Written on October 16, 2013 at 12:24 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Have you ever heard that running, especially long distances (like marathons), can actually cause spider or varicose veins? We have, but we weren’t so sure it was true. So with fall marathon season upon us, we turned to a top Phlebology (the branch of medicine that deals with veins and their diseases) expert, Dr. Luis Navarro of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City to clear up any confusion for all of the runners out there who are training for races—big or small.
Does running cause spider or varicose veins?
“Running isn’t a direct cause of spider and varicose veins; the activity is actually beneficial to the circulatory system, and the ‘second heart.’ The ‘second heart’ is a system of muscles, veins and valves in the calf and foot that work together to push deoxygenated blood back up to the heart and lungs. However, if you wear sneakers that don’t offer proper support, the impact on hard surfaces can cause veins to swell. Make sure you purchase running shoes that are properly cushioned, and built specifically for running.”
How can you prevent spider or varicose veins from appearing?
“For some people, spider and varicose veins are a hereditary disease passed along from generation to generation. If you are genetically predisposed to this condition, the veins might still develop regardless of prevention methods. The most important prevention methods include maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, and frequent exercise to ensure proper circulation. If you stand for long periods during the day, wearing compression stockings will also help improve circulation, and help blood flow through the legs.”
If you already have spider or varicose veins, what can you do about them?
“Sclerotherapy is a quick, painless treatment that gets rid of spider and small varicose veins. During the treatment, a mild chemical solution is injected into the vein causing the issue. The solution then collapses the vein, and the body reabsorbs the vein and blood, which is re-routed into a healthy vein. Varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue; they can cause blood clots and other health risks, so it’s important to have them examined by your local venous expert. If it is determined that you have large varicose veins, there are several methods that can be used to eradicate them, including an out-patient surgical procedure known as an Endovenous Laser Ablation, foam Sclerotherapy or a phlebectomy.”
Are there other options available that don’t include a visit to a doctor’s office?
“If you have already developed spider or varicose veins, you can’t get rid of them without getting a treatment. You can disguise them with self-tanner, or relieve the uncomfortable ‘heavy leg’ feeling by wearing compression stockings. This will temporarily keep the blood from pooling in the veins and relieve discomfort. Also, taking a horse chestnut seed extract may relieve the discomfort and swelling associated with venous disease. Other prevention methods include maintaining a low salt, high fiber diet, keeping an eye on your weight, as obesity can stress your circulatory system and eating foods rich in antioxidants.”
Written on October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Kristen Bell is a movie star, but during our phone chat, I was pleasantly surprised to learn she’s totally down to earth. She loves food, but won’t let it own her. She loves spending time with her new baby girl (with soon-to-be hubby Dax Shepard), but won’t let her post-baby body be a focus in the media. And though she rarely has time for a major pampering session, she loves to indulge in a manicure and some lipstick (us, too!). Most recently, the Neutrogena Naturals brand ambassador is busy spreading the word about saving water with the Every Drop Counts campaign. Keep reading for the whole scoop.
Tell us about the Every Drop Counts campaign.
“It’s a campaign throughout the month of October that’s intention is to raise awareness about domestic water issues. It’s a partnership between Neutrogena Naturals and the Nature Conservancy with the goal of saving one million gallons of water throughout the month of October. This is the third year we’ve done it and it was massively successful last year. We saved almost two million gallons. On Neutrogena’s Facebook page, you pledge to save water in a variety of ways and you are entered to win a cool trip and there’s weekly eco-giveaways so it’s a way to make it fun and show you that you don’t have to be extreme to make a big impact collectively.”
Why does the campaign mean so much to you personally?
“I’m a big fan of awareness campaigns because change always starts with an idea. When people think of water issues, it’s often considered an international problem and not a lot of people are aware that we have domestic water issues as well and that it’s important to acknowledge that water is not an endless resource while simultaneously realizing how simple it is to help out. It’s a really, really easy thing to do, just to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. It’s not a sacrificial campaign, it’s just awareness about not wasting.”
We know you just became a new mom to baby Lincoln—congratulations! And you’ve been very vocal about not stressing over your weight post-baby. We’re all about body confidence, so how did you get to that point?
