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Filtering by Category: Skin Deep

A HEALTHY NEW YEAR WITH "TRAINER TO THE STARS"

Jennifer Mejia

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It’s January 9 so people are still saying, “Happy New Year!” I told you before that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I neeeeeeed to get back to the gym some kind of bad, but I refused and still refuse to be one of those posers who runs into the gym gung-ho on January 1st, only to become a party pooper by February 1st. So I “resolved” to re-read this blog post that I wrote last April and take small steps toward becoming healthy and fit in 2019.

When this post was originally published, my blog was just getting off the ground. I have a few more followers these days, and I want to be sure I continue to provide meaningful and relevant content. You know that favorite movie of yours that you've seen 16 times? Well, that’s sort of how I feel about this post. It’s so good that it’s worth a replay. If you’re looking to take small steps to a healthier you this year, keep reading It’s great advice from a trainer who is chosen by A-list celebrities to change their lifestyle. His mantra is, “I am healthy and fit!” You need to believe before you can achieve it. And by taking his advice, I have no doubts that you, too, can achieve it. Since last April, Steve has updated his website, so after this read, visit him for access to more advice you can use today, online training programs, and his motivational podcasts, featuring advice from pro athletes and professionals in the healthcare and fitness industries.

Looking good and feeling good. Wouldn't it be nice to wave a magic wand and both would be true? With the insanity of life, it's easy to say to ourselves, "I'll start working on that in (insert number of weeks, months or years)." But the unfortunate truth is that we have only one body, and as far as I know, one life. We owe it to ourselves to start TODAY on that journey toward optimizing our health and fitness. I've been the guiltiest of anyone I know of putting it off. I always have some excuse for having no time to care for myself. Taking care of my kids is probably the excuse I use the most, but the fact is that I won't be around to experience their growth if I don't start taking better care of me.

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Anyone know the guy on the right? Watch out for the left hook, Steve!

Getting back in the saddle after a long hiatus can be somewhat overwhelming. Where does one begin? If we have time to focus on only a few things, what should they be? So I decided to reach out to someone who has been trusted by New York and Hollywood celebrities for over 15 years: Steve Jordan, Trainer to the Stars. He's been on the Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and he and his advice have been featured in magazines like Self, Men's Fitness, and many others. He's trained the likes of Gerard Butler (why wasn't I called to be his assistant that day?), Amy Poller, Dustin Hoffman, Colin Cowie (remember Oprah's party planner?), Quincy Jones, and a few others that I'm not permitted to print because they are on the A+ celeb list. Celebrities can typically have any trainer that money can buy, and many choose Steve. I'm planning to take Steve's advice, and I hope you will, too. Here's a bit from our interview. It inspired me. I hope it will do the same for you.

 

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Jennifer: Life is hectic. We push self-care off to the future, and sometimes, for too long.  If one hasn’t exercised regularly in a while, how should he/she begin to get back into the swing of things?
Steve:
1. Create a commitment/intention. Write down what you want to do or achieve, and you’ll be more likely to follow through. Many go to the gym and “wander and wonder.” You need intention and a goal. It's better if it's specific, but it can be general until you refine it. Some examples: I want to lose 5 pounds. I want to run a mile three times a week. I want to feel better. I want to be healthy and fit.  Creating that intention will help you begin and get into the rhythm. 

2. Take the first step. Do something you're more likely to continue to do. If you've never done yoga, I wouldn’t recommend that. If you like to walk, run or cycle, go back and do that the first few times so you have familiarity. That creates momentum, and then once you are in the rhythm and have success, you can explore new things if you want variety.

3. Make sure you have fun doing whatever it is. If it's too intense or hurts, you’re less likely to stay committed. Two things we want to do in life is to avoid pain and move toward pleasure. So do whatever is pleasurable. 

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Jennifer: What are your top diet recommendations to achieve optimum health and fitness? 
Steve:
1. Water. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces daily.

2. Cut dairy. We are the only mammal that drinks milk from another mammal. I grew up drinking a half gallon of milk a day. But about 15 years ago, I began researching possible causes of inflammation. So I took it on as an experiment. My mom actually became worried that I looked too thin, but it was just a tremendous reduction in inflammation. I didn’t have the asthma attacks that I used to. My allergies were less severe. I felt better overall. Once in a while I'll indulge and have ice cream, but I’ll take vegan or dairy-free if I have a choice.
You can get calcium from vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, and soybeans (non-GMO). I use almond milk in my cereal, but not all are created equal. Look at the ingredients to ensure it doesn't have a lot of additives like gums and carrageenan. I like New Barn, which is sold at Whole Foods.

3. Cut gluten. Lots of people are sensitive even if they are not allergic. The type and level of reaction will vary. Many women get rid of the "pooch" in the area just below their belly button when they remove gluten by reducing the amount of gastrointestinal inflammation. 

4. Enjoy the food that you eat. We get stuck and many think eating healthy isn’t fun and doesn’t taste good. It tastes GREAT! It takes a little more effort, but there is a lot of variety and flavor in whole and clean foods. There are obviously more options in urban areas and out west to purchase it already prepared, but there are tons of tasty options.

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Jennifer: What recommendations would you make to someone who doesn’t have an hour each day to dedicate to exercising? 
Steve: Just do little things. There is a lot of current research on the effects of training and exercise, and it suggests that doing short amounts of exercise over a period of time has similar, if not better, effects than doing one longer workout. In other words, you'd get the same or better results if you worked out 10 minutes two times per day over seven days as you would working out one hour a day three days a week. Do things that fit into your schedule. Exercise in ways that won’t burden you if you’re time sensitive. You want to do things that will make you more productive. When you exercise, you feel better, you have more energy, and you begin creating routine all around because you’re disciplining yourself in one specific area. You'll become more efficient and you’ll end up having more time in general. Start with less/what you can handle. Be successful at completing 10-15 minutes 6-7 days versus upsetting your schedule. I actually specialize in 30 minute sessions at my studio because I work with lots of people who are time-constrained.

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Jennifer: How does one motivate on days when we just aren’t feeling it? 
Steve: Put your sneakers on. I don’t know anyone who has ever turned back after putting on their sneakers. I don’t think I’ve ever done it (maybe once or twice). Getting out the door is the hardest part. 
I also feel strongly that if you're feeling tired or rundown, then your body is telling you something, and you should take time to nap or rest. Go to bed earlier or sleep later if you really don't feel well. But definitely do not skip a workout to fill the time with something else. Rest. Exercise can create more stress on your body if you're exhausted. Consider stretching, getting a massage, or sitting in the sun to get some Vitamin D. Our world is filled with stressors like excessive communication, work, etc., and we end up feeling worn out and burned out too frequently. Listen to your body.

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Jennifer: If you were forced to do only one type of exercise/workout, what would it be and why?
Steve: That’s like asking someone what their favorite food is. The most bang for your buck and time that would incorporate all of your senses would be walking or running OUTSIDE. Getting out and connecting to all five of your senses is important. Do it alone. Don't look at your phone. Use your upper body. Smell the roses. See new perspectives. I have a 93-year-old client, and I asked about her secret to aging gracefully. The one thing she’s done consistently throughout her lifetime is walking. You’re breathing fresh air and taking in everything around you. Walking is one of the most therapeutic things you can do because it doesn't stress your body. It burns calories. You’re looking up vs. down. Posture is also incorporated. It’s the one thing you can do forever, and you should do it as often and for as long as you can. If you're not a runner, you can do intermittent walking and running like our hunter and gatherer ancestors when they were hunting down a buffalo. The animal would run until it got tired and stop. We had better endurance because we could run/walk intermittently, and we would eventually catch it. (Steve and I had a good laugh over this analogy. There's more to it in the entire interview, but I'll spare you all. Message me if you want to hear it.)

Jennifer: Mindfulness, a healthy spirit, and low stress are important for overall well-being and long term health. How do you reduce stress and maintain a healthy mindset?
Steve:
1. Breathe, connect to your breath, not necessarily in meditation, but while you're walking down the street, on the phone, or exercising. Make sure your breath is deep and not shallow.

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2. SMILE! That's my secret sauce. You can't be unhappy or stressed when you're smiling. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. When clients come in stressed, I'll suggest they smile, and while smiling try saying, "You mother fucker!" [We both die laughing.] You can say it, but it’s not articulate because you laugh. Laughter reduces stress. Instantaneously. Completley opposite hormones are present when you’re stressed vs. laughing.  

3. This is metaphoric, but stop to smell the roses. Look at your surroundings and feel a sense of gratitude for what you have, the world, and the life you've created. Even if you're not in the most wonderful place, there is still beauty somewhere. You may just have to look harder. Look outside of what you’re used to. We are creatures of habit. We get caught up in patterns and do the same things over and over again. And when you can step outside of those patterns, you’ll notice things you haven’t noticed before.

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Steve and his wife, Yuki, enjoying the beauty of life together

4. Exercise. Obviously. 

ABOUT STEVE

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When your annoying blogger friend insists on using this selfie in her blog post. If I looked like this, I'd have a selfie stick permanently strapped to my arm.

I'm not a celebrity, but fortunately I've known Steve for nearly 25 years. We went to school together at the University of Maryland.  A few weeks ago, I posted a teaser on Instagram and said something to the effect of, "You'll start feeling as good as he looks." But what you don't know is that Steve's true commitment to this journey of health and fitness wasn't really motivated by what you see on the outside. It was born out of a way to nurture his soul and heal from the inside out. When Steve was in college, he fell from the roof of his three-story fraternity house. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and almost lost his life. It took him over a year and a half to recover. Before the accident, Steve was known as the guy who was always in shape and had a killer six-pack. But his miraculous recovery after his accident inspired his peers, and they began asking him to train them. He realized he had the power to heal himself and to change the lives of others for the better. 

