How To Get Teeth Whiter Than A Trump Rally

teeth whitening

Many of you have asked about my smile and if I use professional teeth whitening. I’M FLATTERED. But no. I do all of my dental and teeth whitening care myself at home, and I’m really consistent (re: psycho) about it. There are never any secrets with me, so today I’m going to share all of my at home tips and products to get your smile in tip top shape.

4 Steps for getting your teeth whiter than a Trump rally:

1. Whiten

A lot of people are surprised to learn that for teeth whitening, I just use good old fashioned Crest Whitestrips. Except I don’t use them as directed (classic me). Rather than using them once or twice a day for two weeks (which, if you have sensitive teeth like I do, is actually pretty painful), I only use them once a month. Yes, ONCE A MONTH(!) I’ve been doing this since high school, and I just think of it as maintenance (like getting your eyebrows waxed). I like the “professional effects” ones because they don’t slip around in your mouth and you can drink water while they’re on. I’m always pounding water. And btw, Crest uses the same enamel-safe ingredients dentists use for teeth whitening.

2. Brush

For toothpaste I use, you guessed it, Crest 3D White. Again, for maintenance. I haven’t hopped on this whole natural/organic train yet, but I’m interested, if anyone has any recommendations. I brush MINIMUM twice a day but sometimes it’s much, much more. I love it, what can I say. I’m obsessed with the Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush bc I’m a nut (and omg how chic is the black version?), but if you’re looking for a smaller investment, get a super cute rose gold one from Quip!  Just make sure to go electric for the best clean and gum health, and change your brush head every three months.

3. Floss

I BET YOU WANT TO SKIP THIS SECTION BUT YOU SHOULDN’T. I get it though. Dealing with a roll of floss is annoying af, and was always super difficult for me – my teeth are so close together I can barely fit the floss through. I realized I could get way more leverage with the twin layer floss picks. Push them through, scrape both sides of your teeth, and massage your gums. So much less drama to deal with than with regular floss. I keep a pack in my car and use them during red lights. I use the pick side to stimulate my gums on my lower teeth, since I have a permanent retainer and can’t floss there. I also leave them in the shower (and sometimes brush my teeth in the shower too, bc why not). I’m warning you – once you get used to these picks they start to feel REALLY GOOD and are super addictive. Plus, you won’t have to lie to your dentist about how often you floss anymore.

4. Photo Editing

Ok let’s just say HYPOTHETICALLY that your teeth didn’t look great in a photo and you wanted to whiten them for the gram. Facetune 2 is my fave app for that. Glide your finger over the areas you want whitened (your teeth, the whites of your eyes, the wall in the background, anything). Then use the slider to adjust the intensity of the whitening to your liking.

5. Smile 🙂

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP – don’t forget to smile! I love to smile, and always smile in my pics (even if most other bloggers are doing differently!) I’m not a Kardashian, and I see your smile as your business card. It’s your first impression – so make it a good one.

What are your smiling secrets? Share with us below!


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    The Tax Tool Every Entrepreneur Needs

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    What, like it’s hard? ACTUALLY YA, IT IS KINDA HARD TO BE CEO… esp during tax season. (Sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. All opinions are my own – always.)

    So last we chatted about just about taxes I was still in the process of mourning my flower child ways. I’m a business owner now, and taxes are NO JOKE for two reasons:

    1. My business is my baby so I never wanna do anything to mess that up.
    2. I’m bootstrapping my company, so I want to make sure I’m getting every single deduction possible. NO money left on the table, ya know?

    I’ve always hated doing my taxes, but little did I know how EASY I HAD IT when I worked at Google. As a business owner, there are 230430294 more things to track, and it’s kind of a nightmare without the right tools. All I can say is THANK GOD for QuickBooks Self-Employed. If you are a business owner, I srsly suggest you get on board. They make it SO. MUCH. EASIER. to handle this whole tax situation.

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Who else is on that work from home grind?

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    If you’re a blogger, freelancer, independent contractor, etc. – Quickbooks is the way to go


    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Did you know you can even deduct your home workspace?

