When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see your natural beauty or do you poke and prod noticing a new wrinkle, a red spot, maybe the dark circles that are proof of your restless sleep the night before. This is what most women notice. Try looking again, focus on those striking eyes staring back at you, that fresh rested glow you have when you roll out of bed. Notice those long lashes, and wavy locks, or that beautiful smile shining back at you. Focus on the good, because if you look only for the bad, it’s going to look far worse than it actually is. Let’s be honest here, everyone will end up with wrinkles, no matter how many lotions or potions you use, you will age, it is inevitable. Why fight something that is natural and beautiful in itself. I would rather be a naturally beautiful forty-year old, than a forty-year old that looks like she’s trying to be 25. You have earned every mark, every wrinkle, you need to embrace them, celebrate them. I really try to look at myself and life this way, but like anyone we have moments of weakness. You need to find your inner beauty and let it shine through. When you are truly happy with yourself you radiate pure natural beauty, and that’s what we should all be striving to achieve. Besides the glow that radiates from confidence, is far more beautiful than anything that can be applied or administered.
After months of trying to improve my self-esteem and confidence, I find it’s slowly starting to improve, little by little, day by day. I remember thinking that I needed to be dressed just right, fashionable and elegant, my makeup done perfectly, hair done the way I liked it. I would get myself just right and walk out the door with my head held high, but my makeup would fade, my hair would inevitably flatten, my clothes would stretch out, and my confidence would fade along with it. At the first sign of imperfection, my confidence would be washed away. I’ve come a long way since then, and I still want to be presentable and stylish, because I just love fashion. It’s an interest and passion of mine; it brings me joy and happiness. I most certainly want to look nice for myself and for my husband, but at the same time I’m not going to go to the extreme or starve myself to get there, and I definitely will not let myself be broken by a couple of hairs out of place. In the grand scheme of things, or five years down the line, am I or anyone for that matter, going to remember the day when my hair wasn’t perfect? No way! I remember the first day I woke up in the morning feeling a little better about myself; I stumbled down the stairs as I do every morning, wearing my husband’s oversized zip up hoodie. It covered my arms, entire body and landed just above my knees, I looked like I was drowning in it. As I looked in the mirror I noticed the bun I had left tied in my hair before I went to bed. It was now pushed way to the right, and chucks of hair falling out of my bun and down around my face in waves. It was beyond a mess! I looked at my face and my makeup was gone, all that remained was a tiny ting of mascara making my blond eyelashes a noticeable light brown, and my natural bare skinned face showed. I remember looking at myself for a moment awaiting my automatic negative reaction to my ridiculous appearance, but to my surprise it never came. I was almost confused as I stared into the mirror, and then shocked as the next thought that entered my mind was that I looked kind of cute, followed by a heck no, I look adorable this morning. To anyone else, or those who don’t know me, those comments may sound conceited, but if you were a fly on the wall in my life, you would be giving me a standing ovation for showing any sort of confidence. To this day, even though I have my fair share of insecurities and obvious up’s and downs, the moment I roll out of bed and 5:15am, throw on one of my husbands hoodies, and stumble down the stairs a mess of hair and slept in makeup, are the moments I feel the best. I feel sexier and more naturally beautiful at those moments then I ever have. Maybe Keith’s sweater is like a comfort blanket, pushing me to see though his eyes, or maybe it’s my fresh, untainted day, my new beginning that pushes me forward in a positive way. Or maybe it’s just the first step on my way to finding my true confidence and self-esteem I have worked so hard to find. It doesn’t matter how you make these transitions, as long as you try. You need to throw yourself into situations and activities that make you feel confident. Activities that push you, and make you step outside your comfort zone. When you try something new and succeed, you will unlock even more potential in yourself, and you will be proud of you. Don’t ever be afraid to try something new, it might be that one love you’ve been missing out on your whole life.
Like I’d mentioned in a previous post about Ruby Roxx, her recommendation was that every woman should step out in front of the camera, take part in a boudoir shoot, and find their own unique sexy side. I can vouch for this. I have personally taken part in a boudoir shoot intended for my husband’s wedding gift, but as the day and shoot progressed I realized that the experience was all for me. Don’t get me wrong, my husband was quite pleased with his gift, but I found something in me I didn’t know existed, a sense of pride, a sense of self and my confidence. I don’t think I can put into words the transformation that occurs during one of these photo shoots. The experience is designed to make you feel beautiful from start to finish, and it does. You get to try on and select the sexiest, sassiest and most beautiful lingerie you can, and find the pieces that make you feel your best. You get pampered; get your hair and makeup done, and then slip into your silkies and sexiest shoes and jump right into your shoot. For those of you with body image issues, I can feel your heart rate rising as I write. Have faith in yourself, have faith in your talented, professional and experienced photographer. They will guide you through the process, they will make you feel at ease and they will help to transform your vision of yourself, into a view of positivity and self-love. Never in your life will you experience an activity more specifically designed to make you feel good than this. Whether you need to convince yourself you’re doing the shoot as a gift for your partner in order to get you out the door and in front of a camera, or you sign up simply because I’m encouraging you, it doesn’t matter. Just do it, because when your photo shoot is complete, and your photographer sends you a pile of beautiful pictures, I guarantee your self image, confidence and self-esteem will soar. Hands down, the boudoir experience was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in my journey of feeling good about me. No matter what size or shape you are, what you see when you look in the mirror, whether you can afford expensive or less expensive lingerie, or you look at your body and all you see are things you want to change, I guarantee this experience will be one of the most enlightening, most motivating and inspiring of your life.
