• Jewelry brand J. Hannah released a compost-coloured nail polish last week.
  • The drab olive-brown is considered "the ugliest colour in the world" by market researchers.
  • J. Hannah says the shade is an example of the concept of Jolie-Laide, or unconventional beauty.
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Sometimes it pays to go against the crowd.

In this case, where most brands might aspire to offer the prettiest colours, jewelry maker J. Hannah found its inspiration at the other side of the scale. The brand's latest shade, announced last week, is a drab olive-brown colour it calls Compost.

In standardised Pantone terms, the color is 448C, known among market researchers as "the ugliest colour in the world," according to J. Hannah.

The French (of course) have a world for such an aesthetic: Jolie-Laide, which literally means "pretty and ugly." Unconventional beauty, in other words.

"Compost is a statement in the nuanced line between the revolting and the luxurious, between the hideous and the refined. A reminder to not flatten beauty's complexity into a single note," the brand said on Instagram.

"In other words, if you know, you know," it added.

In an interview last year with fashion blog Into the Gloss, founder Jess Hannah Révész hinted at her motivation behind the muted natural shades she selects to adorn her hands.

"I never felt like the nail colours I saw on the market were as nuanced as I would have liked, so with J. Hannah I wanted to make shades for others who felt the same way," she said.

Others certainly do feel the same way.

"Just wanna bathe in it," one follower commented.

"Our drab girl summer," another said.

"Someone recently DMd me to let me know my miso polish looked like 'toe fungus' so I guess I'm just an 'ugly colour' sorta gal," still another said.

Beauty, as ever, is in the eye of the beholder.


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