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Healthy Chic Holiday Gift Wishlist

The Holiday Season is just around the corner (for real though, Christmas is in 4 days, Hanukkah is in 3). If you’re like me, aka the ultimate last minute shopper, good news is you can still be saved by rush shipping (IF you order today).

Here’s the ultimate “it list” and gift guide to top off your last minute list.

  • LUNA face brush– tiny but mighty! Keep your face clean and clear with this mini version of the silicone favorite.
  • A gift certificate to the chic and fabulous Higher Dose 
  • Wake up with the sunrise thanks to the soothing and trendy Sunrise Activated Alarm Clock
  • Get the elite taste of Japanese pour-over coffee thanks to the Chemex Coffee Maker 
  • Ramp up any winter workout thanks to Outdoor Voices Cool-Down Kit
  • Make the ultimate style statement by sporting a trendy AF S’well Water bottle
  • Strut your stuff to the studio in this marble-print yoga legging 
  • Misfit Phase Smartwatch – This chic wearable is the perfect combination of function and style. It works s
  • The newly released Moon Juice cookbook by the cult-favorite brand is the perfect gift idea for holistic health gurus and healthy eaters.
  • Get the strobing effect with this all natural makeup line and fashion-insider favorite RMS Living Luminizer
  • This eco-chic filtered water container is trendy and made from sustainable materials (from plants yay) Also the company has a partnership with Charity:Water helping provide water to those in need.
  • Make any room into a spa-like oasis with an Essential oil diffuser. Because who doesn’t want tranquility and a calming essential oil filled paradise?

 

Sculpt

Workout (Apps) We Tried: Are They Worth the Hype?

✨by @mingmingphoto

✨by @mingmingphoto

Is the iPhone workout the new workout? Personalized, private and catered to busy lifestyles, there certainly are a lot of pros to iPhone app workouts- but isn’t the whole point of working out to show off your new Swell water bottle, flawless yoga crop and swag yoga gear?  With permanent food comas post Thanksgiving and official Netflix and chill weather in full swing, now’s as good a time as any to stay on top of your fitness game but admittedly, gathering up the motivation to go to the gym when it’s freezing outside really takes dedication (let’s be real). So I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and put 4 workout apps ( courtesy of the App Store) to the test. Here’s what happened.

 

#1. Skyfit– I really wanted to love this app. Promises of perfect playlists, a quote from a Refinery29 editor raving about it, customizable workouts and world-class trainers. Personally, I fell for the hype and downloaded right away but was surprised when this app fell short of expectations shortly thereafter.

Thoughts: Were the trainers amazing? eh. I tried a cardio class and as it was lacking a visual component, (aka no video just audio of the trainers), I got lost at times and it was hard to follow (so no, it’s not the same as a boutique fitness class), and also depending on the instructor who’s teaching the class his/her voice can be more annoying than motivational. I wasn’t feeling the elliptical class at all so I thought I would try my luck at

Also a not-so-cool feature, it forces you to take out a trial within the app in order to access the classes and you can’t cancel the subscription until it’s nearing the end of the 7th day. So unless you’re a diligent human being who remembers to set a calendar reminder, you’ll likely forget you even took out a free trial an get conned into paying for at least one month of this app which is about the same price as a low-key gym such as Blink or Planet Fitness.

Good news is I emailed customer service and they directed me to the sneaky subscription I had taken out via the Apple store (disaster avoided.)

 

#2. Zova All I could’ve asked for.. and more.

Pros: Helpful step-by-step videos allow you to preview each workout and guide you through each step. I like the diverse array of workouts (for ab day, leg day etc.) and it’s way easier than looking at workout steps off of Pinterest. Other cool features include a built in timer and countdown (so you can keep track of how many reps you’re actually doing!)

Cons: some of the workouts are “locked” and some are free. I wish that they were all free but there’s a handful of free ones to choose from and the user experience is super positive overall

Good for: handy workouts for mixing up your gym routine or getting a good sweat from the comfort of your home with little to no equipment needed! Everything I would’ve hoped for- and more

 

#.8Fit– After a slightly awkward registration process (the app makes you enter your height, weight, and estimated percentage of body fat which I completely ball-parked btw.) Then it asks you to tap the stock image that you feel like accurately represents your body fat percentage (questionable..) and then decide on your personalized goals and the estimated amount of time needed to get there.

