She spiced up the small screen as Miranda Hobbes on the cult TV series Sex and the City, and now actress Cynthia Nixon is speaking out about her experience with the chronic inflammatory skin condition rosacea. Read on as she dishes about the foods she loves, her biggest beauty indulgence and her secrets to embracing that natural flush.
FITNESS: What made you start working with the National Rosacea Society?
Cynthia Nixon: I first started working with the National Rosacea Society because 16 million people have the condition, but not many know about it, so I wanted to raise awareness. When you have it, it can be awful to treat it yourself. The first thing you have to do is speak to a dermatologist and get a treatment plan. You can’t cure rosacea, but you can control it. I had acne in my teens and early 20s, and then developed rosacea in my 30s. So many people think of it as acne, then use scrubs and masks and don’t realize they are only making the problem worse. You need to know what to do and what to avoid. Rosacea is a condition that can cause embarrassment and discomfort.
FITNESS: What’s been your experience with rosacea, and how have you managed it?
CN: I cannot stress enough the importance of seeing a dermatologist because everybody’s skin is different. After I found out what the dermatologist recommended and he prescribed me medicine, I have managed to keep it under control. I also got information about things that I was eating that were triggering the rosacea.
FITNESS: What specific foods trigger rosacea?
CN: Spicy foods trigger it, like tabasco and jalapeño peppers. I still eat those things, but I stay away from them when I know I have important events coming up. Other things that can trigger it are red wine and too much sun exposure.
FITNESS: What have you learned from working with the National Rosacea Society?
CN: I’ve learned that rosacea is much more common than we think. Also, if you don’t treat it, it can get worse. There are four different kinds of rosacea: redness, pimples, eye irritation and thickening of the skin. Your face gets red and blotchy and it’s not fun. You have to tend to it so it doesn’t get worse.
FITNESS: Moving on to beauty: What’s one product that never leaves your bag?
CN: Undereye cream for sure. I find myself applying some too many times per day!
FITNESS: What are your haircare, makeup and skincare routines like on a typical day?
CN: My hair tends to be oily so I wash it two to three times a week. I wake up in the morning and wash my face, then apply some toner, moisturizer with SPF, and undereye cream.
FITNESS: What are your secrets for looking great anytime, anywhere?
CN: I make sure to maintain a gentle regimen. I don’t use many products because they can be too harsh on my skin and can cause my rosacea to flare up. Also, I wear SPF all the time.
FITNESS: What’s your diet like? Are there certain foods or snacks that are your go-tos?
CN: I’m a big fan of cheese! (Editor’s note: Woman after our own heart!) I also eat a lot of salads. I keep celery, carrots and almonds in my house. I also keep protein bars around because those things can really help sustain you through the day.
FITNESS: What’s your biggest beauty indulgence?
CN: Facial acupuncture for sure. It keeps my blood flowing. With rosacea, my skin can get very inflamed so the circulation boost is helpful.
FITNESS: How do you stay in shape when you’re on the go?
CN: I work out mostly when I’m at home. When I’m away for a couple of days, I’ll use the hotel gym. I try to eat well; I’m a vegetarian. Also, as I mentioned, I make sure protein bars are always around.
FITNESS: What’s the best tip you’ve picked up from the makeup, hair and skincare experts you’ve worked with?
CN: I actually received the best tip while filming Sex and the City and that is “put as little foundation on as possible.” Maintain a good skincare routine. A ton of foundation only ages you!
Visit rosaceafacts.com to view Cynthia’s iPSA and take a self-screening quiz.
—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern
We’ve been suffering from major spring allergies here in New York City and our undereye area has taken a beating from the incessant itching and dryness. Our salvation in a tube is Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator— the brightening cream/concealer hybrid is dispensed through a ceramic applicator that feels cool on contact, so it relieves itchy eye pain as it hydrates crepey skin, soothes irritation, minimizes puffiness with caffeine, and light diffusers make the eye area look refreshed. The slim, lightweight tube is easy to tote anywhere, so we blend it over makeup whenever we have the urge to rub our eyes or they’re looking particularly parched.
Tell us: What product do you use to combat allergy-ravaged eyes?
Categories: Beauty On the Go, Favorite Find Friday | Tags: allergies, bags, brighten, conceal, cooling, dark circles, Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illumninator, eye, eyes, irritation, puffiness, soothe, tint
If you’ve ever joked with someone (or not joked!) about only photographing your best side, you might be on to something: A Wake Forest University study published in the journal Experimental Brain Research found that people perceive the left side of others’ faces as more appealing than the right side, perhaps because the left side of the face is more emotionally evocative, according to research. This finding is reflected in Western art, with the majority of artists portraying the left side of faces.
Tell us: Do you think your face has a better side? If so, which one?
A huge, heartfelt congratulations to our friends at NARS Cosmetics for recently completing the Lavaman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, raising more than $111,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in support of a fellow employee who is a cancer survivor. “We challenged ourselves mentally and physically like never before,” says Kelly Fobar, global communications manager for NARS in New York City. “It was incredible to see how much encouragement, friendship and dedication this team shared in the three short months we trained together.” We at FITNESS are so proud of your accomplishments— living proof that makeup, fitness and making a difference aren’t mutually exclusive.
The sorbet shades taking makeup counters by storm this spring might look intimidating— green lip gloss, blue on cheeks?— but they’re surprisingly sheer and wearable (hint: one at a time, not at all once!). Here, our top picks for the season and the best way to sport them.
