Editor-Tested: Microsoft’s Health and Fitness Tracking Band

February 7, 2015 @ 6:38 pm

When it comes to tracking your steps and monitoring your calories, there’s nothing quite like a personal assistant on your wrist to give you the nudge (or, um, kick) that you need to stay on track. So when Microsoft introduced its latest wearable technology, the Microsoft Band, I jumped at the chance to take it for a spin. Unlike a lot of other fitness tracking devices, the Band has a discreet touchscreen on the surface that lets you check your stats with a quick tap–no fumbling with your smartphone required. Here, some of the coolest features.

Ultra-Personalized Workouts

Not only does it sync with your smartphone to provide you with a detailed breakdown of your activity, the Band can also create guided workouts to suit your fitness goals. Fitness partners, like Gold’s Gym, provide routines that tackle various problem areas, then prompt you to get started with alerts on the Band.

GPS Run Mapping

I like to shake up my running route, and the Band makes it easy to keep track of my twists and turns. The run mapping feature saves the routes I jog (while monitoring my speed and pace), and lets me rank my favorites so I can repeat them in the future.

Big-Picture Sleep Profiles

Sure, it’s nice to know how much I’ve tossed and turned in one night, but it’s even more useful to see my sleep patterns over time. The Band’s corresponding app charts the quality of my sleep so I can consider what adjustments might be useful, like changing the temperature in my bedroom to prevent me from waking up consistently during the night.

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Watch the Essence Black Women In Music Event Live Here Right Now

Tonight, Essence magazine is kicking off the Grammy Awards weekend with its 6th annual Black Women In Music event, and you can watch it live right here.

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The event heralds the accomplishments of both emerging and established artists and influencers in the industry, and this year’s show will celebrate the best and brightest moments in Black music over Essence’s 45-year history. Honoring the incredibly talented Jill Scott and featuring performances by Chaka Khan, Brandy, MC Lyte, and Lianne La Havas, the concert will represent each of the classic eras in music: the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and beyond.

For all of the details on Essence’s 2015 Black Women In Music event, visit essence.com.

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The Story Behind Julianne Moore Weaning Herself from “Intellectual Fashion”

This isn’t Julianne Moore’s first time doing the Oscar circuit, but it’s arguably her best dressed awards season yet. At yesterday’s 87th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon, the Best Actress nominee wowed in a red flared peplum top and fringed pencil skirt by Prabal Gurung—but at the event Moore recalled a time when her fashion choices weren’t so on point.

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“Maybe I’ll get a laugh with this! The first time I went to the Oscar nominee lunch, I had just had a baby,” Moore reveals. “My publicist Stephen met me at the curb, and I got out of the car—I had decided to wear a coat, like a daycoat, a boxy coat—and he said, ‘Oh, my gosh. We have got to get you away from that intellectual fashion. That’s ridiculous!’ So anyway, the moral of the story is that I feel more comfortable now. My children are older, so I don’t have to wear something so misshaped.”

The Still Alice star also shared that this year’s group of nominees have made her experience incredible. “Oh, it’s so fantastic,” Moore says. “We’ve all gotten to know each other. It’s always exciting to see people. I’ve worked with so many of the other nominees. And this is lovely. It’s a great celebration.”

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—With reporting by Scott Huver

Katy Perry’s Superbowl Halftime Performance Was Epic (Here Are the Looks That Prove It)

Katy Perry is one helluva firework! She blew everyone away during her halftime performance at the XLIX Super Bowl with a kaleidoscopic show that featured a megaton lion, a performance by Lenny Kravitz, a Missy Elliot cameo, and a whopping total of four unforgettable crazy-cool costumes (a feat that we have designer Jeremy Scott to thank).

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Girl on Fire (below): The star was on fire from the get-go, making an entrance singing “Roar” perched atop a larger-than-life robotic lion all ablaze in fire-emblazoned separates and glittery booties. She continued to burn bright through “Dark Horse” and an “I Kissed a Girl” duet with Kravitz (who was outfitted in a cool fringed moto jacket, a beaded tank, and destroyed denim).

Life’s a Beach (below): To complement the beach backdrop, complete with trippy life-size palm trees, sharks, and surf boards, Perry switched into a playful beach ball-inspired bustier top with a matching skater skirt to sing “Teenage Dream” and “California Gurls.”

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Missy Time (below): During Missy Elliot’s too-cool cameo where she belted out hits “Get Your Freak On” and “Lose Control,” Perry got her freak on in an oversize bedazzled “49” (for the 49th Super Bowl) jersey jacket styled with nothing else except for tights and her booties.

A Starry Finale (below): Perry reached for the stars during her performance of her final song, “Firework,” floating up and across the arena in a shooting star. And she looked the part, with a spangled high-slit gown with iridescent stars affixed all over.

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