    Here’s the deal. QuickBooks Self-Employed helps you maximize your deductions. That’s MORE MONEY BACK INTO YOUR BUSINESS (always invest back into your business). Love that.

    What I didn’t expect is how much QuickBooks has helped with my workflow in general. It’s so easy to categorize your expenses, send invoices, and save receipts – that QuickBooks actually made it easier to track towards my quarterly and annual business goals.

    You can add your accountant to help manage your account, or if you’re the DIY type, there’s ON DEMAND CHAT SUPPORT. My favorite. (Apologies to QuickBooks chat support for all my questions 🙂 )

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    When you’re a solopreneur, taxes are the last thing you want to spend your time and energy on.

    So make it easier on yourself. QuickBooks Self-Employed shows you how to deduct your marketing and inventory expenses, contractor fees, web hosting, workspace, travel, YOU NAME IT. Then just hop on over to their sister site Turbotax Self-Employed to file your taxes. DONE and DONE.

    If you haven’t filed your 2017 taxes… um… do it now. If you have, I suggest you make your life easier for next year’s tax season by tracking your expenses NOW (I know I am). My “intaxication playlist” will help make it a little less boring!

    brainsoverblonde quickbooks

    Photography by Victoria Johansson

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      It’s Time To Integrate Men Into The Gender Revolution. Here’s How.

      brainsoverblonde men feminism

      I spoke on the Diversity & Inclusion panel at a women’s conference recently. An audience member asked how we can make men feel more comfortable in this #MeToo and #TimesUp era, to which another panelist (and woke feminist boss) replied, “Who cares if men feel uncomfortable? Women have been uncomfortable for all of history.” The (all female) audience roared with a knowing laughter. It’s bothered me ever since.

      It’s easy not to give a damn if men feel uncomfortable. But as a feminist I know I’ll create the most change not only by supporting women, but also by supporting MEN who want to support women, but don’t know how. Unless ALL genders take action, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements will be in vain.

      For the first time in history, men are listening to our stories. But too often, the sentiment I hear from men is more about proving that they’re not sexist themselves, and less about how we can make the human experience equal, safe, and healthy for all genders. These guys are missing the point. It’s not (just) about finger-pointing the Weinsteins of the world. It’s about creating a world where the Weinsteins of the world can’t get away with that shit. And in order to do that, ALL humans, of every gender, need to be on the same page.

      brainsoverblonde men feminism

      Reason #893248 why I LOVE my man

      Men, I see you.

      Men, I want you to know, I see you. Our society is in a transition period and it’s not easy to know how to act; there isn’t a how-to manual for gender equality. You’re uncomfortable and scared of making a misstep. Because you’re NOT one of the “bad guys.” At least you don’t want to be.

      Women, don’t get me wrong here, I know you’ve tried to include men in the conversation before. Many times. More often than not, it ends in you feeling hopeless, attacked, and beyond frustrated. But it’s not enough to glue yourself to the harassment headlines. It’s not even enough to share the stories we’ve suffered in silence for a lifetime. We have to take action, and we need to get EVERYONE in on the action.

      Women can’t reach equality by operating in a silo

      As women, we’ve fought our whole lives for freedom and equality, most of the time to no avail. But we started banning together as women, and what started as a single #MeToo tweet has exploded into women’s conferences, women’s support groups, women running for office, and a global feminist movement. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in a room of brilliant, badass, power women and thought to myself, “We’re not the ones that need to hear this stuff… we already know the female experience. Preaching to the choir won’t move the needle.” We can’t just talk about this amongst ourselves, wipe our hands clean of men, and expect change. We need to get all genders in the same room and do this TOGETHER.

      And by genders working together, I don’t mean putting one token woman on your board or mandating an annual online diversity training. I don’t mean colleges and MBA programs adding a “Women + Family” course to the curriculum. Additional paternity leave and in-office breastfeeding rooms are appreciated, but I want REAL cultural change in the way all genders approach and talk to each other about gender equality. And to do that, ladies, we have to be patient and understanding of men.

      Women need to be patient and understanding of men

      Even in the midst of this gender newsquake, some of the best men are going to make mistakes. We all know what it’s like to innocently say or do the wrong thing. It feels shitty, especially when someone attacks you for it. Women should approach men with empathy and help to educate them, rather than reprimand them (for first-time offenses, that is). Many men out there are potential allies to women but need us to extend a hand to help them navigate this gender revolution. Just because they need a little help, doesn’t mean they’re not pro gender equality.

      Here’s an example. During my second quarter of business school at Stanford, I read over the syllabus for one of my entrepreneurship classes and discovered (not surprisingly) that exactly zero of our cases had female protagonists. I marched over to my professor after class, guns-a-blazing, and told him this was unacceptable. He got defensive and told me there weren’t any successful female entrepreneurs he could think of. So I emailed him a list of 20, and even offered to make introductions to a few. I never got a response.

      Sadly, this class wasn’t the exception. I had plenty more business school classes with male-driven curriculums ahead of me, but I decided to take a more collaborative approach. I got my professors involved early on. I asked them if and how we could include more female leaders in our curriculum, rather than shaming them for not doing so in the first place. Many of them said they simply hadn’t noticed, and some of them enlisted my help. I brought it up in class as a discussion point, and it sparked some really great conversations. Being collaborative, patient, and understanding got me a lot further than reprimanding men ever did.

      As women, we’ve been through a lot of inequality. It’s easy tempting to finger point or cut men out of the conversation entirely. But remember that the enemy is the systematic patriarchy, not men as individuals. It’s time to integrate men into the movement!

      Dear men: I know you’re not the enemy. But you also need to know that issues of gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and the wage gap can’t just be mansplained away. Reaching gender equality is going to take work, and it’s going to take time. And us women would like your help. Here’s how to be a woke ass feMANist:

      How men can make a positive impact in the gender revolution

      1. Accept the discomfort

      Many men have told me that they feel they’ve been made the enemy, or that they have to apologize for being male. I can relate. I too have privileges (we all do), but feeling guilty about them isn’t productive.

      Changing societal systems that have been in place for… well, all of time, takes hard work. Discussing sexism, prejudice, and sexual assault is uncomfortable. Exploring the ways you may be or have been part of the problem is painful. But all of this discomfort means you’re accepting, learning, and growing. So don’t change the subject, don’t get defensive, and don’t put your own feelings above addressing systemic injustice. Leaning into the discomfort is the only way to change. Accept it!

      2. Educate yourself

      I HIGHLY encourage men to ask women questions about their experience (more on this below), but it’s also not women’s responsibility to explain the same basic truths to men over and over again. If you can Google it, do so. Read Lean In and That’s What She Said. Follow feminist activists like Gloria Steinem, Feministabulous, and myself. Subscribe to HuffPostWomen, WeNews, BitchMedia, and others. Read articles written by WOMEN. Take my #FlexYourFemale email challenge by entering your email below:

      While you’re reading, suspend judgment. Don’t stop just because it’s “too angry” or exhausting. Remember, privilege is freedom from consideration, and you’ve had the privilege of ignoring this stuff for long enough. DON’T pretend sexism doesn’t exist or try to mansplain it away.

      3. Examine your own behavior

      Take a look at your own behavior. Is there room for improvement? (the answer is always YES) So now the question is, are you going to do something about it?

      Quit the sexist jokes (even when you’re with “just the bros”). Only have sex if there’s ENTHUSIASTIC consent. No slut-shaming. No catcalls. Stop calling women bitches and cunts, and stop using pussy as a term for weakness (linguistics affect our behavior). Focus on women’s personality and intellect rather than just their looks. Question yourself. If a woman is being bold, is she “bitchy,” or is she a strong leader?

      You don’t have to shame yourself if you’ve done these things in the past. Just examine yourself and decide what you’re going to do differently. Decide what behavior you will not tolerate in others, and take action when you see it.

      4. Speak up

      It’s 2018. It’s not enough just to “believe in” equality and not assault women. You need to actually DO something about it.

