Healthy Life

Southwest Florida News Anchors Get Camera Ready

Sharing their tips and tricks for looking great on camera—and off.

BY May 26, 2016


Putting their best face forward is literally what these professionals do every day. They make their living by being camera ready. So who better to ask for advice when it comes to makeup must-haves, bargain beauty items, special spa treatments, diet and exercise recommendations, favorite hair products, and health and beauty secrets?

They were candid, revealing some of their mishaps and even sharing stories about their off-camera lives.

This article comes with a warning: Try these tips at home!


Kellie Burns

NBC 2 WBBH News Anchor

What you may not know about Kellie Burns is that her television career began at the tender age of 9, as an anchor on an award-winning children’s show, Action News for Kids, in her hometown of Binghamton, New York. Fast-forward 40 years where you can still see Kellie in her role as co-anchor for NBC2’s Evening News at 5, 5:30 and 6. Off camera, Kellie spends numerous hours helping Southwest Florida nonprofits raise money. She serves on the executive board of Canterbury School and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Kellie splits her time between Fort Myers and Chicago with her husband, Ed; son, Jack; daughter, Elle; and stepdaughter, Kara.

What are your makeup must-haves? Make Up For Ever HD Foundation, HD Microfinish Powder and DiorShow Black Out Mascara.

What’s the one question you get asked about all the time from viewers when they see you in person? I was at an event a few months ago, when a woman looked at me and exclaimed, “Wow, you really look good. I mean really good. You know how they say the camera adds 10 pounds? It adds 20 on you.” What can you really say to that?

Do you indulge in any beauty/spa treatments? I try to get a deep-cleaning facial at least once a month. Jessica at La Te Da salon is great at cleaning out my pores from the heavy makeup. Then she blades my skin to remove all the tiny hairs and make it smooth when my makeup goes on.

What is your favorite bargain makeup or beauty product? Coconut oil. I buy it in a glass container at the grocery store and slather it on my skin after the shower.

What’s your favorite makeup trick? I contour my checks and nose with the Make Up For Ever contour kit.

What is your favorite beauty/anti-aging product on your makeup counter at home? My Clarisonic Mia to cleanse my skin; it removes all the makeup and dead skin.

What are you favorite hair care products? I use Diamond Oil by Redken before I blow-dry my hair. And just before I go on the air, I sprinkle some Redken Powder Grip at the roots and back comb to make it fuller. 

Describe your approach to staying healthy. I have limited the number of plastics and chemicals in my home … mainly for my kids, but it’s benefiting all of us. I use only glass containers, no plastic water bottles, use organic or natural detergents, cleansers and lotions. We also buy organic meats, milk, fruits and vegetables. Lots of water.

How do you stay in shape? Running outside or on the treadmill. I recently started Pure Barre classes and really like the core work. 

Do you diet? Of course! I just turned 49 and my metabolism is working at a snail’s pace.

On-air dress. Colors to avoid? Colors to wear? I never wear prints on camera! I try to wear fitted dresses, jackets and sweaters. Big necklaces and dangling earrings are distracting, so I try to keep my jewelry small. Bright colors “pop” on camera!


Lois Thome

CBS 5 WINK News Anchor

Lois Thome co-anchors WINK’s Evening News at 5, 6 and 7 as well as “Eye on Education” at 5:30, so spending time in front the camera is something she is familiar with. Her off-camera hours are spent volunteering in the community, where she serves as a member of the Lee County Reading Festival, sits on the board of Gulf Coast High School’s Sport and Entertainment Marketing Academy, and spends time in the local schools reading to children and mentoring students. Lois, and her husband, John, live in Fort Myers with their son, Nicholas, and daughter, Isabella.

What are your makeup must-haves? Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer from IT Cosmetics. It covers everything … even when you’re running low on sleep.

What are your favorite makeup products and why? I wear a lot of Colour Basis products. They are specifically designed for on-air news anchors.

What is your favorite bargain makeup? Mascara. No one needs to spend a ton of money on it. Just grab your favorite at the drugstore.

Does your makeup routine differ when you are on the air vs. not? Yes, but generally I’m just wearing less makeup. Today’s high-definition cameras don’t require as much makeup as we used to wear to make you look natural on television.

How long does it take you to put on your makeup for a newscast? About 10 minutes. After all these years … I think I could do it in my sleep.

What’s your favorite makeup trick? Use a kabuki brush to apply your powder foundation. … If you do it right, it looks like you’re using airbrush makeup.

