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.

Soft Whisper Hues

Don't be afraid to go light!  Especially on dark skin tones, lighter shades of blue can look phenomenal.  On light skin, the lighter colors can even add a little pop and give you a springish, sea-inspired look.

Soft Whisper Hues

Calypso St Barth wrap top
calypsostbarth.com

Anna Sui kimono jacket
$195 - stylebop.com

Zinke intimate
journelle.com

Only Hearts panty
journelle.com

Wolford tight
pret-a-beaute.com

Dolce&Gabbana lace shoes
$235 - yoox.com

Oscar de la Renta gold plated jewelry
$905 - net-a-porter.com

Henri Bendel necklace
henribendel.com

Sofa
$2,755 - ikandi-interiors.co.uk

Flower stem
lampsplus.com

High Tide Rug
bedbathandbeyond.com

Sheko Cradle Chair, Pearl
highfashionhome.com

Say Hello To Brand Ambassador Sam G!

Sam is one of my amazing ambassadors for 2018!  She's actually 1 of 2 Sam's that are Ambassadors!  She's originally from California but moved here (yay!) to pursue her schooling and career in the veterinary field.

She considers herself and old soul and enjoys retro & older things.  

"I've always been fascinated with boudoir photography and have never had the courage to do it. i always told myself, it's not the right time, I'm not thin enough to do it. As I got older I came to realize that it will never be "the right time" I finally decided to do it because I'm starting to fall back in love with myself. I'm finally becoming more and more comfortable with who I am in my own skin. I would like to empower other women who aren't "super model standard" that you can do anything you want as long as you love yourself."

"I want to remember the current mindset that i have, self love always comes first. Don't let anyone tell you your worth, just because you aren't their form of beautiful, you should think that you are your own kind of beautiful."

 

Why did you want to be an Ambassador?

I have become an ambassador to help spread the message of self love and confidence. And why the heck not!

How To Find The Right Boudoir Photographer

So you've decided you want to get some boudoir photos done.  Whether for you (its always for you) or for a gift (which is really for you), you want to be comfortable with the photographer you're taking your clothes off with.  Err...for.  Mine stay on.

First thing you need to decide is male or female.  

This is really a personal choice.  You should also consider your significant other's feelings on the matter.  I know some guys who would not be happy with their SO and a male photographer.  So start there.  Men and women are going to have very different perspectives of you.  Neither are wrong, simply different.

Now, your budget.

Like everything, there's a WIDE expanse of price points.  Examine your potential photographer's portfolio closely and ensure there is consistency among what they are showing.  Also be sure you understand what is included in your session.  Some photographers include hair and makeup.  Others sell images separately.  Read the details carefully and ask questions if you are unsure.  I'd rather get asked a ton of questions upfront than have an unhappy client after the fact.

Are you two peas in a pod?

Read through the photogs website and social media.  Do they sound like someone you'd be comfortable with?  You don't have to be besties and you don't have to agree with everything but you should at least feel like you can get through a drink together without a ton of weird silence.

Is the style you want?

Some photographers are light & airy shooters.  Other's are dark & moody.  Some like color, some like black & white.  Again, check out your prospective photogs portfolio.  If you love the light, bright images and their portfolio is filled with moody dark images you will probably walk away unhappy.  Do you like superposed images or something a little more fluid?  Full body or lots of detail?  Do your research.

What happens to your images?

I honestly don't know a photographer who has a hard and fast rule on client image usage*.  For example, I have all my clients fill out a privacy policy that outlines what images I can use and where I can use them.  Some are cool with all their images used anywhere, others only want non-identifiable images on my website.  I understand that sometimes you might want to spread your joy far and wide but maybe your job doesn't really allow for that.  Or maybe this is a special gift for your spouse and you only want him to see.  Understand the usage of your images.

(*many photographers will run model calls or portfolio updates where they offer a complimentary or discount session in exchange for use of your images.  Again, read the details.)

Ms. L

5 Reasons To Stop Putting Off A Boudoir Session

Everyone always gives me reasons to not do a boudoir session.  Sometimes they are somewhat valid, other times they just plain suck.  So let's talk about some of them.  5 of them to be exact.

1. "I need to lose weight"

To be pretty broad brush, who doesn't?  It's not so much that we want to lose weight, but you want to hit the gym, eat a little better, say bye bye to a few extra pounds.  But let me be blunt here - that 5 or 10 lbs you are telling me you need to lose...how long have you been trying to lose it?  Are you actively trying to lose weight (if so, and you want to wait, I totally get it).  But if you're not actively making changes to your eating and exercise and you're giving me that reason....you need to stop and think about it.  

