10 Tricks to Pluck Perfect Eyebrows

Plucking perfect eyebrows to achieve that flawless, face-framing arch can be a tedious (and painful!) process. But since fuller, thicker brows are in style, you can (and should) spend much less time with the tweezers. Try these 10 pro beauty tips to score perfect eyebrows at home. (Related: 4 Steps to Perfect Eyebrows)

1. Choose the right tweezers.

“Opt for a sharp, slanted style,” says Kristie Streicher, creator of The Feathered Brow and one of the most sought-after celebrity brow experts. “Unlike pointy versions, they grab tiny strays quickly and won’t pinch your skin along with the hairs.” One to try: Revlon Slant Tip Ultimate Tweezer ($11; walgreens.com).

2. Tweeze after your shower.

Warm water opens the follicles and softens hairs, helping them slip out more easily.

3. Ease the plucking pain.

If plucking is too painful or it’s right before your period (when skin is most sensitive), dab on a numbing gel like Baby Orajel Teething Gel before you tweeze ($5; target.com).

4. Ditch your magnifying mirror.

This tool can make it look like there’s more hair to remove than there really is, says Streicher, which can lead to overplucking. Instead, use a regular mirror in a well-lit room—if you can’t see stray hairs under these conditions, neither can anyone else. “After every few tweezes, take a couple of steps back to see the bigger picture,” she says.

5. Know your arch limits.

Hold a pencil for guidance, advises Streicher. “Your brows should begin directly above your tear duct, peak in line with the outer side of your iris, and end at a point that falls 45 degrees from the outer corner of your eye.” Be sure not to arch your brows too high or they’ll look unnatural.

6. Create your shape.

Once you’ve determined how your brows should curve, outline your ideal arch using a soft, creamy brow pencil, such as Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil ($24; sephora.com). Then remove only the hairs that fall above or below your self-made stencil.

7. Reduce redness.

Immediately after tweezing, gently pat on an over-the-counter cortisone cream like Cortizone-10 Intensive Healing Formula ($6; walgreens.com) to minimize any resulting inflammation.

8. Brush up.

Style your arches with a brow brush or a clear brow-gel wand, coaxing hairs upward at the start of your arch and brushing the rest toward the end of your eye. Try Sonia Kashuk Deluxe Lash and Brow Groomer ($8; target.com).

9. Fill in the blanks.

Color in sparse spots with a pencil like L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Professional ($11; ulta.com) or a powder. Brunettes should opt for a shade or two lighter than their hair color. Lighter blondes can go for golden shades, while darker blondes call for a taupe-y tone. Redhead? Reach for a warm, brown hue.

10. Grow them in.

Overplucked? Refrain from tweezing for at least three weeks so you can see the natural growth pattern and shape. If your brows need a little extra encouragement, brush on a growth serum like RevitaBrow Eyebrow Conditioner ($110 for a 3-month supply; revitalash.com) every night.

Bonus Eyebrow Shaping Tip: Get the tint.

While pencils and powders are great for enhancing your arches day to day, consider brow tinting for a more permanent solution. “It saves time in the morning since you don’t have to worry about adding definition with the right pencil or powder daily,” says Streicher. “You can just wake up and go.” But don’t try this at home! The safe way to color your arches, says Streicher, is with the help of a pro brow guru or colorist, who will likely use a semipermanent vegetable dye. Results last about three weeks; expect to pay anywhere from $15 to $50.

7 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home

In 2015, Americans alone spent over $11 billion on teeth whitening, including over $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products. There are plenty of products to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth. However, most whitening products use chemicals to bleach your teeth, which concerns many people. If you want whiter teeth, but also want to avoid the chemicals, then this article lists many options that are both natural and safe.

What Causes Teeth to Look Yellow?

There are multiple factors that cause teeth to become dull and lose their bright, white sparkle. Certain foods can stain your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth. Additionally, plaque build-up on your teeth can cause them to look yellow. This type of discoloration can usually be treated with regular cleaning and whitening remedies. However, sometimes teeth look yellow because the hard enamel has eroded away, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a naturally yellow, bony tissue that lies underneath the enamel. Here are 7 simple ways you can naturally whiten your teeth.

