So, now that I’m blogging full-time, I have created a list of goals to accomplish in next year or so. They range from personal goals to professional aspirations, with some being very attainable and some being a bit far-fetched.
One of my goals was to start adding more of a beauty aspect to my blog, focusing on hair care in particular, and I am so excited to say that I’m getting a jump start on that already! I am partnering with Pantene to show you their amazing new Breakage Defense Shampoo. (Did anyone else dream of being a Pantene girl one day, because I did!!)
First of all, I mean, just look at my hair in these photos. My hair is a bit damaged from color-treatments and curling it but the difference I’ve seen once I started using these products has been incredible! The difference is that Pantene’s new shampoos actually penetrate into the core with nourishing lipids and antioxidants, replenishing hair’s lost moisture (which happens from coloring and using hot tools). Using their new shampoos will protect hair from present and future damage. I know that I don’t have to stress as much when I’m blow-drying and curling my hair because the shampoos are actually putting something back in, leaving it shiny and healthy!
I also used to be nervous about washing my hair every day (I would sometimes not wash it after a workout…lol) because it would just dry it out, but with Pantene’s new formula there’s no need to worry. These shampoos DON’T strip your hair of their natural nutrients and instead make it extra silky (these photos say it all, really, have you seen my hair look this healthy before?).
I am all for this new line of shampoos because they work well and they’re affordable. I have SO much hair, y’all! It’s not getting clean with a quarter-size dollop; I need to be able to use as much as I need without worrying about the price. Also, you don’t need to make a run to a beauty store, you can grab it while you’re on your regular supermarket or grocery store run!
Summer is almost here, which for die-hard, never leave the house without makeup girls like me, also means the anxiety thinking about all the times you’re going to have to leave the foundation behind. Nothing looks more weird than having a full face of makeup for a day at the beach or floating the river, and having a clear, smooth face will help you feel more comfortable in your skin.
Luckily, my best friend (Taylor Grant) happens to be the Manager at TOC Medical Spa in Austin, so she and one of her fabulous RN’s (Dawn Sasiela) helped me get summer ready with some skin care treatments. The RN’s at TOC have a combined 80 years of experience and training, so it was obvious who to turn to in Austin for my needs. I knew I would be in good hands! If you’re a newbie like me who hasn’t had much done besides the occasional facial, these treatments are great starting points if you’re thinking about taking it to the next level.
At TOC, I had 4 treatments done, so with the help of Taylor and Dawn, I’m going to go through each one and tell you a little about what they do for you and why I thought they were right for me for my summer skincare. I’m 26, so along with some treatments to help my skin look better right away, I also had some that will help with age prevention.
This is the second time I’ve had this particular facial done because I’m so in love with the immediate results. It’s something you get done the day you need your skin looking extra smooth and healthy, as there is no downtime afterwards. You can leave the spa and immediately put makeup on if you need to or go out in the sun.
Here’s what it does:
“HydraFacial represents the latest advance in non-laser skin resurfacing. HydraFacial is the only hydradermabrasion procedure to combine cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration, and antioxidant protection in a single treatment. Treatment yields clearer, more beautiful skin with no discomfort or downtime. You will find it to be soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and non-irritating. The HydraFacial treatment improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, congested and enlarged pores, oily or acne-prone skin, hyperpigmentation and brown spots.”
My skin looks smoother and my acne decreases substantially for about 2 weeks after this treatment, no joke. Something about the exfoliation and extraction works wonders! I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a little boost for a special occasion.
Like a lot of people, I have dealt with acne my whole life. I’ve tried so many different things, and I always get suggestions from people about what I could be doing differently, but what they don’t know is that if it’s out there, I’ve probably tried it. It’s completely hormonal, so sometimes it looks totally fine, and others I want to hide under a rock.
Anyway, everyone knows that if you deal with bad acne, you also deal with acne scars. This has been something I’ve felt especially self-conscious about for the past few years, but what I didn’t know was that there’s a great treatment I can do to get rid of them.
