Friday, October 24, 2014

{GBF Beauty | Feel Strong Look Fab Part I}

This month, I made it a goal to get stronger. Although fitness has always been a priority in my life, it was previously motivated by vanity and dictated by the scale. This time, the motivation comes from a desire to build strength, to challenge myself, and to go outside my comfort zone. Twice a week I'm at Iron LA working on a series of strength training, weight lifting, and cardio blasts with my girl Jules Erickson. I'm also running the Santa Monica stairs to build up leg strength, sweating it out at Yogahop's cardio yoga class, rock climbing at Rockreation to build upper body strength, and running and planking everywhere I go.

 Although I've been working out almost everyday, not once have I stepped on the scale. Because numbers don't mean anything if you don't feel fabulous! And well, isn't that the whole point to all of this?

My fitness fixation has completely changed the way I approach my beauty and skincare routine as I'm much more methodical about the products I use as each needs to target a specific beauty concern. Through trial, error, and lots of product testing, I've put together a comprehensive three part guide on the best skincare, makeup, and hair care products for my fitness junkies. Because one should never have to sacrifice looking good to feel good.

 {Feel Strong Look Fab Part I: Skincare}

{Laneige Triple Sunscreen $25} Lightweight and long-lasting, I use this sunscreen during outdoor workouts. The shimmering mineral pearls provide a touch of radiance while brightening my complexion.

{Dr. Lin Skincare Acne Cleansing Wipes $7} I use the wipes after each workout in place of a cleanser as it's portable and leaves no mess. It's absolutel essential to cleanse your face after every workout as sweat and dirt can clog your pores causing acne.

{Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask $25} I've been using this mask for years as it helps to calm down my skin and dry out existing blemishes. After a particularly intense workout, I use this mask as a spot treatment.

{Kiehl's Powerful Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate $52} My skin is dehydrated after workouts and requires a boost of extra hydration. This intense moisturizer can be easily absorbed into the skin adding a boost of much needed hydration.

{Donell AHA 20 Body Tingle $35} This is not your run-of-the-mill body lotion. Containing 20% gycolic acid, I use the lotion after my shower to slough away dead skin and to help soften rough patches. It's a must for winter workouts and works particularly well on calluses. I highly recommend it for runners, those that enjoy outdoor sports, and workouts during the colder months.

Michael Todd Organics Wild Berry Exfoliating Peel $34} Exfoliating to help unclog pores and smooth out the complexion is a must if you're working out on a regular basis. The peel smells like blueberry pie and is super gentle yet powerful. About three times a week, I apply the peel to clean face and leave it on for about five minutes. I felt a mild tingle the first couple of times after application which tells me it's working. It leaves my skin feeling incredible soft and smooth without causing any redness. I had a couple of stubborn acne scars and sunspots on my left cheek that are now fading after using this peel.

{Michael Todd Organics Ultra Light Whitening + Brightening Serum $37} Immediately after the peel, I use this brightening serum to further aid with the fading of acne scars and sun spots. I love that this serum utilizes natural ingredients and Hexylresorcinol, an active agent that's much safer than hydroquinone and found to be just as effective in addressing hyperpigmentation. It also protects against UVA and UVB rays and improves skin's barrier against pollution and skin exposure. 

GBF readers receive 20% off all Michael Todd Organics item! Click on the above product links or use this link to receive the discount at checkout! 

{budget friendly alternatives}

{live fabulously}


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

{GBF Style | Falling Short}

Jenny Wu fashion blogger
 jenny wu fashion blogger
Jenny Wu fashion blogger
Jenny Wu style blogger
LA style blogger
asian fashion blogger
Photos by Kate Doherty

shirt {Uniqlo c/o}
blazer {Zara}
shorts {Express}
heels {Shoedazzle c/o}
purse {she + lo c/o}
mirrored sunglasses {Chilli Beans c/o}

 My white Express shorts made its debut two weeks ago at a Simple Skincare event. Tucked away in a private bungalow at the Chateau Marmont, we received a crash course on skincare health, its connections to emotional and environmental triggers, and how to intelligently care for our skin. The event was vastly educational and ended on a high note as each of us went home with a selfie stick. It's something I never knew I wanted until I clutched it in my hand. Oh the fun, the vanity, the hours of self on selfie action!

Wearing white shorts in October may not be playing by the book but better to be late to the party than to stay home! Although, staying in with my selfie stick sounds like quite the fabulous night in. As long as a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos is in play.

{live fabulously}


Friday, October 17, 2014

{GBFit| Fab Bod with Jules Erickson}

Greetings from Mountain View! I'm here for an extended weekend trip soaking in the quintessential Norcal experience. Divided into three parts, I'll be spending the first couple of days in the epicenter of the tech bubble. Then it's off to the city exploring new culinary and cultural delights while revisiting old favorites. Finally, we'll wind up the trip by traversing through the windy and "winey" roads of Napa. It's country meets city meets Silicon Valley!

In preparation for what will inevitably be an immersion in foodie paradise-the unavoidable core of every GBF trip, I've been working out and working hard with my friend and personal trainer Jules Erickson at Iron LA. With her help, I now know to use all those intimidating machines in the "big guns" section and have even started bench pressing! 

