Interviews

Tracy Anderson on Beauty Lessons She’s Learned From Her Daughter, Advice From Famous Friends, and More

Photos by Bailey Rebecca Roberts

On a spring evening in New York City, fitness entrepreneur Tracy Anderson stands at five feet tall, wearing a pink hoodie over her athleisure wear. She’s here at her 59th Street studio to promote MitoQ®, a health supplement containing a CoQ10 antioxidant, while teaching a group of editors her claim to fame: her signature workout, the namesake Tracy Anderson Method™.

The 40 min. to 1-hour long sculpting workout utilizes hand weights, ankle weights and body weight in a heated studio, without verbal instruction — you just watch and follow along (like a video game). The fitness pro has worked in the industry for two decades with studios in New York, Los Angeles, and Madrid, and offers private training sessions in London. She’s also sold years’ worth of fitness DVDs. A varied celebrity clientele (such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, and Jennifer Lopez) counts on her for their toned, taut bodies.

At 44 years old, the mother of two has learned a great deal about beauty from her kids and her famous friends. Despite all the tips she’s picked up, her morning and evening beauty regimens never veer to be too much. Still, she says she’s pretty open minded about trying new products, including MitoQ. You are how you eat, and you are how you move,” says Anderson. “I don’t take other supplements.”

Keep reading for our one-on-one with Anderson, where she divulges all things beauty, including some point-blank advice she received from Gwyneth Paltrow, the trends Anderson swears to never participate in again, where she travels to see her favorite dermatologist, and more.

Spotlyte: How did the Tracy Anderson Method begin?

Tracy Anderson: When I started this, I was the first person in fitness to do a focused study, for five years on 150 women, to see if I could create balance where there was an imbalance in their bodies. I wasn’t somebody that was like, ”‘Oh, I’m good at fitness or dance,” or, ”My body looks good, so I’m going to team up with a celebrity and have a method.” That was not my path at all.

Spotlyte: What did your path involve?

TA: My path was hardcore, [with] serious research projects, trying to break ground in an industry that [had] a huge hole for content. The content to [enable people to] be balanced was missing. My process is still [doing] research.

Spotlyte: How has your career impacted your appearance, if at all? For example how has working out changed the way you wear your hair or do your eyelashes?

TA: I don’t do anything to my eyelashes. For some photoshoots, my makeup artist might put eyelashes on, but I’ve never done eyelash extensions or anything like that. It kind of freaks me out. Korey has done my hair for six or seven years.

Photo By: Bailey Rebecca Roberts

Spotlyte: More on that: What’s your secret to keeping your hair perfect during a sweaty workout?

TA: I’ve had extensions for 12 years. Korey does my extensions, my color, and my cut because years ago — while filming my first DVD — [I learned] you can’t stop and blowdry your hair every two seconds. You’ve got to have extensions! I’ve had to have them ever since.

Spotlyte:  What is your biggest beauty regret?

TA: I used to be addicted to the tanning bed. I haven’t gone to the tanning bed in years, but I grew up a cheerleader in the midwest, and I was legitimately addicted to it. It definitely caused accelerated aging in my skin, and I regret it. I don’t think anybody should do it.

Spotlyte: How do you maintain your glow now?

TA: My sister has an organic spray tan company called BRONZE + GLOW™. I use her product. I used to get spray tans from people, but then I realized that they spray so thick. As you age, that solution really sticks to your body differently. I didn’t like the way that it looked. It was always too dark or too orange.

Spotlyte: Do you have a prep regimen for self-tanner application?

TA: I use this amazing brand called C & The Moon®. It’s the most brilliant body scrub in the entire world, and I use that with a dry brush. Then, I take moisturizer — I use Dr. Barbara Sturm’s® anti-aging body lotion — and I put it all over my knees, all over my elbows, and on my neck, and then I spray the self-tanner on.

Spotlyte: How often are you using sunscreen?

TA: I don’t go into the sun very much. I do love a hat, but I’m terrible about putting on sunscreen — literally terrible.

Spotlyte: What’s your stance on teeth whitening?

TA:  I lost two front teeth in a cheerleading accident when I was young, so I have veneers. I’ve never done teeth whitening! In fact, I have a dentist here [in New York City] that wants to kill me — all these celebrity dentists want to re-do my teeth because my bottom teeth don’t even match my top, at all. And I don’t care, at all.

Spotlyte: How do you take care of your skin?

TA: I don’t do any [laser treatments]. I’m very careful with my skin. I don’t know, I’m a wimp. I’m careful, I guess. But, I love my facialist. I just started getting regular facials this year, and taking it seriously. [I see] Mzia Shiman. She’s in New York. She does Victoria’s Secret® models and everything; she’s a genius. She does oxygen facials. I don’t do lasers, but I do the red light.

Spotlyte: Do you have a dermatologist you like to go to?

TA: The dermatologist I see is Dr. Jason Bloom. He’s actually in Philadelphia.

Spotlyte: You travel to Philly to see your dermatologist?

TA: [Yes,] when you have a good [relationship with your] dermatologist! I mean, I have so many friends who will fly to their dermatologists.

Spotlyte: When you wake up in the morning, what beauty products are you applying?

TA: The things that work the best for me are actually products from Sisley®: [I like] the cream cleanser. I think because I’m 44 now, a gel cleanser tends to dry me out and makes me feel like my skin doesn’t stay as youthful looking. I also use the Black Rose Mask as my daily moisturizer.

Spotlyte: What are your favorite makeup brands that you use daily?

TA: I love makeup, too. I love BareMinerals’s® little foundation sticks right now, because they’re quick and easy. I love Jillian Dempsey’s little pots of color and Tata Harper™. I love anything that’s quick and easy because I’m in the gym. It has to be healthy makeup that I can sweat in. I have to shower quickly and be in meetings soon after — I do not have a lot of time. Really, I do just a little bit of foundation, a little bit of color, an eyelash curl, and I’m out.

Spotlyte: What about your evening beauty routine?

TA: I use the cream cleanser from Sisley, and I use the Black Rose Mask. But, I also started using — because I do like oils, too — Sunday Riley® night oil; it’s blue. I’ll put the mask on and then put that on over it at night.

Photo By: Bailey Rebecca Roberts

Spotlyte: Do you ever try new products?

TA: My beauty regimen is pretty simple. Although, I will try new things from time to time because I have a growth mindset, every time I do, it results in [realizing] that the things that are the most tried and true for me are the things I shouldn’t abandon. I do really believe in focus. When you do find something that works for you: stick to it. I actually just recently tried this collagen supplement that really broke me out severely. Everybody reacts differently to different things, right?

Spotlyte: Have any of your celebrity clients impacted your beauty habits?

TA: Gwyneth [Paltrow] has definitely. She made me see that less is more. She’s definitely given me some really good beauty advice. She has really good taste. She’ll be like, “Your hair color is too blonde, and your tan is too dark. And that doesn’t look right — this needs to be toned down.” She told me once to just use a washcloth with warm water to take makeup off your face — too much product is bad. I definitely got some tips from her over the years.

Spotlyte: Any shocking revelations about your famous friends?

TA: For years, everyone wanted to know, “What does Jennifer Lopez [get done]?” She doesn’t do anything! She’s just naturally that beautiful. She just comes into her workout all fresh-faced. She doesn’t do anything weird to her face at all. She’s so natural. So, there’s no secret there other than genetics.

Spotlyte: How has motherhood changed your views of beauty and health? Your son, Sam, is 20 now.

TA: I want my son to know where beauty really comes from — that it’s not in a certain height or weight or eye color or hair color. A moment where I realized I really raised him right was [when I met] his first girlfriend [at 18]. One summer, she suffered from teenage acne so badly and he didn’t look at her any differently. He didn’t even blink!

Spotlyte: What has your daughter, Penelope, 7, taught you about beauty?

TA:  The thing she teaches me the most is that I do want to look 44. And I’m going to want to look 55. And I’m going to want to look 60-whatever. I’m going to want to look 70. I think you just have to embrace every bit of your journey. Beauty is more in the development of who you are. She’s grown up around my makeup and hair team, so she literally will prop the phone up and do a full-on makeup tutorial. I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” She’s very girly. She teaches me the “less is more” thing. When I look at her — when she puts all that makeup on — she’s this beautiful little creature! [But] she doesn’t need any of that.

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