I will admit that when I was first approached with taking a class at ChaiseFitness, I originally signed up because I thought chaises longues were involved. (True story.) In fact, I rampantly spread the rumor of burning calories while sitting down throughout the Style.com office. I gleefully skipped to the private Upper East Side studio in my spandex with visions of a high-tech La-Z-Boy dancing in my head. When I arrived, however, I was met with the Reinvention Chair (an upgraded version of the wunda chair used for Pilates) and an overhead bungee cord system. In other words, my dreams of doing reclined reps with a koozie in hand were quickly dashed by Rachel Piskin, a very toned former New York City Ballet dancer, who, with her mother, Lauren, developed the program after she retired from the stage.
I quickly realized after getting acquainted with the apparatus that I wouldn’t be doing much in the way of lounging—the chair and bungees are designed to work your entire body via a series of moves that combine elements of Pilates, aerobics, and ballet. I found myself doing exercises similar to those that I had religiously repeated in a traditional barre class (you know, the ones that involve that thigh- and bum-busting ball), but for once I was actually in the right position (thanks to the bungee cords that each of my hands were looped through and the Reinvention Chair that prevents you from cheating by forcing you to maintain your balance and form). Where it really gets interesting is when you start to “fly,” which entails propelling your body up into the air on the pedal using only your core muscles. I was a bit shaky at first (as were my abs), but Piskin assured me that nobody has fallen from such death-defying heights. (For the record, the pedal is less than a foot off the ground.) After a 45-minute one-on-one, I felt longer and leaner. And even if the immediate gratification was all in my head, I was so motivated that I signed up for group classes (which I am happy to report are small but much more fast-paced than a private session). While I am still disappointed that no La-Z-Boys or koozies were involved, I’ll take a six-pack over a beer any day.
See chaisefitness.com for more information and booking.
My bathroom is brimming with every spinning brush, brightening peel, and wrinkle-fighter on the planet. I even try to keep a standing facial appointment on my schedule. But below the neck, the bells and whistles are few and far between; I’m lucky if I remember to reach for the lone loofah in my shower once a week. But celebrity facialist Mila Moursi, a favorite of Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox and owner of her own namesake spa and skin institute in Beverly Hills, says that crunches aren’t the only key to getting a bikini-worthy bod. “The skin on your body needs just the same kind of attention [as your complexion] in order to keep it feeling soft and looking rejuvenated,” she noted. To keep tone and texture in tip-top shape, Moursi suggests scheduling a body treatment at the beginning of every season. But for those who don’t have the time (or the cash flow) to get pampered on the regular, sneaking in a quick session before an impending beach vacation can help overhaul lackluster arms and legs. In my quest to look more like Aniston naked (or at least get her glow from head to toe), I road-tested Moursi’s Detoxifying & Skin Conditioning treatment, which incorporates a thorough dry brushing and a 45-minute detoxifying sweat wrap, followed by a soak in a hydrotherapy tub, a body scrub, and a customized massage for kicks (and kinks). When I emerged from Moursi’s coccoon-like space, I felt reborn, refreshed, and ready to bare it all. (Let’s just say if there had been a wrecking ball in the middle of Sunset Boulevard, I might have been tempted to pull a Miley Cyrus.) They say your body is a temple, and I highly suggest these 75 minutes of uninterrupted devotion.
Detoxifying & Skin Conditioning treatment, $410; Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute & Day Spa, 9255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 102, Los Angeles
I am forever on the lookout for a noninvasive beauty treatment that can aid in the prevention of fine lines and also help with my pigmentation issues—a lovely reminder of my college years spent in sunny Florida. So when our beauty editor walked over one day and mentioned microneedling, I jumped (sorry, leapt!) at the opportunity to guinea pig a Circ-Cell Transdermal Treatment. It promised “unparalleled antiaging results,” and so I did what I do best: signed up, and then started Googling what the heck “needling” was.
