• When it comes to hair, 99% of the world's population is dissatisfied with it in some shape or form. I'm one of those. And probably you are too ... and I get it; hair is just such an obvious thing that the lack, the excess or the "sameness" of it gets us all in our heads (no pun intended).

    I used to be so fickle when it came to my hair in the past. I've dyed it many different shades, bleached it, chopped it all off, chopped just a little and struggled with the yearly decision of whether or not to cut bangs (the answer should always be no!) and committed a few crimes.

    These days the question for me, isn't whether my hair looks nice and thick, or if I should color it or perm it (yes, that also happened)–it's whether or not it's healthy, strong and manageable.

    As hard as I try sometimes, I just cannot be the kind of person who works on their hair for hours, who changes color constantly or spends money on expensive treatments. I'm more of an "eat for beauty" kind of woman–so, the way I change it up is by styling it–and even that should take me 20 minutes or less, because nobody's got time for that, right?










    Ana Degenaar

    Vanity Planet (kindly) recently sent me one of their hair irons . . . and while those two words might make you cringe–I must say it has been a very pleasant experience.

    Vanity planet is a b.s-free brand, fighting the common idea that beauty is shallow and replacing that with a beauty-inclusive outlook. Allowing women to be themselves, to feel good for who they are. Vanity Planet exists to bring us products that are functional, practical and that bring us straightforward benefits.

    I've been testing the Tame-Pro-Style Titanium Tourmaline Flat Iron and the Bring on the Heat - Nourishing Heat Protector Spray for the past 2 weeks and this is what I can tell you about it:

    It's the best hair iron I've ever owned (and I've owned a good few of them in my lifetime). A hair iron is easy to use, it's practical and versatile–so yes, it's my go-to–and (now that I live in a tropical climate) my only hair-styling tool.

    Vanity Planet’s Tame Hair Iron is lightweight, it straightens, curls and controls frizz without damaging your hair. Titanium tourmaline plates glide through hair without pulling or snagging while negative ion technology seals in moisture to leave hair smooth, shiny, and soft whether dry or damp. As if that weren't enough, the iron turns off on its own after 60 minutes so if you’re a daydreamer like myself, you won't have to worry about unpleasant incidents.

    A Vanity Planet flat iron or curler would make a wonderful Christmas gift, don't you think? Winks*



    Favorites:
    Vanity Planet Tame Titanium Tourmaline Wet or Dry 1.25” Styling Iron - Black • $49
    Vanity Planet Cue 1 Clip-Free Curling Wand- Black • $29
    Vanity Planet Tame Wet To Dry Titanium Tourmaline Styling Iron Grey. • $72.99


  • Broste

    We’re approaching the most-awaited month for retailers. Every year during this time everyone (minimalists included) deal with the dilemma of what to give during the holidays. Some of us even ask ourselves if we should give at all. Everything, from advent calendars to the infamous office Secret Santa results in more; more stuff, more clutter... more stress.

    That’s why gift-giving is tricky when you (like me) have personally decided to live your life with less. Being a minimalist that still understands we live in a world of traditions and that those traditions are something that not only have a material meaning but a sentimental meaning is what can (and truly) makes a difference.

    I’ve stood on both sides of the gift-giving dilemma before and I’ve learned that the best way to go about it is to honor how you feel and what you truly find important. Gift-giving shouldn’t be obligatory, it shouldn’t replace love, it shouldn’t make up for lost time with your loved ones and it also shouldn’t be an automatic practice.

    The reality is that not everyone likes to give and not everyone likes to receive but this specific time of the year we all feel an uneasiness about this ritual–an uneasiness that shouldn’t even be part of the equation–because we are all different and we should understand our uniqueness and our personal situations and values.



    Frederik Vercruysse

    There are some minimalists who are fully against gift-giving. Some confuse minimalism with frugality and some will find a way to just partake in the holiday experience and give. If you are one of the latter, here are 3 practical tips for you:

    1. Give personal gifts:
    Do not buy 100 pairs of socks in bulk and give them out randomly. Truly care to know what people want or need and make each and every and one of your gifts meaningful to you and the person who’ll receive them–give only if you want and to whom you want to give.

    2. Gift experiences:
    If you’re adamant about giving something to someone who’s not too keen on receiving; give them an experience, like concert tickets, a massage, a tasting... or like I said before, give to their charity of choice.

    3. Gift consumables:
    Give people things that they can consume: a great coffee, a special tea blend, a bottle of wine or even an assortment of spices.

    For those in the spirit of giving, here are my top gift suggestions for 2017:







    Cedric Bihr


    GIFTS FOR
    Her / Him
    Gifting the minimalists in your life who appreciate simple design and live by the less-is-more mentality can be difficult; as someone who's part of that peculiar species I’d recommend you pick consumables, minimal Design pieces and good reads. Sure, they love to receive something that has a meaningful story behind it.




