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OTC Whitening Kits and Dentist Teeth Whitening: What’s the Difference?

Image: Oasisdentalcare

When you smile, do you like what you see? Everyone wants to have stunningly white teeth, but for some of us it can be tougher to achieve that perfect smile. Thankfully, there is help out there in the form of teeth whitening products and treatments. Turning your dull, stained, or yellow teeth into a brilliant shade of white can be just a few treatments away!

Looking into the various types teeth whitening products available on the market can be a little overwhelming. There are tons of options out there, and sometimes the choices can all blend together. One especially big distinction that people want to understand is what the difference is between over the counter teeth whitening kits, compared to teeth whitening by a dental professional.

What Is Professional Dental Whitening?

Image: kreativedentalclinic

When you go to the dentist, you can ask if the office provides professional whitening treatments. These treatments involve the dentist painting a bleaching gel on your teeth. As the Colgate Oral Care Center explains, this gel is pretty powerful, “in-office whitening procedures are carefully monitored and contain a higher concentration of bleaching gel.” The bleach is left on for a specific amount of time, and much like the kits, a light may be used to help increase the whitening results you see. A professional whitening session typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the type of whitening agent used. 

What Are Over the Counter Whitening Kits?

There is a wide range of tooth whitening products available both online and in your local pharmacy. One type that has been growing in popularity is teeth whitening kits. These kits typically come with special trays that will fit snugly over your teeth. When you open the kit, you will find the trays, a specific type of whitening gel, and in some cases a portable LED light. The purpose of the light is to increase the whitening power by activating the bleaching ingredients within the whitening gel. However, some kits do not use the light method, and rely on the gel to complete the whitening.

Each kit comes with specific instructions, but you will typically need to place a designated amount of gel in each tray. You will then place the tray over your teeth to hold the gel closely against each tooth and ensure they all are exposed to the whitening agents. You will generally need to wear the trays for a specific amount of time (usually under an hour) for a few days to a few weeks in order to see the full results.

Which Type Is Right for Me?

First, it is important to talk to your dentist. They will be able to give you helpful advice about which products will work best while keeping your teeth nice and healthy. Your dentist can also check your teeth to make sure they are in good shape and will be good candidates for teeth whitening.

Beyond a dental consultation, the choice of which type of whitening you get is up to you. There are a few important factors you should consider when deciding which type of treatment to get:

  1. How much do you want to spend? This is an important question, because teeth whitening can vary greatly. Kits can range from close to $100 and up, while most professional in-office dental treatments cost around $650.
  2. How discolored are your teeth? Check out your current smile, is it just a bit dull or does it need a lot of work? The type of treatment you choose depends heavily on how much improvement you want to see. If you just want your teeth to be a few shades lighter, you might want to do a less intense treatment. If your teeth are extremely stained or discolored, you should probably consider a professional whitening treatment as the whitening agents are more aggressive. Professional treatments are especially popular with people who drink red wine or coffee, and people who smoke because their teeth are often much more stained.
  3. Where do you want to receive your treatment? Some people aren’t big fans of going to the dentist, and would much prefer to do their treatments at home. Other people find it tough to remember to use the whitening kit consistently, and they prefer to go to the dentist and get it done quickly.

There are people who absolutely love both teeth whitening methods. It is up to you to do your research and consider your options when choosing which type of teeth whitening you want to use.  We recommend you consider how safe it is to whiten your teeth and the cost of teeth whitening when making your decision.

Please do note that some people report an increase in tooth sensitivity after treatments, so it is extremely important to make sure your teeth are very healthy when you start. Whichever whitening method you choose, you can look forward to a brighter smile in your future!



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DIY Bridal Beauty Tips for the Budget Savvy Bride

DIY Bridal Beauty Tips for the Budget Savvy Bride


Feel like using some of your creative energy? Use it to DIY your perfect wedding right from your own home. You can make everything from decor and invitations to custom fashion pieces and accessories all by yourself. The cost of a wedding can quickly spiral out of control and become overwhelming, so if there are ways to cut down on the budget for the big day then we recommend trying it. It’s true that DIY takes some extra time and effort, but there’s a huge payoff. You’ll be saving money and your wedding will have a unique, one-of-a-kind feel that you can’t buy in a store. Even brides who aren’t very craft-inclined can make DIY wedding magic using our tips.

Do Your Own Makeup

We’re sure you have masses of amazing makeup already stashed around your bathroom, so why not utilize what you’ve already got rather than hiring a makeup artist? We live in the age of the internet, and you can learn how to do literally any beauty or makeup look from YouTube tutorials. Test-drive your look before your big day to make sure you have everything you need and master the techniques you’ll be using. Otherwise, enlist a makeup savvy bridesmaid or girlfriend to help you out. After all, no one can say no to the bride!



Do Your Own Hair

DIY bridal hair styles

If you’re a simple type of gal, we recommend doing your own hair and saving money on an expensive stylist. After all, you’ve done your own hair thousands of times before, so why not today? As long as you have a flat iron, a curler, and plenty of hairspray and bobby pins, you cannot go wrong with doing your own ‘do’. Obviously, the easiest bridal hairstyle to do at home is loose, simple curls which you can achieve with a curling wand. We love this look with middle parted hair and perhaps even two small braids pulled back on each side. You can also learn how to do a variety of ornate looking braids and up dos online. Again, do a test drive before the big day to make sure you have all the products and techniques down. Remember, practice makes perfect.

Whiten Your Teeth At Home

Weddings are all about the details. We know you’ve got your beauty routine planned out to the very last detail, but don’t scrimp on the small stuff. You absolutely must whiten your teeth before the big day. Since professional teeth whitening can be super expensive and it can take months to get an appointment, why not try an effective, at-home teeth whitening system kit, or try some teeth whitening strips?


A Store-bought Dress Isn’t Always the Best Dress

Recycle a wedding dress

If your mom, grandma, aunt, or friend is handy with a needle and thread, enlist them to make you a custom, one-of-a-kind wedding dress. Since most people aren’t lucky enough to have a friend who knows how to sew couture-level wedding gowns, check out the wedding pictures from the women in your family and see if any of them would be willing to gift you their vintage wedding dress. Vintage is always a yes, and we’re sure one of your female relatives would be honored to loan you their retired wedding gown. If their gowns are outdated, never fear. Even with minimal sewing skills, you can rework an old dress to create a modern, magical gown. It’s just a matter of getting rid of those shoulder pads, tailoring the silhouette, and perhaps letting out a hem or two. Get creative!

Raid your grandma’s jewelry box

As the old adage goes, you need something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue to ensure a happy marriage. With vintage accessories from your mother, aunts, or grandma, you can knock out both borrowed and old. We love vintage gold jewelry, especially when it comes to earrings and necklaces. They’re funky and unique. If the jewelry you find at your grandma’s house is a little worse for the wear, never fear. Pick up some polish at your local craft store and get scrubbing. Those pieces will be restored to their former glory in no time. 

Create a Fresh Hair Piece

Get crafty with hair accessories

Flower crowns are just so perfectly lovely for a garden wedding. They look wonderful holding down a veil and they give you that magical, fairy princess look. Who isn’t on board for that? A fresh flower crown is actually one of the easiest DIY accessories. You can use the same flowers from your bouquet to keep with your color scheme and avoid a trip to the backyard or to a florist. Simply select three flowers to begin and loosely braid the stems together, adding more flowers along the way, the same way you would with a French braid. Once the flower string is long enough, pin the ends together into a crown shape, and finish off the crown by sticking leaves, flowers, and ribbons into the braid. Easy, classic, and gorgeous.

So there you have some top tips for brides on a budget looking to get creative and add that personal touch to the most important day of your life. Whether you want a mix of DIY and store bought for your big day, see the bride’s one year guide to planning a wedding for some excellent planning tips. We wish you all the happiness in the world as you plan your perfect day!

