Tag:  health Archives - Beauty Banter

The 10 Minute Yoga And Meditation Workout

By | body | 3 Comments
Beauty isn’t merely about face creams and lipsticks. Inner wellness and health will do wonders for keeping you fit, fabulous, and youthful so that you can tackle any obstacle with a clear mind and a glowing complexion. I asked my friend Kyle Miller, celebrity yoga guru and founding teacher at Yoga For Bad People, to devise a 10 minute mind and body morning workout exclusively for Beauty Banter readers.
Here’s her super simple but highly effective 10 minute yoga and meditation practice for even the most inflexible of us:
“Now, I know the mornings are rushed and groggy and insane, and that is exactly why you need 10 minutes to focus your attention, purify your energy, set intention and open up the body.  Dedicating even this tiny sliver of time and space towards yourself can reap major benefits.  Increased focus, release of the stress response, efficiency in the organ systems, just to name a few.  You will feel better, more at ease, more poised and kinda like your head is screwed on straight and your body is functioning optimally.  Sound good?  Ok here’s the game plan:
1.  Find Your Seat: Get out of bed, you can have your coffee or tea, your water with lemon, whatever your little ritual is already… and then return to your bedroom, unroll your mat and sit down.  Start with whatever seat is comfortable, kneeling or cross-legged (elevating your seat on pillow is the most comfortable and helps you lengthen your spine: highly recommended!).  Close your eyes and lengthen your spine.  Spread the collar bones.  Relax the shoulders.  Once you have your seat, plug into the earth and really connect.  From that point of connection start to visualize a central energetic channel running in front of your spine straight up through the crown of your head.  Imagine energy moving up the channel from the earth and down the channel, from above.  When you can see and feel and imagine this central channel, you will be centered… you will already feel the poise, the grace of embodiment, the natural gratitude, starting to blossom.
2.  Mantra Meditation:  After finding your seat, getting centered, quiet and still, begin to move the breath through your body. Feel the lungs fill and expand away from the center on the inhales and feel them fall back to the center on the exhales.  Now attach a mantra to these conscious, expansive and beautiful breaths you are taking.  Silently saying “let” on the inhale and “go” on the exhale is one of the first techniques I learned.  You can literally feel stress and tension melt away.  You could also say “SO” on the inhales and “HAM” on the exhales or “I” and “AM.”  Feel free to think of your own two word mantra and silently repeat it to yourself with the movement of the breath.  Your mind will wander, you will lose focus and THAT’S TOTALLY FINE!  Just return your attention to the breath.  And if you’re not feeling the mantras, let them go, and simply use these first few moments in your seat to watch the breath.
3.  Move: Open the eyes, reach your arms out wide, gather some fresh, new energy, the exact type of energy you want for the day, bring your hands to meet over head and then pull them down to in front of your heart. Do this a few times. Feel that you are gathering what you want and drawing it into your center.  Come forward onto your hands and knees and start to move the spine. As you inhale arch the back and as you exhale round the spine, tucking your chin and tail. After a few rounds, start to stir it up. Make big circles with your hips and shoulders, squiggle through the spine, get your neck and jaw and the muscles of your face involved.  Breathe into the nooks and crannies. It should feel amazing. When you’re ready, tuck your toes and press back to downward facing dog.  Peddle the feet and imagine the backs of the legs flushing open, the ball of muscles at the back of calf releasing.  Roll forward to plank and back to dog a few times. Hold plank for a few breaths. Feel how sound and perfect your structure is.  Feel the muscles hug to the bone, activating you for your day. Depending on the time you have, you can take some lunges, stepping one foot forward at a time, you can add warrior poses if you want to strength and feel capable.  Forwards bends to calm the nervous system. Back bends energize, open and also nourish. Keep it simple and remember to keep the focus on integrating the movement with your breathing. Let it be organic, let the body lead you, move outside the box.
4.  Finish:  Closing your practice is a lovely way to seal the effort you put forth.  Return to your seat, lengthen your spine, and close your eyes.  Observe the subtle shifts these few moments of paying attention to yourself have created. Bring your hands in front of your heart and bow your head slightly. This is a posture of gratitude, humility, reverence and respect. Soak in it. Run through what you are grateful for or simply focus on one thing.  Ground your self in a simple and humble appreciation for the world around you. Namaste. Go get ’em, tiger!”
*Kyle Miller is a teacher at Yoga Collective in Venice and the Springs in Arts District.  Follow her on Instagram at @kylemilleryoga.

Fashionable Workout Wear

By | fashion | 9 Comments

Be honest, are you still wearing basic black leggings and your boyfriend’s old college T-shirts to workout? If so, it’s time to rethink your look. It’s 2014: there’s no need to sacrifice style while you sweat.

Headed to FlyWheel or Barry’s Bootcamp? For these high-impact activities, your best bet is a pair of compression leggings and a festive sports bra. These choices allow you to embrace the crop top trend while still keeping cool in the sweaty studio. For unique and trendy active wear, you will be hard pressed to beat the selection at Carbon38. The Michi Bionic Bra ($95) is high-performance and fashion forward. After all, you never know who you’re going to meet while getting your workout on.

For dance, yoga, and ballet-based workouts like Physique57 or Ballet Beautiful, try a leotard.  Live the Process’s floral leotard ($225) pairs perfectly with American Apparel’s bike shorts (stock up on now… they’re on sale for $5 each!) for some fashionable arabesque flair.

Are you an avid runner? If so, catch people’s eyes as you zip past them wearing a pair of patterned capri tights. Pick up British brand Sweaty Betty’s Adrenaline Run Capris ($135) in camo floral for a basic, yet statement making, workout staple. Ultra high-stretch, the elasticated waistband on these capris ensures they stay put even through a weekend distance run. If you prefer running in shorts, Carbon 38’s Heroine Sport Training shorts ($80) will motivate you to run your fastest mile yet while (hopefully) making heads turn on the track.

Fashionable active wear may be an investment; however, it allows you the option to skip the outfit change usually needed from workout to real life. And what’s better than heading straight to brunch after an intense sweat session?

Casey Sharbaugh currently resides in New York City working in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey spinning, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone. Find her on Twitter at @chs_psu

Skin: Eating Clean for a Healthy Complexion

By | skin | 14 Comments

Terry Walters believes (and lives by) the age old adage: beauty comes from within. But this “within” refers to the food that you ingest. Example: eating more greens, seeds and super-foods. Her two acclaimed cookbooks, Clean Food and Clean Start demonstrate this clean lifestyle in a way that is realistic, delicious, and offers a healthier way of life. Embrace the change – if not for your heart, kidneys and liver, then do it for your complexion. A nutritious diet leads to a more youthful complexion free of acne, wrinkles and dull skin.

Read on for tips on green eating, healthy skin and foods that can help prevent the aging process:

SARAH HOWARD: In layman terms, how does what you eat affect your skin?
TERRY WALTERS: A healthy diet supports good health in countless ways, just as poor choices challenge us to maintain balance and wellbeing. Our skin, as our largest organ, reflects our state of health on the inside and can fluctuate just as our diets do. Increases in sugars (simple and complex), unhealthy fats, processed foods and artificial ingredients create acidity, inflammation and imbalance that effect our skin, hair, nails, and of course, the rest of our body and its “systems”.

SH: Some dermatologists and facialists say that the food you eat is a direct link to break outs while others call that train of thought a myth. What’s the real story?
TW:People break out for a variety of reasons. For some, breakouts can be a result of stress, for others it can be hormonal shifts and still others may never break out at all. I suspect there is little conclusive evidence of certain foods directly linked to breakouts simply because every body is different. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a connection. What we eat is undeniably connected to our overall health and the health of nearly every system in our bodies. Our bodies’ ability to break down the foods we eat also plays a huge role as food sensitivities and compromised digestion are increasingly more common and can be at the root of a variety of symptoms that affect the skin from acne to eczema.

SH: Ever since I was a child, it’s been drilled into my head that chocolate causes acne. Tell me, does it?
TW: I really hope not! In truth, while there’s not convincing evidence that chocolate causes acne directly, there is evidence that acne can be caused by sugar, and even more evidence of a link to hormonal shifts and an increase in acidity, which can be caused by both sugar and caffeine. Unfortunately, both of these ingredients are in our chocolate. Does that mean you need to eliminate chocolate? Definitely not. To get at the root of what’s causing your acne, I’d recommend assessing your overall diet to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need before I’d encourage you to deprive yourself of the foods that nourish you, at least emotionally if not physically, too!

SH: Are there any foods that can actually help with acne?
TW: A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants is your skins best friend. Eliminate processed and refined foods, and strive to eat foods that are minimally processed and come in a rainbow of color. Switch from processed grain products to whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Increase your vegetable intake with extra emphasis on greens such as kale, broccoli, collard greens, watercress and sea vegetables that provide essential minerals and support nearly every bodily function. Strive to bring in non-animal sources of protein and healthy fats from legumes, nuts and seeds. Fill in with foods high in antioxidants such as berries and add some lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water to alkalinize and support overall health. The more you focus on bringing in the foods that serve you, the sooner the foods that don’t serve you will fall by the wayside, or will at least move to a healthier place in the mix.

SH: When it comes to aging, any foods that speed up the process?
TW: Processed foods, sugar, artificial ingredients, partially hydrogenated oils and any foods that you can’t translate in your mind you’re likely not to be able to translate in your body either. These combined with a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on your skin and your health.

