Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My New Teeth: E-max All Porcelain Crowns

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!

Quite an unlikely post for a beauty blog, eh? Today, I'll be sharing with you one major gift I gave myself this year.

The truth is, I've never been confident with my teeth and smile. (Well, now I am and so I am sharing this with you.) I've had braces for almost a decade (grade 6 to college, anyone?), all because I went to the wrong dentist who didn't really know how to fix teeth. (If you want to know who she is, feel free to send me an email.) Along the way, my two front teeth got badly damaged and died. Both teeth underwent root canal therapy and through the years have been stained and discolored from the inside. I only got to know my current dentist (Dra. Marife Pedreña) when I was in college, and she was the one who finished the braces my previous dentist started.

Dra. Marife and I
Dra. Marife has mentioned "jackets" or porcelain crowns to me before, but I didn't want to since the process sounded intimidating. I asked first if I could have veneers, but she suggested that porcelain crown would be a better alternative since my teeth were already brittle from the root canal.

She had long been recommending me to get porcelain crowns to help improve my teeth's appearance and smile. It took me a while to finally go for it, since it doesn't come cheap. This year, I decided to get all porcelain crowns to replace my two front teeth. I did this procedure last September 2013, and I consider this an early Christmas gift for myself. (It counts, since September is already a -ber month!)

Dra. Marife's current rates* for porcelain crowns are as follows:
  • P4,000/unit for porcelain fused to metal crowns
  • P10,000/unit for E-max all porcelain crowns
  • P15,000/unit for Zirconia crowns
*Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Upon doing my research online, I found that she actually has low rates for porcelain crowns without compromising quality. Other dentists offer all porcelain crowns for P15,000 to P20,000+ per unit!

The reason why I didn't go for the porcelain fused to metal crowns is because it can cause the gumline to look dark after a few years. Our gums recede with age, which reveals the metal part of the crown. I chose E-max all porcelain crowns because it looks most natural and translucent, just like real teeth. (The downside of all porcelain crowns is that it's more brittle compared to the porcelain fused to metal crowns, so I have to be careful not to eat hard, extra crunchy food.)

For the entire procedure, I went back to the dental clinic 3x in the span of 9 days.

Before (September 2, 2013)

My two front teeth have previously undergone root canal many years ago. Over the years they've discolored with a grayish/brownish tint, and I don't even smoke. (They look even darker in person.) Plus, they both are tilted and have an uneven shape.

For my first visit, Dra. just made an impression of my teeth, so the lab could make me some temporary plastic crowns. She also helped me pick a shade that was close to my teeth so it would look natural.

During (September 5, 2013)

For my second visit, Dra. said that this would take longer (about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Dra. applied topical anesthesia on my gums and then injected local anesthesia on the top part of my gums near the front teeth. When my gums finally went numb, she proceeded with grinding my teeth, so they looked like 2 baby fangs (ugly, hence no picture!). This was required so the jacket could be inserted properly. She also cleaned my teeth and gums in preparation for the temporary plastic crowns. This was the bloody part, but thank God my eyes were covered and I was under anesthesia, so I felt nothing. Yes, it was painless and I couldn't believe it either. Then, my dentist made another impression again (to be sent to the lab, so they could make an accurate crown model that would best fit my teeth). After that, she attached temporary crowns made of plastic for my teeth, which I would wear for just less than a week before I could finally get the final, permanent all-porcelain crowns.

The temporary plastic crowns instantly made my teeth brighter, which my boss noticed the moment I spoke with her. There was a minor imperfection with my temporary plastic crown, but I don't really mind since I know they'll be gone in less than a week.

Temporary Plastic Crowns

Trivia: I've heard from a friend who knew of a dentist that did NOT issue temporary crowns during the process. Imagine walking out of the dental clinic with 2 baby fangs for teeth, which would last for one week before you got the final crowns. That's a crime! Exactly the kind of dentist you should avoid at all cost.