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The Ultimate Father’s Day Gift Guide

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start looking around and finding the perfect gift to celebrate your dad. Although there are endless generic gift ideas, you don’t have to stick with the traditional white shirt and “Best Dad in the World” mug combination – we’ve got your back with a list of creative ideas from sporty and casual to elegant and luxurious.

The Classy Dad

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If your dad is absolutely obsessed with collecting vintage treasures and has a more elegant wardrobe than most dads, he is probably a true gentleman at heart. Whether is a collector or just generally enjoys looking elegant and classy, surprise him with something truly unique. Visit an antique boutique for inspiration: paintings, notebooks, small collectibles, special edition books and little vintage décor items and classic fragrances are all great gift ideas that he will surely love. To stick with the antique theme, choose gold, bronze, crystal or wooden décor items that have a vintage flare, and for clothes, pick out a special pair of cufflinks or tie that he couldn’t find anywhere else. Personalize your gift with a small note (especially if it’s a notebook or book) and don’t be afraid to get a bit emotional and thank him for all he’s done in the past years.

The Adventurous Dad

image via health.com

He’s always either in the park, on a backpack tour with his friends or on a vacation? For an adventurous dad, the most fitting gift idea is probably a whole new experience. Take him to somewhere new…and don’t worry, you don’t have to rob a bank and take him to Hawaii to make your gift personal and unique. Discover a new place together in your hometown or go to a small village nearby and spend the day there exploring the place. You will not only gift him the adventure of exploring something new, but you also give him your free time and the opportunity to spend a whole day with you and catch up.

The Chef Dad

image via Bloomberg.com

If your dad could watch cooking shows and talk about recipes for ages, we’ve got the perfect gift ideas for him. An impromptu cooking class with his daughter sounds perfect, right? If you’d like to surprise him with a learning session, make sure you find something special, such as an Asian cuisine guide or a baking class. If he wouldn’t really enjoy a cooking class, take him out to eat (choose a small, hidden restaurant instead of the obvious choices) or cook dinner for him. 

The Well-Groomed Dad

image via etsy.com

Gift your dad that luxurious extra with an elegant fragrance, a grooming set or a teeth whitening kit. Instead of the regular choices, try to do your research and choose something limited edition or outstanding that still fits his taste and personality. For example, if he has a specific fragrance note preference, search for colognes that have that top note with a unique blend of other ingredients, or dive into the grooming section of Etsy to find one of a kind, natural treasures. Even if your dad does not seem to be very invested in the world of grooming, he will surely appreciate a grooming or pampering gift set. Introduce him to skincare essentials with a high-quality men’s skincare brand, such as Gentlemen Floris or Nurse Jamie for Men.

The Tech-Addict Dad

image via etsy.com

Wireless headphones, waterproof phones and all that other tech stuff you don’t even know about…I know, finding a gift for a tech-addict dad might be a challenge, but there is no need to spend hours in an electronic store, trying to figure out the newest tech trends (if you’re not familiar with the topic –  you’re just like your dad, go for it and pick out something he’ll love!). Instead, stick with the fun side of technology and gift him something that is practical and shows his love for technology (such as a new laptop case).

Don’t Forget To Say Thank You

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No matter what gift you choose, ensure you include a Thank you letter or note. It doesn’t have be too long, but expressing your feelings and gratefulness will make your present a lot more personalized and will probably make him happier than any gift that you can buy.

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From Sunscreens to Bronzing Oils: Summer Vacation Beauty Must-Haves


After the chilly winter and spring season, we can’t wait for the summer holiday season! Besides relaxing and enjoying the new environment on your holiday, there are a few beauty essentials that will make your holiday even more fun and refreshing. We collected our top beauty must-haves, which will definitely come in handy for any travel – from busy cities such as Barcelona and Lisbon to secret getaway destinations such as Crete.

