how i whiten and maintain my smile

Hi my loves! When you meet someone new for the first time, what is the first thing you notice about them? I ALWAYS look at a person’s hands, their smile/teeth and then their shoes — all of which, in my opinion, are things that tell you sooo much about a person.

Fun fact: I was actually voted “best smile” for my high school senior superlatives — back then times must’ve been much easier because I don’t really remember doing much to maintain my smile. Since then though I’ve been very conscious about my teeth (read: borderline obsessed). I used to use whitening strips religiously back in college but then eventually had to slow down and only use them once in a while or before a big event because of how sensitive the strips were making my teeth. But because I still wanted the brightest smile possible, I always kept an eye out for whitening products that would be effective without creating tons of sensitivity.

Enter: Smile Brilliant. When they first reached out to me, I was of course excited to try a professional grade at-home whitening product but its custom process is what totally reeled me in. Below, I will break down the entire process for you guys (along with before and after pictures) just so you can see for yourselves how easy and effective it all really was.


To get things started, Smile Brilliant sent me a fully assembled kit that included 3 catalyst and 3 base pastes and impression trays to create my custom trays along with 3 teeth whitening gels and 3 desensitizing gels.


To create the custom whitening trays, I first mixed the catalyst paste with the base paste until it was a sky-blue color and placed it in the impression tray, then I carefully inserted it into my mouth to create molds of my top and bottom teeth. In all, that part took about 5 minutes max (toldja it was easy!) and while I was waiting for the molds to harden, I filled out the return impression card. Then I placed the impressions and the card inside the prepaid envelope and shipped them out. I could hardly wait to receive my custom fitted trays because about a year prior I had inquired about professional teeth whitening and nearly fell out of my chair when I was told that custom trays can cost upwards of $500 at the dentist’s office! About a week later, my trays arrived and I was so excited to begin whitening.

—Side note: in case you’re more of a visual person, click here for a video of the process.


With my new custom trays in hand, I felt SO official and was ready to begin. As a nightly routine, I would brush my teeth and then add a thin strip of whitening gel to the trays and keep them in for about 30mins to an hour. I did this every other day and within the first few weeks I started to see noticeable results. Surprisingly, I was able to remain consistent without feeling major sensitivity because Smile Brilliant had something to help with that as well! After each whitening session, I would follow it up with the desensitizing gel (applied just like the whitening treatment) and this really helped in re-hydrating and replenishing minerals back into my teeth that were lost during whitening, making them feel stronger and less sensitive, of course!


Throughout the process, there were three main things that I really liked about whitening with Smile Brilliant. First, I really liked having the custom trays because unlike whitening strips that can slide around in the mouth, these trays stayed in place, which not only helped distribute the gel evenly but made them very comfortable to wear. I could even talk like normal without slobbering and at times I would even forget I was wearing them. The second thing that I really liked was that the kit included the desensitizing gel — for me that was a HUGE plus because I’ve never been given that option with other whitening treatments and I found that being able to desensitize my teeth was essential in helping me remain consistent with whitening. And finally, the last thing that I was super happy about were the results! I had a whiter and brighter smile that sparkled while still looking natural.


Finally, here are the before and after pictures. Because I was so pleased with how easy the whitening was and the results that I was getting, I decided that Salmaan needed to get a kit of his own so that he could whiten his teeth with me. It was cool to see how much more dramatic his results were compared to mine, especially since he drinks coffee every morning which over time has stained his teeth and has never whitened his teeth before.


Because I genuinely loved the this product so much (and you don’t have to take my word for it, click here for a whole buncha reviews of others who did as well) I’ve teamed up with Smile Brilliant to give one of my lucky readers a complete whitening kit of their own. All you have to do is comment below and tell me what you first notice about someone when you meet them for the first time OR tell me your favorite joke — you know, to keep me smiling. πŸ˜‰ I will randomly select a winner at the end of the week and contact them for their information. BUT, if you don’t win or just don’t feel like waiting, enter “thestylemenu20off” at checkout to save $20 off your order (code valid until 9/14).


Teeth Whitening

24 comments on how i whiten and maintain my smile

  1. Shreya Chaudhari
    August 31, 2016 at 2:02 am (1 year ago)

    Definitely notice the persons smile first!!

  2. Sumaiya
    August 31, 2016 at 2:03 am (1 year ago)

    I always notice the energy people exude first. Positive and genuine people have such an amazing aura and energy about them and those are the people I want to get to know more after meeting them.

    • annieswift
      September 8, 2016 at 3:43 am (1 year ago)

      agreed 100%! energy never lies and it is so so important to pay attention to it.

