How you can have a Hollywood smile
From pearly whites to perfect pouts, Lisa Haynes reveals the beauty kit required to enhance your lips and teeth
In recent years, teeth have shifted from just being a dentist's domain to your best beauty accessory. Buoyed by the pursuit of the Hollywood smile and the perfect Instagram post, brightening those gnashers at home is now virtually as easy as highlighting your face.
More than half of Brits (57%) say there's more pressure than ever to have a good smile, according to a recent Philips survey.
Thankfully, an abundance of at-home products can produce convincing transformations with minimum commitment. Think subtle tweaks, rather than dayglo fakery.
From pearly whites to pout plumping, check out this simple step-by-step guide to smile self-improvement.
A bright, open smile is your secret weapon for a dazzling first impression (research shows you have just seven seconds, so make it count).
"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."
You can 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 are dedicated to increasing the shine. Barnby lists coffee, tea, red wine, curry and fried foods as prime teeth stainers.
SMILE SHOPPING LIST: Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Baking Soda Toothpaste, £3.75 (Boots); Rapid White Express Max Effect 5-Minute Tooth Whitening Strips, £22.99 (Boots); Diamond Whites Black Edition Tooth Polish, £14.99 (diamondwhites.co.uk).
Whether your teeth are the star attraction or not, hydrated, plump lips can dramatically improve a smile, but they require some extra TLC during the winter months.
"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 then following up with a healing lip balm.
If fine lines are your bugbear, use a light eye and lip cream to tighten and plump the contours daily.
And before you reach for your lipstick bullet, try prepping around your mouth for a much smoother finish. "Start by using a primer, concentrating on the nasolabial folds, your 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."
SMILE SHOPPING LIST: Decleor Excellence De L'age Regenerating Eye and Lip Cream, £53.50 (www.decleor.co.uk); Bliss Fabulips Sugar Lip Scrub, £14 (blissworld.co.uk); Too Faced Lip Insurance Lip Primer, £14.50 (Debenhams).
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 are after instant lip volume, you should 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 you should avoid these if you are on a whiter-than-white mission.
Don't be daunted by full-on blue lip products either. "They actually give lips more of a berry tint," explains King, "and they're perfect for maximising a brighter smile."
SMILE SHOPPING LIST: ArtDeco Hot Chilli Lip Booster, £12.79 (Debenhams); Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor Lip Gloss, £22 (Space NK); Delilah Colour Intense Cream Lipstick in Vintage, £24 (Space NK).