5 Tips for a Perfect Holiday Smile | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

11 December, 2014

5 Tips for a Perfect Holiday Smile


I like going to holiday parties, but I always feel a bit self-conscious about them because people tend to take tons and tons of photos. My solution? Use it as an excuse to dress up and put on my best face!

5 tips for a perfect holiday red lip/smile Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls

Confession time: I sometimes feel a little embarrassed to bare my teeth in photos because they're so darn yellow. My extreme fondness for coffee and red wine may brighten my mood at times, but it sure as heck hasn't brightened my smile. There are some easy ways you can "perk up" your smile for photos though, so today I'll be sharing a few tips for rocking a bright holiday lip and getting your smile into tip-top shape!

TIP #1: Consider using a tooth whitening treatment.

Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls

Kind of a no-brainer, huh? Luckily there are affordable whitening treatments out there that don't require an expensive trip to the dentist. I've been using Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips for the past couple of weeks and I've seen noticeable results—there was a marked difference even after the first week. (Check out my before-and-after below!)

Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls

These strips are called "Supreme FlexFit" because they're made of thin, flexible bands that conform closely to your teeth. My teeth aren't perfectly straight, so I appreciate the flexibility and how comfortable they are to wear.

Now for a few tips to perk up your lips!

TIP #2: Before lipstick? Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate.
My lips tend to get really dry around this time of year, which of course is accentuated whenever I try to wear dark or opaque lip colors. How to deal with this? Give 'em a good scrub! You can make your own lip scrub at home out of sugar and olive oil, or if you can't be bothered with that, pick up a pre-made lip scrub. I really like the ELF Lip Exfoliator because it only costs $3 and comes in a convenient twist-up tube.

TIP #3: Lip liner is your friend, but clear lip liner is your best friend.
I don't know if it's the shape of my mouth or what, but most creamy lipsticks tend to bleed and feather on me. The best way to prevent that from happening is to line and prime your lips with a liner—not only will it prevent feathering, but it will help keep creamy lipsticks in place longer. I've found that some color lip liners change the overall look of my lipstick in a way I don't like (or they just don't match). I usually use ELF Lip Lock pencil for this purpose, but a number of other drugstore brands make similar products that work equally well!

TIP #4: Have concealer on hand.
When applying a bold lip color, sometimes smudges and smears happen. Easy enough to clean up with a cotton swab, but if you applied foundation first (which I usually do) then the area around your mouth looks "naked" once you've wiped off the smudges, so I recommend keeping a concealer (or your foundation) on hand for touch-ups. I sometimes use Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser for this—it's obviously meant to be an undereye concealer, but the sponge applicator sort of makes it ideal for lightly covering makeup "bald spots"!

TIP #5: Not all lip colors are created equal. Choose wisely.
Certain lip colors can actually make your teeth look more yellow, so it's worth doing a bit of research/looking at swatches if your goal is to have the brightest smile possible. I've found that blue-based reds are the best for counteracting yellowness AND giving a bold look. For the purposes of this post, I chose NYX Lipstick in "Snow White"—this is a very bold, deep, blue-based almost blood-like red (phew, what a mouthful).

Check out my before & after Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips plus all my  "lip tips" in action:

Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls before after NYX Snow White lip swatch
Left: Before Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips - Right: After

Urgh, those teeth. All that orthodonture as a teenager really paid off, huh? Anyway, my teeth are noticeably less yellow thanks to the Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips, and the red lipstick really brightens up my smile. I think I'm ready for a holiday photo or two!

If you want to give yourself the gift of a brighter smile this holiday season, be sure to check out Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips at Target.com, where you can get $7 off and free shipping. They also make a great gift or stocking stuffer!

Crest 3D White Luxe Supreme FlexFit Whitestrips #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls box

Do you ever feel self-conscious about smiling in photos? What's your favorite lip color to wear to holiday parties?

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy. #CrestSupreme #CleverGirls


  1. I def think a red lip will brighten up your smile and make you teeth whiter if its a blue toned red.

  2. Love the red lip! I have a couple of reds that I can really tell help my teeth look whiter.

  3. I just bought Whitestrips yesterday! I bought "glamorous white", hoping for a glamorous grin like yours!

    I'm bitter about my teeth. I'm very judgmental on teeth because I've had so much work done on mine, but I had a shock when my dentist told me last year that my teeth would fall out in 20 years since my retainers wiggled them into place every night... Ever since I stopped using the retainers I've become the crooked teeth comparison for the skyline in the Death Cap song. /csb

  4. As much as I have had success with the whitening gels, the strips are just SO much easier. I really like the results you got! I might pick some of these up when I get the chance so I can upkeep my new white teeth! ;)

  5. Definitely! I always try to look up swatches of lipsticks if I can.

  6. Same here, and a couple of others... well... not so much, haha. I'll just smile with my mouth closed when I wear them! :P

  7. Oooh I wonder how much more glamorous "Glamorous White" is? I sincerely hope that your teeth don't fall out in 20 years, and that's rather frightening. Maybe now I'm glad that I "lost" my retainer 12 years ago? :P

  8. The Whitestrips are really a lot more comfortable to use than trays. Also, I feel like it's harder to overdo it... they definitely work but are more gradual than a gel, so you don't accidentally end up with glow-in-the-dark teeth, haha!

  9. What a difference! So glad these worked as well for you as they did for me!

  10. Thanks! I used an older incarnation of Whitestrips a while back and they also worked well, so I feel very happy with Crest's whitening products in general!


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