The one thing I dont buy from Drunk Elephant

So I’ve praised the Drunk Elephant product line, and I completely stand by that, however I want to add, that the curious thing I will not buy from DE is actually the trademark marula oil – the pure version in the line. I’m sure that it’s wonderful, but it’s too expensive.

I’ve been buying a locally produced organic marula oil instead, for a fourth of the price DE charges. And I’m sure you can as well, where ever you are living . But if you want a product on par with the one DE is offering, just make sure that you are buying a well-produced, pure oil without any preservatives, fragrance or other stuff. On the ingredient list it should basically only say: marula oil and/or Sclerocarya birrea.

At the moment I’m waiting for this organic one from Skinfood (not the Korean brand), to arrive.

marulaolie-skinfood-dk-oeko-w610-h610-fill

 

Advertisements

Plants plants plants

fullsizerender-1

I love these two books by Dr.Richard Mabey. They’re amazing in redirecting your understanding for plants, their rich lives, and how the story of plants is completely entwined with cultural history. For instance, in the book Weeds he shows how weeds become weeds – undesired and a ‘problem’ – in the meeting with culture and human fashions.

Many plants that were once, in some cases hundreds of years ago, imported as ornamental garden plants, are now considered weeds and even invasive species. He connects this to large and important topics like globalisation and trade, and subtly weaves a picture together of larger world mechanism though always starting from the plant: “Across the world global trade has introduced a whole new class of cosmopolitan(s) (…) Japanese knotweed was introduced to Britain in Victorian times, as an elegant shrub for the woodland garden. In not much more than a century we’ve become blind to its delicate flower tassels and gracious leaf sprays, and now regard it as the most dangerously invasive plant in the country”. (Weeds, p. 4)

Both books are very though-provoking, but in a quiet and entertaining way. Richard Mabey has a Doctorate from Oxford University and has studied and written about plants for decades.

Alicia Keys gives me life!

alicia-keys-allure-february-2017-turquoise-cat-eye

So I was just reading this Allure feature on Alicia Keys, and apart from her many words of wisdom, I was completely mesmerised by the photos of her accompanying the text.

Famously, Keys haven’t been wearing makeup for some time, in part to take control of her own life and her right to decide what she will look like on a day to day basis. As she explains in the text, it’s not about anti-makeup, but about the right to choose whether you want to wear it or not. Being in the music industry since her early 20’s she’s been used to people just slapping makeup on her face, like it was the only and natural thing to do.

What really got me, and somewhat by surprise, was that reading the article the pictures of her really had an effect on me. I dont really wear makeup myself, and I don’t feel conscious or bad about it. I look my best without makeup. Yet seeing this beautiful woman featured in a beauty-magazine, large high-resolution photos and no makeup (other than a few coloured lines around her eyes) made me feel so good. Like “oh, it’s really true, we do look gorgeous without covering up”. Yes, she has beautiful skin, but I can also see that she has pores in the photos, and that made me feel wonderful in a way I’ve never experienced before. This is of course the magazine that also has routine articles on how to make your pores as invisible as possible, but that’s also okay to me. That is also the point and wisdom from Alicia Keys, it seems. That we can be both: the woman who doesn’t wear makeup and feels good about it, and the woman that still obsess about how to make the black-heads a bit less noticeable and the pores less pronounced.

I don’t like ‘either or’ ways of understanding people (or anything else for that matter). I dont particularly like to wear makeup and it makes me feel ugly (even when I had a lot of acne-trouble), but I find women who do wear makeup and enjoy it, absolutely beautiful; I dont cover up my pores or protruding lines, but I still want to do my best to keep both at bay, buying skincare product and continuously perfecting my routine.

To me this is what Alicia Keys is representing: women’s right to choose for themselves what they feel good about, even if this alternates from day to day.

alicia-keys-allure-february-2017-cover

I’m in love…with a drunk elephant

But unfortunately  not an entirely  happy love story.