SH: How about foods that slow down the aging process?
Our food choices together with life-style can help slow the aging process. Antioxidant-rich foods that neutralize free radicals and the damage they do to cells and membranes are a great addition, as are super foods such as blueberries, broccoli, oats, quinoa, pumpkin seed, walnuts and more. Keep your food clean – minimally processed for maximum nutrition – and eat foods that come from the green kind of a plant as opposed to a processing plant. Combine a healthy diet with vitamin D from the sun, fresh air, clean water, ample sleep and exercise, and you’re apt to be feeling and looking younger in no time.

SH: If there was one food everyone should eat to make our skin look its best, what would it be?  
TW: I always recommend that people start with greens! Many consider green to be the color of healing, and it happens also to the color most missing in the standard American diet. Dark leafy greens like kale, collard greens, cabbages, romaine lettuce, watercress, mustard greens, dandelion greens…provide a wealth of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that benefit everything including your liver and heart to your bones and eyes. Greens are known to reduce inflammation, and can even help reduce risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

SH: What’s the perfect diet?
TW: If every body is different, how can there possibly be one perfect diet? Good health is about making conscious choices – one healthy choice at a time, and we can’t make healthy choices unless we know what we’re choosing from. Focus on keeping to foods that are minimally processed so that you can access maximum nutrition. And stick to foods that come from the green kind of plant – whole grains, lots of vegetables, non-animal sources of protein and fat like legumes, nuts and seeds, fruits and super-nutritionals like sea vegetables, antioxidant-rich foods and extra emphasis on greens. That’s what I call CLEAN FOOD – the foods we ALL need more of, not matter what else is on your plate. The more you focus on bringing these foods in, the healthier you’ll be on the inside and out.

SH: Is there a middle ground? Can we still keep our treats?
TW: We all make food choices that nourish something other than our best nutrition! Perhaps it’s an emotional need, a connection to tradition or possibly an addiction (especially if it’s a combination of fat and sugar). The reality is that deprivation doesn’t serve anything and just makes us want those favorite foods even more. Moderation is key! Focus on bringing in the good and making a slow and successful transition to eating clean. All it takes is one clean food a week. If you make that your goal, at the end of the year, even if you only like half of the foods you try, you’ll have 26 new clean foods in your diet. That’s a lot of added nutrition for good health and glowing skin.

*For more of Terry Walters and her health tips, follow her at @terrywalters.


By | Uncategorized | 5 Comments
Based on the number of beach pics showing up in my Facebook feed, summer has definitely arrived. But before you slather on your sunscreen, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released their annual findings for 2009. The information is extensive (they tested 1,599 name brand sunscreen products) and here are the key facts you need to know, along with some of their top picks from drugstore to department store.

The EWG found that 3 out of 5 sunscreen products (that includes hybrid sunscreen-moisturizers, lip balms, etc.) did not provide adequate sun protection and/or contained ingredients with “significant safety concerns.” Amongst the newer broad spectrum UVA/UVB brands now on the shelves, the EWG found only 5% were actually effective.

Is there any good news in this? Yes. Out of almost 1,600 tested, the EWG found 85 safe, effective sunscreen products they endorse. Here are a few of their top picks at every price point:


California Baby SPF 30+ Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen Lotion

Jason Natural Products Sunbrellas Chemical Free Sun Block

Mustela High Protection Sun Lotion SPF 50

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60


Juice Beauty SPF 30 Mineral Light Moisturizer

Stila Tinted Moisturizer Sheer Color SPF 15

Eucerin Everyday Protection Face Lotion, SPF 30

Ole Henriksen Sun-Light Protection Creme With Green Tea SPF 30


Bare Escentuals I.d. Lip Guard Spf 15

Nivea A Kiss of Protection Sun Protection Lip Care with SPF 30

Md Skincare Powerful Sun Protection Lip Balm, Spf 25

Vincent Longo Cushion Lips SPF 20

You can access the entire list of products along with the EWG annual report here. xo a.


By | makeup | 4 Comments

Beauty is more than skin deep. Literally. Every product you use is absorbed in some way by your body. I like to make sure that the products I use contain the least harmful ingredients. It doesn’t mean I have to sacrifice style or comfort. I still shop the counters at Barneys to the aisles at Target and come away with products I love. Why bother, you ask?

Whether for babies or adults, we’re using about 20 health and beauty products a day and 89% of the over 10,000 ingredients have never been tested for safety by the FDA because the government doesn’t regulate health and beauty products. But the Environmental Working Group decided to change that. So far they’ve tested over 40,000 beauty and skincare products and rated the results in an easy to navigate database, Skin Deep. It’s not all bad news. There are a ton of great products out there from big companies to tiny storefronts. You may be surprised to learn the drugstore brand you use is healthier than the one that says ‘all-natural.

