A Gift Guide for Picky Stylish People

holiday gift guide for stylish picky people

The Holiday Shopping Season is officially upon us, and though we likely won’t get everything on our lists (Santa ain’t ballin’ like that), I found a few gifts that will be appreciated by the picky stylish people in your life. Including me*.


GRAPHIC DIVINE
Graphic shapes and bright hues make even the most mundane necessities more merry.

SHOP!

1. Grownup jewelry influenced by a favorite childhood game >
Tatty Devine Tetris Necklace // $105

2. Stylish printed booties kick any outfit up a notch > Marc Jacobs Cora Printed Snake-effect Leather Ankle Boots // $297

3. The best way to indulge in sessy Brazilian cocktails first thing in the morning > Malin + Goetz Mojito 3-Piece Soap Set // $45

4. Cover up on the couch in artsy comfort >
Ditto Throw Blanket // $160

5. Great for going Hollywood, hipster style > Elizabeth and James Bennett Round Sunglasses // $185

6. Fashionable protection for your loved one’s most important asset > Speck iPhone 6/6s Plus Candyshell Case // $21.97

7. Like an Alexander Calder sculpture for your hand > Atelier Swarovski by Peter Pilotto, Arbol Cocktail Ring // $186.50

8. The comfiness of leggings in a surprisingly trendy design > MPG Striped Knit Leggings // $48

9. Because people like me take their mobile technology (downloadable Netflix, hello!) seriously > Comme Des Garçons CDG X Côte & Ciel iPad case // $65


ALL GOLD ERRYTHING
The warm glow of Nefertiti’s favorite precious metal is trendy again, and these gifts make it easy to go for the gold.

SHOP!

10. A fancy-schmancy notebook for your favorite writer > Christian Lacroix A6 Paseo Embossed notebook // $17.99–20.36

11. Sure it’s a little phallic, but it’s so pretty! > Georg Jensen CAFU Candleholder // $90

12. The modern way to wear pearls: embedded in a molten gold cuff > Karine Sultan Hammered Faux Pearl Cuff // $128

13. For the fashionista who just can’t keep track of her keys > Gift Boutique Orbit Selfie Button & Key Finder // $30

14. Because New Year’s Eve is just around the corner… > JUST CAVALLI Blouse // $184

15. For adding some sparkle to those spirit fingers > Smith & Cult Nail Polish in Shattered Souls // $18

16. When the Keurig gets to be a bore, try this > Bodum Classic Chambord Copper 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker // $49.99

17. Perfect for workout enthusiasts with serious gym swag > Happy Plugs Earbud Headphones // $29

18. A relaxing soak in the tub never smelled so good > AERIN Rose de Grasse Body Wash/7.6 oz. // $60


BIG COMFY COUCH
Once mid-February hits, the only thing that makes sense is hibernating on the sofa with a fancy candle and a cup of cocoa.

SHOP!
19. Pinkies up! > Prouna Marble Tea Cup & Saucer Set // $45 20. When a sweater looks like a sophisticated Muppet, you know it’s good > French Connection Fringed Chunky Sweater // $84

21. No chapped lips here–this balm is the bomb > D.R. Harris & Co. Ltd. Lip Balm // $8.33

22. Your always-cold significant other will love snuggling up under this > Nordstrom at Home Faux Fur Border Knit Throw // $99

23. Phone battery died again? Recharge with stylish tasseled cable > Merkury Innovations Silver Lightning Tassel Key Chain // $14.97

24. A foot’s best protection against cold hardwood floors > Foamtreads Avalon house shoe // $44.95

25. Because cats don’t seem to like being used as pillows > Mina Victory ‘Luscious’ Faux Fur Accent Pillow // $49.99

26. For the modest gift-giver > Damselfly I’m So Glad You’re As Awesome As Me Candle // $59

27. It’s not Christmas without hot cocoa, no? > Sarabeth’s Hot Chocolate Tin // $16

Happy holiday shopping!

*These are affiliate gifts, so I may receive a small commission from your purchase. Happy holidays to ALL!

