Nailed it!

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This is never going to become a beauty blog. I feel I should lead with that. I love makeup and I know what I’m doing with it most of the time, but plastering my face all over this blog in actual serious pictures with captions about “~*beauty*~” seems far from likely. As proud as I might be of my turd-shining abilities, I still think it unlikely that the world is looking to wade through pictures of my silly mug. It’s not that I have a damaging lack of self-worth, but I can’t deny that my face is cartoonish in the manner of Jim Halpert. I mean, that boy is a cutie but he’s not going to sell mascara, ya know?

A happier place is nail polish. My mum has even told me I should be a hand model. Thrice. And she’s not biased at all. On one occasion, she insisted she would find me an agent and that this hand-modelling business would “support [me] through uni”. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she may have confused hand-modelling with prostitution.

Nail polish is fun because I was blessed with strong, powerful claws that provide me with a solid canvas. If my nails are bare, I feel like I came out without my cute and colourful finger shields on. I am picky, though, so the polish game can get expensive. There are very few brands that can sway me from my beloved OPI and China Glaze, both of which have a standard retail price well over a tenner a pot. This is fine given the quality of the product, but it does severely limit the number you can try. Now, it seems, there is a heaven-sent solution.

Coloristiq run a (UK-only) service where you rent polishes for £14.49 a month, sending out three of your own picks which you are allowed to use for up to three applications (applications meaning two coats on ten nails). It’s your basic Rent-A-Swag for nail polishes, and it’s excellent. To sweeten the deal, they give you your first month free and, if you keep a good eye out on their Twitter feed, you might even catch other offers that pop up.

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My colours of choice for my first month were OPI’s ‘Chick Flick Cherry’, Essie’s ‘Parka Perfect’ and OPI’s ‘Mod About You’ (from left to right, as pictured above). To begin with, I’m wondering how you get the job of naming nail polishes because I want to apply. In a world run by me, these polishes would instead be titled: ‘The Blood of my Enemies’, ‘Rainy Day’ and ‘Strawberry Mini Milk’. All were beautiful colours and easy to apply, and this is easily one of the best things about Coloristiq – the quality of their multi-brand collection is high. You choose from OPI, Essie, China Glaze and Morgan Taylor, selecting a long list of colours you want to try, and when it comes to the time for your next delivery, a random three of those will come through your door, looking a little like this:

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Note: HAIM bag not included, obv.

I whole-heartedly recommend this service, especially if you’re a fan of nail polish and are buying at least one new polish per month, or if you’re a beauty blogger who would benefit from having new products to review each month. My tip would be to invest in a good base coat and top coat, as well as a good file. Essie do a top and base coat set, though OPI’s will probably last you longer. And for a good nail file, I adore Model’s Own’s all-in-one file/buff/smooth/shine. That way, you will get the most out of every polish. You’ll be a colourful, manicured goddess.

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Essie’s Mod About You, which definitely just reminds me of the strawberry flavoured Mini Milks I was fed in the summers of my childhood.

Parka Perfect. (I promise that beyond the scarf/jacket combo, I was wearing different outfits)

Parka Perfect. (I promise that beyond the scarf/jacket combo, I was wearing different outfits in these pictures)

It’s not super cheap (on student funds, at least) but it is a lot less than a manicure – and it’ll keep your nails shipshape for the whole month! I’m sold, and am already onto my second month of colours to spam my Instagram with.


Photography by Charlotte Hill. Check out her blog here.

5 Things I Like About My Dad

My original hype man. #the90s #throwback

My original hype man. #the90s #throwback

It’s my dad’s birthday this week. He is, quite possibly, the hardest person in the known universe to buy presents for. I imagine that if there is alien life out there, said aliens would be easier to gift (FYI I’d go straight for Earth: A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race). My dad owns so much stuff, whenever I see things I think he’d like, it’s safer to assume that he already has them. Even finding a card took five different shops. Five! Seriously, what is with the ‘cards for dads’ sections? They are frustratingly narrow-minded in their ideas about what fathers like. My dad likes beer, sure, but do I want to buy him a card that casually implies an unhealthy level of alcoholism, with a bonus illustration of a couch potato with a beer belly? No, I do not. Instead, he’s getting a card that has the word “daddy” on the front because the other options were so across-the-board terrible that the simplest option was to just infantilise myself.

To make up for the shortcomings of the world’s card-sellers, I decided to gift him a whole blog post. (Don’t worry, I’m still giving him an actual gift. The poor bloke’s getting on a bit now – deserves a treat.)

  1. He has moral objections to Monopoly. I can’t be certain that this does not have more to do with time consumption combined with a limited attention span, but he has long claimed to morally oppose the board game Monopoly any time my brother decides it’s game time (usually around 4pm on December 26th). Not even the charmingly quaint Bournemouth and Poole special edition can entice him. He doesn’t like the spirit of it. It’s all about trying to get people to go bankrupt, taking advantage of other people’s misfortune and ruthlessly building your empire, according to my dad – and, to be fair, the rules. I think it’s sweet. He never raised us kids to be morally corrupt bankers and, lucky for him, my brother and I both study humanities so he never has to worry about us getting rich and trading in our four houses for a hotel. What a relief that must be.
  2. He’s an athletics coach. And basically everything in his chaotic world revolves around that. The whole family is kind of sporty, including me now, I guess, but Dad was the OG. However, rather than put any time into his own training, he gives up at least two nights and a morning to train the next generation (and sometimes me). Which is neat of him. But also, often, he works with so many kids that his stories are impossible to follow when he recounts race days. We’ve developed a strategy that involves all of them getting “the one who” titles so that I can differentiate one twin from another, and which [popular girls name] he’s talking about.
  3. Sometimes he’s also a DJ. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. Sometimes it’s fun. Of the pros, I would cite growing up around an eclectic variety of music, having regular invitations to parties and someone to buy chart music for me (“because the people will revolt if you don’t have this one, Dad!” – B*witched single, 1998). The cons are that I’ve been over-exposed to Aqua and that DJ-speak is the single most cringe-inducing sound to my ears. The reverb of the mic, that affected delivery more resembling a radio DJ than a real person (like how my mother sounds as posh as the “mind the gap” lady whenever she’s on the phone), the pause as everyone strains their ears to figure out what the hell he’s saying. It’s the pause of it. I never know what the words are. And he’ll laugh at his own joke, his own joke that only he heard, and I’ll know it’s over and the Black Eyed Peas track from 2010 that he can’t let go of will fade back up. Relief. It’s over. Dance enthusiastically in the hope that it’ll stifle future DJ-speak.
  4. At Christmas, I made everyone watch The Lego Movie because I’m an amazing person, what can I say, and even though my dad didn’t really “get it”, he immediately downloaded ‘Everything is Awesome’ afterwards. I only found this out on New Year’s Eve, when he played it at the party we were at. I thought it was awesome.
  5. He is frustratingly laidback. He lies so far back, he is horizontal and snoring. This might be more endearing were I not my mother’s daughter. He’s a sweet and loving parent, but he seems to object, on a spiritual level, to tidiness. He was talking once about going to one of his athlete’s houses and admiring their messy home. He likes a messy home. It’s just as well. He says it’s homey and lived in and loved in if it’s messy. It’s a nice perspective to have but I can’t help but wonder if he’s only romanticising messiness to derail any argument against his own hoarding tendencies. He does like his mess, though. That’s genuine. While I can tell my mother longs for a sparkling, shiny house, he genuinely enjoys the chaotic piles of books and the clutter of our four lives mixed together. I like that about him. But I also like that I don’t have to live with him forever. Do you know what I mean?

Happy birthday, Dad.