I’m a big fan of Matrix hair products (they smell fresh but subtle!) and usually rely on their Biolage Volumathérapie shampoo and conditioner ($15, $16, biolage.com for salons) to give my long hair extra lift. But I also believe in switching up your shampoo and conditioner every now and then, so when mine recently ran low, I decided to try one of Matrix’s latest formulas, Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Oil Crème Conditioner ($17, $18, biolage.com for salons). Both contain moringa oil, which is packed with antioxidants to protect hair from damage and fatty acids to coat each strand with moisture. My hair looks and feels shiny and silky—and surprisingly, the oils didn’t weigh it down. Bottom line: I can’t stop touching it!
Our Nutrition Editor, Juno DeMelo, loves the look of a shiny manicure but can never go more than a day without her polish chipping. While we were working on a nail story, she nabbed one of the new CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosses in Toasted Almond ($5, drugstore.com) from the beauty department and hasn’t stopped raving about it since:
“This is day four!” DeMelo bragged. “Granted, I asked my husband to be on dish duty this week, but still: This is the longest a manicure has ever lasted for me, and that’s counting salon ones. It’s also the glossiest looking one I’ve ever had. All this and I didn’t even use a base coat!” she said.
Troy Polamalu is known as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fast and physical safety. But off the field, Troy’s a soft-spoken family man who makes setting a good example for his younger players and fans one of his top priorities. Recently, he hosted a Polynesian Luau Event to benefit the Harry Panos Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation, which he set up with his wife, Theodora, in honor of her grandfather, a World War II veteran, and the Troy Polamalu Football Camp held in American Somoa each year. I got the chance to chat with the Polamalus while Troy got his curls touched up by Head & Shoulders Celebrity Stylist, Sunnie Brook Jones (Polamalu’s a spokesperson for the brand).
You are hosting the Luau tonight—tell me about the event and why it is so important to you.
“We’re having this event with two performances: Common Kings, an island reggae-style pop group and another reggae artist named Fiji who’s one of the most popular island reggae artists. I say ‘island’ in the sense of the Polynesian island. And then we’re going to have a performance by Netane, which is a Polynesian dance group out of Orlando, Florida and it’s going to be a real good time. At most events, players come and people pay to get autographs but in a lot of ways this event epitomizes our culture in that we’re hosting an event for everyone to have a really good time. Obviously, people have paid for tickets to get in, which is the great fundraising aspect of it, but as far as hosting it, there’s live music, two concerts, a live performance, all-you-can-eat food, and all-you-can-drink drinks. There’s just so many people who have donated so much and it’s really cool that when you have a passion for a certain cause, how willing people are to really fork out and help out.”
Head & Shoulders is a title sponsor of the event and you’ve been partnered with them for four years. What do you like most about working with the Head & Shoulders brand?
“Well, we have a great relationship. I grew up using Head & Shoulders, so it was really awesome to start the relationship four years ago and to be able to do the different commercials that we’ve done and to pair it with different things. We paired it first with a charity called Operation Once in a Lifetime, which our charity, the Harry Panos Fund for Veterans still has a close relationship with. Then we do things like the million dollar hair insurance policy, the wax figure and now we have the School of Deeper Learning. But it’s been an awesome relationship that we’ve had together. Our locker room is full of Head & Shoulders products!”
As a football player used to being on the field, is it difficult getting used to the beauty aspect of these things, like the hair and makeup?
“Like everything at first, it took some getting used to. For example: the acting—on our very first commercial they gave me five lines, very simple. I was like, ‘Oh yea, no problem, I got this.’ Then I get there, sit with another professional actor and there are 50 people behind the camera and I went blank. I was like, ‘Oh man!’ So I’m getting used to the acting; to the hair and makeup. The first time I ever did anything, they tried to put makeup on me and I was really offended! But you get used to these things.”
You were recently voted the most liked athlete in the NFL by fans, so what do you think makes you so appealing to your fans?
“My first reaction was, ‘I don’t even like myself!’ But I think when you get those types of comments, whether it’s on a personal basis or through media, I try to tell younger players and others that you never just represent yourself. You represent your wife, your children, your family, your culture, the people you were raised by, your faith, and you have to always be conscious of that rather than living egocentrically and doing what you want to do. So in a sense, I think all of it goes to the different circumstances and people that have helped me throughout my entire life.”
So, will you ever cut your hair?
“Um—no. Well, I haven’t cut it in years. Not even a trim; I never even trimmed it. I could probably use one, as I’ve been told several times. I haven’t cut it for 10 years, I think it’s going on 11 years, which is also when I met my wife so I haven’t cut it since I met her!”
Speaking of your wife: Theodora, I know you are a busy mom of two. How do you find time to fit in exercise?
“It’s all about balancing and prioritizing things correctly. Making sure the children are happy. My husband and my children always come first before anything else. And as long as their happy and they are getting everything that they need, then everything else just falls into place—they’re always my first priority.”
Do you and Troy ever work out together?
“We used to workout together before the children and he put me on a workout plan with his special gym equipment that he had made for him at our gym. I used to do that. But now, after the kids, I don’t really have time to go to the gym, so I just try to put them in a stroller or a double stroller and jog around the city.”
Besides jogging, are there any specific workouts you like to do when you can fit it in?
“I like Bikram yoga. I try to do that whenever I’m in California. I try to do it three times a week if I can. I do CrossFit; I love it. It’s so much fun. It’s an amazing workout. It works your core really well, which is great for women, especially if you have kids. The core sort of goes away so you really have to train those muscles hard to get back into shape and back into being strong again. After children, everything gets a little bit stretched out. And I love running. I was running like six miles a day as often as I could. If I can’t get the kids in the stroller to jog with them, then I’ll just go run around the park. Sometimes I run without them to help clear my head.”
What are the healthy snacks you like to prepare for your family?
“We do green juice. Green juice is a staple in our house. We juice everyday. The kids help me; they know all about it. I put fruit in their green juice to make it a little sweeter. But the green juice I drink generally doesn’t have any fruit at all so that’s our staple. Juicing is really fun. The kids get involved with it, then they get excited about what they make so they don’t mind drinking it even if it looks funny. We like to say that my kids are super heroes so green juice is ‘hulk juice’ for us. It’s really fun and a great way to get kids interested and active in participating in a healthy and balanced diet.”
The perfect eyeliner is hard to find. Kohl pencils can smudge easily and liquid—for those of us with a shaky hand—can result in looking like a hot mess. Meet my eyes’ new best friend: Lorac Pro Cream Eyeliner ($19, loraccosmetics.com), available in black, dark brown, navy and plum. It’s a cream liner so it glides on smoother than a pencil but isn’t as slippery or messy as a liquid liner. It’s small and portable—perfect to house in your purse or your gym bag. My favorite part is the tapered eyeliner brush that comes with it. It helps you achieve a neat line plus it fits conveniently inside the cap.
—Daniella Araujo, Beauty Intern
Sequin eyebrows, purple lips, crimped hair—some runway trends look like they belong in a circus. We made simple tweaks to a few of our favorite looks so that you can wear them in real life.
Oxblood Nails: This vampy red hue is popping up everywhere in the fashion world. Think it’s too bold for your wardrobe? Test-drive it on your nails first (the dark shade looks best on short, squoval-shaped tips). Our top picks: CND Nail Colour in Dark Ruby ($9, cnd.com) and Zoya Nail Polish in Oxblood Red ($8, zoya.com).
Messy Topknot: Tired of your ponytail whipping your neck while you log miles on the treadmill? Meet the topknot. It’s just as easy to do but looks cooler. Secure a high ponytail then wrap the tail around the base, creating a knot—it doesn’t have to be perfect; the more casual, the better. Leave the bejeweled headband at home.
Shimmery Green Eyes: Update your typical smoky eyes with green shadow. Tip: Snag trendy colors (like green!) at the drugstore. Sweep a wash over your lids or rim your upper lash lines for a toned down version of the winged green shadow below.
Sheer Red Lips: Rushing from a workout to the office? Save time by swiping on a tinted red lip balm and keeping the rest of your face natural. You’ll look pulled together but by swapping a balm for the lipstick version, you won’t need a lip brush or a ton of mirror time.
Photo Credits: Catherine Malandrino New York Fashion Week/Courtesy of CND; Katya Leonovich New York Fashion Week /Courtesy of Beautypress.com; Jason Wu New York Fashion Week /Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics; Nina Ricci Paris Fashion Week/Courtesy of Beautypress.com
—By Daniella Araujo, beauty intern
Laila Ali has a reputation for being tough in the boxing ring, but lately she’s been showing off her softer side by promoting—wait for it—hair tools. Turns out, Ali actually has a beauty background. Before entering the boxing world, she owned a nail salon. She’s now the face of a new line of Gold N Hot hair styling tools (look for her in online how-to hair videos here!). Read on for my chat with Laila on hair and workout tricks.
What made you decide to work with Gold N Hot?
“I’ve been a fan of Gold N Hot for many years now and I have used their tools for a long time. It’s a highly recognized brand, especially in the African American community. I chose to work with them because I have first hand experience.”
What’s your favorite styling tool in the new line?
“My favorite is the flat iron. It’s a great tool because it straightens out your hair, flattens out frizz, and even curls your hair if you use it properly. To make sure you’re using it correctly, you can launch the how-to videos with your smart phones just by scanning the tags right off the box!”
Do you style your own hair or do you have a stylist?
“I do my own hair on regular days and I like to use my flat iron. If I could only have one styling tool in the world, it would be a flat iron. I just can’t live without it! But on days that I have an event or a shoot, I call my stylist.”
I’m sure you’ve used many blow dryers in the past, what makes yours different?
“The ion technology really makes a difference; it helps smooth down your hair in less time with less heat. It cuts time because you don’t have to keep going over and over it again. It’s really a good product for its price range.”
What do you use before and after you style your hair?
“I use a heat protectant spray before I use any heat styling tool—it protects and adds sheen. I like to use a light hairspray after using a curling iron to help hold my curls.”
How do you keep your hair looking good after a tough workout?
“I try to workout by a fan to keep my hair from getting sweaty. I use a cap instead of a headband and I go back around my edges (hairline around the face) with a flat iron when I get home.”
What’s your favorite on-the-go easy hairstyle?
“I’m a ponytail girl.”
What’s your favorite beauty product?
“Tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier: it’s lightweight, protects me from the sun, evens out my skin, and gives me a natural looking finish.”
In the battle between chapstick vs lipstick, who wins?
What’s your favorite healthy snack?
“Non-fat Greek yogurt, apples, almonds, dry fruit like apricots, and fresh baby carrots with low fat French onion dip.”
Do you have any quick fitness tips?
“Try to stay consistent. Workout first thing in the morning, this way you get it done and out of the way. Make short term and long term goals, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout.”
What is your favorite spa treatment after a long day of training?
“A nice massage. I always ask for an extra half hour on my feet.”
—By Daniella Araujo, beauty intern
For as long as I can remember, I’ve secretly obsessed over my teeth. I had braces when I was younger and as a result, my smile looked beautiful for a few years. But then I had my wisdom teeth removed and kept forgetting to wear my retainers (is there anything less sexy than a retainer?) and the next thing I knew, I was spending an unacceptable amount of time stressing over my crowded teeth. Once I started expressing my concern to friends and colleagues, I found out that I wasn’t the only one unhappy with my smile.
I researched options but knew that a second round of traditional braces was not right for me. Now that I was older with a career and an active social life, I felt embarrassed by the prospect of having braces again. But then I discovered Incognito Hidden Braces. I met with Dr. Schulhof of The Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics and he explained to me how Incognito braces are just like the traditional version, but they are placed behind your teeth, making them invisible to others. Unlike other options out there designed to “secretly” fix your smile, every bracket and wire of Incognito is 100 percent customized to your teeth for accuracy, which can lead to fewer appointments and increased comfort. That means less time spent with the braces on (and at your orthodontist’s office) and more time getting on with your life.
Another bonus of Incognito is that they are actually safer to the health of your mouth for anyone with an active lifestyle. Since the brackets are safely hidden on the inside of your teeth, if you sustain an injury to the mouth (like a misdirected punch in kickboxing class or falling off your bike), you’ll avoid a painful busted lip. Many athletes have opted for this treatment as opposed to others since they can accomplish desired results faster and safer. Plus, Dr. Schulhof pointed out that for people who exercise often, many don’t hydrate enough and end up with dry mouth. Dry mouth and brackets that rub up against the inside of your cheeks and mouth don’t go well together and can even ruin a good workout due to discomfort.
If you don’t want to commit to a full set of braces or if you’re looking to straighten out just the front, most-visible portion of your smile, you can opt for Incognito Lite. This version works the same way as the full set, but they are applied to just the front six or eight teeth, which are seen the most when you talk or smile. The process is a lot quicker than that of regular braces and within a few months, you could be flaunting a gorgeous smile.
If you are eligible to be treated with regular braces, then you can be treated with Incognito. If you are in the greater New York City area, head to The Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics to learn more or make an appointment with Dr. Schulhof. If not, visit hiddenbraces.com to find an Incognito-certified Orthodontist near you.
Shaving can sometimes be a pain, especially after a workout in the cramped shower stall of the locker room. Plus, I don’t want to weigh my gym bag down with a can of shaving cream so instead, I keep a Schick Hydro Silk for Women Razor ($10, drugstore.com) on hand. Its five (yes, five!) blades are surrounded by tiny beads that are jam packed with a water-activated moisturizing serum that’s so hydrating, you don’t even need to use a shaving cream. It’s perfect year-round since it gives me the closest shave, but especially during the chilly winter months that tend to dry out my legs.
Renée Rouleau basically is the definition of busy. On top of running her own skincare company, Renée Rouleau for Beautiful Skin, she’s a celebrity facialist who spends most of her time traveling from her home in Dallas, Texas, to New York, Los Angeles and even to Europe to create “pop up spas” for her clients. In the midst of all this, Rouleau found the time to squeeze in workouts and recently lost over 30 pounds (and counting!) after falling in love with CrossFit. She dished about her workout addiction and how she helps her skin cope with her active lifestyle.
How did you get into CrossFit?
“A friend told me about it and how much she loved it. She knew I would love it, too. Luckily they had one that was not far from my house, and they have them all over the world.”
What do you love about doing CrossFit?
“I love it for several different reasons; one is the variety. There’s a W.O.D. (workout of the day) that changes everyday so there’s never any muscle that’s left untouched and you never get bored because it’s always different. Two: I love it because when left to ourselves, we are not very accountable. You go to gym and sit on bike and bring a magazine and whatever. You’ll never push yourself as hard on your own as you will with CrossFit or when your coaches are yelling in a friendly way to push you farther than you would on your own. There’s that accountability. And three: it challenges me physically in ways that I never would. I tend to think people are either cardio bunnies or weight lifters. They tend to gravitate to one or the other. I’m a cardio person. I love running; I love biking; so I love that I’m doing a lot of the Olympic weightlifting. I’m strengthening my weaknesses. I also love that there’s a lot of camaraderie. Everyone who belongs to CrossFit will say it’s like a family. You get to know everybody.”
I know you’re very busy and that you travel a lot. How do you manage to keep up with your workout routine?
“Well whenever I travel, I hit up other CrossFit gyms, so for example, I just got back from Madrid, Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. I went to CrossFit in those countries. I like to experience other CrossFit gyms and the fact that they have them all over the world makes it so easy. They sell t-shirts so it’s fun to collect different shirts at different locations. The nice thing about CrossFit is that a lot of the workouts are things that don’t require any equipment. There’s an App called CrossFit Global and there’s a random W.O.D. feature, so on Sundays, you can select an option and it spits out a random W.O.D. for you. If I’m in a hotel or the gym, I can use the App and it gives me workouts to do. I generally fit it in about five days a week.”
Fitting in those sweat sessions five days a week can sometimes wreak havoc on your skin. What changes have you noticed in your skin?
“Since I’ve been doing CrossFit for about a year and a half now, there is a lot of outdoor stuff and as a result, especially due to hot Texas summers, I’ve definitely noticed my hyper pigmentation has increased, including little brown spots that come with age. So any time you’re working out outside, you’re more exposed to UV light which increases melanin and combined with being hot, that stimulates melanin activity as well, so you have to be really good about sun protection and making sure to use a daily skin lightening products. I like natural as opposed to prescription to put those melanin cells to sleep and to keep that pigmentation lessened.”
How do you treat your spots?
“Obviously sun protection in the morning. I use Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 because it’s so light and doesn’t retain heat in the skin like heavier creams can do because of the heavy oils. Then I’ll do my makeup then I’ll dust on the ColorScience SPF 50, which is a mineral powder SPF, as a finisher for extra protection. Later on in the day when I go to CrossFit, I do the mineral powder dust again because sunscreen can degrade throughout the day from natural oils in the skin and UV light so with a second coat, I know I am protected especially if we are outside.
You have a ton of great products. What’s one of your faves?
“After a workout, when I get home, I like to wash my skin because I’ve been sweating. I use a cleanser called Luxe Mint Cleanser Gel. It’s sulfate free so it’s really gentle. It has spearmint, peppermint and rosemary botanicals, which feel cooling.”
How did/do you find the motivation to keep up with a daily workout routine?
“I once heard entrepreneur, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, say that his best tip for increasing productivity is to work out. He said you’ll approach work with a clear head since exercise decreases stress. Running my company, even though it’s very exciting, it’s very stressful so I feel like when I workout, I feel calmer and have a clearer head; I just feel better. I just really make it a priority. When I feel good, I am stronger and more productive in my daily life so there are physical and emotional benefits. Just making it a priority, it’s a habit now. I don’t even think about it. It actually helps that I really love CrossFit and anyone who goes knows it’s addictive. I’ve never been addicted to an exercise before but it’s hard and there’s such a satisfaction afterwards, you just want to keep going so those are the reasons you want to fit it in.”
One thing I’ve learned since working in the beauty industry is that it’s never too early to start thinking about how your skin will look years down the road. Starting an anti-aging regimen in your 40s is a thing of the past. After years of being concerned with acne, I didn’t quite know what to do when I woke up with skin that was dull and dehydrated yet somehow still oily and starting to reveal fine lines. Feeling intimidated by getting a professional peel at a dermatologist’s office, I reached for Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Packettes ($28, for pack of 10, dhskincare.com). After just one application of this two-step peel, I saw instant results. The alpha beta hydroxy acids combined with wrinkle-reducing antioxidants including retinol slough away dead skin cells and enrich your skin to reveal a brighter, more youthful and clearer complexion. Although it’s safe to use every day, I use them every other night before bed and now wake up with smooth, radiant skin.