I recently took a survey through The Knot’s XO Club that got me thinking about myself and my personal habits. It was a survey about beauty and how it relates to your wedding day – makeup, skin care, daily routines…all of that good stuff. One of the last questions asked something to the effect of “if you could change 3 things about your overall appearance for your wedding day, what would they be?”
Well, because the survey had gotten me thinking about beauty products and my personal appearance for a good 10 minutes before getting to that question, this one was a pretty easy one for me to answer. 1. Weight 2. Nails 3. Teeth. The saddest part is, I know that everything I want to change in these areas is related to my personal bad habits…and to see results I’m going to have to go through the hard work of breaking them.
Problem Area #1: Weight
You all already know about my struggle with my weight and my effort to lose some pounds and inches before the big day. I’m not going to go into much more detail about that right now, but suffice it to say that I’ll be giving you all a proper update on that situation in the near future.
Problem Area #2: Nails
My second biggest bad habit is biting my nails. I’ve been a nail biter my whole life and, except for one short stint with acrylics for Bridesmaid C’s wedding in 2010, I’ve never really gotten manicures. I’ve realized recently that the length of my nails (or the amount of time that I go without biting them) directly correlates to the amount of stress that I’m experiencing in my life, especially when it comes to work or school. Even when I do manage to keep from biting my nails for an extended period of time, they tend to break very easily. My nails aren’t pretty…but you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s a picture of my nails at this exact moment:
Yes, that’s my Contracts book. Which is just another reason why those nails are so short. I can’t believe my last day of class for the semester is one week from today!
And truth be told, this is actually a pretty good day for my nails. In the past, I’ve tried to paint my nails to keep myself from biting them. This works for a while, but then the nail polish chips and it looks awful so I take it off – and biting usually resumes shortly thereafter. Recently, Miss Kettle posted about her great experiences with Nailtiques and how they helped her to grow long, healthy nails. I’m thinking I just might have to try that product out in the near future, because I currently don’t see any other way around having to get fake nails for the wedding otherwise.
Problem Area #3: Teeth
Obviously biting my nails also affects my teeth somewhat, but this isn’t actually where my main complaint about my chompers stems from. I’m lucky enough to never have needed braces because my teeth are fairly straight, so that’s not my main concern either. Like many other brides-to-be, I’m concerned about how white…or, in this case, not white…my teeth are. I’ll spare you a photo on this one, but suffice it to say I’m not happy.
I know that the yellowness of my teeth is related to the amount of dark beverages I drink, but I’m finding it difficult to completely kick coffee and Diet Pepsi as a law student – I need those caffeine fixes! Switching to caffeinated green tea has helped both my waistline and the color of my teeth a little, but I know I’m going to have to invest in some whitening products before the big day if I’m really going to be happy with my smile.
For our engagement pictures, I added this Arm & Hammer whitening booster to my toothpaste for 3 days before our photos. I started using it the day that we found out we won the contest, otherwise I would have started using it much sooner. Honestly, this product was just ok. At around $6 (I think), the price wasn’t bad…much better than the $60 that Walgreens on campus was asking for Crest white strips. I think it helped a little, but I didn’t take before and after pictures so I honestly can’t be 100% sure. Below is the engagement photo where you can best see our teeth…but this is obviously black and white and post-touch ups, so it’s entirely possible that the photographer digitally whitened our teeth. I never thought to ask.
(Source: Cristina G Photography)
Since then, I’ve also started using some other products on a semi-regular basis to try and whiten my teeth gradually and without harsh strips before our wedding related events start happening.
The first product I purchased was Crest 3d White mouthwash, because I had a coupon. I think I’d see better results if I remembered to use this every day (or twice a day), but sharing a bathroom with 2 other people means that I actually have to put my stuff away…and “out of sight, out of mind” is definitely a problem that I have with this sort of thing. Overall, I like this product, but I just need to remember to use it more often to know if it actually helps or not.
I also bought myself some Colgate Optic White toothpaste when it first came out because it was on sale. In fact, I think I got an even better price than the one shown in the picture. I plan to start using it when I use up my current tube of toothpaste, and I’m planning on taking photos to see if it actually does make my teeth whiter. I’ll keep you updated on the progress.
I’m hoping that these small steps will help me to improve my look so that I can feel my absolute best by the time July rolls around, but I know that breaking these habits for good would also be beneficial to my health and beauty overall.
Did you try to break any habits in anticipation of your wedding or a special event? Did certain products help you do that?