Monday, December 14, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 9 - Palácio Mateus

Olá!! :-)

As I had written on my previous post about our stay in Vila Real, besides relaxing we went to Palácio Mateus, which is just a bus drive away from the city center. I believe it took approximately 20min to get there.
I was not sure if I had been there in the past, but I did know that it was a beautiful place to visit.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The road to Invisalign

Hello there!!

Today I want to talk about Invisalign and try to answer some of your potential questions about this treatment. I read so many reviews and other people's opinions that I find out very important to share mine as well. Who knows? Maybe there's one of you who also wants to get a nicer smile but is not aware that you can actually do it without having your mouth filled with metal wires.

Here are some FAQ's:

  • What is it?
Invisalign is a "new" way of getting your teeth straight without using the conventional metal braces.
These are plastic trays, transparent, that are custom made to your teeth.

  • How it works?
Each person's case is different and therefore the treatment plan is also different. In general terms, anyone could use this treatment (they have treated over 3M patients!!). Depending on the duration of your treatment, you will get a certain amount of trays. Each tray is replaced every two weeks, unless your doctor says otherwise.
You should wear them for about 20-22hours a day, meaning all the time except when having meals.

  • How do they get the aligners custom made?
Nowadays, some Invisalign providers have a digital scanner that takes pictures of your teeth. Imagine using a probe with a camera on the very end and take pictures of your teeth.
In case such system is not available, then they make traditional molds of your teeth.
You also have to take X-rays of your mouth and skull.

  • Restrictions:
No food, hot or sugary drinks while wearing Invisalign. Only water is allowed. If you do eat or drink while wearing them be prepared for the possibility that your aligners will get some coloring or may even break.
After every meal/snack, you have to floss, brush your teeth and your aligners. Like... always!

  • Is it really "invisible"?
In my case, I think not. Why? I have some attachments placed on my teeth, therefore, you can see "bumps" on them and the correspondent bumps on the aligners.
If you do not need any attachments (in case your teeth only need minor correction) than most likely,
your aligners will hardly be noticeable.

  • What are those "bumps" on your teeth?
The bumps or attachments are small composite placed on your teeth to help them move better.
Some teeth may need more difficult movements (rotation or vertical direction - up/down) which a flat surface won't be able to do.
They will have the same color as your teeth or as close as possible of course.

  • Does it hurt?
Pain is a very subjective thing. I can stand quite some pain, but in my case, I have not felt any pain so far! Like, nothing!!
I do feel some pressure on my teeth, due to having a strange object placed on my teeth. Also, some of my teeth feel more sensitive than others, but I don't call this pain.
Pain for me is something that requires to take medicine and won't allow you to do your normal daily errands.
So far, I'm just fine! Could change in the future though...

  • Does it affect your speech?
A little bit. Some words get a funny sound but it's nothing crazy. Words with "s" or "f" are the trickiest ones for me.

  • How much it cost?
The cost highly depends on the duration of the treatment. This means that there is no price that fits all, let's say.
In my case, the technical costs (getting your aligners manufactured) are a fixed value and what could make the whole treatment more expensive is the amount of visits required.
Invisalign says that in average, the treatment can go from 3.5 - 5.5kEur. Yes, I have been saving for some years in order to get my teeth fixed... It's an investment. So if you are planning on doing this, make sure you've got your finances in order.
Some providers may allow you to pay in equal parts; like a monthly bill. Just ask if that's possible.

  • Does the insurance cover the treatment?
In my case no. Depending on your insurance company they may have special agreements for orthodontics.
Always ask them in advance, just so you know what to count on.

My experience:

So far I am positive about it. I got so excited once I had seen my ClinCheck video (a computer simulation made by Invisalign on how your teeth should progress throughout the treatment), that I just couldn't wait to get started! :-)
I had done an extensive research about this kind of treatment and knew what the restrictions were.
It has been exactly 2 month since I have decided to go for this treatment and had my first appointment at the orthodontics and the day I actually got my first set of aligners. they have quite a busy agenda... haha

As I said previously, I have not had any pain so far. I do miss to be able to snack and drink coffee as
many times as I want.
On my purse, I always have to carry a tooth brush&paste and flossers. I wanna be able to do things I like regardless having these on my teeth. A little bit of preparation that's all it takes (and a purse big enough... hahaha).

