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June 2013

How Fitness’ Assistant Web Editor Finally Beat Acne

Written on June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of those girls lucky enough to breeze through their teenage years without breakouts. Once puberty hit, blackheads and pimples did too—with a vengeance. While Accutane helped for a few years in college, once the real stressors hit, my face broke out as if I had traveled back in time to visit my 16-year-old-self.

Fast-forward five years and my skin was in the same, sad shape. There were months when I saw barely-there blemishes, and others when I felt like craters took up mad real-estate on my face (attractive visual, I know). Tired of being a 20-something who had the skin of a pubescent teen, I enlisted the help of our beauty director, Heather Muir. She’s an encyclopedia of beauty knowledge, and after a quick chat about my skin-care regimen, I went home with new products to try and a facial appointment at the spa-to-the-stars Mario Badescu.

It’s been a few months since I started a new routine, and I’m happy to report nothing but glowing reviews! My skin will always need TLC, but it’s worth the work: I no longer need makeup to leave my apartment. Here’s what’s worked for me:

Morning:
I rinse with Clinique Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam ($20, clinique.com) for a refreshing wakeup call. In the hot summer months, BB cream is my go-to coverup; I like Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector ($13, drugstores). If extra coverage is necessary, Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup ($27, clinique.com) does the trick. To treat flare-ups and dim redness, I’m obsessed with Almay Clear Complexion Concealer + Treatment Gel ($10, drugstores).

Pre-workout:
It’s critical that the makeup comes off before a killer sweat session. When I’m at SoulCycle, I use Clean and Clear Morning Burst Facial Cleanser ($4, drugstores).

Post-workout:
I grab Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes ($8, drugstores) from my gym bag. I’m obsessed with the pink grapefruit scent!

Evening:
If I’m taking a shower at night, I love having Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($12, mariobadescu.com). The thick consistency makes me feel like I’m really getting out the gunk. If I’m not showering, I take the lazy-girl route and simply swipe with a wipe. Lucky for me, that’s totally OK: derms say that’s all I need. A quick dab of Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17, mariobadescu.com) after and I’m ready for a good dose of beauty sleep.

Weekly:
If I’m having a breakout, I immediately slap on Origins Out of Trouble 10-Minute Mask ($23, origins.com). If it’s general upkeep, I like Origins Clear Improvement ($23, origins.com) to open up my pores. Every Sunday, I use the Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush ($119, clarisonic.com), to take my skin straight to exfoliating heaven.

Monthly:
Facials! Justifying them to my no-frills boyfriend was a stretch at first, but having a professional do the painful-but-necessary extractions then smooth with specialized treatments has been the pore perfector I needed. But if the budget is too tight one month, my esthetician from Mario Badescu gave me these quick tips and product suggestions for an at-home spa session.

  • Cleanse. Wash face and neck using a cleanser to clear skin and rid oil from the surface of the skin.
  • Steam. Boil a pot of water. Remove from heat and pour into a wide bowl. Lean over the bowl so face is about 10 inches from the water. Hold for 3-5 minutes to relax pores and soften skin.
  • Exfoliate. Apply a gentle face scrub to damp skin. Use fingertips to massage face in circular motions for 30 seconds. Rinse with warm water.
  • Mask. Choose a mask that is appropriate for your skin type. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.
  • Moisturize. Lightly apply eye cream, face and lip moisturizer.

Do you have any tried and true solutions that have changed your skin? Do tell!

 

—Samantha Shelton, assistant web editor

Vanessa Williams’ Eye-Brightening Secrets and Favorite Workouts

Written on June 17, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Photo Credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Clear Eyes

Vanessa Williams is a busy bee. Not only is she an actress, singer, dancer, author and mother of four, she was recently named the spokesperson for Clear Eyes. I chatted with her about how she does it all—from looking gorg in front of the camera to staying fit despite her crazy schedule.

How were you introduced to Clear Eyes’ products?  Why do you love them?  
“I was introduced through my makeup artist, Sam Fine, because we always start with Clear Eyes’ drops and then we continue with the makeup process, which usually takes about an hour or so. It’s all beauty-related. Between fashion shoots, camerawork and being in front of the lens, it’s important for me to use Clear Eyes.  And it’s not only photo shoots, but any kind of film work where you’re working late hours, and supposed to be in the same scene and not make it look like you’re still working at two in the morning. So they definitely come in handy; they’re a necessity for me.”

Speaking of eyes, yours are stunning! Do you have any makeup tricks to complement them?
“One of my tricks is using a beige or white pencil on the inside of the eye. That opens up your eyes and makes them look fresh. I use white on stage just because I can use that for the distance. I think it depends on what environment you are in, but white makes the eyes pop and beige makes them look natural. It’s one of those foolproof guarantees. I’ve got the beige pencil traveling with me in my bag.”

Our readers are all about staying in shape. What’s your favorite way?
“Right now, I’m doing mixed martial arts at Westchester MMA, which I started in the fall. For the first half, it’s a cardio fit class, and then you put your boxing gloves on and work with a heavy bag about six foot tall. I do combinations: kicks, switch kicks, hooks and upper cuts. It’s fantastic. I do rounds of it, and between I also jump rope and run around the room, so it’s nice. Also, in Los Angeles, I use the program Drenched. The studio is called Body Theory, so it’s a cardio kick boxing class. I also do yoga, Alvin Ailey and Zumba classes. And when I don’t have anything, or when I’m traveling, I just jump on the treadmill for an hour and use some hand weights.  I’ve just got to do something. Especially the older you get, you lose muscle tone so easily, and you just can’t afford to take any time off.”

What’s your favorite healthy snack? 
“My favorite is Skinny Pop Popcorn, which I’ve been eating for about a year and a half now. I love popcorn, and it’s a guilt-free kind of thing. I can eat the whole bag, which has zero fat and still tastes delicious. It doesn’t taste like styrofoam; it tastes like really good popcorn with just enough salt.”

 

—Katelyn Blough, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: skinny smolderEYES Amazonian clay waterproof liner

Written on June 14, 2013 at 11:20 am , by

One of the many perks of being a beauty intern at FITNESS is getting to experiment with different looks. Each morning, I switch up my eye makeup so I don’t get bored (yes, it helps I have a beauty closet to shop in!). Recently, I stumbled across skinny smolderEYES Amazonian clay waterproof liner ($19, tarte.com). The smooth, creamy tip glides onto my lids like butter (I hate hard eyeliners with pointy edges that hurt my skin when applying) and the color doesn’t smear even after a long day staring at a computer screen. There’s a smudger at the other end to help you create the easiest smoky eye on the planet (just swipe on the liner then go over it with the sponge tip to blur the line). What I love most about this liner is the variety of colors it comes in. Golden Tiger’s Eye is the perfect everyday brown. Feeling frisky? Try Amazonite Blue. It’s a guaranteed stand-out-in-the-crowd shimmer. I think I’ve found a keeper. In fact, I love them so much I might stop experimenting with other eye products each morning!

 

—Katelyn Blough, beauty intern

Hollywood Stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton Talks Total Body Transformation and Skin-Care Secrets

Written on June 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm , by

Photo Credit: Donna Richens

You might not recognize Bobby Holland Hanton by name, but if you’ve seen big time blockbusters like Inception, 007 Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and the final two Harry Potter movies, then you’ve seen his work. As one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen, he transforms his body to mirror the major stars he’s stunting for (think: Daniel Craig, Christian Bale and Chris Hemsworth to name a few). His latest adventure is teaming up with Dove Men+Care to help shed some light on the “face torture” most men put their skin through, including poor grooming routines and razor burn. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we chatted with Hanton to get his top training secrets, as well as, some solid skin-care advice and recommendations so you can share them with the special men in your life.

Some guys disregard skin-care. Why is it important to you and what do you love about Dove Men+Care?
“A lot of guys—over half of my friends—don’t use any face care whatsoever, and that includes the guys I work with, so hopefully that’s the reason I’m getting the jobs and they’re not. At the moment, I’m using the Dove Men+Care. The new body wash, Odor Guard ($6, drugstore.com), is fantastic because I don’t want to be going on set and smelling bad so that helps remove and control odor. They also have a new face range out at the moment that I’m using as well. The face wash hydrates my skin but doesn’t irritate it so I don’t have to worry about that when I get to work, and the same goes for the face lotion, which is great to use after shaving. And if you’re looking for gifts, they have cool Father’s Day Gift Sets available at Wal-mart.”

