Monday, 25 August 2014

My Chat With Ramona Braganza | Exclusive Interview

I am back today with an interview with Ramona Braganza, who is an acclaimed personal trainer to the stars. When you think of Tinseltown bodies, then you think of the big celebrities regularly gracing our screens and I have to say Ramona has trained them all.

She has not only worked with Eva Mendes and Scarlett Johansson, but she has also helped a variety of Hollywood hunks such as Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper.

Keep reading to find out Ramona's daily diet and what workouts she does with Jessica Alba and Halle Berry who are not only in-demand actresses and business women, but they are also mums. I know its hard to believe, as how can they juggle all of that and still look good? But its simple, as Ramona has the answer!

At what age did you get interested in health and fitness?
I was a competitive gymnast from the age of 4 to 18, then I was a cheerleader/dancer for the NFL football team the LA Raiders for 10 years and during those years I became interested in competing for fitness contests. I would personally say that was when I really became interested in learning how to eat right and how to train properly.

What made you want to be a personal trainer and a wellness coach?
I was offered a job to train Jessica Alba for her TV show Dark Angel. This was the first official time I was training someone for a role. Once I began working with her I had more opportunities to work with everyday people as well, and I found that I could inspire them mentally and emotionally. All of this made me want to pursue a career as a personal trainer and a wellness coach.

Who was your first celebrity client?

The first celebrity I ever trained for a role was Jessica Alba when she was just 17 years old.

How can we achieve a Hollywood body without the a-list budget?
I believe anyone can accomplish anything they want to, as long as they have the will to do it. Building a Hollywood body begins in the brain, so even without an a-list budget if you can find the motivation and have a meaningful goal then you can start training yourself! Also my fitness program 321 training requires little equipment, so there is no need to join a fancy gym, as you can workout at home whenever you want.

Do you have any advice for workout beginners?
I always say beginners should not start out too aggressively. Simply begin with a walking program and a good proper eating plan and then you can add weight training and core improvement for as little as 20 minutes a day - 5 days a week. All of that will help you get started safely and effectively. Also I recommend everyone tries my Ramona 321 Pro app (which is available to download on iTunes), where I give tips and encouragement to train like the stars.

You often say 'make fitness a way of life', so how can we all incorporate it on a day-to-day basis?
Its really easy, start walking everywhere or cycle. Carry your grocery bags, clean your home regularly and make that a workout with some high energy music. Then take the stairs instead of the lift. Remember don’t limit exercise just to a gym, make it a lifestyle plan. If you work in an office consider a standup desk, as standing for an hour burns 50 more calories than sitting - while this doesn't sound like much, it all adds up. If you stand for three hours a day for five days, that's around 750 calories burnt. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 30,000 extra calories, or around 8lb of fat. Then I would say go out dancing and enjoy yourself, just get moving and spend less time stationary or sitting down.

What is your exercise regime?
My exercise regime consists of a variety of activities. When it comes to strength training I prefer using dumbbells and doing my 321 training method. I also go to a gym four times a week to help keep this up. For endurance training, I enjoy going on runs, taking dance classes, kickboxing classes and hiking. For agility, I like playing tennis and for balance I get on the water and try some stand up paddles and finally for flexibility I have been doing yoga classes a couple of times a week.

Can you describe your daily diet and what foods you recommend for fat burning?
I practice what I preach and I preach eating lean and clean. I stick to eating 3 meals, 2 snacks and a minimum of 1 liter of water every day. I recommend sticking to the 80/20 rule, so 80% of the week you stick to an eating plan and then the other 20% or 3 meals a week you have your favourite soul food (basically what you really like to eat). But daily for breakfast I like to eat muesli with yoghurt and berries. For lunch and dinner I have lean protein such as fish or chicken or some vegetarian protein source like beans, legumes and either yams, brown rice, wheat tortilla or quinoa and I always have it with lots of veggies, mostly green ones, like spinach, asparagus or a salad. Then I mainly have fruit for dessert, but I occasionally have a glass of red wine, a bit of chocolate or some gummi bears - everything in moderation.

Do you think its important to join a gym, or can we create a body like the celebs you train at home?
It can definitely be done at home, as long as you incorporate the right diet with the right training program.

