CLEANING RITUAL

To be completely and utterly honest, I go to bed without taking my make up off every once in a while. I know, I know, it's bad. Sue me. It is just that I sometimes wait until I am way too super tired to even bother starting the whole cleaning ritual. (And then the next day I wake up asking myself where I got that pimple from.)

Now that I found a ritual that almost leaves me too fresh-faced to be true when done, it is a little easier to spent some extra minutes in the bathroom before jumping in my pj's and diving into bed.

Here's what I do to get the cleanest face in the world.

It all starts with a bit of raw undefined coconut oil that I bought at Wholefoods in LA - but can be bought at just about any hipster food store - which melts as soon as you touch it. I carefully rub the oil over my lids and lashes until I look like Kung Fu Panda. With a wet towel, I rinse the oil off my eyes.

The hardest part is done.

For my face, I use the Enzyme Cleansing Gel from Mario Badescu. Anything else gives me extremely dry skin. On heavy make up days (read: after a party or shoot), I also use A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion With White Tea from Origins to remove the very last bits of dirt. Lastly I use Peptide Renewal Cream from Mario Badescu, a nice and thick cream to take on the night shift.

There you go, an easy peasy 3 or 4 step cleaning ritual. Now tell me yours!

Coconut Oil, Spectrum; Enzyme Cleansing Gel, Mario Badescu; Age-Defense Lotion, Origins; Peptide Renewal Cream, Mario Badescu.

SHOPPING FOR SPRING

Oh, what I wish I would be wearing right now (in some place a bit warmer than Amsterdam, pretty please)...

Shirt, Jil Sander; Trousers, 1205; Briefs, Base Range; Sandals, ATP Atelier; Hoops, Asos; Sunglasses, The Row; Body Cleanser, Kiehl's.

STAN SMITH OR SUPERSTAR?

Adidas Stan Smith or Superstar? They are both 'back', but what's your pick?

MARC ALARY MONKEY EARRINGS

How cute are these super tiny monkey ear studs? They're by Marc Alary, who showed his collection of detailed animalier jewelry in Paris during Fashion Week.

Earrings, Marc Alary.

NON-LADYLIKE

Spring has officially sprung and even though it has brought us one full day of sun that actually felt like there is a new season in town, I feel like my mood already changed from winter blues(?) to full-on happiness.

I even wore a red skirt (not kidding!) earlier this week for a project.

This makes me think of something my other half said a couple of weeks ago. He probably doesn't know, but his statement did hit me. A little bit. He said that I should maybe try look a little more feminine every now and then. And it is not that I would ever change the way I dress for a guy, even if it's a guy that I have been dating for five years now. But the guy has a point.

Side note, Lesley is one of those guys that adores a girl in her tightest dress and highest heels. I don't own any tight dresses.

My heels are currently stored in boxes and apart from that party I went to that made my toes feel numb, they haven't come out of those boxes in quite a while. Not even during Fashion Week. And here I am in my destroyed denim, a casual sweater that my other half mistakenly wore last week because he thought it was his, a boxy leather jacket, complete with mannish loafers et all. Should I have worn lipstick with this? Am I turning into a boy?

Admittedly this is not my most feminine ensemble, but I have never been quite ladylike and I don't think I ever will be. I used to climb in trees, only occasionally played with Barbie.

Even though I feel the comfiest in jeans and sneakers (or a loafer in this case), it is obviously good to sometimes step out of our comfiest zones. And so I will try and do my best to figure hug every once in a while, show an ankle, a shoulder or the cleavage I don't really have...


Leather Jacket, Acne Studios; Sweater, ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo; Jeans, Paige Denim; Shoes, Zara; Bag, Rodtnes; Sunglasses, Bottega Veneta.

6 SPRING BEAUTY ESSENTIALS

Ahh, Spring. The time of blooming cherry trees and crocus. The soft escape from winter. The season of rebirth and regrowth. And...an endless indecisiveness. If anything makes me nervous, it's being in a constant state of 'in between'.

Yes, this whishy-washy sister of summer puts us in dilemmas. It's often too cold for a skirt, but too warm for a long thick coat (there goes a classic). Even our shoe game is put at stake. Embrace the peep toe or safely buckle up in something boot-like? But the biggest challenge of all remains my make up bag.

Sudden changes of weather conditions ask for options, especially in terms of beauty. I over pack and over stack everything in my life. Shoes, crunchy cookies, sticky notes but most of all lipsticks. They say the content your bag often represents your lifestyle. If you are like me, your bag probably looks like a whirlwind of surprises. A bit like spring, ironically.

In order to make peace with my bag - and life a bit easier - I came up with a little formula. Nothing mathematical, it's all practical. Better yet, a tool kit of 6 Spring beauty essentials (Sabrina already made a Winter version HERE).

1. A versatile, long wearing foundation stick. For instance this one from Bobbi Brown. This pocketsize bad boy feels weightless and has a firm, creamy texture that blends in perfectly with your skin color.

2. A nourishing, covering concealer. Unfortunately, we can't buy sleep. But we can cover dark circles. This creamy and pressed powder combo, again from Bobbi, does it like no other. How can she be so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed despite having been up all night?

3. A multifaceted lip palette. Don't let the Barbie connotation of this product scare you. They are not exclusively for six year olds. The Pro Lip Palette in Editorial Oranges from MAC contains six (what's in a number?) colors in vibrant, orange hues. Yay, options! Names include Sheen Supreme, Sandy B and Look At Her. That alone is reason enough to equip oneself with this palette, isn't it?

