Mindful Monday 19th August

Mindful Monday - my dream, goal, lesson, and mantra this week

Hi guys, how was your weekend?

My little boy is feeling a lot better now and is finally sleeping again. So I actually feel really rejuvenated and ready to hit this week running.

I have had 6 months of change and re-focus on my social media. I used to mainly focus on the Scandinavian market. But then about a year ago I felt it was time to open up and start blogging in English too. And that’s how this blog came to be. Sure my English isn’t flawless, but I’m thinking it can only improve with practice.

I might be Swedish, but I live in London and I have most of my friends and my little family here. So it felt like the right thing to do. I still kept blogging in Swedish, but I have switched the majority of my time and effort from that blog to this one.

It has taken me quite some time to get both this blog and my Instagram to where I wanted it to be before I was ready to put it out in the world properly again. I had to re-focus and re-align.

I have had social media/blog agents in Sweden since 2008, but I decided to leave them in January and go on my own. This is why you haven’t seen any sponsored posts on this blog or on my Instagram for a few months. I wanted to get my brand perfectly in line with my personal ethos before I could invite anyone in to join me.

Sure, I lost quite a lot of money and I have turned down a few pretty tempting collaborations. But I can’t live in the past and I need to do what feels right for me in my new direction.

And it has been totally worth it. Now I’m lined up to work with the kind of companies I only dreamt of before. All my content feels 100% genuine at all times and I’m always excited to blog and share.

It took this re-boot to find my mojo again. And now I’m super excited about the future. This shows you sometimes have to take a leap of faith, pull back and “loose out”. To be able to go forward, change, and grow.

This is my dream, goal, lesson, and mantra this week; 

My mantra this week  – “You have to invest to grow”. Many things I worried about in regards to my social media and blog has fallen into place this week. And I’m so relieved. I have taken a big financial hit, but I see it as an investment in my future and it’s all finally coming together and beginning to bear fruit. Not all investments are spending money, some are losing money for a greater purpose.

My affirmation this week – “I’m 100% authentic in my voice”. Every word I write is confidently mine and I know exactly what direction I am moving in. It’s such a relief after a start of the year filled with uncertainty.

My goal this week – I want to find a new agent, here in the UK. I might not find one straight away, but I’m ready to put myself out there again.

My dream of the week  – I dream of creating a tight brand around my blog and socials. I love the things I’m doing at the moment and I want to amplify all of it into something bigger.

Mindful Monday - my dream, goal, lesson, and mantra this week

My focus this week  – This week I’m focusing on sharing my content and finding ways to grow now when I’m ready again. I truly believe in what I do and I want the people who follow me to feel that I bring value to their lives.

The event of the week – On Wednesday I’m off to an afternoon tea with Kate Hudson. She is launching her brand HappyxNature here in the UK and I’m super excited to get a little sneak peek. What do you want me to ask her?

My lesson from last week –Everything is a phase. The good, the bad… it all changes constantly. Sometimes from one week to another. We just have to have patience and hope.

My little luxury this week – I’m taking Wednesday morning off to go to the hairdresser. And I won’t bring my laptop, I’m just going to read Vogue and relax! I can’t wait.

My inspiration this week  – This week I’m inspired by my own journey. Is that ok? Well, I am very proud of myself at the moment. So I’m going to run with it.

What is your dream, goal, lesson, and mantra this week

Photo – Ida Zander. My dress is a pre-loved find from Vanessa Bruno via Vestiaire Collective. (Affiliate link)

 

Do you feel old? I will tell you why!

Did you know that the median life is 37.8? When we have passed this number in years, we are officially closer to old than young. To death than birth. Depressing right?  However, do we actually feel old at 37? When I think of old, I see wrinkly faces, grey hair, hunched backs and hair growing in all the wrong places. You have to be really unlucky to look like that at 37...

It’s funny, isn’t it? Aging.

Or maybe not funny at all. To some, even absolutely terrifying.

If you think about it, every day we live is one step closer to old age, brain and body breakdown and ultimately death. No one can change it, no one can escape it. We can’t buy or make time. It’s the one thing we all have in common, rich, poor, male, female, Hillary or Trump. We will all die at some point.

I think the reason why we obsess so much about the outer signs of aging is that it reminds us daily of our mortality. When the flower no longer is a bud, but wide open and the leaves are starting to tremble in the wind. All of a sudden life feels very short.

