My Julep Favorites – Nails and Skincare and Makeup, Oh My!

I don’t actually remember how I first heard about the beauty brand, Julep, but I do know that it was back in 2012. 2012!!! That was so long ago! And yes, I only knew that because I looked on the website to see when I placed my first order and it said 2012!! Once I learned what Julep was and gave them a chance, I feel like my life was changed. I got hooked and I gave them all of my allegiance, which has only grown and grown over the years.

They started out focusing on nail polish and they did (and still do!) it so well. The colors are so rich and they glide on without any issues, and now this is pretty much the only nail polish brand I use. And then. And then!!! And then they started adding more items to their arsenal and I have loved every single one I’ve tried (except for one…). I love them so much, that I looked around my bathroom and realized that the majority of my beauty routine is done using only Julep products!

Since I’ve tried a ton of their product line, I thought I would share the ones I love the very best and HIGHLY recommend you try, too!

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First up, obviously, is nail polish. I just love the way that the color glides onto your nails. It’s a thicker polish, so you can get away with just one coat most of the time, and they have an almost unlimited choice of colors and glitters and shines to choose from. But the thing I SWEAR BY is on the far right in my image – the Freedom Polymer Top Coat. This stuff is AMAZING. I know I’ve shared it before once or twice, but everyone needs this in their life. It dries your nails in 5 minutes (like touch your nails go on with your life dry) and it makes your nails SO SMOOTH! It feels like you got a gel manicure, and this top coat makes my nail polish last way longer than any other top coat I’ve ever used.

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When Julep started adding skincare, I didn’t really care. I already had my “favorite” items and didn’t really need to try anything else. But then I got their love your bare face cleansing oil. And then I tried their night shift sleeping mask. And then I got the what your skin needs facial milk. And then I was hooked. But by far, the BEST thing that they have (in my opinion), and the ONE THING YOU SHOULD TRY if you were only going to try one thing, is the Triple Quench face mask system. It ROCKS. Something about the three steps working together does such wonders for my skin, it’s almost unbelievable. The next day my skin is SO soft and smooth and looks so amazing, people have stopped to ask what I did differently to make my skin look so good. Seriously, you need to try it!

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Once I started trying the Julep makeup line, I was SO impressed with just about everything… except the mascara that I tried. But I’m very particular about my mascara. But anyway. Everything else has been absolutely wonderful to use and I can’t recommend it enough. Especially the eyeliners. The gel and liquid are both great, and I love that the gel pencil liner comes in SO many shades. The one I’m using right now is a very dark purple and you can’t really tell but it makes me feel a little more fun. The eye shadow is perfect and applies so well.  But if I had to choose just ONE thing to recommend you to try, it would without a doubt be the It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mousse. It goes on so smooth and dries into a nice matte finish that lasts all day. Seriously, all day. I eat and drink and this stuff doesn’t go anywhere. It’s amazing.

Now that I’ve shared my absolute favorites from Julep, I wanted to share a little hack with you, too… I don’t pay full price for any of these items. Nope – I sure don’t! Spend $20 on lip gloss? Nope. $12 for a face mask? Are you kidding? Nope. $14 for nail polish?!?! What?!?! So what do I do to get these great items at a discount? I joined their membership program, Julep Maven! There are a lot of things I love about it.

It’s only $20 a month and you get three items, which makes the price of each item very reasonable. 

You can customize your box each month, so you aren’t stuck with a nail polish color you’d never wear or a shade of blush that would look terrible on you.

There is NO PENALTY if you skip a box for that month! They don’t care, and it doesn’t remove you from the program! (I probably only get 2-3 boxes a year, if I’m being honest.)

You earn points with each monthly box you get, and you can use those points to get additional items or even a free box!

So because I get the subscription box, I make sure that I’m getting my favorite things, or new things I want to try, at a much cheaper price. It’s the best way to do it!

My Favorite Perfume (it’s less than $15!!!)

I am a creature of habit. I know what I like, and I rarely stray far from that. That goes for my tastes in food, it goes for my love and daily wear of cardigans, and it goes for my choice in perfume. I found my signature scent in college and here I am almost 10 years later still wearing the same one. And the best part – it’s under $15!!!

It all started one fateful day back in 2007 or 2008 (I’ve really been wearing it so long that I can’t remember!) when I took a trip to the Battlefield Mall in Springfield, MO. As a young person at the time, one of the only stores I went into was Charlotte Russe because their clothes were cute and at a price that I could afford. I was at the checkout counter and was just casually looking at the things they place up there to try and get you to buy as an impulse, and I smelled their Refuge perfume and I bought it!!

And that’s the boring story. I’ve been using Charlotte Russe’s perfume almost exclusively for about 10 years and I’ve never looked back. You can’t always buy it online, but it’s always in the store, usually at the checkout counter, for you to purchase. Full price their perfume is only $11 or $12, but they were having a CRAZY GOOD SALE (and still are as of today) where they are selling their perfume for $2 online. $2!!!!!!!!!! I bought my usual scent and got 2 of the other ones to try, too, and I honestly like all of them! (I got Adore and Nights, just as an FYI).

While I have dabbled with wearing other perfumes, I just keep going back to this one. It’s become a smell that my friends associate with “Kelly” and I seriously can’t beat the super cheap price! Dear Charlotte Russe, please make this perfume FOREVER!!!

My Hair Essentials

If you caught yesterday’s post, I shared my beauty essentials, and so today I thought I’d share the hair care items that I absolutely can’t live without!

Just like my makeup experience and skill set, I don’t really have a lot of great experience with doing my hair. My hair started getting wavy and extremely frizzy in high school, and I did not know how to handle that at ALL. Thankfully that was right around the time when flat irons started to become a thing, so I got one (or really I think I just secretly used my sister’s…) and tried to straighten the frizz out of my hair, to some moderate success.

And that’s what I’ve been dealing with – frizz and flat irons – until recently. I watched Carly’s video on how she dries her hair, and it finally clicked! I started taking my time and bought a new round brush, and now I can blow dry my hair and leave without using my straightener… I’ve literally never been able to do that before! Amazing!!!

So, now that I’m finally getting the hang of things, let me share what I use day in and day out.

Leave-In Conditioner || I use the classic for this one. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle works so well and smells SO good!!! I usually only end up using it once a month, but I’m trying to use it a little more often, because it really does moisturize my hair so well. When I want to wear my hair wavy, I use this cream and holy moly it smells SO GOOD. Like coconuts. It’s the best.

Brushes || I’ve been using the paddle brushes from The Body Shop since high school, and thankfully they still make them! They’re gentle enough that I can use them to go through my wet hair without fearing damage. I just got this super cheap round brush at Target and y’all – it works great! So worth the tiny price! It holds onto my hair when I’m blowing it out and I’m so happy with it! I can’t believe I didn’t buy it sooner!

Heat Protection || I got this awesome blow dry spray in a sample pack and I LOVE IT. It’s lasted a long time, thankfully, because it’s more on the expensive side. It is supposed to reduce frizz and fight humidity and honestly I think this is a miracle product!!!

Styling Product || I’ve also been using this argon oil for a long time, and I keep buying it when I run out because it works really well. I usually just run a tiny dab over my hair once I’ve finished styling it to make it super shiny and tame the frizz a little bit more.

Beauty Review: Origins Skincare

Ugh I am so not good at having a “skincare routine” which translates to I do not have a skincare routine. At all. Which is surprising, given the number of times I google phrases like “late 20s skincare” and “wrinkle prevention skincare routine” and things like that. So when I was sent some samples of Origins products, I couldn’t wait to give them a try! I had heard great things about a few of their products and wanted to see if they were worth the hype.

These mini sizes are perfect to test them out enough times to see if I like them with a bit of continuous use. Here’s what I thought!

Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash || It IS so frothy, and that’s so fun! I usually just slap my cleanser on my face without paying attention, but I really fell in love with all of the bubbles. It has a slight minty smell that I found to be wonderful. My favorite part is that my face didn’t feel dried out after at all. I felt like my oily spots were kept under control and my dry spots were better moisturized. I would give this product a 9 out of 10.

Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores || I mean, I feel like this one worked pretty well… it was kind of hard to tell. It got a bit itchy when it dried (that happens with other clay masks) and it was kind of hard to wash off, but I’ve also found that to be common with charcoal masks. I give this product a 6 out of 10.

High-Potency Night-A-Mins || This is the product that I’d heard the most people rave about, and even after using it once I was like “ok I get what all the hype is about now.” This stuff felt wonderful on my face, didn’t smell too strong, and I feel like my face looked awesome when I woke up. The only con was that my neck felt a tiny bit greasy after I applied, but that might be because I applied too much? Not sure. Even still, I give this product a 10 out of 10.

GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff || Honestly I couldn’t really tell if this made a difference right away, but I want to believe that it works! It didn’t feel greasy or weird after applying and my makeup (concealer) applied very well on top of it. Only because I didn’t see an immediate result, I give this product a 7 out of 10.

GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturizer || Oh guys. I like this stuff. I like this stuff a lot. It smelled nice and it felt even nicer! It absorbed into my skin so fast and I just felt like my skin looked radiant. I even sent a text to a friend later that first day I used it and said my face had never felt softer. And it continued to feel soft and moisturized all day! This product definitely gets a 10 out of 10.

Overall, I’d say I’m a big fan of Origins! (Or at least of the products I got to try!) I think I might actually buy the energy-boosting moisturizer – I’ve been looking for a new daily face lotion and this has gotta be it! Now I’m dying to try some of the other products from Origins I’ve had my eye on… I wonder if I can get the small sample sizes in those, too.

Have you ever tried any of these or other Origins products? What is your favorite?

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

I Chopped Off My Hair!

I did it- I made the big chop and donated my hair!! 10 inches gone! Cutting my hair has always been kind of an impulse decision for me. I can talk about wanting short hair forever, but one day it will just hit me- I NEED to cut my hair. And usually within 24 hours, the deed is done.

I was walking to lunch last Friday and I told my friend that I was so tired of my long hair- it was so hot and just so long and I didn’t really know what to do with it anymore… and after encouragement from a few others I went online, found a Groupon close by, and made an appointment for the next day.

Here are some things that happened or that I have noticed since cutting my hair:

  • The lady who cut my hair at the salon said “Are you sure? Long hair is so much better….”
  • The lady who cut my hair also didn’t speak English very well, and so I was crossing my fingers that we were agreeing on what she was doing back there.
  • My head feels approximately 4lbs lighter.
  • My arms feel a lot colder (I would sometimes use my hair as like a built-in blanket… and yes I realize how insane that sounds but it WORKED, y’all).
  • When someone brings up my haircut, a lot of guys will then comment with “oh….. was your hair long?” Yes. Yes it was.
  • Doing my hair now takes half the time. HALF!
  • My ponytail is now tiny and basically non-existent and kinda sad.
  • I keep pouring out my old usual amount of shampoo and it is WAY too much. #sudsfordays
  • I keep trying to pull my hair over to one side, but it flops out of my hands way sooner than I expect.


I’m still getting used to my new ‘do, but it is so nice and flippy and perfect for summer! I’ve started pinning cute short hairstyles and tutorials on Pinterest- hopefully I can make some of them work!