Professional Makeup Matters | Washington DC Boudoir Photography

Makeup for everyday

The alarm goes off in the morning, and usually the around the third alarm, I finally get out of bed and go through my getting ready routine. Typically consisting of:  shower, dry hair, face, get dressed and then I’m out the door to the Washington DC boudoir studio. And I’d say that routine is a whopping 45 minutes, sometimes 30 if I don’t dry my hair. I’m all about maximizing my sleep time. I need all the sleep, y’all!

For my face, it’s literally just enough CC cream to even out my skin tone, filling and shaping my brows with brow powder and pencil and mascara and lip stuff – gloss if I’m feelin’ fancy. 

While this is “made up” for me, it’s not a face that’s ready for camera. Mostly because the camera needs a little more contrast and color to make a “made up” face look like I actually even did anything so I would have to apply it heavier and hopefully with a bit more technique, or just have a makeup pro do it for me instead.

And this is the very reason I include hair and makeup in all boudoir sessions!

Pro makeup for camera

If you’re like me and most clients coming in for their boudoir session, I’d much rather have a pro apply it as they know exactly how to apply for boudoir photography shoots , specifically for my face shape, and they know what colors will look best with my skin tone and outfits. But it’s also apparent that they just do a much better job and I often hear “can I just hire you to do my hair and makeup every day?” Livin’ that Kardashian life, girl!

Pro makeup artists are knowledgeable in the techniques, products, tools and just the artistry of it and that is why I include pro makeup application with faux lashes for every boudoir client. Not to mention, they make my retouching workflow a breeze!

The levels of makeup intensity for boudoir

We all have our preferences when it comes to makeup application and more often than not, most clients want to look like a more glammed version of themselves. So to make sure we’re all on the same page as far as your expectations go, I’ve created a handy guide you will see on the day of your session for you to let the MUA know your comfort level when it comes to makeup application.

Why does it matter?

Because it does! Ha!

No, really, because the work you see in the website, Instagram and the blog all have a specific look that I work closely on with my artist, as I do have a certain way I like for makeup to photograph and also so you feel absolutely amazing with the results. 

I want your boudoir experience to be stress free, so having hair and makeup applied before your shoot leaves out that stress of having to find a makeup artist yourself or you applying your own. Your job is to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

So leave the makeup part to us, we got you!

 Kristen Stewart Artistry

Kristen Stewart Artistry

 Kristen Stewart Artistry

Kristen Stewart Artistry

 Renata Lynette Makeup

Renata Lynette Makeup

 Renata Lynette Makeup

Renata Lynette Makeup

Hair and Makeup by Renata Lynette Makeup

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Friday Introduction: Yours Truly | Washington DC Boudoir Photography

As I sit here in the Washington DC loft boudoir studio, writing about myself always feels so pretentious but it’s a necessary thing especially in this genre photography. You’re going to want to know whose photographing you in your undies, amirite?

I’ll keep it simple though mostly because I’m a pretty simple lady.

I could start off by saying I walked out of my mother’s womb with a camera in hand and it’s my passion since I could remember and while that all might be true, I never once thought I’d turn my obsession for capturing everything I could think of into a career that I love – because let’s be real, that’s where is all started – I do have millions of photos of my dog doing nothing, thankyouverymuch.

It’s no doubt that I love taking photos mostly because I’m a sucker for the nostalgia of looking through old memories and having those memories evoke a feeling from that time. But it wasn’t until I discovered boudoir photography where I learned that the photographs we take from your session is just the proof of your experience of finally accepting yourself or in a lot of cases, discovering that side of you that you’ve always known was there, you just have never seen her.

So what am I trying to say here?

Sure, I’m a photographer. But the meat of it all – is helping women discover themselves. Abolishing those negative self-perceptions. You deserve to feel confident, to feel beautiful because damn it, you are enough and you deserve to feel all the good things! When you FINALLY FEEL those things, that’s when you start to BELIEVE them.