So we try to fix the outside, maybe in the hope of slowing the process down. But most likely because we don’t want to be reminded that another day, month, year has blown by.

Did you know that the median life is 37.8? When we have passed this number in years, we are officially closer to old than young. To death than birth. Depressing right?

However, do we actually feel old at 37? When I think of old, I see wrinkly faces, grey hair, hunched backs and hair growing in all the wrong places. You have to be pretty unlucky to look like that at 37…

I’m 36 and I only just started feeling like a grown-up. I don’t feel old at all!

Yes, my face and body are showing the first small signs of aging. My skin is not as elastic as it used to be, creases stay after I stopped smiling and I have more visible veins. But I don’t look in the mirror and think “heck I will die soon”.

Did you know that the median life is 37.8? When we have passed this number in years, we are officially closer to old than young. To death than birth. Depressing right?  However, do we actually feel old at 37? When I think of old, I see wrinkly faces, grey hair, hunched backs and hair growing in all the wrong places. You have to be really unlucky to look like that at 37...

What does makes me feel old sometimes is society and the constant obsession with youth. It’s so unrelatable to most of us. And incredibly stressful for anyone past 25.

I mean even the majority of anti-aging adverts are featuring 20-year-olds. As if they just couldn’t find anyone over 30 who looked decent enough to take a photo of… Who decided we have an expiry date on beauty? It just doesn’t make sense, why alienate your target group by shaming them?

I had a very short discussion today on an Instagram account of a dermatologist. I have been thinking about going to her for a consultation, but her Instagram feed put me off. It was full of 20 something models with glowing skin. Sure, it looks amazing and attractive. But I just could not relate. I asked in the comments why she only featured such young women. And the answer was that those are her clients.

Thing is, I’m pretty sure those girls have not paid (or at least not in full) for those treatments. Most of them had 100K+ followers and had shared multiple pictures on their feeds raving about the doctor. It reeked of unmarked Influencer marketing.

The problem is that these girl’s followers most likely are their age and to be honest, probably can’t afford the rate this doctor charges. On top of that, she is alienating people like me. Her real potential clients.

This is such a great example of the misunderstanding of youth in marketing. It’s believed to be the holy grail, but it’s not. Youth does not equal beauty. Beauty can be found in all ages.

No one can sell youth, but we can sell beauty. So sell it to the people who want it, not to the ones who already have it. Girls over 30 don’t look at 20 somethings and think we wished we looked like them. We look at ourselves and want to keep what we got. We want to age gracefully.

If marketing would end their love affair with youth and take a look around, I’m sure they would do a lot better. Stop stereotyping women and look at our actual needs and wants. Be a bit more realistic.

And above all, stop making us feel old when we are not!

Photo – Ida Zander. You can find my leopard print dress here. 

 

My One-item-a-month in August; A pre-loved white silk blouse from L’Agence

I saw this stunning white silk blouse by L'Agence in a really lovely pre-loved designer shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I actually went in to drop off some of my own clothes and came out with 5 fewer items than I brought in. So not too bad all considered.

I have to admit, I was a bit early buying this month’s one-item-a-month this time. 

Actually, I bought it mid-July and have been dying to show it to you since. I decided I would wait a couple of weeks though. To space it all out evenly here on the blog.

I saw this stunning white silk blouse by L’Agence in a really lovely pre-loved designer shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I actually went in to drop off some of my own clothes and came out with 5 fewer items than I brought in. So not too bad all considered.

I saw this stunning white silk blouse by L'Agence in a really lovely pre-loved designer shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I actually went in to drop off some of my own clothes and came out with 5 fewer items than I brought in. So not too bad all considered.

I have been looking for a white silk blouse to wear at work for a while, and when I saw it hanging there. I knew I had to get it or would regret it forever after. (Those perfect items that get away. There are few things more annoying!)

Don’t we all love covered buttons? It’s soo pretty. And I absolutely adore that the buttons are in the back of the blouse. It’s such beautiful detail. And even though it looks like I might have to contort myself to get the blouse off, luckily there are regular buttons at the front.

I saw this stunning white silk blouse by L'Agence in a really lovely pre-loved designer shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I actually went in to drop off some of my own clothes and came out with 5 fewer items than I brought in. So not too bad all considered.

I always think collarless blouses and shirts make such a nice minimal statement. Especially if the item is quite busy already. This blouse, has bishop sleeves, pleating and covered buttons both on the back and the sleeve. It could easily get a bit much if a collar was added on top.

