I was so excited to partner with Smile Brilliant. I wasn’t really in the market for any teeth whitening products, but when they came my way: why not, right!?
I’m very weary when it comes to using products on my teeth (and even my skin/body in general). I did some research and found that the ingredients are vegan and that’s right up my alley. And I’ve tried those whitening strips but never really notice that much of a result. I have pretty good teeth overall and didn’t want to use something that would make them sensitive. The desensitizing gel was what I loved and made me want to try it in the first place!
Home Teeth Whitening
How it works:
Smile Brilliant sends over a dental impression kit, which includes: catalyst paste & base paste. The impression process is pretty easy and self-explanatory. Once you make the impressions, let them dry, and then mail them out in the smile brilliant package they send you (it’s pre-paid!).
You then received your custom fitted whitening trays within a couple weeks. They keep you updated on when they receive your impressions and when they have shipped your trays out. Overall pretty simple process in the comfort of your home.
When do you notice a difference?
I noticed a difference after the first application. After the 4th application my teeth looked amazing!
The actual process for the one-hour teeth whitening takes a bit of time: closer to 75-80 minutes. I always did it after I put the kids to bed and I could just sit and read or watch TV. One hour for the tray, 20 minutes for the desensitizing gel, and then waiting 30 minutes after to eat or drink. I would just go to bed after so never had to worry about not eating.
Why would you want to go to a dental office, spend a ton of money and time when you can do the same exact thing at home in your PJS and its way more economical.
I come from a family of physicians, so when it comes to products that I use – especially on my face – I have to understand some of the science behind it. My husband doesn’t show any empathy when I don’t think something is working AND when I don’t know anything about it. That being said, I am a lifelong Eucerin user when it comes to moisturizer on my face , but lately I have been trying out face serums. Naturally, I wanted to know what the heck they even are so I looked it up!
*Please note, the hydration body cream is NOT to be used on the face. Please use an alternate face moisturizer to layer over the face serum.*
According to WebMD, moisturizers have ingredients like petroleum and mineral oil to give it more density and in many cases creaminess. With face serums, they have stripped out all the fluffing ingredients. In doing that, serums are left with high impact, active ingredients like antioxidants, peptides (proteins such as collagen), and in the case of this active hydrating serum, hyaluronic acid (aka the fountain of youth).
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Aside from being skin care’s biggest star of the moment, it is something that we naturally make in our bodies (babies have a ton of it which is why they have the best skin). As we age we make less, which is why we use products infused with this molecule to help improve firmness and elasticity on our face. The science is clear, check out this study which observed women who used hyaluronic acid for 8 weeks.
I have received several face serums lately, but in looking at the ingredients they are NOT all the same and so understanding what is in these products is important. I was first introduced to Rodan and Fields a few years ago and have been a loyal Lash Boost user for years. I also have had a great experience with their Bright Eye Complex product in the past (see my before and after photos here). When I have had a good experience with a brand, I am more likely to consider other products in the collection. That being said, I recently had the opportunity to test out and use their new Active Hydration line of products and wanted to share with you why they are different, and in this case better!
By nature, human skin is ‘hydrophobic’ which means that our skin actually repels water which is why we don’t swell up when we go swimming. With the Active Hydration Face Serum, they have paired up the hyaluronic acid with glycerin to help penetrate the skin and allow for the hyaluronic acid molecule to bind to it and sit on top of the skin providing a seal for hydration. The science, down to the molecular level, is honestly downright amazing!
I have used both the Active Hydration face serum and body cream religiously for two weeks and have loved my results so far. I still have some uneven skin coloration so I may be headed for their Reverse collection next.
I hope that this review was helpful in understanding things that separate products from others. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below. Want 10% off…email Neela Metgud at [email protected]
Havy has the best and most patient personality especially for someone like me that came in with images of Irene, Huda, and of course Priyanka. She knew the look I was going for, bigger, thicker, fuller brows – period. We talked through some options and looked at dozens of photos and agreed on a combination strategy that would involve drawing in hair lines as well as shading. We carefully mapped out the lines on my face and then got to work.
**Please note: I got a chemical peel 4 days before microblading so some of the scabbing on my face is from the peel. I wanted the pictures to be as unaltered as possible so I am using the originals so that you can see the true result.**
Before And After
Microblading involves injecting pigment into the top seven layers of skin and therefore does not go deep enough to cause bleeding or even scarring (unless you have sensitive skin). It should last about 18 months and save you hours of time and product!
The first ten minutes on a scale from one to ten were a seven on my pain scale. After that Havy numbed me up and finished up in about 25 minutes. The immediate results are dramatic, but after about a week the excess ink and slight scabbing went away to show the real result. In my case the result was a very natural and closely mimicked my daily drawing in of brows.
All in all the procedure costs $650 and includes a touch up 3-4 weeks after your initial visit. I would not recommend ‘shading’ only the drawing in of hairs. As you can see in my photos, the shading has a tattoo like effect that seems unnatural. Another thing I noticed, is that I got is that the ink Havy used may have been one shade darker than something that is natural looking on me.
Despite the feedback, I love being make up ready when I wake up, it’s just one of those things that drove me crazy. I will do a follow up in about six months on how the ink is holding up, but for now:
I hope you found this review helpful or interesting. Would you get your eyebrows microbladed?
I don’t recall ever being as tired as I am most days after work, school pick ups and drop offs, homework, extracurricular activities, going to the gym, and managing my household. Taking care of me and making time for myself comes only after all of that is done an settled. I like to call the hour of 8:30pm to 9:30pm the “golden hour”.
During this time, I am truly off duty. I am not worried about tomorrow, I am not worried about what is not done from today, but I take this time to just appreciate the end of yet another day with my family. I use the golden hour for leisurely multitasking: TV time and skin care. While watching Green Arrow on Netflix (OMG – I love Stephen Amell!), I apply a half a dozen or so products to my face nightly. If I keep these at my bedside I am 100% more likely to use them regularly. Here is the step-by-step night time regimen I use.
Makeup Remover Wipes
I know I could just wash my face, but I have never been in the routine of doing this. I usually brush my teeth and hop into bed. But more than ever I need my skin to breathe at night. I keep face wipes at arms length to guarantee that I don’t skip giving my face a chance to breathe at night. Although I do not have sensitive skin or any true allergy to common ingredients, I love these make up removing wipes because they are inexpensive, or do not leave a soapy or filmy feeling on my skin after I have used them. Even baby wipes work well and are cost effective. I have tried a bunch of different make up remover wipes but have yet to determine if one actually works better than the other, so I usually grab whatever is economical. Night time skin cleaning is paramount for brighter skin.
Lash Boost by Rodan and Fields
My sisters and I swear by this amazing product by Rodan and Fields. As former Latisee users, we loved that we were able to get Lash Boost without a prescription. The product works similarly and have therefore has similar results- fuller appearing, more dramatic and appealing eye lashes. As a wearer of ‘falsies’ I love the ‘pop’ that your eyes get from having enhanced lashes. For the days I am not wearing my go to wispies, Lash Boost has my back. This is an expensive product, but fellow chicks get an exclusive discount or gift with purchase if you contact Dr. Erica Bennett at email@example.com. Trust me, this works. You’re so close to gorgeous natural lashes.
Under Eye Serum
I have cycled through several of these, most recently I used Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder which I had received as a gift. This product is intended to help with fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. The serum has great reviews, and in my personal experience it seemed to hydrate well which helped with fine lines, but when it came to covering up my dark circles, I am not so sure. Once I finished up that little bottle I switched to a product from Rodan and Fields called the Bright Eye Complex and with a water base it promises hydration for the bags under your eyes. After using this for 10 days, you can see the before and after below, this product is a keeper and can be purchased a la carte from their list of products.
Like many other children of the 80’s and 90’s I totally trashed my eyebrows trying to keep up with the thin eyebrow trends. The beauty gurus that I follow have given me hope to regain what is lost of my eyebrows with Castor oil. Castor oil has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio which is what makes it beneficial to skin and hair. I am going to try this on my eyebrows as part of my nightly routine, I will keep you all updated on Instastories.
With winter almost behind us, I could not have survived without all the lip balms that I have scattered all over the house and in all my purses. My lips chap easily and require frequent hydration. Currently by my bedside is an argan oil-based balm that is unscented, organic, and simply divine. In my opinion, truly any balm is a good balm if you ask me. Just layering some hydration before bed can fix all types of cracked lips.
Hopefully you are already using some of these in your daily skin care routine. If you are not, consider this post a life hack to place beauty items by your bedside. Ladies, it is NEVER too late to take care of your skin. This is also a great way to use products that are cluttering up your counters — place them on your end table (NOT in the drawers). Believe me, seeing them will make you use them. What fun products do you use as part of your daily skincare routine?
**Complimentary Rodan and Fields products were received in exchange for this honest review. Thank you to Dr. Erica Bennett for her generosity and engagement. **