Beauty Gadgets Worth Buying

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You can't beat a trip to the dermatologist's office for a laser treatment to help even out your skins tone and texture or perhaps the dentist's office for a professional whitening, but even if you start there, upkeep is a must.  Whether used in conjunction with professional treatments or alone, the latest crop of beauty gadgets are impressive and worth the money.

go smile

Go Smile Sonic Blue Teeth Whitening System, $129 at Ulta

You're never fully dressed without a smile. A beautiful (white) smile can really make a person. We are obsessed with this whitening system for so many reasons. It's one of those products that you forget that you're using. It whitens your teeth while you're brushing meaning no extra time is needed for the perfect smile. Plus, it has a built in timer, so when two minutes is up the brush automatically shuts off. You won't be able to stop showing off your pearly whites!


Silk n' Face FX, $149 at

Laser treatments are an essential for beautiful skin but they can be very costly and very time-consuming. This is a great at-home treatment plan that you can do every night before bed. It uses red light therapy to minimize wrinkles, crows feet, fine lines, and even discoloration. It's such an easy product to use but has seriously amazing results that make you look and feel young again, and who doesn't want that?

instyler InStyler Max, $89.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Now, we're sure you've seen this on TV and thought it's just another annoying infomercial but don't knock this product until you try it! It's the perfect all-in-one tool for those who aren't professional stylists (so most people). With this one product, you can straighten, curl, and wave hair. The best part? No matter which style you create, it'll look like you just came from the salon!

strivectin StriVectinLABS Facial Toner, $199 at Nordstrom

This is another great product for achieving perfect skin. (And who doesn't love perfect skin?)  You can do it from the convenience of your own home. This facial toner uses small doses of electrical current to stimulate your facial muscles to help skin feel firmer, toned, and lifted.

Spending money is never fun, but if you're going to do it, it might as well be on some innovative and useful products!

New Year, New Fitness Goals

fitness-goalsI wonder how many of you have new fitness goals for the new year?  I think it's safe to say 99%.  Whether you're making the commitment to join a new fitness studio or just to be healthier in general, this post is for you.  I was inspired to write it after having dinner with my best friends, Michele and Jarrett Hahn, who own M.O.V.E NJ Fitness & Performance in Hoboken.  The day after our double date (and indulging in a few bottles of wine), I was sprinting for the first time in years.  Here are my new fitness goals (effective immediately) that I'm sure will inspire you, too.

Change it up.  It's been one year since I moved to Hoboken, which makes it one year that I've been doing Local Barre classes about five times a week.  While I dabble in trying new fitness classes all over NYC, my main workout is barre.  "In order to cause change to your body composition you must constantly change up your workout regime," stated Jarrett Hahn, trainer and the owner of M.O.V.E NJ Fitness and Performance.  "The body will only adapt to new stimulus, meaning if you keep doing the same thing, your body will remain the same. Changing up your routine every 4-6 weeks would be ideal." I'm going to begin incorporating sprints and more cardio into my routine.  What are you going to do?

Push past your comfort zone.  It seems like common knowledge, but we don't always go for the extra challenge.  If you're doing something that feels somewhat comfortable, push yourself to the next level.  For example, I used to be able to plank for 20 seconds (comfortably).  Now, I'm proud to say that I can hold a proper plank for a minute and 30 seconds and am trying to get stronger each day.

Track your movement.  I've never worn a device that tracks my steps or how much I sleep, but out of curiosity I'm starting to wear the Tom Tom Runner Cardio GPS.  The heart rate monitor will help me stay on track when sprinting and help me keep my overall fitness goals.

Make a new playlist.  Music drives my movements.  How about you?  Creating a new playlist is just as good, if not better than buying new workout gear.  I love NYC DJ and my friend, David Hamburg's, mixes on Spotify.

Forget excuses.  This is my biggest problem!  I don't like to sweat, I like to glisten, which has kept me from cardio for a while.  Also, if I have a blowout... forget about it.  If we want results, there are no excuses.

Now it's your turn to inspire me!  Share your fitness goals for the new year below. 

*This post is sponsored by Tom Tom, but all of my thoughts and actions are true.

How to Make the Healthiest Green Juice

Whether you're a daily green juice drinker or or can't stand the thought of drinking your veggies, you should read this post.  I had the chance to concoct the healthiest green juice with the Founder of Juice Generation, Eric Helms, who's reasons for juicing may make you want to start blending your own.  Here are his tips on how to create the perfect green juice no matter what your palette can handle.

"People have preconceived ideas about juicing being time consuming, expensive and messy, but if you have $20 a week, you can have a green juice ready in five minutes every day that won't taste like your front yard," Helms commented.

You can start slowly with spinach and apple, but as your palette adjusts you're going to want to go more and more green simply because of the way it makes you feel. "Unlike coffee, which gives you a spike in energy and then a crash, the energy you get from green juice is sustained throughout the day."  The greener you go, the more energy you'll get.