The fabric is silk, and although it’s sheer and floaty, it’s not too see-through. The only negative is that silk really does crinkle. So I have to keep my steamer at hand in the morning.   

I saw this stunning white silk blouse by L'Agence in a really lovely pre-loved designer shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I actually went in to drop off some of my own clothes and came out with 5 fewer items than I brought in. So not too bad all considered.

This is such a great addition to my work wardrobe. It’s timeless, from a great brand, in a beautiful fabric with amazing details. And pre-loved too! So I know I made a great choice for the environment. Thank you to whoever dropped it at the shop, it might have been your trash, but it’s surely my treasure

I don’t think I could have found a better piece of clothing to get for my one-item-a-month this month.

Ok, please share with me your favorite purchase lately. It doesn’t have to be a one-item-a-month purchase. Maybe you can inspire my buy for next month?

You can find the other items I chose here – January, February, March, April, May, June, and July.

Photo – Ida Zander.

You can find my white silk blouse by L’Agence (“Raquel”)  below (affiliate links)

 

Mindful Monday 12th August

Mindful Monday 12th August - my dream, goal, mantra, and lesson this week

Hello lovelies, how are you this week?

I always try to leave last week behind on Monday morning. But this time it was a bit harder than normal. Little Ace is not feeling well and isn’t eating or sleeping at all. He has blisters in his mouth and throat and has cried more this weekend than in the last 3 months put together. Poor little man, it’s so hard when they don’t understand why they are in pain.

So I’m unfortunately I’m taking sleep deprivation and some worry with me into the new week. It’s just one of the things you deal with as a parent. My main concern is, of course, for him to get better quickly.

This is my dream, goal, mantra, and lesson this week; 

My mantra this week  – “This too shall pass”. After 3 nights of no more sleep than an hour in one go. My brain is starting to feel slightly mushy. The most important thing as a parent is to remember that everything is a phase and it will go back to normal/get better again. He will get better, we will sleep again, it will pass.

My affirmation this week – “I will not stress over things I cannot control”. As long as I have done my best whatever will be, will be. If I start worrying about all the things I cannot affect, then I would do nothing else but worry. I have to just trust that everything will work out for the best.

My goal this week – My goal this week is actually already accomplished. Good Monday hey? We had our first influencer event at xInfluence today and it went really well. Everybody turned up, things ran smoothly, I had my presentation, wore a really amazing dress and I think everyone had a good time. So from now on the rest of the week should be smooth sailing.

My dream of the week  – I’m dreaming of a massive bathroom with a big freestanding bathtub. We don’t have a bath at home and I miss things like bubbles, bath bombs and Epsom salt. Reading in the bath is one of my favorite things to do.

Mindful Monday 12th August - my dream, goal, mantra, and lesson this week

My focus this week  –

 I had to focus mainly on the event today. But the rest of the week, it will be Ace and his well-being I will put all my effort into. And then I will need some sleep. Make that lots of sleep!

The event of the week – Our event today of course. We had 15 influencers in fashion and beauty all over 30 at our HQ for a workshop and some afternoon tea. It was amazing to get to meet all of them and get to know them a bit better. My job is to be the influencer’s voice on the platform. So it’s really important that I know what they want.

My lesson from last week – I must trust my gut instinct more. I had a feeling on Thursday when I dropped Ace off at nursery that he wasn’t really ok. And it turns out he was poorly and probably would have been happier at home. I believe that kids need their parents when they are not feeling well and I feel a bit like I let him down. Garth stayed home with him today, because of my event at home.

My little luxury this week – I’m thinking I might book myself a massage at home on Friday. If there is one thing I love, it’s a good long massage at the end of a busy week.

My inspiration this week  – I have always been very inspired by Stella McCartney. She creates amazing designs AND does it in an environmentally friendly way. She has been doing it for years and was one of the very first true climate heroes.

What is your dream, goal, mantra, and lesson this week

Photo – Ida Zander. You can find my pretty dress on my LikeToKnow.It account here. 

How pretty is this scalloped Ted Baker dress? The little bow is such a sweet detail and I can wear it both to work and out with friends
 

My haircare routine to keep long blond hair healthy

We all have something that defines us. A physical trait that is our look and makes us feel like ourselves. For me, it's my hair. This is my haircare routine

I think we all have something that defines us. A physical trait that stands out in our look and makes us feel like, well ourselves.

For me, it’s my hair.