After (September 9, 2013)

On my third and final visit, Dra. applied topical anesthesia on my gums, but no injection. The temporary plastic crowns were removed with some slight hammering. (I kept them as remembrance.) She cleaned my teeth and gums again, and finally attached the E-max all porcelain crowns. The procedure lasted just about 30 minutes, and I was done. The E-max crowns had a thinner feel compared to the temporary plastic crowns, plus it had that gradient, translucent effect that looks like real teeth.

The E-max all porcelain crowns won't decay, unlike real teeth. Some might last for a lifetime, while some for decades or so, and it all depends on how well you take care of it.

Before & After

I'm very happy with how my teeth turned out. It has helped improved my confidence a lot, and it's something I wish I've done earlier. My teeth may not be toothpaste commercial worthy white (because I didn't get them bleached after almost a decade of wearing braces), but it looks even and very natural. If I didn't tell you, you wouldn't even know I had them done. But, now you do. Total damage to my wallet was P20,000 (for 2 teeth), but it is worth every penny!

If you want to visit or consult with my dentist, here are the details:
Marife Pedreña
Tel. no.: 4155777
967 Tres Hermanas Bldg. Room 200-B Quezon cor. Roosevelt Ave. Quezon City
(If you're commuting, just ask the driver to drop you off Mercury Drug Pantranco, beside Fisher Mall.) 

It's important to have a good relationship with your dentist. He or she has to not be intimidating or scary, and most importantly, he or she has to be knowledgeable and updated with the latest trends in dentistry. I highly recommend Dra. Marife. (Get this: Even toddlers/kids love her too, and that's really something!) She has been our family dentist for about 6 years now, and I don't think I will let anyone else touch my teeth. Not even for free. :D


PS. This is not a sponsored post. I paid for the treatment using my own money.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Haul: Ensembles (Everything at 50% off!) + All Access Card

No, not everything in store is at 50% off; but everything I got for this haul is at 50% off! On a mall trip, I just dropped by Ensembles in Trinoma to see what's new in store. I wasn't planning on buying anything (really), but I chanced upon some pieces that came exactly in my size (XS) and are on a huge discount.

Here, my goes my shopping principle of "Buy clothes when you don't need it, not when you need it."

If you just said, "Huh?", please read my explanation here. ;)

But before I started shopping, I availed the All Access VIP Card first for only P100.00. (Students can get theirs for just P60.00, provided they present a valid ID.) Availing this card would entitle me to an additional discount of 15% off, even on sale items! (This promo is extended until December 31, 2013.)
Why Avail of the All Access Card?
  • All Access Card holders enjoy shopping privilege in Freeway, Ensembles, and Solo. Membership is renewable after 3 years.
  • All Access Card comes with a 20% birthday discount, which the member could avail for single purchase on his/her birth month only.
  • Members are entitled to special discounts on selected merchandise, promotional offer from partner establishments, and exclusive invites to members-only special events.
  • All Access card is a point generating VIP Card. Every P50 purchase earns 1 point. E-purse is redeemable at every 100 points earned.
  • The All Access card is non-transferable. Freeway, Ensembles, and Solo reserves the right to change the benefits, terms and conditions of usage  without prior notice.

Ensembles Basic Tank Top in Gray and Blue 
(P345.00 -> P199.00 -> P169.15* each)

My sister and I have the same body type so whatever fits me like a glove fits her, too! The thing is, she already has a 3-year old daughter, so I'm guessing I'll never gain weight even if I give birth someday.

Ensembles High-Waist Skirts in Black and Red 
(P895.00 -> P449.00 -> P381.65* each)

These are the rare occurrence that I spot bottoms that fit me at Ensembles. (These ones came in XS!) These high-waist skirts came in an office-appropriate length. I actually regret not getting all colors! I might go back to the store to get the teal and gray one if they're still available.

