Invisalign: It Costs a Kidney

Aiming to correct my teeth - Invisalign

Good News:

Despite my woefully complicated case, I’m a candidate for orthodontic treatment via Invisalign. This is largely due to having selecting a ridiculously experienced provider.

Bad News:

Unsurprisingly, it does kind of cost a kidney. Some language in my dental insurance policy includes (shockingly generous!) coverage for adult orthodontic treatment, but it isn’t clear if there is an age cap or not. My treatment coordinator and I are tag-teaming my insurance provider to get clarity on this; obviously, I can begin treatment sooner if insurance is in play.

What Happens at an Invisalign Assessment

I couldn’t be more excited about this practice, honestly. It’s a little annoying to get to, but is a pretty damn cute office and everyone I dealt with was lovely.

Unflattering Photo Ops

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TPDTY: On Sebaceous Filaments & Why You Don’t Need Pore Strips

This is a post from the Beauty Skeptic archives that has been given a facelift! Content is the same but may have been edited for clarity and flow, as well as some small content updates noted in line.

Pore StripOh look, a pore strip!

Yeah, you’re familiar with them, probably from Biore. Other brands make pore strip products, too, often more expensive for the same (lackluster) result.

But you don’t need them.

Yeah, there are DIY pore strip tutorials online with weird suggestions involving egg whites or Elmer’s Glue. And listen, I can appreciate getting a little mad scientist in my beauty/skincare as much as the next person…

But you don’t need to.

Wash your face, leave it sopping. Dry your hands, open the thing. Slap the pore strip on your nose and smooth it down. Wait until it feels ridiculous, then rip it off.

But you don’t need that.

Here’s the thing – what many of us bought those things or played mad scientist for was because we believed we had a ton of god-awful blackheads on and around our nose, right? Oh god, we have to fix it. We’d peel away the papier-mâché pore strip and marvel in disgust over what we just ripped out of our faces with this pore strip. Right? Don’t lie, if you’ve used this, you have. You’re elated for a day or two because your skin looks a little better…and then things return to normal – and you strip again.

A waste, indeed, of time and money for such fleeting results.

But here’s the thing – in so many cases (I wish I could quote you a percentage) those are not blackheads. They are sebaceous filaments – they occur naturally on everyone, ever, and are not blemishes…and they cannot be, “removed,” not even by a pore strip. Yes, they aren’t the cutest thing in the world, and yes, that is irritating. Proper skincare, however, can make them less obvious.

The Routine

Your skincare routine should consist of (at minimum), daily cleansing, exfoliating as often as your skin wants/needs it (some people like a daily gentle exfoliant, some of us like to break out the big guns 2-3 times per week), and moisturizing. You can get more detailed than this if you wish (I like to!) but it isn’t a dire necessity. (Bonus points if you use a face brush like an Olay Pro-X or Clarisonic!)

In terms of cleansers, I like something basic and simple. (2017) CeraVe Foaming (2014) Cetaphil Gentle is my favorite. As far as exfoliants go…in terms of what is best for your skin, a chemical exfoliant is technically best and I have (2017) this AHA gel from Alpha Skin (formerly Alpha Hydrox) (2014) this one from Alpha Hydrox .

That said, I also commit “skincare sins,” and indulge in physical ones (theoretically the gritty nature of these can cause tiny cuts in your skin. I haven’t had problems, personally, but I get it – especially with the St Ives, it can be a bit much if you overdo the pressure) such as this classic from St Ives and my long-time favorite from Burt’s Bees 2017 Update: The only physical exfoliation my face sees these days comes from my Clarisonic or Luna Mini.

Moisturizers are very personalized depending on your needs but I am currently happiest with (2017) Mountain Rose Herbs Argan Oil (2014) Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. Those things help me keep my skin healthy and looking well-cared-for.

The Bottom Line

Stop wasting your money on pore strip products, your time on playing face-goop-alchemy, and just get back to basics. They’re fun, but they are a gimmick – and a costly one, at that. Chances are if you don’t have other acne issues, you don’t have a nose rife with blackheads…you, like most people, just have some sebaceous filaments which are normal and healthy. Not gross, just kind of odd looking when you actually notice them.

Jealous AF of Pro-Only Gelish PolyGel

Gelish PolyGelGelish PolyGel Master Kit, Pro-Only, price unknown

Acrylics never were my thing. I tried them a couple times and just didn’t love them (probably because I never got a great set, but still). I’m fortunate to have reasonably well-behaved natural nails, so why mess with a good thing? Hard gel enhancements (read: not gel polish) always intrigued me, but I never found a salon that actually did them. I found many salons who professed to do gel services but were instead falsely advertising acrylics with a UV topcoat as a gel enhancement service. Oops.

Gelish is most well-known among consumers for being a gel polish company. I’ve had my criticisms of them, but their latest product is cutting edge…and I’m kind of pissed I can’t shop at CosmoProf as a result!

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Ask the Skeptic

I put what I intended as today’s post up yesterday – oops. Friday won’t pass empty-handed, though.

I’m not a makeup artist or aesthetician, and I’m certainly no hair prodigy – but I welcome questions. Feel free to leave questions for the blog in the comments OR via e-mail to beautyskeptic (at) gmail (dot) com.

Your question might help someone else – so I’ll round ’em up and make a column of them.

In other things…

I had snagged the most adorable teeny-tiny NARS Orgasm blush via a BI point perk. For some reason, I thought it wouldn’t be a great color for me – but I wore it for the first time and what the hell is wrong with me?! It’s no wonder that NARS Orgasm is such a hit. I’m buying the full size when I’m off my No Buy. It is perfection.

My nails are still recovering from this fiasco. Fortunately, they grow fast so the rough parts are already almost grown-out, but geez. I’ve been slathering my cuticles with this cream from my favorites during the workday, and this oil from my favorites in the evenings.

Regular content returns Monday!

Febreze One & Terracycle

Febreze One

First things first: I did receive free product from Influenster to solicit testing and a review from me. HOWEVER, I had already purchased TWO bottles of this product before I knew there was or joined the campaign.

If it is par for the course for beauty bloggers to talk about candles, why not other home fragrance products?

I’ve been a Febreze junkie for over a decade. Meadows and Rain, which I’m pretty sure has been long-since discontinued, was my first favorite. Over the years, I enjoyed a lavender one (forget its name) for a while, then (oddly) the Allergen Reducer (I don’t have indoor allergies), then Thai Dragonfruit (discontinued), then the Tide one. I still use both the Allergen Reducer and the Tide-scented ones for different things – my brother-in-law is allergic to cats and we have two, so if he’s coming over we aggressively vacuum, and I hit the seating with the Allergen Reducer. It’s a nice, light scent. I have no idea, honestly, if it helps with allergens though. It’s the thought that counts?

Bought at First Sight

Well before I received the BzzCampaign invitation for Febreze One, I spotted the new bottles in Target for $5.99 with an on-product coupon. Because I’m a sucker Febreze junkie early adopter, I gleefully dropped one into my cart before realizing what’s cool about the product. The trigger and dispensing mechanism is intended to be reused – so you just purchase refill bottles that screw into the bottom.

Two Solutions in One Spray

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