fashion, Lifestyle, photography

Nail Your Wedding Day Manicure With Sally Hansen.

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Sally Hansen is the leader in nail innovation and they’ve  decided to mix color and care. Their newest line is called Color Therapy . They offer beautiful beige that will be flattering to many brides, chai on life is the name of the color.  It doesn’t scream” I have on nail polish,” but the camera  will love your nails.  This natural color will not distract from your embellished wedding gown.  It’s easy to apply this polish with the amazing flat brush that doesn’t leave streaks.  It builds up to opacity and it’s extremely pigmented. What I love the most is it looks great on any skin tone. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

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Photo: Daralynn

Color Therapy has argan oil , açaí and evening primrose oil to aid in dry, weak nails. As you know my nails went through a rough patch from a SNS manicure

If you are getting your nails done the day of your wedding, pick up a bottle of big kwik dry top coatYes! I spelled Kwik  ( According to Sally) correctly. 

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Photo: Daralynn

Note: The best thing about Sally Hansen’s gel topcoat is it can be used with any nail polish. It doesn’t have to be a Sally’s brand nor does it have to be a gel polish. This little black bottle is my best friend. It can prevent your nail polish from cracking up to 7 days. Get a bottle of this after a manicure and brush it on top. You will not have to worry about your beautiful nails on your special day.

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Photo: Daralynn
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Photo: Daralynn

These three will not disappoint you on your special day.

If your still feeling classic vibes, go with a french manicure.

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food, Lifestyle, photography

Wedding Cakes Versus Cupcakes

I’m bringing up this topic , because it’s wedding season. This sounds politically correct, but I’ll let you in on a secret. My real reason is I’m a photographer and I shoot many stock images that I love sharing. Therefore, why not use it to express an old debate.  Should you have cupcakes at your wedding as opposed to a wedding cake?

Many Brides decide to use cupcakes because it’s cost effective. They are easy because you don’t need a plate or a fork. They can also be made in deferent sizes; Traditional, mini and large size. They can be made in different shapes as well.

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Photo by: Angelita Espara

 

Many individuals look forward  ( Besides the wedding gown) to seeing the large wedding cake waiting to be eaten. I must admit the wedding cake beats the cupcake in the pretty and elegant category any day.

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Photo by: Daralynn
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Photo by: Daralynn

A decision to have a wedding cake or cupcakes is a matter of personal choice. However, I feel the most elegant weddings will choose the wedding cake. It makes for better images and it’s traditional. However, occasionally guest have opt to have both. The wedding cake  is use for images and the cake cutting ; while the cupcakes are used for easy portions. It’s convenient for guest to grab a cupcake without a knife, fork or plate. Cupcakes are known for bringing on a good conversation with the different flavors to choose from. The only mess could possibly those who opt to leave the cupcake liner on the table or throw them on the floor.  I know you’re thinking who’d do that, but you’d be surprised.

 

photography

I Love Wedding Photography

It’s been a little while since my last post. I know it isn’t like me, but I needed a break. I’m traveling for enjoyment, managing businesses and family life.  Sometimes it’s just good to take a breather.  Now I think I have a clear mind I’m ready to take you on another journey in my life. It’s something that’s been bothering me for some time now. The decision to leave the wedding photography world. I don’t want to do it, because it’s such a beautiful thing to share such an important part of a woman’s life. Being a Bride. Besides that I crave the process.

Wedding photography is one of the most demanding jobs the world.  Theres really no glamour on the wedding day. I’ll wear practical clothes, including my shoes. I’ll sweat my hair and face off, shoot until my finger is numb and direct drunk people by telling them how to pose. I’ll forget to eat until my blood sugar drops.  Not to mention I’m going to stand on my feet for about 14 hours. Sounds rough doesn’t it? Yet there is so much gratification from working  hard for wedding photographs. It’s the preparation. Everyone has gone out of their way to look great and I get to preserve it.  Then after I get home to a good night of rest ( and can see straight )  the real work begins when I curate the images.

My dilemma is weather I should stop being a wedding photographer. Sometimes I don’t think I  have what it takes. Creating  amazing images of such and important day isn’t as easy as it seems.  It is more than just sliding in an SDcard and pressing the shutter.  A good photographer who can document it all  and not miss the small details is what it takes, but I’m slow at shooting because I want everything perfect.

