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Giada De Laurentiis Dishes on Hair Color, Healthy Living and Her Next Big Business Venture

Written on April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by

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.”

Miss America, Nina Davuluri, Dishes on Her New Role, How She Stays Fit and Her Best Beauty Trick

Written on October 30, 2013 at 9:27 am , by

Recently crowned Miss America, Nina Davuluri, has a lot on her schedule since getting an upgrade to her title. As the second consecutive Miss New York to win the coveted role and making history as the first of Indian heritage, she is busy traveling the country on a year-long public speaking tour promoting her platform of celebrating diversity through cultural competency. Luckily, she was able to pencil in time for a charity ride at Flywheel, the spinning studio she used to train for the Miss America pageant. We let it fly alongside the beauty queen in class then chatted with her post-workout.

Tell us where the proceeds from this ride are going. 
“The ride benefited our scholarship fund, which is a part of the Miss America Foundation. Miss America is the largest scholarship provider for young women. We provide over 45 million dollars each year. And I just won $50,000 in scholarship money and an additional $10,000 from Miss New York.”

And what do you plan to do with your winnings?
“I’m currently applying to medical school so I have a total of $60,000 to put toward my education.”

Do you know which area of medicine you’d like to focus on?
“I graduated from the University of Michigan and my degree was in brain behavior and cognitive science. So that’s a mix of psychology and neuroscience. So psychiatry is definitely on the radar but I feel like it will change once I start being exposed to different fields of medicine.”

Tell us about your training and diet change when preparing for a competition.
“I think one of the most helpful things that my trainer said to me was, ‘Nina, a lot of people have a competition weight and a normal weight and that is okay.’ Because you just can’t live on that sort of regimen. So for me, in preparation for Miss New York and Miss America, I was doing a lot of high protein, low carb but I was also strength training every day and then cardio at night. So it was two-a-days and then after I won Miss New York, it changed significantly because I just didn’t have the time to spend in the gym. So I had one hour a day and I did either FlyWheel, CrossFit or Barry’s Bootcamp; those were my go-to’s. And on off days, I enjoy doing yoga so I would do that just to stay flexible.”

When you’re not prepping, how do you maintain an active lifestyle and healthy diet?
“Even during my entire prep I don’t like saying the word ‘cheat meal,’ but for lack of a better term, I’ll say it. It’s okay, I always tell everyone that’s it’s not only okay to indulge and treat yourself because you’re normal and it’s ok to do that. So even now that I’m on the road traveling, I’m very conscious of maintaining that healthy diet. Because for me right now, 90% is diet because as Miss America, I don’t really have access to a lot of gyms and I’m living out of two suitcases so it’s a little more difficult to actually get in my exercise. But traveling with my Jillian Michaels DVDs and doing interval sprints on the treadmill in hotels whenever I can is how I maintain that.”

Traveling makes it so hard. I can get to the hotel gym but it’s the healthy eating that’s tough.
“It is and I think that’s what’s really unfortunate. I think healthier foods need to be made available when you’re in the airport or on the road or traveling or just in general. So hopefully we’ll see a shift in that soon and I think we certainly are starting to.”

What’s the best beauty tip you’ve picked up backstage at beauty pageants?
“My biggest beauty secret is eyebrows. Your eyebrows really frame your face so you need to have a good shape. Tweeze in the sunlight or natural light, that’s the best tip I’ve picked up.”

Favorite Find Friday: Clinique Superprimer Universal Face Primer

Written on September 13, 2013 at 12:28 pm , by

I’ve never had perfect skin but I’ve always tried to fake it. Armed with an arsenal of foundation, concealer and powder, I could apply my “no-makeup” makeup routine in my sleep. But one thing I’ve never added to the mix was a face primer. Though I’m addicted to eye shadow primer as mentioned here, most versions I’ve tried for the face have felt too greasy until I snagged Clinique Superprimer Universal Face Primer ($27, clinique.com) from the beauty closet. I tossed it in my makeup bag and smoothed it over my face after my moisturizer but before foundation. I was stunned by how hydrating and lightweight it felt. It evens out my skin texture without that heavy silicone feeling I’ve experienced in the past. My makeup goes on better and lasts longer with this as a base. I use the Universal shade, which is colorless, but it comes in five additional shades that help counteract specific issues like redness, sallowness and dullness. I may never feel like I have flawless skin (does anyone, really?) but I’m happy to keep fooling everyone with this complexion perfector.

