Thursday, 31 July 2014

Current obsessions

I generally try to keep my weird non-hair obsessions off my hair blog, but it has been really difficult after I found the Memebox. I received the Mask edition a while back and absolutely loved it!

One of the products (Sua Young Berristure) was a bit too heavy for my face, but I’ve been using it for the dry skin on my shins. Spreading the love for other parts of my skin!
Other products have been just so awesome! The funny little Purederm Vitamin C Facial Pads left me with the smoothest skin I think I have ever felt.

The Iope-box arrived and I've used the products for a few days. I had expected trouble since high-end products are usually full of pointless perfume and other crap just to make the product smell, feel and look good (Pure poison for my sensitive skin!) But there have been no problems at all. Quite the contrary actually: My skin has been glowing, happy and felt moisturized. 

On nights where Hubby works and I’m awake, I will substitute my routine that ends with me sleeping with a “naked” face with an Iope routine: After cleaning my face the usual way, I will use the Essential Skin Boosting Serum, Essential Face Oil, Eye Cream and Relief Cream.

But here is the funniest thing: The Iope Air Cushion XP natural #21 that came with the box is the perfect fit for my skin tone! Seriously perfect, the best matching foundation I have ever experienced. How strange is that? After so many years searching, it turns out my best matching foundation ever is a Korean superfoundation I randomly got with a skincare box! 

Looking forward to trying the Lip and Cheek compact.

(The boxes the products came in are so pretty in silver and dark blue that I have carefully put them back in instead of tossing them out. That is so not like me that I can’t figure out if it’s amusing or embarrassing.) 

I have two hair-obsessions firmly stuck in my head too. I want a good bang/wig piece: One that matches both my hair colour and the texture of my hair.

And I want to both henna and indigo. I want to do just the lightest of henna glosses. One that doesn’t require a ton of upkeep or risk of staining everything in the bathroom. One that just ever so gently makes the red tones in my hair a little more prominent.

Henna will also provide something for indigo to “grab” onto. I want to ever so slightly darken my ends. After over a decade of exposure to sunlight, they are noticeably (To me) lighter than my roots. Just the lightest of tints.

Last obsession of the day: An Anon gave me the versatile blogger award!
Will you please contact me at ladyigorsbelltower [at] I would like to know your name and if you have a blog I can refer to!

Gossamer at Gossycrafts gave me the Liebster Award some years back, which was awesome too!

Maybe I should use the Award-rules to answer some questions about myself instead of the rather dull “About me”-page?


Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Good news, everyone!

As I announced back in April, I would be featured on Mathalicious

Kate Nowak promised me that the lesson would be a featured lesson sometime this summer and the time is now, this week!

I’m a little bit embarrassed but very happy and flattered!

Be sure to check it out, it will only be the featured article this week (Week 31, 2014)

Sunday, 27 July 2014


I’ve been annoyed since yesterday about the pictures of the SPF experiment.
I took so many pictures in variating light conditions and yet I couldn’t catch what I saw in real life.
Two months spent with that increasingly disgusting mess parked in the window and it feels basically wasted.
It’s not the first time I’ve wished I had a better camera for hair photos.
But, this is the thing…
Outside of pictures for my blog or for UTT, I have never been unhappy with my phone camera.
And even if I had a better camera, I wouldn’t remember to bring it along with me, and if I did, I would probably reach for my phone instead.
So am I really willing to pay for a camera I will basically only use for blogging?
I get no money or goods out of blogging or posting on UTT.
It’s my hobby of sorts and my only reward is the comments I receive.

Am I really willing to pay for a camera solely for the purpose of hair photos? 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The sun protection experiment 2 months update

It's been two months since I started my sun protection experiment.
Time to report on what I have found.

I used up the Goldwell Dual Senses Sun Reflects Leave-In Protect Spray during the experiment, so the last two weeks I only used the Schwarzkopf Bonacure sun protect on the hair SPF test.


I have never thought of just how much dust and crap is in the air outside. I found out shockingly quick though. The set-up got really, really nasty in just a few days. I guess it got worse from sitting literally just inside a usually open window and being coated in a spray a lot. The wetness should really attract lint and stuff.
Still though. Ew.
Well, I guess the lint in the air explains why you some times take your hair down from a perfectly smooth updo and find mysterious tangles?
Seriously nasty though.

