If you're never quite sure whether the ads for popular beauty products can be believed, relax. Our 4you Beauty Board is made up of veteran testers ready to try the latest when it comes to all things beauty. We'll share what worked and what bombed with the hope of making life a little easier for you.
This week: whitening toothpastes
Supersmile Professional Whitening Toothpaste
Available at Dillard's and Neiman Marcus, and online at www.supersmile.com and www.amazon.com; about $21 for a 4.2-ounce tube.
"Incorporates the breakthrough science of Calprox - Supersmile's proprietary form of calcium peroxide that is encapsulated with baking soda - with six other ingredients to provide superior whitening."
Cloe says: I don't have any major issues with my teeth; I just wish I could get them a bit whiter. But when I asked my dentist for a professional teeth whitening, he said my teeth are already as white as they can be. Still, that didn't stop me from trying! This toothpaste seemed to do the trick. It made my teeth look and feel as though I had them professionally cleaned. It wasn't harsh, and there was no "burn" factor. I was able to brush my teeth for the recommended two minutes without stopping for an in-between swish of cool water. And it didn't create any tooth sensitivity. But it does have a very strong minty taste I could do without. It isn't cheap, but if you're looking for an easy way to add a little more shine to your choppers, this one is worth a try.
Cloe Cabrera, 43, covers fashion and beauty for the Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8.
Crest Extra White Plus Scope Outlast
Available at most drug and grocery stores; 5.8-ounce tube for about $3.50
"Contains Scope Outlast technology to keep your breath feeling fresh even longer."
Michelle says: Let's get one thing straight. If you want whiter teeth, you're going to have to drop a few bucks for a teeth-whitening plan at the dentist - or at least use the do-it-yourself special strips. Just brushing with this toothpaste won't do anything special in the whitening department. As for the promise that this formula will help your breath feel fresh "up to five times longer," that just depends on what you ate for lunch that day. If you indulged in a garlic-infused pasta dish, you better bring along something a little more potent to kill the aroma. I liked the minty taste and, yes, my breath seemed fresher a little longer than usual. I'll give it some points for the two-for-one, mouthwash-right-in-the-toothpaste deal, and for its lack of foamy residue. But I think its claims might be a tad exaggerated.
Michelle Bearden, 55, covers faith and values for the Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8.
Luster Premium White 7 Toothpaste
Available at Target, Walmart, Kmart, CVS and Walgreens, and online at www.lusteroralcare.com; $6.99 for 2.6 ounces
"With the inclusion of 7 whitening ingredients and 45 essential oils - this innovative formula ensures that you attain a bright, white smile while maintaining overall health and oral hygiene."
Wendy says: I make keeping my pearly whites white harder than it should be. I drink coffee every day - then there's the occasional glass of red wine. But I brush my teeth a lot, get a professional cleaning every six months and sometimes use teeth-whitening strips. The one thing I don't regularly use is whitening toothpaste, because I don't like the peroxide and baking-soda taste most products have. But Luster Premium White 7 is an improvement. There's a hint of peroxide, but the minty flavor mostly masks it. And it works. I haven't used whitening strips since I've been using Luster. Luster also leaves my whole mouth feeling clean. And that's what the company promises its proprietary blend of essential oils will do. This tube is nearly gone, but I'll be buying more. I can enjoy my indulgences and have white teeth, too. Drink up!
Wendy M. Whitt, 43, is the Tribune's audience editor.
Rembrandt Whitening Mint Toothpaste with Fluoride - Intense Stain
Available at Publix, Kmart, Walgreens and other large retail stores; $7.99 for a 3-ounce tube
"Formulated with a special blend of performing micro-polishers and a strong stain-fighting ingredient that helps fight tough stains like red wine, coffee and tobacco."
Kim says: I don't drink coffee. I don't drink red wine. I don't smoke. So what do I do that requires a toothpaste with INTENSE STAIN written in red letters on the tube? Well, I eat blackberries or blueberries every day. And I drink cola like other people drink water. So to keep the pearly whites gleaming, I gave this toothpaste a try. I liked the taste - minty, but not crazy strong. And I like the tube, which somehow delivers the toothpaste in a way that is much neater than brands that claim to have a "no-mess" top. And, oh yeah, my teeth got clean. Are they whiter than what I get from my usual toothpaste? Not noticeably. But I'll stick with this one anyway. If you add up the pluses, it comes out ahead on my checklist.
Kim Franke-Folstad is the editor of 4you.