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Sports Illustrated Model Nina Agdal’s Secrets to Getting the Perfect Wax

Written on October 7, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

For most of us who wax, the act is kept private. But for Sports Illustrated model, Nina Agdal, it’s just part of her job. So much so that she has teamed up with European Wax Center as their new brand ambassador. We caught up with Nina to find out how to get the perfect wax as well as some of her off-duty beauty secrets.

What interested you in being a brand ambassador for European Wax Center?
“Since my job is to always be kind of half-naked in swimsuits and lingerie, it’s important for me to have good skin, so European Wax Center is a great fit. They have a great waxing procedure that’s painless and makes your skin so smooth. I always make sure to go before a shoot to get my skin ready and I like going there specifically because it’s comfortable, everyone’s so nice, it’s clean and it’s pretty.”

Do you have any tips on getting the perfect wax, or products you use pre/post wax?
“I use The Exfoliate ($38, waxcenter.com) before I get waxed just to make sure my skin is clean and smooth. Their waxing is so painless that after, you don’t really need anything. They have products to use after if you’re in pain, but you don’t really need it. Just put on some lotion and you’re good to go.”

What’s you’re favorite part of being a Sports Illustrated model?
“It’s just like a family, honestly. To be a part of that family is such a pleasure. Everybody is so nice and they help you a lot with putting your name out there and you do a lot of PR stuff for them and of course you get to go on great trips and do great events because of it and I’m just so happy to be a part of that.”

Since you are out on the beach in the water and sun for these Sports Illustrated photo-shoots, what tips do you have for keeping your makeup in place?
“I think when you’re going to the beach; you have to keep it as natural as possible. Of course, put on sunscreen to protect your skin both for now and for later but besides that, waterproof mascara and a little brow. European Wax Center has a Natural Brow Powder ($20, waxcenter.com) too which I use. It’s not a pencil; a pencil can be too stiff but this is really easy. When you’re going to the beach, curl your lashes, [apply] waterproof mascara, a little brow and maybe a little bronzer. I feel like the worst mistake you can make is putting on foundation before going to the beach because it’s just going to melt down your face and look like a disaster.”

What are your beauty must haves when you’re off-duty?
“I really like the ck One Cream + Powder Bronzer Duo ($25, Ulta.com). I use it on my cheekbones but you can also use it on your nose or eyelids and it just gives you a nice glow. And then I use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm ($33, elizabetharden.com) hour on my lips. You can even put it on your eyelids too if you just want them to be a little glossy.”

—Chelsea Burns, beauty intern

Favorite Find Friday: Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub

Written on September 27, 2013 at 11:01 am , by

Once a month, I see my derm for a glycolic peel to keep my skin looking glowy and to help keep acne at bay. He swabs the concentrated gel on my face and after just a few minutes, my skin looks refreshed and feels baby soft. So that got me thinking— maybe I should care for the skin on my body in the same way as I care for the skin on my face. Enter: Cane + Austin Retexturizing Treatment Scrub ($42, caneandaustin.com). With a 10% concentration of glycolic and gentle micro-beads, this super scrubber exfoliates on a chemical and a physical level. I keep it in my shower, massage it into my arms and legs in a circular motion and then let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. The rough patches on my elbows and knees are instantly smoother and my skin in general looks brighter. Insider tip: if you’re like me and occasionally like to dabble with self-tanner, this product doubles as a great prep before application or as an eraser to help blend noticeable streaks.

15 Minutes With Celeb Chef + Clairol Natural Instincts Ambassador Giada De Laurentiis

Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:13 am , by

Our two favorite subjects— beauty and food!— collided when we sat down with celebrity chef and cookbook writer Giada De Laurentiis at a Manhattan hotel last week. Here’s what the new spokeswoman for Clairol Natural Instincts (and yes, she’s just as stunning, down-to-earth and sweet in person as she is on TV! Her shade? #12 Toasted Almond) had to say about…

Working with Clairol “Being a chef and a cook, a long time ago I was told that beauty deals don’t really come for people like myself. I always try to bring glamour and beauty and sensuality into the kitchen and into Italian food, so I thought it wouldn’t be that crazy of an idea, but it’s very competitive. I was so honored when they actually to a leap of faith and picked me. We have the same philosophy: I believe in a balanced lifestyle, and Natural Instincts makes you feel good about your hair. It makes it shiny, silky and smooth. And I’m a working mom, so I don’t have three hours to spend in a salon: This masks and blends in grays and brings out the golden hues in 10 to 15 minutes, which is what every woman wants.
The best thing about boxed color “I had never used their boxed color before, and I fell madly in love with the included conditioner. That conditioner rocks. I use it once a week on the last two to three inches of my hair, where it gets dry because of all the blow-drying. It gives that extra bounce, as if I just got a trim.”
Her biggest hair color mishap  “I lived in Paris when I was younger at cooking school and I was inspired by the Parisian women who have jet black hair and white, white skin. So, I decided to dye my hair jet black—a big, fat mistake. And it took me a long time to get that color out.”
The product that never leaves her bagCoverGirl LashBlast Mascara. I carry a little mascara, some sunscreen with a tint, a little bit of blush and just balm. I use that Rosebud Salve in Strawberry because my daughter is four and she’ll kiss my lips even more because she loves that flavor and it just smells good. That and I can just go with my regular life—to go to school, go to the grocery store, run errands, whatever.
The secret to her amazing hair “I get a blowout once a week and make it last the full week. I have curly, dry hair, and if I washed it more than that, it would break. And my blow-dry looks better as it sits— the second, third, fourth day. The dirtier it gets, the better! In the morning, I don’t brush my hair: I just flip it over, back up and go. I don’t pull out a curling iron or any of that—I don’t have the time nor the patience.
And skin (hint: It’s in your pantry) “I don’t go to bed with makeup on, and I exfoliate every single night with a mix of olive oil and baking soda. The olive oil gives moisture and baking soda takes out any other stuff on my skin. I don’t leave it on—I just scrub and rinse. It gives my face this wonderful glow, and I don’t have to wear as much makeup during the day.”
Five things always in her kitchen “Olive oil, different shapes of pasta made from different flours like brown rice, lentil, etc., jarred tomato sauce (disclosure: I sell my own pastas and tomato sauces at Target), frozen peas, jarred artichokes and frozen shrimp. You can whip up a meal with that.”
Advice for novice cooks “You don’t need to cook, you can just assemble. Let’s say you want to bring something to someone’s house: You can make a beautiful caprese salad that’s colorful, especially now in summertime. Take lots of different colored tomatoes, heirloom, vine-ripened, whatever, then slice with fresh mozzarella and layer with basil on a platter. Top it with a little extra virgin olive oil and some smoked salt, which enhances all of the flavors and tingles your tastebuds. And you’re done—you haven’t “cooked” a thing. Number two: Have a great knife. A sharp, really nice knife that feels good in your hand will help build your confidence in the kitchen.”
One food she’d never give up “Chocolate. When I was shooting Everyday Italian, I would keep paper cups of Ghirardelli chocolate chips in the freezer for a little chocolate fix in the afternoon. When they’re cold, they take longer to melt in your mouth, so a little bit goes a longer way. Right now, I love my iced Americanos with agave—that’s my treat.
Her hubby’s favorite dish “Penne with spicy sausage, mushrooms and peas. It’s a sauce-less pasta: I sauté them all together with olive oil and Parmesan cheese. That’s it, my friends, that’s it! It can be very, very easy. Another one of my favorites is lemon spaghetti, which is just lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper, tossed with spaghetti. That’s a stapleyou can add any protein to it.”
How she stays so slim “I eat a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. I taste a lot, but I don’t really eat full plates of food, ever. I do yoga four days a week, usually at 5:30AM before work. And I paddle board with my husband. It’s great core exercise and very Zen because you get away from land for a bit, which is quiet and peaceful.”
Staying fresh-faced on the go “When I’m shooting, it gets hot. So I use Evian water mist on my face constantly to rehydrate, rather than sticking on more and more powder. My skin just soaks it up. And I always wear sunscreen—day or night, rain or shine. When I paddle surf, I wear a full wetsuit and a hat. I look like the biggest loser on the planet, but I don’t care. My husband’s always like, ‘I can’t see you! Where are you? Where’s your face?’”
Her guilty pleasure “Lately it’s been croutons. I love making them. I’m talking good ones with cheese and lots of olive oil. Earlier this year, I’d carry little baggies of croutons to snack on when I got sick of almonds!”
She doesn’t mind splurging on “Travel—we just went to Rome. But, I’m not going to lie, I love shoes and jewelry. But a splurge doesn’t necessarily have to have an expensive price tag. It’s just taking a little extra time and doing something that makes you feel good about yourself.”

Staffer Beauty Snoop: Editorial Intern Brittany Vickers

Written on February 27, 2012 at 11:53 am , by

Next up in our Staffer Beauty Snoop series, Editorial Intern Brittany Vickers shares her keep-it-simple beauty routine and secrets for an effortless look:

Describe your style in three words or less: Natural, fun and comfortable!
What are the three products you can’t live without? CoverGirl Lash Blast MascaraGarnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray and a moisturizer.
What’s your beauty routine in the morning? I wash my face, then apply a tinted moisturizer and mascara. Next I’ll dry my hair, use my flat iron to style it and I’m good to go!
At night? I wash my face, hair, and use a carrot-infused face lotion to moisturize. Occasionally I’ll use a face mask to exfoliate my skin.
Post-workout? Depending on how much time I have, I either shower or I just give my face a quick rinse and head to the next thing on my to-do list!
What beauty product or treatment instantly makes you feel good? Getting my hair cut! I always feel brand new and exciting.
What’s the best beauty tip you’ve received (or thought of yourself)? My hairstylist taught me to spray my brush with hairspray and then run it through my strands to keep frizz and flyaways at bay.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

Soften Up Your Skin

Written on June 9, 2011 at 10:44 am , by

Summer can wreak havoc on your skin (sun! sweat! breakouts!), so now’s the time to make sure yours is smooth and supple. I quizzed our beauty team for their top exfoliation tips, so you can sail through the hottest season of the year looking radiant and fresh.

lowres-WB3O6200“I’ve found the best thing that works to rejuvenate my sensitive skin is the Clarisonic Mia Sonic Cleansing System. The brush is incredibly gentle, and I use it every night to take off my makeup and the day’s grime. It removes six times more dirt and oil than cleansing with hands alone, and its sonic frequency produces over 300 movements per second. Pretty impressive, right? Plus, I love that my night cream absorbs into my skin more readily.” –Eleanor Langston, Beauty Director

“I’m an exfoliating fiend. I use a glycolic acid peel pad in the AM before my sunscreen and a retinol treatment at night to keep my skin healthy-looking and glowing. When I shower, I slough off dead skin cells with a microdermabrasion stick like Blinc Resurfastic Face, followed by a moisturizing mask.” –April Franzino, Associate Beauty Editor

“I love St. Ives Apricot Scrub because it’s inexpensive and makes my face feel ultra-soft. For my body, I use Caress Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash daily, and I never have any sensitivity.” –Kelly Garner, Beauty Intern

“I used to think that the more I cleansed, the clearer my skin would be, but boy was I wrong! My skin became unbearably red from daily sloughing, so now I use a scrub two to three times a week and never on consecutive days. My secret: Apply your scrub in the shower. Steam’s heat helps soften skin, so you can rub without irritation.” –Amanda Downs, Beauty Intern

We want to know: How often do you exfoliate? What are your top skin-softening secrets?

Favorite Find Friday: One Just 4 Me! Brown Sugar Oatmeal Natural Body Soap

Written on April 8, 2011 at 11:17 am , by

Our April “Raise the Bar” Beauty Buys page is bursting with our favorite soaps for skin and hair. Another that’s recently taken up residence in our shower: One Just 4 Me! Brown Sugar Oatmeal Natural Body Soap, a creamy, gently sudsing bar that’s flecked with real bits of oatmeal, so it exfoliates as it cleanses. It makes our skin feel soft, not tight, and we love the subtly sweet scent it leaves behind. What’s the best bar soap you’ve tried?