Ensembles White Sleeveless Cowl Neck Top
(P495.00 -> P199.00 -> P169.15*)

A simple, clean-looking top to go with my new skirts.

*The additional 15% off discount is only for All Access members.

Can you believe I just spent P1,370.75 (P1,270.75 for 5 clothes + P100.00 for the All Access Card) for all these? I'm really a happy shopper! :D

Like Ensembles on Facebook for updates on their latest products and promotions! :)


Saturday, December 28, 2013

SnowCaps L-Glutathione Capsule

A few months ago, I was invited by Vida Nutriscience, Inc. to try SnowCaps L-Glutathione Capsule. Prior to agreeing, I tried searching for reviews online, and found one by Erikajjang. After reading it, I was convinced and decided to give it a try as well.

People might ask me why I decided to try glutathione even if I have fair skin to begin with. Well, I believe there's always room for improvement. My skin is fair, but with a yellowish undertone (because of my Chinese roots). I'm intrigued on how glutathione might help further improve my skintone.

Aside from that, glutathione is a master antixodant that's stronger than vitamin C. Antioxidants work against free radicals (potentially harmful chemicals caused by stress, sun, and pollution) by neutralizing them, therefore preventing them from destroying protein from our body. Skin whitening is just a (fortunate) side effect of taking glutathione.

SnowCaps L-Glutathione Capsule with Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Vit C

SnowCaps contains Premium 500mg of L-Glutathione, also known as the miracle enzyme, to help whiten our skin. SnowCaps allows us to ingest the proper amount of L-Glutathione (reduced) with 100mg Alpha Lipoic Acid and 100mg Non-Acidic Vitamin C.

In case you're wondering what Alpha-lipoic acid is, it's also an antioxidant. It appears to be able to recycle antioxidants such as vitamin C and glutathione after they have been used up. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that helps the body eliminate potentially harmful substances, while Alpha-lipoic acid increases the formation of glutathione. (Source: About.com)

Each box of SnowCaps contains 30 capsules and is good for 1 month. Results can be seen in as early as 2 weeks to 2 months.

Each box is sealed with a safety sticker. Do not accept if logo is missing.

Inside each box contains 30 capsules of SnowCaps and an information leaflet about how glutathione works.

The expiry dates of the product is both embossed and printed on each blister pack. (Manufacturing and expiry date is also printed on the box itself.)

However, I noticed an inconsistency with regards to the mg of each capsule. One the box, it's 700mg while on the blister pack it's 650mg. This part is confusing, since I'm not sure on how much mg of Vitamin C it actually contains.

I was instructed to take 1 capsule a day (after a meal). I started taking this product last October 15, 2013 to October 31, 2013. During that 2 weeks, I had overtime work for 10 consecutive days, which would have made me haggard due to long working hours and lack of sleep. But because I was taking SnowCaps, my skin looked great and healthy the entire time. While I was out shopping, the staff of the store I frequently visit took a long look at my arms and said that my skin tone has changed and asked what product I was using. (I linked a photo on that so you could also see.) That was just 2 weeks after taking SnowCaps.

But then, I got sick (with colds and cough) and started breaking out so I pause a bit. At that time, I developed around 6 cystic acne on my chin (one after another). I supposed it was hormones, stress, the toothpaste I was using, or the glutathione. I paused taking SnowCaps for a week, but the breakouts continued. I asked my nurse friend about how certain medicines can affect the skin, but she said that the glutathione I was taking was unlikely the cause of my acne, since it was late onset (because I had been taking it for already 2 weeks before the acne started popping out). The I realized that the culprit of my breakouts was the new toothpaste I've been using during my office lunch break. I quickly tossed it out of my life, and my breakouts have stopped as well. (You may read about how I killed those pesky cystic acne here.)

Anyway, back to regular programming. I decided to retake SnowCaps again from November 16, 2013 to December 28, 2013 (today, which the last day since I've already finished up the 2 boxes).