1. Try Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy meant to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body. The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow. Traditionally, Indians used sunflower or sesame oil for oil pulling, but any oil will work. Coconut oil is a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers many additional health benefits. Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. A few studies have shown that daily oil pulling effectively reduces bacteria in the mouth, along with plaque and gingivitis. Streptococcus mutans is one of the primary types of bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque and gingivitis. One study found that daily swishing with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in as little as one week. Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies to prove that oil pulling whitens your teeth. However, it’s a safe practice and definitely worth a try. Many people claim their teeth are whiter and brighter after regular oil pulling. To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue the oil pulling for a full 15–20 minutes. Be sure to spit the coconut oil into a toilet or trash can, as it could return to solid form once in your drain pipes and cause a clog. Unlike many other tooth whitening methods, coconut oil pulling does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode the enamel. This means it is safe to do daily.

BOTTOM LINE:Coconut oil pulling involves swishing oil in your mouth for 15–20 minutes to remove bacteria. Practicing this daily can reduce plaque and may brighten your teeth.

2. Brush With Baking Soda

Baking soda has natural whitening properties, which is why it’s a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. It’s a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth. Additionally, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing. This is not a remedy that will whiten your teeth overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time. Science has not yet proven that brushing with plain baking soda will whiten your teeth, but several studies show that toothpaste with baking soda has a significant whitening effect. One study found that toothpastes containing baking soda were significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect . Furthermore, a review of five studies found that toothpastes containing baking soda removed plaque from teeth more effectively than non-baking soda toothpastes . To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. You can do this a few times per week.

BOTTOM LINE:Brushing with a paste made with baking soda and water can reduce bacteria in your mouth and buff away surface stains.

3. Use Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth. In fact, people have been using hydrogen peroxide for years to disinfect wounds because of its ability to kill bacteria. Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, although at a much higher concentration than you will use. Unfortunately, there aren’t any studies to show the effects of rinsing or brushing with hydrogen peroxide alone, but several studies have analyzed commercial toothpastes containing peroxide. One study found that a toothpaste containing baking soda and 1% hydrogen peroxide led to significantly whiter teeth . Another study found that brushing with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide twice per day led to 62% whiter teeth in six weeks. However, there are some questions regarding the safety of hydrogen peroxide. While heavily diluted concentrations appear safe, strong concentrations or overuse can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. There’s also concern that high doses may cause cancer, but this has not been proven. One way to use hydrogen peroxide is as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth. Make sure you are using a 1.5% or 3% solution to avoid side effects. The most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide at the drugstore is a 3% solution. You can easily dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts peroxide and water. Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture. Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week, as overuse can erode your tooth enamel.

BOTTOM LINE:Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and can kill bacteria in your mouth. You can use it as a mouthwash or mix it with baking soda to form a whitening toothpaste.

 
4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product. Acetic acid, which is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, effectively kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar is what makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth. One study performed on cow teeth found that apple cider vinegar does have a bleaching effect on teeth. However, they also found that vinegar may soften the teeth. The acetic acid in vinegar has the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth. For this reason, you should not use apple cider vinegar every day. You should also limit the amount of time that apple cider vinegar is in contact with your teeth. To use it as a mouthwash, dilute it with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards.

BOTTOM LINE:Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that may help whiten your teeth. However, overuse of vinegar can also erode the enamel on your teeth, so limit its use to a few times per week.

5. Use Fruits and Vegetables

A diet high in fruits and vegetables may be good for both your body and your teeth. While they’re no substitute for brushing your teeth, crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew. In particular, strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been claimed to help whiten your teeth.

Strawberries

Whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy that has been made popular by celebrities. Proponents of this method claim that the malic acid found in strawberries will remove discoloration on your teeth, while the baking soda will buff away stains. However, this remedy has not been completely backed up by science. While strawberries may help exfoliate your teeth and make them appear whiter, they are unlikely to penetrate the stains on your teeth. A recent study found that a strawberry and baking soda mixture produced very little color change in teeth, compared to commercial whitening products. If you decide to give this method a try, limit its use to a few times per week. Despite studies showing that a strawberry and baking soda paste had a minimal effect on tooth enamel, excessive use could cause damage. To use this remedy, smash up a fresh strawberry, combine it with baking soda and brush the mixture on your teeth.

