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Life and Work with Sylvia Waller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sylvia Waller.

Sylvia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
After 23 years as a commercial lines insurance underwriter and two layoffs, I decided to follow my passion in the beauty industry and obtained my Esthetics License in 2011. As a medical esthetician and makeup artist, I have a passion to empower and inspire women to embrace their own unique beauty; and be the best version of themselves. Becoming Mrs. Colorado has given me a voice and larger platform to inspire women to empower themselves by embracing their uniqueness and health and uplifting all I come in contact with. As USOA Mrs. Colorado and USOA Mrs. Congeniality 2019, I have chosen the platform of Alzheimer’s Association in memory of my dad and family members who died from this decrease.

I am a daddy’s girl and an only child. My family is from Shreveport Louisiana and we are a very tight-knit family. Married 10years with four adult children two biological gifts and two marital gifts. I lose my mom to cancer in 2005 and my dad and I had each other to embrace. My dad struggles with the loss of his high school sweetheart and soul mate, married 46 years, and really never the same. A few years before mom was diagnosed with cancer, dad gave up alcohol due to his diagnosis with diabetes. After her passing, he started drinking again which complicated his health issues.

Over the years, dad’s health declined, kidney failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, and ultimately, dementia and heart failure. I had become his caregiver. I remember the moment, the roles shifted from my hero, my dad who had all the answers and made me feel better after talking with him. I was feeling heavy about life one day and had a conversation with my dad and we were two ships passing in the night. He did not comprehend what I was saying. This moment was devastating and painful. The dad that protected me and had all the answers no longer existed. And now, I have become his protector and caregiver. I realized I had entered into a new season of life and I was terrified and sad. I had to dig deep into my soul and pull it together to become the caregiver and protector he needed. I had to figure out how to celebrate my dad in his new season. His new season was not promising, but I had to figure out how to love, celebrate and cherish him while he was still with me. I didn’t know how to process this; dad was deteriorating fast. His dementia and heart failure were progressing aggressively. We purchased a ranch home in preparation to bring him over to live with us. But he wanted to stay in his home and as long as he could.

As an only child, I was dad only caregiver, my stress level was extremely high. My health was compromised as well. I had put on a few pounds, my blood pressure was higher than normal, my sugar level had risen, arthritis and migraines were plaguing my health. My doctor suggested I lose weight and exercise on a regular. To make a long story short, June 2016, I contacted a personal trainer, who was also a personal friend of mine and was encouraged to compete in the Clash of The Titans USA Body Building competition May of 2017 as a goal to weight loss. The daily workouts helped me to manage my stress and anxiety. My dad was assigned a nurse twice a week to check on him and compression wraps his legs due to heart failure. At this point, dad’s dementia was rapidly progressing. The most difficult time my dad and I faced was when I had to enforce no driving and I had to take his car keys. He became defiant and gave up. My dad passed away in his sleep from heart failure and dementia in April 2017 at the young age of 76. I was two weeks away from competing and had to decide if I would continue.

Quite honestly, preparation for the competition helped me get through the planning of two memorial services for my dad. I had one here for friends since he lived here for over 50 years. And I took his remains back to Louisiana and laid him to rest with my mom. After the service and competition, I felt so empty. I was so used to spending time with dad with doctor visits, taking him everywhere he needed to go. After a year of estate business and settling all his affairs, my baby boy was graduating from college, the emptiness remained. I knew there was more to me that what I was doing. I prayed about it and did some soul searching. A few months later, I was contacted by the director of USOA Miss Colorado Pageant and was asked if I would be interested in competing for USOA Mrs. Colorado. We met on Facebook and she was inspired by the activities and messages on my FB and Instagram accounts and felt I would be a good candidate. I advised I had never thought about it, and I would think about it and get back to her. Quite frankly, didn’t think I looked like a Pageant Girl. My husband asked me what a pageant girl looks like? And I replied long flowy hair and lighter skin. And my husband simply said we’ll change it! I marinated on it that night and decided it would be a great opportunity to make a difference in the community and promote a cause or platform I’m passionate about. I chose the Alzheimer’s Association as my platform due to my family history of dementia and Alzheimer’s. After the loss of my dad, I seek to raise awareness of a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise and the connection to brain health, Alzheimer’s, Dementia and related conditions. As an advocate for The Alzheimer’s Association, I will help to seek change to raise awareness of early investigation, diagnosis, promote awareness of services for individuals and families dealing with dementia and related conditions. I would like to encourage caregivers taking care of a loved one, please know you don’t have to go through this alone.  There is help through the Alzehimer’s Association 24/7 Help Line 800/272-3900.