Work // What’s In My Styling Kit

I recently had to re-stock my styling kit for a few photo shoots, so I thought I’d share what I keep in my bag, which is currently a glittery Victoria’s Secret free-gift-with-purchase tote that coats everything in stripper glitter and sorely needs to be replaced. I’m looking at one of these.

photo shoot stylist kit

A few of the things I keep up my sleeve…

Until then, here’s what stays in my kit:

  • Flathead pins and safety pins – have several sizes on hand (long, short, thick, thin) so you’re not poking huge pinholes in delicate materials. 80% of my kit is things that hold other things together.
  • Sewing kit – a basic needle and thread make it easy to replace buttons, baste hems, and tack up sleeves.
  • Portable steamer – handy for on-location shoots.
  • Clear monofilament – for “invisibly” suspending items.
  • Instant Tac – for creating height to prop things up; it’s also useful for making rings smaller and acting as an earring back in an emergency.
  • Zots – clear sticky dots that can be used in countless ways.
  • Lint roller – no photographer wants to clean up tiny specks of lint in post, so roll baby, roll.
  • Clamps and binder clips – to fit clothing, to hold down backdrops, to prop up foam core. Get them in different sizes to suit your needs.
  • Hairspray – for hair, of course, and as static spray for fabrics.
  • Scissors – small enough to cut threads but large enough to cut foam. I also keep a seam ripper in my sewing kit because you DO NOT want to accidentally cut a hole in a garment with too-big scissors.
  • Nipple covers – to conceal the indentation nipples create in clothing, NOT to cover nipples under sheer garments. Use a camisole/bra/nothing (if the model is OK with it) for that.
  • Lotion – because ash is never a good look, on-camera or off.
  • Stain stick – because you will be a DIY dry cleaner. A Tide stick and Shout wipes make it easier.
  • Foam-backed tape, double-sided tape, gaffer’s tape – All the tape, all the time. Stick things together, tape stuff down, and protect shoe soles.
  • Topstick – to avoid wardrobe malfunctions and hold down small areas of fabric.
  • Polishing cloth – to clean glasses, sunglasses, and other smooth/reflective surfaces, and quickly buffing shoes in a pinch. I keep a separate polishing cloth for jewelry.
  • Toothrush – to brush small stains out of suede, to clean grit off the bottom of shoes. It should not be currently in use for brushing teeth.
  • First Aid Kit – for the inevitable on-set boo-boo. Alcohol wipes also come in handy for disinfecting earring posts.
  • Converter – for turning a 3-prong plug into a 2-prong plug, very handy when shooting in older buildings.
  • Febreze – to keep fabrics fresh.
  • Tag gun – to replace tags removed from soft goods.
  • Ziplock bags – for everything from storing all of the above to keeping removed tags together.
photo styling floating glasses

These Prada shades are “floating” thanks to clear monofilament

FOR PROP STYLING, I ADD IN:

  • Soft foam padding – to keep dishes from cracking against each other.
  • Quilt batting – for stuffing bags, hoods, sleeves, anything that needs more volume.
  • Glue gun – because who doesn’t like hot-gluing tabletop sets together?
  • Chopsticks – for moving necklaces and chain handles into the right shape.
  • Long-handled tweezers – for moving small objects without disturbing the things around them.
  • Mini toolkit – because sets don’t build themselves.
  • Floral wire and wire cutters – to mold everything from flower stems to watch bands.
  • Paintbrush – for getting dust out of tiny little crevices.
  • Individual superglue packets – so you don’t have to worry about gluing your scissors to your steamer.
  • Goo Gone – for those darn stickers they put on the bottom of drinking glasses.
wardrobe stylist kit items

A camisole gave the model just enough coverage while keeping the focus on the trench coat.

FOR ON-FIGURE STYLING, I ADD IN:

  • Camisole – in black, white, and taupe, these basic layering pieces come in handy more often than you think.
  • Stick-on bra – I always ask models to bring a flesh-colored thong and strapless bra, but sometimes stick-on cups are a necessity.
  • Chicken cutlets – for when the model’s cups runneth under.
  • Body makeup – to even out the models’ skin–veins and mottling take time to remove in post. Be careful not to get any makeup on the clothes!
  • Nail polish & file – for taming janky hands and feet. Plus, I inevitably break a nail.
  • Makeup cover hood – to keep models hair and makeup in place and off the clothes. Anything from a silk scarf to a breathable cap will work.
  • Hangers and garment bags – for when shops and designers just hand you a pair of pants or a dress. Keep garment bags handy to protect their stuff and your sanity.
  • Pantyliners – to protect bathing suits, underwear, and the bottoms of shoes. They also serve as underarm sweat absorbers.
  • Makeup remover towelettes – to remove makeup and wipe down any, uh, odorous body parts.
  • Shoe horn – because a lot of models have big feet. Just sayin’.

Between craft shops, office supply stores, hardware stores, and the usual drugstore suspects, you should be able to find pretty much everything you need. And of course, Amazon (Prime, holla!) has your back in a pinch.

