product review

Muscles & Mascara

Two things this week:

I came across the most amazing muscle tee. EVER.

I love Michi. (you already knew that, but…. Wait for what’s next.)

There is nothing nearer and dearer to my heart than fashion, beauty, and fitness, and I spend my life merging the three. I found it particularly appropriate to pair it with my all time favorite activewear line, Michi. Michi was created with a vision to elevate the activewear trend and truly merge it with real life, with a splash of lingerie inspired designs for a mega chic yet edgy feel.

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I am honored to announce that I am a Brand Ambassador for Michi, and am excited to continue sharing my love of their exquisite yet completely functional designs. One of my favorite quotes from meeting with Michelle Watson was “…this is an armpit fat and muffin top free zone!” Leggings and bras alike have expertly design cuts, meant to accentuate your best parts and hide your worst. Also say goodbye to other gross activewear disappointments like camel toe and see-through behinds. Michi pieces are WELL worth the investment, and I urge you to try them for yourself.

Check out their current selections online, and use my code “Team_Gragg” for 10% off.

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No post is complete without my must have beauty item of the week. I am a balm girl at heart, and cannot live without it. That said, when it has added pop of color than won’t get all barfy looking when you workout (or stick to your hair during treadmill runs or burpees), it gets an A-plus from yours truly.

Behold:

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé

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Outfit Details

Top: 5Sun “Muscles & Mascara” Graphic Muscle

Bra: c/o Michi Feline Bra

Leggings: c/o Michi Illusion Legging

Shoes: Nike Sky Hi Wedge, Black Leather

Sunglasses: Rayban Aviator in Blue & Gold

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Makeup Forever Step 1 in Redness Correcting Primer (Green)

Foundation: c/o Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation in Fawn

Shadow: MAC Paints in Untitled

Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Blush: MAC Powder Blush in Peony Petal

Lips: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Rosé

Nails: OPI in You’re Such a Budapest

Skin: St. Tropez Self Tan Dark Bronzing Spray

Photos this week were captured by my amazing friend Julia, of Whole30 SF.

94123 Street Style

I can’t express enough how much I adore my new professional dress code of stretchy pants. Thank god for the rising athleisure trend these days; I can’t tell you the last time I was bothered to put on a pair of jeans, or worse, a suit.

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This week, Nike absolutely nails it. I stumbled upon the Lunarsandiator Sky Hi a week ago on a lunchtime stroll from Equinox to Nike on Union Street, and all it took was one fitting to decide that these shoes would be glued to my feet for the foreseeable future! I’ve totally taught group fitness in these. Not gonna lie.

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These sandals are THE most comfortable shoes I’ve worn in ages. Ever hate when your feet get tired, even in a pair of running shoes? I’m not sure if it’s the wedge or just the cushion, but these can be worn all day with zero fatigue. Next up, can we talk about these leggings?? Nike has really stepped up their game in the legging department, and I must say their current legging, the Legendary Tight, is beyond fabulous from the touch all the way to the fit. I was able to snag a pair in the “Lava Legging” color way, and I must say they are a Mandy staple now. The fit is not only comfortable, it completely reshapes you and leaves you feeling confident to rock your workout without feeling self conscious. I am wearing a size XS here, and am a street size 2.

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I had the chance to meet Waveborn’s creator a few months ago at a tech startup pitching conference, and I cannot say enough great things about their products. I am wearing their Wayfarer inspired frames, Moonlight. If their product wasn’t sweet enough, their partnership with SEE International makes it even more amazing. Check out their site for all the details, and grab a pair of your own!

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This week, I decided to go with an aquamarine theme all the way down to my nails, in honor of my signature Mandy Hair. This Friday, I’ll be saying goodbye to my turquoise locks, and hello to another exciting adventure! Stay tuned.

Outfit Details

Top: Lululemon Healthy Heart Pullover, (OLD)

Bottoms: Nike Legendary Lava Tight

Shoes: Nike Lunarsandiator Sky Hi

Bag: Lululemon Blissful Yogi Pack in Pow Pink (OLD)

Sunglasses: c/o Waveborn Moonlight

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Makeup Forever Step 1 in Redness Correcting Primer (Green)

Foundation c/o: Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation in Fawn

Eye Primer: MAC Paint Pot in Let’s Skate

Eyeliner c/o: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Blush: Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Blush in Cool Pink

Setting Powder: Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting in Luminous Light 

Lips: c/o Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed

Mascara: YSL Shocking in Deep Black (SOLD OUT)

Nails: Ciaté Paint Pots in Superficial | Pedicure c/o: Sephora Formula X in Frenetic

Hair: Drybar Triple Sec 3 in 1 + Bumble & bumble Prêt-à-Powder  ****I have gone 7 days/4 workouts without a wash here!****

The Mesh Factor: Studio to Street, Instantly.

I am loving the mesh trends in active wear this season. It gives a chic approach to hitting the gym, and also speeding to brunch or errands shortly after. Yep, chic activewear makes me way more productive. At least that’s how I rationalize it, anyway!

I am currently OBSESSED with the latest from Lululemon, the Hot to Street Pant, the most amazing way to transition your sweat sesh to daily life. It’s not for the faint of heart though, as the mesh amount almost outweighs the amount of solid fabric, in the most flattering way possible though!

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I wore them to work at Barry’s Bootcamp, and they were incredibly comfortable, breathable, and held up perfectly, given the sweaty mess I usually am in the studio there. I had a quick transition to brunch with a friend after, and was able to totally hide the fact that I just got destroyed by an hour of killer Barry’s Full Body with Shauna!

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Outfit Details:

Pullover: Lululemon, Base Runner Half Zip, in Coco Pique (OLD)

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban Aviator

Pants: Lululemon, Hot to Street Pant, in Black

Shoes: Under Armour, Speed Form Apollo Vent

Socks: Thorlo, Experia in Neon Yellow

Beauty Details:

Foundation: c/o Bare Minerals, Bare Skin Foundation in Bare Linen

Blush: NARS, Blush in Desire

Lips: c/o Bite Beauty, Agave Lip Mask in Smashed

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills, Brow Wiz in Dark Brown

Liner: Kat Von D, Tattoo Liner in Trooper

Shadow: M.A.C., Paint Pot in “Let’s Skate!”

Mascara: YSL, Shocking Mascara in Deep Black

Nails: Essie, Polish in Neo Whimsical (SOLD OUT)

Hair: Bumble and bumble, Prêt-à-Powder (I haven’t washed my hair in 7 days in this post, FYI. This is a miracle worker!)

Post Gym Re-Glam Essentials: ShowerPill Wipes

Ever thought about/outright skipped a workout because you didn’t want/have time to shower? Lame ass excuse, right? We have all been there, however, so no judgements. I’ll start by publicly shaming myself on this one. Yes, even as the post-sweat beauty guru.

Owning it.

However, last month I found an amazing solution: ShowerPill Body Wipes!

I am always on the hunt for the best beauty products to make us look like rockstars post-workout (and just in general, really). Especially when it’s something that can save you when you’re in a major rush or other post-sweat dilemma (the mile long line for the shower during peak hours at Equinox, or other piss poor reasons to not do your workout). I got the chance to give ShowerPill a go this past month, and I must say it’s done some epic life saving for me.

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Let’s start off like this: I’m not a fan of body wipes. AT ALL. Most leave a residue, and make you feel even more slimy and gross than you were. Just slightly less smelly. Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical on how I would like these things.

I could think of no better time to try my ShowerPill shipment than a few weeks ago after a long hot yoga session. I came home to find out that my building had shut off our water for the night, so I was stuck with finding another solution. I opened one of my ShowerPill wipes and was instantly impressed.

