Written on September 17, 2013 at 10:24 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Ever wonder how your wax might be affecting your workouts, or vice versa? Us, too. So we tapped Noemi Grupenmager, Founder and CEO of Uni K wax centers (with locations in California, Florida and New York) to get the scoop on how your hair removal habits and your hustle in the gym are related. Below, she spills some of her best waxing secrets as well as offers tips to help you get your sweat on while still maintaining soft and smooth skin.
For an athlete or someone who enjoys working out, what are the benefits of waxing over shaving?
“A big plus is that waxing is safer than shaving and will help you avoid the daily risk of nicks, cuts, ingrown hair and razor burn that can irritate you while you’re working out and wearing tight clothing. Waxing removes hair below skin level making it a fairly long-lasting method of hair removal. Results can last from three to six weeks, which is ideal for those of us who swim regularly, or want to save time in the shower after a workout.”
Should you refrain from certain workouts like cycling or Spin class after a Brazilian or bikini wax?
“With the right wax, you can enjoy any workout without a worry. I have my own trick to ensure clients can go straight to the gym after their service. Uni K uses an all-natural elastic wax made for sensitive areas and after the elastic wax is removed, we apply an individual ice pack, which closes the pores quickly to minimize any redness or irritation. We then apply a gel made from cool and calming cucumber, chamomile and calendula extract to comfort, refresh and hydrate the waxed area. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, prepping your skin to feel even better and more ready for a workout (or the beach, etc.) than when you walked in! If you don’t have access to Uni K, simulate these treatments on your own by bringing a cold pack and a cucumber-rich moisturizer to use post-wax. It’s important to note that hard wax or strip wax can irritate the skin more than elastic wax, so if you do feel uncomfortable after using those types of waxes, opt for a workout that doesn’t stress the bikini area and start spin class again the next day.”
Can swimming—in the pool or ocean—post-wax cause irritation?
“Typically you can go swimming and not experience any post-wax irritation. The secret is to apply wax at body temperature so it doesn’t burn or aggravate the skin. This calms and gently opens pores, and using the cold pack described above closes them again, so you’re no more vulnerable to irritants in the water like chlorine or salt. Just be mindful that tight swimsuits can increase the likelihood of an ingrown hair.”
I was just going to ask, can tight leggings cause ingrown hairs? If so, how can you treat or avoid them?
“If you wax regularly, you will have a slim chance of getting an ingrown hair. However, tight clothes, like workout leggings compress the hair against your body most of the time, and the chances of getting an ingrown hair increase. Don’t stay in your wet swimsuit or sweaty leggings longer than necessary after your workout. Exfoliating regularly will help to diminish your chance of getting an ingrown hair. I do recommend avoiding exfoliating one to two days before and after you wax because the wax will exfoliate your skin while removing unwanted hair. If you do experience ingrown hairs, try a gel formulated to gently exfoliate, like Uni K Ingrown Hair Roll-On ($22, unikwax.com).”
Often after any type of facial wax (eyebrows, lip, chin, etc.) and a workout, a breakout ensues. Is there any way to avoid post-wax zits?
“To minimize breakouts, choose a wax that is not hot, contains no chemicals, is gentle on the skin and does not cause discomfort. It’s also important to hydrate with plenty of water and moisturizers before and between waxing to achieve a better hair removal result and reduce any irritation. Avoid applying retinol products to skin 24-48 hours before facial waxing. Retinol is the purest form of Vitamin A, and while it’s a great ingredient for treating adult acne, it’s extremely potent and even applying a thin layer makes skin more sensitive and prone to redness and irritation.”
If you wax your underarms, is it okay to use deodorant immediately?
“Yes, it is okay to use a deodorant after waxing as long as the deodorant itself is not irritating for you. When considering what type of deodorant to use, it is always better to use bars and roll-ons over sprays, as sprays tend to be more harsh and difficult to control during application. Try to choose products that contain natural ingredients and skin soothers (like aloe, chamomile, cucumber, etc.) without synthetic fragrances which can be irritating to some people.”
Written on July 15, 2013 at 3:08 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Maggie Gyllenhaal recently joined the Band-Aid, Neosporin, Johnson & Johnson Red Cross and Benadryl Brands to help celebrate the 125th Anniversary of an iconic staple for everyday care—the First Aid Kit. Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson got the idea for making the first commercial First Aid Kits due to a conversation he had with a railway surgeon on a Denver & Rio Grande Railway train in the late 1880s. The surgeon told Johnson that railroad workers were frequently injured, but were too far away from any medical help, and Johnson had the idea to pack his company’s sterile dressings and other products in boxes that could be kept near the workers to treat them in case of injury. Now, First Aid Kits ($10, target.com) are found almost anywhere from homes to workplaces to airplanes. At the celebration, we chatted with Gyllenhaal about Band-Aids, running and her tips for getting the haircut you want.
We’re celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the First Aid Kit. It fits into all different aspects of our lives—it’s perfect for the cook, the athlete, the mom, the adventurer, etc. Where do you find that it fits into your life?
“I definitely use Band-Aids the most as a mom, and Neosporin and stuff. I feel like it’s mostly with my kids.”
As a busy mom with a successful career, how do find time for yourself?
“I have almost no time to myself. Basically the only time is during exercise. So sometimes I’ll go for a run and listen to the news while I’m running. I try to take time for myself at night. I’ll go to dinner or listen to music. I’ll put my kids to sleep and go out. But during the day, especially with a little one… I mean I was exercising at this place where it would take 40 minutes to get there, I’d work out for an hour, an hour and a half, then come back home. It’s just too much time. My husband is a really big runner. He started to teach me about running, so I’ve been running lately. And then I walk outside my house. I can take a forty-five minute run, I feel like I’ve worked out and then I’m done.”
So is running your go-to workout?
“I’m a beginner. I’m a new, new, newbie. I’ve been doing this aerobics class that I really like, which has been great for my body because it’s so toning and strengthening. I was doing like an hour of cardio aerobics, which I had to work up to, but it made me feel so strong. So when I started running, even though it was very different and much harder I felt, I kind of had some strength already. So I’m a beginner runner, but because my husband runs—he’s a long distance runner—he runs such long distances, I started out running pretty far because I was with him and he was like, ‘Oh, we’ll just do five miles,’ so I just ran five miles. When I run by myself, I run about three and a half.”
Switching gears to beauty, we love your short haircut. Do you have any advice for somebody who is thinking about getting a big chop?
“I’ve always been someone who’s played with my hair and cut it. I have a hard time just growing it and leaving it a certain way. I don’t know; it’s not for everybody. I really like it; I feel really good. And I’ve certainly cut my hair in ways in which I did not feel good. I would say do not cut your hair short if you’re pregnant. And I say, think about it. That’s my advice. Make sure that you have a good hairdresser. When you get a short cut, you have to have a great haircut. And you have to cut it often. About every three weeks I feel like I need to do at least a little trim on my hair. And I would say, go and talk to your hairdresser, ask your hairdresser what he or she thinks about your face, the quality of your hair, if it’s going to work on you. I mean I cut my hair first for a movie and I had kind of a bowl cut, which was fantastic for the movie when they did my hair everyday. And when I got home, I was like ‘what do I do with this?’ I can’t blow-dry it so it’s shiny and perfect—that’s just not going to be me. So I need a haircut that’s very simple to maintain. But I think, take some time and think and ask someone who knows your hair.”
What are the beauty essentials that you can’t leave home without?
“I always moisturize, so when I get out of the shower, I always put on oil. I just stay wet and put oil on, and then sort of just pat it dry with a towel. And I always have lipstick in my purse because I’m a lipstick girl. It makes me feel good.”