If you have questions about Invisalign, please let them in the comments below and I will try to answer you.
I am no expert in this, obviously, but I can try to help you out.

When were not happy with something, you have to take the lead and measurements in order to change it!
I wasn't happy with my smile but didn't want to have my mouth full with wires; glad someone came up with this technique!

Before I forget, make sure you choose a certified Invisalign provider! Go to their website and search for one closer to you. If some doctor's name is not on the list, then he/she isn't certified!
Be aware that they may be people trying to fool you by waving with low prices and so on, but then, if something happens
you may end up in troubles.

Anyway, I will keep updating about my journey with Invisalign! If you are interested or know someone who is, then please come back. ;-)

For more info, please check Invisalign's wesite:

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Monday, December 07, 2015

Beatuy | A first time

Hello!! :)

There's always a first time for everything, correct?
So I also had one, this time at a MAC counter. Yes, it took me forever to finally go to a MAC counter and purchase my first MAC product.
Now, all of you beauty and MAC experts are like "Why did you take so long?!".
Let me answer that question for you! ;-)

I have a serious issue with spending a nice amount of money for things that are seen as "unnecessary". Make-up items can be seen like that.
Somehow, I felt that their products are on the pricier-side of the fence and never had the urge to jump over and see what was on the other side.
Was it worth the hype? Was it worth the money?

When my foundation finished, I made up my mind and head to a MAC counter. I was ready to see what they had to offer.
It was also a perfect timing to get the right shade for me! Yeah, even though I read all kinds of post about "how to check your right foundation shade" I was still not confident that all these years I have been selecting the right one... I hope I have not been walking around with a totally off tone foundation... LOL

Anyway, I went to the MAC counter closer to me and found a very kind sales assistant
whiling to help me out. "How can I help you?" She asked. I'm sure she had no idea what I had in mind for her! hahaha

I told her:
  • Don't know my right shade
  • Never bought any MAC product
  • Long lasting foundation
  • Good but not full coverage
  • Don't want to look like a porcelain doll
  • No time to touch ups during the day

Kind she was to find something that would suit my needs and even do my make up. Yeah, I went there with clean face (can't even imagine what went through her mind...).

She found the right shade for me and presented the MAC Studio Fix plus in NC20 to me.

I have been using it for 3 months, 5 days/week, over 10hours/day. Pretty intense test, don't you think?
Pictures - Sony Alpha 5100 | Flash ON

What I like about this foundation is that it does everything I asked for! This baby lasts the whole day on the sky, even after working out! Yes, I go work out with make up on. And as long as I don't touch my face too much, it will stay the same as I applied early in the morning.

Coverage is good; not too strong but not too sheer either. I usually apply 1.5pumps all over my face and it evens out all imperfections. For more coverage I should use a concealer, but I like the fact that I can still see my freckles but the skin looks even.
I sure don't look like a porcelain doll, which is a plus to me!
Looks natural and light on the skin. Most of the days I forget I'm wearing it.

After 2 months, I believe the jar is still quite full. It comes in a 30ml glass jar which can be a problem for travelers. It didn't have a pump; I had to buy it separately for 5Eur extra.
The foundation costs 31Eur here in Nl.

Will I repurchase it? Most probably yes!
Do I think it was worth the money? Sure! Nothing beats having the right shade and a foundation that does what you need/want.

Totally recommend stopping by at a MAC counter and get some advice. I'm sure next time I'm there I will bring another item. It's very difficult not to go crazy in that store, but one has to stay focus!
There are other bills to pay... hahaha

Still hoping to win the lottery one day.

What about you? Which foundation do you use? What makes a good foundation to you?
Any recommendations on which product should I bring home on my next visit?

Let me know in the comments section below!

See you soon!!

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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Pelos caminhos de Portugal - part 8 - Vila Real

Olá!!! :-)

Ready for Vila Real??
Well, back in Vila Real we didn't do much for two reasons:
  • Too tired; legs and feet were crying out loud for some time off.
  • Not much to do in there.
With this saying, it does not mean that Vila Real has nothing nice to visit or see. On the contrary!
The way to and out of Vila Real is just breathtaking, as you drive through the mountains; Serra do Marão.  You have beautiful views to the Douro river and the vineyards along the river.
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