Beauty Blogger

Guest Post: Teeth are Always in Style

My BFTDS editor Jennifer is back with another insightful and engaging post.  Read on, if you dare!

You put a lot of effort into your beauty routine.  From taking great care of your skin, to choosing just the right make up and anti-aging products, and using top-notch tools.  Are you doing the same for your most important feature – your smile?

In researching this article, I was surprised to find how few beauty sites and sources mention dental care.  Some talk about the latest fad (oil pulling) or the best at-home whitening products (white strips and charcoal toothpaste).  But none seem to talk about basic dental care.  One beauty writer for a major beauty magazine lamented on how tedious it was to spend a whole 5 minutes at the beginning and end of the day brushing her teeth.  She said it was her least favorite beauty task.  *sigh*  One writer went so far as to say eating pulled pork was just as good as flossing.  Um, ewwwww…

Due Diligence:

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste removes plaque, odor-causing bacteria, and helps protect your teeth from future decay.  If you’re not flossing regularly, you’re missing 30% of your teeth’s surface.  That’s a lot of real estate for plaque and bacteria to make themselves at home.  Cleaning between teeth and at the gum line decreases your chances of cavities and tooth decay and significantly improves your gum health. In addition to brushing and flossing, an antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine helps remove any residual bacteria hiding out in your mouth.

Many people avoid the dentist because they fear pain:  pain from poking, prodding, drilling and filling and pain in their wallet.  But skipping dental visits may actually end up costing you more money. Regular visits to your dentist can help ensure you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.  Exams and x-rays can identify potential problems that you may not see or feel.  Cavities, little ones or big ones, don’t go away.  Once decay starts, it cannot be reversed.  So have your dentist address any concerns as soon as they are diagnosed.  It’s much easier to treat and manage problems before they become emergencies or major malfunctions.

Tools of the Trade:

You know what a rotary brush can do for your complexion.  An electric toothbrush can do the same for your smile.  An electric toothbrush provides a superior clean to a manual brush because it removes food debris and plaque from hard to reach places in your mouth, decreasing your chances of bad breath and tooth decay.  A brush with a rotating head is best because it sweeps particles up and away from your teeth and gums.

tooth tools

My dentist let me in on a little secret about toothpaste – 98% are a gimmick.  The pretty packaging and claims to whiten your smile and freshen your breath are mostly meant to increase sales.  All you need to create a beautiful smile is an electric toothbrush and a basic fluoride toothpaste, like Crest original formula.  Baking soda works too.  It’s not the toothpaste, but the mechanical action of removing food, plaque, and bacteria that improves your oral health.  While that $8 tube of toothpaste may in fact remove some surface staining, your dollars are better spent on an electric brush.

Diet and Your Smile:

Everything that passes your pucker, from the foods you eat, to what you drink, chew, and puff, affects your oral health.  Food debris that is not immediately brushed away after eating accumulates in the tiny spaces in and around your teeth.  As the food breaks down, bacteria are created and the potential for decay begins.  Sugary and acidic drinks are just as harmful and can erode your tooth enamel.  Smoking and smokeless tobacco are also extremely damaging to your teeth and gums.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking lots of water is the best recipe for a healthy smile.  If (like me) you can’t commit to eating healthier, at least commit to a better daily dental routine:  brush twice daily and after every meal and floss at least once daily.  For those times when you just can’t brush immediately after a meal, chew sugarless gum instead.  Chewing gum for 20 minutes after a meal increases the saliva flow in your mouth, helping to wash away food debris between teeth.


Got Sparkle?

tooth snap

Thanks to Snapchat for the cat ears and my dentist for the healthy smile!

Having glorious, pearly whites can definitely boost your confidence and self-esteem, but the way your teeth look is only part of the story of your smile.  Cosmetic procedures such as whitening and veneers are meant to enhance the look of healthy, functional teeth.  Great at-home care and regular visits to your dentist for exams, cleanings, and treatment should be the priority.  Whitening unhealthy teeth will not help you in the long run and may contribute to tooth sensitivity.

Teeth are always in style.  So do yourself a favor and take care of your choppers while you still have them!



World’s Greatest Drug Store Mascara?

This DS Diva has always been very open and honest about her eternal love for Lancome Definicils mascara.  I’ve been using it for decades and adore how it makes my lashes long and full.  Lo and behold, L’Oreal recently debuted a ‘dupe’ for the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which I’ve used but have never been overly impressed with.

mascaraCombining sales, coupons, and Walgreens’ Rewards, I purchased L’Oreal Lash Paradise for about $3.  This mascara is like wearing false eyelashes without the hassle of the glue. My lashes were gorgeous, very long, and extremely plush.  Even at the full retail price of a whopping $9, this mascara is a steal!  The only drawback is that, at around 6 weeks the applicator and tube started to clump and get very messy.  I had to clean both before and after each use.  So I’m just wasting product, which I utterly despise.  I hate not getting a full 3 weeks out of mascara.

