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wedding pampering - smile

Prewedding Pampering: Getting a Brighter Smile

Get ready to wow 'em with a gorgeous grin -- our tips will put your teeth and lips in tip-top shape.

Photo: Keiser Photography

Scrub-Off And Soften

The key to great lips, like great skin, is exfoliation and moisturizing. Ever notice that coating of dry skin whenever your lips are chapped? To combat this, exfoliate your lips nightly and moisturize twice daily. There are a few great products to try like The Body Shop's Lipscuff (TheBodyShop.com), which contains natural exfoliants, and Clinique's All About Lips (Clinique.com), which uses salicylic acid to remove dead skin. The simplest (and cheapest) option is to brush your lips with a wet toothbrush. After exfoliating, follow through with a lip-specific moisturizer like Philosophy's Kiss Me (Philosophy.com) or Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 (Kiehls.com).

Color Correction

You've probably chosen dozens of lipstick colors in your day, but this day is a bit different. The biggest difference is the camera, which will be following your every move. Dark lipsticks on fair skin, like rich reds or deep plums, can photograph darker than they appear in the mirror leaving the wearer looking like the Bride of Frankenstein. Keep in mind that the most flattering shades are the ones that bear some resemblance to your natural lip color—nudes, roses, soft browns -- and have some relevance to the formality or style of your wedding. A daytime country farm setting calls for a rosy hue, while a ballroom in the city demands a more dramatic shade.

Steer clear of lip colors that have a warm, yellow-y base -- they'll just make your teeth look dingy. A cool, blue-based hue will better suit your smile.

Not-So-Pearly Whites?

You can have the softest lips and the perfect lipstick, but if your teeth are yellow you won't want to flash a smile. Dentists remain the best source for the most dramatic results by way of bleaching products, which contain peroxides that can help remove stains to reveal teeth that are five to seven shades whiter. Depending on where you live, costs begin around $400 for treatments like at-home or in-office bleaching. To get your teeth a few shades whiter without the professional expense, try an at-home whitening treatment. The options for over-the-counter teeth-whitening is varied, from whitening mouth wash rinses to whitening strips.

Put Time On Your Side

Can't find your favorite shade in a long-lasting lipstick? This process will help your color stay put. Start with a conditioner and let it set for an hour. Next, apply a matte foundation or concealer to lips as a primer. Use a lip liner in the exact shade as your lipstick and fill in the entire lip without going outside your natural shape. Apply lip color, blot with a tissue, and repeat until you’ve applied three coats. Place a piece of tissue over your lips and use an oversize brush to apply loose powder on top of the tissue. Apply one more layer of lipstick and finish with a lipstick sealant like English Ideas Lip Last. Your color will be smudge- and kiss-proof all night.

-- The Knot

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