Written on April 4, 2014 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Breaking beauty news: Lancôme announced that the Academy Award-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o, will be their new brand ambassadress. The 31-year-old Kenyan stunner stormed onto the Hollywood scene with her moving role as Patsey in the film 12 Years a Slave and has been wowing us with her one-of-a-kind beauty ever since. From bold and bright eyeshadows and liners to punchy lip colors, Nyong’o proves she’s not afraid of color and pulls off every shade flawlessly. We totally envy how versatile her look is (not to mention, her toned body and glowing skin!). About her new role as a face of the brand, she says, “I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history and that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself.” (We second that!). She’ll be in good company by joining Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Penélope Cruz and Lily Collins as faces of the brand.
Written on April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Giada DeLaurentiis is kind of like our (gorgeous) best girlfriend from down the street who comes over to whip up delicious meals then help us eat them. She’s a staple in thousands of kitchens as the star of the Food Network’s Everyday Italian and Giada at Home, a judge and mentor on Food Network Star and the author of six New York Times best-selling books including her latest, Giada’s Feel Good Food. And although she’s a pro when it comes to cooking, she knows a few things about primping as well. As the celebrity spokesperson for Clairol, we met up with her to chat about Natural Instincts, the hair color and her own intuition. Read on for more scoop on her beauty routine, her favorite recipes and her new restaurant opening in Las Vegas.
So let’s talk about hair color. When did you start coloring your hair and why?
“I started coloring in my early 30s. I just felt that my hair color was getting a little dull. It was brown, but it wasn’t doing anything for my face and as I was getting a little older, I felt like it might be fun to play around and figure out what looks good on me. I think that happened because I had little bit more money to spend and a little more confidence to go out on a limb and try it. So I started coloring my hair a little bit; I went much darker like jet black; I went red; I went platinum blonde. I tried lots of different things. I cut my hair really short at times, then I had a bob and then I had it long. I really was searching. I sort of had a love/hate relationship with my hair almost my whole life; I have curly, sort of frizzy hair, and so I never knew how to tame it, and my mom was never good at teaching me, so I really wanted to find a way to control my hair and so I think I tried lots of different things. And then, I started with Clairol. I found a good color for me; something that could give me a pick-me-up in between salon visits because as I get older, I have to go to the salon more often, but I don’t always have time and so it’s really nice to be able to use something that’s actually conditioning my hair at the same. I think that a lot of us women tie our hair to the way we feel about ourselves. That’s why a bad hair day can throw off the entire day and make you feel bad. So, I think that’s what I was searching for and that’s what I found.”
Has the formula helped with your frizz as well?
“Yeah and that’s the other thing—controlling your frizz is number one and moisturizing your hair and keeping it healthy is a great way to control frizz.”
In terms of makeup, what are some of your must-haves?
“I have a whole beauty routine that I like to do, but I really like cover-up with SPF in it. Sunscreen to me is the key to everything. My brother died about ten years ago from melanoma, so I really, really am hardcore when it comes to sunscreen in everything that I use, whether it’s foundation; whatever it is, I use sunscreen. I even put sunscreen in my hair, to protect my hair and my scalp because a lot of times you burn your scalp without even knowing it, and you can get melanoma on your scalp. So I put sunscreen everywhere. It’s my number one; I don’t leave home without it. I don’t care if it’s snowing or raining, there’s still some kind of light coming out, and I have to protect myself from it. Then I always wear a light foundation on my skin to even it out and to protect it. Unlike a lot of people who feel like the best thing to do for your skin is not wear anything, I actually feel like wearing something actually protects your skin from the elements. The cold, the heat, the dryness: all that stuff. Lately if I don’t want to do my eyes, I really like a red lip. I’m into the red lip, otherwise I’ll do up my eyes and I like a little sparkle, a little glitter eye shadow for me is super fun.”
We know you’re a pro in the kitchen. Do you have any cool beauty tricks that you can DIY in your kitchen?
