This is crazy

The situation we are in now is crazy. I think I can speak for many when I say that I´ve never experienced anything like this in my life.

Two days ago we got the message that Norway was closing all their schools, and they are recommending us to stay at home and have as little contact with others as possible.

It´s honestly crazy, and scary as well. I haven´t really understood how real this is because of how sudden it has all happened, but oh my god it is happening. It´s literally only two weeks ago we were being super mad because our school trip got canceled, which we at the time meant was hysterical to do because we had zero infected cases in Norway.

We would chuckle a bit and scare each other over memes about the coronavirus because it was so far away, and we never thought it would come to this for us so incredibly fast. All of a sudden the entire country is in lockdown (Not entirely true yet, but it feels like it). We are going to do online-schooling until spring break, and probably longer than that considering how fast the number of cases confirmed is increasing, and all bars, restaurants, and movie theatres are closed.

I have now gotten used to the idea of online schooling, and I think that it´s going to be a great opportunity to pursue my hobbies, try new things and be creative – something I don´t normally make time for in my everyday life. All of a sudden I have so much more time, but I also have to spend this time at home, so what else can you do besides make the best of it?

I am not so afraid of getting the virus personally, because I´m young and I´m not in the risk group. But I, as well with most people, have grandparents, elders and family that I care so much about, and that has really gotten to me as the situation gets worse. But there is nothing we can do about that other than taking precautions, staying in and washing our hands. I also think I have to stop reading the news so thoroughly right now because it´s making me a lot more scared.

Text your friends and family instead of meeting them, stay in and take care ❤

ZAO Mascara Review

Hey, it´s time for a new mascara review! Hahah, this is not a mascara-blog, I promise…

Anyway, I´ll be reviewing the zero-waste (Or almost, I´ll get back to that in a second) mascara from the french brand ZAO Makeup. I have also reviewed the completely zero waste mascara from Dirty Hippie Cosmetics if you´re interested in reading that here.

I wanted to test out a new mascara because of Norway’s new customs rules. They have removed the price-limit on products from abroad, which means that we now have to pay taxes for every product ordered from outside the county. Therefore I had to find a new mascara to use. I found this brand on a Norwegian site and I thought: wow, this sounds amazing. Because this mascara is actually refillable. How great isn´t that? I´ve actually never come across such a thing before, so I was pretty thrilled when I found this on a Norwegian website (Because in case you didn´t know, we´re like the tiniest country ever and the environmentally-friendly selection is pretty small).

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The product

ZAO Makeup focuses on environmentally friendly packaging and organic ingredients, and their mascara is no exception. This is the ZAO Mascara Aloe Vera and I bought it in the shade black. The packaging is made out of bamboo, and it comes in a cute cotton bag (I don´t really know why. It may be a little unnecessary, but it´s cute!). It is vegan, and the final product nor the ingredient is tested on animals, which is great! Some of the ingredients they highlight are aloe vera juice, castor oil, and shea butter, all of which are organic. The design is very clean and beautiful.

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How the refills work

On the picture above you can see that the mascara consists of four components. The brush, the case, the refillable tube with the actual mascara in it and a white ring. How it works is that you place the tube in the case, and screw the white ring on which will keep everything in place. Pretty simple. So when you are out of mascara, you just switch the old tube with a new one. One refillable tube is two thirds the price of the whole mascara, so it is saving you some money as well (depending on what mascara you usually use I guess, it is not the cheapest mascara but definitely not the most expensive either).

Here comes the catch that I was talking about: The refill tube is made out of plastic. I don´t know why it´s made out of plastic instead of glass. However, their website says that they are constantly working on improving their products and packaging. Regardless, it is for sure a more sustainable mascara looking at the bigger picture, because of the organic ingredients and that you will be reusing the brush and the bamboo case.

Putting it to the test

I did some research before buying this, and the reviews out there weren´t the best. So I was a little scared when I first tried it on, but the reviews I had read did not match my experience. This may be because the mascara I bought was a new formula, but I´m not sure. Anyway!

The application works like any other regular mascaras. I found it a bit hard to work with at times, but it´s definitely not the worst I´ve tried. Sometimes it can get a bit clumpy, and it definitely isn´t as good as my pre-zero-waste all-time favorite from Benefit, but it works. It scores high when it comes to giving your lashes length and volume, it does a very good job here.

Some of the reviews I read said that it smudged a lot. I haven´t experienced that at all, and it looks pretty after I´ve worn it the entire day. Equally to the Dirty Hippie Cosmetics mascara, it removes super easily, because it is organic and natural and that is very nice.