So who am I when I’m not photographing bad ass babes all day, you ask?

Well, I’ll tell you … in a bulleted list fashion so you can check off the ones that make us best friends:

  • I reside in a small petting zoo consisting of 2 rescued kitties and 2 rescued coonhound mixes. The kitties are Bob & Baby Kitty and the pups are Stella Bean & Goose.  The pups are actual sisters from the same litter but adopted 9 months apart. It’s a funny story, I’ll tell you about it sometime.
  • The Husband and I have dreams of owning a small acreage of land one day so I can have more rescued animals. The animals part might be more my dream though.
  • I like to travel any chance I get. I’ll go anywhere now that my fear of flying has subsided. I like to experience different cultures but also visit any island or beach for some R & R.
  • I can’t be gracious in front of a camera. Regular portrait shoots, or looking “normal” in front of a camera always evokes in straight goofiness. I’m more comfortable as the subject in a boudoir setting than a regular portrait. Is that weird?
  • I’m a Capricorn and I fit that profile. I’m not that serious all the time though, I promise. Go ahead, look it up.  
  • My favorite crystal is rose quartz because it is the stone for strengthening the heart on all levels and it holds the energy vibration of unconditional love and compassion for yourself and others. Lawwwd knows I need all the self-love the universe can give me! I can be a little woo-woo like that.
  • Soda, specifically coke, is my kryptonite.
  • I’m not much of an alcoholic drink kind of gal mostly because I can’t metabolize alcohol like everybody else. But I do fine with Prosecco.
  • My favorite place to have breakfast is Waffle House. Don’t judge.
  • I’m in a black and white phase and am drawn to anything black and white or neutral in general.
  • I love meeting new people and attending social gatherings, but I draw my energy from having time alone. My introvert game is on point.
  • Carnival rides kind of freak me out. If it packs up and is towed away to another city then I’m not getting on it.
  • I love the hustle and bustle of the city and I love the wide open country, the struggle of finding that perfect balance is real!
  • I totally believe in ghosts and the paranormal. Scary movies and ghost shows are my jam.
  • I’m equally fascinated and in awe of the ocean and terrified of it at the same time.
  • I hate coffee.

So tell me about you – more importantly … do you like waffle house?



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She was afraid she wouldn't look good | Chicago Boudoir Photography

We wrapped up an amazing weekend in Chicago for a couple of boudoir sessions and I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. W. We actually had her boudoir session planned since Oct of 2017 and planned for Kristen and I to come to the windy city in February. I mean I’m always up for traveling and was pretty excited to travel to Chicago for boudoir shoots! Then it hit me, we booked a boudoir shoot in Chicago in February. It’s going to be SO cold and let’s hope and pray that we don’t get snow!

Something I love helping my clients with is planning their outfits and I actually really encourage it. Some people can breeze right through the wardrobe planning but if you’re like me, I need all the help I can get! I helped Mrs. W plan her outfits as she emailed me photos of what she found while she was out shopping and we narrowed down some really good options.

Days leading up to fling out of Washington DC, we all got pretty nervous that this wouldn’t even happen because of snow storm Mateo coming through the midwest and our worst fears were confirmed that flights to Chicago the day before we leave were indeed cancelled. GAH!! I kept checking my flight status and no signs of cancellations or delays though, so we proceeded as normal.

We were only delayed about 3-4 hours but we MADE IT to Chicago safe and sound and even got an amazing complimentary room upgrade at the Dana Hotel and Spa to the presidential suite – umm, hell yes!

Side note: I will say – you Chicago peeps know how to handle some snow, totally impressed! If it were DC, they would have shut down the city, schools and the government weeks in advance!

Needless to say, Mrs. W and I had an amazing boudoir session and she loved all of her photos. However, her biggest fear was she wasn’t going to like her photos:

“My biggest fear was that my photos wouldn’t look good that I wouldn’t photograph very well and that I wouldn’t know how to pose or I wouldn’t look natural. And the day of my revel I had to try to hold back the tears when she started the slideshow of my pictures I couldn’t believe those were me they were all so beautiful. My husband was with me for the reveal and he said I just kept saying “wow!” to every picture.”

