Family Portrait Planning

Its no secret that time is flying by! I feel like we just rang in the new year but before you knew it summer started.  Now it's August and  we are thinking back to school. And what comes next?!?!

Fall family portrait sessions and thinking about our holiday cards. Then here we are back to ringing in a new year. Whoa, ya'll, slow down the clock! Am I right!?!

So what does that have to do with you and me, or hair/makeup? 

Sarah Kane Photography, my family's go to pro for documenting all of our seasons since I was pregnant with Sloane, announced that her fall mini sessions opened on Monday, July 31.

I had my alarm clock and reminders to snag mine. You need to get yours while they last because last year the day they went on sale the time slots on the day I wanted were slipping away as my husband I discussed which would pick and we were doing it within 2 hours of her opening them up!

You have probably seen this view from my shampoo bowl. Its a good one, if I do say so myself:)

We are scheduled! For December 2nd at 2pm!

Ok so you have the date and time scheduled, great! Congrats, you didn't wait until the last minute. Do you know what else you shouldn't wait for? Thinking about your hair and makeup! And your wardrobe!

The summer is a quieter time around the salon because so many people are out on vacation or don't have child care but September thru December book up really fast and I don't have as much wiggle room. When it gets super busy, I can rarely fit in a last minute, week of request for an appointment. And heaven forbid, one of us has an emergency. 

When should you book your appointment for cut/color/brow shaping?

My recommendation is to have your appointment about a week and a half to two weeks out from the day your portraits are scheduled. If you are trying a new stylist, I would make sure to get your hair done at least once before the appointment just before your photo session.  Click here to book now!

You could book a styling session the day of your photos but I wouldn't recommend having your cut/color done the day of your photos. That would make you too rushed for time.  

Depending on your schedule and how much you believe in your own ability, you could either have me style your hair and/or do your makeup OR you could do the Beauty School Drop In sessions. In these sessions you will learn how to do your own makeup and style your hair for everything from your day to day look or a special occasion like photos. 

If you need any help with this, don't hesitate to reach out. We can work backwards on the calendar from the date of your portrait session to figure out what appointments you need and get that all set so you don't have to worry!

Don't forget that its not just you in these photos, although usually its you that is last on your list.

Ladies, we have got to work on this! Remember to schedule appointments for the rest of your family too. Just click here and set those up! Haircuts at least 2 weeks out for your husband and kids. Make your man feel special by getting him set up with a neck trim a day or so before the photos so he is looking nice and tidy. 

The icing on the cake is wardrobe. Styling a look for your whole family that is color coordinated but not too matchy matchy can be overwhelming for a lot of people. Look no further than the incredibly talented Joanna Avant for help in that department. She has written a few blog posts about prep here and here. She is also available for hire to take care of this task for you. 



Smoothing System

I know its tough to stay smooth for the summer, especially when you live in the sticky, sweaty humidity that is Virginia weather! Here are my absolute favorites in the smoothing series by Kevin Murphy. These 4 products will do half the work for you in the battle with frizz for the summer.

Below you will see some more info on each and a nice video that explains the benefits and how to use  each product. As always, come on by and let me know if you have any questions. Keep an eye out on FB/Instagram for deals and promos, like the occasional flash sale. To the the early bird scoop, subscribe to the newsletter. 

Smooth Again leave in anti frizz treatment with styling ability and heat protection.

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This video is actually only about a minute and a half long so don't get panicked you are going to get bored with this one! He gets right to the point letting us know the features and benefits of this product.

If you want more muscle and staying power in your fight against frizz, give me a call with any questions about the new keratin treatments I'm offering. More info on the next blog post!

Shouts out to the Kevin Murphy website for all of the amazing videos and information about their products. To see more, check them out here. I love the product finder quiz!!

I hope you like what you see! If you know someone else who would like to keep up with what is going on at the RLB shop, forward this on and subscribe!

My Summer Essentials

Can you even believe that we are into June already? Summer is here, which is awesome, but this year is flying by like never before, right?  There is so much I love about summer, particularly the pool so I am taking a little break from the Camera Ready series to share some summer must haves! Don't worry, we will circle back to it soon.

Last weekend, our neighborhood pool opened. My kiddos (and me) LOVE everything about the pool. But let's be honest, strutting around in your bathing suit can be overwhelming, especially if you didn't get started on that diet you had planned on. Allow me to share a few confidence boosting things that I am loving. They are good for you too so its a guilty free indulgence!

Shiseido Sport BB cream

Ya'll, this little bottle is ah-mazing. You need to give it a good shake to make sure the product is thoroughly mixed and make sure to blend/rub it into the skin well. It has a sheer wash of coverage to blend out your complexion and it is water/sweat resistant for over an hour. 

It does double duty, your skin looks great and is totally protected with broad spectrum SPF 50! Don't forget to wear a hat, I have some super cute ones in the salon that are awesome for the pool, stop in a get them while they last. 

So the above pic is my actual product. Did you notice that the color is Dark? It comes in Light, Medium and Dark and right now I am super tan so I needed Dark. 

I have been preaching on the SPF platform for quite some time, shaming my sun worshiping pals for their tan line excitement and slathering my children with the best sunscreen money can buy.  A few years ago, I was proudly as pale as possible, looking like Snow White with my long black hair and intentionally pale skin.  Well now I am blonde, (and heavier) and I want a glow but I am not willing to go back to baking.

Want to know my (not so) secret to my new glow?

