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Monthly Archives : July 2015

Floatation Therapy at Lift / Next Level Floats

flotation therapy next level floats

Much like Lift / Next Level Floats owner, Gina Antioco, I too had to try floatation therapy as soon as I heard about it. As an entrepreneur with two children, the absence of stimulation seemed just about the best thing I could think of, and when I heard it could also help with chronic pain, well, I couldn’t get in that tank fast enough.

Gina was kind enough to host me at Lift / Next Level Floats, her gorgeous new floatation therapy center in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. In my blissful, post-float state, I also had the chance to sit down with Gina and talk about floating, starting her own business and Theta waves…among other things.

TB: Tell us about floating. What inspired you to make it your life’s work?

GA: I am the type of person who seeks out new experiences to such a degree that you might call it a hobby, so when a friend introduced me to floatation therapy, I booked my first session immediately. I did some research before booking the appointment, and afterwards I was completely terrified because what I learned implied that I should prepare to undergo the most intense psychology session of my life. No distraction, only true introspection. I went anyway, ready to face myself in the mirror while floating in the dark. After that first session, I’ll never forget the overwhelming feeling of calm I experienced stepping out onto the crazy, overstimulated streets of Manhattan. My head was clear and I felt light. It sounds silly, but I swear the sun seemed brighter. Dealing with anxiety had always been the norm for me and I was no stranger to insomnia, so when I walked out of the session feeling euphoric, and then had one of the best night’s sleep that evening, I recognized what floating could do.

Come On In, The Water is Fine

GA: At that time in my life, I really disliked my work. As a banquet manager, I watched people spend $70K + on their “special day” and it began to feel terribly superficial. I knew there had to be a way I could apply my skills to create something more altruistic. I am a risk taker by nature and had a bit of nest egg set aside so I decided to open the float center. All of my business books instructed me to find a niche, so I did. I believe it was always the challenge that drove me.

TB: How did you get started? What were some of the challenges you faced?

GA: I knew that experience would be key in order to run a successful center. I began researching, and quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to gain that experience in New York, as the industry simply did not exist here, so I moved to the west coast where floating was already quite prevalent. That’s when my journey really began, about two years ago. It was challenging and incredibly exhausting. I worked at a hostel so that I had somewhere rent free to sleep, and volunteered at a start-up float center who couldn’t yet afford staff. This is how I learned the ins and outs. I worked seven days a week and my only income was unemployment. I ate at a “community dinner” and received assistance at a food kitchen. There was no easy shortcut and I was determined not to dip into my savings. It made me stronger and I learned many of the skills that would help me run a business.

When You Know, You Know

While out west, I tried to secure additional financial backing. After a lengthy conversation with an Irish bar/restaurant owner, I thought that I had…until he tried to kiss me! It’s difficult being a female entrepreneur, trying to get people to take you seriously, especially when you have to convince them to believe in a service that most have never heard of. When I met my now business partner — a New Yorker who had started floating in the 80s— at a float conference in Portland, we were a perfect match. We decided to join forces after only two and a half days of knowing each other, a fact that still surprises me. I am impulsive, but not that impulsive! I thank our mutual love of Burning Man for helping us to quickly experience a level of trust that only attendees of the festival would understand.

After meeting Dave, my business partner, we briefly explored the option of franchising the location I was working at out west. After a meeting with their silent partner, a misogynistic tanning salon magnate who did not acknowledge me at the meeting except when he pointed out to Dave that all I would be is “Dave’s best employee”, rather than a partner, the decision to go in our own direction was easy.

We’re Very Lucky

I moved back to New York and took a temporary job at a spa franchise to continued learning the business while our space was under construction. Now, two years later, after many hiccups along the way, we have a warm and inviting five-tank center — making us the largest on the east coast — and many happy customers. From conception to fruition, it’s been an amazing partnership. Since the business is so new, we’ve yet to take days off, but we love what we do. Witnessing the overwhelmingly positive responses of our guests is all I need to keep going.

TB: How are the effects of floating distinctly different from the effects of meditation or yoga?

Travel-Beauty-Flotation-therapyGA: For many, beginning a practice in meditation can be frustrating. A person is asked to do nothing and suddenly his or her brain is doing everything. Floating is different because without any sensory input the brain chatter naturally slows down. The body is so relaxed that it just happens, almost effortlessly. While on the west coast I was able to observe the effects of floatation therapy. Our clients were often candid and shared the benefits they were experiencing, such as eliminating anti-anxiety medications, anti­depressants and painkillers from their daily routines. Others used it to deepen their meditation practice, lower stress and beat insomnia. I dealt with people working through traumas, PTSD and others recovering from surgeries. It was extremely rewarding.

Floating Is One Of Those Things That Is Difficult To Put Into Words

The sensation is best described as waves, beginning at your center and emanating outwards; the moments when you let go, and feel your breath make its way through your system, while at the same time your body drifts away. It’s trance-like and feels as if you’re peeling off layers, breaking things down to a manageable level, forgetting your worries, transforming as you go. Suddenly everything that was stressing you out is now, somehow okay. It’s quite remarkable and when you think about how simple it is, you wonder why you haven’t been doing this your entire life.

TB: In addition to floating, what other health & wellness practices are most important to you?

GA: I’ve recently been turned on to somatic therapy, which is the study of the mind/body interface, and the relationship between our physical matter and energy. It implements the practice of “checking in” with yourself, which is of particular interest to me as this technique can also be used to train yourself to lucid dream, something I hope to relearn to do. I’ve also found hypnagogic light therapy to be rather effective in aiding in relaxation and overall wellness. This experience involves sitting under halogen and LED bulbs that pulsate at different frequencies and intensities. It offers the benefits of a deep meditation through an expanded state of consciousness as the light stimulates brain waves patterns that help the user access theta activity. Theta is the brain wave state that practitioners of yoga as well as many “floaters” are ideally working to achieve.

In Short, I Look For Balance

This extends far beyond any diet or exercise routine, although I can say I am a clean eater and a runner. Sometimes balance means treating myself to a pedicure because I’ve been working like crazy and my feet hurt or spending a night out with friends. I keep looking for balance in its many forms and try to stay true to myself.

To learn more about floating, visit Lift / Next Level Floats online or call 718-701-0808.

All photos by Frank Rocco.

As told to Claire McCormack. Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Q&A with cast, inc. Founder Julia Samersova Garfinkel

cast inc founder julia samersova garfinkel

Travel Beauty’s #GirlBoss Series continues with mother of four Julia Samersova Garfinkel - fellow Brooklyn girl and founder of cast inc. cast, inc. is a full service casting agency based in New York City that specializes in advertising campaigns, editorials, fashion shows and commercials. With an impressive worldwide network of modeling and talent agencies, art directors, producers, photographers and designers, cast inc. works with some of the most prominent names in the industry.

TB: What Was Your Path To Becoming An Entrepreneur? Was It Always A Goal Of Yours?

JSG: No, it was never a goal. I had been working as a model manager for close to 12 years. I had worked at four agencies (Elite, Ford, Company Management and Next). In 2004, I decided to make the jump to the client side and become a freelance casting director. My best friend John Pfeiffer, Casting Director legend, took me to J&R Music World and bought me my first laptop. John and my mom encouraged me to do my own thing. I jumped into the shallow pool with my eyes closed and wished for the best! I had nothing to lose. I was not operating from a place of fear, so it all fell into place! The first year was tough financially and I had to borrow money just to survive. Gradually, through networking, word of mouth and sheer perseverance I started to flourish! The better I did, the more driven I became.

TB: It’s Your Job To Find Beautiful People. How Has Being A Casting Agent Changed The Way You Relate To Beauty…Inner And Outer?

JSG: Constantly working around beautiful men, women and children has taught me that inner beauty trumps outer any day. A gorgeous person becomes ugly very quickly with a bad attitude, and vice versa. I have also learned that personality goes a long way. You can’t just be pretty or handsome with nothing inside. Then you are just a pretty, empty shell. Also, genetics are a motherf#@ker, period.

TB: What Constitutes The “It” Factor? What Makes Someone Truly Stand Out?

JSG: A sense of humor and sense of self.

TB: What Beauty Hacks Have You Established Over The Years As A Casting Agent, Mom and Entrepreneur?

JSG: Massage, massage, massage! I am a huge massage freak! We found an incredible masseuse that comes to our home once a week. He is a Tibetan Buddhist from Mongolia; a true healer. I also have been massaging my kids daily (sometimes twice daily) since they were born. I believe that touch is so essential to intimacy, both with my husband and with my children.

I am also a huge sunscreen fanatic. Always on the hunt for a fabulous easy to apply, yummy smelling, natural sunscreen.

I love anything vanilla scented…but not cheap vanilla. I also love musk, patchouli, tobacco, citrus, sandalwood and bergamot. Scent is very important to me – it establishes the strongest memories. Also, manicures and pedicure, family style, on the regular!

TB: How Has Your Work Shaped The Way You Talk To Your Daughters About Beauty?

JSG: It’s never too early to start the dialogue about beauty, weight, societal expectations, self love, nutrition and sex in my house. We talk about everything in an extremely open, liberal way. We answer questions very honestly and name body parts by their real names. Sex is not some secretive, sinful thing.

My oldest daughter has seen my weight fluctuate several times. From very overweight to “medium” (as she calls it) to too thin! As a family, we stress the importance of fitness and activity. We try to eat super healthy but are not perfect, so of course there are plenty of lazy days and pizza parties! I tell each of my kids a million times a day how absolutely gorgeous they are. I hope it just sinks in!

TB: What Beauty Products Can’t You Live Without?

  • Sunscreen!
  • Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Blackest Black
  • I love Weleda products with all my heart! The citrus body lotion!
  • Coconut Oil for everything!
  • Chanel Vamp or Iced Roses by Essie for nails
  • Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation for Feet peel (OMG!)
  • L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
  • Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Body Cream
  • Tweezerman tweezers
  • Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Hair Conditioner
  • Exfoliators! I use different ones all the time
  • Ling NY Skincare DUAL MOISTURE EMULSION (Ling for facials too! Ask for Carol!)
  • Q-tips and baby wipes!
  • Black hair ties!
  • Gillette Clinical Antiperspirant
  • Atelier Cologne Absolue – Vanille
  • Dove Soap (love the smell)

Photo credit: Wildfox Fall 2015 campaign. Cast by cast inc. Photographer: Mark Hunter

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Has Cosmetic Surgery Become The New Makeup?

plastic surgery conversation ends stigma

The “face” of the plastic surgery conversation is changing. Slowly, cosmetic surgery discussions are becoming more frank, and the details of Botox, filler, and cosmetic surgery – which used to be the secret of the Manhattan and Los Angeles elite – are becoming less secret. In his recent TIME Magazine article entitled, “Nip. Tuck. Or Else.”, Joel Stein comments that, “cosmetic surgery has become the new makeup”.  While I think this is a bit of an overstatement, there is a kernel of truth in it. Little tweaks of Botox and filler, even rhinoplasty, and facelift surgery, are becoming more talked about, thus losing their stigma. Celebrities and civilians alike are speaking more openly about the procedures they’ve had done. We can thank Betty Ford (facelift and blepharoplasty), Joan Rivers (lots!), Ashlee Simpson (rhinoplasty), Renee Zelwiger (blepharoplasty), and most recently, Caitlyn Jenner (facial feminization and breast implants) for speaking frankly about cosmetic surgery.  We can thank sites like RealSelf for helping demystify the logistics of cosmetic procedures, as well as helping people become more educated cosmetic consumers.

Have No Doubt:

Cosmetic surgery is happening all around you. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), more than 20 million cosmetic surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed worldwide in 2014, with the United States ranking number one for most cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures performed in 2014 (Brazil was briefly number one in 2013, but Brazilian Butt Lift be damned, we managed to regain the number one spot this past year). Cosmetic surgery technology is advancing, and procedures are becoming more minimally-invasive, with short, or no, recovery time required. As the technology advances, procedures become more common, and the cost is coming down, making procedures affordable to more people. Surgeons are also becoming more skilled, and more subtle, making results more predictable and less scary.

Along The Beauty Continuum

More and more in my practice, I see cosmetic procedures, particularly Botox and filler, regarded as regular maintenance rather than narcissistic indulgences. I even have many patients that come in for treatments with friends and make a day of it. I’ve seen that, with time, the idea of beauty and personal upkeep is becoming a continuum, with haircuts and shopping on one end and facelifts on the other. There are no longer any hard stops. If you have no reservations about coloring your hair with chemical dyes when it turns gray, why shouldn’t you take advantage of anti-aging treatments for your face? If you buy clothing and accessories in order to convey your personal style – to portray to others the way that you see yourself – why not take advantage of available procedures to do the same for your face and body?

The Shame Of Beauty Routines Is Long Gone

As Stein points out, in the 19th century, makeup was often sold under the counter because it was considered a tool of prostitution. In the 1930s, when hair dyeing was new, women got their color done in the basements of beauty parlors so no one would see them and continued to do so for decades. The shame of these beauty routines is long gone, and I hope that in the same way, we can soon say that the days of plastic surgery shaming are over.

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Treating Adrenal Fatigue

treating adrenal fatigue

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about supplements (a beauty from the inside out type of thing) for a long time. My initial idea was to write the post as a “let’s take a peek inside women’s medicine cabinets”. I had already had these conversations with friends — discussing which supplements we all take on a regular basis and why. I always found it fascinating to hear which vitamins/supplements/herbs etc. have helped other women feel their best, and I have often gotten great suggestions this way, to boot.

When I started to write this piece in earnest, I asked the ladies in my life to write down all the supplements they take regularly and what they take them for. Rather quickly, a theme emerged: adrenal fatigue. I can’t say I was surprised that these very busy — and very knowledgeable — women were taking an active role in supporting their adrenal glands; most of the supplements I take regularly are also directly or indirectly for adrenal health/support. Turns out my friends and I all had similar journeys that set us on this specific path to wellness.

Personally, I hit a physical, mental and emotional low about two years ago (more details below). My quest to get better led to the discovery that years of constant, intense stress had completely tapped out my adrenal glands. This, in turn, left me feeling completely tapped out. With guidance from a holistic health practitioner and other wellness professionals, I started taking supplements to support my adrenal glands — specifically to help my body better handle stress and to restore the essential minerals and nutrients that were depleted from years of self-care insufficient for my hectic lifestyle. Almost immediately, these supplements made an enormous difference in how I felt, day in and day out.

Never Heard of Adrenal Fatigue?

If you’ve never heard of adrenal fatigue, don’t worry. Go to a traditional doctor complaining about adrenal fatigue and she’ll likely tell you there is no such thing. Visit a holistic health practitioner or naturopath, however, and she will tell you adrenal fatigue is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions of the 21st century. Ask anyone you know who regularly sees a naturopath, and you may discover that s/he is already taking supplements to treat adrenal fatigue. The struggle, as they say, is real. And it is especially real for women.

In fact, it seems that adrenal fatigue is the bane of the modern woman’s existence. All the women I spoke to are busy working women and/or working mothers; the epitome of “I don’t know how she does it” females. If you are struggling to manage a career, family, self-care, etc., and often feel that the struggle is winning, this post may be especially valuable (and applicable) to you, too.

