Posts tagged with "The Guardian UK"

Teeth have become the new nose job: The rise of oral tweakments

April 28, 2021

Although once upon a time, going to the dentists was routine at best, now your local dental practice is on the way to becoming something of a destination, The Guardian reports.

 At the same time, previously lackluster dental products—such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouthwas—are more likely to be deemed worthy of a bathroom shelfie posted to Instagram. Indeed, teeth and the right products and treatments for them, are now part of the self-care beauty boom.

There’s even been a rebranding of the sector. The dental aisle in your local chemist could soon be renamed “oralcare”. A recent article in Business of Fashion used this term and estimated that U.S. consumers spent $9 billion on oralcare in 2020.

Cassandra Grey, the founder of beauty website Violet Grey, went as far as to say: “Teeth have become the new boob job.” Sales of oralcare on the site increased by 33% in 2020.

Among the buzzy brands are Spotlight, Kendall Jenner’s Moon, Better & Better—and Swiss vVardis, which charges $55 for toothpaste.

Colgate also has seen a gap in the market. It launched CO.Colgate in the United States—a division that offers a range of products designed to appeal to a younger, fashionable consumer, without any familiar red and white logo. Instead, branding is close to that of cult beauty brand Glossier. Included in the range is a teeth whitening pen called It’s Lit.

While some might balk at the idea of $55 for toothpaste—and even £9.95 (US$14) for Moon toothpaste is triple the price of most on the market—it means young people can enter this aspirational new beauty world.

Along with shelfie-worthy packaging, they might be swayed by the growing niche of dentists turned dental influencers with large followings on Instagram, and videos on TikTok with people testing out blue-light products to whiten teeth. There are more than 680k videos on the app tagged #teethwhiteningchallenge.

The increasing interest in oralcare can be traced back to the rise of Zoom in the pandemic. “Zoom has been amazing for our industry,” Dr Uchenna Okoye tells The Guardian.  “People are staring at themselves and they see angles, like the side view of their face, what other people see of them.”

Cosmetic dentistry, which can cost thousands of dollars,  is part of a wider aspiration towards a polished appearance. Okoye sees it alongside the rise of “tweakments” like Botox.

According to Okoye, the most unlikely dental treatments—braces—are becoming status symbols. She points to the tracks of Invisalign, the premium braces brand with transparent, gumshield-like aligners: “Everyone showed off their Chanel [handbag], they’re now showing their Invisalign.”

Research contact: @guardian

Back in style: If you want to get ahead, get a headband

September 25, 2020

They were everywhere in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wore them frequently, as did Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Selma Blair in Legally Blonde—and the ultimate queen of headbands and venomous remarks, Leighton Meester as Gossip Girl ’s Blair Waldorf .

And they were almost single-handedly resurrected in 2018 by Chrissy Tieigen, who upped her social game with a new Instagram Storie series called “Headband of the Day”  (or #HBOTD) while on vacation with husband John Legend and their two children. Legend even penned a song about her

Before the pandemic, the hair accessory featured largely on the catwalks of top brands. Prices varied widely, with a Tom Ford glass-crystal version coming in at a cool $1,960, while Asos and Topshop versions start at $6.25

“Headbands are driving sales on jewelery, which are up 70% in the last year,”  an Asos spokesperson told The Guardian. “We are seeing really good reactions, particularly to florals. We have sold out of animal and geo print styles, and last week vintage prints were our bestsellers. We have 73 new styles about to drop online.”

Experts say the look is definitely making a comeback. “The headband is a key accessory that designers are embracing, and it’s a quick fix that keeps hair chic and tidy for the summer,” said Tina Outen, a stylist used by Vogue.

The trend is back in fashion because of its nostalgic feel, the Guardian notes. “A thinner band that sits further back on the head brings a 1960s vibe, while a piece of colorful patterned fabric knotted on the side evokes the 1970s girl look,” said Outen. “The huge 1980s revival sees polka dot hairbands ruched to imitate a scrunchie, and the 1990s look is a wide band worn low on the hairline.”

Caryn Franklin, fashion commentator and professor at Kingston School of Art, told The Guardian that she agrees. “From Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy onwards, the headband has had so many key moments. Wearing one allows us to channel the energy of grace under pressure,” she said.

Social media platforms have also helped, in part because headbands photograph well. Hannah Almassi, editorial director of Who What Wear UK, said: “In a super-visual age it makes sense to add to an outfit with look-at-me headgear. Floral headbands peaked due to their overuse at festivals, but tweak them a little and you have something that can feel entirely current.”

Research contact: @Guardian