Skincare: face and body

Over the years i’ve used many different types of skincare.

I did use mostly Clinique things. It was high end, but not too expensive. I used the Superdefense moisturizer SPF 20. As a night cream i used the Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer. I did try the Clinique 3 step system with soap and moisturizer, but it never stuck. I still have a small Super Rescue tube, which i will use up in the coming months.

A few years ago i started to read about skincare on blogs and watch more make-up and skincare youtube clips. Some recommended Dr. Jetske Ultee, a research physician in cosmetic dermatology. She has a list of recommended products (in dutch) on her site, which i now use as a starting point. It is hard though not to be tempted by all the beautiful selling talk which is thrown at you on the street, in the shops and online.

Skincare: face
For cleaning i mostly use warm water. Since i do not use make-up daily, water is enough for me. I do have a Body Shop Aloe calming facial cleanser and Aloe calming toner for when i do need to remove make-up, but i only use it once every two or three weeks.

As day cream i now use the Olaz total effects day cream perfume free. It is a soft cream with hardly any smell which does get absorbed into the skin quickly. It leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh, just what i need. The Total Effects most important ingredient is Niacinamide (2).

This cream will cost you around 20 euros, but the Kruidvat shop does have regular 50% discounts on this brand, so keep an eye out for that. I also have a Olaz serum i irregularly use, the Olaz Total effects Instant smoothing serum.

I did use Ren for a short time in between the Clinique and Olaz products. I did enjoy the feel and packaging of this brand. Sadly it’s getting a bit too expensive for me right now. I still have a Bio Retinoid anti-ageing concentrate i sometimes use in the evening.

On the market i bought a pure argan oil for use on my face as well.

I did stop using a dedicated night cream all together. I use the oil now sometimes. I could use my day cream as a night cream, since it doesn’t have an SPF in it. This was also a conclusion i reached after reading about on the blog of Dr. Jestke Ultee.

Skincare: face, soon
There are two more product types i will start using soon. First it is an exfoliant. I should read more about the two different types – salicylic acid and glycolic acid – and make an informed choice. My skin seems fairly normal to me, not overly oily or dry. I do get a red face quickly though, so i think i have a sensitive skin. It seems that salicylic acid is the best for me, since it’s a bit milder and suitable for a sensitive skin.

The other product i want to start using is a sun protector. This does coincide with the exfoliant, which makes your skin more sensitive to sunshine, since your upper skin layer will be thinner. I will go through the list on the product advice page and will pick an affordable one out to start with.

Skincare: hands and body
I did find my favourite hand cream of all time, the L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Hand Cream. I use a bit in the morning and a bit in the evening, rubbing it into the upper side of my hands. It’s a wonderful thick cream, with a faint honey and almond smell. I just bought my second tube of this stuff. I simply don’t wanna use anything else.

I was tempted and bought a Shea Butter Body Cream as well. It is wonderful stuff. Yes, the price is a bit high, 33 euros for 200 ml. I will go back to making a homemade body butter. I do like the idea of knowing all the ingredients in what i use. It’s also pretty easy to make it yourself, you only need a few ingredients.

Skincare: body butter recipe
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Shea Butter
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Butter or Mango Butter
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup light oil like almond, olive or jojoba
  • Optional: 10-30 drops Essential Oils for scent

Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except essential oils.
  2. Bring to medium heat and stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  4. Move to fridge and let cool another 1 hour or until starting to harden but still somewhat soft.
  5. Use a hand mixer to whip for 10 minutes until fluffy.
  6. Return to fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.
  7. Store in a glass jar with a lid and use as you would regular lotion or body butter. If your home stays above 75 degrees, it may soften and need to be kept at the fridge, but it will stay whipped at a temperature lower than that.
  8. Enjoy!

A year and a half ago i went to drugstore de Lang in Rotterdam to buy the ingredients for this butter. Soon i will go back there and get more ingredients. Just a short trip with the tram is all i need. Or… i could go for a walk!

Skincare
I do feel the products i use are fairly basic. But i admit, i do love a bit of pampering. I do not use the body butter each day. I do use it around twice a week on my arms and legs. I try to show a bit of restraint in the products i use. But yeah, i do get tempted!

I am curious about using an exfoliator. I have never used it, so i will make my skin get used to it slowly. I’ll keep you informed about my experiences with it.

For Dutch people, the website of Dr. Jetske Ultee is a great resource. I’m afraid i do not know any similar site in english, or any other language. If you do know any such site, with clear and precise information about beauty products, please share that in the comments below.

