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- Liz Washer on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- Tammy Thompson on Crystal & Matthew’s Smith College Winter Wedding
- lisa johnson on Beauty Resolutions: Keeping Things Clean in 2013!
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I’ve served as a makeup artist for a few boudoir sessions at Dani Fine’s studio in Northampton, and some of my brides have dropped by my own studio to get made up prior to their scheduled photo sessions as well. On a recent trip to the studio, Dani admitted that she’d had a few shoots recently without a pro makeup artist and, as a result, the retouching required to correct mistakes and blemishes ended up costing more than makeup services would have in the first place! She wanted to demonstrate to her clients the value of hiring an artist for boudoir and other professional photo sessions, and suggested doing a before & after.
I agreed that was a great idea, but cheekily suggested that she put her own face on the line. To my delight, she agreed. When the day arrived, I curled her hair and created a makeup look with a little extra boudoir-style va-va-voom: big wispy lashes and smoky eyes, with soft makeup elsewhere to showcase Dani’s naturally lovely skin.
This look was all about the eyes: lifting them upwards and outwards to make them look bigger (without overwhelming them), as well as giving them a sexy smoulder. I also did some subtle contouring to enhance Dani’s cheekbones and jawline, and lightly defined her brows. She pulled off the look beautifully:
You can read Dani’s blog entry about the shoot here.
Read part 1 here
Talk about good fortune: I was the lucky recipient of a complimentary tooth whitening session by local dentist (and former client of mine), Dr. Jyotika Dhawan from 1st Advantage Dental on King Street in Northampton. Dr. Dhawan uses the innovative Venus products (which she described as being much gentler than Zoom and similar whitening systems), and she wanted me to experience a whitening session for myself. I was game, so we set the appointment (somewhat miraculous, considering our respective crazy schedules!)
Let me start by saying that I am two things:
1. A total wuss about pain, especially dental pain (and I have wickedly sensitive teeth – I couldn’t even tolerate more than a few days of Crest White Strips!)
2. Insecure about many things, sure… but not so much about my teeth, as my natural tooth color has never really bothered me. (Dr. Dhawan confirmed that my teeth were already on the lighter end of the spectrum.)
Accordingly, I am a very odd candidate for cosmetic tooth bleaching. But when she suggested that I try it out in case a client ever asked me about it, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity!
I spent two surprisingly short appointments with Dr. Dhawan – first, to get my teeth fitted for trays (which hold the soothing gel that you use after a session to reduce any remaining sensitivity), and then for the actual whitening session itself. On both days, I was so impressed with her “chairside” manner – she explained everything she was doing and has a definite talent for relaxing her clients (and I am rarely relaxed at the dentist – I still pine for the days of nitrous oxide!) Even with an oral speculum in place, I was quite comfortable as she applied a protective barrier to my gums, kept my mouth very dry (no small task!), and proceeded to dab on the whitening compound. No UV lights are used for the Venus system; you just sit comfortably for about 15 minutes while it works its magic on your enamel.
I didn’t feel a thing until the last minute or so. And honestly, what I felt couldn’t even be described as pain – more like a twinge, a minor nerve annoyance (Dr. Dhawan called them “zingers”). But since it’s an unusual feeling, I was too anxious to continue – I had an early commercial shoot the next morning and was afraid I’d be too distracted by my sensitized teeth to concentrate on my work. (Such a wuss!) So we stopped after one round, and Dr. Dhawan applied the soothing gel to my tooth trays and I bit down on them, which was very satisfying and immediately alleviated the minor discomfort. I kept the trays in place for about half an hour afterwards, and once I removed them, I ate a bowl a soup with no trouble at all. And then I promptly forgot about the trays and gel, because I no longer needed them – within a few hours after my session, I was fully recovered!
Dr. Dhawan provided me with everything I needed in a gift bag: comfort gel, whitening toothpaste (including an innovative new brand designed to reduce sensitivity), and two bottles of clear mouthwash (much better for freshly bleached teeth than green!) She followed up with me afterwards to make sure everything was comfortable and to see whether I had any questions about maintenance. I was so impressed with her professionalism and follow-through.
Because I only did a single 15-minute round of bleaching before the minor twinges made me too nervous to continue, the results are very subtle (normally clients would do between 3 and 4 applications) – but I still saw a result, especially on my front teeth, which I attempted to capture below. Thanks to the maintenance products she provided, the effect has lasted, even as I sit here cluelessly drinking coffee and probably staining them anew.
In hindsight, I wish I’d toughed it out for at least one more round – I had no idea the twinges would go away within an hour of my appointment, and I could have tolerated many more “zingers” than I did. But hopefully this gives you an idea of what’s possible:
So if you’re self-conscious about your tooth color and haven’t had luck with at-home/over-the-counter systems, I would absolutely recommend seeing a professional like Dr. Dhawan for a whitening session – it was nowhere near as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, and anything that makes people more willing to smile is OK by me!
Personal fitness trainer Kelly Coffey and I have been friends for years, so when she recently came to me asking to get photos taken with her two daughters at her home gym, I jumped at the perfect barter opportunity (one makeup session for one workout!) I loved the photos taken by lifestyle photographer Lynne Graves (and how cute is 2-year-old Cerys with the mini free weights?!?)
I was so honored to be featured in local daily newspaper, The Hampshire Gazette – you can read the article online here or in the image below (click for full size):
A recent bridal client came back to get her makeup done again, this time for a boudoir session with Dani Fine Photography – what a treat for her new husband! She was kind enough to volunteer a few of the G-rated snaps that show off her sexy smoky eye makeup:
Most of us get a little blue when January rolls around – the holidays are over, the days are short, and the weather can be downright frigid. But Crystal, true to her name, knows that midwinter can also SPARKLE – and her wedding day really showcased the beauty of New England winters, from the color scheme to the birch tree décor accents to the romantic horse & carriage ride! As for her makeup, smoky was the order of the day, and being naturally glamorous, she pulled the look off beautifully.
Ceremony Venue: Helen Hills Chapel
Reception Venue: Smith College Conference Center
Photographer: Brian Hale
Event Coordinator & Ceremony Installation: Tanya Costigan, Bowties and Butterflies
Hair: Jenursa Adamites
Catering: Seth Mias
Limo: Absolute Luxury
Horse & Carriage: Equiculture
Ceremony Violinist: Ross Nelson
Cake: Greggory’s Bakery
DJ & Lighting: Chris Hamel Productions
Videography: North Quabbin Productions
Cara, one of my September 2012 brides, came via a recommendation from 2011 bride Melissa – very much appreciated! As requested, I did soft, subtle makeup for the lovely Cara and her mom (and also helped one of her maids with lashes) at one of the private houses at the Hotel Northampton. It was a wonderfully relaxed setting and I got to see a beautiful assortment of royal purple bridesmaids’ gowns in different hues – a wedding trend I’m really loving! Thanks to photographer Corey Torpie for sharing these images – you can see the full set at his blog here.
Photographer: Corey Torpie
Event Planner: Caroline Levine, Sweet Caroline Weddings & Events
Ceremony Location: Pines Theater at Look Park
Reception: The Northampton Center for the Arts
Hair: Brooke Shippa, The Chopping Block
Florist: Nuttleman’s Florist
Kristen’s wedding isn’t until July 2013, which made September 2012 the perfect time to shoot engagement photos! I somehow missed the photographer Seth Kaye‘s Facebook post and am delighted to be sharing the images now.
(Looks like they visited the best of downtown – who doesn’t love The Roost?? And I love that they got a jump & kiss photo right in the middle of a busy intersection!)
Kerry-Beth is someone I’m honored to call both a client and a friend, and I was so pleased when she shared her wedding photos with me – I love the Celtic traditions that were featured throughout the ceremony! She married her partner Fran in October last year, and hired me to do makeup just for her. We had a wonderfully relaxing morning getting ready at the Hotel Northampton.
Kerry-Beth has had alopecia (hair loss) since her teens, and wanted natural-looking makeup with eyelashes and eyebrows to match her gorgeously styled wig. She encouraged me to share her photos so that other people with hair loss can see their options. Here is a before & after from our makeup trial:
I used a combination of matte eyeshadow (for the shape) and pencil (for individually drawn-on hairs) to create eyebrows that looked 3-dimensional. We experimented with both individual false lashes and a strip lash, ultimately opting for a natural-length strip because it held its shape better. (Tip: If you have few natural lashes to lend support for and disguise the falsies, be sure to select lightweight lashes with a clear base or knot-free individual clusters, and use eyeliner to define the shape of your lashline.)
But enough words… enjoy a selection of Kerry-Beth’s wedding photos. Sláinte!
Photography: Christina Sheppard, Luxe Photographics
Ceremony venue: Unitarian Society of Northampton & Florence
Reception venue: The Garden House at Look Park
Dress: David’s Bridal
Hairstyling: Barbara Ween, Visage Salon
Bagpipes: Frank Toscanini
Flowers: Red Fire Farm
Band: Last Night’s Fun