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February 2014

Favorite Find Friday: Axe Peace Shower Gel & Shampoo

Written on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

No matter how prepared I am for beauty-related emergencies (my boyfriend jokingly refers to me as Mary Poppins because of all the crazy stuff I can pull out of my purse at any time), sometimes I get caught in a jam. I only live two blocks away from my guy so I rarely have to keep much at his place. But the other day I was too lazy to run home and shower and figured there was no harm in sneaking in a rinse there. (Keep in mind: this is a dude’s apartment; a bachelor pad, if you will.) Well, I quickly realized the risk I took when I glanced at the product selection (or lack thereof) in the shower and only found a half-used bar of soap and an economy-sized bottle of 2-in-1 Pert Plus (!). Luckily, I remembered coming back from an Axe launch event where they introduced new men’s products so I stashed them under his sink. I grabbed the Axe Peace Shower Gel and Shampoo ($4 and $6, drugstores) and started to suds up. Immediately, I was pleasantly surprised by the light yet musky scent. With top notes of warm citrus and nutmeg that finish with the soothing smell of cedarwood and amber, it’s masculine but not at all in an overpowering way—I swear! I love using it just as much as “girly” stuff I keep in my shower, and I even got my BF hooked, too. So now, when I shower at his place, we end up smelling the same. Strange? Maybe, but it sure beats that questionable bar of soap.

Jennifer Hudson On her Role with Weight Watchers and How Her Short Hair Motivates Her to Work Out

Written on February 21, 2014 at 11:38 am , by

Jennifer Hudson has come a long way since she first graced the stage as a finalist in the third season of American Idol. As a Grammy-award winning singer, she went on to star in the silver screen blockbuster Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe, SAG award and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. After the birth of her first child, she announced she was joining Weight Watchers in 2010 and has since been a success story (dropping from a size 16 to a 6) and spokesperson for the brand.  She discusses her journey in her book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down ($15, amazon.com). We nabbed some time with her and Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer, Karen Miller Kovach as they awarded Baltimore with a healthy community grant on behalf of Weight Watchers.

Tell us about what you guys are doing today in Baltimore.
Miller-Kovach: “Weight Watchers is and always has been very committed in terms of ensuring that our program and services are available throughout the world because we’re not just a United States company. We decided to formalize a little bit and so the healthy community grant came out of that and has been awarded to three cities. It was a highly competitive grant process and was judged by a group of independent judges. So a small, a large and a medium city were selected. We’re in Baltimore today, which is the large city that was selected. And celebrating their record and proven ability to provide, within the community, a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, this is a celebration, I think for the community, it’s a celebration for weight watchers to recognize and renew our commitment to healthy living, to weight management and to being an active player in reversing the tide of obesity that exists in our nation.”

Awesome! And Jennifer what does it mean to you to be involved in this type of program?
Hudson: “I think it’s amazing! One of my new year’s resolutions was to help change lives and that’s what this will do. It will give people a new start and direction. So I’m excited to be a part of it!”

What are some healthy habits that you’ve adopted in achieving your health goals?
“I think all around just making healthier choices and decisions. Drinking water, I’m not a water girl but I have to do that. Because that’s important and knowing what’s important for the body not eating just for fun. Being conscious of what I’m taking in.”

What type of workouts helped you achieve and maintain your transformation?
“What I like most, if I’m going to workout, is being outside. I love being outside! I love being able to enjoy things while I’m working out. So I love jogging because I want to be out. I’ve noticed that if I’m in a nice climate, it inspires me to workout more and be more active. Since I’m in Chicago it’s much colder, so you might not feel like working out which makes it more difficult. So when I can embrace the beautiful air, I love to get out and go running. And just most importantly, making sure I’m enjoying whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s doing squats, whether it’s jogging, whether it’s jumping rope, riding a bike, I like to make it fun so I want to do it again. You want to carry it on. So if you’re enjoying it you’ll do it over and over again. I like to make it fun!”

Have you found to have any snacks that give you energy throughout the day, or to have before or after a workout?
“Actually I love a banana! That’s my favorite, if you want to call that a snack! It’s good because it gets that fiber in there, gets your system going and gives you plenty of energy and it’s no points! So that’s something that I love to have. Before I eat anything in the morning I make sure I have a banana or something because it’s filling and you don’t ever want to be too hungry. Because you don’t want to go to the gym, do a workout and then you’re starving, then you’re going to eat anything. If you have something that’s quick, you can grab out of your bag. To me it’s the most fulfilling fruit there is. Eat that up and I’m good to go!”

In terms of your beauty routine, are there any makeup tricks or hair tricks that you like to do before a night out or something to boost your confidence?
“Well, I cut my hair and I think that’s like a weight loss goal for people. A lot of times it’s a goal when you’re going through weight loss. You know it’s like ‘if I ever lose weight I’m going to cut my hair!’ So I cut my hair so I can show off my facial structure and things like that. It’s fun being able to experiment with the new me and discovering who I am now. Like I had the big girl look down, no I’m like ‘okay, what’s my style now?’ Like re-discovering myself and it’s fun! You know, every girl wants to play dress up! So I’m getting to play dress up with myself and find my new self!”

Have you found it to be easier to maintain and to style?
“It is, I think it’s fun and it’s funky! It’s a lot of things but it’s definitely easier to maintain than longer hair. And it inspires me to workout more because I can’t hide behind the hair! If you’ve got short hair you can see my arms and my back, you know what I mean? It inspires me to push even further to work out!”

 

Favorite Find Friday: Ralph Lauren Romance Fragrance

Written on February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am , by

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I was younger, I changed my perfume after every breakup (such a teenage-angsty thing to do—I know). There was just something about a fragrance that was so closely tied to the memories of the relationship, that after it ended, I wanted a fresh start. And a fresh scent. But since I’ve been very happily attached for the past six years (!), I’ve had to come up with a new smell strategy. It was around the time when my guy and I first started dating that I began crushing on Ralph Lauren Romance Eau de Parfum ($68, ralphlauren.com). Described as a fragrance that “captures the timeless essence of falling in love,” it seemed like the perfect match for the start of a budding romance. I loved the sensual florals, like white violet and sun goddess rose that created seductive chemistry when combined with the musk of exotic woods. As time went on, I fell more and more in love with my beau and my perfume. But the winter melted into spring and I needed to switch things up (in the fragrance department, not the BF one!) so I swapped in the summer edition—Ralph Lauren Romance Summer Blossom Eau de Toilette Spray ($74, ralphlauren.com). A lighter, fruitier version of the original, this sunny and playful scent has notes of mandarin and waterlily that lightly flutter on top of the woodsy, vanilla base. One spritz gives you that pit-of-your-stomach butterfly feeling and ignites those summer love sparks, even in a long-term relationship. I continue to alternate between the two and since I’m loyal to the collection, I’m anxiously awaiting the latest launch, Midnight Romance coming out this April. So after years of testing out all those other guys perfumes that weren’t a perfect fit, I’m blissfully happy to have finally found the one for me. And today, I thought it was the appropriate timing to share this ode to oud with all of you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Head-To-Toe Dry Skin Solutions: Arctic Weather Edition

Written on February 11, 2014 at 11:40 am , by

With not one but two polar vortexes under our belts, those of us in the Northeast are cold, cranky and, well, feeling anything but sexy (think chapped lips, cracking hands and flaky legs—gross). We’ve rounded up some of the most moisturizing potions to keep your skin happy and hydrated because, let’s face it, winter has only just begun (wah!).

Face: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($14, walgreen.com)
This dermatologist favorite provides a controlled release of essential ceramides and other skin-soothing ingredients throughout the day so your skin stays supple from the time you eat breakfast until you hit the sack.

Lips: Mustela Hydra Stick ($10, sephora.com)
Protect your pout with this convenient little stick. Made with cold cream, shea butter and beeswax, it infuses moisture into your lips or anywhere your skin needs it (like around your nose or even your cheeks). Tuck it in your pocket for quick touch-ups while you’re shredding the slopes (or after you’ve endured a rough commute).

Hands: Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($19, sephora.com)
If only mittens could keep your hands both warm and moisturized. Slather on this rich lotion, which contains shea butter and vitamin E to prevent moisture loss. The caramel and brown sugar scent is intoxicating, yet 100 percent guilt-free!

Body: Jergens Crema Deep Conditioning Shea Butter Body Cream ($7, drugstore.com)
Turn your post-shower routine into a little daily indulgence with this tub of luxurious body cream. Rich shea butter quenches scaly skin, and it absorbs quickly so you can slip into your coziest sweater/leggings combo and prepare to bear the elements.

Feet: Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream ($16, Sephora stores)
Sleep your way to softer heels with this yummy foot cream. Just massage a generous amount onto clean feet, slip on cotton socks and drift off. Macadamia oil, menthol and orange and lemon fruit acids will work the night shift so that come morning, your soles will be soft and soothed.

Hair: Kérastase Masque Nutri-Thermique ($18, keratase-usa.com)
Often we’re so focused on taking care of our skin in the winter (the flakes!), we neglect our strands. This heat-activated deep-conditioning hair mask nourishes  locks from roots to tips and protects your mane from drying-out in the future. Yes, please!

Other Problem Areas: Avéne XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Cream ($32, dermstore.com)
Specially created for eczema-prone skin, this cream will soothe, relieve discomfort and soften tender skin. It’s safe for use on the face and body on infants and adults. Whether you have eczema or not, this cream has your dry spots covered (literally)!

