It’s the season for showing your biggest, brightest smile. And in addition to teeth-whitening strips and treatments, choosing the right lipstick shade can take your sparkling smile to megawatt status. Choosing the wrong color can also make your teeth look dull, darker and sometimes like they’re yellowing. The first thing you want to do is say no to warmer tones, says Zahra Eram, founder of Eram Dental Clinic in Zurich. “Too many warm tones and colors that lean towards brown, beige and orange tones can make your teeth look yellow,” she says. To give your teeth an instant brightening effect, choose shades that are on the cool side of the color wheel.
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl ($27)
“An undertone like blue, can neutralize the yellow color that our teeth naturally have, so teeth appear whiter than they are,” says New York cosmetic dentist Lauren Becker, DDS. NARS Dragon Girl and Cruella are two blue-based reds that are long-lasting without drying out lips.
Rare Beauty Lip Souffle Matte Cream Lipstick in Inspire ($20)
“I always recommend Crest Whitening for an at-home solution or a visit to your dentist for a whitening first,” adds Dr. Becker, who likes the Rare Beauty Inspire shade. “That way when you pair your cool-toned lipstick with it, they’re sure to be bright white.”
NYX Soft Matte Metallic Lip Cream in Monte Carlo ($6)
Eram says her drugstore favorite blue-based reds are Red from Revlon and Monte Carlo from NYX. “These will give you your whitest smile on a budget,” she adds.
APA Beauty Blue Lip Shine ($25)
“Consider using a lip gloss to also help reflect light on your teeth as you speak or smile,” adds Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald Goldstein, DDS. “I also advise my patients with light skin to stay away from very dark purple or blue lipstick colors, which can call more attention to your smile.”
Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate ($42)
Dr. Becker says when in doubt, a good rule of thumb is to think darker colors so your teeth pop against it, but remain in the cool blue and purple family. She notes that you can never go wrong with a pop of Chanel Rouge in Pirate.
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