Pineapple

Some claim that pineapple can whiten teeth. A study found that a toothpaste containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, was significantly more effective at removing tooth stains than a standard toothpaste. However, there is no evidence that eating pineapples produces the same effect.

BOTTOM LINE:Certain fruits may have properties that help whiten teeth. Regularly consume raw fruits and vegetables to help rub off plaque and keep your teeth looking bright.

6. Prevent Tooth Stains Before They Happen

Your teeth naturally yellow as you age, but there are some things you can do to prevent stains on your teeth.

Limit Staining Foods and Beverages

Coffee, red wine, soda and dark berries are infamous for staining teeth.  That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid them, but you should limit the amount of time these substances are in contact with your teeth. If possible, drink beverages known to stain teeth out of a straw to prevent direct contact with your teeth. Moreover, brush your teeth soon after consuming one of these foods or beverages to limit their effects on the color of your teeth. Additionally, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, both of which can cause tooth discoloration.

Limit Sugar in Your Diet

If you want whiter teeth, cut back on your sugar intake. A diet high in sugar supports the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the primary type of bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis. When you do consume a sugary food, brush your teeth soon after you eat.

Get Plenty of Calcium in Your Diet

Some tooth discoloration is caused by enamel eroding away and exposing the dentin underneath, which is yellow in color. Therefore, anything you do to strengthen the enamel of your teeth will help keep your teeth pearly white. Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese and broccoli, may help protect your teeth from enamel erosion.

BOTTOM LINE:A healthy diet with enough calcium can help prevent your teeth from becoming yellow. Brushing your teeth soon after you eat can also help prevent stains.

7. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Brushing and Flossing

While some tooth discoloration comes naturally with age, it is largely a result of plaque build-up. Regular brushing and flossing can help your teeth stay white by reducing bacteria in your mouth and preventing plaque build-up. Toothpaste gently rubs out stains on your teeth, and flossing removes bacteria that lead to plaque. Regular dental cleanings can also help your teeth stay clean and white.

BOTTOM LINE:Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular cleanings at the dentist’s office, prevent the build-up of yellowing plaque on your teeth.

Other Methods That Are Not Proven

There are a few other natural teeth whitening methods, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that they are effective or safe. Here are some of the unproven methods:

  • Activated charcoal: Brushing with powdered charcoal supposedly pulls toxins from the mouth and removes stains from teeth.
  • Kaolin clay: Proponents of this method claim that brushing with clay helps remove stains from teeth.
  • Fruit peels: Rubbing orange, lemon or banana peels on your teeth is claimed to make them whiter.

Advocates of these methods claim they make teeth significantly whiter, but no studies have evaluated their effectiveness. This also means that they have not been tested for side effects when used on teeth.

BOTTOM LINE:Activated charcoal, kaolin clay and fruit peels may help whiten your teeth, but no studies have evaluated the safety or effectiveness of these methods.

Take Home Message

There are several natural methods to help whiten your teeth. Most of these remedies work by gently removing surface stains on your teeth. However, most dentists offer whitening treatments that are much stronger than these natural remedies. They involve bleaching the teeth, which may be more effective for severe tooth discoloration.

The Best Types Of Makeup Brushes For Nailing That Highlight

Especially now that strobing and dewy-looking skin are all the rage, it’s time to get that #highlightonfleek. But what are the best types of makeup brushes for applying highlighter? Depending on the type of highlighter you choose, and the intensity that you desire, the right brush (or sponge!) could make all the difference.

Whether you prefer a cream, powder or liquid highlighter, and whether you want a glow that can be seen from space, or a barely-there shine, it’s almost more about how you choose to apply your illuminator than what type you pick. (Although if you want that intense, long-lasting highlight, try layering a powder over a liquid or cream.) And while there are some really great brushes out there made especially to perfect that glow, there are also some multitaskers that work just as well.

Because highlighter doesn’t have to be as precise as, say, a blush or contour, there’s free rein with how to apply it. So whether that means selecting a blush brush, eyeshadow brush, or even just using your fingers, it’s relatively simple to get your glow on. But if you’re looking for the best way to achieve a certain effect, here are five types of makeup brushes that will help you totally nail that highlight.

