Written on June 19, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
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:
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).
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).
I grab Neutrogena Oil-Free Cleansing Wipes ($8, drugstores) from my gym bag. I’m obsessed with the pink grapefruit scent!
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.
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.
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
Written on June 17, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Fitness Magazine
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
Written on June 14, 2013 at 11:20 am , by Fitness Magazine
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
Written on May 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm , by Fitness Magazine
We go to the gym to put in work. But that’s not to say we don’t get giddy when we find an accessory that is both functional and cute to wear during our sweat sessions. Enter Emi-Jay Hair Ties and Headbands (prices vary, emi-jay.com). Not only do they keep hair and sweat out of our face, but they add a pop of color to basic workout clothes. What makes these ribbon-like accessories cool is that they can be used in multiple ways. Want to glam up a boring pony, bun or braid? Tie your hair with one of the lightweight, stretchy bands, or simply slide on a bright, patterned headband to keep flyaways tame. No matter how you wear them, they’re guaranteed to brighten your look and mood.
—Katelyn Blough, beauty intern
Written on March 29, 2013 at 9:32 am , by Fitness Magazine
I have a serious sweet tooth but try to curb my cravings and only indulge once in a while (chocolate is my weakness!). Lucky for me, I recently stumbled upon Chapstick limited-edition Cupcake Creations ($2, drugstores) available in decadent Cake Batter and Velvet Cupcake flavors. They glide on lips like butter and instantly make any flakes disappear. But the best part, of course, is that they’re 100 percent guilt-free. And though they aren’t quite as satisfying as a cupcake, I’ll be reaching for these balms as a treat numerous times a day.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Written on March 4, 2013 at 9:43 am , by Fitness Magazine
The shower is my escape after a long, busy week. There’s nothing better than coming home on a Friday night, running a hot shower, and washing away the day with a handful of my favorite scrub. The steam and the fragrance create my own little spa-like experience. Here are a few of my new faves:
This scrub hits all the right notes: magnolia, sandalwood and mandarin. It has an oriental fragrance, and it caught the attention of my friends and even scored me a few compliments.
So this one’s a bit of a splurge but this scrub’s results make it worth it. The bamboo powders slough away dry, rough skin while the hydrating shea butter moisturizes my arms and legs so they look glowy and polished. Plus a little goes a long way so it lasts a long time.
One whiff of this mouth-watering fragrance and you’ll do a double-take at the price tag. The spicy vanilla rum scent feels sultry (like some pricier options) and the sugar crystals mixed with sweet apricot and almond oils make it a real treat for your skin.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Written on February 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm , by Fitness Magazine
Whether you’ve been to one yoga class or one hundred, the importance of breathing is always a vital component—inhaling and exhaling drives the practice and helps you move from posture to posture. Recently, we grabbed our mats and headed to practice with Elena Brower, founder of Virayoga in Manhattan. Yes, we focused on breathing in the good and exhaling the bad, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from sniffing in Givescent, Brower’s recently-launched fragrance, over and over again.
With notes of vanilla, sage, grapefruit and bergamot, this scent “smells like Italy,” says Brower, who called the country home for two years. Sicily’s signature smells—think citrus lemon trees, rich olive oil and the city’s vanilla and butter pastries—served as her inspiration. “It’s a deliciously feminine scent; it has a grounding musk to it that balances the sweetness and makes it completely irresistible.”
So irresistible, in fact, that people would stop both Brower and Alexandra Lyon Perelman, her partner in the creation of this new fragrance, on the city streets to ask about this unique perfume. So the two decided to sell the scent, under one condition: “Inherent in our business model was a giving component. That was the only way starting a business made sense to us—it had to have giving as part of the plan.”
Since both worked with Women for Women International—a nonprofit that provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from poverty to stability and self-sufficiency—choosing a charity was as simple as slipping into downward-facing dog. In fact, Givescent sales sponsor two sisters and five percent of its proceeds will go to this organization.
Yogis and non-yogis alike have another fragrance to look forward to: Givescent Orange plans to launch in June, perfect for lighter, carefree days. “[It] maintains the essence of our signature scent, but is supercharged with sun-ripened citrus,” says Brower. Plus, a portion of its proceeds will benefit Every Mother Counts, which aims to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms-to-be.
—Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Written on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm , by Fitness Magazine
Post-workout, I treat myself to a warm soak to ease my sore muscles. While testing bath-friendly beauty products (tough job, right?), I stumbled across these three standouts, which have helped transform my bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary. I even use them as an incentive while working out (just one more mile until some TLC)!
Set the mood:
Bath & Body Works White Barn 3-Wick Candle in Honeysuckle ($20, bathandbodyworks.com)
Dim your lights (it’s you time!) and activate this candle. In a few minutes, the subtle blend of honeysuckle and creamy vanilla will fill the air. The best part: the sweet scent lingers for hours after the flame goes out.
Soak it up:
Lush Peaceful Lavender Bathing Under the Stars Bath Bomb in Twilight ($6, lushusa.com)
A fun alternative to bubble bath, this fizzy bath bomb will bob around the tub and dissolve, turning the water into frothy pink and purple swirls. Lavender essential oil will help you unwind—perfect for taking the edge off before bedtime.
