Interview: Alice Through the Looking Glass Costume Designer Colleen Atwood

Earlier last month I joined Disney and famed designer Colleen Atwood for tea and a chance to talk about her work on Alice Through the Looking Glass, which has recently been released to DVD and Blu-Ray! I’ve been a fan of her work for a while, she has such an inspiring story and has designed for some of my most favorite movies including Edward Scissorhands, Little Women, Planet of the Apes (2001 movie), Big Fish, Memoirs of a Geisha, Into the Woods, The Huntsman movies, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and of course both of the Alice in Wonderland films.

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She’s so lovely in person, and I was so thrilled that I was able to, along with other bloggers and press, ask her a few questions.

Q: Are there any secret locations or places where you find inspiration?

Colleen Atwood: Well I find them everywhere, like fabric stores – sometimes I see a piece of fabric that’s great and I go “oh! That could be this!”. I get ideas from all over the place basically. There’s a great flea market in France, in Paris, that I go to in the north of Paris and it’s always great for inspiration for bits and pieces that are interesting. So many movies are made in London – this movie is made in London -and London has Portobello Road [flea market]. Which, sometimes I don’t really have a purpose in mind, I just get up early on Saturday morning and go there when it first opens, before it gets crowded and wander around and find like – he has a lot of weird buttons on his costume and most of those are sourced there and you know, old hat pins, just weird stuff people have in trays in front of their stalls and it’s fun to just discover things that way.

Q: Any favorite flea markets in New York?

CA: You know in New York I like the – and I meditated on going down there this morning – the one on 26th street, it’s like a garage you walk through and I love wandering around there. And there’s the emporium there that has some great stuff so I usually visit there. And there’s a great lingerie place there that’s beautiful, upstairs, it’s quite expensive but she has great stuff. There’s a few places, sort of warehouse wholesale, that I’ve gone to in Brooklyn but they’re not as accessible to people who are just walking around and shopping.

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Q: Time has a really distinct costume, what was your inspiration or thought process behind that?

CA: I wanted him to be, kind of feel like he was something to do with a clock without literally being a clock. And I also loved the sort of graphic aspect of the clock kind of towering over little Alice, luckily Sacha’s [Baron Cohen, who plays Time] already about 6’3”-6’4” so that helped that I didn’t get a short guy for the part. But I put him in really high platform boots for part of it, and then he has those long thin legs so we did long skinny legs and a poufy pant and the big shoulders to get him wider, sort of like a grandfather clock. And then we came up with an idea to get him even taller with using a tall hat on him like the bishop’s sort of medieval hat that he has, sort of like a Greek Orthodox style from way early in time. And in his fitting for that we had brown paper and we just kept putting it in different hat shapes and trying them on him and figuring out which one was the best for him and for Time, and we came up with that one and it was sort of maximum height. We had some that were taller but it was too much, it almost made him look shorter. In the movie you see on his hand he has a thing that has all these rings and stuff – that was a piece of metal mesh that I found in a flea market and then I found all these watches with convex lenses on them that stuck out so that they were like cabochon jewels, so we took those and made them into his hand piece to make it a sort of element of time. And the rest was all kinds of stuff, different materials. We had a long cape on him and then most of the time he wore the short cape because it made him look funnier with his skinny legs.

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Q: Movement is such a big part of this film, you chose to use very different textures in the fabric. Was that something that you just felt, touched it, and knew that this would be a great dynamic on the screen?

CA: I’ve done a lot of digital films at this point and know kind of what the camera sees, and especially when you go darker than a medium ground, it’s really important to have a texture and almost like a surface that has a little shine to it that kicks back some light. Otherwise all you get is sort of a black shape, you don’t really get much depth. So I’ve learned to paint into costumes, and add layers, add stuff to them to give it more dimension that way it’ll work in a lower light situation. So I use that trick a lot on this movie and I like texture, I think it tricks the camera in a way that’s interesting because sometimes you can’t even perceive what it is but it gives you a feeling that’s nice and a little bit more interesting than if you had just used a fabric as it comes off the peg.