These are not your basic flimsy wipes: They are as thick as felt, and aren’t overly perfumed.

When you wipe your body, you ACTUALLY feel clean, and not like you’ve just rearranged the sweat beads on your skin. I felt fresh, and more importantly I smelled like I just took a real shower.

They are large enough that you don’t end up spending forever wiping your entire body off.

I AM HOOKED. They are a mega solution to my lame excuses for skipping workouts.

If you don’t add these to your gym beauty bag, you are a fool. I’ll be using these after every workout/hike that involves a post sweat brunch or coffee date. If you don’t add these to your purse, you are also missing out!

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I’ll be buying a bunch of boxes for doomsday hoarding too.

Just kidding, but seriously.

That said, I will be hosting a giveaway on behalf of ShowerPill for my readers! For entry, complete the following steps by the end of this week:

  • Follow @ShowerPill on Twitter/Instagram
  • Tweet about the giveaway with a mention to @ShowerPill and @RunningPrettySF
  • Like ShowerPill on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ShowerPill)
  • Enter your info into the contact form below.

 

 

My life on the Runtastic Orbit

I’ve always been curious about the concept of wearable fitness trackers, but was honestly too lazy to start, and also skeptical that it would take more time out of my day than the value it would add.

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Were they user friendly?

Some are hideous and completely awkward to style with fancy work wear or date night ensembles. (Think Lindsay Lohan house arrest trackers. Yikes)

Whats the point of wearing them 24/7 if the battery dies and it takes a day to charge?

Are they waterproof/surfproof/lifeproof? I’m kind of a spaz.

I was approached by Runtastic to take their Orbit for a spin a few months ago, and was excited to try new fitness gear, but also skeptical on the concept of fitness tracking. I said yes, and immediately began tracking my little life away. After 2 months, I must say I’m hooked.

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The Runtastic Orbit functions across multiple apps, just choose the ones that fit your lifestyle and track away. For me, the running app has been my go-to, along with the Runtastic Me app, which gives you your daily snapshot and sleep cycle report.

There are several others: Mountain Bike, Road Bike, Pedometer, Libra, and Six Pack. Check them out in the app store. All are free, except for the Runtastic Pro for running.

So here we go.

GPS: Is it accurate? Because I’m pretty sure my Nike app lies to me.

Since this is another GPS based system, I had to see how it stacked up against my Garmin 910X (most accurate), and the Nike+ App (least accurate-usually at least .10 mile off). Runtastic’s GPS is extremely accurate for it’s kind. Running with others using Strava, Fitbit, and Jawbone, Runtastic was the most accurate of all (based off a measured mile course/using my Garmin 910x as a lateral limit). If you are looking to really gauge your milage and times in a serious manner, this app will  give you the precision you need, as well as a user friendly interface that you can easily understand and use. Garmin is great, but I personally find their web application for downloading data difficult to use.

WATER. What if I live in the ocean??

For you triathletes and my fellow surfers, this thing is waterproof up to 300 feet. So unless you are doing some serious wave ducking, you’ll be just fine.

TOOMANYAPPS. What if I already use other apps?

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The ease of pairing with this thing is unmatched. If you are My Fitness Pal user, you can sync up seamlessly.

I’m an OCD fashionista and wearbles are ugly.

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Fitness functionality aside, it is also able to be added into your work wear and even formal wear, without appearing completely out of place or gaudy. How is this possible? Included in your start kit is a clip-on holder, which is my favorite way to wear my Orbit. As a fashionista, I am able to clip it on my bra or another inconspicuous spot on my body that doesn’t clash with my fancy attire. Track your fitness WHILE looking like a supermodel? Mandy jackpot.

I’m an obsessive calorie counter. HALP.

I was skeptical at first as to how accurate this really was, but after hearing about exactly how Runtastic goes about calculating, I was sure that it wasn’t lying to me. Since you are always burning calories during the day, the Me app accounts for that based off of your height/weight, and also takes into consideration the type of activity you are doing during the day and calculate that in as well, across all the apps.