What Does Adrenal Fatigue Look Like? Feel Like?

Well, crappy. Like you can’t get out of bed in the morning. No, not like it’s hard to get out of bed…like it’s impossible. If you’ve ever been pregnant, it feels like first trimester exhaustion, but EVERY SINGLE DAY. Also, your patience is super-low and your stress level super-high. Constantly. You literally feel at your wit’s end, exasperated, all day long. Everyone and everything gets under your skin. Nothing brings excitement or joy. You can’t remember the last time you felt “energetic”. Then there’s the ennui. Nothing sounds like a good or fun idea. You literally don’t want to do anything.

There are physical manifestations as well. I notice most dramatically under my eyes. They become a particular blue bruise-tone that can only mean my body is trying to send me an urgent message. Even scarier was the hair loss that I’ve shared about before.

Working Out Rigorously?

If you work out rigorously, adrenal fatigue is something you may want to investigate further as well. We are told ad nauseum how beneficial exercise is for us — and it is! It has myriad physical benefits, and is a great way to manage stress. There is a catch-22, though. If you’re not taking proper care to replace all the minerals and nutrients that is expelled during all that physical exertion, you may soon find yourself with less energy rather than more, and/or start feeling like each workout is taking every last ounce of energy you have. If that’s been your post-workout experience lately, read on.

Below are lists of the supplements I and two of my friends take on a regular basis. For the sake of brevity, I did not include a supplement list for everyone I spoke to, but you’ll see the similarities between my, Shamara and Kim’s lists. Between the three of us, the supplements we take are a very good representation of all the women I spoke to. Now, none of us are doctors. This is in no way medical advice. This is women who have taken the time to educate themselves, sharing what has helped them feel their very best. If, after reading this, you feel you may also suffer from adrenal fatigue, I do urge you to find a naturopath with whom you can discuss adrenal fatigue, and who can help you construct an action plan to feel better asap.

My Regimen

Between meeting with holistic health counselor Carol Patti (who was introduced to me by Kim Knittel, see below), muscle testing with Diane Paxton and reading The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, MD, I’ve come up with a “program” that really works and helps me feels my best. I must add that eating a protein-rich breakfast, exercising and getting colonics have also improved my overall sense of wellbeing.

The results of following this program have been increased energy, patience, an infinitely easier time getting out of bed in the morning and a dramatic decrease in the amount of caffeine I need throughout the day.

Standard Process Prosynbiotic

I take one pill, three times a day, as per muscle testing. Diane Paxton used muscle testing to determine which probiotics my body best responded to, and once we found my body’s “favorite” probiotic strain (Bifidobacterium was the winner), we used muscle testing to determine optimal dosage. Muscle testing is a fairly simple practice often used by naturopaths, but it’s quite fascinating! Diane had me hold different types of probiotic pills in my hand, each type of probiotic by itself. Then, while I was holding each type, she pushed down on my arm as I tried to resist or push back. The more my arm was able to resist the pressure of her push, the better; i.e., that was the probiotic that would be best for my body, as it made my body stronger, not weaker.

Trader Joe’s Fish Oil EPA/DHA

If you end up purchasing any high-quality supplements, you’ll see they ain’t cheap. It was so nice, then, to find a high-quality, inexpensive supplement like this one. The fish oil in these supplements are micro distilled, as recommended in The Mood Cure. Molecular distillation reduces the toxins in fish oil to safe levels. This formula also has the right amount of EPA and DHA, and in the proper ratio.  Fish oil has so many benefits! It is not only great for hair, skin and joints, but also very beneficial for the brain, mood and gut…all things I’m interested in optimizing.