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Q: Obviously designing for a sequel is going to be a lot different than the first time, what was your approach when you were revisited these characters and kind of built of the way that you already had designed for them?

CA: I felt like it was nice, I felt like I knew them. I knew who they were as people so I felt like I could have a little more play with them. I had a couple more opportunities because we had the flashback for the girls, where they were there kind of their teenaged selves, and then each of them had been on a journey. My constant was, other than her flashback, was Mirana – the Anne Hathaway character – her costume sort of remained the same. But Alice, when we left Alice she was going off to see the world and she came back as a very rare thing, a sea captain as a woman, so I had the opportunity to take the beautiful uniforms of the period and make one for her. Then we had to create her Chinese look from her Chinese journey, and then re-visit something that perhaps the Hatter had made for her in her final costume with the balloon pants and the kind of whimsical blouse made out of strips of fabric. So I kind of took each character and sort of felt like I could go free with them, it was sort of like a totally new movie for me as a designer but with the people that I knew from before.

Q: Is there one character from the movie that stands out as being the most enjoyable to design?

CA: Well, when you get a movie like this they’re all fun! Because they’re all such different things. I mean I love Helena’s costume and her take on the character is so much fun, and it was great to get to do her armor which I really loved doing with the thorn heart chest piece, and the military braid hoop and the sort of deconstructed military madness that the Red Queen would come up with. Mia’s clothes were great; I mean they were like a really beautiful journey. I got to use embroidery and all sorts of techniques that I hadn’t used before on the Alice prequel.

Listen to the entire interview here!

Alice Through the Looking Glass released to DVD and Blu-Ray on October 18th, if you don’t own it yet then it would make a great gift this holiday season! Alice Through the Looking Glass is a spectacular adventure featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carroll’s beloved stories in which Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

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Enter to win your own copy of Alice Through the Looking Glass right now – just leave me a comment about your favorite outfit in the movie, or if you haven’t seen it, is there anything you found interesting that Colleen revealed in her interview? Personally, I loved when she spoke about creating Time’s outfit – the amount of detail is really incredible! Leave an extra comment/entry if you RT this!

*Giveaway ends 11/23/16. US, 18+.

Must-Have Home Tech: Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor!

Chances are, you have the latest tech in your pocket. The newest phone, the latest laptop, netbook, tablet, and activity tracker. We adapt to new technology because they adapt to our needs, they make our lives easier – they change the quality of our lives. So when new tech like the Netatmo hits the market, I definitely sit up and take notice. With a seamless design and fully integrated app, Netatmo is the smart indoor climate monitor that takes four critical measurements of your indoor environment which can then be used to make healthy changes.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Netatmo hosted media (including me), this afternoon for a Parisian baby shower, where we were able to have a first-hand view of the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach in action. The event was held at The Hudson Hotel penthouse – which has some of the prettiest event space in the city, and is simply gorgeous.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

We were joined by lifestyle expert Limor Suss, who shared with us the ways that Netatmo makes her life easier as a mom. The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is slim and compact, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your nursery or home décor. What it does is use sensors to measure that space’s noise, humidity, air quality, and temperature. Lorni mentioned how babies sometimes wake up from their naps a little sweaty, well, the Netatmo climate monitor will notify the app on your phone when the room gets a little too warm or humid for your baby and offers suggestions on how to alter the room’s climate.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The mobile app is compatible with iPhone iOS8 and above, as well as Android smartphone 4.3 and above. Alongside a handy dashboard, you can ask Siri the status of a rooms climate (it works with HomeKit), and the app also enables you to send notifications to whomever (babysitter, grandma, husband/wife, etc.) is at home and would be up to opening up a window when it gets too hot, or turning down the humidifier.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Believe it or not, according to Netatmo most of us spend up to 80% of our life outdoors. So it’s definitely wise to invest in maintaining our indoor space. I really loved what the Netatmo representative said, “Stop guessing and start knowing”. Netatmo’s Healthy Home Coach is not just for babies – if you’re especially sensitive to humidity or would love to track the noise levels in your New York City apartment that might be causing you loss of sleep, the indoor climate monitor will definitely be useful to you too. Personally, I’m pretty excited to incorporate this device into my home, I love the concept of having access to information that will allow me to take more control over my home environment.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is available online here, as well as at Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon (ARV $100).

Interview: Katie Cassidy on NYFW #Hot2Adopt Feline Fashion Show & The Modern Cat Lady

This past week I was lucky enough to catch Katie Cassidy, star of CW’s Arrow and The Flash, between shows and speak to her about her NYFW Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Show and Lounge with Fresh Step. In addition to a feline-inspired fashion show, complete with cats on the runway, the Hot to Adopt lounge also offered attendees an exclusive opportunity to adopt their very own feline right there!

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More information about the exclusive Hot to Adopt tee (as seen on Katie) after the interview:

The NYC Talon: Can you tell me a little bit about your Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge with Fresh Step, what can we expect?

Katie Cassidy: Yes, so you can expect feline inspired looks which I think is fun. I’ll be hosting the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion event and fashion show with Fresh Step and I think it’ll be fun, I think it’ll be interesting. Obviously it’s for a good cause and you can actually purchase this shirt [pictured above, more details below] at freshsteps.com and part of it will go toward helping cat shelters all over the country, which is such a great cause and I’m excited to do it. I’m excited to see what people will wear, and actually we’ll be having cats walking down the runway which will be fun, yeah it’ll be very cute.

TNT: So I saw your post on TKC [Katie’s blog, post seen here], are cat ears something we’re going to see on the runway?

KC: Yeah, I certainly think so, I probably will wear some. I know there’ll be cat accessories that are very feline inspired, and it’ll be fun to bring that sort of awareness to people and get rid of that sort of crazy cat lady stigma. So we’ll be taking fashion and felines and sort of turning that stigma around. I actually just bought this clutch will a little cat face, it’s very cute.

TNT: Yes – I just saw that Kate Spade’s fall accessories have this adorable cat icon!

KC: Yeah and I just got this jacket from Stella McCartney that has this cat print all over it!

TNT: That sounds awesome. So, I know you have a cat…

KC: I do

TNT: And I think you have a dog, I’ve seen tweets with Felicia –

KC: [Laughs] To be honest with you I just love animals, and Felicia is my dog that I actually co-own with our stylist we have on Arrow, our hairstylist. Because when I travel, it’s hard when you have a dog or a cat, but a cat, obviously they can take care of themselves – but not for too long! But you can’t really leave a dog at home. Yeah, she’s been really fun.

TNT: I know you mentioned earlier about the cat lady stigma, what would you define as the ‘modern cat lady’?

KC: Hmm, the modern cat woman. Well, that’s what I think is so cool about this kind of thing because it’s bringing fashion and felines together and you have these, like as we saw on the cover of Porter magazine recently that there is a cat on the cover and I think adopting cats is more than just on trend, and we’re seeing them more on like cute clutches and shoes and it’s a sign of strong independent women. It’s something that’s cool, and again I love cats – actually [laughs] I want to get another one!

TNT: I’m a massive fan of your blog, are we going to see some What Katie Wore posts for Fashion Week?

KC: Yes! You certainly will, I have a photoshoot happening at some point tomorrow, I don’t know what time but yes you will.

TNT: Cats are kind of classified as lounging animals, if you have one day to absolutely lounge about and devote to rest & relaxation, what would you do?

KC: Everybody loves the spa, I feel like. Probably…I don’t know if I would just like have a relaxation day… I would probably go get a facial, or go to the gym, or not talk on the phone, or go on social media. I would probably just want to be by myself, you know? And order lots of pizza.

TNT: A girl after my own heart!

KC: Yeah – girl, pizza is my jam!

