My top beauty practices and some insight from the experts!  

My skin care routine? 

Well, this varies a whole bunch as I like to try out different products. I like to go as natural as a product allows. Animal cruelty free is a must, though I find some products are sneaky about that labeling. Sustainably and ethically sourced are also important to me.   I like having a nice gentle gel cleanser with a silicone little massage pad.  The gentle cleansers allow me to cleanse the eye area without worry, and that soft little silicone pad feels great.  For my lazier days, a cotton pad and witch hazel is so nice to refresh my face day or night. I enjoy creams and serums (or combination) to moisturize.  Typically, I use my fingers to massage the product into my skin, though I do have a jade roller and it really does seem to help with puffiness. I will run it under cold water when it starts getting warm. I also enjoy paper masks!

I talked with Valerie Heinz who is a Licensed Esthetician and owner of V’s Skin Studio in Appleton. Here is what she had to say about caring for your skin:

“In my practice I have found that nearly every person who walks in my treatment room has an impaired lipid barrier. Lipids are the natural fatty oils your skin produces; this barrier is found on the outermost layer of your epidermis (stratum corneum) and is the protective shield that keeps hydration in and external stressors– pollution, bacteria, allergens, etc.– out. Some signs of an impaired lipid barrier can include: redness, irritation, an uncomfortable tight and/or itchy feeling on your face, stubborn acne, and sensitivity. If you are experiencing any of these signs, this may be your skin telling you it needs some TLC. But what can be causing your impaired lipid barrier? Some of the common culprits can be (however not limited to): harsh weather conditions, over-exfoliation, stripping ingredients in skincare products, using the incorrect skincare product for what your skin needs, and diet/water intake. So what can you do to heal your lipid barrier?

  • Adjust your skincare per season; during winters invest in an oil-rich moisturizer to protect your skin from the dry air (My favorite oil-rich moisturizer for non-acne prone skin is Ilike Organic’s Linden & Marigold Rich Moisturizer).
  • Wear sun protection year round; using a zinc oxide sunscreen will help block out heat, give you full UV protection, and help ease redness. (My favorite sun protectant is Face Reality’s Ultimate Protection SPF 28 because of the zinc-oxide base, and it is safe for acne-prone skin).
  • Throw out that apricot scrub, this is too harsh for the skin on your face and can create microtears; invest in an exfoliator that either uses cornmeal or a mild chemical exfoliation. Unless directed otherwise, most exfoliators are recommended to be used 2-3 times a week. (My favorite gentle exfoliators are Skin Script’s Raspberry Refining Scrub and I like Organic’s thermal water infused Rolling Face & Body Exfoliator).
  • Avoid cleansers that contain irritating and stripping ingredients, such as sodium lauryl sulfate. Use a cleanser that contains skin-boosting ingredients that provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and hydrating benefits. (My favorite cleanser to repair lipid barriers are: Face Reality’s Ultra Gentle Cleanser for acne-prone skin, or Skin Script’s Green Tea Cleanser).
  • Hydrate your skin inside and out. It is typically recommended to drink about 64 ounces of water daily — but with every cup of coffee you drink, one cup of water is needed to rehydrate. Did you know that our skin is the largest organ on our body, but it is the last organ to receive water? That is why it is crucial to hydrate your skin with water-boosting ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, lactic acid, aloe vera, stonecrop, and squalane. (My favorite water-boosting product is Face Reality’s Hydrabalance).
  • Visit a licensed esthetician to talk about your concerns and goals; they can help guide you on the right path to healthy skin.”

-Valerie Heinz, Licensed Esthetician and owner of V’s Skin Studio in Appleton

What do I do to stay hydrated?

Well, I as much as I love water I am terrible at just taking time to sip it throughout the day. So before I wake up and have coffee I force myself to have a full glass of water. This is going to help start my body in the right direction, not to mention it’ll be a nice natural brightener for my skin! Drinking water helps keep your skin clearer and brighter. Give that water a little lift by adding lemon and basil, or lime and cucumber, it’s delightfully refreshing! Get a motivational water bottle, or an app that you can log your water intake.  Try having a “drinking” buddy.  If you take a drink of water, so must your buddy and vise versa. Yay accountability!  