Skincare Essentials:


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We know, it’s not a particularly interesting item on the beauty list … but it’s definitely one of the most important ones. Sunscreen can not only protect you from the sun (and the horrible feeling of sunburns), they can also make your tan look more intense and natural.

Body Scrub

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Keep your skin energized, soft and smooth with a natural body scrub. If you wouldn’t like to splurge on it too much, you can make your own from sugar, rosemary, lemon and olive oil or coconut oil. While the sugar will exfoliate your body, the different oils will nourish your skin and keep it hydrated.

Bronzing Beauty Oil

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To add a bit of extra shimmer and glow to your skin and keep your tan looking beautiful, bring a small bottle of bronzing oil with you! It will look amazing for a night out, or a breakfast on the beach. If you are having troubles with getting a tan naturally, choose a tanning beauty oil to get that beautiful, bronzed look.

Toner Water

image via mysugarcoffee.blogspot.com

A toner water (especially in a spray bottle) will help you in refreshing your skin and whole body during the hottest days. For an antibacterial and refreshing effect, choose a toner with tea tree oil extract and rose oil in it.


Water Based Hydrating Primer

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Because of the warm weather, say goodbye to heavy textures and balm primers that can clog your pores – a gel or water based, hydrating primer will get your skin ready while hydrating your face. If you are looking for a drugstore option, we recommend trying out the Nivea Hydrating Primer, which has a very light, gel formulation that absorbs into the skin in seconds, preparing it for foundation.

Light Coverage Foundation

image via pinterest.com

image via pinterest.com

A tinted moisturizer would probably be the most skin-friendly option, but if you are having struggles with acne or redness, go for a light coverage liquid foundation or concealer. Try to leave any heavy cream or powder foundation at home (with the warm weather, heavy formulas will only crease on your skin and make it look more oily). To reach a flawless finish, gently tap the product to your spots and red areas and fix it with a face mist.

Tinted Lip Balm

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It’s the perfect time for coral, berry and pink lip balms! Summer is the season for glossy and creamy finishes, so instead of a regular matte finish lipstick, experiment with glosses and even glitter lip toppers!

Waterproof Mascara

image via alittlepopofcoral.blogspot.com

A curling and lengthening black mascara can bring the biggest change to no-makeup makeup looks, so don’t forget to pack your favourite mascara with you! Choose a waterproof version that will work well, even if you are going to a waterpark or have a long, hot day of discovering a new place.

Gel & Cream Blushes

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Sometimes powders don’t really work well during summer and hot weather, so instead of caking a powder blush to the cheeks of your apples, try out a gel or liquid blush and gently tap it into your skin. Find a shade that matches your lipstick, or to spare some space in your luggage, bring a 2 in 1 blush and lip tint (such as Bobbi Brown’s Rouge Pot), and don’t be afraid to try out something vivid, such as a deep pink or terracotta shade.

Hair Care:

Dry Shampoo

image pinterest.com

A travel size bottle of dry shampoo will be your savior when you just don’t have time to wash your hair before a night out or dinner. We love dry shampoos because they have a light, refreshing texture to them that can spare you a quick hair wash.


Teeth Whitening Pen

Taking a full teeth whitening kit on your journey might be a bit difficult (especially if you are travelling with smaller luggage), the perfect option to save yourself time and room in your luggage is a small teeth whitening pen if you want to keep your pearly white smile!

Cleansing Wipes

image via museswonderland.com

A pack of universal skin cleansing wipes will be your best friend during travelling if you’d like to refresh your face or keep your hands sanitized.

All these essentials will ensure you are camera ready for the memories you’ll create this summer on your vacation.  If you’re looking for help to ensure your smile is camera ready look no further than the 10 benefits of teeth whitening (physical and psychological).  Now, enjoy your summer!


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Beauty Bootcamp For the Bridal Party

Photo: Perry Vale



We all know from experience that exercise doesn’t produce results overnight, that our faces rage red for days after a facial, that a dream haircut sometimes turns into a disaster that needs to be grown out and restyled, that fresh nail polish chips, and pimples surface the day of an important event which cannot be concealed by even the thickest coverup. But we’re all about positivity here. Instead of dwelling on the negative, we ask ourselves what bridesmaids-to-be can learn from horror stories of well-intentioned beauty procedures gone wrong. Here’s our answer. There is but one rule to always keep in mind: timing is everything, especially when plotting out your pre-wedding beauty bootcamp. A flawless wedding requires a lot of advance planning, not just for the bride but for members of the bridal party as well. So here we have a timeline of everything you should do to prepare for the wedding and exactly when you should do it.

6 Months Before the Wedding

Image: thegymdoctor.net



Start getting healthy. Begin a workout regimen, and by a workout regimen, we don’t mean just putting in 30 minutes on the elliptical a few times per week. Devise a plan that tightens and tones your lower half as well as your core and your upper body. This type of plan has you hitting the gym 3-4 days a week, working different muscles every day. Don’t fall for the oft-repeated mantra that since you’re working out you can eat like a pig: keep your diet the same or make a few healthy changes, if you so desire. And don’t forget to take your vitamins! They take time to work, which is why they’re often forgotten. But after a few months of daily vitamin intake, you’ll notice your hair, skin, and nails look better than ever.

3 Months Before the Big Day

Devise your hair and makeup plan. Before you make any irreversible decisions like chopping off your locks to get that super cute pixie cut you’ve always wanted to try out, start by consulting the bride. She may want the bridesmaids wearing similar hairstyles and makeup, so keep her vision in mind when deciding on your individual look.

Get your dress fitted, but schedule another fitting a few weeks before the big day. You don’t want to be that one bridesmaid whose dress won’t stay up because she skipped her fitting, and if you’re continuously working out, your dress will require some extra pins and tucks. Also, make sure you know what shoes and accessories you’re wearing: if you are planning on ordering these pieces online, order them sooner than later. We all know that despite all its convenience and glory, online orders can take forever to ship, you might receive the wrong size, or your package might get lost, so order in advance and have a plan to straighten out any problems that might arise.

Begin whitening your teeth. Teeth whitening isn’t a one-time kind of gig. It takes days or weeks to show results and requires weekly or monthly upkeep. You can whiten your teeth from home using a do-it-yourself LED whitening system or whitening strips. Follow the instructions that come with your product to get the full teeth whitening benefits.

6 Weeks before the Wedding Day

Schedule all your pre-wedding beauty appointments. You should fit in a facial no less than two weeks before the wedding, or you may have the dreaded red face scenario. Around this time, you should also schedule a trim to lop all the split ends off your hair, as well as a touchup to your color or highlights. Make a mani-pedi appointment as close to the day of the wedding as possible, but not on the day itself or your wet nails might ruin your lovely bridesmaid dress.

The Week of the Wedding

The week of the wedding is upkeep week. You’ll be busy with plenty of bridesmaid duties, so this isn’t a time to be traipsing off to the salon leaving the bride and the other bridesmaids to deal with the wedding arrangements all by themselves, unless you want to be swiftly removed from her friends list and disinvited to the ceremony. Instead, make sure you’re doing face masks at home, moisturizing daily, drinking plenty of water and not partying too much. Your workout schedule will probably be put on pause this week, so be especially careful about eating clean so as not to undo all your months of hard work. Your body will thank you the day of the wedding.

The Day of the Wedding


Image: Outreachr.com



As part of the bridesmaid squad it’s your job to ensure the bride has everything she needs on hand. Check your list of responsibilities to ensure you know exactly what, when and how everything needs to be done. Hopefully you will have had the required amount of beauty sleep the night before and will have your own dress, bag, makeup and accessories ready to go so you can get straight to those bridesmaid duties while looking effortlessly chic and beautiful yourself!

Meanwhile, if you're helping the bride plan the wedding pick up some great hints and tips with the bride's one year guide to planning a wedding!

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