Sweet Lips

Written on February 10, 2011 at 10:12 am , by

During the chilly months, our lips have to endure the harsh weather right along with the rest of our body. They get chapped, dry and flaky if we don’t give them the love and care they deserve. Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish is a great little treat to gently buff away flakes, a necessary step before sporting that vibrant red or pink lip for Valentine’s Day. Sugar is a natural antiseptic, and this product was concocted without parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes—so it gently exfoliates for smooth, kissable lips. Flip to our “Bliss Out” feature on page 50 of the March issue (on newsstands next week) for a DIY lip scrub recipe!

—By Melissa Dressing, contributing blogger

Revamp Your Skin

Written on January 11, 2011 at 10:04 am , by

It’s a new year—the perfect time to get your skincare habits on the right track. We got advice from Kate Somerville, celebrity aesthetician and founder of Kate Somerville Skin Care, on how to get your best skin (and body!) ever in 2011:

  • Do a detox. “With a new year, it’s time for a new game plan: Detoxify through exercise, nutrition, steaming and massage. When you detoxify, you’re getting rid of toxins and impurities, giving you more energy than you’ve ever had before, and leaving your skin looking luminous.”
  • Cleanse, exfoliate, pamper, repeat. “You can externally detoxify three ways. The first is to cleanse daily – morning and night – with a cleanser that’s right for your skin type.  Exfoliating is another form of detoxifying.  I suggest using an exfoliant on your face two or three times a week, which leaves the healthy cells on the surface and helps keep pores free of impurities.  The third way to detoxify is with facials: I recommend having them monthly, whether at a skin-care salon or doing them at home.”
  • Look inward. “Cleansing internally is equally important, and can be easily done with certain drinks and foods.  You can get a really effective cleanse by cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, added salt, meat and processed food from your diet for just three days.  Drink only water, juice or herbal tea; and load up on a variety of raw, fresh produce.  The fiber in the fruits and vegetables acts like a brush throughout your intestinal system, sweeping away all the junk as it goes through.  This kind of detox will not only cleanse your body, but it will also recalibrate your taste buds.”

woman-washing-face-new-years

Favorite Find Friday: Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser

Written on November 12, 2010 at 9:10 am , by

We went on a trip with our girlfriends last weekend, and the most-swiped item in our toiletry bag was Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. The sugar and olive oil-based facial scrub smells delightfully citrusy and gets rid of dead cells thanks to citric acid in lemongrass and orange peel extracts. We wet our face, work a bit between our fingers and then massage into skin. After a rinse, our skin looks and feels like new—purified, vibrant, soft and refreshed, even after a red-eye flight and early-morning wakeup.
What beauty product do your friends swipe from your stash?



Scrub Your Way to Soft Skin

Written on October 27, 2010 at 6:56 am , by

Along with the crisp air and colored leaves, autumn brings dry skin. While it’s easy to moisturize your body with creamy and freshly-fragranced lotions, it’s not so simple when it comes to your face. My sister Sabrina noticed her skin getting drier as the weather has become colder, leaving her face dull and her foundation flaky. She asked me what she could do to keep her face smooth throughout the season, and I told her my secret to keeping skin soft all year round: exfoliating.

Using a soft scrub in the shower removes excess dead cells and keeps flakiness at bay. For chronic dryness, it’s best to use scrubs with physical exfoliators like the beads in L’Oréal Paris Go 360˚ Clean Deep Exfoliating Scrub or Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. Also look for scrubs with fruit enzymes, like Wei East Pomegranate Buffing Beads Exfoliator.

For acne-prone skin, choose scrubs with salicylic acid, such as St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub. The salicylic acid clears breakouts, while the refreshing green tea component tackles redness and irritation.

Scrubs are not recommended for sensitive skin types, but don’t worry, we’ve still got you covered! Try an exfoliating pad instead, like Philosophy Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads, which slough skin, tone and brighten without the harshness.

The final key to combating dry skin is to use a moisturizer with SPF. This will keep your face hydrated, makeup smooth and skin protected! What scrubs do you use to keep skin soft during the chilly months?

-Nina Ramadan, beauty intern