Product Review: Julep Denise Bombshell Nail Polish

I like to have nicely painted finger and toenails when I perform belly dance. Sometimes I splurge and get them done by a professional at the salon (whoever invented gel polish is a genius!), but most of the time I paint them myself the day before the show using traditional polish.

My sister gave me a little bottle of Julep nail color last year and I pulled it out last week as I was preparing for a job interview. I had painted my nails gun metal grey about a month ago for a performance and allowed it to peel off in patches over time. I embrace a punk esthetic, so it suits me, but it wasn’t appropriate for an interview and I planned on removing it but I couldn’t find my nail polish remover. My second plan was to slap on another coat of the grey, but I couldn’t find that either. Strange. I pulled out my jar-o-polish and spotted the pretty purple Julep. It matched my interview top, so I decided to give it a go. Here’s what I thought:

About The Product

Denise is a nail polish made by Julep Beauty. It is a “fast-drying, long-lasting nail polish powered by breakthrough Oxygen Technology that makes nails healthy and more beautiful.” Compared to other nail polish, Denise allows 30% more oxygen to permeate the nail bed and claims to reveal stronger, harder & more conditioned nails in two weeks. It is vegan-friendly, 5-free (no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP, or camphor), and features Hexanal for nail strength and antioxidant green coffee extract.  The color Denise is described as purple crocus crème.

About The Brand

Julep Beauty believes that beauty should do more than make you look good, it should make you feel good, too.  Based in Seattle, WA, this cosmetic company is cruelty free and their nail polish is 100% vegan. Julep products are made in the USA and can be purchased at as well as Amazon, Ulta Beauty, QVC, Nordstrom, and Beauty Brands.


  • Color: Gorgeous! It reminds me of the lavender border of the Queen Dorothy irises in my yard.
  • Smooth application
  • Drying time: By the time that I finished the first coat on both hands, the first hand was dry enough for a second coat.
  • Number of Coats: This polish is runny, but I only needed to apply two coats to hide an older, darker shade of polish because  I tend to apply a lot of nail polish at once.
  • Size: The 8ml (0.27 fl oz) bottle might seem small to some, but as a person who doesn’t go through a lot of nail polish in any given year, I would rather have a smaller amount that I use up instead of a large amount that dries up before I use it. It’s also a good size to toss into your purse.
  • Ingredients: Vegan, 5-free
  • Shipping: If you order directly from Julep online and spend more than $10, standard shipping is free.
  • Staying power: After 1 week of moderate abuse (showering, gardening, fishing, and lots of hand washing), I still had decent coverage without application of a topcoat. The polish came off around the periphery of my nails a little:
Denise 7 days later (no topcoat)


  • Price: At $14/8mL, it is a bit on the pricey side. However, the fact that it is cruelty-free, vegan, ultra-fast drying, and made in the USA makes it worth it.
  • Screw cap/lid: The lid consists of a black plastic screw cap housed inside of a black plastic rectangular cap. When I was shaking the bottle to reconstitute the polish, the glass bottle  and screw cap disconnected from the plastic lid and fell to the floor. Luckily, the bottle didn’t break. In my opinion, the screw cap and the housing lid should be attached to each other. Use caution if you have to shake yours!
  • Separation: After sitting unused for a year, the ingredients in the bottle separated. This often happens with nail polish and can be remedied by shaking the bottle, but it took a longer than normal amount of time for me to mix the ingredients back together. I actually gave up after about a minute after deciding that it wasn’t perfect but it was good enough.
  • Viscosity: The polish is too runny. I ended up with color on my cuticles on multiple fingers.
  • End color: It looks slightly darker when dry.
Separation of screw cap and lid

Neutral Thoughts

  • Sheen: Semi matte.


Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer , Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Bis (Glycidoxyphenyl) Propane/Bisaminomethylnorbornane Copolymer, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Acrylates Copolymer, Ultramarines (CI 77007), Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Silica, Benzophenone-1, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Aluminum Hydroxide , Red 28 (CI 45410) , Hexanal , Dimethicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil , Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ext. Violet 2 (CI 60730), Coffea Robusta Seed Extract.


Denise is currently rated 3.7/5 (44 reviewers) on Julep’s website. I rate it as 4/5. Despite being too drippy, I would purchase Julep Nail Polish again because of the good staying power, because it is vegan friendly, 5-free, and made in the USA, and because of Julep’s free shipping over $10 policy.

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was not compensated in any way to provide her opinion on the product. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer.






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