“Well, what I love to do to moisturize my hair when I’m home is to make a little mask of avocado and olive oil. You mix it together and put it from mid-length to ends. And then, if I’m not in a rush, I’ll just put my hair up and leave it in there for a few hours and then go back and rinse it out. Otherwise, I’ll just stay in the shower for 15 minutes and let the humidity and moisture lock it in. Coconut oil is great on the ends of your hair, as well, and straight olive oil is great on hair, which I love to do. That’s what I do when I’m home. When I’m on the road, I love the conditioner included with Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color ($9, walmart.com). That’s what I use once a week, because my hair goes through so much styling and curling and flat ironing and blow-drying, so I use that to moisturize my hair.”
Switching gears a bit, we know it’s your job to cook and essentially to eat. What are your tricks for not over-indulging?
“Well, I’m not going to say I never indulge in anything, because I do, but the next day I balance it out. I will say that eating all day is tough [when judging The Next Food Network Star], so I make sure that I have one-to-two bites, tops. I feel like once I’ve had one or two bites, I know what it tastes like and anything else after that is just pure indulgence. And when you have to eat as your job, and you have to eat lots of different things, you can’t ever overeat. So, that plus lemon water also helps me flush it down and keeps my palette feeling very clean and ready to eat something else. I think for me, moderation is the key and I portion-control myself, from snacks that I keep in my bags to food that I eat. Even when I go out to eat, I’ll try and order the appetizer version of things. If I can’t, or I don’t like something that’s on the appetizer menu, I’ll get a main course meal, and then I’ll ask them to just pack up the other half and I just don’t ever see it. Or, the other thing that works really well is family style, where you just share plates and that makes it easier because you never feel like you’re going to overeat and you can taste a lot of different things. I think those are some really simple ways to keep moderation in your diet when you’re out and about, because it’s hard when you travel.”
Definitely. I know you love chocolate. For those of us who have a sweet tooth, are there any healthy recipes you love?
“Yeah! One of my favorites lately is my Chocolate Avocado Mousse. So, put avocado in a food processor with unsweetened cocoa powder, a teaspoon of agave and some bittersweet melted chocolate chips, and puree it all together. And then I usually just chill it, so I put it in little cups and I serve it with raspberries. That to me is my go-to pick-me-up. The other one that I love is dried figs and almond butter in a food processor. I make little balls and then I dip them in melted dark chocolate and make little fig balls and, again, I keep them in the fridge and top them with a little sea salt. And those are pop-in-your-mouth pick-me-ups that are healthy and good for your body. So it’s a really good indulgence.”
Yum! You mentioned you travel a lot, how do you manage to stay active and healthy when you’re on the road?
“You know, working out on the road is probably the hardest and I’m not a runner, which tends to be the easiest way to get some exercise. So, I do a lot of yoga, I bring my yoga blocks with me, so I do yoga in the morning and at night, even if it’s just for five minutes and even if it’s a few sun salutations, it gets my body breathing and aligns me. Lately, I’ve tried to do a little bit of boxing. I find that boxing releases stress and frustration and, at the same time, helps you sweat and really tones your body. So, I’ve been doing a little bit of that.”
I got into a really big kickboxing phase at one point and it’s such a stress reliever; it feels good!
“It just feels good! You know, because I’m opening this restaurant in Vegas, I feel like my stress level has sort of gone to another level and it’s a really great way to control it. So, it’s been really helpful, maybe six months from now when everything’s said and done, I won’t like it as much anymore, but for right now, it’s working for me so I’m going to stick to it.”
That actually brings me to my next question; congratulations on the new restaurant! Why did you feel like now was the right time and Vegas was the right spot?
“Good question. Now is the right time because I think I’m at the point in my career where I need something brand new. I needed to sort of explore a new horizon and try something totally different, although, still in my wheelhouse, something I’ve never done before on a grand scale that I don’t think anybody has done before. I believe that everybody that has a restaurant on the strip has a restaurant somewhere else first. No one is starting from scratch and I’m starting from scratch – literally: the place was gutted, my space was a 2-floor parking garage. Most places have an existing framework or have an existing kitchen, they might be gutting it, but there was a kitchen there. There was no kitchen; there were parked cars there. So, for me, it’s like starting from scratch all the way. It’s a boutique hotel, the first on the strip and I’m one of the first female chefs on the strip, so there’s so many firsts. For me, I feel like, there are things you can do in Vegas that you can’t do anywhere else and although I’m going to make my food and I’m going to have my iconic dishes, I also want to have some show with those dishes. So, instead of just giving you Chicken Cacciatore, I’m going to roast a whole chicken and I’m going to present it to you, it’s going to be Chicken Cacciatore for two, and we’re going to carve it for you. We’re going to finish pasta dishes tableside, sometimes in a skillet and sometimes maybe in a round Parmesan cheese wheel, like they do in Italy. So there’s a lot more show involved than just ‘here’s your dinner.’ And, you know, a really sort of modern, Italian restaurant. So not checkered tablecloths, more of a reinvented Italian with a California spin, which is really what I’m known for. And we have indoor-outdoor dining, which is kind of unheard of in Vegas and an unbelievable view of the Bellagio fountains, so I hope people will come and get engaged—it’s so romantic. The hotel is called The Cromwell and the opens May 1st, and we open around the 20th of May. It’s around the corner and it’s kind of scary because there are no walls up yet, so I’m not really sure how it’s going to work, but they tell me that in Vegas, anything is possible, so we’re just going to leave it at that!”
Good luck! Obviously opening a restaurant is a big step. What has been the best advice you’ve gotten in regards to following your own natural instincts?
“My grandfather told me a long time ago that following your instincts, your natural instincts, is the way to success. It’s kind of the key to success and a lot of us don’t do that or we question ourselves. Trust me that I have questioned myself as to what I was thinking when I said yes to this space and to this restaurant and many people doubt me and many people, especially my peers, fear the worst for me and feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew. And maybe I have, but I have to say that sometimes in life when you’re a little bit naïve about something and you think you can handle more than you can, at the end of the day, part of that naïveté has probably helped me make this decision and will probably propel me to the next level. And had I known everything that I’m in now and will be in, I may not have done it. So, you know, I think ignorance is bliss sometimes and I think that I would like to prove to people that, women can also do the same thing that men can do.”
Written on March 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Jealous of Jen, much? With her year-round glow and killer body, it’s obvious why women (and men) swoon over her. Case in point: the pics that recently surfaced of the star vacationing in Mexico with her beau Justin Theroux: At 45, Aniston looks better and fitter than ever. And though many things have changed throughout the years (say, haircuts for example), one thing has remained the same: her respect for a solid skincare routine, including products by Aveeno. As the company’s ambassador, she recently narrated a series of short videos celebrating ingredients found in nature, highlighting their farm-to-formulation journey and how these actives can enhance your own natural beauty. We stole a few minutes with Aniston to chat about her involvement in the project and how she manages to look better and better as the years go by.
What drew you to becoming a brand ambassador for Aveeno?
“Well, it was just so organic and I’ve used Aveeno since I was in high school and so it just seemed like a really organic and easy relationship.”
Tell me a little bit about the “Beauty of Nature” project and why you wanted to be involved?
“Well, being a part of the Aveeno family, it was kind of the obvious go-to to have me narrate it and I wanted to do it because I thought it was an interesting element for the consumer to understand what goes in and how much detail is put into their products and how natural all of it is.”
Speaking of natural, everyone loves your effortless, natural look. How do you pull it off from a beauty perspective?
“Oh my gosh, well I use so many different things. The main thing that helps with that is a lot of hydration, obviously, and simple, natural products. Also, being very careful about what you eat because all of that reflects. It’s the old saying, ‘You are what you eat.’ I think it’s reflected in your skin.”
So our readers really want to know, how do you stay in shape?
“You know, I try to mix it up. I want to try Crossfit, I’m terrified of it, though. It’s very intense; very intimidating. I basically do a combination of three: I usually do my spin bike, I run and I do an elliptical—usually 15 minutes on each machine. And then I’ll do, if I have the luxury of time, about a half hour of yoga. Or I just do yoga and then there’s other times when I’ll do strength-training and that’s pretty intense. It’s kind of, what I would imagine, like a Crossfit, but it’s just basically working every part of your body against its own weight.”
Got it. So you like to switch it up?
“Yeah, because you can get bored doing the same thing. And I also think it’s really good taking a break once in a while from working out.”
We know you travel a lot for work. How do you manage to fit in time to exercise on the road?
“I just make the time. I just get up that extra hour and get it in there. It’s just such a game changer on your mood for the day. So I’ll make myself do it, but if I get down to the gym, I get down to the gym. Or if I bring my bands, you can do a lot of stuff in your room.”
Do you have any healthy eating strategies for when you’re traveling or if you’re on set?
“Oh, just a healthy, grilled clean protein and vegetables, of course. It’s pretty basic. I try to stay as light on oil as you can and salt, obviously, and no sugars.”
We always suggest packing healthy snacks in your bag so you have no excuses. Do you have any healthy snacks that you keep around?
“I do. I always have an apple with me and I have some walnuts for protein. And I sometimes throw a little protein bar in my bag.”
Written on March 18, 2014 at 3:55 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
March marks National Women’s History month, the perfect time to celebrate the strides we’ve made and get motivated to help women around the globe. Beauty companies are pitching in with products that empower women. Here, a few of our faves.
Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful Mascara to benefit The Pretty Powerful Campaign for Women & Girls
Launched last year, the Pretty Powerful Campaign is a global initiative that celebrates the evolution of the brand’s message from confidence through makeup and empowering women and girls through education. It aims to help women by supporting educational or job skills’ training programs that provide them with the knowledge, skills and experience they need to overcome the inequities and disadvantages that far too many of them face every day. The Pretty Powerful Mascara ($25, bobbibroncosmetics.com) is an all-in-one formula that lengthens, thickens and defines without clumps or smearing throughout the day. It is available now and all proceeds in the U.S. benefit the Girl Rising Fund, a 501c3 fund operated by Tides Foundation, which drives resources to effective girl-empowerment programs in the developing world. If you’d like to find out more, check out the trailer to the inspiring documentary Girl Rising below:
Laura Mercier Bonne Mine Healthy Glow For Face & Cheeks Crème Colour Palette to benefit the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund
Claudia Poccia, President and CEO of Gurwitch Products, the manufacturer and distributor of Laura Mercier cosmetics, and Laura Mercier, founder of the Laura Mercier cosmetics brand established the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund in September 2012. Both Poccia and Mercier have loved ones who were affected by ovarian cancer, which is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among American women according to the American Cancer Society. The mission is to raise awareness, fund research and educational efforts that will help diagnose, treat and support women with ovarian cancer to prevent more women from dying from the disease. The Bonne Mine Palette ($48, lauramercier.com) is a must-have for any makeup bag. Featuring a cream bronzer, two cream blushes and two highlighters, it’s the perfect product to create that “no makeup” glow that looks soft and natural. 100% of the profits from sales are donated to the Laura Mercier Ovarian Cancer Fund.
Yes To Carrots Yes to Movement Project to benefit You!
The Yes to Carrots brand is making March all about you! In honor of National Women’s History month, they’ve launched the Yes to Movement, a year-long project aimed at encouraging everyone to spread the power of positivity by saying “yes” to something for yourself, your loved ones or for your community. Their goal is to get fans to share one million Yes Moments with the hashtags #YESTOMOVEMENT and #YESWOMEN. Simply snap a selfie on Twitter or Instagram to inspire, empower and get each other to say “yes” more by saying “yes” to yourself first. They’ll choose one lucky lady and help her overcome her fear of saying “yes.” She’ll receive the resources (and all our support) to empower her to face it head on.
Let’s hear it for the girls!
Written on 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 December 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm , by Fitness Magazine
Who doesn’t get a little giddy over a sock full of miniature goodies? No one does mini sized items better than beauty brands, which is why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite bite size beauty treats that are guaranteed to make any woman on your list happy this holiday.
Fresh Sugar Kisses Mini Lip Trio ($28, sephora.com)
Kiss dry lips buh-bye! Each tube is packed with hydrating sugar (sweet!), SPF 15 and sheer color (in pink, red and brown) so that lips are both pretty and protected.
Boscia Pink Peppermint Blotting Linens ($5, boscia.com)
Leave the shine for the tinsel—and dab away excess oil on your t-zone with these peppermint-scented blotting sheets. Each sparkly, pink package comes with 100 sheets, which reduce shine without messing up your holiday makeup (because we know how hard you worked on it).
Benefit Show Me The Love Set ($36, benefitcosmetics.com)
Every makeup bag could use this set of essentials. Primer, mascara and blush come in this cute pop art tin, which doubles as the perfect makeup brush holder.
L’Occitane Hand Indulgences Set ($28, sephora.com)
Hand cream is a good go-to gift and L’Occitaane has made it especially easy to give this holiday season with this set of three limited edition hand creams. In jasmine, violet and rose scents plus a formula made with 20 percent shea butter, the lucky recipient is going to have a hard time choosing which one to slather on first.
Marc Jacobs Rollerball Trio Gift Set ($39, nordstrom.com)
Meet a fragrance lover’s dream: each fragrance has a slightly different take on floral (think daisy, musk and jasmine) and comes in a rollerball applicator that’s perfect to toss in your gym bag or purse.
Tarte Rare Gem Limited-Edition Picture Perfect Eyelash Curler ($19, tartecosmetics.com)
Because when else can you justify buying a purple blinged out eyelash curler?! The sparkly beauty tool also comes with a tube of Tarte’s Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara so your lashes will stand out when standing under the mistletoe.
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on December 9, 2013 at 10:23 am , by Fitness Magazine
The perfect gift can be hard to find, especially for those special guys in your life. Whether it be your hubby, boyfriend, brother, dad or friend, dudes are usually stocked up on the basics, like socks, ties, shirts and underwear. The one thing most guys usually don’t treat themselves to: You guessed it—beauty—er, “grooming” products. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorite giftable picks that’ll make him smile (and smell good, too!) just in time for the holidays.
Bulldog Skincare Holiday Bundle ($25, us.meetthebulldog.com)
This kit takes the guesswork out of a man’s skincare routine. With an easy three-step system, any guy can manage using the Original Face Wash, Shave Gel and Moisturiser. The best part: it comes with a man-friendly carrying case so he can stash all his bathroom essentials in an easy-to-go pouch—perfect for travel.
Jack Black Balm Squad Lip Quad ($25, nordstrom.com)
Sick of him always stealing your lip balm? Well now he can have his own. Jack Black has created the perfect lip balm for men. This holiday set includes four flavors of moisturizing SPF 25 Intense Therapy Lip Balms that any guy wouldn’t mind pulling out of his pocket. Bonus: it’ll get his lips ready for your mistletoe moment!
Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men 2014 Limited Edition ($82, neimanmarcus.com)
Cologne is the perfect gift for the holidays because, let’s be honest, what man goes fragrance shopping for himself? Whether he only wears it on special occasions or on the daily, this limited edition Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men will please any nose with its notes of grapefruit, coriander, basil, ginger and a touch of tobacco. And with its sleek platinum bottle, you won’t mind if he leaves this one out on the bathroom counter.
Sephora Collection The Self Made Man Dopp Kit ($38, sephora.com)
This handy kit includes all of the necessities, like nail clippers, nose scissors, a lint brush and even a bottle opener! It’s all neatly packed away in a leather carrying case so you can know where to find it when an emergency strikes—the perfect gift for the guy-on-the-go on your list.
Trunk Club ($100-$300 per piece, trunkclub.com)
The only thing guys hate worse than shopping for you (give them a break, it’s hard!) is shopping for themselves. Enter Trunk Club, a website that sends you a customized wardrobe, handpicked by a stylist, based on answers to a personal style quiz. They send multiple options with a prepaid return slip to send back whatever you don’t like so you’re not charged until after you choose your items. Talk about convenient! Any stylish stud would love this monthly surprise.
Swiss Stays ($8-$50, swissstays.com)
For the guy you’re not so sure what to give or the guy who has everything, this is the gift he didn’t even know he needed! These adjustable collar stays will leave him wondering how he ever lived without them. They expand to four different sizes to fit all 24 different collar sizes on the market so he’ll always look sharp in a dress shirt.