I have always had long blond hair. Except for that one time in college when I cut it off for a modeling gig and wore a hat for the next year. After that incident, I realized how much my hair defined my look and how I would never make that same mistake again.

Since then I have had countless clients waving big wads of cash in front of me to get to chop it off or turn it red, brown or even pink. And every time my answer is the same  – “No way!”.

I know models are meant to be moldable and all that Americas Next Top Model crap. But I am not willing to sacrifice my body and confidence for work. I know how long it would take to grow it out again and no money in the world can make up for that time. Long blond hair is my signature and it is staying.

People often ask me if I don’t get bored and to be completely honest I don’t. I actually love the versatility it gives me.

I can wear it down just out of the shower for a natural look, run a wand trough it for a soft curl or just get a bouncy blowdry and look American for a day or two. I can also put it in a high pony, low messy bun, a low pony with a side or middle parting, high ballerina bun, plats, space buns… you name it.

It’s also really convenient to hide behind it when I have a bad day and want to be left alone. Who wants to talk to cousin IT from the Addams family? It’s really handy on the tube.

We all have something that defines us. A physical trait that is our look and makes us feel like ourselves. For me, it's my hair. This is my haircare routine

But I do have to admit it takes a lot of maintenance. 

I’m one of these people who are typically Scandinavian ashy medium blond. Or rat-blonde as we call it in Sweden. It’s a nice color in the summer when the sun lightens it up a bit, but in the winter it’s just dull.

So I highlight my hair every 8 weeks. 

Long hair is prone to split ends. And the only way to keep on top of it is to cut it regularly. So every 8 weeks I color and cut. It takes about 5 hours from start to finish and since I’m really picky with who I go to, it is not cheap.

Massive bit of advice – If you don’t have to highlight or color your hair, don’t do it. It gets very expensive in the long run.

The other thing with highlighted hair is that it is more sensitive to breakage. So I have to be really good at the home-care bit of my haircare routine. I wash it 3 times a week and every time I put a hair mask in for at least 10 minutes (I use that time to shave my legs, exfoliate or just dance around and sing badly).

Once every other week I do a 20 minute Olaplex home treatment, to make sure my hair stays really healthy. Olaplex is to hair what chocolate is to the soul – truly healing. But it will only work if your hair is in fact damaged. That’s why some people see no difference at all.

With my job comes a lot of hairstyling and sometimes I am honestly surprised I even have hair still. Modeling and nice hair do not go hand in hand.

I do a bit of skin doubling for a supermodel with the same color hair and skin as mine. And she actually has no hair left. It’s all extensions. Her own hair is a few inches long because it has been styled to death.

We all have something that defines us. A physical trait that is our look and makes us feel like ourselves. For me, it's my hair. This is my haircare routine

This is why I’m super meticulous with my heat protector. I take that thing everywhere and re-apply any time I see a curler, dryer or tong coming my way. I cannot stress how important it is to protect hair from heat. I even use hair SPF when I go on sun holidays. I know, crazy hair lady here!

Actually one of my top tips is to leave a really nice treatment in your hair when you are sunbathing. Just wrap it up in a scarf and let the heat of the sun do its thing. Hair comes out lush, AND you get to rock a cool 70s vibe. Just add dangly earrings and a cocktail.

I would also recommend you to stop using drugstore shampoos and conditioners. Some of that stuff can strip paint. They are so harsh, there is this one brand hairstylists recommend you to use if you want to get rid of the color in your hair.

I myself am a massive fan of Redken’s All soft range. I have been using it for years. (Hello Redken, you got a great ambassador here! Email me on Tess@TessM.se, I would loooove to work with you!). Since my hair does get dry, this series put softness back into it. If you have oily roots I would go for a less moisturizing shampoo and only put conditioner in the lengths of your hair.

My last few tips are to use hairbands without the metallic bit, it rubs on the hair and can lead to damage. I would also invest in a really great hairbrush, some argan oil drops and if you have a lot of hair like me – a tangle teaser for when it’s wet.

So there you have it – my haircare routine. It’s a long post, so I have left out how I style it, but I promise I will make a post on that subject at a later date.

Ok, your turn. What are your best hair tips for the rest of us?

Check out the products I use for my haircare routine below (affiliate links). You can find my adorable polka dot dress here. It’s on sale! 

 

4 steps to curating a versatile and stylish workwear wardrobe

As head of creative talent at xInfluence, I host workshops, attend meetings, lunches, and events. I really need a stylish versatile workwear wardrobe.

As head of creative talent at xInfluence, I’m not just working in an office environment, I also host workshops, attend meetings, lunches, and events. 

I need what I’m wearing to be appropriate, comfortable, versatile and on top of this to show off my own personal style. I’m working in a fashion and style environment, so regular office attire wouldn’t cut it.

With all these different hats to wear and not enough time to change in between. I have had to curate my own highly specific capsule workwear wardrobe. Items that look the part, deal well with traveling, sitting for long periods of time and that still will be comfortable to wear for 12 hours straight.

As you might imagine this is not an easy feat. But I have developed a process to find the best possible workwear wardrobe.

As head of creative talent at xInfluence, I host workshops, attend meetings, lunches, and events. I really need a stylish versatile workwear wardrobe.

First I decide on fabrics. 

Since London is pretty humid and warm during the summer months I decided to opt for silks, satin, linen, and viscose. All lightweight fabrics that will keep my temperature at a good level and hopefully sweating to a minimal. Silk and linen do crease a bit, but I think of it as character and try to be as mindful as possible during the day.

Then I look at cuts.

Midi-dresses and silk trousers are always flattering and suitable for workwear. I love flowy fabrics that are roomy and comfortable but still looks elegant. So I  mainly focus on silk trousers and blouses, satin and viscose midi-dresses and linen suits.

As head of creative talent at xInfluence, I host workshops, attend meetings, lunches, and events. I really need a stylish versatile workwear wardrobe.

After I pick my colors.

I’m a pastel girl.

Especially in the summer, I like to keep my wardrobe colors as light and fun as possible. You won’t find any black suits in my wardrobe at the moment. As long as I keep the cut appropriate I can go bananas if I fancy.

I prefer smaller patterns to big and love gingham, florals, polka dots, leopard and stripes. In my line of work, there are no color restrictions. If anything I want to be remembered.

Last but not least I look for details and accessories

I have a massive thing for details. So all my dresses have little things like covered buttons, interesting sleeve shapes or a neckline detail. This is where my personal style really gets to show off. It’s that wow-factor that makes me fall for a piece of clothing.

I also add accessories when I see appropriate and to vary my different looks. Chunky or dainty jewelry depending on the look I’m going for. Handbags, silk totes, straw baskets, you name it. I’m a massive fan of scarves tied in all manner of ways. You can really switch a look up with the change of a few key accessories.

If I wear heels, they are of the kitten variety. My feet would be a mess otherwise. But most of the time I opt for flat sandals or luxe sneakers.

As head of creative talent at xInfluence, I host workshops, attend meetings, lunches, and events. I really need a stylish versatile workwear wardrobe.

I’m slowly but surely building an absolutely amazing workwear wardrobe for myself. At the moment I mainly have summer-appropriate outfits. But as the seasons change, I will have to add more cold-weather suitable items and fabrics.

It’s really lovely to have different wardrobes for different parts of my life. My at-home wardrobe looks nothing like my work wardrobe or my spending time with friends wardrobe.

Dressing also helps me get into the mood of what I’m supposed to focus on. When I wear my mom clothes I think softness and comfort. Whilst my office wear should make me feel empowered and elegant.

Writing this post actually makes me quite excited to start putting together my workwear wardrobe for fall. I promise I will do a post with my new favorites as soon as I have found the right pieces.

What do you wear to work?

Photo – Ida Zander. 

You can find my dresses and similar accessories for your workwear wardrobe below (affiliate links)

 

Mindful Monday 5th August – My dream, mantra, goal, and lesson this week

Mindful Monday 5th August - My dream, mantra, goal, and lesson this week

Hello Monday!

Are you excited for a new week and a new month? I love August, it’s still summer and warm, but a bit livelier than July. People are coming back from their holidays and most of us are well-rested and ready to go again.

We spent last weekend in Sweden. Having the most amazing time in my hometown Stockholm. It was incredible weather and we spent almost all days at the beach, swimming in the lake, sunbathing by the pool or fishing in dusk. It was the kind of summer I remember as a child and I’m so happy to be able to share it with my own little one.

Ace adores his grandparents, aunties and cousin. And he had an absolute blast spending time with all of them.

I took a few days off from the blogs and only updated sporadically on Instagram. It was bliss! I need to disconnect to be able to reconnect with creativity again.

