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Laila Ali on Boxing and Beauty

Written on November 9, 2012 at 10:49 am , by

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?
“Chapstick!”

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

Score a Perfect Smile (Without Anyone Else Knowing!)

Written on November 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm , by

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.

Placement of Incognito braces behind your teeth.

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.

Favorite Find Friday: Schick Hydro Silk for Women Razor

Written on November 2, 2012 at 10:00 am , by

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.

Celebrity Esthetician Renée Rouleau on her CrossFit Addiction and Skin Care Tips

Written on October 31, 2012 at 11:18 am , by

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.

Rouleau’s amazing transformation.

 

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.”

Favorite Find Friday: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Packettes

Written on October 26, 2012 at 10:01 am , by

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.

Think Pink: Five Beauty Goodies that Give Back!

Written on October 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm , by

October marks Breast Cancer Awareness month, which means companies are churning out beauty products that not only help you look good but do good, too. We’ve spent the past few weeks sifting through them. Here are our faves:

Ahava Hope Blossoms Mineral Bath Salts ($22 for 32oz., ahavaus.com). Sprinkle a capful of these white floral-scented salts into a warm bath to soothe achy muscles after a tough workout. Even better than the spa-like effect: Ahava will make a 10% donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation in support of their mission to help fund research and promote education and early detection.

Nails Inc. Nail Lacquer in Pinkie Pink ($9.50, sephora.com). This is the perfect way to show your support—right down to your fingertips. Paint just one nail (like your pinky) with this metallic pink polish to add extra sparkle to your manicure. $1 from every sale will be donated to Breast Cancer Campaign.

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick ($3, drugstores). Meet a great multi-tasker to toss in your gym bag. Use it as lip balm, body balm or rub a little between your fingertips to tame pesky flyaways. Palmer’s will donate 15% of sales of specially-marked Palmer’s products (with a minimum donation of $100,000) to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

Stila Positively Pink Set ($18, stilacosmetics.com). The adorable pink ribbon blush adds just the right amount of pink to your cheeks to fake a post-workout flush. Top off your look with a swipe of shimmery lip glaze and you’re good to go. $1 from every purchase will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.

Clinique Great Skin, Great Cause Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion ($36, clinique.com). This cult classic facial moisturizer is not only super light and hydrating, but it comes with an adorable charm key ring. $10 from every sale of this limited-edition product will benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® while supplies last.

Favorite Find Friday: Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturizer SPF 30

Written on October 19, 2012 at 10:36 am , by

SPF everyday is a must for me, but I can’t be bogged down with a two-step process in the morning, so I need a daily moisturizer that also contains sunscreen. Some can feel heavy and chalky but Mario Basescu Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 30 ($26, mariobadescu.com) is so lightweight and hydrating, you can’t even tell it has broad-spectrum SPF in it. The green tea antioxidants and aloe vera soften and soothe tight skin. I swipe it on every morning before applying my makeup for instant hydration and the daily sun protection I need.

Natalie Coughlin on Eye Health and Killer Brows!

Written on October 17, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Natalie Coughlin makes sure to protect her eyes with UV-protective sunglasses.

Swimmer and 12-time Olympic medalist, Natalie Coughlin, has been keeping busy since the Summer Olympics in London, but she makes sure to set aside time to take care of herself. As the LensCrafters lifestyle expert, she understands the importance of eye health not only for her sport, but also for her everyday life. After checking out some of the new trends in eyewear at a recent LensCrafter’s event, we caught up with Coughlin to get her best health and beauty tips.

How can a healthy lifestyle lead to better vision and stronger eyes?
“Well it’s really important to take care of your body and that includes everything from eating well to preventative care for your eyes. I wear my glasses but I also make sure to wear my sunglasses whenever I’m outside, especially being a someone who swims, I am constantly in the glaring sun so it’s really important that I take good care of my eyes.”

What are some of those healthy habits that you try to incorporate into your everyday life?
“Having a healthy diet is really important so eating things that are high in vitamin A, luteins and omega-3s are really good. Eggs are really good; kale, dark leafy greens, things like that and then fishes that are high in omega-3s are all really good for your eyes. And I just always having my sunglasses on me.”

As a swimmer and an athlete, how important is it for you to have strong, clear eyesight?
“It’s so important to have really good eyesight. Our races come down to 1/100th of a second so when you’re making judgment calls going into the wall or into the finish, or trying to figure out where you are based on the flags, you have to be able to see clearly where you are going.”

I know you love to cook. What are some of your favorite healthy meals to make?
“I love to cook! I will cook anything and I am a big believer of cooking in season. I actually have a pretty big garden at my house. I grow a ton of kale and so one of my favorite go-to’s is a green smoothie everyday. It’s not really cooking but it has kale, romaine, celery, parsley, coconut water, apples, bananas, pear, and lemon juice. It’s something that I drink every morning or as a snack and it has super good vitamins, minerals and enzymes. I’ll make a big batch and have that waiting for me everyday.”

Coughlin showing off her dark frames, bold brows, and a bright lip!

Do you have any makeup tips for readers who wear glasses?
“Whether you’re wearing glasses or not wearing glasses, I really believe in having a very well-defined brow. As someone who swims all the time, I don’t get to wear any makeup when I am in the pool, so having a well-groomed brow is so important to me. I think it frames your face well, and then for the night, if it’s a little dressier like tonight, I play up the lips to complement my glasses.”

Treat Yourself: Your Guide to Some of Spa Week’s Hottest Deals!

Written on October 15, 2012 at 11:00 am , by

Pamper yourself during Spa Week.

It’s one of my favorite times of the year—no, not Halloween—it’s Spa Week! And you don’t have to live in New York City to experience it. Spas across the country are offering full-service treatments for discounted rates (think $50!) from October 15th through the 21st. Indulge in a massage, facial and even a yoga class. Here are some of the highlights:


Where:
Fresh, New York City
1367 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021
212.585.3400
http://www.fresh.com
What: 60 Minute Correct & Protect Facial Experience

Where: Exhale, Miami
270 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131
305.423.3900
http://www.exhalespa.com 
What: 
5 Pack of Mind Body Classes: Transform your body with your choice of 5 of Exhale’s Award-Winning Core Fusion and Yoga Classes.

Where: Jurlique, Santa Monica
1230 Montana Avenue, Suite 105,
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310.899.1923
http://www.jurlique.com
What:
50 Minute Signature Revitalizing Facial

Where: Stript Wax Bar, Los Angeles
8218 West 3rd Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90048
323.951.9517
http://www.striptwaxbar.com
What: 
60 Minute Plant Stem Cell Glycolic Facial

Where: Eshe Day Spa and Salon, Chicago
633 South Plymouth Court, Unit 1,
Chicago, IL 60605
312.675.0200
http://www.eshedayspa.com
What: 55 Minute Aveda Signature Organic Facial

Where: The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel, Houston
1300 Lamar Street,
Houston, TX 77010
713.652.6219
http://www.fourseasons.com
What: 60 Minute Specialty Pedicure with Foot Massage

Where:Nurture Spa & Salon at Luxor, Las Vegas
3900 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89119
702.730.5720
http://www.luxor.com
What: 50 Minute Nurture Swedish Massage

Where: Red Door Spa, Seattle
700 110th Avenue Northeast, Suite 290
Bellevue, WA 98004
425.455.3700
http://www.reddoorspas.com
What: 50 Minute Spa Week Stress Melter Body Treatment, includes Exfoliation, Aroma Therapeutic Body Wrap and Scalp Massage

—By Daniella Araujo, beauty intern

Nikki Reed on Saving Water, Beauty Secrets and The End of the Twilight Saga

Written on October 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm , by

Actress Nikki Reed is embarking on a new chapter. The 24-year-old is about to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with husband and former American Idol contestant, Paul McDonald; next month, she’ll say goodbye to the Twilight series that she’s been working on since 2009 and she’s busy focusing on maintaining an active lifestyle while making a difference. Which is why she helped kick off the Axe Shower-Pooling event held at the USC Delta Chi fraternity house. Reed gave us the scoop on the Axe initiative plus shared some of her favorite beauty products and workout tips.

Tell me about the Axe Shower-Pooling Campaign.
“The Axe Shower-Pooling Campaign is basically all about conserving water, but it’s a really simple, basic way to feel like you’re doing something without really doing much. The idea behind shower-pooling is pretty simple: it’s more than one person in the shower, so two people, one shower, less water use. And you shower for 5 minutes or less. I’m learning as I go along and I’m just really happy to be involved and stand behind this thing.”

Why did you want to get involved?
“I guess as a public figure, it’s really important to use your voice in a positive way, especially if you have a voice that can be heard by more people than the average person. I think that’s what I’m trying to do is to become involved with things that I would want to become involved with anyway. Like here is an example: Paul and I are getting into composting. For years now I’ve been taking my own bags to the grocery store and reusing cloth bags. This is a step in the same direction except on a wider scale.”

What do you love about the Axe products?
“I grew up with Axe. My brothers used it. I think it brings up a lot of memories. I think what I love about Axe is what they want to do. That’s why I feel connected to them right now, because the message that they want to send out to people. I want to be a part of that message.”

Are there any other beauty products you love?
“I love Benefit Sunbeam and Dior Diorskin Forever. I was talking to my hair and makeup team in the car about how much plastic surgery everyone is having these days and how the best possible thing to do is to just take care of yourself and your skin.”

What about your workout routine: what are your favorite things to do to stay in shape?
“I’m super active and I’ve been really vocal about this because I spent my entire childhood smoking and so it changed the kind of person I was growing into and it changed who I hung out with. It changed my whole lifestyle, so when I quit smoking and I stepped on a treadmill for the first time, it wasn’t about going to the gym and it never has been for me. It was about being able to do things I physically couldn’t do before. I love to hike and I’m learning how to water-ski. I have a coach! Being active is really important to me because it wasn’t an option before. I gave myself a disability by smoking.”

What are your favorite “fuel-up” foods to eat before or after a workout?
“I eat tons of quinoa, tons of brown rice and tons of avocados. I eat like two avocados a day. I’m all about fuel-foods so carbohydrates are my friends.”

The final installment of the Twilight series- Breaking Dawn Part 2 is coming out next month. How do you feel about it coming to an end?
“I think all this time we have been talking about the end, the end, the end in this very hypothetical way. It was sort of so distant and we have been slowly creeping towards the end, so it really didn’t have time to set in. I think it was Comic-Con this year that really did it for me. I was like, ‘Oh, this is the last time we are all going to sit here together.’ I just feel like this has been such a significant part of my life; how could I not feel like I’m affected by this coming to an end? I’m really sad about it. I’ve grown so much as a person and as an actress. I mean, I was 19 when we started and now I’m married. My whole life has changed. It’s really weird to close this chapter.”