—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern
Written on December 2, 2013 at 11:13 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
These days, everyone unfortunately has a connection with cancer (whether it be personal, or through a friend, coworker or family member battling the disease). Though cancer takes a huge physical toll, it can also majorly impact a fighter’s inner confidence. That’s where Look Good Feel Better comes in. LGFB is a program that helps cancer treatment patients regain confidence by helping them deal with the appearance-related side effects of treatment. The charity hosts workshops in all 50 states, which are staffed by local expert volunteers who offer lessons, including how to apply makeup and accessories to address the changes in skin and hair loss that often accompany cancer treatment. A cool part to note: The workshops are free and big-name beauty brands donate the supplies for each participant to keep.
You can also checkout LGFB’s recently launched app—Beauty Mobile App—where users can upload their photo and try on different looks. The tool can be utilized to keep patients’ spirits up and their minds busy while receiving treatment.
Look Good Feel Better is dedicated to changing the way people with cancer approach their disease, reminding them that they are beautiful inside and out. For more information, visit their webpage, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.
Written on October 21, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
You probably know Stacy London as the vivacious stylist on TLC’s hit show, What Not to Wear (the series finale aired this past Friday). But what you may not know is what drew London to the fashion industry in the first place. Turns out, she’s been battling a chronic autoimmune and skin disease—psoriasis—for the majority of her life and found comfort in sparkly, shiny pieces. Here, she opens up about her struggles with psoriasis and the ways in which she’s helping others also affected by it with the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign, which features educational resources, style advice and a dermatologist finder for the estimated 7.5 million American men and women living with psoriasis. Bonus: she spills on her best beauty tips and recent hair change, too.
Tell us about your experience with psoriasis and how it’s affected your life?
“I was diagnosed when I was four, so it’s been in my life my whole life. As much as people know me for something completely different, it is very much a part of my identity. You know, the heartbreak of psoriasis is a well-known thing. Being diagnosed at the age of four, I really didn’t understand what was happening. I just knew there was something wrong with me because I had these bumps on the back of my ears. So it started as something that made me feel weird and certainly made me feel different than other kids. That is definitely something I started to internalize very early. As I got older, my skin got worse and by the time I was 11, I was basically covered from the neck down in red scales and it was a much harder time because at that age, I was conscious of what I looked like. I had very severe scalp psoriasis so I had to cut off all my hair. So here I was, a little girl with a crew cut wearing turtlenecks and long corduroy pants even in the summer just to hide. That’s when that feeling of really being different and having children and adults react badly to me, that I really started to suffer from it. You know psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. It takes consistent and constant management but also, it’s emotionally devastating. I think that definitely drew me to fashion. Because, feeling sort of like a monster, I wanted all things pretty and sparkly and shiny and perfect and what better place than fashion to find that? I can say now, I don’t think I thought that consciously at the time. It’s sort of a compensatory desire that I didn’t feel good about myself and my self esteem was very low that I gravitated to something that I thought would certainly make me feel better. But when I wrote about psoriasis in my book, the biggest thing for me and that I really empathize with is that you kind of give up when you have psoriasis and the idea that you are ruled by a disease rather than you having control over it. The idea specifically was to manifest this concept of empowerment by creating a style guide that is specific to people who may not care about showing off their psoriasis or may be looking to cover up their skin but to feel relevant and not necessarily trendy but modern and feel like they’re participating in the same fashion trends that other people are. So it’s a great topical guide to what’s going on with an eye on making sure you’re paying attention to materials that could irritate your skin or the length of a skirt that may be more appropriate if you want to cover your leg a little bit more; things through the lense of someone who has experienced psoriasis themselves and wanted style, not just to hide in but to feel beautiful in. Because I think I spent my childhood hiding in turtlenecks and long corduroys and really I wish I had known to use style to feel better not just as armor.”
Tell us more about the “Uncover Your Confidence” campaign?
“It consists of the style guide, one, but it also consists of the dermatologist finder which is about taking control. You know I have been in the care of many dermatologists for over 40 years and it took me a long time to realize that not all dermatologists specialize in psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin disease and an autoimmune disease. So it’s a much more complex situation. Part of getting the right kind of treatment is to see the right kind of doctor and dermatologist specifically. So one of the things we wanted to do was to help people find the right kind of dermatologist. Part of that idea is that we are asking you instead of learning helplessness, to learn hope and to embrace the idea that just because you may think somebody couldn’t help you the first time you went to visit a dermatologist, that doesn’t mean you saw the right one. The same thing with thinking about your style, like you can’t wear black because God forbid you have scalp psoriasis and it’s going to look like a snow storm hit your shoulders. The campaign offers ways in which to deal with these kinds of things instead of feeling like you have to give up; accepting the situation and then building creatively both your style and, in the process, creating more self-confidence.
Switching gears to beauty. How has the disease affected your beauty routine?
“It’s funny, you know I talk about covering up, and beauty plays such a significant part. It’s kind of ironic because you feel anything but beautiful with psoriasis. For me, one of the things I learned very early on is that I needed to get some sun. As long as I got a little bit of sun, it really improved my skin and my mood. I found that moisturizing creams were not as good as oils. Oils absorb into the skin better, especially when you’ve got really, really dried plaques that can crack and bleed. The other thing is just moisture, period. In the winter, especially when you have dry heat, humidifiers have been essential to me. It’s super important. Since it’s an autoimmune disease, there are other things that you can do just besides the moisture. You need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, that you’re eating properly; you need to exercise; you need to think holistically about your whole body.”
Do you have beauty products that help you feel confident when you’re having a bad day?
“Two favorites: Antonia Burrell Natural Glow Cleansing Oil ($102, beautyhabit.com) and Radiant Light Serum ($98, beautyhabit.com). If I look super ruddy or flaky, it has worked miracles for me in terms of evening my skintone. The other thing I think is really important with psoriasis is it gets very red. So I recommend using a green tinted concealer to cut the red and then put your foundation over it. I find if I wear anything too orange-y, like an orange-y red lip, that makes my skin look even redder so I tend to go for blue-red tones if I’m going for a red lip. I will say at the moment I’ve been jonesing for By Terry lipsticks (prices vary, beautybar.com). The colors are so saturated and glorious. And I do love Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Liquid Blush ($39, giorgioarmanibeauty.com) in the peach shade, #3. It makes you look like your glowing from the outside in.”
You’ve recently made a major hair change, debuting lighter ends. Can we discuss?
“I cannot believe that this has taken hold like it has! I mean, do people know that Syria is happening? I’ve gotten really lovely notes like ‘Bravo!’ and then all these people are like, ‘What’s wrong with you? You’re going through a mid-life crisis.’ I’m telling you right here, right now, you have the exclusive: one, that picture is an Instagram picture. If you’ve heard, there are filters so it looks a little crazier in that picture than it actually is. Number two, I am having a mid-life renaissance and that is why I’m like, ‘It’s time for a change, why not?’”
Written on October 14, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Kristen Bell is a movie star, but during our phone chat, I was pleasantly surprised to learn she’s totally down to earth. She loves food, but won’t let it own her. She loves spending time with her new baby girl (with soon-to-be hubby Dax Shepard), but won’t let her post-baby body be a focus in the media. And though she rarely has time for a major pampering session, she loves to indulge in a manicure and some lipstick (us, too!). Most recently, the Neutrogena Naturals brand ambassador is busy spreading the word about saving water with the Every Drop Counts campaign. Keep reading for the whole scoop.
Tell us about the Every Drop Counts campaign.
“It’s a campaign throughout the month of October that’s intention is to raise awareness about domestic water issues. It’s a partnership between Neutrogena Naturals and the Nature Conservancy with the goal of saving one million gallons of water throughout the month of October. This is the third year we’ve done it and it was massively successful last year. We saved almost two million gallons. On Neutrogena’s Facebook page, you pledge to save water in a variety of ways and you are entered to win a cool trip and there’s weekly eco-giveaways so it’s a way to make it fun and show you that you don’t have to be extreme to make a big impact collectively.”
Why does the campaign mean so much to you personally?
“I’m a big fan of awareness campaigns because change always starts with an idea. When people think of water issues, it’s often considered an international problem and not a lot of people are aware that we have domestic water issues as well and that it’s important to acknowledge that water is not an endless resource while simultaneously realizing how simple it is to help out. It’s a really, really easy thing to do, just to turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. It’s not a sacrificial campaign, it’s just awareness about not wasting.”
We know you just became a new mom to baby Lincoln—congratulations! And you’ve been very vocal about not stressing over your weight post-baby. We’re all about body confidence, so how did you get to that point?
