“Stilblut” sounds a bit dangerous at first. However, if you take a closer look at the Instagram channel of beauty expert and editor Veronika Haslinger, you actually only see powder-colored eye candy. Because the Munich-by-choice understands like no other how to present beauty products aesthetically. With whom she would like to sit under the Christmas tree and what she pays particular attention to when choosing her Christmas presents - we met the likeable 36-year-old for an interview.
Santa Claus or Christ Child?
Christkind, that's what I grew up with, including a very nice Christmas tradition on our farm, where a gentle ringing sounded from the room when the Christkind was busy there. My grandparents worked a lot throughout their lives, including physically. This tradition was an important break from everyday life, when both would get up early in the morning and go to the stable and the kitchen and only finish late in the evening, day in, day out. Accordingly, this memory is precious and for me has nothing to do with today's commercial Christmas madness and consumption.
What does sustainability mean to you?
For me personally, it means that I treat nature, its resources and all living beings with care and consideration. I adapt my lifestyle, my diet and my buying behavior to this. In the larger context, the word is now so overused and instrumentalized for me that it sounds pretty empty. It feels like far too little is happening, even if there are a lot of people on social media (at least Instagram) who are passionate about it and take the topic seriously. But that's a bubble, because the majority of people don't change anything unless it absolutely has to be or is specified. There are countless examples of this: cheap meat, plastic, air travel.
Your three ultimate tips for a more sustainable everyday life?
- Set priorities - it's impossible to be fully sustainable in all areas, so look for areas that can be implemented well rather than feeling like you're never doing enough.
- Slowly, one by one. A lifestyle that is sustainable in the long term takes time. So don't rush yourself and wait until it becomes a habit - then it becomes increasingly easier. You condition yourself to sustainability, so to speak.
- It helps many people to watch documentaries on the subject of sustainability. This hurts at first and can feel like a painful awakening, but it also helps to really motivate yourself and keep at it. But also with my privileges, because I was lucky enough to have been born in Germany.
What do you look for when choosing your Christmas gifts?
Little trash. Also packaging waste. We actually wrap gifts in fabric or in beautiful, high-quality paper with no adhesive strips so it can be reused. In terms of content: it must give pleasure in the long term, it is also sustainable.
With which famous personality would you like to sit under the Christmas tree eating cookies?
This year I would like to sit there alone or only in the closest circle. Without in-depth discussions, because my battery has to be recharged properly first.
Do you miss tinsel on the Christmas tree?
Not at all. zero point zero. We only had it in reusable form anyway - meaning we had to straighten out the crumpled tinsel every year and there are things that are more fun. Until we finally stopped using them. By the way, I wouldn't miss balloons either, for me it's a similar single use & waste product.
Advent calendar – go or no go?
I love. As long as the filling is of high quality and can also be given away as a gift, for example, and the packaging waste is kept within limits.
Your experience with solid beauty products such as shampoos, conditioners and Co.?
In my experience, solid products are getting better and better and more popular. And there are no more compromises, you no longer have to cut back in favor of efficiency. I'm always surprised. Even my little sister (19) only uses solid shampoos and is always waiting for me to give her some.
Honestly, how many beauty products do you own?
I'd rather not say anything about that. I'd have to guess roughly too, to be honest. Not exactly my forte. There are many - although I only do Cruelty Free and mostly Green Beauty.
What ultimate beauty tip would you pass on to your granddaughters?
I would tell my very imaginary granddaughters to spend as much time offline as possible, because that contributes to peace of mind and thus happiness (including with themselves). No cream or serum can cream away dissatisfaction. Since then they ideally spend a lot of time outside, the 2nd tip would be that they wear appropriate sun protection.
Do you know your carbon footprint?
Yes, and I just did several tests online. I'm honestly disappointed – I thought it was smaller because I've been eating vegetarian, regional and seasonal for ages, buy 80% second hand and can count on two hands how many times I've flown in my life so far. However, this shows that our high standard of living is simply not sustainable. Sobering.
What does water as a resource mean to you?
Life. Also, I'm a Pisces and I love being on and around the water.
If you could change one thing on this planet, what would it be?
The list is actually endless, but what has been on my mind the most since I can think: animal suffering, I would like to end that. Appropriately, the quote from Mahatma Gandhi "I believe that at some point spiritual progress requires us to stop killing our fellow beings for the satisfaction of our physical desires." That also means for me that in a better world, all living beings would be treated with more compassion, especially the weaker ones, whether human or animal. Unfortunately, these are definitely utopian ideas and wishes.
What question should we have asked you?
Maybe something in the direction of feel good after my answers contain little peace, joy, cheerfulness. Favorite soul food or something. That would be Ribollita, a Tuscan farmer's soup, with beans, cabbage and tomatoes. It warms the body and the soul.