Best at Home Teeth Whitening! (+GIVEAWAY!)

**Don’t forget to enter the $149 giveaway at the bottom of this post!**

One of the #1 duties of a beauty blogger is to take selfies. Hundreds and thousands and millions of selfies. Fine, I may be exaggerating (though not by much), but the fact remains that I spend a lot of time taking and looking at pictures of myself. This inevitably leads to me analyzing every inch of my face.

Do I need to tweeze by eyebrows? (Yes. Always yes.)

Did I blend my contour enough? (Nope. Never.)

Are my nostrils different sizes? (Left is definitely bigger.)

Are my teeth white enough? (ENTER SMILE BRILLIANT.)

Smile Brilliant provides dental quality teeth-whitening for a fraction of the cost you would pay your dentist (we’re talking less than $200!) for the Exact. Same. Treatment. AND, the exact same RESULTS! Even better? You get to whiten your teeth on your own schedule from the comfort of your own home. Let me back up.

The kindest, most helpful employee at Smile Brilliant reached out to me a few months ago to see if I would be interested in trying their whitening kit. A few days after filling out a quick questionnaire, I received a package containing everything I needed to create a mold of my teeth. This alone would have been worth the price of the kit. I felt like a mad scientist…er, dentist mixing the paste and creating my impressions. Such a fun experience!

I mailed back my impressions and received my custom whitening trays less than two weeks later. I loved that the trays were made specifically for my teeth unlike whitening kits you can buy at the drugstore. They really allowed the gel to cover every nook and cranny of my smile. Plus they came with a convenient case perfect for storage and travel.

The whitening kit came with several syringes of Teeth Whitening Gel and Desensitizing Gel as well as extensive instructions on how to use both. The process varies depending on your desired results and personal tooth sensitivity. For example, the recommended whitening session time ranges from 45 minutes up to 3 hours. A little goes a long way with the syringes as well; each one contains enough gel for three to four treatments!

The trays were comfortable to wear, easy to apply gel to, and simple to clean. I performed a few whitening sessions, but during one session, I began experiencing some gum sensitivity. My sweet Smile Brilliant consultant assured me that is totally normal. She also recommended many solutions, including a simple fix of applying vaseline or coconut oil to my gums to prevent irritation. The quick and helpful response time was actually one of my favorite things about Smile Brilliant. Every question I had through this entire process has been answered thoroughly and honestly!

After a few treatments, I realized that I was already pleased with the natural whiteness of my teeth, so unfortunately I don’t have any dramatic before and after pictures to share in this post. Luckily for you though, there are tons of real life results you can see over on Smile Brilliant’s Instagram account. Their review¬†page is also full of incredible smiles and praise. Below is a before and after example from a fellow blogger, Nyema of Steps to Serendipity. See her full Smile Brilliant review here.

Pretty impressive, right??

I may decide to utilize my unopened syringes before they expire (they conveniently have quite a long shelf life according to Smile Brilliant), and, if so, I’ll update you with some “after” pictures then. Who knows what my incessant selfie analyzing will result in? ūüėČ Considering that seeing results generally only takes around 2 weeks (or less!), I may sneak in some whitening before my next big event! In the mean time, I wanted to share my positive experience using the whitening kit and receiving exemplary customer service from Smile Brilliant with you.

Perhaps the best news of all is that Smile Brilliant is giving you a chance to win your OWN whitening kit! Enter through the link below, and good luck! If you don’t want to wait to see if you win, use code¬†hootsofanightal15 to get $15 off!

**SMILE BRILLIANT GIVEAWAY**

**This product was gifted for review by Smile Brilliant, but all opinions are my own.**

*Giveaway is open for two weeks. You MUST enter through the link to be counted.  Giveaway is for $149 credit- and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents.*


How to Whiten Your Teeth

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wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation

wet n wild recently (ish?) released a new line of Photo Focus products, that they claim will help you achieve flawless, camera-ready makeup in any lighting condition. With the liquid foundation priced at only $5.99, I was anxious to try it out!

The wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation, has a wide range of 20 colors, so hopefully most people can find a matching shade. I debated on which color to try, and wound up purchasing Nude Ivory. It’s an excellent match for my skin! (I think, at least? Feel free to let me know if I’m way off. ūüėā)

The packaging is convenient, and has a sort of spatula wand that makes it very easy to distribute the product onto your face. I use about 2 spatula’s worth (if that makes sense), and blend out the foundation with my Beauty Blender or wet n wild’s flat top¬†brush.¬†

I think the coverage is medium to heavy, which I prefer. I did still go in with Maybelline’s Fit Me Concealer to brighten up my under eye area, but I was pleased with how well the foundation covered my natural redness.¬†

I’ve been using this foundation off and on for a couple of months now, and I feel like I definitely need to set it all over with powder, or it makes my skin very greasy. I have combination skin, and usually setting my T-Zone with powder is enough to keep me oil-free all day, but that isn’t the case with this foundation. I use the highlighter side of wet n wild’s contour palette to set this makeup, and it works great. There is also a complimentary wet n wild Photo Focus powder, but I haven’t tried that yet. Just be warned that unless you have very dry skin, I would definitely set this foundation with powder.