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I asked Steve when he knew this dream career was one he wanted to chase. For him, it wasn't a specific moment in time or a light bulb that suddenly turned on. It was an evolution and a series of events that all pointed him in this direction. While at the University of Maryland, he earned his certification and began training local clients. During his senior year, he was hired by the director of the White House Athletic Club to train White House staff and politicians. After college, Steve moved to the NYC area and was the star trainer at Sports Club LA in Rockefeller Center, where he trained Ann Curry and a local news anchor and was featured on the Today Show. When he first moved to LA, he became an educator for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Steve trained trainers to help them earn the most prestigious personal training certification that exists. From one job to the next, each getting better along the way, Steve realized he had the power to create programs that changed the way people looked, but more importantly, he had the unique ability to connect and relate to people and change the way they think. He motivated people to motivate themselves.

But being Trainer to the Stars isn't enough for Steve. He's presently working on a book called I Am...Healthy & Fit, and if we're lucky, we should be able to get our hands on a copy within a year. Steve feels strongly that you have to believe it before you can achieve it. The book has been in the works for a few years. That wasn’t always the title, but that title came to him about a year ago, and people really get it. You have to change your mind before you can change anything else. It doesn’t matter what exercise or life modification you choose. If you don’t believe it’s going to work for you, then it won't. Steve shared, "People believe in me because of my track record, history, and the people I've trained, so there's a perception that I bring value. People believe I have the answer, but the answer really lies within. And that's simply the belief that they’ll reach their goal." 

Steve lives in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Yuki. His studio, Steve Jordan Acceleration, is there, as well. Reach out if you’re ever in the area and want a training session, and mention that I sent you! 

I hope this post has inspired you and provided you with a few ideas on how you can begin to change your life for the better TODAY. Tell yourself, "I am healthy and fit!" And choose one thing from my interview with Steve to begin doing TODAY.

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Steve & Dr. Oz

WAKE UP MAKEUP

Jennifer Mejia

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My eldest son has a t-shirt that reads, "Woke Up Like This...Awesome As Usual." At the ripe young age of 44, nothing about my awakening is awesome, especially since on an average night I've gotten a mere six hours of sleep. There have been many mornings when I've done school drop-off without washing my face or getting the sleep out of my eyes, brushing my hair, or putting on an ounce of makeup. In fact, one morning two years ago, I left preschool drop-off (yes, AFTER everyone had seen me) and realized I was wearing one New Balance blue sneaker and one black sneaker. That was my cue that it was time to pay a little more attention to myself in the morning.

While I can appreciate the fact that some people can get through their entire day without a stitch of makeup, I cannot. I'm no longer in denial. But I'm also realistic about the chaos that surrounds me each morning and the amount of time I have to dedicate to myself. One thing's for certain, I'm not waking up any earlier than my kids force me to, simply to "fix" myself. So I've developed a 10-minute morning "Wake Up Makeup" routine so that I look a little more alive at school drop-off and beyond. It's my version of "no makeup makeup." And for the most part, except for needing to reapply something on my lips, it's actually good enough to last for a decent portion of the day. If you’re one who needs to apply a full face for work during the week, this could be great for weekends.

Before I begin with my morning routine, let me begin by saying that skincare is extremely important. One of the reasons I'm able to get away with minimal makeup is because my skin is in fairly good condition. I use the Rodan & Fields Reverse Regimen, and it has done wonders for my skin tone. In addition, you should always wear sunscreen on your face, whether it's a standalone sunscreen or in a BB or CC cream if you want or need a little more overage than what I describe below. CLICK ON PRODUCT IMAGES TO SHOP.

To begin each morning, I rinse my face with cold water. I actually don't wash with a cleanser in the morning because I feel cleansers sometimes wash the glow and dewiness from my skin. And I've just washed, toned, and moisturized very late the night before. After blotting my face dry, I apply Clinique Moisture Surge. I especially love it during the summer because it's super light yet really does provide terrific moisture.

Clinique Moisture Surge

While I'm blessed to not have a lot of under-eye lines and wrinkles, I am cursed with dark circles. Remember, I'm only sleeping six hours. So Ole's Banana Bright Eye Crème is a great option for me. It helps to brighten the under-eye area with lots of Vitamin C, and it also helps improve the wear of my concealer, which is the next step in my routine.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Crème

I used to work for a skincare and cosmetics company, and they made the best under-eye concealer. But their color line was discontinued in the U.S. about five years ago, so once my stash ran out, I had to go on the hunt. Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer gives me the coverage and brightness I need, without setting into any fine lines or becoming cakey. 

Diorskin Forever Undercover Concealer

Because I don't apply a foundation or even a BB or CC cream, I do need a little help covering a few dark spots and the occasional blemish. If someone asked me what cosmetic I simply couldn't live without, it would be Laura Mercier's Secret Camouflage. This product has been in my makeup bag for well over 10 years! I apply it with a concealer brush like this one from Sephora for perfect blending. The lighter concealer in this kit covers/lightens the spot or blemish, while the darker side ensures it's blended into your skin, making your concealer application undetectable. It's tried and true for me, and after all these years, I still believe it's brilliant.

If you need more coverage than under-eye and spot concealer alone, consider a BB or CC cream in addition to or in place of moisturizer. I still apply  moisturizer if I use one, but that may be overkill. 

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

It's true when they say "the eyes have it." They have a way of telling everyone you're exhausted when you are. But a coat of mascara on your top lashes really helps to awaken your entire face. In full disclosure, I use Rodan & Fields Lash Boost every night, and my lashes are much longer and fuller than they have ever been. However, some people have an adverse reaction to the product, so I'm not comfortable giving a full-on endorsement. But knock on wood, I've been just fine. That said, I still feel I need mascara. I only apply it to my top lashes in this routine because I run around a lot, and as good as they are, they can start to bleed by the end of the day, and when mascara bleeds under your eyes, you look exhausted all over again...or strung out on drugs. Neither is a great look. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara and Benefit They're Real are two of my favorites because they are buildable, meaning I can have the same mascara for day and night, applying one coat during the day and more at night to have a more dramatic look. Bobbi Brown will provide more volume than They're Real, even with only one coat. Both provide length. If you need to separate your lashes, use a dry lash comb, or play with fire and use the sharp end of a safety pin like I do (not recommending, but it works for me.) 

Next, a quick brush of a nude lip color. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick in Almost Bare is the perfect nude and is long-wearing. Nars Lipstick in Barbarella has a bit more pink, but truth be told, it won't last as long as Bobbi, hence the lower price point.

And finally, whether it's a 10-minute routine or applying makeup for a night out on the town, always always always apply blush last. Why? Because the moisturizer will actually work within a few minutes to give some color and pigment back to your skin, and once the rest of your makeup is on, you won't feel you need as much blush. If you apply it early before the rest of your face is on, you'll wind up looking like a clown. Smile a little and apply blush to the apples of your cheeks and blend. I have used MAC Blush in Harmony for years. 

MAC Blush in Harmony

And that's it. I really can achieve this in under 10 minutes, and that 10 minutes that I give to myself in the morning makes a huge difference in how I feel at the start and throughout my day. Hats off to you if you don't want or need makeup, but I think if we look better, we feel better. And we all deserve to feel good, however we choose to achieve it.

GLOWING SUMMER SKIN

Jennifer Mejia

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Miranda Kerr, Image via Pinterest

Summer is here. Well, technically it doesn't arrive for another month, but I think we can all agree that Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to this season. Summertime, when we all strive to have beautiful skin...that perfectly sun-kissed glow. This winter was particularly cold and dreadful here in New York City. Just two weeks ago, I found myself wearing my winter coat on the playground with my kids. Yes, in May. But I think we've finally turned a corner, and slowly I've begun breaking out the summer wardrobe, trading lined boots for espadrilles and sweaters for off-the-shoulder blouses and t-shirts. As I begin preparing to bare more of my skin, I'm reminded that it's not quite as ready for summer as my heart and mind are. So I turned to Eva Scrivo, a highly acclaimed hair and makeup artist, owner of New York City's Eva Scrivo Salons, and award-winning author of Eva Scrivo on Beauty

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The Book: Eva Scrivo on Beauty

Eva has been my colorist and friend for 12 years. She really is the authority on all things beauty. Anyone who knows me well knows I sometimes have a need or desire to control much of a situation. But with my hair color, something everyone sees every day of my life, I hand the reins over to Eva. Completely. And in 12 years, she's never disappointed me. In addition to my hair, I've entrusted Eva and other professionals at her salon to my skin, from facials to peels to make-up for a special occasion. A few months ago, Amanda Gabbard, a medical aesthetician and make-up artist, gave me my first Pumpkin Peel. My skin was completely renewed, and I had an unbelievable glow and even skin tone that allowed me to leave my foundation in the bag for quite some time. 

But just as Starbucks gives pumpkin a break for a few seasons, so does Eva. Arriving in time for summer, Eva Scrivo Salons is offering a Citrus Peel to its clients. Why citrus? Well, because at Eva Scrivo, Eva creates peels appropriate for the season, based on environmental factors and the lifestyle of her clients. Many clients use retinol-containing products to achieve a more even skin tone, to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and to unclog pores and achieve a clearer complexion. But those who use retinol during the winter are careful not to overuse it during summer months, as retinol sensitizes the skin and can encourage hyperpigmentation. So without retinol to keep us looking our best, what should we do? In steps the Citrus Peel. And here's why...

