Johanna ÖstJohanna Öst

The blog of Swedish artist Johanna Öst.

The hair and beauty post

Apr 28, 2010 in My photos


So, here are my answers to all your questions. Comment if I missed something and I’ll update the post :)



I always cut my own hair and the cut varies a bit from time to time. Generally though, whether I want my hair long or short, I tend to cut a page boy-like style that slopes more or less towards the back, being slightly longer in the neck than front. My fringe length varies as well but I think it’s ideal when it’s about nose length.


I usually cut my hair pretty straight off without layers, but last time I cut my hair short (as seen in the photo above) I cut it almost the same length all over the head (slightly longer on top than on the sides and neck) which of course created layers. As the hair grows longer these layers aren’t very practical since it’s harder to roll a pin curl when the hair in one strand has different lengths, it tends to separate.

I use a regular pair of hair scissors, though I should get a new pair since these are kind of rusty and loose, and I cut my hair when it’s wet.


I also always bleach my own hair. I use Jane Hellen Mood Ultrablond, the only bleach in Swedish stores worth its name and also the cheapest! I’ve tried other brands and not only are they at least twice as expensive and messier to apply, they just don’t bleach the hair enough. I would only use another brand if I were to dye another colour on top.

I only put bleach on the dark roots, with some slight overlap, so that no part of my hair ever gets bleached more than once.

I would love to get some white toner and go platinum as expressed in this post, but I just can’t afford keeping that up at the moment, so what you see is just bleach.

I’m actually very allergic to hair dye so I can’t use anything but bleach anymore.

Care and styling

I wash my hair once a week with shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo varies but I always use conditioner from VO5 (I use “volume boost”) since the other brands I’ve tried leave residue in my hair.

After I wash my hair I set it in pin curls. I use nothing but water for this. In the past I’ve sometimes sprayed hairspray on top but I’ve realised it makes no difference. I roll a pin curl by taking a strand, rolling the end of it around a finger, slipping the finger out and using both hands to roll it towards the scalp, never tried any other way.

As for setting patterns there are two versions I use most often.


All curls in the same direction. There’s no real order to this, I just curl everything towards the face but it usually looks something like this sketch. If I’m lazy or in a hurry I might do it with fewer and larger curls.


The only difference here is that the side rows alternate direction. This creates a wave rather than just curls and I use this more often on long hair.

I don’t pay attention to the number of curls or anything, these “patterns” are just general guidelines. My hair is also pretty thin and thicker hair might need a lot more curls. Of course you can do countless variations but these are the sets I use the most.

I sleep on my pin curls and brush them out next morning. When I had long hair it was sometimes not dry in the morning and I think rollers might have been a better alternative, I don’t have any though so I never tried. I did make more curls from thinner strands though.

I might reset my hair dry during the week if I want to make sure my hair is perfect the next day. I just pin the curls up as they are which usually results in a lot fewer and bigger curls than the initial set. I often do this when I’m on vacation. Here are some photos of my reset hair when I was in Paris last year. I had pretty long hair then.


As I said, I brush my hair out in the morning. I brush for a while and I think I tend to brush my hair away from the face. I brush until the curls look the way I want them. I use a comb to backcomb a little behind the fringe to make it higher and hold up better, and in other places if needed.

Finally I spray some hairspray, very little if I’m just at home and quite a lot if I’m going somewhere and want to be sure my hair holds up until I get there. The hairspray I use at the moment is Schwarzkopf Taft Volume Power Ultra Strong Hold, I think it’s very good. I think anything with “volume” and “strong” in the name works well but in my experience the very cheapest hairsprays don’t hold as well and also make my hair feel sticky quicker.

I think my hair often looks a little too curly the first day after a (wet) set and I prefer it the next day when it’s more relaxed. If I want to look good for a certain occasion I make sure to set my hair at least two nights before.



There’s not much to say here as I’m completely clueless when it comes to skincare. I wash my face morning and evening and put face cream on after. I use a foam cleanser and face cream from the “Oliva” brand you can buy at Swedish pharmacies. I use these simply because my mother once gave them to me. Before I got them I washed my face with regular soap and used just any cream or lotion that was around on my face (often my hand cream I think!). There’s no difference in my skin though. I’ve had good skin since I grew out of my teenage pimples and haven’t had any problems since, so I’ve never had a reason to learn more about skincare.


My “standard” makeup consists of eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, eyebrow pencil, lipstick and rouge. As for brands, check out this post I made earlier with reviews of my most used makeup items. I still use the same stuff but I currently use another eyeliner pencil, a grey one from H&M, and I have a new staple lipstick, Mac Vegas Volt, which I use all the time.

The only thing I put on my skin is rouge. I’ve never used foundation and although I own a powder I use it very seldom and very sparingly.

Unless I fill my eyebrows in they’re close to invisible, and I prefer to fill them in even when I’m not using any other makeup. I wish i could just have them dyed but I don’t think there’s any chance of that since I’m so allergic to hair dye.

I use pencil eyeliner since I prefer a soft, light line to the severe black of liquid liner. The pencil I currently use is also grey and not black.


I draw on my eyeliner with a small wing in the corner, and also a smaller wing under the eye as shown above. I also line the inside of my lower lashes with white pencil and make a white wing between the two eyeliner ones, this isn’t very visible in photos but I think it makes a difference.


I apply brown eyeshadow along the crease of the eyelid, making it lighter towards the inner corner of the eye. I put a little bit of grey shadow in the outer corner of the eye. I then put white shadow on the actual lid and some under the eyebrow. Sometimes I put Benefit High Beam under the brow instead. I always apply mascara before eyeshadow since I always get mascara on my eyelids when I put it on. I use it on my upper lashes and a little on my lower lashes in the outer corner of the eye.

I usually put on my lipstick with a brush. I apply, press against a tissue and apply again, I don’t use lipliner. I have few lipsticks I think work better if applied directly from the tube, “thin” lipsticks that turn out too light if applied with pencil and MAC’s Ruby Woo which is so dry that it’s hard to get it on properly with a brush. As I said I use MAC Vegas Volt a lot and I always put this on very lightly since I don’t like it when it’s really bright.

As for the shape I just follow my natural lip line.

I also got a question about perfume, and I’m afraid I’m not much of a perfume person. I wish I was since I think perfume is so very glamorous and I love beautiful perfume bottles. I just have never tried many perfumes and the ones I’m interested in are too expensive for me to justify buying them. The classic Shalimar bottle is my favourite and I hope to have it one day, but I’ve never actually smelled the perfume.

I do have one perfume which is like a kids perfume that I must have had since my early teens. It’s called Vanilla Ice and it smells like vanilla and candy. I still use it from time to time and think it smells really good. I also use my coconut body butter from The Body Shop as a perfume. It smells absolutely amazing.

I think that’s it!