Friday, 17 November 2017

Christmas calendars

The Christmas calendar/advent calendar market really exploded this year, didn't it? Seems like every single brand or store made their own ones this year.

For once I actually felt like I had to limit myself, instead of just buying the ones I found interesting.
I had to pick them myself, since Hubby didn't provide me with a Christmas calendar this year. Pout. 

Christmas calendars are an important Christmas tradition for me, since this is what I grew up with. Hubby and I have had to do some work on incorporating our sets of Christmas traditions. Traditional foods and celebrations are definitely not the same. Neither the things you just "do" up to Christmas.
It's actually a little funny how many different traditions you find in Denmark, compared to Sweden. Maybe it's because of the many islands, which would naturally limit how things spread back in old times. Sweden is more of one, uniform landmass, so maybe that's why their traditions are more the same?

Of course hubby went with the "All I want for Christmas is you"-approach, which earns him lots of credit, but no Christmas calendar.

But when he saw what I had ordered for myself, he suddenly felt left out.

So, a few hours of work later, and Hubby was very pleased. Even a few harsh words about being a dumbass who won't just admit that why yes, I would like a calendar, thank you, how considerate of you couldn't wipe the smug look off his face. Jerk.

A nice luxury liquorice calendar for Hubby. I never encountered the brand before, but it was quite pricey, so I hope it's good!

Kinder chocolate barely counts as real chocolate, but yea, this is a guilty pleasure for both of us. I know Hubby will share!

I randomly found another liquorice calendar for Hubby. They had in the the Danish Netto-stores. It's a soft, not-really-salty, not-really-sweet-either liquorice that both Hubby and I love. Hubby was the smuggest about this one. Luckily, it has both the original and the seasalt ones and Hubby doesn't like the seasalt ones, so those are mine. Muahahah! 

Finally, Hubby also got an advent calendar with a few grooming products.
His last set turned out to contain so much aloe vera that I can't kiss or snuggle him after using them, without me breaking out and my skin feeling like it was burned. Ouch!

It amuses me how "advent calendar" and "Christmas calendar" seems to be used at random. 
In Danish, an "advent calendar" is exclusively for being given on the last 4 Sundays (Which are the four advents) until Christmas, and "Christmas calendar" is for the first 24 days of December. No exceptions allowed.

My first calendar is the Lookfantastic Advent Calendar that just looked so beautiful I had to have it. This was also the most expensive one.

It did not disappoint in real life!

This Christmas calendar is for 25 days since it's UK-based. 

However, I do not recommend Lookfantastic. It took them well over 14 days from me ordering and paying, to receiving the first part of the order. And that was all items that supposedly were in stock! WTF.

Here's an unboxing video of it.With so many unboxing videos out there already, so I guess there isn't much of a point to make any unboxing-posts, is there?

The second calendar is the one I'm the most excited about!

Lumene is one of those few brands where I can honestly say "I like that brand" and not just "I like a lot of their products". Even my beloved COSRX has a heavily aloe vera'ed line that I wouldn't even want to touch the packaging of.

Lumene is skincare for Scandinavians by Scandinavians, so it works well with my sensitive skin. (Did you know that 10% of native Scandinavians have allergies to fragrance?) I started using it some years back with good results, but it was right before I found Korean skincare (Back in... 2013? 2014?) and transitioned exclusively to that. I guess there isn't any reason to not incorporate some Western products as long as I still use the Eastern methods and techniques, right? 

So when I randomly found in the bloggosphere that they had made a calendar this year for the first time, I had to have it! It's sold online and exclusively at Åhlens, so it might not be so easy for non-Scandinavians to get.

Look at it: So pretty! Clean and stylish. It looks so very grownup.

The unboxing video is in Swedish. Sorry. Can't find one in English!

The next one is Skinstores 12 miracles of beauty. They sold me on a spoiler: That the calendar would contain a Foreo-product. I have wanted a Foreo (Any model really) for some years now, but never really got around to buying one. 

Well, here it is! Somewhere in one of the little drawers...

However I am quite pissed off at Skinstore: I bought my calendar at 149 USD and the week after, they dumped the price to 99.
Not. Cool.

Between Skinstores endless spam-mails and now this, Skinstore have earned themselves an unsubscribe from their maillist and a removal from my bookmarks.

At least the calendar is really pretty.

Again: So many unboxing videos out there already! Here's one.

Hubby and I got into a pretty interesting discussion about this.

He asked me when I had intended to open it, since it doesn't add up to the 24 days of Christmas of traditional Danish and Swedish Christmas calendars. I shrugged and said I had assumed I would just open it on the last 12 days. Hubby then pointed out that it probably refers to the 12 days of Christmas, beginning the day where most people celebrate Christmas (December 25th) and ending on January 5th. Hubby explained there is a old Swedish tradition of counting the 13 days of Christmas (Since Sweden celebrates on December 24th like a lot of other countries) so the span of celebration becomes the same. This is traditionally the day to remove all your Christmas decorations in Sweden.

I thought this was pretty cool, and decided to start opening this calendar on the 25th.

Then I felt a little sorry for Hubby for not having a 12 days calendar of his own (Even though he has been super annoying and smug about his own Christmas and Advent calendars!), so I secretly slipped little fun-sized chocolate bars into the drawers. Now Hubby is part of this too, and maybe we have established a new family tradition.

The last Christmas calendar I fell for, is Rituals.

Their products always smell really good. Just passing by their stores makes me sniff the air furiously. Of course I mostly stay clear of (Heavily) scented products, but rinse-off products seems to be okay. Some bath and shower products would be great! 

It came in a really pretty, classy box. Dark green and red with gold print.
It smells really good too. Usually mixing so many different scents together result in a weird mix, but this smells really nice!

It had some silly cardboard decoration-parts though.

You're supposed to put it together into a Christmas-tree shape, with the sides and toppers. I did not care for it.

I prefer the box just like it is. It's pretty enough as it is, without the silly extra pieces sticking out.

Here's an unboxing video.

Rituals also have a seriously pretty deluxe-version in a "real" Christmas tree shape. I couldn't find one in a physical store and didn't feel like ordering it online, so I picked the "regular" version.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cartoons and hair

I've been on a silly "Relive the 90es" kind of kick lately.
Been rewatching a lot of the shows and cartoons I loved back then. 

Ah, memories.

And of course there is Sailor Moon episode 36, which I couldn't find a youtube link to, so I can't embed it in Blogger.

The remake Sailor Moon Crystal also has a plot point about Usagi's hair growing to her Princess Serenity-length. Episode #9 it was in the manga too. But...Why does her bangs not grow??

So I got curious and Googled around a bit. Here's a really, really weird one:

I also found a cartoon with an awful message about natural hair:

This is just incredibly offensive. "What is that??" WTF.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Hair inspiration

I thought this was a pretty cool detail on a ponytail.
My plan was to use this at the beginning, and then braid it in a seven-stranded braid. According to my calculations, the small "neck" portion would be about 2/5th of my hair, so the ponytail part should be easily split into five.

Off to a good start with the detail! It did get a bit loose/messy in one side, but that can be fixed with some practice.

Of course my mirror was right in the middle of it. Argh.
I'm not entirely sure what to think.

The positive: It has a fairly nice "lift" effect to keep the braid off my neck, it was fairly easy to do and felt really "firm" and secure.
The negative: I got some messiness from using the hair-lassoo and I screwed the seven-stranded braid up. Somehow along the line I managed to turn it into a five-stranded.

Notes for next time: Get the beginning part smooth and nice. Definitely braid it into a seven-stranded braid, just because it feels cooler.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Product showdown: Inecto

I usually buy my conditioners following the rule "Whatever is on sale", and then just grab one of each line out of the brand. So now I have a lot of conditioners from the same brands, but different lines. So I was thinking that maybe I should do a comparison for all of those "doubles" so in the future, I will only get the best one at the next sale.

Inecto super moisturising coconut conditioner
Inecto marvelous moisture argan conditioner

I'm going to compare them on a few different factors:
  • First impressions
  • Effect: Shine and manageability
  • Ingredient analysis and interesting ingredients such as "actives": Oils, fruits, keratin, sunscreen

First impressions
Inecto super moisturising coconut conditioner
Mild coconutty smell. Rather runny.

Inecto marvelous moisture argan conditioner
Mild, soapy, "clean" smell. Rather runny.

Here's a general observation on both products: I absolutely loathe companies that doesn't publish ingredient lists on their website. It immediately makes them think of them as fat liars. 

What are companies trying to hide when they do that? The fact that their "organic, fair trade coconut oil" is number 26 out of a 28-ingredient list?
It's so dishonest and untrustworthy.
Immediate minus points for that.

Inecto super moisturising coconut conditioner
Inecto marvelous moisture argan conditioner
Argh. Both of them had a really weird effect on my hair.
As soon as I started rinsing, it gave my hair a really weird effect from root to tips: Sort of like if my hair had a crazy attack of super static. It wasn't tangles, more like all the hairs clung together. When I started detangling from one side, it would stick together from the other side as soon as I had finished. It also left some sort of strange "dry" feeling to my hair, even when wet. This weird effect was only underlined by my hair suddenly being really noisy and making a screeeeeeetcccccch noise when I pulled (forced) my comb through. It was really weird and upsetting!
I hurried to put some coney serum in my hair before even attempting to towel dry it and detangle further.
Poor hair!

I do have to admit though: They made my hair pretty shiny.
Also I think they had a fairly good cleaning effect?

Ingredient analysis
Inecto marvelous moisture argan conditioner
Aqua (Water/Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Stearalkonium Chloride, Arganisa Spinosa (argan) kernel oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Stearyl alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Citric Acid.

Why did my hair hate this so much??

Applying the Beauty Brains "First five ingredients rule"
Argan oil just exactly squeezes in as the last one.
Other than that, it's a straight forward cone-free conditioner with no surprises.