    Olympics Hoop Earrings • $44
    H&M Crushed-velvet Jacket • H&M • $34.99
    Hairsheep Cashmere Gloves in Black • $160
    Bucket in Moss • Building Block • $495
    Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer in Pale Grey • Nike • $150
    Liza Socks in Black/Green • $14
    Kanga Scarf in Silver • Base Range • $150
    No Smirking Sunglasses in Mist Matte • Le Specs • $89




    H&M Hooded Sweatshirt • H&M • $49.99
    H&M Ribbed Cashmere Scarf • H&M • $79.99
    247 Suede in Grey • New Balance • $100
    Nep Rib 3-Pack Crew • $52
    Perception Set • Aesop • $85
    Tarpaulin Settlement Medium • $140
    H&M Jacquard-knit Sweater • H&M • $119
    Lewis in Midnight • Komono • $119.99





    Ferm


    GIFTS FOR
    The Little Ones
    What a special time for the munchkins, isn’t it? From Santa to the Three Wise Men (depending on where you’re from) it is a given that this time of the year they will ask and receive. To avoid a futile over-indulgence, get the kiddos in your life something practical, fun and and beautifully designed. For the parent’s sake, toys with whistles are a definite no!.




    SOFT GALLERY Spotted Jumper • $102
    FABELAB Night Sky Bed Linen • $94
    STELLA MCCARTNEY KIDS Trumpet Lurex Tights • Stella McCartney • $36
    MORLEY Gwendolyn Wool Jumper • Morley • $119–161
    SMALLABLE HOME Woven Palm Leaf Basket • $36–71
    SEBRA Wooden Doll's Bed • $202
    EMILE ET IDA Canvas Cat Mine Pencil Case • Emile et Ida • $34
    Ferm Living Little Mr. Teddy • ferm LIVING • $49






    Frederik Vercruysse


    GIFTS FOR
    Self Care
    We forget some of the most important things around this time–and one of those is to care for ourselves. The high of the Holiday time makes it almost impossible for people to recognize there should always be a time to wind down and start the New Year off right. Choose gifts that help people do exactly that. Wind down and be self aware.



    Cashmere Robe • IN BED • $482
    Boob Bathmat • Cold Picnic • $60
    Seaweed Bath • $50
    Redemption Body Scrub • Aesop • $35
    Coriander Seed Body Cleanser • Aesop • $45
    Lana Hand Towel • MORIHATA • $32
    Palmarosa Concrete Candle • $100
    Cream Pomade • $28






    Frederik Vercruysse


    GIFTS FOR
    For Home
    Whether you are gifting to a straight-up minimalist, a soft minimalist or a boho lover… There are 2 things that you should keep in mind: "purpose and design". Regardless of whether you choose one or the other; giving a gift for someone’s home is the hardest part... so choose well. Give things that they can truly use, that they need or that can make a statement without causing clutter.




    HAY - Paper Porcelain Espresso Cup • $25.07
    Circle Candleholder • ferm LIVING • $199
    Restore Recycled Plastic Felt Basket • Muuto • $105
    Small Section Kelim Wool & Cotton Rug • ferm LIVING • $132
    Open Candle Holder • Muuto • $105
    Menu - Bottle Salt & Pepper Grinder - Set of 2 - Purple • Menu • $79.17
    Grey Aprons with Leather • ferm LIVING • $58.99
    HAY - Lens Storage Box - Red - Small • $32.33
    HAY - Rime Dot Cushion - 45x60cm - Orange/Blue • $77.85
    Brass Toilet Paper Holder • ferm LIVING • $38.99




    Ferm


    GIFTS FOR
    Stocking Stuffers
    Let’s put down the box of tic-tacs for a minute and think creatively when it comes to stocking stuffers. Putting in trinkets for the sake of it just isn’t the way to go. When it comes to the little details, think consumables, necessities and self care.



    Bella Triangle Bralette • Which We Want • $32
    Flow Balancing Perfume Oil • $46
    Rubber Band Ball • $9
    BLOOMINGVILLE KIDS Smilla Sandstone Plate • $14
    Mahony Hat in Raw • $54
    Big Sur Incense Cones • $18
    A LITTLE LOVELY COMPANY Panda Soft Purse • $10
    Moroccan Neroli Shaving Duet • Aesop • $80
    Card Holder in Fawn • Baggu • $38



    Remember that minimalism and stoicism are not the same thing. Do not feel bad for wanting to participate in this dynamic of the holidays and also do not feel wrong if you don’t want to. The experience of giving starts with you.










  • Tom Newton

    I’m soon approaching that age in life when women start feeling an urge to splash out on high-end skincare products... and when things that never mattered to me now matter. Things like Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Collagen, Propylene Glycol Hylorounic Acid and lots of other complicated jargon.

    Though the thought of being forever young sounds inviting to some, what resonates a lot more with me is the chance to age gracefully and naturally.

    Lines of expression are exactly that. Marks on our faces that say we’ve laughed a lot, that we’ve had a full life. That we’ve aged—therefore we’ve had the privilege to LIVE.

    The “beauty” industry is there, waiting for us to start questioning how to go about flash-freezing our age (on our faces) so they can fill our minds with more doubt and more worry—making it seem glamorous and necessary to buy the most expensive “miracle” products; products that contain things we cannot even pronounce, let alone pinpoint what it really is that we are putting on our faces.

    The one thing they do not tell us, though, is the most important and least glamorous secret... and that is that good skin starts from within. Literally, health starts from your gut. Isn’t that so enticing? I know it isn’t, but that is the honest truth. Your gut is the most responsible for your immune system, where detoxifying enzymes and nutrients are created—so smothering a detoxifying mask on your face every week or spending a ridiculous amount of money on masks containing rich live nutrients serves no purpose if you are not eating well.



    Your skin is very telling of how well you eat and how much water you drink. So before you make an appointment with your facialist or ask your dermatologist how many creams, balms, serums etc. to buy, make sure you are battling the war from within:

    1. Start your day with lemon I know coffee is a bare necessity or at least it is for me... but do not run to your coffee machine as soon as you wake up. Instead grab a tall, lukewarm cup of water and squeeze in half a lemon. This helps flush your digestive system and re-hydrate your body after your 8 hours (you better be sleeping at least eight!) of sleep.

    2. Take it down a notch Have a de-stressing routine daily, whether that’s hardcore exercise, yoga, meditation, a walk through the neighborhood or time of prayer. Look for ways in your day to find balance and peace; this does very well to your soul AND gut.

    3. Drink a lot of water (duh!) Like you’ve never heard this before. I know you have but, really, DO IT! Water is the best way to detoxify your system, it hydrates your skin and helps your digestive system—and who doesn’t want that, right?

    4. Eat probiotics and lower your sugar intake These 2 go hand-in-hand because sugar depletes good bacteria from your gut... so while you might want to introduce yogurts and some sort of pickled vegetable to your diet in order to produce good bacteria, you may also want to make sure that those are not filled with sugar.

    5. Hail to all vegetables! Make sure that the biggest portion of your meals is a good amount of vegetables (preferably steamed or sautéed). Why put a Vitamin C mask on your face when you can be eating delicious berries, tomatoes, baby spinach…

    Finally, let me tell you this: Beauty products, in general, should be there to enhance your natural beauty, not to change or mask your best traits. Show off those freckles, be proud of how thin or plush your lips are. Leave those eyebrows alone and please, protect your skin from the sun and clean it with love.

    Non-optional to have at your disposal: A mild cleanser, a good balm and sunscreen (always!).


    How do you take care of your skin? Care to share?

  • Photography © Northern Lighting Imagine a creative force spearheaded by original ideas — in a place where traditional seems like a thing of the past . . . where contemporary artifacts find new friends, and award-winning classics are remade with state of the art materials.
    Look no further than Northern Lighting an Oslo based Studio and Shop that has been featured on this blog for its ingenious ideas and the mastery of their craft.
    From their updated collection, the stunning Say My Name table lamp — now in light grey with a matt finish — stands out as a personal favorite.
    Just looking at it, we can agree that the handcraftsmanship and artistry of Norther Lighting’s pieces is something to write home about.
  • Photography © Nordic Design Collective Nordic Design Collective is a Swedish-based shop like no other. The owner and curator Maria Richardson focuses on creating a marketplace, passionate about supporting independent designers from the Nordic region. She picks like-minded Designers for her shop that are able to convey the same passion she has for hand-crafted pieces and shares beautiful stories about these geniuses' minds, processes and lives. The entire shop concept and the hard work put into every section of it speaks to how much passion goes into creating, curating and supporting this amazing group of Artists.

    Nordic Design Collective's Manifesto says it all - and it's not only inspiring to us as buyers and admirers, but also to the people who are behind the crafting tables. The images above are part of a wonderful set of prints by Details by M - Nordic Design Collective supports other amazing artists sauch as: Camilla Engdahl Dan Isaac Wallin Eva Levin Jenny Kåberg Metalldesign Jois Lundgren Jollygoodfellow La Boheme Magdalena Tyboni Saga Melina and Toril Bækmark - to mention but a few. You can learn more about Maria and Nordic Design Collective by visiting their Facebook, following on Instagram, subscribing via Bloglovin' and following via Twitter or Pinterest. Maria has also kindly created a coupon just for our readers. You can get a 15% off discount by using this code: blogmilk15 and support these wonderful Artists. Expires: August 14th 2016.
  • Photography © VifaVifa is an award-winning speakers brand that has made their way to every Minimalist's heart. Their passion, abilities and ethical approach to their designs is undeniable and a proof of that is their recent collaboration with textile Danish power-house Kvadrat—The Helsinki speaker above is one of the many from their new collection. As is the case with all of the products: The fabric was specifically created to let sound pass perfectly through the woolen threads. The solid aluminum frame is molded in one piece to avoid any assembly marks or frail spots. And the leather strap has been carefully selected and crafted by Swedish leather manufacturer Tärnsjö Garveri.
  • Photography © Northern Lighting Nordic Lighting is an Oslo-based shop established in 2005 by a group of designers, tastemakers and innovators from around the world. Whether crafted into pendant lights, floor lamps, wall lights, table lamps, candle holders or tea lights, each product they make enhances the quality of ambient light and creates a breath-taking atmosphere. Their products are known world-wide and widely used by some of the most inspiring business and creatives.
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