 

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Suave Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion

Written on February 7, 2014 at 8:00 am , by

Let’s just say this has been one rough winter for us here in the northeast. There have been polar vortexes, followed by apocalyptic snow storms, followed by plummeting temperatures, followed by rain, sleet, hail, slush—the kind of stuff you remember from the 90s. I’m from northeast PA, not too far outside the city but at a much higher elevation so this is nothing new to me. But sadly, my skin has adapted to the closer-to-sea-level altitude of NYC and it has not been happy with the forecast. White, dry and flaky: my skin’s condition sounds more and more like the weather that’s causing it as each wintery day passes. I needed some serious help so I grabbed Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion ($5, walgreens.com). I slather it on right out of the shower (waiting more than just a few minutes can mean less hydration) and it sinks in deep to hydrate extra dry skin. It’s infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil, a lightweight ingredient known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, so after just a few days of using it, I noticed my skin looking more radiant than before. The effects last all day so I know I’m covered until I reapply before bed (seriously, my skin drinks this stuff up.) And since those meteorology-savvy little groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck both saw their shadows this year, predicting six more weeks of this arctic assault in the northeast, I guess I’ll be relying on every last drop of this skin saver until spring.

On a side note, if you’re like me and dreading this weather, but wishing for brighter days, Suave has teamed up with the dapper celebrity fashion stylist, Brad Goreski, to help make your dreams come true. Just tweet your wish (which can be anything from silky, glowing skin to a sunny vacay) to @SuaveBeauty with hashtag #RadiantWishes to be entered into the sweepstakes or head to the Suave Beauty Facebook page to enter the Radiant Wishes Sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professional Moroccan infusion products, a spa day or a trip to sunny Los Angeles. A few lucky winners’ wishes will be fulfilled!

New York Yankees’ Mark Teixeira Gushes About His Raw Juice Obsession

Written on February 6, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Mark Teixiera, the first baseman for the New York Yankees, knows all about the importance of a fit and healthy lifestyle, especially after missing a majority of last season due to a wrist injury. He’s been drinking raw juice for 10 years and started picking up Juice Press bottles on the go. He loved the juices so much, he decided to get involved with the company. As the brand announced a new location at SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, we chatted with Teixiera on everything from his love affair with raw juices to his pre-game rituals.

How did you get involved with Juice Press?
“About two and a half years ago, I met Marcus [the founder and CEO] at the Lower East Side store. I fell in love with the product. You know, it’s a lifestyle choice and I’ve drank raw juice for years. It’s a painstaking, labor-intensive process. Usually when you buy something in a bottle it doesn’t taste as good; it’s not as fresh, but the product was so good I said, ‘Marc, we’ve got to partner up here.’ Then we worked something out!”

So do you also juice at home?
“Absolutely! I drink anywhere from two to five juices a day.”

Do you do meal replacements and snacks or juice cleanses?
“It depends. If I’ve been sick or had a long vacation where I didn’t necessarily make the right choices eating-wise, I will do a cleanse. But I’ve found that when I’m on the go all day, grabbing a couple juices works. I’ll bring a cooler with me—just put it in the car and instead of driving through somewhere or stopping in a convenient store and getting snacks. You can try to make the best choices you can but nothing’s going to be better to put in your body than Juice Press. So it’s a lifestyle choice that’s really worked out.”

Do you have any favorite juices to drink before or after a workout? 
“Pre-workout, I love Glo in the morning because it’s refreshing with citrus and vitamin C. A Glo and a raw oatmeal for breakfast before a workout is a great meal! And then after the workout, something with a little more protein in it, Lait de Coconut is a really good drink for after a workout. Smoothies are great after a workout as well.”

So, how is your wrist?
“It’s doing much better. It was a major surgery and I’m going to be smart about it the first couple weeks of spring training. But I have full confidence that I’ll be fine for the season.”

That’s good news! So what are your workouts like off-season?
“They actually vary. I’m always working on something. As a professional athlete, you’re always trying to get better; you’re always trying to keep from being injured or rehab an injury or get stronger. So my workouts vary from something that’s very functional, baseball-wise, and stuff that’s very strength or conditioning specific depending on the time of year and how my body feels.”

And then how do they adjust when you get into the season?
“The older I’ve gotten, the less I’ve been able to lift during the season. So during the season, it’s a lot more core work, a lot more stability work. Basically, you kick your butt every night on the field; you don’t want to kick your butt in the weight room as well. I could do that when I was 25 but I’m turning 34 this year, I’ve got a lot of miles on my body. When I’m in the weight room I want to build myself up stability-wise, not break myself down pounding the weights.”

Do you have any interesting rituals or superstitions that you do before a game?
“I almost always get in the hot tub before practices and before games because warming up my muscles, making sure my joints are lubricated, being able to go out there with a sweat already is very important to me. Then, if I had a really good game the night before, I basically try and do the same thing the next day. I eat the same foods, I wear the same uniform. If I wore long sleeves, I wear long sleeves. If I wore short sleeves, I’m wearing short sleeves. You know, it’s just the little idiosyncrasies of baseball that come out in you.”

Since I am a beauty editor, I have to ask about your grooming routine! Do you have any favorite products you love?
Jack Black products, I’ve used them forever. So, the face lotion. When it’s 12 degrees in New York and the wind is blowing in your face, it gets a little dry. The shampoo and conditioner. You know, I really don’t do too much on the beauty side, I use my body not my looks!”