If your beloved gloss turns out to be full of hormone disrupters, there’s more than just recycling the tube. Write to the makers of that fabulous gloss and let them know you’ll be back if they clean up their act. Many already make different formulations for sale in Europe where regulations are stricter. And we’re seeing a number of big name cosmetics companies removing the worst offenders from their product lines. Stores are devoting space specifically to the greener products, like Sephora and . Change is coming.

Sophie Uliano, author of the fabulous and very accessible Gorgeously Green, is one of the few eco enthusiasts out there willing to say that it isn’t easy being green (at first). Refreshing honesty, no? Her book gives you a variety of resources for beauty, health and home along with some great DIY beauty recipes. Here’s Sophie’s DIY salt scrub.

FYI: Sophie uses essential oils in her scrubs. I love the lavender essential oil from Fleur de France. Not all oils are created equal or are entirely natural. This company makes amazing oils and they smell incredible.

The Gorgeously Green website is an extension of Uliano’s book, with weekly fashion and beauty finds, and info from her latest release, The Gorgeously Green Diet. Of all the lists out there, I think her fabulous worst offenders cheat sheet is the most info without overwhelming you entirely. Keep it in your purse when you’re out shopping and all of those impossible to pronounce ingredients will be at your fingertips.

Eco-chic does not necessarily mean organic. It means finding products that make you feel beautiful along with the oceans and rivers into which all these products end up. To keep updated on the latest and greatest eco-beauty, bookmark sites like Ecofabulous, Sprig and The Good Guide.

And let us know at Beauty Banter if you’re having any trouble finding a good eco-alternative to your favorite products. xo a.


By | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I think that for most people the idea of greening their beauty routine is followed by thoughts of all the money they’ve spent on the products they have (and love), the assumed lack of options out there in the eco-beauty market and most of all, what difference does it really make? I know, I’ve been there.

The investment factor is a reasonable one, but if you actually get rid of makeup and skincare products as often as you really should, it would mean that in about a years time you’d probably need to recycle a ton of jars and bottles anyway. This doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. You can ease your way in, one product at a time.

Starting with four products we use often, here are just a few brands out there that are better for you and the environment. Not only is there variety but something to fit every budget . Window shop at some of the sites below (average prices under $15 I call drugstore, over $15 department store):

Department Store: Korres Natural Products, John Masters Organics, Ojon
Drugstore: Burt’s Bees, Giovanni Hair Care, California Baby

Department Store: Tarte, Dr. Hauschka, Josie Maran
Drugstore: Juice Organics, Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face

Department Store: Demeter Vintage Naturals, LUSH
Drugstore: Pacifica, Whole Body at Whole Foods for essential oils

Department Store: L’Occitane, Jurlique, Carol’s Daughter
Drugstore: Alba Botanica, Weleda, Juice Organics

I’ll be back next time to discuss why eco-beauty matters, along with some fabulous resources and a little DIY eco-chic. xo a.

Do The Leg Work

By | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Once again, recent NYC transplant and West Coast Director of celebrity services for Alberta Ferretti, Annelise Peterson, discovers a hidden LA gem that she’d like to share with you Beauty Banter readers…

“I have more beauty news to report from my new home on the sunny California coast!

New York City may be hard on your high heals, but it’s great for the gams. For the past 13 years, I have walked everywhere and never had much need for personal training to keep my legs thoroughbred lean.

But my days of walking to Starbucks for my soy green tea latte are all but over. Life in West Hollywood calls for a car and little legwork.

What’s a girl to do? More than sample size is a sin in the business of fashion finding.

The answer? Wael Fitness, my friends. (Pronounced “why-Elle”). He is the trainer of choice when it comes to getting sexy sculpted legs perfectly suited for that Little Black Dress for Saturday night! The beauty business is more than just great hair and skin, it’s also about having a body worth bantering about.

Wael kicked me in to shape with band training, stair climbing, and light resistance work that had me sweating for more. Wael’s beauty boot camp for the perfect Brazilian body is a must have for any girl that wants legs like Heidi Klum. Driving my Mercedes for my green tea latte may be my new AM routine, but Wael fitness is my new morning regime.

Yes, gas may cost me an arm and a leg, but it’s not costing me my gams! Who says a girl can’t have long legs and love them too?”

Wael Fitness contact: waelfitness@yahoo.com


About Beauty Banter
Beauty Banter was launched in July of 2006 as a comprehensive beauty blog covering trends, tips and tricks, insider secrets, and weekly must-haves. Beauty Banter has a reputation of being on the cutting edge of emerging trends and product launches so our readers are always the first to know what’s hot and what’s just not.