Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog


What's Been Going On,

Typically, the start of a new year is when most people sit back and reflect on the year gone by. The highs and the lows, what they achieved, what they didn't achieve, so on and so forth. For me, when I look back on 2015, I see a blur. A complete and utter blur. No highlights, no big gains, just a blur. It doesn't feel like another year has passed me by. I know you're probably thinking, 'but Jess? You spent two weeks in New York, a weekend in Malta and your blog was up for an Irish Blog Award?'. and yes, all those things did happen, but the reality behind my little online highlight reel is a completely different story. I spent two weeks in New York hating every minute of it (I feel guilty even writing this because I'm so fortunate and lucky to have had that experience), my trip to Malta nearly didn't happen, I failed my third year in college and didn't get to graduate with my class, I had to defer exams and was off work sick for nearly a month.
2015, without sounding completely dramatic, was hands down, the worst year of my life.
This time last year I quietly admitted to myself that something in my life wasn't right. I wasn't dealing with the stresses of my life in a healthy way, and despite my efforts to get on top of it, I was still very much in denial and over the last few months, my life and my health, spiraled to become the mess they are now.
It's been two months since I last posted on here and I have gone back and forth multiple times, trying to decide whether I would write about this on my blog or not. A lot of people I know (and don't know) read my blog - friends of friends, co-workers, classmates etc. I am deeply aware that by sharing this part of my life on here, that I can't take it back. It's out there. In the open. And I've worked very hard to keep this to a small number of people, so much so that I was deeply upset to learn that my Mum had informed various members of family and close family friends.
But I'm a big believer in 'its okay not to be okay', and I'm aware that by not sharing, I am becoming a hypocrite. Part of the problem. Adding to the stigma. I do not want to be a hypocrite, and I certainly don't want to add to the problem.
The truth is, that right now, I am unwell. I have been struggling with Anorexia Nervosa and, at this moment in time the only people who are aware of my illness are family and a handful of close friends. I have kept the circle of people in the know to a minimum. I have had a deeply hard time coming to terms with this. I have spent a long time in denial, and it was only when I wound up sitting in a hospital for a day, that I fully began to accept the severity of the problem. When I took time off work I even had my manager lie on my behalf to co workers if needed because I was embarrassed of what people might think. I still am, but my Mum, who I love to pieces, has told me over and over that I have nothing to be ashamed of, and she's right. I know a lot of people may be shocked by this, others not so much. But I'm aware that people have this media enforced image of what anorexia 'is', and let me just say, my life is a nightmare. An absolute nightmare. There is literally no other way for me to describe it. I never thought this would be my life. I spend the majority of my time going between weekly therapy appointments and work and I've only recently started to open up my life a bit more and hang out with my friends. It's not easy. Most days I want to lock myself in my room and not deal with anything.
I don't even know how to fully share this on my blog or why I am. I think I want to hold myself accountable to myself in some way and doing so on a public platform, although terrifying, seems the best way to do so.
I also don't want to come across in the wrong way and I don't want to share too many details because it is not relevant. Logically, I know I've lost a substantial amount of weight in the last few months, and I don't want anyone to look at images of me and think I am in any way healthy, because despite what I may believe, I am not. My best friend continues to be brutally honest with me when it comes to that. I'm trying to learn that my weight is not the problem, neither is food, my thought process for dealing with things is wrong and so are the things I tell myself.
Obviously this is an incredibly personal part of my life to be sharing online and right now, I am committed to trying to recover and some of the time I'm incredibly hopeful that I can do so.
The last few months haven't be easy for me, or my family and I have a long road ahead of me. But I'm incredibly lucky and grateful to have the support system I do. Others aren't so lucky, I know that. But I am determined to not lose another year of my life to an eating disorder. I want to return to college for fourth year, I want to make memories with my friends, travel, blog more, have a career, go out more, things I cannot do if I don't try harder to fight against the thoughts in my head.
I don't know what else to say, and I know this post isn't worded very well but it's all I feel I can say right now, which is quite a lot considering I haven't been able to actually admit some of this out loud.


