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Monday, June 29, 2009

Hair play

I colored my hair the other day, it's a bit more dark brown now and more closer to my natural hair color. The hair dye should fade in about 24 washes but let's see how long it will last. I've been asked about how I do my hair a couple of times now, so I thought I'd let you in on my secrets.

Specs: Monki

My hair is naturally wavy, so basically the waves you see in my hair are all au naturel. However, to get them even more curly, after a wash I usually squeeze the wet hair with a towel here and there to create curly locks. I like to towel dry my hair and never really use a blow dryer, unless I'm in a hurry. This way my hair dries wavy, yet manageable.

As you probably have noticed, sometimes I like to wear my hair shorter in a 1920's style soft bun (with a messy rock twist of course), and to achieve this look I simply gather some hair in a bun on the back, add some bobby pins to hold the bun, loose some strands of hair from the back and sides by pulling and lifting them with my fingers. Then I add either some spray-in moisturizer or curling balm to achieve the curly volume and voila, the hairdo is done. Very rarely do I use a straightining iron to get my bangs a bit like the 70's style.

My haircare products usually consist of any shampoo and conditioner you can get from your local super market (such as L'oreal El Vital or Pantene) but since I've been handed a few free products, I've moved towards professional salon products. Lately my hair has been washed and conditioned with John Frieda's "Brilliant Brunette Shine Release" which I've grown to like quite a bit, due to the fact that my extremely dry hair feels so soft and manageable after the wash. Afterwards I have added either Kadus' "Slalom Curl Balm" or 4R's "Moisture Mist"; a moisturizing conditioner spray which my hairdresser recommended and usually travels with me everywhere I go. For shine I add "Shine Drops" by Generic Value Products which you can find at Sally's in the States. They are actually a less expensive version of Paul Mitchell's Gloss Drops, if anyone is wondering what the heck am I talking about. Recently I have discovered a very similar product from L'oreal called "Lumino Contrast Nutriceride" which works just as good. The orange bottle in the picture is the latest addition to my collection and it's actually very handy when you want to create natural looking waves and more volume in your hair. The product is called "Salt Spray" by Fudge. I think you can get most of these products from your local hair salon.

Some of you readers have encouraged me to try a more radical haircut but believe me: been there, done that. I've grown to like this more natural look that creates a softer tone for me and brings contrast to my otherwise so harsh style. Bangs are also a must for me, basically can't live without them, so they will stick and stay no matter what. However, I think I am in a need of a trim, so maybe something other than this very minor coloring operation might be happening on the hair front. We'll see...


Friday, June 26, 2009

I would go out tonight but I haven't got a stitch to wear

Woosh, I just came back from an extremely hot Morrissey gig where This Charming Man was the opening song. So glad they played The Smiths songs too! Soon I'm heading to the official after party with some friends. It seems that a heat wave has finally reached Finland (apparently I took the weather with me from Spain) and requires easy dressing for the evening. I chose harem pants, relaxed top and nude colored sandals which by the way, are all new acquiries from Spain and Sweden. Tomorrow I'm probably heading to the country side to say hello to some cows. Fun, fun. fun.

Bikini top: Mango
Pants: Zara
Shoes: Zara
Bag: Second hand
Ring: Kalevala Koru

R.I.P. Michael Jackson. We will miss you dearly.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barcelona, part 2

Before I visited Barcelona, I had this idea of it as being Europe's southern mecca of fashion. However, my knowledge of Spanish fashion was basically limited to international chains such as Zara, Mango and Custo Barcelona. Those stores are very much present in Spain but there is much more bubbling under the surface.

Barcelona offers fashion that is suitable for every wallet. There are the pricey high end stores alongside with the cheaper chain stores and smaller independent boutiques. I have to confess that I mainly shopped at Zara just because the local style was a bit too bohemian for my minimalistic taste. Ok, the Zara prices being about 1/3 less than in Finland affected my decisions, too. From the chain stores I really fell in love with the accessory department of Üterque, and from the local designers Lurdes Bergada & Syngman Cucala were closest to my heart with their dark tones and strange cuts. I also advice checking out the Finnish born designer Cecilia Sörensen's boutique Still Light and a little shoe store called Le Shoe which sells designer shoes with discount prices. From the malls I mainly recommend Boulevard Rosa; others were a bit too mainstream for my taste. Other than that, my tip is just to wonder around the streets in different parts of the city ie. Gràcia, El Born and El Raval; that's the best way to find hidden treasures of Barcelona.

Barcelonian street style was rather relaxed: lots of harem pants, wedge sandals, cotton and other lightweight material dresses were seen on the streets. The weather affects a lot; it's quite hot during the summer, so you will want to wear something comfortable and light. I chose to wear mainly shorts, lose shirts and sandals, as you might notice from the pictures.

Overall I recommend visiting and shopping Barcelona, especially if you are a girl.

Shorts: Zara
Studded bag: Zara
Mom jeans: Second hand

A special thanks to all the lovely readers who shared with me with their best Barca tips. Especially this map created by Anu (sorry only in Finnish) was excellent!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Barcelona, part 1

I promised to make a post about my trip to Barcelona but because the picture flow would be so unbearably huge, I decided to divide the pictures in two posts. In this first post I will go over the cultural aspects of Barcelona, shopping will follow in the later post.

