Written on April 4, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Breaking beauty news: Lancôme announced that the Academy Award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, will be their new brand ambassadress. The 31-year-old Kenyan stunner stormed onto the Hollywood scene with her moving role as Patsey in the film 12 Years a Slave and has been wowing us with her one-of-a-kind beauty ever since. From bold and bright eyeshadows and liners to punchy lip colors, Nyong’o proves she’s not afraid of color and pulls off every shade flawlessly. We totally envy how versatile her look is (not to mention, her toned body and glowing skin!). About her new role as a face of the brand, she says, “I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.” (We second that!). She’ll be in good company by joining Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and Lily Collins as faces of the brand.
Written on April 3, 2014 at 4:07 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Cookbook author, celebrity chef and co-host of the Food Network’s talk show, The Kitchen, Katie Lee, certainly knows how to harness food in her delicious recipes, but she also incorporates some of the same ingredients into her beauty regimen. Recently, Lee teamed up with Stolichnaya vodka on their #SearchForMary to find original Bloody Mary recipes across the nation. We chatted with the glam chef about everything from primping to pancakes.
So we know you’re hanging out with Stoli today for a Bloody Mary brunch. Is there a way to make a Bloody Mary healthier?
“I think a Bloody Mary is a healthier choice because with the base being tomato juice, it’s not a sugary drink, and you’re getting some lycopene in there, which is good for your skin and a good antioxidant. I use low-sodium juice, which I think makes a big difference. You don’t want to get puffy from your drink or raise your sodium levels, so I use low sodium. One of the other great things about a Bloody Mary is the spices in it. Spicy foods can spike your metabolism. And Stoli vodka is a nice robust vodka that will hold up to those spicy flavors of the Bloody Mary, so it really is a good pairing.”
Any tips for keeping brunch on the healthy side?
“When you go out for brunch, look for healthier options and make some adjustments. Tell them to go easy on the cheese if you’re going to have an omelet and you want cheese. Or sometimes, I’ll ask them to make my omelet with egg whites and one egg yolk. That way I still get the flavor of the egg yolk in there and also the yolk has some B vitamins, so I still like to get one yolk and the rest be egg whites, so you feel like you’re still indulging but you’re making healthier choices.”
Do you have any favorite healthy brunch recipes?
“If I’m at home, what I’ll do, because I do love pancakes, is I make a pancake recipe that is just cottage cheese, oats and eggs in the blender. And it’s high protein, high fiber, and no guilt.”
Sounds delicious! What’s one of the best beauty tricks you’ve picked up?
“I really like to use food in my beauty products and my makeup artist uses a lot of oil, so I picked up that tip from her. I add a little coconut oil to my foundation when I put it on and it just gives a nice sheen and it’s still really moisturizing. Especially since it’s still cold out and my skin is dry. I tend to have dry skin all year long and in the summer, I’m in salt water a lot because I surf, so having that little bit of oil makes my makeup have that perfect little glow to it.”
Is surfing one of your go-to workouts?
“Yeah! I love surfing. I started surfing about four years ago; the ocean was a fear of mine and I like to do things to get out of my comfort zone. So, I decided to take a surf lesson and I got obsessed with it, so that’s one of my workouts. And then, I religiously do Tracy Anderson. I love her workouts. And I’m just a really active person; I love to eat, but I love my skinny jeans too, so it’s a trade-off. If I want to eat all that good stuff, I’ve got to workout.”
Written on April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Giada DeLaurentiis is kind of like our (gorgeous) best girlfriend from down the street who comes over to whip up delicious meals then help us eat them. She’s a staple in thousands of kitchens as the star of the Food Network’s Everyday Italian and Giada at Home, a judge and mentor on Food Network Star and the author of six New York Times best-selling books including her latest, Giada’s Feel Good Food. And although she’s a pro when it comes to cooking, she knows a few things about primping as well. As the celebrity spokesperson for Clairol, we met up with her to chat about Natural Instincts, the hair color and her own intuition. Read on for more scoop on her beauty routine, her favorite recipes and her new restaurant opening in Las Vegas.
So let’s talk about hair color. When did you start coloring your hair and why?
“I started coloring in my early 30s. I just felt that my hair color was getting a little dull. It was brown, but it wasn’t doing anything for my face and as I was getting a little older, I felt like it might be fun to play around and figure out what looks good on me. I think that happened because I had little bit more money to spend and a little more confidence to go out on a limb and try it. So I started coloring my hair a little bit; I went much darker like jet black; I went red; I went platinum blonde. I tried lots of different things. I cut my hair really short at times, then I had a bob and then I had it long. I really was searching. I sort of had a love/hate relationship with my hair almost my whole life; I have curly, sort of frizzy hair, and so I never knew how to tame it, and my mom was never good at teaching me, so I really wanted to find a way to control my hair and so I think I tried lots of different things. And then, I started with Clairol. I found a good color for me; something that could give me a pick-me-up in between salon visits because as I get older, I have to go to the salon more often, but I don’t always have time and so it’s really nice to be able to use something that’s actually conditioning my hair at the same. I think that a lot of us women tie our hair to the way we feel about ourselves. That’s why a bad hair day can throw off the entire day and make you feel bad. So, I think that’s what I was searching for and that’s what I found.”
Has the formula helped with your frizz as well?
“Yeah and that’s the other thing—controlling your frizz is number one and moisturizing your hair and keeping it healthy is a great way to control frizz.”
In terms of makeup, what are some of your must-haves?
“I have a whole beauty routine that I like to do, but I really like cover-up with SPF in it. Sunscreen to me is the key to everything. My brother died about ten years ago from melanoma, so I really, really am hardcore when it comes to sunscreen in everything that I use, whether it’s foundation; whatever it is, I use sunscreen. I even put sunscreen in my hair, to protect my hair and my scalp because a lot of times you burn your scalp without even knowing it, and you can get melanoma on your scalp. So I put sunscreen everywhere. It’s my number one; I don’t leave home without it. I don’t care if it’s snowing or raining, there’s still some kind of light coming out, and I have to protect myself from it. Then I always wear a light foundation on my skin to even it out and to protect it. Unlike a lot of people who feel like the best thing to do for your skin is not wear anything, I actually feel like wearing something actually protects your skin from the elements. The cold, the heat, the dryness: all that stuff. Lately if I don’t want to do my eyes, I really like a red lip. I’m into the red lip, otherwise I’ll do up my eyes and I like a little sparkle, a little glitter eye shadow for me is super fun.”
We know you’re a pro in the kitchen. Do you have any cool beauty tricks that you can DIY in your kitchen?
“Well, what I love to do to moisturize my hair when I’m home is to make a little mask of avocado and olive oil. You mix it together and put it from mid-length to ends. And then, if I’m not in a rush, I’ll just put my hair up and leave it in there for a few hours and then go back and rinse it out. Otherwise, I’ll just stay in the shower for 15 minutes and let the humidity and moisture lock it in. Coconut oil is great on the ends of your hair, as well, and straight olive oil is great on hair, which I love to do. That’s what I do when I’m home. When I’m on the road, I love the conditioner included with Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color ($9, walmart.com). That’s what I use once a week, because my hair goes through so much styling and curling and flat ironing and blow-drying, so I use that to moisturize my hair.”
Switching gears a bit, we know it’s your job to cook and essentially to eat. What are your tricks for not over-indulging?
“Well, I’m not going to say I never indulge in anything, because I do, but the next day I balance it out. I will say that eating all day is tough [when judging The Next Food Network Star], so I make sure that I have one-to-two bites, tops. I feel like once I’ve had one or two bites, I know what it tastes like and anything else after that is just pure indulgence. And when you have to eat as your job, and you have to eat lots of different things, you can’t ever overeat. So, that plus lemon water also helps me flush it down and keeps my palette feeling very clean and ready to eat something else. I think for me, moderation is the key and I portion-control myself, from snacks that I keep in my bags to food that I eat. Even when I go out to eat, I’ll try and order the appetizer version of things. If I can’t, or I don’t like something that’s on the appetizer menu, I’ll get a main course meal, and then I’ll ask them to just pack up the other half and I just don’t ever see it. Or, the other thing that works really well is family style, where you just share plates and that makes it easier because you never feel like you’re going to overeat and you can taste a lot of different things. I think those are some really simple ways to keep moderation in your diet when you’re out and about, because it’s hard when you travel.”
Definitely. I know you love chocolate. For those of us who have a sweet tooth, are there any healthy recipes you love?
“Yeah! One of my favorites lately is my Chocolate Avocado Mousse. So, put avocado in a food processor with unsweetened cocoa powder, a teaspoon of agave and some bittersweet melted chocolate chips, and puree it all together. And then I usually just chill it, so I put it in little cups and I serve it with raspberries. That to me is my go-to pick-me-up. The other one that I love is dried figs and almond butter in a food processor. I make little balls and then I dip them in melted dark chocolate and make little fig balls and, again, I keep them in the fridge and top them with a little sea salt. And those are pop-in-your-mouth pick-me-ups that are healthy and good for your body. So it’s a really good indulgence.”
Yum! You mentioned you travel a lot, how do you manage to stay active and healthy when you’re on the road?
“You know, working out on the road is probably the hardest and I’m not a runner, which tends to be the easiest way to get some exercise. So, I do a lot of yoga, I bring my yoga blocks with me, so I do yoga in the morning and at night, even if it’s just for five minutes and even if it’s a few sun salutations, it gets my body breathing and aligns me. Lately, I’ve tried to do a little bit of boxing. I find that boxing releases stress and frustration and, at the same time, helps you sweat and really tones your body. So, I’ve been doing a little bit of that.”
I got into a really big kickboxing phase at one point and it’s such a stress reliever; it feels good!
“It just feels good! You know, because I’m opening this restaurant in Vegas, I feel like my stress level has sort of gone to another level and it’s a really great way to control it. So, it’s been really helpful, maybe six months from now when everything’s said and done, I won’t like it as much anymore, but for right now, it’s working for me so I’m going to stick to it.”
That actually brings me to my next question; congratulations on the new restaurant! Why did you feel like now was the right time and Vegas was the right spot?
“Good question. Now is the right time because I think I’m at the point in my career where I need something brand new. I needed to sort of explore a new horizon and try something totally different, although, still in my wheelhouse, something I’ve never done before on a grand scale that I don’t think anybody has done before. I believe that everybody that has a restaurant on the strip has a restaurant somewhere else first. No one is starting from scratch and I’m starting from scratch – literally: the place was gutted, my space was a 2-floor parking garage. Most places have an existing framework or have an existing kitchen, they might be gutting it, but there was a kitchen there. There was no kitchen; there were parked cars there. So, for me, it’s like starting from scratch all the way. It’s a boutique hotel, the first on the strip and I’m one of the first female chefs on the strip, so there’s so many firsts. For me, I feel like, there are things you can do in Vegas that you can’t do anywhere else and although I’m going to make my food and I’m going to have my iconic dishes, I also want to have some show with those dishes. So, instead of just giving you Chicken Cacciatore, I’m going to roast a whole chicken and I’m going to present it to you, it’s going to be Chicken Cacciatore for two, and we’re going to carve it for you. We’re going to finish pasta dishes tableside, sometimes in a skillet and sometimes maybe in a round Parmesan cheese wheel, like they do in Italy. So there’s a lot more show involved than just ‘here’s your dinner.’ And, you know, a really sort of modern, Italian restaurant. So not checkered tablecloths, more of a reinvented Italian with a California spin, which is really what I’m known for. And we have indoor-outdoor dining, which is kind of unheard of in Vegas and an unbelievable view of the Bellagio fountains, so I hope people will come and get engaged—it’s so romantic. The hotel is called The Cromwell and the opens May 1st, and we open around the 20th of May. It’s around the corner and it’s kind of scary because there are no walls up yet, so I’m not really sure how it’s going to work, but they tell me that in Vegas, anything is possible, so we’re just going to leave it at that!”
Good luck! Obviously opening a restaurant is a big step. What has been the best advice you’ve gotten in regards to following your own natural instincts?
“My grandfather told me a long time ago that following your instincts, your natural instincts, is the way to success. It’s kind of the key to success and a lot of us don’t do that or we question ourselves. Trust me that I have questioned myself as to what I was thinking when I said yes to this space and to this restaurant and many people doubt me and many people, especially my peers, fear the worst for me and feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew. And maybe I have, but I have to say that sometimes in life when you’re a little bit naïve about something and you think you can handle more than you can, at the end of the day, part of that naïveté has probably helped me make this decision and will probably propel me to the next level. And had I known everything that I’m in now and will be in, I may not have done it. So, you know, I think ignorance is bliss sometimes and I think that I would like to prove to people that, women can also do the same thing that men can do.”
Written on March 28, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I recently got a haircut that was much shorter than I had ever gone, and although I loved it at first, after a few months I started to miss my long locks. So I decided to start taking Viviscal Extra Strength Hair Growth Supplements ($50, viviscal.com). I’ve met with the brand before and found out that the twice-daily supplement contains an exclusive marine complex that helps to nourish thinning hair and promote existing healthy hair growth from within, completely drug free. One important thing to note: because it does contain fish and shellfish, it’s not recommended for anyone allergic to fish, shellfish or seafood. So even though my hair wasn’t thinning, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give my follicles a little extra TLC to speed up the grow-out process. After just a few weeks, I started to see wispy baby hairs growing along my hairline. Then, at a recent visit to the salon, my stylist told me that I actually had tons and tons of baby hairs growing out all over my scalp, not just the hairline! I couldn’t believe it. They were already close to an inch long and I can tell I have a little added volume near my roots. I can’t really tell if it’s speeding up the growth of the length of my hair, but I know for sure that if I stick with it, I will have thicker, fuller hair in no time and I can hardly wait!
Written on March 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jealous of Jen, much? With her year-round glow and killer body, it’s obvious why women (and men) swoon over her. Case in point: the pics that recently surfaced of the star vacationing in Mexico with her beau Justin Theroux: At 45, Aniston looks better and fitter than ever. And though many things have changed throughout the years (say, haircuts for example), one thing has remained the same: her respect for a solid skincare routine, including products by Aveeno. As the company’s ambassador, she recently narrated a series of short videos celebrating ingredients found in nature, highlighting their farm-to-formulation journey and how these actives can enhance your own natural beauty. We stole a few minutes with Aniston to chat about her involvement in the project and how she manages to look better and better as the years go by.
What drew you to becoming a brand ambassador for Aveeno?
“Well, it was just so organic and I’ve used Aveeno since I was in high school and so it just seemed like a really organic and easy relationship.”
Tell me a little bit about the “Beauty of Nature” project and why you wanted to be involved?
“Well, being a part of the Aveeno family, it was kind of the obvious go-to to have me narrate it and I wanted to do it because I thought it was an interesting element for the consumer to understand what goes in and how much detail is put into their products and how natural all of it is.”
Speaking of natural, everyone loves your effortless, natural look. How do you pull it off from a beauty perspective?
“Oh my gosh, well I use so many different things. The main thing that helps with that is a lot of hydration, obviously, and simple, natural products. Also, being very careful about what you eat because all of that reflects. It’s the old saying, ‘You are what you eat.’ I think it’s reflected in your skin.”
So our readers really want to know, how do you stay in shape?
“You know, I try to mix it up. I want to try Crossfit, I’m terrified of it, though. It’s very intense; very intimidating. I basically do a combination of three: I usually do my spin bike, I run and I do an elliptical—usually 15 minutes on each machine. And then I’ll do, if I have the luxury of time, about a half hour of yoga. Or I just do yoga and then there’s other times when I’ll do strength-training and that’s pretty intense. It’s kind of, what I would imagine, like a Crossfit, but it’s just basically working every part of your body against its own weight.”
Got it. So you like to switch it up?
“Yeah, because you can get bored doing the same thing. And I also think it’s really good taking a break once in a while from working out.”
We know you travel a lot for work. How do you manage to fit in time to exercise on the road?
“I just make the time. I just get up that extra hour and get it in there. It’s just such a game changer on your mood for the day. So I’ll make myself do it, but if I get down to the gym, I get down to the gym. Or if I bring my bands, you can do a lot of stuff in your room.”
Do you have any healthy eating strategies for when you’re traveling or if you’re on set?
“Oh, just a healthy, grilled clean protein and vegetables, of course. It’s pretty basic. I try to stay as light on oil as you can and salt, obviously, and no sugars.”
We always suggest packing healthy snacks in your bag so you have no excuses. Do you have any healthy snacks that you keep around?
“I do. I always have an apple with me and I have some walnuts for protein. And I sometimes throw a little protein bar in my bag.”
Written on March 24, 2014 at 12:28 pm , by Fitness Magazine
We got the memo—full brows are in (hello, Cara Delevigne!). There’s just one problem: if you don’t have them, how can you get them? We called on eyebrow extraordinaire and owner of Sania’s Brow Bar in NYC, Sania Vucetaj, to explain the ins and outs of filling in your brows, so they don’t end up looking like crazy caterpillars.
What’s the biggest issue women have with eyebrow shaping?
“The shape needs to be as symmetrical and full as possible; full in a flattering way. But many people think you should be adding pencil throughout the whole brow, when in fact, it should just be used to outline the brow. Because you already have hairs in the brows center and sparseness is usually around the brow. The best bet is to outline the shape and then blend it in using a clean spooley (a clean mascara brush). The color will then go through the brow to achieve a natural look.”
What’s your favorite brow powder or pencil?
“I actually have my own brow pencil called the Sania’s Brow Bar Angled Mechanical Brow Pencil ($30, saniasbrowbar.com). [Ed note: this is one of our fave’s too!] The formulation of the pencil gives you the precision of a pencil but also the soft smoothness of a powder to help you achieve the most natural look. The pencil comes in three natural shades: light, medium and dark. The unique angle of the pencil is shaped like a brush so that it mimics the brow for easy application. It also comes with a spooley on the opposite end for blending.“
How do you know what shade is best for you?
“You should stay as true to your natural color as possible. When in doubt, pick a shade a little lighter. If you want to darken your brows, pick a slightly darker shade. If you want to soften brows, pick a slightly lighter color. The beauty of pencils is you can mix and match!“
Walk us through the steps of filling in. Where do you start?
“You would take the wide angle of the pencil and start with filling in just the center of the brows. Then, with the thin edge of the pencil, outline the top of the brow while lifting the arch area. Next, outline with the thin edge underneath the brow, where sparseness usually occurs. Then blend with the brush in upward strokes for beautiful, natural-looking brows!”
Is there anyone who should not fill in their brows?
“If someone has really full, prominent brows, they may not want to. But for the most part, everyone has a bit of sparseness in their brows and can benefit from using a little pencil to perfect them.“
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on March 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
March marks National Women’s History month, the perfect time to celebrate the strides we’ve made and get motivated to help women around the globe. Beauty companies are pitching in with products that empower women. Here, a few of our faves.
Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Mascara to benefit The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls
Launched last year, the Pretty Powerful Campaign is a global initiative that celebrates the evolution of the brand’s message from confidence through makeup and empowering women and girls through education. It aims to help women by supporting educational or job skills’ training programs that provide them with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to overcome the inequities and disadvantages that far too many of them face every day. The Pretty Powerful Mascara ($25, bobbibroncosmetics.com) is an all-in-one formula that lengthens, thickens and defines without clumps or smearing throughout the day. It is available now and all proceeds in the U.S. benefit the Girl Rising Fund, a 501c3 fund operated by Tides Foundation, which drives resources to effective girl-empowerment programs in the developing world. If you’d like to find out more, check out the trailer to the inspiring documentary Girl Rising below:
Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Healthy Glow For Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette to benefit the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund
Claudia Poccia, President and CEO of Gurwitch Products, the manufacturer and distributor of Laura Mercier cosmetics, and Laura Mercier, founder of the Laura Mercier cosmetics brand established the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund in September 2012. Both Poccia and Mercier have loved ones who were affected by ovarian cancer, which is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women according to the American Cancer Society. The mission is to raise awareness, fund research and educational efforts that will help diagnose, treat and support women with ovarian cancer to prevent more women from dying from the disease. The Bonne Mine Palette ($48, lauramercier.com) is a must-have for any makeup bag. Featuring a cream bronzer, two cream blushes and two highlighters, it’s the perfect product to create that “no makeup” glow that looks soft and natural. 100% of the profits from sales are donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.
Yes To Carrots Yes to Movement Project to benefit You!
The Yes to Carrots brand is making March all about you! In honor of National Women’s History month, they’ve launched the Yes to Movement, a year-long project aimed at encouraging everyone to spread the power of positivity by saying “yes” to something for yourself, your loved ones or for your community. Their goal is to get fans to share one million Yes Moments with the hashtags #YESTOMOVEMENT and #YESWOMEN. Simply snap a selfie on Twitter or Instagram to inspire, empower and get each other to say “yes” more by saying “yes” to yourself first. They’ll choose one lucky lady and help her overcome her fear of saying “yes.” She’ll receive the resources (and all our support) to empower her to face it head on.
Let’s hear it for the girls!
Written on March 17, 2014 at 4:32 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Tracee Ellis Ross, best known for her roles in the series, Girlfriends, and most recently, in the BET sitcom, Reed Between the Lines is transforming more than just her body in the gym—she’s changing up her beauty look, too. She recently hit up her fitness center sporting a bright red lip and says it helps her feel pretty no matter how much she sweats. She’s even taking the notion to Instagram by encouraging others to snap pics of themselves getting #RedLipFit. And although we go to the gym to do serious work, it got us thinking: why can’t you look and feel pretty while working out? We’d obviously skip heavy foundation that could clog pores, but maybe the idea of an easy-to-apply bright lip or a fun mani can give you a boost when you’re busting out reps? Besides, the gym is that one place where you’re surrounded by mirrors almost everywhere you turn. So what do you think?
Written on March 14, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
So, yes, this falls more under the fashion umbrella, but it’s fun to mix things up sometimes on the blog (after all, fashion and beauty go hand-in-hand). Plus, I am just that excited about this new line that I couldn’t hold back. It’s no secret that one of my go-to workouts is a Spin class at Flywheel. I am non-discriminatory when it comes to a sweat session and will try almost anything once, and maybe even twice, but my heart always ends up back with Fly. So you can imagine my joy when they recently launched their first-ever Flywheel Label Collection (prices vary, bloomingdales.com and Flywheel studios). Featuring both performancewear and more casual sportswear, the fun, vintage-with-an-edge collection caters to the on-the-go life of a fitness buff. What’s even more exciting? Bloomingdale’s has picked up a few key pieces from the women’s collection to be sold at select Bloomingdale’s stores across the country including the New York City 59th street flagship as well as on their retail website. So check out a few of our faves below and snatch them up ASAP. Because really, what’s a killer workout if you can’t proudly #fitbrag about it on your sleeve. Right?
Written on March 7, 2014 at 1:47 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
A good lip balm is like good skincare for your lips—it’s the perfect base for your look. We all know how bad foundation and blush can look on dry, rough skin. The same goes for a bold lip color or shiny gloss over chapped, flaky lips—not a pretty look. I’ve recently been slathering on Noya Classic Lipbalm ($4, noyabeauty.com). Not only does it keep my lips feeling soft and supple, it’s made of just four all-natural, kosher ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and organic stevia. Sounds a little like your kitchen pantry, right? It’s one of the most natural balms out there, which makes me feel good since we inadvertently end up consuming some of our lip products. It comes in three other flavors as well: Vanilla, Cherry and Spearmint and for every lip balm purchased, Noya will donate one to a homeless person in need through The National Health Care for the Homeless. It’s easy to take something as basic as lip balm for granted, but now you can treat yourself and help someone else in need, all at the same time.