Graduation Portraits

My sister was home a couple of weekends ago and we got together to shoot some casual pictures for her graduation announcements. Graduating from college is such a big accomplishment and we decided to throw together some colorful looks to celebrate.  All of these photos were taken in my backyard... we had plans to go somewhere else but you can get really creative when it's a rainy day! The backdrop below is actually my picnic table, turned up on its side. 


It might not look like it, but she actually has on a practically neon coral lipstick! When shooting photos outdoors, go brighter and bolder than usual as the sunlight will likely wash out a great deal of color. Adding a good amount of powder also helps to tone down shine. The most important thing when wearing shirts with open necklines is to make sure the skin on the face, neck and décolletage all match. To create an even complexion, you can blend bronzer from the jawline, through the throat and chest. If you are wearing your hair up, be sure to dust some bronzer on and below the ears too. 


When shooting multiple looks, keep the makeup neutral so that it doesn't contend with any colors you may be wearing. As a busy student, my sister is a lip balm kind of girl and likes to keep things simple. Since we didn't want her to look overdone, I kept the eyes very clean and minimal, and groomed the brows. A light wash of bronzer on the cheeks and a bright lip were all she needed to feel polished and professional.

My sister and I are seven years apart and as her big sister, I'm so proud of all of her accomplishments. She is driven, creative, and talented so I know she will be successful in her field. She's studying food science and dairy production with hopes of one day owning her own ice cream company.  I cannot wait to be her taste tester! 


Heading out to watch her walk the stage this weekend. Congratulations to my baby sister and the class of 2013!



Is futile.

Still, I am doing my best to avoid the following things in the final month before the wedding. 

1) Stress - no explanation needed. 

2) Salt - the obvious source of bloating and breakouts.  

3) Peanuts - yes, they induce breakouts. Oily salty little things. 

4) Seaweed - more salt, more breakouts. 

5) Greek yogurt - while great for digestion, the active ingredients also trigger some mean zits! 

6) Dairy - cows eat lots of salt licks all day, and therefore the salt is in our dairy products. Rough for me, since I love ice cream so much. Luckily, there's

Scream Sorbet


7) Clarisonic - yes I know I once sang its praises, but now that I have been getting monthly facials I see no need for the harsh bristles. I have switched to the much gentler enzyme peel, which eats up the dead skin on the face's surface. Much softer results, and way better for your skin in the long term! 

I get a lot of questions about where to get facials. I have tried places all over the Bay Area. Hands down 


 in Alameda has the most amazing esthetician Susan (who taught me about what foods to avoid) with the best, most gentle products. I signed up for the six month bridal bootcamp and my skin has 


looked better. So great in fact, this will now become part of my regular routine, even after the wedding. I don't even wear foundation on a daily basis anymore! Which is great since it cuts down on prep time in the morning. 

Wedding plans have been going smoothly. I've been drinking plenty of water, getting more sleep and just relaxing whenever possible. I've even found time to read again, and settle in on my couch with big cups of tea and long books. Working in the wedding business the past few years has really helped me to understand about pacing yourself, planning ahead, and not sweating the small stuff. 

I'm just looking forward to marrying this guy.