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Favorite Find Friday: Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Shampoo and Conditioner

Written on November 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm , by

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!

Troy and Theodora Polamalu Talk About Working Out, Giving Back and—Of Course—Troy’s Famous Hair!

Written on November 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm , by

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).

Polamalu taking the stage at the luau.

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.”

Photo opp with the “Most Liked Player” in the NFL.

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.”

Polamalu with his wife and two sons, Paisios and Ephraim.

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.”

Laila Ali on Boxing and Beauty

Written on November 9, 2012 at 10:49 am , by

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?
“Chapstick!”

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

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!”

Dunaway looking good and jamming out mid-half-marathon.

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.”

Olympic Swimmer Dara Torres Reveals Her Secrets to Soft Skin, Silky Hair and Six-Pack Abs!

Written on October 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm , by

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.

Dara Torres stops by the Fitness magazine office!

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.”

Favorite Find Friday: Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo

Written on September 28, 2012 at 11:26 am , by

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!

Erin Andrews Dishes on Beauty Products, Working Out, and Degree’s New Contest

Written on September 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm , by

Erin Andrews reporting from the sidelines.

Sports broadcaster, Erin Andrews, has a busy fall ahead of her. She recently joined Fox Sports as part of the new college football broadcast team where she will host pregame shows from the sidelines. She is also the face of Degree Women Clinical Protection’s new contest, “Unapologetically Strong,” which encourages women to share their personal challenges on Facebook for a chance to win $5,000 to reach their goals. Andrews let us in on how to score the cash, stay in shape, and why she loves Gisele Bündchen.

Tell me about the Degree Women Clinical Protection’s Unapologetically Strong contest and why you wanted to be involved. 

“Degree is celebrating women who are unapologetically strong—women who are pushing the boundaries in their life, career and in anything that they’ve had success with. You don’t have to feel bad for how hard you worked for it and all the effort that you’ve put forward and all the success that you’ve had. There are a lot of times—and I know I do it with myself—if anyone gives you any sort of credit, you don’t want to make a big deal out of it. But you don’t need to apologize for it. Be unapologetically strong! If you go to Degree’s Facebook  page, you can share your Unapologetically Strong story and you can read everybody else’s stories. There’s a chance to win $5,000.”

If you were eligible to win the $5,ooo to achieve your goal, how would you use it?

“I’m really fascinated right now with these groups of women who have gone through a tough time that maybe don’t have the means to dress for a job interview. I would maybe give it to a group that could help women who are coming off a tough time and need to get out in the workforce.”

Let’s talk beauty: what are some of your favorite products?

“A good skin cream! I travel a lot from Los Angeles to New York every single week. I like to use La Mer (www.cremedelamer.com). They have a really thick cream that I use at night. I love Crest 3D White Strips (www.3dwhite.com). I use the strips and then I use the toothpaste all the time because I’m pumping in coffee and green tea religiously, so I know it’s definitely coloring my teeth. I also love lip gloss. I have about 40 in my purse. I really like the nude Laura Mercier lip glosses (www.lauramercier.com). Anything with a good shine is fabulous! I’m obsessed with dry shampoo right now. I love anything to texturize and really dirty up your hair. I’m obsessed with Marisa Miller and Gisele’s hair—they are the hair models of the world so anything I can do to get their beachy, Victoria’s Secret look is OK by me. Oh, and Kérastase hair products (www.kerastase-usa.com), anything that helps and moisturizes my hair after I beat it up at work all the time.”

You have an exciting new position with FOX Sports so you’re constantly surrounded by crazy-fit athletes. How do you stay in shape?

“I try to get it in my head, even though I know it’s not realistic, that I want to work out every single day and if I can’t work out one day then I excuse myself but I need to definitely try to make the effort to do something everyday. Not so much for my health or to rationalize what I eat, but just for my sanity. I live in a world where it’s just high pressure—I’m reading social networks, I’m running here, I’m on a plane, everything is nuts! So I really try to do it to calm myself down. I moved to New York in January and my latest craze are barre classes. I was doing Pure Barre for a while. I’m now doing Physique 57 and I’m really loving that. My building is connected to Soul Cycle so I need to go downstairs and get right over to Soul Cycle and try that out!”

Have you learned any great tricks from hairstylists or makeup artists?

