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Diving In with Alex Underwood

December 9, 2016
Alex Underwood, Alexandra Underwood, Alexandra Elise Underwood
Welcome Back to Diving In, a new series where we sit down and discuss body confidence with inspiring women. In this piece, we sit down with American Model, Alex Underwood. Underwood is not just beautiful but passionate too. She is the founder of The Unwanteds Project, a horse rescue that brings awareness to the abuse that these beautiful animals face. Alex stars in Coco Reef’s newest campaign, Flaunt Your Shape. The campaign focuses on embracing the body positivity movement and encouraging women to show off their bodies. The goal is to show women that being who they are is not only good enough, it’s perfect.
How did you become body positive? What was the journey to accepting and loving your body like?
“I had a really big moment happen in the eighth grade. I’d always had problems making friends with girls growing up and I had recently been invited to hang out with a special group of girls. While hanging out with them, I realized they talked so badly about themselves. I remember listening and thinking, they sound silly! I don’t see any of this. And I didn’t want to sound that way. I guess I made a pact with myself that day – to accept and love myself.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop skipping class! And don’t sweat the small things.
Alexandra Underwood, Alex Underwood, Alexandra Elise Underwood

What is your life motto?
‘Never forget that the pressures of modern life are only a man-made game. You can take a break whenever you wish. It isn’t necessary to stress yourself to the level of those around you. Take nothing as seriously as your universal right to seek peace’
What advice would you give for someone struggling with confidence and body acceptance?

If you’re finding it hard to move past a body issue or hard to gain momentum to your body loving goal… try eliminating the outside influences. For instance: I gave up Facebook five years ago and monthly magazines. I immediately felt relieved. They say you are what you eat but to broaden that- you are what you consume. Give yourself substance in all areas of life. Your self love journey is yours and yours alone.

How do you ‘Flaunt Your Shape?
For me, comfort is everything and comfort equals confidence. Especially when you’re down to your skivvies! I actually prefer to find a nude beach, honestly. When I do find a swimsuit that fits me so well it feels like I’m wearing nothing- that’s a keeper!

Beauty Fashion Lifestyle Press

Diving In with Iskra Lawrence

November 23, 2016
Welcome to Diving In, a new series where we sit down and discuss body confidence with inspiring women. In this piece, we sit down with English model, Iskra Lawrence. Lawrence is not just a pretty face, she’s an #AerieReal role model, an advocate with the National Eating Disorder Association and an active editor of The Runway Riot. She stars in Coco Reef’s newest campaign, Flaunt Your Shape. The campaign focuses on embracing the body positivity movement and encouraging women to show off their bodies. The goal is to show women that being who they are is not only good enough, it’s perfect. So, who better to enlist to kick off our campaign than the queen of body positivity herself, Iskra Lawrence?! Coco Reef chatted with Iskra about being a role model, her life motto and what advice she would give her younger self.
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How did you become body positive? What was the journey to accepting and loving your body like?
I’ve been modeling since I was 13 and after I hit puberty and my body began to change. I was dropped from my agency because my hips were too large to be a straight-size model, and I was ridiculed on modeling sets for being the “fat girl.” I went on extreme diets and looked up different surgeries in an attempt to change my body into something it would never be. I realized I didn’t want to be this person, so I decided to accept and celebrate my body for what it was. It was then that my career as a model really took off — I signed with my agency JAG and started working with Aerie on their #AerieReal campaigns, which was a dream come true. It wasn’t an easy journey, but learning to love myself was the best thing for me, not only in my career, but life.
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What advice would you give your younger self?
 Stop fighting yourself.  When you look in the mirror, stop looking at the things you don’t like and start celebrating the things that make you feel beautiful and unique. Life is too short to constantly battle yourself and get hung up on the negative.
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How important is it to you to find clothes that fit your shape? 

Shopping can be really daunting, but when you find clothes that you love and make you feel great, it can be a really fun and empowering.

What is your life motto?
 The best gift you can give yourself is self-love. No one else’s love can have a greater impact on your life than your own.
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What advice would you give for someone struggling with confidence and body acceptance?
 I like to start every morning by waking up, looking in the mirror, and asking myself what I am going to accomplish that day. We are so focused on our appearance, that we often forget how much our bodies and minds can accomplish — whether that’s going to the gym, finishing a big project at work, or spending time with loved ones. By shifting that mentality, you can change your outlook on life and start each day on a positive note.
 
What is it like being a role model for so many people? 
 It is so humbling. Because I struggled for years with body image, it was important to me to use my platform to share my experience as a way to help others. Through my work with Aerie and the National Eating Disorders Association, I get to connect with so many young women and girls and talk about body image as well as mental health, which go hand-in-hand. It is both an honor and responsibility to give a voice to these issues that few people talk about.
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How do you ‘Flaunt Your Shape?
 I flaunt my shape by being true to myself! I’ve accepted my body as it is and focus on taking care of it, both inside and out.
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Fashion Lifestyle Press

Flaunt Your Shape in Coco Reef Swim

November 10, 2016

Coco Reef Swim

It’s easy to compare yourself to others. In fact, most of us probably do it on a daily basis, even more so in the summer months. With skin-baring swimsuits everywhere you look, it’s easy to hide behind your towel.

But as the leaders of bra-sized swimwear, we understand the curves of a woman. We know you may need some additional support and we’re here to embrace your perfect imperfections, your “flaws”, and the parts of you that you may not be as proud of. Whether it’s your crooked teeth, freckled skin, the parts that jiggle, stretch marks, your short legs, your frizzy hair, all of it. We love everything that makes you, you.

Which is why we’re moving in a new direction. We’ve enlisted three models that are not only beautiful but also empowering. Iskra Lawrence, queen of body positivity, managing editor of Runway Riot and a NEDA brand ambassador. Alexandra Underwood, commander of her curves and the founder of the Unwanteds Project. And, Camila Lopes, a natural beauty, philanthropist and yogi who embraces her shape.

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These three inspirational ladies star in our new swimsuit campaign where we invite you to #FlauntYourShape in Coco Reef Swimwear. If you’re short or tall, if you’re round or thin, if you’re busty or on the smaller side, flaunt it!

In a society that profits from your self-doubt, loving yourself is a rebellious act. We’re asking you to be a rebel, embrace the movement and show the world that you love the skin you’re in!

Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

Convertible Swimwear: Ways to Wear

April 16, 2015

Known for our wide selection of bra-sized swimsuits, Coco Reef is already your destination for fit and comfort. But we’ve gone even further with our unique Five Way Bra, one of the top-selling styles in our collection of convertible swimwear. With wide removable straps, soft molded cups, and underwire construction, you’re sure to have your perfect fit and style every time.
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We call this our Five Way Bra, but the ways to wear are really endless. Some of our favorite alternate options are pictured below.
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Shop the Five Way Bra here, then check out this video for cool ways to wear:

 

1.BOW FRONT BANDEAU – This style is great for those who want an even, lines-free tan. The bow in front provides a fun and feminine feature, while emphasizing the bust and further supporting cleavage.
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2.HALTER – For those who need coverage and support, the halter option gives that and more. Bolstering the bust from above provides a healthy look, while underwire construction supports from the underside.
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3. BANDEAU – For an ultra-chic and comfortable look, wrap the straps around to create a true bandeau. Depending on your comfort and coverage needs, straps can be swathed from either the bottom or the top.
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4.CROSS FONT HALTER – Spice up your style by crossing the straps across your body before tying back into a halter. This style allows for thicker, more relaxed straps, which might provide a more comfortable fit.
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5.OVER-THE-SHOULDER – Attach removable wide straps to a bandeau silhouette to create an over-the-shoulder look with increased coverage and support. Straps are adjustable so you can achieve your perfect fit time and time again.
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Experiment with your own suit and send us your favorite options using #CocoReef… we just might include them on a future blog post!

Beauty Fashion Lifestyle

Red Carpet Trends For Swimwear

February 26, 2015

 Tankini Stone Beauty Collection 2015

Coco Reef Swim Tankini

Coco Reef Swim Tankini

Model  Talita Correa  |  Top  Stone Embellished Ultra Fit Tankini  |  Bottom  Stone Embellished Ultra Fit Tankini

From the catwalk to your closet, we’re looking to the red carpet for this season’s swim inspirations. Fresh off
awards season, our eyes can’t help but notice all the stars strutting with stones… and we’re not talking just jewelry. Embellished
gowns and adorned accessories are all the rage this year, as celebs take their glamour game to the next level. Our Stone Beauty
Collection incorporates the hottest trends so that you never go out of style. Beautiful stone embellishments accentuate these sexy
suits in the season’s hottest colors. Underwire support keep things steady and in-place, while simple shirring and molded cups
ensure your ultimate fit and comfort. And with our unique bra-sizing and mix-and-match separates,
every creation is custom-fit to your body’s shape. How’s that for VIP treatment?



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Jessie J appeared at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for the 2015 Grammys in a sheer black dress from Ralph and Russo.
Splashed with gems and graced in a full train, the “Bang Bang” singer proved that there’s no such thing as too much fabulous.


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Dazzling in red at the 2015 Golden Globes in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Viola Davis put the glam in glamorous. In a flowing
Donna Karan Atelier dress, sparkled with ruby red and crystal rhinestones, the “How to Get Away with Murder” star was praised
for her classic, yet flashy ensemble.


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For those who want pocket-sized pomp, Prada’s cool clutch might be the perfect red carpet accomplice. Gold-plated
hardware supports this statement piece’s stunning stone embellishment. Available in three smart colors, it’s the must-have
accessory of the season.


Fashion Lifestyle

Wash em or wear em?

May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! We’re headed to the beach for the weekend for some sunshine and relaxation, and have packed our favorite bikinis for the trip.

We’ve received a few inquiries on swimsuit care, particularly on whether or not swimsuits should be washed, and if so, how often. We’ve narrowed down a few basic guidelines that should be followed to ensure your swimsuits will remain beautiful for as long as possible!

Most importantly – don’t wash your swimsuit unless it’s absolutely necessary. Like your favorite jeans, swimsuits will lose their elasticity and color if over washed. The best way to wash it is a quick rinse after the pool or a dip in the ocean, so bring it right into the shower with you and rinse it off well.

If you feel it still needs a better wash, soak it in warm soapy water for about 20 minutes, and then rinse well. Never put your swimsuit in the washing machine, and if you do, do not wash it with towels which will erode the surface of your suit and cause pulling.

Wringing your swimsuit dry will stretch the fabric, erode the elastic, and make it fall down when you least expect it.

Just kidding – but you should never wring it dry as it will cause the elasticity in the fabric to lessen and create a saggier, ill-fitting look. Instead, gently squeeze it dry, and allow it to hang dry.

If you’ve spilled on your swimsuit, try to get as much of the surface stain off as possible. When you get home and change, place a small amount of baking soda on the spot for 15-20 minutes.

The most important rule? Rotate your swimsuits! The more you wear your suits, the more out of shape and worn out they will get. The elastic needs a little time to bounce back, so don’t rely on only one swimsuit! Purchase two of three and keep a rotation going, to keep your suits looking beautiful year after year!

SwimwearCare

Lifestyle Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday: Squat Challenge

March 12, 2014

Week 4 - Squat Challenge

We’re getting ready for the beach, and cannot wait for the sun to finally make itself a more permanent fixture in the sky! Warmer weather is on the way, and we’re working to make sure we’re ready for its arrival. Yesterday we started our squat challenge, and are inviting you to join in with us! Follow us on social media using #ReefSquatChallenge – we’ll be continually posting on our progress and keep each other going!

NOTE: I am in NO WAY a fitness professional. Please do not take my comments to be professionally backed, nor do I know what is best for every body. I am simply sharing my personal experiences with these workouts. If you are unsure if you should be doing a particular workout, please consult your doctor first.

Reef Week 4 - Squat Challenge

Tried this workout? Have another one you’d like us to try? Let us know!

Lifestyle Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday: Bedtime Yoga

March 5, 2014

Bedtime Yoga

While it’s important to work on toning our bodies, we also need to remember to get enough good sleep – a night of restless, interrupted sleep doesn’t help anybody! Women’s Health Magazine offers this great bedtime yoga routine to help ease yourself into a better nights sleep. These simple moves can be done right in the comfort of your bed, without sweating. It’s a great way to give yourself a few minutes of ‘me time’ after a busy day at the office or running after the kids.

NOTE: I am in NO WAY a fitness professional. Please do not take my comments to be professionally backed, nor do I know what is best for every body. I am simply sharing my personal experiences with these workouts. If you are unsure if you should be doing a particular workout, please consult your doctor first.

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 Positives: It’s a workout for not only your body, but for your mind as well. A short meditation to open and close this routine (as well as the benefit of sleep afterwards) really allows you to center yourself, and helps relieve all the stress you’ve been holding in throughout the day. The moves are easy to do, and I love being able to do them in my pajamas, on my bed. The stretches stimulate you just enough to make you feel like you’ve been productive, but leave you feeling relaxed and ready for sleep.

Negatives: Some people might argue that this isn’t ‘intense’ enough of a workout. Other than that, I had no complaints. Your sleep cycle can also been interrupted by cell phones, televisions, and other electronic equipment, so if you’re still keeping these on, you might not get as great a night of sleep, regardless of doing the bedtime yoga routine.

Reaction: I find myself struggling to fall asleep a lot – I often feel tired and then once I hit my bed, am wide awake. These quick and easy moves definitely helped me avoid that wide awake feeling, and not only relaxed my mind, but helped to relieve some of the stress that builds up in my muscles throughout the day.

Overall: I’d give this a 9/10. It’s a great way to stretch your body in an atmosphere that’s comfortable and relaxing. It’s also nice that you can hold each stretch for as long as you like, as well as tailoring the routine to your own schedule, and head to bed whenever you feel tired!

 

Tried this workout? Have another one you’d like us to try? Let us know!

Lifestyle Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday: Barre-tique

February 26, 2014

Reef Week 2

It’s week two of our Workout Wednesday series, and we’re heading to a Barre-Tique class over at Back Stage Studio to get a glimpse at what gives dancers such toned bodies. This workout will require a light weight and a stable bar or surface (think ballet studio bar). It’s a core-infused fitness class that brings together elements of dance, yoga, pilates, and stretching. It is not a dance class, but rather couples choreographed movements that are designed to burn cellulite and give you a long lean dancers body. This work out is great for those of us that HATE the gym and like low impact training with high impact results!

NOTE: I am in NO WAY a fitness professional. Please do not take my comments to be professionally backed, nor do I know what is best for every body. I am simply sharing my personal experiences with these workouts. If you are unsure if you should be doing a particular workout, please consult your doctor first.

 

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Positives: A low impact structure with the same sore muscles as a high impact work-out. The next day you know your body has been challenged even though you didn’t spend the day at the gym. Don’t get me wrong, I say low impact because there is no jumping or running but it is still an intense work-out! Between the deep stretching and the slow controlled movements with a weight it definitely makes you sweat. In the end, if you love a work-out that you know is toning your muscles then this is for you (and me).

Negatives: Depending on your fitness level, I miss the high impact (walking, running) just a little. You are also VERY sore the next day(s), so make sure not to have a strenuous day planned after your work-out.

Reaction: Two days later, I’m still a little sore, which is a love/hate relationship.

Overall: I’d give this a 8/10. It’s a great workout to tone. I would recommend doing Barre-Tique two-three times a week.

 

Tried this workout? Have another one you’d like us to try? Let us know!

Lifestyle Workout Wednesday

Workout Wednesday: Summer Shape Up

February 19, 2014

I’d be a liar if I didn’t admit to being a Pinterest junkie. In whatever free time I have, I often find myself perusing Pinterest and pinning dozens upon dozens of things I know I’ll never buy, make, eat, or do. I’ve got entire boards dedicated to the dream home I don’t own, the crafts I don’t have the time to make, and the foods I’ll never attempt to make in my tiny little kitchen. However, I am making an attempt to change that, and bringing you along for the ride. We’re getting in shape for summer, Pinterest style.

Every week, I’ll be delving into my Pinterest bank and giving an honest effort at one ten-minute or under workout. We’re all busy juggling work, social lives, and families, and none of us are willing to waste what little free time we have on something that isn’t beneficial. Consider me your internet filter, helping you find fun, quick workouts that actually make a difference.

NOTE: I am in NO WAY a fitness professional. Please do not take my comments to be professionally backed, nor do I know what is best for every body. I am simply sharing my personal experiences with these workouts. If you are unsure if you should be doing a particular workout, please consult your doctor first.

Workout Wednesday - Week 1

We’ll kick off this series with an eight-minute ab workout from Pumps & Iron. My best friend has always helped me do an 8-minute ab series, but after a while of doing the same routine, your body becomes too used to it, and the workout becomes less and less effective. I spotted this 8-Minute Abs, 2.0 and after noticing that they weren’t moves I’d tried yet, decided to give it a shot.   8 Minute Abs  

Positives: The graphics provided made the moves easy to understand and execute, even though they hadn’t necessarily been moves I’d done before. The workout moves at a great pace, changing up movements every 45 seconds, while the eight-minute timing makes it easy to do before work, before your nightly shower, or any other time you might have a few spare minutes. It’s also a prop-free workout, meaning I didn’t have to buy weights, a mat, or any other workout materials before starting.

Negatives: I did this on my wooden bedroom floor, so some of the ones that required me to be laying on my back hurt my spine a bit, which was more my own fault. As a result of an existing back injury, I had to refrain from the butt lifts, and substituted by doing an additional 30-second plank.

Overall: I’d give this a 6/10. There’s a good chance I wasn’t actually doing the moves correctly, since I didn’t feel as much as I felt I should’ve when I woke up this morning. I’m definitely not in shape, but the ab-burning morning-after feeling I’d been expecting was non-existent. Other than that, I felt like it was a really good workout, with the perfect way of switching it up every 45 seconds. I’d never realized how long 45 seconds can be, which made this workout feel like it was really making a difference. However, I’ll have to invest in a better stopwatch than my phone – it’s a pain to keep stopping and resetting my timer. Other than that, I loved not being completely out of breath, but still felt like I’d done a solid workout!

 

Tried this workout? Let us know what you think!