6 Tips for Preventing Workout-Related Breakouts and Skin Issues 

While exercise can add a healthy glow to your skin, it can also be a potential trigger for breakouts and other skin irritations. Keep your skin clear by implementing these helpful habits.

Use non-comedogenic makeup

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Keeping your skin clear starts before you even begin to exercise. Regular makeup blocks the pores and prevents most of the sweat from coming out, causing it to build up under the skin. In turn, bacteria grows causing your skin to break out. Instead, invest in non-comedogenic makeup like MakeSense® Original or Advanced Anti-Aging Foundation to keep your skin breathable and your pores clear. For those who prefer to remove their makeup before working out, you can use Fooops!® SenseCosmetics®Color Removing Wipes to quickly remove makeup without stripping moisture from your skin.

Wear loose clothing made from natural fibers

Although spandex and other synthetic materials are common components of trendy workout clothes, opt for natural fibers if you’re prone to breakouts and skin irritations. Look for natural fabrics like hemp or cotton and be sure to take off your sweaty clothes as soon as you can after a workout to avoid accumulating dirt and sweat on your skin. Before putting clean clothes on, jump in the shower to wash away those impurities.

Wipe down gym equipment

While the gym is a great place to get fit and healthy, it can also be a breeding place for bacteria, which, as mentioned previously, can trigger post-workout breakouts. Even if the staff members at your gym regularly wipe down the equipment, it’s best to clean whichever piece of equipment you want to use before you start using it.

Shower after workouts

Acne does not just affect the skin on your face; it also affects your body! Be sure to prevent acne from head to toe by showering after workouts. Use cleansers and body washes that help maintain your skin’s pH balance like SeneDerm 3 in 1 Cleansers and Moisturizing Body Wash. Follow with DayTime Moisturizer and Advanced Hydration Body Lotion to ensure skin is moisturized after your workout. 

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Exfoliate regularly

Another helpful strategy to keep breakouts at bay is to exfoliate your entire body two to three times each week. Exfoliation will remove dead skin cells that can trap acne-triggering bacteria. Try using the SeneDerm® Smoothing Body Scrub, which contains volcanic ash as a natural exfoliator and soothing, moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, and aloe leaf juice. However, be sure to avoid scrubbing too roughly to prevent irritation.

Frequently wash gym clothes

Keeping gym clothes and towels freshly laundered is vital to maintaining clear skin. Sweat and dirt build up on workout clothes, so it’s best to put on a clean outfit each time you work out. This is especially important for sports bras and shorts, since two common acne zones are the back and buttocks.

By implementing these strategies into your hygiene routine, you’re well on your way to minimizing acne outbreaks while reaping the benefits of physical exercise.

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Have you met Ms M?

I met Ms M at a bridal expo here in Tucson and I was so excited to have her in front of my camera.  She had these eyes I didn't want to stop looking at.

She was getting married and wanted to do something special for her fiance.  She also wanted to show herself that she was as sexy as he says she is.  

I think we can agree that she is definitely as sexy as he thinks.  

If you think Ms M is looking sexy and you want to unleash your sexy, let's chat!

Contact Me

Brows Two Ways with BrowSense and ShadowSense 

The shape of the brows can make a big difference in your overall appearance. They can frame your face and your eyes to make them appear larger or smaller and can change your facial expression. Needless to say, brows are very important and whatever look you create, you’ll want to make sure that it lasts all day! With our range of long-lasting color cosmetics, you can create beautiful smudge-proof brows two ways!

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BrowSense Liquid Brow Color features a waterproof liquid formula with a thin brush applicator and an enclosed spoolie to apply perfectly defined brows and is available in four natural shades to match your hair. This system is ideal for those with sparse brow hairs as it helps to create natural, hair-like strokes while adding definition to the shape. (Dark BrowSense Liquid Brow Color on model on the left.)

Here’s how to apply BrowSense in just a few easy steps:

1. Outline the upper arch starting from the mid-point of the brow by creating hair-like strokes towards the tail end of the brow.
2. Place the applicator at the front of the brow where the lowest hairs sit and flick the applicator upwards to create fine, hair-like strokes.
3. Fill in spaces where hairs are sparse.
4. Brush through hairs to disperse product using the attached spoolie.

