Body and Soul Makeovers revealed

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel—Le MedSpa and local partners performed a complete makeover on two winners and a partial makeover for a runner-up over a three-month period. From left are winner Mande Gabelson, runner-up Diane King (seated) and winner Lucas Carter, who were presented during The Great Reveal party at Le MedSpa on Thursday.

Twelve weeks of trips to the gym, dentist, dermatologist, aesthetician, hair salon, life coach, makeup artist, clothing store, photographer and nutrition consultant paid off for the two winners of Le MedSpa’s Body & Soul Makeover contest.

Mande Gabelson and Luke Carter were selected for the makeover out of a stack of applicants looking for a change in their lifestyle, confidence and appearance. They worked with a “Dream Team” of experts to help make their transformation complete between the time they were selected in late August until their new looks were revealed Thursday evening at a “Great Reveal Event” at the spa at 2530 N. Eighth St., Suite 203.

Le MedSpa Director Paule Stiefler said she had been pondering a makeover contest for three years before she finally decided to create one this summer. She recruited local beauty, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle consultants to help her pick a male winner and a female winner to make over this fall. After each candidate was interviewed, Stiefler said she knew Gabelson and Carter should be the winners, but she also wanted to help one more contestant, Diane King. King was named a runner-up and received skin treatments at Le MedSpa, a new hairstyle from Salon Panache, clothing consultation at Jo’s Clothes and dental work from Dr. Grant Butler.

King went through gastric bypass surgery in 2002 and went from 300 pounds to about a third of that size, had neck and back surgery, and was missing some front teeth. Now, she says the makeover has tightened her skin, changed her smile and been “the most fantastic experience I’ve ever had.”

“I’m smiling again. I’m singing again. This has been wonderful for me,” she told the audience at the Great Reveal Event.

Carter worked out at Crossroads gym, got his teeth whitened, had some dentures put in the back of his mouth at Butler’s office and endured skin treatments, something he said “felt like a cat licking my face.” After working with a life coach as well, Marcus Straub, he said he feels like a new man.

“I have self-worth now,” he said.

Gabelson learned through the makeover experience how to make exercise a lifestyle, treat her acne and feel good about herself. She said she was “overwhelmed” by the makeover experience.

“I’ve never received so much giving from so many people,” she said. “My life has changed completely. I’m just happy with me. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks and that is big for me.”

Stiefler said she plans to do the makeover process again next year, although she may just pick one overall winner next time. She said she is grateful to all the “Dream Team” members who helped make it possible and each winner this year did a wonderful job following through with everything that was asked of them.

“It was not only a physical metamorphosis, it was an inside-out metamorphosis,” she said.


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