Sugar Mist Sunless Tanning

Trisha's studio is right down the hall from my shop in Phenix Salon Suites. In April, I was going to a fundraiser and was quite embarrassed at how pale I was after being in hiding all winter.  I am never tan but I just looked like I had not seen the light of day in quiet some time. She did an amazing job, giving me a healthy warm glow, nothing orange or streaky. The session is quick and she tells you exactly how to take care of it. 

I am now totally addicted and will be finding a way to keep up my color (with her help) all season long. Call her today! She's amazing. 

Clarins Glow Booster

I am, for sure, the worst self tanner applicator in the business. There has never been a time that I didn't totally screw it up beyond belief. Maybe I don't have the patience, maybe I don't have the skill, whatever the reason is doesn't really matter.  This is not in my skill set. I don't even try anymore, especially since I am a loyal Sugar Mist client now.

Last week,  I was in Nordstrom picking up the above  BB cream,  when I was announcing my adoration of Trisha from Sugar Mist Tans, the sales lady told me about this Clarins color booster. I informed her that I was the worst at self tanning, she assured me that this is idiot proof and I will not be able to screw it up. So far, so good.

Ok, here is how it works....inside this box is a small bottle of liquid bronzer that you add a few drops into any body or face lotion. Mix it in your hands and rub/blend it into your skin. The formula is adjustable, you decide how much to add to your lotion, allowing it to build gradually from the first use.

So far it is error/me proof!

Younique Lip BonBon

I adore this sheer wash of color you get from the Younique Lip BonBon. My go to color is Red Velvet Cake, but it comes in several. I think this is a must have staple for every girl, of every age. Its perfect for my tween friends, just starting to wear some color and the best for my adult girls doing the no-makeup look. I swipe a bit over my lips and cheeks to add some color before hitting the pool or gym. 

If you are an email subscriber, keep your eyes peeled on that inbox for a chance to win one of these this month!

Trina Turk Cover Up

This was bit of a splurge for me. I am usually a Wal-Mart/Target/Marshall's girl when it comes to things like this. But in my advancing age, I am starting to take a less is more, quality over quantity mentality to many things. 

I have to admit, there was some sticker shock with this one but I absolutely fell in love with it when I tried it on. I put it back for a few minutes and then a voice in my head told me I would be kicking myself if I didn't buy it, especially since it was the last one.  

After all,  I have been working really hard for the past few months and decided to treat myself.  My husband even pointed out that in the summer, I spend more time in pool gear than real clothes so it makes sense to have a couple of nice quality pieces that I feel great in instead of 100 cheap things that are falling apart. He really is a keeper:)

The nylon/spandex material is comfy and cool, great for steamy days and dries quickly when you get splashed. How fun is this fringe?!?

What are your favorites for the season? Share in the comments!

Next up, I will round out the camera ready series with another photo prep post. If you missed the first two you an find 3 must have products here and how to fight frizz here.

Fighting Frizz


Why, oh why, are we cursed with frizzy hair!?!?

No one likes frizz. Seriously, not a single person is on team fluffy, frizzy hair. And like most things in life, the first step in trying to figure out how to manage it, is to address WHY it is that way to begin with. 

Ok, here it goes. Frizz is a result of the lack of moisture and the cuticle (outer layer) of the hair not laying smooth against the hair shaft. When your hair senses moisture or humidity in the environment, that cuticle opens up and starts absorbing the moisture from the environment., swelling the strands of hair.

There are many factors that cause your hair to be dry/thirsty/dehydrated. Here are a few, most of us are guilty of a few of these!

  • Your shampoo is not moisturizing enough. See below for some recommendations!

  • Protein to moisture ratio is out of balance. Too much protein without moisture will dry you out!

  • Is your diet well balanced? 
  • Are you drinking enough water, at least half of your body weight in oz per day. 
  • Certain medications can cause changes to your hair.
  • You have over processed the hair with repetitive chemical treatments that damage the cuticle.

Now sure, you can (and should) grab one of these super cute hats for the lazy days of summer. But even though its hella cute, it shouldn't be your wardrobe staple that you are hiding under. 

*I only have  handful of these left so if you want one, come and get it quick!

So now you know some of the whys but what should you do about it? Here are 6 tips!

1. Shampoo less often but use a super moisturizing product. I will share some below and on social media.

2. Deep condition! Yes, even if your hair is fine. Use a detox shampoo like Kevin Murphy's Maxi Wash and follow with the recommended masque weekly. I would be happy to recommend one that works with your porosity level. Try the Treat Me Experience, (its like Botox for your hair), learn more about that in salon treatment here. 

3. Turn down the heat on your styling tools and use a round brush to smooth the cuticle. 

4. Sleep with satin or silk accessories, like a scarf tied around your head or on a silk pillowcase to keep your hair from rubbing against rough, dry surfaces. 

5. Apply a product like a leave in conditioner before swimming or working out, the sodium in your sweat can dry out your strands. 

6. Use a sulfate free wash. Did you know all Kevin Murphy products are sulfate free, paraben free and cruelty free. 

Since May's color theme is PURPLE, I want to share some of the products from the Kevin Murphy line that are heavenly in the moisture/smoothing department!

Do you have any tips for managing frizzy hair that you would like to share?  Leave a comment below, subscribe to the mailing list and share this post with someone who needs to know!

This post is part 2 of a series on how to get yourself camera ready. My dear friend and favorite family photographer, Sarah Kane is compiling some super helpful info from me and style guru, Joanna Avant to help her clients feel prepared for their sessions.

Do you have questions on how to prepare for a photo session? Leave them in the comments and there may be a blog post or Facebook live coming soon to give you the answer.