Category Archives: Challenge

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream vs tarte sugar rush Cake Butter Review- Are They Dupes?

A question I’ve seen since the launch of tarte sugar rush Cake Butter regards whether it is a dupe for the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. At $23 for the newcomer, many hoped it could dethrone the $45 cult classic. After all, who doesn’t like to save money. I am going to review both the tarte sugar rush Cake Butter and the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, so you can see the similarities and the differences. For those who have never purchased either and are trying to decide which to splurge on (let’s face it, they are both a splurge), I will make sure I hit every aspect. After all, a pro to some is a con to others.

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Is the $20 Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure Intensive Foot Peel Treatment Really Worth It?

My Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure Intensive Foot Peel Treatment review is ready. If you dislike seeing feet, exit out of this article immediately. This comprehensive review has plenty of feet pictures to back up my findings. There are other articles on this site you will enjoy more than this one. The bottom of my feet can get rough. I dislike when my heels crack, because I typically like my feet. Whenever I stop using Egyptian Magic for an extended period, they will crack. Since I wanted my feet to peel as much as possible, I gave them a one-month break from Egyptian Magic.

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A Foil a Day in June 2019 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I will only complete foil challenges in even months. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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Are Expensive Sheet Masks Really Worth It : Review on When to Splurge and When to Save

Are expensive sheet masks really worth it? How do we know when to splurge and when to save? When it comes to sheet masks, you will not usually notice any long-term benefits from a single application. I’m not referring to the people who can afford to purchase them all the time. This is for those like me who see expensive ones as a luxury that we rarely or never splurge on. I get that the ingredients in the expensive masks typically cost more, so the brands have to charge more to make a profit. Is the benefit from a single expensive mask worth the opportunity cost of investing those beauty dollars elsewhere? Serums can produce long-term effects, so I would typically recommend investing in them and sticking to cheaper masks (unless you can comfortably afford both). Though I only purchase expensive sheet masks when I can get a deal, I wonder if I should stop. In this sheet mask review, I want to go over some of the things I noticed.

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A Foil a Day in April 2019 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I will only complete foil challenges in even months. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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beautyblender the original beauty blender vs the L’Oreal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender vs the Flower Beauty Ultimate 3-in-1 Blending Sponge: A Comparison Review to Find Dupes

When I first noticed the original beauty blender by beautyblender, I was reluctant to even try it. I told myself there was no way I would spend $20 every few months for a sponge, so I continued using brushes to apply my foundation. After getting a free one through a Birchbox order, it was finally time to try it. Even then, I tried to convince myself it was nothing special. It took more foundation than I used with a brush, so it would add even more to my expenses over time. Then, it hit me. My skin looked better when I applied my foundation with a beautyblender. The brush usually left streaks when I used a paint brush style or accentuated dry patches on my skin when used a buffing style.

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Rose Petal Blush Review: Les Merveilleuses Laduree Paris Face Color Rose Laduree 02 with Pot Versus My DIY Dollar Tree Creation

I’ve wanted the Les Merveilleuses Laduree Paris Face Color Rose Laduree 02 since the first time I saw a picture of it. The rose petal blush was one of the most beautiful beauty products I’d ever seen. With the delicate looking flower petals and ornate container, I knew I would purchase it some day. My hold up was the cost. Spending over $100 on a single beauty product was something I had not done before 2017 (when I purchased this). Although, I had spent $95, $98, and $99 on products, so I was close enough. The second problem was availability. This is not sold in the US outside of Amazon, and the risk of receiving a fake on Amazon was too great.

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A Foil a Day in February 2019 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shopper Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I will only complete foil challenges in even months. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream vs CeraVe Moisturizing Cream: Are They Dupes?

After realizing the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream looked similar, felt similar, and performed similar, I knew I needed to review them together. Are they dupes? Everyday, I applied the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream to the right side of my body, and the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to the left side of my body. I got this idea from my foil challenge, because the foils do not always have enough product to cover the area I am testing. Whenever that happens, I use my regular product to finish the job.

