Bergen's 2015 Cover Girl

We invited, they entered, and the judges decided. Here they are: the Bergen beauties who won our fourth Cover Girl Contest.

Pink dress by Atina Cristina.

“Isn’t she lovely?” The question Stevie Wonder sang years ago was ringing in the judges’ minds as they evaluated the 47 contestants in this year’s Cover Girl competition. It wasn’t easy, but the judges—Rita Guarna, Bergen Health & Life’s editor in chief; Steve Vitarbo, the magazine’s art director; and fashion photographer Dan Springston—narrowed down the contestants to 12 semifinalists, then to a final three, each of whom got to have a professional photo shoot at Springston Studios in Manhattan. (So did the readers’ choice winner; more than 800 votes were cast at to select her!)

The top winner received a month’s free membership at HackensackUMC Fitness and Wellness and a $500 gift certificate from Omni Aesthetics in Oakland, while similar gift certificates went to the second-place finisher ($200) and other winners ($100 each). Also awarded were gift certificates from the B Hive Organic Salon in Hillsdale: $300 for the top winner, $200 for second place, $100 for third and $50 for the readers’ choice winner. And all winners received tickets to the BergenFest party and expo on September 24th.

Clothes and shoes courtesy of Ginger n’ Cream in Westwood.

Our winner:

Hayley Weintraub

Age: 20
Hometown: Upper Saddle River
Occupation: Nanny and student at Ramapo College of New Jersey

Multicolored pattern dress by Tbags Los Angeles.

White tube top by Julian Chang, crepe de chine pants by Hale Bob and Chelsea & Zoe heels.

Healthy habits: “I have been trying to get into yoga and meditation because they help with my anxiety. But during the summer, I like to go in the pool and do water aerobics.”

Beauty secret: “I try to follow the 8-8-8 rule. Eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep and eight hours for myself. For me, sleep is the number-one thing.”

Around town: “I love taking pictures of nature, no matter what the weather. I’ve gotten very beautiful shots of deer, bunnies and flowers.”

Fun fact: “I graduated from high school in three years by taking extra classes outside my school to meet the requirements.”

Second place:

Catherine Sepulveda

Age: 26
Hometown: Paramus
Occupation: Special education teacher

Blue snakeskin print top by Eight Sixty and white jeans by James Jeans.

Healthy habits: “I do love ice cream, but I try to eat everything in moderation. I never went to the gym until two years ago when I started CrossFit, and it just keeps me coming back.”

Beauty secret: “I use coconut oil to take off my makeup and clean my skin. I also mix honey and baking soda to make a face mask that leaves my skin feeling soft.”

Around town: “I like to take my nieces and nephews to the zoo in Van Saun Park. There’s a lot to do there. I even had my engagement photos taken at the park.”

Fun fact: “In tenth grade, I flew in a two-passenger airplane with a pilot who showed me things about how to fly the plane. It felt like I was in slow motion. It was very, very cool.”

Third place

Kayla Navarro

Age: 19
Hometown: Washington Township
Occupation: Aspiring model and actress

Blue, white and black chevron dress by Tbags Los Angeles and strappy heels by Chelsea & Zoe.

Healthy habits: “I am a pescatarian, so I eat a lot of fish and vegetables and make sure to get my protein. For exercise, I love to jump rope and follow workout videos on YouTube.”

Beauty secret: “For my face, I use the Cetaphil Cleansing Bar every morning and every night. It leaves me feeling clean and refreshed. And I use coconut oil to moisturize my body and keep my skin soft and glowing.”

Around town: “You can find me at the Hillsdale Library. I am always there reading a philosophy or poetry book, or I’m writing.”

Fun fact: “I have a collection of all the journals I’ve kept since fifth grade.”

Readers' choice:

Catherine "Cate" Saunders

Age: 18
Hometown: Westwood
Occupation: Student at Rutgers University

Sleeveless wrap dress by Julie Brown.

Healthy habits: “I go to the gym at least four times a week. And I drink a lot of water, which helps me stay hydrated and gives my face a natural glow.”

Beauty secret: “I wash my face before bed and in the morning with Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub. It has made my skin less oily, and I’ve had less acne since I started using it.”

Around town: “There are many great stores and restaurants in Westwood. My friends and I like to go to the Rolling Pin for lunch and then to Sogno for coffee.”

Fun fact: “I recently participated in the Rutgers University Dance Marathon with my sorority, and I was on my feet for 30 hours straight. It helped raise money for the Embrace Kids Foundation.”

Behind the scenes:

How it happens

The Cover Girl team put their expert skills together and got the girls camera-ready in no time! They made sure everything ran smoothly during the photo shoot at Springston Studios in Manhattan. After a long but exciting day, the judges had a tough decision to make.

Categories: Bergen Health & Life, Health & Beauty Features