Read the May Issue of Athleisure Mag and see The Nine List in mag.
With Memorial Day fast approaching, many are even more focused than usual on their bodies and getting them into tip-top shape at the gym. While exercise has multiple benefits, very often workouts and great looking skin don't go together. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Board-Certified Denver plastic surgeon and anti-aging expert, to give tips on how you can get the six-pack and still have glowing, acne free skin.
Sweat Itself Does Not Cause Acne
First, "It is important to know that sweat itself does not cause acne," says Dr. Shah. He explains, "Professional sportsmen are predisposed to accumulating dirt and bacteria in their pores during and after workout periods. If left without proper cleansing this can cause worsening in skin conditions like acne and dermatitis."
These days a gym visit almost doesn't seem to "count" unless one Instagrams it. This often leads women to wear makeup to the gym. Just don't. Dr. Shah says, "Most makeup will clog pores by not allowing the skin to breathe naturally during workouts. A better option is a tinted moisturizer if you are self-conscious about your skin tone."
If you're going to be outdoors, apply a light moisturizer with SPF to keep your skin protected from UV rays. Make sure to choose a lightweight product as not to clog up your pores. Look for words like "non-comedogenic" or "oil-free" to know that your sunblock won't cause acne.
Don't Touch Your Face at the Gym!
Cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, these all breed bacteria. Touching them and them wiping beads of sweat off your face is a sure way to spread bacteria that can create new breakouts. Make sure to bring a towel for this instead of using your hands.
A Flowing Mane of Hair is Not Your Friend During a Workout
When you are working out it is a good idea to keep hair out of your face by styling it into a bun or rocking a dry and clean sweatband. Sweat and dirt can get transferred from your hair onto your face. If you haven't washed your hair and you use hairspray or other hair products, these can also splash onto your pores along with perspiration. This can cause irritations and breakouts.
How to Choose the Right Gym Towel
An old rag won't be effective at absorbing sweat. However, you don't want a gym towel that is as absorbent as a bath towel you would use to dry off your body after a shower at home. Dr. Shah says that "The gym towel should be a happy medium — absorbent enough to keep your face dry during a workout, but not so thick it clings to bacteria even after a wash."
Wear Loose and Comfortable Gym Clothes
"Spandex is tight clothing that can lead to skin infections from bacteria and fungi," warns Dr. Shah. "Wear loose attire that will also help wick away the sweat preventing it from being absorbed by your skin." Just google "sweat-wicking workout clothes."
Reduce the Redness
Calm down a flushed face with your redness control remedy made up of a little bit of iced green tea and a spray bottle. "You'll cool down your skin and add in a few extra anti-oxidants in the process," says Dr. Shah.
After your workout
Dr. Shah stresses, "Wash your face immediately after your workout. You don't want a mixture of dirt, oil, and bacteria clinging to your skin, affecting its pH, and clogging your pores. If you are exercising in a park where there is no sink, bring cleansing facial wipes with you."
Moisturize Post Workout
No matter your type of skin, after cleansing you must moisturize. Dr. Shah says that "Skipping this essential step can unknowingly dehydrate your skin causing your oil-producing glands to overcompensate by producing an oversupply of oil. Use a moisturizer that's been produced for your specific skin type and condition immediately after cleansing for the best results."
Skip the Hot Shower
Sure, your muscles are sore, and you're in the mood for a hot shower after a workout. Dr. Shah points out that, "Hot water strips skin of vital oils, leaving you with dry, itchy, dull skin." Exfoliate more often to avoid "Bacne." Breakouts on your back or chest are particularly common for "gym rats." To avoid this, use a gentle body scrub three times a week. Dr. Shah says, "This will keep pores clear and skin functioning well."
Save Your "Superhero" Products for Night
Save serious treatment products for bedtime. Dr. Shah points out that, "Even seemingly normal skin can experience much more sensitivity right after a workout. You may want to wait until redness decreases by bedtime to use your super-active acne or anti-aging treatment products."
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
Earlier this month, we had the honor of sitting down with one of our culinary faves at NYC's The Kitchen Table in NoLita with Gail Simmons. In addition to her role at Food & Wine Magazine, she is also known as a judge on BRAVO's Top Chef. We talked with Gail about her journey in food journalism, the importance of working throughout the food industry to gain invaluable knowledge of professional kitchens, Top Chef history, food diversity, how she maintains calm when planning for guest arrivals for food celebrations, key ingredients in her kitchen this Spring, where we can find her shopping in Brooklyn and more!
ATHLEISURE MAG: So tell us about your background and how you came to work in food journalism?
GAIL SIMMONS: It’s sort of a long story and I have always started with a love for food. I graduated from college and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my career and everyone else seemed to know what they wanted to do with their degree out of college. All I knew was that I loved to cook and I loved to write. But back then, that wasn’t necessarily a one plus one equals two situation. People were just starting to cover the food world. The term food media back then just meant writing for a handful of magazines or a couple pages of newspapers and there wasn’t the kinds of opportunities that they are now. But I knew that cooking was my passion and so I got a job first as an intern in a magazine and as an Editorial Assistant in a newspaper as sort of a lifestyle food and travel section. I realized that in working everyday around all of these different subjects that food is really what I am more interested in. Then I was given this really great piece of advice that anyone can write as you can practice on your own and that’s what you have editors for, but if you want to differentiate yourself and really make a mark in the food world then you really need to understand the professional kitchen and learn to cook.
So I picked up, packed up and moved to NYC and went to culinary school and from there I worked in a few really tough, but incredible professional kitchens as a line cook and always with an agenda that I wanted to write about it and knowing that I never wanted to be a chef in a kitchen full time. When the time was right and I had a lot of experience and felt that I really understood how to cook well properly with a good foundation, I moved back into writing first with Vogue Magazine as an Assistant to the Food Writer and then for a chef doing events, marketing and PR all sort of learning around the events of the restaurant industry in every different aspect of what it takes to work in the food industry. About 15 years ago, I landed at Food and Wine Magazine and I’ve sort of been there ever since.