And that concludes my interview with Katie! She was so sweet, and I was very excited to interview her. She was in a rush, which was lucky otherwise I very well might have bombarded her with my embarrassing Arrow/The Flash Black Canary/Black Siren questions.

To purchase Katie’s exclusive Hot to Adopt t-shirt, check out FreshStep.com here.

I love Fresh Step’s commitment to encouraging and celebrating cat ownership, and this tee is honestly adorable. But there’s more! All through the month of October Fresh Step wants you to step out and declare your love of modern cat ladies (and gentlemen too!) by declaring “Feline Fashion Fridays” – cat owners cat show their love of cats by posting a picture of themselves with their cat to Fresh Step’s Instagram using the #freshstepcontest hashtag each Friday for a chance to win free Fresh Step litter, a $250 VISA Gift Card, and the limited edition #hot2adopt T-shirt!

Check out FreshStep.com for more info.

Why You Do Not Want to Miss the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel NYC Wine & Food Festival

Every year NYC eagerly awaits the hottest food event of the year – the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. The NYCWFF is a four-day long festival featuring a variety of food related activities and as many food celebrities as you could ever want to see. You can rub elbows with Rachel Ray at her annual Blue Moon Burger Bash, or hang with the entire cast of Chopped at their rooftop event at Pier 92. Why stop there? With a plethora of food events, tastings, and seminars and panels, you really have a multitude of options – here are some of our favorites:

The Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite

If you only do one event, go to the Grand Tasting. Not only do you get a swag bag, but you also get to spend hours wandering around a 130,000-square-foot culinary wonderland. You’ll get to sample food from some of NYC’s finest establishments, sip wine & spirits from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio, and collect cooking techniques and tips at the Samsung Culinary Demonstrations. Bring a friend, you’ll both have an amazing time. Tickets start at $185, get yours here.

Brunch

While the coveted Lobster Place Oyster Bash is sold out (we’re still crying over our lack of tickets), there are three other brunch events to choose from – Josh Capon will be hosting the New York Yankees Pinstripe Brunch presented by Delta Airlines, if you have a Mastercard then you’ll definitely want to check out Broadway Tastes presented by Variety, and if you’re on a budget A Brunch with Craftsman and Wolves hosted by James Beard Award-nominated Chef William Werner is only $85! Act fast, tickets sell out quickly!

Bank of America Dinner Series Curated by Chefs Club

So you’ve missed out on A Dinner with Ghetto Gastro hosted by Martha Stewart, but don’t despair there are plenty of other great dinners to attend. Explore Israeli and Middle Eastern culinary traditions at A Kosher Dinner with Elior Balbul, Eden Grinshpan, Amitzur More, and Yehuda Sichel, who are bringing kosher cuisine to the forefront of the NYC dining scene.

Other options include:

  • A Dinner with Melissa Clark, Marco Canora, Sara Jenkins and Marc Murphy – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7:30pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Floyd Cardoz and Anita Lo – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Mourad Lahlou and Alex Stupak – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Deuki Hong and Edward Lee – Friday, Oct. 14th at 7pm, $250.

Full listing here.

Hands-on Classes

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If you’re looking to get your hands dirty, NYCWFF offers some excellent hands-on events. You can learn how to add spice to your kitchen with Lior Lev Sercarz’ A Guide to the World of Spices, where you’ll not only create your own custom blends but you’ll also head out with an early release of Lior’s upcoming cookbook!

You can also learn how to bake bread with Zach Golper of Bien Cuit, roast like a pro with The New York Times’ Melissa Clark, and decorate cakes with none other than Sylvia Weinstock! Classes will take place in state-of-the-art professional culinary kitchens at the Institute of Culinary Education. For a full listing of hands-on classes, and to buy tickets click here.

There really are so many awesome events to choose from, and if you’re on a budget then definitely check out the $100 and under options as you’ll certainly find something to your taste there! Are you planning on going to the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival? What event sounds the most exciting to you? Let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me a tweet with the #NYCWFF hashtag!

*Photos courtesy of NYCWFF, from NYCWFF 2015*

Celebrating #TalkingCars100 & Test Driving the Tesla Model S with Consumer Reports!

I am officially listing this past weekend on my 2016 highlight reel. I was invited, along with a select group of influencers to head out to Connecticut and take part in the taping of Talking Cars’ 100th Podcast episode. Talking Cars is an extremely popular podcast created by the Consumer Reports team and last Saturday enthusiasts and podcast fans flew in from all over the country for a chance to talk to the podcasts stars! How awesome is that?!

Consumer Report Test Track

Thanks to my mom, I’ve known about Consumer Reports for a while. But I didn’t know that they are a actually a nonprofit, and I also didn’t know that they buy all of the cars they test. All of them. To remove bias that might stem from media review vehicles, they purchase all of the cars that they review themselves. Because they can’t have manufacturers catch on, they’ve developed an intriguing system of purchasing cars, I can’t say much but it involves long distances and some significant dedication.

Consumer Reports Talking CarsTalking Cars 100th Episode Taping

The Talking Cars Podcast was taped in the Consumer Reports garage, which for the day was emptied of the latest cars, and filled with fans, enthusiasts, and media. The panelists were car experts Jennifer Stockburger, Jake Fisher, Tom Mutchler, and Jon Linkov. They discussed the latest trends in cars, which cars they liked the most/least, and the future of manufacturing. Honestly, it was ridiculously interesting. I’m definitely thinking about my first car purchase, and the options and experience of these folks was really invaluable – whether you’re looking for a new car, your first car, or like the 13-year-old fan who had an extensive knowledge about fuel efficient vehicles – you’re a real fan of the industry.

Afterwards they fielded questions from the audience, which was amazing to be a part of. Talking Cars has generated a genuine following and you could really tell that the fans and the experts were so excited to talk cars in real time and in person. Consumer Reports provides in-depth, independent reviews – you can count on them for thorough testing and honest opinions. They definitely have the consumer in mind, as Jennifer Stockburger said when discussing car seat options “You don’t need a $500 model, our best option so far is a $40 model.” They’re clearly not about the fanciest option – they’re about what works best for you as a consumer.

Tesla

After taping wrapped Jennifer took us out on the track to test drive the Tesla Model S. Now, I’m something of an Elon Musk fan. I find his work intriguing and I’ve long wanted to find out what a Tesla drives like. Suffice it to say, it was amazing. Ah-maze-ing. Like if I could only own one car ever, I would choose the Tesla S hands-down.

Consumer Reports Testing Tesla S

Jennifer explained the various features of the electric car, including its touch screen panel which you use to control the car. You can also quickly get a google map view of your location – which means no more getting lost. The touch screen panel can also be used to surf the web, and check your email – which you should never do while driving (in case you were wondering). Setting the car to “Insane”, we almost instantly went from 0 to 100 mph. I don’t know if ‘car euphoria’ is a real term, but I experienced it then. For me it was like those exciting moments of lift-off on an airplane, or that feeling you get when you’re on a roller coaster or a great theme park ride.

Tesla Model S InteriorTesla S Interior

Jennifer (who is a 16 year Consumer Report veteran herself) also showed us how well the car swerved to avoid hitting objects. She told us about their testing standards, how they don’t test in extreme temperatures because it affects how the car drives, how they even test how every vehicle hydroplanes, as well as how everyone at the CR Connecticut office tries each car out – which takes into account the varied consumer. Driving around in the Tesla, I wouldn’t have minded staying out on the track for hours. Even though we weren’t out there a long time, by the time we headed off the track I was in love. Honestly I don’t typically speak car, but I couldn’t stop talking about this car for days. And I might just be 1001% jealous of Jennifer and the rest of the Consumer Reports team, I envy them their jobs – minus the YouTube comment moderating they mentioned.

Consumer Reports Tesla Model S

Thanks so much for having me out Consumer Reports!

