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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Taking a Week

Hi Readers,

Sorry for the lack of post today (and last Wednesday).

I run an annual event that has nothing to do with this world, and foolishly thought I could operate in multiple channels at once. I didn’t give myself enough grace to build up a buffer schedule.

Regular content will return next week, but I may have an Invisalign update this week.

Thanks for hanging in there.

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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Reigning In my Beauty Spending

Reigning in my Beauty Spending

I’ve talked before about my No Buy and my slips. It’s been a while since I last talked about beauty budgets and spending as a general topic, and it occurred to me last week that I haven’t been doing a good job tracking my spending in the last year. Shame on me.

Now that I’m pursuing orthodontic treatment, I really need to get and keep my shit together. Although I have done a poor job (read: zero effort made) at tracking this spending, there are some areas I can immediately identify as opportunities to save. Writing this post, frankly, was eye-opening and upsetting.

Salon Nail Services

I don’t get my nails done often (perhaps 3-4x/year) because I’m frequently disappointed. I get pedicures more often than manicures, but even then I’m often left with disappointment. I have the tools to execute a DIY pedicure quite nicely, and in fact did so last week. When I sat down and paid it some thought, the nicest thing about a salon pedicure (for me) is the massage. A five-minute foot-and-leg massage isn’t worth $25-50 plus tip to me.

Annual Savings: We’ll call it $120.

Haircuts

So far, I’ve gotten highlights twice. Each time, I got a haircut at the salon because it was convenient…to the tune of $40 for the cut on top of my color. My super-simple cut isn’t worth $40. I have had this cut successfully executed at inexpensive chain salons to the tune of $15.

Getting a haircut once every quarter for $15 ends up being cheaper than twice a year at $40. Better yet, they sometimes have coupons – so realistically two of the four cuts I get per year end up being $10.

Annual Savings: $30 – assuming I actually get it cut quarterly, more if I go longer.

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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.