AM: That is a journey and what was the moment while you were on this food journalism track that you realized that you wanted to enhance your brand and make that jump into TV as well?
GS: I didn’t actually. I never ever consciously thought, I want to enhance my brand as a personality – the word brand, was never in my language or in my purview. I never thought about going on to television it was always about writing and publishing for me back then – 14 years ago. I did a little bit of food television in my early days on behalf of Food & Wine because often morning shows would need someone to talk about recipes, wine trends from the magazine or what we were doing for our spring issue ,so I was the one that would often go on because I had the cooking and marketing background to go on and be able to do cooking demos and to talk with the anchors and the hosts. So that sort of became what I did for the magazine and about a year into my job at Food & Wine, BRAVO came to Food & Wine with this idea of a reality show about the lives of professional chefs and they wanted to call it Top Chef and they wanted to partner with Food & Wine to teach them about the world of food and cooking and in exchange, they would put one of their editors on the judges panel and so they screen tested me and asked me to do it and I have been doing it ever since. I never meant to do it, I never sought it out, but we also certainly never knew that it was going to be a hit show and that it would last this long. We’re going into our 17th season and it doesn’t seem like it is going to be slowing down.
AM: We love your authenticity and in doing the research to chat with you, it was amazing to see how many areas of this industry that you have touched to immerse yourself in this space. Clearly this is why you can speak about so many aspects of it due to your knowledge.
GS: For me, everything I did up until now, and what I continue to do, feeds into my experience and my knowledge. I don’t think that I could have ever gotten the job on television had I not done all of those things. I think that being able to speak to the real life of professional kitchens, which is what our show is about – we want to speak fairly and honestly in a constructive way and understand the work that chefs do. I think that you need to have a working knowledge of that to come across to your audience not only as authentic, but in a way that the audience of a show can identify with you because the audience can’t taste the food. You really become the taste buds for your viewers and I think that all of the work that I have done and before leading up to Top Chef helped prepare me.
AM: What led to you creating cookbooks and what is that process like for you when you’re making them?
GS: I think that these days, cookbooks for me was a very natural offshoot for everything that I do and finding a place where all of my favorite recipes could live that shaped me and make me who I am and recipes that I have learned and brought home from my travels that have become staples in my household and I wanted to just share those with everybody because I am asked for them so often. It was a great opportunity to put them in one place.
The process was rigorous. It took me 2 years to write my most recent book. 2 years is sort of par for the course and sometimes it can take many, many more. From conception to publication, so it was an all encompassing process. It was so much work in every aspect – testing, developing, testing, rewriting the recipes, editing etc. Writing all the head notes, the introduction, making sure that they are accurate having someone else retest for that accuracy. I really wanted to make sure that every recipe in the book not only sounded delicious, but was absolutely attainable for everyone to make at home.
AM: That’s intense. Going back to Top Chef, we have had the pleasure of interviewing Chef Brooke Williamson and Chef Richard Blais previously in Athleisure Mag as well as on Athleisure Studio’s podcast network show – Athleisure Kitchen. What is it like for you as a judge to be on Top Chef? What is the process like for you and how do you get yourself prepared for those moments that are taking place?
GS: I mean we have been making this show for so long that we have gotten it down to a science. It’s a great process though as we have a great crew that has worked with us for so many years and everyone really understands what every episode takes. So we’re a pretty fine tuned machine. I would say that the most important part of what I do is balancing - being constructive and fair with the challenge that is being presented every episode and making sure that I am speaking to that challenge and what all the different chefs that are doing. The great thing about the show is that we travel to a different city every single season so I always do a little research about the place because the location is going to inform so much about the cooking, the ingredients and the history. You know, the history of Charleston is going to be different then the history of Boston which is going to be very different than the history of Kentucky or California. I think it really plays a role and is what differentiates our show from all others.
AM: It’s also so inclusive to food diversity from a geographical standpoint. This season’s Top Chef was in Kentucky and one of our Co-Founders is from Indiana and many of the recipes that were made this season were also indicative of areas she grew up in and which allows audiences to connect from that standpoint as well.
GS: Exactly there is a lot of food overlap and that is what makes our show so fun. You don’t have to be a great cook to identify with loving food or understanding the history of this country. Food plays such a great role in that and in our families in the way that we eat, the way that we go out, the way that we celebrate and we try to stay true to the locations that we go to.
AM: How would you define, your style of cooking?
GS: I think my cooking is spontaneous and changes with a season. I’m a mom and I think my food has changed a lot since I became a mother. I want flavor and I want it to be healthy and easy to make because I don’t want to give people recipes that will take them 3 days in the kitchen and I certainly don’t have time to dedicate that. So my style really calls from all of my travel experience and my childhood which has a lot of influences. People always ask me, “what’s your favorite thing to cook?” I never have one favorite thing, it always depends on the time of year, where I traveled to last, the ingredients that I am most excited about and then ways that I go about organizing them and being the most efficient in the kitchen to get the most flavor by doing the least to the great quality of food that I have.
AM: Because you have done so much in the food industry, are there other projects that you would love to be a part of that you have yet to tackle – but would want to?
GS: I think there are so many things. There is so much travel that I want to do and I think that giving back to the community that helped me for so long is really important to me and there are so many ways to do that right now. Cooking is such a life skill, so not only does it nourish people, but it teaches people to translate that skill into a job anywhere where they are. Certainly, there are so many things where food applies to our lives, whether it’s politics or math and science. Teaching my child to cook, you become some conscious of that and so just teaching is always in the background for me, whether it’s through books or in television championing my industry, and giving back to my community through all of these different channels is always top of mind and there are always more things to be done.