One last thing: When you’re shopping for kit supplies KEEP YO RECEIPTS. These purchases are business expenses and should be recorded as such on your taxes.

Questions? Additions? Let me know in the comments!

Solving Your Bra-blems with a ThirdLove Discount Code!

As soon as I walk in the door after a long day, I start undressing. Shoes first, of course. Then jewelry. Then comes the blessing of all blessings: I take off my bra.

I’ve mentioned this before, but underwire bras are not my jam. The cups never seem to fit correctly. The straps continuously slide down. I have to furtively adjust my boobs and dig around under my blouse like a pervert multiple times a day to fix the situation.

Since this is the digital age, every problem has a team of people trying to solve it. I heard about a brand called ThirdLove on The Read and figured I’d give it a try–I mean, if it’s a bra you can sleep in, how bad could it be?

third love t-shirt bra discount code

The 24/7™ Classic T-shirt Bra

I ordered a t-shirt bra in 34A1/2, which is the perfect compromise between an A cup and a B cup, aka my actual bra size. Finally! When it came in the mail, I was pleased: it’s pretty enough to show off (the ribbon shirring on the straps and gold-tone hardware are super classy), and comfortable enough to wear all day. Plus, the cups provide enough coverage to avoid that annoying cross-boob line when you wear t-shirts.

ThirdLove has tons of tips to fix your “bra-blems”, from adjusting straps and bands to re-thinking your cup/band size entirely. Try one for yourself by heading to ThirdLove.com and using the code TLSEPBB15 for 15% off your first order, and let me know what you think!

Shopping // Seasonal Wardrobe Wish List

glamleisure fall fashion inspiration

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve probably noticed that every season I decide on a look. This is both for fun and practical purposes: thinking about fashion is as natural as breathing for me, and making lists of things is 100% my jam. Plus, it’s fun to editorialize your own wardrobe every now and then, and having a set aesthetic makes shopping–and NOT shopping for things that don’t fit–that much easier.

This season, I’ve decided it’s all about (drumroll please)… GLAMLEISURE. What in the world is Glamleisure, you ask? Here’s what I mean:

It’s athleisure meets supermodel glamour. It’s silky slip dresses with sneakers and a bomber jacket. It’s cozy sweats worn with booties and a fabulous coat. It’s an adult onesie (aka jumpsuit) with a chunky knit sweater so plush it looks like it’s eating you alive. It’s an attempt to make pajamas and comforters and blankets look like acceptable daywear by adding fabulous accessories and a berry lip. It combines my favorite fashion era (think Naomi, Linda, my beloved Yasmeen) with my favorite activity (sleep). It’s my heart and soul and I am READY.

Here’s what’s on the list:

What’s on your heart and in your closet this season?

Work // Ball Tracer Dummy Photo Shoot

cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot

A few weeks ago, my friend Josh Anderson (you remember him from the podcast, right?) reached out with an interesting concept for a photo shoot: ballistics and martial arts. Josh likes weird stuff, and after years of styling relatively tame editorials for a mainstream audience, it was fun to push the boundaries a bit.

The process

As soon as I saw the mood board Josh put together, my brain immediately went into Producer mode: We needed people who could move well, so I reached out to dancers Neile Martin and Ian Timothy Forsgren to model.

I contacted my extremely talented (and very pregnant!) friend Stefani Carol to do hair and makeup, and sent her a quick creative brief to give her an idea of the beauty look we were going for.

I’m always down to work with talented designers, so I made arrangements with Anastasiya Yatsuk of TextileHaus and Tessa Clark of Grind & Glaze (who were both part of the Style + Sustainability gala) to borrow wardrobe for the shoot.

Once all the players were in place, I sent everyone the when/what/where details, scouted accessories for the models, and packed up the clothes and my kit.

cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot

Josh showed Neile and Ian examples of poses as inspiration

Josh already had the set built and lighting set up when we got there (I love when photographers are prepared!), and had pulled a few inspiration photos for poses. Stefani got to work on natural-yet-sweaty makeup and wild hair while I outfitted the models, and the shoot began!

cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot

Giving direction on the set

Et voila! Martial arts-inspired ballistics madness:

cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot cincinnati photographer fashion photo shoot

“Ball Tracer Dummy”
Photographer: Josh Anderson
Hair & Makeup: Stefani Carol
Styling: Tamia Stinson
Wardrobe: TextileHaus and Grind & Glaze
Models: Ian Timothy Forsgren and Neile Martin

Interested in working on a shoot? Need help putting everything together? Get in touch!

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