      If you see sexist, aggressive, and prejudice behavior and don’t say anything – you’re complicit. It’s not enough not to participate in gender discrimination, you have to stand up to people who aren’t. If you don’t, you’re part of the problem.

      Yes, women can (and do) speak up too. In fact, I’d venture to say that in these types of scenarios, women are the ones speaking up 9 times out of 10. The problem is that more often than not, the perpetrator doesn’t respect women. The response will be at best neutral, and at worse, demeaning and aggressive. Men have a huge opportunity to take the lead and make a difference by speaking up for women. So get comfortable saying something as simple as “What did you mean by that?” or “That’s not cool.” Most people will take a hint and do better next time.

      5. Examine your workplace

      Does your workplace respect and value women? And by that I mean, does your workplace actively lift women up?

      Women are less likely to broadcast their accomplishments or seek promotion. They’re also more likely to get dismissed, interrupted, and have their work attributed to others. So shout out women that are doing great things and amplify their voices. If you hear a man getting credit for a woman’s idea, speak up. You don’t need to humiliate anyone, just say “yes, Melissa made a great point there” or “I’d like to go back to what Monique was saying.”

      But it’s not enough to just SPEAK up, you need to ACT. Give deserving women the top opportunities, projects, mentorship, and promotions. Invite them for socializing, networking, and bonding (not dating!) Intentionally build a diverse workforce (which means you have to RECRUIT and HIRE women… NOT just for entry-level roles, but for leadership positions!) Sponsor women, advocate for them, and take them under your wing. This will help build a solid pipeline of future female leaders. (And in turn, greater diversity of thought and improved problem solving for your company!)

      And… hopefully, this goes without saying… but NO sexual harassment of ANY kind. If a woman reports something, believe her.

      6. Ask questions

      You’re not alone in this! We (women) want to help! If you need clarification on something, ask us. If you’re not sure if we want your help, ask. Can’t tell if we’re uncomfortable? Worried you said something offensive? Wondering what we’re thinking? ASK!!!

      There’s just one caveat here: you have to actually LISTEN to the answer :).

      That means no doubting, judging, arguing, challenging, criticizing, or discrediting. Just understanding. Women need to feel that it’s safe to share, and trust me, your willingness to be vulnerable and ask questions will be welcome. ALL humans need to check their ego at the door if we’re going to have a productive dialogue.

      Far to often, the oppressed group is put in a position of having to defend her experience. She has to delve into painful topics, only to be met with rapid dismissal, and even bullying. Remember, it’s NOT oversensitivity, it’s NOT a misunderstanding, it’s her experience. If you discredit her or change the subject, you likely won’t get the chance again.

      7. Reject traditional gender roles

      Gender equality benefits men too! Men face long-term negative effects from societal pressures to remain tough and unemotional. Plus, more and more, men are acting as the primary child caretaker – and our society needs to adjust for this.

      That said, in households where both parents work, the female typically does the majority of the housework and childcare (almost 2hrs/day more, on average). This is detrimental to both men and women, not to mention children.

      Speaking of children – raise your little boys and girls the same way! From infancy, boys are told to “toughen up” and “rub some dirt on it,” while girls are treated like porcelain dolls. Girls like football and boys cry. Get used to this now.

      8. Keep iterating

      We ALL have to continually challenge the assumptions we make about ALL genders. What we believe now might be different than what we believed five years ago or what we’ll believe five years from now, and that’s ok. We have to be willing to build and grow as we go.

      Gender isn’t about two conflicting sides; gender is a spectrum – and we all need to support one another. This means no mansplaining, and it ALSO means no man-hating. This is about EQUALITY, NOT two opposing genders and agendas.

      When in doubt, I recommend you ask yourself, “what kind of person do I want to be?” Herstory is watching.

      If you found this article helpful, I ask that you share it with your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, enemies… everyone. Based on my Google Analytics, I venture to guess that more women will find this article than men 🙂

      What did I miss? Do you have any questions or need guidance? Leave a note in the comments below!

