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Giada De Laurentiis Dishes on Hair Color, Healthy Living and Her Next Big Business Venture

Written on April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by

Giada DeLaurentiis is kind of like our (gorgeous) best girlfriend from down the street who comes over to whip up delicious meals then help us eat them. She’s a staple in thousands of kitchens as the star of the Food Network’s Everyday Italian and Giada at Home, a judge and mentor on Food Network Star and the author of six New York Times best-selling books including her latest, Giada’s Feel Good Food. And although she’s a pro when it comes to cooking, she knows a few things about primping as well. As the celebrity spokesperson for Clairol, we met up with her to chat about Natural Instincts, the hair color and her own intuition. Read on for more scoop on her beauty routine, her favorite recipes and her new restaurant opening in Las Vegas.

So let’s talk about hair color. When did you start coloring your hair and why?
“I started coloring in my early 30s. I just felt that my hair color was getting a little dull. It was brown, but it wasn’t doing anything for my face and as I was getting a little older, I felt like it might be fun to play around and figure out what looks good on me. I think that happened because I had little bit more money to spend and a little more confidence to go out on a limb and try it. So I started coloring my hair a little bit; I went much darker like jet black; I went red; I went platinum blonde. I tried lots of different things. I cut my hair really short at times, then I had a bob and then I had it long. I really was searching. I sort of had a love/hate relationship with my hair almost my whole life; I have curly, sort of frizzy hair, and so I never knew how to tame it, and my mom was never good at teaching me, so I really wanted to find a way to control my hair and so I think I tried lots of different things. And then, I started with Clairol. I found a good color for me; something that could give me a pick-me-up in between salon visits because as I get older, I have to go to the salon more often, but I don’t always have time and so it’s really nice to be able to use something that’s actually conditioning my hair at the same. I think that a lot of us women tie our hair to the way we feel about ourselves. That’s why a bad hair day can throw off the entire day and make you feel bad. So, I think that’s what I was searching for and that’s what I found.”

Has the formula helped with your frizz as well? 
“Yeah and that’s the other thing—controlling your frizz is number one and moisturizing your hair and keeping it healthy is a great way to control frizz.”

In terms of makeup, what are some of your must-haves?
“I have a whole beauty routine that I like to do, but I really like cover-up with SPF in it. Sunscreen to me is the key to everything. My brother died about ten years ago from melanoma, so I really, really am hardcore when it comes to sunscreen in everything that I use, whether it’s foundation; whatever it is, I use sunscreen. I even put sunscreen in my hair, to protect my hair and my scalp because a lot of times you burn your scalp without even knowing it, and you can get melanoma on your scalp. So I put sunscreen everywhere. It’s my number one; I don’t leave home without it. I don’t care if it’s snowing or raining, there’s still some kind of light coming out, and I have to protect myself from it. Then I always wear a light foundation on my skin to even it out and to protect it. Unlike a lot of people who feel like the best thing to do for your skin is not wear anything, I actually feel like wearing something actually protects your skin from the elements. The cold, the heat, the dryness: all that stuff. Lately if I don’t want to do my eyes, I really like a red lip. I’m into the red lip, otherwise I’ll do up my eyes and I like a little sparkle, a little glitter eye shadow for me is super fun.”

We know you’re a pro in the kitchen. Do you have any cool beauty tricks that you can DIY in your kitchen?
“Well, what I love to do to moisturize my hair when I’m home is to make a little mask of avocado and olive oil. You mix it together and put it from mid-length to ends. And then, if I’m not in a rush, I’ll just put my hair up and leave it in there for a few hours and then go back and rinse it out. Otherwise, I’ll just stay in the shower for 15 minutes and let the humidity and moisture lock it in. Coconut oil is great on the ends of your hair, as well, and straight olive oil is great on hair, which I love to do. That’s what I do when I’m home. When I’m on the road, I love the conditioner included with Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color ($9, walmart.com). That’s what I use once a week, because my hair goes through so much styling and curling and flat ironing and blow-drying, so I use that to moisturize my hair.”

