Summer Favourites

The beginning of September is here and its time to reflect on the summer that seems like its so long ago! I've loved the summer - its been great to relax, recharge and reset. I've also had a lot of time to waste money and spend money on myself! These are the products that I've loved..                                    

                                                         

5 To Try: Primers

''Put simply, primer is exactly what its name implies: It's a preparatory product that's applied after your skin care to create an ideal canvas to hold onto whatever makeup comes after''

Primer works wonders for me and without using one I am lost! Here are 5 to try if you are interested in buying one.            

#1 The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer £3.90

I love both silicone and non-silicone based primers and this says it in the name really! The texture of this is very lightweight compared to the others mentioned in this post, it doesn’t have any particular scent either. The primer comes in an easy to use squeezy tube, which is a life saver and for the price you get a great deal of product. 
Compared to other silicone primers, this one doesn’t have a powdery feel, it also doesn't give you a matte finish if oil is something that you need to control. It gives the skin quite a fresh/dewy look and leaves it feeling ready for makeup. For me, it almost acts like a primer/moisturiser hybrid and makes my skin feel hydrated and soft. 


#2 Urban Decay All Nighter Primer - full size £27, mini £12

The UD Setting Spray is a holy grail for me and when the primer was launched I couldn't wait to try. I've had this small mini for a while now and it is still going - doesn't seem to be running out! This is fabulous if you want your makeup to last, no matter what skin type. It glides on to the skin and really locks everything in place ready for makeup. I tend to stick to using this in my t-zone as this is where makeup just seems to disappear, this is perfect. 

#3 Elf Mint Melt £8

My go to, my favourite, my ride or die. I wasn't too sure with this primer due to it being a minty feeling, but I have to say I really like it! If you've tried the Milk Hydro Grip or have always wanted to, this is perfect. It has a cool, minty feeling but nothing powering, it has just the right amount. It's a gel consistency, that comes in a pump tube making it super easy to control how much you use. When you first pump it out, it comes out as a lighter green colour, once you apply it to your skin it goes on clear. It feels extremely sticky at first, then dries within a few seconds and the sticky feeling turns a little tacky. It leaves your face smooth and provides a perfect base for your foundation that stays put all day! I can't get enough. 

#4 Becca Backlight Priming Filter 

My heart breaks every time I think about Becca as a brand going away later on this year, they have some incredible products and their primer is a cult classic. Even with my really oily skin this primer gives me a glow like no other. My skin doesn't appear shiny or sweaty, its more golden and glowing. I love the fresh and awake filter it gives to my skin and works really well under foundation. I love applying this to my cheeks area and then something more mattifying to the t-zone.

#5 Erborain Pink Perfect Creme

I bought this little tub from Hawaii over three years ago and we're going to have to part ways soon as its nearly empty. It definitely makes me want to try more things from Erborain as this has really impressed me. I love using this on my nose as it hides/blurs all my horrible pores as best as it can, which none of the other primers achieve. I love that its pink but very thick, you only need a small amount and it smears everywhere without any issues.

I love a good primer and without any of these, I would be lost! I love applying them individually but recently pairing them up has been revolutionary. If you love primer, I hope you find a new one to try from this 5 to Try post, if you don't tend to use one - tell me your long lasting makeup secret!! 



Charlotte Tilbury Mystery Box Haul

When I tell you that my love for Charlotte Tilbury is growing, I am not joking. I don't think I have fallen in love with a brand as fast as this -EVER. Everything I have tried from her I have loved and nothing has left me feeling disappointed. Before clicking buy on the mystery box last week, I debated for a long time but to tell you the truth I am so glad that I did. The box was a mystery and contained products that I don't own from the brand already...coming in a future post for sure! 

Here is what was inside...



            

                                     

My Smile Direct Journey

When I was 13 I had the wonderful joy of having braces or train tracks but they didn't work wonders. My teeth moved and aligned but the orthro's weren't able to make them perfectly straight and wonderful due to overcrowding and there not being enough space in my mouth - they wanted me to have jaw surgery and crack my jaw which to this day terrifies me and it was a straight no. I decided to live with the crooked and unaligned teeth as they didn't bother me. That was until last year, when I decided that I really wanted to get them sorted and splurge to have them done. That is where Smile Direct came in, I kept seeing adverts and decided to just bite the bullet and go for it. About 7 months later, I am as happy as can be and literally can't stop smiling. 






THE PROCESS




Scans/Impressions

Back in December I ordered a smile kit from SD to complete impressions of my teeth at home. If you've experienced having impressions of your teeth done before, you'll know what I mean when I say - yuk. It is just so uncomfortable but I managed to do it and sent them off back to the lab. A few weeks after I got an email to say that they'd like me to visit one of their shops to have scans done as the impressions weren't clear enough. 
Going to the shop (Leeds), was hassle free. I booked an appointment, went to the shop and had digital scans done instead of impressions, which was so much nicer and not as disgusting. It was also really cool to see the scans and the images of my teeth. 
                                                                                 

Waiting Game

After about a month, I finally heard from SD and an account was created for me on their website. On here, I was able to see the process of my teeth after going on a personalised smile journey. They also informed me that they wouldn't be able to help me with my bottom teeth as I needed my jaw cracking - similar story to what dentists have told me previously. To be honest, I hardly show my bottom teeth and they don't make me feel insecure. I loved the look of the final way my teeth would turn out and signed up straight away.

Finance

When it comes to getting any procedures done, money is obviously a huge factor. This was a big commitment alongside other things that I pay for too. In the end, I went with paying for the treatment monthly - its about £65 a month and I'll be paying that for 18 months. This price includes the treatment, any adjustments that might need doing and guarantee of an end result that may need to be pushed back if my teeth don't respond fast enough as they hoped.




Process

After agreeing finance it took about 6-8 weeks for my retainers to arrive. I watched so many videos in this time to see how others found the experience and the results that they had from the company. When your retainers get delivered, they arrive in this huge purple box. Inside, there are retainers for the entire treatment. This means you then don't have to visit the dentist for check ups and get a new one, wait for a new one to arrive in the post or anything like that. You track your wearing of each one and they do the same from their end. 

  • The box also contains a case, mints to help adjust the retainers, removal tools and some whitening things
  • Smile Direct give you an account/portal where you can see when you have to switch retainers/aligners- they also send out emails/texts to remind you.
  • If any at any point you fall behind or haven't worn them for as long as you should, you can change the date on the portal and they adjust the others accordingly
  • Every so often they will ask for photos to keep an eye on everything



Issues

I have to say, their customer service is incredible! My treatment plan changed from 4 months to six because my teeth just weren't moving as fast as they'd hope which is completely normal. When the box all arrived my first set was too big! So I contacted the dental team who sent me new ones within two weeks and they were perfect. It was around the 2 month mark when I contacted them again and said that my next aligner is too small/doesn't fit because  my teeth haven't moved that much. They were extremely kind and helpful - arranged a video call with me and took pictures to see what the issue was and sent me out new ones for an extra month before going back to the last few that I was sent originally. I can't believe how efficient and amazing their service is for a company that is based in the US.  

Last Stretch

Before I knew it, June came around and I was ending my journey. My top teeth look incredible and I feel so much happier with them. As I mentioned before, to the normal human eye my teeth probably don't look that bad but up close they weren't even or straight and its bothered me for years. I hope to get my bottom ones fixed in the near future but for now these are perfect.




Top Tips

If you're considering using Smile Direct or even another company here are some useful hints..

  • You will find yourself having to brush your teeth so many times during the day. Anytime after you eat or drink anything that isn't water - brush brush! I carried a toothbrush with me everywhere and the little case for the retainers too. 
  • Take your own progress photos, its really useful to keep and a great motivator
  • Stick it out. At times it can get really frustrating wearing retainers e.g a slight lisp, not being able to eat/drink anything but its worth it
  • Shop around. I looked at a couple of places including my own dentist before going with Smile Direct, but choose the company you feel comfortable with. I have a referral (not affiliated) with SD if you fancy it, just here. It will take off £75 from your first set of aligners. 

I am so happy with my final result and the journey with Smile Direct has been so smooth and amazing. I can't recommend them enough!