Friday, August 25, 2017

Easy At Home Sensitive Teeth Whitening w/ Smile Brilliant

About a month or so ago Smile Brilliant reached out to me and gifted me a bleaching kit to try out so I could share with you guys! I was skeptical because everyone and their mother has a teeth whitening system they're trying to sell. Heck, even the tanning salon Sun Tan City offers "bleaching" with a UV light and I laugh at it every time I go in for a spray tan.. total money racket. BUT I was also excited because I've been a dental hygienist for the last 4 years (and counting) so I felt like I could offer an extremely thorough review for my readers! Long story short, I checked their website out and they seemed legit! Well.. spoiler alert, they're totally legit and I would recommend this product to anyone!

First of all, this professional teeth whitening system is a fantastic value compared to most dental offices, including the office where I work. The kit that I have is the $139 T3 Sensitive Kit. It includes the material to make your impressions (you even have extra in case you mess one up), your set of trays made specifically to fit your teeth, a pre-paid bubble envelope to mail your impressions off, 3 syringes of whitening gel, and 3 syringes of desensitizing gel.

I'm super weird and I kinda like having my impressions taken BUT I know I'm part of the minority with that. Lucky for you, it's super easy to mix this impression material and take them on yourself, no gagging included! If the extra set of impression material wasn't enough and you need another shot at it, just contact Smile Brilliant and they'll send you more!

After you've sent your impressions off and you receive your custom fitted teeth whitening trays, let the whitening begin. I was honestly kinda scared of the 22% Carbamide Peroxide bleach because usually the higher the percentage of bleach, the more sensitive you may become, and it can also burn your gums. Well, I never had any discomfort or burning gums! The good thing about Carbamide Peroxide is that it's not as strong as Hydrogen Peroxide but its working time is longer. That means you can use a higher percentage of Carbamide Peroxide for a longer period of time and still be comfortable. Instructions say you can bleach 45 minutes up to an hour and a half but, I usually just did the 45 minutes, mostly because I just didn't have the patience to leave them in much longer.

Sensitivity with bleaching is super common and normal, and it's also temporary. Thankfully I don't have very sensitive teeth, but so many of my patients do, and the desensitizing gel is a dream! I got slightly sensitive to air and cold water after 4 or 5 sessions of bleaching so I started using the gel. All you do is rinse your trays after you are finished bleaching, put the gel in there, and wear for 15 minutes immediately after you've bleached. I could tell a major improvement in sensitivity after one use!

When putting the bleach and the desensitizing gel in my trays, I preferred putting little dots on each tooth rather than a ribbon like the instructions say. I just felt it spreads more evenly this way.

I feel like my before & after pictures are misleading, and that's my fault. I took my before pictures right in front of a window so I think the way the light was coming in made them look even whiter than they were. I also only did about 10 sessions of bleaching because I have bonding material on my two front teeth which WON'T bleach. I didn't want my front teeth not to blend because my natural teeth got too white. I can absolutely tell a difference though, especially between my teeth. You might have read on my favorite dental products post that I use Crest HD toothpaste, and this goes a long way, especially for a coffee and tea drinker like me. But, I still needed some extra whitening in some areas, and Smile Brilliant got the job done.

 Before (above & with spray tan) // After (below & needing spray tan)

Overall, Smile Brilliant works, it's easy to use, and I had minimal sensitivity (which the desensitizing gel took care of). Feel free to ask me any questions!

Enter HERE to win your own T3 Sensitive bleaching kit, worth $139!
(*Giveaway is open for two weeks. Giveaway is for $139 credit - and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents*)
Use code Luxebealady15 for $15 OFF your kit when you order!

Thank you to Smile Brilliant for gifting me this kit! This review was my 100% total honest opinion!

Teeth Whitening Reviews

Monday, August 7, 2017

That's Why Her Hair Is So Big, It's Full Of Secrets

I've had a few questions recently on what I use to curl my hair, so I figured I'd just do a whole post on what hair products I use! If you read my makeup post, you know that I'm a creature of habit and rarely change things up. Well, the same goes for this post as well.
Disclaimer: in my opinion, my hair really isn't as great as it looks in pictures, haha. I always keep dead/broken ends for a few reasons, 1.) I rarely ever cut my hair because it grows SO slowly, 2.) I get my hair colored/bleached blonde every 6-8 weeks which is hard on it, and 3.) I have a terrible terrible nervous habit of pulling on my hair and plucking the dead ends off.. it's a viscous cycle. Also, my hair stays on the dry side because I was blessed with an under active thyroid like many other people in this area. Plus side of that.. I can go days and days without washing my hair with the help of my fav dry shampoo! :)

You can shop all the items I'm talking about at the bottom of this post!

I stink so bad at using a curling iron, and honestly I don't really like how my hair looks with one anyway! I don't think I'll ever be able to get curls with a straightener, either, it makes no sense to me. Curling wands are my best friends. I've had this Conair for a couple years and it's fantastic, especially for around $30 at Walmart! It's also got heat settings, which I like, because options are good.
My mom recently ordered this L'ANGE wand and let me use (steal) it. I like it a lot, too, but it doesn't have any heat settings and it doesn't have a plastic piece on the end of the barrel for you to hold on to if you need it. 
My hair is naturally wavy so it holds curl very well. I honestly like the tapered and non-tapered barrel equally. The non-tapered seems to give me looser/beachier waves. It also seems that the longer your hair is, the better a wand will work for you. I would try a slimmer barrel if you have shorter hair, but that means you're also going to get tighter curls. Play around with it and just don't hold your hair on the wand as long if you want a wavier look.

I'm only on my second straightener of my life, which I think is crazy good. My first one lasted me 14 years, seriously. It was a titanium so that's what I went with for my new one. There are a million straighteners out there and I feel like they're all about the same so I won't go into much detail here. I use this Paul Mitchell one 

Why did I not listen to the whole world and try Batiste sooner? Oh my word, I can literally go 5-6 days sometimes without washing my hair when I use this stuff. I know people with darker hair worry about dry shampoo sometimes but Batiste even has a special formula for dark hair so it doesn't show up like white powder! I used to use Dove dry shampoo but it almost gave me too much texture and dried my hair too much on the ends. Batiste takes the cake by a million!

Yes, purple shampoo. The holy grail shampoo for a blonde. And probably Prince fans. It's literally purple! Be careful not to use it daily because it can actually tint your hair purple, unless you want that, then have at it. It's perfect to keep your hair nice and ashy-white just like it looks when you leave the salon. No more brassy and yellow blonde! The Generic Brand at Sally's is cheap and works amazingly, so I stick to that.

Kenra 25 is my JAM!! And it qualifies for coupons at Ulta, so I usually grab it there. A little goes such a long way, it has extremely strong hold, and it smell fantastic. (People ask me what I'm wearing that smells so good and it always ends up being my hairspray, haha).

If you haven't discovered volumizing hair powder yet then bless your heart. We girls know that clean hair won't do anything we want it to, sprinkle this stuff at your roots and rub it in and VOILA! Instant volume and texture. Now your tease and style won't fall out! I like the Not Your Mother's brand because it's only 6 bucks and lasts me forever.

I've used this argan oil for a few years because TJ Maxx always carries it and it's just about $10 there. Don't get it on your roots or you'll look insta-greasy, just rub it on the ends to get some moisture back.
Tresemme heat protectant spray.. another good cheapie!