Here are some photos of my skin, before and after taking 2 boxes of SnowCaps. Note that these photos aren't edited, except for cropping, labels, and watermarks.

Before & After SnowCaps: Abdomen Area

The skin around my abdominal area has always been darker than the rest of my body, and I don't know why! With SnowCaps, there has been a huge improvement on my skintone.

Before & After SnowCaps: Arm

My yellowish skin has turned to a pinkish white shade. I also love how the antioxidants in this dietary supplement makes my skin look healthy despite the new wave of overtime work (again!) this month.

  • While taking SnowCaps, my skin looked healthier. I didn't look haggard even if worked late and, felt tired, and lacked sleep.
  • Skin had a lit from within glow.
  • Whitening effect is natural, gradual and subtle.
  • Yellowish undertone of the skin was lessened; skin had a pinkish white look.
  • This didn't cause me breakouts. It may even have prevented breakouts due to its detoxifying ingredients and antioxidants (at least for me), since I didn't get pimples during the time of the month.
  • It's convenient, since you only take this once a day (with meals).
  • Most importantly, I experienced no negative side effects.

  • It's expensive, especially for long term use.
Glutathione's main function is an antioxidant, but it's side effect is that it stops the formation of melanin (which gives out skin color and acts as our natural sunblock). Melanin protects us from burning. When our skin has less melanin, it starts to get fair. At the same time, our natural sun protection is decreased, which makes us more susceptible to burning. Friendly advice: While taking glutathione, please always use an umbrella if you're too lazy to apply sunscreen all over your body everyday (like me).

According to Dr. Vicky Belo, the toxic dose of glutathione is 3000mg per day. So if you take 1 SnowCaps capsule (with 500mg L-Glutathione) a day, you're still far from the limit.

Each box of SnowCaps costs P1,475.00 which will last you 1 month. You can buy this online or at Mercury Drug stores or Watsons stores nationwide. Visit their website and Like Snow Caps - Premium 500mg Glutathione Capsule on Facebook for more information and updates.

Have you tried SnowCaps L-Glutathione Capsule? How has it worked for you? :)


Friday, December 27, 2013

Dark Chocolate Praline Macarons from The Pastry Company

Just this month, I had a new macaron discovery!

I actually haven't tried a lot of macaron brands, just Bizu and Tous les Jours, but I believe up-and-coming The Pastry Company will give them a good run for their money. (I'm telling you, they're that good. Even Priscilla Meirelles is a fan!)

This simple but lovely box of The Pastry Company macarons was our little box of happiness during the holiday season. My sisters and I enjoyed every bit of it.

Inside it were 3 rows of decadent Dark Chocolate Praline macarons, one of their newest flavors that was launched this month.

What's amazing about their macarons is how they've managed to perfect it's texture. The outer meringue shell is crisp, yet the inner parts are so soft, moist, and chewy. And just look at the dark chocolate filling - it's so thick and creamy! So good! ♥

The Pastry Company has other flavors such as Dark Chocolate Ganache, Salted Caramel, Pistachio, Raspberry, Strawberry, and Blueberry.

Box of 6: P240.00
Box of 12: P480.00
Box of 18: P700.00
Box of 24: P900.00

For orders, call 722-0407 or 09157040983, message them at their Facebook page, or send them an email at thepastrycompany@gmail.com. Orders are for pick-up only in Cubao, Quezon City.

Like The Pastry Company on Facebook for more information and updates on their products!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Gifts from Etude House, Tony Moly, and Tous les Jours

Where I work, the week before (and a few days after) Christmas is always the most hectic time of the year, but I'm still thankful that I have work, and most grateful for unexpected surprises like these!

A few days before Christmas, I received the most wonderful presents from my AGC family, which carries just some of my favorite cutesy Korean brands such as Etude House, Tony Moly, and Tous les Jours here in the Philippines.

Let's unwrap the presents, shall we? :)

From Tous les Jours Philippines

Tous les Jours sent me a basket filled with sweet treats, much to the delight of my entire family. This Christmas basket is definitely made for sharing!