New Mom Malin Akerman Dishes On Healthy Snacks, Favorite Workouts and Beauty Tips

Written on August 14, 2013 at 11:48 am , by

As a new mother with a thriving acting career, Malin Akerman knows how to juggle a hectic schedule. Between spending time with her son, Sebastian, and her husband, she’s also playing Debbie Harry, lead singer of the band Blondie, in the new film CBGB out this October (some of her other blockbusters include Couples Retreat and Rock of Ages). Now she’s adding television star to her resume by starring in a new ABC comedy, Trophy Wife, this fall. In an attempt to be the best wife and mother she can be, she’s taking care of herself by squeezing in workouts and taking care of her family by stocking the fridge with healthy snacks. She let us in on what it’s like to juggle it all. Watch our interview below.

 

Vanessa Williams’ Eye-Brightening Secrets and Favorite Workouts

Written on June 17, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

Photo Credit: Mark Von Holden/AP Images for Clear Eyes

Vanessa Williams is a busy bee. Not only is she an actress, singer, dancer, author and mother of four, she was recently named the spokesperson for Clear Eyes. I chatted with her about how she does it all—from looking gorg in front of the camera to staying fit despite her crazy schedule.

How were you introduced to Clear Eyes’ products?  Why do you love them?  
“I was introduced through my makeup artist, Sam Fine, because we always start with Clear Eyes’ drops and then we continue with the makeup process, which usually takes about an hour or so. It’s all beauty-related. Between fashion shoots, camerawork and being in front of the lens, it’s important for me to use Clear Eyes.  And it’s not only photo shoots, but any kind of film work where you’re working late hours, and supposed to be in the same scene and not make it look like you’re still working at two in the morning. So they definitely come in handy; they’re a necessity for me.”

Speaking of eyes, yours are stunning! Do you have any makeup tricks to complement them?
“One of my tricks is using a beige or white pencil on the inside of the eye. That opens up your eyes and makes them look fresh. I use white on stage just because I can use that for the distance. I think it depends on what environment you are in, but white makes the eyes pop and beige makes them look natural. It’s one of those foolproof guarantees. I’ve got the beige pencil traveling with me in my bag.”

Our readers are all about staying in shape. What’s your favorite way?
“Right now, I’m doing mixed martial arts at Westchester MMA, which I started in the fall. For the first half, it’s a cardio fit class, and then you put your boxing gloves on and work with a heavy bag about six foot tall. I do combinations: kicks, switch kicks, hooks and upper cuts. It’s fantastic. I do rounds of it, and between I also jump rope and run around the room, so it’s nice. Also, in Los Angeles, I use the program Drenched. The studio is called Body Theory, so it’s a cardio kick boxing class. I also do yoga, Alvin Ailey and Zumba classes. And when I don’t have anything, or when I’m traveling, I just jump on the treadmill for an hour and use some hand weights.  I’ve just got to do something. Especially the older you get, you lose muscle tone so easily, and you just can’t afford to take any time off.”

What’s your favorite healthy snack? 
“My favorite is Skinny Pop Popcorn, which I’ve been eating for about a year and a half now. I love popcorn, and it’s a guilt-free kind of thing. I can eat the whole bag, which has zero fat and still tastes delicious. It doesn’t taste like styrofoam; it tastes like really good popcorn with just enough salt.”