EYES Yves Saint Laurent 5 Color Harmony for Eyes in 13 holds a mix of pink, blue, green, purple and yellow shadow hues to brighten your eyes. Wear them individually as sheer washes of color or dip an eyeliner brush in water and trace close to your lashline for a subtle pop of color. Keep the rest of your makeup light in the pinky-neutral family to make your eyes stand out.
CHEEKS Reminiscent of a Jackson Pollock painting, Givenchy Limited Edition Unique Compact Powder in Spring Glow mixes classic pink with skin tone-evening dashes of purple to counteract sallowness and green to neutralize redness. It’s best for fair to medium skin tones and a great choice for those who already have some rosiness in their cheeks but want a touch of definition and glow.
LIPS Creamy lilac Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Beach Thistle (below, left) and shimmery mint Lancôme Paris Color Fever Gloss in Green Petal (below, right) can be worn alone as a fresh take on nude (pair with deeper gray or brown eye makeup and pink cheeks so you don’t look washed out) or on top of your favorite lipstick to soften and add shine to the hue.
COMPLEXION Sweep purple, blue and champagne-hued Clé de Peau Beauté Luminizing Face Enhancer in 11 along your cheekbones to create a soft-focus, candlelit luminosity.
—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern
Categories: Beauty On the Go, Makeup Musts | Tags: Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Beach Thistle, cheeks, Cle de Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer, complexion, eyes, Face, Givenchy Le Prisme Visage Bucolique, hues, Lancome Color Fever Gloss, lips, makeup, sorbet shades, spring makeup, YSL Ombres 5 Color Harmony for Eyes
Our May “Nail It!” feature (starting on page 43) is packed with the hottest new lacquer hues, a yummy three-step at-home manicure, special effects you can do yourself, and four superquick ways to make nails look polished on the go. Here, a three more genius tricks for keeping your tips and toes in top shape from Jane Park, founder of eco-friendly nail care brand Julep.
- Seal the deal. Swipe the tips of your nails with polish to seal the edges, which minimizes peeling and cracking.
- Beat the heat. Avoid steamy activities like hot yoga, washing dishes, and warm showers or baths for four hours after a manicure or pedicure— heat can soften the polish, making it prone to dents.
- Ice down. Once your manicure is dry, wash your hands with cold water to set it and prevent smudging.
Our special 20th Anniversary May issue with Elle Macpherson is on newsstands this week (pick it up!)— and one of the highlights, if we do say so ourselves, is our “Must Dos” hairstyling feature starting on page 48. Tresemmé celebrity hairstylist Jeanie Syfu came up with three fresh, super-easy styles (down, ponytail and night out) tailored to your strand type: straight, wavy or curly. Here’s a peek behind the scenes on the set of the photo shoot, where you can see Jeanie working her magic and our stunning models posing for the perfect shot.
Before plopping down in the salon chair, consider these tips for getting the hairstyle you want from Ansley Meredith, a hair stylist and makeup artist in New York City. “Your hair is your most prominent accessory, so you want to make sure it’s perfect— there’s nothing that will ruin a day faster than a bad cut!”
Bring a picture Everybody has a different idea of what a ‘chocolate brown color’ or a ‘layered cut’ is. Having a picture to work from makes it much easier to achieve the exact style you are looking for.
Be vocal Tell your stylist exactly how you feel about your hair and what you have in mind. It’s their job to make sure you are 100 percent satisfied with your hair when you walk out of the salon.
Talk about yourself Knowing what you do for a living, how you dress and how you normally style your hair will give your stylist an idea of what look will best suit you.
Reveal your routine Discuss all aspects of your haircare regimen, including how long you spend (or want to spend) styling your hair in the morning, what products you like you use, and how often you shampoo so your stylist can give you a cut that fits your lifestyle.
Bring up the past Hair typically grows about a quarter inch per month. So if you have longer hair, the ends can be up to four years old! If you’ve had multiple hair color changes or chemical treatments, tell your stylist— they may use separate color formulas on the roots and ends, even though in the end the color looks totally even throughout.
Proceed with caution Often times, women will want to do an impromptu dramatic cut or color change. Even more often, they end up regretting it. To avoid style regret, find a picture of the look that you like and tape it somewhere where you’ll see it on a regular basis (i.e. refrigerator, bathroom mirror or vanity). If you look at it every day for two weeks and still love the idea, then go ahead and do it.
Taupe eyeliner is like the black blazer of our makeup wardrobe: It looks great with everything and end up reaching for it almost every day. When we’re in a rush in the morning or after a workout, or are sporting a punchy lip color or blush, we always smudge creamy nude Make Up For Ever Professional Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 24L around our eyes. It’s literally foolproof— you cannot mess it up— and gives eyes just enough hazy definition without looking like makeup. And it doesn’t budge all day long— truly perfection in a pencil.
Tell us: What’s your go-to neutral eye color?
Actress Anne Hathaway recently chopped her long locks into a close-cropped pixie for her roll in the upcoming film Les Miserables, which got us thinking about whether we’d ever have the guts to go super-short.
Anne has the bone structure and striking, feminine features to carry it off, but the boyish cut doesn’t work on everyone. Before going super-short, have a thorough consultation with your stylist to discuss whether a pixie works for your face shape and hair texture, bring pictures of pixies you love for inspiration (think Halle Berry, Michelle Williams and Emma Watson), and get tips and techniques for styling your new ‘do.
As for us, for better or worse, we’re too attached to our long locks to make a drastic cut.
Tell us: Would you—or have you—tried a pixie cut?