Being cognizant of tricky lighting takes skills without thinking about it. Remembering the  poses in my head that are usually flattering to most couples. It’s frustrating  sometimes  because I get so excited I’ll forget my camera settings. Then I have to regain my composer.  Theres only one chance at wedding photos.

 

Why do I get so nervous? I’ve discovered I’m so passionate about weddings.  My work makes me proud. Perhaps having clients that appreciate me capturing the details and taking my time will be my selling point. untitled-9763.jpg

how to, Lifestyle, photography

Flawless Makeup on Your Wedding Day

It’s the time of the year again. It’s wedding season! This is one of my favorite times of the year. If I could marry every year around this time; for the pampering I would.  I remember how I felt and the necessary steps it took  to make my special day the best day ever! There isn’t anything more lovely than a beautiful bride.

To set the tone for your wedding day it starts with prepping the skin. If you haven’t been diligent in a skin care routine it’s never too late. However for the best results on your wedding day, make sure you get a nice facial to help with your skins texture. This will ensure a good base for your makeup. Next you want to make absolutely sure to moisturize. Lastly, you want to prime before your foundation. Hopefully on your special day you aren’t doing this yourself.  Sit back and allow the experts to do what they do. If you don’t hire and esthetician, remember to never  start applying makeup on skin that hasn’t been  cleaned moisturized and primed.  It’s like painting a wall without smoothing out  the flaws.

There are different types of foundations:

  • Liquid
  • Matte
  • Powder
  • Waterproof
  • Foundation Primer

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There are so many types of foundations and brands on the market. The first thing is to make sure you aren’t allergic to the product by  doing a patch test on a small area of the skin ( A trial run) months before the wedding. Next, you want to match the foundation by applying it to the chest area. Before you make a final decision on your wedding day foundation, be sure to know the season you’ll be getting married. This will determine if your complexion will be lighter or darker during the season. Most brides are darker in the spring and summer. You’d want to make sure you have the correct foundation to support the change in your skin tone.

If you are using a makeup artist ( Which I encourage) make sure his/ her brushes are clean from leftover makeup. Dirty brushes can  ruin the true color of your foundation. Not to mention dirty brushes can spread bacteria to the skin, that would certainly cause a problem on your wedding day. Be sure your makeup artist is spreading the foundation  evenly across your face and neck. The best results are normally done with the fingers or a beauty blender.

Makeup Do’s

  • Stick to classic looks; you want your photos timeless.
  • Use translucent powder to control shine on the forehead and nose ( For you oily brides)
  • Falsies are optional but waterproof mascara is not
  • Conceal the dark circles and breakouts
  • Use a peachy nude or a dark nude lipstick

You want to look stunning on your special day.  Keep it classy and timeless, stick with nude and natural shades; make sure your foundation is right for you.  Lastly enjoy yourself. It’s your wedding day!!

 

 

Lifestyle, photography

Best Cheap Tripod

I was in the market for a nice light weight tripod.  I had a budget of $200 – 300.  With this in mind; I thought it would be cumbersome and difficult to use. There are some that have too much going on with them. The type of tripod I was looking for needed to easily lock into place, without feeling like it would break and to be able to carry through doorways with ease as well.

As you I went to Amazon.com , my go to place for everything electronic and accessories . I’m a true believer in reviews. If you buy things from Amazon please let others know your overall experience . It’s imperative in order to save consumers from making bad purchases.

As I searched I came across the Albott tripod/monopod. The first thing I found interesting about it is the fact it included a monopod. The next thing I decided to do is read the reviews. Lastly I checked out a few more tripods before making my decision on the Albott.

This tripod looked appealing. It doesn’t have that ” I’m cheap look.” It weighs 3.63 lbs. , there is a 21″ – 70″ height range. One of the best features is the adjustable center column. Like myself it is a big deal, because my other tripods doesn’t have this feature. The countless doors I’ve had to go through without the center column.

There are so many choices in a tripod.  There are two brands in the photography world that seem to be popular. In fact I thought I’d  end up purchasing the Manfrotto or the Vanguard.  The Gitzo, came to mind, but  I don’t know anyone that owns a Gitzo.  Therefore, I’d purchase it blindly based on the brand and the fact it’s known as the Ferrari of tripods.

Buying a cheap tripod doesn’t always mean you’ve made a bad purchase. Although high end brands matter. Many stand by their name. However, high end doesn’t always mean the best choice. If you plan to use your tripod regularly, then you should base it on quality, features, reputation of the company, price and brand.  The brand can fall into the reputation . Such as when purchasing an Apple product; the name alone will prompt you to buy, because of the reputation of the company. I would more than likely buy.  The price should be the last thought. You may be able to afford an expensive tripod, but you hate it.

Are you in the market for an awesome tripod? What do you think about the Albott?  Were you surprised about the price?

health, Lifestyle, photography

Who I am and Why I’m Here.

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, with both of my biological parents. I have two brothers  that are younger than I am. Yet somehow I’m still considered the baby. May be because I’m female. Yes, I think that’s what one of my brothers told me.

At the age of nine years of age I grew up loving and fixated on a camera and it’s components. Not only did I want to learn how to shoot a 35mm film camera, I needed to know how the camera worked technically to create images. As a teen, I became the appointed family photographer . There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t shoot if I thought it would leave a piece of history.

Now that I’m older, not only do I want to photograph women, of all races, sizes and ages to promote self love.  I want to be more of a positive advocate for women.  In nearly all facets of my life I have experienced women with low self esteem and noticed how females aren’t as kind to one another as they should.  I want to be the face of self love and positiveness to all women.

You’ll find blogs regarding healthy eating, self love, beauty tips, product reviews and some lifestyle as well. Hopefully some of my blogs will reflect that I’m human and I share  challenges sometimes. I’m not just a face behind a computer. Vibe with me. Share and leave comments. I would love that.

While I enjoy blogging on various topics of interest. My main focus is the lovely women  over 40. When your a woman that’s over 40, you face new challenges in life. There’s how society views women over 40, health challenges and the desire to feel  accepted and  beautiful as your body changes.

Ageless Beauty: As We Get Older Our Skin Becomes Dry

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how to, Interior Decorating, photography

Drab To Fab Furniture

I love a good DIY. For me a DIY is one that is almost flawless . It has the look of being purchased straight off the shelf and ready.  I don’t do very many Do -it- yourself  projects. Well, I digress. Most of my DIY’s don’t make it to mainstream because they don’t usually pass my finicky inspection.

I was in the market for some nightstands for my bedroom. I looked at several online and found so many beautiful ones. I thought I wanted to try mirrored furniture. Considering I only have one piece of mirrored furniture in the entire house. let me put this out here, I think anything can be over done. I don’t want to go nuts with too many mirrored pieces. However, I think I can stand for a bit more.

For the life of me, I don’t know why I decided to hack a nightstand in lieu of purchasing one to my liking. Perhaps I was in the Martha Stewart mood the day I went to Ikea. Side note: Some people call me a the brown Martha Stewart. Hehehe …oh That wasn’t funny.  Sorry, back to the subject at hand. I went down to or up to Ikea and bought the Rast Chest. It’s a three drawer chest and I felt like it is taller than the average nightstands I see in some  furniture stores. I don’t know what the heck furniture makers are thinking when they create little doll house nightstands for grown people. I’m grown! I need storage next to me my bed. I nearly bought a buffet to go next to my bed, because the doll house nightstands are working out. For now I’ll try this chest near my bed. I’ll see how I feel about it in a few months. If not, I’ll purchase something larger.

It was relaxing to put together. I painted it and look at how it went from drab to fab. Watch the video and tell me what you think. Did I do good girl? Until next time. Stay beautiful!chest2

 

food, health, Lifestyle

We Have a Love Hate Relationship.

Have you ever loved something so much, you couldn’t dream of being without it? What about the old saying, “All that looks good isn’t good for you?’ Such a cliche, but I hate to tell you it’s true.

Why is the world so full of things that aren’t good for us, God?  Yeah I’m talking to you, but make it known I’m not yelling at you. You’re the almighty.  It’s frustrating to say the least. You allow others to make so many guilty pleasures and the we have to make a choice. Think of the outcome. It sounds to much like life. We have choices; to either choose door number 1 or door number 2.  Besides life is what you make of it. Right?

It’s been nearly three weeks since I’ve been clean. I walk pass them all of the time, sometimes I contemplate having them in my life just one more time. My mind tells me it will not hurt, but my blood says , no. I can think better, have more control and I am worrying less about my well being. Sure, it makes me feel good for the moment.  That’s what hurts so good. No more hiding and indulging with you.  I have comfort and control on a dreary night.  No more  guilt, I’m no longer sluggish and my body doesn’t has to work harder to eliminate it.  I owe my kidneys an apology.

I love you, but I can’t keep doing this to myself.  The longterm affect isn’t worth the doctor visits. When I see you, often times I opt to go the other way. Everything that looks  good isn’t good. I’m sorry but I can’t …

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fashion, photography

What is This Magical Light?

It’s not anything new to beauty influencers – meaning Youtubers and Instagrammers , who use the magical light religiously. In fact they swear  on their mothers red velvet cake it’s the holy grail of all white lights.

The Diva Ring Light is a beautiful lighting system. It is used by many fashion bloggers, photographers, videographers and beauty influencers . I’m careful to boast about any video or photographic equipment too soon, because sometimes the hype isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.  The ring light has passed my inspection. Before going on with this review. I must add that natural light is the most pleasant light. It should be your first option when possible.

There are many types of lighting styles, but my favorite is beauty lighting. The Diva ring lights provides that slightly over blown , even look, that enhances the faces and evens out dark spots and shadows.  It’s become very popular on Youtube with beauty influencers and the beautiful  catch lights tell it all!  I’d say the beauty community put this wonder light on the map.  In 2014, they were primarily sold to videographers and photographers  for editorials. Once vlogger, Judy Travis started using it, word got around about this magic light like a wild fire. Kylie Jenner uses it, she calls it her “favorite light forever.”  The DVE store sells about 300 of these lights a month to mainly beauty influencers on Youtube.

I wish I hadn’t taken so long to review this magical light  .Diva_Ring_Light_Nebula_Front__72828.1493428129

food, Lifestyle

Our First Thanksgiving Together

I’m so elated to bring you this blog! It took me a while to calm down and get my thoughts together. I’ve been pretty consistent with writing blogs , but so much has happened in the last few days. My birthday is this month, a day later was Thanksgiving and six days later was my wedding anniversary ! November is a busy month for me in deed.

Normally I make a big feast at home for thanksgiving and beg everyone  the rest of the week to please finish the leftovers. No matter how much I beg, It doesn’t work. I eat as much as my little body can handle  and the garbage can gets the rest. Each time I throw food in the trash, I can hear my Dads voice from heaven. ” Do you know there are people in the world starving, while you’re putting food in the garbage.” Not this time,Dad.  I did a great job this year.  I prepared enough food for one meal.

You’re not here to read about the small meal I made this year. You want to know where I went for the first time. Right? In my head, I can see you nodding in agreement. Well, my daughter has been dating this ” Mommy Approved Guy, “ for three years now . I finally met his family. I’ll tell you in different  blog  why it took so long to meet his family.

I didn’t actually meet them alone . I was accompanied by my wonderful husband and son. We were greeted with open arms. They all felt they knew us, because my daughter talks about us  and she shows pictures and videos of us all of the time.  It was at least 15 of us in the house between the two families. Everyone was chatting amongst one another while, my son – in – law -to be’s mother,   was  prepping the food. Everything was already cooked and she had everything looking scrumptious and gorgeous . As a Mom I wanted to help, but I was forewarned that she doesn’t allow anyone  to help. It was tough for me to watch her do everything alone; but I managed by holding a baby. This kept my hands busy for a while.

As we all gathered in the kitchen in a circle, we all held hands and said a prayer before eating. Then we proceeded to the dining room to a beautifully decorated dining table with such lovely dinnerware. The ambience was perfect.  Candles were lit and it was so cozy.   It was amazing to see all of the smiling faces at the table from the youngest to the oldest. The joy’s of watching  families form. All because of our children deciding to get together. My Dad would be so proud of his granddaughter.

It isn’t like me to miss out on capturing moments on camera . Then again I wasn’t sure how anyone would feel with me creating photos. In lieu of  possibly making anyone uncomfortable  I decided to enjoy the conversations that were so easily developed. No one seemed as if they were forcing themselves to get to know one another. We talked about our favorite actors and movies we’ve watched; while the youngsters taught us about snapchat.

Here is a sneak peek from a video my daughter shot.Daralynn

I’ll always remember this day. It was very special because it’s the new chapter to my daughter’s life. It’s the possibility of extending our family. Hopefully  we’ll see one another more often. The little one’s have already grown attached to me and have invited me to their soccer games. I’ve always been a child magnet.  Here is our video .