Something for Everyone (Wedding, Beauty, Travel, and Good Eats) Part 1

michelle and chris blog

I shared a post months back about an engagement session in the Sequoias. The bride-to-be Michelle told me a cute little story about how she turned down her first opportunity to date Chris. He had asked her if she would like to go skiing with him. She said no. All she could imagine was falling and making a fool of herself–not her ideal first date. She feared that he would never ask her out again. She had to come up with a plan to make sure that she had just one more opportunity. He was a bass player in a band, so she decided to go to one of his shows… The rest of this story is still being written.

The day we chose to do the engagement session, we had no idea we would find snow on the ground. I think it’s kind of cute how he got his snow date after all. It’s a good thing she was able to roll with the punches. I think she even had some fun that day.

We made a pit stop on our drive down the mountain at one of my favorite candy/ice cream shops. Reimers is just yummy. I used this great little place to do another engagement session last year. Here’s a peek.

After shooting the wonderful engagement session with Chris and Michelle, she and I got together to shoot a fun little surprise for her sweetheart. We created a gorgeous book for her to give to him on the day of the wedding. This was so outside the scope of her personality, so she knew he would be shocked. Remember earlier in the post when I mentioned he was a bass player in the band…

The look on his face was priceless.

Wynn wedding


Leading up to the wedding, I was making my plans. I like to map out the day for my clients so they can just kick back and enjoy the ride. I drove up the week before to scope out some shooting locations. I was very familiar with the venue that they were using for their wedding. It’s the venue where I got married, so I knew it was beautiful. I wanted to add just a little twist to their images and surprise them with an extra location. According to the schedule that we had set, I already knew that there would be time in the day to wisk them away to a more private location. On my journey the week prior I stumbled upon a glorious vacation rental. Totally by accident, my husband and I journeyed down this little country road and found this hidden treasure. I asked the host if it would be possible that I shoot my bride there in the week to come. She shared with me how they like to keep the grounds very intimate and secluded, so (oh darn) we would have to be guests if we wanted to shoot there. I kept my fingers crossed because she shared with me that they are usually booked out for a year. To my surprise they were open on that weekend. The name of this place is The River Jewel. Wait till you see the images from the wedding portrait session.

Here is some photos from this beautiful wedding.


First Look

Extra Location


Look for tomorrows post.

Skin Is In

Wedding season is among us… I’ve been busy!

I haven’t forgotten you are out there waiting for a spring post. I will get back to you with some eyes and hair trends. I will be working a hair dressing event June 6 and bringing the inspiration back to you.

Let’s take a brief moment to looks at the skin that is in. I want you to know that one of the season’s best accessories is skin, so make that appointment with your esthetician. My favorite in Elisha Reynoso in Visalia CA. She works magic on my face.

This season you can cut your morning makeup routine in half because camouflage and serious cover is out of trend. (I never loved it anyway.) So let’s all plan to show off our pure, clean, freckled, dewy, and blushed skin.

skin blog

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Elisha has me using Eminence Bright Skin Moisturizer SPF30Unknown-1

and  Eminence Organic Sun Defense in Honey Apple SPF 30


You can see this lovely trend from spring fashion week!
Calvin Klein Collection

Calvin Klein



Jason Wu


Jason Wu

williamson spring summer 2015 source ian gavan via getty images

Feeling like your skin isn’t quite there? Here is a home recipe for immediate treatment to do some quick spot healing for immaculate skin.

Acne Spot Treatment

When you have a blemish that needs to disappear—stat—try this nifty trick. The yeast fights bacteria, the lemon helps dry the blemish.

Brewer’s Yeast
A squeeze of lemon juice


Make a paste using a little bit of brewer’s yeast, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a bit of water. Apply right on your blemish and leave for 10 minutes, cover with a bandage.

Always consider any food allergies before applying to skin

We can feed our face and never count calories. Read this cool article.

Punch ’em In the Mouth (The Spring Season’s Punchy Lip Color Trends)

lips post2

This is my favorite time of year.  I look forward to Saturday mornings at our local farmers market. I love to grab a fruit bowl with the hubby and bring home some edible goodies for the week. I love cool morning walks while sipping a latte.

Inspiration Happens

Inspiration Happens

All the blooms remind me of childhood flower hunts. Don’t tell, but I totally picked flowers from the neighborhood lawns and made bouquets for my mom. I have always been intrigued by the complicated names for flowers. The Calla Lilly is a Zantedeschia. When I would gather flowers as a child and ask my parents what they were called the always told me nearroadians. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized they were jerkin’ my chain: “near road-ians”.

