Look swank, feel great this winter

Paulina Esthetics Boutique in Wauwatosa provides a range of specialty skincare products. These Whish items include (clockwise from left) body butter, sun screen, exfoliating body wash (on the box of sugar scrub) and regular body wash.


Imagine a perfect winter night lounging by a fireplace in soft sweaters and socks while fluffy snowflakes float to the ground. Now imagine dry, itchy skin and extra fluff around the waist.

During a family-filled holiday season, people constantly look for new ways to dress, look and feel their best. Local experts in the fields of fashion, health and skin care have the perfect solutions to battle these wintertime afflictions.

Winter Style

Each year, Jordan Dechambre, fashion editor for “M Magazine,” a Milwaukee-based lifestyle publication, attends New York City’s fashion week where vogue designer fashions are revealed.

“I am loving the return of opulence in clothing and accessories: leather accents, fur details, colors such as blood red, burgundy and winter white,” Dechambre said regarding this year’s winter style.

In addition, Dechambre is a skilled stylist, a personal shopper and a trend expert. She coordinates fashion shows such as RunUp, in which Mount Mary College fashion students participate.

According to Dechambre, the simplest thing a busy college student can do to vamp up her style is to stick with a couple investment pieces such as simple prints in black and red instead of trying to incorporate every new trend.

Shopping smart and affordable is key. One might consider browsing and buying at local boutiques and consignment shops, which tend to carry unique and high-quality items. Adding a flash of color and style with a swank scarf or other accessory is also thrifty.

Winter Health

Winter tends to be a time when belts loosen and clothes become tighter. This may be attributed to over-eating and under-exercising during the winter months.
Dr. Megan Baumler, professor and director of the Mount Mary College’s graduate program in dietetics, said though it might be tempting for people to stay inside during the holidays, those who indulge make up an unfortunate statistic.

“People gain on average up to five pounds over the holiday season, and not all of this comes off in January,” Baumler said.

As for those classic holiday foods that many love, Baumler said to beware of salty dishes like green bean casserole and sweet potatoes soaked in butter. Baumler’s tip to eating smart during the holidays is to make winter comfort foods from scratch, which allows the preparer to reduce the amount of salt and butter in those dishes.

Winter Skin Care

Kelly Grandaw, an esthetician and owner of Paulina Esthetics Boutique in Wauwatosa, has worked in the skincare industry for nearly 13 years.

According to Grandaw, when the weather turns dry and cold, one’s skin begins to lose critical hydration because there is less moisture to draw from the environment.

“The cold air can actually chap our skin, degrading our lipid barrier so our skin cannot protect itself or function normally,” Grandaw said. “We also go between extreme temperatures, freezing cold outside, warm inside, which can cause our blood vessels to expand and contract too quickly or too much, causing them to become distended and stop working.”

Grandaw disclosed some quick fixes for wintertime skin problems. If a person has dry skin, she should try switching to more hydrating products, such as creamy cleansers and heavier night moisturizers. Also, one can add hydrating or exfoliating masks to her daily or weekly routine.
Grandaw recommended consumers avoid products containing ingredients such as salicylic acid and sulfur because they are drying to the skin and actually disturb the skin’s natural pH balance, initiating a bad cycle.

“If your skin feels squeaky clean, tight or painful after you cleanse, that is a very bad sign,” Grandaw said.

One solution for college students is to use better skincare products that do not come with a hefty price.

“If you do buy in a drugstore, products labeled ‘gentle’ or ‘calming’ are usually safe bets,” Grandaw said. “Trader Joe’s, Beans n’ Barley and Outpost have great organic and natural skin care lines that are affordable.”

Grandaw’s best piece of advice on skin care is to remember there is beauty in imperfection.

“Every scar, line, wrinkle and spot were created through laughing, crying, that dream vacation, that fantastic summer when you were 17, your children, your partner, your life,” Grandaw said.  “Revel in your wisdom, love who you are because you created it. You must age, and your face and body must morph into what is appropriate. Take care of yourself, eat well, maintain a healthy weight, keep a good skin care regimen, but above all else, be happy.”

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