Written on April 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Let the countdown begin: today marks just four weeks until Memorial Day weekend (the unofficial start of summer), which means it’s time to buckle down and get your bikini body on. Feeling anxious at the thought of slipping on your two-piece? Don’t freak out—Clarins has joined forces with celeb workout favorite, Barry’s Bootcamp, to help you reach your slim-down goal. Together, they’ve developed a series of video tutorials available on Clarins YouTube channel that combine simple, fat-burning exercises developed by International Celebrity Fitness Expert Joey Gonzales. Shoot to do each move for one minute a day for a week. As you get better at each move, you can increase the time by 30 seconds. To maximize the intensity of each move, buy a Barry’s Bootcamp Booty Band here for $9. The first video will be available today, with subsequent videos on each Monday for the next three weeks. And to really amp up your results, slather on Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control ($68, clarins.com), which when applied using the company’s customized technique—the Clarins Self-Massage Body Countouring Method—the new slimming lotion traps fatty tissue, stimulates circulation and encourages the elimination of excess water and lipids for less visible cellulite and firmer skin. Do this daily—trust us, you’ll want to (it’s pampering) and you’ll have a hotter body and smoother skin come summertime!
Written on April 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
As our favorite funny girl from Will & Grace and most recently, a Broadway writer on the hit series Smash, Debra Messing has been entertaining us for years. And though she always looks flawless on screen, she’s been covering up a not-so-pretty little secret: she’s a severe allergy sufferer. Turns out, she’s one of many—96% of women suffer from allergies and the beauty woes that accompany them (watery eyes, a red nose and a puffy face). So Messing is teaming up with Zyrtec, the number one allergist recommended brand, to help fellow sufferers look and feel their best by sharing her own personal story and beauty secrets. Here, she explains just how embarrassing allergies can be and how she manages to conceal the dreaded “allergy face.”
With spring comes warm weather and pretty flowers, but it’s also the start of allergy season. Can you explain what it means to have “allergy face?”
“I’ve been an allergy sufferer since I was really little. I grew up in New England, and anytime allergy season would come along, I would have these reactions. It would include my eyes watering constantly and my eyelids puffing up and my face getting blotchy and red, just to name a few things. So for me, that’s what allergy face means. It’s so great to be working with a company that is addressing the beauty needs of women during allergy season because in the past, it has prevented me from doing the things that I’ve really wanted to do. Like you said, taking advantage of the warm weather and going out to Central Park for a walk with my son or worrying about looking good if I have a press event outside. I partnered up with Zyrtec because it’s the first thing that actually works for me. It’s something that I can depend on and I know that if I take it in the morning I’m going to be ok. It really does prevent those reactions from happening to me.”
What’s your most embarrassing allergy attack story?
“I was shooting a movie called The Wedding Date in England, and we were out in the British countryside. Beautiful rolling hills, flowers everywhere, grass and everyone was so excited because we were going to be shooting outside for days. I went in to have my makeup done in the trailer and they brought in a new makeup artist to help out and she was doused in perfume, an all floral essences. By the time my hair was fixed, my entire face blew up and my throat closed. My eyelids were so swollen that my eyes looked like slits. I turned and said ‘uh oh’ and everyone turned and looked and said ‘Oh my God!’ The director came in and said we couldn’t shoot. We had to shut down production and wait until my allergy attack subsided—embarrassing! Everyone was literally just sitting around looking at my puffy face and waiting for it to get better.”
That sounds terrible! You mentioned being in the makeup chair, what are your go-to beauty products to conceal allergy symptoms?
“Because my eyes get itchy, I like to carry portable saline drops just to wash out my eyes so that any allergens in the air won’t stick around too long. In the morning, I get a bowl full of ice and add in aloe juice, which is inexpensive from the health food store, and I make the aloe juice really freezing and put in a washcloth and put it on my face for a minute or two. It takes all the puffiness out and it’s really soothing. My skin gets red and rashy so the aloe soothes that, too.”
Beside the products you use to hide your “allergy face,” do you have any other favorite beauty products?
“You know, my allergies are so severe that I really have to use fragrance-free products so there’s a makeup by Lorac called Natural Performance Foundation ($36, loraccosmetics.com) that I use everyday. It’s fragrance-free and doesn’t have anything in it that can exacerbate my sensitivity.”
So we know you’re a busy mom and working on the set of a hit TV show, so how do you find the time to stay fit?
“You know what, it’s all about my son. He is now turning nine. When he was about four, I was so amazed by how active he was and I thought there was no way he could get more active then he is. He is like the Tasmanian devil now. He is constantly running around and he wants me to play with him. He loves sports. So when the weather is nice, we go across the street to Central Park and we’ll take the soccer ball and play soccer. He likes football and tennis, too. He just really loves sports so that’s what keeps me healthy; I wouldn’t say fit.”
What is your diet like with such a crazy schedule?
“I also have a lot of food allergies, so for me, it’s about staying away from the foods that I’m allergic to. I try to eat very clean. I try and stay away from dairy and sugar. I try and eat a lot of fish and fresh fruits and vegetables, basically all of the things that your mom tries to teach you in kindergarten.”
When you splurge, what do you splurge on?
“I love pizza and I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!”
Brooklyn Decker Dishes on Mixing Up Her Workouts, Her Best Beauty Trick and Her Facial Hair Preference on Tennis Star Andy Roddick (Swoon!)
Written on February 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Brooklyn Decker is known for her smokin’ hot Sports Illustrated spreads and acting alongside some A-list stars like Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. But when she’s not on set, she’s just like the rest of us: she splurges on sweets (especially on Valentine’s day), gets bored with her workouts and loves kissing her smoothly-shaven husband, hottie Andy Roddick. Today, she teamed up with Gillette to host The World’s Largest Shave & Kiss Event conveniently on—you guessed it—Valentine’s Day. Gillette conducted a month-long, nationwide social experiment where women were asked to kiss their guys before and after they shaved to pick their preference: a smoothly-shaven smooch or a stubbly kiss. The results are in…drum roll, please:
So what’s the verdict? Do women like their men shaven or stubbly?
“Well, Gillette traveled to 16 states and found out that 85% of women actually prefer guys to be clean-shaven, which is surprising because facial hair is so popular now so I would think that it would be around 50/50. But it turns out that the majority of women do prefer a smooth face.”
And did they prefer just the look of it or the feel when kissing?
“Both. But how they did the study was that they had couples kiss pre and post shave. Then they took the survey with the women after the kiss, so it had a huge influence. They definitely preferred kissing the guy more when he was clean-shaven, which obviously, on Valentine’s Day is very important.”
Definitely! And which do you prefer with your husband?
“I like the look of stubble but I hate the beard burn that I get on my face. It’s almost like razor burn but on my face! It’s like these little red bumps.”
And it hurts!
“Yea! I figure, I have to shave my legs so I feel like the guy should have to shave his face. And luckily the Gillette Fusion Pro-Glide ($13, drugstore.com), is the number one dermatologist-recommended razor for sensitive skin. So a guy can protect his face and protect yours as well, which is kind of nice. So girls, if you want to do a roundabout hint to your guy, a subtle hint, give him a razor for Valentine’s Day!”
So, I love all of your active pics on Instagram. What are some of your favorite workouts?
“Yes! I do all sorts of stuff. I’m really into weight-lifting lately because I have a trainer. A lot of people are like, “You jerk, you have a trainer!” So I know I’m lucky. But he helps me a ton. He’s a big believer in women lifting weights because you’re protecting your bones, it’s so much healthier, you can eat more and you have more muscle mass so you don’t have to worry so much about it so I’m doing a lot of that. I’m training for a marathon, so I’m running. I’m kind of like an ADD worker-outer. I want something different all the time. So I’m always trying to find something new, whether it be hiking outdoors or being indoors in a gym working out. Just something to keep your blood moving a little bit.”
Do you ever workout with Andy?
“I do! I do, actually. It’s usually me, desperately trying to keep up but yea, occasionally. My ego takes a little bruising so it’s a rare occasion.”
Does he make you play tennis?
“No! Not even in the slightest.”
That’s good! Okay, so Valentine’s Day usually involves lots of sweets and sugar. What are some of your strategies for staying on track with healthy eating?
“I think you should indulge! I think that’s the fun in Valentines Day. I mean, for as long as I can remember, since I was a little kid, you give each other little circle lollipops and candy. There’s something really fun and nostalgic about that and I don’t think that should be ignored but I also don’t think it should derail any fitness or health goals you have. I love sweets. I think the biggest thing is just eating what you want, not everyday, not all the time, but as long as you’re staying physical and you’re staying active, you can allow yourself to indulge on Valentine’s Day because you deserve it and it’s fun. But I think the more women obsess over it or the more people obsess over it, the worse it gets, the harder it gets to stay on track.”
