GET THAT PREGGO GLOW: 8 STEPS TO RADIANCE!

Some pregnant women are blessed with that goddess like glow from within. Not me. My face was peppered with a smorgasbord of dermatological atrocities from the moment I learned of my pregnancy. Red spots appeared on my cheeks. Water retention caused Samsonite sized luggage to take up residence under my eyes. Itchy eczema patches came and went on my face and body.  I went through a bout of acne that would put a teenager’s volcanic complexion to shame.

Great skin requires a quality skin care regime that encourages cellular turnover: frequent exfoliation, hydration and SPF application. But, what worked pre-pregnancy, may not work now. Step one? Evaluate your products and avoid the host of contraindicated ingredients for pregnancy. Look for ingredients that exfoliate but are not overly drying. Next up? Makeup.  Dewiness and a soft, healthy looking glow is a direct result of neutralizing discolorations and blending foundation with light reflective particles.To achieve the goddess like perfection of, say, Jennifer Lopez, yank a page from the playbook of celebs’ glam squad and become a master of calculated subtlety.

1.      Start with a low lather, oil based cleanser. Belli Skincare has an  Acne Cleansing Facial Wash with  lactic acid which gently exfoliates dead skin and increases collagen production for firmer, younger looking skin.

Belli Facial Wash

BELLI Acne Cleansing Facial Wash, $22

2. You may not be knocking them back these days, but customizing a “cocktail” (beauty parlance for layering a variety of gentle but active products on the face for increased efficacy) of products for the face and décolleté is integral to great skin.

Sonya Dakar Omega Booster

Sonya Dakar Organic Omega Booster, $42

Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair Cream

Kate Somerville Deep Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8, $150

3.      Apply a creamy under eye concealer. Patting (not rubbing) the product gives more coverage.

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil, $18

4.      Apply a powder foundation and follow with a sweep of luminizing powder on cheeks, forehead and nose top

Bare Minerals Foundation--Get the Glow

Bare Escentuals Mineral Foundation, $25

Jane Iredale Mineral Foundation

Jane Iredale Amazing Base Mineral Foundation, $42

5.      Find a mellow shade of bronzer that matches your skin tone and brush on only where the sun would naturally hit the face: cheeks, forehead, bridge of nose, chin and chest. Don’t blow your cover by forgetting to bronze your ears, décolleté and neck.

Sue Devitt Bronzer

Sue Devitt Bronzed Pressed Powder, $30

6.   Apply a shimmer based blush to the apple of your cheeks and blend with puff

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Rose Blush

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Rose, $38

7.   Pat oil or moisturizer on your face for added dewiness

Darphin Jasmine Aromatic Care

Darphin Jasmine Aromatic Care, $100

8.  Now that you have a glow, wake up the eyes and mouth with a lengthening mascara and some lip gloss

ULTRAFLESH Panthera Mascara

Ultraflesh Panthera Mascara, $26

Stila Lip Glaze Papaya

Stila Lip Glaze in Papaya, $22

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THE FRIDAY FIVE: AN ENERGIZING CONVERSATION WITH LAUREN SLAYTON OF FOODTRAINERS

I am one of those people who finds hunger annoying. I try and anticipate the day and bring food to the office. But, a busy mom, I often forget and set myself up for disaster. The result? I drink 4 cups of coffee and suddenly find myself famished. My blood sugar drops. I am cranky. I end up eating crackers and other scraps that are on hand.

I spoke with nutritionist ( and mom of two) Lauren Slayton about breaking this odious (non) eating cycle by eating with intention.

Translation? Preparing the foods throughout the day to keep me sated, healthy and energized.

“Most of us know what we ‘should’ be doing when it come to eating and exercise. The problem is between work or kids or whatever it is that takes up our time, there is often a gap (ok, crater) between what we “should” do and what we end up doing. I work one-on-one with clients to help close that gap. Here are my five tips on how to maximize energy and keep your metabolism firing all day”

1. Breakfast-The purpose of breakfast is to raise your blood sugar (it drops overnight) and to keep your cravings at bay for the rest of the day. Eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up and include protein. If you’re up at 6 as I am, breakfast should be no later than 8am. It doesn’t have to be first thing.

I am a huge fan of smoothies, omega 3 eggs and quinoa (who said oats are the only grain to eat in the morning).

2. My 2 favorite energy boosters I call M and M. Matcha (a powdered green

tea) and Maca (a ground root vegetable from South America) can be added to smoothies and matcha can of course be consumed like any tea.

3. Tush to chair all day doesn’t work. Make sure you spend time outside during the day. This is a stress reliever and energy booster. It’s also, as spring approaches, a good way to get vitamin D.

4. When you’re feeling low in the afternoon try Mulberries.

Mulberries are high in vitamin C and reservatrol (same antioxidant in red wine). They are also a good source of fiber and protein.

5. And at dinner, think of “salad plate dinners”. A large dinner interferes with your sleep and can leave you groggy the next day. Lunch should be larger than dinner. Think of 1/2 of a restaurant portion or an appetizer and a side of vegetables.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
FoodTrainers
Lauren Slayton
212.769.4300

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THE FRIDAY FIVE: NEWSFLASH: PRENATAL PILATES= LONG, LEAN “PUSHING” MACHINE!

Forget boring gym workouts. Pilates is my poison. The precise, controlled movements developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s strengthen, tone and align the body by using one’s own body weight. These non weight bearing exercises are ideal for pregnant women to keep the body strong and the metabolism firing. Another benefit of Pilates? It will make you the star of the delivery room. When the good doctor tells you to “push!” pilates’ practitioners will understand how to tense their ”kegels” and use their core muscles to bear down.  But, prenatal pilates must be done with a certified expert. I spoke with my trainer RANDI WHITMAN of FROG TEMPLE PILATES  (her instructors have undergone intensive prenatal and postpartum certification  and are specialists in the field)  to spotlight the many benefits of pre-natal pilates.

Amy 8 months pregnant at Frog Temple Pilates

“Pilates during pregnancy is about maintaining a woman’s previous level of fitness, staying strong and flexible for all 3 trimesters of pregnancy. We focus on what a woman can do as opposed to what she cannot do. At Frog Temple Pilates Center, our aim is not only to keep the pregnant body healthy and fit during pregnancy, but preparing her for the demands of labor and delivery,  as well as shortening recovery time postpartum.

1.     Prenatal pilates promotes good posture, strength and flexibility for the growing body.

2.      Prenatal pilates prepares the body for the demands of labor and delivery.


3.      Prenatal and postpartum pilates prevents common aches and pains such as lower back  and joint pain.

4.      Pilates exercises help to shorten recovery time postpartum, helping to get your body back quicker, both inside and out.


5.      Pilates postpartum teaches realigning the pelvis, strengthening the pelvic floor, and strengthening  all the weakened surrounding muscles we need to stabilize and rehabilitate the body.

For more information:
Frog Temple Pilates
773.489.0890

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ATK TELLS AOL STYLELIST HOW TO STEAL CELEB MATERNITY STYLE

 

   

Click here to read the full story

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CHIC FOR TWO: ATK’s FEATURE IN AMERICAN BABY THIS MONTH!

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THE FRIDAY FIVE: HOW A LITTLE PRICK (ACUPUNCTURE, SILLY!) CAN HELP YOUR PREGNANCY

 

Helps nausea? Check.
Helps back pain? Helps stress? Check.
Helps get you knocked up in the first place? Check. Check. Check.

A huge fan of acupuncture, I have been getting treatment in various forms for over a decade. A friend treated me to my first session to treat stress and back pain. The relaxation was so intense, so much more beneficial than 3 glasses of Pinot Noir, that it heralded in a serious obsession with getting pricked. When I had trouble getting pregnant with my second child, I declined the offers to high wattage fertility doctors and, instead, turned to the integrative health specialists in Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital.  Three months later, Success! I continued treatment throughout the pregnancy and alleviated many of the symptoms I had suffered from the first time around.

To get the lowdown on how acupuncture can help pregnant women, I turned to my favorite practitioner Jennifer Paschen of THE NEST in Chicago to explain the benefits of acupuncture during pregnancy. Paschen, who treats women during pregnancy and attends (and administers acupuncture) births, has this to say about the importance of acupuncture in pregnancy: 

 “We treat women where they are in their quest for optimal health and balance. Acupuncture can make a huge difference in a woman’s pregnancy. We formulate individualized treatment plans for fertility, pregnancy wellness, general women’s health, and postpartum recovery. That is why acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is so effective– we are not just treating a symptom, we are treating the whole person. You really have to consider the internal landscape of each patient.” On the fertility front, Paschen explains that, through a detailed diagnosis method, Chinese Medicine practitioners are able to identify and understand where weakness and imbalance lie in the body. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and dietary recommendations help strengthen energy and blood, which positively effects fertility.
 
Here is Paschen’s hit list on how acupuncture can help your pregnancy

1. Alleviates digestive complaints: morning sickness, heartburn, constipation and gas

2. Relieves pain: back pain, sciatica, headaches, carpal tunnel

3. Promotes circulation: decreases swollen ankles, feet and hands (aka edema)


4. Helps the mind: Elevates mood, calms anxiety and promotes restful sleep

5. Prepares the body for birth: promotes cervical ripening, helps with optimal positioning of baby, increases motility of pelvis and sacrum, and moderates high blood pressure

 Amy Tara Koch Friday Five Accupuncture

 

For more information:

 Jennifer Paschen, L.Ac., Owner of The Nest
773.267-0248

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TWELVE TIPS TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER PREGNANTISTA!

