Julie Fagerholt, Head of Design, H2OFagerholt


"I grew up about half an hour outside of Copenhagen. When I was a child I actually wanted to become a midwife. [Laughs] But school didn't come naturally to me, so that dream was too hard. Around the same time, I became very interested in sewing my own clothes. I got my own sewing machine when I was 10, and just figured it out myself. Eventually I started taking sewing classes, and suddenly I loved to spend time at school. Regular classes were really just not for me.

I started my own brand [called Heartmade] 22 years ago. The idea was to do everything very high-quality. It was a challenge in the beginning, because that made everything so expensive. In the end I managed to do it. When I sold the company, I kept working with them for another six years, and then... At a certain point we didn’t have the same dreams anymore. I decided to leave three years ago. I still think it’s part of my identity in many ways. A very old Danish sportswear company contacted me recently, and asked me to start a new brand for them, and give them a new identity. I think people recognize me in this new brand, H2OFagerholt. The quality of the products, the colors I use, the way I use them, the details... I think that’s where you can see my personality.

Eventually I started taking sewing classes, and suddenly I loved to spend time at school.

Right now we are all wearing a lot of sweatsuits here in Copehnagen, so I think that jewelry says a lot. A necklace or rings style things up a little bit so I don’t look too homey. If I’m staying in, I actually might change outfits during the day. What I want to wear depends so much on my mood. It’s the same with my perfume. I can wear one perfume in the morning, and then change to something else in the evening. In the morning I love the Glossier one. It’s more fresh. And then I like Anima Mundi from Sigil, which is a small brand, for nighttime. It’s kind of spicy, and also a little flowery. I can’t tell exactly what it is, which is probably why I like it.

The first thing I do in the morning is wash my face with Milky Jelly Cleanser. I really love this cleanser. I put it on before I shower, leave it on in the shower for about five minutes, and then I take it off with water. I think it helps with blood circulation, and my skin looks very good. Also, I don’t know if this is right, but if I have small spots, I put some on in the night and then sleep with it on. My spots are always gone the next day. It just balances my skin in some way—it’s very good for me.

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We used to not be able to get Glossier in Denmark, and so every time my friends went to New York they bought some stuff for me. Three years ago I went to the store in New York for myself. It was my first time traveling to New York in 10 years—I had been so busy with work, and the thought of sitting on an airplane for that long and having jet lag... I couldn’t do it. But after I left my company I got so much energy back. So that was the first thing I did: I got on an airplane, and I went to New York. It was such a nice trip. The energy over there, and the way people talk to each other on the street... I’m not used to that. People say things like, ‘Oh hi, how are you today?’ Or, ‘What a nice outfit!’ In Denmark, we don’t speak to each other on the street. We’re more closed off. New York's energy is so good. After I wash my face, I use the two Vintner’s Daughter products. The Essence is their new product, and it’s really more like a serum, and then I use the oil on top. I like them both because they’re very natural.

The makeup look in Copenhagen is very natural. It’s more normal to look a little bit too natural. [Laughs] I like to sometimes get my hair blown out, and I get my nails done, and people here in Copenhagen are like, ‘Oh my God! Wow! Why did you do that?’ Everybody is bicycling around in the city, and you need to wear a helmet, and it’s raining a lot, so you have to be a little practical. But I also think it’s just a Danish mentality—we have to look like we didn’t do anything. Makeup is normal for me, and I like to do a little bit extra.

I use my fingers to apply Glossier Stretch Concealer in G6 under my eyes, because I have a problem with dark circles. That is very good. Then I like to take one pump of Futuredew and press it onto the high points of my face for a highlight. I also have the Haloscope in Quartz—I like that one too. Sometimes I put it under the Futuredew, and sometimes I put it on top of everything when I’m finished. Before coronavirus I had eyelash extensions, and now I haven’t been wearing them for a year. I really don’t miss them! I had never tried Lash Slick because I didn’t wear mascara—I always had the lashes on. But now that I’ve tried it, I don’t think I will go back to the eyelashes. It really makes my natural lashes look great. And then finally, I use the Glossier balm. I know it’s not a lip gloss, but still it has such a nice shine. The rose one is my favorite, and I actually use a little bit on my nails sometimes, too.

