Saturday, 9 November 2019

2019's Christmas calendars

The first Christmas calendar I knew I wanted for 2019 was Rituals 3D calendar. I absolutely loved it last year!

I even kept the cardboard Christmas three from last year.

I also want the Essie Christmas calendar. I almost got it last year, but then it had way too many red-ish colours in it for my taste (Gotta love unboxing videos!) and I opted out because I wanted a bigger range of colours.


This year the colour span seemed way better in my opinion. Not that I really need more nail polishes but, meh. Still something I want.

I also want the Lyko calendar this year. It looks pretty promising.

Unboxing video in Swedish:

The last one I think I will get is Body Shop's Dream Big This Christmas Ultimate Advent Calendar, which is the biggest of three Body Shop calendars.

Body Shop is one of those brands I never really used a lot, but it has received amazing reviews in unboxing videos.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro


This thing is a major step up from my Neutrogena facemask. Also in price. Maybe especially in price.
Some quick math tells me I could have re-purchased the Neutrogena mask and 18 of the "charges" (Had I not hacked it) which really hammers home the point of what an investment this thing is. Ouch.

It looks something like the robot Maria from the Metropolis movie, I think?
I had hubby try it on and he immediately started wandering around stiff-legged and going "beep boop" so I guess it's not just me thinking that it looks like some sort of robot.

As pretty and shiny and futuristic this mask looks, the straps for it just look sad and cheap. It is literally just ordinary elastic bands.

I'm not sure if the nose and mouth holes look cool or mildly creepy? Is it so you can sip your cocktails while you use it?

I mean, I guess it's pretty convenient, but it's not like I can't wait the three minutes for the mask to finish.

The SpectraLite FaceWare has 100 red-mode LEDs and 62 blue ones, which is great! One of my critiques on the Neutrogena mask was how few LED lights it has. They could easily have fitted more in.

One thing I dislike about it, is that it doesn't have a good gravity point. I would like it to rest in any other position basically. Maybe it should have come with a holder or something. I don't want an expensive device like this flopping around when I put it down.

Does it look cool or creepy?
I'm not even sure.

Before I tried it on, I would have said the nose and mouth holes where a little pointless, but after trying it on, I'm happy they're there. Since it follows the shape of the face, there isn't much room for air flow.

The red LED lights stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which can help with the appearance of wrinkles, sun spots, redness, and sun damage.

The blue LEDs fight the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that causes breakouts and supposedly regulate oil glands, which prevents future breakouts.

Compare the density of the LED-lights between the Dr Dennis Gros mask and the Neutrogena mask.

Although Neutrogena mentions the wavelengths of 415 and 633 nanometer in the instructions manual, it doesn't actually say that their mask emit those exact wavelengths. This makes me a little suspicious, because wouldn't you want to emphasize this? "Hey, science says this is the best so this is what our product does!"

Some difference in looks! The Neutrogna mask look like a cheap welding mask (And again I feel the need to humblebrag about that I'm a pretty good welder). The Dr Dennis Gross mask look like a pretty, shiny and futuristic mask.

The Dennis Gross mask follows the face contours, which makes it a lot better to see with. The Neutrogena mask sort of shines more "into" your eyes because it's just one big curve. Even though 3 minutes is so short a time, it's still nice that you can actually read or look at a a screen while it works.

I was curious about the difference in weight since the Neutrogena is basically cheap plastic.
Neutrogena's mask weighs in at just 77 gram. That is of course without the charge, but that one is always either on a table or in my pocket.

The Neutrogena mask has an external battery pack of 4 AA-batteries. The Dennis Gross mask has an internal battery and is powered by a USB cord.

The Dr Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro weighs in at 264 gram.
About 3 ½ times as much.

Okay, here was a strange little detail:
In all the reviews I read about this, they only describe the device using blue light at 415 nm and red light at 633 nm. But the mask actually use more wavelengths: 415, 605, 630, 660 and 880 nm.
It's not written too clearly though, but it seems it uses blue (415 nm) and amber (605 nm) for the anti blemish light and red (630 nm), deep red (660 nm) and infrared (880 nm) for the anti-aging light.

Insert sarcastic comment about the state of journalism here.
Seriously. Some reviewers haven't even bothered to read the instructions.

I like that this is a quick, simple and product free booster for my skincare. Just put it on, press the button and wait three minutes. Or try to read/watch something for the three minutes. It's doable.

What I dislike? Hm. Not really anything I guess? I don't expect miracles from this though. Just a nice little boost for my skin.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Olaplex no. 3 review

My first thought is that these are very expensive products. And so small bottles! Both are just 100 ml.
But I keep seeing this product praised to high heavens, so it made me curious.

I bought it at Lyko for 289 sek. Which is 26,7 Euro or 30 USD.
Usually I buy my conditioners according to "Whatever is on sale", and then usually around 20 sek for a bottle of 200-300 ml.
So this product is relative to the portion around 30 times more than I usually am willing to spend. Yikes.

I have to give Olaplex a point for how easy it was to find their ingredient lists online. Good job!
This is the first step towards gaining any sort of credibility for your products.

So Olaplex's selling point is their ingredient Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, which supposedly knits sulfur hydrogen bonds back together to form disulfide bonds. I'm not a chemist, so... Ehh. I will just have to trust Labmuffin's explanation of what it supposedly does. I didn't even know hair had sulfur-hydrogen bonds, so... Eh? But the company does hold some patents for this stuff. Patenting something isn't that easy or cheap, so they must really believe in this stuff.

But I dislike that Olaplex keep recycling the excact same microscopic before and after-picture. Yes the one below here:

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector 
Water (Aqua), Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Cetyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethyl Ethylcellulose, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Quaternium-91, Sodium Benzoate, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyquaternium-37, Tetrasodium EDTA, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Etidronic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Phytantriol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Panthenol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate.

Without getting into too many details, this seems like a pretty nice conditioner. Nothing too troubling or too exciting there. Mostly green ratings. Some ingredients with warnings for acne and irritants. Nothing troubling. I'm of course deeply suspicious of the Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, but maybe I'm lucky and this is pressed without the aloe vera skin and I won't have any reaction to it.

The method
Every place I read about this, they write that you should leave the conditioner on for 20 minutes at least, and then shampoo it out.

I have a few thoughts on this:
I have never ever encountered a product that truly needed to be shampooed out. This is simply an advertising trick: It makes the product sound like a serious, heavy duty reconstructor. It is not necessary.

But, wait. Let's take a look at the shampoo's ingredient list:

Olaplex Bond Maintenance Shampoo No. 4
Water (Aqua), Sodium lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Disodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Potassium Cocoate, Decyl Glucoside, Glycereth-26, Bis-Aminopropyl Diglycol Dimaleate, Propanediol, Euterpe, Oleracea Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Rosmarinus Officinails (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Origanum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract.Fragrance (parfum) Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Panthenol, Glycol Distearate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Methyl Gluceth-20, Acrylates Copolymer, Prunus Armenica (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Pseudozyma Epicola/Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil Ferment Filtrate, Pseudozyma Epicola/Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil Ferment Extract Filtrate, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Amodimethicone, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyquaternium-10, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Polyquaterrnium-11, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, C11-15 Pareth-7, Laureth-9, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Hexyl Cinnamql, Limonene, C12-13 Pareth-23, C12-13 Pareth-3, Hydrlyzed Vegetable Protein PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Acetic Acid, Citral, Benzoic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Pentasodium Triphosphate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Quaternium-95, PEG-8, PEG-8/SMDI Copolymer, Palmitoyl Myristyl Serinate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Biotin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil

First of all, this is a massive ingredient list. Yuck. I have half a mind to take it apart and mock it mercilessly, but this is not the product I'm reviewing. I didn't even buy it, I just found the ingredient list online (Which is a good thing).

Where as the conditioner is cone free, the shampoo contains Amodimethicone and Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer. So that's the play: Recommending shampooing the product out makes the product sound stronger and more serious than it is, and the shampoo adds cones to smooth down and gloss over the hair. 
Clever. Slow clap for Olaplex. Naughty little trick. But I caught onto that.

What I did
It's an old longhair trick to first use a protein conditioner and then follow up with a moisturizer. By first adding proteins, you give the second conditioner something to bind to. You can also do the same with first a moisturizing conditioner, then following with a coney one. It creates a synergy effect that is stronger than the single products.
So I did that.
First the Olaplex under heat and then add one of my favorite conditioners: Barnängen Normalt balsam. That should bind everything together.

I worried that the bottle was way, way too small for all my hair. But it turned out that it was very easy to spread. Sort of thin but not runny. It didn't drip. So that was impressive.
I covered it in cling wrap and left it under a heatcap for a full five hours. It was mildly boring, but I felt I should give it the full time to work since it was such an expensive product.

Perfect time to be super sexy...

Rinsing it out, my hair felt... Nice?
Nothing impressive or remarkable. No intense shine like the advertising pictures.
But, maybe that was remarkable enough in itself? Usually my hair gets more or less cranky after a good deep conditioning. Some times it's just mildly troublesome when I comb and braid it after the treatment, other times it can be weird and irritating for well over a day afterwards.

Of course this made me a little suspicious because the established hair theory says that hair (Especially coarse like mine) can be irritated after a good treatment because the ingredients "rough up" the scales on the hair surface to penetrate into the strands, and it takes a while for the scales to settle back down again. (You can also mechanically close the scales afterwards by flat ironing it or chemically closing them by adding acidity)

So this is an either or-situation: Either the treatment did nothing, which is why my hair didn't react. Or it did an impressive job of rebonding the disulfide bonds, so my hair is smooth and happy.

I then followed with the Barnängen Normalt balsam, which immediately started dripping. I guess this means the Oleplex did something, since it almost felt like my hair rejected the Barnängen conditioner?
So I got in the tub with the Barnängen conditioner wrapped up under cling wrap like when I henna. It makes the dripping more tolerable.
So I rinsed again, gave it some leave in conditioner and made a simple braid.

Awesome "Netflix and avoid people" T-shirt from CatHairGlitter

I'm not entirely sure what to think. Hair felt nice. Smooth, healthy and happy.
I think the most impressive part was that my hair didn't feel cranky afterwards. Usually, my hair gets cranky after a deep treatment, but not this time. So, that's good?
Other than that, I'm not really sure.
I like the product, but not the price. So... Dunno, buy it when it's on sale?