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The Citrus Peel

The Citrus Peel at Eva Scrivo Salons contains orange zest. It's loaded with antioxidants and natural sugars that help to remove dead skin cells, similar to glycolic peels, but it's gentler on your skin. It removes the dull top layer of the skin (the epidermis), causing the dermis (the thick layer underneath the epidermis) to sense a loss and begin producing more collagen to help repair and replace the epidermis. This plumps and brightens the skin, and if done with proper frequency, a Citrus Peel is a great alternative to more invasive procedures such as fillers and strong chemical peels. Removing the epidermis via a Citrus Peel also allows one to eliminate pore-clogging silicone-based primers from their beauty regimen. With the dull top layer of skin removed, clients will experience smoother make-up application. 

So how often should one have a Citrus Peel? It depends on your skin type and the strength of the peel, which Amanda customizes for each client. She can even customize the strength for different parts of a client's face since many people have different zones and sensitive areas. For someone with rosacea or extremely sensitive skin, it is safe and effective to peel weekly with a strength of 5% glycolic acid. For clients with normal skin, Eva suggests peeling every two weeks with a 10-20% glycolic acid formulation. If you want a stronger peel, for example at 30% glycolic acid, it should only be done monthly. This strength is similar to that used in dermatology offices. At Eva Scrivo Salons, the Citrus Peel can be done as a 15-minute express service and can be applied at the sink simultaneously with glazes or conditioning treatments. The cost of the service is $75. 

So what should you expect after your peel? And how should you care for your skin after leaving the salon? When your peel is complete, you'll see a pinkness in your skin due to increased circulation in that new layer of skin. For me, I loved the soft pink glow and went out that evening without applying foundation. Any peel, regardless of the strength, makes your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, so always use a daily sunscreen. (You should actually do this even if you haven't had a peel or don't use retinol.) Eva recommends applying the sunscreen under your makeup but on top of your moisturizer. In addition, for the week after your peel, you should skip exfoliation. You won't need it, and you don't want to irritate the fresh new layer of skin. You should also be more gentle with the use of washcloths and sponges for a week post-peel.

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Eva Scrivo Salon, Fifth Avenue

Summer temperatures are here, so don't wait to get your skin summer-ready. To schedule your Citrus Peel, contact Eva Scrivo Salons at 212-677-7315 or reservations@evascrivo.com. Eva has two locations: 139 Fifth Avenue and 903 Madison Avenue in New York City. Tell them Jennifer at Beauty, Love & Grub sent you!
 

LUX-URIOUS LOCKS CAN BE YOURS

Jennifer Mejia

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Think you need to be a celebrity to have beautiful long locks? Is that because you think quality hair extensions are too expensive? Or is it because you think you need your own personal beauty squad to maintain and style them? Well think again because Lux Beauty Club is going to change the way you feel about hair extensions. 

A few weeks ago, my friend Victoria Flores, Co-Founder and CEO of Lux Beauty Club, asked me if I would consider modeling their hair extensions for a photo shoot to prepare for the launch of a new product and a new website. She could barely finish the question before I could exclaim, “Yes, of course! Where and when?” When I met Victoria last fall, I immediately noticed her beautiful, thick, dark locks. And I nearly fell off my chair when she told me about her company and the fact that she’s also a customer. In a million years, you would never look at Victoria and think her hair wasn’t all her own. I was intrigued and have been dying to check them out ever since. 

This is an exciting time for Lux Beauty Club, as they just began taking pre-orders for their new Magnet Hair®Human Extensions.  They are expected to ship mid-June. And around that time, they will also be re-launching their website to include an interactive hair quiz to ensure you find the perfect extensions for your hair color and type and lifestyle. 

But first, let’s get over one sticking point that some of you might have. You may be thinking that you don’t want “fake” hair. In my opinion, having hair extensions is no different than wearing makeup, having your nails done, getting a spray tan, or so many other things we do to make ourselves look and feel more beautiful. Let’s just be grateful we have all of these things at our disposal to have fun and enhance our outer beauty! And as much as many celebrities would love for us to think they have natural, long, thick, luscious locks, they don’t. Many of them are wearing hair extensions. I personally watched Kelly Ripa pull off a flip-in one morning on live television. 

If you’re thinking about hair extensions, it’s best if your hair is almost touching your shoulders. That said, Lux has many satisfied customers with shorter hair. If in doubt, they’re happy to have you send them a recent photo of yourself and tell you if they feel extensions are right for you. 

Now let’s get to the good stuff. Here are a few before and after photos of yours truly (I don't think I need to label them as such!) I wasn’t a true believer until I saw my own transformation and witnessed how real the extensions looked and felt…as they should because I was wearing real human hair. Lux Beauty Club offers both synthetic and human hair extensions to meet your needs and price point. 

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Lux Beauty Club’s Human Hair Extensions are made with 100% Remy hair and sourced from India. There are different grades of human hair, and Lux uses only the best. Remy is the ultimate luxury in hair. Remy is not a brand but rather a grading system for hair extensions. It is human hair that has been collected from one donor and handpicked strand by strand. The hair follicles all go in the same direction. This is a must for human hair extensions, as it means the extensions will flow naturally with your own hair and be far less likely to matt or tangle when worn. It is soft to the touch, long lasting, and tangle free. Remy human hair extensions should last up to 2-4 months with regular maintenance.