1. Fan Brush

Sigma F41 Fan Brush, $18, AmazonMorphe G23 Soft Fan, $15 AmazonEcoTools Deluxe Fan Brush, $30, Amazon

If you tend to be a little heavy-handed, or just want a sheerer application of a powder highlight, a fan brush is the way to go. These brushes pick up less product, making it easier to start small and build up intensity rather than depositing too much highlight at once.

2. Small Highlighting/Blush Brush

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #23, $25, SephoraSonia Kashuk Small Powder Brush, $9, TargetReal Techniques Setting Brush, $4, Amazon

If you’re not afraid of that glow though, brushes made specifically for highlighter or smaller blush brushes, will help deposit a little more shine upon first application.

3. Eyeshadow Brush

Sigma E40 Tapered Blending Brush, $16, AmazonMAC 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush, $25, NordstromNYX Pro Crease Brush, $12, Amazon

If you want a really concentrated highlight, or want to more easily highlight smaller areas like the nose or cupid’s bow, try an eyeshadow blending brush. The smaller shape will help with those hard-to-reach places while also depositing more product.

4. Stippling Brush

E.l.f. Small Stipple Brush, $3, AmazonIt Brushes for Ulta, $26, UltaMAC 130 Short Duo Fibre Brush, $42, Nordstrom

Stippling brushes are great for powder, liquid, or cream highlighters. And it will give you a different application strength depending on the formula. For powders, a stippling brush will offer a sheerer application because the bristles won’t pick up as much product as some other brush types. However, when using a liquid or cream highlight, a synthetic stippling brush will give a medium to intense application due to its ability to easily blend without absorbing the product.

5. Makeup Sponge

Beautyblender Royal, $20, Amazon; E.l.f. Reusable Blender, $5, AmazonReal Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, $6, Amazon

If you still prefer a really light glow regardless of whether you choose a liquid, cream, or powder highlight, a makeup sponge is the way to go. These aren’t able to pick up as much powder product, and any liquid or cream will be slightly absorbed during use. So while it will give you a flawlessly blended highlight, it may take more layers to build up a brighter luminosity.

9 Makeup Artist Approved Eyebrow Gels

“Eyebrow gel is the easiest way to tame brows and make them look fuller and groomed,” says makeup artist Tasha Brown, who works with Yara Shahidi, Logan Browning, and Maggie Betts. “I use clear brows gel and brush brows upwards and out for basic grooming. My go-to technique is to use a brow powder and create small hair like strokes in the direction the hair grows in the brows. Then I finish with a generous coating of tinted brow gel for a clean believable effect.” Her favorite gel is none other than the cult-favorite Glossier Brow Boy. Here, Boy Brow and eight other gels that will keep your brow game strong.

COURTESY

The creamy wax formula adds natural bulk. Boy Brow is available in clear, brown, black, and blond.

Glossier Boy Brow, $16, glossier.com

COURTESY

Anastasia might have written the book on brows. The chamomile formula is great to keep your brows in place but also has a soothing chamomile formula that conditions your hair.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel, $22, sephora.com

COURTESY

The clear mascara can separate lashes for a polished look, but it also works on eyebrows. The formula defines and shapes for a low-key everyday vibe.

Great Lash Clear Mascara, $5.99, ulta.com

COURTESY

M.A.C.’s waterproof brush-on gel will keep your brows shaped and shiny for eight hours. You can choose between the clear or tinted shades and even apply the formula on your lashes and facial hair for a full face grooming effect.

M.A.C. Brow Set, $18, nordstrom.com

COURTESY

Fun Fact: This grooming gel was custom-made for Marc for his daily eyebrow shaping ritual.

Marc Jacobs Brow Tamer, $24, sephora.com

COURTESY

Brow Tech comes in a travel-size portable version for those who never seem to stand still. One end provides an angled, waterproof pencil and the other a strong hold gel to groom and keep your hairs in place.

Smashbox Brow Tech To Go, $28, sephora.com

COURTESY

It’s all about the two-in-one applicator that includes both a brush and a sponge tip. First, coat the brows by brushing against the direction of the hair growth. Then, with the slanted tip, draw in lines to fill in sparse areas of the brow.

Chosungah 22 Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker, $22, sephora.com

COURTESY

The eyebrow equivalent of a topcoat nail polish, this gel locks in your pencil work all day.