I live on the edge. Limits aren’t my thing.

If you ever wondered what the distance/step limit was for your wearable, BEHOLD, and leave it to an ultra marathoner to find it. I wore my Orbit for my 100 miler (Rio Del Lago) in November, and found it about halfway through:

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99,999 steps. Er, 54.69 miles. There ya go. Unless you plan on running over 54 miles in a given day, YER GOOD.

Pretty sure figuring this out qualifies me as a crazy person.

Last up: Cons.

Nothing is perfect, right?

Right. My only con that I could find was the battery life. It states 5-7 days on the website, but I have found that with normal use during the day, that it lasts around 3-5 days for me. The time it takes to charge is next to nothing (from dead to fully charged, it takes about 30 min), so it’s not a huge con in my opinion! I usually charge it when I’m taking a shower and not moving around a lot while getting ready in the morning.

As for suggestions, I would love for Runtastic to develop an app for surfers to be able to track waves, or distance in the water for triathletes.

Thank you Runtastic for bringing the Orbit into my daily life! I’m totally hooked.

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Boob Jail That Doesn’t Suck

Boob jail.

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Every gal’s favorite subject.

I speak on behalf of all well-endowed (unfortunately endowed in my opinion for me) gals when I say that there is no misery greater than trying to reign your shit in while working out, and finding a piece of gear that does exactly that, without causing more injury (hellooo chafing). I can’t tell you how many adorable dresses, tops and Lululemon bras I’ve had to pass on because of my “situation.” I would LOVE to know what it’s like to wear button downs and workout tanks without thick shoulder straps that instigate my migraines. Or the horror of the dreaded strap bust while wearing a convertible bra.

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Someone give me Gwyneth’s chest already.

There is hope though. There are several amazing sports bras that I swear by out there that don’t look like granny bras or bulletproof vests. Behold:

For the hardcore fashionistas like myself, here’s my hands down FAVE, and of course its by MICHI.

Hype Bra

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This bra is insanely comfortable and totally fashionable. I love Michi’s material, and of course cannot deny I adore the racy fashion that is unmatched by others in the industry. You get the support without the pain, or the granny bra shame.

Natori Yogi Convertible Sport Bra

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I love that this bra has a semi-plunging neckline, that allows for a fashionable twist without the nip-slip paranoia. The material on Natori bras are absolutely heavenly. They come in all the unconventional sizes for those of us with triple letters or below 32 inch chest measurements. Gone are the days of being forced to settle for a 32DD (or god forbid a 34C) when I’m really a 30E.

Natori Sport Bra

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This bra is essentially the same as the Yogi Sport Bra, but offers a more modest neckline and back anchor bra for added help to keep it in place. Same amazing support and look.

Panache Sports Bra

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This thing will likely be the end-all be-all of sports bras. It screams comfort and style, complete with silicone lined underwires, flat seams, and vibrant colors. This is the carbon fiber of heavyweight bras. Goodbye bullet proof vest bras. Get ready to buy it next month when it hits e-commerce!

There are also others I am DYING to try out. I will be having this work of Alexander Wang x H&M art coming to me for sure:

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Active wear’s debut in the fashion scene this year has been an absolute godsend for me. If you are in the same boat of living the fashion forward life, be sure to check out the rest of Alexander Wang’s sport line for H&M tonight at 5:15pm PST. I cannot wait to do a photoshoot with a majority of the collection when it arrives at my door 🙂

Anyway, back to boobs yo.

Always remember: you are not alone in the suffering that is sports bra shopping. For more recommendations, shoot me a line!

Diaries of a California Girl: Why the surf will always be a part of who I am (and beauty products that kick the salt water’s ass too)

If there is one thing I cannot live without, it’s living near the ocean. It’s the one place that truly centers me, and the one place that can make my workout even more amazing. No matter how bad a day I have had, I can always solve it with a quick surf sesh or a nice long beach run. Hell, I’ve even driven out there to just sit sometimes.

