less, again

via dylan forsberg
There are a few things I find more grating (relatively speaking, that is) that the term “pop of colour”. It seems like it’s always used in the context where it’s needed to water down something otherwise radical and unapologetic in it’s simplicity, in order to make it more accessible (or visually “entertaining” even) to a wider audience.

Yet here I was, trying to figure out if my otherwise simple look really needed the dreaded “pop” when I added a dramatic lip colour to an otherwise fairly simple look (see previous post). Perhaps it was an attempt to combat the dreaded february blues, but I experimented with a dramatic red for an entire particularly cold week in february until I finally decided it was just not gonna work between us. A fresh berry stain is one thing, but full on lipstick just felt like trying way too hard. 

So the affair ended rather quickly and now I’m back to my bb cream and lipbalms, and not much else. And to be honest, after all the experimenting, I might have settled into a simple and effective routine.

via vogue it

Then last week Into the Gloss did an article on the so-called “new face”, in which they described how to achieve the clean matte look for face without much effort (just one quick brush swoop of loose powder will usually do the trick) and pairing it with well groomed eyebrows and nude-but-better lipbalm for a modern contrast of textures. Think Céline woman. As much as I like the idea of trying out certain products there are in fact very few of them that become a part of my daily ritual. I do, however love matte skin, since my skin is mixed, leaning on the oily side and… well grass is always greener on the other side, I guess? The idea of a minimal make-up also feels infinitely more current than anything else. Plus, there is just something uncompromising in the refusal to do the obvious and what is traditionally expected of make-up, which is to exegerate features and make them more feminine, and decide on something far more contemporary and inconspicuous. 

For now, most of my products are stored away and the only thing on my make-up counter are a couple of nude-coloured pots and some chubby sticks. Honestly, I am curious to see how long this will last, but for now it feels perfect. =)

(images: kassia, via dylan forsberg; magdalena, via vogue it)

black on black

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Even though I do not like jewelry and most ornaments,
I do like a classic metal detail in an otherwise uniform outfit.

This was taken a while back in the midst of february, when jeans and jumpers are my uniforms of choice.
(The lipcolour on the other hand is a different story altogether. More on that coming soon.)

(image: my own.)

Rome

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We recently returned from a lovely trip to Rome, where the weather was beautiful most of the time and the pope announced his resignation. We strolled the Trastevere, where we also enjoyed the best pizza of our lives and came across Libreria Del Cinema (and the nerd in me got greedy). We ate gelato from I Caruso, passed Trevi on a daily basis and had the best, creamiest, caffè macchiato at Nero Caffe (while standing, of course).

Next up on the city-trip to-do list: Copenhagen. If you have any tips, they are more than welcome.

trevi
(all images my own, via instagram)

collection

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Current small Diptyque collection of personal favourites.

Chêne still remains the all-round favourite, although I do enjoy the comfort of Feu de Bois during cold season and Maquis in spring. Opopanax and Cyprès are both cosy in the evening, especially when it’s raining outside and I’m cuddled up with a good book, and Ambre is very sensual.

Still on the wishlist: Santal, Myrrhe, Cèdre, Vetyver and Cuir.

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(all images are my own.)

comfort

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Recently acquired chunky grey knit with multicolored speckles, dark grey sweater with metallic speckles and black leather sneakers. 

Currently re-reading Orwell’s 1984. January 2013 somehow seemed like the perfect time to do that.

I also received a sample of L’Ombre dans l’Eau during my recent trip to Skins. I didn’t like it at first, but it kind of grew on me and now I’m even considering purchasing the solid perfume. It’s very mossy and green and even though it contains traces of rose, it’s not the usual bright sunny rose. More like rose for people who don’t usually like roses, if that makes any sense.

products

bb
I’m probably a bit late to the party, but one of my recent discoveries is Clinique BB cream. I don’t like foundations, but this really evens out the skin tone without feeling like I’m wearing a mask. Years ago I used Clinique City Block but it made my skin look a bit pasty in the summer when I got a tan, so I switched to using just a moisturizer with SPF, some concealer and a bit of loose powder to even out and mattify everything.

I use BB over my La Roche-Posay moisturizer and it blends really well with my skin tone. It doesn’t feel like make-up at all and it has SPF! Perfect.

chubby
Another new favourite is Clinique Chubby Stick. I’ve been searching for a good berry tinted lip balm for a while now and a friend recommended this fun looking product that immediated appealed to me. I love a dramatic lipcolour, especially in winter, but usually I have other things on my mind and don’t feel like making a lot of effort. This is quick and virtually fool-proof. The colour (nr. 16) looks pretty dramatic but it goes on sheer with just the right amount of shine.

shimmers
Burt’s Bees lip shimmers are another personal favourite. I buy these in bulk so there are always some in the bag and make-up cabinet.

clarinseye
I rarely use eye pencil, because I realized it tends to look harsh on me, even when blended properly. These Mineral eyeshadows by Clarins are great for days when I want a bit more polish. I use no. 8 (taupe) to add a bit more depth to the crease and outer corner of the eye, as well as underneath the bottom lashes. No. 9 (lavender tea) is interesting because it’s a very subtle violet taupe. I was initially hesitant, but the handful of times that I’ve had my make-up done professionally, I learned that violet tones such as these compliment my eye colour (grey).

cliniqueeye
Another Clinique product! Like Mink (I really enjoy this name) is a bit more dramatic brown and usually reserved for the evening. The lighter pigment on the left also matches really well with the Clarins colours above, when used in the inner corner of the eye to brighten up.

