There may be some merit behind the movie Mean Girls after all: Those who have more symmetrical facial features, regarded as universally attractive, are also more likely to focus on themselves and less likely to cooperate with others, according to a study presented at last week’s Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany. In the lab, people were given the choice of working together for the greater good or serving their own interests (with the chance of gaining more if the other person chose to work together), then their faces were analyzed. Those with symmetrical faces were more likely to choose the self-centered course.
Why? The researchers’ hypothesize that since people with symmetrical faces are less prone to congenital diseases and often viewed as attractive (as previous studies have found), others see them as better potential partners. This makes beautiful people have less of a need to depend on and cooperate with others, so they’re more self-serving.
Tell us: Do you think there’s a correlation between good looks and selfishness?
To coincide with this week’s U.S. Open Tennis Tournament, nail polish brand OPI is launching the last set of lacquers in the Serena Williams Glam Slam! Collection: Pros & Bronze, a sparkly pinkish-gold (below, left), and Love is a Racket, a shimmery red/fuchsia hybrid (below, right). We had the privilege of having lunch with Serena herself last week when she introduced the collection—she’s absolutely gorgeous in person and has incredible style. See above for a (slightly blurry) shot of us together. Here’s what the nail enthusiast—she went to school to become a manicurist!—had to say at the lunch:
“Once I narrow down the color family that I want, I choose a nail shades based on their names—one of the reasons I love OPI is because they have the best names! I love nails because on the court I don’t always feel attractive with all the grunting and sweating that comes with playing, so I use nail polish to make myself feel pretty and confident. You can be glamorous and strong at the same time!”
We had the pleasure of meeting with celebrity hairstylist Charles Baker Strahan at Arte Salon in New York City last week to preview the new Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner. The collection is made to tame flyaways by adding softness to straight or curly hair. We put the humidity protectant that’s formulated into the products to the test after our wash and style. Even when we sat outside and surrendered to the steamy New York air, sun and afternoon breeze, our silky, shiny hairstyle stood up. See the proof, below (that’s Charles on the left)!
He also gave us a few pointers for styling our hair during any season:
If your flyaways continue to rise at the top of your hairline: Spray hairspray onto a makeup or small hairbrush and sweep it over the errant strands. This will ease frizz without flattening your styled hair.
If you want to add volume to flat, straight or curly hair: Use Velcro rollers along the crown of your head. This forces the hair to change directions, which will lend bounce and movement.
For a fast freshen-up: Tease hair starting at the crown and brushing in the opposite direction—the crown is where you can create the most volume.
—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern
Concealers have come a long way since the old lipstick-style sticks. The latest and greatest? Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Treatment Concealer. The creamy, hydrating formula blends seamlessly and lends the perfect amount of coverage. Plus, it has a built-in cushiony, soft sponge applicator that fits in the crevices of your face and feels so pampering on skin.
Tell us: What’s your go-to coverup?
For this week’s Staffer Beauty Snoop, we asked Assistant Fashion Editor Melissa Freeswick to share her primping habits and must-haves:
Describe your beauty style in three words or less: Quick, simple, natural.
What are the three beauty products you can’t live without? 1. BareMinerals Matte SPF 15 Foundation 2. CoverGirl Natural Luxe Mousse Mascara 3. Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Sculpting Foam
What’s your beauty routine in the morning? I run product through my hair after I shower and let it air-dry while I whip up a quick and healthy breakfast. By the time I’m finished, it’s still damp enough to style with the blow-dryer in less than 10 minutes. A quick swipe of mascara, eyeliner, and blush and I’m on my way!
At night? I try to put in a bit more effort for a night out on the town by adding some waves to my hair with a 1 1/2 inch curling iron, a smoky eye, and a hint of bronzer.
Post-workout? I usually work out at night so afterward I just wash my face and apply moisturizer before bed.
What beauty product or treatment instantly makes you feel good? By the end of a long day I feel like most of my makeup has worn off, but adding just a touch of Smashbox Blush makes me feel instantly more presentable for happy hour!
