Smile Fearlessly with Professional Teeth Whitening at Home

Smile Fearlessly with Professional Teeth Whitening at Home

Long before I was self conscious about my weight, I was self conscious about my smile.  My teeth weren’t as white as they could be, and I had these white spots (from fluorosis) on my two front teeth that were the cause of much embarrassment. I used to cover my mouth when I smiled or talked because I was scared of what other people would think. Now, I can Smile Fearlessly thanks to Smile Brilliant and their Professional Teeth Whitening kits.

Smile Fearlessly with Smile Brilliant a Review by Aduke Schulist

Smile Brilliant Professional Teeth Whitening Kit

Each kit comes with everything you need to get a beautiful smile without ever having to step foot outside.

Smile Brilliant Teeth Whitening Kit

Included in the Smile Brilliant kits are two trays with the paste needed to make impressions of your top and bottom teeth. Detailed instructions are provided to help you get the best impression possible. They even include an extra paste in case of a bad impression. Once your impressions are done, simply let them dry overnight and then ship them off in the provided envelope. They go to a lab where your custom dental trays will be made and shipped back to you.

Smile Brilliant Custom Made Dental Whitening TraysThis entire process took about a week. Not only is it quick, it costs about 70% less than the cost of custom dental trays from a dentist. The trays even arrive with a hard shell carrying case.

Once your trays arrive, the whitening can begin!

This was the most complicated part for me. My first application was messy and my gums were sensitive. It took a couple of uses to figure out what was causing my gums to be so sensitive. I wasn’t using a lot of the product, but the tiny amount that was getting on my gums hurt. I realized that my toothbrush bristles were too hard and my aggressive brushing was causing micro-abrasions on my gums, which were then super sensitive during whitening.

I switched to a toothbrush with soft bristles, brushed my teeth a little more gently, and was careful around my gum lines. The change was fabulous. Where before I could tolerate them only up to 45 minutes, I could now tolerate whitening my teeth for longer periods without any problems. Smile Brilliant recommends 45 minutes to 3 hours, but you may need to work your way up to those times.

Smile Brilliant Whitening Gel

When ordering your kit, you can choose between sensitive or non-sensitive. I recommend the sensitive kit option, even if you don’t have sensitive teeth. The sensitive kit comes with desensitizing gel which is used after the whitening process. This desensitizing gel really helped sooth my gums.

Before / After Photos
Smile before Smile Brilliant at Home Professional Teeth Whitening
Smile before beginning Smile Brilliant
Before Smile Brilliant Whitening System
Before using Smile Brilliant
Aduke Schulist Smile Brilliant Results after 1 Session
Smile Brilliant Results after 1 Whitening Session

Isn’t it amazing how much change is present after just ONE session? This stuff really gets in between my teeth – those places that most whitening systems can’t reach. Imagine what the full process is going to do to my teeth. I can’t wait to show you guys the full results.

In the meantime, you can enter to win your own Smile Brilliant kit below. Be sure to check out my social media channels for more:
Facebook: Aduke Schulist
Instagram: @AdukeSchulist
Twitter: @AdukeSchulist

Are you ready to Smile Fearlessly?

Head on over to Smile Brilliant to enter the giveaway. Entries without an email will not be valid as they need an email to contact the winner.

The Smile Brilliant giveaway is for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open for 1 week and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents.

Alternatively, use code adukeschulist15 when checking out for 15% off your order.

Happy Whitening!

Tooth Whitening Gel

December IPSY With Referral Rewards

December IPSY With Referral Rewards

It’s that time again.. where I share with you what I got in my IPSY bag for the month. I had some referral points available to spend and ended up using them for some face masks since I haven’t received any in my bags yet and am in love with them. Turns out Soo Ae somehow read my mind and ended up sending me some of their newest masks, so between that and this month’s IPSY, I am set for a while. 

