Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DRESSING FOR FAMILY PORTRAITS - PART II

Summer's coming fast, and for lots of us, that means finally finding a minute to schedule the family portraits we've been putting off all year!  If you read my last blog post, you know that I'm writing a series of posts that will help you decide what to wear for your portrait session -- a sneak peek into the Style Prep Guide I'm working on with Sarah Kane Photography and Emily of Real Life Beauty that will include tons of great info to get you ready for your upcoming photo shoot.

A few more tips for you to keep in mind:


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DO dress with your home decor in mind!

Lots of families schedule their family portraits with the idea that they will be framed and hung in the home.  If you fall into this category, consider your home decor when you're choosing your outfits.  If you plan to leave your decor like it is for a while, it couldn't hurt to wear clothing that works with the colors and overall feel of your home.  My guess is that you wouldn't be too far off, even if you didn't consider it ahead of time -- you chose the colors in your home for a reason, so the colors in your closet probably already jibe!

DON'T overthink it!

Oh gosh!!  You had the perfect outfits planned, and I've gone and ruined it!  Your living room has lots of yellows and neutrals, but your outfits are mostly shades of blue.  Don't worry.  If you love your decor and you love your portraits, chances are you will find the perfect spot in your home to hang them!



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DO flatter your figure!

Don't choose to wear something solely because it's in the right color story.  Find something that suits your figure and highlights all of the things you like about yourself!  Define your waist with a jacket that cuts in at just the right spot.  Wear 3/4 sleeves, which are generally flattering on everyone.  Elongate your legs with nude shoes and/or a pointy toe.  Different body types benefit from different style tips, so if you're questioning whether or not something flatters your figure, give me a call for some assistance.

DON'T go too far out of your comfort zone!

If you're uncomfortable in your get-up, it will show in your pictures.  Trust me!  I am NOT saying that you should show up in your yoga pants (don't get me started) -- you should look special and put-together in these photos that will become treasured memories.  But now is not the time to try to squeeze into that pretty dress that's just a size too small or to wear that expensive top you bought on a whim that never really felt like "you."  Love what you wear!



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DO pay attention to the details!

You've spent so much time choosing the colors, layers, and making sure your clothes are flattering and comfortable--don't mess it all up with wrinkled shirts, chipped nails, and mismatched socks!  Assume that your pictures will show every bit of you, head to toenail.  If you're sitting down, socks will likely show.  If you're walking away from the camera, the back of your sweater shouldn't be a rumpled mess.  What if your favorite photo is the close-up of you snuggling with your baby, and you haven't had a manicure since she was born?  Don't overlook the little details!

DON'T stress!

The best way to avoid forgetting the little details is to give yourself plenty of time!  Don't wait until the night before your session to prepare.  Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to take care of the big stuff AND the little stuff so that you can avoid the stress on the day of.  I know, easy for me to say--but hopefully these tips will help.



More "Do's and Don'ts" to come in June, 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!  


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!