Written on March 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm , by Heather Muir
After spending a few days in the heat during a work trip in Palm Beach followed by a few days in the freezing temps in NYC, my skin was confused to say the least, going from oily to dry. But my facial skin wasn’t the only place that suffered from the quick climate change. During my weekly blowout, I noticed my scalp (yes, it’s skin, too) was freaking out (and by freaking out, I mean flaking—gross, I know), too. So I reached for Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask ($6, drugstore.com) in hopes of nipping the flakes in the bud. I also called up the brand’s celebrity dermatologist, Francesca Fusco, for tips on fighting and preventing flakes. She said that when applying shampoo and conditioner, to lightly massage the product in with my fingertips—not nails, a mistake some women and stylists make. She also said that instead of skipping conditioner at my roots to increase volume (a trick I always do!), to slather it on my roots directly, assuring me that my scalp was craving moisture and that the conditioners were light enough that they wouldn’t weigh down my blowout. Guess what? A few days after taking the advice, my flakes were gone (such a relief) and my hair was bouncy despite applying the mask from roots to ends.
Maria Menounos Talks Inexpensive Spring Trends, Keeping Her Workouts Fun and Her Best Kept Hair Secret
Written on March 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm , by Heather Muir
Extra co-host Maria Menounos is tearing up New York City promoting her new film, Adventures of Serial Buddies, a comedy out this week and her latest fashion project with Marshalls. In between her Better TV and Today Show segments, Menounos and I caught up on fashion, fitness and, of course, beauty.
What are you working on with Marshalls?
“I’ve been shopping at Marshalls for years thanks to my mom. I love that you can go there and get on-trend pieces for prices that won’t break the bank. Marshalls has these amazing buyers who make deals with companies so you get what’s in department stores, like bags from Italy, for less. You can buy three dresses instead of one, and saving money is really important. My savings has helped me own a property and make a movie! Plus each store offers something a little different.”
What are some of your favorite spring finds from Marshalls?
“This mustard dress that I’m wearing is one of them. They have tons of great wedges—black and nude, white bags, printed and lace tops and chambray blouses, which I love with white shorts and wedges.”
I know you’ve done DWTS and even WWE wrestling. What’s your favorite workout?
“I do this all day [running from one gig to the next]! Sometimes I play basketball with a bunch of guys. I recently took a Spin class, which I loved but thought was really hard. And once, I took this drum class, where we were doing squats the whole time. I like to make my workouts fun so I don’t feel like it’s work. And speaking of WWE, it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I got a trainer and learned how to wrestle. They were shocked.”
What’s your go-to healthy snack?
“Rickland Orchards granola bars—they’re really yummy and easy to eat on the go.” (Menounos is a spokeswoman for the company.)
Your hair and makeup look gorgeous. Any tips to share?
“I take off my makeup off every night, even when I’m working late and I’m on my computer answering emails in bed until 1 in the morning. The Neutrogena face wipes are my favorite. And before bed, I use the Alterna Caviar Overnight Hair Rescue to keep my hair soft and looking healthy.”
Girls’ Star Allison Williams Spills on Her Hit Show, Her Skin-care Routine and Her Obsession with SoulCycle
Written on February 8, 2013 at 11:32 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
Breaking beauty news: HBO’s Girls’ star Allison Williams was just crowned the new face of Simple Skincare. Let’s just take a moment to talk about her shiny, perfect hair, her gorgeous smile and her fluttery long lashes. I had the pleasure of chatting with her about the insider beauty secrets she picked up in hair and makeup, her favorite workouts and what’s it’s like to work on one of the hottest shows in television. Watch my interview here!
Written on January 10, 2013 at 11:29 am , by Fitness Magazine
Compiling the ultimate beauty-equipped gym bag can be tricky, especially if you exercise before work or during your lunch break. Here’s a roundup of products that keep my bag light while still meeting all of my beauty needs.
I wash my hair only a few times each week, but sometimes I’m left with no choice (like after Spinning). Bumble and bumble’s Be Color Minded Kit ($28, Sephora) is great for dire-wash situations since the 2-ounce shampoo, conditioner and styling balm are all free of sulfates and harsh chemicals that can dry out hair when used often. And for days when my hair needs a little pick-me-up, dry shampoo is my hero. I keep a mini can of Redken Powder Refresh 01 ($8, redken.com for salons) in my bag at all times. I love that it adds volume with leaving an annoying white residue.
If your gym’s locker room doesn’t provide a blow dryer, look for a lightweight folding one, such as the X5 Superlite Mini Nano Tourmaline & Ionic Dual Voltage Travel Dryer ($49.99, Folica.com). This packs a surprisingly powerful blast despite its small size.
Moisturizing after a shower is an absolute must (especially during the winter months), so I always make sure to keep mini bottles of body lotion on hand. Burt’s Bees Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion costs only $1.99 (burtsbees.com) for the travel size and leaves skin super soft. It smells fresh, and its lightweight formula won’t leave your skin slick or sticky.
If you don’t want to bring your entire stash of makeup with you, invest in an interchangeable palette, like Bobbi Brown 3-Pan Palette ($10, Bobbibrown.com), which allows you to swap out blush and shadow colors according to your look that day. And, if you have any contact lens cases lying around, here’s a trick: fill one side with your favorite face cream and the other with foundation. This way, you don’t have to miss out on your must-haves in order to downsize.
—Jillian Ruffo, beauty intern
Written on November 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
I’m a big fan of Matrix hair products (they smell fresh but subtle!) and usually rely on their Biolage Volumathérapie shampoo and conditioner ($15, $16, biolage.com for salons) to give my long hair extra lift. But I also believe in switching up your shampoo and conditioner every now and then, so when mine recently ran low, I decided to try one of Matrix’s latest formulas, Biolage ExquisiteOil Micro-Oil Shampoo and Oil Crème Conditioner ($17, $18, biolage.com for salons). Both contain moringa oil, which is packed with antioxidants to protect hair from damage and fatty acids to coat each strand with moisture. My hair looks and feels shiny and silky—and surprisingly, the oils didn’t weigh it down. Bottom line: I can’t stop touching it!
Written on November 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
Troy Polamalu is known as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fast and physical safety. But off the field, Troy’s a soft-spoken family man who makes setting a good example for his younger players and fans one of his top priorities. Recently, he hosted a Polynesian Luau Event to benefit the Harry Panos Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation, which he set up with his wife, Theodora, in honor of her grandfather, a World War II veteran, and the Troy Polamalu Football Camp held in American Somoa each year. I got the chance to chat with the Polamalus while Troy got his curls touched up by Head & Shoulders Celebrity Stylist, Sunnie Brook Jones (Polamalu’s a spokesperson for the brand).
You are hosting the Luau tonight—tell me about the event and why it is so important to you.
“We’re having this event with two performances: Common Kings, an island reggae-style pop group and another reggae artist named Fiji who’s one of the most popular island reggae artists. I say ‘island’ in the sense of the Polynesian island. And then we’re going to have a performance by Netane, which is a Polynesian dance group out of Orlando, Florida and it’s going to be a real good time. At most events, players come and people pay to get autographs but in a lot of ways this event epitomizes our culture in that we’re hosting an event for everyone to have a really good time. Obviously, people have paid for tickets to get in, which is the great fundraising aspect of it, but as far as hosting it, there’s live music, two concerts, a live performance, all-you-can-eat food, and all-you-can-drink drinks. There’s just so many people who have donated so much and it’s really cool that when you have a passion for a certain cause, how willing people are to really fork out and help out.”
Head & Shoulders is a title sponsor of the event and you’ve been partnered with them for four years. What do you like most about working with the Head & Shoulders brand?
“Well, we have a great relationship. I grew up using Head & Shoulders, so it was really awesome to start the relationship four years ago and to be able to do the different commercials that we’ve done and to pair it with different things. We paired it first with a charity called Operation Once in a Lifetime, which our charity, the Harry Panos Fund for Veterans still has a close relationship with. Then we do things like the million dollar hair insurance policy, the wax figure and now we have the School of Deeper Learning. But it’s been an awesome relationship that we’ve had together. Our locker room is full of Head & Shoulders products!”
As a football player used to being on the field, is it difficult getting used to the beauty aspect of these things, like the hair and makeup?
“Like everything at first, it took some getting used to. For example: the acting—on our very first commercial they gave me five lines, very simple. I was like, ‘Oh yea, no problem, I got this.’ Then I get there, sit with another professional actor and there are 50 people behind the camera and I went blank. I was like, ‘Oh man!’ So I’m getting used to the acting; to the hair and makeup. The first time I ever did anything, they tried to put makeup on me and I was really offended! But you get used to these things.”
You were recently voted the most liked athlete in the NFL by fans, so what do you think makes you so appealing to your fans?
“My first reaction was, ‘I don’t even like myself!’ But I think when you get those types of comments, whether it’s on a personal basis or through media, I try to tell younger players and others that you never just represent yourself. You represent your wife, your children, your family, your culture, the people you were raised by, your faith, and you have to always be conscious of that rather than living egocentrically and doing what you want to do. So in a sense, I think all of it goes to the different circumstances and people that have helped me throughout my entire life.”
So, will you ever cut your hair?
“Um—no. Well, I haven’t cut it in years. Not even a trim; I never even trimmed it. I could probably use one, as I’ve been told several times. I haven’t cut it for 10 years, I think it’s going on 11 years, which is also when I met my wife so I haven’t cut it since I met her!”
Speaking of your wife: Theodora, I know you are a busy mom of two. How do you find time to fit in exercise?
“It’s all about balancing and prioritizing things correctly. Making sure the children are happy. My husband and my children always come first before anything else. And as long as their happy and they are getting everything that they need, then everything else just falls into place—they’re always my first priority.”
Do you and Troy ever work out together?
“We used to workout together before the children and he put me on a workout plan with his special gym equipment that he had made for him at our gym. I used to do that. But now, after the kids, I don’t really have time to go to the gym, so I just try to put them in a stroller or a double stroller and jog around the city.”
Besides jogging, are there any specific workouts you like to do when you can fit it in?
“I like Bikram yoga. I try to do that whenever I’m in California. I try to do it three times a week if I can. I do CrossFit; I love it. It’s so much fun. It’s an amazing workout. It works your core really well, which is great for women, especially if you have kids. The core sort of goes away so you really have to train those muscles hard to get back into shape and back into being strong again. After children, everything gets a little bit stretched out. And I love running. I was running like six miles a day as often as I could. If I can’t get the kids in the stroller to jog with them, then I’ll just go run around the park. Sometimes I run without them to help clear my head.”
What are the healthy snacks you like to prepare for your family?
“We do green juice. Green juice is a staple in our house. We juice everyday. The kids help me; they know all about it. I put fruit in their green juice to make it a little sweeter. But the green juice I drink generally doesn’t have any fruit at all so that’s our staple. Juicing is really fun. The kids get involved with it, then they get excited about what they make so they don’t mind drinking it even if it looks funny. We like to say that my kids are super heroes so green juice is ‘hulk juice’ for us. It’s really fun and a great way to get kids interested and active in participating in a healthy and balanced diet.”
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
E.L.F. Cosmetics Creative Director, Achelle Dunaway, Shares Her Half Marathon Beauty Secrets and Motivation Tips
Written on October 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
By day, Dunaway oversees the product and brand development, entertainment marketing and editorial copy for E.L.F. Cosmetics (a cute and affordable makeup and skincare line). But during her down time, she spent the past 10 weeks pounding the pavement and training hard for her first half marathon in East Hampton, New York. As a makeup artist, she let us in on her race-day beauty recap as well as what kept her going through 13.1 miles.
What was your race-day makeup plan? Did you even wear any?
“When running a long race, it’s ideal not to wear too much makeup that could create a ‘melting effect’—aka, a smudgy mess. I always want to look and feel my best so I kept a pretty basic beauty look. I prepped my face with primer to create a long-lasting hold. My favorite is the E.L.F. Mineral Infused Face Primer ($6, eyeslipsface.com). And since I’m outside, I always wear sunscreen. I pair that with tinted moisturizer with additional SPF, spot concealer, sweat-proof mascara, a little bronzer and blush and lip balm with SPF.”
What hairstyle worked best for you while training?
“I wear my hair in a high ponytail that is doubled up on hair ties in case one breaks, and I always run with a backup around my wrist. I also sport a cute headband to keep flyaways down.”
What was the hardest thing about training?
“Traveling. It was difficult to fit in my training during the summer months with vacations, but I would always try to run on my trips or compensate by running longer runs on my shorter run days to catch up.”
What advice do you have for others preparing for their first half marathon?
“Sign up with friends! I ran this race with three friends. Their encouragement helped me stay focused and excited through training. Plus, let’s be serious, I totally wanted a fun Instagram photo to post on Facebook!”
How do you stay focused through all 13.1 miles?
“Music is essential. I jam away to my own personal dance party and set my Pandora playlist to the Rihanna station. It keeps the songs fresh and unexpected as opposed to listening from my own music list.”
What made you want to do a half marathon?
“It was on my life bucket list! Sometimes you have to push yourself to try and do things you never thought you could, because when you realize that you can, you continue to set your limits higher.”
Written on October 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm , by Molly Ritterbeck
After spending three decades in the pool, Dara Torres knows a thing or two about protecting her skin from chlorine. The 45-year-old best-selling author and 12-time (!) Olympic medalist stopped by to tell us about her role as the first-ever Brand Ambassador for AmLactin Alpha-Hydroxy Skin Care. She also gave us the scoop on her beauty and workout favorites, and how she continues to stay motivated and confident while juggling life as a busy mom.
Let’s talk beauty. You’ve spent most of your life in the pool and chlorine can be hard on your skin. How did/do you prevent dryness?