Aside from the oiliness, the wear time on this foundation is pretty good. If you typically touch up your makeup, I’d guess you won’t need to do so until about four or five hours of application. If you’re naturally oily, one blotting sheet around that time and you should be good to go for awhile longer.

Another point I wanted to mention is that this product definitely has a bit of a chemical smell. It does fade once it dries on your skin, but if you’re sensitive to smells, maybe give this one a whiff in the store before purchasing.¬†

The main claim of the Photo Focus line is to prevent flashback regardless of lighting conditions. I used natural light to take the photos above (as I usually try to do), and I definitely see pretty flawless results. I haven’t tested this makeup with a flash or in different lighting conditions, but in daylight at least, I’m very pleased.¬†

At only $5.99 (or less if you can find a coupon at your store!), I would definitely recommend this foundation. If you want a medium to high coverage look, and you’re willing to put in the effort to set the foundation, there aren’t many downsides to this product!¬†

wet n wild has definitely stepped up their game in the last few years, and this wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation is no exception! Have you tried any other products from wet n wild recently? Let me know!

 

Primer

Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm (Full Review)

Foundation

Wet n Wild PhotoFocus Foundation in Nude Ivory

Concealer

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair 15 (Full Review)

Setting Power

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Contour

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Bronzer

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Blush

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (Full Review)

Highlighter

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink (Full Review)

Eyeshadow Primer

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded (Full Review)

Eyeshadow

Urban Decay UD XX Vintage Eyeshadow in Gash (burgundy shade)

MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Blanc Type (brow bone)

Eyeliner

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx (Full Review)

Mascara

Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara (Full Review)

Eyebrows

Ulta Brow Powder in Medium

Lips

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Red Velvet (Full Review)

Tools

Beauty Blender

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Wet n Wild Large Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Crease Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Contour Brush

Wet n Wild Angled Liner Brush

Wet n Wild Flat Top Brush

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

 

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Global Purpose: Connect to Positive Change

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Anne Frank

And when you can improve the world on your weekly grocery shopping trip, why wouldn’t you? …but I’m getting ahead of myself. If you are blessed enough to live in the great state of Texas, you have graced the hallowed doors of H-E-B. Next time you’re there, head over to the H-E-B Blooms section and seek out the Global Purpose display. You won’t be disappointed.

Global Purpose is owned and operated by native-Texan Kaylynn Jordan and her husband Jon Jordan, and¬†assists¬†others in achieving more sustainable and humane practices. According to their company, they provide “education and income opportunities for women and children living in vulnerable communities, including India, Haiti, and Uganda.” Can you imagine impacting that many lives with your weekly trip to buy groceries?

Global Purpose was kind enough to send me a sari scarf, wooden bangles, and a drawstring bag from their Village Artisan line, and each item is beautifully handmade by women in India. I loved reading about some of their artisans and what an impact this opportunity has made in their communities. It’s not a coincidence that I’m sharing their mission on International Women’s Day. A quick story about one of their artists, Uzma shows the strong affect she has on her fellow artisans: “Not only does she teach the kantha stitch but she, with her life, teaches them to believe in themselves, to work hard and honestly, and to treat others with dignity and love.” Doesn’t that sound like the kind of person you want to support with your purchases?

If there is anyone that deserves attention today, it’s purchase with purpose companies like Global Purpose. They are directly impacting¬†the lives of others by creating positive change in communities that need it. I’m so thankful I learned about their incredible work, and I cannot wait to purchase more of their items the next time I visit H-E-B. I hope you’ll do the same!

If you want to learn more about Global Purpose, you can find them online here:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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Maybelline Dream Cushion Liquid Foundation

According to their website, Maybelline’s “Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation delivers complete luminous coverage for fresh-faced perfection.” I only agree with some of that statement. While it does give you a luminous, fresh-faced look, I don’t think it gives you complete coverage or perfection. I recently received the Dream Cushion Foundation to try for free from Influenster.¬†

This is the first cushion foundation I have ever used, so I was excited to test it out. I decided to try it for the first time with the cushion applicator included in the package. According to the instructions, you’re supposed to simply slip the cushion onto your fingers, press it into the cushion foundation, and tap it onto your face to apply the foundation. I found this method gave me moderate¬†coverage, but it took a very long time to ensure there weren’t any bare patches or streaks.¬†

For my second application attempt, I used my damp Beauty Blender. Once again, I pressed the blender into the cushion foundation and applied it to my face using a tapping motion. This worked slightly better than the cushion method, but it made the already light coverage of the foundation even sheerer. 

Finally, I tried applying the foundation with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. I dabbed my brush into the cushion foundation, stippled it onto my face, and buffed it out. This definitely seemed like the best application method to me, so consider trying different techniques if you purchase this foundation. 