“Well, my main priority after having the baby was spending time with the baby and not losing the weight. I think often times the media creates this shameful narrative about women concentrating solely on their body size post-pregnancy as opposed to the fact that they just made magic! They just literally spit out another human life. If that’s not magic, I don’t know what is! So I made a commitment to not allow that to be my narrative and I’ve been very vocal about it for a reason because I want women to know that it doesn’t have to be theirs either. I’m not down to my pre-baby weight; I don’t know when I’ll get there. I’m eating healthy, and I’m active and I’m spending a ton of time with my kid and that’s all I really care about. I’ve looked into how to get more cardio into my routine so I could attempt to get back to my original size so I started jogging. I’ll jog two to three times a week for 10-20 minutes. Nothing intense but just something to burn a little extra and I also do Pilates which I find is really helpful for more muscle tone. Obviously everything gets real stretchy in the middle when you’re having a baby so that helps.”
That’s a very healthy and sane mind set!
“You know, if my body never goes back to the twig I was before, who cares? I’m fine with it. If this is my shape for the rest of my life, I’m fine with it. I don’t really care what everyone else thinks about it, I’m completely fine with my shape.
Confidence is key! So in terms of eating, what are some of your favorite healthy meals or snacks?
“Nuts are a big part of what I snack on. I’m really loving these bars, called This Bar Saves a Life. For every bar purchased a life-saving nutritional packet is given to a child in need. When I was pregnant, malnutrition and kids not having enough food really started resonating with me and so I love snacking on those and I keep them everywhere because they’re delicious and it also makes me feel really good to buy them because it supports a good cause. My go-to at night is a really huge salad but not a lame salad. My salad is a little more like a casserole. I start with something substantial on the bottom like I’ll put a cup of lentils or a cup of bulgar but when I make a bulgar I make it with a vegetable broth so it doesn’t taste like bulgar and then put loads of greens. Then I add every fruit and vegetable possible. I’ll add cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, carrots, celery, walnuts and you can add or subtract depending on your taste but I say the more the merrier. Then I usually add a taste of nutritional yeast, which is really high in B vitamins and has seven grams of protein per tablespoon. Then on the top I fry some broccoli or broccolini in an olive oil spray and sprinkle in garlic salt. Throw that on the top and it’s a party. It feels like your eating. I love salad but I do not like salad when I don’t feel like I’m eating food.”
You sound like you know your foods stats, do you like to cook?
“I love it! I’m food obsessed but in a healthy way. It’s never a negative for me. I read the back of everything and know the contents of everything but I never use it in a negative way. I really believe in reading labels. I think you should be obsessed with reading labels. But be careful not to let that tiny insecure voice turn it against you.”
We know it’s nearly impossible to let beauty be on top of your list when you’re a busy mom with a busy career. So how do you find ways to fit it into your schedule and find time for yourself?
“I really like a good manicure—that’s one way that I feel beautiful. Since I use my hands a lot doing housework or dishes or whatever, I like looking down and seeing clean, beautiful nails. For my skin, I really find that less is more. It’s always been that way I think because I have sensitive skin. I think in a product-obsessed world, of which I’m a participant, do not get me wrong. I have to check myself in with what my skin actually needs not what my next-door neighbor’s skin needs. That’s why I really do like the Neutrogena Naturals line so much because it’s really effective. There’s no harsh chemicals, sulfates, parabens in it at all and it’s just enough for me. I use the Purifying Facial Cleanser ($8, neutrogena.com) and it balances my skin. I let my skin take the lead basically and I’ve found that to be really effective. And it’s not often promoted like that. Beauty routines are usually about the more the merrier.”
[To help the water conservancy cause, Neutrogena will contribute 10% of the purchase price of each Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Cleanser sold to The Nature Conservancy through October 31st.]
When you’re running out the door, is there one makeup or hair product you always like to have on?
“It’s probably lips. I use a lot of lip balm because I tend to not wear makeup in my daily life. I do love the Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Sticks ($7, neutrogena.com). The colors are really good. For me, if you’re running out of the house really quickly and your only goal is to not look like a corpse, one swipe of those, you don’t even have to look in the mirror; it’s easy.”