Jen Thomas

Radio Presenter, Journalist, Blogger

OCC Lip tar in Vain

OCC Lip tar in Vain

I’m hardly what you would call a shrinking violet in the dress sense stakes, but it’s only in the last 6 months that I’ve started to be more adventurous with my lipstick, ever since I fell in love with ‘Heroine’ from MAC. This spawned a love of unnatural and bold lipsticks – so you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars new 2014 range for autumn, Unknown Pleasures. Featuring purples, blues, oranges, and rose golds in metallic and matte shades, I made a beeline for ‘Pagan’, a matte purple, ‘Vain’ a matte indigo blue, and ‘Techopagan’ a metallic purple. On recommendation from make up artist friends I picked up the OCC Lip Tar Primer too.


On first glance the tubes seem teeny tiny, and each comes with a small OCC lip brush. However, a little goes a very long way with these lip colours, and it allows you to build the intensity as you wish, and blend the shades together too. I applied the primer first as per instructions, leaving it to sink in for a few minutes before blotting the excess. I decided to go for ‘Vain’ first of all, and left the rest of my skin clean with an application of mascara. Now, I’m rarely ever seen without eyeliner, so this mascara only look is alien to me and caused great amusement with my family – “You look like bambi….with hypothermia.” Excellent. Just the look I was going for.



All of these photos are without lipliner of any kind, just the primer and the lip tar. This morning I had a play with applying the metallic ‘Technopagan’ first, and then blended the matte ‘Pagan’ in the middle, and I reckon a small amount of the metallic over my beloved MAC ‘Heroine’ would also look great and add depth. It’s interesting to see the difference in the shades in indoor and outdoor light, daylight brings out a teal tone to ‘Vain’ which is very pretty.

L-R Pagan, Technopagan, Vain

L-R Pagan, Technopagan, Vain

Photobombed by the dog.

Photobombed by the dog.

The lip tars are moisturing, with surprisingly next to no feathering or bleeding despite not using a liner. Vain did stain quite a lot even with the primer – but rubbing gently with a toothbrush removed the worst of it and my lips felt softer even before the impromptu toothbrush exfoliation. Beware of getting any in your mouth, unless it’s Halloween, green tinged teeth aren’t going to bring suitors flocking.

Pagan is a beautiful deep purple, and it’s easy to build an ombré look by building up the colour with the brush. Technopagan has an intense metallic sheen to it without being tacky, and I can see them being solid favourites to experiment with. It’s easy to go full on goth with false lashes, lots of eyeliner and dark brows, but I think they worked surprisingly well with just mascara too if you wanted a more toned down look (as toned down as you can get with bright blue lips anyway.) I’ll definitely be investigating some of their other purple and lilac shades, the brighter the better. For now my not-so-inner vamp is very happy indeed, and a new convert to OCC.


Cupcake dress – H&M, Buckled boots – New Look, Necklace – Oasis, Houndstooth Dress – Primark, Game Of Thrones tee – Primark, Lingerie Set – Gossard

It was one of those excellent shopping days – so many of my favourite styles are coming onto the high street, show me anything with a peter pan or shirt style collar with a nipped in waist and I’ll be throwing it into my basket and sprinting to the nearest till.  The H&M cupcake dress was featured in a post last week, but Primark had some new styles in with a beautiful Houndstooth collared dress – perfect for work or play – and an official Game Of Thrones tshirt for a bargain £6! It’s an incredibly soft tshirt and good quality too. Bizarrely I fit into a 12, yet the dress is an 18 due to no stretch to fit on my bust, it’s baggier on the waist so I’ll cinch it in with a belt. The cupcake dress is a 16, it just goes to show that sizes generally mean nothing. My wardrobe contains sizes 10-18 depending on where it’s from and the fit, I go by what fits best as opposed to what it says on the label.


I went out with friends last night and wore the New Look wide fit buckled ankle boots, and they stood up to a whole night of dancing! They have a chunky heel and ridiculous amounts of grip (the soles look like tyres!), perfect for slippery Rock City dance floors, with three buckles on each boot. I wore black and red polka dot socks to show a pop of colour through the cut out sections.  I wore another Primark top (this one is a size 14!) black lace with a Wednesday Addams style shirt collar and fishnets, teamed with a black New Look bandage skirt. Lipstick was MAC’s Cyber, with Nightmoth lipliner, and Urban Decay eyeshadow in Half Truth, with the Eyelure lashes from previous posts.

The lingerie set is the Temptation style from Gossard, in 34FF. It has full coverage cups. and the straps are beautiful (so many D+ sizes think straps need to be chunky great things with no adornments, not so with Gossard) and is lightly padded to add shape, with lace detailing across the top. The colour is a beautiful blue and purple – again to match my hair, and satin textured. It looks expensive and despite the lace detailing still looks smooth under a fitted tshirt.

The necklace is from Oasis, the perfect statement piece to dress up a plain black vest top or tshirt, I plan to wear it first with a maxi dress next week. It was a steal at £25, it’s surprisingly weighty with a thick chain and looks like it should cost a lot more.  I also caved and bought some beautiful Dr Martens boots, which I’ll review in the week. Have an excellent weekend!

