Argentina and Tracy invited me to do my own Simply Boudoir shoot at the beginning of the month so that I could help clarify the key differences in both the prestige Art of Seduction and stripped-down Simply Boudoir experiences (if you missed the detailed info, please read part one). So ladies, if you’re curious, you can follow the journey with me via my boudoir diary entry . . .
Saturday, 4 May 2013
9am. Reluctantly, I drag myself out of the cloud that is my bed. I’d gone to sleep around 2.30 or 3am the night before, so this is tough. (I’m NOT a morning person, particularly on the weekends.) My shoot isn’t until 11.30, but because hair and makeup is not included in a Simply Boudoir session, I’ve gotta do the dirtywork myself. And this means giving myself two ample hours to do the job.
9.30am. I’ve got music blaring in my bedroom to keep me awake and on task. Curling iron is hot, and I’m slightly scared to start. I have a ton of really long hair, and I’ve burned myself at least four times curling it in the past year. (I have the scars to prove it!) Not to mention, it doesn’t tease easily — at least when I do it. Professional stylists have managed to give me the oomph I need at the roots to really lift my mane up, but heck if I know how to do it. So I give the front a short-lived effort, which of course collapses immediately. (Somehow I feel that if I accidentally tease off all my hair, I may not want to go through with the shoot at all . . .)
In probably twenty minutes or so, I’ve done a semi-decent job of curling my whole head of hair without burning myself, though there is still not enough body. I practically gag myself covering my whole head with the stinkiest hairspray ever (which my sister, a fashion and beauty blogger, insists is the best). Now that my hair is done, it’s time to tackle my face.
Typically, I don’t wear much makeup: a little concealer under the eyes, eyeliner, mascara, lip gloss, and I’m ready to face the world. But I have to be photo-ready today. This means business. I do own bronzer and BB cream and all that, so I do the works — uncovering a NARS lip brush I didn’t know I owned in the process while digging through the uncharted collection of random makeup I’ve had forever but never use.
Eyeshadow, meet eyelid. I feel a bit sparkly. And then the paranoia hits. I remember when I was first made up by Jennifer (Argentina’s makeup artist) back in 2011 for my couple’s shoot. I’d asked her for a smoky look, imagining dramatic, mysterious charcoal framing my eyes for our shoot. She told me she would do it in brown, to my horror — but this was because she knew what looked best on camera, and the greys apparently looked colder. “Don’t be shocked at how dark your eyebrows are, either,” she warned me. “Most people are like ‘Holy eyebrows!’ but with the lighting [this is no longer relevant in the current and naturally lit studio] it really helps and becomes far less noticeable in the photos.” She was right; the brown tones looked amazing on camera. (I never wished she had gone another way, either with the colors or with the eyebrows.)
So my paranoia starts whispering, “What if there are more photoworthy makeup tricks that you just don’t know about? What if you ARE too sparkly, and you’ll Twilight yourself out of some really nice photos?” Jennifer took a fairly long time to do my eyes only last month for my Art of Seduction shoot. Why? What did she know that I don’t??
I darken in my eyebrows a little bit, and as I attach my own eyelashes, I realize my eyes are shaped differently from each other.
11.30am. Now at the studio, I step in to Jennifer’s little makeup room and use her mirror to fill my lips in with the world’s most anti-budge red lipstick — a treasure my sister and I had discovered at this year’s Nordstrom cosmetic trends show, Smashbox’s Infrared Matte. (You heard it here first, ladies.)
This is what I look like (of course I Instagram it). Compare to how Jennifer made me look in our couple’s session. Aaand this is why I like to leave the beautifying process to her.
When I am ready, Tracy helps me bring my stuff upstairs to the Simply Boudoir set (there’s a pole dancing pole in there, but if you want a photo with it you’ll have to go through Art of Seduction) and helps me put together my outfits.
“Would you like to add on a second outfit for an extra $20?” she asks with a sparkle in her eye.
Why not! I don’t know about everyone else, but I like variety in my photos — variety of poses, background, facial expressions, and of course, outfits. Having more to choose from makes the results so much more interesting.
The Simply Boudoir set, like the downstairs Art of Seduction set, uses natural light, but offers little variety for backgrounds. There is a small bed covered in white sheets and decorative grey pillows, and the perfectly imperfect vintage wood flooring. Tracy directs me over to a little private changing room just beyond the set, where I can put on my fancy skivvies and leave my street clothes for the shoot.
Like Argentina, Tracy is very sensitive to my physical limitations and helps me put on shoes, reminding me that if I need anything modified, I shouldn’t hesitate to let her know. She’s also very well versed in helping me adjust, tie, and zip any part of my outfits. (What we women do in the name of beauty . . .)
I always forget how hard posing for these shoots is. Not to mention my corset is strung so tightly that I can barely move without certain things falling out of place(!) or stabbing myself with a misbehaved piece of boning. Tracy demonstrates every pose herself, adjusts my hair or my uncooperative necklace, and tells me where to look and when to smile.
Rose, the other associate photographer, is around to help with some verbal direction as well, and together the girls make me feel quite at ease — even silly! — during my shoot.
The session is shorter — typically a Simply Boudoir session doesn’t exceed 45 minutes, capturing you in roughly 10-15 poses, and I kind of wish we could take more.
When we wrap, I put my street clothes back on and am invited to join the rest of the team for a much belated breakfast. (This is only because I work here, of course. Had I been anyone else I would have just been on my way.)
As a Simply Boudoir client, I then will receive an e-mail with a link to my password-protected online gallery. I will also have a $25 credit included with my Simply Boudoir shoot which I can apply within 30 days to order anything with (prints, digital files, albums).