December IPSY bag Review and Referral by Aduke Schulist

I would have posted this sooner, but I wrapped my IPSY and put it under the tree without peeking. Is that weird? It’s not, right?

This post contains affiliate links. 

The bag itself this month was a big upgrade from last month. It’s a silver bag with sparkling trim. I always love seeing how they incorporate the season into the bag.

Bonus Items

Starting off, these are the items I got using my referral rewards. For every person that you sign up using your referral link you earn rewards. You can also earn rewards when you review the items in your bag. I chose two face masks.

December IPSY Referral Rewards

I am not really a fan of sheet masks because I find they fit my face awkwardly, but I am anxious to try this gram mask. It comes in two pieces, so I’m thinking that will mean a better fit.

Dead Sea Wash-Off Mask

Global Beauty Care made a second appearance in my bag with this Dead Sea Wash-Off Mask. I may not have ordered two masks if I had known that I would be getting one in my bag this month.

December IPSY Dead Sea wash off mask

Beauty Water

I am all about skin care lately. Maybe it is because I am aging, or just trying to take better care of myself, inside and out, but skin care – especially facial skin care – is my jam. I am slightly obsessed with all the cleansing, toning, and purifying things out there, so of course I am happy to get this Beauty Water by Son & Park.

December IPSY Son & Park Beauty Water

I’ve never tried this particular brand before, so I can’t wait to see what it’s like.

Lips & Eyes

Moving on to the lips and eyes… I usually get something lip or eye related (or both!) in every bag. My most basic makeup routine always includes lips and eyes so this is perfect for me.

December IPSY OFRA Liquid Lip and NYX Eyeliner

December IPSY PIXI

PIXI and NYX have both shown up a few times in my bags, and I’ve never been disappointed. They are both great brands. This month’s PIXI product was this eye shadow duo in Orchid Ornament. I tend to stick to browns/neutrals, so this is a little adventurous for me, but not on the wild side.

NYX sent an eyeliner in brown – a shade I usually don’t wear, but it seems to be dark enough that it will be ok. It swatched really smooth and stayed in place throughout the day, but I haven’t actually tried it on yet.

And finally, OFRA’s IPSY UNZIPPED liquid lipstick was in my bag. I saw somebody complain on Facebook that they always get the same shade of lipstick and I am seeing somewhat of a pattern with mine too, but definitely not complaining. I love the shades that are sent to me.

Get Your IPSY Now

That’s it for mine.. Another 5 great products (plus two bonus items).

What are you waiting for? You can get yours now by signing up here.

December IPSY bag and contents

Do you like face masks as much as I do?
What’s your favorite facial skin care product?

IPSY November Glam Bag – #Review

IPSY November Glam Bag – #Review

You guys!! I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my IPSY November Glam Bag ever since I got notice that it shipped. Now, I like to be surprised so I stayed away from social media and didn’t look at what items had been picked for me or the bag they would arrive in. So when my November Glam Bag arrived and I saw the bag inside, I was a little shocked… in a bad way. 

Y’all, I ain’t even gonna’ lie.. I think this bag is ugly! 

This post contains affiliate links.

IPSY November Glam Bag Review by Aduke Schulist

I was stressing myself out thinking about how disappointed I was because of such an awful bag, but really, the items made up for it. Here’s what I got:

Tarte Cosmetics Clay Blush in Feisty

I tend to wear pinker blushes, but as I’ve gotten into contouring lately – something I said I would never do – I find myself just using some of my darker blushes in shades similar to this Feisty one from Tarte. It’s not super pigmented, but makes a great contour for me.

Tarte Cosmetics Blush in Fiesty November Glam Bag

Your Skin But Better CC Cream

I have seen so many YouTubers with this CC Cream lately and kept wanting to try it out myself. I was happily surprised to see some in my November Glam Bag.

Your Skin But Better CC Cream November Glam Bag

I gotta say I am cautious when it comes to any sort of foundation. I have a hard time matching my skin tone and I always feel so weighed down by them. I also feel like they go on very patchy on my skin.

I tend to stick with BB Creams that are essentially tinted moisturizer. They serve as foundation for me.

This CC Cream (in light) is so smooth and doesn’t leave my skin looking patchy or dry at all. I’m unsure if I would actually purchase this myself as I can’t picture me reapplying my foundation every 2 hours as is suggested since it contains SPF.

Your Skin But Better CC Cream November Glam Bag from IPSY

Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in Lit

I really like the color and formula of this lip topper, but the sparkle was a bit too much for me for a lip product. The good news is when I tried to wipe it off, it mostly stayed put. The bad news is, the sparkles ended up all over my face. I decided it was perfect for use on my eyes though and can’t wait to try it out as a highlight too.

Lime Crime Diamond Crushers Lit November Glam Bag

SKYN Berry Lip Fix*

Hands down, this is my favorite product this month. This lip treatment makes my lips feel like they have been to a spa. I’m not sure what magical ingredient gives my lips that tingling feeling, but it feels so good.

Skyn Berry Lip Fix from November Glam Bag Review by Aduke SchulistSkyn Berry Lip Fix Treatment November Glam Bag

*This link takes to you a different product than the one mentioned in this post. Follow this link for the product mentioned here. 

Naked Cosmetics Mother Nature Loose Powder

Naked Cosmetics Mother Nature Loose Powder November Glam Bag

Surely there is a way I can turn this loose powder into a solid form, no? It’s a really pretty color, but boy does it get everywhere. Or perhaps I am just messy.

I want to love this, but I’m not sure if my fear of it making a mess will keep me from using it. It swatches really pretty, so that is probably enough to tempt me into risking my sanity for this shadow.

If you guys remember from my October IPSY Glam Bag review, I had a lip gloss that smelled terrible… Well, my sister got the same one and hers was fine. I contacted IPSY and they sent out a replacement lip product. It was a solid lipstick in a different shade, so I didn’t get to keep the mdmflow one, but IPSY made it right. Love that kind of customer service!

That’s it for my November Glam Bag review. Overall, I’m pretty pleased with what I got. I hardly ever use the bags anyway, so no loss there.

IPSY November Glam Bag - Review by Aduke Schulist

If you want to sign up for IPSY, you can receive your own bag and products every month based on your personal beauty profile.

What did you think of this mustard yellow November Glam Bag? Do you like it? 

Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, and Tumors

Warning: Period and Reproductive Health Talk Ahead!

Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, and Tumors

Today’s blog post is all about my reproductive health, so I apologize for those who couldn’t care less. This is going to be long and some parts may also be a little TMI. You have been warned.

Adenomyosis, Endometriosis, and Tumors

Diagnosed with Endometriosis

It all started because of my painful (and heavy) periods. I suppose I didn’t really know mine were heavy, but they lasted longer than most girls and in order not to leak I had to double up on products. I knew that wasn’t normal.

I also knew that I suffered from cramps in a worse way than other girls. I’ve always had a high pain tolerance, but my periods would bring me to my knees. The pain was so bad I would literally vomit. After suffering from a period that lasted over 2 weeks, my mom finally took me to the doctor for some tests.

When I was 15 I was diagnosed with endometriosis as well as PCOS. For those who don’t know, endometriosis is basically where the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows on the outside of the uterus and can cause organs to attach themselves to other organs through bands of tissue called adhesions.

At 17 I had excision surgery to remove endometriosis/adhesions. I can’t remember all the details about where it was and what was adhered to what, but I do remember feeling some relief.

Fertility and PCOS/Endometriosis

While everybody’s story is different, I was told that I would never have biological children, and if I did it would require a lot of fertility treatments.

I believed that…

Kaia - Born after struggle with Endometriosis

until I had my first child, without any sort of treatments.

And then another..

Pregnant with second child - spina bifida

and still another.

Third Child - 26 weeker - Baptist Health Arkansas

My fertility hasn’t been affected to the point of being infertile, but I do struggle with cycle related issues and staying pregnant. I don’t always ovulate. My progesterone isn’t where it should be (resulting in preterm labors). My ovaries form cysts. My hormones are out of whack. And my cycles last much longer than the typical cycle length. I didn’t really suffer from the weight gain or facial hair until these last few years.

About 2 years after my first excision I had my first child unexpectedly and without any fertility treatments. After birth, I still had pain, but it was nothing like before (I kid you not when I say labor and child birth was nothing compared to my periods).

Abdominal Wall Endometrial Tumor

My last child was born via emergency cesarean section. During the c-section they found out that my placenta was not only drying out from my water having been broken for 10 days, but also growing into my uterus (a condition known as placenta accreta) and had to remove a tiny portion of my uterus in order to fix that problem.

These past few years I have been struggling with what was at first diagnosed as an endometrial abdominal wall tumor. This is a somewhat rare tumor (from endometrial tissue) that happens after a c-section.

The worst part for me (besides the obvious pain) was the inability to exercise. I used to be so in shape, but once this tumor started growing, I began bleeding every time I tried to exercise. I ultimately stopped doing the sport I loved the most – running.

See this post on Life As A Convert where I previously discussed my struggles with running and endometriosis

Ultrasounds and Laparoscopic Surgery

Prior to the abdominal wall tumor being diagnosed, I had an ultrasound to see what was going on. The thing about endometriosis is that it doesn’t show up on an ultrasound. In order for it to be diagnosed, you have to go in surgically. So, when my ultrasound came back “normal” but the lump was still there, I knew something was going on.

I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss options. Because I still had hopes of having another child, a hysterectomy was off the table. Instead, he chose to go in laparoscopically and take a look around.

I went in for the results today.

Enlarged Uterus w/ Bladder Attached

It turns out, there wasn’t an abdominal wall endometrial tumor as originally diagnosed, instead my uterus is enlarged and my bladder is attached to my uterus (somewhat common with c-sections). My doctor seems to think if my uterus wasn’t enlarged then my bladder wouldn’t be attached so bad.

There were some mysterious spots on my uterus that the doctor did not seem concerned about as he said it could be scar tissue from previous surgeries, or fibroids on the inside making themselves known. The tumor that was palpable was likely a combination of my enlarged uterus/adenomyosis and fibroids.

There were some spots of endometriosis which were left untouched and a pretty large adhesion to my bowels which he released. He also said that the majority of my endometriosis is on the inside of my uterus (called Adenomyosis). This, along with the fibroids can cause the enlarged uterus.

Because I do not want to be on hormonal therapy (been there, done that, hated it), my options are limited. (Hormonal therapy does not treat the problem, it only masks the symptoms)

What’s The Plan?

For now, I just wait and see if things get worse/show no improvement. Having another child biologically is no longer an option and guts me. But, my uterus wouldn’t be able to handle it.

The only way to fix the problem is to remove my uterus. The extent of the attachment is pretty severe. I can speak with a urologist to see if they think separating the two is doable, but the weakened uterus still poses a threat. And with my history, I don’t think that is a wise option.

While this isn’t the news I wanted to hear, it could have been worse. I get to keep my uterus for at least another year before discussing a hysterectomy. A part of me feels like as long as I can keep it, that there is hope. But perhaps that is just wishful thinking.

Another part of me realizes that in order to be the healthiest me, I need to have a hysterectomy and I’m not ready to accept that.

Do you know anybody who suffers from endometriosis?
For you mamas who had c-sections, did you guys experience any of these complications?

October IPSY Glam Bag Review

October IPSY Glam Bag Review

I have often been guilty of browsing Instagram (social media in general!) and seeing all these beautiful girls with their makeup and hair just so. It always makes me think:

I want to be one of those girls!

