"I work on social media and content for & Other Stories, which is a new women's lifestyle and fashion brand, carrying everything from lipstick, shoes, lingerie, and ready-to-wear. One half of our collection is designed in Paris and one half is designed here in Stockholm—we're owned by H&M—so it’s much more diverse than just Swedish style.
I’m sort of the stereotype of Swedish style. I’m super minimalistic, and I like things to be straight, stylish, and simple, but with a slight twist. For example, really simple trousers but they’re in red, or it could be a pair of cigarette pants paired with a vintage top. Nothing crazy, but still something special.
My beauty routine is similar. I like keeping it very simple and looking very natural, like I haven’t made too much of an effort. Most Swedish girls probably approach beauty in the same way. I will add some colors through lipstick and nail polish, but, other than that, I mainly put my efforts into making sure my skin looks healthy. This is partly because I don't want to look like I've tried too hard and partly because I'm still learning about makeup. I've struggled with bad confidence, but that seems to have magically evaporated lately, which has made me less dependent on makeup; I prefer a what-you-see-is-what-you-get-attitude these days.
I probably don’t take enough care of my skin. But I always remove my makeup at night and I use & Other Stories’ Sateen moisturizer, which is more of a general cream for most skin types. Then, once a week I use an exfoliator. My skin is fair and sensitive to the sun, so I always use sunscreen—I prefer Vichy since it doesn't give that sticky feeling. Other than that, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream is the one thing that I’ve been buying for years. I put it mostly on my lips, but during the harsh Swedish winter I put a bit of it everywhere. It’s so good that you kind of bear with the smell. You need the heavy artillery in the winter here—sometimes I do an overnight treatment where I use lots of baby oil on my skin and hope to wake up in a softer state—whatever it takes. [Laughs]
I also use more base cosmetics during the winter. My last foundation was Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in the palest shade, which has a heavy coverage. Now that we're in summer, I use much lighter products—I’ve just moved into the world of BB creams, so I will often skip moisturizer. I also tend to use less makeup as my tan slowly builds with the long summer days here, since I like to look matte when I can.
Today, I’m wearing & Other Stories’ Volumising Mascara. I’ve probably tried every mascara there is—I never buy the same one twice; I’m a very disloyal customer. I change products all the time, which is probably not good, but the hunt for new scents and beautiful packaging is just more exciting. New lipstick colors is about as daring as it gets for me—it's not unusual to find 10 different lip products in my bag. Right now, Burdet Orange & Other Stories lipstick is my clear favorite. I wouldn't leave home without it and it's the best way to transform into an evening mood. It kind of helps my fair complexion by making me look less all in one color. Pinks can be difficult for me, because I’m already on the pinkish side, so I try to stick to the yellow-reds.
On my body, I use the Morroccan Tea Body Soufflé. And my perfumes, La Tulipe from Byredo or Untitled by Martin Margiela, mix well with the sweetness of the body cream. They’re both very fresh, green scents.
Hair-wise, I don’t do much. Luckily, I can wear my hair straight or wavy, depending on my mood. The messy hair is for lazy/stressful days, since it requires little effort. I basically just let the hair dry on its own and use Volupt Spray to add some body and d:fi's d:struct to make it wavy and not frizzy. For straight hair, I just use a brush and a hair dryer. I buy shampoo and conditioner in the supermarket, and, in the winter, I use Moroccan Oil—sometimes I pour it into my hair and sleep in it. My one luxury is my hair dresser, Ida, at Noir Stockholm, and I give her the freedom to do what she wants. She’s so booked that I can only get in once every four months.
Although my routine is fairly simple, the time I spend in my bathroom in the morning is sacred to me, in order to wake up and get mentally ready for the day. When I really want to treat myself, I take a whole evening to myself—scrubbing, trimming, doing my nails, eating nice food, and watching movies."
—as told to ITG
Helena Carlberg photographed by Emily Weiss in Stockholm, Sweden on June 5th, 2013.