Have you had any makeup mishaps on the news? Yes, about 10 years ago the station brought in a makeup artist who thought a dark, smoky look would suit me. Needless to say …viewers were not impressed, and I think I could even hear the newsroom collectively gasp when I popped up on screen for the 5 p.m. news. I’ve never gone there again.

Do you have a beauty secret or beauty product you swear by? Sleep. It’s that simple. Seven to eight hours a night.

What is your favorite beauty/anti-aging product on your makeup counter at home? Regenerist Mirco Sculpting Cream by Olay.

What’s your off-camera makeup routine? About the same as my on-camera routine. Viewers have an expectation to see the same person they see on TV when they meet you in person. I always try to meet that expectation.

What are your favorite hair products? I love Moroccan Oil. I use it every day on my hair before I dry and style it.

Do you diet? I don’t ever follow a strict, planned diet. But I do try to eat healthy … and sometimes use apps to track my eating and calorie intake. Right now I have My Fitness Pal loaded on my phone.

Describe your approach to staying healthy. Be happy. It’s really so simple.


Hernan Fratto

D’Latinos Univision SW Florida

Hernan Fratto anchors D’Latinos at 6 and 11 p.m., featuring news with interviews in Spanish from all areas in Southwest Florida. As a reporter, Hernan has traveled around the world covering breaking news and stories that have made a difference. He moved to Southwest Florida two years ago and has made strong ties with the community serving on the board of Our Mother’s Home and the Council of Hispanic Business Professionals. Married for 17 years, Hernan is the proud father of two children, Lola and Lucas.

Do you have any skin products you swear by? Every morning after shaving, I use a moisturizing lotion with sunscreen with SPF 15 or 30. It helps to have a smoother and protected skin. I try to use organic products as much as I can.

What do you do to avoid dark circles and puffy eyes? Unfortunately, the only way to “really” avoid them is to get at least eight hours of sleep. If I couldn’t get enough sleep, and need to shoot that day, I use a light product under the eyes to correct the tone and powder. Alcohol is the first enemy for that area. I highly recommend a good night sleep and avoiding alcohol. 

What type of makeup do you wear to be camera-ready? High definition requires a very specific makeup, so I leave that for our artist at the station. I try to wear the least amount of makeup as possible while on camera—just a little eye corrector, base foundation and opaque powder to finish. For the eyelashes, just a transparent jelly-like product. Personally, I like to be as natural as possible. You have to show your personality; even your wrinkles at the side of your eyes look great and sexy.

What’s the one question you get asked about all the time when viewers see you in person? Frequently people see me “slimmer” in person. I think it doesn’t have anything to do with that old saying about TV adding 5-plus pounds. That used to be true with standard definition on our flat screens, which made the figure wider, but not today with high definition and best-quality images. They also ask about my teeth and what kind of products do I use to keep them white.

Describe your approach to staying healthy. Having a healthy breakfast helps you run all day without snacking every five minutes. I try to have three meals a day: eat breakfast as a king, have lunch as a prince and dinner as a beggar.

What are your favorite hair products? I use combing wax after my shampoo and conditioner. I wash my hair every day using specific products for my type of hair, to avoid deterioration, and it really works!

How do you stay in shape? I work out at least two times a week in the gym, cardio mostly. I love doing spinning classes; it is so much more fun than running by myself with my earphones. During the weekends I ride my bike with my two kids. We usually go to North Naples Regional Park. It has a beautiful biking and running track all around a lake and into a forest. 

Your favorite color tie? I love ties. I probably have more than 200! I have ties from all over the world. But to answer the question: I think my favorite tie color is light blue, with a white shirt.


Amy Wegmann

FOX 4 WFTX News Anchor

After much determination and learning the ins and outs of the business, Amy Wegmann started as a reporter at FOX in 2005. She became the weekend and morning anchor just two years later. In 2007, she anchored the evening news at 6, 10 and 11 and left shortly after giving birth to her son, Jude. Now, four years later, she’s back at Fox 4 anchoring the 6, 10 and 11 evening news, keeping the staff entertained with her “war” stories about raising a little boy. Aside from being a mommy, Amy is also a die-hard Seminole fan, plays the piano, guitar and violin, and would like to learn to play the cello.

What are your makeup must-haves? One of my must-haves is a good under-eye concealer. I use MAC’s Pro Longwear Concealer and then blend the rest of my face with a tinted moisturizer when I’m not on-air. And every girl needs a good mascara.

Do you indulge in any beauty/spa treatments? I love HydraFacials. I try to get one every four to six weeks. It hydrates, cleanses, extracts and resurfaces simultaneously. The aesthetician uses this wand-like thing that does some kind of magic, and the results are almost instant. I always get compliments on my skin in the days following the HydraFacial.

