Fashion and Fitness.

Summer is just around the corner.  I always enjoy working out more in the summer months, I find it easier to get to the gym when it’s not snowing (yes NYC, I mean you) and take part in my favourite classes as well as exercise outdoors.

I’ve had a few requests for a fitness post, something I am by no means an expert in but there are certain things I love, that I wanted to share.  First up, Pilates.  Back in London I took reformer classes at my local studio and I love the challenge of working with the reformer machines. The exercise is gentle but intense, an intensity that can increase as your body conditioning improves.  It’s great for developing a strong ‘core’ (muscles at the centre of your body) which can protect your back and spine. I think Pilates helps you to become in tune with your body, through breathing, alignment and focus on movement*.

Second up, Tracy Anderson.  Tracy is somewhat of a guru to the stars – Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Shakira have all trained using her method:

“Based on over a decade of research on different muscular structure groups, Tracy Anderson has created a fitness method that can transform any body type. Tracy has created and patented over 3,000 fitness movements and her varying moves target every muscle in your body. The sequences strategically exhaust the muscles in a way that does not create bulk, and that strengthens the connection to the body.”  ~ From the Tracy Anderson website.

You can read a (somewhat comedy) review I wrote about Tracy’s mat work DVD for my friend Milla’s blog here along with other people’s thoughts on her method.  I wouldn’t touch the diet part of Tracy Anderson’s programme (there feels like hardly enough fuel to get you through the day let along her work outs**) but I’ve used both the mat work DVD and the Metamorphosis routine and I enjoy the challenge of these work outs too.

Finally, cycling.  I am by no means a speed cyclist but I love to cycle around the tip of Manhattan, east to west, and up the west coast path to the George Washington Bridge. In comparison to London there are so many more cycle routes here in NYC which is amazing.

How do you keep fit, Blog Reader? Do you feel passionate about Pilates like me? Or tried Tracy?

Wearing: (top image) Michi NY Illusion Pant;  Nike trainers, Reiss ballet wrap (old season).  (bottom image) As before plus: Skunkfunk women’s tee (similar here); Michi NY Feline Bra (just seen). Mesh gym bag, YakPak, gifted by The Accessories Council at their wonderful Breast Cancer Awareness event.

I borrowed this title from my gorgeous and uber fit blogger friend Lynzy whose website contains a separate section on exercise and includes an excellent feature on blogger fitness. Go check it out here!

Pilates image: Fat Bottom Slim.

*My opinions, but I am not an expert.  **Um… still not an expert.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Shopping Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This week the Accessories Council threw an event for fashion and beauty bloggers at Marchon Eyewear in Manhattan, showcasing products that benefit the Breast Cancer Research Fund (BCRF).   I want to share some of my favourites with you here, but you can find out more about the range of brands and designers participating in the Shop Pink 2011 scheme by visiting the BCRF Facebook Page or following them on Twitter.

Evelyn Lauder is chairperson of the BCRF, and Estee Lauder will give 20% of each purchase of the Elizabeth Hurley Pink Ribbon Collection, to the charity. The Lavish Pink lipstick inside the clutch is a gorgeous shade – I was dying to try it on straight after the evening and loved the colour against my pale skin.

One of favourite cosmetic brands, Bobbi Brown, have created a special edition “Ruban Rose” collection of pink lip colour and bellini high shimmer lip gloss.  It will be available to buy from October 1st for $44, $10 of which goes to the charity

Finally, look good for a cause with Bumble and Bumble.  With sales of their Spray de Mode hairspray, the label will donate to BCRF.  I tried this product with both straightening irons and as a finishing spray for my curly hair this week – the hold was great for both styles

The Accessories Council threw a fun and informative evening for us bloggers at the #ACPinkPinks event (if you are on Twitter, follow the conversation with this hashtag) and the evening was filled with personal stories too.  Our hosts and designers alike talked bravely of how their lives had been personally affected by breast cancer and their involvement with raising awareness of and support for the BCRF.  Amazing people.

I hope, Blog Reader, that during October you will Shop Pink so that BCRF can benefit not just this month but all year round.

Get Glowing with Caudalie USA

My good friend and fellow blogger Anne recently told me about a “Get Glowing” event at The Caudalie vinotherapy spa in New York City.  Who could resist an evening of mini treatments, product education and fabulous wine from the estate owned by the family of Caudalie co-founder Mathilde Thomas….?  Not me, I said to myself, and off to the spa I went….

Caudalie’s vinotherapy spa is situated rather glamorously and romantically within The Plaza Hotel, a fabulous New York destination for people watching whilst sitting in the Oak Room bar with a coffee, exploring the Assouline bookshop or sipping a glass of bubbly in The Champagne Bar.  The spa sits on the fourth floor of The Plaza, sharing a space with the Presidential Suite.  Not that you would know it, because walking into the spa is like walking into a golden oasis of calm.  The glistening reception area near the lifts gives way to the sophisticated and relaxing interior of the spa lounge, where on the night of the event we were greeted with wine and cheese and then encouraged to indulge in mini-treatments that would help us ‘get our glow on’.

You can read a fabulous review of the spa and their Grand Facial treatment on Anne’s blog. The ‘Get Glowing’ evening was an opportunity to meet the owners, the delightful Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas who mixed effortlessly with their guests and were wonderfully approachable about the spa and their philosophy.  They are highly passionate about what they do and wanted to educate guests about their products and their ethos. (FYI – yes, yes, both of them had great skin.)

If you’re in the New York area this week, Caudalie are hosting a number of events at selected Sephora stores throughout the city.  They will introduce ‘Premier Cru the Cream’;

“…an anti-ageing powerhouse cream, packed with three patents for exceptional immediate and long term clinical results”

Check out their Facebook page for further details.

I had a wonderful evening at the Caudalie ‘Get Glowing’ event.  I left with a generous goodie bag (picture, top and below) filled with mini products and a voucher for $40 off a facial or massage treatment at the spa.  Now all that remains is for me to decide which one to indulge in… hmmm….. any thoughts Blog Reader? Facial, massage – what treatments do you like? Have you ever used Caudalie and are you a fan of their products?

Picture below left: StyleOnTheCouch and RitournelleBlog at the event: