Monday, November 30, 2009

Foundation 101.

You recall I did this post on my previous blog. When I decided to make my previous blog a "photo blog" only, I deleted the Foundation 101 post. People sent me emails, & I even had some friends on Facebook who read this post & loved it! One friend even asked me about this post last week - too funny! Who woulda thunk? I had no idea! So...I'm going to attempt to rewrite it. ☺


I love makeup, & I have always received compliments regarding my makeup. Though I am certainly no expert, I thought it would be fun to do a "Foundation" post & share some tips that I use. :)

I am not a believer in spending lots of money on makeup. It doesn't matter if you spend $45 or $10 on your foundation - if you don't know how to apply it, or don't apply it properly, it's going to look like crap. It's just as simple as that. Currently, I use Almay & I love it. I have tried & used just about every expensive brand out there (honestly, I got tired of having to make a trip to the mall every time I ran out of a product), & I have tried & used many drugstore brands, as well. Personally, I am not a fan of Revlon or Loreal. They just don't work well for me. And in case you aren't aware, Loreal is the generic of Lancome. Currently I use one product from the more expensive brands:

Clinque. I have used Clinique's "Take the Day Off" eye makeup remover for many years & I will continue to do so. Reason? It is super easy to use & rinses/wipes off effortlessly. It does not leave an oily residue behind, which most definitely determines if your eyeliner smears or stays put. I learned that the hard way. Years ago, I noticed my eyeliner always seemed to smear. Drove me crazy. Finally, I realized that it was because I was using baby oil to remove my eye makeup! The oilier the eye makeup remover, the more oil will reside under (& above) your eyes, making eyeliners smear or slip. Once I curbed that issue, switching to Clinique's remover, problem solved. ☺

I always apply a moisturizer after showering, and/or before applying foundation. Using a moisturizer will make application so much smoother. Make sure you put your moisturizer on evenly - applying everywhere your foundation will go (crevices around nose, etc.). You don't want it too thick because it just becomes more oily. The same rule applies here as well - I do not spend an absurd amount of money on moisturizer. For years I have used Olay & again, will continue to do so. It comes in Oil-Free (I tend to have oilier skin, so I always opt for Oil-Free everything), Fragrance Free & it has an SPF in it. Love the way it smells. ☺

And the must-have for me any & every single time I apply foundation? Makeup sponges.

Never, ever, ever do I use my fingers. Blah! I can't stand caked on foundation all over my fingers. On top of that, our fingers are oily, so if you use your fingers, you applying more oil with your foundation. More oil, more shine.

Now. There's on bit of pertinent information regarding makeup sponges. They come in Latex, or Latex-Free. Do not use the Latex-free. Well, I mean you can, but you absolutely will not get beautifully smooth coverage. (Funny - one time I was explaining this to a lady while waiting at the MAC counter - MAC then offered me a job...heehee!) Latex-Free sponges do not absorb the foundation (if you notice, the sponge actually has a shiney surface), making application like an ice skating rink. It will apply, but it will slide around until it finally settles & dries. Latex makeup sponges have tiny nooks & crannies, & some foundation will actually absorb into the sponge, making application smooth & even. Latex sponges are more difficult to find - currently I purchase mine at Beauty Brands, & I grab several packages at a time. You can use whatever design is easiest for you - I use the round ones. Also, if you haven't worn foundation in a while & your sponge has gotten a little dry, tap your sponge on a damp towel before applying your foundation. This will bring it back to life & make application simple. I use my sponge probably way longer than I should, but the more times I use it, the better it gets. It's just my best buddy. ☺

So there you have it. :) Once your foundation is on, you can wrap 'er up. This is the order I apply my makeup:

1.) Moisturizer

2.) Concealer (oh yes I do!)

3.) Foundation

4.) Powder (Currently I use Coty & apply with a big brush - never use a powder puff)

5.) Top lid eye liner

6.) Top lid mascara

7.) Lip liner (allowing top mascara to dry)

8.) Lipstick

9.) Bottom Eye liner

10.) Bottom mascara

Oh wow! I have 10 steps. Who knew. ☺

(No, I do not use blush. I think some women can pull it off, others can't. I happen to be one who can't. And as my mother once exclaimed to me "Well, don't you look like a whore!" LOL - so I just don't go there anymore. No blush for me. :)

I do use a sponge to smudge my eye liner (I only use a pencil!) after applying - I use the triangles & I just purchase these at WM. Cover Girl brand works fine.

Never in my life have I used a lash curler. I remember years ago, I used my mother's & ack!!, it hurt! I have never touched one since. PTL, I was blessed with long lashes that curl naturally. God was lookin' out for me on that one. ☺ After I apply my mascara, if any clumps, I use a needle to separate my lashes. I have done this for as long as I can remember. No, I have never stuck myself in the eye! I have come close, though. When I was younger, I always gave my mother fits when I would climb up in the bathroom sink & separate my lashes w/a needle. And this particular needle? I have had for about...10 years, or longer. ☺

One more thing before I go. I recommend purchasing new makeup from a CVS, Eckerds, Walgreens, or the like. Reason being? If you don't like it, or it is the wrong color/shade, they allow you to return it and/or exchange it. Initially it will cost you a little more, but you won't have to throw it away, wasting money. Once you establish the brand, color, etc. that you like, then you can begin purchasing it wherever.

So, that's it! Happy Foundation'ing! ☺

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Halloween '09 - part II.

Ok. I'm going to be honest here. I was very hesitant about posting these photos. As you know, I was so excited (somewhat ;o) to finally embrace Halloween, & this year I chose not to attempt to bribe my little people from participating. So on board I hopped, & went out & purchased the costumes of their choice. In advance, at that! I was proud of myself. ☺ Halloween came & went & life trucked on.

As you know, I love to read blogs. Love photos. Love life stories. As I browsed blog after blog, I noticed something. Halloween costumes. The Halloween costumes I was seeing put our Halloween costumes to shame. Mothers who obviously took the time, & either made their children's costumes, or purchased costumes & enhanced them. Originality. Creativity. Uniqueness. Awesomeness. I became sad & felt bad for my children. My children received their costumes from Wal-Mart & Party City. Am I the only one who purchases over-the-counter costumes? I dunno. Even though my little people were totally happy w/ their costumes, maybe next I can do better. Maybe next year I can turn my Little Rascals idea, or something else, into reality. So far they haven't been interested. So we'll see. Anyway...

For some reason, every time I look @ Bentley in that mask, I crack up. He looks like one of the Wise Men. So funny. And no, Mercedes' pants & top don't match. Yah. Next year, I should make sure all items shown on the cover are included in the package (I've been guilty of doing that at Christmas time, too). Hers didn't come with bloomers & I thought it did. ;o)

Nonetheless, they had a blast & truly, that's all that matters. I adore my little people. ♥

About 30 minutes after we headed out, Mercedes took a tumble. I was walking behind her I can tell you - when she tripped, it was one of those "thunks" & I just knew. I knew she was hurt. She smacked her head/face right on the concrete. Immediately I picked her up & she began kicking me with all her might. Typically when she is hurt, really hurt, she gets angry & begins kicking. I ran her to the closest neighbor who had a porch light on to look. I still couldn't really see much, but she spotted a pumpkin, yelled "punkin!!" & all was ok. So we continued on.
When we got home, I was finally able to see what resulted. The round, quarter size pink on her cheek is not part of the accident. Everything else, is. I gave her Motrin & she was ok. Poor baby. :(

The photo below is the following day. Pardon the food on her face - she was obviously eating something, but I wanted to get a snapshot before it got too late. Btw, all photos in this post are snapshots.

Now I will take my depressed soul away from these photos & sign off. Heehee. ☺

The difference between a woman & a man.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good-bye to a friend.

I hope he knows how many friends he had. The support being offered to his family is amazing. He was a good guy. Everyone loved his smile & happy disposition. He has now been rescued. But will be missed by many.

I'm glad I had the opportunity to get to know him. I'm glad we dated, I'm glad we went to prom together. And I pray for comfort & peace for his wife & children, as well as his parents & siblings.

Make life worth living. Touch & help other people. Reach out to those hurting. One never knows another's story - but we have the opportunity to make it better. And it's never too late to start.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let it be.

I stumbled across this post earlier, while discovering & adoring a new photography blog. But this post. This is what I've been trying to convey all along. The excessive photoshopping, the altering of people instead of photographing what God so graciously blessed them with, a photograph that clients will look back on years down the road & ask "what did we really look like?" I could have written this post, but I didn't. But she, so eloquently did.

Let it be, let it be

My favorite thing about photo shoots is making them not feel like a photo shoot. I am just not a photo shoot kind of photographer. Who thinks it's fun to prop people up and arrange their arms and legs like giant action figures? Do people really enjoy wearing stuffy clothes? Being buttoned up and starched with a plastic, plastered smile?

Nah. I so much prefer photographing kids in their favorite ratty dresses and superman capes, while their parents sip coffee in T-shirts and bare feet and the dog meanders through the living room and in front of the lens. And the baby crawls around diaperless like a naked time bomb. When clients ask me how their child should be dressed for a session, my usual response is:

"The morning of the session, when your daugter wakes up with crazy hair and wearing an old princess nightgown - don't touch her. That's perfect."

I suppose the reasoning behind this preference of mine is that genuine memories can't be built on artifice. Years from now, you'll want to remember what your family life really looked and felt like - not what the photo session looked and felt like.

Let it be, let it be.

Let this post inspire you & your photography, as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween '09 - part I.

Cleaning out the pumpkin. I think the photos speak for themselves. ☺

And I'll leave it at that. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


One day while driving around, I discovered two abandoned railroad cars sitting on the train track, located right in the heart of our tiny 'main street'. I knew I wanted to use this location for both Bentley & Audi's shoots. Audi's was taken on a burgundy enclosed car (photo on the left sidebar), Bentley's was taken on an open car. The car had completely open sides & two tall ends. So awesome! At the time, I had no idea the amazing scenery we were about to embark on.

When I did Bentley's shoot 9.26.09, it was just him & I. I pulled right up to the cars, left my car running (a/c - it was hot outside!) & hollered at him "let's do it!" We walked up to the car. Hmm. That sucker was mighty tall. I, however, am not, & Bentley is a foot under me. The car had a ladder on it, but it was in a challenging position. The bottom wrung was kind of high to even get on, & once you climbed the ladder, you then had to "swing" yourself over to get on top of the car. Bentley went first, & I stood below to catch him, should need be. It wasn't. Piece of cake for him. My attempt too was successful (I'm sure quite comical as well, had anyone been on the ground watching) - I climbed the ladder, then "swung" on to the car. Once up, I kind of began freaking out - it was high up there, & I was almost hyperventilating about getting down. What goes up must come down! Though I had no idea how either of us was going to accomplish the journey back down to land (painfree, anyway) & not only that, my car was running with my cell phone inside. I couldn't phone hubby to come & retrieve us. And there was absolutely no one around this location. Anyway...

While gathering my wits, I turned around. Oh.good.glory! Look what I saw behind us!! Incredible! The rodeo! I had absolutely no clue the rodeo would be visible from the top of that car. It was beautiful! It was about 5:30 p.m. or so on a Saturday, wonderful lighting from the sun, & the backdrop couldn't have been more perfect (although, Bentley in a cowboy shirt & hat would have been pretty cool). Even though excited, I was now dripping with sweat - a. the heat was scorching up there & b. I was in a panic about getting off the car. I quickly snapped a few (none "made the cut" - honestly, I was so nervous & the sun was so bright, I couldn't even focus on the camera settings) & we attempted our dismount.

