What's In My Bag


As you may have read in my last post, I'm traveling this week with my family. We spent this past weekend celebrating the wedding of one of my cousins, and the remainder of our vacation is going to be lakeside soaking in some sun and rest. Woohoo! With the wedding came a rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid duties the day of the wedding, and, of course the ceremony and reception. There even was a brunch Sunday morning, so our weekend was definitely busy. It helps to be able to pack all of your go-to makeup with you in a very chic bag like this one by XO Monica Lee. It's high quality leather with a detachable strap so you can use it as a clutch or a purse.

The Henry042web
The Henry042web

I put it in my oversized tote bag for the day, and just used this clutch for the rest of the night. So, what's inside my bag that I would use for bridesmaids makeup? Here you go:

1. Benefit's boi-ing concealer. It easily blends and I have been using it for about three years. 2. Benefit's Erase Paste. It's an under eye brightener that I swear by. It always helps me look more awake than plain concealer. 3. Lorac's natural eye shadow palette. It has every color you could want for a natural glowing look. 4. NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. It actually has enough pigment to be full coverage without the weight of a foundation formula. 5. MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot. I have gone back and forth with eye shadow primers and I still find MAC's paint pots to be the best. 6. Bare Minerals Touch Up Veil. It's great setting powder to keep everything in place for a long day. 7. Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner. I've spent money on expensive eyeliners and they aren't half as good as this one.

The Henry061web
The Henry061web
The Henry049web
The Henry049web

All of these products I use on an everyday basis, for photo shoots and for weddings. I swear by them. Go try!

Outfit: dress from Motherhood Maternity; Clutch by XO Monica Lee. Photos by Gina Meola.

Red Carpet Worthy Dresses That You Can Afford

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Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.27.50 AM

The dresses that walk across the red carpet cost thousands of dollars. The only time I have ever worn a dress that would be "red carpet" worthy is prom and my wedding day. I tried on about 20-30 dresses before I found my wedding dress and even then I wasn't really sure if it was "the dress." For my prom dress I had it made because I didn't like any of the dresses I was trying on. Did anyone else out there have the same trouble finding the perfect dress?

If only Fame & Partners had been around as I searched for my prom dress! I'm obviously WAAAAY too old for prom, but if I have another special occasion where I need a "red carpet worthy" dress I'm definitely checking out Fame & Partners.

Not only do they have dresses that are relevant to fashion trends, but you can customize the dress to your liking. You can change the color, you can make a dress separates, you can add sleeves, etc. Below is a little Q&A with the founder of Fame & Partners, Nyree Corby. I couldn't believe it when she said that there are over 4 million girls with fashion-focused blogs. WOW!!! Read on to learn more about what inspired the company, why she feels it's important to offer a customization option and if it's okay for 29 year-olds to were these dresses. =)

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Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 11.27.35 AM

1. What spurred on the idea to create Fame & Partners and why the name? 

I am a girl that loves fashion and technology. The mish mash of the two means that millions of girls are inspiring other girls, every day, with style inspiration; this is shaping a culture of girls that want an individual look; girls that are curating and creating fashion trends, not just following them.

There are over 4 million young women with a fashion-focused blog and yet very few fashion forward options for formal dresses. I wanted to bring the best of style options to young women around the world, for their special occasions; encouraging them to discover their own style profile and craft a look that is unique to them. Giving them the tools and support to do so.

We think that every girl should feel famous when she creates a look that is unique and special to her; it's kind of a tongue-in-cheek name in this celebrity obsessed world that is about finding the fame within and the partners, like confidence, that go with that.

2. Why is it important to offer customization? 

Every girl is unique! And every girl should have a dress that is unique to her - we think it's important for a girl to contribute to the process of making the look her own. That's why we offer customizable dresses, plus free stylists to complete the total look.

3. I'm 29 and I want to wear these dresses. Is that okay? I can totally see myself wearing these dresses to fashion events, cocktail parties and on dates. 

Absolutely! There are many Fame & Partners dresses in my wardrobe! Our customers are the fashion forward girls of the world that want that special dress for their special occasion, whatever their age.

The Rosson House Styled Shoot

Any Downton Abbey fans out there?! I am definitely a fan of the hit T.V. show, and I highly recommend it to anyone that loves period dramas like Mad Men, The Tudors, Game of Thrones, etc.

