Saturday, January 25, 2014

Five Beauty Tips: Sparkling Teeth, Soft Lips, No-Sock Bun, Perfect Highlight & Thick Lashes

I love discovering and sharing beauty secrets - sometimes a simple change in routine can have a huge impact! Here are five of my current favorite tips:

beauty secrets - thicker lashes, highlights

1) Sparkling Teeth - Changing from manual toothbrushes to electric toothbrushes have made such a huge impact on my teeth. The year I first made the switch (2004) my dental hygienist was amazed at how little plaque built up versus previous visits. Electric toothbrushes (especially Sonic ones) are super efficient because they can thoroughly clean your teeth and gums in a way manual ones can't. Teeth are definitely worth investing in - for health reasons and aesthetic ones - so I'd definitely prioritize buying a good toothbrush over purchasing a whitening kit. My favorite toothbrush is this one - I paid less than $70 for it (on sale) at Target.

2) Soft Lips - I've recently been putting on lipbalm with a q-tip before applying makeup - a trick I picked up from Lisa Eldridge's videos. The q-tip gently exfoliates your lips so that they're smooth and moisturized for any product you want to apply on them.  I tend to use use this technique with my potted lip balms - as I don't really like dipping my finger in the pots anyway.

3) The No-Sock Bun - Anytime you've seen my hair in a bun recently - it's been thanks to this EASY tool - Hot Buns. I've always struggled with sock buns and bun doughnuts because my hair is cut in layers, and it is hard to twist layers into a bun shaper. This product is a soft bendy stick with velcro strips that grip your hair in place. I put my hair in a ponytail, place the stick on top of my loose hair and roll down until I reach the base of my ponytail. Then I clip the 2 ends of the stick together to form a bun, and adjust my hair to hide the clip - SO simple! There's a photo tutorial here (I personally don't think step 5 is necessary). It takes me 3 minutes to do my hair in a bun (with the sock bun, I'd struggle for at least 10 minutes before giving up in frustration!)
4) The Perfect Highlight - I've found the perfect product and perfect technique to easily highlight my features on a daily basis. I was inspired by Youtuber sccastenada and use L'Oreal's True Match Super Blendable Crayon Concealer in W1-2-3 as a natural looking highlight. This product is so creamy and easy to apply - pick a shade lighter than your skin tone and color in the areas you want to highlight. This blends like a dream - it just melts into your foundation, leaving you with a gorgeous glow. To see sccastenada's highlighting technique, fast forward to 4.35 in this video. (My variation: I apply the crayon with a lighter hand and use my foundation brush to blend.)

5) Thick Lashes - After wearing waterproof mascara during our beach holiday, I noticed that my lashes became brittle and sparse. Even though I removed my eye makeup gently, some lashes would always fall out. So I started applying Castor Oil to condition my lashes every night (Castor oil is used safely in many cosmetic formulations - including drugstore lash-boosting serums.) While this doesn't magically grow your lashes like Latisse, since adding this step to my nightime routine, my lashes are softer, healthier and thicker. My technique: I transfer this castor oil into a small sterilised bottle. Every night I dip a fresh q-tip in the oil and apply it at the base of my lashes. Then I sweep it on my lashes in the same motions I use when applying mascara. While this tip has really worked for me, please use it at your own discretion: buy a good quality castor oil, be careful not to get any IN your eye and don't double dip your q-tip in the oil!

Hope you liked this post - do you already use any of these tips?

If you're looking for a new crossbody bag, be sure to check out my latest post on Yummy Mummy Club over here:

cross body bags celine, aldo, forever21
Celine / Michael Kors / Forever21 / Coach / Aldo / Phillip Lim

DISCLAIMER: I purchased all the products mentioned above myself (except for the Hot Buns - those were a gift from my lovely sister!)

Linking up with More Pieces of Me and On the Daily Express.


  1. Awesome tips, lady! Thanks for sharing! I want to try the oil on my lashes and lip balm with a q-tip! Thanks for sharing with manic Monday!

    1. Thanks Carylee, hope you try it - the castor oil/lashes tip has made such a difference in my more sparse sad lashes anymore LOL!

  2. Great tips! I am jealous of your buns...(that sounds wrong). I look like an onion with my hair pulled up so I always have to wear it down, which takes forever. I totally agree about sonicare toothbrushes. Even though I would floss and brush regularly, I used to get cavities every 1-3 years. But ever since I switched to a sonicare (maybe 8 years ago?) I haven't had a single one! Pretty amazing. Thank you for linking up with us again today. You are awesome. :) -Gina
    On the Daily Express

    1. Oh my goodness Gina...I'm laughing so much at your description of the onion look ;-P I'm sure you look fab with your bun(s) :-)

  3. Great tips Ella! I'll have to try the q-tip to apply lip balm. I am so dry these days, especially after my weekend trip to the high desert.

    I love Sonia's videos. How gorgeous is she?!

    1. Love Sonia's videos - I've learned SO much from her techniques! And actually, the reason I found her is because of you! I think you liked one of her outfits on Instagram, so I started following her...then watching her videos - and now I'm hooked ;-)

  4. Thanks for a helpful post. I always like to find out helpful tips which I didn’t know about before.
    I really want to focus on sparkling teeth. It’s interesting to know you find a big difference with
    electric tooth brushes, I haven’t had much experience with them before. I use the donut bun
    every day but I can only imagine how hard it must be with layered hair. Glad you found a solution.

    1. I wish I could master the donut bun - I'd always end up with a messy looking pie on my head LOL! Definitely try an electric toothbrush, even if you don't want to invest in a sonic one yet - Oral B/Braun make good electric toothbrushes - good luck!

  5. Love Lisa Eldridge and Hot Buns! :)

    Btw, did you notice electric toothbrushes thinning out your tooth enamel? I'm totally paranoid about this! :))

    1. I've been using electric toothbrushes for over a decade (and a sonic brush since 2009ish) and I haven't noticed any thinning - and neither has my dentist. I don't think it would thin the enamel as it cleans teeth effectively so you don't need to scrub away as you would with a manual toothbrush. They also sell sensitive brush heads - so I would use those, to ease your concerns :-)


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