Any great insider beauty tips you want to share?
“I think some of the best beauty tips probably involve multi-purpose products— products that can be used for several things. Makeup artists are constantly doing that. You can use a razor to shave; or you can also use it to exfoliate your skin before a spray tan. There are all sorts of things you can do. You can use a lip balm for example on you lips, cheeks and eyes for a glow. I constantly find, because makeup artists are usually in a rush, they’re trying to get you out the door and looking really good fast, so multi-purpose products are always a big secret that they use.”
Written on February 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm , by Fitness Magazine
Post-workout, I treat myself to a warm soak to ease my sore muscles. While testing bath-friendly beauty products (tough job, right?), I stumbled across these three standouts, which have helped transform my bathroom into a spa-like sanctuary. I even use them as an incentive while working out (just one more mile until some TLC)!
Set the mood:
Bath & Body Works White Barn 3-Wick Candle in Honeysuckle ($20, bathandbodyworks.com)
Dim your lights (it’s you time!) and activate this candle. In a few minutes, the subtle blend of honeysuckle and creamy vanilla will fill the air. The best part: the sweet scent lingers for hours after the flame goes out.
Soak it up:
Lush Peaceful Lavender Bathing Under the Stars Bath Bomb in Twilight ($6, lushusa.com)
A fun alternative to bubble bath, this fizzy bath bomb will bob around the tub and dissolve, turning the water into frothy pink and purple swirls. Lavender essential oil will help you unwind—perfect for taking the edge off before bedtime.
Soften your skin:
Victoria’s Secret Seriously Soft Body Cream in Jasmine & Water Lily ($12, Victoriassecret.com)
Once you’re out of the tub, lightly pat your skin with a towel. While it’s still damp, slather on this rich cream. Hydrating coconut and sunflower oils will leave your skin feeling silky, while the tropical scent will put you in a vacation-mode mindset.
—Jessica Carter, beauty intern
Written on January 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Kate Hudson’s never looked hotter (um, hello, Golden Globes!). But she’s not spending all day getting pampered at the spa—she has an upcoming film (Me and My Shadow), she guest-stars on Glee, and she’s the face of both Almay and Ann Taylor—all on top of being a mother of two. With this resumé, it’s refreshing to find out that Hudson is just as normal and down to earth as the girl-next-door characters she plays in movies. If it weren’t for her movie star looks, I might have forgotten how famous she was while we were chatting. She let us in on her love of beauty and how she gets her workouts in on Glee.
Tell us how the partnership with Almay came about?
“It’s been a couple of years so now it’s like a family. When I met with them, it was just amazing. The first thing they told me was how the company came about. I’m a sucker for romance—“Al” is the man who created this line for his wife because she had such sensitive skin that she could never buy any makeup. So he literally created products for his wife so she could wear makeup. Isn’t that cute? I love Al! And they’re all about other things like enhancing a woman’s natural beauty and the idea of not masking yourself to be someone different. Then I got to use the products—that was the good thing for me. I don’t want to sell a product that I can’t say I like. So they sent me all the products and I used them all the time! Now as the relationship continues, the stuff they bring me, they really want to know how I feel about it, if I like it, if it works well. They really believe in the product. I love that. So I feel like I can promote it. They make me feel like I’m a real part of the company.”
Are you introducing it to makeup artists you work with?
“You know what’s funny; a lot of them use it. I’ve worked with a lot of professional makeup artists and the eyeliner is something I see them using. And another thing that they love are the Oil-Free Makeup Removing Sticks ($6, almay.com). Every makeup artist that I know has those swabs! I’m so lazy, I wash my face but when I go to bed, I find that I still have stuff on my eyes.”
What’s your all-time favorite Almay product?
“My all-time favorites are the Moisturizing Eye Makeup Remover Pads ($5, almay.com) and the Makeup Removing Sticks because I just use them all the time. And the eyeliners!”
So what’s the best unusual beauty tip you’ve ever heard?
“There was this old school makeup artist who said she used to work with this actor who would stick his face in ice water everyday. So I started doing it and it really works. Your face just de-puffs!”