AM: With Spring being here finally as we see the leaves on the trees – there are so many Spring holidays coming up and reasons to just come together just because. What are some trends taking place in the kitchen that we can incorporate right now into our dishes just to change things up?
GS: I think that Spring is just the most exciting moment in the year because we have all just been in hibernation for so long and I got real cozy with lots of soups and stews over the winter but I am ready for bright new ingredients. I am really excited about bringing all of those fresh herbs, fresh flavors, different fruits and vegetables into my diet that I haven’t been able to get all winter long. But I also want to be efficient with what I am cooking and because there are holidays in the Spring where you are cooking for a crowd often of all ages with family and friends with Easter and Passover – you really want to optimize your time in the kitchen. My entertaining strategies are always about finding recipes that you can be organized with and prepare as much as possible with in advance, so that when guests do arrive you’re just doing the minimal to get food on the table so that you can spend time with them.
AM: People come by unexpectedly sometimes. What do you suggest that we should always have in our fridges so that we can ensure that we are always ready as sometimes you never know when Auntie May comes by!
GS: Yes and there’s nothing to eat – it’s true! I mean I think with a few simple ingredients, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are ways to use them so that you’re picking ingredients that are versatile. A few products that I love are having lots of fresh herbs in my fridge and lots of citrus as they can be added to lots of things from pasta to cottage cheese. They can be turned into so many things in so many different ways. Or even eggs that they can go on top of. I love keeping good quality dairy products as they are always in my fridge. As I said, herbs and citrus, cheese, eggs, and then as much fresh ingredients as possible. So if you have salad greens or you have a few key bowls of berries, you can make 100 different things. Breakfast for example, is a time where I feel that people run out of ideas. There are a ton of things going on in the morning or if you’re entertaining in the morning there is a lot you have to do so quickly. If you have people over for brunch for Easter for example, if you can think a little ahead of time – you can make a really beautiful statement with minimal work. One thing that I always advocate is big batch cooking. I love making granola for example and I make it a week in advance in a big batch that I can eat throughout the week and I can have it as my go-to to put on top of things in the morning. Or just eat it as a handful to grab and go as a snack. When you have granola and some fresh berries, granola in the fridge and cottage cheese, then there you have the perfect protein packed, versatile and easy breakfast parfait that looks great and beautiful for everyone.
AM: When you are planning for 8-10 people that you know are coming for a dinner party, people get overwhelmed with the idea of tackling this – what do you do?
GS: I always make sure that I make my list and be organized. I can never underestimate how important that, is especially when you have guests arriving. Try not to do too many things and remember that you can ask for help. I think that people forget to do that. If I’m having people over, I want to think 2 days out about what I can do and then 1 day out, what I can do. Sometimes that feels daunting – no one has 3 days to make a meal, but I’m not talking about major cooking. Just marinating your meat in the morning so that 8 hours later when you cook it, it has all that flavor that is already done. That’s just 20 minutes in the morning and then you’re ready to cook as soon as guests arrive and it’s the same when you’re making your dressings in advance if you’re making a salad. I love making bowls – grain bowls for example, so doing things like making the dressing in advance, washing the lettuce, if I’m using quinoa or another grain like that – cooking it in advance really takes 15 minutes and then it’s cooled and ready to go and it’s in your fridge and all you’re doing is really assembly.
AM: What are 3 ingredients that you always have in your kitchen that are really good for versatile dishes?
GS: I would say that right now it’s fresh herbs, lemons because I use every part of the lemon from the juice to the zest and Hood Cottage Cheese because I feel it is the most versatile dairy product that I have that everyone loves and you can do so many things with it.
AM: Do you have some recipes for those of us that are busy and running around that are easy to satisfy and easy to make as well?
GS: One recipe that is my go to because it’s great for lunch, it’s great for a snack and it can feed a crowd and it’s easy to batch it up for 10 people or to just have a personal bowl of when I need something that is healthy and really satisfying – I make a really delicious Mango Avocado Salsa. Lots of lemons, lots of lime juice and lime zest and fresh cilantro tossed with fresh mango and avocado and I put it on a base of Hood Cottage Cheese with Black Pepper in a bowl. My little trick is I always make a little well in the center of the cottage cheese using the back of my spoon and I pile all the salsa right in the middle so that when you’re dipping you’re getting a little of both and you’re not searching for one ingredient or the other. I find that it’s a great after school snack for my kids, it’s a great appetizer for a dinner party or the perfect quick lunch for me on the go and it really doesn’t require many ingredients.
I talked with you about the grain bowl which is another one to make in advance and then the granola that I make all the time for breakfast for parfaits. Because if you have some fresh wash berries in the fridge, you can have your granola that you made before and all you have to do is layer it on together.
AM: Are there other ways that cottage cheese can be used beyond what someone would think is their “traditional” use?
GS: I think that cottage cheese is having this renaissance moment because people are rediscovering it from their childhood. First of all, it’s packed with protein which is a bonus, it can be used the same way that you use other dairy products. I love it in smoothies, I can use it in place of ricotta for pasta and lasagna. My kids love it and my little baby loves it for breakfast in the morning. It has texture and a rich creaminess and it's a great item to have around.
AM: You’re based here in NYC, where can we find you working out, grabbing a meal/cocktail and shopping?
GS: In NY the options are endless and I live in Brooklyn – I love my neighborhood. It’s a quiet treelined neighborhood in Brooklyn. There’s a lot of great places to eat nowadays. I’m really obsessed with eating at a lot of places with fresh little small plates and a glass of wine so there’s a great wine bar close to me called June that I love and another wine bar with great food called Frank’s Wine Bar. When I’m in downtown NY, where we are today in NoLita – I love eating at a little Middle Eastern spot that has really fresh fast casual food called In the Dez, it’s delicious and right up the street. That’s where you can see me grabbing food.