Pros: The app caters to you, and tells you based on your goals how many days approximately you need to work out and “follow a healthy diet” compared to how fast you want to see results (e.g. “If you wanted to lose 2 lbs in a month you should go to the gym 5 days a week and follow a healthy diet always” as if I didn’t know that already..)

Cons: It asks you if you want guidance for a meal plan. recipes and healthy eating tips but later drops the bomb that that’s only available with a paid subscription. Similarly, there’s a few too many shameless plugs within the apps nagging you to upgrade to a monthly subscription plan. Also some of the “healthy eating tips’ are suuuper sketch and questionably unhealthy e.g ” feeling hungry? try having sugar free tea or coffee instead” *insert evil side-eye emoji here*

Good For: someone who wants to stay on top of specific fitness goals not actually sure who this app is good for on second thought, except if you want an app to motivate you how many times you should go to the gym..

 

#4.”Swork it

Pros: The app opens and allows users to customize their ab workout based on desired time. Then the app chooses a series of ab exercises depending on target area. Very helpful, informative video demos walk you through exercises (instead of confusing step by step flow charts one might find in a magazine workout article.) there’s even an option to sync up music and a motivational voice walks you through each exercise. (useful when laziness starts to kick in.) You can also share your favorite workouts with a friend from within the app.

Cons: There’s a limit to which workouts are available in the free version which is a bit of a let-down. Also, if you’re looking to track long term fitness goals and keep track of nutritional intakes etc. this app doesn’t provide that and is strictly workout focused.

Good For: For free app it’s definitely one worth having when looking for workout moves at the gym and even better for an at home workout. Also worth mentioning- I found it works without cellular data! (score?!)

Sculpt

So fresh, So Clean: How I became a Sneakerhead

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(credit: giphy)

Is it just me or have you ever wondered how those people keep their sneakers looking absolutely perfect: new, obnoxiously white and scuff free?

Flash forward to a week ago where I came across the holy grail: an article on Mr. Porter about “How to Keep Your Sneakers Clean“.

It professed that Jason Markk a cure-all solution in a magical bottle allegedly sold at Urban Outfitters (well that part was a lie, at least in Soho.)
A week later I begrudgingly stomped by flawed sneakers around the city, desperate for answers- or more fittingly the sneaker magic.

A week later I found it at Kith. The jojoba coconut based goodness transformed my kicks just as if I’d hit the reset button and never wore them (whaaat?! Score!)

The Results

Reluctant at first, I was shocked to find that the sudsy creamy lather slowly restored my sneakers to a pearly white, lifted the stubborn dirt off my Converse and provided a much needed cleaning.

Although I had hoped for it to work bigger miracles on my shoe laces, this wasn’t as bad of a loss considering I can always toss those in the washer or get new ones. Sneakers are way harder to clean than laces and I liked how they conditioned as they cleaned, helping to restore some of that long lost shine. In short, I’ve officially become a sneakerhead now that I’ve discovered there is a way to keep sneakers looking better than brand new.

 

 

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                                                                                         (Credit: Giphy)
City Sculpts

Workouts we tried: Bari

On a rainy, humid Sunday I woke up antsy after a mostly sedentary weekend. It seemed like a perfect day to get some sculpt in and after a long past due attempt to try a class at Bari, I made the leap and navigated to the chic NYC studio in TriBeCa. All I can say is: believe the hype. 
THE STUDIO:
The lofty TriBeCa space had a chic, modern interior and the friendly staff was welcoming and accommodating.  I was surprised to find it was full of amenities/ necessities plus there’s a shower so it’s pre date/ night or approved ?
I personally hate when intense workouts are followed by an absence of showers. Luckily that wasn’t the case here, they have 2 showers, blow dryers and spray on deodorant if you need a touch up. Lockers line the back wall on the way to the studio, and the built in combo locks on all of them are convenient. 

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THE WORKOUT:
My first Bari class (bounce everest class) didn’t disappoint-it was a fast paced, dynamic and challenging workout that provided the perfect amount of cardio and toning.The small class size provided an intimate setting and the opportunity for Individualized attention.  The coordination was challenging to follow at times, but definitely not overwhelming and the instructor, Ailene really did an amazing job making sure everyone was on track and doing the workout correctly. As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of  “danced based cardio workouts”‘ I’ll admit I was hesitant at first to try what is boasted as  “the most cardio centric class”, but I’m glad I did.
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(Source: Instagram @BariStudio)
THE CROWD:
 
Chic, slightly scene-y editors, models ( Joan Smalls), fitness bloggers ( Hannah Bronfman) and people from the art and fashion scene. Slightly intimidating but motivating and a healthy amount of competitive mix. The words “down bounce” will become your new favorite words/ mantra/ motto until the class ends. The class will likely end with everyone drenched in a pile of sweat so we’re all friends here. 
BOTTOM LINE: 
 
It’s a workout – no doubt. Like a scenester, chic cousin of Barry’s Bootcamp. I immediately felt the toning results the next day but regretted not doing a full stretch after class. All in all an amazing workout that’s a lot of fun!
City Sculpts

For The Run of It

As a former runner in high school, and as a child of 2 runners, I really should be more into running; but I’m not.

Although running is a great stress reliever and seems sexy, the truth is every time I run, I unfortunately, don’t get a good overall feeling ( the way everyone else does) instead, I feel like my body is breaking down and my breathing is out of my control. I always wished this wasn’t the case because I’m naturally a really active person and I’ve always been in love with the idea of running because what’s more beautiful than a run in the great outdoors breathing in fresh air?

Too bad that never worked out for me. In fact, my running career ended when I had to give up my spot on the track team in High School ( long story but I have a condition that when my body is under stress causes fainting.)

 

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(Source: Instagram @TheRunStudio

Until now. I left all that behind me the moment I stepped through the doors at “The Run“, an indoor run club located in Manhattan’s Flatiron district that was founded by former Olympic Runner and running coach, John Henwood. I’ve been looking for a way to learn how to run “the right way” and enjoy it without feeling bad in the process. As soon as I heard it was started by an Olympian AND a running coach I booked my first class!

 

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(Source: @TheRunStudio

Even though I don’t consider myself a runner, I could really feel a supportive atmosphere at this studio. My running instructor Karlyle, was super encouraging and helped me get situated on the treadmill. I also felt so much more comfortable when she said earlier on, she experienced a similar body response that I got in my high school running days. I ended up taking the Endurance class, a 55 minute running class, geared towards experienced runners and people getting ready for 5k, 10k and marathons. I’m not going to lie, it was challenging considering I generally take the shorter classes at running studios and also don’t run on a regular basis, but I made it through ( and felt like so proud of myself afterwards.)

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(Source: @mariatakespix)

THE STUDIO

I’ve been to a lot of workout studios and gyms and these treadmills are by the far the COOLEST I’ve ever used. (I’m going back just to run on them again..) Why are they so cool? Because during the class, the treadmills are customized to your individual running pace, the stats are saved and during the intervals, the treadmill automatically switches speeds for you! (so there’s no need to frantically hit the up arrow a million times while trying to hold a pace.) There’s also an tablet interface affixed to each treadmill that displays your stats, pace and helps you make it your best run ever. There’s even a tiny fan to help cool you down!

 

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(Source: @TheRunStudio)

The amenities are on point too; there’s showers, towels and really nice shampoo and conditioner so it’s a great class to start off your day or after work/ before dinner.

THE VERDICT: If you like running (or even if you don’t) and want to perfect your run, definitely go! Seriously, go! You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

Fit Babes

Caitlin King: Model & Yogi

Being in Central Park earlier this week for the Lole White Tour reminded me of why I love yoga so much. Although I’ve been practicing Bikram (hot) yoga for 7 years, I also have been practicing Vinyasa/ Flow yoga for 3 years and find joy in both practices. Practicing yoga in a studio is an amazing experience but practicing with 10,000 other yogis in the park for the Lole White Tour is something I’ll never forget. It literally looked like a music festival ( well actually, Ingrid Michaelson was performing), only everyone had yoga mats and was dressed in white.

So now that you know how much I liked yoga, let’s get back to the point of this post.. I found out that my friend, Caitlin is completing her training to become a yoga instructor ( literally a life dream of mine!) I took a moment with her to ask her what inspires her to practice yoga, her healthy post yoga lunch fix and her favorite yoga poses. Check it out below!

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source: (instagram @caitlinkingkong)

 

What made you decide to become a yoga instructor

Over the past five months I’ve found myself helping a people, both friends and acquaintances, find calamity and stress release though meditation. Helping others find a means of release and inner peace began to make me happy, so I gladly helped those whom in need who happened to come in contact with me. I study more traditional yoga, where the flow focus is on grounding the body for meditation and thought I’d be great to deepen the process.

What kind of yoga do you practice in the city and where?

I’m a fan of vinyasa and hatha flow. I try out new places all the time, both for free in the parks and in various studios, but I love sonic yoga. There’s a good vibe to the place. 