You’re doing a lot of big dance numbers on Glee, did you train for it? Your body looks amazing!
“You can’t train for Glee because you only get six hours of rehearsal. That’s the one thing that I found shocking because the only other time I ever did anything like this was in Nine and we had six and a half weeks of rehearsal to do one number, and then I go to do Glee and I’m thinking that we will have several rehearsals, and we get only six hours all together to do a big number. You know you go in and record the song; it’s like being thrown into the fire. But it does take me back to dance class, when I was younger. It’s also frustrating because your extensions are not the same but the more I do the dancing, the more it’s starting to come back. The last number I felt much more like my dancer body than when I started. It’s fun to be home with my sons and for me to be able to take the oldest to school. I’ve never done television like this. I did Party of Five when I was sixteen and then after high school I just got a couple of movies so I’ve never really done much television.”
Written on January 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Julia Mancuso, professional skier and three-time Olympic medalist, knows a thing or two about sun protection. Not only is she religious about shielding her skin on the slopes, she’s the granddaughter of a dermatologist. So when she was asked to team up with the American Academy of Dermatology for their SPOT Skin Cancer initiative to raise awareness for skin cancer, it was the perfect fit. As a “SPOTlighter” for the campaign, Mancuso is spreading the word to better the public’s understanding of the deadly disease and motivate them to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer.
Tell me about the SPOT Skin Cancer Campaign and why it’s important to you.
“I grew up being really in tune with taking care of my skin and wearing sunscreen and taking the right steps to protect myself on all occasions. I actually preach to my teammates all of the time, saying, ‘Make sure you’re wearing sunscreen!’ And then my grandpa mentioned something about the America Academy of Dermatology, and working with them and how they were coming up with a new campaign. They contacted me and it was just a real natural introduction and fit to help promote the campaign.”
Many people mistakenly think they only need sunscreen during the summer or at the beach, so why is sun protection important year round?
“It’s so important—especially for someone like me who spends so much time outdoors training in the sun in the winter. In the past, I’ve been guilty of having a goggle tan, so that’s the first indication to me that you get a lot of sun outside in the snow, even when there are clouds and you think that it’s not penetrating. I’m proud to say that I haven’t had a goggle tan since I was a young girl. It’s really important to protect yourself at all times.”
What’s your sun protection plan when you’re training?
“Every morning, I wake up and put on a moisturizer that has SPF 30, and then I put a regular sunscreen on top of that. We spend a lot of time training and then take a break in the lodge so I always reapply when I go inside or I keep it with my water, so anytime I stop for a drink, it reminds me to put more sunscreen on. In the summer when we’re training outside in high elevation for glacier skiing, I try to wear a handkerchief to block sun reflecting off the snow, too.”
Do you have any favorite sweat-proof sunblock products?
“I like wearing Shiseido products—they’re really great for all-weather protection. I like to wear the Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation ($35, shiseido.com). I think that it’s nice you can get a little coverage when your skin gets red from being outside.”
What are your other beauty must-haves?
“Well, recently, I’ve been using Osea Malibu, they use all-organic algae in their products. I use the Essential Hydrating Oil ($28, oseamalibu.com), which I find really good in the winter because you’re not putting heavy creams on. You can moisturize with a clean oil, even just the spots that get dry, and then you’re not putting on too much product that feels heavy underneath scarves and hats.”
What are some of the best exercises skiers can do to become stronger?
“A basic squat is the most typical exercise because skiing involves a lot of core strength and quads and glutes, but for me, I think the biggest myth for skiers is that you want to have really strong quads, but it’s actually that you want to balance your hamstrings and quads. So when I’m doing a lot of exercises, I focus on lifting my tailbone coming up so I’m really engaging my hamstrings as well which prevents knee injury.”
How do you like to stay in shape during the off-season?
“I think a great thing for skiers is biking. I really like to ride my road bike, so I do a lot of road biking and spend time in the gym doing squats and Olympic lifting and jumping. Agility work, box jumps and other plyometrics are great for skiing.”
Written on November 9, 2012 at 10:49 am , by Fitness Magazine
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
Written on October 31, 2012 at 11:18 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
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.”