Review: LED teeth whitening at home by Smile Brilliant

The last time I had my teeth whitened was just before my wedding, when I forked out hundreds of dollars to get my teeth whitened professionally. As an avid coffee drinker, it’s inevitable that my teeth would start getting yellow again. I was happy to receive an LED Accelerator Kit and one Whitening Gel Pen to review from Smile Brilliant.

Before you see the photos, I want you to know that I did not make any any adjustments to these photos. All the photos were taken on my iPhone and no photo editing software was used. I took photos inside in my bathroom, in front of the mirror. I tried my best to get the same angle and distance from the overhead light. There were no adjustments made to the brightness, saturation, lighting, etc. of any of these photos. I’m even wearing the same lip gloss. If anything, my after pictures are a little dark, because I was standing too far from the overhead light.

Smile Brilliant’s LED teeth whitening system is designed to be more effective than the easily-found store bought whitening strips, but still affordable. Smile Brilliant claims their high-intensity LED light accelerates the teeth whitening process. I’ve read mixed reviews/reports/etc. about how well LED lights actually work for teeth whitening, but I was willing to give it a try.

The formula in the gel is 77.1% glycerin, 22% carbamide peroxide, 0.5% carbomer, 0.2% menthol, and 0.2% EDTA.

So does it work? I think it does. You can check out the photos below, yourself, but I think my teeth are about a shade whiter. I only had one whitening pen (usually 5-8 applications). If I really wanted drastic results, I’d probably buy the three-pen kit and use it for a month.

The photos below were taken before starting and then after 9 applications of the gel (so over 9 days). Each time, I used the LED light for approximately 45 minutes, and then left the gel and trays on for another 20 minutes or so. As I mentioned above, I did not enhance or adjust these photos in any way. The after photos are a little dark, because I’m apparently standing further back from the overhead light. I think my teeth would be even whiter if I were more in the light.

It’s hard to believe, but I have had braces!

The trays and even the LED were surprisingly comfortable in my mouth. I was able to blog, fold laundry, read, etc. with it in, and I didn’t even notice the trays and light after a few minutes.

I had trouble with the LED light the first time I used it, because I didn’t have the battery in properly. The light kept going off, and I started to think I had a faulty product. Well, the second time around, I took the batteries back out and faced them a different way. Then the light finally stayed on after the button was pressed! I’m surprised it even semi-worked the first time I used it, since the batteries weren’t in right.

If you’re interested in teeth whitening, make sure you read the product information on the Smile Brilliant website. It talks about product ingredients, realistic results, and who should (or shouldn’t) whiten their teeth.

What do you think? Can you see a difference?
The Giveaway:

Smile Brilliant is sponsoring a giveaway. One winner will receive the same kit (ARV $40) that I did! This giveaway will be open to US, CAN, UK, and AU residents. Make sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. The giveaway starts at midnight, so get your entries in after that! 2/19-2/25.

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CLOSED Giveaway: Pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day with Honeycat Cosmetics (FOUR WINNERS!) 1/31-2/7

I was sent several yummy bath and body products by Honeycat Cosmetics. (Review post coming soon!) They graciously agreed to give away a bottle of their “On the Prowl” shower gel (RV $16) to FOUR different winners!

Are you ready to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day?

Even though I’m a married mother, my friends still tease me that I’m going to be that typical “old cat lady” one day. What can I say? I love felines! I have two rescue cats that keep me company at night (and my feet warm), while Hubby’s away for training. The Honeycat Cosmetics website immediately drew me in with their catchy kitty-related titles!

Honeycat Cosmetics gives a “fresh, sexy spin on bath and body products.” Whether it’s the Sweet Potato Pie Bubble Bath, Frisky Kitty Bath Time Fizzy, or the Calypso Kitty Pineapple Body Scrub, their luxurious and deliciously-scented products are sure to please!

Read the review HERE.

The Giveaway:

If you agree to the terms and conditions listed directly below, keep scrolling to enter via Giveaway Tools.

