April 2010


Where to begin? These two people were equally resplendent in their own right. I’ll begin with Bride Sara because I met her first.

Sara is the walking, talking personification of a Country Queen. . . and I’m not talking the Reba kind, but more along the lines of the Carrie kind (as in “Underwood”). She was beautiful when she sat down with not a stitch of makeup on her face, but the transformation as we enhanced her natural beauty was astounding. Her sister, Chrissie, was with her and she wept as she saw this take place. But even all this physical beauty wasn’t what was really special about her. . . it was her kind, sweet heart that shone through. This girl was Love walking.

I had had some correspondence with her photographer, Richard Ellis, days before the wedding. I knew I was going to like him immediately. This is a guy who is on it. . . no moss gathers on him. On day one of our e-mails, I had requested some photos from her bridal session, and on day two, there was a disc in my mailbox. Please check out his website and his impressive resume. However, it’s his polite, calm demeanor and the easy conversation that happens with this gentleman that makes him special. That, and his assistant Gillian (his daughter), make working together a joy. OK, all that and the amazing photos he’s able to get.

Thank you to the McCants and Southard families for your loving hospitality.
Thank you to Richard Ellis for your talents, conversation, and willingness to share. (And, Richard, your stationery is impeccable:)



I’d like to preface this entry by saying that even though I’ve posted pics of my not-so-even tanner application, this is about learning from my mistakes and doing it right the next time. And there will be a next time because I really like this product.

My friend Kelly wafted into our lunch meeting back in March all goldeny-bronze and gorgeous. It was a subtle tan, but it was enough to make me comment on how “WOW!” she looked. Mostly because March here in Charleston was still fickle in its weather-settings. So all at once my thought process was “she looks so good with her tan. . . when did she have time to sit out and catch some rays. . . gosh, she’s a trooper with this weather.” Her secret was L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanner.

Kelly smiled and told me about her self-tanner and gave me a quick run-down on her methodology. She’s got this down, but as you can see from the photo of my own feet, I need more practice.

So, in a nutshell, if you’re like me and meet any of these criteria, a self-tanner would be great for you:

1. You’re heeding the advice of every physician, beauty expert, television show, and magazine article and staying out of the sun because of the myriad of awful complications that go along with overdoing it.

2. You want a tan now!

3. You just feel better/healthier/sexier “with a little color.”

So here’s how the rest of the story goes. . .

I went to Wal-Mart and purchased L’oreal Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion. It’s in a tube, it cost around $8. This is the product my friend had used, and it looked great on her. . . no orangey stained residue.

But here are some tips that the label on the tube doesn’t tell you:
* You can use this tanner anywhere. . . I started out using it on my legs, arms, and chest.

* Exfoliate first. This includes shaving your legs.

* Apply lotion to the creased areas. . . ankles, knees, behind knees, elbows, wrists, etc.

* Use latex gloves if you have them. . . this is actually very important because the tanning lotion will stain your hands. And speaking of hands, you do need to methodically, and carefully apply some tanner to the backs of your hands. This is where it gets tricky as you still need those latex gloves so as not to stain your palms or pads of your fingers. And you must be meticulous in this area. . .spreading tanner evenly. One method of applying to the backs of hands is to remove gloves, apply a small dollop of the tanner to the back of one hand, and run the backs of the hands together.

* Let tanner dry before putting on any clothes. This is vital to it not streaking or staining your clothes. So, that means, do this process when you have time; don’t do it as a part of a get-ready-quickly routine.

As you can see, I have some practice to do, especially around my feet. I look at this picture and see that I should have spread the tanner more carefully farther down the sides of my feet and more evenly on my toes. I’m willing to invest this amount of time getting this routine down so that I don’t have to “bake and turn” out on a beach. Those days are bygone. . . and my dermatologist is one happy lady.

One last note: this tanner comes in two formulations: “Medium/Natural Tan” and “Deep Natural Tan.” I went with the Deep Natural because my skin tone could handle it. If you are fair and want the most natural look, go with the lighter shade. It’s buildable and a few applications could make you look your tanned best.


Strong, Decisive Women

April 25, 2010

One of my favorite kinds of people in this world is a decisive woman. I had the distinct fortune to be around 3 such ladies a couple of weeks ago: The Bride (Allison), her FSIL (future sis-in-law, Elizabeth), and the Photographer (Liz). Each of these ladies knows what she wants. . . how she wants […]

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A Citadel Wedding and A Princess Bride

April 23, 2010

This past December, I was fortunate to be able to be a part of Kara’s wedding preparation to her Citadel Cadet, Pete. This bride was particularly special because she had planned her entire wedding from their home in Hawaii where they are stationed. Pete is a Citadel grad and wanted nothing less than a Summerall […]

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Belle Couture & King Street Photo Weddings: A Picture-Perfect Day

April 21, 2010

Recently, I had the privilege to work on a photo shoot with some creative, talented individuals. Michel Berda of King Street Photo Weddings had the idea to photograph models on location through large portrait frames. Michel is a man on a mission when he shoots; and always has a story to tell, which keeps rapport […]

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Longlasting L’oreal Lipglosses

April 16, 2010

“Sangria” “Petal” “Suede” “Barely Nude” With compliments to my FB/blogger friend, “Lulu Darling”. . . holla!!!! I have ongoing, electronic/internet relationships, based on MAKEUP, with several different like-minded gals. My Nashville friend, Melissa (aka “Lulu Darling”), has turned me on to a line of L’oreal Infallible lipglosses that last up to 6 hours! They are […]

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Equal Lip-Time for Blondes!

April 3, 2010

Last week I had the privilege of working with a very makeup-savvy bridesmaid, who is blonde. This was someone who knew exactly what she wanted (colors, coverage, etc.), and so we struck up a great conversation. I’d say she was an amateur pro. She was makeup friendly, has tried lots of formulations and colors, and […]

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April 1, 2010

First of all, let me state for the record, that I am no Hair Stylist. But, let me also say that I am “hair-friendly.” The more photo shoots I work, the more I realize how handy it is to incorporate a few other skills. . . this is where my hair-friendliness comes into play. I’ve […]

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