So please, please ignore the disgusting specks and dust caught in the hairs!

I tried to pick them out, but they almost seemed to "fuse" with the hair and spray-residue.

Second observation

The hair SPF test has a glossiness to it that makes me very suspicious of it. In my experience (And just I might be a cynical old rat here) this type of glossiness usually mask a crappy product hiding damage and making people want to buy it again for the "healthy shine". 


The skin SPF really stained the cardboard. You can tell where the sticky tape is holding the hair in place: Under there, the cardboard still has its original colour. Around it, the cardboard is stained a yellowish brown that looks like aged paper.

Fourth and the most important

I definitely see colour differences:
  • The skin SPF patch is definitely darker than the control patch.
  • The hair SPF patch is definitely lighter than the control patch.
I took 63 pictures in total trying to get the effect, but I think it's very difficult to see any difference on the photos. Damn. I guess it's time for me to get a proper digital camera instead of my camera phone. The thought of buying a camera that would be used pretty much only for blogging does make me cringe though... But right now I have done a serious experiment where I feel I can't properly show the results due to camera quality and that makes me very unhappy.

Anyways. Pictures.

Indoors and in artificial light conditions, no flash

Indoors and in artificial light conditions, with flash

Outdoors and in natural light conditions, indirect sunlight

Outdoors and in natural light conditions, direct sunlight (Morning sun)

Outdoors and in natural light conditions, direct sunlight (Mid day sun)

In reality, the direct mid day sun made the hair SPF test very, very shiny, but that didn't even translate well in my phones camera. Hmm. 

So here is what I'm wondering
Does the skin SPF actively darken the hair or does it protect it from fading?
It does appear that the cardboard is slightly darker around the SPF for skin though!
So does it mean that the SPF for hair has darkening/miscolouring properties?

And does the hair SPF actively lighten the hair or does it just not protect from fading?

Let's compare to a fresh patch of shed hair from the collection. I got the shed hairs balled up a little more tightly than the SPF test, so it appears slightly darker in the middle. 

Indoors and in artificial light conditions, no flash

Indoors and in artificial light conditions, with flash

Outdoors and in natural light conditions, direct sunlight (Mid day sun)

Does anyone recognize any lightening or darkening ingredients in the products? 

Full ingredient list in first post
I'm not an ingredient expert (Not at all), but does someone else recognize any potential lightening or darkening properties in the ingredient lists?

I must admit I got a little weirded out by the potentially lightening effect of the hair SPF and put Schwarzkopf Bonacure sun protect back into the cabinet for now. 

Does anyone have any input on this?

Friday, 25 July 2014

Do want

Okay, I know the pattern of these would disappear the second you put them in use, and that you would never see them in my hair anyways because they’re too big for my pitiful ends and that I’m a grown woman… But dammit, I wanted these to work for me!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Today’s hair

Ropebun with the soaring butterfly Flexi

My favourite thing about rope buns is the pretty rope-pattern I can see from the front 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Where have you been all my life?

Okay, if you don’t want to hear me rave on and on about how awesome the Clarisonic is, you might want to skip this post.
I received this about a week ago and I absolutely love it!
I’ve been itching to write about it, but I wanted to try it for a while but I wanted to wait until I had used it a few times.
So far the only minus I found to it is that they ask you to let it charge for a full day before first use. Holy crap, was it a long time to wait when you itch to try your awesome new tool!

So, my review of the Clarisonic Plus…
I already wrote I love this thing, and I really do.
It has a good, solid feel to it. It’s so easy to use. It doesn’t rotate, but oscillate so it’s not abrasive to the skin.
It has a gentle “massage” feel to it, but I can feel the “buzz” resonating in my sinuses (Or something!) and it made me giggle a few times.
After each use, I saw a bit of a flush to my face. But this doesn’t feel uncomfortable, just a sort of “activated” stimulated feeling.
My skin has had a nice glow to it since I started using it and have felt a lot smoother and cleaner.
I was warned I could experience breakouts as your skin gets accustomed to the manipulation and deeper cleaning, but so far nothing has happened.

It came in this big box

Opens up to a description of the use, effect and results

The Clarisonic plus unpacked: Charging cradle and the device with the sensitive brush-head that came with it as standard

Inside the box was a promotion from Skinstore where I got it from, the instruction manual and a brochure from Clarisonic’s website where I could get 25$ off on my next order (Which is pretty pointless since they don’t ship outside of the US like Skinstore does!)