Step 1: Gather the Freshest Ingredients

We used 1 cucumber, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, parsley, 2 celery stalks, a 1/2 an apple and a 1/4 of a lemon.  Depending on how much sugar you want to add, adding apples will help sweeten your juice.  Try adding two if you're starting out.  Lemon helps to cut the taste.  Again, depending on your palette and where you are in your green juice journey, you can add as much as you'd like.  When possible, buy organic because the skin isn't harmed by pesticides.

Step 2: Prep 

Clean all of your produce with cold water and a touch of vinegar to make sure its free of potential chemicals on the skin.  All of the nutrients in the greens are held in the leaves, so rid all of the stems and peel your lemon.  Keep the skin on the rest as it holds the most nutrients.  Don't worry about seeds from apples and lemons though, most juicers have strainers to catch them.

Step 3: Blend

The way you put your produce into your juicer matters.  Add the greens first (spinach, parsley, kale) and then add something that will juice like a cucumber to push it down.  Repeat this process.

Into it?  I thought you would be.  Besides sustained energy, green juice is also good for your skin, hair and nails.  For more recipes and advice check out Helms's new book, "The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices & Superfood Smoothies."

Shaking is Key to A Successful Barre Class

My legs were shaking like I was having an orgasm (sorry mom).  That's when I knew I had to write about it.  It's been a month that this has been happening.  Class after class, move after move and it's not stopping thanks to Local Barre.  Turns out, shaking is a good thing!  Taking any type of barre class?  Read this before your next pulse or squeeze.  It'll make you want to shake, too.

"Shaking means your changing your body and doing it right," explains one of my Local Barre instructors, Meghan Grant.  "You're working your body to exhaustion and changing your muscles by making them nice and lean."

As a fitness enthusiast, you know I've been frequently attending CKO classes and have always tried new classes at my former gym, which have all kept me in shape, but nothing ever made me actually shake.  Since ballet inspired barre classes are focused on the core and help to strengthen, lengthen and tone even the tiniest muscles, shaking at times during class is necessary for change.

In order to shake, you need to figure out the technique and check your alignment on every move.  Once that's in check, continue to challenge yourself.  "Always adjust when your body gets comfortable and don't be afraid to ask your instructor questions," Grant remarked.  To achieve the detailed toning you're looking for, kick things up a notch to continue to shake – get higher on the balls of your feet when doing exercises in relevé and try bending down into a lower chair when it's time to work those thighs.  

Local Barre is located in Hoboken, NJ.

The Trick to Instant Red Carpet Skin

I just got off of the phone with the makeup artist who's been responsible for Kate Mara's looks throughout the past nine years,  Coleen Campbell-Olwell.  Believe it or not, after 13 years of creating red carpet looks, this awards season is still giving her the jitters.  The House of Cards actress has Coleen booked today through Sunday for Golden Globes festivities.  Of course she'll be wearing different looks, but the key to perfect makeup all boils down to one thing – perfect skin.  Here, Coleen dishes how she gives her clients red carpet skin – instantly.

"Everybody's skin is different, but dehydration is one of the biggest and most common challenges when doing red carpet makeup," Coleen explains.  "Because my clients are flying a lot and constantly wearing makeup, I need to find products that'll hydrate their skin immediately."

During awards season, about an hour and a half is allotted to hair and makeup.  Yes, that's it. So there's no time for fancy tricks.  When I asked her about facials she said, "I recommend my clients get a facial a week before a big event, but no closer, because you never know if they're going to breakout or peel afterwards."

All of the real magic happens in her chair.   "I didn’t have great skin when I was younger, so I'm very careful about the skincare products I use on my clients and test them out on myself first," she explains.  Leaving no room for reactions, her two go-go's are Orlane Super Moitsturizing Light Cream and Absolute Skin Recovery Care Eye Contour.  "The creme hydrates instantly without being greasy and I find that most eye creams are too rich, but this eye contour is the perfect consistency and gets rid of puffiness."

Of course, the right products create a great base for makeup application and help make the look last all night, but it's the way Coleen applies them, that takes the whole look up a notch. "I use the slip in the moisturizer to massage the skin working outwards, which helps to pull out any excess fluid in the face and reduce puffiness," she explains.  Her regimen is to do three strokes on each side of the forehead, from the side of the nose out to the ear, down the neck and on each side of the chin.

6 Ab Exercises, As Demonstrated in GIFs

Even though we were just counting down to the new year, guess what I'm counting again.  To my wedding you think?  Well, but no.  To Memorial Day weekend!  There are 138 days until Memorial Day, which is my bachelorette party in the Hamptons and bikini time for all of us. If a New Year's resolution wasn't enough motivation, my count down to summer may help. Here are six ab exercises (in GIFs!) that'll help you tone up before the clothes come off. 1. Let's start with basics.