Are you a Consumer Reports fan? How about Talking Cars? Catch their latest podcast here! Do you have a favorite or a dream car? I’d love to know, tell me about it in the comments or send me a tweet!

Duracell is Offering Free Hearing Tests During the Month of May!

Spring has finally sprung and I’m so excited to share some exciting news with you guys! For those of you who might not know, May is National Better Hearing Month. Recently I joined Duracell and John Slattery – yes that John Slattery, of Mad Men – where Duracell debuted their new short film “Stay Connected” and announced that during the month of May, Duracell is offering 50,000 free hearing tests!

Duracell NYC Event

Hearing impairment is a national health issue, and one that is very near and dear to me since I personally have family members that are hearing impaired and use a hearing aid. Right now, according to the Center for Hearing and Communication, hearing impairment affects 48 million Americans. Research has found that people with mild hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia and nearly three times more likely to have a debilitating fall – which makes spotting and treating hearing loss so crucial. Unfortunately, 80 percent of those affected by hearing loss over the age of 65 often do not seek treatment.

Duracell and Hearing LossStay Connected with Duracell

For those who do, Duracell allows them to stay connected and experience all the moments of their lives more completely by powering them with long lasting hearing aid batteries. For those who don’t Duracell is offering them through this month’s free screenings, a way to take that first step towards being connected and perhaps seeking a full-scale assessment by an audiologist.

John Slattery Duracell Stay Connected

The best part? The tests, administered by through the National Hearing Test, are conducted via a quick over-the-phone screening. Developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health, it is the only screening test that is scientifically validated and the results remain private to the user.

John Slattery with Duracell Stay Connected Event

John Slattery discussed his experience with hearing loss – his father has been wearing a hearing aid for the past five years, and he genuinely hopes that Duracell’s new “Stay Connected” film will help Americans take a closer look at this issue within their own family and encourage them to take the first step with these free screenings.

Duracell Stay Connected Event

Take the test…

To take the free hearing test, you can call 1-844-9-Duracell or visit Duracell.com/StayConnected to view the film and find out more.

April 21st Event Alert: Join Dr. Whitney Bowe & dr.brandt at Sephora!

Calling all beauty and skincare loving New Yorkers! This Thursday, on April 21st, celebrated dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe will be visting the 9th Avenue Sephora store and offering one-on-one dr.brandt skincare consultations and demonstrations of dr.brandt award-winning anti-aging products! I’m so excited – dr.brandt is one of my favorite skincare brands and my mom loves their overnight serum.

drbrandt Sephora Eventdrboweheadshot

Dr. Bowe’s work in skin rejuvenations, laser dermatology and the link between nutrition and skincare has made her one of the most in-demand skincare experts in the entire country. She was one of the first two physicians named to the dr.brandt Skin Advisory Board, an impressive roster of specialists who, like the legendary Dr. Brandt, are pioneers in the field of anti-aging cosmetic dermatology and skin care. Members of the dr.brandt Skin Advisory Board are dedicated to continuing Dr. Brandt’s legacy of breakthrough innovation that adheres to the strictest standard of scientific excellence.

At the Sephora event, Dr. Bowe will introduce two new dr. brandt anti-aging products available at Sephora stores nationwide beginning this month. Inspired by the skin-revitalizing and radiance-renewing vitamin shots available in Dr. Brandt’s medical offices, new Power Doses

C & D are topical treatments in liquid form that can be blended into moisturizer or smoothed directly on the face and neck:DRB VITAMIN C SILO 07C_WHT GRACOLDRB VITAMIN D SILO 07E WHT GRACOL

• Vitamin C Power Dose is engineered to deliver the highest Vitamin C concentration that the skin can absorb. It has been shown to dramatically boost collagen production and brighten skin for a visibly smoother, firmer complexion with enhanced skin clarity. It has also been shown to shield skin against free-radical damage that can lead to hyper-pigmentation and premature aging.