 

—Katelyn Blough, beauty intern

Lauren Conrad’s Beauty Essentials (And What She’ll be Sippin’ on All Summer)

Written on May 23, 2013 at 5:06 pm , by

Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Lauren Conrad wears many different hats: She’s a fashion designer with two lines—one is called Paper Crown; the other is an exclusive line for Kohl’s called LC Lauren Conrad. She’s a writer and has her own series of fiction tales as well as style and beauty guides. She’s even made a must-check-daily contribution to the blogosphere with a blog she created with her hairstylist, Kristin Ess, and makeup artist, Amy Nadine, called thebeautydepartment.com (if you don’t already follow it and her on Instagram @laurenconrad—you should start!). Recently, we chatted with her about her latest venture, a partnership with Malibu (yes, the rum), plus health and beauty tips.

So tell us about Malibu’s new launch.
“Well, I am partnering with Malibu to launch Malibu Island Spice, which is only 70 calories a serving so I’m really excited.”

What does the new flavor taste like?
“It’s similar to the original Malibu, but it’s a little bit bolder and it has coconut, vanilla and a hint of cinnamon in it. It’s really good.”

Do you have a favorite drink recipe that you like to use it in? 
“I like to mix it with coconut water—it tastes like a little Piña Colada.”

It’s great that it’s only 70 calories. Do you have any high-cal indulgent foods that are off-limits in your diet? 
“I have only-every-once-in-awhile foods.  I think whenever I restrict myself to the point where I’m not allowed to have something, it is the only thing that I want. So, for me, I have foods that are special occasion or treat foods, whether it’s pasta or something as simple as dessert, that’s not an everyday thing. I think you should still enjoy good things.”

How do you like to stay fit?
“I think it’s more about a lifestyle rather than just trying to go on a diet as soon as you want to come down. I think small, healthy choices are what works best for me. I think it’s staying active and it’s just little things. I think that going on diet can be a bit intimidating. For me, it never really worked.”

Switching gears a bit to beauty, we follow your thebeautydepartment.com blog. What’s your best advice for getting ready in a hurry?  
“I do it often. I think it’s just finding products that work well for you and really just getting into a routine. I can do my entire face in five minutes if I need to. I ideally like to take a little longer because I actually enjoy doing my makeup, but I think it’s just finding no-fuss looks that work.”

If you had to choose, what are the three beauty essentials that you have to have?
“I like a good foundation. That’s really important to me. I have some discoloration on my skin, so I need something just to even it out. And then, probably a blush and a mascara if I’m only picking three for the day.”

The Voice’s Makeup Artist—Darcy Gilmore—Shares the Show’s Behind-the-Scenes Beauty Secrets

Written on April 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm , by

 

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.”

Superstar Athletes Lolo Jones and Alex Morgan Push Their Limits for Degree’s Do:More Campaign

Written on April 1, 2013 at 11:01 am , by

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!”

Brooklyn Decker Dishes on Mixing Up Her Workouts, Her Best Beauty Trick and Her Facial Hair Preference on Tennis Star Andy Roddick (Swoon!)

Written on February 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm , by

Brooklyn Decker is known for her smokin’ hot Sports Illustrated spreads and acting alongside some A-list stars like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. But when she’s not on set, she’s just like the rest of us: she splurges on sweets (especially on Valentine’s day), gets bored with her workouts and loves kissing her smoothly-shaven husband, hottie Andy Roddick. Today, she teamed up with Gillette to host The World’s Largest Shave & Kiss Event conveniently on—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. Gillette conducted a month-long, nationwide social experiment where women were asked to kiss their guys before and after they shaved to pick their preference: a smoothly-shaven smooch or a stubbly kiss. The results are in…drum roll, please:

So what’s the verdict? Do women like their men shaven or stubbly?
“Well, Gillette traveled to 16 states and found out that 85% of women actually prefer guys to be clean-shaven, which is surprising because facial hair is so popular now so I would think that it would be around 50/50. But it turns out that the majority of women do prefer a smooth face.”

And did they prefer just the look of it or the feel when kissing? 
“Both. But how they did the study was that they had couples kiss pre and post shave. Then they took the survey with the women after the kiss, so it had a huge influence. They definitely preferred kissing the guy more when he was clean-shaven, which obviously, on Valentine’s Day is very important.”

