Written on February 21, 2014 at 11:38 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jennifer Hudson has come a long way since she first graced the stage as a finalist in the third season of American Idol. As a Grammy-award winning singer, she went on to star in the silver screen blockbuster Dreamgirls, which earned her a Golden Globe, SAG award and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. After the birth of her first child, she announced she was joining Weight Watchers in 2010 and has since been a success story (dropping from a size 16 to a 6) and spokesperson for the brand. She discusses her journey in her book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down ($15, amazon.com). We nabbed some time with her and Weight Watchers’ chief scientific officer, Karen Miller Kovach as they awarded Baltimore with a healthy community grant on behalf of Weight Watchers.
Tell us about what you guys are doing today in Baltimore.
Miller-Kovach: “Weight Watchers is and always has been very committed in terms of ensuring that our program and services are available throughout the world because we’re not just a United States company. We decided to formalize a little bit and so the healthy community grant came out of that and has been awarded to three cities. It was a highly competitive grant process and was judged by a group of independent judges. So a small, a large and a medium city were selected. We’re in Baltimore today, which is the large city that was selected. And celebrating their record and proven ability to provide, within the community, a holistic approach to health and well-being. So, this is a celebration, I think for the community, it’s a celebration for weight watchers to recognize and renew our commitment to healthy living, to weight management and to being an active player in reversing the tide of obesity that exists in our nation.”
Awesome! And Jennifer what does it mean to you to be involved in this type of program?
Hudson: “I think it’s amazing! One of my new year’s resolutions was to help change lives and that’s what this will do. It will give people a new start and direction. So I’m excited to be a part of it!”
What are some healthy habits that you’ve adopted in achieving your health goals?
“I think all around just making healthier choices and decisions. Drinking water, I’m not a water girl but I have to do that. Because that’s important and knowing what’s important for the body not eating just for fun. Being conscious of what I’m taking in.”
What type of workouts helped you achieve and maintain your transformation?
“What I like most, if I’m going to workout, is being outside. I love being outside! I love being able to enjoy things while I’m working out. So I love jogging because I want to be out. I’ve noticed that if I’m in a nice climate, it inspires me to workout more and be more active. Since I’m in Chicago it’s much colder, so you might not feel like working out which makes it more difficult. So when I can embrace the beautiful air, I love to get out and go running. And just most importantly, making sure I’m enjoying whatever I’m doing. Whether it’s doing squats, whether it’s jogging, whether it’s jumping rope, riding a bike, I like to make it fun so I want to do it again. You want to carry it on. So if you’re enjoying it you’ll do it over and over again. I like to make it fun!”
Have you found to have any snacks that give you energy throughout the day, or to have before or after a workout?
“Actually I love a banana! That’s my favorite, if you want to call that a snack! It’s good because it gets that fiber in there, gets your system going and gives you plenty of energy and it’s no points! So that’s something that I love to have. Before I eat anything in the morning I make sure I have a banana or something because it’s filling and you don’t ever want to be too hungry. Because you don’t want to go to the gym, do a workout and then you’re starving, then you’re going to eat anything. If you have something that’s quick, you can grab out of your bag. To me it’s the most fulfilling fruit there is. Eat that up and I’m good to go!”
In terms of your beauty routine, are there any makeup tricks or hair tricks that you like to do before a night out or something to boost your confidence?
“Well, I cut my hair and I think that’s like a weight loss goal for people. A lot of times it’s a goal when you’re going through weight loss. You know it’s like ‘if I ever lose weight I’m going to cut my hair!’ So I cut my hair so I can show off my facial structure and things like that. It’s fun being able to experiment with the new me and discovering who I am now. Like I had the big girl look down, no I’m like ‘okay, what’s my style now?’ Like re-discovering myself and it’s fun! You know, every girl wants to play dress up! So I’m getting to play dress up with myself and find my new self!”
Have you found it to be easier to maintain and to style?
“It is, I think it’s fun and it’s funky! It’s a lot of things but it’s definitely easier to maintain than longer hair. And it inspires me to workout more because I can’t hide behind the hair! If you’ve got short hair you can see my arms and my back, you know what I mean? It inspires me to push even further to work out!”
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!
Written on February 11, 2014 at 11:40 am , by Fitness Magazine
With not one but two polar vortexes under our belts, those of us in the Northeast are cold, cranky and, well, feeling anything but sexy (think chapped lips, cracking hands and flaky legs—gross). We’ve rounded up some of the most moisturizing potions to keep your skin happy and hydrated because, let’s face it, winter has only just begun (wah!).
Face: CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($14, walgreen.com)
This dermatologist favorite provides a controlled release of essential ceramides and other skin-soothing ingredients throughout the day so your skin stays supple from the time you eat breakfast until you hit the sack.
Lips: Mustela Hydra Stick ($10, sephora.com)
Protect your pout with this convenient little stick. Made with cold cream, shea butter and beeswax, it infuses moisture into your lips or anywhere your skin needs it (like around your nose or even your cheeks). Tuck it in your pocket for quick touch-ups while you’re shredding the slopes (or after you’ve endured a rough commute).
Hands: Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($19, sephora.com)
If only mittens could keep your hands both warm and moisturized. Slather on this rich lotion, which contains shea butter and vitamin E to prevent moisture loss. The caramel and brown sugar scent is intoxicating, yet 100 percent guilt-free!
Body: Jergens Crema Deep Conditioning Shea Butter Body Cream ($7, drugstore.com)
Turn your post-shower routine into a little daily indulgence with this tub of luxurious body cream. Rich shea butter quenches scaly skin, and it absorbs quickly so you can slip into your coziest sweater/leggings combo and prepare to bear the elements.
Feet: Soap & Glory Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream ($16, Sephora stores)
Sleep your way to softer heels with this yummy foot cream. Just massage a generous amount onto clean feet, slip on cotton socks and drift off. Macadamia oil, menthol and orange and lemon fruit acids will work the night shift so that come morning, your soles will be soft and soothed.
Hair: Kérastase Masque Nutri-Thermique ($18, keratase-usa.com)
Often we’re so focused on taking care of our skin in the winter (the flakes!), we neglect our strands. This heat-activated deep-conditioning hair mask nourishes locks from roots to tips and protects your mane from drying-out in the future. Yes, please!
Other Problem Areas: Avéne XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-Replenishing Cream ($32, dermstore.com)
Specially created for eczema-prone skin, this cream will soothe, relieve discomfort and soften tender skin. It’s safe for use on the face and body on infants and adults. Whether you have eczema or not, this cream has your dry spots covered (literally)!
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on February 7, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Let’s just say this has been one rough winter for us here in the northeast. There have been polar vortexes, followed by apocalyptic snow storms, followed by plummeting temperatures, followed by rain, sleet, hail, slush—the kind of stuff you remember from the 90s. I’m from northeast PA, not too far outside the city but at a much higher elevation so this is nothing new to me. But sadly, my skin has adapted to the closer-to-sea-level altitude of NYC and it has not been happy with the forecast. White, dry and flaky: my skin’s condition sounds more and more like the weather that’s causing it as each wintery day passes. I needed some serious help so I grabbed Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Body Lotion ($5, walgreens.com). I slather it on right out of the shower (waiting more than just a few minutes can mean less hydration) and it sinks in deep to hydrate extra dry skin. It’s infused with authentic Moroccan argan oil, a lightweight ingredient known to be rich in nutrients and antioxidants, so after just a few days of using it, I noticed my skin looking more radiant than before. The effects last all day so I know I’m covered until I reapply before bed (seriously, my skin drinks this stuff up.) And since those meteorology-savvy little groundhogs Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck both saw their shadows this year, predicting six more weeks of this arctic assault in the northeast, I guess I’ll be relying on every last drop of this skin saver until spring.
On a side note, if you’re like me and dreading this weather, but wishing for brighter days, Suave has teamed up with the dapper celebrity fashion stylist, Brad Goreski, to help make your dreams come true. Just tweet your wish (which can be anything from silky, glowing skin to a sunny vacay) to @SuaveBeauty with hashtag #RadiantWishes to be entered into the sweepstakes or head to the Suave Beauty Facebook page to enter the Radiant Wishes Sweepstakes for a chance to win Suave Professional Moroccan infusion products, a spa day or a trip to sunny Los Angeles. A few lucky winners’ wishes will be fulfilled!
Written on February 6, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Mark Teixiera, the first baseman for the New York Yankees, knows all about the importance of a fit and healthy lifestyle, especially after missing a majority of last season due to a wrist injury. He’s been drinking raw juice for 10 years and started picking up Juice Press bottles on the go. He loved the juices so much, he decided to get involved with the company. As the brand announced a new location at SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, we chatted with Teixiera on everything from his love affair with raw juices to his pre-game rituals.
How did you get involved with Juice Press?
“About two and a half years ago, I met Marcus [the founder and CEO] at the Lower East Side store. I fell in love with the product. You know, it’s a lifestyle choice and I’ve drank raw juice for years. It’s a painstaking, labor-intensive process. Usually when you buy something in a bottle it doesn’t taste as good; it’s not as fresh, but the product was so good I said, ‘Marc, we’ve got to partner up here.’ Then we worked something out!”
So do you also juice at home?
“Absolutely! I drink anywhere from two to five juices a day.”
Do you do meal replacements and snacks or juice cleanses?
“It depends. If I’ve been sick or had a long vacation where I didn’t necessarily make the right choices eating-wise, I will do a cleanse. But I’ve found that when I’m on the go all day, grabbing a couple juices works. I’ll bring a cooler with me—just put it in the car and instead of driving through somewhere or stopping in a convenient store and getting snacks. You can try to make the best choices you can but nothing’s going to be better to put in your body than Juice Press. So it’s a lifestyle choice that’s really worked out.”
Do you have any favorite juices to drink before or after a workout?
“Pre-workout, I love Glo in the morning because it’s refreshing with citrus and vitamin C. A Glo and a raw oatmeal for breakfast before a workout is a great meal! And then after the workout, something with a little more protein in it, Lait de Coconut is a really good drink for after a workout. Smoothies are great after a workout as well.”
So, how is your wrist?
“It’s doing much better. It was a major surgery and I’m going to be smart about it the first couple weeks of spring training. But I have full confidence that I’ll be fine for the season.”
That’s good news! So what are your workouts like off-season?
“They actually vary. I’m always working on something. As a professional athlete, you’re always trying to get better; you’re always trying to keep from being injured or rehab an injury or get stronger. So my workouts vary from something that’s very functional, baseball-wise, and stuff that’s very strength or conditioning specific depending on the time of year and how my body feels.”
And then how do they adjust when you get into the season?
“The older I’ve gotten, the less I’ve been able to lift during the season. So during the season, it’s a lot more core work, a lot more stability work. Basically, you kick your butt every night on the field; you don’t want to kick your butt in the weight room as well. I could do that when I was 25 but I’m turning 34 this year, I’ve got a lot of miles on my body. When I’m in the weight room I want to build myself up stability-wise, not break myself down pounding the weights.”
Do you have any interesting rituals or superstitions that you do before a game?
“I almost always get in the hot tub before practices and before games because warming up my muscles, making sure my joints are lubricated, being able to go out there with a sweat already is very important to me. Then, if I had a really good game the night before, I basically try and do the same thing the next day. I eat the same foods, I wear the same uniform. If I wore long sleeves, I wear long sleeves. If I wore short sleeves, I’m wearing short sleeves. You know, it’s just the little idiosyncrasies of baseball that come out in you.”
Since I am a beauty editor, I have to ask about your grooming routine! Do you have any favorite products you love?
“Jack Black products, I’ve used them forever. So, the face lotion. When it’s 12 degrees in New York and the wind is blowing in your face, it gets a little dry. The shampoo and conditioner. You know, I really don’t do too much on the beauty side, I use my body not my looks!”
Written on January 27, 2014 at 9:35 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
If there’s one singer out there who knows how to Get the Party Started, it’s P!NK. On her The Truth About Love Tour, she flies through the air Matrix-style, performs acrobatic moves worthy of the Cirque du Soleil (as proven in last night’s Grammy performance), and tears up the stage with her dance moves all while showing off her rock hard abs—oh, and belting lyrics of course! But that’s just her day job. She’s also a busy working mom and one of the beautiful faces of CoverGirl. We got the chance to grill her on what’s in her beauty bag and how she stays in sick shape.
Your CoverGirl ads are gorgeous and fierce! Did you pick up any cool makeup tips while on set that you can share?
“Well, a lot of people might know this but an eyelash curler really gives your lashes amazing lift. Also, a dab of concealer under the eyes is the best quick-fix for dark circles, especially for tired moms like me.”
What’s one beauty product you have to have right now?
“Right now, I love CoverGirl Bombshell Mascara ($10, covergirl.com). There’s one coat for volume and another coat that intensifies for noticeable lashes. The result is this dark sexy lacquered look. Sometimes a girl just wants to flaunt her sexy!”
What’s the one beauty staple you have to have on everyday?
“I guess I’d have to say foundation, but nothing too heavy or unnatural. The CoverGirl TruBlend Foundation ($10, covergirl.com) is great because it feels really lightweight and it’s so super blendable that even I can’t mess it up.”
For someone who colors their hair often, it must be tough to avoid damage. What do you do to keep your strands healthy?
“I’ve been told that washing it every day can make hair dry but with being on tour and being so active, skipping a wash isn’t really an option. The good thing is that when it’s short like this, I don’t have to use a hairdryer, so that helps and I use a deep conditioning treatment when I have downtime. I’m lucky that I have people to help me with these things!”
Switching gears a bit, your tour is really physical. How do you train and how do you manage to stay in shape while traveling?
“My show is pretty demanding, physically, so on tour, I work out about 5 times a week. I do an hour of cardio and an hour of yoga with my dancers before almost every show. It’s intense, I know. Sometimes I feel more like an athlete than a singer!”
How do you keep your diet on track while you’re on the road?
“I try to eat really healthy most of the time. When I’m not on tour, I’ve done the vegan thing, although I sometimes eat chicken and fish. But on tour is a different story. I don’t beat myself up over every little food choice. If I’m hungry for bread or pasta or a French fry, I eat it. I cannot resist cheesecake! You can’t be too controlled.”
When you’re not touring, how do you find time to fit in a workout as a busy mom?
“I try to find the time to do something active every day, whether it’s hiking or running or anything outdoors. I like the results—feeling strong, and I think that challenging myself physically keeps me more mentally aware so I’m better able to tackle all of the other stuff. Even when you’re not in the mood, it’s worth motivating yourself to do.”
Written on January 24, 2014 at 12:26 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
One of the benefits to being related to me is that I hook my family up with the best beauty goodies (I like to spread the love!). What’s better is that then, when I travel to my loved ones’ homes, I can leave my massive bag of beauty “essentials” behind and bank on them having the right products to share with me. This works out best between my sister and I, as she pretty much uses everything I tell her to (which is pretty much everything I use). During my last visit to her house, I was using the guest bathroom, which has now been taken over by my 16-month old niece. Now—you might think a little baby doesn’t require many beauty products exactly, but then that would mean you haven’t seen this little girl. She was born with a full head of hair. Like, so much hair that she had to get it cut four times before her first birthday (!). So washing it is a must. My sis loves Mustela products and uses the Mustela 2-in-1 Hair and Body Wash ($10, mustela.com) on my niece. I usually shudder at the thought of a 2-in-1 for hair (I need more conditioner!) but since my options were limited mid-shower, I reached for it anyways. The gel formula was so hydrating, I completely forgot about conditioner and because it’s formulated for the delicate skin of babies, it’s soap-free and ultra gentle. I liked it so much, I then proceeded to shave my legs with it! It left my skin feeling soft and smooth; not dry in any way. So the lesson to learn here is to steal from babies. Kidding! But seriously, they usually have the best beauty products.
Written on January 21, 2014 at 10:28 am , by Fitness Magazine
Not only is Ciara working on her sixth album, planning a wedding and performing at the official Grammy’s after-party, she just announced she is pregnant! It’s not hard to see that Ciara is practicing what she preaches as Degree Women’s DO:MORE ambassador. We got to sit down with Ciara to learn more about the DO:MORE campaign and how she juggles it all.
Tell us more about the Degree Women DO:MOREcampaign and why you’re passionate about it?
“I’m so excited about teaming up with Degree Women because the campaign is all about inspiring and encouraging women to work hard and to do more of what they love. I really relate to that because being an entertainer, it’s all about facing challenges and figuring out how to improve and get better and to do more. So I get to share my challenges and share my journey in hope of inspiring other women to know that we’re all the same and you can do more and you should always work hard to achieve your goals. So that’s what I really love about this campaign. In addition to that, this year I’ll be performing at the official Grammy after party. It’s going to be so much fun and there’s really cool videos online [here] where you can see how I prepare for a night like this. You get to hear about the hard work and the journey and why I do more.”
What is your favorite part about the Grammys and does anything change knowing that you have to perform afterwards?
“My favorite part is being able to see the performances. I love stage-show presentation. I always love seeing what my peers are going to do and I love seeing the unexpected. And then of course, yes, after the show is definitely something I’m looking forward to but I’m also going to definitely be taking a nap in-between after I go to the show! So it’s all about balance in that day.”
How are you juggling everything you have going on while also preparing for the Grammys?
“The key word is balance! That’s what it’s all about for me. It’s about really taking everything one day at a time. Still working hard, still doing more, still doing all that good stuff but just balancing everything out and adjusting where I need to. But I still go into it with the same mentality of wanting things to be great. I still go into it with the mentality of wanting to have an energetic show and most importantly wanting to have fun!”
Do you have a pre-Grammy beauty routine to get your skin perfect?
“It depends on the day. Sometimes I go and get a good microderm. I love microderms, I do it once a month. But sometimes when I know events like that are coming up and I have enough time, I’ll go by a dermatologist to get it one time. I make sure it’s close to when I’m doing the event because your skin really does glow and you get off some of that dead skin and the look is very fresh. I’ll do something like that and then if I feel dehydrated, I’ll do a mask that hydrates your face a little bit. But it’s really simple to be honest. It’s not a whole lot that you do. I always believe that less is more so we try not to over apply the makeup but we try to apply enough so it can last throughout the long day of the red carpet and all the moving and everything.”
So with everything else going on, you also have a wedding to think about! Do you know what you want your hair and makeup to look like for the big day?
“I have an idea, I know the feeling I want. I want elegance more than anything and I want classic. I can’t say exactly what the creative ideas are but I know the feeling and that’s definitely elegance and classic.”
Is there a way Future prefers your hair?
“It’s so funny, he likes it all kinds of ways actually! I know he likes when I wear my hair out of my face, he loves that! And he actually loves my hair blonde. Sometimes I talk about going dark and he’s like, ‘yea, but that look right there is hot!’ So I don’t know, I definitely want it to be easy; I don’t want to have to be fussing with my hair.”
Well, it’s obvious that you look great! What do you do to stay active and has it changed at all now that you’re pregnant?
“I train with my trainer, Gunnar [Peterson]. When we train, we do an hour session. We just modified things, you know I can’t do crunches or anything like that, or lay on my stomach anymore, but we still do things that are close to what I would do if I wasn’t pregnant. And it’s all about still keeping that energy up, still keeping the cardio strong and just having balance in your body overall.”
Since you are so busy, is there a beauty product must-have that makes you feel put together on the go?
“I always have a pinky/nude lip liner and I take a peach/nude lipstick to lay it on top of the liner so it gives your lips more dimension and the liner gives you a fuller lip. I always have to have that combination! Something about it lifts your face to me. I also love concealer. You know, sometimes if you don’t want to do a full face you can put a little bit under your eyes and it just makes you look refreshed.”
So, since we’re talking about the Degree DO:MOREcampaign, do you have a favorite formula you like to wear?
“I’ve tried everything in the world and there’s honestly nothing like Degree. I promise you, if you’re not wearing it, you need to switch! Because it’s one of those things that you’re going to always feel fresh, if you are sweating, this protects you. It activates when you move and protects you when you move. So that’s what I love about the deodorant but it’s also fresh and it’s really strong! This deodorant lasts overnight and when you start over again in the morning, it lasts the whole day. There’s nothing like it!”
Is there anything you do to help calm you down in stressful/sweaty situations besides wearing your Degree deodorant?
“It’s psychological, I do believe that. You have to tell yourself sometimes that you’re not really feeling what you’re feeling. You have to pause and breathe. I think that when you take a moment and just pause you kind of slow down the reaction of sweating and everything getting out of control. So, I think a lot of it is mental.”
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on January 17, 2014 at 8:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jen Atkin is the mane mastermind behind some of Hollywood’s hottest hair (think: the Kardashians, Katy Perry and Sophia Vergara) as well as the celeb stylist for Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy. When we planned our February hair feature Chopped, we just knew we had to work with her. On set, she spilled these tips for getting the cut you want and leaving the salon happy. Avoid a hack job by going to your next appointment prepared. “Bring photos, especially if you’re making a big change,” suggests Atkin. Or create a Pinterest board of looks you like and scroll through it with your stylist on your smart phone. Just be ready to shift your expectations depending on your texture and the time you’re willing to spend working with it. “It’s so important to be honest about how high- or low-maintenance you want your cut to be,” she says. To see videos of three readers’ major makeovers, click here, here and here.
Written on January 10, 2014 at 1:53 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
When it comes to foundation, I’m not afraid of major coverage (let’s just say, I’m not a tinted moisturizer kind of girl). Having struggled—and sometimes still struggle—with acne for years, I know that foundation, concealer and powder are my complexion’s best friends. But when using all three, you run the risk of your makeup looking heavy and caked on (what we like to call friends without benefits). So you really have to look for formulas that hide breakouts but still look natural—like real skin. Enter Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation ($35, coverfx.com). Even though I work in the beauty industry and have access to hundreds of products, I was introduced to this one through a friend. It was just that good that she had to share it. The first time I used it, I was hooked. You can apply it alone as your base with the included sponge (damp or dry) or you can swipe on your favorite foundation and brush this over top as a finishing powder like I do. It offers additional coverage to the spots where you need it most and sets your makeup in place without looking thick. It comes in 24 shades so there’s a match for everyone. I keep two shades in my makeup bag at all times: one for the summer and one for the winter. Just like your bestie is there for you through, say… a break up, I can always rely on my favorite powder through any breakout.