• Vitamin D Power Dose is formulated to mimic sun exposure and trigger the natural production of Vitamin D in the skin without the harmful effects of the sun exposure. By harnessing the essential sunshine vitamin, it helps create a barrier against environmental damage. This barrier helps prevent breakouts and reduces dryness, sensitization and other signs of premature aging.

Event Details

Sephora NYC drbrant Event

WHAT:  Dr. Whitney Bowe Skincare Consultation and Demonstration

WHEN: April 21st, 2016, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Sephora
                  27 9th Avenue
                  New York, NY 10014

Spinbrush Launches Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Collection with Alison Sweeney at Flywheel

I’m the sort of person that prefers lounging to lunges, whipped cream to weight lifting, quick naps instead of quick jogs. As it happens, a few weeks ago Arm & Hammer asked me if I would like to take a spin class at Flywheel with Alison Sweeney & Spinbrush. Spurred on by delusions of me spinning my way through a 45 minute workout, I said “sign me up!” My response in the affirmative may have been seriously slightly influenced by the opportunity to meet Sami Brady in the flesh, but the fall-out came afterwards where I repeatedly messaged my friend Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama about the likeliness of my death-by-spin-class. If you don’t follow Nellie, you definitely should, she’s an amazing lifestyle and fitness expert, plus she’s one of the coolest ladies I know.

Flywheel Spinbrush EventFlywheel Chelsea

Nellie refused to let me chicken out, and joined me as well, and honestly it was a really eye-opening experience. I did not anticipate how much fun I would have, and really did not imagine that I would stay on the bike for the entire 45 minutes – and I did! And it was awesome! Also, it was really cool that Alison stayed there the entire time too!

 Bike Monitor

Alison Sweeney, who is an Arm & Hammer spokesperson, spoke briefly about the new Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh collection. The new Clean & Fresh collection features a toothpaste, mouthwash, as well as a battery operated and manual toothbrush. The collection delivers deep cleaning and lasting freshness by way of their patented dual-action brush head, and can be used along with the toothpaste and rinse for a smile that is noticeably whiter.

 Truly Radiant Clean and Fresh

Having been a dedicated spin-brusher for years now, I actually noticed a massive difference between this Clean & Fresh Spinbrush and my older model – this brush moved much quicker, the bristles were very effective but not irritating, and my teeth felt way cleaner. Also, the toothpaste and mouthwash have this great spearmint flavor that lasts all morning, so high-five for fresh breath, haha! Also, if your food features a lot of garlic, this is the collection for you. I love cooking with garlic, and this toothpaste and mouthwash worked like a dream to get rid of that garlic breath and weird flavor, so basically, I’m sold!

 Arm and Hammer Truly Radiant Collection

Thank you so much for the invite Arm & Hammer! Since then I’ve already been back for another spin!

Find out more details on the entire Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh collection here.

NYC’s STORY Tells a Tale of Health & Wellness with Cigna

NYC is home to some of the most amazing and unique stores. Somewhere around a year ago I heard about this store that revolved around the concept of storytelling – basically they would change the theme of the store, everything from the physical look of the store to the products sold, to reflect a new theme every few weeks. How brilliant is that?! But it wasn’t until last week that, thanks to Cigna & STORY, I actually had a chance to finally check them out and it was pretty much as amazing as I had hoped it would be!

Feel Good Story at STORY with Cigna

Basically, this month STORY and Cigna, a leading global health service company, have teamed up to unveil “Feel Good” – STORY’s latest installation. The store is organized into three segments – Good Plan, Good Vibes and Good Eats. They’re all pretty self-explanatory, Good Plan features items geared toward preventative care, Good Vibes encourages mindfulness, and Good Eats focuses on nutrition.

good STORY

I don’t know about you guys, but my health is definitely something that I’m rededicating myself to this year, and I think that holds true for a lot of people – it’s definitely one of the more common New Year’s resolutions. Well, in partnering with Cigna, right now STORY is full of exciting items, panels, and classes to help us reach those sort of goals. I was thrilled to see that you don’t have to be a health, fitness, or wellness nut to easily find a product or one of the complimentary panels or classes, that can appeal to you. I was literally mentally shopping the whole time I was there – I can’t wait to go back!

