Written on May 3, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
A not so fun fact: there are over 700 different species of bacteria that can grow in our mouths (ew, we know). Reading that number is alarming enough but the worst part is that brushing alone can’t kill them all so using a mouth rinse with antibacterial ingredients is key. One of my favorites: Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash ($5, drugstores). It’ll not only wipe out 99% of the bacteria, but it also protects your teeth and mouth from germs for up to twelve hours, even after eating and drinking. I felt like I had an invisible shield on my teeth all day after using it. Also good to note, it didn’t give me that harsh, burny feeling.
* Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield Mouthwash was given to us by Colgate-Palmolive for review purposes.
Written on May 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Cellulite is no laughing matter—especially for those who have it, which is up to 90 percent of women, according to recent reports. And when it comes to the dimply, jiggly skin, it seems women will try just about anything to get rid of it (think: shrink wrap and crazy shapewear). But some of these makeshift solutions are so extreme, the only thing you can do is laugh at the lengths women go to in hopes of smoothing out the cellulite (hey, we all can relate). Beauty company Vichy is making light of the matter by introducing the Cellulite Confessions campaign with a funny mockumentary that highlights the nonsensical and just plain wacky treatments women attempt in their pursuit for smoother skin.
On a more serious note, Vichy wants to help you kick cellulite’s stubborn butt. And since most attempts seem to fail, the brand is taking a new, two-pronged approach. So in addition to using their skin-firming creams, CelluDestock ($40, vichyusa.com) and Destock Stomach ($38, vichyusa.com), twice daily, they’ve teamed up with fitness expert and Equinox instructor, Violet Zaki, to bring you easy, yet effective workout tips to add to your routine. You can view her videos here. Below, Zaki shares her tips on how to keep cellulite under control exclusively for you:
Vichy is kicking off the Cellulite Confessions campaign, so what are some of the craziest things you’ve heard from women trying to get rid of cellulite?
“It’s interesting because they come here [Equinox] to get rid of it so I think they would have way too much shame to tell me and confess to me what they’ve done otherwise. But they complain a lot about the areas where they have cellulite and I just tell them to make sure they’re consistent with their workouts, that they drink plenty of water, that they have a good diet as well, that they steer away from processed foods and eat more kinds of whole foods that will help them have body weight that is consistent with their height.”
So what are some of the best exercises that women can do to target those trouble zones?
“I think a combination of cardio and strength-training, especially strength-training. Women tend to steer towards cardio and they don’t do too much strength-training. One pound of muscle in your body actually burns 50 more calories during rest time. So to do strength-training as well as cardio, and not try to zone in too much on the target areas but a total body workout does the trick.”
How does your diet play a key role in helping the appearance of cellulite?
“I mean, even if you work out and you don’t eat well, it’s going to still be a problem. It’s part of the equation: you eat well and you exercise and you will see results. It just goes hand in hand. And you know, staying away from the sugar and saturated fats and anything that pretty much comes out of a box or a can and eating whole foods that are colorful and fruit and vegetables and protein, because protein builds muscle as well.”
What do you think the biggest misconceptions are about cellulite?
“That only fat people have it. Actually, according to the Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 85% of women post-puberty have cellulite. And cellulite is caused by genetics, or post-natal, or poor food habits, or lack of working out, smoking causes it as well. And all shapes and sizes actually have cellulite. It doesn’t matter; celebrities have it, short, tall, skinny. It’s just something women have to deal with throughout their life.”
What would be your best advice for women to feel confident in their own skin?
“You know, a combination of eating well and exercising. And exercising, you release these endorphins that give you a sense of well-being. It actually takes about five minutes for the anti-stress benefits of exercise to kick in. Five minutes! That’s pretty good. And when you exercise and you feel good about yourself, I think you put your best foot forward in anything that you do. As a mother, as a professional, as a daughter, I think you have the ability to deal with whatever the world is throwing at you because you’re taking care of your body and yourself first, then you’re able to take care of everything else and everyone else in your world.”
Written on April 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Let the countdown begin: today marks just four weeks until Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial start of summer), which means it’s time to buckle down and get your bikini body on. Feeling anxious at the thought of slipping on your two-piece? Don’t freak out—Clarins has joined forces with celeb workout favorite, Barry’s Bootcamp, to help you reach your slim-down goal. Together, they’ve developed a series of video tutorials available on Clarins YouTube channel that combine simple, fat-burning exercises developed by International Celebrity Fitness Expert Joey Gonzales. Shoot to do each move for one minute a day for a week. As you get better at each move, you can increase the time by 30 seconds. To maximize the intensity of each move, buy a Barry’s Bootcamp Booty Band here for $9. The first video will be available today, with subsequent videos on each Monday for the next three weeks. And to really amp up your results, slather on Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control ($68, clarins.com), which when applied using the company’s customized technique—the Clarins Self-Massage Body Countouring Method—the new slimming lotion traps fatty tissue, stimulates circulation and encourages the elimination of excess water and lipids for less visible cellulite and firmer skin. Do this daily—trust us, you’ll want to (it’s pampering) and you’ll have a hotter body and smoother skin come summertime!
Written on April 26, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’m a big fan of a filled-in brow. Even the densest of brows can benefit from a little shaping with a pencil or shadow. Personally, I find it easier to work with a pencil, but the unique shape of Sania’s Brow Bar Angled Brow Pencil ($25, saniasbrowbar.com) makes it totally foolproof. The wider edge of the pencil works perfectly for filling in the thicker part of your brow while the thinner side helps define the tail after the arch and offers more precision. Bonus: the other end holds a spoolie brush so you can just flip it around and comb through to blend the color for a more natural look. It has everything you need for amazing arches in one easy-to-use pencil, and it never needs to be sharpened (score!).
Written on April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Next week, I’m traveling to Texas for the first time, and while preparing for my trip, I’ve been testing out hair products to use while I’m there. I love the look of voluminous hair, but I have naturally fine, straight strands that look flat and limp without any styling magic. The problem is, I hate spending more than a few minutes on my hair so I’m usually looking for a product that’ll do all the work for me. I found it with Göt2b’s 2sexy Voluptuous Volume Spray Mousse ($6, ulta.com). The unique spray formula makes it easy to target your roots. Here’s how I use it: I part my hair in several places along the top and crown of my head and spray it along my scalp. Then I mist it through the length of my hair for extra body. I flip my hair upside down to blow-dry, using my fingers to massage the product into my roots and a boar bristle brush to avoid tangles. When I’m done, you’d swear my hair was defying gravity. You get maximum lift that doesn’t feel dirty, as well as, workable hold and shine. I haven’t had to use my teasing comb in weeks. You know how they say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas?” Well, I’ll fit right in the Lone Star State thanks to this miracle mousse!
Written on April 16, 2013 at 12:03 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
As a beauty editor, I occasionally get treated to spa pedicures (I know—tough job, right?). And although it’s a total luxury, I can rarely find the time in my busy schedule to put everything on hold and just relax for a few hours, so sometimes I actually prefer a DIY pedi. It’s more convenient for me and with a set like Julep’s new Fit Feet Kit, it’s super easy to do at home. The kit includes everything you need to go from sneaker to sandal-ready feet:
- Billie Jean Polish: A purple fuchsia crème shade created exclusively for Fitness readers and inspired by legendary tennis player and women’s rights advocate Billie Jean King.
- Julep Instant Warming Foot Scrub: A cucumber mint-scented scrub that warms up on contact. It’s packed with natural pumice to exfoliate, chili pepper oil to stimulate circulation and vitamin E to nourish.
- The Best Pedi Prep Ever!: Super exfoliating AHA’s combine with chamomile extract to soften and prepare calluses for foot filing.
- Julep Foot File: It’ll smooth away calluses and soften rough skin (hello, heels).
- Toe Separators: For easy, foolproof painting.
You can snag it here (on sale!) for $29. Come on, happy feet await you!
Written on April 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Luckily, I haven’t spotted any grays just yet. Though there is this one wiry, white strand that pops up at the crown of my head when I get really stressed out, but I immediately pluck it out—no color correction needed (for now!). But I know many women who struggle with covering gray, especially because those hairs become brittle and less manageable when they lose their color. So when I heard about the new Redken Chromatics Beyond Cover (redken.com for salons), I brought in a special tester (my mom!) to try it out. The color gets delivered to the hair via nourishing Argan oil, so not only did my mom’s highlights look more vibrant and multi-dimensional, her hair was smoother and felt stronger than before coloring. Plus, the process covered all of her gray and stayed true-to-tone. Pretty amazing!
Written on April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Viewers of season four of The Voice have seen some major changes in front of the camera: Shakira and Usher have taken over for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. But one thing that’s remained the same is behind the camera—Darcy Gilmore is still holding it down in the makeup department. As the head of makeup, Gilmore’s in charge of directing her team of artists and working with each contestant to achieve their star-worthy looks. Here, she lets us in on what it’s like to work on the hit show plus shares insider tips that you can use for yourself (no singing required).
What’s the atmosphere like backstage on The Voice? Do you get a lot of time to sit down with each contestant and figure out his or her look?