Benefit 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel, $24, sephora.com

COURTESY

This waterproof and smudge-proof gel is infused with hair-like fibers to fill the brow in for a full look. The gel lasts for an astounding three days, so you can apply and live your life.

WunderBrow 1-Step Brow Gel, $22, amazon.com

6 Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

About 18 percent of people report “usually concealing their teeth in photos,” many due to being embarrassed over the yellow appearance of their teeth. Having great teeth is very important in our culture today — hence the growing number of people using white strips and whitening paste as part of their oral care at home or turning to professional in-office whitening treatments. Your teeth are one of the first things people notice; they’re a sign of health as well as confidence. When making a first impression, most worry about having aged, crooked or discolored teeth, which can send a signal that you don’t really care about yourself. Who doesn’t want to have a beautiful smile with white, sparkling teeth? But what’s the best way to whiten your teeth?

Want Whiter Teeth? Try These 6 Natural Solutions.

Some people — no matter how many times they brush their teeth — have teeth stains from habits like drinking coffee or tea and/or smoking. Oftentimes yellow- or brown-tinted teeth can also point to a larger problem: unhealthy gums, thinning enamel and overall poor dental hygiene. Whitening the teeth alone won’t help protect the teeth or gums from cavities or diseases, such as gingivitis — so while white teeth are certainly a nice thing to have, it helps to keep things in perspective.

As one dentist reporting for the Dentistry IQ website puts it, “It is a misnomer that whiter teeth are the same as healthy teeth, since tooth color has very little to do with the health of the tooth. The consumer perception, though, is that white teeth equal a healthy mouth, and perception is reality.” Here’s the good news: Below I explain several home remedies that help naturally whiten your teeth, while also improving overall oral hygiene. The kind of toothpaste you use plus regular brushing and flossing, using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil pulling, and applying products like apple cider vinegar can all whiten your teeth naturally — in addition to offering benefits like antibacterial and antiseptic protection.

Teeth become discolored, turning yellow or even a beige or brown color, due to stains that develop on both the hard, white surface of teeth (the enamel) as well as deeper within the teeth’s structure.

Underneath the enamel is a pale brown substance called dentin, which can become more visible when enamel gets thinner — a very common occurrence for many adults. Dental erosion (erosive tooth wear) results from chronic loss of dental hard tissue that is chemically etched away from the tooth surface by acid and/or chelation (without bacterial involvement). What are some of the reasons enamel thins? Risk factors include aging, genetics and intake of foods that promote erosion and/or staining. Many of these same unhealthy habits also increase your risk for gum disease.

While it’s unrealistic to expect that your teeth will remain shiny and very white into older age, many factors that accelerate the rate of teeth discoloration can be avoided.

Some of the reasons teeth turn yellow, beige or brown include:

  • Drinking coffee or tea
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Thinning tooth enamel due to aging
  • Eating a poor diet. This includes consuming lots of processed foods high in acid, including soft drinks/soda, candies or sometimes even certain fruits. Even some supplements can worsen enamel thinning due to their acid content.
  • Suffering from dry mouth (since lack of saliva means less protection for enamel)
  • Breathing through your mouth and having blocked nasal passages. These conditions lower the amount of saliva and prevent the teeth/mouth from remoisturizing
  • Antibiotic use
  • Excessive fluoride intake, especially if this habit starts when you’re a child
  • Genetic factors

6 Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

1. Brush After Drinking or Eating

The best way to whiten your teeth naturally — though maybe not always the easiest — is to simply brush your teeth with an appropriate toothpaste after eating or drinking something. This takes a lot of persistence and can even be kind of difficult depending on where you are at the time of eating (such as work or school).

Avoiding smoking cigarettes, drinking too much coffee and/or soda, improving your oral hygiene overall, and eating a healthy diet can all also help prevent yellow teeth. If you do regularly drink staining beverages, do so through a straw and try to cut back. Try to drink more plain water after eating or drinking something staining or acidic to help reduce the negative effects.

Most food does not stain teeth, but if you are a coffee drinker or if you smoke, you can pretty much count on having discolored teeth over time due to thinning enamel and/or staining. If this is the case, then having your teeth cleaned every three months may be in order, besides trying some of the natural remedies listed here.

2. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial agent and works great as a total mouth and gum cleaner and keeps the mouth free of germs. A good oral mouth rinse can be made using hydrogen peroxide; use half water and half hydrogen peroxide, swish around in your mouth for about one minute, and then rinse. Research shows hydrogen peroxide keeps breath fresh by eliminating bad bacteria due to acting as a natural antiseptic/antibacterial agent. According to the Dentistry Network, it has many uses in dentistry today, with its most common application to whiten your teeth. It’s also capable of providing natural protection against gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis.

For another way to use this product, mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with a small amount of baking soda in order to make a paste that helps remove more plaque from teeth. A review published in the Journal of Dentistry found that in five controlled clinical studies on over 270 subjects those brushing with a baking soda dentifrice (toothpaste or powder) showed greater enhanced plaque removal effectiveness than those who used the non-baking soda tooth cleaning products. Results from measurements of patients’ tooth surfaces (such as facial, lingual, proximal and gingival surfaces) also demonstrated statistically greater reductions in mean plaque scores when using baking soda compared to when using baking soda-free products.

To use these products safely to whiten your teeth, brush your teeth as usual first, making sure to reach the back of the teeth too. Baking soda is a gritty substance like sandpaper, so be careful that you have enough hydrogen peroxide mixed in with the soda — because if you don’t it can very well scrub the enamel right off your teeth. This is a big problem, considering enamel does not grow back. The paste should not be gritty at all; in fact, it should be a runnier paste than a stiff paste. Rub the paste onto your teeth for about 30 seconds, then rinse well. For guidance when using baking soda on your teeth, you can also refer to these directions for making homemade remineralizing toothpaste or homemade probiotic toothpaste.

As an alternative to baking soda, you can use white kaolin clay. Mix the kaolin with a bit of water and apply to your teeth about once a week (don’t overuse to avoid damaging your teeth’s enamel). Rinse well. You may want to try blending in a few drops of clove oil or peppermint oil to improve the flavor. Plus these oils also have antimicrobial properties.

3. Coconut Oil Pulling

Can it be true? Coconut oil to clean your teeth? Just when you thought you heard it all when it comes to coconut oil, along comes the news that coconut oil pulling can serve as a natural teeth whitener. Some people attest to their teeth becoming whiter and overall healthier by applying coconut oil to their teeth after they brush, and most people praise the results of oil pulling.

To oil pull, simply put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for five to 20 minutes, or add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on. Another oral care option is to apply coconut oil to a corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on the teeth. A bonus regarding coconut pulling? Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, so it’s great for protecting and cleaning your gums as well.

A study featured in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Hygiene found, “Edible oil-pulling therapy is natural, safe and has no side effects. Hence, it can be considered as a preventive therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene.”

4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

It makes sense that apple cider vinegar (ACV), which effectively works as a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, would also be able to remove stubborn stains on the teeth. ACV is especially helpful for removing stains due to common culprits like coffee and nicotine (smoking). Studies suggest that for many with dark stains it even works just as well as commercial products as a natural teeth whitener. No wonder some report that after using ACV it looks like you just got your teeth professionally cleaned!

What’s the secret of ACV? It contains compounds, including acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes, which kill germs (dangerous “bad” bacteria) and at the same time foster the growth of beneficial “good” probiotic bacteria. Since it’s naturally acidic, it helps break down plaque or other substances stuck to the teeth. The pH of apple cider vinegar can remove stains from your teeth, which helps naturally whiten your teeth.

The key to using ACV for teeth whitening is to be consistent, using it for at least a month continuously in order to see the best results. However, be careful, as with all acids it can remove the enamel on your teeth if you brush too hard or use too much. After brushing with ACV, you need to brush again with regular toothpaste, preferably a non-fluoride paste, or rinse your mouth out well.

Take your finger and rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth for about one minute. Then rinse your mouth out with water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse.

5. Lemon or Orange Peels

Similarly to apple cider vinegar, some swear that using citrus fruits — including lemon and/or orange peels, or lemon essential oil, which contain beneficial acids — also does the trick for whitening teeth. These foods overall are very healthy, such as benefiting digestion due to regulating levels of stomach acid, but the high acid content can also eventually wear away the enamel on the teeth if used too aggressively. Like with ACV, if you use lemon or orange peel on your teeth, always rinse your mouth afterward to be on the safe side. Use the hydrogen peroxide oral rinse formula described above for best results.

