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Photography By: Bradley Blackburn
Photography By: Bradley Blackburn

Meet the Beach Babe Duo Behind Tone It Up

Karena and Katrina Give Us the Skinny on Staying Fit

Written By: Melissa Mitchell Meet the Beach Babe Duo Behind Tone It Up
Photographed By: Bradley Blackburn
Styled By: Carlye Sandoval
Hair By: Bri Orozco
Makeup By: Jenna Anton

Seldom in life do we encounter those rare individuals who are awe inspiring in every way. Determined, kind, motivated, motivating (for that matter), and just as exquisitely beautiful on the inside as they are out. Even more rare is to come across that unique commodity in a pair! Sure, Tone It Up’s Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott have got the skinny on everything fitness, nutrition, and beyond, but what’s even more captivating is the genuine bond they share. They’ve cultivated a community of female empowerment and sisterhood that is just as enchanting to participate in as it is to watch. Their millions of followers and success stories are a testament to their success as well as a glimpse into the stunning journey ahead for these fitfluential femmes.

If you’re envisioning these two, now, power-house besties as toddlers playing together with two-pound dumbbells in the same backyard, you’d be sorely mistaken. While both of these wellness-wonders fell in love with fitness at a young age (Karena was doing half marathons with her dad by the 6th grade, while Katrina was turning her basement into a home gym as a youth with the help of her father), it wasn’t until a bit later in life that they met organically after both making a move to Manhattan Beach. Oh, this you might have expected…they met in a gym. The girls became fast friends and after discovering their commonalities and shared fit-vision, they moved in together and began creating the now larger-than-life health brand, Tone It Up (TIU).

For the handful of you who aren’t entirely sure what TIU has to offer…it’s got everything. Workout routines (DVDs and free videos online), nutrition plans, healthy recipes (check-out their Perfect Fit line of protein, tea & more), fitness gear, activewear, beauty products, accessories, and, of course, beach babe bikinis! In addition to their innovative routines and fun merch, however, they’ve created something that is even more noteworthy and impactful: a community to participate in. The countless number of TIU meetup groups, fan pages, hashtags (i.e., #TIUmealprep, #TIU, #TIUteam, etc.), and success stories are a source of comfort and community for all of those working toward a common goal of health. The TIU community allows you to work, not alone, but together with a group of like-minded individuals who are there to support you every step of the way.

So, what exactly is this fine-toning phenomenon that Karena and Katrina created? “Our fine-toning method works with the science of a woman’s body and targets what is actually going to boost your metabolism, ” Katrina says. “What we do is work the big muscle groups first and then shift into smaller movements to target the entire body part or area. For example, when working on abdominals, we incorporate three movements to work the entire waistline (i.e., upper abs, lower abs and lower back) in order to work the core from all angles and hit each muscle group individually. Also, we know women are often short on time and we want to make everything as efficient and targeted as possible.” While we had the experts on hand, you know we asked them to dish about summer fit-tips and the best ways to stay sculpted this season. What did these beach babes prescribe? Social fitness! K & K encourage us to avoid the mindset of going to the gym, busting out a workout, and being done with it. “Call your girlfriends, get together and make a date of it! You can go to a class and then afterwards get a juice or breakfast…or go on a hike followed by happy hour, ” Karena says.

You’re probably thinking that there’s no way these bikini babes have an actual life outside of fitness. Well, we’ve got news for you…Karena is about to say ‘I do’ to her soon-to-be husband, and Katrina and her hubby (along with their Cavalier King Charles puppy, Winston..aww) are in the process of renovating and decorating their home. How in the world do these two manage the work-life balancing act? “You just do it!” Katrina says. “It’s a struggle and we continue to work on it, but it’s just like a workout…you make the decision to make the time, just like we set aside time to go to dinner with each other and be girlfriends.”

We can relate to that! Personal lives aside, we all want to know what’s on the horizon for Tone It Up! K-squared summed their grand vision up best: “We want to make sure that every girl out there has the opportunity to join the community, because every girl deserves to feel like she has a whole group of cheerleaders cheering her on, celebrating her, lifting her up, and encouraging her to go after her dreams.”

Summer Sweet Tooth? Want to satisfy your sweet tooth this summer, sans the guilt? Karena recommends opting for a piece of dark chocolate while sipping a fine glass of red wine, savoring all the tastes. Keep the emphasis on quality vs. quantity and you’ll avoid overindulging.


Perfect Fit: Wondering what make the TIU’s Perfect Fit line, well, perfect? All of their products are plant-based, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and just downright delicious. The title is perfectly fitting, eh?

Fun On Deck: Just when you thought the Balboa Bay Resort couldn’t possibly have any more to offer, they went ahead and added a 128-foot yacht to their amenities. With several restaurants, ocean views, and now, a yacht, this open-to-the-public venue is a large slice of Newport Beach heaven. Dubbed ‘The Ambassador, ’ this three-deck yacht is the perfect floating venue for your next wedding, party, or corporate function. Stay tuned to Balboa Bay Resort’s social media for upcoming events, tastings and parties on deck this summer, both amidst the resort and aboard the stunning Ambassador.  

Native Knowledge: Sure, even the TIU ladies indulge in a splurge meal every now and then, but when they do, they’re each targeting different taste buds. Karena turns to something on the saltier side with a killer charcuterie board while Katrina reaches for ice cream topped with cookie dough…we love both!

Tone It Up
703 Pier Ave Ste B #806
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Photoshoot location:
Balboa Bay Resort
1221 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Tone It Up…and have some Chocolate too!

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A native East Coaster who now resides in Southern California, Melissa’s had her fair share of bicoastal living. As co-creator of the blog inPSYCHful Living (, Melissa enjoys sharing her love of mindful beauty, style and living with those around her. Being a psychologist and international travel writer, Melissa fulfills her desire to learn about the individual by meeting new people and engaging in new experiences with others. A firm believer in the notion “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there,” Melissa has found that the most wonderful things can happen just outside of that comfort zone.

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