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Jennifer Walsh, 53: Life Is About Beauty

After her divorce and the sale of her company had her off balance, the simple act of walking brought her back to herself.  The veteran of the worlds of beauty and wellness, wanting to change the way we look at nature by having our conversations in nature, began the Walk With Walsh series.  She tells us about her skincare and exercise routines, and how “everything is about beauty.”

Jennifer Walsh is a true outsider. After a divorce and selling her business, she found walking, specifically long walks in nature, became a way of life for her. It was a long way from her past go-go world of women’s beauty.

From walking each day to camping all summer, this serial entrepreneur is passionate about the effects of nature on work, life, and the space between. Based in Manhattan, and a beauty and wellness powerhouse, she truly talks the talk and walks the walk. Here’s what she had to say about her career, biophilic design, and the great outdoors.

Jennifer walsh

How old are you?
I’m 53.

I love the juxtaposition of the beauty industry career, which can be superficial, with the grounding effect of nature.
I’ve sold products my whole life — I take it back. I’ve never sold anything a day in my life; I’ve just told stories.

I’ve always felt like I’ve never fit into the beauty industry. But what I’ve learned about life is everything is about beauty. I remember every aspect of living in a tent, how I was raised in the Bronx, and how I spent time with my family. My twin sister is in a wheelchair. She’s profoundly disabled, and it’s all beauty. So, how you look at your life through the lens of beauty is what living is all about.

I deeply believe that. 

“How you look at your life through the lens of beauty is what living is all about”

Take us through a challenge and how you got through it.
My divorce was one of the hardest things of my life. I was 39 and selling the company I loved. I moved 1000 miles away from everything I knew and created and loved. So, it was one of my life’s most challenging, difficult, tumultuous times.  

Besides my family and faith, the one thing that helped me was my daily walks in the park with my dog, sometimes 2 hours a day. Nature helped and healed me. 

Jennifer walsh

Tell me about Walk With Walsh.
In 2016, I started the Walk With Walsh video series and interviewed my friends about healthy leadership and getting outside. Every person I interviewed kept saying, “This feels so good.” And that was interesting.

It was this eye-opening discovery that we evolved outside, yet we’ve had the greatest migration indoors since the Industrial Revolution. And especially in the past 20 years. Seeing how we have much more screen time than green time has been troublesome. It’s played a huge part in our mental health and wellbeing.

“I started the Walk With Walsh video series and interviewed my friends about healthy leadership and getting outside”

The obvious question for me is: You live in New York City; how can nature play such a prominent role in your life?’
I get that all the time. I couldn’t survive without Central Park, and the East River is very close to me. There are days I can be in my apartment for two or three days at a time, like many of us, on my laptop all day. And it’s exhausting because we’re not meant to be tied to technology 24/7, yet here we are. But it plays a huge part. And on top of that, I’ve learned about being outside from my mom and dad.  My mom always celebrated the weather. She loved the rain and the snow. She was celebrating the natural world around us, which was fun. 

What’s a favorite walk? 
I have so many. I remember walking the streets of Toledo early in the morning, just the quiet and the church bells. But I love my Central Park walk and seeing all the dogs and all the people. There’s a sense of aliveness and connectedness in a fractured world. 

Tell our gang what type of shoes you wear on your walks.
I love Merrell. Vivobarefoot. And I also have the Skechers walkers. Sorel boots are fun because they’re fashion-forward. Some Saturdays, I’ll walk 10 miles around the city, just walking from neighborhood to neighborhood, eating and drinking. 

Jennifer walsh

“We are all biophilic beings”

Tell me about the biophilic lifestyle.
Biophilia is our innate connection to all living things. It’s our love of life.  We are all biophilic beings. E. O. Wilson was a famous biologist from Harvard who popularized this concept in the ’80s. It’s all about bringing nature indoors and our connection to all these things, and it’s so much more than plants or green walls. It’s how we evolve as a species from outdoor beings to indoor beings. Something called prospect and refuge. 

You know when you walk into a restaurant and instinctively want that cozy corner booth? It’s a safe spot where nothing can sneak up on you from behind. That’s our inner biophilic instinct kicking in — we’re all about feeling safe and secure. And it’s not just safety; think about how we all love the look and feel of wood in a space. It’s not just “Oh, that’s pretty.” It’s deeper. Because without even thinking about it, it just feels right.

Also, we evolved because wood protected us, sheltered us, and cooked our food. It also helped us ward off saber-toothed tigers. And when we figured out fire, we formed circles and communicated around it. So, this instinctual love of fire, wood, and spaces connects us to nature and natural sounds. I often have my TV on with the YouTube roaring fireplace on it so I can hear the crackling sound and look at it or watch a river.

These natural sounds help us counterbalance all the noise and ease our nervous systems. 

“A HIIT class is great, but going outside is more for the brain and how you feel alive and calm in such a chaotic world”

What are some other simple ways we can incorporate nature into our lives?
I always say that we are sensorial beings looking for sensorial experiences, and we don’t often get them when we’re just sitting at our desks all day. The body craves that, and we’ve blocked that off from our lives so much more since COVID. So, we must remember that our spaces either deplete or feed us.

So, I always say: go for that walk and don’t think about it. A HIIT class is great, but going outside is more for the brain and how you feel alive and calm in such a chaotic world. 

Also, nature really will help you feel less alone. Just hearing the birds or seeing the animals makes me feel that I’m not alone and that we’re all connected.

Jennifer walsh, superage quiz

That’s very powerful. What’s a typical day for you?
In the summer, when I’m in a tent, I rise before the sun because the tent is already bright before the sun comes up. So, I rise for the sun, go to the beach, and go for a sunrise swim. I love starting my day like that. I can’t describe the sound of what it’s like just to have the sun coming up, and you’re floating in the water, and you don’t hear anything, and it’s so peaceful. It’s glorious. But now, I usually walk in Central Park and just step into the day feeling my body: What am I hearing? What am I smelling? What am I feeling on my skin? Is it hot? Is it cold?

“I want to start my day feeling connected to the space around me”

I want to start my day feeling connected to the space around me. The landscape is changing every day. So, to bear witness to that beauty is an experience. 

Some days, I’m on Zooms with beauty and retail clients. I have clients trying to create biophilic spaces, so I do a lot of education. Some days, I do speaking engagements about beauty, nature, and the brain.

After dinner, I like going for a long walk around the city, coming home, and reading a book. I got off cable during COVID, so I don’t have TV. I have Netflix and Prime, but I don’t watch TV much. My life has quieted down, but that’s purposeful.

You don’t have to shut out the world to slow down. Finding quiet and stillness in the morning, the middle of the day, or the afternoon is important.

I go to bed fairly early. I used to go to dinner at 8 o’clock at night, go for after-dinner drinks, get home at 11:00 or 12:00, and now I’m usually in bed at 9:30.  

Jennifer walsh

How do you protect your skin when outside?
I swear by Rejuvaskin Skin Recovery Cream in very cold weather or extreme sun. The product was made for those going through radiation, so it is one of the best protectors to the elements.

“I’m a lifelong marathon runner and triathlete”

What other exercise do you do?
I’m a lifelong marathon runner and triathlete. While I haven’t competed in a few years, I still run 5 days a week and take Tracy Anderson classes when possible. I also swim in the ocean every day in the summer, often twice a day. I love that this is a new wellness trend they call “wild swimming.” My morning swims begin in May, and the ocean water is in the 50s for a few weeks before it warms up. It’s my daily cold plunge.

I also wear my WHOOP to track movement, sleep, and more.

I’ve always believed in food as fuel for decades of running competitively. I eat healthy but also allow myself to enjoy eating out. There are so many incredible places to eat in NYC, so I take advantage of that. 

Beauty Routine

Tell us about your beauty routine.

My routine and go-to products are:

I cleanse with Elemis Cleansing Balm

For toner, Indie Lee COQ10 Toner

Then, I moisturize with BeautyStat Peptide Wrinkle Relaxing Moisturizer.

For sunscreen, I can’t live without Rejuvaskin Mineral Facial Sunscreen.

All makeup is a mix of Jones Road Beauty. The Foundation is fantastic, as is the Hippie Stick. And Trinny London BFF De-Stress Tinted Serum and all of their creamy eye shadows. 

You’re an entrepreneur. Tell us how you got started.  
After college, I was working at Merrill Lynch. I quickly realized finance wasn’t for me. 

This unexpected opportunity came up when a friend, a TV producer, needed someone to fill in last minute on his show. I jumped in and talked about makeup on air; that single appearance turned into a 27-year-long journey on TV. It was incredible!

I thought, “Why not open a store and sell these amazing beauty products?” This was before big names like Sephora and Ulta. I reached out to brands just starting, shared my vision, and got them on board. My weekly TV segment became the perfect platform to educate people about these brands and their products.

“A single appearance turned into a 27-year-long journey on TV”

What came next?
I started Pride & Glory, a bath and body line for the college market. I remained on TV and wrote for publications about beauty, wellness, and entrepreneurship.  

What are three non-negotiables in your life?
My daily walks. Talking to my family. And praying every day.

I’m thankful for the gift of putting my feet on the floor because my twin sister can’t. I always say I do everything possible for both of us because she’s with me everywhere I go. 

What music are you listening to? 
I love Jason Isbell. I love ’80s music, folk, jazz, and opera. It depends on my mood.  

What’s a perfect Sunday?
I read the newspaper, make coffee, sit in bed, and watch CBS Sunday Morning. I like walking and popping into the Museum of Natural History, The Met, or going to brunch.

What’s next for you?
I’m working on many upcoming retreats and new partnerships, which will be announced shortly. Every chance I get to share why nature matters excites me. Because the more we know, the better off we are.

Connect with Jennifer:
Instagram
Website

See medical disclaimer below. ↓

2 COMMENTS

  1. love this….totally agree with everything you said… I just started following you..
    would love for you to reciprocate.
    I’m a fellow New Yorker and also had my profile on the Ageist months ago…

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

AUTHOR

Sheri Radel Rosenberghttps://unapologeticstyle.substack.com/
Sheri Radel Rosenberg is a Philly-born, Brooklyn-based writer who explores style, beauty, culture, and midlife with wit, warmth, and wisdom. Her story includes successful forays in the worlds of trend forecasting, ad agency photo production, ghostwriting, and strategic messaging development for fashion and beauty brands - all while amassing a slip dress collection that would make any Gen Xer proud. At the dawn of social media, Sheri launched her personal blog–which combines her passion for writing with her style obsession–and she hasn’t looked back. As Style Editor for the AGEIST, she’s inspired by the styles of the 70s and the 90s, along with all the beautiful people she sees daily in NYC.

 

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