Paula's Choice Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener is convenient, easy to use and doesn't cause tooth sensitivity. It only provides minimal results, however, and is best for maintaining previously whitened teeth. If you prefer more pronounced whitening, experts say Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid (Est. $40) are an excellent option.
Best for touch-ups. Paula's Choice Brighten Up is a brush-on formula that looks and feels a lot like a lip balm. It's best for users with minimal staining and those wanting to maintain already white teeth. Each tube contains approximately 30 applications.
Testers at Good Housekeeping say that Brighten Up works; it visibly lightened two-thirds of testers' teeth, although exactly how much isn't clear. Half of the reviewers commenting at MakeupAlley.com are happy with their results, while the other half saw no improvement. One user says, "Brighten Up will not make your teeth dazzling white, but it will brighten them up noticeably." A couple of users say they use the formula to maintain white teeth in between stronger treatments.
As easy as applying lip balm. Maggie Gallant, a beauty expert, tells CBS News that Paula's Choice Brighten Up is a convenient option for fast whitening. She explains that it fits in a purse for easy on-the-go touch-ups. Users also praise the formula for being easy to use -- it only requires a quick swipe on the teeth and five minutes with no eating or drinking. No rinsing is required. A few users, however, say they wish detailed instructions were included with the tube. Instead, users are directed to the Paula's Choice website to watch an instructional video.
No sensitivity. Gallant says Brighten Up is an excellent option for sensitive teeth, and users agree. We didn't see any user complaints about tooth sensitivity or discomfort. The formula is safe to use, as long as you don't have any cavities and your gums and teeth are in good health. The website GoodGuide.com, which rates the safety and social and environmental performance of different products and companies, gives Paula's Choice Brighten Up an 8.0 in its health category, saying its ingredients cause a low level of concern (hydrogen peroxide can cause respiratory toxicity).
GoodGuide.com provides comprehensive, authoritative information about the health and social and environmental performance of a variety of companies and products. Paula's Choice Brighten Up earns a relatively low overall score of 5.4, mainly because of the company's poor rating for environmental and social policies and practices. However, it earns an 8.0 in the health category, raising "a low level of health concern" for its hydrogen peroxide ingredient, which can cause respiratory toxicity.
Review: Paula's Choice Brighten Up 2 Minute Teeth Whitener, Editors of GoodGuide.com, Not Dated
2. Good Housekeeping
Researchers at Good Housekeeping put Paula's Choice Brighten Up to the test on volunteers' teeth. Editors say it produced visible results on two-thirds of testers' teeth, with more pronounced results on stained teeth. Testers also say the formula is easy to use and tastes good.
Review: Two Minutes to a Whiter Smile, Editors of Good Housekeeping, Not Dated
Maggie Gallant, a beauty expert, tells CBS News that Paula's Choice Brighten Up is a great option if you only have a couple of minutes to spare for teeth whitening. She says it's good for sensitive teeth and for getting into the nooks and crannies between teeth.
Review: Cinch Teeth Whiteners for Sparkling Smile Fast!, Editors of CBS News, Jan. 17, 2011
Only 12 reviewers at MakeupAlley.com rate and review Paula's Choice Brighten Up, giving it an overall rating of 3.4 out of 5. Users have mixed opinions about how well it works. Some say it produces noticeable results and some don't notice any change at all. All of the reviewers agree, however, that the formula is gentle and easy to use.
Review: Paula's Choice - Brighten Up 2-Minute Teeth Whitener, Contributors to MakeupAlley.com, As of January 2014