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Category: Beauty, Natural Beauty & Green Beauty

  1. 12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer

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    I had my top train track brace removed after 25 months of continuous wear in May and I just had my bottom brace removed last week.  What would usually be a momentous and exciting occasion for most brace wearers was not so for me.  I have a lateral incisor missing at the top and once the brace was removed I had to have the other removed, so now I have two teeth missing right next to my top front teeth!  Obviously with the brace on I had a false tooth attached to the wire so no one knew I had any teeth missing. Now the brace has gone the gaps are there for all to see!  This has probably made my experience of the retainer worse than for others as when I remove it to eat I have missing teeth.

    As I’ve only just had the second tooth out I now have to wait 6-9 months to get my permanent false teeth in the form of bridges (either Maryland or traditional).  Until then I will have my clear retainer with one false tooth and filling material to cover the gaps.  I did pick up a Hawley retainer with two false teeth this week, but it may even be worse than this Essix retainer so I’ve only been sleeping in it so far.  Plus I think it’s moved my front teeth in only two nights of wear, so I may just stick with the Essix retainer even though I detest it!

    I’m getting a denture next week which I am praying looks normal and I can eat without embarrassment in the day and have my social life back.  I have friends that are keen to go out for a meal and I have to keep putting it off as I don’t want to have to talk and eat in front of other people with two teeth missing at the front!

    The brace journey certainly isn’t over once the brace is removed, but it is one step closer.  I’ve had to wear retainers full time for three months and then I have a review.  Then hopefully retainers will be part time at night only.  I now have all three styles of retainer: metal Hawley, clear Essix and permanent bonded retainer.

    I’ve had the clear Essix retainer on the top teeth for two months already (full time) so I feel qualified to give my experience of this brace.  Whilst it’s great it is clear and from a slight distance you can’t even tell a brace is being worn, it also has lots of negatives too.  I can’t wait to only have to wear it part time at night!

    NO MORE BRACES AFTER 28 MONTHS (BUT ITS NOT OVER YET) - orthodontics at 30

    At least you can't see my two gaps when I have this on.  The two teeth next to the front top teeth are missing.  This Essix retainer has a false tooth to cover one gap and some filling material from the dentist to cover the other.

    Here are 12 reasons I hate the Essix retainer:

    Bad breath

    Yep it gives me stinking bad breath.  Really gross.  Probably because all the spit just collects in it all day long and doesn’t flow through the mouth or get swallowed.  I’m brushing my teeth after every meal so more than ever, sometimes four times a day and using mouthwash, but it still stinks.

    Can’t eat with it in

    I can’t eat with it in.  This probably won’t be a problem for those who have no missing teeth, but for me it’s meant I have to reveal my missing teeth whenever I eat or drink anything other than water.  This has meant avoiding any social situations where I need to eat, drink and talk to people.

    Love life killer

    It’s like wearing a mouth guard so it’s hard to kiss, plus I’m conscious of the bad breath, missing teeth and spit that is visible within it.  Any love life I did manage to have whilst wearing braces (and feeling gross with those) is now totally out of bounds.

    Disgusting in the morning

    The morning is the worst!  A whole night of sleeping with spit and bacteria accumulating!  So most people get morning breath, but aplify that by a billion and you can imagine how it is.  It tastes and feels gross first thing, but just wait until you remove it to brush your teeth.  It’s like all the bad air, taste and smell is released from its protective case (being the retainer) and it’s oh so disgusting…  Luckily this is only for a moment as teeth are brushed right away to rid this awfulness!

    Spit when I talk

    I spit when I talk.  It’s so embarrassing.  If I’m talking a lot to a friend then it’s next level.  If I drink some water whilst talking then I’m just showering them. 

    Can’t snack

    Well I can, but then I’d have to take my retainer out just to have a nibble and then clean it and brush my teeth before putting it back in… too much hassle.  Good if you’re trying to eat less though!

    Have to brush teeth several times per day

    After taking it out to eat then you have to brush your teeth and clean the retainer.  Believe me, you’ll want to as well!  A couple of times I’ve been on the go and just popped it back in and heaved in the process!  It’s so gross.  It smells bad, tastes bad and looks bad.  It’s really not nice putting it back in without being able to clean it.  This means taking toothpaste and a toothbrush everywhere and trying to avoid any situation where I can’t brush my teeth after eating or drinking.