This lipstick was actually a 5am post-Rock City buy, so you have a few lurid blue VK’s to thank for this post! (not now though, this was powered by tea, followed rosé. Bit classier.) Kat Von D’s range, including the Studded Kiss lipsticks are available on, which now offers shipping to the UK for a flat rate of £3 if you spend over £50.  I also ordered the liquid lipstick in L.U.V but I’ll do that in a separate post.  Since going back to black for my hair (it changes colour regularly) I’ve started to be a lot more adventurous with my lipsticks – be bold!

I opted for the matte Studded Kiss lipstick in ‘Slayer’, a deep black. The packaging is stunning, as the name suggests the case is studded and jet black. The lipstick itself has a creme brulee/vanilla scent, and no noticeable taste, and a creamy texture. It’s free from parabens and sulphates, and Kat Von D’s range is cruelty free.

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In the first picture, I applied the lipstick without liner, and the colour pay-off is surprisingly intense with only one or two swipes needed. Gone are the days of unbranded patchy black lipsticks that ‘drag’ your lips when applied! I have a thin top lip, which various beauty rules would have you believe means that I should shun darker or bold colours, or hugely overdraw it. In this second attempt, I used MAC lipliner in ‘Nightmoth’ to fill in and line the edge, aiming for a little more definition on my top lip. It’s cool toned, and it could be used for some beautiful looks if you kept the eyes simple. It’s not just for goths!

I teamed it with a black Collection Cosmetics Extreme 24 Hour Felt Tip Liner for winged eyeliner (which is my absolute must have), Maybelline One By One black mascara, and Rimmel Soft Kohl liner in black to darken my eyebrows (I’m naturally blonde!) with Lipcote over the top to seal it before I went out. It lasted for over 6 hours without being redone, before I took it off! It didn’t go patchy or fade, and didn’t stain. I loved this so much I’ll be buying it in ‘Poe’, a beautiful navy shade. Watch this space!

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Look at that packaging!

**Update** The amazing Jodie Paterson just tweeted me this sketch that she did from the blog pictures, thank you so much! Super talented. Follow her at



I had a visitor this weekend from the Big Smoke, Emily had never been to Nottingham so it was only fair that she was given a tour (and she played photographer for the day, thank you Emily!) of some of my favourite places. She also coined the term ‘tropical goth’ – I adore bright colours but also love gothic/alternative styles so can be in all black one day, bright pink the next. Somewhat of a contradiction.

A trip to H&M turned up a beautifully vibrant cupcake print skater style dress for £12.99, with a neckline that can be worn on or off the shoulder. It fitted perfectly in a 16 (I’m 5’8″ and vary between a 12 and an 18 depending on where I shop!) I’m a 34FF and the fabric is ridiculously stretchy to hug curves without warping the print, and the skater style skirt flares out for a comfortable fit.  I’m a magpie for anything jewel toned in pinks, purples and blues; my hair is currently a mixture of all three, which I styled in a victory roll with the rest in a ponytail as Rock City is warm!

I have far too many pairs of Dr Martens, and a night out calls for my beloved black glitter pair. I save these for special nights out due to our wonderfully unpredictable weather, worn with some Primark tights with a shredded look. The necklace is another Sugar & Vice beauty, a purple Hibiscus from their Tropical collection for £15.

The eyelashes are by eyelure again, with my all time favourite MAC lipstick in Heroine. Cocktails at Pepper Rocks followed (House cocktails for £3.50 from 5-10pm, mine is a French Martini please!) before heading to Rock City.

The morning after called for plenty of tea, and preparing for a hangover preventing meal at Annie’s Burgers in Hockley, with some of the most imaginative toppings you’ve ever come across; a burger with a full Sunday dinner on top, or one with pancakes and bacon with maple syrup? It’s a lot nicer than it sounds, ideal if you have a sweet tooth like me and all options are available as meaty, veggie or vegan. Booking is recommended.


Casual style was the order of the day for a Sunday, a floral print Jurassic Park t-shirt, men’s navy beanie and long marl grey cardigan all from Primark,  with indigo denim shorts from Dorothy Perkins and cerise pink Dr Martens boots. The cat eye sunglasses are by Collectif The flamingo bag is made by me, at my business – I’ll be selling at festive markets in the next few months. A trawl through Primark and New Look found a new tshirt, dress and boots which I’ll feature this week – it was a good weekend for bargains!


What’s better than a Collectif dress? A free Collectif dress! I was lucky enough to score a ticket for ‘100 Dresses’, an event held by Collectif in collaboration with London Edge last Sunday. 100 lucky ladies had the chance to get one of 7 beautiful dress styles including new A/W designs, mingling in the surroundings of the Camden shop with a complimentary glass (or two) of Prosecco while getting ready. I chose the cherry print Dolores Doll dress, and also got a navy and pink hydrangea print Dolores too.  I’ve been shopping at Collectif for the last 12 years or so – I think I have a leopard print cardigan in every colour, and the Dolores Doll is my wardrobe staple. It’s fitted at the bust and waist with a flared skirt, perfect for a pin-up shape.


