The women traveled from all over the country – California, Ohio, Connecticut and scattered states in between – to reinvent themselves at a “Life 2.0 Transformation Retreat” in New Hampshire. Ranging from 27 to 60 years old, their diverse backgrounds included busy moms, ambitious Millennials, empty nesters, retirees, and jaded corporate executives. But as much as the women differed from each other, they journeyed to the retreat because they had one thing in common – exhaustion from taking care of children, spouses, parents, co-workers, and friends. Despite hundreds of self-care tips appearing on their social media feeds, the ladies were overwhelmed and had no idea how to take care of themselves. At a weekend retreat hosted by lifestyle coach and fitness expert Katie Boyd, they would learn.
Helping women achieve their goals is a lifelong passion for Katie, who holds masters’ degrees in exercise science and nutrition and is a Reiki Master/Teacher and multidimensional healer. Comfortable in the spotlight, she starred in her own reality show Wicked Fit on Bravo, E!, and the Style Network and has been featured on the Dr. Oz Show as well as O Magazine, Life and Style Magazine, Us Weekly and the Boston Globe. After nearly a decade of training beauty pageant contestants and women of all ages at her Miss Fit Club, she’s gaining new fans with an entertaining weekly podcast and will add “author” to her credentials when her book, Ambitchious, launches in early 2019. What’s the point of having so many irons in the fire?
“I’m driven to help women realize that self-care, spirituality, and wellness are non-negotiables,” she explained. “I tell students I can give them a great meal plan and training regimen, but if they are not exercising their spiritual muscles, they will find it difficult to experience true success or happiness.”
Only 25 spots were available for the exclusive weekend that featured refresher workshops in life skills, nutrition, fitness tips, and career counseling. The highlight of the retreat was a fashion makeover with a photo session by runway photographer Carlos Velez. All of the spots filled immediately when rumors started flying on Facebook that renowned make-up artist Victoria Duke Smolenski would be donating her time for skincare and make-up lessons and Thayers would be gifting attendees with their premium witch hazel toners, facial mists, and astringents.
“Many of the ladies gave up their lives to take care of others and neglected their own needs for years,” Katie explained. “At the retreat, we taught them that you can’t pour water from an empty cup. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.”
For several women, the event was a chance to gain confidence before re-entering the workforce. With Katie’s career tips, wardrobe advice, and expert makeup lessons from Victoria, they were ready to submit resumes and conquer interviews. And for corporate investment officer Jill Coletti, it was about dropping out of the rat race to pursue her dream of helping others as a Reiki Master.
“I never thought of myself as the type to do a photo shoot, but I could not pass up a day to be glammed up and photographed at Katie’s retreat,” Jill said. “Everyone was glowing with confidence and joy, all because of how wonderful we were treated, the phenomenal makeup session, and the Thayers skincare products.
I was introduced to the Alcohol-Free Cucumber Facial Mist at the shoot and it smelled and felt so amazing that I am using it as part of my daily routine!”
Katie described some of the individual transformations as “from tragic to magic” as three days of workshops, makeovers, and pampering lifted spirits, boosted self-esteem and helped everyone feel beautiful inside and out. After years of traveling as the make-up artist for Jennifer Lopez, Victoria expertly filled out eyebrows, dusted cheekbones and plumped lips while demonstrating beauty “recipes” for different occasions.
“Many women get inundated by make-up choices and get into a rut,” she said. “Instead of going with the same look, you can have a five-minute recipe that gets you out the door, a 15-minute recipe for appointments or meetings, and longer routines for special occasions when you need to look your best.” She added that every woman should also have a beautiful, framed photo of themselves prominently displayed by the bedside.
“Everyone needs a beautiful photo to look at when they are having a bad day,” she told the ladies. “It will remind you that you are beautiful, even when you don’t feel like it.”
To continue their feel-good vibes and self-care at home, Thayers gifted all the participants with travel-sized Alcohol-Free Rose Petal toners, Slippery Elm lip balms, facial mists, and other goodies. Zara Roubian could not wait to take the toners home for her daughters to try.
“The toners invigorated and energized me during the photo shoot, so I know my two daughters will love it!” Zara said. “Our thanks to Thayers for safe, gentle products with ingredients we know and can pronounce!”
A photo shoot was never something I saw myself doing. Why would I right? I need to lose more weight, I don’t wear makeup often and am not a glamorous person. Well, I may not have been exactly where I wanted to be but I met myself where I was at and decided that I deserved to do it for myself. I could not pass up a day to be glammed up by the fabulous Victoria Duke Smolenski and her crew and then photographed by the famous Carlos Velez.