Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself smiling and wondered “What?” Flashing the perfect smile seems to come naturally to some people. If you don’t think you’re one of them, think again. You, too, can have the perfect smile – if you put a little work into it.
1. Wear lipstick
Choose a shade of lipstick that works with your skin tone—it can brighten your smile and make your teeth look whiter. Find out what your undertone is and pick a colour based on that. But keep in mind that some colours, especially very dark or intense reds, can make your teeth look yellow.
2. Take care of your teeth
As you’ve probably noticed, your teeth are the most important part of your smile, so you should make an appointment with a dentist if you have any problems. A perfect smile includes white, healthy teeth!
If your teeth are stained or not white enough, you can use a good whitening product, but be careful when you try it at home; it can cause pain if you have cavities or sensitive teeth or gums. These products come in the form of whitening strips or trays, or you can see your dentist for a teeth-whitening procedure. Or, if you’re a fan of home remedies, you can try baking soda or coconut oil to whiten your teeth.
3. Do facial exercises
Facial exercises not only improve your smile; they’re also an effective facelift. Why not give them a try? One example is “the smile exercise.” It strengthens the muscles that control your smile and thus gives you more control over your facial expressions. (Note: You might want to do these exercises when no one’s around—to avoid causing uncontrollable laughter!)
4. Have the right attitude
Don’t be afraid to smile—in fact, do it as often as you can! Maybe the only thing that stands between you and the perfect smile is confidence. And relax! A natural smile looks much better than a forced one.
Just like with any other skill, practise makes perfect. Stand in front of a mirror and try different smiles—see what works and what doesn’t. It may take some time, but eventually—whether it’s for a photo op like a wedding or just a regular day—flashing that perfect smile you practised in the mirror will become instinct and you won’t remember why you thought it was so hard.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter