Happy Fifth of July!

For those of you who call the United States your home, I hope you had a lovely Independence Day! And for everyone else, I hope you had a lovely fourth of July. :)

Last night I watched the fireworks from my rooftop, and caught a few smiles:

Shiny happy fireworks!

Shiny happy fireworks!

It was a good show, although SF’s perpetual summer evening fog hung over the city. Definitely had some interesting effects, like in the photo below!

Fireworks capped by fog.

Fireworks capped by fog.

Earlier in the day I went to my friends’ house for a super yummy barbecue. They’ve got a smoker, so among other things they served up homemade smoked knockwurst and chicken. Noms! (Note to self: get apartment with yard & buy smoker.)

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

Homemade smoked knockwurst, chicken, and homebrew in a stein.

And I got a little festive with my nails, with Julep “Taylor” and “America”. Yep, “America” has silver star glitter in it!

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Manicure with Julep Taylor and America.

Speaking of Julep, congratulations to Carley L. for winning my Julep Maven intro box raffle! And if you’d like to give the Julep Maven subscription a try, head over to the Julep website, take the Julep Maven style quiz, and sign up using the promo code MAVENINTRO to get your intro box for a penny!

How did you spend your fourth of July?

[All photos by me and available on my Instagram: katealamode!]

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Summer Warmth

Summer in San Francisco: I still (usually) need to wear cardigans, but I try to mix in elements that remind me of the sultry summers I grew up with.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Like warm peach and yellow, the color of northeastern summer sunsets. And one of my favorite pair of earrings, in the shape of cicadas, that bring to mind the sounds of summer nights.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Mix in some gold and caramel accents, add a white skirt with florals and sequins . . .

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Gold jewelry and nails. Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

Photo by Pat Zimmerman.

. . . and I’m the very image of summer!

Catching my shadow

Catching my shadow :)

What does summer mean for you?

Skirt: White House Black Market (thrifted)
Top: Now or Nectar Top, C. Luce via ModCloth
Belt: Gap
Earrings: Magicicada Earrings, Erica Weiner via ModCloth
Bracelets: Sparkle an Idea Bracelet via ModCloth and Victorian mourning bracelet
Cardigan: Somewhere to Bow Cardigan via ModCloth
Shoes: Adventure Capitol Heel, J Shoes via ModCloth
Purse: Basketwork Bag, Industry via ModCloth

Manicure: Pams & Kin holographic glitter (“THIS Year”) ombré over Julep Nail Parlor shimmer polish (“Nessa” layered over “Ashley”).

[Shadow photo by me. All other photos by Pat Zimmerman, as noted.]

Julep Maven Review and Giveaway!

I’m kind of in love with the Julep Maven subscription. For $20/month, I receive a prettily wrapped package of 2 nail polishes plus either a 3rd polish or a beauty product. It’s a super fun treat to receive in the mail!

I posted about Julep Maven in April, and Julep polishes have shown up on several of my manis (most have ended up on my Instagram feed – katealamode – and I’ve been compiling them in a Facebook album too). And now I’m super excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with Julep Maven for this review and giveaway! Read on for the details. :)

Julep gave me a choice of one of their intro boxes to review, so I chose the “It Girl” intro box since it included nail polishes I haven’t received in my normal subscription.

Julep Maven It Girl intro box.

Julep Maven It Girl intro box.

I always love how the box is wrapped up like a present. :)

The It Girl box came with three polishes: Jessica, a light blue crème (in person it has cool tones, like a light periwinkle); Brooke, a sheer purple shimmer; and Mandy, an intense coral crème.

Nail polishes from the Julep Maven It Girl intro box: Jessica, Brooke, and Mandy.

Nail polishes from the Julep Maven It Girl intro box: Jessica, Brooke, and Mandy.

I started out with Mandy. This polish has a really smooth, easy-to-apply texture. It definitely requires 2 coats, because I found with 1 coat it was slightly sheer. But I paint fairly thin coats and always assume I’m going to have to do 2 coats, anyway. As you can see below, it’s a very bold coral – super saturated and on the darker side.

Mani with two coats of Julep Mandy polish, an intense coral crème.

Mani with two coats of Julep Mandy polish, an intense coral crème.

Then I tried out Brooke. Like Mandy, Brooke is very smooth (despite the fact that it’s a shimmer) and easy-to-apply. I applied 2 coats, which gave my nails a purple hue and lots of sparkle.

Mani with two coats of Julep Brooke polish, a sheer purple shimmer.

Mani with two coats of Julep Brooke polish, a sheer purple shimmer.

I ended with Jessica. Jessica has a much thicker texture, so it was more difficult to apply. But I REALLY loved the color. It’s a cool light blue – more of a light periwinkle than the baby blue that Julep describes it as. I ended up doing 2 coats, but it was thick enough that just 1 coat would have been fine.

Mani with two coats of Julep Jessica polish, a light periwinkle blue.

Mani with two coats of Julep Jessica polish, a light periwinkle blue.

And just for kicks, I added one coat of Brooke. I thought the effect was very pretty – a nice hint of sparkle, and just the slightest purple hue. In the photo below, the 2 nails in the middle have 1 coat of Brooke over 2 coats of Jessica, while the other 2 nails just have 2 coats of Jessica.

Mani with Julep Jessica and Brooke polishes.

Mani with Julep Jessica and Brooke polishes.

If you want to give the Julep Maven subscription a try, use the promo code MAVENINTRO & you’ll get your intro box for a penny! Just head over to the Julep website, take the Julep Maven style quiz, and sign up! Of course, you can choose a different style if you don’t love the one recommended by the quiz. And it is a subscription, so you’ll automatically receive boxes for future months unless you cancel or opt out for the month. (That’s actually one of the great things about Julep Maven: you can choose not to receive a box for a month, or even send it to a friend as a gift!)

UPDATE (7/2/12): CONGRATULATIONS TO CARLEY L. FOR WINNING THE RAFFLE! You can also enter my giveaway raffle for a Julep Maven intro box! It’s super easy: just head over to the Rafflecopter app on my Facebook page and follow the instructions there! You can log into the app using either your Facebook account or an email address, so you don’t need to have a Facebook account to participate. (Note: The giveaway is only valid for Canadian and US residents.)

Let me know in the comments below what your Julep Maven style profile is!

[All photos by me. Julep Maven It Girl box and raffle prize both provided by Julep.]