First of all, we can definitely highlight the areas you love and de-emphasize those you don't.  Plus I need you to celebrate the you of TODAY.  Not the future you, not the past you.  Regardless of your size, you are beautiful and I want to show you that.

2. "I'm not sexy or photogenic"

Yeah, I hear that one a lot.  Like a lot.  Go browse through the pictures on this site.  Click over to my Facebook page or Instagram.  I'd say 90+% of those women told me that.  I will pose and coach you to amazing images.  I will even tell you how to breathe.  I promise you're going to love the images.

3. "I don't have anyone to give it to"

So?  You do stuff for yourself yes?  You get pedicures because they make your toes cute.  You get a massage to be relaxed.  You buy the cute shoes because...well, they are just cute.  So why not gift yourself this?  A day where you get pampered and a fabulous reminder to celebrate yourself daily.  I have a couple of big prints in my bathroom that are a great reminder when I'm not feeling super awesome that I'm still beautiful and I'm capable of amazing things.  How do you say no to that?

4. "It's expensive"

Yes.  Yes, it is.  I'm not going to deny it.  In large part, I want this to be a buy once, cry once experience (though I'm always happy to have you come back!).  Just like there are varying degrees of quality clothing, there are varying degrees of quality photographers.  Some are going to be less expensive than I am and others are more.  I want you to know that I want to provide the best for my clients - that's why my sessions include hair & makeup, drinks, personal coaching and an ever-expanding client wardrobe.  It's why I only offer you quality products from labs I can trust.  Plus, I offer payment plans so that you can take home ALL of your favorite images and you don't have to walk away feeling like you missed out.

5. "It's only for brides or young"

Nope.  While I do have a lot of brides (kind of a result of displaying at bridal shows!) I do have a lot of women in their 40's & 50's.  One thing I want you to keep in mind is that the images you see here, on my social media have all been approved by the client.  You get a say on which images I can use and where they can be used.  So some ladies are willing to share them all, some pick a few and others want to keep them all private.  It's totally up to you!

Making Resolutions, What To Consider

1. One change at a time

You don't have to do a complete 180 overnight.  Start with one or two things and add as you go.  Trying to tackle too much can be so overwhelming and you might give up because you don't appear to be making as much progress as you'd like.  If you've got a long list, pick 1 big goal and a couple small goals to work on each month or every two months.

2. Resolutions don't just involve the gym

Most people associate Jan 1 with the day that newbies flood the gym.  But your resolutions don't have to be connected to just losing weight or fitness.  A great resolution, if you don't already have one, is to set up a rainy day fund.  My newest favorite thing is Digit (check it out here).  You connect it to your checking account and it analyzes your income/expenses and withdraws small amounts of money that you aren't using.  I've saved over $1k without doing a thing.  

3. Track It

There are a ton of apps/sites out there geared towards helping people track their goals.  For example, if your goals involve fitness or eating habits look at MyFitnessPal.  Want to be better with your money? Mint.  Paying of debt?  ReadyForZero.  Not only can this keep you on track in the big picture, but if you're struggling you can look back and see how far you've progressed - even if it feels like you haven't moved.

4. It's not all or nothing

Whether your goal is to lose weight or learn a new skill, break it down into small chunks so that you can see your progress.  It's defeating to set a goal too big and then not reach it - or not reach it as fast as you originally planned.

5. Pin it up

Create a dream board.  Find pictures and words that make you think of your goals - whether they are 1 week goals or 5 year.  Pin up reminders in places you see often, like the refrigerator or bathroom mirror.

6. Talk about it

Share your goals.  Whether it's sharing in a 365-photo challenge group or just talking with friends, talk about what you're doing.  You never know when you might inspire someone else to do something great.

7. Ask for support

There's nothing wrong with asking for help.  If you're anything like me you want to keep control over the things you do, but sometimes you truly have to admit that someone knows better.  If you're struggling, ask!  You'll probably find plenty of other people who got stuck in the same spot you are.

8. Reflect on the past

When you start planning goals for the future it's often helpful to look back on the past.  If you know that your first quarter of the year is always super busy then it probably isn't the best time to sign up for a 5 day/week course at the community college.  Consider the rest of your life when planning out your resolutions.

9. There are 12 months in the year

Everyone is well intentioned in January.  But by February you might be going "what happened to my resolutions????".  The year is 12 months long.  If the first month or two doesn't pan out, regroup and try again.  Sometimes you might discover that your original goal needs tweaking.  

10. But time slips away...

Just because you know that you can start again doesn't mean you should keep putting off getting started.  Sometimes resolutions are kinda time critical.  It's important to write down your goals and even better to plan them out on a calendar.  If you use a planner, write in your plans.  If you are a Google Calendar user they introduced a goal option that can help automatically schedule your goals for you.  Check it out here.

 

 

Surviving Christmas Stress

Can you believe its almost Christmas time?  

Time for the snuggly sweaters and hot cups of tea by the fire (if you live somewhere other than Arizona I suppose...).  But it also means stress, chaos and family time.  So how do you survive the holidays?

Well you could do as we have done for the past several years - don't go.  We realized early in our marriage that going back home (midwest) for Thanksgiving AND Christmas was a lot in a short amount of time so we picked one holiday to spend with family and the other we spend...well with ourselves.  But let's pretend that isn't an option for you.

So first up - stress.  This clearly plays into many other aspects of the season but we'll tackle it up front and by itself.  First, identify what is causing the stress.  Then before you get stressed (it's hard I know!), write down a few things you can do to help relieve it and then most important - DO THEM!

Is it the fact you're hosting dinner and cooking for that many people is just a little overwhelming?  Delegate responsibility for people to bring a dish.  Or even consider catering.  Not an option?  Review your menu and see what you can make ahead of time and just reheat the day of.  I actually start cooking a day or two in advance and get things as far as I can without fully finishing up - there are plenty of recipes that are designed for just that.

Is your stress about presents?  Being financially tight?  It may be a little late for it this year, but consider something like Digit to help you save money throughout the year.  When Dec rolls around you'll have a nice little present egg and money worries will be the last thing to worry about.  If the stress is about WHAT to buy - ask people to create an Amazon wish list.  You can add items from other sites (just include the link & pertinent info like sizes) and then its easy peasy to check people's lists for what they want.  Also, save a page in your planner (I LOVE my LimeLife planner) and just jot notes down throughout the year on things you hear people say they want.  If my husband comments on something, I'll either make a note or go find it on Amazon (if appropriate) and save it to a private list.

Maybe it's where you're going to cram 6 additional people in your 2 bedroom home?  Consider renting an airbnb that is nearby for your group.  Takes the pressure off you and let's the family have a little more space to breath.  Consider the cost an investment in your sanity - or if your family is understanding, have them chip in a small portion.  If that isn't an option and everyone is stuck with you, get out of the house!  Even if its only for an hour or two, schedule something while everyone is there so that you can at least get out to breath without people tagging along.  Some people might think this is a bad plan host plan but really, you need a little me time.

A few in general tips -

Take up meditation for a week or two - close your bedroom door (maybe block it too!) and just sit quietly for 10-15 minutes to get your calm back

Go to an extra fitness class or two.  Not only will you get away for the chaos but you'll burn some extra pre-Christmas dinner calories

Schedule a massage.  Taking an hour or two for yourself is not going to leave your Christmas event falling flat - delegate if necessary or just let it go.  The important thing is that you're together, not that everything is 100% perfect.

Go for a walk.  This can be a good solo or group activity.  Again, just getting out of the house can help and it can be a good small group bonding time.

Shopping is probably going to lead to increased stress so I'd suggest trying to avoid it as much as possible.

What are you favorite tips for surviving the holidays with or without family?  Sound off in the comments below and don't forget to share!

#sexysaturday - Lovely in Lapis

How can you go wrong with blue & gold?  Gorgeous striking colors will pop in your images!

Lovely In Lapis

Caftan robe
1stdibs.com

La Perla balconette bra
luisaviaroma.com

Wolford black pantyhose
pret-a-beaute.com

La Perla underwear panty
luisaviaroma.com

Menbur high heel pumps
$135 - zalando.co.uk

Love Rocks rock necklace
$44 - asos.com

ASOS chains jewelry
$6.25 - asos.com

Dinny Hall pendant jewelry
$295 - liberty.co.uk

Moschino belt
luisaviaroma.com

Edward Bess nude lip gloss
$33 - colette.fr

Opi nail polish
$11 - thehut.com

Tufted ottoman
zgallerie.com