“My personal style blog, Style by Kling, started because my friend forced me. [Laughs] I had a weekly column on another website, and he was like, ‘You should really start a blog.’ A couple months later, I decided I would try it. And in two days after starting, I became Sweden’s largest blog. The blog just documented me and what I was wearing. At the time, a lot of blogs were people taking pictures of themselves in the mirror and then just cropping their head. I thought, ‘Why are they doing this? This isn’t inspiring at all.’ So my first pictures were in locations and I would ask anyone—even a cab driver—to take my photo. I would tell everyone to take pictures. [Laughs] Doormen, friends, drivers! Sometimes they’d laugh when I asked them, because some people wouldn’t know what a fashion blog really was. But I would hand them my little camera and kind of tell them how to shoot. Sometimes I would ask my boyfriend, but I always felt like it wasn’t great for our relationship. He didn’t mind it, but I just know how annoying it is to ask people that. I mean, now I have people who take pictures, but back then it was different.
I don’t really mind being called a blogger, but I don’t want people to think that that is all I do. That being said, it’s a lot of work; it is a job. It’s not just for fun. Having a business based around it is one level above blogging. I have my own magazine, StyleBy—it’s an editorial magazine in Sweden. There are four people who work on it, and we have contributors, but we each try and do much as possible. I do a few pages each issue on my favorite things—I write about what I’m into, what’s next. I'm also a co-founder with Christian [Remröd] of Now Manifest, which is basically an umbrella fashion ad network [now owned by Fairchild Fashion Media, the Condé Nast subsidiary that publishes WWD and Style.com] that has many of the famous bloggers: Bryan Boy, Anna Dello Russo, Derek Blasberg, Rumi Neely, and me. That's why I moved to New York, to work on it. But I love it here; I'm staying.
I’m blond, but not naturally blond. All of the Swedes get highlights—trust me. They don’t do their whole heads, but they keep it fresh. I’m so sorry, but Americans cannot do blond hair—they just can’t do the ‘Scandinavian blond’ correctly. I’ve been to so many salons, and it’s never the Scandinavian blond. I never know exactly how to explain it, besides saying ‘Scandinavian blond.’ I guess they color my hair in some beige-ish way...and either you go yellow, or you go a cold grey/silver tone. But in Scandinavia, there’s a little bit more of a raw blond tone that’s just typical Scandinavian blond. Finally, I found a Swedish woman named Mirjam Bayoumi on the Upper East Side, on 78th street, and she does all of the Swedes. She does the Princess of Sweden’s hair. She said that 95% of her clients are blond Swedish girls. [Laughs] It’s not super fancy, she just knows how to do blondes.
When I meet other blondes, I know if it’s an American or Swedish blonde: American blondes are more golden. It’s not a ‘pretty’ blonde. It should be paler, a more champagne color. [Ed. note: Chalk it up to a communication error, but Elin corrected us to emphasize that she was not 'dissing' American blondes or 'American blond.' It's been an adventure for her to try and find someone Stateside who can nail that fabled Nordic tone. Hey, good colorists are hard to come by! All blondes can agree on that, no?] When I met Mirjam, she knew exactly what I wanted. She just has the tone so right. I would normally get it done in Sweden, but I just never have time when I’m there. If I have two hours, I’m with my friends—not getting my hair done. I go to Miriam like every 10 to 12 weeks. She highlights it every time I go, but she freshens it up from the root, as well.
On my nails, I found my favorite nail polish called Frenzy, from Chanel. They sell out of it all the time—it's that good. I had gone to a salon in the East Village, and I fell in love with this color from OPI but couldn’t find it anywhere. I even tweeted at OPI! [Laughs] But finally my friend said that Chanel had a very similar color, and now I wear it all the time. I always get a pedicure, but I usually do my nails by myself...I’m very strict when it comes to my nails. I hate when my nails aren’t nice; I like to have them clean and fresh all of the time. For color, I also like Chanel Black Satin, YSL Taupe Retro, Mavala 90 Arosa, and Ciate in Beach Melba 025...but I really like beige nail polishes.
I’m also obsessed with creamy makeup and products. A lot of people are always trying to find matte products, but for me, I’m always looking for creamy products. The creamier, the better! I’m actually very interested in beauty. I guess it’s because I’m getting older— I’m getting more interested in all kinds of creams and products. I always start with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20, and then I use a few things to highlight. My secret is Nars Copacabana Illuminator. It’s so tiny, but I bring it everywhere. [Laughs] Then, I like to focus on my brows, because I don’t have a lot of hair there. I use Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown—it's the perfect color for me, almost a gray-brown. It paints lines and looks more like you actually have fuller brows. I use it every day. And for eyes, Makeup Store Reflex Cover in Medium, a concealer. I put it around my eyes; it has a reflection to it. It’s not too heavy—it's very creamy and light, which I like. And for eye shadow, I love the Quite Natural Paint Pot by MAC. I use my finger and I like that it makes my eyes pop; it gives them a little bit of dimension. They also have another one named Ground Work, which is a very similar color. I learned about those on a photo shoot...I learn so much from photo shoots. I always listen to what people say, and then I’ll go out and buy what they told me about. [Laughs] But I like it when it looks like I don’t have any makeup on. Most people think that if you put something on the eye, you need to see it, but I don't. That's why I like putting just a little shading around my eyes. I also use the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel to contour my face a bit—it adds shape underneath my cheekbones, gives me a little bit of color and still highlights, and it’s creamy. I don’t really use blush. If I’m in a party mood, I put Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Powder Pink on my lips. I like how fresh it looks; it’s not telling. And I love Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick in 401 if I feel like getting a little wild.
I try to use a makeup primer on my eyes every day, too. The MAC Prep and Prime is good. I will use a primer all over my face when I put makeup on. My new thing is to not bring a bag when I go out. I’ll just bring my card and my phone and leave all my makeup at home. When I do have a bag, I always bring Chanel Vitalumière in Beige. Sometimes I go to the counter to pick out the right color, but other times I just guess. But I use it to take away the redness, just a little under my eyes.
I don’t really use mascara, but if I do, I’ll use Diorshow Brown. It’s very light and simple. I think when you don’t wear mascara, it looks so much more fresh. But then at the same time, if I go out, I can do a really smoky eye—I love that, too. No mascara is a little more modern looking; it’s just fresher. I go back and forth though. Some weeks I want to wear mascara, and then other times I don’t want to wear it at all. I’m really day to day.
In terms of skincare, I’m very simple. I use a lot of Dermalogica, but someone told me that I need to change my products, like, every third month. I was abusing Dermatologica for, like, four years! I have everything from them. [Laughs] So I changed to Kiehl’s—a lot of people use Kiehl's and I just really like it. Now, I switch between the two. I like the Kiehl’s Photo-Age Corrector Deep-Action Exfoliating Cleanser with beads in it. It’s similar to Dermatologica Microfoliant. I exfoliate my face every day or second day. And for moisturizer, I switch between the Dermalogica or Kiehl’s moisturizer. I keep everything very simple. When I lived in Sweden, I got a lot of beauty products, so for a while I had tons of boxes at home and I never knew what to do with it. Here in New York, I just keep everything that I like that works. I use a lot of coordinating products. I’m religious about taking care of my face and skin. I do it every morning and every night. It will be a very rare occasion, if I’m not wearing eye makeup, that I will fall asleep with my other makeup on, but I don’t really like waking up with makeup on my face. It just feels bad.
For fragrance, I wear Blanche from Byredo. I also wear it as a lotion. Sometimes I don’t want to wear perfume, so I’ll put the lotion on my neck, so the scent's a bit lighter. If I go to a meeting, I’ll wear a heavier perfume. It gives me a little more confidence...I feel a little stronger. Depending on how I’m dressed or who I’m meeting, I’ll change up my scent. In meetings, sometimes people don’t expect too much of me, so I get to surprise them—I like my fragrance to represent the strength in that. But if I’m having a more casual day, then my fragrance will be lighter. It’s a kind of a post-feminist way of thinking about it. Sometimes I’ll use my boyfriend’s fragrance. His Margiela scent is wonderful."
—as told to ITG
Elin Kling photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on August 31st, 2012