 

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(source: @caitlinkingkong)

 Do you find yoga helps with posing for shoots?

Yes! I actually started yoga about three years ago after my agent said I needed to fix my posture. It helps with posture and feeling more in touch with your body. Mentally, it helps as well. 

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(source: @caitlinkingkong)

What’s your favorite yoga pose?

Other than savasana… I love downward dog. It’s detoxifying comfortable and doing a full body stretch with gravity as your weight.

 

 What’s your go-to post yoga lunch? I always get a vegetable smoothie with nut milk so it’s thick and creamy but full of nutrients and water

 

Have you ever been on a yoga retreat? If not, where would you go?

I have not but I plan to! Im looking to do one in Costa Rica on the beach, perhaps for my 500 hour certification.

 

 

Caitlin King is a model and soon-to- be certified yoga instructor. Follow her yoga vibes on instagram @Caitlinkingkong.

 

 

xx Sculpt and Shine

 

City Sculpts

Throwing Down at Overthrow Boxing

This week’s spotlight is cast on Overthrow Boxing, a trendy new boxing studio in New York City’s Soho neighborhood that’s quickly taking the fitness world by storm.

Overthrow, which opened in May features 45 minute boxing “burn out” classes that combine ring work and or bag work, cardio, intervals and an intimate class setting.

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(credit: Overthrow Boxing)

The studio in itself is very unique from other boxing studios I’ve been to. This is largely due to the fact that the building that houses it (#9 Bleecker St.) has a colorful history, having been the headquarters of a counter-culture newspaper, Overthrow as well as home to the Yipee movement ( aka extremist hippie movement.)

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When I heard the studio was claiming to be the “Soul Cycle of boxing”, I knew I had to find out for myself what the deal was. I’m so glad I did! Overthrow turned out to be my new favorite place to box in the city. I’m not saying that because of the epic rock n’ roll vibe atmosphere and vibes that the studio gives off ( I mean, they’re definitely a plus..) but I also was surprised to get individualized attention when it came to my boxing stance and punches.

Because of this class, I now actually know how to tie my wraps, the proper boxing footwork and also how to accurately throw a cross jab, things I feel are often neglected in larger class settings at other boxing studios I’ve frequented. Needless to say, awesome instruction and a ‘sure to sweat your ass off’ class definitely convinced me to come back for more. It also helps knowing I’m part of the cool crowd that comes along with the regulars at Overthrow.

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Verdict: Best boxing class I’ve taken in the city ( and Brooklyn) thus far. They really take the time to help with minor corrections and proper form.

Fit Babes

Falling In Love with My Fitbit

Happy Wednesday! This week’s midweek detox features a discussion about the Fitbit Flex, which I received about a month ago and admittedly didn’t know much about except it tracked your exercise in some way.

I pictured it being able to track my resting heart rate and target heart rate during exercise too but the Fitbit Flex model I had didn’t do those fancy things. It is however stylish and discreet enough that it looks like a bracelet but also keeps track of the important things.

 

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I was a little confused because there wasn’t an actual interface on the band but using  the Fitbit App i was happy it could help me to accurately track my steps, physical activity, what I ate and also my sleep patterns! Pretty cool.

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Another cool thing? I get weekly progress emails which serves as both motivation and information because it gives you a break down by day of your steps and calories burned. I also found it cool that gives you the option to compete with friends/ others in your area with built in competitions to see who has the best step goal etc.

 

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The battery lasts a long time which is surprising considering all the work it does. My only regret is that it doesn’t track my workouts as much as I’d hoped. Overall im super excited to have one!

 

* This post is not sponsored/ endorsed in any way, I did not receive the Fitbit for free to to review, I actually bought it. All opinions are my own and are my genuine attitudes towards this product.

Fit Babes

Let’s Be Frends! Blog Giveaway!

LE’S BE FRENDS!

For our first blog giveaway we’ve partnered with Frends headphones for an exclusive giveaway!

 

We’re giving away 1 pair of Taylor headphones from Frends w/ interchangable headphones caps! ( A prize valued over $250!)

#Letsbefrends – Frends Headphones Giveaway

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How to enter:

1) follow both @frends AND @sculptandshine on Instagram for a chance to win a pair of stylish headphones from Frends.

Tag friends and spread the word about the contest on instagram ‪#‎letsbefrends‬ for extra entries!

The contest starts at 12 am EST (midnight) 7/6/15 and ends 7/13/15 at 12 am EST ( midnight). Winner will be announced 24 hours after contest ends.