From pearly whites to perfect pouts, Lisa Haynes reveals the beauty kit required to enhance your lips and teeth.
LOOKING for that perfect Hollywood smile or that dazzling Instagram post?
Brightening your teeth at home is now virtually as easy as highlighting your face, thanks to abundance of at-home products can produce convincing transformations with minimum commitment. Think subtle tweaks, rather than dayglo fakery.
TEETH BRIGHTENING: A bright, open smile is your secret weapon for a dazzling first impression (research shows you have just seven seconds).
“The mouth is the first focus when we meet people,” says Graham Barnby, dental care expert and Arm & Hammer ambassador. “Boost your smile confidence by removing stains and brightening teeth, using a non-abrasive whitening toothpaste. Used twice daily, you should begin to notice a difference in five days.”
Amp up the whiteness with a safe, DIY booster that won’t damage tooth enamel. There are countless techniques, from dissolvable strips to 100% natural charcoal polish. Be mindful of what you eat and drink, too, if you’re dedicated to upping the whiteness. Barnby lists coffee, tea, red wine and fried foods as prime teeth stainers.
TRY: Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Baking Soda Toothpaste, €5.29 (www.boots.ie); Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White Black Toothpaste, €3.99 (www.pharmacystore.ie, plus p&p)
LIP PRIMING: Whether your teeth are the star attraction or not, hydrated, plump lips can dramatically improve a smile — and they require extra TLC over the winter.
“Lips need to look smooth and moist for lip products to look their best,” says Rupert Kingston, creative director of Delilah cosmetics. He suggests exfoliating with a gentle sugar scrub and using a healing lip balm.
If fine lines are your bugbear, use a light eye and lip cream to tighten and plump the contours daily.
“Start by using a primer, concentrating on the nasolabial folds [smile lines] and any creases that run through the lip line,” Kingston suggests. “Then use a brightening cream concealer through the same areas, to lift out any shadows.”
TRY: Decléor Excellence De L’age Regenerating Eye and Lip Cream, €73.30 (www.feelunique.co.uk, free p&p); Laura Geller Lip Strip smoothing sugar scrub, €18 (www.debenhams.ie) Laura Mercier, Lip Silk €27 (www.brownthomas.ie)
SMILE ENHANCING: The type of lip product you use can be a cheat in itself, in the quest for whiter-looking teeth and juicier lips. If you’re after instant lip volume, opt for a plumping gloss containing chilli extracts and light-reflecting particles.
For brighter teeth, you can create the instant illusion of whiteness simply by using the right shade of lipstick: “A red or pink lipstick with a blue tone or subtle amount of blue pearl can be very flattering, because it makes your eyes and teeth look whiter and brighter,” says Poppy King, founder of Lipstick Queen.
Conversely, brown and peachy tone lipsticks can bring out the yellow in your teeth, so avoid these if you’re on a whiter-than-white mission.
Don’t be daunted by full-on blue lip products. “They actually give lips more of a berry tint,” explains King, “and they’re perfect for maximising a brighter smile.”
TRY: ArtDeco Hot Chilli Lip Booster, €17 (Debenhams); Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm €20 (www.debenhams.ie); Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lip Gloss, €30.06 (www.SpaceNK.com plus p&p).
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