    Can‘t lick spoons or knives

    I never before noticed how often I do this!  When making the kids lunchboxes or breakfast I often just eat what’s left on the knife or fork.  Even when cooking or baking and trying the food.  With a retainer in there’s no eating or drinking anything other than water.

    Breaks easily

    It’s just plastic so it can break.  I’ve been really careful to look after mine, but it’s already split at the front after only two months.  I think it’s OK for now but it will probably get worse.  I’ve since read online they can only last six months which isn’t long when they cost £100 to replace.

    Can’t bite natural teeth together

    I couldn’t with the brace either as they put biting blocks on my teeth to prevent me biting together, so it’s frustrating I still can’t bite together now!  No biting nails (maybe a good thing for some), Selotape, thread and so on.

    Always covered in spit

    I really hate spit.  Ask Ben, my husband.  I hate even using a spoon as I hate when the saliva is dragged all over it… it’s something I’ve always hated.  I’d always use a fork if eating cake and never a spoon.  I hate people who spit in public too.  Spit and saliva are just eew to me.  This thing is a spit machine!  It fills with spit which are always on the teeth.  The spit is visible close up as it’s see-through.  When I take it out there is loads of stringy saliva hanging off.  It makes me feel disgusting.

    Lisp when I talk

    When I first put it on I could barely talk at all and was lisping terribly.  I’m much better now, but there are some words I can’t say and Ben keeps mis-hearing me (though I just swear he’s losing his hearing sometimes…)  Either way, it’s frustrating sometimes.

    So there we go.  All the reasons I do not like the clear plastic Essix retainer.  At least with the brace I had a false tooth and could eat on the go without all the grossness of having to remove it and worry about being able to brush my teeth right away.  Plus there was no spit.


    Read my entire braces at 30 journey here: 

    12 reasons I hate the clear plastic Essix retainer

  2. Blog Giveaway - Win a SKINIRVANA Pure Bliss Original Beauty Oil (vegan)

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    Welcome to my latest giveaway!  Today I have a natural beauty prize as a special treat for one of my very lucky readers.  Read on to find out all about this wonderful prize and how you can enter.

    Win this SKINIRVANA Pure Bliss Original Beauty Oil in my blog giveaway:­

    Blog Giveaway - Win a SKINIRVANA Pure Bliss Original Beauty Oil

    What is SKINIRVANA Pure Bliss Original Beauty Oil?

    ‘SKINIRVANA is a spiritual experience for your skin, allowing you to create a restorative, nurturing ritual for yourself every day.’

    SKINIRVANA facial oil is a high quality vegan plant based oil that’s absolutely natural and toxin-free.  95% of the ingredients are organic and it’s cruelty-free too.  It’s the perfect anti-ageing and skin nourishing product for those who follow an eco-conscious beauty routine or veganism (and of course those who don’t). 

    It contains Juniperberry, Neroli and Rose ois which SKINIRVANA calls ‘the trio of wonder oils’ which ‘detox, rebalance and rehydrate the skin’.  It sounds absolutely luxurious and I have been lucky enough to be sent a bottle of this oil to keep for myself too and it smells and feels divine on the skin.  I’m looking forward to rejuvenated and more radiant skin which has been claimed by plenty of customers who have tried the product and left glowing feedback.

    The oil will also help to protect the skin from the daily stresses of modern life by helping to heal damage from natural aging as well as environmental toxins.  It’s a deluxe daily treatment for your skin which you can do in the comfort of your own home – your very own facial in a bottle!

    For full product details, instructions for best use, facials and more, simply pop over to the SKINIRVANA website where you will find this gorgeous facial oil:

    Enter here:

    The full terms and conditions are below and in the Rafflecopter widget.  The winner’s delivery address must be in the UK.  There are two entry options and you must complete both for a chance to win this stunning prize.  Simply pop over to the SKINIRVANA Facebook page for a peek (likes are not compulsory, but very much appreciated) and give the SKINIRVANA Instagram page a follow.  Do check out the tips and videos for facials you can do yourself on their Insta!

    Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes.

    Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Please pin me:

    Blog Giveaway - Win a SKINIRVANA Pure Bliss Original Beauty Oil

    Term and Conditions:

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is the item pictured and described above
    • The prize must be claimed within 28 days of the first winner's notification email being sent.
    • There is no cash alternative
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only


    More great blog posts to read next:

    The top 3 ways I made money from home in 2017
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  3. Where to get affordable hair extensions that don't ruin your hair

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    In my twenties I had two sets of glue in hair extensions that totally ruined my hair.  The first time I had them I’d had my hair cut a bit shorter and immediately regretted it.  I’d always had long waist length hair, but dreamt of short hair.  Thing was, it just didn’t suit me back then.  Only now in my thirties have I braved the chop and have shoulder length hair that I finally feel confident enough to wear since having rhinoplasty and a brace!  It may sound ridiculous but I was so embarrassed of my face before as I had a dreadful nose and very wonky teeth so I used to use my long hair to hide behind!  With short hair I felt like all my terrible features were more on show and somewhat exaggerated.  So having had a chop in my twenties I regretted it and wanted my long locks back.

    Why I wouldn’t advise getting glue-in extensions

    Back then, say over ten years ago, I don’t remember there being so many hair extension options available, I certainly never saw clip-in hair extensions in the UK.  I only knew about the keratin bonded hair extensions and there were some local salons that advertised them.  They were pretty expensive at around £300, but I felt desperate and so went for it.  These extensions took HOURS to put in my hair as they are quite thin strands which are bonded to thin sections of hair.  The keratin bond is melted to the roots of the hair and ‘bonded’.

    They looked amazing when first in and I was so pleased, but I didn’t know what was yet to come.  These hair extensions were so difficult to manage!  I was advised to sleep in a plait every night and to use a special shampoo that wouldn’t break down the bond (at a high cost of course).  After around one week they started to look a bit worse for wear and feel matted at the roots.

    After six weeks they were really matted at the back and what I can only describe as a dreadlock was beginning to form at my roots on the back of my head.  I did occasionally not wear them to bed in a plait through pure laziness and going to bed too late, so I thought I might be to blame.

    So I had a second set.  This time I followed instructions to the T, but still had the same problem.  I ended up with a messy dreadlock to the roots of my hair.  A big matted mess.  The extensions also began to look unruly after a couple of weeks.

    Taking them out was awful too.  I returned to the salon where it took hours again to remove them, along with large chunks of my own hair!  My hair was so thin afterwards.  I certainly wouldn’t say it was a pleasant or pain-free experience to remove them.  At one point I had two hairdressers trying to tease (or yank) the knots from my roots!

    5 reasons why clip-in extensions are so much better

    Where to get affordable hair extensions that dont ruin your hair


    Luckily these are not the only way you can have hair extensions and there are now several different options.  Clip-in extensions look so much better than bonded and I wish I’d known about this option in my twenties.  Now I do know about them I have an option to make my hair longer again if I do get bored with my new short look.

    Here are five reasons why clip-in extensions are so much better for you and your wallet:

    1.      They are so much cheaper

    I paid around £300 just over ten years ago for a full head of professionally applied bonded hair extensions.  This obviously isn’t very budget friendly.  Clip-in extensions, on the other hand, are much more affordable with websites such as selling a full head from only £49.99 for 15 inches.  They also offer a free colour matching service, free colour exchange and free shipping so you’ll not be out of pocket trying to find the right colour match either.

    2. They won’t ruin your hair

    They’ll not ruin your hair as they are not permanently attached.  They are removable and attached with plastic clips, no different to using hair ties or regular hair accessories.  Your normal hair will look the same when they are taken out with no excessive hair loss or dreadlocked matted hair in sight.  They are designed for temporary use, so are not left in all the time damaging your hair.

    3. They are easy to use

    These extensions are much easier to use.  They can be applied yourself and do not need professional assistance.  The clips are simply standard hair clips which anyone can insert easily to their own hair.

    4. You can change your style daily

    Clip-in extensions are temporary and flexible.  You can take them in and out whenever you please so you are not tied to the same hairstyle.  You can add them for a night-out or special event only if you wish.

    5.  They last forever

    OK, maybe not forever and ever, but much longer than bonded extensions which are thrown away once removed from your hair after 6-8 weeks.  This makes them more cost effective again as they are not just for single use.


    More hair raising articles:

    Why I stopped water only hair washing after 11 weeks
    Review: NEEM Sweet Orange and Cedarwood Shampoo
    7 weeks of washing my hair with water only
    How to disguise thinning hair: five tips and tricks
    How a healthier lifestyle in 2018 could affect your hair
    The best natural hair and beauty products for the summer
    A peek at my new short hair and the most fashionable styles for 2018
    Hair Mistakes You Are Probably Making

     Where to get affordable hair extensions that dont ruin your hair