Written on August 8, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
This past Sunday, I competed in the New York City Triathlon (you can read all about it here) and though the race itself was awesome, it required a ton of preparation leading up to it. Aside from the weeks of training, I had to make sure I had all the right gear (because let’s be honest—when you look the part, you feel more confident). So in the final weeks, I grabbed some race day essentials: a Zoot wetsuit and Speedo goggles for the swim in the Hudson river, a Timex water-resistant watch to keep tabs on my pace, a cute and colorful Specialized #aeroiseverything tri kit for the bike and run legs, a bag of my favorite all-natural hydration mix from Skratch Labs along with four water bottles (I’m a salty sweater!) and—my favorite accessory of my race day look—a PaintBox gel manicure to match my kit! I know, I know, you don’t necessarily need a fresh mani before a big race but I’ve made it a personal tradition because it helps calm my nerves. I went to the high-design nail art studio here in New York City with some friends on a day I was feeling really anxious about the race. Doing something fun and pampering was just what I needed to get my mind off any triathlon-related worries. I opted for gel so it would stay intact through swimming, biking and running, and I brought a picture of my kit so the manicurist could match the colors. My friends and I nicknamed the design my “racing stripes” and honestly, it really pumped me up for the big day. I got a ton of compliments from a few girls in transition so it helped me make some friends, too (always a plus when you’re racing solo!). Just like an amazing hair day can give you the confidence to crush a job interview or land a hot date, a cool nail design can actually give you that little extra boost for a big athletic event. So next time you sign up for one, go ahead and treat yourself!
Written on July 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
The past few weeks, I’ve been training for the New York City Triathlon, which means a lot more time spent in the pool than I’m used to. And though training has reminded me that swimming is one of the best total body workouts, it’s also pretty tough on your hair and skin. Not only am I extra dry, I’ve been walking around smelling like a pool all day—ick. So I tested out SwimSpray ($15, swimspray.com), an 100% natural vitamin C spray that neutralizes the odor of chlorine on your hair, skin and suit. After swimming, simply rinse off, spritz the solution on the chlorine-smelling areas (I spray it in my hair and over my skin before jumping in the shower and on my bathing suit before washing it) and then shampoo or wash as usual. Since the formula is all natural (made up of just vitamin C and water) it’s great for kids and the convenient spray bottle packaging allows you to spritz the little ones even when they’re squirming all over in their suits. I would thank the makers for helping me deal with that unmistakable chlorine stank, but honestly—I think my cube neighbors are more grateful!
Written on July 4, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Independence day is a once-a-year opportunity to celebrate our freedom and enjoy time spent with family and friends. But we would never have that freedom if it weren’t for the brave men and women who serve in our military. When this holiday rolls around, I’m always looking for ways to sport some red, white and blue and I was excited when the Band-Aid Our Veteran Heroes Adhesive Bandages ($3, drugstore.com) came across my desk. These fun band-aids feature patriotic stars and stripes and military-inspired designs like camo (so fun for kids!). But the best part is: Band-Aid is partnering with Team Red, White & Blue, an organization that helps enrich the lives of American’s veterans by connecting them to their communities through physical and social activities and will donate 5% of the purchase price to a charity supporting vets. When you pick up a box of these, you can feel good knowing you’re contributing to a great cause. So for any scratch, scrape or cut that happens over this holiday weekend, slap on one of these to show your support and have a safe July 4th!
Written on June 13, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’ve been upfront about my love affair with full-coverage foundations and powders on the blog (see: here and here), so when the BB cream craze blew up, I really wasn’t that interested. BBs, which stand for beauty balms, are like a one-step, does-it-all miracle worker for your skin. While offering universally flattering sheer coverage and SPF protection, most also boast hydration, antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients. This all sounds amazing, except for the fact that they lack the full-coverage I prefer. I never found one I could make an exception for until I tried Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Beauty Balm SPF 25 PA++ ($34, sephora.com). It’s like a huge glass of H2O for your skin in a tube. The moisturizing formula has a unique water bead technology that hydrates and maintains healthy moisture levels throughout the day, resulting in a dewy, fresh look. People have actually been asking me what I’m using on my skin! It glides on smooth (you can literally just swipe it on with your fingers!) and has SPF 25 for added protection from the sun. The coverage is sheer but I use it on the weekends when I just want to even out my complexion without piling on makeup. It’s made up of 50 percent water and actually has a cooling effect when applied so it’s great for neutralizing redness after a workout. I’m hooked!
Written on April 25, 2014 at 12:48 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
There’s nothing more beautiful than a gorgeous smile. So to get mine to that level, I endured dozens of whitening treatments, floss nightly and had braces—not once, but twice! (You can read more about that here) Kind of crazy, I know, but since I went through all of that, I know how important it is to properly maintain my teeth with good brushing habits, even more flossing and most importantly—wearing my retainers (possibly the least sexiest thing on the planet, I know). But after my second round of braces, I swore to myself I would never let my teeth shift again, so I wear them every night like a good patient. Because of this, my orthodontist (shout out to Dr. Schulhof!) discovered I was grinding my teeth like a maniac at night. I actually ground holes in my retainers! (Maybe from all the stress of trying to have perfect teeth? Who knows?) So now I wear an additional grind guard as well. I basically look like a football player before bed and I have no idea why my boyfriend still thinks I’m cute. But I digress—the whole point of this is to say that I realized how insanely hard it is to clean a dental device. Each morning, I’d pop my retainers and guard out, and if you know anything about morning breath, then you can imagine what they smell like. I asked my orthodontist how to clean them and he suggested brushing with my toothbrush like you do your teeth. That seemed annoying so I suggested soaking them in mouthwash, but he informed me that doing so would actually dye my retainers, which are clear, so that was out of the question. So I diligently brushed my retainers each morning after my own teeth, but it takes up a lot of extra time. So, based on what you now know about my weird obsession with teeth, I’m sure you can imagine how ecstatic I was when Fresh Guard by Efferdent ($6, drugstores) came across my desk. Like, I was literally squealing. It’s like the Efferdent you always knew of for dentures but made specifically for dental devices like Invisalign, grind guards, retainers or even mouth guards for sports. They come in small Crystal-Light-like packets. You just fill a glass with warm water, pour in the packet and let them sit for five minutes. It contains a special formula that prevents the buildup of icky mouth film, reduces yellowing, helps remove stains and kills 99.9 percent of odor-causing bacteria—aka, my dream come true. As they soak, I brush my teeth, wash my face, put in my contacts and they’re clean! The water goes from blue and bubbly to clear so you know it’s time to take them out. Plus they’re also available in a wipe form, which is super-convenient for traveling or after meals when you’re on the go. I stash these in my purse and suitcase. And the wipes leave behind a fresh mint flavor so, to sum it up—this is one “find” that has put one big smile on my face!
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 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.
Written on February 28, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
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.
Written on February 14, 2014 at 11:38 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
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!