This September, our cover is graced by Leah Van Dale who wrestles under the name Carmella as a WWE SuperStar who is also on E! Total Divas, which is back for its 9th season on Oct 1st! Our shoot took place during NYFW, which showcased SS20 collections that we can't wait to start rocking in a few months. Our shoot took place at The Mondrian Park Ave Hotel on the Mondrian Terrace as well as at their lower level lounge known as The Boogie Room.
As we showcased great transitional fall looks, we also got to know more about this athlete, whose career has included being a dancer for the New England Patriots as well as the LA Lakers as a Laker Girl and of course being a WWE SuperStar. In addition, she also launched her own wine label that embodies her mantra and how she sees the world as she continues to amass her empire.
ATHLEISURE MAG: You have had an amazing career, that has included cheerleading, dancing, modeling, wrestler and entrepreneur. When you were growing up, what was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be an entertainer?
LEAH VAN DALE: For as long as I can remember. I was dancing before I could even walk. It’s where I feel the most comfortable. I’ve always loved putting on a show!
AM: Earlier this year, our Feb cover included a few members of the Super Bowl Champions’ New England Patriots, what was your journey to becoming a cheerleader for this team for 3 seasons?
LVD: I danced my entire life. When I started college I knew I wanted to continue my passion for dancing. I found out about a try out to become a New England Patriots Cheerleader. I went to the try out and made it! The rest was really history.
AM: After 3 seasons with the New England Patriots, you became a Laker Girl for the Los Angeles Lakers for a season, what was that process like?
LVD: At the time, you could only cheer for the Patriots for three seasons. I had just graduated college in May of 2010 and I was ready for a change. I flew out to LA the day before the tryout. There were almost 700 girls there for the audition and only 6 spots open on the team. I felt so out of my element. I kept making it to the next round and after almost two months of tryouts and training I made the team! I picked up and moved to LA without knowing anyone or anything about the city, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it.
AM: As someone who was familiar with the WWE as your father Paul Van Dale is a mixed martial artist and worked with the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) in the 80s and 90s – when did you decide that you wanted to be in the WWE?
LVD: Honestly, I never thought I would end up in the WWE. I used to watch it when I was a kid, but it wasn’t something I aspired to do. I wanted to be a dancer. My dad would bring it up from time to time but I always shut the idea down. When I did everything I could with dance I found out about a tryout with WWE. The timing was perfect. All the stars aligned and my journey to become Women’s Champion began.
AM: Tell us about your journey for becoming a part of the WWE?
LVD: I moved to Orlando in 2013 when I was signed to WWE’s developmental brand NXT. I trained at the Performance Center for a little over two years; learned the basics in wrestling and created my Carmella character. In 2016, I was drafted to Smackdown Live and I’ve been moon walking and trashing all over TV since.
AM: Your ring name is Carmella, why did you choose that name and what is the persona of her when you're wrestling – how does this differ from you?
LVD: I wanted an Italian mob-wife character. I channeled my inner Carmella Soprano. I wore fur jackets and talked with an accent. We already had a girl on the roster billed from Boston (where I’m from) so they decided to bill me from Staten Island (which is my real life rival!! A New Englander pretending to be from New York?!?!) I did all the studying I could do to make sure I really gave off the Staten Island vibes and I pride myself on my character. She’s definitely more outspoken than Leah. But it’s essentially me with the volume turned up to 100!
AM: What is the process like when you are creating your ring persona and do you have input when it comes to the storylines that you are involved in?
LVD: I had all of the way in creating Carmella. She’s definitely evolved over the years, but I feel lucky that the first character I came up with is still what I’m doing today. Some people go years trying to create their on screen persona, so I’m very fortunate.
AM: You have had a number of amazing wins in your career at the WWE, what are 3 of your favorite storylines that you have been involved in?
LVD: I loved my story with Nikki Bella when I first debuted on Smackdown Live. It was my first feud and it was super high profile. I was so nervous to work with her, but she was incredible. She always had my back. I loved when I became Miss Money in the Bank. I made history in the first ever women’s MITB ladder match. I got to carry that contract and be so incredibly obnoxious about it. Of course my final favorite is when I cashed in on Charlotte Flair the Smackdown after Wrestlemania 34. I was an over the top champion with these ridiculous Mellabrations. It was so fun.
AM: Who do you consider as members of your squad within the WWE?
LVD: I have a good group of girls I’m close with. Bayley is one of my best friends. We got super close during our time in NXT and we’ve remained that way despite being on different brands the last few years. Natalya is my girl. We text literally every single day. She’s so funny. I love Sonya and Mandy as well. We all lived in Fort Lauderdale for the last year and they’re just super fun.
AM: As an athlete in the WWE, what does it mean to you to be in this organization as well as being apart of a number of the amazing things taking place within the women’s matches that take place there?
LVD: This is the best time to be a lady wrestler. I feel so fortunate to be a part of so many historical moments. These are the times everyone will be talking about when it comes to the Women’s Evolution.
AM: Fitness has been a key component of your career and you have even been in videos with Bob Harper, why is it so integral to you?
LVD: Fitness has been an important part of my life since I was a kid. My parents have always instilled that into my sister and me. When I’m active and eating healthy is when I feel my best. Of course we all fall off the wagon every now and then, but I always get back to it.
AM: What is a typical day like for you when you’re working out?
LVD: When I’m at home (which is RARE!) I train with my trainer or I do yoga. On the road I do empty stomach cardio in the morning, either 30 min on the stationary bike or walk on the treadmill on a high incline. Then I do some weight training. I alternate upper and lower body workouts.
AM: You were wrestling at Madison Square Garden earlier this month, what is your day like going into a day like that?
LVD: Usually it’s a workout in the morning then I just head to the arena for 2pm. Just to walk into MSG is mind blowing, nevermind knowing I get to perform there. It’s every entertainer's dream. This was my third time there. It never gets old!
AM: You’re constantly on the move, what is the average week like for you between taping shows, being in the ring and more?
LVD: It varies from week to week, but typically something like this:
Saturday fly from home to the first city, have the show, the drive to the next town. Have a show on Sunday, then drive to the next town. After our show on Monday, I drive to wherever we have our live tv show Smackdown Live that week. Of course the gym and finding healthy spots to eat inbetween all of that. When we’re filming for Total Divas, I would fly to wherever we are filming that Wednesday morning after TV. We film Wednesday-Friday then fly to the next set of shows on Saturday. When we aren’t filming, I sometimes get to go home Wednesday-Friday, in between show loops.
AM: Season 9 of E! Total Divas premiers on Oct 2nd – why do you like being a part of this show and how important is it to be involved so that we can know more about you as well as your character?
LVD: I was on the show for season 7, but I didn’t get the opportunity to really open up and show my truth. I’m excited to do that this time around.
Nothing is off-limits, which scares me a little. It’s very nerve-wracking to put your entire personal life out there for everyone to judge, but I’m ready!
AM: What can you tell us about your upcoming season?
LVD: It’s all about our sisterhood. There’s six of us: Ronda Rousey, Nattie, Sonya Deville, Trinity and Nia Jax. You’ll get to see my relationship with my boyfriend Corey Graves and of course there’s a little drama with the girls.
AM: Tell us about Capo Cagna Wine – how did this opportunity come about, how long were you in development, what is the meaning behind the name and where can people get it?
LVD: It’s been in the works for well over a year now. It’s been such a long process with a lot of ups and downs. I wanted to start a brand and have it mean something. I want everyone to feel like a Boss Bitch when they’re drinking it, which is was Capo Cagna means in Italian.
AM: Wine is a beverage that a number of people enjoy or are just learning about, we love how you position your wine regardless of the sippers’ wine background – why is that your approach?
LVD: I think it’s important to feel confident. I want whoever grabs the bottle of wine to know they deserve to feel a little boujie, but it’s not going to break the bank. It’s all about being boujie on a budget. So if you’re a wine snob, this is not the wine for you! ;)
AM: Currently, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are available, will there be additional varietals that we should keep an eye out for?
LVD: Yes! We will have a Rosé launching for the summer of 2020.
AM: On average, how many times a year are you traveling?
LVD: 52 weeks a year. We don’t have an off season.
AM: As someone who travels quite frequently, what are 3 things that are in your carryon that make you feel like you’re at home?
LVD: I always keep one of my comfy sweaters in my backpack so I pull that out for the plane ride; my eye mask and my iPad so I can keep up on all of my favorite reality shows (Real Housewives is my guilty pleasure.)
AM: Do you have any philanthropies or charitable work that you are a part of that you can share with us?
AM: When you have downtime, what are 3 things that we could find you doing or eating when you’re taking time for yourself?
LVD: You will find me drinking wine on my couch, eating sushi or pizza and watching Netflix.
AM: In Ft. Lauderdale, where can we find you grabbing a drink/meal, working out and shopping?
AM: What are 3 brand/products that you’re loving within each of these three categories of - fitness, beauty and in style?
LVD: I’m all about skin care products. I love using rose water to spray on my face when I travel. Rosehip oil is essential. I’m always shopping on Revolve.com because they have free two day shipping, so my clothes are always there when I get home from the road.
Our cover shoot took place at The Mondrian Park Ave on the Terrace as well as the lower level lounge known as The Boogie Room which is managed by In Good Company Hospitality. We took a moment to chat with Chris Guidice, General Manager of IGC to find out about the spaces, what guests can enjoy and the hotel in general.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did The Boogie Room launch?
CHRIS GUIDICE: The Boogie Room opened a little over a year ago and recently relaunched with brand new art on the walls and throughout the space.
AM: What is the ethos of The Boogie room?
CG: The Boogie Room is a place where art, music, drinks, and culture bridge the gap between approachability and exclusivity. This edgy bar, with its combination of street art and retro furniture, is the perfect hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Park Avenue South. The dim lighting and intimate space give an air of elusiveness, while still maintaining the warm and welcoming atmosphere that is typical of all IGC Hospitality’s venues.
AM: We love that there are murals at this lower level hotspot, what’s the story behind them and how often do they change?
CG: The walls feature beautiful murals full of bright colors painted by local artists serving as an homage to ’80s and '90s NYC street art. A group of talented artists were brought together and given the direction to create a fun atmosphere that has cultural and historical relevance to this amazing city.
AM: What are 3 signature drinks that we should have the next time that we’re at The Boogie Room?
CG: The Boogie Room’s specialty cocktails are everything on our bottle menu! Of course, we have a full bar with beer, wine, and spirits, but the parade of sparklers and bottles represent the ethos of a Boogie night.
AM: What events are taking place at The Boogie Room this fall that we should mark our calendars?
CG: The Boogie Room takes on a life of its own on Friday and Saturday nights. This nightlife hotspot features some of NYC’s most sought after DJs from 11:30 pm - 2 am every weekend. Think dancing, flowing drinks and bumping music.... There’s always something going on here!
AM: We also shot at the Mondrian Terrace as well – tell us about this space and more about this vibe?
CG: Mondrian Terrace is a year round terrace offering the best of both indoor and outdoor space. We are currently in the final month of our Rosé Terrace installation, a rosé lover’s paradise, and will soon be transitioning to a Fall-themed pop up. Our outdoor terrace overlooks the corner of Park Avenue South and East 30th Street. The indoor lounge is a canvas for seasonal soirees and NoMad nights.
AM: What are 3 signature bites that we should enjoy at Mondrian Terrace?
CG: We change the menu seasonally, but three of my current favorites are burrata with fig balsamic, beef short rib sliders, and the lamb meatballs with feta cheese and pine nuts. Each dish is perfect for snacking on as you sit and take in the great vistas of downtown Manhattan. If you’re feeling generous, they’re all very easy to share
AM: What events are taking place here that we should keep an eye out for as we continue into the fall?
CG: The Rosé Terrace at Mondrian Terrace is winding down and we’ll be debuting a new Fall/Winter pop up soon, so stay tuned! Our Beverage Manager Allie Klug and Executive Chef Todd Matthews are always working on incorporating seasonal ingredients into our menus, which means lots of specials to look forward to.
AM: For the Holiday season, is there anything taking place at The Boogie Room or the Mondrian Terrace that we should swing by?
CG: We’re planning our Halloween party at Mondrian Terrace. Guests can enjoy rooftop views, Halloween Cocktails, and a live DJ. Tickets for the event will be available soon, keep an eye out here for more details.
We also host a weekly Latin Night every Sunday. Of course, for those who really like to plan ahead, we have New Year’s Eve blowouts planned for all of the venues in Mondrian Park Avenue!
AM: With 3 venues at the Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel, what was the process behind coming up with spaces and concepts? You have definitely created different vibes that would fuel guests of the hotel, those that book an event, people who staycation and those who are in the neighborhood that ware interested in swinging by.
CG: The three spaces at the Mondrian have all been designed to have their own unique feel. Cleo is a beautiful Mediterranean restaurant which has American influences in the dishes and distinctly unique décor. Mondrian Terrace offers a relaxed atmosphere and seasonal delicacies, perfect for a first date or corporate party. The Boogie Room stands in stark contrast to the posh and sleek look of the Mondrian and surrounding Park Avenue, it is perfect celebrating birthdays, or just a place to dance the night away. All three spaces are inspired by the hotel’s namesake - Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. The Boogie Room is actually named after one of his paintings titled Broadway Boogie.
AM: Tell us about In Good Company and other locations do you have that we should keep on our radar?
CG: IGC has more than a dozen amazing venues. All super unique and hospitable. We’re excited to recently welcome Woodpecker by David Burke to the portfolio, as well as our second nightclub, Jewel Thief - opening next month! Whichever IGC Hospitality venue you choose to visit, I guarantee you will find the common thread of good food, good drinks, and great people.
Athleisure Mag's cover story was shot by Paul Farkas, using Canon Mark IV; and selected Canon lenses: EF 50 f/1.2 L, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, and EF 70-200 f/2.8 L II.