Published on March 10, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk in Rotterdam: around North

It is the first spring day of the year. I walk out the door around half past one. I go over the bridge and start to walk to the Noordsingel. Looking through the houses i change my mind and walk past Gare du Nord, a lovely vegan restaurant in an old train. Then i walk to the Noordsingel.

It is so lovely. The trees start to show buds, a first cherry blossom is visible. Birds are flying through the air. Two gooses sit along the water with their five hatchlings. There is only the quiet sounds of sunday traffic buzzing around.

I walk to the Gandhigarden at the end of the Noordsingel. A year and a half ago i went to the garden a few times and helped out with weeding and binding up the tomato plants. It is a communal allotment garden with several other functions. I walked around the whole garden, through the forest edge and through the other individual gardens. I drank a cup of tea, enjoyed the sunshine.

I say goodbye to everyone there and start walking back. This time i walk along the old unused traintracks to the old Hofplein station. I go up the stairs to the luchtsingel and then head back home.

A lovely day.

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Published on March 9, 2015 at 6:00 by

My work

The first year at art academy was glorious. It was 1986 – 1987. I was living by myself for around nine months. The first year was introductory, with a week long travel into Germany in autumn. I loved sculpture, drawing, art history. I loved it all. I remember working with plaster in sculpture. I collected the plaster dust which other people dropped and made small work with it on the floor. Geometric and organic shapes. And of course completely unable to save them. For an assignment for a drawing class, something with weaving, i started to use paint over the entire paper and cut and use it over each other. I actually wrote a paper about Scritti Politti for art history. Pretty sure it was all a lot of nonsense, but i loved it. Still a shame i never got that paper back.

After that first year it did go downhill. I tried painting. That didn’t work, i got a zero and had to choose another subject. Photography and ‘monumental’ (sorry, no idea how to translate that) was better. It did get more serious. I got more serious.

I’m not sure why i started to make self portraits. I know we had an assignment early, maybe even in the first year, to draw yourself. I made these sketchy drawings, which didn’t look like me at all. Later on i started to make photos of myself. First at home, later in the school studio. I still don’t completely understand why i made these. I do know i looked pretty in the photos. I don’t think i was aware of that in my daily life.

My exams art academy work i used in Homebase, Feel me – Free me – Fuck me. The photos were large, around 1 square meter each. The text was done with transparencies in the darkroom. It was just before Photoshop took over. The photos were from different sessions. I do think the first two were made in the school’s studio with studio lighting. The third one i made at home with flash light.

I’m not sure about this work. I do see the work that went into them. It’s just, they do not speak clearly to me. They feel like an intermediate work to me now.

In 1994 i started to work at the printing office. It was hard work, but also a lot of fun. That was the time we made the christmas cd. I sang my own song.

In 1995 at work we got a modem and an internet account. I took that home during the weekend. I loved it! I started to play muds. Micromuse was the first world i visited. I worked on building an old Greek part in there. Windsmare was my first game world. I started playing other muds. I also started to play Angband, a roguelike game.

In 1997 i started my own website on ~ellen on home.luna.nl. Which to my surprise is still there! I went through my links just to see if any were still life. The only relevant one today is Superbad. Which is still one of my favourite websites ever.

The years after that are documented on lfs.nl in these text presents:

The past nine years were crowded with playing World of Warcraft, especially raiding. The past 4 years were busy with work. Trying to get it, trying to make enough money to keep living.

The last five months have been hectic. From ecstatic happy to truly sad.

I’ve met some old friends again. I do feel my life is much better than were i was a year ago.

I do know i will not get my old life back. Too much has changed. Some friends got children. It’s different. Everyone’s life has moved on.

And me? I got a bit of time. A bit of money. To make this website work.

Please.

Published on March 4, 2015 at 6:00 by

A walk in Rotterdam: around the centre

Today i made a walk around the centre of town. It was a lot colder than i expected. The wind was blowing harder too. Some parts at high rising buildings it was freezing, other parts, in the sunshine it was suddenly mild. I heard later on that it will get a bit more springlike next week. Fingers crossed!

I went up to the wooden bridge, the ‘luchtsingel‘. Walking over the train tracks and down at where Bird is with some restaurants and shops. Reminding myself to actually visit Bird one day soon. A place so close to my house with gigs, dancing and food!

I walked through the central station to the West Kruiskade. I had forgotten to eat something for lunch. I went to Kiem Foei and treated myself to a small saoto soup with no egg and lots of sambal.

After eaten the soup real slow – to prevent myself from getting any hiccups – i decided to pup into the asian supermarket Amazing Oriental across the street. Last week i thought about this shop and remembered the back row with all sort of plastics to put food in. Maybe this shop had something i could put my laundry detergent in. My current packaging is getting old and is a bit narrow. Something like a small bucket with a lid would be much better. So i went trough the shop to the back and started looking for something decent. I found this 6 liter square plastic bucket, probably for rice. It was only 6,95 euros, which i felt was cheap enough. So yes! I can make lots more of the detergent now, and it will be easier to get the stuff out!

I walked straight through the centre, crossed the Coolsingel and walked up the Meent. Popped in the AH there to get some eggs for breakfast tomorrow.

And then home again.

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Published on March 3, 2015 at 6:00 by
A lazy sunday

A lazy sunday

Today i was terribly lazy. I got out of bed around ten. Hmm, i should say it differently. The first time i got out of bed it was around nine. I fed the cats. I turned on my heater. I went back to bed. I watched some youtube video’s. I sort of dazed of. Then i got out of bed. Around ten.

Made my breakfast. Two slices of bread. An omelet with cheese and parma ham. I turned on the television and zapped around a bit. Watched some classical music, saturday best bites, the news, a bit of Buitenhof. I wasn’t that into the people being interviewed, so i turned the tv of.

Listened to some music. My own MIX tapes on Spotify.

I started to think a bit about the post i knew i had to make today. Maybe about my hair washing ritual. Or i could go for a walk? I had no idea.

Around three i stepped into the shower. By that time i knew i wasn’t gonna go for the hair washing idea. I didn’t feel like photographing myself. I also knew i wasn’t gonna go for a walk. I wanted to stay in. I had a slice of bread with the more than a week old avocado, which was still good.

I washed my hair. I washed me. When i got out of the shower, i used some of the homemade body butter. For my feet, legs and arms. I turned on the television, watched some skating. More thought about what i should write crept up. Something about an old present. About the book i was reading? About my first classical love, Rudolf Escher?

I heated up the risotto i made yesterday. I watched the classical music show from Paul Witteman. After that i watched the vtwonen get-your-home-changed-for-you show. I made some chocolate milk for myself. Maybe Joss Whedon? My eyes went to my bookcase. Cooking books! Or sci-fi? Or the design work on this website?

I had to make a decision. Even though i do have until six tomorrow morning. I wasn’t gonna spend the entire night writing or making something. No idea was sticking. I danced a little. With my headphones on. Not really going out of my mind.

Watched a little Miss Congeniality. Which i have seen twice before, maybe even three times. Or four! Maybe i should write about today. About this lazy sunday. About the thoughts i had about what to write.

The idea stuck. And Homeland started. I got me some red wine, left over from yesterday. I don’t download anymore since tvtorrents.com went down. But Homeland is on Dutch television, so i’m following it. Not sure what i’m gonna do when Game of Thrones and Mad Men start. We’ll see.

And after Homeland had stopped, i poured the last red wine in my glass. Sat behind my computer and started writing. This piece. About today. I made an image first, with a gradient from orange to magenta/red.

A new month has started. My fourth week on this website. Time flies.

Good night lovelies.

Published on March 2, 2015 at 6:00 by

Rhubarb crumble

An easy recipe, and this time i got it from the BBC website. I bought the rhubarb last tuesday at the Meiden. It’s a lovely thin pink rhubarb, nothing like the tougher, broader and darker sticks you can get in summer. I couldn’t resist getting some!

This is a real easy recipe you can simply make during the week while you make your dinner. Or anytime you want to basically.

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Published on February 27, 2015 at 6:00 by

My birthday!

Happy birthday Ellen!

25 february 20:19
I’ll fill up this post tomorrow during the day. For now, a relaxed evening watching tv or reading is up. Seeya tomorrow!

26 february 9:30
I just got out of bed. The weather is a bit dreary. But that’s OK, i don’t mind. I still don’t sleep too well. That has been going on since October last year. I do wake up or don’t fall asleep at all. But during the day, when i sit down, i have small sleeps. And sometimes i go to bed real early, like at nine.

Yesterday I listened to music. No tv, no reading.

So for now, i’m gonna make myself a bit of breakfast, bread with egg. After that i’m gonna make myself some coffee with a cookie. After that a shower and than i’m gonna take of and go and think of my present. See you later!

26 february 10:10
I have another comment! A hug and a smooch. Yes! Seems like non-Dutch people are commenting more. But hmm… with only two comments that’s a bit early to say. [Edit: non-Dutch = US ]

26 february 13:27
Back home! I bought my present. It’s still packed. I went to the Marqt as well, got me some bread and butter. Also dark chocolate ice cream! And chocolate!

I also went to Platenburg and bought myself a nice bottle of good red wine, a Pieri Rosso di Motalcino 2012. We also had a small glass of white Colombard Sauvignon (sorry, i forgot the official title) to celebrate my birthday.

I bumped into Hans, a good old friend while i was walking to Skins. He just came out of a shoe shop with his two kids and his girlfriend. With some shoes for his kids.

Well, that was if for now. Gonna make me some lunch now.

26 february 14:54
Just wrote my short and easy post for tomorrow. Picked out the photos and did some minor touch ups on them in Photoshop. Done!

Also had a chat with Leonard Grossman on Facebook, who has been following my work since 1997. It’s weird to realize that is 17 years ago.

Liked all the congratulations of Facebook too, thanks everyone!

26 february 15:19
Unpacked my present!

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Review by Katie Puckrik Smells

26 february 17:07
Gonna watch a bit of tv. First the Great British Menu on SBS 6, 17:30 – 18:05. Than i think i will dance a bit with my headphones on! I usually go through my mixtapes and see if there is any song i wanna dance to. It’s different each day. I do check out De wereld draait door on NPO 1, 19:00 – 19:50. Than i usually check The Big Bang Theory, the news and any other channel. This evening there is the show i watch every week: The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC 2, 21:00 – 22:00.

As for food, i will warm up the Rhubarb Crumble i made yesterday. Post on that tomorrow, it’s real easy to make. I might eat a sandwich later this evening. And coffee with some chocolate, or maybe evening a chocolate drink. Hmmm.

And then i’ll drink some of the wine i bought today.

After 22:00 i might type in a little more. Not sure. We’ll see 🙂

26 february 22:07
So, the final piece. I just watched The Great British Sewing Bee. Loved it! It was structure week. They had to make a corset, change an 80s suit and make a kilt! I had never thought about how a kilt should be made. Now i know.

I’ll be going to bed soon. It was a lovely day. Thank you all for your congrats.

Good night!

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Published on February 26, 2015 at 6:00 by

Market stall: De Meiden – Groenten en Fruit

My visits to the market were irregular up until a year ago. Then i discovered the Meiden, or as you say in English, the Girls. They have a big vegetables and fruits market stall. I buy my veggies and fruits at them at least once a week. When i have the time i go there on Tuesday as well.

They have an excellent mixture: Roseval potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, leek, rocket salad, fresh garlic, onions, apples, pears, bananas, raspberries, grapefruit, rhubarb, mango, beans, spinach, sauerkraut, parsnip, cantarelles, portobello’s, tarragon, parsley, coriander. The list goes on and on. Basically anything you want.

I asked them if they wanted to be in my blog as a first post on where i do my shopping in Rotterdam. They said yes!

This morning, Tuesday morning 24 February, we had a short talk about their stall and the market.

Their mother, Nella, started working on the market when she was 19, in the stall of her father-in-law. He was of the old school, have the good stuff up front, sell the bad stuff at the back first. When Nella started for herself, she decided it was gonna be different for her. It’s all good stuff.

I usually go straight to the market stall of the Meiden. Sometimes i get me a turkish pizza. Or a roll with raw herring. Or chips! Hmmm. But i do see the other stalls around. There are a couple of other good ones, but not with as many options as the Meiden have. The only other i go to is one for some floury potatoes. I do see a lot of stalls with a supermarket structure, where you pick your own veggies and pay at a counter. That is OK, i bought stuff there too. Or stalls where everything they sell is packaged in plastic. Where i think ‘ooh, that must have been really cheap to buy’.

I’m happy i found the Meiden, happy with what they sell, happy with the price too. Yes, i know they are more expensive as other stalls on the market, but it’s still cheaper than a supermarket most of the time.

I also like it that they help me. I give my shopping bag to them, they package all the veggies and fruits for me. And you actually do get a receipt!

Daisy and Elice, and Nella too! thank you for allowing me to write this post. Please, keep on doing what you do!

On Tuesday and Saturday the Meiden stand on the Central Market on the Binnenrotte. On Wednesday they stand on the Ommoord market on Hesseplaats.

Facebook page and article on De Meiden
The Facebook page. Liken!
Article on De buik van Rotterdam. You can read the comment i made there in November 2014, yeah.. in Dutch.


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Daisy (26) and Elice (22). Nella isn’t here today

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Published on February 25, 2015 at 6:00 by