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April Franzino

Wellness Retreat at the Pacific Waters Spa at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort

Written on May 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm , by

Last weekend, I jetted across the country to California (tough job, I know!) to check out the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and its Pacific Waters Spa, taking part in the resort’s Wellness Retreat. The daylong hybrid healthy-lifestyle and pampering program includes:

  • A 60-minute wellness consultation, where they tailor the day to your needs and give you a private fitness assessment
  • A 30-minute fitness activity
  • Spa cuisine lunch (The fruit and vegetable-heavy, locally-sourced menu offerings are both good-for-you and delicious— we swear.)
  • Two (!) 60-minute spa services (We recommend the super-indulgent Pacific Waters Rhythmic Massage and leaving time to soak in the jacuzzi, lounge in the cozy relaxation room, and sweat it out in the spacious sauna.)

The spa offers treatments using products from locally-sourced, handmade and USDA organic-certified Kimberly Parry Organics. Our favorites were the Body Oil in Ocean blended exclusively for the spa (a unique mix of lime, lavender, basil and fir essential oils) used during the massage, and the intoxicating lemongrass and ylang ylang-scented Soft Hand and Foot Balm infused with a healing combination of shea butter, olive, coconut and jojoba oils that we took home and can’t stop applying.

Tell us: Have you gone on a spa wellness retreat or are you planning one? If so, where to and what did you think of it?

Favorite Find Friday: Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator

Written on April 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm , by

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?

Does Your Face Have a “Good” Side?

Written on April 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm , by

Both sides of your face may not be created equal.

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?

Team NARS Completes Triathlon, Raising More Than $100K for Charity

Written on April 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm , by

Twelve NARS executives, including CEO Louis Desazars, competed in the triathlon— many sporting a bold lip in homage to the brand's superglam aesthetic.

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.

Each member of Team NARS completed a 1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run in the triathlon after months of dedicated training and holding fundraising events in New York City.

3 Surprising Tricks for Making Your Manicure Last

Written on April 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm , by

A few easy tips can make even a vibrant manicure withstand workout wear and tear.

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.

Behind The Scenes: May “Must Dos” Photo Shoot

Written on April 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm , by

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.

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How To Get The Hairstyle You Want

Written on April 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm , by

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.

The key to getting the hairstyle you want is clearly communicating with your pro.

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.

Favorite Find Friday: Make Up For Ever Professional Aqua Eyes Eyeliner in 24L

Written on April 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm , by

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?

Would You Try a Pixie Cut?

Written on April 11, 2012 at 10:16 am , by

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.

Consult your stylist about your face shape and styling concerns before making the cut.

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 youor have youtried a pixie cut?

Sun Protection For Blemish-Prone Skin

Written on April 10, 2012 at 10:23 am , by

Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30

Spring has sprung— but as the temperatures rise, our complexions start feeling the heat. We thought layering on more makeup or frequent blotting were the only options to counter shine and sweat, but not anymore. Enter the oil-controlling, acne-fighting and SPF-depositing powers of Peter Thomas Roth Oily Problem Skin Instant Mineral SPF 30. Salicylic Acid and willow bark absorb oil and eradicate blackhead-causing bacteria, while titanium dioxide protects from UVA and UVB rays. A stable of antioxidant vitamins (A, C and E) also work to stave off and undo sun damage and nourish skin. Best of all: The convenient, no-spill brush dispenser makes mid-day touch-ups— even over makeup— a breeze.

—By Alana Peden, contributing blogger