Even though winter is still a month away (despite what my company calendar says), I couldn’t resist doing a winter mani. Fall is nice, but it’s hard for me to get too excited about warm-toned polishes (oranges, yellows, browns). I’m much more of a cool-toned polish person and I love blues. I recently picked up Julep’s Austen, a rich royal blue shimmer, and I couldn’t wait to use it for a mani.
Blue nail polish kind of sneaked up on me. One of my first Julep boxes contained Ally, an electric blueberry frost color (or, as a reviewer more accurately described it, a “Katy Perry blue”). I never wore much blue polish before, but after using Ally once, I was hooked. Ally still remains one of my favorite Julep polishes and when they released Austen, which looked very similar, I decided to try it. Austen is a little darker and slightly more purple than Ally, but it’s still in the same color family. Ally is a bright, fun blue and Austen is her slightly more refined sister. Ally is summer, Austen is winter. Get the picture?
Austen is a really pretty royal blue. It’s just a tad darker and the shimmers aren’t quite as noticeable in person as they are in these photos (I took them in direct sunlight). Austen is almost a one-coater, although I used two just to even things out. Like a lot of blue polishes, it does have a slightly skunky smell from the pigment. While I don’t love it as much as Ally, this is still a beautiful color and I’m so glad I got it. Austen is $14/11.20 Maven here.
Since I can never have too much glitter on my nails, I added Deborah Lippmann’s Va Va Voom as an accent. Va Va Voom has a blue jelly base and is full of blue hexagonal glitters in two sizes. Oh, and did I mention they’re holographic? With the jelly base the glitters don’t stand out as much, but the fact that they are holographic keeps this polish from being flat.
I love glitter anything but I usually use full-coverage glitter polishes or catch-your-eye glitter top coats. I like this monochromatic glitter look a lot though. Austen is such an eye-catching polish on its own, I didn’t really need any extra sparkle, but I love the texture that Va Va Voom adds to the mani. I only used one coat and got plenty of glitters on each nail. Va Va Voom’s blue jelly base is a great match for Austen.
Next, I added some snowflake decals. I love the nail vinyls from Vinyl It Up (see my previous posts using them here and here) and Lizzie was nice enough to send me some of the winter collection to try. I love her vinyls because they are an easy way to spruce up a mani, and they are so cute! They are really easy to use and last for awhile with a topcoat over them. I don’t have the patience for a lot of nail art but I can easily place a decal on my nails to get a fun look. I used the snowflake decals in powder blue, and I can’t wait to use more of the winter collection, especially the mittens and ornaments. I think the decals are already at a great price, but check out the Vinyl It Up instagram for a Black Friday special (these would be great Christmas gifts too).
So there it is, my first winter mani for the year. Austen is a really gorgeous royal blue shimmer and I’m so glad I picked it up. I love the holographic glitters in Va Va Voom and I’m really happy with the blue glitter on blue polish look. It’s sparkly and glittery which I love, but it’s more of a refined sparkle compared to what I usually wear. I’m also really happy with the snowflake decal. I like that it’s blue as well, so it really fits with the other polishes, but since it is a little lighter it also stands out and completes the look.
What do you think? Is it too soon for winter manis?