All my research turned up fairly similar results: Pioneered by renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Des Fernandes in 1992; great alternative to microdermabrasion; no downtime; improves skin’s elasticity; and helps to improve skin density. But as I strolled into Dangene in midtown Manhattan, I could feel my heart pounding—I did have to run back to the office for afternoon meetings, after all. What will needling actually do to me? (If the results looked anything like Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial, I definitely didn’t want in.)
Well, scratch all that unnecessary Instagram- and reality-TV-induced anxiety. It’s simply amazing, and here’s why: Circ-Cell’s patented Transdermal Delivery System uses tiny surgical-grade needles (0.5 mm, to be exact) to penetrate and “gently injure” the epidermis, while simultaneously infusing skin with antiaging peptides. The skinny needles create pathways where the active topicals can penetrate the skin in a more effective way. There was no pain, and I would even go as far as to say it was enjoyable—in that forced way when you know something seriously incredible is happening. Post-procedure, my complexion looked dewy and plump, with no redness whatsoever. Plus, the treatment was entirely nonabrasive and actually far gentler than my previous microdermabrasion experiences. Taking that one step further, I was told that licensed doctor’s offices are using the same treatment on different parts of the body—most notably, the derriere, which utilizes longer needles (3.0 mm) for deeper penetration. Bikini season, people.
The verdict? I’m several days in with no breakouts, and my skin has maintained its glow and plumpness. I’ve starting supplementing my normal antiaging serum with Circ-Cell’s more boldly titled Blood Serum, and have become a believer. It’s about building the skin up versus tearing it down—and that’s a mantra I can definitely get behind.
Visit circell.com for more information and to find a location near you.
Putting your best face forward has never been easier, thanks to skincare guru Marianne Kehoe and her new wellness studio tucked away just minutes off of Hollywood’s beaten path. With a client roster that includes Liberty Ross, Agyness Deyn, and Jeremy Scott, Kehoe’s customized technique to treating skin from the inside out is what’s made her private and unassuming studio one of L.A.’s best-kept secrets. In line with her holistic approach to skincare, the pro favors specialized Iderm galvanic facials (a service that involves an electrode mask to stimulate circulation) and infusions (like the nonacid vitamin A infusion peel that boosts cell turnover) over any invasive treatments or even dermabrasion that tends to be inflammatory. And whether clients visit the high-tech mPulse infrared sauna (which uses infrared wavelengths to help clear up acne and eczema) or tuck away for a private skin-tightening treatment, these low-key quarters deliver real results. While you’re there, we also suggest snagging Kehoe’s signature Osmosis Clear Facial Conditioner (a product that has quickly gained a cult following among her celeb clientele): Adjusted harmonic frequencies in the spray’s water molecules are said to improve the physiology of the skin.
Marianne Kehoe Skin Studio, 4383 Tujunga Avenue, Suite L, Studio City, California; mkskinstudio.com
The notion of sitting in a spa on a summer afternoon isn’t something that usually appeals to me. After the New York winter we endured this year, I’m making up for lost time in the great outdoors. The newly revamped spa at the Four Seasons in midtown Manhattan, however, might just become my post-Central Park stop. Swiss beauty brand L.Raphael—a favorite of A-listers like Sofia Coppola and Tilda Swinton—has taken over the 4,500-square-foot space that boasts ten treatment rooms and a salon. The service I’m most excited about is the Oxy-Star Treatment. Using the brand’s proprietary Oxy-Tech II machine, this facial employs jet-speed pressure to help ingredients—like white truffle extract—penetrate deeper into the skin, in addition to gently exfoliating. A collagen-boosting mask helps to round out the experience. While the device sounds a little bit like a rocket launch (i.e., you won’t hear the gentle spa music over the rumbling), the intense blast of cool oxygen feels refreshing after a sun-soaked and sweaty day on the Great Lawn. Plus, it leaves your complexion hydrated, glowing, and ready for sunset cocktails at the Boathouse.
See fourseasons.com for more information