It is always easier to spot direct differences when you are using the products at the same time. After one week of wearing them both at the same time, I knew I was ready to compare them. This review is a comparison for how they perform on my body. If you are looking for a comparison of how they perform on the face, I found this video. Though the skin on my face is very dry, the pores get clogged easily leading to acne. Unless a product claims it is a facial moisturizer, I do not want to place it on my face. Everyone has different skin, so only you can decide if you want to risk trying CeraVe on your face.

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A Foil a Day in December 2018 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shopper Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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A Foil a Day in October 2018 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shopper Collect

I am getting a really late start in October, so I will probably not finish this until sometime in November. The month I take off gives me time to catch up on any I miss in a challenge month, so I hope I am on time in December.

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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Do You Need a Color Switch or Will a Dupe Work as a Dry Brush Cleaner? My Test and Review of Four, including a DIY Dollar Tree Project

If you are trying to decide whether you want to invest in a dry brush cleaner, Color Switch, or purchase a hair donut instead, I am here to help. Whether your brush collection is small or you have some brushes you love that you use for multiple colors, a dry brush cleaner can help. It is mostly commonly called a color switch, because the most popular one from Sephora and Vera Mona includes that in the title. Just like some will ask for a Kleenex when they want a tissue, some will ask for a color switch when they want a dry brush cleaner. They are also really helpful for people who swatch products using brushes. Let me know below if you want my reasoning for why brush swatching is usually wasteful and unnecessary. A color switch removes powder products from your brushes without any liquid. Yes, you can use a dry brush cleaner on cream products, but it will not remove as much product and will have you washing your dry brush cleaner more often.

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Full-Face Brand Challenge: e.l.f. Cosmetics Review

For my latest makeup challenge, I decided to do a full-face (eyes lips face; elf) e.l.f. Cosmetics review. When it comes to value brands at the drugstore, e.l.f. is one of the first that comes to mind. Only a few rival its quality and prices. Most are either higher-priced or lower quality. In some cases, they’re both. One of the reasons I love e.l.f. so much is hits and misses exist with every brand. We all have different wants and needs in our makeup so it would be impossible for someone to like every product a brand launches. There is no way every single product is not only great but also perfectly suited to someone. When I have a miss with e.l.f., I never really feel as bad as I do with more expensive brands. Getting upset when you spent $4 on something that did not work out is a lot less likely than how upset you feel when you spend $60. It’s just a numbers game.

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Why Do Foaming Body Washes Always Feel So Luxurious?

I live a constant battle between pampering myself and finding the best deal. Finding a balance between the two is my number one goal as a consumer. When I find cheap items that work as well or better than high-end items, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Spending more than necessary is pointless, but I also don’t like to settle. If the cheaper item is not as good as the high-priced item, I will continue to buy the high-priced item when I am in the mood to splurge. How many times have you purchased something expensive only to get disappointed with its performance? On the contrary, how many times have you grabbed something cheaper than what you usually buy only to discover you barely notice a difference between it and your beloved, expensive product? Price is not always king when it comes to getting the best deal. It is the number one reason I never stop experimenting with new products, even when I find something I love. There are so many products that are wonderful in every price range. Duds also exist in every price range, and dollar store items have disappointed me.

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A Foil a Day in August 2018 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shopper Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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A Foil a Day in June 2018 – Challenge to Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shopper Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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Is the $25 Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel Really Worth Purchasing?

My Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel review is ready. If you dislike seeing feet, exit out of this article immediately. This comprehensive review has plenty of feet pictures to back up my findings. There are other articles on this site you will enjoy more than this one. The bottom of my feet can get rough. I dislike when my heels crack, because I typically like my feet. Whenever I stop using Egyptian Magic for an extended period, they will crack. They had a three week break from Egyptian Magic, so they were ready to peel.

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A Foil a Day in April 2018 – Challenge To Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. I enjoyed this challenge in February so I want to continue it until I no longer enjoy it. My plan is to try a foil of something new or something I have not used in a long time every single day during a challenge month. To give my skin a break from constant new products, I’ve decided to alternate months. After every month I complete, I will take one month off. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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A Foil a Day in February 2018 – Challenge To Use and Review the Beauty Packets Deal Shoppers Collect

What do you do with all those foil packets you collect? I have so many foil packets and rarely use them, because I prefer not to make snap decisions. Like with everything else I do, I put thought and consideration into product reviews. Trying a foil is a great way to see if your skin reacts to the product, you cannot tolerate the smell, the consistency is annoying, or if there is anything about the product that bothers you. Sampling a foil and thinking you need to have that product in your life is rare, but it does happen. This is most likely to happen with products where you can see instant results. In February, I want to challenge myself to try a foil of something new every single day. Feel free to take part in this challenge with me. If you are a fellow deal shopper, I bet you have a lot of foils stockpiled in your collection.