Pregnancy is exhilarating, exhausting and challenging on many fronts. To me- a longtime fashion editor, style expert and author- the key to pregnancy style is having the tools to confront sartorial challenges and step up to the fashion plate 

Here are some tips to unleash your inner pregnantista.


CREATE A UNIFORM Neutrals are fashion chameleons which take on the mood of whatever garments they are layered with. Thus, neutral basics can be mixed and matched to “work” for every situation. Must haves? An above the knee shift, black leggings, black bias cut jersey dress, empire waist dress, a black lycra top, a flowy tunic and a black maternity stretch pencil skirt. Then, groovify your wardrobe staples with ADD ONs and WOW FACTOR, the style elements that transform basics into “looks”. 

PROPORTION, PROPORTION, PROPORTION! Nothing frumpifies more than oversized clothing and lack of proportion. Some guidelines? If it’s big on top, it should be narrow on bottom. If it is narrow on top, you can add some volume with a skirt or wide legged pant. Skirts and dresses should be above the knee or sweeping the ground to elongate the body. Legs are slimmed and lengthened with black tights and a boot or heels. Big blouses are countered with fitted skirts or tapered trousers. 

  

BACK IN BLACK There is a reason that, each season, editors declare that “black is the new black”. Black is mysterious and chic. Black is basic enough to make a statement. Or not. Black is classic. Black is seasonless. Black matches with everything. Black can be dressed up or down. Most important?  Because it absorbs light, black hides imperfections and is, hands down, the most slimming color on the planet.

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!  This genius silhouette gathers (flattering to all shapes) under the breast and falls loosely to the hip, knee or floor covering bulging bellies and butts with cascading fabric. The empire waist also put the focus on the arms and shoulders, places where pregnancy weight does not manifest itself.

Adam Lippes Amy Tara Koch Bump it Up Style

TALK TUNIC TO ME The breezy dress me up, dress me down tunic gets an A+ in masking girth. Popularized by style luminaries like Babe Paley and Talitha Getty, this versatile thigh length top is beloved for its ability to showcase boobage and hide bloatage.

 

SEISMIC SHIFT Channel Gidget. Or, my preggo icon Gwen Stefani, with the flirty old school shift. Cut straight from the shoulders and flowing away from the hips, this above the knee dress is easy to wear and disguises thickening thighs and other forms of bottom heaviness.

LEARN TO LAYER  The skillful layering of color, textures and accessories allows the savvy pregnantista to invest in quality basics and “bump them up” into compelling looks. Check this out: pregnancy jeans with a black chiffon tank top is fade- into- the- woodwork nice. But, mix in glitzy kitten heel slides, a Pucci-esque swingy trapeze jacket, a heavy gold pendant and gold earrings and you’ve made a statement.

KNIT WIT Slouchy knits offer the soft silhouette that is chic and cozy for day or evening wear. Get a blast of color with a thin open -at –the- front cashmere knit sweater or a non-structured jacket that is short in the back and long and drapey in the front making it a versatile (and vertical) layering staple. And, because it comes in a variety of colors and fabrications, the look translates to every season. 

GET WAISTED! Pregnancy is the optimal time to discover the joys of belting. Designers use belts to express “directionality”, or, mood of their collection. In pregnancy,  belts are a functional style element that delivers the illusion of a waistline. A stretchy belt can be used below the bra line to create an empire waist. And, a thin leather belt can be added over a cardigan to add polish. A flashy belt below the belly is a way to draw attention to your sumptuous bump and away from other areas that you may not be so fond of at the moment.

GET HIGH!  A heel visually lengthens your silhouette and, in turn balances out your tummy enhanced proportion. You don’t need five inch Carrie Bradshaw stilettos. But, with the watermelon in your belly, height will balance out the bulge, elongate your body and add that soupcon of glamour that transforms dumpy to diva.

TIE ONE ON!  Scarves are the Holy Grail to maternity moxie; a colorful style element that can build up a basic. During the first trimester, scarves camouflage a bulging belly. For trimesters 2 and 3, drapey scarves deliver verticality to the somewhat stumpy pregnant silhouette. Colorful, bunch-up-able scarves (think Jennifer Aniston in Malibu) can be looped nonchalantly around the neck to add color and Parisienne chic.

THE HIGH ART OF SUPER-ACCESSORIZING  Aside from being decorative, accessories play a major role in creating a long, lean silhouette. Neck grazing earrings, for example, take the focus to the neck and shoulders where pregnancy weight does not manifest. Layered long necklaces rein in excess fabric of tunics and balloon dresses supplying a lean silhouette.  Belts give drapey clothing shape and can supply an illusion of a waist while you are camouflaging a burgeoning belly. Scarves add verticality and cover the belly. Larger bags balance out proportion. And heels literally take pregnant women out of the dumps by lengthening the leg. Jewelry should mirror the bravado of your bump. Bold baubles—cuff bracelets, gold chains, chandelier earrings-amplify your style quotient.

 

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