As USOA Mrs. Colorado, I will continue my passion for beauty health and wellness and empowering others to keep evolving and becoming the best version of themselves. I will continue to empower the community with education on the importance of a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise and the connection to brain health, Alzheimer’s and Dementia related diseases. I will continue to inspire the community to commit to 30min a day some form of cardio and a healthy diet. And as a makeup artist and esthetician, I will continue to encourage tweens, teens, and women to embrace their own uniqueness and beauty; and to be aware of a healthy lifestyle, diet, exercise and the direct connection to brain health. After watching my parents struggle with health issues, I want to do everything I can to encourage others to embrace and love themselves for who they are and to take good care of themselves. Everything that has transpired made me the person and prepared me for my purpose.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey to the person I am today has not been easy due to my own personal limitations and struggles with fear and self-doubt. That has been, and at times, is still my biggest challenge. Positive self-talk, love of self and self-worth has helped me to press forward and to understand who I am and embrace my uniqueness and celebrate my style.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
With 20 years’ experience as a personal lines and commercial lines marketing underwriter, I made a career change and obtained my esthetics license in 2011 to pursue my passion in the beauty industry. As a medical esthetician and freelance makeup artist, I enjoy empowering women to enhance their natural beauty and explore their inner beauty. I currently work as a freelance makeup artist for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. And in addition, I am in the process of starting my own business and Brand, Beauty Runs Skin Deep. Beauty Runs Skin Deep is about Empowering and Inspiring Women and Uplifting everyone by encouraging all to maintain a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise and mindful of health risks associated. Encourage women to maintain healthy skin, fashion-forward makeup and provide beauty tips and ideas to help boost confidence in their efforts to strive to be the best version of themselves and be comfortable in their own skin. My services include; European Facial, Facial Massage, Head & Scalp Massage, Microderm, Dermaplane, Make-up application (lessons, weddings, and special occasions) Waxing (brows, nose, ears, lip, chin) Self-Image Workshops, Runway techniques.

I love encouraging women to strive to be a better version of themselves. I have also conducted self-image workshops for small women’s groups to encourage women of all ages to feel confident in the skin they are in. And to periodically seek ways to reinvent themselves and embrace their inner and outer beauty at any age. For more information on Beauty Runs Skin Deep go to my website: https://beautyrunsskindeep.com/

Who have you been inspired by?
First of all, my mom for providing a beautiful example of how a woman of integrity operates. She laid the foundation for my life. I also inspired and admire former First Lady Michelle Obama because she is a beautiful example of an empowered woman. I admire that she comes from humble beginnings and through hard work, perseverance, and confidence, Michelle Obama has become one of the most influential and loved a woman all over the world. As the First Lady of The United States, she served with grace, honor, and poise. Her transparency makes her relatable and lovable. Her love for empowering others through education, health, diet, and exercise as well as self-worth resonate with me.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 6232 S. Jackson Gap Ct, Aurora, CO 80016
  • Website: https://beautyrunsskindeep.com/
  • Phone: 3032429531
  • Email: sylviadenisewaller@gmail.co,
  • Instagram: Sylvia Waller.model and USOA Mrs. Colorado
  • Facebook: Sylvia Waller and USOA Mrs. Colorado and Beauty Runs Skin Deep

Image Credit:
Photographers: Suzanne Simone@Poshtography, Leonard Anderson Photography, Lexi Gilbert Photos

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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