Showing posts with label Birthday Magazine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birthday Magazine. Show all posts

Monday, 16 February 2015

5 Ways to Whiter, Brighter Teeth

I'm personally in a love hate relationship with my teeth (I love to hate them) and the thing I hate most about them is that yellow-y tinge that occurs every now and again from drinking too much tea. It seems I'm not alone. Whiter teeth are often cited as one of the top things women would like to change about themselves. Luckily there's a whole host of brightening methods to choose from, so here's a few ways to get your teeth whiter and keep them that way.

Home Kits
A popular method to whiten teeth is by using home whitening kits. These can be purchased either on the high street or online, and can cost anywhere from £10 to £100. Several options are available, ranging from dental trays, strips, ‘paint on’ formulas and even whitening pens. The choice can get a little overwhelming so speak to your dentist for guidance about whitening. To ensure you end up with a product that delivers there are certain things you need to look for when buying a home kit. Hydrogen peroxide is the most common ingredient in effective whitening products and it has to be a high enough strength in order to actually brighten teeth. Legally in the UK, home kits should only contain 0.1% hydrogen peroxide. Be wary of products with higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide as if these are used incorrectly they can leave you with nasty chemical burns. Be careful to stick to timings and usage instructions too. Over-whitening the teeth can wear away the enamel leaving your teeth translucent or grey and with increased sensitivity. In general whitening strips tend to be a safer (depending on what they're made of) and are a ‘no fuss’ option.

DIY Naturally
If you prefer to DIY and love keeping it natural, look no further than your kitchen for teeth whiteners. Oil, baking soda and strawberries are all claimed to be remedies for dull, discoloured teeth. Oil pulling is ancient Ayurvedic technique which involves swishing oil around your mouth for 15-20 minutes before spitting it out and rinsing with warm water. It’s thought to remove all of the toxins and bacteria in the mouth, leading to whiter teeth. Organic oils such as Sesame, Olive or Coconut are often cited to produce the most benefits. It does sound a little crazy but at least it’s au naturel. Strawberries are also claimed to whiten teeth as the fruit contains malic acid which helps lift stains. To use, mash up some strawberries and combine with baking soda (another natural whitener) so the mixture is not too acidic. Apply the mixture to your teeth and leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing. As too much acid can erode the enamel on your teeth it’s suggested to do this no more than once a week.

The most dramatic whitening results can only take place in the dentist’s chair. Whitening available from your dentist is far stronger and effective than any legal product that can be purchased from shops or online. Gleaming white teeth can often be achieved in a single session, but the sparkling results come at a price. Costs can total over £200 for one treatment. If you don’t fancy forking out for a brighter smile, a regular clean and polish from your dentist is another option. This will remove deeper stains and discolouration more than regular brushing and it costs a lot less than a whitening procedure.

If you want to keep your teeth pearly white dentists recommend brushing teeth for a full two minutes, two times a day. It’s suggested to brush gently at 45 degree angle against the gum line for thorough stain removal. Want that super clean feeling? Go electric instead of manual. Electric toothbrushes have been proven to be more effective than a manual brush. It’s also advised by dentists to avoid certain foods and drinks to keep teeth white. Beverages such as tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and wine all cause discolouration. It’s usually the acidity or the sugar levels in foods which wreak havoc on our teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and using mouthwash can also help to keep stains at bay.

Fake It
No time for whitening? You can get the appearance of whiter teeth simply by wearing a red lipstick with blue undertones. This trick works as blue balances out any yellow stains on your teeth. You can also fake it by wearing bronzer as this gives the face a sun kissed glow which makes teeth seem brighter.

How do you keep your teeth white?
Christine Stewart x

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Sunday, 4 January 2015

How to find the perfect foundation

Lets face it finding the right shade is one of the biggest problems women have when buying makeup. It took me a few years before I finally found a foundation that worked for me, partly due to a lack of foundations for medium and darker skintones in drug stores. Thankfully there are so much more options available now and it only takes a little know-how to locate the right product for you.

Half the battle of finding the right foundation is finding your shade. It sounds simple enough, but how many times have you thought you’ve bought the exact match after trying it in-store, only to find it’s completely wrong when you try it again at home? It’s a common habit to test the colour of foundations on our hands, but our faces are often a different colour. A more accurate way of judging the perfect colour for your skin is to swatch foundations on your neck or jaw.

Beauty displays in-store tend to have lighting which makes it hard to determine whether or not you’ve got the right shade. Don’t be afraid to swatch a couple of shades you think are closest to your tone and walk away before making your purchase. Then have a look at the swatches you made in natural daylight.

The perfect colour should blend almost seamlessly with your skin, though an exact match might not always be available. You can try approaching assistants at makeup counters to help you find the right foundation. High-end companies may offer to mix up a unique shade for you or give you a small sample of an existing shade to try in case it’s not the right match. Your face isn’t all one tone, so you may have to also buy a slightly darker shade for areas like your forehead. The colour of our skin changes with the seasons too, so in the warmer months you may need a darker foundation than in the winter.

Finding the perfect foundation also depends on knowing which will suit the natural undertone of your skin. Is your complexion warm, cool or neutral? Warm coloured skin has a yellow undertone, cool skin has a red, pink or blue undertone and neutral skin tends to be a mixture of these tones. Knowing your undertone can be the difference between a glowing and ashy appearance. To figure out your undertone, look at the veins on the back of your wrist. Are they blue or green in appearance? The former means you have a cool undertone, and the latter means you have a warm undertone. If you notice you have both, or somewhere in between, your undertone is neutral. You can also try comparing which type of jewellery looks better on – silver or gold. Silver flatters cool undertones whilst gold suits warm undertones. Still confused? Swatch both warm and cool tones in order to know which works best.

When shopping for foundations it may not be immediately obvious which shades are for warm or cool undertones as sometimes the names of shades can seem cryptic or use words that hint at what the undertone might be. For example yellow based foundations may be described with words like ‘golden’, ‘bronzed’, ‘honey’, ‘caramel’, whereas red/blue based foundations may be described as ‘chestnut’, ‘cooper’, ‘blaze’. If you don’t fancy deciphering the names of shades and can’t tell which undertones are which, look to brands like Fashion Fair, NARS, Bobbi Brown and MAC. These brands have an array of foundations to suit different undertones and an assistant at their beauty counter can help point you in the right direction (MAC confusingly uses warm to describe cool skintones and vice versa).

Formula & Coverage
Just as important as the actual colour of your foundation, is the kind of formula you choose. Foundation types vary from mineral, mousse, liquid, sticks, cream and cream-to-powder, so there’s something for everyone. The formula finish will also be either sheer, matte or semi matte. For the most part, choosing your perfect formula depends on your personal preference. However, your skin type may also play a part. Is your skin oily, dry, normal or combination? These characteristics can determine how long your foundation will last and how well they will work with your skin depending on the type you choose. For example, mineral foundations tend to work well with oil-prone skin.

Also consider what kind of coverage you’re looking for. Foundations vary from light and medium to high coverage. Decide which end of the spectrum you prefer, also taking into account what kind of formula you want to use. Products vary, but generally mousse, tinted moisturisers or liquid foundations can provide a more lightweight to medium coverage. In contrast, creams, stick foundations and mineral powders can provide medium to full coverage.

Have you found your perfect foundation?

Christine Stewart x

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