The term ‘fashion blogger’ has become a loaded one, bringing to mind images of too-perfect women in effortlessly stylish outfits living glossy lives. Fredrika Akander told us what it’s really like behind the camera filters, revealing her lifelong battle with psoriasis and journey towards accepting her skin just how it is. Her honesty didn’t stop there – the beautiful Swede also tells us about the diet of caffeine and sugar she sometimes subsists on and what she thinks is the major makeup mistake Australian women make.

I try to keep my skin happy because I am not a makeup wiz!

I believe in a good canvas. My mum taught me never to go to bed with makeup on and to keep your face clean, using products that are as natural as possible. I don’t know how to cover up impurities very well so I really try to look after what I’ve got. I have psoriasis so number one for me is moisture. I try to make sure my skin is well hydrated before applying any kind of makeup or it will just end up dry and patchy. Hydrate hydrate hydrate! I use the same few products every day, including the Alpha-H vitamin C serum and Alpha-H Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser SPF15 (or the SPF50+ version if I’m going to be in the sun).

My beauty look is very simple and neutral. I’d always chose a bronzer over blush and a nude lip over a bright colour.

I use very few makeup products, really. I start with a thin layer of a good base, Laura Mercier mineral powder, bronzer (currently loving the ones by MAC and Clinique) Kevyn Aucoin mascara and MAC waterproof eyebrow gel. And a nude lip – I am obsessed with the lip balms by Mecca and Korres, in pink and apricot hues. And that’s it!

I love a good winged eyeliner. It is my go-to for any night out.

If I am shooting or have an event on, it’s a must. I also like to add more bronzer and mascara, and some Salt by Hendrix highlighter. I use my finger to dab it on the top of my cheekbones, underneath my eyebrows and the top of my upper lip. I like a creamy one like this so it doesn’t sit on top of the skin like a powder can, but just looks like it’s part of a glowing complexion. I’ll do my winged eye using Eye of Horus Liquid Define Liner or Maybelline Master Precise All Day Liquid Eye Liner. I have tried a few different ones and I have to say sometimes the most affordable ones are the best.

When we were growing up none of us were really into advanced beauty routines, but my best friend and I were obsessed with late ‘60s makeup à la Brigitte Bardot. We would Pinterest photos of her and other old school style icons for hours, then meet up before going to a party and do each other’s eyes. I don’t think we even cared about the rest of the face – I don’t remember ever buying any other products except for liquid liners! I think we spent every afternoon after school trying to perfect a winged eye. We must have done hundreds of them.

I think people in Australia have this strange relationship with makeup where it can often be a little bit too much for me. I find myself thinking ‘just tone it down, remove a product or two!’

I don’t like mixing too many colours on the face. I think sometimes it just looks too much if you have on bright lips and coloured eyeshadow and pink blush. I try to keep everything on my face within a similar tone.

I use Bondi Boost growth shampoo for when my hair needs a highlight break, and to give it a chance to grow some fresh, healthy hair!

I have highlighted my hair for years, so to keep its shade I use Kevin Murphy purple shampoo. For styling I use a hair straightener or curling iron to create messy waves, and Kevin Murphy Doo.Over, which I spray all over to add texture.

I am a total summer person.

I love linen in all shapes and forms, and am the happiest in my favourite jeans and a linen shirt. Currently my pick of designers are Vince, Theory, Zulu & Zephyr and Camilla and Marc.

Sometimes I think I have no idea how I ended up in the career I have.

I started off as a yoga teacher while I was finishing my Masters in international development, and ended up worked behind and in front of the camera for several yoga and fitness shoots. Somewhere down the line content creation became my job, which I never imagined could happen. I always thought I was going to work in international development or maybe even continue down the academic route with a PhD. I love my work, and am constantly amazed about how different one day or week can be from the one before.

Nowadays everything is so edited – it’s not real or realistic.

My mum always taught me that less is more (and to wash my face every night). She still washes and moisturises using only natural oils. She wears lipstick with no other makeup, and she looks flawless. My sisters also barely wear makeup, and they both have skin that you’d kill for. I think that has influenced what inspires me now – it is more people on the street with beautiful skin or hair that catch my attention, rather than women in magazines and movies.

Because I’ve dealt with psoriasis since I was a teenager, I’ve often hated my skin. It has taken me a long time to learn to love it. Yes, it has some difficult patches in winter or when I’m stressed, but it’s mine. It has been kind to me even when I tried to treat my psoriasis with harsh creams and sun exposure. I also have a few scars that drive me insane sometimes, but I know is no point not liking them. I guess they’re just memories.

I am very lucky that my fiancé is an exercise physiologist.

He trains me when he has time, and makes sure I use the right techniques when lifting weights. I just do what he tells me to, which is generally using a lot of big muscle groups with movements like squats and deadlifts. I do that two or three times a week. I also do Pilates twice a week as well as some yoga.

I have to admit, at the moment I am currently running on 50% coffee and 50% dark chocolate.

That’s definitely not how I usually eat, though. I like to cook most of my food at home, and we eat lots of salads, pasta and fish. I take collagen every morning, which has done wonders for my nails. They used to be really brittle and weak but I think I’ve finally got them back on track.

Ageing is inevitable and it’s beautiful.

I wouldn’t want to look 20 when I’m 60 – there is beauty in all stages in life. Personally, I feel my best after a long day on the beach, when I have a good tan, some extra freckles and salty hair. There is no better feeling than sun-warmed skin! And I don’t see that changing at any age.

Story by Zoe Briggs. Photography by Camilla Quiddington. Styling by Kristin Rawson. Hair and makeup by Yolanda Lukowski. Shot on location at Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel. Outfit in hero image by Zimmermann.

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