Beauty Shrink: What Does Your Look Say About You?

Psychiatrist and dermatologist Amy Wechsler analyzes Nikki Wisniowski, a 25-year-old waitress/artist from North Carolina.

Ben Baker

THE SHRINK: The frames are funky and worn like reading glasses. I'd wager she's a writer or student.

NIKKI RESPONDS: I am a painter and plan to get my master's in fine arts someday.


THE SHRINK: I think the symbol is related to yoga, which I bet she practices.

NIKKI RESPONDS: It's my om necklace. Om is often chanted while meditating during yoga, so it reminds me to live in balance.


THE SHRINK: Wearing her hair off her face indicates that Nikki's a person who doesn't try to hide things.

NIKKI RESPONDS: I've been told I broadcast my feelings from my face!


THE SHRINK: Nikki's rosy lipstick is her only obvious makeup — supporting my theory that she's in an academic environment where the natural look predominates.

NIKKI RESPONDS: I do like to wear lipstick and, occasionally, eyeshadow. I have to avoid anything more because of my sensitive skin.

Ben Baker


Nikki has excellent posture, indicating that she is self-confident, but judging from her puffy eyelids, I'm guessing she's also sleep deprived. Perhaps she's working long hours? The red blotches on her nose and cheeks suggest a skin condition called rosacea, which can be exacerbated by alcohol. But to be fair, blotchiness can also be the result of vigorous exercise and stress.


The coffee shop where I work is next to a hospital and extremely busy, so I'm on my feet for hours and am exhausted by day's end. I would say I'm very self-assured; I do what I want when I want. As for the skin, I actually do have rosacea — it runs in my family — but I keep it under control by wearing sunblock religiously and staying out of strong sun. Wheat seems to cause facial flare-ups (I suspect I'm allergic), as does some makeup, so I usually go out nearly barefaced.

MC RECOMMENDS: To copy Nikki's natural look, try a lightly tinted or clear sunblock like Clinique City Block SPF 40 (top) or Aveeno Continuous Protection Sunblock SPF 30 (center), anda rosy cream lipstick like Neutrogena Moisture Shine LipSheer in Plum Kiss.

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