10 ingredients in total
2 marked as a "2" for acne-trigger. 20 %

2 marked as a "2" for irritation-trigger. 20 %
1 marked as a "4" for irritation-trigger. 10 %
This doesn't look so good in percentage, when you have so few ingredients.

5 marked as "green" for safety. 50 %
3 marked as "yellow" for safety. 30 %
And one marked as "green-yellow" for safety. 10 %
Argan oil doesn't have a safety-rating though?

Inecto super moisturising coconut conditioner
Aqua (Water/Eau), Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Stearyl alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Citric Acid.

Applying the Beauty Brains "First five ingredients rule"
Coconut oil just exactly squeezes in as the last one.
Other than that, it's a straight forward cone-free conditioner with no surprises.

The Inecto conditioners seems to follow the rule of "Just replace featured ingredient X with featured ingredient Y" for this line. It's not necessarily a bad thing though; in my case where I have problems tolerating coconut oil, I could pick the argan conditioner if I liked the line.

10 ingredients in total
2 marked as a "2" for acne-trigger. 20 %
1 marked as a "4" for acne-trigger. 10 %
Of course the high-scoring ingredient is coconut oil, which is a very strong trigger for skin irritation for me.

1 marked as a "1" for irritation-trigger. 10 %
2 marked as a "2" for irritation-trigger. 20 %
1 marked as a "4" for irritation-trigger. 10 %
This doesn't look so good in percentage, when you have so few ingredients.

6 marked as "green" for safety. 60 %
3 marked as "yellow" for safety. 30 %
And one marked as "green-yellow" for safety. 10 %

Lady Igor says
This shouldn't be a surprise by now, but... Since I didn't like the effect of these, I would prefer to pick none of them. 
However, if I did have to pick, I would pick: Inecto marvelous moisture argan conditioner
Pointing out the obvious: The argan conditioner has argan, instead of coconut oil. So you're avoiding a potential skin irritant and acne-trigger well known for being comedogenic.

I guess if you love your conditioners cone- free, this is good?

Bonus product: Inecto Smooth me Coconut hair serum

First impressions
Slightly runny, brown product. Smells really good!

Really nice. Slightly hard to control when applying because of the runny texture. Very good shine, very good smoothing effect. Doesn't seem to offer any hold though.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Isopropyl Myristate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Amodimethicone, Parfum (Fragrance), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil.

Applying the Beauty Brains "First five ingredients rule"
This serum is cones, cones and more cones.
Not that I mind of course. I do like cones. But if you bought this product for the coconut oil, you are looking at nothing more than

7 ingredients in total
1 marked as a "4" for acne-trigger. 14 %
1 marked as a "5" for acne-trigger. 14 %
Yikes. A little scary to see an ingredient that scores higher than coconut oil!

1 marked as a "1" for irritation-trigger. 14 %
1 marked as a "3" for irritation-trigger. 14 %
This doesn't look so good in percentage, when you have so few ingredients.

5 marked as "green" for safety. 71 %
1 marked as "yellow" for safety. 14 %
And one marked as "green-yellow" for safety. 14 %

Lady Igor says
This serum actually worked really well. I quite liked it for the shine and smoothing effect. But then again, it is mostly just cones. However I think the ingredient list is a bit scary... How do you make a mostly coney product ingredient list look like this?

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Today's hair

...was a total fail. Argh.

I wanted to do a double version of this, but it turned out quite loose and weird in the beginning.

The five-stranded braid got good, but the beginning was bad.

I thought I could cover the mess by putting it up, but that didn't really help.

It got really lopsided and for some reason, the tassel worked itself out of the bun.

I really need to practice this one some more....

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Throwback Thursday

I love the Chinese bun! It's such a cool and cute style. So simple, and yet so awesome... Especially if you want to show off your pretty hairsticks too!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Attempted length shot

Ugh. None of these turned out well and I could't tell until after I had put my hair back up and transferred the pictures to my computer.

Hubby's "candid" shots were the best, actually. Heh...

Monday, 23 October 2017

Friday, 20 October 2017

Hair stuff from Beauteque

I have been pretty happy with my Beauteque subscription. it has provided me with lots of fun new things to try, even though I have given a lot of stuff away to friends and coworkers. But then again, I am super picky with skin stuff..

This month, it arrived with three hair-items among the other stuff: A scalp massager, a conditioner and a shampoo.

Well, the shampoo went to hubby. It's kind of crazy how we haven't had to buy shampoo for him since... ever? Since he gets his full shampoo supply from my subscription boxes and 2-in-1 deals and stuff like that when I buy conditioners.

The conditioner? Mayo and banana? 

I'll bring it to work and see if someone is brave enough to want it. Maybe someone who doesn't hate the smell of bananas will want it.

The scalp massager turned out to be a fail too: I already have a Assoter scalp massaging brush I got back in 2014 from a Memebox superbox that I use once in a while. The new one turned out to be simultaneously too hard and too weak to go through my hair to really get into my scalp. How is that even possible?

Such a disappointment.