It was my first time in this colorful city and I must say, if you have never been there, it's definitely worth a visit! The architecture is what Barca is most known for but I'd say food and atmosphere should come next. I'm already missing it so much; walking on the pretty streets, eating Spanish omelette and other delicious tapas with sangria at midnight, getting to know the friendly locals, and admiring all the art the city has to offer. Spain seems so relaxed and warm, and I'm not just talking about the temperature.

Shirt: Monki
Biker shorts: MTWTFSS
Chain strap bag: Spirit Items
Studded bag: Zara
Ring: Kalevala Koru

I visited most of the sights that this city has to offer: the beautiful buildings of Gaudi, amazing parks such as Park de la Ciutadella and Park Güel, the mountain of Mont Jüic with its beautiful castle and a spectacular view over the city, and of course the Poble Espanyol - a little village that replicates the different architectural styles of Spain. It also offers the interesting art pieces pictured below. Unfortunately I didn't have time to visit the Picasso museum nor Salvador Dali's but I guess you always have to leave something for the next time, so that there will be a next time.

T-shirt: Gina Tricot / DIY slashing
Vest: Zara
Shorts: Second hand Levi's / DIY bleaching and cutting
Sandals: Dinsko
Sunglasses: Monki

Here are some useful traveling tips for those who are interested in visiting Barcelona:

- The summers are hot so wear something light with comfortable shoes: you will do lots of walking, trust me.
- Buy bottled water and bring it everywhere you go, it gets hot! The tap water is filled with chlorine and is undrinkable (I got a damn rash on my neck just from taking showers, yuck!).
- Sightseeing is fun but be aware that there are usually long queues ahead during the peak seasons. If you have time, visit the local attractions by metro (it's cheap) and about 1-2 sights/day is tolerable. If you are in a hurry, use the tourist busses. I must warn you though, they are quite expensive.
- Visit at least all the Gaudi buildings, Park de la Ciutadella and Mont Jüic. From the beaches I would recommend Icaria, it's less crowded and very clean compared to the popular Barceloneta.
- Lunch hour in Spain is from 1pm to 4pm and dinner usually starts after 8-9pm. It is not strange sight to see people enjoying dinner or tapas at midnight either.
- You must taste the tapas such as the Spanish omelette and pan con tomato. So yummy! Wine (and alcohol in general) is really cheap in Spain, so ordering a pitcher in the table is totally afforable. Eating out in general is quite affordable.
- A local told me that Barcelonians are known to be "cheap", so tipping in restaurants etc. is not mandatory. However, we did leave a little tip each time, just because the food was so damn good.
- There are pickpockets in this city but I didn't encounter any during my stay. Just be careful and don't leave your belongings unattended, and you'll be fine.
- Be aware of the siesta, it happens during 1-4pm closing some of the shops etc.
- Spanish people don't speak English too well so practice some Spanish basics before you go!

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Midsummer Night's Dream

Hi, I'm back! Barcelona was truly wonderful and I will post about it and all the shopping very soon, I promise. Now, however, I'm in Sweden and spent the midsummer here with my aunt and cousin. Today I'm off to Finland and back to the oh so boring normal life. I wish life could just be one big holiday with no obligations such as work. At least I will get two more weeks off when July turns to August.

Blazer: Zara
Sweater: H&M
Top: Zara
Skirt: Monki
Leggings: American Apparel
Scarf: Acne
Shoes: Vagabond
Bag: Saddler
Ring: Kalevala Koru

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Monday, June 8, 2009

In transit

I'm blogging from the lovely Stockholm, Sweden where I spent the past weekend. Tomorrow we are heading to the sunny Barcelona in Spain. I'll be back in a week with loads of pictures, of course. Here are some random shots from Stockholm: a Glass Candy gig at Debaser and the nice gardens at Djurgården. And yup, I have done already quite a lot of shopping...

First outfit:
Shirt: Dhu Duong for Weekday
Jeans: Cheap Monday / DIY slashing
Bag: Spirit Items
Second outfit:
Jacket: JSFN
Sweater gardigan: All Saints
Jeans: Cheap Monday / DIY slashing
Shoes: Vagabond
Bag: Saddler

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cover me

Last night Deerhunter was playing at Tavastia in Helsinki and I went to see it with my boyfriend, Ranna and her boyfriend. The show was really good and the singer Bradfod Cox really has a talent in stand up comedy with his strangely funny in-between comments and manoeuvres. In the end the band let audience members play the instruments while the the band was beating the hell out of the drum set. A good show indeed, I recommend checking them out!

I wanted to wear something suitable for an indie rock gig, so I went with all black and a drapy "oat meal" colored cardigan that a colleague of mine has ordered from All Saints but didn't want to keep for some reason. She must be crazy because this is the most comfortable cottony thing ever! I was so glad that it fit me and it's precisely my style, too. Hey, a new color addition to my wardrobe!

Bathroom shots are a must!

Cardigan: All Saints
Top: Sunday Sun
Tights: Random, DIY slashing
Shoes: Skopunkten
Bag: Spirit Items
Ring: Kalevala Koru

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