IMG_2974copy 1

I get excited about the sweater wraps in the morning and the sun dresses in the noontime. It’s time to break out the coconut body scrub and get ready to bear those nude shoulders, backs, and legs.

Oh yes, it is spring, and over the next few post I want to share my take on the style trends.  This season’s love affair with lip color is exciting. There are so many options. I’ve seen mattes, stains, tinted balms, and on the flip side, some “for real” lip color.

The list of must haves:

  • A great sugar scrub: This preps the kisser for whatever shade inspires that day.
  • Nude lip color: This time of year skin becomes part of our wardrobe. There are many variations of the nude hue… stain, matte, or lipstick. The goal is to keep it as close to the natural lip as possible. Make sure your color selection doesn’t look too washed out or pale. Sometimes I like to tap the color on to avoid looking made up. This is also a fantastic color option when paired with a dramatic eye shadow.
  • Bold lip color: Nude is chic, but this season lip color sometimes takes center stage.  Some of the colors are so playful it’s like a carnival for your lips. I immediately find inspiration in cotton candy and candy apple shades. What is it about me and my love for food? Maybe I’m hungry while writing this because if I were to describe the rest of the shades on my list, they are really reminiscent of that farmers market fruit bowl I mentioned earlier. Think fruity… peaches, tangerines, cherries and plums. Yum!


Just have fun! Try different shades, application styles, finishes, and opacities. Get creative!

All makeup work done by Jacquetta Sorensen.

Here are my inspiration images from the season’s shows:

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Classic Beauty

Red lips and black precision eyeliner (TIGI Cosmetics)… Need I say more?

Photos by Marta Elena Vassilakis

Cosmetic breakdown:

TIGI Cream Foundation in Fair

TIGI Brow Defining Pencil in Blonde: Pencil in your shape by lining against the hair grow (to color hairs) then use the tool at the end of your TIGI pencil to groom and soften the line.

TIGI Vanilla High Density Single Eyeshadow: Sweep the whole eye.

TIGI High Density Split in Glitz: Sweep the crease (gold) and dab the tear duct area with a mix of gold and silver.

Two sets of dimi lashes and a mascara application, top lashes only.

TIGI Black Patent Liquid Liner

I like to use the lashes as my guide.  Lay the applicator on the lashes, slide the length of the brush next to the skin, and glide along the lash line. Start in the middle of the lid (where you want the most concentration of color) and glide to the outside edge of the eye. Don’t reload your wand with product. Use the wand that has slightly less product to apply liner to the inside corner of the eye in the same manner as before.  Don’t forget to lift the brow while you apply product. This will ensure that you get the color close to the lashes.

Hint: If you want a solid explanation on how to get the perfect winged eyeliner, read my first blog post “Demystify the Cateye”.

TIGI Glow Blush in Brilliance

TIGI Decadent Lipstick in Luxury

 Red lips need to be applied with precision so use a lip brush.

These next 3 photos were taken by me.


Same beautiful technique, just on a different beautiful face. For this model, we switched up some of the colors, but the application was the same. This model had near perfect skin. My advice when it comes to foundation is to  use a foundation that leaves the model/client flawless. (If her skin is already flawless don’t overuse foundation and/or powder. Less is always more when the skin is already nice, especially when she will be photographed.) To even out the shine all I used was Entice Powder Foundation Friend by TIGI. This model has the same winged technique from above, with the addition of a slight line on the lower lid from the outside corner and faded to the center of the eye. She is also only wearing one set of lashes. Only TIGI Cosmetics were used.


The hair was prepped with TIGI Strong Mouse and Ego Boost (split end mender). Then the hair was blow dried with a round brush, smoothed with a flat iron and roller set. Every section through the top was rolled back except the 2 front rolls, which were rolled forward. The back and side sections were all rolled down. Each roller was placed right on the section base and the base should be the size of the roller. After removing the rollers the hair was shaken and finger combed into place. You should shake the hair by sliding your hands under the hair and placing your finger at the scalp, then gently shake the tresses till the curls break up in a way that is pleasing to you. Then lightly finger comb the hair into place.

…and one more for the road…
kayla 1
Yes! This technique is fantastic and classic and works on almost all faces.