“I try! I am so bad; half the time I’m just fooling around and not paying attention. The one thing I learned is coming from the South, I used to cake on my makeup and one makeup artist taught me to use a tinted moisturizer for everyday stuff. You don’t need a heavy foundation for everyday use, because apparently that’s all Gisele uses, so if that’s OK for her, it’s OK for me! Basically, I’m getting older; I’m 34. I don’t need to coat on the makeup. The more makeup I have on, I just look older. So I want to keep it fresh and glowy and dewy and act like I look 24!”

Hair Models Needed in NYC

Written on August 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm , by

Hair models in action. (Photo courtesy of L'Oreal Professionel)

Written by Daniella Araujo, beauty intern

Do you love products from L’Oréal Professional, Redken, Matrix, and Shu Uemura, and enjoy getting your hair done, but dread footing the bill? Well, then, being a hair model, might be the right gig for you. The style team at L’Oréal Professional Product Academy is looking for women (and men) of all ethnicities and ages to test hair color, hair care products, styling products, relaxers, and other hair treatments.

What’s in it for you: Models receive a free salon service, a gift bag loaded with hair products, and a complimentary pass to the private L’Oréal Employee Company Store where you can buy beauty products (including makeup, fragrance, hair and skin products) at 75 percent off.

All of the hairstylists are licensed professionals with years of industry experience, and during your consultation, you get to choose what hairstyle and/or treatment you want, plus get expert suggestions based on your features.

To book an appointment or for more information, contact Ashley McGinnis at 917.606.9563 or send an email to amcginnis@us.loreal.com.

You can also come in for a 15-minute evaluation at the L’Oréal testing center located at 435 Hudson Street in the West Village. Evaluations are held Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm. Here’s to happy hair days!

 

Weird-But-Works-Wednesday: The Not-So-Dry Shave

Written on July 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm , by

Underarm stubble is no match for breezy summer tanks and sundresses.

As masters of procrastination, we’re often rushing out the door with just seconds to catch the bus to work or meet our friends. Unfortunately, beauty irks like unsightly underarm stubble tend to rear their heads at these inopportune times and make us late(r).

When there’s no time to shower, or even crouch over the bathroom sink, here’s what to do: Grab a stick of deodorant—creamy ones like Dove Go Sleeveless Nourished Beauty Deodorant work best—and slick on a generous coating. Then, grab your razor and shave away. The deo takes the place of shaving cream and water, and allows you to drag the blade down your pits without worrying about razor irritation that usually results from dry shaving. Give your razor a good rinse to get rid of any residue.

Tell us: What unusual beauty shortcuts save you in dire situations?

—By Cody Marick, beauty intern

Olympians’ Look-Great Secrets, Continued

Written on July 9, 2012 at 11:58 am , by

Our “Play On!” feature in the July/August issue (pg. 44 – 50) is packed with beauty must-haves and tips from Olympians and Olympic hopefuls like Lolo Jones, Kerri Walsh, Natalie Coughlin and Hope Solo. Here’s a bonus selection of tricks these super athletes shared with us:

Sarah Groff, 30, a world-class triathlete, Hanover, New Hampshire

Eat clean. “When I’m eating better—less processed, more whole foods—I break out less,” says Groff. Her good-skin staples include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, a little soy, fish and animal protein.

Lolo Jones, 30, a world champion hurdler, New Orleans, Louisiana

Play up eyes. On race days, Jones skips the pore-clogging face makeup and focuses on her eyes with soft-colored cream shadows. She says Revlon Illuminance Crème Shadows hold up well in heat. “Even after three hours of non-stop sweating, my eyes still look good.”

Natasha Hastings, 26, an Olympic gold medalist and track and field sprinter, Atlanta, Georgia

Be gentle. “Between color and relaxers, my hair is just over-processed,” Hastings says. “My stylist put me on to Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment. I put it on before I shampoo and I’ve seen a drastic change in the health of my hair.”

Shalane Flanagan, 31, an Olympic bronze medalist and 10,000-meter runner, Portland, Oregon

Treat your feet. Flanagan gets a pro pedi before every major race. “I’ve heard from podiatrists that they are really good for runners’ feet and can prevent toenail damage,” she says. Flanagan likes fun, bright polish shades, but is also known to match her polish to her team uniform.