Hi friends! I’m very happy to say that I have been braces free for two full days now! My teeth are no longer prisoners and I’m free to eat whatever I please! And just in time for s’mores season… mmhrm ahem um... I mean… Summer…*shifty eyes*. I took great advantage of this on my first day brace-free and binged on chicken wings, chips, and anything I could get my hands on with caramel and nuts in it. I regret NOTHING! My stomach, however, does not agree and has been cursing me ever since. Anyone who’s had braces knows how eternally annoying they are:
FIRST… Consider any aesthetic goals ruined—prepare to be at least a little self conscious every now and then.
SECOND… They hurt. A LOT.
THIRD… You can’t eat ANYTHING fun.
FOURTH… You might as well move in with your orthodontist.
FIFTH… They are expensive—say goodbye to your firstborn.
SIXTH… If you enjoy coffee, tea, curry, or red wine (all of which I do) say goodbye to anything remotely close to white teeth.
Each of these reasons is enough to make someone steer clear of braces. But honestly, my main concern when I first got them was aesthetics. I was SO concerned about being an adult with braces that I opted for ceramic top brackets, hoping to be less conspicuous. But, you could still tell that I had braces thanks to all of the involuntary funny faces I made while my mouth tried to adapt to performing simple, everyday activities. It was a dead giveaway. The fifth annoyance of braces is something that makes me very happy that I got them as an adult. Yes, I had to pay for them myself, but that made me appreciate them and actually play by the 10 commandments of being a braceface:
1. Thou shalt have braces
2. Thou shalt have no straight teeth without braces
3. Thou shalt not take the name of braces in vain
4. Remember thine orthodontist appointment, it is sacred
5. Honor thy brackets and the wire poking thy cheek
6. Thou shalt not break thy brackets
7. Thou shalt not commit cheat eating
8. Thou shalt not speak clearly or enunciate
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy orthodontist
10. Thou shalt not covet another’s straight smile
During my tenure as a braceface I definitely broke some of these—I became very skilled at eating popcorn, I cursed them every day (especially if I got popcorn stuck in them), and if it wasn’t for email AND text-message reminders, I would have NEVER remembered a single appointment. That part kind of made me wish I’d had them as a teenager so that my parents, and not me, had to worry about remembering all of the appointments.
As I mentioned, I had ceramic brackets. Because I wanted my braces to be as invisible as possible I also opted for clear elastics, making braces-annoyance #6 the bane of my existence since I got the damned things put on. BUT now that the teeny tiny torture devices are gone my teeth are ready for anything! This includes being properly matched to any shade of lipstick I choose. I really only started to love lipstick when I got my braces. Strange timing, I know, but my super-stained braceface was severely limited when it came to my new-found obsession—and it very quickly became that. Any lipstick that had undertones remotely related to the color yellow made my teeth look horrid. I’ve been limited to neutral shades for almost a year and a half. Don’t get me wrong, every now and then I just said “f*** it” and rocked a bold red lip. For those of you who might still have braces, here are some of the tricks I used when I wanted to go for a more bold look:
Drink plenty of water and stay in touch with your new best friend—lip balm.
Having braces on your teeth stretches your lips, making them a little drier than any lipstick would like. Not to mention the fact that staying hydrated is 1. healthy and 2. will help prevent ulcers caused by those nasty brackets, it helps keep your lips moisturized. A lip balm will only help here. I usually apply lip balm while I’m doing the rest of my makeup—by the time I’m done my lips are ready for lipstick!
Opt for liquid lipsticks or lip stains.
I’m not a fan of lip stains so I always went with a liquid lip. I know, we want our lips to be hydrated, so doesn’t a liquid lip defeat the purpose of drinking all of that water? I mean, we’re not running to the toilet every 5 minutes for nothing! Bear with me here—they dry quickly, are long lasting, and won’t smudge onto your brackets. This may not be a problem for those of you that have metal brackets, but I encountered this problem a lot with my ceramic braces. Nothing is more infuriating than realizing halfway through the day that your teeth match your lips perfectly. But hey, I guess it’s better than the clashing colors of red lips-yellow teeth. Can’t clash if it’s all the same color!
Make good use of the old “O”-mouth-finger-swipe trick.
If you’re not a fan of liquid lipsticks or lip stains, this trick will save your braces. Without braces, it’s 100% fine to do this trick once. But with my braces I still found cream lipsticks transferring to my brackets after just one swipe. I started doing this three-four times after applying lipstick and it worked like a charm!
When you do find that your teeth perfectly match the color of your lips, use a brush-tipped dental pick to scrape it off.
If you’re at home a dry or damp toothbrush will do the same thing, but for on-the-go emergencies this trick helped me a lot! It’s is the same concept as using a spoolie to remove mascara from your eyelid when you r impatience ruins hours of blending. Just think of the dental picks as tooth-spoolies. Just rub it against the offending brackets until the color is gone. Ta-da! Magic—those little picks are good for more than just removing heaps of food from between your brackets!
At least I learned something after having braces for fifteen months. One of those things is that having braces does not mean you have to shy away from lipsticks. Take advantage of them—use them as an excuse for semi-perfect lips while you’re still in the “how-the-hell-do-you-apply-this-s***” phase—plus, they make your lips look a bit fuller, so enjoy that little perk while it lasts! That being said, I do not want them back, no matter what small perks they might offer (okay, I guess straight teeth is a pretty big perk). I’m excited to be able to wear any shade of lipstick without the fear of showing off my clashing yellow teeth. That being said, me teeth could still do with some whitening and I plan on writing about my at-home whitening experience in the future—but that’s another story. Slightly-stained or not, now that my braces are off there are so many lip shades that I’m excited to wear this summer, many of which I couldn’t wear last year:
Tanya Burr Lipstick in the shade Wild Safari
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in the shade Lolita II
NYX Lip Lingerie in the shade Exotic
Butter London Plush Rush Lipstick in the shades Lucky & Daring
Le Marc Lip Creme Lipstick in the shade Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Last summer, the only shade I could 100% get away with would have been Lucky if I owned it then. Lolita II was okay if I’d just gotten my wire and elastics changed over, because that meant that my teeth were actually tooth-color and not coffeewinecurry color. Out of all of these shades, the Tanya Burr lipstick is the one I’m the most excited for! Her lipsticks are such a great formula and I’m very close to breaking down and buying the full collection. I’m always looking for new lip colors—lipstick is my biggest makeup-Achilles-heel. What are some of your favorite summer lip colors? I’d also love to hear any tips you guys might have for rocking lipstick with braces!