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All of the essentials.

I teamed my dress with the gorgeous ‘The Supreme’ necklace from Sugar & Vice (,  an embroidered faux leather clutch from Jen Made This (  and Collectif cat eye sunglasses. I’m ashamed to say I was slow on the uptake for the MAC bandwagon, so I was rather excited to debut my new MAC Ruby Woo lipstick paired with Trust In Red pro longwear lipliner, and Eyelure Black Volume 083 false lashes. As ever, I had to toughen it up a bit with my trusty black Rimmel 60 second polish. The makeup bag is also by Jen Made This.

Mac Ruby Woo with Trust In Red Liner, lashes by Eyelure.

Mac Ruby Woo with Trust In Red Liner, lashes by Eyelure.

The collectively lovely ladies in their brand new dresses walked around the corner to Proud Galleries, our venue for the evening where compère extraordinaire Alix Fox was waiting, bedecked in a suitably wild outfit (latex, paw print pasties and ears) to introduce the evening’s entertainment. London’s burlesque star Slinky Sparkles kicked off proceedings, with ostrich feathers and enough jewels to make the Queen jealous, the epitome of femme fatale.

Man of the moment Ricki Hall was hiding his famous tattoos in a baseball style shirt, eventually appearing behind the decks after a brief delay and Alix declaring “he’s like a fairy, he needs you to clap to bring him to life!”. A somewhat ramshackle set followed, with a helping hand passing him vinyl despite a few technical hitches. The playlist was classic with the likes of The White Stripes and The Cure. The ladies were still swooning though so he could pretty much get away with anything.

Amazonian drag wonder Meth took to the stage, bringing us a delightfully bitchy lip-sync of famous putdowns and witticisms, commencing with the infamous ‘Bitch’ by Alanis Morrisette. The front row nearly lost an eye during some high kicks and wonderfully vicious gesturing, before Meth strutted off the front of stage and sashayed through the crowd when finished. Don’t mess with Meth.

The Tootsie Rollers were also resplendent in matching polka dot Collectif dresses, working their way through a set including a cover of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ and getting everyone smiling with their relentless enthusiasm. See below for a video!

The fabulous Zoe London ( )was determined to get everyone dancing with her DJ set, causing the gorgeous Georgina from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust ( to drag me to the dance floor to Destiny’s Child “Survivor” (there are videos of the dancing on her Instagram, it’s beautiful, trust me.) before we gatecrashed behind the decks for a photo alongside Ricki Hall who was throwing some sweet moves. The entertainment had to come to an end though, with Dani Divine fire dancing to Rob Zombie, bringing the room to a standstill to watch. What more could you want?

See more in the videos below! I admittedly commited the cardinal sin of filming in portrait on my new phone though. Oops. Blame the free bar.  I shall hang my head in shame in the corner and absolutely won’t do it again. Thank you again to Collectif and London Edge for a fabulous opportunity, and Collectif’s wonderful new range is out now.(

(Potentially NSFW, contains burlesque but everything is covered!)



The Tootsie Rollers

The Tootsie Rollers

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Well this is all very exciting isn’t it. Although technically I suppose it’s not cool to say that you’re excited, but come on, look at me. If you’re here expecting the epitomé of cool, I’m afraid you’ll most likely be left somewhat bemused by a vaguely goth late-20 something that looks a bit like Abby from NCIS with a penchant for peter pan collars and inexpertly applied lipstick. There will be cake though, oh yes, there will be cake.


^ That’s me by the way. Jen Thomas, in case the web address wasn’t a giveaway. She of the ever changing hair colour, tattoos, and a not-so-secret love of pugs, flamingos and daisy prints. This blog is a new venture, alongside a day job and running my own business designing, sewing, and embroidering bags over at   (check out for updates of where I’ll be selling)

I started out as a freelance journalist, teaching myself HTML on a ropey dial-up pay per minute internet connection at the age of 14 (frequent cries down the stairs of “10 more minutes, please!” were heard. I’m showing my age already, aren’t I, which is 28, by the by. Feel free to tell me how youthful I look. Please. Go on.) to create an online magazine, interviewing and reviewing bands. Things went a bit ‘Almost Famous’, working freelance for The Fly, Rock Sound, Big Cheese, Disorder, Things & Ink, BringTheNoise, AOL Eleven, Yahoo and more throughout my teens and early twenties, as well as co-presenting on BBC Stoke’s Introducing programme. However, times they are a-changing, and this blog will be an outlet for my somewhat eclectic taste that may not necessarily fit into the aforementioned publications.

You could say that I like to keep busy! Join me anyway, for fashion, tattoos, music, food, sewing/customising and whatever else takes my fancy. If you have any suggestions, questions or commissions then please send me an email to, or find me on Twitter and Instagram as @jenthomaswrites.

Pleased to meet you!

Jen x

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