Jess Woodley's Come a Long Way Since "Avril Lavigne Was Everything"
When she joined Made in Chelsea in the show's ninth series, Jess Woodley made an instant impression. In contrast to the preppy Chelsea girls who made up the cast, Jess's edgier look, complete with nose ring, bleach blonde hair, and tattoos (more on those later) grabbed the attention of not only the show's male cast, but plenty of fashion fans watching the show. Never one to shy away from a retro '90s throwback or a quirky print or silhouette, she epitomises the adventurous London fashion girl. So it's no surprise that a brand synonymous with the capital has snapped her up for a collaboration.
Jess, who left the show this year to concentrate on new projects, has teamed up with Rimmel to create a capsule collection of five limited-edition Lasting Finish lipstick and Super Gel nail polish pairings. Each is inspired by Jess's London life, a "London Look" for every occasion, from the laid-back pretty pinks of Shameless Selfie to the classic red Out Out. "London's great because anything's acceptable, any look." Jess explained when we caught up with her to find out more. "When I was younger I thought you had to look a certain way, you had to look particularly girlie and have long hair . . . what boys like! When I grew up, I realised anything goes in London, and that's what inspired all the different looks."
Citing everyone from Sandy from Grease and Brigitte Bardot to Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller as style icons, Jess has a look that changes with her mood. "My look's a bit fruity, it's a bit crisscrossed. Some's old school, some's really old school, and some's Avril Lavigne!" Though now she favours bold brows and a red lip for a foolproof beauty look, as a teenager she was a big fan of the "Sk8er Boi" singer. "I wore eyeliner from a really young age. I remember being very young in school and going through that gothic phase where Avril Lavigne was life! I copied everything she did for a while."
Though she talks the good talk when it comes to gig nights and rooftop parties and definitely knows her way around a vintage shop ("There's nothing new about what I wear!"), Jess is clearly a low-maintenance geek girl at heart. She confesses to packing "so lightly" for a holiday and keeping things chilled whenever she's out of town. Her Instagram is peppered with references to Wes Anderson, she's obsessed with Bill Murray, and she lights up when I ask her about her rumoured Harry Potter tattoo. "Oh my God. OK, I'm a diehard Harry Potter fan. I really care about it, actually so much so that a lot of my friends think it's a little bit weird," she exclaims, showing me not one but two tattoos in honour of the boy wizard (glasses and a lighting scar on her forearm and the Deathly Hallows symbol on the back of her neck). She describes J.K. Rowling as "a genius" and has no time for people who don't love Harry and friends. "I don't get when people don't like it. I can't understand it. Something's wrong with you!" she laughs.
Though Made in Chelsea cast her as the cool girl with the hot temper and her Instagram is full of moody fashion snaps, in real life she is warm, engaging, and full of enthusiasm. She gushes about her mum, Lynn, with whom she clearly shares a very strong bond. "We're like sisters, we're like best friends," Jess says, adding that shopping trips with her are "my favourite day in the world." But perhaps the sweetest thing is when she describes her mum's reaction to this Rimmel partnership. "When she heard about this Rimmel thing, she cried. She's a Rimmel girl! She thought I was joking, she was so lovely, and so great about it."
You can't help but think that alongside those celebrity idols and all the inspiration that London provides, Jess's mum probably had a lot to do with the fact one colour is particularly prolific in this range. After all, as Jess explained, "I've always nicked my mum's red lipstick, so that's why I'm pretty over the moon to have my own."