Terms & Conditions: Sweepstakes open to residents of the continental US. Must be 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. Two entrants allowed per household. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received. Once winner has been selected and emailed, winner will have 24 hours to respond or new winner will be selected. Winner’s name may be posted on this blog and other social media and Web sites. My Life: A Work in Progress is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Sweepstakes not associated with Facebook or any other social media outlet. Entrance into the sweepstakes indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions.

Note- My Life: A Work in Progress received bath and body products from Honeycat Cosmetics to review but was not compensated for this giveaway post. 

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Review: Batiste Dry Shampoo

UPDATE JULY 2016- I still use this stuff! I’ve been buying it from my local Ulta or Target. I’ve also seen it at discount stores like Marshalls.

Neoteric Cosmetics sent me a can of Batiste Dry Shampoo in their Dark & Deep Brown color to review.

Batiste Dry Shampoo


Batiste Dry Shampoo first came on the UK beauty scene in the 1970s. Many other dry shampoos use cornstarch to soak up the oil in your hair, but Batiste uses rice starch. It’s lighter on your hair and doesn’t leave a heavy residue. Batiste’s dry shampoos come in a variety of scents and are available in colors too. Batiste comes in two sizes: regular- 6.73 oz. and travel/mini- 1.6 oz. The first retails for around $7.99 and the second for about $3.99.

Using dry shampoo is easy. Just lift your hair up by the ends in section and spray the roots from about 12″ away.

Applying Batiste dry shampoo

My Experiences:

Every woman should have a can of dry shampoo in her bathroom. Really! I started using dry shampoo a couple years ago, and the stuff is fantastic. Even if you don’t want to go a day or two without washing your hair, dry shampoo is perfect to refresh your hair after the gym, after being out in the heat, after a long day at work, and so on. It also adds body to fine hair, like mine.

As a mother, I find dry shampoo indispensable. I shower during nap time. My son has never been a good napper, and I don’t have a lot of time to shower and get other things done during my window of opportunity. If I skip washing my hair and use dry shampoo, I spend about 5 minutes between the shower and the spray can. If I wash my hair (like wet wash), I spend at least 15 minutes in the shower. Those extra ten minutes add up!

I also had bangs cut this spring for the first time in a few years. I love my bangs (they hide the lines on my forehead), but after a few hours outside they get moist and stringy. Lately, I’ve been pinning my bangs back rather than deal with it, but dry shampoo is the solution. I haven’t wanted to carry a big spray bottle around with me, but now that I know about Batiste’s travel size dry shampoos, I’ll be purchasing a can.

I’ve tried a few different brands of dry shampoo -powder and spray- from the inexpensive to the overpriced, but Batiste Dry Shampoo is my favorite so far. I love that it comes in scents, colors, and it’s affordable. I’ve found it for sale on different websites, but the Neoteric Cosmetics website has a good shipping price. Any orders $25 and up have free shipping. One bottle of dry shampoo this size usually lasts me two months.

Here are some before and after photos of me using Batiste dry shampoo. It’s been about 30 hours since I’ve washed my hair in these photos (and it’s not styled yet- don’t judge me). Hopefully you can tell, because the photos don’t show it that well, but there’s a complete difference in my hair before and after. It looks clean again after using the dry shampoo.

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Batiste Dry Shampoo also adds body to my fine hair. If I tousle my roots after applying, this is what I get:

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Okay, I wouldn’t actually go into public like this, but the extra body is awesome if I’m planning on curling my hair. AND with dry shampoo, a hair donut, hair pins, and some hair magic, I can actually put my fine hair in a top knot/high bun that’s not insanely tiny:

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For the full range of Batiste dry shampoos, click HERE. Check Batiste out on Facebook and Twitter for updates, tips, and info on other great products!

If you liked my review, please consider voting for me at Top Mommy Blogs and the Picket Fence. Just click once HERE and HERE. Thank you!

Note: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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