Boudoir Photos

Getting married? Anniversary coming up? Or do you just want to take some sultry photos because you’re gorgeous?

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I have compiled a short checklist of what to look for when picking a professional to capture these intimate shots.

1. Be Picky: Find someone local with lots of reviews and a personal website. Don’t just book the first person you find. Take the time to do your research, scour the best deals and above all, make sure you actually like the pictures in the photographer’s portfolio.

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2. Pricing: The price range for boudoir photos varies depending on where you live, the number of photographers in the area and what you’re comfortable with paying. I’ve seen “Groupon Deals” for $50, but when you read the fine print that doesn’t always include your “sitting fee”, prints, retouching, etc. Decide on your budget and try to get the most bang (pun-intended) for your buck.

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3. Style: Some photographers do more soft light, sensual shoots while others are pretty hardcore and graphic. I’m not here to judge one way or the other, but just make sure that whatever you choose, you will be 100% comfortable with because if you’re uncomfortable, it will definitely show through your photos.

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4. Be Suggestive: Make a Pinterest board with posing ideas, camera angles, costume changes and background settings that you like. This was something that my boudoir photographer, Aimee, suggested and I absolutely LOVE her for it. During our shoot she’d pull up photos that I had pinned so we could try and recreate them.

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5. Perks: See if your photographer includes digital copies of your pictures with the photo session. My photographer not only included a CD with the photos, but also a photo book that I gave to my husband as a secret gift on our wedding day. It is the perfect present for your significant other…and my hubby always takes it with him on business trips.

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Photo Credit: Aimee Rossi, Visit Her Website Here

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Keratin Treatment

Does it actually live up to the hype? Is it worth shelling out hundreds of your hard earned dolla-dolla bills?

Well, when you wake up to a mane that makes Medusa’s hair look tame, you will try anything to manage it. These techniques may or may not include countless numbers of hair serums, “straightening” shampoo and hours spent straightening those tresses, but nothing has ever seemed to last. My friends have always described me as the girl with the “huge blonde hair” and given me endearing nicknames like “Mufasa”. Now that I have convinced you of my need for a real hair transformation, I will describe my experience.

Straight Hair, Don't Care!
Straight Hair, Don’t Care!

Thank god my new hair stylist (I just moved to SF) is a total doll, and the sweetest girl ever, because this appointment literally took 6 hours. We started with a set of partial high lights (I needed a little touch up) and I headed over to the wash basin. Oh, and that heavenly head rub/scratch you get while warm water courses through your luscious locks? Yeah, that place is my heaven. After that it’s the typical blow dry and I got to sit under one of those heat lamps for 45 minutes, which was the perfect timer for my daily online window-shopping habit. But once that’s done you have to sit and get your hair straightened about 7 times over and over.

Look at these straight locks!
Look at these straight locks!

Yes, this was a time-intensive experience (I can’t imagine how much her forearms must have ached the next day) and you can’t wash your hair for 3 full days, but it was worth every penny. My hair is no longer a frizzy mess and it looks great when all I do is blow it dry! I have never been able to just blow my hair dry and have it look this good! I am planning to get a second Keratin Treatment in about three months and I will enjoy running my fingers through my gorgeous mane in the mean time!

Hairstylist: Alexandra Drew (@Alexandra_Hairstyles on Instagram)

Where: Descend Salon (San Francisco)

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Why You Should Invest In A Makeup Primer

To prime or not to prime? That is the question; and YES is definitely the answer. While I’ve always been in love with fashion and design, my interest in makeup barely scratches the surface of a full blown obsession. Yes, I do have a vanity littered with little black compacts, more brushes than I know what to do with and enough glittery powder to cover a small village, but getting down in the nitty-gritty of makeup application was never one of my pursuits.

So in all my years of being a girl, why have I just discovered the wonder of makeup primer? I’m not quite sure because I have been getting makeovers at department stores since before I was a teen. Maybe it’s because the salespeople are more interested in selling the newest color palette or cream to prevent aging? Or could it be because you’re not particularly paying attention when they first apply the primer, since you still see a naked canvas (aka: your face) practically begging for foundation and blush. Whatever the reason, I am now addicted to making sure that I always apply a primer before foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, etc. So now you may be asking, why is this girl dedicating an entire blog post to primer? Here are my reasons why:

1. Primer helps smooth your face so your makeup will go on more evenly, smoothing out any bumpy patches. I’ve even noticed that my pores seem to look smaller when I use primer first. Primer basically helps create a canvas for your makeup.

2. It has a sticky effect with your makeup so your face will “stay put” wayyy longer than without primer. Have you ever said to yourself “My face is eating my makeup”? No? Then maybe it’s just me, but I always felt like my makeup would dissolve on my face after about 4 hours. But with primer, it basically clings to my face-Hello, Beautiful!

3. You know those weird eyeshadow creases you get around 2 p.m. in the afternoon? When I apply primer to my eyelids first, I don’t get those awful creases and lines.

Now that you’re super excited about primer, which one should you invest in? I have two favorites: Chanel Base Lumière, Base Èclat Du Tent (Illuminating Makeup Base) and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer “Protect”. I find reaching for the Laura Mercier tube more than the other because the “Protect” version has 30 SPF and I am always trying to protect my skin, since Melanoma runs in my family and I’ve already had surgery to remove it before. Plus, Sephora carries Laura Mercier, while I would have to go all the way to Saks to pick up more Chanel.

Chanel Base Lumière, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Chanel Base Lumière, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Available at Sephora.
Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, Available at Sephora.

Thank you for reading & please comment below if you enjoyed my blog (or didn’t) and if you have any requests/suggestions for future blog topics. 💋

Is the Era of Whored Out Labels Over?

             Do the years of the rainbow Louis Vuitton monogrammed bags and oversized Gucci belts make your stomach churn and retinas burn? I’m talking about that awful era of Paris Hilton wannabes with the fake tans, bleached hair and larger than life designer labels plastered on literally everything. If you’re feeling nostalgic about my previous description, please leave; if not, keep reading.

Remember these?
Remember these? Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

            In the wake of “in your face” branding, I am loving the change towards a more subtle and less ostentatious movement: Bespoke. My move to the West Coast, specifically San Francisco, has opened my eyes to a more relaxed yet incredibly fashionable style. Now I am not knocking brands for having their classic signature designs, I’m just saying that you don’t have to be so obnoxious about it. There is something to be said for wearing a pair of Hermès Corfou sandals because you love the style and fit, not because everyone will look at them and automatically know how much you paid. This Bespoke movement also encompasses companies that do everything customized and made just for you. A small logo or simple stamp, think Givenchy or Lanvin, is even too showy for this crowd. The quality of these products can be just as good, or dare I say even better, than brand names, and you actually have a say in the color, design, leather, exotic skin, etc.

Personally, I love when brands have a certain image or design that only lovers of that brand recognize (the pyramids originally seen on the Hermès Collier de Chien, for example). It’s like being in an exclusive club; only the people in the know actually know.

Hermès Corfou Sandals, available on hermes.com
Hermès Corfou Sandals, available on hermes.com

           While there is something so lust-worthy about those interlocking “C”s and that scrumptious caviar leather, I am starting to lean more towards classic styles than the trendy ones (See the photo below). Chanel’s quilted Cambon bags are a staple in any fashion addict’s closet, but I don’t think that tie-dying them should be something consumers should be persuaded to think is novel or even attractive.

Chanel's New Spring/Summer Collection. Photo from their most recent email.
Chanel’s New Spring/Summer Collection. Photo from their most recent email.

             I fully understand that twice a year (Printemps-Été/Automne-Hiver), brands need to come up with something new and alluring, but maybe take a look in your history books and bring back old styles or colors rather than throwing things together and serving it on a platter as if it was designed by the gods. I think it’s rather insulting that we are expected to place these brands on a pedestal and have them look down on us, mere minions.

                Now don’t take my criticisms to say that I am taking all my Chanel bags and burning them at the stake. Rather, the opposite. I covet anything and everything Vintage because the quality is unrivaled. The only brand that has not shifted to machine stitching and conveyor belts is Hermès. By keeping majority ownership within the Hermès family, they could ensure quality control within their factories.

Hermès Leather Workshop, Photo Taken By Alfredo Piola.
Hermès Leather Workshop, Photo Taken By Alfredo Piola.

          With that being said, I am not going to lie and say that I am throwing out all my things with labels on them; I am just learning how to master the art of dressing without looking like a label whore because I have been there, done that. Now that I am in my twenties, I want to perfect the understated plain t-shirt, blazer, dark wash jeans, bright pumps and Céline phantom bag look. As the days of those rainbow Louis Vuitton belts and bags fade farther away, I think the world is ready and primed for a new wave of beautiful and bespoke fashions; and in this new world, there will be NO more “Juicy” written across my butt, thank  you very much. 💋