Another way to fill brows is by using ShadowSense Matte Eyeshadows. Its crème to powder formula makes it easy to apply and dries down to a smudge-proof matte finish. Depending on your hair color, you will want to choose the color that suits you best or mix shades together to create a perfect match.

Garnet ShadowSense has a mahogany color and is great for brunettes who have a slight red tone in their hair. Smoked Topaz has a deep grey-brown shade which works well for those with ash-brown hair. Onyx can be mixed in to deepen the shade for those with dark hair while Moca Java works to lighten any shade for those with a lighter hair color. (Garnet ShadowSense mixed with Smoked Topaz ShadowSense on model below.)

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To apply ShadowSense, you’ll need a flat angled brush and a spoolie or brow brush. Once you’ve mixed the perfect shade to match your brows, here’s what you’ll need to do to achieve perfectly shaped brows using ShadowSense:

1. Outline the upper arch starting from the mid-point of the brow, extending to the tail end.
2. Beginning from a quarter of the way in from the brow, outline the lower part of the brow.
3. Fill in sparse areas creating hair-like strokes in the same direction of the hairs.
4. Angle your brush vertically and flick the applicator upwards to create fine, hair-like strokes at front of the brow.
5. Brush through hairs to disperse product using a spoolie or a brow brush.

You can join my LipSense Facebook group for more info!

Plan Early For Christmas Sessions

If you are thinking about having a boudoir session to create that special someone a gift this Christmas - the time is NOW to call and book! The holiday season is a super busy one for us, and there are a lot of last minute shoppers, but this is one thing that you cannot wait until the last minute to do. Time is need in order to shoot your sexy session, edit your images, pick your favs and then order and wait for them to come! So, call us today to discuss the best day for you to come in. You will be happy to get this gift done and out of the way, giving you extra time for all the other holiday festivities you have planned!

Avoid these Boudoir Faux Pas During your Session

The last thing you want is to be worried about not being ready for your session!  Keep these tips in mind as you're preparing so that we can have a fabulous session together!

Bad Tan Lines/Sunburn – If you have not been tanning recently, don’t tan just before your session. You can get sunburn or really bad tan lines, which are not flattering in photos. Also avoid spray tans at all cost, as they tend to photograph poorly.  I don't do extra fixing for tan lines!

Getting drunk at your session – If you are nervous about your session, it’s OK to have a glass of wine to rest your nerves. That said, don’t get wasted before or during your session. This is one of the worst things you can do. Your eyes will be bloodshot and droopy and it’s just a recipe for disaster.  I limit you to 1 drink and I would highly suggest not enjoying any pre-session drinking.  You will regret it.

Choosing the wrong sized outfits – Choose lingerie that is just the right size for you. You don’t want loose lingerie that gives your body no shape or hides your beautiful curves. On the other hand, lingerie that is too tight can be unflattering.  Try on everything you are thinking of bringing.  Does it pinch?  Bunch?  Does it give you weird lumps?  Then I'd suggest you reconsider.  If you're stuck, remember I have a studio wardrobe that we can use! Just bring a nude and a black thong with you so we keep things sanitary.

Heavy Makeup – This one isn't normally an issue because we include hair and makeup in our sessions.  But sometimes we might run a special that doesn't include it.  In those cases, I strongly recommend getting a makeup artist for your session. You don’t want to slather the makeup on too thickly. It’s more about accentuating your natural features and making you feel – and look – stunning.

Forgetting to shave/wax – Always remember to shave or wax any exposed area (this also includes your crack ;-) ) that needs to look smooth and sexy. The ‘au naturel’ look is so ‘70s. Unless you’re going for that vibe, please remember this tip.

 

Sam Q - A Brand Ambassador Goodbye!

Because I'm often suffering from writing blocks, writing blogs is a huge chore for me and as a result, I missed out on sharing this babe's images with you.  Sam signed up to be on of my 2018 Brand Ambassadors but took a job out of state and moved at the beginning of June.  While she's still repping me over in Texas, she can't quite fulfill all her duties here in Tucson. 

Why do you think you'd be an awesome Brand Ambassador?

I was always very passionate about women empowerment in college and I'm active on social media. I believe in the message you convey and want to take away any negative stigma associated with boudoir to show people how beautiful it is.

Tell me a bit about yourself.

I'm a pretty social person. I like going dancing and hanging out with my friends either at game nights or downtown. I'm just now learning and expanding my knowledge about being sexy and learning to love myself so I want to share that.

I actually met Sam through work (my day job) and we hit it off early on.  She even took me dancing at the now-defunct Denim & Diamonds.  Granted I'm not much of a two-stepper, she's pretty damn good and I imagine she'll be enjoying the Texas nightlife soon.

Boudoir Inspiration!

We’ve been photographing A LOT of BRIDES preparing for some amazing GROOM’s GIFTS the past few months. This month’s boudoir outfit inspiration is taken from those “something blue” pieces we’ve seen so much of. Each of these looks is perfect for any blushing bride that is looking to do something less traditional. Also, a great look for those celebrating anniversaries; a bridal touch and a super sexy flair!

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An Adventure in Couples

A few months back I decided to take on a bit of a challenge.  At the request of a previous client, I popped my couples cherry AND my BDSM couples cherry.  Cuz if you're going to go big, go really big!  I think it is best shared by the subjects in question.  Read on...

I am not sure many of you know about the adventure I took recently. Krista took on a project that was new for her and pushed the limit of her skills. My Husband and I were her first couples shoot. Here is the journey from a male's perspective. It's a bit of a read :)

A Dominant’s Perspective on a Boudoir Photography Session

My memory is a bit fuzzy on how it started. Like most couples, my sub and I took pictures of our excursions, to share with friends and family. Geocaching in the Dragoons. Hand Grenades in New Orleans. Nights at the opera, a visit to the Air and Space museum. 

Later, we hired a close friend to take our engagement pictures at an abandoned greyhound track. 

So when my sub mentioned that she had met a boudoir photographer and was interested in having a couple’s shoot, I didn’t voice any concerns. After all, it’s easier to agree to something if there isn’t any sort of deadline. Ladies, take note. 

Weeks passed, and I noticed that my sub was requesting more and more time to spend with her friend Krista, the elusive photographer. Eventually, my sub showed samples of her work; it was simply stunning and made me reconsider what I had tentatively agreed to. This went far beyond playing dress up and posing. What I saw in those pictures was raw emotion, a piece of someone’s most vulnerable side exposed and captured to perfection. Their nature and essence immortalized in high-definition format. 

We met up with Krista for drinks and to discuss what the shoot would entail. I’ll admit to being a bit apprehensive, as I’m not one to trust easily. That goes double when the topic involves the relationship with my sub and my sexual preferences. Krista, fortunately, made it easy. She explained that she was looking to start doing couple shoots and asked if my sub and I would be willing to help develop some new techniques. Her attitude, somewhere between easygoing professional and carefree artist, won me over. I picked a date for the shoot, several months out to give myself some time to prepare.

Let’s be honest: at forty-one, I’m a bit past my prime. I started out by hitting the gym more aggressively, often up to 6 times a week. My sub introduced more meal replacement shakes into her diet, and I followed suit by limiting my sugar intake. After a couple months of lifting, watching my diet, and a regimen of supplements, I felt strong. 

However, as the deadline approached, I realized that I had neglected to prepare myself emotionally. I am not what most members of the BDSM community would consider a “traditional Dominant”. I don’t bark orders, rule through fear, or humiliate. It is not enough to believe that you should be served; one must strive to show that they are worthy of service. To me, the bondage and sexual elements are only a small part of our relationship. Important, but not as much as the sense of mutual respect and dedication. I wasn’t sure how to convey this to Krista. Photography naturally places an emphasis on the physical realm; it takes real skill to convey true emotion as well. 

On the day of the shoot, I settled on a dark suit (yes, a bit cliché but I’m comfortable wearing one) and a simple pair of jeans with a white t-shirt. My sub packed a few suitcases worth of outfits and shoes. From my collection, I picked a few favorites: a double loop flogger, a crop, a nice bullwhip (just for show), handcuffs, manacles, and some stocks that I had made from leopardwood. 

I was impressed with Krista’s small but elegant studio, which offered a variety of backgrounds, textures, furniture, and lighting options. I set to rigging up a hook in the ceiling and running some chain while my sub got her make up done in the other room. It was also a great opportunity to talk with Krista about what she was looking for, and how my sub and I usually interact. One thing that I wasn’t comfortable with was the term “scene”. To me, a scene implies something staged, something inherently false. What I do with my sub isn’t acting, it is very real. She suffers because pain brings a sense of tranquility. She suffers because it pleases me. And on very rare occasions, she suffers because her behavior requires it. 

It was initially difficult for me to strike a balance between accurately representing our lifestyle and giving Krista some good material to work with. Fortunately, she’s a pro, and was able to work around me while making some suggestions that would yield a better picture. Eventually, I got used to the occasional pause, shifting positions, changing implements and restraints. My sub took it all in stride and provided the emotional element that is so critical to good art. We learned to improvise, and even though it didn’t quite qualify as a real pain session, it was fun. My sub and I left the studio physically and emotionally exhausted, but content.
A few weeks later, we gathered in the studio again for the reveal. Krista presented us with a nice variety of packages, which included choices for an album or pieces of wall art. She had already done a great deal of work, reducing thousands of images down to a hundred or so for us to choose from. This proved to be much harder than I had anticipated, as every one of them was excellent. We opted for a leather-bound album of about 40 pictures, and a gorgeous piece of metallic wall art. 

Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. The process was physically and emotionally draining, but Krista’s work turned out to be priceless. She was able to capture the true nature of our relationship, from a perspective that I couldn’t have seen any other way. Each photo represents a unique facet of our relationship, for us to reflect on and appreciate as we continue our journey together.

You are not perfect!

Sometimes it’s tough to be nice to ourselves. It is so much easier to pick out the pieces that just aren’t what we want them to be.

So today, I am challenging you to LOVE YOURSELF! Put 5 min. of thought into this:

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What parts of you are pretty awesome? Tell me. I want to know what you came up with!  Drop them in the comments below.

It’s about time you took care of yourself!

If you are anything like me, I bet you are constantly on the go and often doing for others, sacrificing yourself along the way! For sure, every mom out there can surely relate to what I am saying. We all know it is just as important to take care of ourselves, yet we still don’t take the time to do it. 

“I don’t have time.”

“It’s much easier to help take care of the needs of others. I have no idea what I want.”

"It's selfish to take time for me."

These are just a few comments I have heard (and even said myself over the years).

While browsing the web, I came across an article that gives tips on easy things you can do today to start taking better care of yourself. Most of them are easy and fast! I especially like #4.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/payout/2017/09/19/practicing-self-care-is-important-10-easy-habits-to-get-you-started/#5a02ec9283a9

How about you? Which of the tips resonated with you best?  Share with me in the comments.

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Are You Wedding Ready?

Preparing Your Skin for Wedding Season

Weddings are one of the most photographed events whether you are a bride, in the bridal party, or attending as a guest. Make sure that you are photo-ready by tackling common skin issues with these helpful skin care tips.

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Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating provides numerous benefits no matter what your skin type. The process of exfoliation essentially removes dead skin cells, which means smoother skin, clearer pores, and a polished, glowing surface. In addition, this removal of dead skin cells allows for skin care treatments and moisturizers to penetrate layers of the skin much more efficiently. Try the Facial Resurfacer and Polishing Exfoliator from SeneGence to buff away dry, dead skin and reveal a luminous glow.

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Brighten your complexion. Achieve a lit-from-within glow by adding a brightening treatment to your regimen. When combined with regular exfoliation, brightening treatments can help illuminate your skin, making it look healthier, even without makeup. Incorporate new Brightening Multi-Vitamin Treatment to help eliminate dark spots and discoloration. A brightened complexion also needs substantial moisture to maintain its inner glow. Hydrating Facial Serum Mist also helps keep skin radiant by delivering much-needed moisture to the skin. This lightweight mist can be used any time of the day, even over SenseCosmetics to deliver the hydrating ingredients including Hydromanil Complex, and apple and kale extracts.

Treat and prevent acne. Keep pesky, painful blemishes at bay by using skin care products with the right ingredients. Oily skin types will benefit from products with salicylic acid, which helps to unclog pores and reduce sebum production, common contributors to acne. Try using the Oily to Acne 3 in 1 Cleaner, DayTime Moisturizer, and Evening Moisturizer formulas to address oily skin and accompanying acne. You can also target problem areas with Spot-On Blemish & Acne Treatment, which contains benzoyl peroxide, a powerful ingredient that kills bacteria.

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Avoid the sun. Sure, a glowing tan looks great, but the sun’s rays can cause sunburns, sunspots, and other signs of damage. Instead of laying under the sun, use a self-tanner like Self-Tanning Bronzing Coconut Milk to achieve the perfect tan safely. Its long-lasting, water-resistant formula provides an even-streak free application without any sticky residue. It also contains SenePlex+ ComplexTM and a coconut milk blend for anti-aging and hydration benefits. Whenever you are out in the sun, be sure to protect your skin from sun damage by applying SeneSun SPF 30 SunScreen made with soothing aloe leaf juice and anti-aging SenePlex+ Complex for added skin benefits.

Check out these products and more at my SeneGence online store!

What Do I Wear For A Session

Your photo session is a reflection of you and your finest moment. You are investing a lot of time and money so you really want the images to look AMAZING! Here are some tips when deciding what to wear:

▪ Pick outfits you feel beautiful in! If you love the outfit, bring it.
▪ Make sure it isn't too small! If it doesn't fit - leave it at home. We will not be able to Photoshop you into it.
▪ Make sure it isn't too big! If your outfit is too large then you will look, well, too large. It's important that it fits just right.
▪ Garters - you want the color to match your shoes.
▪ Don't forget to bring your shoes and underwear! Sounds silly, but these two items are forgotten often.
▪ When in doubt - contact us. We will be happy to help and assist you along the way!
 

These few tips should help you out and have you feeling and looking your best for your session!

Getting A Gorgeous Summer Glow!

Tips for Self-Tanning

Rather than exposing your skin to the harmful rays of the sun or dealing with a potential spray tan mishap, try a self-tanning method that is safe and easy. The following tips will help you get a natural glow that can last all summer.

Moisturize

Moisturizing your skin is the first step to achieving an even tan. Be sure to apply extra moisturizer to your hands, feet, elbows and knees, since these areas tend to be drier than other areas of your skin. Try using SeneDerm® Advanced Hydration Body Lotion, which contains sodium hyaluronate — which functions as a tissue lubricant — and French plum oil to promote smooth, healthy skin.

Exfoliate

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The next step is to exfoliate. You want to ensure that dead skin cells are buffed away to ensure that the self-tanner goes on to smooth, healthy skin to lengthen the results. Use an exfoliating wash in the shower, such as SeneDerm Body Scrub, focusing on thicker areas of skin like knees, elbows, and ankles, to make sure skin is smooth and prepared for self-tanner application.

Use gloves or wash hands frequently

When applying the tanning lotion, it’s best to use latex gloves to avoid staining your hands or allowing it to accumulate between your fingers and on your cuticles. If you don’t have gloves or prefer not to use them, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests washing your hands with soap and water frequently during the self-tanning process.

Work from the bottom up

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Select a moisturizing, streak-free self-tanner such as SeneDerm Self-Tanning Bronzing Coconut Milk and apply it from the bottom up. If you begin with your upper body, you may risk creating streaks around your torso when bending over to do your legs and feet. By starting from the bottom, you’ll ensure a more even tan.

 

Dilute over your joints

When applying self-tanner to your knees, elbows and ankles, dilute it with regular lotion or apply a thin layer with a damp washcloth. This will help you avoid tanning these areas too darkly, which is easy to do since they tend to absorb more lotion than other regions on your body.

Be patient

Wait at least 10 minutes before getting dressed to avoid rubbing off the lotion before your skin has fully absorbed it. You should also avoid sweating and opt for loose clothing for the next three hours, as recommended by the AAD.

Continue to wear sunscreen

Even though you’ll have achieved a lovely glow in a safe way, you still need to apply sunscreen each day to avoid skin damage and help maintain your new tan. The AAD advises to select a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, like SeneDerm® SeneSun™ SPF 30 SunScreen.

If you're interested in learning more or purchasing any of these products, drop me a comment or an email and I'll be in touch!  Or shop online HERE.