Designs for Health CraveArrest

I take CraveArrest for adrenal support; one in the morning on an empty stomach and one before lunch. I happened upon CraveArrest as a fluke — Designs for Health was highly recommended by Carol Patti, and when I looked at all their different formulas, Crave Arrest had a number of vitamins, minerals and herbs I was looking for, all in one supplement. In addition to negatively impacting my mood and energy level, adrenal fatigue also causes cravings in many people. I don’t get crazy cravings regularly, but my body very positively responds to the unique combination of ingredients in CraveArrest. It helps support my overall mood, energy, stress level, etc. CraveArrest is designed to promote an optimal balance of serotonin and dopamine in the body. Since the adrenal glands oversee the the regulation of serotonin and dopamine, compromised adrenal glands don’t do a great job at regulating these two important neurotransmitters. This imbalance leads to all sorts of unsavory effects: sleeplessness, anxiousness and, as the name implies, cravings. CraveArrest contains tyrosine and 5-HTP for anti-craving effects, as well as taurine and the adaptogenic herb Rhodiola to promote a healthy stress response.

Designs for Health CatecholaCalm

This is also for adrenal support. I take one or two at bedtime. Sometimes I’ll take one in the morning if I feel I need it, but if I take it within an hour of drinking coffee the caffeine will cancel out its effects, so it’s often hard for me to get the timing just right in the craziness that is my morning. (as mentioned earlier, these supplements are pricey so I won’t take one at a sub-optimal time.) CatecholaCalm is designed to support healthy catecholamine levels with adaptogenic herbs and nutrients that help mood and promote calmness and relaxation. CatecholaCalm addresses adrenal gland health; I find it helps me handle stress more effectively and to slow down my brain when I feel on overdrive. CatecholaCalm was specifically designed for “burned-out”, anxious people like me, suffering from a combination of low cortisol and elevated catecholamines. Catecholamines are also regulated by the adrenal glands…you don’t need to know what they are, but know that when they are out of whack, it’s not good. CathecolaCalm has given me more restful sleep, and I find it is especially beneficial when I’m PMSing.

Phylia de M. Fulphyl

I add Fulphyl to my smoothies for immune support and overall wellbeing — as needed and especially at change of seasons. This stuff is quite expensive, but totally worth it…as are all Phylia de M. products. Because it is so pricey, I am stingier with it than I probably should be. But I digress. So what the heck is Fulphyl and what does it do? Fulphyl is a humic-free fulvic acid supplement in liquid form. It has more benefits than I can list here, but it basically does it all. I’m sure you’ve noticed all the buzz of late over the benefits of fermented foods. Fulphyl contains fulvic acid produced from the fermentation of organic fruits and vegetables. Fulphyl not only detoxifies the body, but also optimizes your body’s ability to use the nutrients you consume. Fulvic acid removes harmful toxins and free radicals and encourages cell health and regeneration. This is a true “beauty from the inside out” superstar that everyone can benefit from using.

Lidtke Endorphigen

I take this for back/shoulder pain, as needed. I hate the idea of taking Aleve on a regular basis, but my long-term, chronic back pain can flair up for a stretch of time. Endorphigen truly helps with my back pain – it’s remarkable! I take it in the morning on an empty stomach and then again at night.

——————————————–

Shamara Bondaroff - Facialist, SB Skin Holistic Skin Care

I’ve known Shamara since junior high school. She was raised in a holistic, health-conscious household, and she and her whole family frequented the late, great Dr. Martin Feldman. Dr. Feldman provided her with a supplement program that was suited for her needs and gave her the tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoiding pharmaceuticals.
She knows what it takes to feel – and look! – your very best, which is what makes her an amazing facialist and skin care expert.

E3 LIVE Blue-green algae superfood for focus and a dose of nutrients; taken first thing in the AM with probiotic (below).

Pure Encapsulations Probiotic 50B Probiotic taken first thing in AM.

Pure Encapsulations Women’s Pure Pack Essential nutrients tailored for women, taken after breakfast.

Twin Lab Hair Factors Add-on vitamins for skin & hair.

Flora Vegetal Silica  Also for skin and hair.

