Self Care Rituals + Smile Brilliant Review

Hey gals! Happy Tuesday to you. We had a fun long weekend in New Orleans – hope you enjoyed the fun on my Instagram Stories! It was a blast, but I’m ready to get back to my routine. Nothing makes me feel more discombobulated than not taking care of myself! So….today let’s settle in and talk about the importance of self care rituals.

As women, we tend to place our own needs behind the needs of those we care for – be they family members, children, husbands, partners, friends or even colleagues. It becomes more and more true the farther you get into adulthood. It is our nature to nurture.

The various women I meet and speak to via this blog and via my professional sphere struggle with finding and making time for themselves. I’ve experienced this first-hand myself over the last six months as my work travel and commitments increased along with my blogging commitments. Add onto that a new marriage, two pets, and the growing desire to build lasting friendships in Atlanta and well, the struggle to juggle what I need to do and what I want to do became very real.

No one I’ve spoken to is whining about having a full life, myself included. I consider us all lucky to have commitments we care about. I think we women are simply grappling with how to keep our own selves nurtured and cared for because that is usually what takes a back seat.

Self Care Rituals + Smile Brilliant Review


What I have always believed is that daily self care – even the smallest ounce of an action or routine – is key to maintaining your own sense of identity and sanity. A moment to yourself twice a day to apply moisturizer or pluck your eyebrows and chin hairs (yep) or investigate your pores under a magnifying mirror or to file your nails or to take a shower or to whiten your teeth is all it takes to bring you a small sense of centered-ness.

In other words, SELF CARE IS A NECESSITY, NOT A LUXURY. And you deserve it. Yes, you do. BUT IT DOES REQUIRE FLEXIBILITY. Sometimes you need to get creative about when you make and find the time.

Case in point: teeth whitening. Last year I decided to finally prioritize whitening my teeth. They are genetically quite yellow and always have been. I also love red wine and the coffee and used to be a heavy smoker, so I have a lot stacked against me and a long way to go to get them where I’d like them to be. I started using the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening system because they create custom trays for you, the whitening product is vegan, and the application is easy.

As with most appearance-improving things, regularity creates results. This is true with your skincare routine, and it’s true with brightening your teeth. You must be consistent to see a change! But nighttime came around and I found myself about to fall asleep the second my head hit the pillow. I literally worked up until the point of exhaustion and had de-prioritized my nightly beauty routine to the point where I wanted to skip it completely. Not okay, Elise!

I am a problem-solver, not a wallower so I immediately came up with a solution. I switched things up and moved some self care to the morning. I’m much more energized then, so I started doing some of the things that I find hard to make time for at night. Now I’m flossing in the a.m. and whitening my teeth while I get ready. On the weekends, I’ll take a little time to read in my little nook under the stairs at home while I’m whitening to make it feel special. Some days, I’ll do it in the middle of the day but I don’t criticize myself for not being able to fit it in when I’d planned. I congratulate myself for being flexible and finding a way to make it work. That’s the way to do self-care – no self-criticism, just nurturing yourself.

Self Care Rituals + Smile Brilliant Review


Before I knew it, I was seeing results on my teeth. I still have another month to go on my treatment, but I have noticed after one month that my smile is really starting to pop in pictures and when I wear bright lipstick (KEY for a gal who writes about beauty and shares pics of herself all week). I don’t think I’ll ever be someone who has bright, white chiclets for teeth (so jealous of those women!), but I am becoming someone who isn’t insecure about her smile.

As I mentioned Smile Brilliant is easy to use. They provide an impressions kit that you mail in and within a week or so, have your custom trays delivered to your door. The whitening gel is applied directly to the trays, and you wear them for about 45 mins daily or every other day for best results. I didn’t need the desensitizing gel but if you experience sensitivity with your teeth, I recommend it. And that’s it! It really is that simple – and that’s what I appreciated the most.

And now for the best news. If you made it all the way through this post, you get a medal! And a chance to win your own Smile Brilliant teeth whitening kitThis giveaway will be open for two weeks, and the winner will be contacted and announced on social media by Tuesday, February 13th. Click here to enter! For those who do not win or who wish to get your kit ordered ASAP, you can use this code bellemeetsworld15 for $15 off your tray order!

Dark Lipstick Tutorial on Belle Meets World blog


As y’all know, I like to set goals and that includes things I’d like to achieve in the realm of self care and beauty. Lately I’ve really noticed a change to my skin texture, especially in the area where I used to have terrible cystic acne around my mouth and chin. It’s time to pay attention to this and seek professional skincare treatments. I plan to explore facials and micro-needling as a starting point and hope to report back with my experience in the coming months. Stay tuned!

If you’re looking for more product recommendations, check out my post on the Dermalogica Superfoliant and Phyto Replenish Oil!

By the way, how do you make time for self-care? I’m looking for more ideas, so I’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

This post is written in partnership with Smile Brilliant who provided me with a free whitening kit. Giveaway is for $149 credit and is open to USA, UK, Canada, and Australia residents. All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Belle Meets World up and running.