About a year ago I moved to California for about 6 months. While there I decided to give the new skincare brand Drunk Elephant (DE) a go. Now before I get into why I’m in love with DE and why it still makes me sad, I have to confess a secret that only my husband knows: I’m a complete skincare addict. And not the type where I have to try every new thing, but the type that heavily researches everything, goes for the most well-documented, peer-reviewed and thoroughly tested ingredients. I’m dont care wether products are ‘natural’ or ‘synthetic’, but I am fully against all kinds of doubtful ingredients. This means that, being a European,  I basically go by the precautionary principle: benefit of the doubt always benefits human/costumer, environmental and/or animal safety. Oh, and I HATE heavy fragrance – I actually feel nauseous if I have to be around strong smells (for the same reason I absolutely hated my ridiculously expensive Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum)!

This being said, I’ve had a very hard time finding a skincare brand that I fully loved. There’s always something, and even if everything is close to perfect, there’s that fragrance that skincare brands insist on putting in everything. I’ve found good things but never great.

Enter Drunk Elephant! The DE range of products were basically created for me. They have a great little slogan going “if there’s doubt it’s out” (hellooo, this is basically the old precautionary principle put into a catchy phrase). I’m not gonna write a ton on the name, the story or DE principles. You can find these many other places. Rather I’ll skip ahead to to my experience with the product.

15258696_1419461951411860_2214689775829385216_n

DE is an american brand created by Houston native Tiffany Masterson, so living in the US I decided that now was the time. I went all in and bought the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum, the C-Firma™ Day Serum, the Umbra™ Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30, the B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Gel, and the Shaba Complex™ Eye Serum. This is not a cheep brand, so it was a bit of an investment, but OH MY GOD did it pay off.

I’ve had troublesome skin ever since I entered my 20’s (not as a teenager though, life can be tricky): clogged pores, outbreaks, redness, dryness, oiliness, etc. You name it and my skin somehow found a way to put it into the mix. I’ve never used crappy or harsh products, but as said, I’ve never been able to find a skincare brand that did the trick for me.

Using DE it wasn’t an overnight transformation. The first month was okay, but nothing very drastically happened. This is the time I should mention, that for the past year I’ve been using a product similar to Differin for my acne-like skin issues. I kept using this the first two and a half months of almost solely using DE and my skin got gradually better. I then I ran out of the Differin-stuff, and didn’t go buy more straight away. And this is when it happened: during the course of two weeks my skin completely – and I do mean COMPLETELY – transformed. My blackheads and pores diminished, I stopped breaking out, it cleared up, brightened up, became more subtle, bouncier and basically all I could wish for.

15535446_1423874617646331_8132520755364626432_n

At the time of writing I haven’t had a serious pimple for more than a month. This has not happened in ten years or so. Oh, and I get complements – most notably my husband (who is wonderful and always tells me how beautiful I am, even with a red pimple at my nose tip) keeps asking if I started doing something different “you look so incredibly beautiful”.

Okay, so that was the success story,  here comes the sad part: it is sooo difficult (and even more expensive) getting DE outside of the US. DE doesn’t ship internationally from their own website, neither does Sephora.com (the US site, that actually has the DE products) and the sites that does are more expensive and they don’t carrie the amazing value sets.

At the moment I just ran out of B-Hydra and my C-Firma is also feeling scarily light these days. So I’m scrambling to figure out how to get DE to Scandinavia without spending a months salary on it (no chance). So on this cliff-hanger I’ll end I update if and when I once again have DE stocked in my beauty-drawer. And of course, any advise or experience with getting it to the north-western parts of the world, is much appreciated.

15538734_1312405442157455_1422460088597086208_n

 

 

 

大学芋 ー daigaku imo, or candied sweet potatoes 

I love daigaku imo as a “not all bad”-snack. Although sugar is of course not healthy, the potatoes are, so I feel like it’s balanced out 😊 

It’s so easy to make. Just wash, cut and dry sweet potato. Put flavour neutral oil into a pan, along with sugar and a little bit of soy sauce and rice vinegar. Heat and cover with lit wrapped in a clean cloth. Every 2-3 minutes lift and turn potatoes until they’re done. Then let them cool and sprinkle black roasted sesame seeds over. Et voila!