She had another one of them both and was looking for someone to trade with. I happily jumped in on that opportunity because Helena was a color I had my eye on for a little while now and I am sending her some Barry M‘s in return.
Julep isn’t a company I’ve had any experience with before and to be honest I wasn’t very interested in at all because for us Dutch people it is quite hard to come by and the polishes are quite pricey… that was until I saw fair Helena. It was love at first sight for me and I just had to have her. You see, I have a thing for very saturated colors lately, you know the kind; those colors that just scream summertime. It must be the cold weather because only a little while ago I was more into muted tones.
Now on to more information about this polish. This is what is said about it on Julep’s own page:
Ultra-saturated fuchsia. Looks great on all skin tones. A favorite of Seattle Magazine’s beauty editors. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
Well they’re certainly not lying there, this color does seem to look great on all skin tones! I’ve been Googling swatches before I decided I really wanted this and it seriously just delivers every single time on every skin tone.
Helena is a fuchsia, so it’s not pink and it’s not purple but stuck somewhere in between. And I’ve got to tell you the coverage is fabulous due to the heavy pigmentation. Is it worth the $14 though? I am honestly not sure. I haven’t worn this for more than two days (without any tipwear or chipping so that’s good) but is it worth the $14 they ask for it on the site? I haven’t quite decided yet… Let me show you the other polishes I have in my collection that could be a good dupe of it, first I will show you the polishes in the bottle:
- Sinful Colors – Dream On = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $2 to $4
- Julep – Helena = 8 ml/.27 fl oz – $14
- O.P.I. – Don’t know… Beets me! = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz - $7 to $12.
- O.P.I. – Dim Sum Plum = 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz – $7 to $12.
Dream on by Sinful Colors, the cheapest one of the four polishes pictured here and is the one that, to me, looks the most like Helena. Not just in color but also in texture after application.
It’s hard to capture the colors right by the way, especially when you are wearing it on your fingernails as you can see on the picture here on the right. But hey at least I gave it a shot right?
I believe Dream on has a hint more blue to it and doesn’t apply as evenly. The manicure you see here by the way has two layers of each polish over a basecoat. I did not apply a topcoat just so you can see how glossy the O.P.I. polishes are on their own while Helena and Dream on both dry to a semi matte that reminds me of the rubberized finish the recent Illamasqua Theater of the Nameless polishes have.
Now, my points for Helena. All in all I give this polish the following rating:
– For staying power so far, I can’t say much of it yet of course but so far, so really good!
- For color, it’s just a fabulous bright, intense eye catching color, I love it!
- For coverage, one layer is enough to be opaque but I used two for a bit more depth in the color.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to Sinful Colors’ near dupe of $2!
- For amount. I would have loved to have more. It is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz compared to Sinful Colors’ 15 ml / 0.5 fl oz
So a couple of good scores but a few bad ones as well I’m afraid… But that doesn’t change the way I feel about this color at all, I am very very smitten still, it’s a stunning almost unique color and I am very certain that a lot of people feel the same way after applying it or even seeing it in the bottle.
And now a quickie about the Julep Fast Dry Topcoat that beautiful Helena came with it. I do like it for doing its job, it dries quickly as the name implies but man it smells! Never have I smelled anything like it before and I wonder what it is that is actually causing this. The description on their site is as follows:
Formulated to provide a glossy finish that prevents yellowing and protects nail color with fast-drying shine. For best results, use with Julep Basecoat or Julep Nail Therapy and Julep Nail Vernis. Professional quality “4-free” nail polish formulation, developed without carcinogens such as formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin, toluene and DBP. Shine on! $1 will be donated to organizations that support women through our Powered by Girlfriends program.
I wondered at first that because the polish is “4 free” it would have that smell, but Helena smells perfectly fine so it might be the component that prevents the polish from yellowing or makes it dry faster than regular polish. Well, I don’t know what it is but I know that I really don’t like it and I switched over to my ever loyal Seche Vite to finish the job. Yes, Seche Vite smells strongly too but the scent is familiar and gone again pretty quickly so it’s easy to handle I guess…
Okay, on to the ratings for the topcoat:
– For staying power. It dries quickly too as promised.
- For color, it’s a topcoat, no color.
- For coverage, it applies quickly and easily.
- For price, $14 dollars is a LOT of money compared to other topcoats. Seche Vite sells for $5.40 on Amazon and that contains 14ml/.5 fl oz, so yeah…
- For amount. Again, it is only 8 ml/.27 fl oz