Mail link up, so let’s start with my package from Ally (of Moon or Quit)! It was a joy exchanging e-mails with Ally during the month, and I can’t wait to see her new blog grow! She sent me a lovely postcard from Metz along with some snacking chocolate and a Euro.

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Snail Mail Collective insta-collage

I had so much fun with this project. The sign up for August is now active! Go check it out.

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My Julep Maven box for the month included two new polishes: Francis and Lois, and Julep’s Doublestep foot treatment stick. The “Boho Glam” selections have been mostly spot-on for me, but I love that I have the option every month to choose a different theme or even opt out completely. These monthly boxes are beautifully packaged and a joy to unwrap. If you love nail polish and treats in the mail, I highly recommend signing up!

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Feel free to use my referral link to become a Julep Maven! You’ll receive a special intro box in your color theme, and then have the option to sign up monthly.

I’ll talk more on my Sketchbook Project book when I actually settle down and figure out what I plan to do with it, this year. For future reference, you’ll be able to browse the #SBP2014 tag on the blog. I will probably post peeks (here and with instagram) at a few pages here and there. I decided to sign up for the Northeast tour, this year. I like the idea of the book being seen [semi] locally. You can check out the digitized copy of last year’s book here!

Welcome back, Mail Day!

[*] I think the tortoise could really use a pen pal, honestly.

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Yesterday I received May’s Maven box from Julep.  This was actually my first box aside from the introductory shipment, so I was pretty excited for it to arrive.

This month’s new color collection is a 1920s inspiration, definitely something I can get behind. I was into all the colors, but especially in love with the two shades of purple I received in my default “Boho Glam” box, “Alice” and “Millie.” I also received The New York Jazz Trio, which is a set of three mini lipsticks. I am pretty cautious when it comes to lip color, so I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to these as much as I was the polishes, but it turns out two of the three colors are beautifully sheer. I’m going to be using “Satin Doll” every chance I get. The formula is so soft and the lipsticks smell lovely. Is that normal? I don’t know what lipstick is supposed to smell like.

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[images from Julep]

I love getting these little colorful gifts in the mail (nail polish is basically paint, and that makes me happy), but I also really love that I can opt-out easily if I’m uninterested in the colors (or, you know, broke for the month).

Happy Thursday! Treat yourself to something lovely, this afternoon, whether it’s a manicure, a milkshake, or an hour alone with a book.

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I mentioned last week that I received my starter box from Julep’s Maven program. I have fallen in love with Julep. I knew I would. This polish is made in the USA, free of toxins (NO formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene or DBP), and not tested on animals. A percentage of all their sales go to organizations that empower women. Like I said, I have fallen in love.

The colors in my intro box were Lisa and Petra. Lisa is a warm-toned greenish slate grey creme. I received so many positive comments on this polish color!

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The applicator brush on these polishes is soft and thick-bristled. It is a brush that, as a clumsy nail painter, I really appreciate. I managed to paint my right hand fairly well, though it took one more coat than my left. I’m looking forward to my next surprises from Julep!

Next week I promise I’ll wear something not grey.

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