3 posts tagged "Ballet Beautiful"
Ballerina turned fitness guru Mary Helen Bowers is, undoubtedly, her own best advertisement for the cultish dance-based workouts she creates. Long- and lean-limbed with seemingly nary an ounce of excess fat, plus perfect posture, wicked flexibility, and, did I mention, amazing hair? And since famously whipping Natalie Portman into prima ballerina shape for her role in Black Swan, her high-profile clientele has grown in ranks to include beauties like Liv Tyler, Lily Aldridge, and Doutzen Kroes. But even women who will never be coronated Victoria’s Secret Angels—even women like me: short, pear-ish, not so bendy—can benefit from Bowers’ workout wisdom. All of which is imparted in a sweet, encouraging tone that will keep even the most slothful among us focused and motivated. If you can’t make it to Bowers’ Soho studio to experience her teaching firsthand, her at-home workout DVDs are the next best thing, and now there is a new one to slip into regular rotation. Ballet Beautiful Cardio Fat Burn is her most fast-paced offering to date, with a combination of up-tempo Allegra intervals to sculpt muscles and boost metabolism interspersed with targeted mat exercises focused on toning and lengthening. Much like with Bowers’ previous DVDs, the movements are deceptively simple but, rest assured, you will feel the burn.
Ballet Beautiful Cardio Fat Burn, available at www.amazon.com.
Mary Helen Bowers makes ballet feel good and look gorgeous, which means her company Ballet Beautiful is an easy sell. The willowy dancer began her career studying at the School of American Ballet in Manhattan, and she was invited to join the New York City Ballet at age 16, a post she remained at for a decade. After hanging up her pointe shoes (the professional ones, at least), Bowers picked up a degree in English literature from Columbia, launched her own ballet studio based around a methodology that aims to give every woman that signature dancer grace and strength, and trained a certain Hollywood actress for the big screen’s most prominent ballerina role in years. Anyone who toils through a class with Bowers will probably wonder two things afterwards: First, how have I made it this long in life without an awareness of certain muscles in my posterior, which scream out their existence for days after your first session; and secondly, what is this lithesome dancer’s routine for the perfect skin and hair to match the perfect body? We’ve got answers below—to the latter question at least.
The Trusted Face Painter: Romy Soleimani
“Romy is my beauty guru. Her makeup application is flawless and her touch is light as a feather. She is an absolute artist! I love that her high fashion looks are just as stunning as her naturally pretty daytime looks. She does my makeup on shoots and for my videos, too, and I buy whatever she recommends, no questions asked. I am praying for the day she starts her own line!”
For more information, visit www.managementartists.com.
The Complexion Correctors: Triple Threat
“My skin is very dry and sensitive. I drink a ton of water and keep it simple with Cetaphil cleanser and Fresh’s Peony Essence Serum. A friend brought it to me from Asia and now I am obsessed! Depending on the weather I follow it up with the Fresh rose gel cream or their Creme Ancienne.”
Available at drugstores and www.fresh.com.
The Afternoon Snack: Organic Avenue
“I’m a big believer in the impact of diet on your skin. I drink green tea with lemon when my skin needs a little extra help and eat lots of healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, and raw nuts to hydrate from the inside. I find that the occasional green juice works wonders, too. I don’t juice for meal replacement or to cleanse but I love the Mellow LOVE juice from Organic Avenue as part of my lunch or as an afternoon snack. It’s great on days when I need extra greens but don’t want the extra sugar in a lot of other juices.”
For more information, visit www.organicavenue.com.
The Sun Savior: Josie Maran
“I wear SPF every day, no matter what the weather or season. My current favorite is the Josie Maran SPF 40 [Argan Oil Infused Daily Sun Protection]. It’s very hydrating and great under makeup. If I’m eating outside, I always opt for the seat in the shade and rock a huge sun hat for extra protection.”
The Bath Ritual: Dr. Hauschka
“As much as I love a massage, I have no time. I try and take a few extra minutes to stretch out after a workout and use the foam roller as often as possible. It’s great for getting knots out of your muscles, and I swear it helps with cellulite, too. When I’m really fried, I soak in a hot bath with any of the Dr Hauschka bath oils and let the stress float away.”
The Nails: Debbie Leavitt
“Debbie in L.A. does a manicure and pedicure like no other! Somehow the paint never chips; it’s amazing how long it lasts! I’m also crazy for her super-beautiful line of nail polishes called Sheswai.”
For more information, visit www.sheswaibeauty.com.
The Hair: Vito Esposito
“I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my hair. I keep it very long and rarely use a blow-dryer. Having a great cut makes this possible. I adore Vito Esposito in L.A. His cuts grow out beautifully and are current without being too trendy. In Manhattan I like the Marie Robinson salon.”
For more information, visit www.vitoespositosalon.com and www.marierobinsonsalon.com.
Celebrities often have access to things us normal folk can’t even imagine—things like custom-made Louboutins, a signature fragrance, and wearing clothes right off the runway. High on this list is having a high-profile trainer on call. But while booking Tracy Anderson (Gwyneth’s guru) or David Kirsch (Heidi Klum’s go-to guy) for a little one-on-one time is all but impossible for most of us, Mary Helen Bowers—former ballerina and the woman responsible for Natalie Portman’s lithe figure in Black Swan—is now available whenever and wherever you are. “My online classes give women all over the world the ability to train directly with me in real time and sculpt an elegant, powerful body shape from home,” Bowers says of Ballet Beautiful Live, the streaming system she devised for clients when her constant travel schedule during Black Swan kept her out of the classroom. “It’s the ultimate portable fitness studio; whether I’m in Los Angeles or in Soho.” The live feed works by syncing with a participant’s Skype account; you can choose to set up a private session or go for the group class, which can include up to 12 people. (Note: while you are able to view all of your classmates if you so choose, there is also a privacy setting so that only Mary Helen can see your less-than-perfect pliés). I put myself through the paces and can attest to the fact that while the hour-long workouts are intense, the mood is pretty chill and Mary Helen is infinitely patient and kind—a real feat, considering my tragic arabesques.