Any beauty secrets that you swear by? Drinking a lot of water. It makes your skin look great and makes me feel great, too.

What are your favorite makeup products and why? I use MAC for most of my products. I swear by their Studio Fix Powder for flawless skin on-air, and their eye shadow lasts all day long. I also love their Hover lip liner and Japanese Maple lipstick. It’s what I wear nearly every evening on-air. As for mascara and eyeliner, I stick to the drugstore brands. I use Revlon Grow Luscious Plumping mascara and Revlon Luxurious Color Crayon eyeliner in Sueded brown.

What is your favorite bargain makeup or beauty product? I LOVE the Honest Company’s Organic Body Oil. Once you try it, you’ll be hooked. I use it on my arms and legs. It’s not greasy, soaks right in and makes your skin look great. It’s under $10.

What are your favorite hair products? We are so lucky at Fox 4 to have a great station salon. Cre8 Salon & Spa cuts, colors and styles all of our on-air talent. We’ve been going there for years, and they turned me on to Pureology and Arrojo products. I use the Pureology Strength Cure shampoo and conditioner as well as the Pure Volume Instant Levitation Mist. Once my hair is dry, I style it with a flat iron and use Pureology Hydrate Shine Max (it doesn’t make your hair greasy) and Arrojo Primp Working Spray.

Describe your approach to staying healthy. For me it’s all about moderation. We eat a lot of grilled chicken and salmon at my house (even my 4-year-old loves it). I make smoothies almost daily with spinach, chia seeds and fresh fruit. I take probiotics and buy antibiotic-free meats when I can. That said, if I am craving a burger from Five Guys or if there are Girl Scout Thin Mints at the station, I dive right in! 

How do you stay in shape? I mix it up. Sometimes I’ll go on a streak where I take Zumba classes for weeks on end, other times I’ll stick to light weights at home and bike rides with my son.


Gary Brode

ABC 7 WZVN News Anchor

Gary Brode, weekend anchor for ABC7 (WZVN), is a relative newbie in town, having joined Waterman Broadcasting just a year ago. Gary’s career began in Minot, North Dakota, where he worked as the weekend anchor/reporter/producer for KXMC. Moving further south to Champaign, Illinois, a year later, Gary worked at WCIA-3 as the weekend anchor/producer and weekday reporter. Enjoying the subtropical climate in Southwest Florida, Gary spends his free time with his girlfriend and his puppy, Diesel. He also stays active by lifting weights, swimming, playing basketball, hiking and playing tennis. But he says he isn’t opposed to Netflix marathons.

Do you indulge in any beauty/spa treatments? Haircut and eyebrow threading every two weeks. That’s about it. No manicures and pedicures for me. I’d rather spend my time with family and friends.

How do you stay in shape? Weight training six days per week followed by cardio. I actually worked at a gym for several years and learned a lot of useful information that I continue to implement to this day.

What do you do to avoid dark circles and puffy eyes? Sleep and a detox eye roller but I still have them. I have noticed when I lay off the coffee they tend to go down a little bit but I need my early morning, late morning and afternoon cup of joe.

What type of make-up do you wear to be camera ready? MAC foundation and blot powder so I don’t look shiny. For years, I never really looked “camera ready” because my last job was in the concrete industry. All I had to worry about then was if  my jeans were relatively clean and did I get all the dried up concrete off of me from the day.

What are your favorite hair products? It was pomade but I switched to hairspray. I like hairspray because it’s MUCH cheaper than pomade. Plus, it holds the front of my hair in place better especially when I’m out reporting in the field.

What’s the one comment viewers always have when they see you in person? I’ve been told by a few people they thought I was about six inches shorter probably because my co-anchors step on platforms so our heights are a bit more even. I am six-foot, three inches. My favorite is when viewers say “you look better in person” or “you’re skinnier in person.” I’m told those are compliments.

Describe your approach to staying healthy. In my early to mid 20’s I tipped the scales at 304 lbs. When I saw that number, something clicked in me. I started exercising six-to-seven times per week, and read everything I could about the human body. My belief is if you don’t know why you’re doing what your doing then your not going to have the tools and the knowledge to stay healthy for the rest of your life.

Do you diet? I don’t believe in “dieting.” Staying healthy is a marathon, not a sprint. You may lose a few pounds by dieting but ultimately, you’ll just gain the weight back. I try to eat “clean” at least five days a week. Eating healthy during the work week gives me some wiggle room on my days off, which tends to usually include ice cream.


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