Soften your skin:
Victoria’s Secret Seriously Soft Body Cream in Jasmine & Water Lily ($12, Victoriassecret.com)
Once you’re out of the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel. While it’s still damp, slather on this rich cream. Hydrating coconut and sunflower oils will leave your skin feeling silky, while the tropical scent will put you in a vacation-mode mindset.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Written on February 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm , by Fitness Magazine
I love a good nude lip so I was thrilled to discover Laura Mercier Stickgloss Lip Color ($22, lauramercier.com). It’s the perfect combo of a lipgloss and lipstick in one. My favorite shade is Brown Sugar: a subtle neutral color with a hint of pink shimmer. The formula glides on smoothly and the creamy texture hydrates my lips. I wear it every day—it complements any makeup look.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Written on January 22, 2013 at 5:21 pm , by Fitness Magazine
Artistry—the official cosmetics and skin care provider for the Miss America Pageant—recently introduced us to their star products, as well as, 2013 Miss America, Mallory Hytes Hagan. Here, the beautiful blonde gives us the lowdown on how she stays pageant-ready.
So, how does it feel to be Miss America?
“It’s kind of strange. I think the experience that I’m having is different from previous Miss Americas because I came back home [after the pageant]. This is what I was doing as Miss New York. To be back in New York doing it, it feels normal. So I’m sure I’ll feel it more as I travel the next couple of weeks. It’s a really big deal that I’ll be moving around so much. It’s awesome to know that for the rest of my life, I’m Miss America.”
How do you stay fit?
“I try to switch it up a lot. I worked with a California-based trainer named Sohee Lee, who wrote me a really wonderful training plan and I worked with a nutritionist, Richard Talens, who started Fitocracy, the online fitness app. I also worked with Mark Fisher Fitness here in the city, so I’ve gotten it from all angles. In order to keep it mixed up, I did SoulCycle, Bikram Yoga and Cross-Fit, just trying to keep myself motivated in any way that I could. Some weeks I would be like ‘I’m not going to the gym, I refuse,’ so I would go to Bikram Yoga and SoulCycle. I know it’s so hard for so many women to keep on top of it because life gets in the way. Find something that you enjoy doing this week, and hey, maybe next week is different.”
What does your diet entail?
“My meals consist mainly of chicken and broccoli. I tried to stick with a certain macronutrient range as I was getting prepared for Miss America. I had a lot of weight to lose, so on days when I was working out I would eat 120 grams of protein, no fat and 40 or 50 grams of carbs. On days when I wasn’t working out, I was having 150 grams of protein, 25 or less grams of fat, and no carbs. So it’s just maintaining those macronutrients when I’m working out and when I’m not, making sure that my body is functioning properly when I’m in the gym, and resting properly when I’m not as well.”
What is your go-to healthy snack?
“I’m really into eating celery and peanut butter—they call it ants on a log. It really hurt my feelings to leave off the raisins because they’re so high in sugar, but celery and peanut butter is a really big thing for me. I also love miso soup. Until I had to cut down on sodium, miso soup was a great option, and you can get it anywhere, which is great.”
Can you tell us your favorite diet tip?
“Order your sushi wrapped in cucumber—leave the brown rice off. It’s a great way to remove those calories and it still tastes delicious and fresh.”
We hear you want to get into the Cosmetic industry. How so?
“I’m studying advertising, marketing and communications at FIT, and they have a wonderful Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing bachelors program, so I have another semester in my associates and then hopefully, if I’m accepted into the program, I’ll be completing my degree in that.”
Tell us one beauty product that you could never compete without.
“Artistry’s Signature Eyes Automatic Liquid Liner ($20, amway.com). I’m in love with it. My eyelids are so oily, so I always end up with my eyeliner on the top of my eyelid from blinking. Their eyeliner doesn’t budge. It stays on all day long and wipes off really easily with makeup remover so it’s not tough to get off.”
How do you keep your skin clear?
“I really like the Artistry Essentials Balancing Skin Care System in the mini travel set ($19, amway.com). I have combination skin, so it’s really good to use a system like that’s going to target both my oily spots and my dry spots. It includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer and it comes in a little travel pack, which is great because I can throw it in my carry on suitcase.
How do you maintain your glowy skin?
“I self-tan. It’s one of my biggest beauty secrets. I don’t think people realize how much more glowing you can look if you add just a little color to your skin—it doesn’t have to be a lot. My self-tanning secrets are to exfoliate, then moisturize. Tanning salons tell you not to moisturize; I say do it. Your tan won’t last as long but it will be more natural when it’s applied.”
Do you have any tips for exfoliating?
“I do the most traditional home remedy for exfoliating: sugar, salt and just a little bit of olive oil. I rub it on my feet, hands and knees.”
Who is your beauty icon?
“Charlize Theron is so beautiful and fresh and put together. She always looks phenomenal with no makeup, with just mascara, with a face full of makeup, with smoky eyes, everything. Whoever her stylists are, they should be commended.”
—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern