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Home / Making Waves: Fall Issue 2018

Making Waves: Fall Issue 2018

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Shatera Hillyer: Be your own brand of fitness

Feelings come and go, but your goal stays the same.

Rachel Xiao

Photo courtesy of Shatera Hillyer.

Photo courtesy of Shatera Hillyer.

Shatera Hillyer is always looking ahead. Currently an Equinox fitness trainer and Hidrate Wave Maker based in New York City, this bold personal trainer has big dreams: she wants to relocate to Atlanta to become a fitness influencer who owns her own company and her own clients. The ultimate goal? “Be my own brand of fitness.”

Although this may seem daunting to some, Shatera is no stranger to making big moves. At 17, she moved out of her parents’ Maryland home to attend school and has been on her own ever since. While she may still call home after a rough day (her mom is her biggest supporter after all), her adaptability and independence are characteristic of the strength she brings to her daily mentality and commitment to fitness. She stays driven by reminding herself: “feelings come and go, but your goal stays the same.”

As a trainer whose schedule is based around her clients, Shatera has learned how to find small pockets of time to take care of herself throughout her busy days. Sometimes that means a power nap in the yoga studio or a quick green tea break, other times it simply means taking some time and space to recharge and find peace with herself. When she’s feeling unmotivated, Shatera tries to remember that this “lack of motivation comes from how [she’s] feeling” – it’s not a permanent state of being, but a temporary obstacle to overcome.

This was a crucial practice in forming her mindset in order to get to where Shatera is now. A career in fitness didn’t always feel like an easy option for her. Growing up, she was the biggest of the women in her family and often felt like she didn’t fit in. This sentiment followed her as she launched her career and discovered within the profession of fitness training itself, “inclusion is not something you always see as a black woman.” But as she’s gotten older, Shatera has further embraced her beauty and the close connection she has formed with her culture. As such, she emphasizes throughout her training that “one body type is not the end all be all.” Rather than highlighting a certain ideal, Shatera knows that true body positivity and health consciousness lie in embracing all body types and skin colors.

When things get hard, Shatera often turns to her family and her faith to help her remember who she is. And while they are incredible wells of support, her biggest source of strength is herself – after all, she knows that she is “not proving anything to anyone but [herself]” along her journey of growth. The key, she says, is to be who you are and continuously move towards who you want to be.”

10 Favorite Workout Songs from Our 10 Favorite Fitness Instructors

10 Favorite Workout Songs from Our 10 Favorite Fitness Instructors

Jill Jernas

Sometimes the hardest part of the workout is getting started. A good song gives you the energy and confidence to get out the door, push harder during the workout, and can even encourage you try something new. We asked our fitness instructors (who create workout playlists for a living!) for some of their all time favorite songs:

Low Impact & Endurance Workouts

The Champion by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris
Katelyn Cianelli of Riverside Wellness Center


Joy by King and Country
Bre Gentile of Equinox


I’d Love to Change the World by Jetta Matstubs Remix
Katie Vovolka of Light + Glory Fitness

Why? “This song is super catchy and gets me pumped up to not only change my own health and my own world but to let my good habits and lifestyle inspire someone else to make a change!”

Good Morning by Max Frost
Ali Gildemeister of Om Yoga

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Lauren Rosella of Rex Wellness Center

Why? “I Always think of Rocky running on the beach and it motivates me to run a little faster. I resist the urge to start shadow boxing in public! LOL.”


High Impact & Faster Paced Workouts

Power by Little Mix ft Stormzy
Kaycie Foster of High Fitness

September by Throttle
Carolyn Gross of Yoga 4 U and Yogafit
Why? “It’s an awesome remix of a classic and it’s impossible to not dance when you hear it! I always put it on towards the end of my workout for an extra boost - and usually belt it out.”

SICKO MODE by Travis Scott
Alix Zargar of Pure Barre

Greatest by Eminem
Ryan Chambers of Lateral Fitness

Level Up By Ciara
Adrianne Grunes of [Solidcore] and FlyWheelSports
Why? “It is a fun, positive, upbeat song and makes me want to run around, dance, and sing - and life is too short to not want to dance and sing. Plain and simple it puts a smile on my face.”

Face Mask or Food?

Face Mask or Food?

Learn the effect these natural ingredients have on your skin.

Rachel Xiao


Let us celebrate the rise of the DIY face masks: what other skincare product is as easy, inexpensive and effective?  Best of all, you can find a homemade face mask for any type of skin and rest assured that it is made from all-natural ingredients. No need to pore over the label googling chemicals when you can create magic with the food found in your kitchen! There are countless recipes for easy DIY masks and scrubs online (try this list from Marie Claire or this list from Elle), and today we’re here to break down the benefits of these delicious ingredients.


Photo by Security from Pixabay (


There’s a reason that bananas are such a popular at-home ingredient: rich in potassium, moisture, and vitamins E and C, this fruit helps keep your skin hydrated, clear, and bright. Bananas also act as nature’s Botox, preventing fine lines and wrinkles, evening out skin discoloration, and fading age spots. This fruit does it all! In fact, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any other ingredients on hand (bananas are commonly mixed with honey, lemon juice, and yogurt), a mashed banana alone is a great face mask for dry skin.


Photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay (

Raw Honey

Honey is antibacterial and full of antioxidants, making it ideal for aging and acne-prone skin. Not only is it a powerful natural moisturizer, honey also refines your pores and helps your skin glow. Because honey is so sticky it’s often easier to mix with other ingredients, but it can also be applied directly in thin layers for soft, bright skin. It can even be used for spot treatment instead of a pimple cream. However, make sure that you are using the right kind of honey: most recipes call for raw honey, which avoids additional sugar or artificial sweetener and contains a wider variety of nutrients than processed honey.


Photo from Foodie Factor (


Despite yogurt’s velvet smooth consistency, this ingredient makes for a great natural and gentle exfoliant. Yogurt contains a lactic acid that helps dissolve skin cells, leaving you with a bright natural glow without the use of any harsh chemical exfoliants. Yogurt also has the benefits of preventing breakouts and reducing wrinkles and discoloration – that, in addition to it’s highly moisturizing qualities, makes this the perfect ingredient for preventing premature aging. Mix in some honey or lemon juice for extra glow.


Photo by Lukas from Pexels (

Lemon juice

The heroes of the citrus family, this fruit is chock full of vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which provide nourishing benefits for your skin (and even hair and nails). Lemon juice’s antiseptic nature exfoliates dead skin cells and helps fight flaky or oily skin, leaving you glowing and radiant. It also acts as a natural astringent, drying out blemishes and tightening up pores to create smoother skin. Because lemon juice is very effective at lightening scars and discoloration, it is a popular method for fighting acne. But it’s best to use lemon juice in small quantities and mixed with other ingredients – overuse of citrus juice can cause hyperpigmentation under sun exposure.


Photo from Foodie Factor (


Avocados are so delicious, I’m not sure I could sacrifice a whole one for a face mask. But if you’re blessed with an abundance of this fruit, avocados are full of healthy fats that act as a powerful natural moisturizer – you can even use the fleshy side of the peel for effective skincare if most of the avocado ends up on your toast. Avocados can also help treat dry and flaky skin (often associated with eczema and psoriasis), leaving your skin well-hydrated without an acne-prone oily residue. While it can’t act as sunscreen, avocado has also been shown to enhance skin repair after sun exposure, reducing radiation damage and skin inflammation. A true superfruit!


Photo by Gabriela Sanda from Pixabay (

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is the perfect exfoliator for sensitive skin, as the grains are strong enough to scrub away dead skin cells but gentle enough to prevent microscopic tears. Since brown sugar also draws moisture from the environment into your skin, these sugar scrubs leave your skin hydrated and glowing without stripping away any natural oils. Finally, brown sugar helps your skin stay young: it is a natural source of glycolic acid, which lifts away dead cells and encourages cell turnover. Add brown sugar to your face mask and your skin will feel more fresh, firm, and rejuvenated.



Photo by Concept Production from Pexels (


Seeing as the flesh of a cucumber is mostly water, it’s no surprise that this vegetable is a hydration powerhouse for your skin. Not only that, cucumbers also help tighten your skin up and even contain certain acids that help reduce swelling and soothe irritation. Chilled cucumber slices over your eyes help rehydrate the tender skin and reduce puffiness, while blending it with yogurt or avocado produces a hyper-nourishing and moisturizing face mask.



Got any secret ingredients or DIY recipes of your own? Leave a comment below to let us know what other ingredients are a must-try!