Aimee Blaut recently dropped in on beauty writer Caroline Hainer at her home in Stockholm. Hainer runs a blog and contributes to a number of Swedish magazines on everything about fragrances and cosmetics. Here she shares her daily grooming routine and explains why whenever she is in a bind when it comes to fashion and makeup, she asks, "What would Sofia Coppola do?”
I’ve been working as a journalist in Stockholm since 2003. I have a beauty blog called Fifty Scents that I do with Rodeo, a fashion magazine here in Sweden. I try to have the tone of a big sister as I’m one of the oldest writers on that site. It’s a young, trendy group of bloggers for Rodeo. I’ve been around and I've seen it before, so I’m hardly very impressed. Someone recently called me the grand old lady of Rodeo! I also write for a number of other Swedish magazines, including NK’s (think a Swedish Barneys New York) glossy magazine. I do all the beauty pages and the "Perfect Guide," which comes out with monthly beauty editions.
When I was a bit younger, I used to get Jane magazine, which really influenced my take on beauty. The magazine had something called "the makeunder," as opposed to the makeover. It showed some girl with all of her makeup on and they would downsize it. I really liked the idea behind it. It was a lot less degrading than a total ban on all products. It’s a more complex issue than that. It shows that it’s not really about how many products you use, but how you use them.
Even though I work with beauty every day, I still have some beauty icons that I look to for inspiration. Whenever I am in a bind with fashion or makeup, I ask myself, "What would Sofia Coppola do?" She is so beautiful yet laid-back, which I love. Sometimes less is more.
I wash my face in the morning with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner. It’s alcohol-free, which is really important to me. I strongly advise against stripping your skin by washing your face when you wake up, unless you are prone to oily skin. I’m not a matte person. I think shine and dew is fine. To give me a nice glow, I’ll use MAC Strobe Cream or REN Omega 3 Night Repair Serum after toning.
In terms of makeup, I tend to focus mostly on my eyes and eyebrows. I like my eyebrows a lot, and it took me a while to discover that. For a long time you weren’t suppose to have dark or big brows, but now I embrace them. I fill in my eyebrows daily with either my Tom Ford Beauty Brow Sculptor pen or Shu Uemura Hard Formula pencil.
I’m extremely rigid about my eyeliner; I don’t think there’s been a day since I was 14 when I haven’t worn it. I’m very strict about using cake or gel liners—never pens. There is a sense of nostalgia I find in using cake liners; they remind me of old-Hollywood glamour. I line the upper lash line and occasionally add a wing. Drawing liner on my lower lash line is a totally new addition.
Choosing the perfect mascara can be tricky. I really like Hypnôse by Lancôme and Benefit’s They’re Real.
I’m in the process of trying to use less foundation, because a lot of the time I will put it on and realize I look all foundationed up. My favorite is Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, and the secret is to apply it with your fingertips. It goes on really well that way since the formula is quite thin. I like Benefit’s range of blushes and its highlighter, High Beam, since I enjoy shimmer. I finish off my face with a touch of highlighter on the top of my cheekbones to make them stand out more.
I wish I would do more with lip color. I think the different shades are so nice, but it makes me feel a little too done sometimes. I love seeing lipstick on people because it really has such a power to it. In terms of reds, I am wearing Lancôme Le French Touch Absolu Rouge now, which is really nice.
At night I take my makeup off with Bioderma Crealine, and then wash my face with Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam. I only need a pea-sized amount to cleanse my whole face. I follow that with my alcohol-free toner. I am all about going to bed drenched in vitamin A. I recently started using a cream by this Danish brand, Beauté Pacifique, the Vitamin A Anti-Wrinkle Booster Cream. It’s packed with vitamin A, so it’s good for wrinkles and maintaing healthy skin.