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever received (or thought of yourself)? SPF, SPF, SPF! While it’s really nice soak up the sun at the beach, it’s totally not worth having leathery, wrinkled skin when you’re older! Thanks to Lancôme Flash Bronzer Anti-Age Sunless Face Tanner/SPF 15 Moisturizer I protect my skin AND get a subtle glow.
—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern
In our September Beat-The-Clock Beauty feature (page 51), beauty experts from around the country shared their top timesaving tricks that shave minutes off skin, hair and makeup routines. We asked FITNESS staffers to do the same:
- “When my hair was longer and I was in a rush, I’d put it in a ponytail and run the flat iron over the entire thing. You’d be surprised how well it captures all the strands at once. It cuts straightening time in half!” —Alyson Kaufman, sittings intern
- “If I’m super pressed for time, makeup is the first thing that gets reduce to the bare minimum: Tinted moisturizer elminates the need for foundation and concealer, a quick swipe of mascara makes my eyes look wide awake, and a light layer of lipgloss makes it look like I made an effort.” —Samantha Shelton, freelance editorial assistant
- “I shower before bed and put hair serum or cream in my hair, then twist it into a high bun before sleeping on it. In the morning, I have instant beachy waves.” —Jenna Autuori, fitness editor
- “I swear by tinted moisturizer and mascara in the morning. They take less than two minutes to apply and always make me feel more put together. If I feel like I need to put on more makeup, like blush or eyeliner, I do that on the way to work or when I arrive.” —Marianne Magno, assistant web editor
- “I sometimes skip conditioner and go straight for texturizer. There’s no leave-in wait time and it seems to nourish and make my hair manageable just as well.” —Mary Anderson, deputy editor
One of our favorite tips: Applying a thick foot cream or salve right before we slip on socks—the heat and friction from walking/running help the treatment penetrate and keep soles soft.
Tell us: How do you trim time off your beauty routine?
At a recent makeup application class led by Sonia Kashuk herself (pinch us!), one of the myriad products and tools she had laid out was her Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush in Blossom (above, left), a nondescript pan of soft pink pigment. We’ve always been powder blush devotees (creams never seemed to go on evenly), but when we applied this with a flat-top, dense-bristle brush in sweeping motions from apples of cheeks to temples, it imparted a truly natural, lit-from-within look. Unlike many blushes, the hue complements, rather than competes with, eye and lip colors. It’s the ultimate no-makeup makeup product, and we find ourselves reaching for it almost every day.
Tell us: Do you prefer cream or powder blush?
Next up in our Staffer Beauty Snoop series, Art Intern Heidi Smith shares her quick and simple beauty tips, tricks and obsessions:
Describe your beauty style in three words or less: Fresh, relaxed and playful.
What are the three beauty products you can’t live without? Clean & Clear Morning Glow Oil Free SPF 15 Moisturizer, Soft Lips Lip Balm SPF 20 and Maybelline Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara.
What’s your beauty routine in the morning? I put my makeup on while my hair is still wet to save time and let my hair air dry as much as possible to save it from the blowdryer. I like an easy, fast routine.
At night? Before bed, I wash off all my makeup and put on moisturizer.
Post-workout? I don’t like when I see girls with caked-on makeup at the gym. I want my skin to breathe, so I keep my face clean while I workout and wear only sunscreen. Afterward, I jump in the shower.
What beauty product instantly makes you feel good when you use it? A light-textured lip gloss like Lancôme Paris Juicy Tubes Lip Gloss. Anytime I’m nervous, like before a date or special event, I put on this gloss and it instantly makes me feel sexy and more confident.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever received (or thought of yourself)? Don’t wear mascara at the beach or pool: Raccoon eyes are not attractive!
—By Amanda Downs, beauty intern
The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney has joined forces with Crest and Oral-B on the Life Opens Up Project, which encourages people to share and vote on videos showcasing how having a healthy smile has affected their lives, with two participants winning a trip for two to New York City to appear on the Rachael Ray Show and up to $25,000 to make a dream come true. We got the chance to ask Alison about her role in the program, plus got the inside scoop about The Biggest Loser‘s next season and our September issue cover girls, Olivia and Hannah:
FITNESS: What made you want to partner with Crest and Oral-B on the “Life Opens Up” project?
AS: “I teamed up with Crest and Oral-B as a spokesperson for the Life Opens Up Project campaign because I know the importance of a healthy, confident mouth through my career as an actress, author and television host. My mouth plays a role in how I interact with individuals as a wife, mother and friend in my personal life as well. Your mouth is usually the first thing people notice about you, and when you have a healthy mouth that you can be proud of, that confidence really shines through!”
FITNESS: The Biggest Loser winners Olivia and Hannah are our September issue cover girls (check out the issue, on stands this week!) What did you learn from them?
AS: “I can’t say enough how much I love Olivia and Hannah. They are both such amazing women. They inspired me so much during their season. Watching them overcome their obstacles and facing their weight loss journey side-by-side, together, but still allowing each other to do it on their own too. I was so moved by their sisterly connection.”
FITNESS: What’s in store for the new season of The Biggest Loser?
AS: “It’s an exciting season. This is a wonderful group of people and I have really enjoyed getting to know them. Again, we are seeing tremendous weight loss on the scale, but also big breakthroughs in the gym and in their minds! There have been some really fun moments but it will, as always, require tissues to watch.”
FITNESS: What do you think about the newest The Biggest Loser trainer, Anna Kournikova?
AS: “I have really enjoyed getting to know Anna. She is such a driven, hard-working person, it’s impossible not to admire how committed she is to helping these contestants. And I can’t say enough how nice she is.”
FITNESS: What are your go-to beauty products for post-workout and when you’re on the go?
AS: “I work out outdoors a lot. Whether it’s a hike with my kids or just an outside yoga routine, my go-to beauty product is SUNSCREEN!!! (Editor’s Note: You go, girl!) I rely on the one I use for the kids because it’s water/sweat proof, so it’s perfect for tough cardio routines too.”
FITNESS: What are the best beauty tips you’ve picked up over the course of your career?
AS: “Mostly I’ve learned from super talented make-up artists that less is often more. On set, we use more makeup because of the lights than is natural for everyday looks, so I can’t really do the fancy red carpet stuff, but I can pull myself together for a night out. Key things to remember: Blend out the eyeliner with a Q-Tip, curl the lashes before applying mascara, and add some sort of light lip gloss or lip stain (I always forget that and end up searching my purse for whatever color I can find in there)!”
Earlier this month, we reported that a woman spends more than $150,000 on beauty over the course of her life. We asked FITNESS editors what beauty product or treatment they spend the most cash on.
- “On a college student’s budget, manicures/pedicures can be seen as a splurge, but nothing beats a nice foot massage after a tough exam or deadline crunch! Looking down at a coat of fresh polish simply puts a spring in my step, which makes it worth every penny.” —Lauren Cardarelli, editorial intern
- “Definitely a facial! My skin never looks better for days upon days after getting one. And it’s the most noticeable part of your body, so why not give it the extra TLC. It’s like going in for a dentist checkup for me: Your face needs the same checkup as well.” —Jenna Autuori, fitness editor
- “My beauty splurge is Benefit lipsticks. I hate the feeling of sticky lipgloss, and regular lipstick can be too dry. But Benefit’s lipsticks give glossy moisture and color all at once! Totally worth the cost.” —Alyson Kaufman, sittings intern
- “My biggest beauty splurge is my haircut. There are definitely cheaper options available, but I’m willing to spend more because I have complete trust in my stylist who knows exactly what I want: A cut that makes my thick hair manageable and looks great air-dried. I’ve had way too many disappointing haircuts with other stylists to ever dare going somewhere else!” —Marianne Magno, assistant web editor
Tell us: What pricey beauty product or treatment do you indulge in?