Working out - now that the nice weather is out, I can pick up running again. I love running, but I don’t like running indoors so winter is kind of out for me and I take a break from running. But I live near the Brooklyn Promenade so running from my house to the Brooklyn Bridge is sort of my go to run when the weather is nice. If not, then I’m a spinner so you can catch me at SoulCycle.
And shopping – what kind of shopping?
AM: Well whatever, whether it’s for clothes or food – it’s so open!
GS: I mean, that’s a tough one! Shopping – I’m shopping for lots of things all the time! Let’s see, I love Veronica Beard for clothes, she’s a great designer that I wear a lot from these days. For food, what I love about my Brooklyn neighborhood is that it’s so old school in that instead of going to big huge grocery stores, there are small shops so I have my local butcher that I love, there is an amazing Middle Eastern store that I get all of my spices and things like pita and fresh bread and things like that. I’m at the regular grocery store buying all of my pantry items too.
AM: Your makeup is always great and you have great skin. As someone who travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you use?
GS: I have really dry skin so traveling definitely takes a toll. But I am also someone that doesn’t use 50 products a day because I’m someone that has to get up and go and I am always in a rush. So 3 products that I love my under eye I believe in helping as much as possible because tired is real. I’m a big fan of Drunk Elephant Vitamin C under eye cream that I use all of the time. There is a really beautiful store here in NYC and there is another in Boston and in a few other locations possible in DC, and It’s called Follain that has the most non toxic products from body to face to make up and hair products that are not only good for the planet, but with ingredients that are pure and all natural – so I use a lot of their products. I love Naturopathica skin care. I use a bunch of their products – I love their Daily Moisturizer and there’s this Body Balm that I absolutely love OSEA. They carry it at Follain so I get it there, but I initially got it as a gift and I’m obsessed with it. I love the smell, it’s rich and luxurious and really a great natural and beautiful skincare product for your whole body.
AM: You’re very busy. How do you take time for yourself to just recharge and disconnect?
GS: It’s a hard thing to do and it requires actual carve out time on the calendar for sure. Working out and clearing my brain is really important. I have to force myself to do it, but for me, it’s not about losing weight as obviously staying healthy is important. It’s about clearing my head and destressing because I know I will feel better at the end of the day if I can. I love that I live in NYC and I don’t have a car and that I can walk everywhere as I find that therapeutic. Cooking is also something that lets me relax at the end of the day. There is nothing that I like more than anything at the end of the day, relaxing with friends where I can sit around the table and I can cook for them and destress and really connect with the people that I love the most and that to me is taking a great time for myself. Once or twice a year, I like a really good massage and date night with my husband is also nice every once in awhile! We forget to do it, but when we do it’s always important.
You can hear this interview with Gail Simmons May 3rd on our show, Athleisure Kitchen, which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast shows.
Athleisure Mag’s April celebrity cover is Trinity Fatu who goes by the name Naomi in the ring as a WWE Superstar as well as being on E! Total Divas! We had the chance to hang out with her while she was here in NYC for WrestleMania which is the WWE’s equivalent to the Super Bowl. In addition to a fun shoot at The Loft in Flatiron and Limelight Fitness Club, we sat down with Trinity to talk about her journey from studying dance, being a NBA Orlando Magic Cheerleader, transitioning into the WWE, her love for performing and entertaining, sharing her personal life on E! Total Divas, endurance in the business and her coupleship with her husband Jonathan Fatu, who is a WWE wrestler under the name Jimmy Uso, and is half of the tag team The Usos.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Prior to coming to the WWE, tell us about your background as we know that you were an NBA cheerleader previously with the Orlando Magic.
TRINITY FATU: Yes! I started dance at the age of 8 and I studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern and hip hop up until the age of 18. I competed nationally and once I was 18, I was too old to compete and graduated high school. So it was time for that next chapter and from there, I auditioned and went to the Magic from there. I wanted to go to Alvin Ailey Dance School, but at the time I just wasn’t mentally prepared and honestly, I was just scared to leave home! I had never been away from home so I ended up doing community college and stayed local and ended up doing Magic.
I’m kind of glad now that I didn’t go, because I don’t think that I ever would have gotten into wrestling and then I would have never met my husband and so on and so forth! It all kind of worked out how it was supposed to. I also come from a very musical family. My father is a musician – he’s a guitarist, my uncle is George McCrae.
AM: Shut up!
TF: Yes he had the song, “Rock Your Baby” in the 70’s and some other songs! Yes it’s just the ability to perform and entertain is in my blood and in my family’s so it was inevitable for me that I would do something in entertainment. One year, I had 12 jobs working through temp agencies and just trying to find the right job for me. But I was never satisfied with a 9-5 job. It had to be something that involved me being with people and being active. Socializing and working with people is that I ended up realizing that I like to do.
AM: So what led you to going to the WWE and what was that process like?
TF: So at the time, I was still an Orlando Magic dancer and the wrestling show came to the Amway Center one night and I ended up just wanting to watch the show. My girlfriend and some of the dancers told me about it and we ended up watching the show. When I saw the women perform, I was in awe and blown away by the entire show. I didn’t know much about wrestling and let alone that women had a role in it as much as they did and that they could do all the things that they did. It was a 6 woman tag that I saw and I mean they were killing it and they looked so beautiful. I knew right then that it was something that I wanted to do and that I could do!
So from there, I talked to my friend who knew someone that knew someone that knew someone. I went around asking questions to figure out how to get a try out. Fortunately, at the time, the developmental was in Tampa which was only an hour and a half away. I literally drove one weekend to Tampa to do a try out and then 3 months later, I finally heard back from them and they told me that I got a development deal and that I could start training. Then I left right from home a few weeks later, moved to Tampa and started my wrestling journey!
AM: Did you have a mentor when you were coming up through the system?