Switching gears a bit, we know it’s your job to cook and essentially to eat. What are your tricks for not over-indulging?
“Well, I’m not going to say I never indulge in anything, because I do, but the next day I balance it out. I will say that eating all day is tough [when judging The Next Food Network Star], so I make sure that I have one-to-two bites, tops. I feel like once I’ve had one or two bites, I know what it tastes like and anything else after that is just pure indulgence. And when you have to eat as your job, and you have to eat lots of different things, you can’t ever overeat. So, that plus lemon water also helps me flush it down and keeps my palette feeling very clean and ready to eat something else. I think for me, moderation is the key and I portion-control myself, from snacks that I keep in my bags to food that I eat. Even when I go out to eat, I’ll try and order the appetizer version of things. If I can’t, or I don’t like something that’s on the appetizer menu, I’ll get a main course meal, and then I’ll ask them to just pack up the other half and I just don’t ever see it. Or, the other thing that works really well is family style, where you just share plates and that makes it easier because you never feel like you’re going to overeat and you can taste a lot of different things. I think those are some really simple ways to keep moderation in your diet when you’re out and about, because it’s hard when you travel.”

Definitely. I know you love chocolate. For those of us who have a sweet tooth, are there any healthy recipes you love?
“Yeah! One of my favorites lately is my Chocolate Avocado Mousse. So, put avocado in a food processor with unsweetened cocoa powder, a teaspoon of agave and some bittersweet melted chocolate chips, and puree it all together. And then I usually just chill it, so I put it in little cups and I serve it with raspberries. That to me is my go-to pick-me-up. The other one that I love is dried figs and almond butter in a food processor. I make little balls and then I dip them in melted dark chocolate and make little fig balls and, again, I keep them in the fridge and top them with a little sea salt. And those are pop-in-your-mouth pick-me-ups that are healthy and good for your body. So it’s a really good indulgence.”

Yum! You mentioned you travel a lot, how do you manage to stay active and healthy when you’re on the road? 
You know, working out on the road is probably the hardest and I’m not a runner, which tends to be the easiest way to get some exercise. So, I do a lot of yoga, I bring my yoga blocks with me, so I do yoga in the morning and at night, even if it’s just for five minutes and even if it’s a few sun salutations, it gets my body breathing and aligns me. Lately, I’ve tried to do a little bit of boxing. I find that boxing releases stress and frustration and, at the same time, helps you sweat and really tones your body. So, I’ve been doing a little bit of that.”

I got into a really big kickboxing phase at one point and it’s such a stress reliever; it feels good!
“It just feels good! You know, because I’m opening this restaurant in Vegas, I feel like my stress level has sort of gone to another level and it’s a really great way to control it. So, it’s been really helpful, maybe six months from now when everything’s said and done, I won’t like it as much anymore, but for right now, it’s working for me so I’m going to stick to it.”

That actually brings me to my next question; congratulations on the new restaurant! Why did you feel like now was the right time and Vegas was the right spot?
“Good question. Now is the right time because I think I’m at the point in my career where I need something brand new. I needed to sort of explore a new horizon and try something totally different, although, still in my wheelhouse, something I’ve never done before on a grand scale that I don’t think anybody has done before. I believe that everybody that has a restaurant on the strip has a restaurant somewhere else first. No one is starting from scratch and I’m starting from scratch – literally: the place was gutted, my space was a 2-floor parking garage. Most places have an existing framework or have an existing kitchen, they might be gutting it, but there was a kitchen there. There was no kitchen; there were parked cars there. So, for me, it’s like starting from scratch all the way. It’s a boutique hotel, the first on the strip and I’m one of the first female chefs on the strip, so there’s so many firsts. For me, I feel like, there are things you can do in Vegas that you can’t do anywhere else and although I’m going to make my food and I’m going to have my iconic dishes, I also want to have some show with those dishes. So, instead of just giving you Chicken Cacciatore, I’m going to roast a whole chicken and I’m going to present it to you, it’s going to be Chicken Cacciatore for two, and we’re going to carve it for you. We’re going to finish pasta dishes tableside, sometimes in a skillet and sometimes maybe in a round Parmesan cheese wheel, like they do in Italy. So there’s a lot more show involved than just ‘here’s your dinner.’ And, you know, a really sort of modern, Italian restaurant. So not checkered tablecloths, more of a reinvented Italian with a California spin, which is really what I’m known for. And we have indoor-outdoor dining, which is kind of unheard of in Vegas and an unbelievable view of the Bellagio fountains, so I hope people will come and get engaged—it’s so romantic. The hotel is called The Cromwell and the opens May 1st, and we open around the 20th of May. It’s around the corner and it’s kind of scary because there are no walls up yet, so I’m not really sure how it’s going to work, but they tell me that in Vegas, anything is possible, so we’re just going to leave it at that!”

Good luck! Obviously opening a restaurant is a big step. What has been the best advice you’ve gotten in regards to following your own natural instincts?
“My grandfather told me a long time ago that following your instincts, your natural instincts, is the way to success. It’s kind of the key to success and a lot of us don’t do that or we question ourselves. Trust me that I have questioned myself as to what I was thinking when I said yes to this space and to this restaurant and many people doubt me and many people, especially my peers, fear the worst for me and feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew. And maybe I have, but I have to say that sometimes in life when you’re a little bit naïve about something and you think you can handle more than you can, at the end of the day, part of that naïveté has probably helped me make this decision and will probably propel me to the next level. And had I known everything that I’m in now and will be in, I may not have done it. So, you know, I think ignorance is bliss sometimes and I think that I would like to prove to people that, women can also do the same thing that men can do.”

Favorite Find Friday: Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment

Written on August 2, 2013 at 9:00 am , by

My hair and I have been through a lot together. I’ve been a blonde, brunette and redhead, and I have a tendency to be little too friendly with my hot tools. These styling faux pas have left my strands feeling dry, weak and in need of some serious T.L.C. Thankfully in recent years I’ve learned my lesson, steered clear of anything that could further damage my locks and treated my tresses to a hair indulgence once a week. Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition 3-Minute Undo Dryness Reversal Treatment ($6, drugstores) is my current go-to strand saver. Loaded with ultra-nourishing avocado, olive and almond oils, this quick fix instantly reverses signs of dryness and leaves my hair feeling super soft. It contains teeny-tiny crushed apricot kernels that smooth hair cuticles for amped-up shine and minimal frizz. After shampooing, I apply a layer of this starting mid-shaft all the way to my ends, comb through with a wide-tooth comb, clip my hair up off my neck (did you know the built-up oils from your hair products can cause back and chest breakouts?), wait three minutes, rinse and violà! – instantly refreshed, healthy hair.

—Karee Hackel, beauty intern

Music Festival Beauty Survival Guide

Written on July 5, 2012 at 1:29 pm , by

Music festivals are one of the many joys of summertime, but they don’t make for an ideal beauty situation: Think dusty fields, searing hot sunshine and sweaty mosh pits. If you’ve got a festival or two (or just a concert) on your agenda, here are some tips for staying pretty and comfortable from the opening bands through the midnight headliners.

Forget foundation: It’ll be a gooey mess before your favorite DJ has made it through their set. Use a sheer, lightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF, or just spot cover with concealer.

Prime everything: Your eyelids, your face, your hair. Even if you don’t plan to wear makeup, primer still helps tame shine and grease. Keep frizz from acting up with a smoothing hair cream or serum: Apply in the morning when your strands are wet, and don’t step outside until they’re completely dry. Any moisture in hair + humidity = instant pouf.

Swap products: Switch out your go-tos for longer-lasting versions, like a cheek stain instead of powder blush, waterproof mascara instead of regular, clinical strength deodorant instead of basic protection, and eau de parfum for more fleeting eau de toilette.

Pack your protection: Pop a mini tube of sunscreen in your purse and reapply at least every two hours or if you start sweating. The searing hot sun is no match for unprotected skin, so add insurance by sporting a chic floppy hat, too.

Prepare for porta-potties: There likely won’t be toilet paper, or anything remotely hygienic for that matter. Stash a mini pack of tissues or wipes and a tube of hand sanitizer in your bag to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

3 Tricks For Treating Dry, Curly Hair

Written on March 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

For most of my life, I wanted to be one of the girls whose hair naturally air-dries straight. Instead, mine would morph into a huge, curly pouf! Growing up, I spent countless hours in front of a mirror straightening my hair, not to mention the hundreds of dollars testing different products. Here, the regimen that helped me drop the heat styling tools and learn to love my curls:

  1. Suds up with a sulfate-free shampoo. Most shampoos contain harsh detergents that can strip the hair of hydrating natural oils. We love Macadamia Natural Oil Rejuvenating Shampoo to cleanse strands while maintaining the protective lipid barrier.
  2. Instead of conditioner, slather a rich treatment mask all over locks every time you shower and leave on for at least five minutes before rinsing. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask turns straw-like tendrils into springy, silky curls.
  3. Work a leave-in conditioner liberally through locks to tame frizz and define curls. Choose a cream-based formula, like Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner, for maximum hydration.

—By Wanda Rosa, beauty intern

Beat the Heat

Written on July 21, 2011 at 7:03 am , by

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It’s the season of ice cream cones, long nights, pool parties—and scorching temperatures (it’s 100 in NYC today!) that throw a wrench in your standard beauty routine. No need to panic or flee for the indoors: These summer essentials will keep you feeling fresh and looking great.

  • Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes: These refreshing, cucumber-scented wipes are great for calming sensitive skin: One towelette gently removes any sweat and dirt on your face.
  • Visine Summer Spectrum Relief Eyedrops: Say goodbye to itchy, dry eyes. This special summertime formula combines three different moisturizing ingredients to soothe eyes inflamed by the sun, salt, and wind. Put one drop in each eye after a swim or whenever your eyes feel irritated.
  • Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum: Formulated with hydrating argan oil, this serum helps hair stand up to humidity. When strands are dehydrated, they literally lift off your head in an effort to suck moisture from the air—hence, frizz. The oil infuses hair with the moisture it needs, so it won’t become fuzzy in its quest for more.
  • Maybelline Lash Stiletto Waterproof Mascara: The perfect mix of length and shine without any dreaded clumps. My lashes feel light and weightless—especially nice in summer, and it’s waterproof, so it won’t sweat or swim off!

What’s in your summer beauty survival kit?

—By Kelly Garner, beauty intern

Tame Your Summer Mane

Written on July 13, 2011 at 9:23 am , by

The height of summer is in full swing in New York City, and our hair’s been reacting in accordance (read: frizz, grease, and flyaways).

Thankfully, Herbal Essences Touchably Smooth Collection has come up with a foolproof style for your next getaway or day at the beach. Here’s to good hair days ahead!

  1. Before heading to the beach or the pool, wash and condition your hair thoroughly.
  2. Towel dry and put hair in a ponytail at the top of your head.
  3. Twist hair around the ponytail and secure in a spiraled bun.
  4. Spritz strands with a soft-touch hairspray.
  5. After your day in the sun, let the bun fall to form smooth waves, and finish with a mist of hairspray to keep locks in place.

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    —By Amanda Downs, beauty intern

    All-Weather Hair

    Written on March 24, 2011 at 9:30 am , by

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    When mother nature lashes out, our locks are the first to act up. Instead of going into hiding when the forecast isn’t hair-friendly, weather-proof your strands with these smart tips from Jet Rhys, colorist and co-owner of an eponymous salon in San Diego, CA:

    • Snow & Rain On wet days, avoid using styling products like waxes and gels. If the rain or snow dampens your mane, your hair will become sticky and flat. Prevent a hair meltdown by using a cream-based leave-in conditioner (not oil-based) instead.
    • Chilly & Cold Cold air can cause strands to dry out and become staticky fast. Spray your styling brush with Static Guard before brushing to keep strands at bay and prevent pouf.
    • Warm & Sunny Scorching heat and sun can do bad, bad things to a girl’s hair. Humidity has a tendency to bring out curls and full-on frizz. “Don’t fight it, work with it,” Rhys says. Wear your curls, waves and newfound volume proudly. If you want a smoother style, combat fuzz all day by making sure you dry your strands thoroughly—otherwise, the remaining moisture will turn into frizz.

    —By Lindsay Richardson, beauty intern

    Behind-the-Scenes Beauty

    Written on August 6, 2010 at 8:36 am , by

    From delivering racks of workout clothes to interviewing experts, the Fitness interns know how to work up a sweat in the city! They shared their favorite beauty products for girls on the go!

    Get the look:

    Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

    Olay Daily Facials Express

    Laura Mercier Foundation Powder

    MAC Lipstick in Sandy B.

    John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Crème

    Fresh Soy Face Cream

    Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

    –Catherine Q. O’Neill, beauty intern

    Fight Summer Frizz

    Written on June 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm , by

    ss_101359842We just received this great question from one of our readers, and I think many of you can relate, especially since we’re in the thick of summer humidity (frizz alert!). Hope the answer helps tame your mane.

    Q: I have ultra-thick, curly hair, and it’s cut in long layers. How can I make my hair stay frizz-free when I wear it down and loose?

    A: Curly strands are prone to frizz when they dry naturally, so start styling while your hair is sopping wet. A mixture that’s great: Work in equal parts hydrating curling cream and an oil-based serum from roots to ends. If your strands still start to pouf, lightly rub on a glossing serum on dry hair to control mid-day frizzies. This trick will help block out humidity. And remember: Heat, UV rays and chemicals strip hair, making it porous, which aggravates the fluff. Comb in conditioner before diving into the pool to minimize chlorine damage.

    Also, check out this fun beauty section on Weather.com. It gives you a checklist of beauty items that you might need for the day. Pretty genius!

    Got a burning beauty question? Head to the community portion of our site or e-mail getgorgeous@fitnessmagazine.com.

    -Eleanor Langston, Beauty Director

    Categories: Beauty On the Go | Tags: , ,
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