“Well, my main priority after having the baby was spending time with the baby and not losing the weight. I think often times the media creates this shameful narrative about women concentrating solely on their body size post-pregnancy as opposed to the fact that they just made magic! They just literally spit out another human life. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is! So I made a commitment to not allow that to be my narrative and I’ve been very vocal about it for a reason because I want women to know that it doesn’t have to be theirs either. I’m not down to my pre-baby weight; I don’t know when I’ll get there. I’m eating healthy, and I’m active and I’m spending a ton of time with my kid and that’s all I really care about. I’ve looked into how to get more cardio into my routine so I could attempt to get back to my original size so I started jogging. I’ll jog two to three times a week for 10-20 minutes. Nothing intense but just something to burn a little extra and I also do Pilates which I find is really helpful for more muscle tone. Obviously everything gets real stretchy in the middle when you’re having a baby so that helps.”
That’s a very healthy and sane mind set!
“You know, if my body never goes back to the twig I was before, who cares? I’m fine with it. If this is my shape for the rest of my life, I’m fine with it. I don’t really care what everyone else thinks about it, I’m completely fine with my shape.
Confidence is key! So in terms of eating, what are some of your favorite healthy meals or snacks?
“Nuts are a big part of what I snack on. I’m really loving these bars, called This Bar Saves a Life. For every bar purchased a life-saving nutritional packet is given to a child in need. When I was pregnant, malnutrition and kids not having enough food really started resonating with me and so I love snacking on those and I keep them everywhere because they’re delicious and it also makes me feel really good to buy them because it supports a good cause. My go-to at night is a really huge salad but not a lame salad. My salad is a little more like a casserole. I start with something substantial on the bottom like I’ll put a cup of lentils or a cup of bulgar but when I make a bulgar I make it with a vegetable broth so it doesn’t taste like bulgar and then put loads of greens. Then I add every fruit and vegetable possible. I’ll add cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, celery, walnuts and you can add or subtract depending on your taste but I say the more the merrier. Then I usually add a taste of nutritional yeast, which is really high in B vitamins and has seven grams of protein per tablespoon. Then on the top I fry some broccoli or broccolini in an olive oil spray and sprinkle in garlic salt. Throw that on the top and it’s a party. It feels like your eating. I love salad but I do not like salad when I don’t feel like I’m eating food.”
You sound like you know your foods stats, do you like to cook?
“I love it! I’m food obsessed but in a healthy way. It’s never a negative for me. I read the back of everything and know the contents of everything but I never use it in a negative way. I really believe in reading labels. I think you should be obsessed with reading labels. But be careful not to let that tiny insecure voice turn it against you.”
We know it’s nearly impossible to let beauty be on top of your list when you’re a busy mom with a busy career. So how do you find ways to fit it into your schedule and find time for yourself?
“I really like a good manicure—that’s one way that I feel beautiful. Since I use my hands a lot doing housework or dishes or whatever, I like looking down and seeing clean, beautiful nails. For my skin, I really find that less is more. It’s always been that way I think because I have sensitive skin. I think in a product-obsessed world, of which I’m a participant, do not get me wrong. I have to check myself in with what my skin actually needs not what my next-door neighbor’s skin needs. That’s why I really do like the Neutrogena Naturals line so much because it’s really effective. There’s no harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens in it at all and it’s just enough for me. I use the Purifying Facial Cleanser ($8, neutrogena.com) and it balances my skin. I let my skin take the lead basically and I’ve found that to be really effective. And it’s not often promoted like that. Beauty routines are usually about the more the merrier.”
[To help the water conservancy cause, Neutrogena will contribute 10% of the purchase price of each Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser sold to The Nature Conservancy through October 31st.]
When you’re running out the door, is there one makeup or hair product you always like to have on?
“It’s probably lips. I use a lot of lip balm because I tend to not wear makeup in my daily life. I do love the Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks ($7, neutrogena.com). The colors are really good. For me, if you’re running out of the house really quickly and your only goal is to not look like a corpse, one swipe of those, you don’t even have to look in the mirror; it’s easy.”
