Beauty: An Interview with Model Gwendolyn

Meet ~Gwendolyn~, and find out why I’m always badgering her for beauty tips!

Dani: Gwen, thanks for taking time to answer my burning beauty questions! It seems like we spend quite a bit of time discussing your secret tricks, wouldn't you say?
Gwen: Absolutely! I love sharing and trading beauty and health secrets and tips! I like to pick your brain on all the newest trends since I don't tend to keep up with them myself.

Read on for Gwen's fave tips and tricks...

Photo: Sheila Carroll Photography    Makeup: Dani Lazaro
Dani: I won't admit to our ages, but I will just let the readers know that we are both over the age of 30. What is your favorite beauty tip for those of us who want to look as great as you do?
Gwen: I would say the biggest contributor is getting enough sleep! For me that really affects how my skin looks and my overall energy level. Since sleep is not always a luxury I get to enjoy, the other two important things is to stay hydrated and get enough protein in my diet. Other daily actions that contribute to exterior beauty for me are never going to bed with my makeup on, changing my pillowcase every other day, using a gentle cleanser, exercising, and eating consistently healthy clean food. In my opinion, being beautiful on the inside by helping those that need it, being a good friend, a good listener, and caring about others, is just as important and ultimately shows true beauty on the outside!
Photo by Madison Parker
Dani: Ah, sleep, yes. I’ll have to get myself some of that! I know you've heard me say you have freakishly fabulous abs. What's the secret?
Gwen: Thank you! There is actually no secret. I just work at it. I guess it helps that I enjoy working out. Although since I once was a gymnast; I do mostly gymnast style sit-ups and crunches. They tend to be harder than the average sit-up, so I get results I am happy with. My favorite is the V-sit, where your body is in a pike position. It's really effective. I also vary my abdominal workout between isometric and long full body moves. The key to building strong abs is not to get injured by letting your back do the work or by starting off with harder moves like the V-sit. So always start out with abdominal work that doesn't strain the back and build your way up.
Photo: Photos by Luna   Makeup: Dani Lazaro
Dani: What is it that makes you feel beautiful?
Gwen: Great question! So many different things. First and foremost beauty for me goes hand-in-hand with feeling a balance in my life and being happy. I feel beautiful when I feel strong, both physically and mentally. I may look all sweaty after a hard workout, but it's an awesome feeling. When I feel calmness emotionally then I feel strength, which gives me confidence; and with confidence I feel beautiful. Of course compliments are always nice to hear if they are genuine. I think it’s human-nature to want a little external validation once in a while. I especially like it when someone comments on my skin or fitness. It helps confirm I'm on the right track. I'd have to say though, being happy, content and having a daily purpose is just as important. For me it’s all about balance.

Photo: Mike Tyger    Makeup: Svio

Dani: What are some of your favorite beauty products?
Gwen: My all-time favorite is Cetaphil as my facial cleanser. I've tried so many expensive lines and I keep going back to good old fashioned simple Cetaphil. It’s just gentle and does not have anything in it that my skin reacts to. If I'm wearing waterproof makeup I use baby-oil to remove it, then go back with Cetaphil and an oscillating product like Clarisconics to get the residual makeup off. My favorite moisturizer is Dermalogica. I find that line does not have a lot of bells and whistles or fragrances in the ingredients; so it's gentle on my skin. One "home remedy" I use all the time is organic coconut oil. I like it because it doesn't stay greasy or heavy feeling like other oils. It completely absorbs. I use it on dry skin patches or any inflamed skin to sooth it. I even consume it daily in my smoothie because of all its great health benefits.
Photo: Sheila Carroll Photography

Dani: Any new makeup trends you're really into?
Gwen: To be honest I tend to take the approach "if it isn't broke don't fix it" when it comes to the latest trend. I really like the classic and timeless makeup look versus anything too trendy for day-to-day wear. On the other hand, during a photo shoot I absolutely love to go as trendy and exotic as it gets! That's my opportunity to really have fun with looks and transform into a chameleon.
Red is my signature color. So I love a vampy red lipstick and nails.
If I had to pick something trendy I'd say I'm having fun with the new pastel nail polishes that are popular this year like light aqua or robin-egg blue. One trend I like that is finally become a staple is quality liquid eye-liner pens/markers. They don't pull fragile eyelid skin like pencils and they go on with more precision than older liquid versions. Great for those of us that are not professional makeup artists with steady hands like you Danielle!

Photo by Gordon Whitted

You can keep up with ~Gwendolyn~ here:  - Cover and Q&A on pages 6-45

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