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Body Language: All About Arms

The two most important moves for toning and a rising trend that gives new meaning to “arm lifts”

DuJour’s “Body Language” column offers short tidbits of info about one specific body part each week. This week, it’s all about arms.


1. The Inspiration: Lupita Nyong’o

First there was 12 Years a Slave. Then there was the Golden Globes and the red-caped Ralph Lauren gown. Then there was the Oscars, that speech and the plunging blue Prada. But always, since the start of Hollywood’s love affair with Lupita, there’s been those firm, toned arms.




2. The Expert: Felix Mercado, Celebrity Stylist

On dressing to flatter your arms, heed the sleeve: “An ill-fitted sleeve gives the impression that you’re in denial about how quality clothing is suppose to fit.”

According to Mercado, those with slim or slightly toned arms “should consider a cap, petal, slightly puff/lantern sleeve. These types of sleeves can give the illusion of a longer frame if you’re petite and add a bit of volume if you’re thin. And of course fabric is key,” he says. “Jersey material works best on thin to medium builds, since it can be clingy.”

If you’re plus size, the stylist suggests considering “fabrics with stretch, spandex or blends with a bit of give. Kimono, bell, reglan or dolman style sleeves offer a looser fit and are figure flattering.” Keep in mind that any “extra fabric can add bulk if worn under a blazer or jacket, so be sure to take this into consideration when putting your look together.”


3. The Workout: Targeting Back Arm Flab

“The key to toning arms,” says Hardcandy Fitness creative director Nicole Winhoffer, who’s responsible for Madonna and Rachel Weisz’s strong, lean arms, is to “burn out large muscles and activate smaller ones.” Below, she gives her top two moves:

Move 1
Clasp your hands behind your back in a tight fist.
Start with the arms straight, chest open, shoulders back.
Legs should be shoulder width apart.
Squat by bending the knees, and bend the elbows behind you.
Create your own resistance by attempting to pull hands apart.
This will target triceps and tighten skin.

Move 2
Clasp a towel behind the back, arms straight.
Pulling towel apart, keep taut and pull your hands over to the right side of body.
Return center and lift.
Pull the arms to the left, return to the center and lift—pulsing to the ceiling. This shaves out the sides of your arms and creates a rotational pull along the muscle.


4. The Procedure: “Arm Lifts”

“Arm lifts,” according to statistics released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, are seriously on the rise. Requests for this type of cosmetic surgery have grown by a staggering 4,378% over the last decade. In 2000, 300 women had the surgery; in 2012, the number rose to 15,000.

There are two kinds of surgeries that fall under this category. One is liposuction, which doctors recommend for women who diet and exercise regularly, but can’t quite refine stubborn areas to satisfaction. The second type is a brachioplasty, which is recommended for women who have looser skin with without much elasticity, and involves removing excess skin from the back of the arm.

Plastic surgeons say that women who come in asking for the procedure usually name celebrities as their inspirations, and according to doctors, the top two celebs with the “most coveted arms” are Michelle Obama and Jennifer Aniston, with Demi Moore, Jessica Biel and Kelly Ripa also ranking highly.


5. The Product: Perricone MD’s Cold Plasma Body

This DMAE-enriched body lotion from the award-winning Perricone MD collection is designed to deeply hydrate skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite, all while improving the skin’s elasticity. According to Perricone MD’s research, 90% of participants in their consumer studies reported an “improvement in loose, flabby skin on their upper arms.” Cold Plasma Body, $98, Perricone MD, sephora.com 



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