4. An all-purpose blush. Some beauty looks work great with sun kissed cheeks. Others call for a rosier glow, or even a combination of both. The Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer from Guerlain gives the possibility to work with bronze and pink shades separately, as well as together. A huge plus!

5. A multidimensional eye shadow palette. A perfect neutral matte or a bold smokey eye? The great thing about this more compact version of the Naked Palette by Urban Decay is the way it allows to build. Rich in pigment, with just a hint of satin.

6. A high precision mascara. What opens up your eyes more than mascara? Le Volume de Chanel helps to achieve instant volume in a single stroke. Whether you prefer full or subtle, separated lashes, the short bristles of this mascara allows enough play.

Brows, lips, cheeks and eyes, this setup provides the ingredients to a menu of fresh looks. From a self-respected 'barely there' style to a dramatic party look, it’s all covered in this little mix.

But, wait a minute. You need proof? This post calls for a cliffhanger...

Skin Foundation Stick, Bobbi Brown; Concealer Kit, Bobbi Brown; Pro Lip Palette [Editorial Oranges], MAC; Terracotta Four Seasons Bronzer [00], Guerlain; Naked Basic Palette, Urban Decay; Le Volume Mascara [Vert Grisé], Chanel.

YASMIN SEWELL

Oh gosh, do I just love this woman's hair. And her elegance. And her glasses. And her coat.

Yes, so pretty much everything.

OUR OWN i-D

Starting in 1980 as a hand-stapled(!) fanzine with text produced on a typewriter, i-D Magazine came a looong way. A Thursday ago they launched their Benelux version together with denim tastemakers Diesel and I have to admit my pinky toe is still a little numb from the heels I wore to the party. (I am crossing my fingers it will be back alive and kicking by tomorrow.)

In this oversaturated world of (online) magazines and blogs, I can only praise how i-D has always managed to maintain their signature wink eyed spirit. With my 'history' as a graphic designer, how can I not love the fact that their logo tipped on its side is a winking smiley?

In addition, to celebrate the launch of Diesel's We Are Connected campaign, I wore a star printed denim jacket from their newest collection buttoned all the way up (which is my current favorite way to wear a denim jacket.)

Also, i-D did a little Q&A with me and you can read all about it HERE. *wink

OUR OWN i-D - afterDRK
OUR OWN i-D - afterDRK
OUR OWN i-D - afterDRK
This post was created in collaboration with i-D and Diesel.

HOLY GRAIL OF HAIR CARE

Okay, imagine this. A wild explosion, a sinking ship and a deserted island nearby. And in this dramatic chaos there is you. No time to think, nor panic. If you could clamp on to one beauty item while making the lethal swim towards your future sanctuary of sand, what would it be? And no, that does not include Ryan Gosling!

My choice would be Redken Smooth Lock Heat Glide, without a doubt. A product I have been using since the age of 16, and safe to say the only serum capable of taming my lush locks. When my hair gets in contact with water and I leave it untouched, it turns into a dry, frizzy fluff bal. You may call it Coupe Cuckoo.

Not a pretty sight.

I have a long and creative history in crazy cuts and colors, which reflects on my hair quality. Not to mention the many straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers. The damage...sorry, hair gods!

This holy grail of mine is heat resistant and contains almond oil (grandmother's favorite!). This sweet oil does not only nourish the hair, it claims to repair it too. On top of that it's rich in all sorts of other good stuff, a healthy cocktail for unruly hair. (They say it stimulates hair growth too!)

But the immediate result is why this product has never disappointed me to this date. When applying - no more! - than one pump to my wet hair, while saving just a drop for my roots, your hair transforms to a smooth, soft bundle of joy. That might sound very Disney, but when my manes dance around my face with a surreal shine like that, there's just no escaping the term!

So by the time you have reached the coast of our imaginary island, having dealt with reef sharks and endless amounts of seaweed, the last thing you want to battle is barbarian hair. Clamping on to this Redken Smooth Lock Heat Glide friend guarantees some peace of mind. Now all you have to do is channel a young Brooke Shields in Blue Lagoon on the beach and sip from a coconut, while rescue awaits.

Heat Protection Serum, Redken.

MULES, LOVE OR HATE?

The mule trend is celebrating its second Spring season now and even though it is still a bit too cold to go bare-toed, what do we think of this type of shoe? I bought a pair at Zara a couple of weeks ago (I know, it hasn't been my best 5 Piece French Wardrobe season so far, not at all!!) and I am still not sure what to do with them (which makes the buy even worse).

They are not the sexiest shoe out there, I haven't even showed them to Lesley because I am afraid he will absolutely hate them. (If you read this, surprise! Cheers to another pair of shoes.) And boy do I love an unsexy shoe.

The thing is that I have been trying them on with different types of bottoms in front of my dressing mirror for a descent amount of times now, which is usually nót a good sign.

Nevertheless, I like their chunky heel that is just the perfect comfortable height. Maybe I am not yet ready to show my toes again? Kind of the same feeling as wearing a bikini for the first time each Summer?

Hmm, I don't know. Do you have a pair of mules in your shoe collection? How do you wear them? Boyfriend denim, to make them even less sexy? A skirt? Your usual jeans?

What do you think? Love or hate them? Should I have bough a more subtle version, something like last years satin Céline mules?

PS: Merci for all the sweet birthday wishes, I had a wonderful day!

Mules, Zara.