This is my dream, mantra, goal, and lesson this week; 

My mantra this week  – “Keep the momentum going” You know those times where everything seems to just fall into place? I’m having one of those weeks. It’s almost like I have focused too much on certain things and now when I’m not as invested anymore, all of a sudden they are coming to me instead. I guess it’s always better to attract than chase, so I will keep on playing hard to get.

My affirmation this week – “I’m always doing my best”. We can only be expected to do our best, that is it. And if we do our best, no matter the outcome, we should be happy and proud.

My goal this week – We have our first influencer event with xInfluence on Monday, so this week is all about preparing for that. I have even added an extra day of work in the office to be able to get it all done in time. My goal is to have all my ducks in a row on Friday so that Monday is all about execution.

My dream of the week  – I’m dreaming of going to the spa for a 2-day stay. Just be pampered, not work, read books and relax. Sleep in, eat food slowly and enjoy nature and massages. That would be bliss.

Mindful Monday 5th August - My dream, mantra, goal, and lesson this week

My vision this week – I have this vision of a “suits” style of office. I mean, those girls know how to dress. I would looove to own the clothes in that wardrobe department. Cashmere, neutrals, sleek cuts, impeccable details… The luxury, the poise, the glam. I want it all!

My focus this week  – I need a tight to-do list this week, to not drop any balls either at work or at home. The price of getting to be a mom, head of creative talent at an influencer marketing platform, a model and an influencer is a slightly chaotic schedule.

The event of the week – I got a recall tomorrow from one of the big castings I went to with Ace on Friday. It would be amazing to book this campaign, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

My lesson from last week – I have to manage my stress better. To compartmentalize the things I’m not working on at the moment. Disconnect when I need to rest and not jump in-between tasks.

My little luxury this week – I’m going to spend 20 minutes on my spike mat every evening. Ace calls it the “aoo aoo mat” and loves touching the spikes with his tiny little fingers. I love the endorphin kick I get after.

My inspiration this week  – Talking about Suits, I think Meghan Markle is such an inspiration. She is taking the stuffiness out of the royal family and shows initiative similar to that of Diana. First with the “smart works” charity and now as a guest editor for change of British Vogue. There is nothing this woman can’t achieve.

What is your dream, mantra, goal, and lesson this week?

Photo – Ida Zander. 

 

My 5-minute 5-step Morning Beauty Routine

I don't know about you, but I am NOT a morning person. I like to stay in bed for as long as possible. A 5-minute morning beauty routine is perfect for me.

I don’t know about you, but I am NOT a morning person. 

Like not at all.

I have no problems working until long after midnight, I’m always most inspired to write at night (it’s 9 in the evening atm). But the idea of getting up at 6 in the morning gives me anxiety. Luckily it doesn’t happen very often.

Modeling is actually quite a good job for us night owls. Because castings usually run from about 9 am and most of the time there is a large window when we can go. Jobs, on the other hand, can start as early as 2.30 in the morning (in Bali, going to a monkey forest to catch the morning light). But most of the time call-time is 8 or 9. And I don’t have to do my hair or makeup before I leave, so I save some winks that way too.

However, something I never skip is my morning beauty routine.

It’s a quick 5-minute input, with an output that will last for years to come. Taking care of your skin is an investment. You can’t take it off, it’s on you every day of your life, like it or not. So why spend lots of money on clothes you can take off and not on what stays on?

In the end a 5-minute morning beauty routine is really nothing in the long run.

Here we go;

First of all, I cleanse with a really gentle cleanser that doesn’t strip my skin too much of its precious oils. I have only been in my bed since I washed my makeup off, so it’s not like it needs a deep scrub. I love Biotherm Softening foam cleanser in the morning. It has the right consistency and is gentle on my slightly dry skin.

Next, I apply a serum. My skin loves most oils, but the long-term favorite is the REN Vitamineral Omega 3 oil. It’s actually the product I have recommended most often over the years and I still get messages from girls telling me how much they too love it. It smells a bit like apricots and leaves my skin with a lovely dewy glow.

On top of my serum goes my Eve Lom day cream*. It’s a new favorite on my shelf. I get gifted a lot of products, but I only end up finishing the very best. This is one I will be buying after it runs out, it’s gorgeous on my skin.

Since I reached my mid-thirties, I prefer slightly heavier products and this one is just perfect. My skin could probably absorb butter, but I know that is rare. This is one of the few products I would recommend even if you have mixed, sensitive or normal skin.

(Read more about this cream in my post here.)

Skin tends to get dryer as we age, and needs a bit more help with elasticity and moisture levels. This is why it’s important to review our skin-care routine every couple of years. What works in our 20s might not work in our 30s.

When I was younger I didn’t always use a specific eye cream. It lead to me overloading the sensitive under-eye area and I ended up getting a milia (a little white lump under the skin). I had it removed by a professional and after having learned that lesson the hard way,  I always use a specific eye cream.

At the moment I’m really liking the Dermalogica stress positive eyelift. I have to admit I don’t like the feeling of the metal nozzle, so I just use my finger instead. It’s a really light the formula and makeup goes really nicely on top. I don’t really have one favorite eye cream, but I would buy this one again.

Last but not least is my SPF. OF COURSE, I WEAR SPF DAILY. Don’t you? You would be mad not to. I, unfortunately, realized this a bit too late, so I have some sun damage already. It’s super annoying and I’m really mad at my younger self. But I have decided that I at least won’t make it any worse (and I will laser as much of is as I can later in autumn).

The tricky bit about SPFs is to find one that doesn’t make me look like a white ghost or makes my makeup slide off. I bought Elemis Daily Defence Shiels spf 30 at the beginning of the summer. And I really really like it. It goes on like a normal cream, doesn’t leave me looking pale and actually sinks into the skin. I wear it every day and I know that I’m protected. It’s a great feeling and takes almost no effort at all from me. Such an easy win!

(You can read more of my thoughts on SPF here.)

…then I brush my teeth, add some heat protection to my hair (if I’m shooting that day), drink my collagen and I’m ready for the day! Simples!

It doesn’t have to be harder than this. Not everyone has to have a 12-step routine. I personally save more of the active ingredients and slightly more complicated stuff for the evenings. When I have more time, energy and patience.

Ok, share with me. What is your morning beauty routine like?

Photo – Ida Zander

I have listed my favorite items from my morning beauty routine below  All links are affiliate links.

*Gifted item

 

#MINDFLUENCING – Is monetizing ruining creativity?

#MINDFLUENCING - Is monetizing social media ruining creativity?

As an influencer these days, there is a constant pressure of producing a steady stream of new high-quality content.

New outfits, new locations, new photos, new angles new, new new. Everything has to be new and unseen before. We bend over backward to amass products and clothing. To find the perfect spot to shoot and sell sell sell.

Honestly, I’m so sick of it. It’s not what I signed up for back in 2007.

I have never wanted to be just a tool for companies to throw loads of products at my followers and see what sticks. It doesn’t feel good. I feel like I’m tricking people to buy more than they need.

And in my world, I’m considered weird for it.

I love blogging, I love creating, I love taking the photos and styling the outfits. I love talking to you guys and sharing my experiences and opinions. What I don’t love is the hysteria of product pushing. I’m constantly bombarded with “advice” on how I should be monetizing social media to make lots of cash. Advice I neither have asked for nor want.

Yes, I do want to make money off what I do. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to afford to create. But I want to do it in a slower and more mindful way.

I don’t want to be a fast influencer that companies use and throw to the side. At the expense of the authenticity of me as a creator.

Sometimes I feel that the industry has sold its soul. It was not meant to be like this. The idea was to create and the selling of any product is meant to be secondary. More as a favor to our followers. You like what I’m wearing/using? Great! You can find it here.

It’s supposed to be fun, not stressful and desperate. 

You create the post and monetize later. Not “how can I create a post to sell as much as possible?”.  Money shouldn’t be at the forefront of our mind blocking creativity. Unless, of course, it’s a well-chosen collaboration with a brand you truly love and feel is perfect for your followers. And even then it should be more about the relationship than the cash.

I believe in working closely with a few brands whos ethos and products marry strongly with my own. I believe that affiliate links should be as a favor to the follower, not the end goal.

I don’t want my followers to feel that they have to buy loads of stuff to keep up with me. Instead, I want to inspire them to think before they buy. To do a few thoughtful purchases based on an understanding of what they actually need instead of hype. Things they will use over and over again.

I rather show you one scarf styled in 4 different ways, than 4 accessories you probably don’t actually need.

I know it probably sounds crazy since influencing and monetizing social media is a big part of how I make my living. But I just can’t do it any other way.

The key is that I value my content. And I don’t let anyone undervalue what I do. The quick buck can wait. I turn down 75% of all requests I get from companies. Either based on their idea of what my value should be or that the product or ethos doesn’t match mine.

