My Before and After: BBL for Sun Spots

Everything you might possibly want to know about my Broadband Laser (BBL) Treatment. {NOTE: This is NOT about a Brazilian Butt Lift. Both are called BBL… but the one I’m talking about resurfaces your face and doesn’t make your booty pop} Before I did my treatment, I looked EVERYWHERE to try to determine what the different phases would look like and found very little information. So, I made sure to take a ton of photos so that I could show you EXACTLY what my face looked like directly after BBL, 1 day later, 1 week later, and 3 weeks later.

I also saved a highlight on my PocketfulofJoules Instagram account, where I saved a bunch of videos:

Let’s start at the beginning… or at least the mid-80’s. Back in the old days when I was a kid, we were not very good about using sunscreen. In fact, many people were doing the baby-oil-and-fry method to try and get a deep, dark tan. I was on swim team during the summer, so every day I’d get to the pool in the morning for team practice and then just kind of hang out the rest of the day.

All. Summer. Long. So, my hair was super bleached and my skin was super tan.

Is this an excuse to post this ridiculous photo of me wearing a shirt with a photo of me on it again? Perhaps.

Which, I understand can be hard to believe considering I’m so pale nowadays that that I buy face powder in the pretty much the lightest shade out there.

Anyways, throughout the years I noticed myself getting more and more freckly. At least, I thought they were freckles until a *nice* blog reader pointed out my sun spots and offered to send me a multi-step treatment from their MLM for me to review back in 2016.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t work. So now I knew I had sun spots AND that they weren’t going anywhere. Cool. I wasn’t super fixated on the sun spots, but I didn’t love them. I just kind of figured I was stuck with them, so I tried to ignore them.

Fast forward to 2022. I signed up for a 6-month membership at a nearby medi-spa because I wanted to add monthly facials to my self-care routine. While attending the spa, I learned about their BBL (Broadband Laser) treatment because members received 10% off. The nurse who did the treatments and I spoke a couple times and she felt very sure that one session would be all I would need, since my spots were relatively mild. So, when they had a ‘open house’ special in the fall I pre-paid for one session of BBL for around $300.

I waited until the middle of winter to make sure that I was at my most pale version of myself, to make it easier for the laser to focus on those dark spots.

Here is my “before” from February 14, 2023:

{PS to see any photo from one of these photo collages as a larger image, just click on it}

The ones I was most concerned about were these:

Yes, that looks like a paw print. Right?! Anyways, it’s typical for your left side to have more sun spots due to driving around with the sun hitting your window.

Based on the nurse’s feedback, I was hoping for a total obliteration of the sun spots. But, being a realist, I was really hoping for general improvement.

A note about the bazillion photos I’m about to include. I’m not wearing any makeup on my face (other than occasionally on my eyelids). I did not edit anything in photoshop, other than to include collages and text. I used natural light from my bathroom window for each photo, so if there are inconsistencies it is due to that day’s weather.

Also, I wanted to include more of my videos but they were too large to send/upload. So if you’d like to see all my video check-in’s, go to my Instagram page where I linked them all under the BBL bubble.

Let’s get into it!

BBL 30 Minutes After – February 15, 2023:

Questions I’ve gotten:

What did it feel like/did it hurt?

I would describe it as uncomfortable, but not painful. They put a goopy jelly on your face and little goggles over your eyes. Then, they rub the machine over different areas of your face and there is a quick ZAP and bright light. I found the sounds/light/feeling more of a startling sensation than painful. The nurse said it was similar to a tattoo, but I absolutely do not agree. My whole session probably lasted around 20-30 minutes from start to finish. She went over my face with different strengths of the laser and hit all the different areas multiple times.

How much did it cost?

The medi-spa I went to typically charges $395 for a session, or a bit less for a three-pack. However, I waited until they had their fall open house and pre-paid for my one session. I’m pretty sure it was right around $300. I am not sharing the name of the medi-spa online. If you are local to Maryland, feel free to email or DM me and I’ll pass through that information.