Tous les Jours Mini Chiffon

Tous les Jours Mini Castella

Tous les Jours sponge cakes are so soft, light, and fluffy! The Mini Chiffon has a slight tinge of lemon, while the Mini Castella is more on the buttery side.

Tous les Jours Cream Cheese Muffin

I loved these Cream Cheese Muffins so much that this was the only thing from the basket I didn't share! >:) It's so moist, soft, and fresh! Definitely a treat for cheese lovers.

Tous les Jours Blueberry Muffin

I have actually featured the Blueberry Muffin before, so I gave this to my Dad so he could enjoy it at work. This one's soft and moist (wait, almost all Tous les Jours cakes are!) with real blueberry bits inside.

Tous les Jours Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don't know how the bakers from Tous les Jours do it, but this pack of Chocolate Chip Cookies is crunchy and moist at the same time! Open a pack and be greeted by that "freshly baked" scent. The outer part of the cookies is crunchy, but the insides are moist and juicy. Aside from chocolate chips, it has crushed walnuts, too!

Tous les Jours Strawberry Jam

Tous les Jours Brownie Mix

I'm so intrigued by this box of Brownie Mix. It says I can make a moist batch of brownies but just adding water and baking it in a microwave oven! I don't have a baking oven at home, so this one's heaven sent. MUST TRY! :D

Visit http://www.tlj.ph/ to know more about their products!

From Etude House Philippines

Etude House Philippines sent me some of their newest products. Gotta love how girly everything is!
Etude House I Need You, Bulgarian Rose! Mask Sheet

I love the new packaging of Etude House's sheet masks! It's alphabetized from A-Z plus a ♥ variant, and I want to try them all!

Etude House Shining Dream Twinkle Nails in Holy Twinkle
Etude House Shining Dream Perfumed Kissful Set

Etude House will make your Shining Dreams come true this Holiday season! Shining Dream is Etude House's Winter Holiday Limited Collection for 2013. The trend for the holidays are twinkling nails and shiny lips!

Etude House &Rose Rosy Tint Lips in 01

The &Rose Collection is inspired by Sleeping Beauty, and it Etude House's Fall 2013 Collection. Rosy Tint Lips a cream tint (oh I love how innovative Korean makeup gets!) that you can use both on the lips and cheeks. I love that it has a matte finish and with a unique petal-soft velvety texture when applied on the lips.

Etude House Slim & Long Sharp Liner

I'd like you to meet the cutest eyeliner I've ever seen! It looks like a real pen! It's unique and super slim at just 1.5mm.

Visit http://www.etudehouse.ph/ to know more about their products!

From Tony Moly Philippines

Tony Moly Philippines sent me a complete face makeup set. Looks like I won't be buying makeup anytime soon!

Tony Moly Pure Aura CC Cream Flyer

I already have Tony Moly Pure Aura CC Cream, which I reviewed here. This one's a helpful guide for makeup newbies!

Tony Moly Egg Pore Nose Pack

My first ever nose strip. I already tried this out, watch out for my review!

Tony Moly Cristal Blusher in 03

Yes, Cristal is really spelled that way. I'm loving this peachy pink shade to bits!

Tony Moly Berry Berry Magic Lip Tint in 01 Clear

I already got one in 03 Purple a few weeks ago during Tony Moly's sale, and now I have the clear version! Now, which one to use first?

Tony Moly Lovely Eye Liner Pencil

Tony Moly Simple Style Slim Mascara Curling

Now I also have backups of basic eye makeup, too! Among Korean makeup brands, Tony Moly's packaging is more on the minimalist side, but it looks really classy, don't you agree? 

Visit http://www.tonymoly.ph/ to know more about their products!

Thank you so much, Etude House Philippines, Tony Moly Philippines, and Tous les Jours Philippines for these wonderful Christmas presents! ♥

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