After taking part in a couple boudoir shoots, whether stepping in front of the camera, styling shoots and organizing wardrobes or doing hair, I have come up with a few tips to help you on your way.
Bee’s Boudoir Tips & Tricks:
1. Find a good photographer! – Check out local talent, search sites, maybe you have a photographer you know personally that you would be more comfortable working with. Whatever you do, do some research. Everyone’s idea of beauty and style is different, so find a photographer whose style represents you. Find a photographer who inspires you and captivates you with their photos, and make sure they have boudoir specific experience. Boudoir shoots are an art, just like fashion or action or landscape photographers. Find someone you love!
Here are some examples;
Dana Brushette Photography – https://www.facebook.com/DanaBrushettePhotography
See-Why Photography – https://www.facebook.com/pages/See-Why-Photography
2. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance! – avoid your local La Senza, unless that’s all you have, and head to an independently owned lingerie boutique. Speak to a person with hands on experience working with women of all different body types. Chances are if you head to a large chain filled with high school students working part-time jobs, you aren’t going to get the experience, the knowledge and the honest recommendations you deserve. If you head to a store known for lingerie, and filled with experienced sales staff, they will help you find the perfect pieces to make you feel fabulous! Trust in a good associate, and don’t judge everything by how it looks on a hanger. Let them suggest options for you, and try on as many things as you can. Find what makes you feel the most beautiful, the sexiest, the sassiest and go for it! Remember sexy is a feeling, and changes from person to person, if something risqué makes you feel sexiest, then go for it, if something that leaves more to the imagination and you a little more covered up, then go for that. You know what you feel best in, go with your gutt. You’re the one wearing it remember.
3. Accessorize – Don’t stop at lingerie! Find bracelets, necklaces and earrings, shoes, scarves or maybe a silky robe. Find beautiful things you already own or pick up a few new goodies to make you sparkle and shine. There’s something absolutely incredible about a pair of heels, their ability to make you feel sexy is incredible, not to mention they help create long lines, height and an emphasized bum, for those like me who are lacking in the booty and lengthy legs department. We all have our best assets, so use your accessories and outfit choices to accentuate them! Now if you find you’re not strong at pairing outfits and accessories together, don’t worry. Your photographer, and your stylist if one is participating in your shoot, will help you with your selections. They will give their recommendations as they have valuable experience and a trained eye for matters like these.
4. Bring Options! – Don’t bring just one baby doll, a pair of shoes and a pair of earrings to your shoot. One outfit is never enough, you’re a women, embrace your frivolous nature and shop, or sort through the piles of clothes in your closest! Bring options, lots of options. In my experience I can love an outfit, how it makes me feel and look one day, and the next day I hate everything about it. Bring a couple of outfits, bring a bunch of accessories, jewelry and shoes, just don’t bring your entire closest or you’ll never decide. I recommend no fewer than three option, and no more than 6. Too many options will make it impossible for you to decide. Let your stylist and photographer see what you have brought, unless you’ve already figured it all out, they have great opinions and may see options you never would have. Keep an eye on the setting and location, if you happen to end up in a hot pink room, you may want to avoid that fire red corset you picked out. This is where options come in handy.
5. Practice! – Now this may seem a little ridiculous, but practice in front of a full length mirror. If you don’t already know the angles that work best for you, try to learn some. Prop and pose until you find a position that makes you feel fabulous. Don’t be embarrassed, this is your body, be proud of it, keep your head held high. Even if you can’t seem to master the poses, this experience is not lost, getting comfortable walking and seeing yourself in lingerie “pre shoot” will only allow you to be more comfortable in your own skin later on. If you feel like the posing practice was a nightmare, keep in mind your photographer will be helping you along through the entire shoot. Directing you, praising you, helping you pose and ultimately helping you find your sexiest self.
Remember to keep an open mind, relax, let loose and get into it. This is your moment to be free, and feel sexy in a safe environment that’s only for you. You will find a renewed confidence in yourself, and remember when you look at your photos for the first time to see the beauty. Remember that every photo whether it’s your favorite or not, that it is beautiful. My reminder that everyone’s idea of beauty is different came when my husband flipped through my photos and my favorites were not his. In fact, my least favorite photos were his favorites. Beauty is an amazing thing, no matter where you look, it’s there inspiring you.
Now go find your sexy and embrace the confident you that’s sure to follow.