I take pride in what I do and I want companies I work with to be able to be as proud of my work with them as I am. I don’t want to flip flop between whoever pays the most. Instead, I have built a little tribe of brands that truly resonates with me and my followers.

This is the trick to monetizing social media and still feeling good about what I do.

Having been an influencer for well over a decade, I can see where the trend is going. The money-grabbing in the influencer space is starting to turn followers and companies off. It’s up to us to show that there are other ways.

It’s not always about selling (even though that, of course, is a bonus), but sometimes just about creating awareness. To say, hi, this brand is actually really good and I will honestly vouch for them. There need to be better transparency, more honesty and a new understanding from companies how to best utilize influencers.

There are a scary amount of companies out there who goes about it all the wrong way. And to be honest, they won’t see much return. If anything it puts both followers and other influencers off working with them.

A lose-lose-lose situation. 

At my new job as head of creative talent at xInfluence I have an opportunity to educate both influencers and companies in the tricky subject that is influencer marketing. I can guide them to collaborate in a more mindful and transparent way. To take a more grown-up and long term route. One that will benefit all involved parties.

It’s simple really. Make the content and the interest of the followers first priority. Create long-lasting relationships. Be honest, true to yourself and slow down. But most of all have fun with it. Dare to be different, seek to inspire and motivate. And don’t forget that your worth is determined by you. There are ways you can be monetizing social media without having to cheapen yourself and diluting your personal brand. 

Photo – Ida Zander. Scarf by Beulah London and blazer by Karen Millen (affiliate link).

 

My one-item-a-month in July – A perfect pink leather biker jacket

My one-item-a-month in July - A perfect pink leather biker jacket

Not everyone would see a pink leather biker as a good basic in a wardrobe. But, on the other hand, not everyone is a pastel crazy as I am.

I know I got a pink bag last time… But hey, at least I’m making consistent choices right?

Pale pink has been one of my favorite shades for as long as I remember. Mainly because it flatters my coloring nicely. I can’t do beige, it washes me out. So I use pink as my neutral instead. Together with light blue, dove grey, whites, and sorbet yellows. Pink make up my everyday palette. To me, it’s a basic.

I already had a black leather jacket and a klein blue suede biker in my wardrobe. Those are both heavily used items I purchased many many years ago. The PPW (Price Per Wear) is epic and I still love them just as much now as when I bought them. They are true wardrobe heroes.

But there was still a gap to fill. To make my wardrobe more well rounded I found myself searching for a lighter everyday jacket. A leather jacket to match summer denims and white dresses without overpowering thinner fabrics or more delicate cuts.

I love matching salt and sweet. Pretty and cool. A leather jacket has a tougher feel to it. But in pale pink, it takes that little bit of edge off.

My one-item-a-month in July - A perfect pink leather biker jacket

It took me a while to find the perfect one. It was only when I had a photoshoot in Bicester and quickly snuck into the Maje shop in Bicester outlet village that I happen to spot a winner. At a great price too. Score!

It might sound like an impulse buy. However, the image in my head of what I was looking for has been in the back of my mind for more than a year. It was just the case of finding the right one. And there it was, on a hanger waiting for me and I had approximately 3 minutes to make my mind up and sprint for the train station. So I made a split decision and I am yet to regret it.

This pink leather biker is surprisingly versatile. I have worn it at least 10 times already. So for me, this was a great buy and truly worthy of being my one item purchased in July.

Not everyone would see a pink leather biker as a good basic in a wardrobe. But, on the other hand, not everyone is a pastel crazy as I am.

When I set myself the one-item-a-month challenge in January. I had no idea of the impact it would have. Not just on my wardrobe and spending. But also on the rest of my life. When I’m this careful about what I let into my wardrobe. Then I automatically also become more mindful of other things I let into my life.

Clothes, things, experiences, and even people. It feels natural to edit the rest of my world the same way I curate my wardrobe.

It’s a lovely side effect.

I honestly can’t recommend joining the one-item-a-month challenge with me enough. I know it sounds hard. But if you truly think you might miss out. Why don’t you give yourself a couple of joker items you are allowed any time an irresistible purchase comes around? Then you don’t have to feel like you missed a great opportunity and you are still not “cheating”.

How about it? Fancy joining me until December? It’s only for 5 months? Come on, you can do it!

If you too fancy making a pink leather biker jacket your item this month. Check out my selection below;