First Time At Home Teeth Whitening: Does it Work?

Hey everyone! As you know I occasionally take a break from waxing poetic about life and all its twists and turns to share with you the products I have been using and enjoying. And it’s time for one of those reviews with Smile Brilliant!
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Why Smile Brilliant?
For the past couple of weeks I have been using Smile Brilliant’s whitening system. Let me start by saying I have never whitened my teeth before. Ever. Outside of a little whitening toothpaste, it was never a world I explored or felt necessary. And then BAM! Here comes my 30th year on this planet and everything (I mean EVERYTHING) is changing.
My skin is different, my hair is different, my energy levels and yes, my teeth. I started to notice that my teeth weren’t as white as they always had been and I realized it was probably the addition of coffee and red wine into my diet. When I was younger I didn’t drink either and so the change in the condition of my teeth was really noticeable.
It was starting to bug me which is why I was so glad the team at Smile Brilliant reached out to offer me a test drive of one of their whitening kits. The time had come to brave this brand new world and I chose Smile Brilliant as my whitening partners (and gurus!)
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The Experience 
Smile Brilliant is pretty unique, especially from the strips you buy at drugstores, because the system uses custom fitted trays to perform the whitening. That’s right, you gotta mold your teeth. The first step was a little scary, I am not going to lie, but everything turned out ok. Smile Brilliant sends you the mold making kit via mail. Following the instructions very carefully you make molds of your top and bottom rows of teeth. You let the molds dry and the ship them back in the provided envelope.
A week later my custom-fitted trays arrived and they matched my teeth exactly. (Science, right?) Included with my trays were my tubes full of whitening solution and the desensitizing gel. This gel was my lifesaver during the process. There are a couple steps to get your teeth whitening ready but you’re given detailed instructions on how to accomplish each step and achieve whitening glory.
The short version is this: you fill the trays with the whitening solution and then pop them into place and leave them in anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours depending on your sensitivity. Pop them out, wash the trays, and then pop in the desensitizing gel for about 20 minutes. It can be a little time consuming so make sure to start your whitening journey when you are ready to commit!
For me personally, I have fairly sensitive teeth. The first couple rounds of whitening left me extra sensitive. To fix this I merely shortened my sessions down to the bare minimum and also put a day in between each session, using the desensitizing gel on the off day. This really helped keep them feeling safe and not as touchy. I noticed results after my very first use of the system which was crazy! As I went on I noticed more change and started to really be impressed. Of course, I snuck in some coffee during this period which I regret a little, but Smile Brilliant was strong enough to put up with my weakness and still provide me with some great results.
I always did my whitening at night when I was done eating for the day. I timed it so I was done whitening just before bed. While I had my trays in I’d watch TV, read, walk the dog, and do my skincare routine. I was still able to talk to my boyfriend and chat on the phone with my mom, so don’t worry about them being too bulky. They really do fit and form to your teeth so well!
The Takeaway
If you’re looking for an at-home whitening option, check out SmileBrilliant. The custom-fitted trays really do make this a whole different kind of experience and provide great results. (Goodbye gross drugstore strips!)
Here are my side-by-side comparisons:
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The best news is you can get a KIT FREE (valued at $149) by entering my giveaway here!
Contest is open to Australia, Canada, US, and UK. And ANYONE can 15% off store wide with my code ‘cheapcourage15’.


Tooth Whitening Gel

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Real Talk: I Love Valentine’s Day + (A Wood Watch Gift for Your Boo!)

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I partnered with Jord Watches to giveaway $100! Keep reading to learn how.

My History with Valentine’s Day…

When I was a kid I loved Valentine’s Day. I loved the tacky candy and the teddy bears and the cute cards we collected at school. But as I grew up, it got harder to celebrate the way I wanted to because everyone around me hated it. I buried this part of me until I met Frank and now I’m pulling out all the stops. This year I’m giving him a beautiful zebrawood and dark sandalwood wood watch.

I feel like a kid again. I am so thrilled I have found someone that’s going to embrace this sort of cheesy, oddly romantic side of me. I think Valentine’s day is so special to me because my parents always spent it with my brothers and I. We’d have a special dinner and then sit together to pick out chocolates from our big heart shaped boxes. With so much hate in the world it feels good to spend time to celebrate love.

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Celebrating like a grown up with a wood watch…

Now, just because I am into tacky candy doesn’t mean I don’t have great taste when it comes to gifts and celebrating. No teddy bears here!

A couple of months ago Frank’s beloved watch broke. He gave up on ever finding a decent replacement. Enter this unique wood watch from Jord. Frank is not a flashy guy (one of my favorite things about him), he essentially wears the same cut of shirt everyday, jeans, and a pair of boots, so a metal band was out of the question. A more minimalist wood watch was perfect for him because it is unique enough to be special, but low key enough to be worn everyday to work, bars, parties, and meetings. I also gave him the wood watch early (oops!) because I wanted him to pick out his style and wood grains. There are a ton of options. They can also be engraved, which is a nice touch.

In addition to the gift I’ll probably take him out for dinner (I cook all the time and while I am pretty decent, a night out is always nice) and go see a movie. Ok, and yes, I will eat a lot of tacky Valentine’s Day candy because I just can’t help myself!

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Wood Watch Giveaway!

Now it’s your turn to rock a unique piece. I’ve partnered with Jord Watches to giveaway $100 on their site to my readers and followers! All you have to do is CLICK HERE, enter your e-mail, and wait for your name to be drawn. All entrants will receive a 10% off code after the contest is over. (It’s a win-win.) Anyone can enter and don’t worry, it’s not just for men, Jord also has a great line of women’s watches. So you can gift a unique men’s or women’s watch for Valentine’s Day (or any day) too!

Let me know what you pick out for your loved one (or yourself) this season!


Wooden Wrist Watch