Muse of the Month October 2013: Kester Black director and designer – Anna Ross

Anna Ross

Anna Ross

Anna Ross of Kester Black nail polish is Melbourne Darling’s Muse of the Month for October 2013 because of her innovative and ethical contribution to the nail polish industry, her fun design sense and her go-getting entrepreneurial attitude.

If you haven’t heard of nail polish brand Kester Black, then you are about to fall in love…

Kester Black brings you everything you could ever want in a nail polish and more! All Kester Black nail polishes contain non-toxic ingredients and are made of a “Five Free Formula” meaning they are free from the nasty chemicals Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Formaldehyde and Formeheldyde Resin. The polishes are carcinogen free, making them suitable to be used by chemotherapy patients, pregnant women and children as well as being Australian Made, Animal Cruelty free and Vegan.

Not only does this superhero status nail polish brand contain a winning formula, but they produce a stunning range of striking nail polish colours. Take a look at their newest range for Spring and Summer 2013, ‘Tropicana’:

Kester Black Tropicana Range

Kester Black Tropicana Range

These colours just make me want to put on some denim shorts and eat a gelato on the beach!

I got to meet the lovely Anna Ross and ask her some questions about Kester Black, where she finds her inspiration and a few of her favourite things!

Where did the name Kester Black come from?

‘The name Kester Black came from my favourite place in the world, St Kester Bay in New Zealand. I was with some family friends close by and one day we took the boat out through the sounds and ended up in the beautiful St Kester Bay. We found out it only has one house there which is owned by a priest (hence the choice of the colour black). I just think that place is the pinnacle of  New Zealand beauty and I wanted my business name to have a tie with where I come from.’

Kester Bay, New Zealand (Image courtesy of Anna Ross)

Kester Bay, New Zealand (Image courtesy of Anna Ross)

What was the inspiration behind Kester Black?

‘Kester Black started as a clothing label when I was at fashion school. I wanted to continue it when I moved to Australia four years ago, however I couldn’t afford to buy new machines when I arrived. I began making jewellery just to keep my portfolio ticking over, with the idea I would one day get a job as a designer. I did eventually get my foot in the door in fashion but at that point I had worked so hard on Kester Black that I wasn’t really willing to give it up anymore. The move to nail polish was an unexpected progression. With such a strong desire to work with colour, I originally wanted to have nail polish to complement the silver rings I designed! Obviously it worked out really well, and I as a result I have come to absolutely love designing nail polish!’

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your journey so far?

‘That’s a really hard question as there has been so many. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to gain so many skills and develop so much knowledge about running a business, but I think the best part about it all, is getting to spend my days at home, in my own office, with my cat curled up on the desk listening to music way too loudly.’

What are your favourite things to do as a Melbourne Darling?

‘After having just spent 6 weeks in Europe, I realised Melbourne really is the best city in the world. I love having a wander along Gertrude Street on a Saturday afternoon and I really appreciate the unique stores in Fitzroy as it is hard to find such an assortment of small designers like we have here anywhere else in the world. On a Thursday or Friday night I usually meet up with friends on Lygon Street Brunswick East. There are some awesome bars along there like The Alderman, Mr Wilkinson and Atticus Finch to name a few of my favourites. On Saturday morning I usually have breakfast with my 3 housemates in Carlton North on Rathdowne Street or Lygon Street and in summer I love going to the Moonlight Cinema or heading to the Queen Victoria Night Markets for dinner and Sangria! That being said, I’m surprised I actually get any work done at all!’

Lastly, what is your personal favourite Kester Black product to wear?

I love the Floral ring, worn with Bubblegum nail polish.

As previously mentioned in my post about the stellar combination that is Kester Black Nail Polish and Trophy Wife Nail Art, the two close friends, Anna Ross and Chelsea Bagan of Trophy Wife Nail Art collaborated to produce the Nail Art Book in 2012.

I personally own this book and think it’s fantastic. The comprehensive and heavily illustrated step-by-step guide to 15 fabulous nail art designs and would recommend it to anyone who wants to try nail art for themselves, but may find it a little daunting (and for those who don’t like watching You-Tube video tutorials). I particularly like that the back of the book features a ‘Gloss-ary’, mentioning all of the nail polishes used to create the nail art designs, so you can go out and find the exact same shades they used to create the same looks. Have a peek inside for yourself here.

The two lovely ladies also worked together to produce two new nail polish colours, an Aqua colour called ‘Alimony’ and a glitzy gold glitter bomb named ‘Gold Digger’ I absolutely adore ‘Gold Digger’, it is an intense burst of fine gold glitter that covers the nail beautifully and completely, unlike many glitter nail polishes that appear on the nail as a very weak version of what they look like inside the bottle. My favourites from the Tropicana range have to be the shade ‘Bougainvillea’ from the Tropicana range, a playful and bright pop of purple and ‘Laguna’, a dark yet delicate shade of deep sea blue/green.

Anna Ross has shared with Melbourne Darling that she will no longer be designing jewellery for Kester Black, but instead will be shifting the focus of Kester Black entirely to nail polish. With that exciting news, stay tuned for the upcoming developments of this fun and spunky brand, (and what new and imaginative colours Anna develops next!) You can find a listing of your closest Kester Black Nail Polish stockist on their website.

In the meantime, here comes the hard question, which colour will you be wearing this summer?

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