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      • MorganMarch 28, 2018 - 3:46 pm

        Anna!!!! I’ve been looking for an article I can send to all my (mostly male) coworkers – and this is it.ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          Can’t wait to hear what they think!ReplyCancel

      • VioMarch 28, 2018 - 9:07 pm

        Great article with so many good points!! Thank you. Please keep your work up ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          I sure will! Thanks so much Vio!ReplyCancel

      • CamdenMarch 29, 2018 - 12:42 pm

        My coworker shared this with our team and just like you mentioned here, I thought I’d be exhausted reading this. but I’m so glad I did. this was surprisingly refreshing. passing it along… thank youReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 29, 2018 - 12:55 pm

          LOVE hearing this. Thanks for being open to reading it!ReplyCancel

      • LauraMarch 29, 2018 - 7:08 pm

        Unfortunately, the current atmosphere is so polarizing that some of our male allies feel demonized for existing and therefore, swing to a team that will embrace them. They start being more vocal in the anti-feminist movement and then we’ve lost them. I love this for including men and encouraging dialogue. I had some serious and amazing conversations with my husband who had changed his tune on some things. It angered me and I became defensive instead of inclusive. Then I looked at it from his perspective. It was a no win situation for him. 

        One thing I don’t feel the need to do is praise men for not violently assaulting women. I feel like some guys are like, “well I never raped anyone..” yeah, you’re not supposed to… but there has to be a way to include them in this movement. I like these ideas. You can’t expect anyone to act outside their own best interests. So we have to find a way to include them. ReplyCancel

      • GuidoApril 13, 2018 - 5:04 am

        Well said and put. My respect and greetings from Germany. We also have a long way to go.ReplyCancel

      The Meaning Behind #FlexYourFemale (& the Flex Your Female IG Challenge!)

      flex your female

      In this video I share the meaning and story behind my hashtag, #FlexYourFemale. In this post #MeToo and #TimesUp world, I wanted to create a more positive hashtag that celebrates our strength as women, and gives us a chance to highlight our accomplishments.

      I invite you to join me in the Flex Your Female Instagram Challenge – share something you’re PROUD of and tag #FlexYourFemale and @brainsoverblonde, and tag 5 more people to challenge next!

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      • RacquelMarch 16, 2018 - 12:30 pm

        Hi Anna,

        I’ve been seeing the #flexyourfemale hashtag being used more and more – congrats! I love looooove that you’re bringing so much positivity to the movement!-RockyReplyCancel

      Your Complete Guide To Botox (& Botox-Shaming)

      I GET BOTOX.

      Is that a big deal? Is it taboo? Is it vain? Not to me.

      I’m not writing this post because I think you should get Botox; that’s a personal choice. I’m writing this post because most people don’t talk about Botox… or worse, judge others for getting it (especially in the corporate world). I want to change that.

      My personal Botox story

      I first got Botox about a year ago. I was in business school, and maybe the stress and sleepless nights started to age me a bit (or maybe it was all the beer pong tournaments and the fact that I was 27). I would come home, look in the mirror, and study my large, OVERLY-expressive forehead, which was starting to show the first signs of fine lines.

      I’ve always been obsessed with how technology can enhance our lives – and to me, researching how Botox works isn’t dissimilar from evaluating the specs of the new iPhone. So I’d always been curious, and had researched Botox before my forehead lines started bothering me. But once they did, I wanted to talk to someone who had actually tried Botox. Because don’t get me wrong, it WAS a big deal to me at the time, and I was pretty scared to try it.

      I asked a bunch of friends who I thought might have dipped their toe into the Botox pond. I got nothing. Apparently, none of my friends, ranging from mid-20s to early 30s in age, had ever tried Botox. Since losing my Botox virginity, I’ve been an open book about my experience. Some of those same friends have since come clean to me that they DO get Botox. Some of them started as young as 20 years old. (What’s with all the secrecy? I’ll get to that in a bit.)

      Anyway, after a few months of over-analyzing both the procedure and my face, I YOLOed and decided to go for it. What ultimately convinced me is the fact that Botox has phenomenal preventative effects – and could actually help me avoid more invasive procedures later on (more on this below).

      I told my fiancé Tracy (who was v supportive, even though he thought I was nuts), made a consultation appointment, and drove myself there (anxiety in full-swing). I peppered my doctor with the list of 20+ questions I had in my phone notes. What does it feel like? Am I too young? What if I don’t like it? WHAT IF MY FACE IS FROZEN FOREVER?! She was remarkably patient, and after about 45min, I decided to get my very first Botox injections.

      My first Botox injections

      My doctor pulled a frozen water balloon out of the freezer for me to use to numb my face. She had me make all sorts of expressions while she marked up my forehead with white chalk. She even gave me a stuffed animal to hold, but my OCD got the best of me and I was too afraid to touch it for fear of other patients’ germs. Stuffed animal aside, everything else she used – the Botox itself and the needles – were brand new and individually wrapped. The whole place smelled super sterile tbh, which of course I loved.

      I asked her to go SUPER conservative (Botox is the only area in which I’m conservative). She pricked me a few times on the top of my forehead. Some hurt more than others – but in general, I’d say the whole thing hurt about as much as an eyebrow wax. Really not that bad. I got 10 units (which at $14 a pop, came out to $140).

      I should mention that people with small to medium foreheads often don’t get Botox on the top of their forehead to maximize eyebrow mobility. I have a big forehead, and this is where I saw the lines, so that’s where I got my Botox. Many people get their first Botox in the frown lines between their eyes (often shaped like the number 11), but I didn’t get any there my first time bc I wanted people to be able to tell if I was pissed off.

      The whole procedure took about five minutes. Honestly once she was done I was like… that’s… it? I had a few tiny mosquito bite marks on my forehead that disappeared in about twenty minutes. I started to see the effects within the hour, but the full effects took about three days to show up. When they did, I was legit AMAZED. My forehead was smooth and glowy! The only problem was because I didn’t get any Botox in my frown lines, my frown lines were now more prominent. I went in for a touchup and got a few more units between my frown lines and BAM – I had this refreshed, relaxed look – basically me but after a really good sleep and facial. I loved it!

      Since then, I’ve gotten a Botox touch-up about every 4 months. I just got my Botox done last week, in fact. Depending on how long it’s been, I get between 5 and 20 units. I later learned that this is referred to as “Baby Botox” (basically, lower volumes of Botox used in super targeted areas — NOT Botox for actual babies).

      I haven’t touched my eyes / crow’s feet (nothing wrong with this, but I like my lines there) or my smile lines (be careful with those – you don’t want to affect your smile). I started getting a bit in my jaw muscles for TMJ (teeth grinding) at night – which has been life-changing (because let’s be honest… I was never going to wear that night guard retainer).

      And in case you’re wondering, I have ZERO regrets. I LOVE BOTOX. It makes me happy, I like the feeling (as masochistic as that sounds), and I look forward to getting it!

      I DO wish I had friends to answer my million questions beforehand though. SO I’m going to preemptively answer those questions now.


      What is Botox?

      Botox, or Botulinum toxin type A, is a commercial neurotoxin that reduces muscle movement and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

      Basically, it paralyzes your facial muscles. That sounds scary, but it’s temporary. It’s also totally safe. In fact, Botox is one of the most studied and tested medical aesthetic treatments out there.

      Is Botox preventative?

      Yes! To me, this is the most exciting thing about Botox. I’m ALL about prevention.

      Imagine your skin like a piece of paper. As you fold a piece of paper over and over, the deeper the creases get. With Botox, your skin doesn’t fold along those lines repeatedly, which means that wrinkles can’t form.

      What’s the difference between Botox and fillers?

      Botox prevents muscle contractions, which prevents the formation of wrinkles and lines.

      Fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are used to FILL those lines in order to hide the wrinkles – they don’t prevent wrinkles. Botox prevents the wrinkles from forming in the first place, so you won’t have to fill them later on.

      How much does Botox cost?

