A Makeup Artist Gets a Full Smile Makeover.
Makeup is a lifelong passion for me. My journey into makeup artistry as a career started at home—my mom and sisters are all glamour girls. I loved watching them do their makeup. Later, during high school, I was a cheerleader and I was always doing everybody’s makeup for homecoming and prom. It was natural for me to turn to makeup as a profession.
I started building my career when I was about 17 years old—working at retail cosmetic stores and spas. A week after graduating from high school, I enrolled in cosmetology school at the AVEDA Institute, and I eventually got my license in Louisiana. I’m licensed to do both hair and makeup in Louisiana, but I’ve focused my career on makeup.
After working hard to develop professional relationships, my clientele started to grow. Soon I was busy with my own appointments. Today I am a celebrity makeup artist (MUA) and instructor, and I host makeup seminars.
I love what I do because makeup can help women feel good about themselves and give them a sense of confidence. I’ve seen the transformation of hundreds of women, and I love being able to help them enhance their beauty.
I started offering makeup seminars early in 2018. During the seminars, I use a live model to teach participants how to do the looks. I invite vendors, offer an open bar with food and drinks, and let everyone mingle and network together. The seminars help with job placement within the industry.
About 15 women attended the first seminar, and it’s grown each time! At the last seminar, I invited a social media reality star. During the classes, people can interact with celebrities and learn how I do makeup. It’s really fun!
I’m very active on social media—that’s where the bulk of my business comes from. I post something every day on my social media accounts. I have a website and a YouTube channel, and accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. I also film my seminars and post them on YouTube and my Instagram account, “GlamByAmanda.”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to have my teeth done, but it became a priority for me when I was becoming more of a public figure on social media.
At first, I only posted pictures of the makeup work that I had done for clients on my social media pages. However, soon my followers requested photos of me too. Whenever I posted a picture of myself, I got positive responses, so I didn’t worry much about my teeth. But as I became a bigger part of the social media world, I grew increasingly insecure about my smile.
Also, whenever I am doing a client’s makeup, I am only a few inches away from her face, so I want my teeth to look good during those up-close interactions.
Growing up, I had problems with my teeth. My teeth grew on top of each other and I had a really bad overbite. I got braces when I was about 12 years old and wore them for four and a half years, which felt like my entire life.
At one point I had an orthotic installed to help with my overbite. The orthodontist placed a bar that almost looked like a hydraulic lift from the top teeth to the bottom teeth. Even though it helped with my overbite, it changed my bite when I got the braces taken off. My bite was kind of like a zigzag when I bit down, and it caused additional issues with my teeth.
When I my braces were removed, I had calcium spots left on my teeth. No matter what I did, they wouldn’t go away. And with the braces off, my teeth shifted into each other again.
I got braces for a second time when I was 18 years old. I had just finished cosmetology school and gotten my first job at a spa so that I could afford to pay for them. But they did not straighten out my teeth as quickly as I wanted. I was told that I would only need to wear them for a few months, but time passed with little improvement.
I eventually asked the orthodontist to take them off for several reasons. I didn’t want to be in braces for four years again, I started getting frequently booked at the spa, and I felt self-conscious about being in braces. I felt like I was too old for them. I thought there had to be another (and better) option, so I decided to explore getting veneers instead.
FINDING THE RIGHT DENTIST
I researched everything I could about veneers. Before I even had a dental exam, I knew they were what I wanted. And I knew when I wanted to get them done: before my birthday in July. I was having a big party! I had just purchased a house and I wanted my smile to look pretty and perfect.
I started looking for the right dentist. I found Delaune Dental on the Internet. I read the reviews for Dr. Duane P. Delaune, and they were very positive. I booked an appointment for a consultation in June 2018.
At my consultation, I immediately asked for veneers. I thought Dr. Delaune would probably tell me that I’m too young or try to dissuade me from such a big decision. But once I explained about my job and how important it is for me to look a certain way, he was on board with what I wanted to do. I felt comfortable with him and his team immediately. We decided to do a full smile makeover—eight veneers on the uppers and eight veneers on the lowers. In other words, basically everything people can see.
Initially, I just wanted to do the top two front teeth because they had the calcium deposits on them. But Dr. Delaune explained that my smile would look more natural if we put veneers on more teeth. Also, I didn’t like the shape of my natural teeth. They were kind of short and I wanted to make them a little longer. So we decided on 16 restorations.
Two weeks later, I returned to the office to start the process. I didn’t want to wait any longer than necessary! During the first appointment, the hygienist did a cleaning. I returned to the office three days before my birthday and Dr. Delaune placed my temporaries. My final restorations did not come in before my birthday, but that was fine because the temporaries were gorgeous—and they looked just like the final outcome.
PREPARATIONS AND TEMPORARIES
At the prepping appointment, Dr. Delaune worked on all 16 teeth, one by one. It was a long appointment—I was in the dental chair for nearly seven hours. I didn’t complain because I wanted my teeth done so badly.
I remember being hungry during the appointment. And once the process began, I couldn’t eat because my lips were so numb. During that first day, the team took a 30-minute lunch break and I was able to drink a smoothie.
Before the appointment, I didn’t feel nervous, but when the doctor started drilling, I felt a few butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t feel anything painful, but hearing the drill made me a little anxious. If I felt anything at all, I would tell the dental team and they would fix it right away.
They numbed the area a few times throughout the day because it wears off after a while. The doctor and his excellent team took care of everything before it became a problem.
By the end of the day, I was getting antsy, but it was so worth it! Initially, after they put the temporaries on, I didn’t know what to think because my lips were so numb and it was hard for me to smile. But when I took a good look at them later, I immediately loved them!
As I continued to evaluate my smile over the following days, I could really see what the temps looked like, and I was so happy. I didn’t ask the doctor to change anything from the temps because they were perfect! They were exactly what I wanted: longer, whiter teeth that looked natural (not big and thick). Initially, I was afraid that all my teeth would be the same length and that it would be obvious I had had work done. But they’re different sizes for a more natural look.
I listened to everything Dr. Delaune and his team told me to do, and I followed their instructions for good maintenance of the temps. I brushed my temps twice a day with water or mouthwash because regular toothpaste has abrasives in it that can take the shine out of the temps. I also used a Waterpik® with hydrogen peroxide and water along the gumline to keep the gums healthy.
The second restorative appointment—the one to place my permanent restorations—was shorter than the prep appointment. It only took about four hours. When I saw my new smile, I was so thrilled I was crying! I loved the temporary veneers, but seeing the permanent ones was even better. They looked and felt more natural.
Now that I’ve had several months to live with them, the veneers feel just like my real teeth, only better. My lower teeth were crooked, but the veneers are so straight and pretty.
My bite is much better too. The doctor really made sure that with my new bite, the teeth fit together perfectly—just like a puzzle. My mouth feels better and I can definitely tell a difference in my bite.
The doctor didn’t make any adjustments to the permanent teeth after he placed them. He adjusted my bite twice in the temporaries, so by the time we got to the permanent ones we were dialed in. It was the best birthday present ever!
ADVICE TO OTHERS
I did a lot of online research before having my smile makeover. Some of the things I read were scary: I remember one person said that it was extremely painful and they were crying in the chair. But that didn’t deter me. And it wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone made it sound. I was a little sore and uncomfortable afterward, but that was pretty much it. I didn’t need two days off to recover.
A lot of people mistakenly think that a smile makeover is a one-day process, and of course it’s not. It’s important to take the time to get everything right. Having some time in the temporaries gives patients a chance to test the look and feel of the teeth and decide if there is anything they want to change. It’s important to take that time for aesthetic reasons as well as practical ones.
SOCIAL MEDIA REVEAL
I live in Louisiana, and when people ask where I got my teeth done, many people are shocked to find out that I had them done locally. People assume that you can only get dental work like this in Los Angeles or New York. But you can get it done in Louisiana and lots of other smaller areas. You just have to do the research.
I considered not saying anything on social media about getting my teeth done. But my mom pointed out that people would notice something different, and not talking about it would cause them to speculate and wonder about my teeth, which might make it into a bigger deal. I didn’t want that.
So after I got my teeth done, I posted a little snippet that showed me smiling. My mom was right—everyone noticed very quickly. I immediately started getting messages asking where I had gotten my dental work done. I didn’t want to reply to everybody separately, so a few days later I made a YouTube video and told everyone that I got veneers. I talked about the process and where I went. I answered all the questions in one video. It was fun to get such a big response.
Today I have a whole new confidence because of my smile. It’s one thing to be behind the scenes and have a perfect smile, but if you’re going to teach a class and post videos for the public to see, a great smile is important.
Now, I hold my head up high and I don’t mind if the cameras zoom in on my face. I used to edit photos of my teeth, and now I don’t have to. I can just smile and it looks perfect. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate my experience a 10. I got everything that I wanted and more.