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Everyone has approached their beauty regimens during the pandemic differently. With salons closed for a while, some of us became savvy at trimming our own hair and painting our own nails; some scaled back while others took the extra time at home to go full-throttle on umpteen-step routines; some of experimented with hair color while others welcomed back their body hair. For Malin Akerman, the last few months have meant switching things up a bit — both at home and once her go-to cosmetic physician's office reopened for business — and she recently told me all about it.
Although access to various skin-care products has never been an issue for Akerman, finding the time to actually try the ones on her to-do list has — until recently. She tells me that, while spending so much more time at home over the past few months, she has seized the opportunity to discover some of her new favorite brands and products and craft a thorough routine.
"I felt like I have more time now to go through a beauty regimen, for sure — and exploring different products, which has been great," she tells Allure. "There are a few people whose products I've finally gotten to try, like Shani Darden, who has wonderful products. I just love testing everything out." Another product she's been loving these last few months: Beautycounter No. 2 Plumping Facial Oil, which promises to smooth and firm skin.
But while she's enjoying adding new skin-care products to her routine, she's relishing the subtraction of makeup even more. "I've also really enjoyed not doing anything, meaning as far as not putting makeup on for the most part, just because my life consists of caking makeup on for TV and movies," she says. "Finally, I have an opportunity to let it all just rest and breathe, and seeing the results of not picking at it all the time has been wonderful."
Now that some beauty services are opening back up, Akerman tells me she is cautiously partaking in rituals like hair-color touchups, noting that she stayed away from salons for a long time. Not that she needed it. "I am a natural blonde. I'm a natural Swede. So it's that Swedish blonde that I am lucky to have, and that's a great base," she says. "If I'm out in the sun for a good two months, it gets so white that I have to do lowlights."
That said, she appreciates how highlights can give her naturally blonde hair a little more dimension. "What I like about doing highlights, regardless of me being a natural blonde — it gives texture. So just doing the crown and giving a bit of texture is always nice to pump it up and just for me to feel fresh," she says. Luckily, her colorist is a fellow naturally blonde Swede who understands the ins and outs of the shade. "You've got to have the right people who know how to do blonde. Blonde is a really tough one, you know? Because blond is not just one color. So she usually does two or three different colors when she does my highlights."
The time she hasn't spent getting her hair highlighted she made up for with visits to California plastic surgeon Grant Stevens for CoolSculpting and CoolTone, the Allergan body treatments for which she's now a spokesperson. I've tried CoolSculpting — twice, actually — and Akerman and I gabbed about how surprisingly easy and effective it is for lessening stubborn fat via noninvasive cryolipolysis, which irreversibly damages and ultimately eliminates a portion of fat cells in the treated area. I haven't tried CoolTone yet, though, so I had lots of questions.
CoolTone uses magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS), sending electromagnetic energy into your muscles to cause involuntary contractions in order to create more muscle tone. Unlike CoolSculpting, no literal coolness is involved — and no mess, either (CoolSculpting sessions can get kind of gooey thanks to the gel used to help painlessly connect the device to your skin). But just like CoolSculpting, you just hang out for a little while as the device does the work.
"It's this round sort of machine that goes on top of your clothes on your stomach," Akerman tells me. Her abdominal muscles were her top priority, though it's CoolTone is also approved for the butt and thighs. "You sit there for 30 minutes and let it contract your stomach muscles, and then you're up and out. And there's no downtime whatsoever."
Akerman says the sensation of your muscles contracting without making an effort is surprising at first — but what may be even more surprising is how effective CoolTone is without the often intense soreness that comes after a workout.
"I didn't get the same pain that I do when you do a long workout class, which is even better, and probably worth more than a hundred crunches," Akerman says. "I walked out of there after one of my treatments and went straight to the beach, threw on a bikini, and I showed off my contours."
In case you're not sure which, if either, is right for you, "Patients looking for better muscle definition may choose CoolTone, while patients looking for fat removal may choose CoolSculpt," dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank previously told Allure. But if both fat loss and contouring sound appealing to you, as it did for Akerman, there's no reason to choose between the two.
And more than a contouring treatment, CoolTone even served as a much-needed change of scenery after months stuck at home. "Some of the sessions, I sat and got caught up on emails. So yeah, that's what I love about it, too," she says. "For me, it was a productive moment just because again I have a seven-year-old in quarantine, so this has been a bit of me-time."
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Originally Appeared on Allure