Written on October 11, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
With intricate attention to detail and whimsical touches, Marchesa (made up of Bristish-born Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig) is one of the most sought after labels for elegant evening wear. I would love to slip on one of their dreamy frocks but I (like most) can’t afford a gown (I’ll have to live vicariously through stars like Kerry Washington and Blake Lively who often don the label while walking the red carpet). But now, thanks to Revlon, we can all get a little taste of the luxurious couture house. The two brands teamed up to create a limited edition collection of textured Revlon by Marchesa 3D Jewel Appliqués ($10, drugstores) inspired by Marchesa’s signature designs. With eight different patterns, there’s a motif for everyone. I chose Gilded Mosaic and not only did the stickers hold up on my nails for a week (impressive!), I racked up a ton of compliments, most recently from the bouncer of the bar I went to last night when I handed him my ID. If a dude notices your nails, you know you’ve got something special.
Written on October 4, 2013 at 9:34 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Have you ever toyed with the idea of getting a little Botox to help smooth that stubborn wrinkle across your forehead or asking your derm for a Latisse prescription in hopes of growing long, fluttery lashes but were too scared to take the plunge? Allergan, the pharmaceutical company behind these innovations is now offering two new beauty tools that allow consumers to virtually test out both Botox and Latisse. Here’s how they work. (And though we’re super-psyched about trying out these apps, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about whether these treatments are right for you.)
For the Line-Obsessed:
Botox Cosmetic iVisualizer Tool gives you a sneak peek at what your skin would look like if you got Botox. It only shows you the potential results for a treatment between the brows, but—good news—the FDA recently approved Botox for the treatment of crow’s feet as well. Simply click here and follow the instructions to snap a picture of yourself furrowing your brows (so your wrinkles pop) in a well-lit room. The program immediately generates a before and after picture. You can print your results and then consult with your doctor if you’re interested in pursuing the in-office treatment.
For the Lash-Obsessed:
Latisse iLash Studio helps you visualize how your lashes could look after using Latisse (the first FDA approved prescription to treat inadequate lashes) for 16 weeks. It’ll encourage you to think of questions you should ask your doctor when considering the treatment as well as offer you tips and other real women’s before and after lash photos. If you don’t currently have a doctor, the app can help you find one in your area. The app is for iPad users only (download it for free here) then snap a picture of yourself from above so your lashes are fully visible and watch the results change.Although this tool is for demonstrative purposes only and individual results vary, it’s fun to see how lush your lashes could look.
Written on October 2, 2013 at 9:59 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Calling all New Yorkers! Are you looking to make a major change to your hair and contribute to a great cause? We’ve got the perfect opportunity for you. The Valery Joseph Salon located at 1044 Madison Avenue, New York City, is offering free haircuts every Sunday and Wednesday in October beginning 10/2 through 10/30. Participants must be willing to cut off 10” or more of hair to be donated to Locks of Love in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. To see if your hair meets the donation guidelines and to access the donation form, click here:
If you’re not located in or near NYC, look for participating salons in your hometown by searching for a Locks of Love decal in the window or trying an online search and entering Locks of Love salon and your city and state. Inquire about any special deals they may offer to clients donating to Locks of Love.
Written on September 27, 2013 at 11:01 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Once a month, I see my derm for a glycolic peel to keep my skin looking glowy and to help keep acne at bay. He swabs the concentrated gel on my face and after just a few minutes, my skin looks refreshed and feels baby soft. So that got me thinking— maybe I should care for the skin on my body in the same way as I care for the skin on my face. Enter: Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub ($42, caneandaustin.com). With a 10% concentration of glycolic and gentle micro-beads, this super scrubber exfoliates on a chemical and a physical level. I keep it in my shower, massage it into my arms and legs in a circular motion and then let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. The rough patches on my elbows and knees are instantly smoother and my skin in general looks brighter. Insider tip: if you’re like me and occasionally like to dabble with self-tanner, this product doubles as a great prep before application or as an eraser to help blend noticeable streaks.