      The average cost of Botox is $9 – $20 per unit, depending on where you live and where you go. By the way, I HIGHLY recommend you go to a plastic surgeon (MD), rather than an aesthetic nurse. Some aesthetic nurses are great, but a doctor doesn’t necessarily cost any more money. Either way, do your due diligence. This is not the time to use a Groupon or go to a “Botox party” in someone’s home (that said, no one’s ever invited me a Botox party – I’m not a Real Housewife).

      The number of units you need is a matter of personal preference and the areas treated, but each area is usually around 10-20 units.

      Botox typically lasts 3-4 months, but everyone metabolizes it differently. I’ve found that since I’ve had a few treatments, it builds up and lasts longer for me now.

      What are Botox’s pre and post-treatment instructions?

      Before getting Botox, avoid Retin-A, waxing, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, herbal supplements, and Omega-3 capsules for a few days to prevent topical reactions and bruising.

      After Botox, it’s possible you will experience light bruising (I’ve barely had this though, and I bruise REALLY easily). You can apply an ice pack if you need, but I haven’t found it necessary. Avoid exercise and direct sunlight for the day.

      Does Botox have non-cosmetic benefits?

      Yes. You’ve prob seen the migraine commercials for Botox. THIS IS REAL. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t get Botox to treat my migraines. But I DO get migraines much less frequently – which has been a total added bonus of Botox. It’s also helped my TMJ.

      Botox is also used to treat underarm and hand sweating (um… I want this), over-active bladders, cross-eyedness, painful sex, tremors, and more.

      When’s the best time to start getting Botox?

      This was the #1 question I wanted the answer to before getting Botox. I never got it, because there is no right answer – it’s completely individual.

      The “right” time to start is whenever the hell you want. I don’t get Botox for anyone other than myself, so 27 was the “right” time for me to start getting Botox, because that’s when I started wanting it.

      Keep in mind that everyone has different facial features, ages differently, and has different aesthetic desires for the future.

      And yes, many people will recommend treating lines before they even form. I know plenty of people that started getting Botox under the age of 25. Do you “need” Botox that young? No. Do you ever “need” it? No.

      How common is Botox?

      More common than you think, especially because most people keep it on the DL. As my doctor not-so-politically-correctly put it, “even the mousey girl on the street is getting Botox.”

      It’s also becoming more and more common. There were over 7 million Botox procedures in 2016 (up 4% from 2015, and 854% from 2000). It’s also becoming increasingly common for men.

      So if Botox is so common, why is it so taboo?

      Botox is kinda like online dating. No one talks about it, but everyone does it. Is that because everyone wants you to think that their faces are naturally taut, glowing, and wrinkle-free? Maybe. But I’d argue it’s deeper than that.

      Botox-shaming is a real thing

      Just like Marikh accused Chelsea of “glam-shaming” on The Bachelor, “Botox-shaming” is a real thing.

      brains over blonde botox

      Think about it. Have you ever seen a woman get praised for getting Botox or other cosmetic procedures? I haven’t. Quite the opposite. In my experience, at even the most obscure RUMOR of a cosmetic procedure, women are scorned for being fake and vain. I once had a friend tell me she felt like she had to “come out” as having had a nose job for the rest of her life, just to avoid the rumor mill. Even so, she didn’t avoid the judgment.

      I’ve said this a million times, but as women, we’re constantly walking a fine line. Society has trouble seeing women as multi-faceted. So if a woman’s had plastic surgery or Botox, she’s vain, and she can’t possibly ALSO be smart/driven/philanthropic/fill-in-the-blank. Men don’t face the same dichotomy, which is why male celebrities’ nose jobs regularly go unnoticed while female celebrities’ are scrutinized. I was even judged for having a (medically necessary) breast reduction, and my guess is at some point you’ve been judged or seen as less competent simply based on your makeup/hair/clothing… which is ridiculous.

      Botox isn’t any different. Botox doesn’t make you less competent. I could even go so far to argue that Botox isn’t too dissimilar from getting braces to straighten your teeth or white strips to whiten them. Is waxing your eyebrows or getting a piercing any less vain than Botox? Nah.