Water is such a marvel because it helps your body flush out toxins and will help your skin glow! Keeping up with it daily will have amazing results. Any time I start to have a break out, I think, am I stressed? Is it hormonal? Honestly, 99% of the time it’s my lack of water intake. For me, it seems to take just a few days of consistent hydration to help to clear up my break outs.  After a few weeks, my skin starts to become much brighter. (I encourage taking before and after photos!) Water will also help plump skin. I notice when I am dehydrated, those fine lines start to become less apparent.  

How do I eat healthy when the world does not seem to slow down? 

What you put into your body is important to how it expresses itself to the outside world. I actually do enjoy eating all the leafy green things and veggies and fruit so much. Check your attitude about food. I want to think positively about the good foods I consume. I think first of all it’s never ok to feel like you are “giving up” those foods that lack nutritional sustenance and “settling” for great food that just happens to be nutritious. The term “treating” yourself to a not so healthy food can be really detrimental because it devalues the other food. I say, eat what you want to eat and feel good about it. Do not shame yourself about it, we are all adults making decisions for ourselves here. Think well of your choices, that is half the battle. SO that’s my two cents there. The reality; it can be so stinking hard to get into the routine of food prepping, or weekly grovery shopping for fresh produce, or to cook a fresh meal… and darn it that box of extra toasty cheese its looks so good. Have fresh fruit on the counter. Sometimes it needs to be super simple like an apple, because I don’t always want to make time to peel an orange. Try frozen fruit with non fat Greek yogurt! Leave a cup of frozen fruit sit over night to thaw and bam, into the yogurt the next day. Really refreshing in these hot months. I do try to meal prep, though I haven’t mastered that yet. My solution? When you make a meal, make it big so that you have left overs! This can apply to any meal! Making crustless quiche in the morning, make a big pan. Grilling out for dinner? Make double. Instead of keeping the leftovers in a big pan, divide into smaller containers for a quick meal later. I could really go on and on about my passion for food, but my take home tips, eat your greens, vegs, and fruits, good fats and protein (many good plant based options too).

I am not an expert though, so why not talk to someone who has made it her career? Kimberly Stoeger is a Clinical Nutritionist and Owner of Nutritional Healing located in Appleton. Here is what Kimberly had to say about sticking to a healthy diet.

“A busy schedule and experiencing the recent quarantine with our lives flipped upside down can make it tough to cook wholesome meals every day. We’ve come up with some of our best tips to keep you on track and sticking to a wholesome diet. Here’s how to get started.


Preparing a grocery list and weekly menu can make a world of difference! Spend an hour over the weekend mapping out your meals, and jot down the food items you’ll need to pick up from the grocery store. Using a shopping list can help save you time and money in the market and keep unhealthy items out of your cart. You can also opt for grocery pickup so any in-store temptations are avoided altogether!


Eating a varied diet is the best way to ensure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs, and it keeps mealtime interesting. Load your cart with a variety of wholesome ingredients, like lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains and fresh produce (in every color of the rainbow). Also take advantage of low-sodium broths, spices and seasonings to add flavor to your food.


Keep in mind that large portions, of even healthy food, can stunt weight loss. Keep serving dishes off of the table and fill your plate from the stove to prevent overeating. Try measuring your meals for even better results! When building your plate, take a good look at the recommended serving size and stick to it. Utilize tools like food scales and single-serve containers to portion the right amount of food for your body.


Processed convenience food may taste good, but it is certainly not the best for weight loss. Baking, broiling, roasting, poaching and steaming your food adds flavor, without any extra calories. An added bonus to this method is that you can cook an entire meal in a single post, pan or baking dish! You can also thread your lean protein and fresh veggies onto a skewer and pop them on the grill for a quick and easy summertime meal. Overall, all these cooking methods are nearly effortless and cut down on cleanup!


Healthy between-meal snacks can actually help promote weight loss. Focus on more than just breakfast, lunch and dinner! Wholesome snacking helps satiate hunger and prevents overindulging during your next meal. Plus, preparing snacks ahead of time makes noshing anywhere convenient, and can prevent an unhealthy trip to vending machine.


Love the simplicity of having food ready at your fingertips? Food lasts for a few days in your refrigerator, but keeps for months frozen, so keep your icebox stocked for whenever hunger strikes. Make an extra-large batch of a family favorite and freeze leftovers so nothing goes to waste. A few bags of frozen fruits and veggies also make healthy snacking and side dishes simple to whip up!”

By Kimberly Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist and Owner of Nutritional Healing

What is my go-to fresh day look for make-up?

This does start with good prep and skin care routine (see previous entries!). Start with clean and hydrated skin. I like to try new products all the time, because living in an ever changing climate with combination skin, really seems to have an effect on specific brands/types. In general for a fresh day look I start with a sheer base of foundation. I choose one with a bit of sun protection as well. Covering JUST the spots that need a little blurring only. I find that if I cake it on it loses that glowy look, I want most of my natural skin to come through. I’ll set that with a little powder and will also dab that on my eyelids to help with smooth eye shadow placement. For my eye shadow I choose a matte to shimmery natural tone for the lid of my eye. I like to follow that up with a little hilighter on top my cheek bones, bridge of my nose, cupids bow and corner of my eyes. Set that with a little spritz of a dewy makeup setter. Then just a quick comb through the brows and lashes. I like using a dark brown mascara lightly swept through, and a clear eyebrow gel to help lift and set them bad boys. For lips, just a sheer tinted gloss or chapstick works well. When looking for a fresh day look, simpler the better. I tend to not worry about contouring, eyeliner or anything too fussy for a simple day look (even though a full look is fun as well!).

My routine may be a bit basic, so I reached out to see what an expert had to say. Jillian Dawson is a freelance makeup artist based out of Appleton WI with over 13 years of experience. This is her go to day look routine, can also check out her videos on Instagram @jilliandawsonmakeup and learn more about her on her website

“I am a big fan of a quick go to look. I use this look constantly because many of my clients are bridal clients and I need to be up early and on the road.  I am a big fan of quick easy looks where you can look polished and doesn’t take a lot of time to do.


Let’s dive in. When it comes to limited time the biggest thing that I want to look great is going to be my skin. The brand “Milk” foundation stick is easy to use, swipe on a couple streaks and use whatever tool you’d like to blend in. I prefer a brush, use a beauty blender if you like too. This is a flex foundation and I notice it really does flex with your face and does not settle into lines which is great! I also like BB cream tinted moisturizer from TARTE with spf 20. It is beautiful, giving a second skin texture, evening you out, giving a natural look.  

A little extra love

If you need a little extra for blemishes now is the time to give those areas a little extra coverage. If you’re having a day where you have some extra under eye circles it’s ok to kick that up a notch with a prep and prime liquid. I am fair, so I like a little something light and bright, and take that around under the eye up the cheekbone to brighten. If you have darker skin, use more of a peach tone than pink.  Take whatever concealer is left on your blender brush and buff it onto your eyelids to cover any veins. If it turns out a little too light, just dab a little of your regular concealer to make it a bit more neutral.

Let’s set it and add some depth

Now onto powder. This a very personal preference as it depends on what season it is, your skin type etc. When in doubt try a translucent powder. If you are feeling you need a little more coverage after concealer is applied, go with a tinted powder. Dab onto the shiny spots. My favorite part of make up is adding color into the face where I want it. I grew up with red skin and shied away from blush and bronzer. Now that I have better skin care I feel more confident. Take a little bronzer on a brush (just darker than your skin color). Apply to cheek bones and a little on the apples, and along the forehead/hairline. I am not big on contour for an everyday look. Blush is something many of my clients are afraid of and do not think they need, but they do. Blush is perfect to looked polished and awake. Just a neutral, slight sheen, and apply while smiling to apples and lightly feather towards temple. 


Eyeshadows, warm – tones instantly open your eye up and read great on camera. Start with a peachy neutral matte all over the lid. You can stop here or add a little shimmer you can pop all over the lid or placing one statement color makes it look like you put in a lot more effort that you actually did. Make sure to blend! One thing I like to do whether or not I use eyeshadow is using a natural brown eyeliner and tightlining that into the upper lash line and lower. The point of liner is to make your eyelash look fuller. Adds a little definition without overpowering the look. Next is mascara, it instantly opens your eyes making them polished and more awake. In the case you smudge your mascara all over your concealer work, just let it dry. Take a dry Q-tip and rub it off. Worse case, you just need to touch up a little with concealer. 


You can draw your brows in with liner or powder. Starting with base of brow with light little strokes tracing the lower then upper line. Your brows do not need to be identical.  If you have full brows, a light tinted brow gel is all you need. 


For lips, you can use a natural lip liner that matches your lip color, start from the outer corner going up to the top/center create more even full lips. Make sure your motion is the same for each, outer to top/center. I like using a tinted balm over the top.”

Please check out her website and her Instagram @jilliandawsonmakeup

Well that is it! Be sure to check out these local amazing experts!