“Well, actually, we begin prepping long before they come back once the coaches have selected their teams. So, we already have an idea in advance of what we want to do as far as changing their looks and updating their looks. And we’re coming back now this week and shooting what’s called ‘the battles.’ So at this point, it’s a pretty big push into a new look. At least 50% into a more polished, artist look. So we’ve already done a lot of the footwork before they even walk in the door. And then as far as backstage goes, it’s pretty hectic but scheduled. It’s very calculated. There are no accidents when they actually get on TV completely camera ready. It’s completely organized.”
So does each contestant have a strong opinion of what they want their vibe to be based on their music style or do they kind of give you room for creativity to help them create their look?
“I think it’s 50/50, actually, because a lot of these artists already have been A&R’d [Artist & Repertoire] from other companies and a lot of these artists have had an image created for them. Once you start speaking to someone, it’s very clear how much is their own image and how much has been created for them so we’re very sensitive to that, and to where they want to go. I think people who are the most versatile with their looks benefit from our team, from the makeup, hair and wardrobe.”
Do you have any special insider tricks for making up their faces under such bright lights? Is their any highlighting or contouring?
“We have a laundry list of tricks that we won’t tell. But we will say that every inch of the skin gets covered with makeup including their hands and eyes and ears. They are polished and primed. It’s a very elaborate makeup application and we use several different companies, which we are blessed to be supported by. It’s super interactive. I’m really lucky because my team and I have such a good friendship on top of the work relationship so we’re always sharing secrets. And if somebody really likes a product then they buy seven of them and we pass them out to each one of the girls. It’s like a community. It’s almost like a sisterhood. It’s really great.”
Can you share any tricks for the average person who just wants to look great in pictures?
“Well, all of the products that we use, anybody can buy. We use a combination for body. We use Carlene K Cosmetics. She works for my team and she has her own body bronzer. It’s super simple to use. And if you want to break it down, you can use a moisturizer with it to cut it in half and then apply it. I would also suggest layering. Layering is a big thing we do so use a concealer and then face makeup, and then a matte powder all the way down the neckline. The number one makeup mistake is the face not matching the body. So you really have to marry the two. And I find that makeup transfers onto the wardrobe so I like to set it with powder. Get a big fluffy brush and bring that all the way down the neckline. That way there is no demarcation. That way you also don’t see makeup; you see just a flawless skin.”
What’s your favorite product to use?
“I love powder. I’m just a powder fool even though people are really afraid of it. Nowadays, powders are not the same as they use to be. I don’t think you have to be afraid of it. In fact, you can do an entire makeup of powder on men, which I love. A lot of our guys just get that. And that’s something to talk about there because a lot of men are afraid to wear makeup but if they get the right powder you literally can’t see it. I love Girlactik, too. I’ve been using the Sparkle Sets ($20, girlactik.com) and their Eyeliner ($19, girlactik.com).”
If you only had two minutes to do one thing to a contestant or client, what’s the one thing you would add to their look?
“If they have good skin, I’d probably use Stila Convertible Color ($25, stilacosmetics.com) because you can use that on the lips and cheeks. You have to have multipurpose products.”
Written on April 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
As our favorite funny girl from Will & Grace and most recently, a Broadway writer on the hit series Smash, Debra Messing has been entertaining us for years. And though she always looks flawless on screen, she’s been covering up a not-so-pretty little secret: she’s a severe allergy sufferer. Turns out, she’s one of many—96% of women suffer from allergies and the beauty woes that accompany them (watery eyes, a red nose and a puffy face). So Messing is teaming up with Zyrtec, the number one allergist recommended brand, to help fellow sufferers look and feel their best by sharing her own personal story and beauty secrets. Here, she explains just how embarrassing allergies can be and how she manages to conceal the dreaded “allergy face.”
With spring comes warm weather and pretty flowers, but it’s also the start of allergy season. Can you explain what it means to have “allergy face?”
“I’ve been an allergy sufferer since I was really little. I grew up in New England, and anytime allergy season would come along, I would have these reactions. It would include my eyes watering constantly and my eyelids puffing up and my face getting blotchy and red, just to name a few things. So for me, that’s what allergy face means. It’s so great to be working with a company that is addressing the beauty needs of women during allergy season because in the past, it has prevented me from doing the things that I’ve really wanted to do. Like you said, taking advantage of the warm weather and going out to Central Park for a walk with my son or worrying about looking good if I have a press event outside. I partnered up with Zyrtec because it’s the first thing that actually works for me. It’s something that I can depend on and I know that if I take it in the morning I’m going to be ok. It really does prevent those reactions from happening to me.”
What’s your most embarrassing allergy attack story?
“I was shooting a movie called The Wedding Date in England, and we were out in the British countryside. Beautiful rolling hills, flowers everywhere, grass and everyone was so excited because we were going to be shooting outside for days. I went in to have my makeup done in the trailer and they brought in a new makeup artist to help out and she was doused in perfume, an all floral essences. By the time my hair was fixed, my entire face blew up and my throat closed. My eyelids were so swollen that my eyes looked like slits. I turned and said ‘uh oh’ and everyone turned and looked and said ‘Oh my God!’ The director came in and said we couldn’t shoot. We had to shut down production and wait until my allergy attack subsided—embarrassing! Everyone was literally just sitting around looking at my puffy face and waiting for it to get better.”
That sounds terrible! You mentioned being in the makeup chair, what are your go-to beauty products to conceal allergy symptoms?
“Because my eyes get itchy, I like to carry portable saline drops just to wash out my eyes so that any allergens in the air won’t stick around too long. In the morning, I get a bowl full of ice and add in aloe juice, which is inexpensive from the health food store, and I make the aloe juice really freezing and put in a washcloth and put it on my face for a minute or two. It takes all the puffiness out and it’s really soothing. My skin gets red and rashy so the aloe soothes that, too.”
Beside the products you use to hide your “allergy face,” do you have any other favorite beauty products?
“You know, my allergies are so severe that I really have to use fragrance-free products so there’s a makeup by Lorac called Natural Performance Foundation ($36, loraccosmetics.com) that I use everyday. It’s fragrance-free and doesn’t have anything in it that can exacerbate my sensitivity.”
So we know you’re a busy mom and working on the set of a hit TV show, so how do you find the time to stay fit?
“You know what, it’s all about my son. He is now turning nine. When he was about four, I was so amazed by how active he was and I thought there was no way he could get more active then he is. He is like the Tasmanian devil now. He is constantly running around and he wants me to play with him. He loves sports. So when the weather is nice, we go across the street to Central Park and we’ll take the soccer ball and play soccer. He likes football and tennis, too. He just really loves sports so that’s what keeps me healthy; I wouldn’t say fit.”
What is your diet like with such a crazy schedule?
“I also have a lot of food allergies, so for me, it’s about staying away from the foods that I’m allergic to. I try to eat very clean. I try and stay away from dairy and sugar. I try and eat a lot of fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, basically all of the things that your mom tries to teach you in kindergarten.”
When you splurge, what do you splurge on?
“I love pizza and I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!”
Written on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
You probably know Lolo Jones and Alex Morgan from the 2012 Summer Olympics—Jones is a track & field star in the 100 meter hurdles and Morgan, an Olympic gold medalist in soccer. If those accolades aren’t enough, these women are pushing their boundaries and challenging themselves for Degree’s Do:More Campaign. Hoping to inspire people everywhere to pursue their passions, Jones is going after one of her own by training to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in bobsledding and Morgan is taking a (temporary) break from the soccer field and indulging in one of her favorite hobbies—stand up paddleboarding. I chatted with them about their crazy training schedules, diet and makeup faves.
So tell me why you wanted to get involved with the Do:More Campaign.
AM: “I got involved because I love soccer but I found a new passion in paddle boarding, and I think both of us want to inspire other people to do more of what they love.”
LJ: “Yea, never in my life would I have imaged that I’d be jumping in a sled going 90 miles per hour and doing something so adrenaline-seeking. So I just wanted to get out of the comfort zone I had with track. I feel like sometimes when you pursue a goal for so long, it can become repetitive and you want to know how you can get stronger for that but at the same time, not give up on the goal you had. So I felt like getting into bobsledding would refresh me and just give me a new outlook and that’s what is has done.”
How did you get interested in bobsledding?
LJ: “Just watching a lot of Cool Runnings. (laughs) No, actually I met one of the drivers a few years ago at a charity event and she just said, ‘I think you’d be good at it.’ And it kind of stuck in my brain and after the Olympics, I just felt like it was a good time to try something new.”
And Alex, how did you get interested in stand up paddleboarding?
AM: “Paddleboarding is just a hobby of mine that I picked up when I was vacationing in Hawaii. I hung up the cleats for two weeks after the Olympics because I haven’t had a break in over two years. And of course as a professional athlete you feel like you always have to be doing something. You can never be content with just relaxing, so I just rented a paddleboard one time and went out there and loved it right away. It’s more of a release and get away from soccer. It’s nice to have something completely different that you love and can get your mind off of everything.”
Do you always look for different activities that you can do to complement how you train?
AM: “Yeah! I think there’s always something that I’m looking for and I’m never a 50% type of person—it’s either all or nothing. So with paddleboarding, once I started, I loved it. I got a paddleboard. I live at the beach in LA so I went out all the time. I taught my sisters and my mom how to do it. A year ago, I got really into Spin classes, so I think you just find something that you love and for me, getting away from soccer is what I need sometimes because it is mentally and physically straining so it’s nice to switch it up on your body and mind and get a fresh outlook.”
How active are you guys on a daily basis? Are you working out all the time?
AM: “For me, it’s training six days a week at least and at least one to two sessions so whether that’s in the gym or the field, on the track and in the pool. The sessions are about four to five hours, but that includes getting ready. It really depends on the type of day it is. You have to have a couple of hard days so on those hard days you have to mentally prepare yourself.”
LJ: “I’m training six days, not everyday because I’m doing two sports. With track, it’s such a mundane sport; it’s not like a team sport so sometimes it gets very repetitive. So piggy backing on what Alex said, I have to find other ways to get out there. She said she got involved in Spin one year; I was the same way. One year it was yoga; one year was Pilates. I think the main challenge people have when working out is they get tired of doing the same thing over and over again. And so for me, this whole campaign of Do More is perfect because you have to step outside of your comfort zone every now and then. And sometimes, doing that will refresh you for your original goal. Doing bobsledding has refreshed and renewed me to go back to track and running. I’m just amped up to return. I definitely just want to encourage people to get out there and try new things.”
What are your diets like when you’re training this hard? What kinds of things are you eating?
AM: “I think for me, it’s not a strict diet. But it’s knowing the time to have something and getting enough in because when you’re training so vigorously, you’re eating a lot, at least 4 meals a day for me. Obviously, you want to get in protein and greens and enough carbs but I feel like for desert, I’m fine with having something after dinner because I know I’ve worked hard enough and my body actually craves it.”
LJ: “With bobsledding, I can eat whatever because the weight is good [the heavier the sled is, the faster it goes] but for track, I have to eat very strict. So it’s hard, but I think everything with balance. Even when I have super strict days, I allow myself to have a cheat day because I work for that cheat day. So I think when people are trying to lose weight they shouldn’t just go über strict to the point you’re not allowing yourself to enjoy life because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re tying to work out, but at the same time you want to do it in a good way and find balance.”
What’s your favorite thing to cheat with?
LJ: “Well, since I live in Louisiana, I’d have to say anything down there. It’s like the worst place for a professional athlete to live. I don’t think any athletes train there.”
AM: “I love that type of food but since I’m from California, Mexican food is my go-to. Burritos with sour cream and guac—so good. Even the Cali burrito, it has French fries in it.”
You both travel a lot for your sports, so how do you stick to your diet on the road?
AM: “It’s honestly really hard because I’ll go into a training camp and we’ll have our nutritionist set out our meals for two weeks. We have food in front of us three times a day. It’s very healthy. And then you go home, you don’t have food in the fridge. You’re only home for five days; you’re not going to go out grocery shopping. So, it’s difficult but I find that just trying to eat two out of three healthy meals a day is good enough for me.”
LJ: “I’d say packing protein is my number one key for traveling because that can always hold you off from the cravings of airport food. You can smell it, you see people scarfing it down. Actually, when people travel nowadays it’s like a movie experience. They get their snack and they’re crunching away. So I always make sure I have protein powder with me which will help curb my appetite for a little bit and then that will give me time to make the proper decision. There are always options; it’s just really hard to find those options in an airport.”
Do you have any favorite beauty products that you love to have in your bag when traveling?
AM: “I love Degree Motion Sense Deodorant ($8, drugstore.com). On top of that, I need mascara. And I’m in the sun sometimes six hours a day so definitely sunscreen all the time.”
LJ: “I like YSL Touche Èclat ($40, sephora.com). I use it for dark circles, as an eye shadow base, I’ve used it to clean up my eye brows—it’s like a miracle pen.”
Do you wear makeup when you’re practicing or competing?
LJ: “A warm up takes quite a bit, so we just have to have something that will last for a warm up but look fresh when we go out there in front of the camera for 12 seconds so I like a cream-based eye shadow and a good waterproof mascara.”
AM: “Yeah, I will say it depends on if you have a televised game or a closed-door practice where no one is going to see you. Mostly all the time, at a closed practice, I’ll wear absolutely nothing but then during a game, I might wear a tinted moisturizer.”
LJ: “Even if I’m going to a gym I’m not trying to look all rough. The chances of meeting a hot guy at a gym are increased!”