As a stunt double for a ton of Hollywood stars, what do you do to prepare for a role?
“Preparing for a role really depends on the actor I’m preparing to double on that movie. If it’s action movie like Thor with Chris Hemsworth, he’s a huge, huge guy naturally, let alone when he’s training and working out to get to the size of Thor, so I’ll generally work out the training program myself or work with a trainer and a nutrition program to match what Chris is eating throughout the whole movie and we try and work out together as much as possible when we get time. Also, it’s up to me to get into that kind of physical shape as soon as I know that I’ve been chosen for that job. So if I’m doubling with Daniel Craig on a Bond movie, he’s a lot slimmer and slender, so it’s more about eating well and not training quite as much. So it just depends, but the training programs and the nutrition programs change massively.”

You’re obviously an expert in transforming your body. What are the key things that someone should focus on if they want to see big results?
“Due to much of my life doing this, I would say that probably 85% of the success in achieving your goals is nutrition. If you can really restrict and focus on exactly the right times to eat during the day and what you should eat, then the training actually comes secondary. But also I would say that sticking to a very strict routine for a period of time is important. For example, if I’m not that strict on a movie, then I might train five days a week, and have two days off where I kind of take it easy on my diet. It really depends on the goals you want to achieve. Try to be as regimental as possible, not just about your food and training but about everything, down to waking up in the morning and sticking to a certain routine. And that’s the way I find it easiest to control, and I mean that. I would really say that’s the most important thing.”

You mentioned eating at the right times. Are you an advocate of eating smaller meals more often throughout the day or does it all depend on what you are preparing for?
“Yes, I am the master of eating small amounts regularly. What I try to do generally is eat every two hours, small amounts. But it is really a part of your daily routine, being able to do that and taking the right snacks to work or to train with you. I mean, for me, my routine is that I literally wake up in the morning and I’ll shower, go to work and have my first meal of the day, which will be a protein meal: like chicken, turkey, spinach, natural nuts in the morning. Trying to do that, I must say, is very difficult because it’s tough to eat the same kind of stuff everyday so you try and change up as much as possible. And then after small portions of that, another protein snack and then lunch time, I’ll introduce my first set of carbs—clean, good carbs, meaning sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc. And I’ll eat small amounts again all the way up until I go to bed. A lot of people believe you shouldn’t eat carbs after a certain time, but I don’t believe that. It certainly doesn’t work for me. I eat small amounts, including carbs, all the way up until bedtime.”

I imagine your body and muscles take a beating when training and filming so how do you recover from soreness or small injuries?
“You know, that’s a great point, as my job is mostly physical, one of the most physical out there. So I do get little bumps and stuff like that a lot, and sore muscles, so it’s really important to stretch. I stretch in the mornings, before we start anything—that’s when you’re going to be your stiffest. So sometimes we spend a half hour stretching in the morning before we do anything physical and also before we train, we have a stretch and a jog on the running machine to keep our muscles warmed up. It’s very, very important.”

What was one of the craziest stunts you’ve ever attempted and how did you get past that fear of doing something that intimidated you?  
“I think I got thrown into the deep end on my first job, which was on the Bond movie where I was the stunt double for Daniel Craig. I was twenty-three and new to the stunt world in movies. So I had to do a balcony jump in Panama, which was the last shot of the night at two o’clock in the morning. It was dark and there were a lot of elements; it wasn’t just the jump from one balcony to another, it was down a narrow corridor where I couldn’t see my take off or landing point, and I had no safety and no wires. We rehearsed it back on the stage with safety mats and boxes and it all measured out to exactly how the set was in Panama. So I knew I could do it, it was just trying to overcome the nerves. So I tried to turn the nerve side and the fear side of it into adrenaline, which helps me massively. I think I perform slightly better a bit under pressure and high intensity. So it actually worked out perfect. I managed to get it in two takes, we went home and everyone was happy.”