Fleur de Force for Eylure and #OOTN

fleur de force for eylure review
Ever since my first foray into false eyelashes รก la 'Eye Candy' (review here btw), I've been completely converted to falsies for nights out. I have however, yet to risk a more natural falsie for a day look, if I find a suitable enough lash and I get a little braver with my day time make up then maybe.
Back in September my friends and I decided we were all going to go to Athlone for a good aul night on the town. We decided to go all out, threw on some Cocoa Brown and false nails, got the hair done in Peter Mark, and we were going to top it all off with some falsies. A last minute decision, which lead to a quick dash to Boots. I had my eye on these 'Fleur De Force' by Eylure lashes from the moment I saw them on Instagram. The packaging just screamed out to me, and the 3/4 length sounded ideal, especially since I'm still an eyelash newbie. 3 for 2 was on in Boots at the time so I picked up a few packs of the lashes, as did my friends.
fleur eyelashes
The lashes themselves are so pretty. I think they're just the perfect size and add a lovely bit of flare to your own lashes without being too overwhelming. Especially if like me, you're still pretty new to the whole lash thing. The 3/4 length was perfection because it meant I could apply them straight away without worrying if they would be too long and because this was a last minute decision, we didn't have a scissors handy for any potential trimming. The lash is shorter on the inside and longer on the outside, which adds just the right amount of drama to your look. I found them easy to apply and they stayed put the whole night. They complimented my overall look for the night quite well and when it came to taking them off at the end of the night it was a bittersweet moment, I was loving how bouncy and long my lashes looked but sleeping was high on the agenda so off they went.
My friends all bought the 3/4 lashes too and were equally as impressed. The short length was the real winner because, like me, they suck at applying lashes too. Their words, not mine.
topshop ootn
before and after fleur eyelashes
Kay so these aren't exactly the best before and after pictures, but I knew I wanted to blog about these lashes the morning after our night out. I didn't have my blog camera and I didn't really think about it at the time, but yano, Snapchat to the rescue. As you can see, they really added a lot of definition to my natural lash, the main focus being on the end of the eyelid. They're cute and flirty and I think they're the ultimate ~girly girl lash. I also thought I'd throw in a little #OOTN, we decided to wear cat ears out and it was honestly the best thing we ever decided to do. It was really funny and so many people came up to us to tell us how much they loved them. My dress is an old one from Topshop.
Have any of you used the Fleur de Force by Eylure lashes? What did you think?


Jord Wood Watch

Wood Watch Review
Jord Wood Watch Blog
A few months ago I was contacted by the lovely people at 'JORD' to see if I would like to try out one of their wood watches. Being completely honest, I had never heard of JORD before they contacted me, nor had I ever come across a watch that was made of wood before. I was instantly intrigued, and thought it was a really clever and unique concept. I had a browse through their website (here) and fell in love with the 'Fieldcrest Dark Sandalwood watch' which they ever so kindly sent out to me.
Jord Watch box
fieldcrest dark sandalwood jord watch
The watch itself comes beautifully packaged in this sturdy wooden box with the trademark 'J' carved onto the lid. Inside, the watch is wrapped around a plush pillow, with a little card and glass cleaner located beneath. The first thing I noticed when I took the box out of it's parcel was the smell, it smelled like freshly cut wood. Yeh duh, it's a wooden box, but I wasn't expecting any sort of scent and it just kind of reminded me of dark winter nights and the wooden fire burning. Very nostalgic.
I've had the watch a while now and I find myself wearing it more than my Michael Kors (sorry Mum). I just find it's very 'me'. It's a simple, elegant design. It's light weight, so I barely notice I'm wearing it which is brilliant because I get annoyed by things that feel heavy on my wrist.
The watch is also pretty sturdy, I have yet to get any scratches on it. The glass face of the watch is scratch resistant and if you happen to dirty the watch itself, you can easily wipe it clean with some lemon oil.
I'm sure you're probably wondering about sizing, that can be the trickiest part of ordering a watch online, thankfully JORD offer two options for doing so - use your own tape measure or just download and print off the JORD wrist sizer and it will arrive perfectly sized for you. If you're like me and unable to do something as simple as measuring your own wrist, your local jeweler can easily resize it for you. 10€ later and the watch fits like a glove.
jord watch dark
jesskadenise watch review
When I'm wearing my JORD wood watch I like to keep the focus solely on the actual watch and I rarely wear other bracelets. I keep it simple with a few midi rings and let the watch do the talking.
On the day I took these pictures I was feeling pretty damn Autumnal (when am I not?) and wore my mustard jumper from Primark beneath my Topshop pinafore dress. I really think this JORD watch is the perfect accessory for winter because not only does the dark sandalwood compliment the dark berry and mustard tones we'll all be rocking over the next few months, the dark tones mean it will look fabulous with any party dresses you decide to throw on over the festive season. Perfect.
You can purchase the JORD Fieldcrest Dark Sandalwood watch here.
(This watch was sent to me to consider for review. This has not impacted my opinion of the watch.)


New In // Boots Haul

boots haul 2015
 (Follow me on Instagram for more mini hauls : JesskaDenise)
Last week I walked into Boots and somehow fell out the door with these. Do I regret my purchases? Never. Do I regret that the following day I received Boots vouchers in the post that would have been A++ at the time? Yes, yes I do. Just another excuse to hit Boots next week when I get paid. Not that I could possibly need anymore make up, buuuut anyway.
My friends and I did a girls night out last week so I picked up some eyelashes to complete my look. It was 3 for 2 on eyelashes and nails so really it was meant to be. After trying the Eye Candy ones (review here) I was confident in my ability to apply so I went for the new Fleur De Force by Eylure lashes and picked up a box of the Nadine Coyle ones just cause. The Fleur ones are so cute and I'm obsessed with the packaging, it's so pretty. I have a full review of these coming soon so I won't say much more on these.
Boots also have a deal on at the 'mo where you can get 4 Benefit minis (usually 6.50€ each) for 20€. Bargain. I went for Posie Tint, a concealer, eyecream and Bene Tint. Bene Tint has been on my wishlist for a while now but I was little scared by how ~vampy it is. Can't wait to try it out, it'll be perfect for A/W.
Not from Boots, but I finally caved and picked up one of the Zoella bath products in Penneys. I've been really into baths lately and this was cheap as chips so I impulsed buy and I really like it. It smells really nice and adds a nice bit of fizzle to your bath. I wouldn't race out and buy it again, but I ran out of Lush and it's doing the job for now. I'm also a sucker for the packaging. Damn youtubers and their aesthetically pleasing packaging. They know how to pull me in.
Have any of you guys tried these? orrrr do you have any recommendations for my next Boots trip?


Essie Chillato Review

It happened. I found an Essie nail polish which I haven't fallen ridiculously in love with.
Yes. You did read that first line correctly. This is coming from the girl who has an entire Alex drawer full of Essie nail polishes, they never let me down. Ever. I really wanted to love 'Chillato', I did. It's the most perfect pastel lime (Essie describe it as 'pistachio', I disagree) and I knew I had to have it once I saw the Summer 2015 collection but aghh it's awful. In the bottle it looks fantastic, like it'll be a gloopy opaque application along the lines of Essies ever so popular 'Mint Candy Apple', but from bottle to application it just falls short. In order to get any sort of color build up, I needed to apply four coats and even then, it still looked pretty streaky and didn't have any nice sort of gloss finish to it. It just looked pretty lifeless. Not impressed with the application, I decided to break some rules and wear it to work to see how well it would hold up during my daily cinema duties. Other nail polishes have survived quite well. Essie 'Chillato' wasn't very chill and chipped less than an hour in. I'd had enough and after little effort, pulled it all off. Not what you want when you're spending nearly 10€ on a nail polish. Maybe my expectations were too high, it does photograph well, but do not be fooled like I was.
So, as cool as the name is ('Chillato', agh it just makes me giggle) and as gorgeous as it looks in the bottle, 'Chillato' is not a winner in my book. I'm pretty loyal to Essie and I am disappointed by this one as it's such a funky, fun shade but alas, it just wasn't meant to be and will now rest at the back of my nail polish drawer.


Monochrome OOTD & Life Update

monochrome ootd
irish fashion blog
Confession - these pictures are from a few weeks ago. That's just how behind I've allowed myself to get with my blog posts. My iPhoto is full of pictures, along with my camera and iPhone. Swamped in potential blog posts, but they're all coming your way shortly. I thought I'd take this time to share what's been going on in my world lately, if you follow me on Twitter (@jesskaDenise) you'll be aware that I've just gone back to college. Not college, college, but a college closer to home to study 'Web Design and Multimedia' for the year. Over Summer the fourth year of the course I was due to study fell through and I was left with the option of going on to study Business or, well Business. After not being too happy with the idea of a ~year out, I've slowly come round to the idea and I'm excited to work on my web design and photo editing skills for the year. I'm looking forward to a semi-relaxed year before going back to study Business next year. You gotta do whatcha gotta do.
michael kors selma blog
ripped jeans ootd
Life events aside, lets talk about the outfit. The bag, my one big purchase from NYC and something that's been on my wishlist ever since I saw Selena Gomez pictured out and about with a full sized version. The studded 'Selma' mini. My baby. How outrageous is the color? I just love that pop of orange, it really adds that something extra to an outfit and lately I've been loving a more 'laid back' look. Having spent most of the Summer in my work uniform which isn't the most comfy or fashionable thing ever, I've been all about keeping it simple on my days off. Now that I'm back at college I'll probably make more of an effort, especially since I find A/W fashion more inspiring than S/S. I'm sure I'm not the only one right? I also can't decide, dungarees - yay or nay?
Shirt - Topshop
Jeans - H&M (DIY)
Runners - New Balance @ JD Sport
Nails - Essie 'Romper Room'