I ordered extra brush heads too: A body brush and a delicate brush. I knew that if the Clarinoic would work for me at all, I would want to use it for the rest of my body too. The delicate brush head is for OCM cleansing: I figured it would be a good idea to get the gentlest possible brush head if I’m going to manipulate my skin for longer periods of time, like it is beneficial for OCM.
Awesome detail: For the face brushes, the white outer bristles don’t move. Only the inner parts (Black and white) move. This means that the little splatters that your brush whips up will be caught in the stationary bristles. It’s surprisingly clever. I guess most people will do their facial care in front of the mirror, so there will be no mess on the mirror afterwards! The entire body brush oscillates, but that isn’t a problem since you will be using that one in the shower.

The box also came with a gel cleanser and an exfoliating gel. I have tried the exfoliator on some dry areas of my body, but otherwise stuck with my Avene products.
The exfoliating gel wasn’t anything special. But I guess a product can’t have too much “bite” when you use it with a Clarisonic?

Since I ordered from Skinstore, I got 3 free skincare samples. The grey product is a 30 ml handcream and a very generous size for a sample!

Of course since I ordered it directly from the US, I had a problem with the current so I had to order an adaptor from another place.

But even with the price of the Clarisonic + shipping + adaptor + shipping, I saved over 400 SEK over buying it at Kicks! (Plus, I gained 3 free skincare samples where of one is basically a full product size) 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Today’s hair

French braid to compare to the tiny little braid from Throwback Thursday.
Hah, getting kind of ridiculous when I take a full length picture, doesn’t it?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Throwback Thursday

Look at that tiny little braid! It is almost wider than it is tall!


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Of news, great and small

I managed to keep the Nodosaurus with the Esthetic House CP-1 Ceramide Treatment Protein Repair System in for a whopping 30 hours!
I do believe that is a new record for me?

I guess the thick, “buttery” texture helped me keep the Nodosaurus on.
Usually it fails either due to leaks which irritates me and makes me rinse it out, or because the bag and bandage starts slipping. I think the thicker texture, the less it would slip?
My hair has rewarded me for my effort and the pricy product for being amazing for days. It just feels… Dense. Like I couldn’t possibly force it to absorb any additional treatment to matter what. It’s been so wonderfully shiny and so amazingly smooth I could barely braid it for the first couple of days! People have even noticed that my hair has been shinier than usual. It also dries noticeably faster: The moisture just slides off.
Two thumbs up for Esthetic House CP-1 Ceramide Treatment Protein Repair System.
Should Memebox ever decide to stock that product or another hair box again, I will buy it in a heartbeat.

Damn that Memebox though!
I have to enforce a strict rule of when I can buy a box, or I will happily buy almost every single box they stock!
Theoretical boxes I will allow myself:
  • “Best of the best” type Korean cosmetics
  • Facial masks
  • Hair stuff
  • The OMG box should they ever restock it
  • Zero cosmetics/hypoallergic type boxes of skincare
Generally no “normal” cosmetics, no scent based boxes and no non-hypoallergic skincare stuff.
And yet, I slipped when they suddenly had two IOPE-boxes up.
I’ve been reading a lot of Korean-based beauty blogs and that brand is one of the most hyped and beloved ones. Box #2 came with the IOPE Air Cushion which has to be one of the best products ever made? 
Seriously, expect to see knock offs of this coming to the western beauty world in a year or two, whenever they have figured out how to bypass all the patents!

The box ships July 21st and I can barely wait!

I used the Assoster Scalp Scaling Gel from the Hairbox tonight. I’ve had something irritating going on around my left temple-area the last few days.
A zit? And ingrown hair? Maybe a reaction to something?
No matter how creative I got with mirrors, I could only tell it was red and irritated in the area. Of course since I’m a skin picker, I only aggravated it further.
So I figured this deep cleanser/exfoliater would help.
The pamphlet and website said I could use it on either wet or dry hair, but what little it said in English on the actual product was to use it on wet hair.
It made me feel slightly worried that I couldn’t understand anything about the ingredients. Seriously. I couldn’t even tell if the writing was upside down or not!
So wet hair it was. I applied some Tressemme Colour Vibrance Protection from waist down, balled it up and put it in a bag with an elastic around to protect the ends from the scalp gel.
I made a lot of partings and applied a thin strip of the product in the parting. Just like back when I had platinum blonde hair and had to bleach the roots ever so often. Haha.
Then massaged it around using my fingertips, comb and Assoster Scalp Massaging Brush for a few minutes.