This week, I decided that it was high time that I showed y’all the amazingness of the beaches here within city limits, and let you take a peek into my unapologetic love of being a surf bum. Complete with a waterproof beauty product review as well, of course. Because Running Pretty, yo.

Without further ado, I give you Ocean Beach, paired with all my favorite gear, captured by Rachel again at Rachel Radcliffe Photography!

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I currently ride a 7’6″ by Miramar Surfboards, and am searching for my second board right now, between 6’0″ and 6’5″, and will share my finds and fave surf shops once I do.

I finally upgraded to an SUV again, and had a bittersweet breakup with my convertible. The main reason was transport for my surf boards, and my ski equipment in Tahoe. Life was a dream bringing my gear out for this shoot.

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There is truly nothing more beautiful than the beach at dawn. The misty touch of the fog on your face and the slow stream of sunlight seeping though are truly captivating. There is nothing more peaceful and blissful than the smell of salt coupled with the sound of waves.

At Ocean Beach, the sun rarely shines, but honestly I believe that’s what makes it so beautiful. Conversely, the few times you do get sun makes it even more magical in the morning. The wind is always present, making the need for layers and post-surf sets of layers to make your visit bearable. I used to surf in bikinis under my wetsuit, but have recently began testing out various compression shorts as an alternative, to help me combat the aggressive waves here. While I love sand, sand burns are the worst, so I decided to figure out a solution to make a rash guard solution for my booty.

I decided to put Hylete’s Compete compression shorts to the test (initially featured previously here), and they were the perfect solution! Lululemon’s Boogie shorts are too thick for this purpose, and end up rolling under your wet suit, making it an even bigger breeding ground for rashes. You want something extremely lightweight and form fitting for comfort, as well as drying fast post-surf.

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I adore Roxy by Quiksilver for my wet suits, they are functional and always cute! I am rocking a 4/3 in this shoot, and it does just fine with the temps at Ocean Beach.

I’m also currently loving the new “Bombshell” series by Rip Curl (can we say ummmm ADORBS?!), and can’t wait for mine to come in! However, I won’t be testing it out until I can catch some waves in some non-freezing water. Hellooo Australian vacay: I need one STAT.IMG_4686

As a self proclaimed Lulu addict, y’all are all too familiar with my love/hate relationship with their cute but not always functional pieces. So, putting surfing and Lululemon in the same sentence was a bit laughable for me at first.

You wouldn’t think it, but Lululemon actually has some functional surf pieces. I was their most vocal balk when they released their first round of “surf” gear, but was pleasantly surprised by a couple of the pieces. The “One Love Rash Guard” (sold out) is a pretty decent piece of gear in my opinion. My lovely gal pal Erin did a fabulous showcase on it here. Equipped with an adorable zipper leash and key pocket, this thing thought of everything. I hate squeezing into tight rash guards, so having the option of not squeezing my wet and sandy dome through a tiny ass head opening post surf is a dream.

I even tested out the survivability of one of my favorite Lulu bras, the Energy Bra, instead of a bikini top, and it rocked.

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I had an absolute blast with this shoot. I’ll let the fun part speak for itself in these breathtaking photos! Rachel nailed it.

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Beauty Products Used

Lips: YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain

Foundation: Diorshow Airflash Spray Foundation

Liner: c/o Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Eye Primer: MAC Paints in Untitled

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow

Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera, Splashes Waterproof Mascara

See below for post surf performance:

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Post Surf Layers

I found this bitchin’ sweater hoodie at Forever 21 of all places. I love it, and you can still get your hands on it this season.

My Hylete shorts were already dry and ready for the car ride home. Easy peasy.

Stay tuned, I will be partnering with Hylete for a sizable discount off your first purchase though my blog’s link, so check back soon so you can give this amazing apparel a try!

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