Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DRESSING FOR FAMILY PORTRAITS - PART I

Wow!  Spring is CRAZY!!!  I feel like I've been going full speed since February, with no sign of life slowing down anytime in the foreseeable future.  Lots of school performances, charity events, outdoor festivals, collaborations, and new clients have filled my calendar, and most of the new clients are calling me because they, too, are incredibly busy.  I've recently had a few families contact me to help them choose outfits for family portraits.  After their initial pat on the back for having finally booked the photo session, panic ensues!  "What in the world will everyone wear?  I can barely manage to pick out my clothes for a day of running errands!"  Sound familiar?

Fret not!  Remember those "collaborations" I mentioned?  Well, here's a little sneak peek of one I'm working on with Sarah Kane Photography and Emily Hudspeth of Real Life Beauty hair and make-up.  We are creating a Style Prep Guide for Sarah's photography clients with detailed, but simple,  information about how to get yourself (and your family) ready for your upcoming session!  In advance of the prep guide's release, I am going to have a little series of "Do's and Don'ts" to get you thinking!  (If you haven't gotten around to scheduling your family portraits, let this post be your impetus, and get on the horn with Sarah asap!)

So, without further ado... (adon't?)...


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DO have fun with color!

Gone are the days where everyone has to wear white shirts and khaki pants.  BORING!  In fact, depending on your complexion, all white could be a really bad choice.  Because white reflects light, too much of it could add an unwanted glow to a fair face.  So branch out a bit and try for other colors that you like and that look good on you and your family members.

DON'T get matchy-matchy!

Wearing matching everything feels a little hokey and dated to me.  As a person who likes to express her personality through clothing, it also feels a little stifling.  If you are looking to have some cohesion, find a color scheme with 2-3 main colors, and incorporate some other "pops" of color with accessories or one-offs.  Let each person's personality shine through while keeping a little bit of order.




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DO add layers, texture, and timeless accessories!

Layers and textures add depth and interest to an outfit, and therefore, add interest to a photograph. Think jackets, sweaters, scarves, hats...corduroy, chunky knits, seude.


DON'T let the extras be the focal point!

You are having these family portraits taken, presumably, to document your family at this moment in time, so it's important that the clothing doesn't overshadow the people.  Fashionistas beware!  This is not the the time to pull out your big, bold, trendy statement pieces!  In this type of photo, you're better off keeping things a bit more classic, so that you can enjoy the pictures for years before they look dated.




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DO incorporate patterns!

A few complementary patterns within the color scheme can add interest to the photo.  Offset larger prints with smaller, and create a balance by having a mix of solids and patterns on the subjects.

DON'T go overboard!

No head-to-toe patterns, no graphic prints, no logos, and no characters, please.


More "Do's and Don'ts" to come in May, but if your portrait session is scheduled earlier -- or if this is all too much to put into practice in your already hectic life -- I'm happy to come over and help you create personalized and cohesive looks for your photos!  Let's connect.


All photos courtesy of Sarah Kane Photography (and her super-stylish clients make great examples for my suggestions;)
As a personal stylist and personal shopper in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect!  



Saturday, February 18, 2017

A MAKEOVER STORY: SAKS BEAUTY WEEK


To help celebrate and spread the word about Saks Beauty Week, the events and marketing director of the Stony Point store, Tara, invited me to come in today and take a peek at some of the goodies!  And by "take a peek," I mean I had a full makeover with Vesna Biondic at the Giorgio Armani Beauty counter.  Beauty Week is going on now through 2/26, and with a $150 purchase, you receive a really cute tote (choose one of 3 colors) filled with freebies!!  If you spend $300, you get a matching wristlet, perfect for filling with makeup and dropping down in the tote for a day out.  And if that ain't enough, most of the cosmetics brands are doing their own "gift with purchase" deal.  Here are details.


 Perhaps you don't know that I am a total makeup amateur.  I mean, I've tried my fair share of stuff, but besides being a bit of a lipstick/gloss/balm junkie, I'm really clueless about makeup (I consult solely on clothing!!)  No worries!  I was in good hands with Vesna, who has been a makeup artist for 17 years, having worked for Lancome, Laura Mercier, Dior, La Prairie, Chanel...and now, as she puts it, "Armani, the best of the best."

Hey, Vesna!  You wouldn't know it from the iPhone pic, but the
lighting at the Armani counter is amazing!!

I have never used a single drop of Armani beauty products, so I was at her beck and call.  Vesna knew that the rest of my day would be spent shopping for a personal styling client, grabbing some lunch, and picking kids up from school, so she really kept my look toned down, but super-polished!  Here is the "before."

Bare-faced "before."  (Again, backlighting and iPhone...but you get the jist.)

Here's the play-by-play:

1. Maestro UV Primer which also contains 50 SPF.

2.  Luminous Silk Foundation, which she told me is the best selling makeup in the world.  Period.  I can really see why!  It goes on so easily and smoothly, and it leaves your skin with a mostly matte finish, with a perfect amount of glow.  I can't wait to use it some more and see how it enhances my amateur routine.  Pro tip:  Make sure you find the right color foundation for your skin.  I was a 5.25.

3.  Corrector #1 to brighten under the eye and cover any darkness.

4.  High Precision Retouch #3 under the eyes and on the eyelids to act as a primer.

5.  Smooth Silk Eye Pencil #4 (black).

6.  Maestro Liquid Eyeliner in black.  She took it pretty easy on the eyeliner.  It was definitely a step (or 4) up from my normal routine, but it was totally suitable for daytime.

Moving on...

7. High Precision Brow Pencil #3

8. Eyes to Kill Mascara in black.  This stuff is gooooood!

9.  Day Long Skin PerfectorThis is intended for use in the T-zone to keep the unwanted shine at bay!  Vesna says it can be used before and/or after applying your makeup.

10.  (Hahaha!  That there's a 10th step is funny.)  Prima Glow Enhancer Oil-in-Gel.  I am so intrigued by this stuff.  It can be used with your moisturizer in the am and pm, or you can just gently tap a drop on your cheeks for a really nice glow during the day.  Maybe I was fooled in the moment of beauty glory, but it really seemed to work.  I'll let you know more when I come down off my high.

11.  Sun Fabric Bronzer #600

12.  Fluid Sheer #8 in Blush on cheeks and upper eyelids.

13.  Smooth Silk Lip Pencil #12

14.  Maestro Lip Stain #500

15.  Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in Beige #4

And finally (phew!)...

16.  Prima Refreshing Makeup Fix, which keeps all that hard work in place all day long.  I don't know what would have happened had she not used this product, but I do know that my makeup looked nearly the same when I took it off tonight as it did when I left Saks this morning!


As I count the number of products in the picture above (17!!), I wonder what I'm missing in the play-by-play.  Hmmm.

Of course, even Vesna admitted that it's overkill to wear so many products on a daily basis.  We were just having a bit of fun.  Having said that, the products all felt so light and silky, that it truly never felt (or looked) caked on.  I really love the results and am excited to try a few of the products in my daily makeup routine.

Here's the finished look.  (Why is car selfie lighting always so good?)



Oh, what fun!  Head to Saks and see what all the beauty fuss is about.  Maybe I've talked you in to trying some of these Armani products.  If so, make sure to tell Vesna "hi" for me!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

THE GREAT DEBATE: (WORKOUT) PANTS

As a personal stylist, I try to stay informed about the latest fashion trends.  As a 40-something woman, though, I have to be mindful of trying the trends (and recommending the trends) in an age-appropriate way.  I admit that I occasionally miss the mark, as do we all, and as with anything creative and subjective, my clients and I sometimes disagree.

If you're a friend or a client, you've probably heard my advice on the "athleisure" trend, specifically the workout-pants-as-regular-pants phenomenon.  I have clients with drawers full of beautiful, bright, fun workout pants...you know, skin-tight, spandex leggings.


Adidas Floral Burst Tights

I LOVE that designers are motivating us to workout more often and to look and feel good doing it.  I was one of the first in line to buy these crazy, printed pants for boot camp!  But after boot camp, I came home, showered up, and got dressed for the day, leaving the leggings at home to be washed for the next workout.  (Full disclosure: There are definitely days when I simply don't have time to change, and I can be found in my sweaty workout gear all day.  Ew.  But, such is life).  In my opinion, workout pants don't count as regular pants, so my clients with drawers full of them generally get the following advice:  "Those are cute.  But they are for working out, and you didn't pay me to come help you put together workout outfits."

Recently, I've been challenged on that advice by a couple of super-stylish clients and friends, and I figured I owed it to them to open my mind a bit and style some workout pants for non-workout looks.  So, I headed over to my client, Morgan's house last week to work with her extensive and adorable collection.



Superfun Yoga Pants

Teeki brand from Superfun Yoga Pants

It wasn't hard to come up with a "formula" for styling leggings:
1.  Add a tunic-length top to cover the crotch and bum.  Keep it pretty toned down and let the pattern on the leggings do the talking.
2.  Put on cute accessories.
3.  Add another layer for interest or to keep warm.
4.  Boots seem to look best to finish off the look, but sneakers and flats could work, too.

If anyone can pull this off, it's Morgan!!  She's no slouch, this one, and those legs would look good in most any fabric.  She had just the right additions in her closet to take these looks from athletic to athleisure.  I see a lot of girls at my daughter's school wearing leggings-as-pants, making a creative statement, and I love it! I also think that if you're a fitness professional or someone who markets and sells this type of pant, it could be a lot of fun to wear them and style them in fun, new ways.   Otherwise, though, I'm still not convinced.  To me, the look is a bit too unpolished for the age-range of my typical client.  I'm all for creative expression through clothing, but I think there's a more sophisticated way to show your flair.

HAVING SAID ALL OF THIS -- One of the things I love most about fashion, is that it is so creative and so subjective.  I have, on many occasions, worn clothing that most everyone else thought was weird or ugly or unflattering, but I really loved it anyway.  (Many of you would question the "polish" and "sophistication" of my distressed jeans!)  I've also been known to change my mind about whether or not it's "ok" to wear certain things.  Self-expression is what it's all about!!  So, if you hire me for a Wardrobe Revival, and you really want to create some outfits around your workout pants, let me know!  We can do that.  I'll keep an open mind if you do!  (Also, check out Richmond's Superfun Yoga Pants for more really cute looks!)

Your thoughts?


As a personal stylist and personal shopper in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect!