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We Tried It

We Tried It: Tricky Spring Denim Trends

Mar/06/2014 at 09:00 AM ET

Our April issue hits stands Friday (though you can nab it on your tablet right now!) and it’s packed full of the hottest trends for spring, from entry-level to more advanced. We especially loved talking spring denim trends, but we know that some looks may be tougher than others to pull off. That’s why we road-tested pastel, engineer stripe and super-distressed jeans — if we can do it, you can too! Check out our outfits, below, then tell us how you’d wear yours in the comments.
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We Tried It: A Gel That Makes the Gym More Tolerable

Feb/28/2014 at 04:52 PM ET

Workout WonderCourtesy Mio Skincare/John Soper

What is it: A gel that helps warm up your muscles and alleviate tension pre-workout

Who tried it: John Soper, Editorial Assistant

Why he did it: Because I was sick of using sore muscles as an excuse to skip the gym, and the only other gel I’m familiar with is the kind I put in my hair (so I was curious!)

Level of difficulty: 1: If you’re comfortable applying moisturizer, then this will be a breeze

I’m someone who loves any excuse to skip the gym, up to and including “But I went yesterday and I’m so sore!” But with bulky winter coat season rapidly coming to an end, I knew I needed to kick my routine into gear. That’s why I was intrigued by this Workout Wonder gel, which promises to make muscles looser pre-workout and relieve tension after the fact.

When I first sampled the stuff, I immediately noticed that the spearmint scent perked me up, made my neck muscles tingle and relaxed my shoulders from somewhere near my earlobes to a more normal level. Apparently it’s got a mix of magic ingredients — okay, herbs and extracts (more on those here) — that are supposed to work together to energize your muscles and keep them from getting too tight.

RELATED POSTS: See what other products editors are testing out!

I brought it back to the office for my coworkers to sample, and over the next couple days I kept hearing, “Do you still have that muscle relaxing stuff?” It passed the grueling “office tension test,” but now it was time to see if this gel would really help me during my workout.

Right before I hit the gym, I rubbed the cream on my neck, chest and arms, then conducted my usual lifting routine and then ran on the treadmill afterwards. I felt unusually energetic throughout my workout, and I was able to push myself a bit further than usual. Then while changing, I reapplied the cream to sore spots (and let’s be honest, the smell didn’t hurt). I noticed a lot less tension the next day, so I got another bottle to keep at my desk for those days when I feel my shoulders creeping up, or some residual soreness from the morning’s workout.

Verdict: Clearly, I’m a fan, considering I now have it handy at all times. It’s $33 for a bottle, but a pump or two goes a long way, so it lasts. Is this going to be the thing that makes the guy at the gym check-in desk know me by name? I don’t know, but it sure can’t hurt.

Do you think you’ll give Workout Wonder a try or do you have other pre/post-workout rituals that you do? Let us know in the comments below!
–John Soper

Looking to test out a new fashion, beauty or fitness craze? See what editors are testing below!
We Tried It: A Super-Fancy Customized Facial With Isabelle Bellis
We Tried It: The Winter Solstice Cleanse from Juice Press
We Tried It: Sally Hansen’s New ‘I Heart Nail’ Kit

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We Tried It: A Super-Fancy Customized Facial With Isabelle Bellis

Feb/20/2014 at 06:23 PM ET

Isabelle Bellis facialCourtesy Andrea Lavinthal

What it is: A one-woman, one-room spa with a six month waiting list of Very Important People
Who tried it: Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director
Why she did it: See above where it says “six month waiting list”
Level of pain: Nada, but I’m one of those weird people who enjoys extractions.

RELATED: What other wacky things have we tried in the name of beauty lately? See them all here!

If you’re a regular “We Tried It” reader (and really, who isn’t?), then you already know how I feel about facials. Whether it’s at a fancy-schmancy spa or in my own bathroom, I’m all for making my skin look smooth and glow-y. So when my friend emailed me with the news that Isabelle Bellis, a big-time facialist with whom you can never get an appointment (her client list is top-secret), had a rare last-minute opening that afternoon, I canceled all of my meetings and headed to the Upper East Side.

Bellis’s HQ feels like your coolest friend’s apartment, not a spa (see the pic above!) — and her French accent makes things feel even more chic. After I filled out a lengthy questionnaire about my skin, Bellis lead me to the treatment room where she kicked things off with a guided meditation. I’m not usually into that kind of thing but when a pretty French lady is telling you to relax your toes and relieve your mind of stress, it’s hard not to cooperate.

From then on it was all about massaging my face to increase blood and oxygen supply to the skin. She even put her fingers in my mouth to relieve tension in my cheeks, which felt weird but not unpleasant. While insanely thorough (I swear she inspected every single pore on my face) her extractions barely pinched. I have no idea what else she did for the rest of the hour and a half, but when she was done my skin looked the best I’ve ever seen it, and that was with a hint of redness from the extractions.

She sent me home with a bottle of L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil, but not before giving me a demo on how to properly apply it (put a tiny dab in your hands, rub them together, then pat your palms gently around the perimeter of your face working your way in).

The most impressive part of my appointment is what happened after I went home: My skin maintained its clear and radiant status for over a week, as opposed to the day or so I get with other facials. Consider myself the newest member of Bellis’s miles-long wait list.

How far would you go for the perfect facial? Tell us in the comments!

We Tried It: The Winter Solstice Cleanse from Juice Press

Feb/13/2014 at 05:59 PM ET

Brittany Talarico Juice Press CleanseBrittany Talarico

What is it: The latest three-day all liquid cleanse system from famed NYC health shop Juice Press — all six juices are made to specifically target the immune system and help your body ward off infection brought on by the cold weather (and since this has been the most brutal winter I’ve experienced in my 26 years on this planet, I thought, ‘Why not?’).

Who tried it: Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor

Why I did it: Because everyone around me was getting sick, and I wanted to load up on vitamins. (Okay, and I wanted to feel really “cleansed” and slim for a jam-packed weekend of wedding dress shopping!)

Level of Difficulty: 5. Cleansing is not for the faint of stomach. I missed snacking (well, chewing!) and the social aspect of eating

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We Tried It: Sally Hansen's New 'I Heart Nail' Kit

Feb/06/2014 at 06:32 AM ET

Brittany Talarico Sally Hansen nailsBrittany Talarico

What is it: Sally Hansen “I Heart Nail” art kits

Who tried it: Brittany Talarico, Associate Style Editor

Why I did it: Because I’m tired of spending over $50 bucks for a tricked out mani (aka I’m getting married in October, and it’s time to save some money)

Level of Difficulty: 3. Thanks to the handy “dotting tool,” which you use to apply the fun appliques, it’s pretty simple (Trust me, I was skeptical at first too!)

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We Tried It: Three of Spring's Trickiest Trends

Feb/04/2014 at 09:00 AM ET

Our March issue hits stands Friday (though you can nab it on your tablet right now!) and it’s packed full of the hottest trends for spring, from entry-level to more advanced. Our #Trending story features tons of the red-hot looks straight off the runway (and beloved by your favorite celebs). But if you find yourself wondering if you really can pull off overalls, you’re not alone. That’s why three of our magazine editors road tested these trends for you. Were they convinced? Find out below!
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We Tried It: Replicating an In-Store Makeover Along With a Video Tutorial

Jan/30/2014 at 05:08 PM ET

The Balm MakeupAlex Apatoff

What is it: Editor-loved beauty brand The Balm opened their first brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco, and their in-store makeovers come with a fun extra: They videotape the makeover and send you the link, so you can try it step-for-step at home

Who tried it: Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor (that’s my “after makeover” photo above and my disaster vanity)

Why I did it: Because I know I’m not the only one who’s bought a million products after a makeover, and then had no idea what to do with them the next day

Level of Difficulty: A 3 for me, but it depends on your level of makeup fluency. I like makeup already, so I found the video easy to follow. Probably the hardest thing about this whole experience will be sharing the embarrassing videos and photos below.

RELATED VIDEO: How to get the perfect red lip!
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