Maria Nila Cream Heat Spray. This is obviously the perfect solution if you like cream heat protection but don’t like applying with your hands. The one thing that makes me rethink repurchasing is that it is expensive. On the other hand, I’ve had less expensive heat protection (..Lee Stafford...) that may have protected the hair from heat but probably damaged the hair. At least it seemed that way. Might be worth the money.
But for now, I’m using the REF. heat protection spray because there was a super deal on it (cost me 50 SEK, normally retails for 210 SEK, and the Maria Nila spray is about 240 SEK, just for reference). And it’s cruelty free. I basically had to buy it. Or stop using hot tools. Which will happen when all of my hair falls out.
Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Makeup Fixing Spray. Soo. Someone whose opinion I really trust when it comes to base products said this spray was bomb (her words, not mine). As of yet, I’m not quite decided. See, the bottle is only empty because the nozzle of the spray is so bad—it’s like getting spit in the face—the product itself had to go live somewhere else. In an old NYX setting spray bottle to be exact. Still trying it out. For now, not feeling super positive.
Aloe Vera Vaseline. Gawd I love this stuff but it’s not cruelty free.
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. I know everyone raves about this. I don’t get it. On my skin, it’s no better than the NYX setting spray. I see no reason to buy it again. But I do hear there’s a different spray that targets oilier skin types, might be interested in that.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol. I got this as an introduction to retinol. So I’m supposed to move on to actual retinol. Not entirely sure I will anymore, but I’m definitely not buying this again because I don’t know what it did. If anything. I haven’t used it for a few weeks and I don’t really think my skin balance is any different.
Maria Åkerberg Hand Cream. WHY are organic products so disappointing?? This is one of the worst hand creams I’ve encountered in a while. It did more or less nothing for me. It barely moisturized. I prefer greasy Lush over this.
MUA Eye Define Nourish & Care Mascara. I see no reason to harp on about this mascara any more. You probably know this is my current favorite mascara. A new tube is waiting in my makeup drawer.
Lumene Matte Foundation. It is a damn shame there’s PFOS in this, I truly did enjoy it. Shade is right, sits well on my skin, excellent budget option. But PFOS, it’s a deal breaker.
Best read all year! Would marry this book. Basically, it’s a story illustrating feminism in practice. Need I say more?
Second best reads:
Hunger by Roxane Gay. What’s funny/scary about this book is that even if you’re half the size of Roxane Gay, or smaller, you can still identify. Hela Kakan by Kakan Hermansson. Oh you know, feminism and that. I kroppen min by Kristian Gidlund. First person account of what it’s like to know you’re dying. Vad ska en flicka göra? by Annika Lantz. A funny take on cancer. Raven rings by Siri Pettersen. Especially book 2 where they quote NIN. I loved that book. That Changes Everything by Naomi Klein. People don’t change, not really, but this book got me thinking and reviewing some of the things I do. Fördömd by Johanne Hildebrandt. It’s like..if Indiana Jones was a woman and lived in present day Sweden. Kinda. Mr Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange. Pride & Prejudice from Mr Darcy’s point of view. På A svarar jag hejdå by Nina Hemmingsson. THIS:
Speaking of reading: got myself a Storytel subscription, which is what has kept me “reading” this year. If it wasn’t for audio books, I would have read pretty much nothing.
Under huden med Kakan Hermansson. Feminism + beauty, an unholy unity, according to certain feminists. And they’re not exactly wrong.
Penntricket. More feminism! Hoping for another season in the year to come. Although it is unlikely they’ll top the fourth episode about hating men. Maybe they did the right thing calling it quits?
PMS-podden! Sure, I only just started listening to it, but it is hours and hours all about PMS. Pretty much my main interest in life.
Puma ignite trainers. Best trainers I’ve had in a while. Will repurchase!
Jeans. To be clear: black and only black. (The horror that anyone would think I’d run around in blue jeans.) I’ve abandoned my dresses and skirts for jeans; did not see that one coming.
Now. If I had any sort of blogging skills, I would have prepped pics before Sweden entered into the darkness-24-hours-a-day period. This is me trying to get a shot of my newest pair, a pair of skinny high waists at noon in front of a window:
[Oh come on, there was never any point to these pics.]
