What to Wear Wednesday: San Francisco Boudoir Photography

Welcome to our first installment of What to Wear Wednesday. I am so excited to begin this new thread of posts because I get a lot of questions about what to wear. I’d love to say this is because I am a fashion and beauty guru. That I am not. Instead the questions often come from clients wondering what to wear for their boudoir sessions or from friends who believe from my years having my camera pointed at people I have an edge. Perhaps I do. I’d like to think that I have at least a decent idea of what it takes to help you feel and look your best when it comes to photography and I truly believe that a lot of that can filter into everyday life.

Many of the women who have their hair and makeup done for a boudoir session walk away saying, “gosh, I feel fantastic, I’d love to bring a little of that into my everyday life.” So that is where What to Wear Wednesday comes in. I will blend what I know about fashion and beauty and glamour from the boudoir photography world and make it a blend over into everyday life a little. I think that sounds fun. I hope you do too.

I decided to start where I feel the most confident. I know makeup. I have been playing with it since I was 10. I might have started with neon green nail polish and hot pink lipstick but I played and honed and experimented until I feel like I kind of came into my own. Can makeup really be a existential journey into knowing more about who we really are? Did I really just say existential?

Makeup is key in photography. I believe makeup is key to any polished look outside of photography too. I do not think makeup makes you beautiful. You are beautiful. Makeup is a tool that can bring out your best features and bring to you a fierce confidence that is quite possibly magic at times. Can you rock a makeup free face and kick ass and be a mega amazing person? YES. Can adding a little makeup to your already beautiful face add a touch of amazingness? YES. Do I wear makeup every day? NO. There are many days for the carpool line and a trip to the grocery store that I’m rocking the yoga pants, pony tail, and no makeup. But makeup is fun and I love it so here ya go…

Here are a few of my favorite pieces that I use almost every single time I do my makeup…


From this kit I will point a few key things.

Eyebrows: Please don’t neglect them for a boudoir session or for real life. If you don’t know what you are doing Pinterest is an amazing resource. If you don’t want to do it on your own, ask a friend for a recommendation for a great eyebrow waxer. Eyebrows frame your eyes and your eyes are the windows to your soul. Seriously people, EYEBROWS.

Quality brushes: There is very little that can be done with crap brushes. I promise you if you go and get the MAC brush I posted here and ask for some help from the makeup artist at MAC on how to use it and blend you will have a literally eye opening (hahahaha) experience on how good brushes can change your whole life.

Primer: I don’t have a full face primer here but I do have an eyeshadow primer. MAC’s paint pot is amazing. Urban Decay has a great eyeshadow primer. ELF has some too. These items will help keep your makeup on and looking good all day. This is key not only for regular day wear of makeup but for a photo shoot where you will be changing outfits and adjusting poses for 2-3 hours often.

Good quality eyeshadow: My life changed when I found MAC eyeshadow. I had been using drugstore eyeshadow for years and one day I tried the good stuff. I can’t go back. I won’t go back. The cheaper stuff doesn’t blend, it doesn’t have true pigments in it, and it really just isn’t good. If you have been struggling with getting your eyeshadow to both blend and stay start with a good primer and then add on some good high quality eyeshadow. Life altering discoveries here people.

Trial and Error: Please don’t ever think that you arrive when it comes to makeup and beauty. I am going to get all existential on you again. It is about the journey not the destination. Makeup is just one small piece of what goes into making you feel and look your best. Keep playing. Try new color combinations. Try new looks. Want to learn how to do a cat eye? Do it. Don’t ever stop learning and growing (in makeup and life).

If you are considering a boudoir session and are not confident that you know how to do makeup for a photography session or just want to be pampered there is nothing to be concerned about. I have assembled an amazing team of makeup artists who are trained to help you look and feel your best. You can add makeup on to any session and most packages already include it.

What are your favorite makeup brands? What is your go to parts of your makeup kit? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


  • June 4, 2015 - 2:56 am

    Heather - I love what you had to say about eyebrows. Good points, I recently tried a primer for the first time. It was a great pore refiner. Thanks for the good perspective & reminders.ReplyCancel

    • June 10, 2015 - 10:20 pm

      boudoir - Thanks Heather! It is so fun to experiment!ReplyCancel

  • June 4, 2015 - 8:09 pm

    Lauren - Great tips! I always forget to “do” my eyebrows (not wax or pluck, but fill them in a little bit — I have light eyebrows). I also NEED to buy brushes and some good-quality eye shadow.ReplyCancel

    • June 10, 2015 - 10:20 pm

      boudoir - I never used to do it but then I realized my own brows were so light. Now I feel so “undone” without them! 🙂ReplyCancel

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