Invisalign: X-Rays and 3D Scans

On Monday, I mentioned regular content was returning next week. I have an Invisalign update for now – so here’s this for today, then we’ll be post-less on Friday, then back on Monday.

A week ago, I went in for my X-Rays and 3D oral scan that are used by my orthodontist and Invisalign to develop my treatment plan. X-Rays were taken like any are, but the scanner – man, if you appreciate technology, this thing is neat.

Instead of taking impressions with a weird goo that you bite into for a couple minutes (which I would have had to do, had I opted for SmileDirectClub), my 3D scan was taken via an iTero Element intraoral imaging device. A tech uses a small wand to take high-resolution scans of your mouth; it then assembles them into a 3D rendering of your mouth. It is weird and awesome all at once. I haven’t had issues with impressions before, but apparently using the scanner is better for people who have gagging issues.

My orthodontist says based on experience, my case will run about 18 months, require a single extraction, and require attachments. Attachments are small, tooth-colored nubs that they will affix to certain teeth to facilitate the process. The clear aligners will fit over the nubs. Patients report varying degrees of visibility of them; regardless, I’m fairly unconcerned. Most people in my life, including people I work with, know that I’m pursuing this. I’m not embarrassed by that much.

I return to the practice in about two weeks to review my ClinCheck – that’s what Invisalign calls the progression of their treatment plan. In the meantime, I’ve been trying to get a head-start on adjusting my eating and drinking habits to support my soon-to-be-restricted eating and drinking regimen.

In support of that, I’ve started assembling a purse-friendly care kit. Because I 1) work and 2) can’t just eat breakfast and dinner and still be a reasonable human being, at least five meals a week take place away from home. I need to be prepared.

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How I Save on Beauty Products

Reigning in my Beauty Spending

I’m acknowledging that I’m fortunate to be in a place where I can spend money on what many would deem a completely frivolous hobby.

Actually Use the Damn Samples

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a drawer or bin full of sample products that went neglected for ages! So many retailers do free samples with purchase, not to mention Gift With Purchase (GWP) promotions. I’d toss them in a centralized location with the intention of using them when the occasion arose (traveling, feeling adventurous, etc) – but even the products I already knew I liked went unused. Stupid! I had accumulated 10 sample tubes of mascara at one point, then found myself replenishing my (favorite) drugstore one. Why?! I had at least six months (realistically more) of product there, even assuming I disliked half of them!

Granted, not all samples are going to be appropriate for you. Foil packs of foundation, for instance – I have what feels like a thousand and none are right for me. But the ones you will use? Use them!

  • Pre-pack a travel beauty bag. One less thing to check off the travel to-do list.
  • If you have a desk or locker at work, stash some samples there. Future you (or a teammate!) will thank you.

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False Lashes (for/by Dummies)

False Lashes

A friend came to visit over Memorial Day Weekend. During this visit, we decided out of basically nowhere to buy a pack of false lashes to try our hand at slapping them on. We weren’t going anywhere. It was the type of ridiculous, silly thing we’d have done as teenagers just because we could. It was fun!

Neither of us had worn false lashes before, but I do watch a hell of a lot of beauty gurus on YouTube. She was unfamiliar with the protocol, so I applied them first so I could be sure of how to do it, then I walked her through it.

What We Used

She picked up an dual pack of Ardell 120s for us to use. Probably a bit much for first timers but they are far from the most ludicrous option Ulta had.

I already had a tube of clear Duo lash glue that I bought a while ago with a pair of false lashes that I have yet to use. We used a pair of tweezers to help place and secure them – any non-pointed-tip ones will do.

The Procedure

First, I checked the width of the lash band against my own lashline. Too long! I trimmed it to fit, but made my first mistake:

I trimmed the inner (shorter!) lashes, rather than the outer (longer) ones. This meant the lashes closest to my nose were way longer than I needed. I should have trimmed from the outer edge.

Then, I re-checked length with my lashline. Without realizing it until later, I made my second mistake:

Seriously, curl your damn lashes before you proceed with this process. It is SO much easier to blend your real eyelashes with the false lashes this way, and the band is more-easily hidden, too!

Next, I grabbed my tube of lash glue and dispensed the thinnest line ever on the band.

Tip: Don’t squeeze the tube as you guide the tube along the lashes. Instead apply a light, consistent pressure on the tube so a tiny drop of glue appears at the tip. Then, glide the false lashes along that.

Wait 15-20 seconds for the glue to become tacky, then apply. How I applied to my first eye was my third mistake:

Rather than placing either the inner or outer corner, I went to the center first, then tried to realign the ends.

This is folly! Fortunately, I was able to get it realigned but fiddling with either side made the glue less adhesive, so the edges lifted pretty soon.

I learned from mistakes two and three, though; I curled the lashes on my other eye before applying, then pressed the lash band to the outer part of my eye. Then, I grabbed the inner corner and got it in place. The second set of false lashes was FAR closer to my natural lashline; because my lashes were curled, they blended in way easier.

On one eye, I tried to cover the band and blend further with Stila Stay All Day felt tip liquid liner. This liner is fantastic, but I am not deft with felt pen liners…so it looked foolish.

If you aren’t a wizard with felt tip liquid liner application isn’t going to be any easier with false lashes on!

I gave up with that and grabbed my trusty Maybelline gel liner (still adore it after all these years – and still buy it for $8 or so!) and slapped a wing on both. Done! For a first attempt, it was passable and I wouldn’t have been embarrassed wearing it out.

My friend then tried with my tips in mind and succeeded.

The Bottom Line

Applying false lashes is surprisingly way easier than it looks and sounds. Removal feels weird, but is not at all painful. I wish I had learned to apply them before my wedding because they definitely would have looked awesome! I definitely recommend for special occasions, particularly those involving photography.

Admittedly, I’m surprised people wear false lashes every day though. It isn’t hard, but it is a lot of steps – and the finished look, at least with the Ardell 120s is a bit strong for daytime. More-modest lashes, like Ardell 110s, are better-suited to a daytime look, but I still couldn’t imagine doing it every day. False lashes are definitely a, “sometimes,” cosmetic item for me, but some prefer them in place of mascara.

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Clarisonic Radiance Brush Head

Initially

Up until this past winter, I exclusively used the Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head. As I approached restocking time, the cost-effective four-packs of Sensitive brushes for $81 were sold out everywhere. I never had any intention of trying the other brush heads, but I’m not about to pay $27 each…when I can get 2 for $44 (or, even better, 4 for $81!). I time my purchases of supplies like this so that I can take advantage of a 15% VIB or 20% Platinum Perk discount because I hate paying full retail.

Before

For a while, my Clarisonic had been nearly-benched in favor of my FOREO Luna Mini. I had come to decide that the Clarisonic, paired with the Sensitive brush head, was too much for daily use for me. Instead, I was using the FOREO Luna Mini daily and the Clarisonic primarily for decollete use and occasional face use.

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Silkn Revit

Silkn ReVitSilkn Revit, $99

Now that I’ve reviewed the microderm-like product that disappointed me, it’s time to talk about the one I dig! I got my Silkn Revit at Costco (who is seriously underrated for beauty finds, by the way) for $65, which is over a third off its retail price. Unfortunately, I can’t find this on Costco.com at the moment; I picked mine up in the warehouse. If I couldn’t find it on sale, I’d look at Nordstrom what with their famous return policy.

Every blog review I’ve read so far has been little more than a regurgitation of the marketing materials Silkn puts out. Cute…and not useful.

Ergonomics

This device is far simpler than the PMD device I tried recently. There’s a single button that turns on, increases suction, and turns off depending on how many times it is pressed. It is ergonomically-friendly, lightweight, and easy to hold.

Power

This device operates on AC power and must be used while plugged into an outlet. I do not find this terribly inconvenient; I’d rather consistent performance over vague convenience. I use the device at my bathroom sink or at my desk with my vanity mirror.

Turning the Silkn ReVit on merely activates suction – the exfoliating tip does not move. As you glide the device over your skin, the abrasive tips liberate dead skin. The suction then whisks it away down to a filter that you later clean or toss. Suction is gentle and does not leave awkward marks on the skin.

The device IS dual voltage and can be used outside the US, but you do need an adapter to make it fit the AC plugs elsewhere.

Exfoliating Diamond Tips

Unlike traditional microdermabrasion treatments rendered by an esthetician or medical professional, this does not blast and vacuum up tiny crystals. The tip of the device is abrasive metal; they’re referred to as, “diamond tips,” but I have successfully found precisely ZERO information on what the hell that precisely means.

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