Written on September 20, 2013 at 1:48 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
This Sunday marks the first day of fall, aka my absolute favorite season. Don’t get me wrong; there are great things about spring, summer and winter, but fall is the quarter my birthday falls in, it reminds me of being back home in Pennsylvania where the leaves turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red, and it means I officially have the green light to indulge in all pumpkin everything. Whether it’s a flavored coffee in the morning or a spiced treat for dessert, the tastes and smells of pumpkin are comforting during the chillier autumn months. Last night, I swapped out all of the bright, summery decorations in my apartment for more rustic options—burnt orange flowers in a mason jar, twine-embellished frames and Illume’s Heirloom Pumpkin Metallic Knob Tin Candle ($24, illumecandles.com). It’s luxe metallic amber tin, which glows when lit, makes any room feel instantly cozier. As the rich scent of creamy pumpkin pureé mixes with warm vanilla, dark brown sugar and cinnamon spice, you’d swear your mom had snuck in and been baking all day. So until Thanksgiving, it looks like I’ll be relying on burning these candles every night to keep homesickness at bay.
Written on September 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Ruth Zukerman, a leading fitness instructor for over 25 years, values health and wellness in her personal life but loves to share it with others even more. In 2006, she co-founded the popular indoor cycling studio Flywheel, which now has 24 locations nationwide and is rapidly growing. Her latest adventure: teaming up with the classic skincare brand Olay to spread the word about beauty and wellness to the fitness world. We stole a few minutes with her to chat about two of our favorite things: Spinning and beauty.
What interested you in teaming up with Olay?
“Basically, I was introduced to several of their products, particularly the Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash ($6, olay.com). It’s an amazing product for anyone in fitness because it’s so moisturizing and there’s a longterm effect. There are a lot of days where I shower two to three times and I always worry, especially as I get older, about dry skin and the toll it takes on your skin when you take a lot of showers. I use it now exclusively and it’s just kept my skin looking great. It makes my skin glow and it smells amazing.”
How do you incorporate wellness into your life through beauty?
“Well, I would say first and foremost, I’m pretty simple when it comes to that and it’s about looking healthy, feeling clean and not wearing a lot of makeup in class. I wear waterproof mascara and some lip-gloss and once in a while, maybe in the winter, an oil-free foundation. That much is fine when you sweat because you do sweat so much in class. And I just really like to keep the look natural.”
Do you have any tips for getting out of the locker room fast post-workout?
“If you can shower quickly, I would recommend using the Ultra Moisture Body Wash because it’s a two-in-one thing since you don’t have to take the time to apply moisturizer afterwards. Aside from that, maybe spray in some dry shampoo to give hair a fresh look. During the workout, most of our riders wear either a bandana or we have sparkly headbands that we sell at our studios that look great and keep the hair away from your face. What I always recommend in terms of low maintenance is putting your hair back so it’s out of your face and then after class, taking your hair down and you can sort of blow dry around the hair line and it really preserves your hair.”
What beauty trends are you seeing all the active women rock in your studios?
“The ponytail is probably the most popular style and as I said, it looks great with those glittery headbands or sparkly bands. Braids are pretty big right now and I notice that a lot of our Boca and Miami instructors wear their hair in braids with a bandana and it looks amazing. It’s a great way to keep the hair away from your neck when you’re sweating so much.”
Do you have any post-workout must-haves?
“I would have to say the Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths ($7, olay.com) because they’re so quick and easy, especially if I don’t have time to shower, I just head to the bathroom and give my face a quick wipe down and I feel good.”
Written on September 17, 2013 at 10:24 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Ever wonder how your wax might be affecting your workouts, or vice versa? Us, too. So we tapped Noemi Grupenmager, Founder and CEO of Uni K wax centers (with locations in California, Florida and New York) to get the scoop on how your hair removal habits and your hustle in the gym are related. Below, she spills some of her best waxing secrets as well as offers tips to help you get your sweat on while still maintaining soft and smooth skin.
For an athlete or someone who enjoys working out, what are the benefits of waxing over shaving?
“A big plus is that waxing is safer than shaving and will help you avoid the daily risk of nicks, cuts, ingrown hair and razor burn that can irritate you while you’re working out and wearing tight clothing. Waxing removes hair below skin level making it a fairly long-lasting method of hair removal. Results can last from three to six weeks, which is ideal for those of us who swim regularly, or want to save time in the shower after a workout.”