The only problem is I don’t know how to do my hair.. or my makeup. Thanks to IPSY and beauty bloggers everywhere, I am learning. I love seeing YouTube videos of beauty bloggers unboxing and trying out their products. It gives me ideas of how to use mine.

I wanted to share with you what I got and give my review as a (non) #beautyblogger.

October IPSY Glam Bag Review by Aduke Schulist

This post contains affiliate links. If you join IPSY using my link, I will be rewarded.

My journey with makeup probably started around the same time as most girls: Middle School.

I remember applying makeup during lunch and break times and sharing things that probably shouldn’t have been shared between my girlfriends.

Fast forward a few years (or more) and I’ve been getting some of my makeup from IPSY. I joined around the end of Spring and have always loved at least a couple things in my bag. My October IPSY blam bag is full of love.

What’s in my October IPSY Glam Bag?

As I mentioned earlier, I joined IPSY around the end of Spring. Every single bag has contained a makeup brush, so I was a little shocked (and maybe even a little saddened?) that I didn’t get one this month.

Contents of October IPSY Glam Bag

What made up for it for me was the mascara. I was just saying that I never got mascara in mine and would like to get some. I also never get face masks and would love to get some of those too!

Tarte Lifted Mascara

If I am wearing makeup, then I am wearing mascara. My makeup tends to revolve around my eyes. I was blessed with long, thick lashes, so I don’t feel a need to wear false lashes, but eyeshadow and mascara is a must.

Tarte Mascara in October IPSY

I prefer mascaras with brushes that help separate my lashes and the brush on this Lifted mascara by Tarte is perfect. Did I mention it’s sweatproof too?

Dirty Little Secret Bronzed Eyeshadow

The great thing about IPSY is you can choose the kind of items you would like to receive and also what colors of those items. When I first joined I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and welcome ALL the colors – like pink and blue eyeshadows – but quickly found out sticking to neutrals is just fine for me.

Dirty Little Secret Eye Shadow in October IPSYThis Bronzed Dirty Little Secret eyeshadow is a gorgeous shade and fits my style. It wears well and doesn’t crease like some eyeshadows do. While I love palettes, I am finding that I love individual eye shadows more. I end up throwing away palettes that have emptied of my favorite shades but have weird colors remaining that I never use.

Marc Anthony Hydrating Hair Oil

Not only is this hydrating coconut oil and shea butter styling oil affordable, it smells amazing. I’m a huge fun of coconut scents that reminds me of Summer and this product has it!

Marc Anthony Hydrating Hair Oil October IPSY

You just apply a few drops to damp or dry hair and style as usual. Totally recommend this!

MDM Flow – Retro Liquid Lipstick

This MDMflow liquid lipstick in the color retro was probably the most disappointing item in my bag. The color is gorgeous, drys well, and wears well, but the scent? It smells terrible! It smells like some harsh chemical that you would use to remove paint.

MDMFlow Lipglos October IPSY

If you can get passed the smell, then this isn’t a bad lip product.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

IPSY has sent me eyeliners in almost every bag so far. Most of them were somewhat disappointing, but this one makes up for them all. This Urban Decay eyeliner in Perversion does not smudge and glides on sooooo smooth.

Urban Decay Eyeliner October IPSY

I’m not even kidding, this stuff stays put.

Overall Thoughts

I would give my October glam bag as a whole 4/5 stars. The smell on that lip product just kills me, but otherwise I love it all. I am finding that the more I get these bags and take the time to review the products on IPSY, the better they are suited for me.

October IPSY Glam Bag Review

If you want to join IPSY you can use my IPSY referral link and start earning points for extra products.

While I am not a beauty blogger, I do want to blog more about some beauty topics. I think that when you feel good about yourself (inside and out) that you are a healthier individual. Over the years I have realized that making myself beautiful helps me feel better about myself. I hope you guys enjoy these posts.

See my last post about my Botox and Juvederm experience here.

Do you get IPSY?
What was your favorite product from October’s glam bag?