For years, blondes have been buying up purple shampoo to “tone” their hair. The reason why is a lesson in color theory: Purple is opposite from yellow on the color wheel, so when hair starts to look brassy or pick up warm tones, the cool-toned purple cuts that instantly. Likewise, you can nix dark circles with peach or work out redness with green. And surprisingly, the same thinking that goes for hair and makeup also works wonders on our teeth.
That’s where Popwhite Purple Power Duo ($36, popwhitesmile.com) comes in. It was developed by a makeup artist and dental scientist duo who combined their knowledge to create the innovative system. It’s a toothpaste and mouthwash that together use the color wheel, rather than hydrogen peroxide, to fade stains. You brush first with the Popwhite Whitening Primer Toothpaste and then rinse using the Popwhite Whitening Toner.
“The concept behind these toothpastes is that a purple tint will give your teeth a cooler color temperature, which in theory is the opposite of the yellow, brown, or orange we try to combat when we whiten teeth,” explains New York City cosmetic dentist Sivan Finkel. It could be a great option for people whose teeth are sensitive yet want a little whitening action. However, Finkel still stands by hydrogen peroxide used in traditional treatments for a long-lasting whitening effect.
So is it worth it? Yes, especially if you’re in a pinch. In our test, it instantly brightened and lasted throughout the day. However, it doesn’t penetrate into the enamel. So if you’re looking for a more lasting fix, it’s probably best to stick to the tried-and-true hydrogen peroxide.