I don't remember who went down first, but we made it. I think this shot is breathtaking (I'm quite positive it's a Texas thing ;o), so I know for sure I'll be returning. On a Saturday night, too. At approximately 5:30 p.m. That said, next time I will take my own ladder, & my cell phone will go up with me, since you know, it is portable. ☺

Views such as this just confirm my love for photography. And though I am not able to shoot as much as I'd like, I do ♥ photography.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gifted & Talented.

Tonight I spoke w/ Audi regarding the evaluation the district will be performing w/ him to see if he is, indeed, gifted & talented.

Me: Audi, the school district would like to do some testing w/ you to see if you qualify for one of their programs. Would you be ok with that?

Audi: What is it called? What does it mean?

Me: It's called Gifted & Talented, or GT, & it means nothing, really. If just means that they think there might be a possibility that you are a little ahead of some others, & they'll give you some different work to do. I'm sure some other classmates will be tested, as well.

Audi: Oh, ok! There's a kid in my class that already gets some testing. He can't make his letter sounds.

Ok - so I lost him after that. LOL

Bentley: I learned something today. I think I made my arms grow longer.

Me: And that is exactly why you aren't being tested, Bentley.


Loveeeeeee when I make a funny! ☺ And I LOVE my little people! ♥

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The "piss poor" turkey.

Last Friday when I picked the boys up from school, Audi informed me he had a little project to complete over the weekend.

Audi: I brought home a feather to decorate this weekend - it's for the piss poor turkey on the wall in the hallway!

I was driving at the time; I kind of veered off the road a little when he said that! Then, of course, me being me, I giggled. ☺

Me: Audi, what did you just say about the turkey?

Audi: The turkey is in piss poor shape because he has no feathers. I'm going to decorate a feather for him.

Me: Piss poor? Did you say piss poor?

Audi: Yep.

Me: Audi, where did you hear those words?

Audi: Mrs. T.

Well alrighty then. I can't imagine Mrs. T actually using that phrase, but ok! In all honesty, maybe not appropriate, but it was kinda cute. ☺ I told hubby about it that night & giggled again. That was the end of that.

Fast forward to Monday.

During a phone conversation I was having w/ Mrs. T regarding the harrassment Audi is receiving at school, she informed me she needed to bring something to my attention. Evidently, while the classes were walking in the hallway that a.m., another teacher walked by & commented how beautiful the turkey was with all his new, pretty feathers. My Audi, who is very dramatic, loud & obnoxious (he's a lot like me :), yelled out "well, you should have seen him before, he was in piss poor shape!!"

Mrs. T was a little stunned, said she looked at the other teacher, & they all kept walking. Later on she pulled Mr. Audi aside & informed him that those types of words are not allowed at school. She explained that sometimes grown ups say some things they shouldn't, but those words aren't allowed or to be repeated in school. She then asked him where he heard that phrase & he quickly replied: "My mom".

Now. I admit. Sometimes I say things I shouldn't say. I ain't a perfect person - I'm a human person. ;o) That said, you can bet your booty I don't use the phrase "piss poor".

As far as Audi is concerned? Busted. ☺

*Btw, the district is evaluating Audi to see if he qualifies for the "Gifted & Talented" program. Told ya he is a lot like me. Heehee. :o)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

First annual carved pumpkin.

We (I, actually - the little people were slightly grossed out by the pumpkin guts, & then we discovered it was too difficult for them to actually do the carving) carved our first ever pumpkin Halloween morning. We named him "enter-last-name-tooth". I know, he could have used some more teeth. :) We put him on our front porch, with our other uncarved pumpkins, Halloween evening. Someone stole all three pumpkins, including my candle, Halloween night (Saturday) or Sunday night. I would have liked to have kept the uncarved pumpkins thru Thanksgiving, & of course we wish we could have enjoyed "*******tooth" a tad longer. I felt bad for my little people - they were sad when I told them he had been stolen. :( Next year, we'll be sure to keep him in the house!

Nonetheless, he was cute & we'll be carving every year from here on out! ☺