Thorne Research Phytisone Taken for adrenal support.

E3 Live Enzymes Supreme Digestive enzymes (when I remember) before each meal.

Kim Knittel

Kim is an old and very dear friend. I respect – and cherish – her deeply. She’s a mom first and foremost; an older mom of young kids, with a strong interest in nutrition and food as medicine. She consulted with a nutritionist named Trudy Scott for most of the supplements she takes, and a naturopath named Shaina Orfus, for others, especially after she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Trudy’s website – a great resource – is www.everywomanover29.com. Here is Kim’s very well-researched list of supplements:

Selenocysteine (selenium) – 200 mcg for thyroid health.

L Tyrosine – 2.4g twice a day for energy and focus.

L-Glutamine – Twice a day to curb sugar cravings and to heal the gut.

D-Phenylalanine – 1000 mg twice a day, for elevation of mood and to combat stress.

Ashwaganda – 350 mg twice a day, for thyroid health.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – 500 mg per day, for premature greying, a sign of B5 deficiency.

Vitamin D3 – (1) 10,000 iu pill every few days, for immune function, thyroid health and many other body functions.

Opti-Zinc 30 – 30 mg per day, for immune function and thyroid health.

Methyl Guard Plus or Active B Complex – 100 mg B6 and 2 mg B12 among others 2 – 4 times daily.

Ascorbyl Palmitate – Fat Soluble Vitamin C 450mg per day.

What supplements do you take every day? For what? Share in the comments, below!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) Super Saturday

ovarian cancer research fund super saturday shopping

Perhaps summer isn’t a busy shopping time for you…we get that. We like to spend our summer days swimming, sunning and sipping frozen cocktails (Strawberry Daiquiris with a Myer’s Rum Float is our particular summer treat). There is, however, one summer shopping event that we’re always happy to skip the beach for…and best of all, it’s for a good cause!

On Saturday, July 25th, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) is hosting its 18th annual Super Saturday. The event takes place in the heart of The Hamptons, on the lush grounds of Nova’s Ark Project in Water Mill, New York. Kelly Ripa and Donna Karan will co-host the event.

From Humble Beginnings

The first Super Saturday took place in 1998. It was held in the backyard of the late Liz Tilberis’ (former Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar) home in the Hamptons. She was the then-president of OCRF, and had been diagnosed with the disease herself. From these backyard beginnings, the event has evolved into a day-long, star-studded designer shopping extravaganza attended by over 2,000 people. In addition to 30 – 50% off premier designer brands, there is a kid’s carnival and a delicious catered lunch (and cocktails, of course). There are always fun “experience tents” as well – you can enjoy an Essie manicure, get a psychic reading and more!

OCRF-Super-Saturday-Shopping-in-the-hamptonsShop The Day Away

This is one of our favorite summer events. We come ready to stock up – the shopping is incredible! We’ve gotten the cutest back to school items for our kids and the chicest designer pieces for ourselves. Every year, the roster of designers changes, but past year’s sponsors included Ralph Lauren, Theory, Alice + Olivia, Helmut Lang, rag & bone, Vilebrequin, mBaby, Vince, Diane von Furstenberg and Versace…among many others.

As you can imagine, this late July all day event can feel more like Super Sticky Saturday. If you plan on attending, be sure to wear light, breathable clothing and plenty of sunblock. We also make sure to have a cooling skin mist, face/body wipes and a frizz-fighting hair product in our bag, to avoid the whole melting hairball look…there’s always a crowd of photographers snapping away.

Travel Beauty’s founding team has been involved with OCRF for the past 13 years. Ovarian Cancer is an important women’s issue that does not receive nearly enough attention. OCRF funds critical research on ovarian cancer which has led to earlier detection of the disease and will ultimately lead to a cure. All Super Saturday proceeds fund OCRF’s research initiatives.

We hope to see you there! To learn more about Super Saturday and to purchase tickets, visit OCRF’s website.

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