I think it’s just a Danish mentality—we have to look like we didn’t do anything.

I have a good friend named Esha Khamo who cuts and colors my hair. Now he comes to my house, but usually I go to his salon. I live in a country of blonde girls, but I never felt the temptation to go blonde—my hair is really turning gray, and I like it to be a middle brown. Not too dark and not too light. He also does a treatment on my hair called a Brazilian, which takes all the frizziness out of it. I actually wear my hair back most of the time because, when I’m working, that’s just the easiest for me. Everyone is always in shock when I wear my hair down. Because of the pandemic, my hair is really long right now.

I wash my hair once a week, and my shampoo and conditioner are from an American brand I love called Ouai. It’s wonderful. I love that they make products for the kind of hair I have—curly and frizzy—because most of the hair products in Denmark are not for me. These have a lot of oils in them, which I prefer. My hair is very dry most of the time, and I like it to feel soft. The first product I’ve ever found that gives me a soft, silky look is this one, the Hair Serum #DM027 from David Mallett. And then to slick it back, I always use this Balmain Curl Cream and a little bit of water. It’s very easy and fast.

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I get my nails done every other week. It’s a really big thing for me because I use my hands all the time in meetings when I’m explaining my designs, and I look at them a lot when I’m designing. For me, it always feels like a relief when I look down at my nails and they’re nice. A woman named Isabella does my nails, and before I go to her place, I always send her lots of ideas for what I want to do. It’s kind of like a moodboard—I find pictures of designs on Instagram and save some that I like. The night before my appointment I go back and look at them, and maybe I’ll change the colors, or change the design in some way. Sometimes we try to file my nails into different shapes, but I always end up going back to square. And we always use Shellac—these are my natural nails.

A lot of cuticle oil and hand cream is important, especially because we’re using hand sanitizer all the time. My favorite hand sanitizer is the Dr. Bronner’s Lavender one, by the way. CND, which is the same brand that makes Shellac, has a cuticle oil pen I like to use. I also really like the Glossier hand cream. I never used to use hand cream. I honestly hated them all. But this one really surprised me. It’s not sticky, and I can just put it on and continue whatever I’m doing. It makes my hands feel so silky. And I love the perfume that’s in it—it’s a little bit similar to the You fragrance. I bring that with me everywhere.

For me, it always feels like a relief when I look down at my nails and they’re nice.

The body lotion I’m using is Laura Mercier's Amber Vanillè Body Butter. And then I also sometimes use the Ellis Marvelous Massage and Body Oil. I think that brand is American. If I’m taking a bath in the evening, I put it on my neck and shoulders, and give myself a massage with a gua sha. Together those two are very good and very relaxing. Another American thing I discovered recently is this Corpus Deodorant. Before I was using a deodorant from Vichy, a French brand, from the drugstore. I was very nervous to shift to the Corpus one because it’s natural, and I thought maybe it wouldn’t work. But I liked the idea of using something natural, and it actually did work. The Corpus scent I like is Third Rose.

I get all of these cool products at a store called I Love Beauty. The founder has been in the beauty industry for a long time—she used to be a magazine editor. She’s very good at finding new stuff that you wouldn’t see at a big department store. For example, I found palo santo at that store and learned that I love to burn it in my bathroom in the morning. After I started that routine, I bought this other product called Bodha Smokeless Incense to try. It does make smoke, but in a very fresh way that’s not at all like regular incense. I burn that twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, and I feel like it clears the air in some way. Anyway, I go around the corner to that store every time I want something new and exciting. It’s the smallest store you can imagine, and it’s actually in the middle of a big garden. When all of this is over, you have to come.”

—as told to ITG

Julie Fagerholt photographed by Polina Vinogradova in Copenhagen on January 30, 2021.