While I usually stick to solid-color manicures, I'm often tempted to try my hand at nail art.
It's a huge trend right now, and it's not hard to see why — on Pinterest, you can get carried away browsing and re-pinning thousands of artfully decorated digits.
READ: Graffiti Nail Art Tutorial
And sure, I would love to adorn my nails with ombre polka dots and adorable kittens, but sadly, I just don't have the time ... or the patience!
But when Julep offered to let me test drive some of their gorgeous nail colors, I couldn't resist the opportunity.
Patience Is a Virtue:
I decided to give myself "galaxy" nails, but with six bottles of polish to work with, I wondered how long this was actually going to take.
Not knowing what I was in for, I began to follow the tutorial Julep sent me (see below).
First, I applied a clear base-coat to my nails, then the black base color. I let that dry for a few minutes before applying more colors.
Tip: While waiting for your nails to dry, take the time to answer emails, tweet your friends, or maybe even take a crack at writing the great American novel. When typing, you'll be less likely to smudge your work.
Things Get Tricky:
To make the pink, blue, green and glitter "nebula clouds," I couldn't use the brush that came with the bottle because it was too thick. And because I don't own any nail art tools, I improvised with toothpicks.
I carefully placed a small dot of color onto each nail, then went back and used the side of the toothpick to dab and blend out the dot, creating a "cloud" effect. I repeated this step with the next three colors. So far, so good! I just had to be extra careful not to smudge my work.
The next step was adding the "constellations," which are simply white dots of polish. Unfortunately, the toothpick didn't give me very much control over how big or small I made the dots. I should have also waited longer for this round of polish to dry before applying a final top coat, because some of my constellations became shooting stars. But hey, it fit within the celestial theme, so I could live with that.
Tip: If you're super impatient when it comes to letting your nails dry, I swear by Seche Vite. It's a clear top coat which dries almost instantly.
I was pleasantly surprised by how well my galaxy nails turned out! The whole process only took about 30 minutes, including the time they took to dry.
While I don't consider myself a total nail-art fanatic, I would definitely give it another go. When not pressed for time, it's actually kind of fun and relaxing. Even if you're not artistically inclined, there are still lots of stylish and simple designs you can try.
As for the polish, Julep's colors are beautiful, but I noticed certain colors brushed on a little thicker, if not more goopy than others. I suppose the good thing is that you only need one coat, but if you don't generally have a steady hand, you may need to clean up some polish around your cuticles when you're done.
Also, at $14 apiece, each bottle of polish is quite an investment. But if you're obsessed with nail art or looking for that perfect shade, I recommend giving them a try.