It's that time of year again, so I'm bringing you Sarah's party season teeth tips; just a few of my hints and tricks that’ll last you through all your parties with your smile in tip top condition.
Obviously, you want your teeth to sparkle and shine at Christmastime. A clean, bright and healthy smile is the perfect accessory to any party outfit.
But if your lipstick is on wonky, smeared all over your face or your teeth (or other people, depending on the type of parties you go to...), then no matter how lovely your teeth, your smile is going to let you down.
So let's get that lipstick on right.
Even if you've been applying lipstick for years, it's always worth reminding yourself of all the top tips that help to keep it firmly in place and avoid ending up with either of the delightful looks above.
This is how I do it and it works beautifully...
First thing to do? Exfoliate. Yes, it’s not just your face; your lips need to be
exfoliated too. And in the winter months, they can really dry out. A
build up of flaky skin on your lips gives an uneven look to any lipstick
or gloss that you apply, so let’s start by getting rid of it.
If you have an old mascara wand, you can use that, although be really sure that it’s absolutely squeaky clean. Rubbing old black mascara into your dry lips is not going to produce a good party season look.
But the absolute best for exfoliating your lips is… yep, just a toothbrush. They are the perfect tool and you’ve surely got an old one lying about that you could use? Make sure you sterilize it properly first (boiling water poured over it will do the trick), and then gently rub in small circular movements on your lips.
Pay special attention to the corners of your mouth which tend to get very dry at this time of year.
You can exfoliate on completely dry lips or you can add a tiny amount of balm to your lips or the toothbrush before exfoliating.
Don’t go overboard with the balm though - you don’t want to make your lips so slick that your lipstick will just slide off. So if you do use a little, make sure to dab any excess balm off once you’ve finished exfoliating.
So, you’ve now got fantastically smooth lips. Time to get colourful.
First, using a liner brush or pencil, carefully trace the outline of your lips in a colour that’s the same as your lipstick. It’s here that you get the opportunity to even out your lips, or make them slightly fuller or slimmer depending on your own natural shape and the look you’re going for. Trust me, I get to see lots of natural lips when people come in for dental treatment and it’s incredibly common to see mouths that aren’t perfectly symmetrical. So you can use your lip liner to even them out a little.
Fill in with your lipstick using a brush to apply it. Make sure you get really good, even coverage. And always smile your widest when doing this so the lipstick gets onto the whole lip area.
Blot with a tissue.
And then suck your thumb. Yep, not kidding.
Thumb (or index finger) in mouth, close lips around and pull out slowly. What you’ll see is a ring of lipstick on your thumb that your tissue blotting missed. It’s the lipstick that gets on the innermost parts of your lips and it’s therefore the most likely to smear off onto your teeth, so a quick suck of thumb gets rid of it!
Then dust a very fine mist of loose face powder over your lips with a soft brush, which will help to ‘seal’ the lipstick.
And perhaps finish with a few dots of gloss in the middle of your lower lip.
Done. Your lipstick will now last as long as the product allows, and shouldn’t end up all over your face, teeth or anywhere else…
Of course, there’s no such thing as lipstick that never comes off - they all do eventually. And if your lipstick game isn’t strong, or you simply don’t want to risk it, then why not go for nude lips?
It’s really current look, and accompanied by smokey eyes (drawing attention up to your eyes and away from your mouth), it's a simple way to be really sure that you’re not going to have to worry about your lippy all evening.
Black Is White toothpaste… I am in love with this product!
And so are all my friends and family. In the words of my fiancé, it's “the most stylish toothpaste” he’s ever seen.
Black Is White whitening toothpaste removes discoloration using activated carbon without abrading or bleaching - and it does all that while boosting your oral health, too.
At first it’s strange brushing your teeth with black paste - you do tend to look like someone from Oliver Twist - but you end up with white shiny teeth, so it’s well worth it.
This toothpaste is absolutely ideal if you drink a lot of tea, coffee or red wine, or eat a lot of foods that stain your teeth, such as curries.
And although it looks funny, it tastes great (a bit like lime and mint, although they do offer a milder flavor which comes in a white tube).
Give it a go, I’m sure you’ll be impressed.
The 'fruitier' the cocktail, the more sugar it has, the worse it is for your teeth. At the end of a few, your teeth and whole mouth will feel furry and unpleasant.
A long island iced tea is delicious, but it’s basically liquid sugar.
So if it (or something similar) is your favourite festive tipple, do try to alternate with fizzy water, which will help to wash the sugar off your teeth (and stop you from ending up face down on the floor…).
My best tip?
Vodka, fresh lime juice and soda water (not lemonade, and not lime cordial either). It’s kinder to your teeth, won’t stain them or coat them in sugar, and it’s easier on your liver, too!
Look at the difference an 'open mouth smile' makes to your face.
Here’s our lovely nurse Carina to demonstrate…
If you really are conscious whenever someone points a camera in your face and either smile with your mouth closed or worse - hold your hand in front of your mouth every time someone cracks a joke - then it’s time for a hygiene and / or teeth whitening appointment.
And if it’s wonky teeth that are worrying you, then Invisalign could be the answer to your prayers.
There is one time when you shouldn't try to use your teeth to impress at the Christmas party.
I’m sure we have all seen that person at a party who tries the trick of opening bottles with their teeth.
But I have lost track of how many times we have had patients who have done this and regretted the decision when they crack a tooth. Suddenly the £1 bottle opener instantly seems the better option!
Hopefully I've helped remind you that a beautiful smile really does make the perfect accessory.
All that remains is for me to wish you a very merry Christmas.