Of all the things on my bucket list—which is roughly the same length as the Dead Sea Scrolls—hiking with supermodel Cindy Crawford was not one of them. Shopping day? Sure. Breezing past the velvet ropes? Always. But putting on running shoes and skipping my makeup routine to schlep up some mountain with a woman who’s graced the cover of Vogue more times than the word March? Not entirely.
And yet somehow this is exactly what happened one early California morning. Cindy and her team had set up a “Day of Wellness” to promote her latest collaboration with Urban Remedy, a line of deliverable raw, ready-to-eat meals and juices created by nutritionist Neka Pasquale. I was sent by my editor to meet Cindy at a home in L.A.’s Topanga Canyon to sample some of the meals found in Cindy Crawford’s Essentials, a three-day, at-home organic cleanse that will ideally make you look and feel exactly like the woman herself.
The schedule instructed me to arrive at a remote location near Malibu at 10:00 a.m., where after a quick breakfast (I was picturing a single almond on a silver platter), Cindy and the gang would embark on an early morning hike. But when I arrived at the scenic location fifteen minutes late, with the hopes of finding out all of Cindy’s beauty secrets, the hike had been canceled and yoga class was already halfway completed. The only sweating I’d be doing was explaining to Cindy why I missed the only physical activity now planned for the day.
While the other timely, fit ladies continued their yoga practice, Neka appeared with a healthy breakfast for me, along with a notebook. I was told to fill up a page with all sorts of feelings, thoughts, moments, and people I wanted out of my life. Why, you ask? “Oh, for the shaman ceremony later. We’re going to burn these journals.” Congratulations. By way of reading that sentence, you are now a California resident.
But we’ll get to the shaman later.
How personal does one get in a journal at a Cindy Crawford retreat? Do you go deep? Or keep it casual? I mean, what if it didn’t burn right? What if the shaman makes a mistake with the number of coals in the fire and the next thing you know, Cindy’s like “Hey, whose is this?” as she opens it, the blood draining from her face, to read the dark and disturbed things I wanted to spirit away? No, I’d lean towards casual. “My car payments,” I wrote. Satisfied, I took a big gulp of a Cindy-approved mint-cacao smoothie.
When yoga ended, Cindy Crawford emerged, looking, at 49, as luminous as is humanly possible and, along with chef Neka, invited the lot of us out onto the patio for an Urban Remedy approved lunch. So soon? I was still fishing cacao nibs from my teeth.
But lunch was an actual feast—and legitimately delicious—made up of colorful, divine vegetarian options right out of Cindy’s cleanse. There was an Asian-inspired Zen salad and a veggie pad thai (more delicious than back-alley chicken pad thai). It was all raw, it was all healthy, and if the claims are true, it would all make me look and feel renewed from the inside out.
Feeling two ounces thinner, I sat down with Cindy to find out what it takes to get a cleanse named after you. “I kind of see myself as a seeker of experts,” Cindy told me. “A mutual friend introduced me to Neka, and I really liked what she had to say about this idea of food as medicine. Because that’s the one medicine you give yourself three times a day, every day.” She had a point.
What else does it take to look like Cindy Crawford? “I never am too lazy to skip sunscreen. That is just a must-do. A little cover up, a little blush, a little lip gloss, and mascara, and I can get out the door with just those four things,” she said. But could sunscreen, used in combination with her own Meaningful Beauty skin care line, really do the antiaging trick? “Even when I go to photo shoots and I work with a new photographer, they’re like ‘your skin is really good,’” Cindy confirmed. “They think it’s all smoke and mirrors, but I’m really happy with the way that my skin looks. And I’m sure it’s also the fact that I eat well, exercise, and I get enough sleep and I don’t smoke. Genetics plays a big part, too.”
At this point, someone came to signal that it was journal-burning time. But before we got up for the ceremony, I tried to pry a few more beautifying tips from her. “Avocado is really great for skin and hair. Olive oil, coconut oil.” I tell her I’ve experimented with coconut oil for leg shaving, to which she responds, “Who shaves their legs anymore? You’ve got to do laser. The best thing ev-er.” Duly noted.
And with that, we met Sukhdev, who was leading the day’s shaman ceremony. She was lovely, like an even more spiritual Phoebe on Friends. Together we marched, this ragtag group of fashion and beauty writers, towards a fire in the distance, as she banged on a drum with a bear painted on it.
When we arrived, she saged us head-to-toe, which was a bit intense. I’m talking a spliff of lit sage out of a Cheech and Chong movie, which she held millimeters from our body while fanning the smoke around us with a huge feather.
What I didn’t realize before stepping up to be saged was just, exactly, how flammable the oversize top I was wearing was. Within moments of my bad spirits being whisked away, I discovered a hole burned in my shirt—prompting me to scream internally, smile, and make my way around the fire, my shoulder stinging for my sins.
Then, Sukhdev’s husband, Akahdahmah—an incredibly stylish, fifth generation medicine man—lead our journal burning. With smoke billowing around us, Akahdahmah spoke about letting go and what moment is this moment? I mean I was in love with this man but I’m also a big city gal who can barely let out a “Namaste” at the end of a yoga class. After 25 minutes of dancing with wolf spirits, I was ready to burn my journal. And burn it we did. On the silent march back to the compound, Cindy murmured “Well, that was the most L.A. thing ever.”
But really, wasn’t all of it? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a juice cleanse to pretend to be on.
The post My Day with Cindy Crawford: Channeling Supermodel Vibes from Sunrise to Sunset appeared first on Vogue.
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