Adult Braces Update 4 | Makeup Tips For Braces

Welcome to the fourth braces update! It’s been a little over FIVE MONTHS that I’ve had these absolutely darling metal braces. I seriously can’t believe it’s been five months already. It’s gone by very quickly (thank goodness). In today’s post, I’ll be sharing my progress photos (as usual) along with discussing my most favorite subject – makeup!

Makeup for braces shows how wearing brighter, bolder colors can help with confidence on

Wearing braces has definitely changed the way I apply and wear my makeup. It’s been a learning process, but I’m fairly confident in the tips I’m going to share because they have garnered more compliments when I do my makeup these ways. Continue reading if you’re curious how my treatment is going and to learn some Brighter, Darling-approved makeup tips for braces…

Makeup Tips

Before I got my braces on, I was convinced all I’d want to do was mute my entire mouth out as much as possible without looking like a corpse. I didn’t want to bring any sort of attention to my braces whatsoever. But just because you’re wearing nude lipsticks doesn’t mean your braces disappear – even if you’re smiling with your mouth closed (which… I do believe I’m slightly perfecting over time).

These are some things that have helped me feel a little more confident wearing my braces. If you don’t like wearing makeup at all, these may not be for you… but if you’ve been feeling a little less like yourself since your braces, give my tips a try and see how you feel.

  • Enhance your eyes more. This was the first trick I started embracing that started getting me nice compliments. I already love eye makeup, but I definitely kick it up a notch during the day and even more so at night. If you don’t already use eyeliner, give it a shot. If you already do, try really smudging out your lower lash line a little more than you may feel comfortable with (within reason… I mean, don’t go out looking like Marilyn Manson here… just sayin). Really layer on the mascara on top and bottom lashes. If you don’t usually use a medium eyeshadow in your crease with a fluffy brush, add it in and see how you feel. Initially, I felt pretty glam during the day, but now it’s become more of a routine.
  • Get a lot of Aquaphor tubes. For some reason, my lips are very quick to get dry… even if I’m not talking. I have a tube of Aquaphor on my desk, in my car, in my purse, on my nightstand, in the bathroom and in my travel bag. In addition to helping with dryness on your lips and the corners of your mouth, it helps just prep your lips for any possible color, which brings us to the next tip…
  • Use all matte or super glossy lip color formulas. I can’t do in between. If a formula is simply creamy, it tends to get on my brackets or teeth and you can see it because the formula is tackier (even if I do the little stick-your-finger-in-your-mouth-and-pull-out trick). If the formula is a liquid lipstick or matte, it tends to stay put (which is ideal so you don’t have to be even MORE paranoid about your mouth). If the formula is super glossy, even if it’s getting on my brackets or teeth, it doesn’t seem to show up (granted, most of my glosses are sheer… perhaps this wouldn’t be true if you like pigmented glosses).
  • Embrace bolder lip colors. This is one I’m still practicing myself. I can’t even tell you how instantly this gets compliments. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a bright-lip sort of person, but it really puts out a “I-don’t-give-a-sh$%” attitude about wearing braces. No joke, wearing my brightest pink lipstick recently (MAC’s Candy Yum Yum neon pink) not only immediately got me instant positive attention from strangers, family, friends and colleagues, but 6 direct compliments on the shade in one day and in just FOUR hours. I’ve had similar results wearing reds, purple/berry and I plan on testing out an orange/coral soon!
  • Closed mouth smiles work best from the side. I’m still smiling only with my mouth closed, so I’ve really had to work at this or I look like there’s something foul-tasting in my mouth or I’m rocking Resting Bitch Face REAL hard. Not cute. However, when posing with your face angled slightly to the side in photos, you can pull off a smirk without looking like a completely miserable person. As Kim Kardashian says anyway, “Smiling gives you wrinkles.” You do you.

Makeup for braces shows how wearing brighter, bolder colors can help with confidence on left to right: Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid – Orange Shot (orange-based warm red), MAC Lipstick – Candy Yum Yum (my favorite!), Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids – Electric Orange (true orange), Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hi-Shine Gloss – Pretty Thing

What’s happened since the last update

Nothing’s changed on my top teeth since last month’s update, but as I mentioned then, we’re really focusing on straightening out the bottom ASAP. My wire on the bottom was upgraded (fourth on top and bottom now), and wire ties were placed underneath the ligatures (rubber bands) to further tighten the pressure. You’ll see my left canine has made some great progress, but we need a little more. The center bottom teeth need to straighten out just a tad more, as well (you can see one of them very slightly tilted).

Adult braces month one documented on my blogAdult Braces Month 5 Update Progress Photos on
Once both top and bottom are straight, I’ll be getting to wear rubber bands attached to the top/bottom which will be used to help correct my “Class 2” posterior crossbite (translation to ‘real people words:’ apparently my top and bottom molars aren’t aligned properly… which *could have* resulted in bone loss/jaw issues much later in life). I have no idea how long I’ll have to wear the rubber bands or any of those details yet, but will be sure to update as soon as I find out.

Adult Braces Month 5 Update Progress Photos on

Adult Braces Month 5 Update Progress Photos on brighterdarling.comClick HERE to see how last month’s ‘aerial’ shots looked.

Now that I’m approaching month SIX, I was curious how my ortho felt the treatment was going. Initially, he estimated 12-18 months, so I wanted to know how that’s looking at this point. I’ve always factored in that my teeth/bones would need about three months to ‘form/solidify’ once they’re in their proper places, so basically, at the end of your treatment, things are just sitting there not really being changed while you just wait for your bone to ‘bake.’ With this said, my ortho said a lot can change over the next 12 months, but he did feel that I’d probably have the braces on for the full duration of 18 months. BOO! 🙁 I was not thrilled to hear this, but as he mentioned, so much can change and you never can predict 100% how your body will react to adjustments. That basically means there’s about 9 months left of changes/adjustments and then approximately 3 months to ‘bake.’ If it has to be another year, I hope it continues to go fast.

As much as I’m dreading the rubber bands, I’m anxious to get them started already so I can see even bigger changes coming soon.

How to rock a bold lip while wearing braces | women with braces | adult braces |

How are your braces doing? Just started? Almost done? Leave me a comment below and let me know what your favorite makeup tip for braces is/was and please share with any friends or family who may be going through this journey, as well. I have honestly received so many personal emails from many of you reading every month, so I know you’re all out there 😉

Check back May 30th for my 6 month update! I’ll be sharing month-by-month side-by-side progress shots to celebrate that milestone, plus some other details. Fingers crossed for some rubber bands!

Here’s to bright lips,


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