Lux’s synthetic hair is sourced from China. 

So how does one determine which hair extension is right for them? You should ask yourself how you want to apply them. Are you going to give it a go on your own or have a professional apply them? How long do you want to wear them? For a few months or do you want to take them in and out for special events or a night out here and there? What is your budget? Then you want to choose the color and length. Of course, all types can be applied by a professional, which is how my clip-ins were applied. Weaves always require professional application. 

In order of ease for self-application, your options are Flip-In, Magnet Hair, Clip-In, and Tape-In. Human hair is more expensive than synthetic. Regarding budget by type/method, from least expensive to more expensive are Flip-In, Clip-In, Tape-In, and Magnet Hair. 

Flip-In Halo Hair Extensions
The Flip-In Halo is a revolutionary hairpiece design featuring an invisible attachment that no one can see. There are no clips, glue, or tape, and you apply it in a few seconds. You literally flip the hairpiece on top of your head, style and go.  It's almost like wearing a wig but without the crown. 

*Great for someone who has short, thick hair where a tape or clip option would not work
*Easiest method to apply and most dramatic change for the price
*Not as secure as the Clip, Tape, Magnet or Weave method
*Available in human hair and synthetic material
*Straight or wavy
*Several options starting at $99.99

Magnet Hair® Human Extensions—Available Mid-June.  Pre-Order Now.
Magnet Hair ® is a new revolutionary way to transform your hair in minutes.  Place the Magnet Hair anywhere you need volume or length.  It can’t get any easier! Magnet Hair works with your lifestyle. You can work out, go for a run, and most importantly, feel confident that it won't slip out while out on the town.  You can also dye the hair to any color your heart desires. This set already comes in a light wave but can be straightened and curled.

*No clips, glue, tape, or tools required
*Patented set of 10 pieces creates five full hair extensions
*Simply snap them together between your own hair and go! 
*100% Indian Remy human hair
*Offered in 11 gorgeous colors--mix and match a few colors for highlights or low lights
*$149.99

Watch this video to see for yourself how easy and beautiful it is!

Clip-In Hair Extensions
Clip-In Hair Extensions are very easy to place in your own hair. They have the added bonus of blending into your hair to be virtually undetected by everyone around you. They also never fall out because the clips are so firm—the clips have been sewn onto the hair extensions. You can even exercise and dance in them. 

*Easy to apply and come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and colors
*Offer the most variety of choices and are the most popular amongst Lux customers
*Available in human hair and synthetic material
*Prices starting at $29.99

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Dancing like a maniac to Calvin Harris and Rihanna with my Clip-Ins

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Tape-In Hair Extensions
Tape-In Hair Extensions are 100% human Remy hair and allow you to achieve a celebrity high-style look. They last 2-6 months, depending on your maintenance and care.

*Easy on/off application method
*The most natural looking hair extension method but also the most expensive of non-permanent methods
*Available in straight or wavy and 10 different shades of each
*High maintenance, daily maintenance required
*Straight priced at $79.99 and Wavy at $139.99

Weave Hair Extensions
Weave Hair Extensions are the most time-consuming application
*Must be sewn or braided into the hair
*Permanent
*Available in human hair or synthetic material
*Three options starting at $49

Lux Beauty Club’s human and synthetic hair extensions can last for years if maintained and cared for properly. Tape-Ins that are more permanent last from 2-6 months. Using Lux’s maintenance products will help extend their duration. As with your own hair, excessive heat and chemicals affect the extensions. And while they are not indestructible, you can wash and style human hair extensions just as you would your own hair. All suggested care instructions can be found at luxbeautyclub.com

If you need help choosing a color before their new color selction quiz is launched, Lux Beauty Club is thrilled to assist in a few ways. They’re happy to help you choose if you contact them and send them a photo. Or you can choose a few and return whichever extensions you don’t keep. Lux offers a money back guarantee of unopened product that has not been applied to your hair. I know Victoria personally, and she is extremely passionate about this business and helping women achieve the outer beauty they desire. So please feel free to contact them with any questions you might have before purchasing your Lux Beauty Club Hair Extensions. I promise you, you'll love the way you look and feel wearing them!

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I AM HEALTHY & FIT!

Jennifer Mejia

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Looking good and feeling good. Wouldn't it be nice to wave a magic wand and both would be true? With the insanity of this thing called life, it's easy to say to ourselves, "I'll start working on that in (insert number of weeks, months or years)." But the unfortunate truth is that we have only one body, and as far as I know, one life. We owe it to ourselves to start TODAY on that journey toward optimizing our health and fitness. I've been the guiltiest of anyone I know of putting it off. I always have some excuse for having no time to care for myself. Taking care of my kids is probably the excuse I use the most, but the fact is that I won't be around to experience their growth if I don't start taking better care of me.

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Anyone know the guy on the right? Watch out for the left hook, Steve!

Getting back in the saddle after a long hiatus can be somewhat overwhelming. Where does one begin? If we have time to focus on only a few things, what should they be? So I decided to reach out to someone who has been trusted by New York and Hollywood celebrities for over 15 years: Steve Jordan, Trainer to the Stars. He's been on the Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and he and his advice have been featured in magazines like Self, Men's Fitness, and many others. He's trained the likes of Gerard Butler (why wasn't I called to be his assistant that day?), Amy Poller, Dustin Hoffman, Colin Cowie (remember Oprah's party planner?), Quincy Jones, and a few others that I'm not permitted to print because they are on the A+ celeb list. Celebrities can typically have any trainer that money can buy, and many choose Steve. I'm planning to take Steve's advice, and I hope you will, too. Here's a bit from our interview. It inspired me. I hope it will do the same for you.

 

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Jennifer: Life is hectic. We push self-care off to the future, and sometimes, for too long.  If one hasn’t exercised regularly in a while, how should he/she begin to get back into the swing of things?
Steve:
1. Create a commitment/intention. Write down what you want to do or achieve, and you’ll be more likely to follow through. Many go to the gym and “wander and wonder.” You need intention and a goal. It's better if it's specific, but it can be general until you refine it. Some examples: I want to lose 5 pounds. I want to run a mile three times a week. I want to feel better. I want to be healthy and fit.  Creating that intention will help you begin and get into the rhythm. 

2. Take the first step. Do something you're more likely to continue to do. If you've never done yoga, I wouldn’t recommend that. If you like to walk, run or cycle, go back and do that the first few times so you have familiarity. That creates momentum, and then once you are in the rhythm and have success, you can explore new things if you want variety.

3. Make sure you have fun doing whatever it is. If it's too intense or hurts, you’re less likely to stay committed. Two things we want to do in life is to avoid pain and move toward pleasure. So do whatever is pleasurable. 

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Jennifer: What are your top diet recommendations to achieve optimum health and fitness? 
Steve:
1. Water. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces daily.

2. Cut dairy. We are the only mammal that drinks milk from another mammal. I grew up drinking a half gallon of milk a day. But about 15 years ago, I began researching possible causes of inflammation. So I took it on as an experiment. My mom actually became worried that I looked too thin, but it was just a tremendous reduction in inflammation. I didn’t have the asthma attacks that I used to. My allergies were less severe. I felt better overall. Once in a while I'll indulge and have ice cream, but I’ll take vegan or dairy-free if I have a choice.
You can get calcium from vegetables like kale, collard greens, broccoli, spinach, and soybeans (non-GMO). I use almond milk in my cereal, but not all are created equal. Look at the ingredients to ensure it doesn't have a lot of additives like gums and carrageenan. I like New Barn, which is sold at Whole Foods.

3. Cut gluten. Lots of people are sensitive even if they are not allergic. The type and level of reaction will vary. Many women get rid of the "pooch" in the area just below their belly button when they remove gluten by reducing the amount of gastrointestinal inflammation. 

4. Enjoy the food that you eat. We get stuck and many think eating healthy isn’t fun and doesn’t taste good. It tastes GREAT! It takes a little more effort, but there is a lot of variety and flavor in whole and clean foods. There are obviously more options in urban areas and out west to purchase it already prepared, but there are tons of tasty options.

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Jennifer: What recommendations would you make to someone who doesn’t have an hour each day to dedicate to exercising? 
Steve: Just do little things. There is a lot of current research on the effects of training and exercise, and it suggests that doing short amounts of exercise over a period of time has similar, if not better, effects than doing one longer workout. In other words, you'd get the same or better results if you worked out 10 minutes two times per day over seven days as you would working out one hour a day three days a week. Do things that fit into your schedule. Exercise in ways that won’t burden you if you’re time sensitive. You want to do things that will make you more productive. When you exercise, you feel better, you have more energy, and you begin creating routine all around because you’re disciplining yourself in one specific area. You'll become more efficient and you’ll end up having more time in general. Start with less/what you can handle. Be successful at completing 10-15 minutes 6-7 days versus upsetting your schedule. I actually specialize in 30 minute sessions at my studio because I work with lots of people who are time-constrained.

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Jennifer: How does one motivate on days when we just aren’t feeling it? 
Steve: Put your sneakers on. I don’t know anyone who has ever turned back after putting on their sneakers. I don’t think I’ve ever done it (maybe once or twice). Getting out the door is the hardest part. 
I also feel strongly that if you're feeling tired or rundown, then your body is telling you something, and you should take time to nap or rest. Go to bed earlier or sleep later if you really don't feel well. But definitely do not skip a workout to fill the time with something else. Rest. Exercise can create more stress on your body if you're exhausted. Consider stretching, getting a massage, or sitting in the sun to get some Vitamin D. Our world is filled with stressors like excessive communication, work, etc., and we end up feeling worn out and burned out too frequently. Listen to your body.

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Jennifer: If you were forced to do only one type of exercise/workout, what would it be and why?
Steve: That’s like asking someone what their favorite food is. The most bang for your buck and time that would incorporate all of your senses would be walking or running OUTSIDE. Getting out and connecting to all five of your senses is important. Do it alone. Don't look at your phone. Use your upper body. Smell the roses. See new perspectives. I have a 93-year-old client, and I asked about her secret to aging gracefully. The one thing she’s done consistently throughout her lifetime is walking. You’re breathing fresh air and taking in everything around you. Walking is one of the most therapeutic things you can do because it doesn't stress your body. It burns calories. You’re looking up vs. down. Posture is also incorporated. It’s the one thing you can do forever, and you should do it as often and for as long as you can. If you're not a runner, you can do intermittent walking and running like our hunter and gatherer ancestors when they were hunting down a buffalo. The animal would run until it got tired and stop. We had better endurance because we could run/walk intermittently, and we would eventually catch it. (Steve and I had a good laugh over this analogy. There's more to it in the entire interview, but I'll spare you all. Message me if you want to hear it.)

Jennifer: Mindfulness, a healthy spirit, and low stress are important for overall well-being and long term health. How do you reduce stress and maintain a healthy mindset?
Steve:
1. Breathe, connect to your breath, not necessarily in meditation, but while you're walking down the street, on the phone, or exercising. Make sure your breath is deep and not shallow.

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2. SMILE! That's my secret sauce. You can't be unhappy or stressed when you're smiling. Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it. When clients come in stressed, I'll suggest they smile, and while smiling try saying, "You mother fucker!" [We both die laughing.] You can say it, but it’s not articulate because you laugh. Laughter reduces stress. Instantaneously. Completley opposite hormones are present when you’re stressed vs. laughing.  

3. This is metaphoric, but stop to smell the roses. Look at your surroundings and feel a sense of gratitude for what you have, the world, and the life you've created. Even if you're not in the most wonderful place, there is still beauty somewhere. You may just have to look harder. Look outside of what you’re used to. We are creatures of habit. We get caught up in patterns and do the same things over and over again. And when you can step outside of those patterns, you’ll notice things you haven’t noticed before.

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Steve and his wife, Yuki, enjoying the beauty of life together

4. Exercise. Obviously. 

ABOUT STEVE

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When your annoying blogger friend insists on using this selfie in her blog post. If I looked like this, I'd have a selfie stick permanently strapped to my arm.

I'm not a celebrity, but fortunately I've known Steve for nearly 25 years. We went to school together at the University of Maryland.  A few weeks ago, I posted a teaser on Instagram and said something to the effect of, "You'll start feeling as good as he looks." But what you don't know is that Steve's true commitment to this journey of health and fitness wasn't really motivated by what you see on the outside. It was born out of a way to nurture his soul and heal from the inside out. When Steve was in college, he fell from the roof of his three-story fraternity house. He suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and almost lost his life. It took him over a year and a half to recover. Before the accident, Steve was known as the guy who was always in shape and had a killer six-pack. But his miraculous recovery after his accident inspired his peers, and they began asking him to train them. He realized he had the power to heal himself and to change the lives of others for the better. 

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I asked Steve when he knew this dream career was one he wanted to chase. For him, it wasn't a specific moment in time or a light bulb that suddenly turned on. It was an evolution and a series of events that all pointed him in this direction. While at the University of Maryland, he earned his certification and began training local clients. During his senior year, he was hired by the director of the White House Athletic Club to train White House staff and politicians. After college, Steve moved to the NYC area and was the star trainer at Sports Club LA in Rockefeller Center, where he trained Ann Curry and a local news anchor and was featured on the Today Show. When he first moved to LA, he became an educator for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Steve trained trainers to help them earn the most prestigious personal training certification that exists. From one job to the next, each getting better along the way, Steve realized he had the power to create programs that changed the way people looked, but more importantly, he had the unique ability to connect and relate to people and change the way they think. He motivated people to motivate themselves.

But being Trainer to the Stars isn't enough for Steve. He's presently working on a book called I Am...Healthy & Fit, and if we're lucky, we should be able to get our hands on a copy within a year. Steve feels strongly that you have to believe it before you can achieve it. The book has been in the works for a few years. That wasn’t always the title, but that title came to him about a year ago, and people really get it. You have to change your mind before you can change anything else. It doesn’t matter what exercise or life modification you choose. If you don’t believe it’s going to work for you, then it won't. Steve shared, "People believe in me because of my track record, history, and the people I've trained, so there's a perception that I bring value. People believe I have the answer, but the answer really lies within. And that's simply the belief that they’ll reach their goal." 

Steve lives in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles with his beautiful wife, Yuki. His studio, Steve Jordan Acceleration, is there, as well. Reach out if you’re ever in the area and want a training session, and mention that I sent you! 

I hope this post has inspired you and provided you with a few ideas on how you can begin to change your life for the better TODAY. Tell yourself, "I am healthy and fit!" And choose one thing from my interview with Steve to begin doing TODAY.

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Steve & Dr. Oz