Custom Teeth Whitening for my Complicated Smile

DISCLOSURE: I partnered with Smile Brilliant and received a complimentary whitening kit in exchange for this review. As always, my thoughts are my own. Please be sure to enter the giveaway (details at the bottom of this post)! ~halitrax

I have a complicated relationship with my smile. Firstly, because it’s taken some real work to get it as straight and sparkling as it is now. I was that awkward pre-teen with braces, retainer, and -yes- even headgear. Puberty was rough, friends. Toss in a sprinkling of other orthodontia-related issues, extractions, and whatnot, I’ve put in the hard time to straighten out my chompers.

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12 years old with a mouth full of metal.

Secondly, though, is the psychological relationship I have with my smile. My smile is my favourite feature. I love it and I love to share it freely. For years and years, it was my go-to expression (and, honestly, it still is). I have a smile for every emotion; I have a pleasant smile, a friendly smile, an awkward nervous smile, a sad smile, and even a RAGE smile. (My dearest friends can attest to this and have learned to decipher which smiles are which.)

It wasn’t until my 20s when I started to get more protective of my smile, and with whom I would share it. I’ll admit it: I lost some of my happy naivety as I aged. Like so many women, we begin to open our eyes a bit more to social injustices, to recognize how we’re socialized to be pleasant and amenable – to smile and obey and not ask questions. Enter feminism.

I learned, and am continuing to learn, that it’s okay to vocalize my opinions – even when they’re unpopular. I’m allowed to take up space and don’t have to step aside for a man in a “hurry.” I can say “no thank you” without accompanying it with an apology.

Most importantly, I learned that I don’t have to smile and be happy if it’s inauthentic.

My smile is for me.

And you know what? Knowing that makes me a happier person.

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Photo Michelle Doucette Photography.

Now when I share my smile, it’s not out of perceived obligation to be friendly, it’s because I want to and, mostly, I want to share it with everyone. (Feminists are happy, smiley, friendly people too you know!)

Because you’re never fully dressed without a smile…

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When Smile Brilliant approached me to partner for a product trial and giveaway, I was more than excited to embrace the opportunity. I’m so precious about my smile and love knowing that it’s shining bright when I flash my pearly whites.

Of course, after years of dental work the first thing I did before I started the Smile Brilliant kit was talk to my dentist and hygienist. They took a close look at the ingredients in the kit and then gave me the green light to start the whitening process. I was reassured that the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening trays use the exact same ingredients that my dentist would use for a professional whitening – except that Smile Brilliant allows us to whiten from the comfort of our homes and for a fraction of the cost.

The Selfie Smile Scale

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These pictures show how the Smile Brilliant process can have as subtle or as dramatic a change as you would like, depending on how many sessions you choose. From left to right these show my smile before I started to whiten, during the whitening process, and at the end. The picture on the right was taken last week when I was in Manitoba.

My second concern was about my sensitive teeth. Fortunately, Smile Brilliant also has an option just for folks like me, to pair with sensitive teeth!

Check out this video to watch how easy the process is:

So, do you want to try Smile Brilliant out for yourself? 

Click here to enter a DRAW to WIN $139 store credit for Smile Brilliant whitening trays.

The contest will be open until June 7th, 2017 and is open to Canada, USA, UK, and Australia. In the meantime, you can also get 5% off your Smile Brilliant purchase with the coupon code HALITRAX5.

#Smile Fearlessly

International Women’s Day 2017

It’s International Women’s Day and the Twitterverse is filled with positive and constructive conversations about change. I just wanted to leave a little reminder about the importance of equity, which takes into account that not everyone starts life with the same opportunities, and also that not everyone faces the same barriers.

So here’s to a great International Women’s Day. I hope you spend it thinking about ways to empower others and empower yourself so that we can all move towards equality together.

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~Krista @halitrax

Self Love Reminder Mantras for Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

I hope you all had time to print and deliver some Feminist Valentine’s to your loved ones.

For past Valentine posts I’ve written about the importance of self-love and I continue to feel strongly about our abilities to love others being most powerful when we first know and love ourselves.

Today I thought I’d share some reminders to help with a little self-care. On a day when our social media platforms are filled with pictures of chocolates and flowers and silly declarations of superficial love, let’s focus on caring for our own hearts for a while too.

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You are Loved

I promise that you are. Your friends and family all know that you’re a gem. Not to mention, if you’re reading my blog, then I for sure love you.

You are Allowed to Take Up Space

In our culture where we’re constantly told to be smaller, thinner, quieter, nicer, this might be my favourite mantra to repeat to myself. Whether you’re surrounded by bigger voices or faster speakers, or anyone really, just remember that your body and your brain are also valid and important.

When it comes to physical space I often practice this idea in line ups. If the person behind me is standing just a little too close, or leaning a little much, (and it’s almost always men), I turn around slightly. When you face someone it’s a reminder that you’re human. I plant my feet and put my hands on my hips, turning enough to create more space. It might sound silly but it works!

Your Ideas are Interesting

As an introvert I often have many more ideas flying around in my head than I actually ever articulate or express and, obvi, not ALL ideas are good ones. It still bears repeating as a reminder that you have valuable thoughts that are worth contributing.

You Have a Beautiful Heart

Now, this one I know is definitely true and definitely important to remind yourself of. You are allowed to feel good about being you. You can contribute to the world in wonderful ways. You belong.

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Now, go eat some chocolate my Valentines!

Krista