Not that it helps that all my walls are dark. And the jeans are black. But still. Love these jeans, perfect length and oddly a high waist that works for me. Unheard of! I’ve thus far hated all high waisted jeans.
Not that it matters. I think we all know what black jeans look like. Absolutely love pairing them with this striped top too.
A favorite outfit; long green top, black leggings, platform sling-backs, frilly choker.
Green top with red hair, love this combo! Also works real well with the purple hair.
No7 pore minimizing primer. The more other primers I try out, the more I like the No7 pore minimizing primer. Does its job, is budget friendly, what’s not to love?
Wearing no brows.
Waiting for y’all to catch up. (KIDDING. Apparently it’s me and Manson; even Sarah Hawkinson abandoned us. Oh no wait, and Jenny Mustard. OK so maybe there’s a few of us…) I need to dig out that yellow, and those metallics. I wonder what shade that is. Is it..blue..?
Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter.
Made me quit face wipes! This stuff is not only better for the environment, but a more efficient product that is kinder to the skin.
Pixi’s Glow Mud Cleanser + Mud Mask.
The cleanser is my AM cleanser, the one I use when I don’t wear makeup. It’s kinda like washing your face with a clay mask, which might be obvious and probably seems strange but oh, I for one love this. I am abandoning my regular foaming cleansers for clay.
As for the mask, I wanted to love other mud masks, but I kept dreaming about the Glow Mud Mask. So ja…
Makeup Revolution New-trals vs neutrals.
The only palette I need! Up until now, I’ve been in a habit of adding at least one single shadow, or a quad, to whatever palette I think I can make do with. No longer the case! Not that I don’t love my other shades, I do, but this is all I need.
B. bronzer + Urban Decay Naked Skin concealer (+ Superdrug hair therapy oil with argan)
Who thought I’d add bronzer to my makeup routine at this point in life? Not me, to be sure? And the concealer, it is, unfortunately, v. v. good.
No powder. Because I’m old and my skin suddenly decided it doesn’t like it. At all. Funny thing: doesn’t seem to be any shinier than usual. Or maybe I’m learning to love my natural dewiness. Here’s hoping!
Superdrug argan oil. Best hair oil I’ve tried so far. 100% in love!
Manic panic purple haze + vampire red. Makes for the perfect purple hair color. For me. But I’ll probably stick with the brown + red combo for a bit longer. Not that the straight purple was bad at all.
Me: Looks v. v. different! Camera: …except for it doesn’t tho.
Maria Nila hair spray. I’ve struggled with hair sprays. They’re never quite right. This one tho! Nice smell, good hold, does not seem to causing any hair damage, it’s a keeper!
Soft water. Even better for the hair than cold rinse. I count myself lucky to have access to stoft water, even if it’s not in my home.
Finally figured out how to make waves using the flat iron. Was v. pleased with this wee wave!
Single-handedly makes all other bands on Twitter look really bad. Or at least severely boring. This is a universal truth, right? It has nothing to do with my love of sarcasm?
YouTubers I’ve been watching religiously
Kiera Rose. Bit of vegan, bit of beauty, do you need more reasons? Sarah Hawkinson. Could watch only because she has the best red hair ever. And I like her taste in music. And she’s one of those people who cares, about a lot of things, which I guess I admire. Jamie Genevieve. If I’m being honest, mostly watching for the Scottish and sneak peeks of Glasgow, but she is wicked good at makeup. Difficult makeup. The kind that I’m just never going to do. Holly Exley. You should know I love Holly by now. Tashina Combs/Logical Harmony. Mainly watching because her site logicalharmony.net is one of my go-to resources for finding out if a brand is cruelty free or not. So ja, that’s what she does, cruelty-free beauty. Rhian Hy. Vegan cruelty-free beauty. Mostly. Cheap Lazy Vegan. Tips on being a cheap lazy vegan! Qcknd. Got sucked in by her moving vlogs. Made me feel fortunate to have been born in Sweden. Aaaand…she’s had a lengthy rant about the Cure and dyes her hair in fun colors. Thataylaa. She knows the makeup. No 1 authority when it comes to foundations I would say. Lily Melrose. These days, she mostly does fashion-related content, and some vlogs. I’m not super interested in fashion, but it’s one of those channels Leila. You should be seeing a theme here. I like the YouTubers with a conscious. Hannah Witton. Talks a lot about hormones, thus the basis of her appeal. Helen Anders. This lady, super creative, I am so impressed, and I’m not easily impressed. Also absolutely love her quirky style.
Yes. And those aren’t the only ones I watch. Explains why I’m not exactly missing subscribing to any video streaming services.
Non-YouTube moving picture bits
One more time with feeling. Might be the best music documentary ever. Because of the pace. Because it includes the music off of Skeleton Tree.
Girls. Favorite episode might still be the Matthew Rhys episode. Might be.
Vikings. I’m still disappointed that they’re not incorporating the stories Johanna Hildebrandt tell in her books, which are set in the same era, but I take what I can get.
The Mindy Project. It’s..funny?
Regin. Still upset they killed off Francis and kept Sebastian. But I do love this series.
Handmaid’s Tale. Oh it was lovely, regardless of how closely it follows the book, so well done.
What the Health. It is vegan propaganda; I like vegan propaganda, I need vegan propaganda, as do you. Just FYI.
GB vegan ice cream. Best vegan ice cream yet! Bar mebbe the sorbets at Terre à Terre.
Cool oats. I’m a big fan of the cold porridge; started out as a practical solution, turned into something I do always when having porridge.
On to my favorite categories! The categories literally no one cares about; the only end of the year lists I’m interested in and will search for on purpose: the music categories.
I mean really, I take this seriously. This is a page from my planner:
Notes on what albums were released this year and which I’ve listened to at least once.
Also, still waiting for Robyn to release that track on Girls, Honey. What is taking so long??
Like last year, I have three clear favorites:
All these countless nights by Deaf Havana. I’ve no words. I just love this record. I don’t understand how it hasn’t made Deaf Havana HUGE (..although I do appreciate that that is not the case, on a personal level), is it poor marketing??
Waiting for morning to come by Being as an Ocean. Did not expect this release to match my taste so perfectly. There is something about it that reminds me of what I used to like/listen to in the 90s, but with a touch of what I like in today’s music (let’s just call it post-hardcore). Requires absolutely no effort for me to love. I’m going to go ahead and call it underrated.
Under Your Spell by the Birthday Massacre. Did not see this one coming. I know of and listen to Birthday Massacre, but mostly random songs at random times. I’ve been listening to this album on repeat.
Note to self: just fucking stand up front. Never mind the fact that I’m too old; I’m sure no one can tell in the dark anyway.
Bullet Journal. Still doing it. Slightly less passionate about it, but I don’t seem interested in giving it up.
Regular periods. On the one hand, means I can add less hormones to the ones I’ve already got wrecking havoc in my body, and that is a good thing, on the other, come on, do we have to bleed this often, really? Aren’t we too old?
Decluttered my CDs. Not a minute too soon.
Skincare obsession. A result of my usual makeup no longer sitting well on my skin. It’s my most expensive hobby yet, which is unfortunate.
…this was a while ago now. It’s expanded and become unmanageable in the space I have available. Good thing the bathroom in my new place is bigger. Just need to be patient…and stop buying stuff.
Learned how to turn off retweets. Which still means I can’t follow Roxane Gay because when she tweets she just dominates my entire feed which is a problem. Might I suggest a different medium? Blog? I’d follow!
Body pump. May it be forever this time. Or at least lifting weights. Or at least until I move because bit more strength, it would come in handy when moving (yes HI I’m super practical).
Brighton in November.
Looking forward to in 2018
MOVING. Which means I also have to sell my current place which makes me sad and nervous. Am looking forward to downsizing tho! (..in theory..?)
Following the move, I can start dying my hair again.
Seeing my cycle analysis in Clue. Yes! I am overly interested in all things menstruation! It’s what happens when you start noticing just how controlled you are by your hormones. I’m trying to work out a way to work with my hormones rather than against them, which thus far has not been the case.
Hibernate? I just want to settle into my new place and enjoy being able to go to the gym at all times and wash my hair at home.
…I mean I’d like to go to Scotland. And I’d like to see NIN. But I’d also like not being broke, which is the inevitable result of moving.
I’ve been thinking. About my hair routine. As one does.