      So why haven’t cosmetic procedures like Botox found their place in today’s body positivity movements? I think most people associate cosmetic procedures with vanity and insecurity. For what it’s worth, I didn’t get Botox because of insecurity. Vanity? Maybe a little. But who cares? That “vain” procedure made me feel confident and empowered! Isn’t that what matters?

      I’d argue that most people that get cosmetic Botox are doing so because they love and appreciate how they look, and/or because it gives them that extra boost of confidence (just like a new outfit does). In fact, it’s been widely proven that the confidence boost patients see from cosmetic procedures extends to many parts of their lives – including their relationships, career, mental state, and more.

      Why I’m open about my Botox

      I made the decision to get Botox by myself and for myself. I’m proud of my decision and thrilled with the outcome. I have no reason to hide it.

      I think there are a lot of people out there that would otherwise be open about their Botox and/or other cosmetic procedures, but fear being judged. (Which is a very real fear. I venture to guess that someone reading this is judging me right now.) If anything, that makes me even MORE confident in my decision to be open about my Botox and breast reduction. I hope that my stories can help someone feel less alone and make the decision that’s right for them.

      If you find yourself judging others for getting Botox, I challenge you to ask yourself WHY. Shouldn’t every person be able to make a choice about her own body without the fear of backlash?

      So, have YOU tried Botox? Do you want to? Do you think it’s the worst thing ever? I want to hear your thoughts! Share them below. I’m also here to answer any of your questions below!




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      • DanielaMarch 6, 2018 - 10:49 am

        This is by far the best blog post I’ve ever read. Thank you so much for always keeping it real! I’ve kept my botox from my own friends because of comments I’ve heard them make about other women – and it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I’m a little closer to “coming out” with my botox! Thank you!ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 6, 2018 - 3:48 pm

          Thanks so much for this Daniela. Here’s to celebrating REALNESS!ReplyCancel

      • kateMarch 6, 2018 - 3:16 pm

        omg, i had so many questions and you just answered all of them. i’ve been too scared to ask anyone else! i just made an appointment for my first botox treatment next week 🙂ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 6, 2018 - 3:47 pm

          Kate – I’m so glad I helped answer your questions! If you have any more, just let me know, I’m an open book 🙂ReplyCancel

      • SamanthaMarch 9, 2018 - 11:36 am

        Hi Anna,

        Thanks for posting! What was your process for finding your doctor? And what made you feel comfortable wth the doctor you chose?

        Samantha ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 9, 2018 - 5:27 pm

          Hi Samantha! I went to Yelp and scoured the best reviews – then I checked them out on Instagram! A lot of docs have amazing before/afters and videos on there. If you’re not 100% sure, just go for a consultation (that’s what I did at first) – and then you can decide if you want to move forward or keep looking. Good luck! <3 AnnaReplyCancel

          • SamanthaMarch 16, 2018 - 1:09 pm

            Thanks Anna!ReplyCancel

      • Pacific Rim UprisingMarch 24, 2018 - 9:24 pm

        Very rapidly this web site will be famous among all blogging and site-building viewers, due to it’s nice contentReplyCancel

      • Michelle SmithMarch 25, 2018 - 9:06 am

        Hi Anna! Thank You for writing this awesome article and for all of the great information. It was hard to find info about this when I was considering getting Botox! I’ve had Botox twice and am so happy with the results! I was over the way my makeup settled in the lines on my forehead and felt like my 11s were making me look angry. I have 3 friends (that I knew of..why such a secret?!) that had it and loved it! I had a consultation and went for it! I didn’t want to “look” like I had Botox, just smoother and natural. I look and feel so much younger than 48, wish I would have done it 5 years ago! Now the way I look matches how I feel inside. And totally agree.. Go to a reputable plastic surgeon, NO Groupons. You are worth it! ReplyCancel

        • AnnaMarch 26, 2018 - 10:05 am

          YES! Good Botox doesn’t LOOK like you HAD Botox… that’s kind of the point – but so many people overdo it! So happy to hear you made the right choice for you! xx AnnaReplyCancel


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