BBL 1 Day After – February 16, 2023:

The next day, my face was red, blotchy and swollen. The sun spots were starting to get much more brown. I totally had some chipmunk cheeks, but I wasn’t in pain at all.

BBL 2 Days After – February 17, 2023:

On day 2, my face was no longer red, blotchy or swollen. No chipmunk cheeks, yay! However, the sun spots were getting even more brown.

BBL 3 Days After – February 18, 2023:

BBL 4 Days After – February 19, 2023:

BBL 5 Days After – February 20, 2023:

BBL 6 Days After – February 21, 2023:

BBL 1 Week After – February 22, 2023:

For my one-week check-in, I also gave an update on the video about what I had been doing to my skin for the past week. Basically, I was just moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing!

Starting on the evening of day 6, I also started using my night-time exfoliant to help with the skin turnover process. My esthetician started me on this in August and I LOVE IT:  Bioelement Skin Editor. It is a leave-on AHA peel cream exfoliator that has 3% glycolic and 7% lactic acid. I usually use it every other night and it makes my skin absolutely glow. (First face wash, then Vitamin C serum, then Skin Editor, then night cream).

BBL 2 Weeks After – March 1, 2023:

BBL 3 Weeks After – March 10, 2023

I was actually really surprised to see continued improvement between week 2 and week 3. I had figured that after the brown spots fell off, that would be as good as it would get… but I’m seeing continued improvement.

In fact, when I went to my esthetician for a facial the following week she said I’ll see even more improvement over the next couple months as my skin cells turn over. I’m actually very happy with the improvement in my skin, so to know that it will continue to improve has me really excited!

Here is my before photo again, compared with my “after” at the 3 week mark.

Right side:

I’m super happy with the improvement to the right side of my face. Most of the sun spots are very much reduced and the skin on my cheek is overall much more even with a smoother color.

Left side:

I’m happy with the improvement on the top of my left cheek, but those three stubborn spots towards the bottom are still there. I’m crossing my fingers for a little more improvement over the next month or so. With that being said, I’m not unhappy enough to want to do (or pay for) a second BBL session.

As for now, I’m just continuing to take care of my skin. I listed my products above, and I use them regularly. I also use sunscreen on days that I leave the house and have purchased a hat for extra sun protection.

Perhaps I should do another update in May to see if there has been more improvement?

All in all, I’m very happy with my BBL experience for sun spots. The one session gave me a noticeable improvement within the first month, the pain was very slight, and the down-time was minimal.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon and ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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You Need Shower Candles!

I made a life changing update to our bathroom that cost $20. TWENTY DOLLARS! After spending a bazillion dollars on our recent bathroom renovation, this $20 addition as rocked my world. Or rocked my showers… at least.

Shower. Candles.


Why didn’t I think of these before?!

I’m not a brightly lit shower kinda girl. I prefer natural light from the window. Don’t worry, our window is far enough away from the shower that nobody sees a crazy naked lady singing at the top of her lungs in the shower when nobody else is home.

Anyways, I got my husband started on what I call ‘dark showers’ too. In fact, he started taking ACTUAL dark showers in the morning, because he gets up at 4am for work.

And then I had a light bulb go off over my head… we need some of those fancy remote candles.


Here are the exact candles I purchased: Flameless Flickering Batter Operated Candles, Set of 9. (Don’t forget to also order batteries!)

I took a couple quick videos when received them. Check out the two modes: light or candle:

If you don’t have a shower the size of a New York City bedroom, you can totally put them on the countertop. However, we built our shower specifically for my giant husband’s wingspan… so we have plenty of room on the ledge that doesn’t get wet.

I put a few in each corner and it’s just so soothing:

I thought 9 candles seemed kind of excessive and was planning to only use a few of them… but OH MY GOSH, 9 candles is actually the exactly perfect number of candles to have the most relaxing shower ever.

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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My Nespresso Citiz Review (& My 2 Favorite Nespresso Recipes)

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’m kind of obsessed with my Nespresso machine. I purchased it right before Christmas and I have been using it non-stop for the last few months. So, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you as well as my daily recipe for a mid-afternoon coffee break!