I'll be honest, before Jules, I shunned the idea of weight lifting as I was afraid it would bulk me up. And not to set feminism back fifty years or anything but I repel the idea of having bigger guns than guys. Jules set me straight. Weight lifting doesn't add bulk! She's educating me on the science behind working out and has raised my fitness IQ as I'm getting so much more bang for the buck with each workout. She's helped me so much that I want to share some of her tips on how to work out efficiently and effectively. 

Personal Trainer Jules Erickson's 7 Tips on Getting a Fab Bod

{Tip 1} 
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Proper hydration is key to all-around health. For proper hydration you should aim for 0.5-1.0 oz of water /lb body weight. So if someone weighs 150 lbs, they should try to consume 75-150 oz of water a day, although I always tell people to go for a gallon. If you’re shooting to consume a gallon of water a day, you’re going to be very well hydrated.

{Tip 2}
Your body does the most recovering during sleep; recovery of your muscle and brain. Working out actually causes muscle damage. Sleep is where the muscles repair and you make strength gains. It is a significant stimulator for growth hormone release, which is a natural agent for cell growth and reproduction. Sleep also appears to improve muscle memory, with the most benefits after 7 hours of sleep. Individuals who get in extra sleep are more likely to perform better (at work and/or at their sport), have a better mood, and have increased alertness.

{Tip 3}
Protein is key
Not only is protein the building block of muscle, it creates satiety. Because our bodies have to work harder to digest it, it stays in our system longer. When looking at your plate, focus on eating your protein first, then veggies, and then any other starchy carbs or fats.

{Tip 4}
Lift HEAVY weights
I know to some ladies this sounds crazy. “But won’t I get bulky?” No ladies, you will not get bulky from lifting heavy weights. You will not look like a man. Physiologically, we do not have the same amount of testosterone as men, so we just cannot build muscle like they do. That “toned” look that everyone wants, the “long and lean” muscles, you get those from lifting heavy weights. Whether you’re doing reps of 5 or 25, the weight should always be challenging. You should never walk away from a set feeling like you could have done more.

{Tip 5}
The faster, the better
When it comes to cardio, the faster you’re going, the better. Steady state cardio for weight loss is a thing of the past. But what about the fat burning zone??? Yes, it’s true, we do have a fat burning HR zone. But here’s the part no one told you, our bodies want to store fat. Our bodies want to store fat so desperately that as soon as you start using fat for fuel (working out in the fat burning HR zone) your body is going to figure out a way to stop burning fat. The more work you do in the fat burning zone, the less efficient your body becomes at burning fat and calories. Not only that, but guess what your body will start using for fuel, your muscle. So not only are you becoming less efficient at burning calories by training in this zone, but you’re losing lean mass, which in turn will decrease your metabolism and make you even less efficient at burning calories.

To really torch the fat, you want to increase intensity. Switch to short burst of high intensity exercise (sprints, Mt. Climbers, burpees, kettlebell swings…) followed by a rest period (the higher your intensity, the longer your rest should be), and repeat for 10-20 min.

{Tip 6}
Focus on performance
I have been in the fitness industry of over 10 years, and I have found, when people focus solely on weight loss, it becomes a frustrating process. They let the number on the scale control their happiness and that is not a fun, or healthy, place to be. Instead, I’ve found that people make the most dramatic changes when they switch their focus from how they look, to how they perform.

{Tip 7}
Consistency and patience
Ultimately, making noticeable changes in your performance, and how you look, come down to two things; consistency and patience. You have to be consistent with your workouts and nutrition. Plan out your days in advanced. Figure out your workout time and make an appointment with yourself. Plan out your meals so you know what you’re eating and when you’re eating it. Slips here and there won’t make or break you, but remember, the more slips, the longer it’s going to take to see changes.

Connect with Jules!
FB: Jules Erickson Fitness
IG & Twitter: @JulesErickson

{live fabulously}


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

{GBF Shops | shopbop FAMILY25 Sale}

The shopbop Friends and Family sale is back carving out the perfect opportunity for some guilt-free fall shopping!  Enter FAMILY25 at checkout to receive 25% off your entire purchase. Here are my picks for the best fall pieces that skid in at under $150! Sale ends tomorrow so you better bop to it!

{day dresses}


{party dresses}





{live fabulously}


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{GBF Style | Pearly Blues}

Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
Jenny Wu LA style fashion blogger
 Photos by Kate Doherty

top {Motel}
jeans {Cult of Individuality c/o}
shoes {Qupid c/o}
necklace {The Pearl Source c/o}
bracelet {Mint and Lolly c/o}
watch {Guess c/o}

Inspired by the marbleized fall shades of the mark. Eye Dream of Glam Ultimate Eye Shadow palette (I don't think I've been this excited about eyeshadow. Ever.), I wore this outfit to the Uniqlo opening soiree last week. Pairing jeans with pearls is a new look for me and one that I'll try again as the contrast between prim and proper and LA casual epitomizes my everyday style!

Speaking of pearls, I've committed to the #3DWhiteSmile challenge. For the next two weeks, I will be using Crest 3D White Whitestrips Luxe Supreme FlexFit to whiten my teeth which claims to whiten as well as a $500 in-iffuce professional treatment. The FlexFit technology allows Whitestrips to stretch and mold to custom fit your smile for superior coverage and provides 30% more coverage to whiten more teeth. Can't wait to share my results! 

{live fabulously}