STORY Good VibesHerbivore at STORY NYC

There were so many cool products – I also tried out Cigna’s Virtual Relaxation Pod. The Pod uses oculus technology, it’s a virtual reality experience that transports you to one of three VR locations – I chose a beach. Basically, you sit in a “pod” (a sort of plush enclosed chair), put on the VR goggles and headphones and are transported to a location of your choice where you experience guided meditation by way of a breathing technique. It was pretty cool, within a couple of minutes I definitely felt like my heart rate had decreased and I was more focused. If you can try, you definitely should.

“Feel Good” will be open until February 28th, so if you find yourself in the city, or if you already live or work here, definitely stop by and check STORY out!

How to Live a Life of Plenti

About three weeks ago I attended probably one of the more timely events, at least on a personal level, for me. On a Thursday evening I joined Yoplait’s new Plenti yogurt as well as NYT Best Selling Author Gretchen Rubin, Chef Gabe Kennedy, fitness expert Dasha Libin Anderson, and lifestyle expert Pippa Lord for a private modern wellness workshop. I’m not usually over fond of “life building” advice – maybe it’s because there was a boom of self-help and advice books when I was a kid and I always associate it with not leading a busy enough life that you have time to wonder if you’re doing it right.

LandofPlenti Event

Fast forward to three weeks ago where I was up to my ears in work, and found myself sitting in front of Gretchin Rubin who wasn’t giving useless generic pieces of advice (aren’t those the worst?!) but who was actually sharing some of the best advice on how to manage your time more effectively through habit (a way to make consistent effort in a particular area) building, and how that in turn can make us (me, we) more happier people. It’s actually pretty cool to hear about how each person’s particular personality makes them predisposed to function around expectations a certain way – which also explains how a person like me is more inclined to take care of work and others, but forget to take care of myself too. In fact a ton of people are inclined to do the same.

Plenti EventPlenti Yogurt

Here are two of my favorite takeaways from Gretchin’s session: 1) Gretchen creates a power hour once a week where she works on things she’s been procrastinating, noting that you can do anything for one hour. This sounds so do-able! I have a ton of things I’ve been procrastinating on, and an hour is really such a small cut of time in the frame of my entire week. And 2) One of the most effective strategies for banishing bad habits or changing habits is the strategy of scheduling. Schedule 10-15 min a day to indulge in your bad habit and then let it leave your mind. I loved this tip – now the trick is choosing which of my bad habits to indulge in, haha!

Chef Gabe Kennedy led us on a More Abundant session, where he shared his secret formula for a happy meal – every day you need an in-season vegetable, a green, a lean protein, a healthy fat and a sour food, like Yoplait Plenti Greek yogurt. He added, “One of my food secrets is to eat a “sour” food every day – Greek yogurt like Plenti is a great way to get that sour. Plus, it has my favorite seeds flax and pumpkin.”

Yoplait Plenti Yogurt

Dasha Libin Anderson led the More Fulfilling session, the founder of Kettlebell Kickboxing shared some great fitness techniques that could be done even at the office – and I’ve already started doing them myself and have shared them with my friends! Following that, during the More Interesting session, Pippa Lord encouraged us to do what we value – it’s easy to get so busy that we forget to be real cultured people with interests that can hold valuable conversation with each other. She recommends putting together a culture bucket list, and not being afraid of ditching the chores and spending a day being lazy – I can totally get behind that!

Plenti Lifestyle Advice

Altogether it was great, fulfilling evening – I learned so many great things, and I was able to finally try Yoplaits Plenti yogurt which I now love to have right after work/school when I need that extra boost of energy! Try it – trust me, it tastes amazing!

To find out more about Plenti yogurt, click here!