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One Woman Investigates: Do Celebrities Actually Live Better?

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Photo by Getty Images
Photo by Getty Images

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Celebrities, no matter how much they are 'like us!,' generally live unattainable lives. But what if we could take little bits and pieces of their routines and apply them to our own grinding existences? What if we had the work ethic of Tina Fey, the cooking skills of Gwyneth Paltrow, and fashion sense of Sarah Jessica Parker?

In author Rachel Bertsche's new book, Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me, out July 1, the 32-year-old Chicago resident tries to answer the perennial question of, Really, are celebrities living a heightened existence? Answer: Yeah, kinda.

"Celebrities have this glamorous glow about them. We think they are perfect because we are presented images where they look fabulous," Bertsche told Racked. "I thought, 'if only I could get myself together to look that fabulous, I could really get my life into place.'"

So while managing her everyday life of freelance writing and IVF treatments, Bertsche also woke up early to grocery shop for Gwyneth-esque meals and to work out a la Jennifer Aniston. "Imitating various things, like getting up early, getting dressed, looking cute and exercising made me feel better and like I was being more productive," she said. "I don't think working out is the key to happiness but bettering yourself, following that journey while using whatever role model is a path to happiness."

While she couldn't recommend every celeb's routine choices, Bertsche said some led to positive habits she hopes to keep. Below, her influencers and the results of her experiment.

Photo via Getty.

Celebrity: Jennifer Aniston
The Lifestyle: Intense exercise routine and diet. Bertsche joined a gym and started on a fitness binge: cardio five to six times a week, Pilates once a week and yoga three times a week. Her diet consisted of fish, greens, quinoa, lentils, dairy and dirty martinis.
The result: "Amazing! I felt like I was a little closer to the version I wanted to be. I was someone who very often pushed my workout off 'til the end of the day but working out a lot, and in the morning, changed the trajectory of my day."

Celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow
The Lifestyle: GOOP-style healthy eating, using Paltrow's cookbook My Father's Daughter; waking up early to shop for specific ingredients and spending hours preparing meals, juice cleanses and smoothies; spending some $40 a day on groceries at the farmer's market.
The result: "The cleanses and grocery lists were not sustainable. There's a lot of pleasure to be found in cooking, but the recipes are not something you can whip up on a Tuesday. The time it took to cook meals was prohibitive and not realistic for a normal woman's life. We don't have the time Gwyneth has."

Celebrity: Sarah Jessica Parker
The Lifestyle: Getting dressed every day in actual outfits; makeup, dresses, ballet flats and jewelry.
The result: "Life changing! I noticed a huge different when I'm home and feel I look cute. There's a 'fake it till you make it' [element]. Also, big, fun fashion risks made me feel ridiculous but it's something that really gives you an extra bit of energy and excitement. You feel silly but happy."

Celebrity: Tina Fey
The Lifestyle: Completely focusing on work: bringing notebooks to take notes everywhere, staying up 'til early in the morning writing, getting minimal amount of sleep.
The Result: "Not feasible! Everyone wants to be Tina Fey but we have to remember that there are times when we have it better. It's not necessarily ideal to be working all the time. I don't think it's her ideal either but she does what she has to do to get it all done. Bringing a notebook everywhere was great, though, because the best ideas came when I wasn't sitting at the computer."

Celebrity: Jennifer Garner
The Lifestyle: Watching Sunday sports with husband, taking actual interest in his hobbies, no eye-rolls, no complaining to friends in public.
The result: "Really enjoyable! Ben Affleck and Jennifer always look like the perfect couple in the tabloids, and were always watching the Red Sox together. It occurred to me to take interest in things my husband cares about, like taking time to sit down and actually watch with him. We're so busy doing things and living life, we forget to have fun, especially with husbands. If you can show your making effort in showing interesting and showing respect, it can go a long away."

Celebrity: Julia Roberts
The Lifestyle: Meditating every day, making a gratitude lists.
The Results: "I achieved more Zen. It's a hard habit to incorporate because there's only so much time in the day. What I focused on was the fact that you can't control everything, you have to let it go a little bit. She isn't a celebrity that gives strict instructions like other celebrities so I had to choose more but it helped me get into a calmer and more peaceful state."

Celebrity: Jessica Alba
The Lifestyle: Making healthy life choices during Bertsche's pregnancy, dressing up in attractive maternity wear, indulging in occasional pampering like manicures and pedicures for the sake of feeling good.
The Results: "These choices make a huge different when you feel like you have a huge body and you are embarrassed. I didn't want to feel like a total shlump even when I had a giant belly, and I learned how to feel good, even though it was hot in the summer and I was super pregnant. You can still feel like yourself and your best self while you are housing a human."

Celebrity: Beyoncé
The Lifestyle: The whole package of exercising, dressing up, but also taking power in career choices and bringing a little excitement to marriage.
The Results: "A little effort goes a long way. Beyoncé said about being a married woman: 'be the woman he knows with a little bit of a twist.' Even when she was home and busy with a kid, she'd put on lipstick and wear a bun, she is just so inspirational. She said to keep the romance alive and surprise him every now and then so it made me think to stop changing into comfy, sweats when my husband comes home to show I'm putting in an effort to look good."

· Rachel Bertsche [Official Site]
· How to Love Your Job, According to Christian Louboutin [Racked]
· Annie Leibovitz on Nine Assignments that Shaped Her Career [Racked]