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Final review

Pros 

  • The packaging! It works and looks like a regular mascara, yet it is way more sustainable.
  • Refillable
  • Lengthening and volumizing
  • Easy to remove
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • 58% of the ingredients come from organic farming
  • 100% of the ingredients are of natural origin

Cons

  • It isn´t 100% zero-waste (but it´s pretty close)
  • It´s a little tricky to apply sometimes, and it can get clumpy

My monthly organizing routine

Hey guys! Today I wanted to share my monthly organizing routine because we have entered march, and since our school trip to London all of a sudden was canceled, I won´t be spending my time packing. 

I used to be very strict about my monthly organizing routine, but I´m a lot more chill about it now. If I don´t feel like doing it the minute it strikes new month, I won´t. But I still do this every now and then, because the things on this list really help me in terms of being free of clutter and being able to stay on top of my work. So, let´s get into it!

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Decluttering my phone

I like to start out by decluttering my phone first. I will briefly go through the different apps on my phone, and see if there are any apps that I don´t need or want anymore. I´ll go through my mail and unsubscribe from newsletters before I delete them. This is the best way I know to keep my mail decluttered! And the best way to prevent me from having 3000 unopened spam mails.

I´ll also go through my notes on my phone, and transfer them to my brain dump (getting back to that one in a second) and then delete them from my phone.

Lastly, I like to delete my phone recents, text messages, my safari pages and change the wallpaper. This is not really necessary, but I feel like my phone is so much “cleaner” after this step haha.

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Camera roll

Then, I go through all the photos on my camera roll. Delete the ones I don´t want, delete screenshots I don´t need and if there is anything I have saved for inspiration or similar I´ll transfer them directly to Evernote before I delete them. Then I upload all my photos to my computer and delete them from my camera roll.

Decluttering my computer

Generally, throughout the month, I can´t be bothered to always put files and images where they belong. So I end up with a lot of random things on my desktop. In this step, I just simply go through my folders and files and put everything where they belong. When it comes to images, I organize them in folders and move them to my external hard drive.

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Step 4: Brain dump! + planning
Okay, back to this braindump thing! I like to jot down every event, to-do, happening, deadline… and whatever else I can think of on an empty piece of paper. After this, it´s very easy to fill everything in my calendar. I figure out which school project is due first, which ones I have to prioritize and generally what is happening in the next few weeks. I find this super helpful when it comes to planning!

And that was it! I like this routine a lot, and especially after I learned to use it as a tool and not as a chore.

-V

 

 

 

Tuesday = self-care

This Tuesday, I woke up at 6am to work out before school. To work out! That is something I haven´t done in… Well, I don´t even remember the last time, but it´s many months ago. It honestly felt very good. I´ve been wanting to start working out lately, and if there is one thing I have learned from the past its that if I’m going to succeed, I have to make the workout very feasible. Not too difficult, not too hard and not too long. Because I don´t really like working out. And I´ve never stuck to my routines long enough in the past to start to enjoy them, probably because of these three things. My previous routines have been way too ambitious for me. Also, the reason behind me working out has always been about appearance and about wanting to change my appearance. But today I woke up at 6 because I wanted to do it for my health. A very different motivation! Hopefully, I´ll be able to stick to it this time hahah.

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Anyway, the rest of the day was also very nice. We spent the entire time at school painting self-portraits, and it was SO relaxing and fun. I used to love all sorts of creative hobbies like that when I was a kid, but then I just kind of stopped doing them all. Painting, drawing, making things, reading – that was my life. Now, Netflix has a higher priority unfortunately and it´s honestly kind of sad. I´ll definitely try and make time for some more painting in the near future after today.

Now I´m going to light a few candles, apply a face mask and, ironically enough, relax while watching suits on Netflix. I hope your Tuesday was good too!

-V

Winter Wardrobe Favorites

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The timeless coats

It´s February, and it should be snowing and freezing outside, but this year our winter has been very mild. That, however, doesn´t mean that it´s too warm for a winter wardrobe (it´s just a winter wardrobe for +5 degrees and not -15). The first favorites of my winter wardrobe this year is my two coats. I have a history of owning many jackets, but these two are honestly all I need this winter. I can for sure use one of these coats, no matter what I wear underneath. They are perfect over a dress for a formal occasion, as well as over a hoodie when I´m going to school.

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The skinny turtleneck

The turtleneck is nothing new nor revolutionary, but it is a sure win. I have had sooo many turtlenecks throughout the years, and I still love them. I actually bought this one after the one that I already owned had gotten so worn out that the fabric had turned sheer in some areas.

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Comfy wool sweaters

This is definitely something I´ve started to love this winter. The plain and basic sweater made out of wool is my huge crush these days. They go well with everything, and I always feel put together and classy when wearing these.

