New York Fitness Fave AKT Comes To Los Angeles & Target Stores

If you haven’t heard of AKT yet, I won’t judge you (that much), but let me take this opportunity to inform you, it’s one of the hottest workouts right now. AKT was created by Anna Kaiser, a professional dancer turned A-list celeb trainer. After shaping some of the hottest bodies including Kelly Ripa (I know I can stop right here, but let me drop a few more names), Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, she opened up her first New York studio in 2013. Very quickly, AKT achieved “it” status. Four east coast locations later, they are getting ready add another one in Los Angeles in 2017. The brand is also launching a limited edition collaboration with C9 Champion, available exclusively at Target (so feel free to pronounce it Tar-jay).

Last week, I had the full-on AKT experience at their Beverly Hills pop-up. I previewed the line and was totally wowed. Everything about this collaboration impressed me, including the quality, construction and (let me be truly honest about my priorities) style. Priced between $12.99-$41.99, every piece looks way more expensive than it is. Another great thing about this collab is that it’s body positive and size inclusive ranging from XS-3X. While I wasn’t able to preview the entire line, overall, I felt what I saw was cut on the more generous side. I plan to order a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I also got my workout on, taking a Sweat Dreams class. While this sounds like something that involves napping and losing weight, don’t let the name fool you. It was a fast-paced program that consisted of circuits, which alternated between strength training with weights and cardio moves as well as mat exercises. Designed to consistently challenge the body, I found as soon as I got the hang of each circuit, it was time to move on to the next one. I really had to keep my focus, which made the hour fly by. Incredibly intense, it was a lot of fun with an encouraging atmosphere. I also give the playlist bonus points because playlists tend to make or break my motivation. 

Sweat Dreams compelled me to push myself in ways I normally don’t. Because the class was in a smaller space, we only used two props, 3 and 8 pound weights. I rarely use weights heavier than 3 pounds. It was as if I took a magic confidence pill and I was really surprised about what my body could do. The entire experience has actually made me feel more confident in my other workouts. 

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

The class was taught by one of AKT’s top instructors, Ariel Hoffman. I was floored by her ability to take command of such a large group, making sure no one was lost, especially because it was the first time quite a few of the participants were trying AKT. Anna herself didn’t teach the class, but she had a really good excuse because she is eight months pregnant. However, she was there to supervise and correct forms (mine included). Anna glowed hard and had such a kind, happy vibe about her. I can’t wait until she gets back from maternity leave, so I can take a class with her personally.

While AKT isn’t officially open in LA yet, they have semi-secret classes at the Pacific Arts Center. You can check the schedule and book through the Mindbody and AKT apps. 

If you don’t live in a location with an AKT studio, no FOMO is necessary because a streaming program is available, as well as DVDs. But you will have FOMO if you don’t kick off the New Year with new gear on January 1st at Target. So, don’t forget to log in at midnight. Try not to think of this as drunk shopping so much as starting your resolutions at the earliest possible moment. If you prefer to shop in store, the line is available at select locations only. 

Say "Oui" To Dessange Paris & A Bonus Giveaway

Some people are blessed with naturally beautiful hair that looks like a shampoo commercial straight out of the shower. I am not one of those people. A bottle blonde with high maintenance hair, I am what Dessange Paris kindly calls a “California Blonde.”

Dessange Paris is the namesake line of legendary French hairstylist, Jacques Dessange. Monsieur Dessange is known for working with Brigitte Bardot and pioneering the balayage technique that so many us blondes rely on for subtle but striking highlights. Luckily, you don’t need to fly Air France (Première Classe, s'il vous plaît ) to get your hands on his luxurious products, you just have to visit your local Target (say it like the French, Tar-jay). Très accessible! 

How To Be A California Girl In France

There are four products in the California Blonde line including Shampoo, Conditioner, Illuminating Elixir and CC Cream. Using all of them in conjunction with each other will lead to shiny, natural looking blonde hair. You will also have the envy of everyone around you whether you are at brunch in Beverly Hills or toasting in St. Tropez. 

CC Cream

The CC Cream is a bright purple toner that tells brassiness to take a hike off your tresses. The angled tip of the tube makes it easy to get the product in your hair and not all over your bathroom. 

I’ve tried many purple treatments because my hair has a tendency to get really brassy in the California sun. Seriously, I haven’t found another product that works quite as well as Dessange does, especially for the price. I even saved money when I had my hair colored because my stylist didn’t have to use toner on me. That says a lot about the quality of the product. It is truly the hero of the California Blonde line. 

Illuminating Elixir

Illuminating Elixir makes my blonde pop, but doesn’t feel heavy, or make my hair greasy. I use it before blow-drying to prevent damage and fading. My hair ends up baby soft. A great multi-tasker, it also helps to de-frizz and style the next day. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

One of the first things I noticed about the shampoo and conditioner was their fragrance. If you could bottle sophisticated sunshine and add a touch of luxury, it would smell like Dessange. The scent is very subtle, essentially the opposite of most typical American hair products.

In addition to smelling good, the shampoo and conditioner truly exceeded my expectations. To be honest, the first time I tried them was just after I went swimming in the pool. Chlorine usually leaves my hair with a green tint that takes a few washes to get rid of. The Shampoo made my hair squeaky clean without drying it out and the conditioner left my hair super silky. It was like having an express ticket to Buttery Blondeville. 

Are You Ready to Say Oui To Dessange Paris?

Even if you aren’t blonde, Dessange has several lines to meet your hair care needs including Oleo (dry/damged), Color Restore (dyed), Solar Blonde (naturally blonde), and Purifying Clay (balancing). There are shampoos, conditioners and some very innovative products including Purifying Clay Pre-Shampoo Mask, Lightening Treatment and Sun Spray.            

Are you excited about Dessange Paris? Enter the giveaway below to get your hands on the entire line. Yes, that is every single product pictured here!