Should you refrain from certain workouts like cycling or Spin class after a Brazilian or bikini wax?
“With the right wax, you can enjoy any workout without a worry. I have my own trick to ensure clients can go straight to the gym after their service. Uni K uses an all-natural elastic wax made for sensitive areas and after the elastic wax is removed, we apply an individual ice pack, which closes the pores quickly to minimize any redness or irritation. We then apply a gel made from cool and calming cucumber, chamomile and calendula extract to comfort, refresh and hydrate the waxed area. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, prepping your skin to feel even better and more ready for a workout (or the beach, etc.) than when you walked in! If you don’t have access to Uni K, simulate these treatments on your own by bringing a cold pack and a cucumber-rich moisturizer to use post-wax. It’s important to note that hard wax or strip wax can irritate the skin more than elastic wax, so if you do feel uncomfortable after using those types of waxes, opt for a workout that doesn’t stress the bikini area and start spin class again the next day.”
Can swimming—in the pool or ocean—post-wax cause irritation?
“Typically you can go swimming and not experience any post-wax irritation. The secret is to apply wax at body temperature so it doesn’t burn or aggravate the skin. This calms and gently opens pores, and using the cold pack described above closes them again, so you’re no more vulnerable to irritants in the water like chlorine or salt. Just be mindful that tight swimsuits can increase the likelihood of an ingrown hair.”
I was just going to ask, can tight leggings cause ingrown hairs? If so, how can you treat or avoid them?
“If you wax regularly, you will have a slim chance of getting an ingrown hair. However, tight clothes, like workout leggings compress the hair against your body most of the time, and the chances of getting an ingrown hair increase. Don’t stay in your wet swimsuit or sweaty leggings longer than necessary after your workout. Exfoliating regularly will help to diminish your chance of getting an ingrown hair. I do recommend avoiding exfoliating one to two days before and after you wax because the wax will exfoliate your skin while removing unwanted hair. If you do experience ingrown hairs, try a gel formulated to gently exfoliate, like Uni K Ingrown Hair Roll-On ($22, unikwax.com).”
Often after any type of facial wax (eyebrows, lip, chin, etc.) and a workout, a breakout ensues. Is there any way to avoid post-wax zits?
“To minimize breakouts, choose a wax that is not hot, contains no chemicals, is gentle on the skin and does not cause discomfort. It’s also important to hydrate with plenty of water and moisturizers before and between waxing to achieve a better hair removal result and reduce any irritation. Avoid applying retinol products to skin 24-48 hours before facial waxing. Retinol is the purest form of Vitamin A, and while it’s a great ingredient for treating adult acne, it’s extremely potent and even applying a thin layer makes skin more sensitive and prone to redness and irritation.”
If you wax your underarms, is it okay to use deodorant immediately?
“Yes, it is okay to use a deodorant after waxing as long as the deodorant itself is not irritating for you. When considering what type of deodorant to use, it is always better to use bars and roll-ons over sprays, as sprays tend to be more harsh and difficult to control during application. Try to choose products that contain natural ingredients and skin soothers (like aloe, chamomile, cucumber, etc.) without synthetic fragrances which can be irritating to some people.”
Written on September 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’ve never had perfect skin but I’ve always tried to fake it. Armed with an arsenal of foundation, concealer and powder, I could apply my “no-makeup” makeup routine in my sleep. But one thing I’ve never added to the mix was a face primer. Though I’m addicted to eye shadow primer as mentioned here, most versions I’ve tried for the face have felt too greasy until I snagged Clinique Superprimer Universal Face Primer ($27, clinique.com) from the beauty closet. I tossed it in my makeup bag and smoothed it over my face after my moisturizer but before foundation. I was stunned by how hydrating and lightweight it felt. It evens out my skin texture without that heavy silicone feeling I’ve experienced in the past. My makeup goes on better and lasts longer with this as a base. I use the Universal shade, which is colorless, but it comes in five additional shades that help counteract specific issues like redness, sallowness and dullness. I may never feel like I have flawless skin (does anyone, really?) but I’m happy to keep fooling everyone with this complexion perfector.