Enter the IPL Fotofacial. Here’s what it does:
“IPL FotoFacial® RF uses intense pulsed light and radiofrequency energy to rejuvenate and improve skin on the face, neck, hands and body by reducing blemishes, natural imperfections and discolorations caused by small surface veins and uneven skin pigment. It is effective for all skin types and is safe and highly effective in treating sun-damaged skin. It also excels in treating redness associated with the common skin disorder rosacea. The IPL light component delivers a range of light wavelengths to target various discolorations and unevenness in a single treatment. The RF component stimulates the skin’s natural collagen, improving overall skin tone.”
One thing I had to keep in mind is that your skin is sensitive to the sun after this treatment, so I had to go back and get it a few weeks after the other treatments, which is why there are no photos of it. I got it done just on my cheeks, jaw, and chin area, since that’s where most of my breakouts occur, and I am so happy with how it turned out! I had a few big scars that really bothered me, and they have lightened up so much. I used to have to use concealer plus foundation to cover them, but now just a light layer of powder makes them disappear completely.
I am a very expressive person, so I developed deep forehead lines and smile lines around my mouth in my early twenties that have just gotten deeper every year. I was a little nervous about getting started with anything involving needles just yet, but Dawn explained to me that the treatments I’d be getting were not like cosmetic surgery, and that the preventative results would be worth it.
Here’s what Dawn let me know about Dysport:
“Dysport is an injectable product to relax the muscles which, with repetitive movement, create lines. Also used to relax muscles which depress or pull down to create lifting. Dysport is abobotulinumtoxin A. Very similar to Botox in chemical makeup and equal as an injectable muscle relaxer. The product lasts approximately 3-4 months.”
I honestly didn’t realize how much the treatment would improve the look of the lines on my forehead, especially. I thought it would just make them not get deeper over time, but it really smoothed them out and I feel so much more confident now! If you deal with these lines, you know what I mean. I felt like they were way deeper than they should have been at age 26, so I feel much more like my age now.
Like I said, another area that bothered me were the lines around my mouth. After a long day wearing makeup, I would look in the mirror and feel like I had drawn on lines to make myself look like a granny in a school play or something. That might seem dramatic, but it’s how I felt. So, Dawn suggested I try a little belotero to decrease these lines by slightly plumping up the area.
Also, I don’t talk about it much, but a few years ago I had my wisdom teeth removed and a week later got a serious, secondary infection in my jaw causing a large abscess. It inflamed the area so much that I had to have immediate, emergency surgery to drain it, and was hospitalized for 5 days to recover. They drained it from two areas, the inside of my mouth and also through my neck, creating a canal. I literally would drink water or eat jello, and any excess that didn’t make it down my throat would flow out through my neck. (Gross, right??) After 3 years, all is well except I have a small buildup of scar tissue on the right side of my neck by the surgery scar, and the right corner of my lip tilts downward more than the left. I try to accept it, it’s really not that bad in the grand scheme of things, but having my photo taken nearly every day for my blog and having to see how different I look on my right side has caused me to tend to only show the left side of my face.
Dawn let me know that the belotero could also help by lifting the right corner of my mouth more to match the left, creating a more upturned appearance. I had no idea something like this could help so much!
Here’s what it does:
“Belotero is a hyaluronic acid filler which is very soft in nature and creates a natural softening of lines. It can be placed superficially without negative side effects such as bumps or a blue tint to the skin. The results are nearly immediate, with little to no downtime needed, and, in trials, are lasting an average of nine months and more.”
I know, it can seem like I’m being too hard on myself, which I’m sure I am, but if there are ways to make you feel more confident in your own skin, I believe there is nothing wrong with doing them. As my friend Molly of The Fashion Veggie said recently, sometimes you have to be high maintenance to be low maintenance. She used this expression when she got her eyebrows micro-bladed so that she wouldn’t have to take the time to fill them in every morning. I feel the same way about these skincare treatments. I got them so that I wouldn’t have to wear as much makeup and still feel confident.
If you’re looking for a place in Austin for some amazing summer skincare, be sure to check out TOC! They were so welcoming, professional, and made me feel completely comfortable and taken care of in what can feel like an intimidating environment.