TF: Well I met my husband (Jonathan Fatu who goes by the name Jimmy Uso in the WWE) and it’s crazy because he was there a few months before me. But when I first got there, my husband was one of the first people that I met and so he has always been a mentor to me and my guidance through this whole thing. Norman Smiley who still develops and trains new talent now. Dr. Tom Prichard is also a former wrestler, as well as Dusty Rhodes – developmental is diff
erent now with NXT because I came through a different name. Mine was called FCW. All the guys that came around at that time, I felt that they all had some kind of influence and help. But most definitely would be my husband.
AM: What does it mean to you to be a WWE Superstar?
TF: It has become so much of who I am and my identity at this point. When I came in, I was just looking for a transition, I had been cheerleading for a few years and I just wanted something new and to express myself creatively. I had no idea how big wrestling was and what type of platform that I would be on and that I could make a career out of it! At the time, it was something to do at the moment and to just get me to that next chapter of my life until I figured out what I wanted to go to school for and how I would make a living. I was just thinking of doing something that kept me performing and when I got into it, realized how incredible an opportunity that it was, how massive it was and how global it was and the effect that it has on people – I completely fell in love with it, the lifestyle and it came apart of my life. That's when I realized that it was something that I wanted to do.
So to me, this was my life and it is my world. At this point, it’s like everything – it’s how I take care of my family, how I found my purpose, it’s how my husband and I bond over it. It’s become so entwined into my life that it really is everything to me! I take pride and appreciate the responsibility to not only represent African American women, but to be a role model for all women on this platform
AM: Well we got the chance to do our photoshoot during WrestleMania – for those who may not know, can you tell us what this is and how important it is to your year?
TF: Wrestlemania is our Super Bowl! It’s our biggest Pay-Per-View of the year. People travel all over the world to come into town to see our WrestleMania. It’s what we work towards all year to be on that show and to be on that Pay-Per-View. The best of the best is on WrestleMania.
So, to be on that and to share the ring with the greats like John Cena, Randy Orton and all of these incredible Superstars it’s definitely one of the biggest events of the year to perform live in front of 80,000 people at Met Life Stadium, one of the biggest and known stadiums around the world. It’s epic and it’s massive and to just be in that environment to feel that adrenaline from the audience – it’s something that you can’t get anywhere else!
AM: Are there additional matches that we should keep an eye on that are also significant throughout your year?
TF: I am most stoked about the Women’s Main Event. It’s the first time in history that we’ll be main eventing at WrestleMania. Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair as well as the Fatal 4-Way Women’s Tag Team Championship Match for the first time ever as well. So the women, it really is an evolution they are just killing it and they are going to raise the bar. So aside from the Women’s Battle Royal at WrestleMania, you can also look forward to these other women’s matches that are going to be awesome.
AM: In addition to being a wrestler for WWE, you are also on E! Total Divas which we are a fan of. How did you come about getting on this show and how important do you feel that it is to amplify your brand as well as to showcase your personal life?
TF: Well the original cast was handpicked by the company – Vince and at the time, I had a tag team partner, Ariane Andrew known as Cameron. They thought that we would bring a different dynamic to the show and we were a contrast to The Bella Twins at the time for our angle. We worked against them at the time and her and I had a great chemistry. They were right about all those things at the time and that’s why initially we were selected for the show. I was apprehensive at first. I used to be very private and protective of my personal life – I mean now with social media and so many opinions, so many critics – I was protective of that. But I also saw the bigger picture, the platform that we were being given and I did want to be able to tell our story as women in the business as well as seeing the other side of us. To see how hard we work, that women can do it and to motivate others. I knew that there would be a different audience that we would be able to connect with and reach out to that we can’t always do with wrestling. That’s why along with speaking with my partner at the time, we decided to go ahead and do it together. It was a package deal, we had to do it together.
AM: That’s what makes the show so interesting to see you guys in the ring, prepping for it, coming off the ring and to see your dynamics when you’re with your colleagues as well as your personal life. Watching you and your husband talking about your business as well as your personal life. It’s something that is applicable to people regardless of what their jobs are. The dynamics of a coupleship and how you live day to day is a great component of this show that we get to see in your dynamic and it really strikes a cord as we watch it and can completely relate!
TF: I really wanted people to see that because there is only so much that you can know about me when watching, RAW or SmackDown. I just knew that with the girls that I was working with, with the show we’re on and the company that was backing us that it would be an empowering show and uplifting one for women. I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to do that.
AM: So what is an average week like for you as you could be prepping for your next match, maybe you’re going into tapings, doing a charity – if there is such a thing in terms of average, what would it be?
TF: Well we’re moving and traveling 5 days a week and we have appearances weekly with radio stations, charity events, signings and our show is each night. We perform, we fly into town, perform for the show and then drive to the next city, and we do that about 4 days a week and on the 5th we’re traveling to get back home to recharge and do it all over again, year around – there is no off season.
I think that the toughest part is the travel. You would think that it would be the wrestling and the physical part, but that’s the best part and easiest part. When you calculate and think about all the hours that it takes to get there just to perform for 10 minutes and for the women, you’re fortunate if you get the 10 minutes – it’s good! The hard part and the most energy draining portion is the traveling. Being on the road so much, you’re away from home, friends and family. But that is part of the lifestyle.
AM: Since you do travel so much, what are 3 must hav3s that you have with you in your suitcase whenever you’re on the road?
TF: I always have my travel blanket, because I am always cold no matter where I am or how warm it is. I am always just cold! I’d also say my makeup bag and just lotions and moisturizers – all of that good stuff since traveling a lot really dries your skin out. Sunglasses for those days when I don’t want to put makeup on.
AM: Who would you say are your go to people in the WWE squad?
TF: Other than my husband and my brother-in-law (Joshua Fatu/WWE’s Jey Uso) his twin. As far as girls, I would say Lana, Natalya and Tamina Snuka. We all kind of broke in around the same time and have been around each other for the last few years. We have experienced the ups and downs together which has naturally made us bond and be very close with one another.
AM: Because you do travel so much, how do you maintain your coupleship with your husband – do you have date nights?
TF: Yes! We always try to make sure that we tell each other to never stop dating one another. We are always together, but I feel like we’re always in work mode. The hard part is being able to turn it off – not to talk about work, not to talk about wrestling and really just tune everything and everyone out and just focus on each other. We’re together all the time, but there are so many distractions. We’re together, but we’re not. We get to the arena and we’re there for 12 hours a day. Sometimes, I don’t see him all day because he’s preparing or he’s meeting people and getting ready to do the things that he needs to do. I'm over here getting my match together or filming for Total Divas. Then we get into the car and we have whatever amount of hours to drive and I’m asleep or he’s asleep. It’s finding that quality time.
AM: Our Co-Founders are a couple and they totally get this – it’s a balancing act!
TF: I know! A lot of people don’t understand like how can you be together that much, but then you don’t have time? You just have to live it to explain it because it sounds ridiculous!
AM: We had the chance to work out with you a few years back at TapOut gym and some of your fellow Superstars. It was great to do some of your routines that were simple and yet effective to get a great physique! What are some routines that people can get into their workouts that they should pick out that you do?
TF: For me, I just eat in moderation, I have a really bad sweet tooth so I pretty much eat what I want, but I just watch my portions which works for me. I just do a lot of cardio. I’m not a stickler for any kind of regimen. I just get in there and really do what I want. I don’t really lift heavy with a lot of weight. I do more of a full body workout and lots and lots of cardio. I do at least an hour of cardio the 5 days that I’m on the road and then when I’m home, I’m off. But if I eat bad, it just means that I have to work harder in the gym and if I eat better, then I don’t have to work as hard. So I just try to always balance things out. For the most part, it’s just eat healthy, a balanced diet. I feel like as long as you’re active and moving, it doesn’t matter. As long as you’re using your body and making it do something, you can feel when you’re working and when it burns. You can feel when you’re tired. I feel like as long as you’re pushing your body to do something, you will be ok! If you're working, your body will work. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
AM: So have you watched the release of her film Homecoming on Netflix?
TF: Girl, you know I did! I watched it like 5 times! I have been watching it everyday since it came out on repeat! I think that she is the greatest thing that has ever walked this Earth!
AM: She doesn’t quit!
TF: No no she doesn’t and I will not tolerate anything bad that is said about her! I will pop off on anybody that does. She is truly amazing and my idol – her work ethic, her personality and you never hear any bad stuff about her. To be in the entertainment business for so long and to just have that kind of character – it’s insane to me. She is a great feminist and humanitarian – I just love her.
AM: How do you take time for yourself as you’re schedule is beyond busy.
TF: Honestly, I don’t have much down time to myself. I do have a little room in my house that I call it my Little Lounge – it’s my She Shed. It’s very yoga like and bohemian. I have my pillows on the floor, the colors are warm and it’s very cozy and relaxing. I’ll get up there and relax and turn on my meditation music and nature sounds, write songs, think and relax. That’s probably the most that I feel to get away. I don’t like to go anywhere because I’m always gone so my home is the best getaway and vacation. We’re gone over 300 some days out of the year traveling. My home is my sanctuary. I go up in my little room and have my me time.
AM: We’re all about tribes and #TRIBEGOALS those who inspire us, who are 3 people that do this for you?
TF: Oh yes – one would be my Uncle Buck. He’s my best friend. He’s always on my Instagram. He has been an uncle and like a father to me since I was born, my whole life. We just have a really tight bond and relationship. He has always been there for me. He is a huge supporter has always been at every dance competition, every track meet, every prom – always there and still there. He really is my best friend. My mom – I mean just watching her strength growing up and being a single parent and just how gracious she has been my whole life. My mom can do no wrong in my eyes and I would probably say Beyonce and Michelle Obama!
AM: How would you define your personal style when you’re going out with the girlfriends for drinks vs date night vs just hanging out?
TF: I would say that I am very funky and spontaneous. For gym flows and my days off, I’m always very comfortable in sweats and a hoodie. For a date night, I like to be extra spontaneous – sometimes it’s a freakum dress and other times it’s an elegant dress. One day I could be dressed like 80s and retro and then the next day, I could want to be classy and in some designer stuff. I love rave clothes, funky, bright colors. I’m all over the place. Whatever I see, I like and I’m not set in a certain style. I do like to be loud and different. I have never been afraid to stand out. I would just say spontaneous and to just keep it fun.
AM: We’re a big believer in that if you don’t feel comfortable with what you’re wearing – no matter what it is, it’s not going to look right!
TF: That’s so true. I remember one day waking up and I had spent 5-6 hours getting braids put in but the next day, I just took them out because I didn’t want my hair like that anymore – I wanted a bob or a fro ha! I’m just like that and have always done that!
AM: We know you’re based in Florida, where can we see you grabbing a meal/cocktail, shopping and working out?
TF: Well nowadays, I shop online. I also like the simple stuff where stores have a lot of options so I like Forever 21, love Topshop, American Apparel, Fashion Nova, House of CB. I really love Fashion Nova which is taking over my closet because it’s affordable, it always fits and you can find so many things that fits my style. With what I do, I can’t wear something once it has been on TV and I can’t be caught wearing it again. I like to mix and match them with my style for whatever I am going for at the moment.
For food, I love Ramen noodles so Jinya Ramen Bar I could eat that everyday! They are a ramen bar and only major cities have them, but I love them and you can catch me there! I also love shopping at Whole Foods.
I workout everywhere. My husband and I have talked about getting a gym membership, as when we’re home there are a number of gyms but then when we travel, those gyms may not be in the cities that we are going to! Sometimes we’ll be in the Midwest and there won’t be a LA Fitness, they have Planet Fitness so we get to the town and look up the gym and we just take a day pass. When I’m home, I just train at our home gym in my garage.
TRINITY'S SWIM LOOK | SOUL OF A HIPPIE Sundown Kimono Floral Pastel | MEI L'ANGE Ella Ruched Maillot | Sequin Jewelry Turquoise Color Karma Tassel Necklace | LOVARD Gila Necklace | REVO Sunglasses | VIA SAVIENE Cut-Out Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S OUT AND ABOUT LOOK | LOVE BINETTI EY: Sweet Dreams Sleeveless Cotton Dress | NAGICIA Bamboo Framed Donut Ring | QUPID Peep Toe Booties |
TRINITY'S FITNESS LOOK | HANRO Touching Feeling Crop Top + Touching Feeling Boyleg | CARTON OUTERWEAR Clear Hooded Jacket |
TRINITY'S EVENING LOOK | F21 Plunging Maxi Dress | MIRIAM HASKELL Necklace |
Each year brings with it fashion trends, decorating trends, and beauty trends.
The latter covers everything from nails, haircare, makeup and skincare. With the ubiquity of social media, beauty users now can pick up popular trends from anywhere across the world and follow them. Skincare is the biggest segment in the beauty industry with global sales that hover around $130 billion in 2019. There is so much for consumers to digest and decide on. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and skin care expert. He takes a microscope to some of the hottest trends in 2019 to give you insight into what’s worth your hard- earned dollars.
CBD In Skincare
Much like it did in 2018, CBD is taking off in the new year. In fact, CBD (short for cannabidiol) has no plans of easing up its reign on the skin-care world in 2019. As a case in point, there are at least two MAJOR skin care brands that now include CBD in their skincare, not to mention the indie companies who have created CBD skincare. Dr. Shah’s take: “As far as it being good for skin, it acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and an oil reduction agent. Theoretically, its addition to skin care products, especially those tasked to fight acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, is probably legitimate. It is also a good antioxidant that can help protect against free radical damage to skin cells. CBD can be made from hemp which helps skincare companies get around the federal ban on marijuana. Side effects of unregulated use include: Nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.”
Some beauty editors and bloggers swear by pimple patches. According to experts, those patches are about to get even more advanced by way of a ton of tiny microneedles (or "microstructures").The logic is that you can out put a smaller amount of acne-fighting ingredients into these tiny little cones and apply it to the skin, it's a better, more effective delivery system.
Here's how they are purported to work: The small band-aid-like sticker has spikes coated with hyaluronic acid that are thinner than a hair follicle. Through these teeny painless pricks in the skin, the patch drives the active ingredients deep in to the skin. Dr. Shah’s take:
“There is plenty of good medical literature on the validity of these small patches that are impregnated with various chemicals. The patch gets worn and the needles (either metallic or made out of absorbable polymer) penetrate the skin delivering the chemical treatment. Their design takes advantage of the concept of transcutaneous delivery of drugs. Patches can be custom made to fit various areas of the face and deliver anti-aging or other chemicals while a patient sleeps. The efficiency of delivery is better through the tiny skin punctures than if you only put the chemical directly on the intact skin. In theory, aesthetic practitioners can make custom topical treatments and place them on the patches to deliver customized at home skin treatments for their patients.”
Is a Cryotherapy Facial Is the Best Way to Brighter, Tighter Skin?
Cryotherapy has gained popularity in recent years with spa treatments exposing clients to subzero temperatures to help relieve pain and improve their health. This wellness treatment has recently undergone another adaptation with the cryotherapy facial treatment. The Cryo Facial is a cryogenic treatment that is performed by what is considered a "cryo probe," which beams vaporized liquid nitrogen across the forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Different from the cryotherapy chambers that can be used for pain relief, the facial targets helping the face look younger. Dr. Shah’s take: “This may be more suspect. There isn't a great deal of study-based evidence that cryotherapy facials actually do what they claim. Typically, cryotherapy uses extremely cold liquid nitrogen to freeze exposed skin cells to kill them, like a wart. The facials use the same liquid nitrogen as a spray, but the aesthetician doesn't stay in one area too long to avoid frostbite to the skin. Some level of cold injury occurs, probably to a very superficial level of the skin, so there may be some exfoliation. But there are safer ways to get exfoliation without risking frostbite or hyperpigmentation.”
ANTI-POLLUTION SKIN CARE
Your skin is exposed to environmental aggressors on a regular basis. Although unseen, these pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its bounce. To help reduce these unwanted side effects, anti-pollution skin care products are continuing to gain favorability among consumers. Just as SPF is now de rigor in skin care, this seems to be the case with anti-pollution ingredient. Dr. Shah’s take: “I think that this is a new name for old tech. In brief, our skin is exposed to environmental contaminants that create inflammatory conditions. These conditions lead to build up of free radicals in the skin. The ingredients in antipollution skin care are basically strong antioxidants that protect against the free radicals. But the skin is assaulted by more than chemicals. It experiences dehydration, UV exposure, temperature changes, etc. True antipollution skincare should guard against all this. Typical protective and reparative ingredients include vitamin E, vitamin C, retinoids, hyaluronic acid, zinc oxide, vitamin B3, and bisabolol.”
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Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that smoking, not wearing sunscreen and going to bed with your makeup on hardly produces the coveted look of Instagram’s “glass skin.” Aside from these three ‘skin sins’ there are many others that are not so obvious. We turned to Denver Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Manish Shah who is a big believer in pre-juvenation and a holistic approach to youth.
“Many people think caring for your skin is skin-deep,” quips Dr. Shah. “It is not.“ Inconsistent or inadequate nutrition that has your body mass and weight moving in a yo-yo motion up and down the scale can contribute to ruined elasticity and reduced collagen in the skin. This is part of the reason why specialists will recommend a two-pound maximum weight loss goal per week because your skin needs time to adapt to the loss of mass. Dr. Shah explains that the skin needs to be nourished from the inside as well and many of the trend diets like keto and paleo focus on one group of food and though it can help keep a caloric deficit, it can also create a deficit of the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to keep your skin looking healthy.
Drinking Too Much Coffee
“Excessive amounts of caffeine can increase the levels of insulin and cortisol in the system,” explains Dr. Shah. Insulin increases inflammation and cortisol is known as the stress hormone. This combination could mix up your sleeping habits and contribute to continued stress which can lead to sleep deprivation. “Sleep deprivation prevents that regenerative rest our skin and mind need to stay healthy.”
Neglecting the Skin Around Your Eyes
"The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and has very few oil glands," says Dr. Shah. Pamper your eyes and stave off signs of aging by choosing a daily eye cream that includes peptides. Dr. Shah explains, “They work to stimulate collagen production and prevent fine lines. Be sure to check the label.” Other notable ingredients that reduce puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and under eye circles are caffeine and nicotinic acid (a form of the B vitamin niacin).
Expecting Instant Results from Beauty Treatments
Most of us are guilty of trying a face cream or anti-aging treatment once or twice and then giving up on it before it has had a chance to work. A majority of anti-aging treatments take up to a month to begin showing positive effects. Dr. Shah explains, “This is due to the cycle of your skin, which undergoes a period of cellular structure renewal over a span of 30 days. In our instant gratification mode, we often toss a product before giving it time to work.”
Taking Medications With Side-Effects on the Skin
Certain medications like corticosteroids for asthma and arthritis cause the skin to thin and weakens blood vessels. Medicine to treat seizures can cause heightened sensitivity to sun damage in the skin which is a common perpetrator in premature aging. Blood pressure medications that block calcium channels have been studied in relation to their inhibition of collagen production by obstructing the absorption of vitamin C by the cells. Vitamin C is an important part of collagen production. “If these medications are being prescribed to you by your physician then the benefits outweigh their effect on collagen production. There is no need to stress over this, as long as you take care of your skin in other ways you should be fine,” explains Dr. Shah.
Consuming Excessive Amounts of Salt
“By all measures, an excess of salt in your diet is detrimental to your kidneys, your cardiovascular health and, yes, your skin,” says Dr. Shah. Salt absorbs moisture and it can aid in making your skin look dry and less vibrant. Reducing your sodium intake and sticking to a moisturizing routine should help your skin stay healthy and smooth.
Every time you move that beautiful face, your skin wrinkles a little bit. Most of the time your face bounces back and those little wrinkles disappear once new skin cells grow.
While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, this is actually not the case. The reason for this is that your skin has an acid mantle which is a natural protective barrier of the skin. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer of oils and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. Dr. Shah says that “While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.”
Tugging on Your Skin While Applying or Removing Makeup
To minimize the damage to the skin around your eyes, follow these quick tips from Dr. Shah:
Use your ring finger to pat on products around your eyes, including serums, oils, moisturizers, and concealers. Your ring finger is the least likely to pull or tug at your skin.
Apply eyeliner and eyeshadow by gently closing your eyelids, rather than by pulling them taut. If you’re struggling to apply without pulling, consider investing in products that are made to apply smoothly, like cream or gel formulas.
Have patience when removing makeup from the eye area. Use cotton or another soft product, coated well with your favorite makeup removing solution. Hold the cotton over your closed eye without wiping, allowing the product to break down the makeup. After a minute or so, wipe gently to remove the makeup.
Picking Your Skin
You're not a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician. You should not be picking at your pimples, ingrown hairs, or anywhere else on your face. It's one of the biggest assaults against your skin and can have permanent effects. "The more people press and manipulate blemishes, the more inflammation they create underneath," explains Dr. Shah. "The result is scars, pockmarks, and discoloration that can become permanent.”
Licking Your Lips Constantly
There's a myth out there that claims people can get addicted to lip balm. "These people just have dry skin and miss the feeling of the balm when it's gone," says Dr. Shah. Lip licking can become a bad habit. But when you moisten your lips that way, you actually wind up making things worse. The water in your saliva evaporates, leaving lips dry and cracked. "Saliva can contain bacteria and irritants, so you can end up with a rash around the lips as well," says Dr. Shah. Try a lip balm such as Burt's Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Original Beeswax with Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil.
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Our friends over at FUNKSHION headed to Austin, TX during SXSW with their Health and Wellness Platform, The RETREAT by FUNKSHION on March 10th at the South Congress Hotel. This event included prominent fitness experts, wellness leaders, and industry shifters that hosted classes and were on panels as well as leading studio classes. This event was focused to create awareness about relevant topics related to the world of wellness.
With a day filled with an array of sessions, guests also had access to a mini-pop up shop with Essie Nail Station, Hair Braid Bar and they were able to shop Blank Label, Milk + Honey and Surterra Wellness.
“We wanted to create an inspiring and interactive event that will cover every angle of this widely-grown lifestyle, and connect the industry on both a national and regional level,” commented FUNKSHION’s Creative Director, Natalija Dedic Stojanovic. “It was a logical move to take The RETREAT to SXSW in our third year of the event. Austin’s market truly celebrates the health and wellness lifestyle like a religion. We match-made Austin founded companies like Outdoor Voices, Milk + Honey and C4 with industry tastemakers like Ron Boss, Bethany C. Meyers and Lo Bosworth (founder of Love Wellness). The result was an extraordinary success. All the panel discussions offered riveting commentary and advice on battling everything from common stigmas to eating disorders; and discovering ways to stay fit and mindful in the most difficult moments” mentioned Stojanovic.
The Retreat will continue to host its annual May event in the Miami Design District and is planning to host its first ever New York edition in mid-September.
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