What makes your 321 DVD series different and what can viewers expect?
Well I don’t offer just one workout, I offer my viewers a 3 day program and its not just cardio based, it includes strength training and working on your core. It also progresses you safely from a beginner to more advanced. Whats great is that it doesn’t need a lot of workout equipment and it can be adjusted to whatever time you may have by doing less or more of the cardio and by doing 1, 2 or 3 circuits of strength training each time.

Can you share the secret to Jessica Alba's and Halle Berry's enviable figures?
Its really just comes down to hard work, commitment and lots of willpower. Typical exercises I have done with Jessica include lots of crunches on the ball, around 25 to 30 in a row and then do that for 2 sets. Then with Halle we do a lot of walking lunges, around 25 in a row and we do 3 sets.

What is the biggest tip you can give to my followers and readers looking to sculpt/shape their bodies?
I would say stick with it and it will definitely work. Also don’t beat yourself up if you fall off a program, simply get back on it and carry on. Never let setbacks stop you from carrying on.

Do you have any snacking rules? And if so, what are good options to eat?
Snacks are allowed and should be enjoyed, but try and include hummus and celery, yoghurt and berries, low fat cheese and plenty of fruit and vegetables. I personally like to snack on edamame and occasionally popcorn. I recommend mixing both fiber and protein, as it is the best for keeping you fuller for longer.

What is your personal fitness goal for 2014?
My personal fitness goal for 2014 is to try and maintain the weight I am most comfortable at. But I do want to keep strength in my body - especially since I am now in my 50's and keeping muscle mass is extremely important to me and my overall fitness. I will also continue to work on improving my flexibility.

Lastly, whats next for Ramona Braganza?
Well I am busy the second part of the year traveling and expanding my brand globally. I am actually going to be in London on October 11th and 12th holding my Instructor 321 Training Method course, along with holding my 321 Baby Bulge Be Gone workshop for new mums wanting to get back in shape. If anyone is interested please go to my website 321FitnessUK and sign up, as I would love to meet you all. I will also be holding a fitness retreat in Egypt on October 22nd to the 26th and then I will head to India where I launch my first book called Feel Fit Look Fantastic in 321. So all in all I have a very busy time ahead!

Once again a big thank you to Ramona for conducting this interview with me. It was amazing to find out her top tips and tricks, as this lady knows her stuff and she knows it well. I will definitely be taking on board her 80/20 rule. I also just want to say that I was so shocked to find out that Ramona is in her 50's, as she looks absolutely incredible. I literally couldn't believe it when she told me, as she looks so much younger! I guess it just goes to show that the right diet and exercise routine can really help you maintain a youthful appearance.

To stay up-to-date with Ramona check out her Twitter and Instagram pages @RamonaBraganza where she documents her fun travels and shares her insider info!

Also be sure to check out Ramona's personal website and blog and her fantastic training method @321FitnessUK

Lastly, let me know what your fitness goals are?

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Best Bombshell Buys | Summer Essentials

1. Chantecaille Primer & Sun Protection / 2. Josie Maran Cheek Gelee in Berry Bliss / 3. NARS Bronzer in Laguna /
4. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray / 5. Urban Decay Eyeliner in Zero / 6. Revlon Matte Balm in Elusive /
7. MAC Pressed Blot Powder in Medium / 8. MAC Fix+ Setting Spray /
9. Lancome Hypnose Star Waterproof Mascara in Black / 10. Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil in Golden Shimmer

I am back today with a summer essentials guide. As you can see from the above picture I have compiled my favourite products that help make my summer beauty regime quicker and more importantly bulletproof and long-lasting.

Sadly we have all experienced the dreaded make-up meltdown during a long summers day and my top ten items will help you combat that.

1. If you don't have much time to get ready, simply rub in a pea-sized amount of the Chantecaille Primer and Sun Protection over your entire face and neck. Even if you don't apply any foundation over the top, you will still notice a huge difference in the look and feel of your skin, as the silky matte texture will give you a flawless base and appearance - whilst the SPF will help protect your skin from the sun.

2. Next to look a like a true blushing beauty, apply the Josie Maran Cheek Gelee in Berry Bliss onto the apples of your cheeks. Try and leave a two finger wide gap between your nose and where your blusher starts - as that way you will look naturally flushed, rather than looking artificial with a ton of make-up on.

3. Then to warm up your complexion, why not try the NARS Bronzer in Laguna around the outer parts of your face and hollows of your cheeks. For a subtle bronzed look, apply it in an E3 motion, making sure you start at your temples, bring it down onto your cheeks and finally finish under your jawline. With that method you are sure to look like a bronzed goddess in no time.

