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.

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OMBRE

Photo 18-02-2014 18 20 29Oh, ombre. The best trend that no one’s entirely sure how to pronounce.

A friend just assured me that “an entry about your transformation into the fourth Haim sister will be a thrilling read” so I thought I would post about my third ombre. It was definitely the most successful attempt yet and I think we’ve mastered it, folks. Before I continue, let me apologise for the weird pictures I include – nothing can be done about my not-so-photogenic awkwardness. C’est la vie.

This is my straight-up before and after:

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Jerome-Russell-bblonde-highlighting-kitI used Jerome Russell’s Bblonde Highlight Kit. If you have trouble remembering it, it’s the one with the Natalie Dormer lookalike on the front. It’s really good value in Boots for about a fiver (sorry, can’t find it online!). I chose it because a lot of the ombre blogs and tutorials I’d read beforehand had used this one, and I really like it because it picks up on the natural highlights in your hair so that the blonde is not just an unnatural block colour. For ombre, I want it to look as natural as possible with a gentle fade to blonde.

Both times previously, I was very eager to see the results and took out the dye after only about twenty minutes. Both of those times young, naive Jess ended up reapplying for a second go to get a bolder effect for a further twenty minutes. This time, I was a little more strategic about it.

Clairey, my trustee hair-dyer and commander-in-chief, first applied about half the dye mixture/ blue stuff up to about halfway down my hair – about chin level – and we waited half an hour for it to take effect. I used a Haim playlist to kill the time, which is a very important step that you should not miss under any circumstances. We washed out the dye and used the shampoo and condish that they give you in the pack, and it looked a little like this after drying:

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I was a little disappointed because it looked slightly lighter but it had to catch the light for any real effect to show up. I suggested that the second dye should just be about an inch or two up so that I could have much blonder ends. Claire also made sure to put a little dye onto the ends of my growing-out fringe too, which was a nice touch. I left this on for about 45-50 minutes. AND HOT DAMN IT WORKED SO MUCH BETTER. I also gave my hair a deep condition after because gotta look after my mane.

It came out pretty good in the end:20140218_180615 copy

Thanks to Claire for helping with the blondifying. I’m very happy with how my hair looks now! I plan to do a few more deep conditions over the next week or two, just so that the dye doesn’t damage my hair too much.

Born To Dye

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Lana Del Rey puns. Yeah, baby.

Tonight I dyed my hair for the first time ever. Okay, not ever. There was that one time when I dyed it black to rebel. (My mum didn’t care, so I didn’t do it again.) This is the only serious time, when it’s actually been in the interest of making me look nice ‘n’ stuff.

With the help of my trusted hairdresser (read: complete novice), Louise Jones, today was the day: the day for change. I decided I wanted to change things up in the hair department, ruling out legs, bums and armpits and going for the classic head hair. About two years after the rest of the world, I opted to get on board with the ombre trend.

Instructions, you say:

  • You put the lime in the coconut and mix them both up.
  • Dab and scrunch.
  • Find an astonishing number of sexual innuendos regarding the hair dying process (e.g. “this is gonna make you wet”, “bend over” – standard immaturity).
  • Grab a friend, get in a shower and wash your sillies out.
  • Rinse and repeat.
  • Take selfies.

Yes, you now have stunning ombre hair, you stunner. Wow. I am blown away. Twirl. Walk with a jaunt. That’s it. Now you’re ready to be unleashed. You must now immediately take up all opportunities to socialise so as to maximise utility.

The ombre is not the ombre without the obligatory root to tip comparison. Yeah, grab the ends of your hair and put it over your face like a fringe. Crazy stuff. It’ll bring back all the memories of yesterday’s hair. Like, remember when it was the same colour all the way down? Good times. But it’s more exciting now – this was a good decision.

And that’s ombre, folks! I’ve been Jessica Eve Kennedy, and you’ve been dyed.