That one is also a wonderful product. I’ve used it a lot! Other massagers I’ve tried have been too hard, but this one is just right and it has never caught on my hair.

The scalp gel had a sort of cooling methol-ish effect. Felt nice and tingly. I expected it to sting around the red scalp spots, but that didn’t happen.
When I started rinsing it out, I was worried about shedding. But that seemed completely normal.
However, my shed hairs seemed to contain a lot of lint. Was it really lint? Or was it maybe gunk and dead skin cells from my scalp? Ew.
It seemed odd and very noticeable.
Afterwards my scalp felt clean and “airy”. It felt good!
Not like when I have shampooed and my poor scalp feels like it’s crying

If the scalp gel has helped to clear the trouble spots up, that is a definite two thumbs up for this too!

I bought the Tressemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture conditioner to test if I should have any problems with the aloe vera extract in it. I’m intolerant to aloe vera if the pulp has been processed with the skin in it, and since they never list in the ingredients if it's skin free or not, I had to try it first.

And why is a cone-head like me trying a ‘cone free product?

Because I’m going to henna as soon as I have finished strand testing.
No, I’m not going henna red. I’m going to do the lightest of henna in a cassia mix. We’re talking a 5 gram sample of henna in a 100 gram cassia and 300 ml conditioner-mix or so.
They say you marry henna and divorce is a bitch, so I hope I can keep the trouble down by only doing the lightest of henna treatments. I know henna's cousin cassia isn't so much trouble though!
But first I need a ‘cone free conditioner I like, receive my henna/cassia order and do a bunch of test strands.
I just want to nudge my natural titian colour ever so slightly towards the red tones. This should also minimize the need for root-touch ups.

Once I have done that, I will add the tiniest hint of indigo to my ends. Indigo binds better if it has henna to attach to.
I have been irritated over the fade for so long and now it’s time to do something about it. There are only so many times you can invoke the two week-rule without having to do something!
Again, we are talking a 5 gram sample of indigo or so.
I figure a Nodosaurus from about waist-ish/classic-ish should do the trick.

I will take my time with the test strands and letting it oxidise properly before proceeding.

I didn’t have any problem with the aloe vera and the conditioner in general seemed very good. I had expected some sort of reaction since it was cone free, but I didn’t miss it. My hair is shiny, feels healthy and was easy to detangle. Now I know how my hair feels after using it alone and I can compare it to when I add henna, cassia and indigo.

I poured the Saerom Cosmetics RNA-3 Hair Repair Keratin Water into two full 200 ml Sunsilk leave in-bottles. Even though it was so little (30 ml), it still made my hair so much smoother and shinier when I use the mix. That’s another two thumbs up for the fourth product I’ve tried from the Hairbox! Just three products left I haven’t tried…

I had a funny experience some days ago: I treated Hubby and I to a massage at Sabai Thai massage. We went for a two hour full body massage with a foot massage I assumed was some sort of reflexology too. The two hours just flew by, but damn, are my “too much time spent in front of computers”-shoulders sore from the massage! I guess I needed it.
Hubby and I had our massage side by side and the two women were very impressed over my hair and chatted about it a lot. After advice from Mountainwave on UTT, I had my hair in a braid and my massage therapist seemed to have a lot of fun rearranging it. It made me pretty embarrassed. Too much attention and compliments generally makes me all confused and embarrassed. 

I snapped a few pictures of the room we had our massage in…

It was pretty funny after the massage too: We brought home sushi, ate it and took a long bath to get rid of the massage oil. Then Hubby completely passed out and slept for something like 12 hours!
He slept from me cooking and generally messing around and everything!
I got such a craving for Thai food that I made some Paneng Curry. I guess it was the interior in the massage place with the elephant statues and the wood carvings and all that triggered it?

I could definitely see us going there again. It should be really good for your body and it costs about the same as going to the movies a couple of times and getting snacks while you’re there.