      NOW, say cheeeeeeseeeeee!! you’re the winner of this giveaway! yayyyy! i’ll be passing along your email and someone from Smile Brilliant will be contacting you soon.

      thanks for entering and congrats again. can’t wait for you to enjoy your whiter, brighter smile! xo

      • Sumaiya
        September 9, 2016 at 12:18 am (1 year ago)

        Yayyy! This made my day! Thank youuuu! Cant wait to brighten up my smile! Ps. I have been following you for a while now and I can tell(without meeting you) that you must have the most amazing energy! Thanks again, Annie!

  3. Fatima Khan
    August 31, 2016 at 2:12 am (1 year ago)

    I always notice people’s teeth first as well! My story is so similar to yours, I’m always looking for the best thing to whiten my teeth while avoiding the horrible sensitive feeling!

  4. Fatima H.
    August 31, 2016 at 2:15 am (1 year ago)

    I will almost always indefinitely notice a person’s hair, nails, and shoes. It tells me a lot about a person’s priority to maintain themselves and their sense of style all together.

  5. Emmsee
    August 31, 2016 at 2:21 am (1 year ago)

    Their hair!

  6. Navita
    August 31, 2016 at 2:25 am (1 year ago)

    The first thing I noticed is their height from far away, then when getting closer I notice their eyes, and finally their teeth when they smile or start talking.

  7. Sabeen
    August 31, 2016 at 2:26 am (1 year ago)

    Hi! The first thing I always notice about a person is their smile and their body language. You can get a persons vibe from just those things alone πŸ™‚

  8. Wajeeha
    August 31, 2016 at 2:35 am (1 year ago)

    I definitely notice their teeth first! Thanks.

  9. Sana Mahmood
    August 31, 2016 at 2:50 am (1 year ago)

    I definitely notice their smile first because it speaks volumes about a person’s personality and warmth!

  10. Amna
    August 31, 2016 at 4:59 am (1 year ago)

    I notice there smile and body language. It can tell a lot about a person and how passions I they are.

  11. Alya J
    August 31, 2016 at 5:12 am (1 year ago)

    The very first thing I notice about someone when I first meet them is body language — says so much about a person in my opinion.

  12. Anj
    August 31, 2016 at 7:40 am (1 year ago)

    Smile, teeth, nose and hands. I’m definitely a hand person. Always have been, pretty much was a deciding factor when I married my husband. =)

  13. Christee Hope
    August 31, 2016 at 11:43 am (1 year ago)

    Hey girl! I was voted best smile in high school as well. Obsessed may be too mild of a word to describe how I was. Hahaha! Its hard not to notice someone’s smile first, but other than that I notice hair and more importantly their attitude. Everyone has off days, but usually you can tell pretty quickly if someone will be a positive force in your life.

  14. Sidra
    August 31, 2016 at 3:17 pm (1 year ago)

    The first thing I notice is a person’s hair, teeth, eyes and hands

  15. Abby M.
    August 31, 2016 at 3:59 pm (1 year ago)

    Just started reading your blog and I must say that you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are outside, mA.

    I ALWAYS notice smile, nails, shoes and ears! I feel these parts show attention to cleanliness, some discipline, anxiety (or lack thereof) and a little character.

  16. Maham K
    August 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm (1 year ago)

    Their smile and shoes for sure!!! πŸ˜„

  17. Unzela
    August 31, 2016 at 8:43 pm (1 year ago)

    Their smile and eyes!

  18. Sam
    August 31, 2016 at 10:39 pm (1 year ago)

    Initially I notice someone’s eyes – the window to the soul!

  19. Mahvesh
    September 1, 2016 at 2:26 am (1 year ago)

    The first thing I notice about a person is definitely their eyes. It sounds creepy but I’ll always remember people’s eyes. The second is their smile/teeth.

  20. Mina
    September 3, 2016 at 9:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Life is short…a midget told me that once! LOL

  21. Mehruba
    September 6, 2016 at 7:48 am (1 year ago)

    The first thing I notice is their smile.

    Favorite joke:

    Whenever someone asks me what color my hair is under my hijab.

    “Its black…like my soul” all while maintaining a completely dead serious look. It throws them off and the reaction is hilarious πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  22. Nadira
    September 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm (1 year ago)

    When I meet somebody for the first time I always notice the eyes. Because the eyes tell a lot about a person.

    And oh yeah a joke, well here you go;

    Teacher :

    β€œCan you tell the name of 2 great Kings who have brought happiness & peace into people’s lives ?”

    Student :

    β€œSmo-king & Drin-king”


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