So, when Whitney from Gold Soul Photographs approached me about doing a styled bridal shoot at the Rosson House in downtown Phoenix I was excited because she wanted it to be a modern take on the styles of the early 1900's. The Rosson House is one of the few historic places in downtown Phoenix that was built during that time considering Arizona didn't become a state until 1912 - exactly 100 years ago. As you can see in the photo above, it's pretty spectacular, and I would say it's the closest to Phoenix's Downton Abbey.

With the house setting the tone, I selected a simple lace gown with an empire waist from Wedding Belles Bridal Boutique. Since it is strapless, it is obviously WAY more modern than what would be acceptable back then, but with just a piece of tulle I created two different looks to add more coverage to the dress. You can see what I mean in the photos above and below.

I found this AMAZING pearl collar necklace at a vintage shop called Antique Sugar. Collar necklaces are very popular right now, so I'm really happy I purchased it. It was from the 1950's, but I thought the intricacy of the necklace and the fact it was made of pearls was very complementary. Plus, the strapless dress was just begging for something to fill in the space.

The hair and makeup really brought the whole look home. It is more reminiscent of the 1920's, but I wouldn't have gone any other way.

For the groom we kept things simple. A black suit with a vest, cufflinks, white shirt and a pocket square. You can't really go wrong when you stay classic.

I would LOVE, LOVE to have a Downton Abbey wedding, but since I'm already married this was the next best thing! Check out Whitney's website for a little video of the shoot.

Hair- Melanie from Curls Gone Wild Salon in Gilbert, AZ. Makeup- Azure from Artistry by Azure Stylist- Alex Evjen from AVE Styles (pearl choker provided by Antique Sugar in Phoenix) Venue- The Rosson House Museum Gown- Natalie from Wedding Belles Bridal Boutique in Gilbert, AZ. Photography- Whitney from Gold Soul Photographs Table styled by- Paula and Brittany Anderson (chairs and dishes provided by Merchant Square Antique Mall in Gilbert) Florals- Tamara from AZ Petal Pushers Paper Goods- Stephanie from Paper INKlinations Models- Rachel Kress and Chris Procopio

Goodwill Bride

Hello, hello! Though my posts may be a bit sporadic I sure do have some fun things to share with you. One of them being a little anniversary shoot that my dear friends Jessica and Jason Williams of Session Nine Photography did with Mike Olbinski.

I wasn't on site to be a part of the whole thing, but I definitely would have been if I could. At least I got to go wedding dress shopping with Jess, and the BEST part is that we found a gorgeous dress for under $100.00 at Goodwill.

YEP! You can buy gently used wedding dresses at Goodwill. They actually have a whole bridal boutique within certain stores. How awesome is that?! Makes you a bit bummed when you think about how much you spend on your wedding dress, right?

Jess had fun making the dress look a bit more rock 'n roll by cutting up the bottom. =)

Check out more photos from the awesome anniversary shoot on Mike's blog!

Trash the Dress - Winter Wonderland

Imagine this...30 degrees, snow falling with a foot of snow already on the ground, a beautiful bride in a strapless wedding dress, a handsome man in a black suit, one stylist and two photographers all trampling through the snow to capture love and to trash a wedding dress.

True story! Thankfully The Troyans, our beautiful couple, did not get frost bite. It was totally worth freezing all of our butts off.

Jason and Jessica of Session Nine Photography and I came together to give Rachel and Mikis a anniversary/trash-the-dress shoot they would love.

Jason and Jessica approached Rachel and Mikis with the idea of going up North to the snow. They loved the idea.

So, for clothing, I knew that we would use the dress and suit Rachel and Mikis wore for their wedding day. We just made sure to bring accessories such as scarves, hats, gloves, blankets and belts to bring this winter wonderland concept to life.

I did a touch of visualization using pinterest to see the elements come together, see here.

From there, I made as many combinations as we could with the props and accessories. I always try to give the photographers and clients as much variety as possible. Sometimes the outfit that you love the most won't translate on camera as well as your second favorite. So, try them all if you have time.

Other than having a fabulous couple, the location really made the photos. We happened to come across the perfect spot of wooded forest and right next to it was this AMAZING, old barn where we got some of my favorite shots of Rachel.

We ended the shoot as sopping wet messes, but had so much fun! I definitely encourage you artists out there to change your environment and walk on the wild side for a day. It will leave you with some great memories and will rejuvenate your creativity.

To see more photos from the shoot, visit Session Nine Photography's blog.