Written on April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
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.”
Written on June 25, 2012 at 11:13 am , by April Franzino
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 bag “CoverGirl 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 staple—you 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.”
Categories: Beauty On the Go | Tags: advice, at-home, Beauty, chef, Clairol, cooking, CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara, Evian mist, exercise, exfoliate, Giada De Laurentiis, hair, hair color, kitchen, makeup, Natural Instincts, paddle board, Rosebud Salve Strawberry, skin, tips, Workout, Yoga