MUAH Jessica Bonilla used a number of products and tools to create the makeup that is in this cover editorial with WWE SuperStar and E! Total Divas' Leah Van Dale/Carmella.
To hydrate the face, EMBRYOLlSSE Moisturizing Face Cream was used.
Bronzer: FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA in Sun Stalk'r (Caramel Cutie and Mocha Mami).
Blush: BH COSMETICS Blush Palette.
Eyes: KKW BEAUTY KKW X MARIO 10 Pan in Eyeshadow Palette in Miami and Albania.
KISS PRODUCTS lashes in Poise and smudged a little black lipstick from the ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Lip Palette for a more natural styled sultry eye. The lips are brighter for the sporty look with a pretty pop of peach with FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Diamond Milk over the top.
The lip for this look is FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Gloss Bomb in Universal for a beautiful sporty look.
This look was kicked up a notch for this beautiful gold jumpsuit. We wanted a lot of color for the eyes. Jessica used MORPHE X JACLYN HILL Eyeshadow Palette in Bling Bling and the Metallic Purple Shade Gem in the crease. A light blue shade from NYX Petit Brights Pallette was used in the inner corner. For the outer corners, Jessica used colors Iri Ji (a pink shade) and Ofala (an orange shade) from the JUVIA’S PLACE Festival Palette with Odogwo (gold shade from the same palette) in the center, INGLOT COSMETICS' 77 Eyeliner and added more of FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Universal Gloss Bomb on the lips.
Hairstylist Brooke Bogle used a number of products for the hairstyles in this cover editorial with WWE SuperStar and E! Total Divas' Leah Van Dale/Carmella.
Soft beach waves were created using a 1 inch iron. Prepped with CATWALK BY TIGI Haute Iron Spray.
Sprayed at the end as well for added shine.
LOOK II + III
Two side braids into a pony using BEDHEAD TIGI On the Rebound Curl Recall Cream for smoothness.
For added texture to the pony, fluffed and sprayed with TIGI COPYRIGHT Custom Complete Volume Finishing Spray.
Funky waves with spontaneous braids with accent jewels and rings.
For texture and separation used CATWALK BY TIGI Texturizing Sea Salt Spray and re-scrunched gently. Sprayed CATWALK BY TIGI Haute Iron Spray for added shine.
Athleisure Mag's Celeb Fashion Stylist, Co-Founder/Creative + Style Director Kimmie Smith focused on looks that incorporate a number of pieces that will become go-to's in your closet with the onset of warm weather.
FRONT/BACK COVERS + PG 19 - 29 | UMBRO Bodysuit | LAGOS JEWELRY Black Caviar Black Ceramic Diamond Earrings + Signature Caviar Diamond Pave Crossover Ring | ATHLETIC PROPULSIONS LABS Techloom Bliss White/Black/White Sneakers |
PG 16, 17, 31 | ALO YOGA Crop Cropped Short Sleeve Top in Caramel + High Waist Ripped Warrior Leggings in White | PARAJUMPERS Hybrids Olivia Puffer Jacket in White | ATHLETIC PROPULSION LABS Techloom Bliss White/Black/White Sneakers | LAGOS 18K Gold Caviar 12mm Ball on a Chain Necklace |
It seems as if every week there is a new skin care ingredient trending on Instagram, From 24 Karat Gold, to Charcoal, Snail Mucin, Hyaluronic Acid, Panthenol, Azelaic acid, CBD, and countless others.
We are all subject to marketing and advertising on a daily basis. It seems like even thinking about skin care will have you bombarded with sponsored posts on social media. But how trustworthy are some of the marketing buzzwords used to describe the effects of skincare merchandise? We reached out to an anti-aging expert and board-certified Denver Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Manish Shah. Shah advocates helping consumers understand what this frequently used language means.
“There are many ways marketers attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the consumer with empty phrases and jargon,” comments Dr. Shah. “A phrase such as ‘clinically tested’ and ‘doctor recommended’ is used to mislead consumers into thinking a certain product has more credibility than it actually does.” However, Dr. Shah explains, when these phrases are used it says nothing for the results of the clinical tests or what the products were tested for. In terms of products being “Doctor recommended,” Shah warns that “consumers don’t know what doctor recommended the product in most cases and if those doctors are getting some sort of incentive for endorsement.”
Dr. Shah shares common marketing jargon phrases used to mislead consumers.
A Product that claims “Patented Technology”
“Patents are not necessarily a foolproof sign that something is groundbreaking or effective,” explains Dr. Shah. “Marketers use this language to convey innovation and superiority that their product might not necessarily have over its competitors,” he says. Patents are sometimes authorized through technicality instead of breakthrough meaning any new combination of ingredients, methods or production process can be patented as long as it is new.
This is a term used often by skin cleansers and moisturizers. “It’s a relative term and the consumer doesn’t really know what it is relevant to. It’s language that entices the shopper to make the purchase without really telling them how it accomplishes ‘maximum strength’ results,” says the Denver Plastic Surgeon.
From painkillers to hydrating serums, companies love to bill their products as having “clinical strength.” Dr. Shah says consumers should practice healthy skepticism with such claims. “A product that claims it has clinical strength, in many cases, could have been tested by the doctors developing it. If you think about it you can’t really pinpoint what that phrase means because it is relative and we have no context as to what the company considers clinical strength,” says Shah. The perception, explains Dr. Shah, is that the product is better because the world clinical makes it sound more credible.
“For All Skin Types”
“This is a difficult promise to deliver on,” says Shah who has practiced his specialty for 14 years. “Not all skin is the same. If someone has an allergy to an ingredient or some form of dermatitis they really should speak to their doctor about what products are best to include in their regiment instead of blindly trusting a label,” he says.
The FDA has different protocols for skincare products that make cosmetic claims as opposed to those that make more medical claims such as promising to increase the production of collagen in the skin. Since that is a body function the FDA treats those differently than normal skincare products. However, the FDA just stipulates that the product being sold is safe to use in the manner in which it is directed to be used “FDA approval is not credential that shows the superiority of results,” says Dr. Shah. The plastic surgeon recommends that you not be sold on the sole factor of an FDA approval.
“Anti-Aging, Revitalizing, or Age Defying”
We’ve all seen these on the labels of some cream or serum or advertised in a commercial where beautiful models and actresses are displayed in all of their airbrushed and well-lit perfection. “These terms are somewhat misleading in that they give the perception of an unrealistic turning back of the clock,” says Dr. Shah. To many consumers viewing an advertisement, it might seem like buy and using that product will help them look like an ageless actress and that is not accurate.” Aging gracefully and maintaining a more youthful look has a lot to do with nutrition, exercise, genes, consistent skincare, stress levels, and cosmetic procedures when necessary. But according to Shah, people cannot cling onto just one aspect in order to look their best and no one product will reverse the clock.
Be wary of bottles that look like test tubes, labels or packages that include a medical or first aid cross, or feature type that looks like Rx suggesting that it’s a prescription-strength formula even though it’s sold over the counter.
Dr. Shah explains that “An actual botanic is technically an ingredient that is derived from a plant. But, again, “botanical” may be used in advertising to refer to something that is synthetic but acts similar to a plant-based ingredient.”
Keep in mind that “instant results” aren’t the same as “long-term results.” Meaning, you may use a product that gives you instant moisture or has a quick-acting firming effect, but those results may fade after a few hours and require reapplication. Dr. Shah’s final advice: “Check a product to make sure it specifies whether its “instant” effects are long-lasting or short term.”
What you think it means: Proven to make skin look tauter.
What it really means: Essentially nothing. “There is no objective way to measure firming,” says Dr. Shah “When a brand says their product has been shown to firm your skin, that claim can only be based on very subjective consumer perception.”
What you think it means: Make from the earth’s own ingredients with no chemicals
What is really means: “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the purity of a product. It’s a term that hasn’t been defined by the FDA. To determine what’s actually in a product, read the ingredients list. How many can you pronounce? If they sound like a list of chemicals, they are. There may be a benefit for some people to avoid parabens, usually absent from “natural” products, if their skin is sensitive.
What you think it means: That the product is not made with any gluten.
What it really means: Unlike foods, cosmetics labeled “gluten-free” aren’t regulated by the FDA. Do you need gluten-free beauty products? Maybe, if you’re gluten-sensitive and it’s a lipstick, gloss, or balm, which you could ingest in tiny amounts. Otherwise, it’s not necessary.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
In the beauty industry, Bobbi Brown reigns as a woman that took her passion as a makeup artist to building a celebrity brand of cosmetics that would eventually be acquired by Estée Lauder. At the time, her appearances on TV shows illustrating her work as well as being a fixture in the backstages of NYFW paved the way for Celebrity Makeup Artists and other talents in the beauty industry. We took a moment with Bobbi to talk about her career, the moves she made in the industry and how she continues to be a trailblazer.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment when you realized that you wanted to work in the beauty industry?
BOBBI BROWN: I had just left my second college, and was feeling very confused because I didn’t really like school and I wasn’t happy where I had been. I was speaking with my mother and she said to me, “If it was your birthday and you could do anything in the world, what would you do?” and I told her “I’d go to Marshall Field’s and I’d play with makeup.” So my mom said to me “Then go to school to be a makeup artist.” I found Emerson College and they allowed me to create my own major, which was theatrical makeup, and I fell in love.
AM: You started as a makeup artist, what projects did you work on during that time prior to creating Bobbi Brown Cosmetics?
BB: After graduating college, I moved to NYC and went through the yellow pages calling every photographer, makeup artist, and hair stylist I could find, offering my assistance for free. I would travel wherever I was needed offering my services and learning as much as I could. Some of my favorite projects that I did during that time were my first Vogue cover shoot with Naomi Campbell (it was Naomi’s first Vogue cover as well,) working with designers like Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger, and doing makeup for Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones.
AM: What inspired you to create Bobbi Brown Cosmetics?
BB: After being on all of these sets, I found I could not do the makeup that was in style correctly. I didn’t want to cover and hide women’s features and there was no skin tone correct makeup available at the time. I would mix together what colors I could to try to create a formula that accentuated rather than disguised how the women looked. It was at that time that I met a chemist in an elevator and was telling her what I wanted to do, and she said, “I’ll make the colors for you.” That relationship started the creation of my original 10 lipstick shades.
AM: You were known for a natural aesthetic with an array of amazing pink shades of lipsticks, why was that look important to you and the brand?
BB: They weren’t pink shades as much as they were pink, brown, orange, red – those colors that naturally exist within a woman’s lip. All of them natural looking because I believe that makeup should make a woman look and feel her best. That was my intention when I created Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and still is today.
AM: How did you incorporate being a Beauty Expert on the Today Show as another portion of your brand as a MUA and a founder of a cosmetic line?
BB: At a public appearance I was at, I took a question from a woman in the audience. She later told me that she was the grandmother of Jeff Zucker, the Executive Producer of The Today Show at the time. It had been my dream to be on The Today Show, and when she introduced me to Jeff, he and I created monthly segments that allowed me to teach women the correct products to use and the right way to apply them, allowing each woman to essentially become her own makeup artist. It was an amazing time in my life and I truly believe it catapulted the business of the brand to where it is now.
AM: Estée Lauder acquired Bobbi Brown Cosmetics and you stayed on with the brand, what was the transition like for you and as many of our readers own their own brands, can you share the process you went through in terms of coming to the decision that this was right for your brand and yourself?
BB: In 1995, I met with Leonard Lauder and he quickly became one of the greatest mentors in my life. He promised me that the integrity of the brand and its purpose would never be lost with me at the helm. I remained in complete creative control, while being lucky enough to benefit from the resources that the Estée Lauder companies provided. I stayed on as Chief Creative Officer until 2016, where I made the tough decision to leave the company to start another.
AM: Being a multifaceted person, we have enjoyed seeing you wear a number of hats such as being the Editor in Chief of Yahoo Beauty from 2014-2016, how have you been able to maintain your hat in various spaces while continuing to expand your platform in the beauty industry?
BB: I have an insatiable curiosity and love to learn and discover new things. Ultimately, I am a creative at heart and love to develop content across a multitude of platforms in order to share what I know. I make it a priority to hire really great people who can help me translate my vision across these platforms to the best of my ability.
AM: We loved when you partnered with Safilo to release a line of eyewear, what initiated this venture and do you foresee doing something like this again?
BB: I am a glasses person. I wear prescription glasses and sunglasses on a daily basis. I find that eyewear is an extension of makeup to a degree, in that the style and color you choose says a lot about yourself and what look you are trying to convey. It was a natural fit for me. I’d love to explore doing this again in the future.
AM: You have written 9 books on makeup and beauty, what was it like writing your first book and what is the process like in general from concept to release?
BB: My first book was very cathartic for me. It was taking all of the knowledge that I had learned and perfected over the years, and articulating that as best I could for everyone to read. Even though I have written 9 books, I still don’t know how to type. My process varies but consists of lots of handwritten notes in the back of cars, and swatches of color done on paper. I work very closely with my writers and my publisher from start to finish. I have been very fortunate to work with the best of the best in that regard.
AM: Will there be another book that we can expect to see from you?
BB: Never say never. I don’t know if it will be a traditional book or one that has a digital component to it. We’ll see what’s in store.
AM: We’re fans of JustBobbi.com as well as EVOLUTION_18 as we love your approach to beauty from the inside out. Why did you launch the site as well as the beauty brand and what can we expect to see from them as we continue throughout the remainder of the year?
BB: My lifelong philosophy has always been that beauty, and confidence, starts with what you put inside your body. The launch of my lifestyle inspired wellness line, EVOLUTION_18, is a natural extension of beauty from inside out. After spending 25+ years talking to women about their health and wellness challenges, I became a certified health coach and learned what it is women need to know in order to look and feel our best. EVOLUTION_18 is a collection of highly effective simple formulas that target a wide range of beauty concerns. They are made with clean, high quality ingredients that give you everything you need for a beauty boost from within. Justbobbi.com is a modern lifestyle platform for all things wellness, beauty, and everything in between. It’s a platform that aims to educate and inspire how you live your life through never-ending exploration and storytelling.
AM: With so many successes in the beauty world, you launched another amazing venture in a new vertical – hospitality. Tell us about The George and why did you want to do this?
BB: The day I left Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, my husband called me and asked if I wanted to be a part of a new project – The George Hotel. It is a historic property that he completely restored into a 32-room boutique hotel. I became the Creative Director of the hotel, and it was my mission to create a design-minded boutique hotel in the heart of Montclair where we live, that offered guests a unique and one of a kind experience.
AM: In addition to Athleisure Mag, we have a podcast network – Athleisure Studio which has 4 shows and we know that you have a podcast show, Long Story Short with Bobbi Brown – what can we expect on this show and who have been 3 of your favorite guests on this show?
BB: Long Story Short allows me to talk to some of the most accomplished people in the world who are true masters of their craft. The podcast offers a glimpse into their journeys, discussing both their highs and lows in order to get the essential takeaways of a life well lived. Everyone has a story and I love finding out what that story is. Three of my favorites are Mickey Drexler, my mentor, Elvis Duran, one of my best friends, and Jen Atkin.
AM: What philanthropic efforts are you involved in that you would like for us to know about?
BB: I am on the board of Reaching Out Montclair, in my hometown, which provides essential needs for underserved children and their families in our community.
AM: What are 3 beauty musts that you think that we should have with us when we travel?
BB: First, a good moisturizer – preferably one that contains an SPF. Protecting your skin from the sun is of the utmost importance. And when you’re traveling, especially on a plane, your skin can dry out easily, so make sure to keep skin moisturized in order to keep it looking hydrated and plump. Second, a probiotic beauty starts in your gut. Taking a probiotic daily will help with your digestion which in turn helps keep your microbiome balanced and your skin clear. Third, a cream blush – I like to travel with multipurpose products. A cream blush is perfect to give you a nice healthy glow and can be used on your lips as well.
AM: When it comes to your legacy, what do you want people to take away in terms of your impact on the beauty industry and just embracing life’s opportunities?
BB: Be a sponge, be kind, and work hard.
CHILLHOUSE launched in 2017 and was founded by Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, an entrepreneur with a creative vision who has made a name for herself in the lifestyle, fashion and hospitality industries through her award-winning website Taste The Style, and a partner of The Garret in New York City. Along with her husband and co-founder, Cyndi sought out to change the relaxation landscape with her latest project, CHILLHOUSE.
Prior to starting her own businesses, Cyndi worked as the Brand Director of Third Wave Fashion, a fashion tech consultancy. CHILLHOUSE is a wellness brand as a destination for modern self-care that opened on Manhattan's Lower East Side. It debuted a first of its kind nail salon and massage boutique with a full service café and bar. As a downtown escape for city dwellers seeking a modern path to total relaxation with style, character and ease. It offers guests luxury beauty services at affordable prices in an aspirational setting that you can enjoy at your own will.
Guests can enjoy colorful lattes and baked goods while they're meeting with friends, working on projects or waiting to get a service done. Services cover a number of options for body, nails and face with various choices within each group.
In 2018, SHOP CHILL, an onine retail arm launched with offerings that included accessories and a curated selection of the best products on the market. These items are tested by Cyndi and the team so that they can stand by what they sell. Their membership program CLUB CHILL was created as a way for customers to experience and connect with CHILLHOUSE in a different way. Members receive discounts on services, access to special events and perks from brand partners. CHILLHOUSE has partnered with H&M, Nike, Club Monaco and more.
PHOTOS COURTESY | CHILLHOUSE
As women, we are pretty familiar with how to handle skincare 911’s, blunders with our hair, shaving mishaps, and how to correct makeup mistakes. When it comes to brows, this particular part of our face is a bit more mysterious. Many of us grew up simply waxing, tweezing or leaving them au naturel until brows became the hottest “accessory” on our face with a multitude of options of ways to groom and improve upon them. What happens when you face a brow emergency? There is no better expert to turn to for advice than Umbreen Sheikh, a licensed cosmetologist, and founder + CEO of Wink Brow Bar and Salon in New York City.
Problem: Overplucking your brows-
Almost every woman has gotten too close to that magnifying mirror and been overzealous with a tweezer. Umbreen says, “Don’t fear. You can fake it till you make it with subtle makeup tricks that will help to create the illusion of a fuller, thicker brow. This can be done with Wink’s own Brow Perfecting Quad.” https://winkbrowbar.com/collections/our-products/products/wink-brow-perfecting-quad Brush the two powders through, then brush through again to blend for a natural-looking finish. Finally, use a highlighter to camouflage any random hairs. Umbreen says that “Drawing a straight line under your brow will help minimize the appearance of strays. This will also lighten and brighten the entire eye area, drawing more attention to the eyes.”
Problem: Creating a too wide eyebrow gap
The obvious solution to this is to fill in the points closest to the bridge of the nose to lessen the gap. This can be done via microblading. Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller brows. With this method, Umbreen can create almost any look and shape. First, Wink technicians consult with clients about the best brow shape for their face and choose a color that matches the natural hair color and skin undertone. The brow area is then cleaned and numbed for the treatment. Instead of using a tattoo machine, a handheld tool manually draws hair strokes. This all can take up to 30 to 40 minutes. Results can last anywhere from one to three years, depending on your skin type (the ink fades faster on oily skin), products, and lifestyle. It’s also an ideal procedure for women who have lost brow volume due to age, menopause or chemotherapy.
Problem: Unruly Brows-
Bold, feathery brows are in, but messy is an adjective you never want to be associated with your arches. “If your brow hairs are “wonky,” you need a game plan for controlling them,” says Umbreen. If your arches do need a trim, Umbreen suggests brushing your brows up towards the top of your ear with a spooly brush and cutting only the tips off the long hairs pointing the scissors down, (not parallel to the brow). "This gives trimmed brows a natural look, because none of the hairs are exactly the same length," As a finishing touch, mist a spoolie with hairspray and brush it through brows—directing the hairs up for a lifted look.
Problem: Matching your brow color to your hair exactly
In the case of the hair on your head and your eyebrows, you “don’t want to match the curtains to the carpet,” says Umbreen. Very often, a hair colorist will suggest that you tint your brows much lighter if you are going blonder. Umbreen disagrees with this. “Darker brows will act as a frame for the face and enhance your eye color. Generally, it will give you the appearance of a lot more brow.” If you have gone too light or too dark, “eyebrow tinting is the process of applying semi-permanent dye to enhance, shape, and define your brows. This can be done at salons such as Wink. “It gives the appearance of thicker, more youthful-looking brows,” says Umbreen. An average session takes only about 15 minutes and the color should last anywhere from 3-6 weeks. It’s instant gratification as your new eyebrow color will be immediately apparent.
Mistake: Plucking brows too short
Eyebrows that are too short can make your eyes and nose look too big. If you have plucked them or waxed them so that you look like you have half an eyebrow, of course, you can spend the time to pencil them in every day but that if time-consuming and takes skill to make both brows symmetrical. Or… you could get eyebrow extensions. Similar to eyelash extensions, eyebrow extensions are done with tiny fibers of mink or synthetic hairs. The brow extension fibers are then attached to either bare skin or to existing hairs, giving them a fuller, stronger look. The service is from 25 mins to 90 mins depending on thickness or amount of work required.
The Problem- You’re so squeamish for waxing or you bruise easily
You would be hard-pressed to find a woman who enjoys the tear of a strip of wax against her eyelid to remove tiny eyebrow hairs, but yet we put up with it in the name of beauty. For anyone who has ever deviated from their regular waxer on a vacation or business trip, you have most likely ended up being cut or bruised by overly aggressive waxing. There is a great alternative for everyone called organic threading. As Umbreen explains, “With its origins in Asia centuries ago, eyebrow threading is a simple process that is often considered to be one of the most painless (and least invasive) options for shaping brows. The threading process is simple and typically involves a single piece of cotton thread, After wiping the eyebrow area clean with alcohol, the thread is "twisted and pulled along areas of unwanted hair acting like a mini-lasso, lifting the hair directly from the root without the use of any chemicals or unnecessary tugging on delicate skin. As opposed to waxing, tweezing, or lasers, threading is considered one of the safest and most precise methods of hair removal, especially in the delicate areas surrounding the eye. "Threading allows our specialists to have greater control over which hairs are removed.” The technique is also "100 percent natural," which means there are no artificial waxes, chemicals, or invasive techniques used during the procedure.
The Problem- You've made your brows too big and bold.
Don’t assume you have to wash it all off. Instead, take a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover and carefully trace your brow’s natural outline. Remember, brow product should be applied within the brow’s hairline, not beyond it. Cotton swabs will remove any unwanted shading that has ventured too far outside the lines.
Trying at home to make both eyebrows symmetrical
This is one of the most common mishaps that Umbreen hears from clients who tried to ‘go it alone at home.’ Umbreen offers, “When you obsess over making your eyebrows look exactly the same, you can wind up over-plucking them. Too-thin brows are much worse than ones that are just a tad different. Your eyebrows are supposed to be sisters, not twins.
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