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I don’t like severe product and namedropping on blogs, it usually feels kind of cheesy and Home Shopping Network-ish, but I really like these products and wanted to share them. Also, I love reading IntoTheGloss and I always end up wanting to make my own versions of Top Shelf. =)

(All images are my own.)

white on navy

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(all images by me and painting by Mark Rothko, via tumblr)

Stripes are featured on some of my favourite things to wear, exactly for their graphic quality and classic simplicity. For me at least, it’s the easiest way to add some visual interest to an otherwise simple wardrobe, without feeling ornamental in any way.

Lately I’ve been living in this sweater, the cosiest one I have in my closet. I have a feeling this might go on for some time, since it’s been so cold lately. The sweater is from COS and I’ve had it for a while now (little over a year, to be exact) and it’s really one of my favourite pieces, qualifying for the regular trips to dry cleaners to prevent the risk of ruining it during the wash (which I only do for very special pieces, ever since I shrunk a very favourite sweater of mine two year ago in the wash). So far it’s been working, as the quality is exactly as it was at the time of purchase. This way I hope to enjoy it for years to come.

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wood

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I admit I’m not a jewellery person. I realised this after years of buying things like bracelets and necklaces and then not wearing them. When dressing myself, it rarely occures to me to add some, because it usually feels unnecessarily ornamental, and takes away from the general simplicity of my wardrobe. And when I do decide on something like a simple gold cuff or chunky chain necklace, which I wanted for a long time, i am constantly aware of wearing it and fidgeting with it.

It’s possibly just one of those things you like on others but not on yourself. It’s partially also due to some bad luck – for example my pierced ear heals the moment I take out my earring for more than a week (no matter how long I’ve been wearing the earrings up to that point), so I just gave up bothering to get it pierced over and over again. I also had a very simple, very thin gold chain, which mysteriously vanished during a walk on the beach one summer holiday.

So for years I just gave up on jewellery and decided it wasn’t my thing. Recently though, I fell in love with a lovely necklace from COS featuring graphic wood elements (I generally love COS designs, due to it’s simplicity and graphic quality). Something about the natural matte texture that breaks up the shine of the metal and the unusual shape, appealed to me. I also really liked the way it looked with my usual wardrobe colours and casual navy jumpers or crew-neck sweaters, so it wasn’t just something that just looked good in picture, but it was even better in person. 

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So I started thinking about wooden details, and new ways to add them to my wardrobe. There is something humble yet unusual about using organic material such as wood, that I like. My boyfriend works with different kinds of wood to create abstract objects and I asked him to make a hairclip using a type of wood with natural red colouring called panouk that has become gradient from the sun. I really like the simplicity of design he came up with, like an optical illusion on the back of my head. =)

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Some time ago I also noticed a lovely wooden clutch from the French Connection, and although I liked the shape, I did not like the type of wood used, nor the shiny finish. So my boyfriend made a slightly bigger version in slightly different shape, using superior wood (walnut), and leaving it matte. I love this shade. And best of all, it complements the wooden soles of my black patent-leather brogues. 

winter skin

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I only recently discovered the joy of purchasing skincare products at the local pharmacy. Most dutch pharmacies are not like the French or even Belgian pharmacies, which are usually stocked with pharmaceutical cult-favourites such as Caudalíe and Embryolisse, but after some careful research I found a local pharmacy that stocks a couple of brands I’ve been meaning to try in order to help relieve dry winter skin, like La Roche-Posay (below).

Throughout the years I’ve settled on a couple of products that seem to keep my skin happy, but during the coldest months my skin appears to be extra sensitive, needing extra care. This year I set out to find the perfect product specifically for winter skin and began trying out different samples. For a while I favoured Aesop’s Camelia Nut Hydrating facial cream which did a good job as a night moisturizer, but was too rich to use under blush or concealer because it took some time to absorb properly on my skin.

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I’ve been reading about La Roche-Posay for ages now, how it’s a dermatologist as well as skincare-enthousiasts favourite and thought I’d give it a try. So far it has made my skin very happy. The formula is made with sensitive skin in mind and contains none of the bad stuff such as parabens and alcohol. Instead, it’s light, gentle and super moisturizing. There is also the ‘riche’ version, for extra dry skin, but this one works perfectly for my own daily routine.

(images: VogueUK via cottonblanc tumblr and my own instagram)