“I’ve had a problem my whole life with dry skin because of chlorine, always being in the pool and training outside, and now I have my daughter who loves outdoor activities so I’m always in the sun and exposed to that. So when I was asked to be the Brand Ambassador for AmLactin,it was a great fit. It’s funny, my mom was actually the one who told me about the lotion. She’s used it for a long time so I started to use it and the first thing I noticed is that I don’t have to reapply it two or three times a day. I would find that I would apply lotion and then four hours later, my skin would be dry again. The thing that’s great about this is you just put it on once and you’re good to go. It has lactic acid in it, which is great because it exfoliates your skin and you can actually feel it start to tingle when you put it on. I really take care of myself, I exercise a lot, I try to eat healthy, but I also want to look good, especially when you get a little older, it’s so important to take care of your skin.”
And what about your hair? How do you keep it soft and healthy?
“Something I suggest for recreational swimmers is to put conditioner on your hair before you put your cap on. But I really think it’s all about the texture of your hair because my daughter swims and her hair is fried, and I swam my whole life and mine hasn’t gotten fried. I actually like Wen products. There’s something about them that just keeps your hair soft and I also like to change up what I use. I read once that you shouldn’t use the same shampoo all the time or it’ll stop working so I have like five or six different shampoos that I use.”
Do you have any other all-time favorite beauty products you can’t live without?
“I love the Victoria’s Secret Lip Gloss! It actually tastes good! I always get compliments on my lip gloss. They have those bins in the front of the store and every time I go up, my daughter grabs like a handful of them! She likes the pretty colors, but it has a nice taste, too.”
Let’s switch gears a bit to working out. You have killer abs. What’s your secret?
“It’s not about the number of ab exercises—it’s the fact that when I do stuff in the gym, I am always using my core. When I’m exercising, I’m not just concentrating on one muscle; I’m pretty much engaging all those muscles at once so my core is always involved. Even though I only do maybe two or three ab exercises in an entire workout with 10-12 reps in them, I am always engaging my core in every exercise when I work out so that helps.”
What’s your favorite workout gear?
“I love Lululemon. It’s so soft. I love the way it feels, and it lasts long. They have stuff that fits everyone. It’s very soft comfortable and a good fit so that’s probably my favorite.”
What is your advice for athletes who want to improve on their swimming?
“Join a masters team. And I know people get frightened by that, but you have to understand that masters teams are for everyone. It’s not like your joining an elite team, and you have to swim a certain way or do a certain time. The masters teams have all different kinds of swimmers in them. I’ve been to many masters meets and they have different levels. You want someone who can coach you so you have the proper technique, so you are not wasting too much energy while your swimming and it’s also fun to meet people. It can get boring swimming up and down, up and down, so to have the camaraderie and people there, it just helps. People should forget about the intimidation factor and just check it out and see what it’s about because most people who end up joining masters teams love it and their fears of thinking they cant keep up with everyone just disappear.”
What’s your favorite healthy snack that keeps you energized?
“I actually don’t like to eat too much before I work out. But if I am working out and I get hungry, a bar is best. Even if I just have a banana I feel kind of blah, and I love bananas, but there’s something about a bar. It’s small, has protein in it, and it tastes good so it kind of satisfies your cravings.”
Fitness has been a life-long priority for you. How have you found ways to stay motivated?
“I think the way I stay motivated is results. I finished training almost 2 months ago and I’m like, ‘Oh boy, here we go,’ sitting on the couch and gaining weight. But I think that if you work out and you see results different things fit differently. When I see results, I really stay motivated. I don’t feel like I have to work out everyday now that I’m not swimming anymore but I do. It relieves stress; it makes me feel good; I like the end result; so there’s just a lot of benefits from working out. I think if people can stay in it for about 5-6 weeks, they’ll start seeing results and they’ll feel good and stay motivated.”
Written on September 28, 2012 at 11:26 am , by Molly Ritterbeck
OK, so I admit, this isn’t necessarily a new “find” for me, but it’s become a classic product that I always rely on. And while we’re on the topic of coming clean, I have another dirty (literally!) little secret: I hate washing my hair. Now don’t judge me, but I only wash my hair twice a week, which poses a serious problem when I’m working out everyday. Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo ($18, drugstore.com) eliminates sweaty strands in between washes without forcing me to totally restyle my hair. I just throw on a cap when I hit the shower and afterwards, spray the dry shampoo into my roots and comb through. Another trick: I’ll spray it in before bed and twist my hair up into a bun to add a little texture and prevent it from getting flat and greasy while I sleep. Then I wake up to perfectly tousled “bed-head” waves. I keep a bottle in my bathroom, at my desk, at my boyfriend’s apartment and a mini-size version in my gym bag because, seriously, it’s that good!