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.
What’s black, white, and red all over? Sasha Pivovarova in the August issue of French Vogue, for starters. In her David Sims-lensed editorial, the iconic catwalker wears stark black-and-white clothes to offset her fiery hair, persimmon lips, and glossy burnt-orange nails. We’ve noticed the matchy-matchy beauty trend take off elsewhere, too. There was model Natalie Westling’s Little Mermaid-inspired strands and sweater combo on Prabal Gurung’s runway, Marc Jacobs’ Fall ’14 head-to-toe pastel palette, and Kelly Osbourne’s coordinating lipstick and signature violet strands at last night’s Young Hollywood Awards. Double (or triple!) your color, double your beauty fun.
If I could shadow anyone in a French pharmacy or the aisles of Sephora, it would undoubtedly be a makeup artist. One of my favorite backstage pastimes is peeking around the pros’ stations to see what they use to create otherworldly radiance or soften models’ dry, cracked lips. They often unearth beauty gems I would never discover on my own and know what products provide real results for their discerning red-carpet clientele. Plus, they won’t give me a hard sell just to make a commission.
Starting today, you can browse famed face painter Fiona Stiles’ go-to goods via her well-edited e-commerce site, Reed Clarke. Trusted by celebs such as Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain, Stiles made the contents of her medicine cabinet and makeup bag accessible to the virtual masses, providing personal write-ups that explain each product’s worthiness. You’ll also discover niche brands and formulas that only those in the know have on hand (like Kelo-cote Scar Gel, which Stiles has dubbed “a miracle,” and Ponaris Nasal Emollient, an astronaut-approved oil for any glamorous globe-trotter attempting to beat the effects of dry, recycled plane air). “Reed Clarke is a conversation between me and the customer,” Stiles explained of her new online shopping destination (named after her 3-year-old daughter, Clarke, and her sisters’ middle names, Reed and Clarke). I think I just found my new retail therapist.
Here, her top three items to add to your cart:
W3ll People Universalist Multi Use Colorstick #2: “I use this pretty much every day. I love the highlight it creates—it’s very sensual and believable. Even if I do more of a matte skin look, I still use this as a highlighter down the bridge of the nose. It keeps the look fresh and modern, and it brings a beautiful glow to the skin.”
In Fiore Veloutée Multipurpose Balm for Lips & Eyes: “I use this for everything. I use it on the lips, of course, but I also use it to add a bit of glow to the cheekbones, as a subtle gloss on the lids of the eyes when I do a more natural look, and as a cuticle balm—I always check a client’s nails to be sure they look nice. I can find a dozen uses for it.”
Rubis tweezers: “I’m a bit of a brow fanatic. I like all of my clients to have perfect brows no matter what, and shaping is the foundation for a great brow. Not only does a well-maintained brow frame the face, but it also makes applying shadow easier and lets the product go on more seamlessly. These tweezers never miss a hair. I can’t work without them.”
Skincare obsessions often start at the ingredient level (see: argan oil). The latest botanicals to inspire cultish appeal: seed oils. Or make that super seed oils. As one would imagine, it’s quite difficult to extract oil from a minuscule speck of a seed, but the result yields an extremely concentrated dose of antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. So it comes as no surprise that these powerhouse ingredients have been making their way into a number of youth-enhancing products. Orico London’s Superseed Vitamin Dry Multi-Oil, for example, is formulated with an array of such oils, including macadamia and rose hip, to replenish lost moisture where it’s needed most—try it on your face, hands, and even sun-parched hair. Meanwhile, Sunday Riley’s Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil contains cranberry seed oil to deliver a bit of natural UV protection, along with a “berry seed blend” of blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry to calm inflammation, boost radiance, and soothe even the touchiest of complexions. Yüli M.E. Skin Fuel is similarly designed for sensitive types, with antibacterial black cumin and bio-retinol-rich broccoli seed oils to stimulate cell turnover. Of course, the restorative powers of seed oils is something that Marie Veronique discovered years ago, when she launched her Pacific Face Oil, loaded with chia, kiwi, and papaya seed oils to rid skin of impurities and improve its resiliency. For those who haven’t discovered the elixir yet, it’s suddenly looking very classic.
The platinum trend has been going strong now for a few solid months, but one thing from the Fall 2014 shows that we wish would have caught in a bigger way was the notion of a monochromatic dress and dye job (as seen on the runway at Marc Jacobs). Sure, a wardrobe comprised entirely of mink-y brown or blush isn’t all that appealing, but a closetful of crisp whites sounds decidedly fresher. And that’s exactly the fashion strategy that Tracy Georgiou, brand buyer for J.Crew and Madewell, has employed of late. “It’s not too fussy, but looks sharp,” she explained of her streamlined style. “There are so many shades and textures of white—from Steve McQueen in a washed-out tee and jeans to Audrey Hepburn or Diane Keaton in a crisp white men’s shirt. Though the palette is limited, the outfits are endless.”
It was a friend, however, who finally convinced Georgiou to complete her head-to-toe look by transitioning her virgin brown strands to stark ivory with the help of colorist Roxie Darling and hairstylist Wes Sharpton at Hairstory Studio in downtown Manhattan. The transformation took about seven hours to complete, but the results are indeed striking. “After seeing her skin tone, perfect freckles, and deep brown eyes, I decided to veer away from a shocking white [and opt for] a flattering and soft ashy blond, as seen on Hollywood sirens in the fifties,” noted Darling. Though she said anyone can go platinum, fine or very curly hair is susceptible to damage over time, and it’s always best to steer clear of an at-home bleaching session and leave a dramatic change in the capable hands of a pro. “This color is a large investment,” she added, so expect to be back in the salon every four to five weeks for touch-ups.
Since you’ll want to wash less to prolong the results and prevent over-drying, a “lifestyle cut,” as Sharpton described it, that “doesn’t scream haircut, but looks considered,” is ideal for those who don’t want to bother with heat styling (like Georgiou, who doesn’t own a blow-dryer and doesn’t think the modern girl should). Sharpton took the length up to just above the collarbone for manageability. “Small bathrooms require minimal routines,” said Georgiou. “Out of the shower, I comb the sides of my hair with a fine-tooth comb and use a wide-tooth version on top—this makes a huge difference if you’re air-drying.” A bit of Purely Perfect Foundation Creme applied to damp hair is all she uses to create texture. Worn with her go-to Apiece Apart culottes and crop top, Georgiou is a vision in white.
To book an appointment at Hairstory Studio, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.