I like to tuck parts of these into my jeans, or I´ll just leave them like they are. Which is revolutionary for me! I´ve hated big sweaters and just non-cropped sweaters in general for years because I have always felt the need to tuck them in. Which has always resulted in weird-looking lumps and me feeling like a balloon. But now that I have realized this, no more!

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Leather boots (and the cutest accessory)

Nothing completes an outfit like these leather boots, and they go with almost everything I wear on a daily basis. I also love them this winter because they keep me warm with a pair of woolen socks.

 

-V

How I care for my Dr. Martens

I bought these babies earlier this fall, and I´m still in love with them. I plan on staying in love with them for many years! Therefore I try to take as good care of them as I can. Did you know that a pair of Dr. Martens (Or any other shoe made out of leather for that matter) can last for years if you take care of them properly? I really like that thought.

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The model I have is the studded Sinclair model that was a collaboration between Dr. Martens and Asos.

So, let’s talk about how I care for them!

1. Keep them clean with a brush

I try to keep my docs pretty clean. I don´t wait until they are very dirty. Instead, I try to prevent them from getting very dirty. Because even if I think that they are pretty clean, once I clean them, I realize that it makes a huge difference in appearance. So I like to use a light shoe brush from the brand Tangent GC to brush off dust and dirt from the leather once in a while. This works best when it´s been a couple of hours since you wore them, and they are completely dry. Then the dirt will be dry and you can literally just brush it off.

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2. Hard spots: A damp cloth

Sometimes the brush won´t remove everything. This is when you should go over the dirty spots gently with a damp cloth. The spots will be gone in no time. This is also what I always do with the rubber soles because they take the biggest hit for most of the dirt that gets on the shoes.

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3. Keep the water out – without ruining the leather!

I wax (I´m not even sure if it´s called wax, is it??) my shoes every now and then, and I try to do it about once a month. Depending on how they look, and how the weather is. This stops water from getting in, but still lets the air out. The wax that I use is a grease from Tangent GC, and it´s amazing. It´s a transparent grease made out of 100% natural ingredients and zero chemicals.  Leather is a natural product, and it makes sense that it works best with other natural products! After they are clean and dry, I use a cloth to apply the wax and then I leave it in. And they are done!

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Can you see the difference? This is before and after applying the grease to the tip of the shoes, and it looks a bit like I have edited them – but I haven´t!

I hope you learned something new from this post!

-V

7 songs you should listen to: Rainy day edition

I am a music geek. I listen a lot, and I listen to a lot. And today I got inspired by the rainy, moody and lovely weather outside my window to show you a few of my favorite songs that truly represents a rainy day to me. Enjoy!

  1. Call me by your name – Thomas Dybdahl
  2. Slave – Resirkulert (Yesss, this is in norwegian, but its really not the vocals thats in focus, it´s the instruments)
  3. The Good Lie – Warhaus
  4. Intro – The xx
  5. Raedeen – Quinn Christophersen
  6. When I R.I.P – Labrinth
  7. Alison – Slowdive

 

– V

Zero-Waste Dirty Hippie Cosmetics Mascara Review

Hi lovelies,

This has been an idea of mine for quite some time, but you know, school, work, life and procrastination has gotten in the way.

I am currently in the transition of becoming as zero-waste as I can. I still live at home, and I am not the one responsible for the grocery shopping nor everything else going on in the house.

However, I can still do my part for this planet and that`s my intention with going zero-waste. I buy a ton of stuff for myself – so why not just start by being more responsible with my own consumerism? Choosing zero-waste where I have a say, will make an impact towards a cleaner world, even though the grapes my mom buys is wrapped in plastic.

So with that being said, let`s jump into this review! A couple of months ago I ran out of mascara, and I really wanted to find a zero-waste alternative that I could try out. I found a mascara from Elate cosmetics, however it wasn`t as zero-waste as I wanted it to be. It didn`t take me long until I found the brand Dirty Hippie Cosmetics and ooh myy good. Since I bought this mascara I have also bought a lot of other items from the brand, that I`m super happy with and want to talk about later at some point.

About Dirty Hippie Cosmetics

Dirty Hippie Cosmetics is a relatively small, family run business located in Australia. They focus on using minimal packaging (both in the products and shipping), organic and toxin free ingredients and all their products are handmade and vegan. Read more about them HERE.

They have two different types of mascaras – one with lengthening properties and another for giving volume to your lashes. I bought the volumising mascara. I bought mine off of their shop on Etsy HERE.

The product

Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the actual packaging it arrived in, but it was 100% recyclable paper. The mascara consists of a glass bottle with an aluminum cap and a brush in bamboo. I really like the estethic of this product (and the whole brand). It looks natural, organic and vegan – if that makes sense?

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Application

How it works is that you dip your brush into the container full of mascara, then apply and wash the brush afterwards. Because this is a non-conventional mascara it doesn`t control the amount of product applied on the brush. You kind of have to dip it in there, scrape the excess off as best as you can and then apply on your lashes. It is a little bit messy, and it`s going to feel a bit weird in the beginning.

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So! Time for the first try!

I wasn`t expecting too much when I first tried it out (because you have to get used to it), however I was very pleasently surprised. It was a mess, let me tell you that. I got way to much product on my brush and it was really hard to scrape it off properly the first time. That, however, was easier the second time around.

It actually didn`t take me that long to learn how to make my lashes the way I wanted to with this mascara. The result after a couple of tries was exactly the same as my old go-to mascara from benefit. Picture 1 is first time applying, and picture 2 is a couple of tries later.

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Final review

The bottle I bought is almost empty, and I have put together a final review pros+cons list.

Cons

  • Harder to apply than regular mascaras
  • It has a bit of a long dry time (How much you notice this depends on your eyelids I guess)
  • You have to wash the brush after every use
  • You waste more product (because it doesn`t have a orifice reducer (the thing that scrapes of excess product inside a tube of mascara) and a lot of excess product goes down the sink when you wash the brush)
  • It doesn`t last as long as a regular mascara does (meaning the bottle)

Pros

  • Doesn`t smell
  • SUPER easy removal (I actually have to point this out in bold, because I have never not scrubbed my eyeballs out when removing my mascara (waterproof and non-waterproof) but this just slides off when using a regular makeup-wipe)
  • Lasts all day
  • Doesn`t flake (unless you rub your eyes, then it will)
  • Pretty packaging
  • Takes up little space
  • And of cooourse – 100% recyclable glass and cap (you`re supposed to reuse the brush for your next bottle)

Now – a little disclaimer: I have pretty long and curved lashes naturally, so I don`t really notice any difference in those areas when using different mascaras. I also don`t experience smudging or flaking often, and I don`t know if that`s just because I`ve been lucky or because of how my eyes look. So – I can`t really say how this mascara handles these problems, because it`s problems i don`t normally have.

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On an end note – I`m very satisfied with the mascara, and I will continue to buy it! I even think I`m going to clean out the bottle when it`s empty and save it for something else – like oils for when I`m travelling.

-V

Quality over quantity

Around 1 pm this afternoon, I figured I would brush my hair and spend my second last day in Singapore on something a little bit more productive than to lay in bed. I knocked on my brother`s door, and announced that we were going shopping. I didn`t really have much of a plan when we headed towards the bus, but I knew that I wanted to check out Dr. Martens in Orchard. Because, as I am turning into an adult, I have figured that I for once want to get a pair of shoes that is appropriate for winter. I usually just wear my regular black Adidas Superstars. All year round. Snow, rain, heat waves – you name it. However, this spring (Mind you, Norway had a pretty rough spring this year, it was cold and snowy and not very spring-y nor pleasant) I noticed that my feet got wet after walking in the snow. And what do you know? The sole have loosened from the rest of the shoe. Just a little. But enough to make me rethink wearing them this winter. Because they work and look perfectly fine, and I don`t think it`s necessary to buy a new pair of Adidas just yet.

Spoiler alert – I didn`t buy Dr. Martens. In fact, I didn`t buy shoes at all. Instead, I came home with these pretty purchases.

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And I want to rant a little bit about quality over quantity. And the importance of timeless design. I also want to talk about my love for Muji, which is a literal heaven and I want to pack up all my stuff and move there. If you dont know what Muji is, it is a store that sells a lot of different household and consumer goods. They really represent timeless quality, and I love it.

That is where I bought the makeup bag, travel pillow and travel mirror pictured above. I`m especially thrilled over the makeup bag. All of my makeup fits inside of this little thing. Plain black, made with a strong material that I`m going to have for years. It`s the only makeup bag I`ll need. And I love that idea! I love buying something for the purpose of keeping it and using it, if not for the rest of my life then for a very long time. Instead of buying something in a pattern that might be very trendy, or with a quote you really like –  just to realize a year later that you actually hate the pattern and the quote makes you cringe so hard that you HAVE to buy a new one.

I can only speak for myself, but I think there is something special about buying items with the intention of having them for the rest of your life. That idea makes me take much better care of the things I purchase, so essentially it also helps me to make my items last a lot longer. It`s like when you buy something very expensive. You`re not just going to carelessly treat it like shit. You`ll take care of it. And I think it`s important that we do that with everything. And therefore also buying good quality items. To prevent ourselves from buying and throwing away, and repeating that over and over again.