I found that the Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation¬†provided a luminous, dewy affect. However, the coverage was definitely lacking. I tried to build up the foundation some, but it didn’t provide that flawless, matte look I’m used to wearing. (Duh, I don’t think it’s meant to.)

It definitely smoothed out many of my imperfections and evened out my skin tone, but I still had to use a lot of concealer for certain areas. Also, it did not wear well at all. I have combination skin, and anywhere I generally get oily, this foundation slid right off my skin. I did wear it with a primer and setting powder, but that didn’t seem to help at all.¬†

I don’t think this claims to be a long-wearing foundation, since Maybelline advertises how easy it is to apply this on-the-go and carry it with you at all times. However, once I apply my foundation I add concealer, setting powder, contour, bronzer, blush, and highlighter…pretty sure if my original foundation is coming off, I don’t want to apply a second layer on top of all that.¬†

Negatives aside, I do think this is a great foundation. If you’re someone who wants to simply even out your skin tone and prefer a fresh-faced look, this could definitely be the foundation for you. I think it would work best on dry skin types. However, with the right combination of primer and setting powder, it may work for any skin type. I can see myself using the Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation on days when I’m running errands and just want a bit of foundation and some mascara.¬†

There are currently 8 shades (for reference, I’m wearing shade 20 Classic Ivory), and this will set you back about $16. That’s a little high for a drugstore foundation to me, so if you’re on the fence, purchase it somewhere that is good about returns like Ulta.

Have you tried the Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation? Any tips for me to help it stay put longer?

Primer

Nivea Men’s Sensitive Post Shave Balm (Full Review)

Foundation

Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation in 20 Classic Ivory

Concealer

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in Fair 15 (Full Review)

Setting Power

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Contour

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Contouring Palette in Dulce de Leche

Bronzer

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

Blush

Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink

Highlighter

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Palette in Catwalk Pink (Full Review)

Eyeshadow Primer

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Metal in Barely Branded (Full Review)

Eyeshadow

 

 

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette (Full Review)

Eyeliner

Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner in Onyx (Full Review)

Mascara

Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara (Full Review)

Eyebrows

Ulta Brow Powder in Medium

Lips

Revlon Matte Balm in Sultry (Full Review)

Tools

Beauty Blender

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

Wet n Wild Large Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Crease Eyeshadow Brush

Wet n Wild Contour Brush

Wet n Wild Angled Liner Brush

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

I received this product for free to review, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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L’Oreal Pure Clay Masks

loreal-clay-masks-0

L’Oreal Skin recently released 3 Pure-Clay Masks, and I was lucky enough to be sent some to try out. Each of the masks are $12.99 and are supposed to treat different types of skin issues or concerns.¬†I have tried out each mask a few times, so¬†I wanted to share my opinions with you.

L’Oreal launched these pure-clay masks with the already popular concept of multi-masking. Basically, you use a different mask on different areas of concern on your face. For example, if you have an oily T-Zone and dry, patchy cheeks, you’d apply one mask to your T-Zone and a different mask to your cheeks. You can see an example of me multi-masking below.

loreal-clay-masks-1

The red algae pure-clay mask claims to exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog and tighten pores using three pure clays and red algae. This mask takes 10-15 minutes and is supposed to leave your skin glowing and smooth. I think this is the least transformative of the masks. It works fine as an exfoliant, but don’t expect any huge differences from using it. I think it may work best over the long term as a gentle exfoliant 2-3 times a week.¬†loreal-clay-masks-2

The black charcoal pure-clay mask claims to use three pure clays and charcoal to improve dull and tired-looking skin. This is supposed to work as sort of a detox mask and help draw impurities out of the skin. My skin definitely didn’t react well to this mask. I have fairly sensitive skin, and when I washed this mask off my face was BRIGHT red. Like Rudolph’s nose red. It was very tender for quite awhile afterwards also. I would use this mask in moderation or if you know you don’t have sensitive skin.

loreal-clay-masks-3

The final mask is the green eucalyptus pure-clay mask and is my favorite. This mask uses three pure clays and eucalyptus and is recommended for oily and shiny skin. It is supposed to help purify and clarify your skin if you have clogged pores and leave your face looking matte but refreshed. This mask didn’t over dry or irritate my skin, and I saw an immediate improvement in some of my breakouts. This mask is my favorite because it definitely improves my skin, while being gentle enough to use multiple times a week.loreal-clay-masks-4

Overall, I’m very pleased with these L’Oreal Skin Pure Clay Masks. At just over ten dollars, they’re a great value considering I’ll be able to get roughly twenty to thirty¬†uses out of each jar. Also, the glass jars feel more luxurious and well-made than many other drugstore products.loreal-clay-masks-5

While I was sent these for free, I could see myself repurchasing the eucalyptus mask in the future. Have you tried these before? What were your thoughts? I know masks seem to be all the rage right now; are there any you recommend?

Retro Siggy

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on these links or make a purchase using these links, I may receive a small percentage of the profit at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Hoots of a Night Al!

I received these products for free, and all opinions, as always, are my own.

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