Definitely! And which do you prefer with your husband?
“I like the look of stubble but I hate the beard burn that I get on my face. It’s almost like razor burn but on my face! It’s like these little red bumps.”

And it hurts! 
Yea! I figure, I have to shave my legs so I feel like the guy should have to shave his face. And luckily the Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide ($13, drugstore.com), is the number one dermatologist-recommended razor for sensitive skin. So a guy can protect his face and protect yours as well, which is kind of nice. So girls, if you want to do a roundabout hint to your guy, a subtle hint, give him a razor for Valentine’s Day!”

So, I love all of your active pics on Instagram. What are some of your favorite workouts? 
“Yes! I do all sorts of stuff. I’m really into weight-lifting lately because I have a trainer. A lot of people are like, “You jerk, you have a trainer!” So I know I’m lucky.  But he helps me a ton. He’s a big believer in women lifting weights because you’re protecting your bones, it’s so much healthier, you can eat more and you have more muscle mass so you don’t have to worry so much about it so I’m doing a lot of that. I’m training for a marathon, so I’m running. I’m kind of like an ADD worker-outer. I want something different all the time. So I’m always trying to find something new, whether it be hiking outdoors or being indoors in a gym working out. Just something to keep your blood moving a little bit.”

Do you ever workout with Andy?
“I do! I do, actually. It’s usually me, desperately trying to keep up but yea, occasionally. My ego takes a little bruising so it’s a rare occasion.”

Does he make you play tennis?
“No! Not even in the slightest.”

That’s good! Okay, so Valentine’s Day usually involves lots of sweets and sugar. What are some of your strategies for staying on track with healthy eating? 
“I think you should indulge! I think that’s the fun in Valentines Day. I mean, for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, you give each other little circle lollipops and candy. There’s something really fun and nostalgic about that and I don’t think that should be ignored but I also don’t think it should derail any fitness or health goals you have. I love sweets. I think the biggest thing is just eating what you want, not everyday, not all the time, but as long as you’re staying physical and you’re staying active, you can allow yourself to indulge on Valentine’s Day because you deserve it and it’s fun. But I think the more women obsess over it or the more people obsess over it, the worse it gets, the harder it gets to stay on track.”

Any great insider beauty tips you want to share?
“I think some of the best beauty tips probably involve multi-purpose products— products that can be used for several things. Makeup artists are constantly doing that. You can use a razor to shave; or you can also use it to exfoliate your skin before a spray tan. There are all sorts of things you can do. You can use a lip balm for example on you lips, cheeks and eyes for a glow. I constantly find, because makeup artists are usually in a rush, they’re trying to get you out the door and looking really good fast, so multi-purpose products are always a big secret that they use.”

Reward Yourself with a Luxurious Bath

Written on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm , by

Post-workout, I treat myself to a warm soak to ease my sore muscles. While testing bath-friendly beauty products (tough job, right?), I stumbled across these three standouts, which have helped transform my bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary. I even use them as an incentive while working out (just one more mile until some TLC)!

Set the mood:
Bath & Body Works White Barn 3-Wick Candle in Honeysuckle ($20, bathandbodyworks.com)
Dim your lights (it’s you time!) and activate this candle. In a few minutes, the subtle blend of honeysuckle and creamy vanilla will fill the air. The best part: the sweet scent lingers for hours after the flame goes out.

Soak it up:
Lush Peaceful Lavender Bathing Under the Stars Bath Bomb in Twilight ($6, lushusa.com)
A fun alternative to bubble bath, this fizzy bath bomb will bob around the tub and dissolve, turning the water into frothy pink and purple swirls. Lavender essential oil will help you unwind—perfect for taking the edge off before bedtime.

Soften your skin:
Victoria’s Secret Seriously Soft Body Cream in Jasmine & Water Lily ($12, Victoriassecret.com)
Once you’re out of the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel. While it’s still damp, slather on this rich cream. Hydrating coconut and sunflower oils will leave your skin feeling silky, while the tropical scent will put you in a vacation-mode mindset.

—Jessica Carter, beauty intern