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Challenge: Condition Your Hair Before You Shampoo It

There are a lot of beauty trends that make no sense to me, like bright red lipstick under your eyes to conceal dark circles. Then, there are others that seem a little odd, but I can see the reasoning when I really examine what people are going for. Conditioning your hair before you shampoo it is one of them. Could those with lifeless or flat hair who need conditioner to soften and assist with tangles reverse the typical rotation and still achieve beautiful hair? More companies are jumping on this bandwagon and actually creating systems designed to reverse your routine. TreSemme is one of those companies, and I actually got a chance to try its reverse system when I joined an Influenster VoxBox earlier this year. Systems marketed that way are definitely, but I wanted to see if they actually worked better in reverse. Of course, you could always try this challenge with your current shampoo and conditioner instead of rushing out to buy a set that is specifically marketed as a reverse system.

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Brand Challenge: AHAVA

Mixing and matching brands to find the products that work best for an individual is ideal. Even the best brands have duds, and most brands do not carry every product within a beauty routine. I created this brand challenge series to use as many products as possible from one brand to see how the products work together, and to find which products in the line are a little stronger. Of course, that will also call out the items that do not work as well. These are my opinions and go along with my product needs, so your ratings could be totally different. In order to qualify for this series, I need a minimum of seven different products from a single brand that I can use at one time. Anything less than that, and it does not feel like a brand challenge. Since I am really loyal to the brands I love, it will be extremely easy to use way more than seven for some brands.

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Essence Showdown Volume Two Review Iope

What is an essence and why do I need it? It depends on who you ask. The description I like most is: a lighter, more watery serum. Adding this step is a great idea for anyone, but it is especially wonderful for someone with dry skin. Products absorb better when moisture is present in the skin. An essence not only adds nutrients to the skin, but the watery consistency assists in letting all the products applied after penetrate more deeply. A moisturizing toner also assists in providing that moisture base to help other products absorb, but it lacks the powerful ingredients available in most essences.

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Valentine’s Day Nails 2016 Featuring Polish Julep Hartleigh

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, I know. I featured Julep Hartleigh for my Valentine’s Day Nails in 2015 as well. After all, Julep sent a free bottle of Hartleigh in February 2015 and February 2016. It is as if Julep thinks Hartleigh makes the perfect Valentine’s polish, and that assumption is probably correct. The odds of me finishing any bottle of nail polish are slim, so I will gift or trade the duplicate bottle. For this look and the swatch, I used my 2015 freebie. My look from last year to this year is actually quite different even using Hartleigh as the main accent polish. This look also uses Julep Oxygen base and top coats and Formula X X ♥ Rouge.

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Essence Showdown Volume One Review SK II

What is an essence and why do I need it? It depends on who you ask. The description I like most is: a lighter, more watery serum. Adding this step is a great idea for anyone, but it is especially wonderful for someone with dry skin. Products absorb better when moisture is present in the skin. An essence not only adds nutrients to the skin, but the watery consistency assists in letting all the products applied after penetrate more deeply. A moisturizing toner also assists in providing that moisture base to help other products absorb, but it lacks the powerful ingredients available in most essences.

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The Deal Shopper’s Take on The $20 Makeup Challenge

I’ve watched a few Youtube videos on the $20 makeup challenge. As a deal shopper, the challenge interests me, but it always seemed impossible to really only use items for a full makeup look that cost less than $20. Then, it hit me. If I can do the challenge my way, the deal shopper’s way, I could actually have fun with this. Deal shoppers get items for free, get them at deep discounts in kits, subscription boxes, on sale, and more. To follow the spirit of the game, I will not even use the deal shopper’s biggest resource, the gift with purchase. Those gifts require a purchase making them technical cheats for this game.

If I purchased them in a kit or a subscription box, they’re fair game. I will use the amount I paid for the kit or subscription and divide it by the number of items in the box to arrive at the number. Of course one could argue that I could not get items from kits or subscriptions without first spending the entire amount. To that, I say touche. However, I still think it is fair game, so I am moving forward.

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Halloween Nails for The Uncreative

Happy Halloween. As October closes, I am finally caught up on all my articles! At the beginning of the year, I intended to start using my large nail polish collection more regularly. Life got in the way (the same reason for some untimely articles), and nail polish was not on my mind. Now, that I am trying to get back into the beauty world, I’ve decided to start painting again. A mini manicure each week is therapeutic even though it takes a lot of time, so I am going to get back on track. Halloween nails are a lot of fun, so I could not think of a better time to start again. I also wanted to see what an uncreative person could come up with, so I needed something cute that was not too difficult.

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Valentine’s Day Nails 2015 Featuring Polish Julep Hartleigh

When it comes to creative ideas, I will never be of any help to anyone.  My artistic abilities are lacking and hover near nil.  Say hover near nil five times really fast!  Some Beautytalk readers may have already seen these, because I actually shared them there just before I intended on writing this article.  Well life and a million other things got in the way.  This is the look I came up with for my nails, which I painted on Valentine’s Day.

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Nails Featuring Polish Julep Becky

See recent Julep articles.

For anyone who did not read the previous installments, I made a goal to paint my nails at least once a week this year.  Installment one went over my polish collection among other things.  Then, I embarked on the challenge in the next installment.  If you want to join my in the challenge, follow along here or you can visit the Beautytalk challenge.  Nail polish Saturday was born.  If you’re looking at the calendar, you realize it is Sunday.  No worries though, because I did paint them yesterday and just waited until today to share them.

Julep released a lovely new color named Becky.  Gwen (a BeauyTalk friend of mine) mentioned Becky looked similar to Blakely.  I had not yet used Blakely even though I owned her.  After discussing the two with Gwen, my first plan was to paint one hand in Becky and the other in Blakely to compare the two.  Once Becky started arriving for people, I noticed she was swatching differently than I had seen Becky swatch.  Fearing a mismatched manicure, Gwen suggested I do Blakely on the ring finger of each hand and Becky on the other fingers.  It was a great idea, so that is exactly what I did.

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YSL BabyDoll Mascara is the Challenge Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted in the Mascara challenge.  I had a lot of fun with this challenge and reading everyone’s reasoning on why I should try which mascara. For people who picked more than 1 mascara, I only counted the first one they mentioned that I had not yet tried. I’ve tallied the votes here and BeautyTalk. The results are YSL Babydoll won with 12 votes followed by Blinc with 8 votes. The other votes came in the following order: Josie Maran got 5, Urban Decay Perversion got 5, Butterfly got 3, Marc Jacobs got 3, Tarte got 3, Estee Lauder got 2, Clinique High Impact got 2, Buxom got 2, Hourglass got 2, Sephora got 1, Hypnose Drama got 1 (already used but kept the vote that was never changed), and Bare Minerals got 1.

A lovely reader gave me an idea to host an impromptu drawing. For the drawing, I assigned a number to the 12 ladies who picked YSL in the order they responded. It seems like a good idea to send my second sample to a home that knows and loves the product.  I also assigned Gwenhwyfar a number, because I put her down for Marc Jacobs for mentioning she loved it. However, I realized she did write YSL first. As I specifically tried to only give the first item mentioned to everyone, it would not have been fair to leave her out. By my caluclations (and remember I only counted you for YSL if it was the first mascara you wrote that I have not yet tried meaning you will not see your name on the list if you mentioned another mascara first).

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Nails Featuring Polish Julep Nancy

See recent Julep articles.

If you read my last nail polish installment, you may remember that I entered a nail polish challenge to keep me motivated to paint regularly and use some of the polishes I have collecting dust. My goal is not to repeat any (not counting base and top coats) until I have tried them all.  I’d also like to paint at least once a week.  As Julep makes it so easy to collect quality polishes at incredible prices, I own more Julep than any other brand.  I asked the readers to pick the polish color for this week, and I was happy to start with a Julep color. Continue reading