Will I give up my tried and true Definicils?  Absolutely not!  Will I try another Lash Paradise, especially if it’s on sale?  There is a 90% probability that I will.  Lash Paradise also comes in a waterproof version for those of you who perspire and cry (Darth’s do neither BTW). But I feel those versions are too drying to the lashes, so pass on that I will.

The Dark Side Diva’s verdict on L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise mascara:  Give this one a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised!

September Product of the Month


Retails for:  $58 for .84oz

Available at:

I’ve been dying to try this luxury foundation, not just because it’s YSL but because I’ve read so many positive reviews.  I have never spent $58 on foundation before, so my hand was literally shaking when I added YSL All Hours to my shopping cart.

PROS:  I chose the lightest shade, BR 10/Cool Porcelain and it is a perfect match. I would say it’s a true porcelain, a fair shade with some pink undertones. It’s a full coverage, matte foundation that in my opinion would be best for normal/combo/oily skin types.  All Hours claims to last for 24 hours, and while I pray I never have to wear it that long, I did get a good 14 hours out of it without having to powder my face. My large pores, fine lines and redness were completely covered. It didn’t oxidize on me, or get funky, cakey or fade.

CONS:  This matte, full coverage foundation is possibly a tad too matte for drier skin types.

YSL All Hours foundation is luxury foundation at its finest!  It honestly looked as good at 10pm as it did at when I applied it at 8am. The All Hours line also includes a primer and concealer that are on my wish list. And I can promise that my hand will not be shaking when I hit “add to cart”.

5 stars give this I do!

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Foundation

I’ve never tried any Boots No7 products. But I saw this foundation while I was cruising through Target, and decided to add it to my collection.boots7

I chose the lightest shade, Warm Ivory, but unfortunately it’s a still too warm for my pale complexion. I can make it work with a lighter concealer and no-color setting powder, but I really wish they had just one shade lighter.  This formula tends to oxidize so that makes it even harder for me to deal with during the day.

I had high hopes for this foundation, as it claims to last up to 17 hours. I’ve only gone about 4 hours before I needed to powder my entire face. It does give me a nice, even, light to medium coverage (more of a lighter-medium coverage if that makes sense). It’s not the worst foundation I’ve tried, but at $15 a bottle, a disappointing shade range and only a couple hours of a shine-free face I can say that in all probability I will not be purchasing this again. I will be trying this out with other makeup setting sprays, so I’m not taking out of my rotation just yet.

While I was at Target I noticed that Boots No7 has quite an impressive line of products. Have you tried any? What are your thoughts on this line?

Shaaanxo 18 Color Eye Shadow & Lipstick Palette

Shannon Harris, known to her devotees as Shaaanxo, is a YouTube beauty vlogger superstar from New Zealand who uploads awesome, original content roughly 2-3 times per week. She has over 3 million followers and is one of the top global beauty influencers. Shannon hand-picked each of the shades in this collaboration with bh cosmetics.


For a mere $14.50 you get 9 very wearable neutral eyeshadows and 9 lip colors in neutral, plum and peachy shades. I wasn’t sure what to expect, mainly because the cost is so affordable. But I was very pleasantly surprised at how versatile this palette is! The palette is dual sided, which I appreciate because nothing sets my Dark Side off more than a palette that is designed so the eyeshadows mingle with the lipsticks.

The eyeshadows are quite pigmented and blend out very easily. There is some fallout, but as I’ve stated before, I will accept some minor fallout in exchange for easy blendability. There are no crazy or trendy colors so you can easily go from a casual to dressy look. The lip colors are glossy and beautiful. My only minor issue with this item is that the lip colors are not as long-lasting as I’d like. I have to reapply the color several times during my day. Be sure to use a lip brush to apply because putting lip color on with your fingers is just wrong and should be punishable by law. The formulas make your lips feels soft and are not drying at all. When I first opened up the palette I noticed some droplets on the lip colors.  But bh cosmetics assures you that the droplets are just natural oils that occur and they did disappear as I used the product.

I will be able to create hundreds of looks with this beautiful, versatile, affordable palette. And bh cosmetics are all vegan, gluten and cruelty free. Another win-win-win! So support your local, or in this case non-local, YT vlogger and try Shannon’s palette. Enjoy it you will!