This is by no means a how-to, it’s merely an observation. And an ode to cold water. Cold water people!
While I’m not much of a minimalist in general, I feel my hair routine is almost there.
Hair wash every 3 days
I use either a hydrating salon shampoo, or, my current fave, Maria Nila Soft, followed by a Maria Nila hair masque and/or the Maria Nila conditioner mixed with Lush’s Retread.
I mix the two conditioners because unfortunately, the Lush conditioner does nothing for me, but I do like the smell. And it seems stupid to just throw it away?
Do I have to justify not using more budget-friendly products? I feel I do. I also feel I can’t. What can I say, I’ve bought into the whole more expensive = better. I might be imagining things, it’s not as if I’ve done a study.
But do you know what I still find is far more important than ANY of this?
All of this is just cancelled out if I skip this one step:
COLD WATER RINSE
When washing the hair, finish by rinsing it in cold water. Well actually, I just wash my hair in cold water these days. I swear to you that it makes more of a difference than any choice of product. The question is, if I’ll stick it out in the winter too. I usually don’t.
Cold water is only topped by good genes. Which I don’t have. And PCO to boot. So. Yay?
Leave to dry
I rarely blow dry my hair. Which I use as an excuse to…
Straighten & volumize
Trade-off! Blow drier for straightener.
I do straighten my hair post washing. So twice a week then. I have this lovely GA.MA. straightener, it is the best ever.
I also have a crappy (much newer) GA.MA. straightener. It’s pink. Not the reason it’s bad obvs. It feels like it gets caught up in your hair as you straighten it. Whereas this red/black version just goes smoothly through your hair.
And use a volume master. It is good, but absolutely vile to look at. Cleaning it, at this point, does not help.
For heat protection I use Maria Nila (well duh) and Lee Stafford. Did think the Lee Stafford was less than great initially, but now we get along just fine. Which is good; it smells divine. I’d wear it as a perfume for sure.
No dry shampoo, no styling products
I quit the dry shampoo when I started volumizing again, becaaauuuseee…volumizing keeps your hair feeling fairly clean, i.e. not oily, for a good number of days; it seemed redundant to do both.
But I do sometimes (often) wear it up. Because I see it as my mission in life to be inappropriate. As in be 35, wear hair as if you’re 5. Space buns, high pony, different half-ups, pig tails, braids…I do all of it.
I also wear a pony tail to bed. Reason: when I ovulate I get nightly sweats that get really bad if I wear my hair down. The body is just a goddamn mystery… And anyway. Makes the hair less flat + straightening lasts better.
Hair dye approx. once a month
Manic Panic’s Vampire Red is my color of choice because a. vegan + cruelty free, and b. it’s a semi-permanent, could practically be considered a treatment, and c. you don’t have to bleach first. I mean you could, but you don’t have to.
Thought it was about time, you know, after 6 months of dying, to read up on the best way to do it. There’s plenty info out there if you can be bothered to look. Which, mostly, I can’t. Because I’m of the Instructions?! I don’t read the instructions! school of thought.
Currently of the persuasion not a necessity. But then I want it long and grungy. So that I can swing it about as if I’m Jonathan Davis. (Too much Korn? There is no such thing!)
Sometimes I wonder just who I think I am. This is one such time.
I might give the hair the occasional trim. When brushing become an actual struggle. Then I might.
Speaking of which.
I go through periods where I think brushing is kind of overkill. But if I do, I use one of these two guys:
Comb for when the hair is wet and I don’t want it to dry funny. The bamboo brush is highly underrated. I don’t know what you all are doing running around with your plastic brushes. I am never going back!
It is possible I’m imagining things, but it feels as if -any- plastic brush adds static electricity. That seems kind of counterproductive?
Current state of hair
For being me: probably the best it’s been. Ever. Also the longest it’s been for ten years.
So now. I’m just waiting for it to go gray, forcing me to change the routine entirely because who knows how it’ll behave then??
But also. Can’t wait! Imagine all the pastels you’ll be able to throw at it and not bleach?!
May in Sweden. It’s kind of disappointing. Someone on Twitter made this striking observation “Do we even have seasons anymore or is it just on shuffle?” It was an insane mix of snow, sunshine, warm and cold. Just make up your mind!?! I can’t dress for this!
Unbeliever and Red Eyes by Architects. New favorites (old tracks). Odds that they’re in the current/future setlist…? (Might be pretending I don’t know what’s in the setlist. Mebbe.)
Sea Change by Thrice. New Thrice track, and it’s such a treat! Surely we’re not so lucky it means a new album is in the works? It was just a one-off right? How does one get news about Thrice anyway?
Storytel. Apparently my book streaming service of choice. Turns out I was wrong thinking audiobooks were definitely not for me, even if I’m on the distracted side as suspected. It’s also the one thing that’s currently keeping me “reading”.
Fördömd. Novel by Johanne Hildebrandt; clearly my favorite writer of all the writers. Was an excellent company on my walks.
Best eyeliner in a while:
Clearly so rare it needs a special mention.
Come to think of it, it was in fact not in May but the end of April when I went to see Little Jinder, but never mind! Loved the outfit too, men’s camouflage hoodie + fave H&M shorts, biggest hoops I could wear and Vagabond boots. Sis has OK:ed for wearing to maybe a more appropriate occasion such as metal gig. (What’s the fun in that?! I’ll dig out some flowery dress or something such. Because being inappropriate is highly entertaining?)
Gave eyebrows another go. It’s as if I’m not meant to have eyebrows. Or I’m now so used to having no brows I just think it looks wrong (on me). May as well clear out all brow products. Not that I have many, but still.
Reign. On the one hand, Catherine is some sort if carrier of feminist ideas, on the other, all other women on this show are malnourished. Severely. I don’t particularly approve of this ambivalence. Surely it could have been avoided? And I miss Francis. They’re ignoring history anyway, couldn’t Bash die instead? They could just pretended that it was Francis because he wanted out of the whole being king deal. Or something! I dunno. It just makes no sense to ge rid of a perfectly good character like Francis and keep a pointless character like Bash.
The Handmaid’s Tale! 💕
And can we just quickly mention Twin Peaks…first two episodes, not bad. Third one. Third one I could just not get through and gave up. Mistake?
Red wine. As in tried to learn to love red wine (again, used to be v. v. fond of it) failed miserably. It just makes my stomach turn. And I’m not even talking about as a result of much wine, we’re talking onesmall glass (I don’t normally do small glasses of wine).
Cava. Might be even better than Sauvignon blanc. Had some Freixenet and it was amazing. And yes HI I’m a wino, what of it?
Protein. I’m all about the protein these days. Top 5 proteins (in no particular order): Bean pasta; which I like to add to bean dishes. Edamame beans; add to some rice, sprouts and roasted broccoli + mustard or wasabi and that’s all you need. Rice protein; add to pancakes. Sea weed tofu; add to purple cabbage, aubergine puree, mushrooms and pasta. Veggi fake meat; fry up with strong spices, add kale and roasted beets. Bit of roasted garlic mayo (Astrid & aporna ♥♥.)
Penntricket. I do still love Penntricket, but the episode where they collab with Lillelördag was kinda painful. I mean suuure, it aptly illustrates how some women are completely clueless when it comes to feminism, but that also means that they more or less had to step away from the feminist topic because you can’t discuss any topic with people who are not aware and apparently also lacking interest. The conversation just went in the wrong direction and never found its way anywhere near back.
Maria Nila. I hate it that Maria Nila is so expensive but so undeniably the best. I was using Lee Stafford’s heat protection, which works really well to keep your hair straight once you’ve straightened it. However. Turned the ends of my hair into all knots, basically, so I switched to the Maria Nila heat protective cream spray. It is good. Similarly, disappointed with Lush’s Retread conditioner, so, again, switching to Maria Nila.
Plans for June
Architects! Just the one show, because I’m practicing moderation.
Catch up on actual reading. I’ve got a week off work, is there anything better to do with a week off than try to get out of this reading slump?
Spend quality time with cats.
Resist the urge to book a trip because I’ve got no business going anywhere and it’s bad for the environment and my finances. And I should suffer. I’m sure it’s what I deserve.
Last hair dye in a while. I love having red hair, but I hate how the dye stains literally everything for weeks afterwards. I can’t deal. But I’ve still got some dye left. So. One last time.