4. For those of you out there that are looking for sexy beach waves then look no further than the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray. Not only does it add body to fine hair, but it is also great for anyone wanting surfer-worthy waves. The product works both on dry and damp hair. Either style it with your fingers adding lift around your crown and scrunching at the ends of your hair for a tousled vibe. Or use a blow-dryer with a diffuser on damp/wet hair for a more dramatic bombshell look.

5. Black liner is a must own product no matter what time of the year it is, as it works on absolutely everyone. Sweep on a touch of the Urban Decay Eyeliner in Zero to define and accentuate your eyes (and let me tell you they don't call it 24/7 for nothing, as this beauty has tons of lasting-power and will not budge until you remove it). Also if you are after a smokey sultry look during evenings out, smudge your liner with either a brush or a cotton bud.

6. This summer its all about lips from neutrals to neon's. My current favourite is the Revlon Matte Balm in Elusive, as not only does it add a hint of velvety pink, but it also conditions your lips and the shade works from day to night. Apply it to clean bare lips and simply build coverage as desired.

7. Sick of having a greasy face during the summer? Then grab the Pressed Blot Powder by MAC in whichever shade is right for you. If unsure which colour to pick, go with the Medium, as its MAC's most popular shade, because it covers a wide range of skin-tones. Luckily all of the shades come out pretty transparent, so you can't go wrong. Either use a powder brush to blur pores and imperfections, or with a sponge for intense shine control.

8. If your skin is thirsty and needing a hit of hydration, spritz your face and body with a cooling mist. I recommend MAC Fix+ Setting Spray, as it contains vitamins and minerals to benefit your skins overall well-being and condition. Not only will it set your make-up in place (which is a must during the summer months), but it will also add radiance.

9. In the summer waterproof mascaras are essential! I highly recommend the Lancome Hypnose Star Waterproof Mascara in Black for long luscious lashes without any product transferring onto your skin. Another way to keep your eyes looking perfect all day is to apply a clear mascara over your usual product. Simply think of it as a topcoat for your eyes!

10. Finally, nothing says you've come back from a holiday more than a glossy glow, so why not use the Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil in Golden Shimmer which combines a body oil that will nourish and hydrate your body, whilst the gold flecks make your skin shimmer softly.

With all of that heat, we need our make-up to withstand the elements and these products will certainly help you do that!

Lastly, I am going to share with you my five top tips to maintain your summer sexiness:
  • Always use a high SPF (even on cloudy days), as the suns rays are highly damaging and ageing.
  • Next, don't forget to apply sunscreen to your ears, nose and also along your hairline and parting, as these areas are delicate and can burn easily.
  • For a gorgeous glowing tan, apply a body oil everyday to help keep your skin hydrated.
  • To stop the sun damaging your luscious locks, simply twist your hair into a bun to protect the ends of your hair.
  • And remember to set your make-up with a setting spray to help stop it slipping and sliding.
So there you have it - my summer essentials.

I would absolutely love to know your go-to products, so please leave a comment telling me your faves.

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Saturday, 2 August 2014

The Liebster Award | Get To Know Me

Hi beauties
I have been nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Rachel from Rachel Vennard 1992. I have actually been nominated to do this post by another blogger a while ago too, but I never got around to it. I will hunt those questions down and do that TAG in another post.
Anyways I am going to get on with the questions, I hope you enjoy them and find out more about me. Also I will be tagging 10 blogs below and leaving questions for them, so be sure to check them out too!

What did you want to be when you 'grew up'?

When I was very young I always wanted to be either a lawyer or a solicitor (I'm not sure why, as that is definitely not my strong point), but I then moved onto wanting to be a property developer like my dad. No joke I must of been the only child on the planet who would play with a office diary and write down details of houses and improvements haha. I still remember my cousins saying I hadn't written it, as it was in so much detail (I was around 7 at the time) - but I genuinely had. I guess I have always been a geek LOL.

What's your guiltiest make-up pleasure?
Ooo this one is hard. It would probably be my fondness for luxury make-up (which is an expensive hobby and more importantly habit to have). I would say that 98% of my beauty collection is high-end brands, so it is a little excessive - but I just can't help myself LOL.

What is your evening relaxing routine if you have one?

I love getting home after a long day and getting straight into a lovely warm bath. Whilst its running I light a few candles (my favourite natural fragrance brand is Neom). Then when I'm in the tub I quickly take my make-up off with a Micellar Water and apply a nourishing hair mask by Ojon. Then once I'm out I get into my favourite PJs, as I love nothing more than being cozy and snugly. I then go back and wash my hair - I'm weird and do these steps separately, which takes me forever since I have long hair, but hey ho I guess that's me LOL. Once finished, I then deep cleanse with either the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish or Emma Hardie Moringa Balm. I then spritz my skin with a toner and finish with a nourishing cream or face oil (I am in love with the Divine Oil by Antipodes and I highly recommend it to everyone). Next up I
spray the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray onto my bedding and I then apply some of the This Works Sleep Balm onto my pulse points to help me relax and unwind. Finally, whilst I am in bed I apply a hand cream and lip balm (I am currently using the Hand and Nail Cream by Caudalie and Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Treatment). Wow! I didn't actually realise how much goes into my daily evening routine LOL.

What made you start blogging?

I have been sharing beauty and fashion tips on twitter (@BeautyExpertUK) since 2012 and I knew it was about time I started a blog and shared my knowledge and thoughts with you guys properly. Since starting Bow Bombshell I have received such a great response. I just want to take this time to say thank you to everyone that has supported me and also to everyone that has left a lovely comment or sent me a sweet email, really from the bottom of my heart thank you!
If you had £100,000, what would you spend it on and why?
I would put £50k into my business, as you have to speculate to accumulate (as the old saying goes). I would then invest and save a further £30k and spend the last £20k on frivolous things. To start off my spending I would buy a Hermes Birkin and then book a nice holiday and spoil my friends and family.

Have you got any pets?
I have two little munchkins named Bentley and Lily. They are Mal-shis, which is a cross between a Maltese and a Shih Tzu. They are one years old now, but they are still my little babies. I literally don't know what I would do without them (soppy or what haha).

Do you like face wipes or do you prefer a real cleanser?
I personally never use face wipes, as I feel they do not cleanse my skin properly. However, I do own a pack of Elemis Cleansing Wipes for emergencies. But to date I still haven't used any yet. I like to do a full cleanse twice a day to remove my make-up and any dirt and impurities.

What's your overall life ambition?

My main ambition is for me and my family to live a happy and healthy life. Yes I want my business to be successful and yes I want to achieve and accomplish a long list of things. But none of that matters if you do not have health and happiness. So yes, those are my real life ambitions :-)

If you were Prime Minister and could make up one new law, what would it be and why?

I could be cliche and say free make-up for everyone. However, if I really did have that power I would try and use it a little more effectively haha. This is a tough one though, as there are a fair few things I would do and change, but I would firstly go with stopping the crazy university fees. I am lucky in the sense that I completed university whilst they were the original fees, but now my course has gone up to £9000 a year, which I think is ridiculous. I believe the government should encourage people to go to university, not put barriers in the way.

What three celebrities would you have afternoon tea with and why?

Ok this is easy for me, it would have to be James Franco, Ashton Kutcher and Johnny Depp (probably in that order too haha). I think all three are really funny, intelligent, clever and yes they are all good looking (which would make it even better I guess). But on a serious note, I think you could have a great afternoon with all of them. Plus if I could be cheeky and invite another guest who is no longer with us, it would have to be Michael Jackson - as I simply love him and his talent is unreal!

Right now onto the fun stuff!

The Liebster Rules
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you and mention them in your blog post
2. Answer the questions they have sent you (see down below) 
3. Nominate a further 10 bloggers to answer your set of questions! (With less than 500 followers)
4. Contact them and let them know they've been nominated

So I nominate (judging by BlogLovin' followers):

And the questions I would love to know are:
1. How long have you been blogging and what made you start?
2. What has been the best thing about blogging so far?
3. If you could collaborate on a post with anyone, who would it be and why?
4. Describe your personality in three words?
5. If you could swap places with a celebrity for a day who would it be with?
6. Whose style do you emulate or admire the most?
7. What is your guilty pleasure?
8. If you could only use one piece of make-up for the rest of your life, what would it be?
9. What mantra do you live by?
10. Lastly, what is your favourite possession (be that beauty or fashion)?

Thank you once again to the lovely Rachel for my nomination
, it means a lot!

Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have ever done the Liebster TAG! Even if I haven't mentioned you above, please feel free to join in and share it on your blog too!

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