6. Strawberries and Other Healthy Foods

Rumor has it that some celebrities whiten their teeth with healthy foods like strawberries. Who would have thought? Model Tyra Banks even tried this tooth-whitening trick on her show. She simply mashed up about four or five strawberries and rubbed this yummy mixture all over her teeth, then rinsed well afterward.

Berries contain many beneficial antioxidants and other compounds that can benefit the health of your teeth, but they’re not the only ones that keep your teeth looking great as you age. The quality of your diet overall is highly tied to the health of your teeth. Foods that can help keep your gums and teeth strong, plus free from diseases or signs of aging, include teeth-strengthening foods like:

  • sources of calcium like yogurt or raw milk
  • foods high in magnesium and potassium like leafy green veggies, apples or pears
  • cage-free eggs
  • mushrooms
  • sweet potatoes, carrots or squash
  • celery
  • nuts like walnuts or almonds

To take advantage of these healthy foods and to help whiten your teeth without putting chemicals inside your mouth, try making this homemade teeth whitener recipe. It combines stain-fighting ingredients like baking soda, lemon essential oil and mashed berries.

 

Dangers of Conventional Teeth-Whitening Products

Research has shown that teeth-whitening products can damage the teeth by removing too much enamel. Conventional whitening strips, and other whitening products, contain a gel with the active ingredient carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and a waste product called urea. Constant application of whitening strips has been shown to cause erosion of enamel over time and also promote tooth sensitivity, especially when eating hot and cold liquids or acidic foods.

Dentists from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry have stated, “All of the products used in the dentist office are safe and most of the [over-the-counter] products are safe as well, but there are a few that are acidic, and acidic products increase the likelihood of decay if you overuse them.”

While many people are interested in having whiter teeth, some make this an obsession and turn whitening into a borderline addiction. Here’s what one dentist, New York City dentist Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, had to say about teeth whitening strips:

There are people who can never get enough. I’ve had situations where people have needed root canals because they’ve overbleached, where tissues were damaged. You can wear away some of the enamel and your teeth will become translucent and unnatural. They’ll become blue or blue gray.

The bottom line? Whitening strips should be used in moderation, ideally after you’ve tried natural approaches to taking better care of your teeth.

Teeth bleaching products should only be used under the guidance of your dentist. Remember that whitening treatments may work temporarily but likely not for long. The best way to whiten your teeth is by feeding your body lots of healthy foods (these are also important for strong bones), brushing and rinsing your teeth and gums every day, plus working on omitting coffee, tea and sugary foods in your diet. The very first step you should take: If you smoke, stop smoking! And of course, no matter what your age, show your teeth some love by brushing with a natural, non-irritating toothpaste every day.

Eyebrow Brushes for Perfect Results

These brushes are all created with a specific firmness that allow for product to adhere to it and glide on smoothly.


Dual Brow Brush
$7.80

This brow brush is the ideal brush for applying eyebrow powder. The nylon bristles on the angle tip side are perfect for applying the powder cleanly and precisely. Flip the brush over and use the other end to blend down the powder to create a natural finish and a beautiful brow. A great two in one tool!


Powder Puff Brush
$4.95

This brush distributes powder lightly and evenly because the bristles are made from real hair. We call it puff brush because you literally puff the powder over the area. The stencil prevents the “puff” from spreading powder into areas you don’t want colored. The tip is soft. Because each hair bristle is very thin in diameter it can pick up more powder than a brush with a synthetic bristle.


  • Angle Brow Brush
    $4.95

    This brush is made from natural bristles. It’s stiffness makes it perfect for applying thin lines of powder. If you are applying powder without a stencil this brush allows for precise application. If you are using a stencil and have small gaps to fill in this brush is perfect.


  • Brow Comb/Brush Combo
    $5.25

    This brush is a must-have for those who have thick brow hair and need daily grooming. This brush makes it easy to comb your hair through the eyebrow stencil and line it up for shaping.


  • Brow Spooly Brush
    $4.95

    This is the ideal brush for trimming brow hair. Simply hold the hair in place while you trim. The tappered shape will give your complete control.


  • Nylon Powder Brush – 2 Pak
    0.95

    Precision powder application is a breeze with our angled powder brush. You can always use extra brushes – especially at this price!