First off, I was 100% influenced by my friend Lindsey to buy a Nespresso. Maybe even 120% influenced. Every so often we have what I call “Lindsey Adventure Weekends” where I go to her place and we spend the weekend away from stinky boys doing girl stuff. Like watching lots of rom-com’s, eating way too much cheese, wearing comfy pajamas, putting on smelly face masks, and thrifting/antiquing. And yes, it’s amazing.

Lindsey introduced me to her Nespresso machine and like Pavlov’s dog, when I hear the swoosh sound of the espresso being made, my shoulders are conditioned to retract from my ears and I relax.

Right before Christmas I was telling my husband how I really, truly didn’t have anything I want on my Christmas list, when suddenly I had the thought that maybe I should get my own Nespresso machine. I texted Lindsey to find out exactly which machine she owned, did a bunch of research and made my order off Amazon.

My Nespresso Machine: Nespresso CitiZ

I purchased the Nespresso CitiZ and found a few options online:

I purchased the version without a milk frother, because I already own one (a previous year’s Christmas gift) that works great. If you don’t have a milk frother, the 2-in-1 version on Amazon is actually a better price.

Things I like about the Nespresso CitiZ:

  • It’s slim and fits in easily next to my current coffee maker.
  • The removable water tank holds 33 ounces, so I’m not refilling it every time I make a cup.
  • It has a fast heat-up system, so it goes from off to making my espresso in 25 seconds.
  • It’s delicious!

And yes, I still use my regular coffee maker too (as does my husband). I usually start the day with regular coffee and have a Nespresso in the afternoon as a treat.

My Favorite Nespresso Capsule Flavors

The machine came with a sample pack of coffee capsules, which was great to give a bunch of flavors a try. After I tried them out, I narrowed it down to my favorites and made an order.

You can order capsules off Amazon or the Nespresso website for similar pricing. However, Nespresso often runs specials where you get an extra sleeve for free or your first order is $10 off, so I went with them for my first order. I also ordered a Recycling Bag (for free) so I can recycle my used capsules.

My current favorite capsule flavors:

Firenze Arpeggio (dark purple)

Stokholm Fortissio Lungo (teal green)

Vanilla Éclair (cream)

My Favorite Flavored Syrups

I also purchased a couple gift sets from Monin, so I could try a bunch of different syrup flavors. The Toasted Marshmallow from this holiday set (currently still available) is AMAZING.

Here are three of my favorite syrups off Amazon (be warned, the bottles are HUGE):

My Favorite Nespresso Recipes

I’ve been using my Nespresso machine almost daily since the end of December and I’m not kidding when I say it lights up my afternoon. When I was in the office, I would walk down to Starbucks and pay $6+ for my Caramel Macchiato. Now, I walk downstairs and have a similar drink for less than $2.

My two most frequently made recipes:

My Afternoon Cappuccino/Macchiato type-thing:


  • One Firenze Arpeggio capsule (dark purple) or Stokholm Fortissio Lungo capsule (teal green)
  • 2% Milk
  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Sauce

I use my frother and fill the milk to the ‘froth’ setting (about ¼ cup-ish). I let that do its thing – it heats and froths and takes about a minute or so. Then, I walk it over to the Nespresso machine, add my milk to my cup and hit ‘start’ on my Firenze Arpeggio capsule for a Lungo size, when that’s done, I top it with a squirt of whipped cream and a little caramel sauce.

(PS this also works great with Almond Milk, if regular milk isn’t your thing. I make it that way for Travis and it tastes great — it just doesn’t foam much).

Look I made an adorable video to show you how I make it:

My Energy Shot type-thing:


  • One Vanilla Éclair capsule (cream)
  • 1 TBSP half and half
  • Toasted Marshmallow syrup
  • Whipped Cream

I make one Vanilla Éclair capsule for a Lungo size directly into my mug. Then, I add 1 TBSP half and half, 1 TBSP Toasted Marshmallow syrup and top it with a squirt of whipped cream. YUM.

You guys. I’m OBSESSED. And I’m also saving money because I like my own Nespresso recipes better than my old Starbucks orders.

Disclosure: Not sponsored. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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