Thursday, May 8, 2014

Review: Julep Eye Sheen Liquid Eye Shadow & Shader Brush

Julep Eye Sheen, Julep Shader Brush, Review, @girlythingsby_e

Julep contacted me recently and invited me to check out some of their new products. Of course, I said yes. I mean, hi, I'm a little makeup obsessed. Perhaps you've noticed.

I was a bit nervous about testing out liquid eye shadows. My past experience with such products haven't proved fruitful. I've traditionally found liquid shadows to require more attention (and seeing as I'm lazy, I don't like high maintenance products). My general issues have been that they shift and crease and can be a bit difficult to blend (either setting too fast or too slow).

But since these are not the same shadows I've tried in the past, and it's been a long ass time since I've experimented with the liquid shadow, I pulled up my grown-up pants and gave myself a little pep talk. "It's makeup, not brain surgery. Get it together, E"

There you have it everyone, proof that I also get a little intimidated by makeup. I have to remind myself it's OK to make mistakes.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I received these early in April, which is actually pretty perfect considering the weather down here is getting to be particularly unbearable. It's hot. It's humid. It's rainy. It's sticky. And it's only gonna get worse. (Jealous?) What better place to test a product's stay-all-day claims than up against the likes of the power combo (heat and humidity) that melts everything? If it can survive here, my friends, well, you see where I'm going...

So let's get down to business. Who's takin' bets?

Julep Eye Sheen Nude, Julep Eye Sheen Fig, Review, @girlythingsyby_e

Before we get into how these worked, let's take a gander at what Julep has to say about them and what they should do (pulled directly from their site):

This gorgeous liquid eyeshadow glides on easily and sets to a satin finish that stays put all day. The buildable, blendable formula is enriched with our proprietary Power Cell ComplexTM.
Dusty Taupe Shimmer
Warm Fig Shimmer
Pale Nude Shimmer
Deep Bronze Shimmer
A Julep-exclusive blend of age-defying ingredients, Power Cell Complex™ provides rapid hydration without leaving an oily residue on skin. Discover our complete line of Power Cell Complex™ products.
Key Ingredients:
Rosehip seed oil – delivers essential fatty acids to the skin, locking in moisture
Malvaceae Lipid Extract™ - provides immediate and long-lasting hydration
Green coffee bean oil – invigorates skin and promotes cell turnover
To use:
Sweep a thin layer over eyelid with fingers or brush. Let dry. Add more layers to intensify.


As you can see from the photo above, Julep's Eye Sheens come packaged in a potted container, which is pretty standard for most cream shadows. I was a bit surprised that these didn't come in a squeeze container (or even something more air tight), given their liquid-esque consistency. It would certainly make it easier to keep air out (so they don't dry out) and control how much product you use. 

I'm not dogging the packaging, though. It's sturdy and easy to store since it's small. The clear container gives you a good idea of the actual color and how much product you have left. You can also scoop out whatever product you need. I didn't experience any product dry out either. So far, they're in tip top shape. 


A few sentences ago, I called this product liquid-esque (did you catch that?). It's because it's not entirely liquid and it's not solid. These are definitely  thinner in consistency than a creme shadow, but they're not so watery that they'd drip out of the container if you held it upside down (demonstrated in the video below).

It's similar in consistency to lotion or even those gel-type lotions out there.

It feels light and slightly cool when applied to the skin.


Both colors I received were highly pigmented and dry down to a shiny satin finish. I only needed a tiny amount to get a nice wash of color. They blended out very easily using my fingers as well as the shader brush that Julep provided. I noticed that I was able to blend the color out better when I used my fingers, likely because the warmth of my hands helped keep the product from setting as quickly. 

Julep Eye Sheen Nude, Julep Eye Sheen Fig, Swatches, Review, @girlythingsby_e
Julep Eye Sheen Fig & Nude applied without primer underneath.

When applying, you'll want to use light layers to build up the intensity and allow each layer to dry completely before packing on the next one. Otherwise the layers beneath will shift around and the color won't build up as nicely. Additionally, packing on too much makes this product start to feel heavy on the lids and that feeling remains until you wash the shadow off. When you take a little more time to build up slowly, you can stop before it starts to feel heavy (and still get color pay off). 

When working with these, eye shadow primer is a must. Whenever I tried to wear them solo, I experienced a lot of creasing and fading. The higher the heat and humidity, the more noticeable the break down. When worn indoors in the air conditioning, these lasted all day long (with primer) and looked just as nice at the end of the day as they did when first applied. 

Sadly, they didn't fare as well outdoors. When spending time outside (resulting in sweating -- nearly inevitable down here), they creased and faded. While they'd still be on my lids by the end of the day, they showed definite wear and simply did not look good anymore. 

I'm curious to find out whether these fare better in cooler, dryer weather. Maybe they're just not meant for us Florida girls (at least, not outdoors). 

Cost and availability: 

Julep's Eye Sheen's retail for $18, contain 0.15 oz of product, are available in four neutral shades, and can be found on Julep's site. I wonder if these will someday hit stores? I haven't seen them at my local makeup shops. Have you?

About the shader brush:

Julep also sent over their shader brush ($18) for me to test out with their liquid shadows. They sure know the way to my heart. I do love a good makeup brush. I love the sleek glossy black handle and design. It fits comfortably in my hands and the bristles felt soft against my skin, but had enough give to help pack on color. 

While it's called a shader brush, this can also double as a concealer brush and maybe even a lip brush (it's larger than a traditional lip brush but workable).

After several washes, the brush retained it's shape, didn't shed, and the bristles felt as good as new. The brush quality is very good. 

If I had to nit pick at something, I'd say the price is a bit high. But I'm certainly nit picking here. It's about average cost for a mid- to higher-end brand. Like I said, splitting hairs. It really all depends on your personal budget and preference. For me, I'd like to see it cost less. Mostly because good shader brushes are pretty easy to come by in my opinion. 

If someone asked me about cruelty-free mid-priced brushes, I'd certainly suggest they look into Julep. 

Overall thoughts:

I loved how easy the Eye Sheen liquid shadows were to apply and blend, and that they offered great color pay off and a beautiful finish. For down here in Florida, these are just for indoor use. The heat and humidity seemed to be too potent for the budge-proof claim. I'd definitely wear these for days in the office and indoor dates with the hubs. But an outdoor beach wedding (lots of those down here!)? Not likely.

Bonus: Julep's products are cruelty free.

I'm genuinely curious to hear from anyone who had a different experience from mine. If you were able to get these to last all day in the heat, do you have any pointers?

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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