This is quite possibly one of the most common things I hear from women who want to book their own boudoir session and I can tell you that’s it’s your fear talking for you. Tell it to shut the eff up because you are going to kick ass and look amazing!

Then I asked her what was her favorite part of the session:

“I can’t honestly pick one thing. We laughed a lot. Julie is so amazing. She kept encouraging me telling me how I was doing great. It’s such an amazing experience. After wards going to dinner with my husband looking all pretty with my hair and makeup done was a plus.”

There you have it! Straight from Mrs. W! What’s holding you back from your boudoir session?



It's your turn, Chicago!

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Top 3 boudoir outfits | Washington DC Boudoir Photography

Planning for your boudoir session is different for everyone. Some breeze through it and have their outfits all picked out and if you’re like me, had a challenging time picking out some lingerie options. So I totally get it, this part can be a little stressful.

I've photographed hundreds of women throughout the years and when it comes to choosing outfit options, there are 2 things you must keep in mind: make sure it fits properly and feel amazing in it. 

So I've seen a lot of different outfits come through the studio, and I thought I would list the top 3 type of outfits for boudoir sessions.

1. Bra and panty set - This is the most common type, and I mean, for obvious reasons, right?! There are all kinds of types out there, so be sure to find a a bra that fits properly and you can pair with it's matching panty. Or if you're like me and need a little more coverage in the tummy area, look to pair it with some high waisted shape wear. SPANX is a great option for that.


2. One piece Teddy – You can ask anyone who’s ever had their boudoir shoot with me and they will totally say that one piece teddies are my FAVORITE. Even though they tend to be more like one piece bathing suits, I really love how you feel just as sexy. And confident because it covers more than a traditional bra and panty set. And the biggest plus: they look great on any body type.


3. Just the White Sheet - Yup, nothing but the sheet. This is more of an implied nude. Most will wear just undies and no top and we use the white sheet to cover up. More often times than not, most will opt to go nude for this set. Why is this so popular? Becasue you don't have to shop for another outfit and more importantly all the focus is on you without any distraction of lace, buckes and straps! It's a very classic boudoir look.


There you have it! Some ideas and inspirations for your boudoir shoot planning! You can also visit my pinterest page for more ideas and inspirations here or check out my Instagram for past sessions

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Washington DC Boudoir Studio

So let me tell you about the boudoir studio! We are located in west Alexandria, Virginia inside the building of E-lofts. It’s a live/work community where small businesses can not only live here, but they can also run their businesses. Cool concept, right? I thought so.

The loft space is dedicated solely to boudoir, however I’ve been known to spend the night during editing marathons during the busy season because, well, it’s just easier and I’ve got everything I need here!

It’s a 1,000 square feet and I’ve decorated the space to have an apartment home vibe mostly because I love that feel for my boudoir work. I’ve kept the décor pretty neutral for 2 reasons:

1. The neutral décor is simple and keeps the sole focus on you in your photographs. No clashing of colors or patterns with your outfits so you are able to have any style or color for your boudoir outfits.

2. I’m pretty much a neutrals kind of gal anyway. Black and white is my go-to and I change my mind A LOT so switching out other elements is pretty easy when I keep it neutral.

I’m really excited about this other little space dedicated to portraits and other plain background type of looks. I can switch out different backdrops if needed and use the strobes or the gorgeous natural light that comes through the window. Thank the Universe for this extra space because having to take this down EVERY time was really annoying.

I use the whole space to shoot. We’re going to use the kitchen, the living space, and now that I have a dining room table we will use that – so pumped! And of course all the other nooks and crannies where the natural light pours in.

Pictures don’t do this space any justice. So when you’re ready, use the contact form below and let’s get to chatting so we can schedule you a consultation to visit and tour the space in person and see where the boudoir magic happens!


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