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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder…

21 Sep 2017 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

…YOU are the BEHOLDER

Ladies.  I have to admit that most of my life I’ve been waiting around for someone to deem me beautiful. All I wanted was for someone to think of my wild curly hair as beautiful and that desire prevented me from cultivating that love for myself.

Waiting for someone to think that I’m beautiful has been so exhausting because looking to others to feel beautiful always comes up empty.

I’m done waiting around. I’m going to take back that power and claim my own beauty. There I did it.

I  am beautiful.

Does that make me full of myself? Maybe, but it’s better than feeling not enough and looking to others to validate my beauty. That leaves me feeling dis-empowered.

This is how we spread more authentic beauty in this world and the world needs to see more beauty right now more than ever, don’t you think? 

 
It’s called Beauty empowerment and this movement is long overdue ladies. 
 
We’ve sat back waiting around for others to validate our beauty for a very long time now. Who gets to decide what’s beautiful? Is there a committee? A task force of already deemed beautiful people? It sure feels that way sometimes.
 
The most liberating thing a woman can do is to know what makes her beautiful inside and out, claim it, and then shine that beauty back out in the world for others to see and be inspired by. Because when she knows that in her bones then it doesn’t matter what someone does, or doesn’t, think of her. That’s true power.
 
I know it’s easier said than done to proclaim “I’m beautiful!” and to really believe it. Women have been conditioned to believe we must look a certain way and ignore what makes us unique for a very long time. But, there’s a shift that needs to happen in how we think of beauty and it needs to shift back to ourselves so we can discover it and own it for ourselves. 
To me feeling beautiful encompasses everything on the inside as well as the outside that makes you unique. It’s everything from your big beautiful brown eyes, your laugh, your tender heart to your curly hair. I call this your Beauty Mix. It’s your own personal beauty receipt that no one else shares.

Here are a few easy ways to discover your own Beauty Mix

Be compassionate with yourself… 
Nothing good can ever come from beating yourself up about the way you look. This is a fact. You can not fully feel beautiful inside and out if you are shaming, blaming and wishing any part of your body was different. You see to fully embrace the beautiful you, you will need to love yourself. All of yourself. Yes, I know self love is a hot topic these days. But it’s the foundation to believing deep down that you are beautiful. If you can’t love yourself yet, then start with just accepting yourself now and see where it leads.
 
Take exquisite care of yourself…
When you take exquisite care of yourself you will develop deep self respect. Now I said exquisite care and that means giving yourself attention and being present while doing any form of care of your body, mind and soul. Anyone can spend an hour getting a massage or running, but when you are fully engaged in the act of taking the time to pay respect to your body you begin to feel so much better about yourself. You can slow way down and appreciate the delicate and beautiful relationship you can have with yourself. That’s self compassion and we need to be doing a better job at that. 
 
Stop comparing your beauty to others…
Comparison is the kiss of beauty death. We are all so uniquely different it really doesn’t make sense to try to compare oneself to another. I know the media, especially fashion magazines, likes to tell you straight up who is considered beautiful. But the world is made up of so many different flavors and styles we can appreciate just by walking out our front door! Why do we need a magazine to tell us who is considered beautiful? 
 
When you have compassion for yourself, take exquisite care of yourself and stop comparing yourself to others then you can begin to uncover what is uniquely special about your own beauty. 
I challenge you to find at least 3 things you find beautiful about yourself. You’ve done it for other people so I know you can turn seeking out beauty on to yourself.  Let me know what’s your own Beauty Mix. I’d love for you to share it with me and the world. 
 
 
To find out how you can discover your own Beauty Mix in a more in-depth, fun and empowering way email me to sign up for my next online 5 Day Beauty Mix Challenge or contact me to schedule a consultation if you’d like to experience a transformative photo shoot with me. 
 
XOXO
Michelle

How to prepare for your boudoir session – Michelle Hayes Boudoir Studio San Diego

05 Apr 2017 | Categories: Boudoir, Make up tips, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

Planning and preparing for your photo shoot is a big part of the Boudoir experience and I want you to enjoy ever step of the process. Plus, getting ready for your session is the best excuse to take sometime to pamper yourself and get in some ME time. When was the last time you had any of that?

I  give you permission to take some much needed time for yourself whether it be to finally book a facial, get some highlights put in, have a body scrub or just taking the time to lather your body with that expensive body lotion you never seam to use. 

“Prepping for the shoot can be a great excuse to pamper yourself”

Here are a few tips to do (a month before and leading up to the day of your shoot) to ensure you are well prepared for your session and arrive ready to have some fun. 

Boudoir + Glamour Photography Michelle Hayes Studio NYC

 

After our consultation, where I get to find out all your ideas an desires for the shoot, I will ask you to create a Pinterest board. This is a great way for you to find inspiration, get ideas for wardrobe and hair + makeup and be a little creative. I have many boudoir boards where you can find inspirations. Feel free to pin anything that catches your eye and doesn’t have to be boudoir related at all. Then you can share the board with me and we can go over what you came up with. If you have no idea and don’t think you are the creative type, don’t worry. This is not mandatory, it’s just to have a little fun creating your ideal shoot. 

 

 

Once we have an idea of mood, clothing ideas, how you want your makeup applied and your hair styled, it will be time to get your wardrobe together. You have two options.

1. Go shopping in your own closet and use pieces that you love and feel good in. Here’s my “10 Ten Wardrobe Ideas guide” I put together to give you some inspiration. We can make anything look sexy it doesn’t have to be lingerie.

2. If you want to splurge and get yourself something new, go shopping! Have fun trying on different styles and colors and if you don’t know what you  look good in then ask a knowledgeable salesperson.

I  highly suggest asking a knowledgeable sales person in a lingerie store for their help and opinion.

They have a trained eye and will gladly fit you to ensure the proper garments for your body type. I have a list of boutiques I can guide you to for assistance. 


We all know that photo shop can fix many out of the ordinary “imperfections” that pop up, but I suggest prepping the skin beforehand as best as you can to reduce the amount of post processing. I don’t do a lot of editing to my images to begin with, but if we can start with a good canvas then you will not need any extra “fixing”. Here are some helpful things you can do to ensure your skin and hair look it’s best and that you feel good in general… 

  1. Get a facial (at a spa)
  2. Try a body scrub and facial scrub treatment (in-home)
  3. Start moisturizing you body with something decadent
  4. Get your teeth whitened (whitening strips work wonders)
  5. Start to increase your daily water intake
  6. Get a bikini/leg/armpit wax
  7. Get your roots/highlights touched up/hair trimmed
  8. Deep conditioning treatment (at home or salon)
  9. Treat yourself to a massage to relax
  10. Start moving your body with non strenuous exercise like yoga, pilates, walking, or this amazing practice called Qoya. It’s a great way to feel comfortable in your own skin!

 

You absolutely don’t need to do everything on this list. It’s not mandatory, but it will get you in the mood and we all know feeling and looking good will lead to being more relaxed in front of the camera which will give you natural and beautiful images!

 

Day of Shoot Checklist:

  1. Double check everything you will be bringing the night before and make sure that you leave plenty of time to get to the destination without stressing
  2. Eat something! You will need a lot of energy for all the posing. It can be a lot of work so please eat something!
  3. If you didn’t get a wax then shave necessary parts, legs, armpits, bikini area, etc. 
  4. Come with a freshly washed and moisturized face and dry, clean hair so that my hair stylist/makeup artist can start right away. 
  5. Don’t wear clothing with tight elastic bands that could leave a mark on your skin

 

Shoot time! This is where the fun begins…

If you want more info about designing and getting prepared for your shoot download my free Dream Shoot Planner and start dreaming up ways to pamper yourself before your shoot!

Top Boudoir Photographer San Diego & NYC

Feel beautiful now with my top 3 beauty products…

03 Jan 2017 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir, Make up tips | Posted by: Michelle

Beautymixscreenshot2

 

LL  Look4 Back Office

As you know, I am so passionate about helping women to feel good about themselves, inside + out. Think about it. Don’t you just want to feel good about being YOU, and not worry about looking or being a certain way? Doesn’t that sound/feel so liberating and way easier on yourself?

I know everyone wants to feel good about themselves, but from working with a lot of women I know that it’s just not that easy for most of us. We have a hard time doing things for ourselves that make us feel good. So, in addition to my photoshoots, I want to offer more ways for women to feel good about themselves …

I would love for every woman to experience a fun, pampering and transformative photoshoot with me, but I know it’s not for everyone (yet!). So, I’m making things a little easier for women by offering non-toxic skin care and professional grade makeup that will make them feel pampered and beautiful.

You know how you feel when your skin is glowing or when you put on that fab red lip?

You see, whether you book a photo shoot with me or buy some luxurious skin care to take care of yourself, the end goal is the same – to feel good about yourself, inside + out.

I’ve teamed up with LimeLight, a family-owned beauty company, who helps women everywhere look their best every day with their all natural skincare line and professional grade makeup. I’m so excited to use the products on every woman who comes into my studio for a shoot and to have them available to purchase for anyone who wants to feel good at home.

 

Here are my Top 3 Products to help you feel good…

Quench Therapist Collection

Have you been thinking of switching out your unnecessarily-chemically-filled skin care with something less um, toxic?

The luxurious, yet affordable Quench Therapist Collection is the best place to start. Your skin will thank you for taking such good care of it by giving you a healthy glow.

Enduring Lip Color All Shades headline

Are you interested in a long wearing lip color that doesn’t dry out or smear? 

The Enduring Lip Colors are sooo luxurious and wearable. I’m obsessed with the color Macaroon. Just swipe on once and feel a little fancy all day long…

Perfect Mascara

And finally, if you’ve been searching for the perfect mascara then you have to try the Perfect Mascara.

I’m a mascara junkie. One xmas my sis-in-law gave me a collection of 12 mascaras and I was beyond excited! I’ve tried every mascara out there and this one is my favorite. It doesn’t smudge on me and that is a miracle in it self.

Bonus Product (I couldn’t pick just 3 y’all!)

skincare v2 skin polish

If you want your foundation to glide on, and not cake throughout the day, you must exfoliate, especially in the winter. It’s a little tougher to keep your skin glowing during these harsh months.

My new favorite way to take time for myself is to have a little spa night. I’ll break out the wine, exfoliate and then mask my face. I have a product that will do both!

The amazing Skin Polish starts off as a scrub… and then turns into a mask. What?! Yes. And it smells like a lemon cookie. Heaven..

If you’re interested in learning more about these fabulous products, check out LimeLight where I know you’ll find something that will make you feel good. Go on, you deserve it!

You’ll also be supporting a family-owned business who really has a heart, wants to clean up the beauty industry and empower women to create a business on their own.

That’s my kind of beauty power.

***

I  hope you have a Healthy, Happy & Beautiful New Year!…

…and don’t forget to do something special for yourself. You deserve to feel good.

Love & Beauty,

Michelle

Interested in a Boudoir or Beauty session with me and want more info?

Start here. Sign up for my free Dream Shoot Planner that will give you inspiration on what to wear for your very own shoot!

Exciting new addition to Michelle Hayes Studio… LimeLight Cosmetics & Skincare!

01 Dec 2016 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I’m so excited to be using LimeLight by Alcone cosmetics and skincare in my studio! I’m a total makeup and skin care junkie and it just makes sense to expand into beauty.

To be able to offer an amazing and pampering experience in my studio, which includes having your makeup and hair done professionally is one of my top priorities. It is so much fun to see what looks we can create and it gets you in the mood for your shoot.  

I  have found a beauty company that shares similar values as I do, which is to allow the everyday woman to look and feel beautiful and to empower women to take control of their lives through running their own business. It’s a family owned company that is headed by two inspiring women, an aunt and a niece. How cool is that?

Oh and in addition to their awesome values their products are gorgeous, high-performing, and non-toxic. This is a rare combination in the makeup world so I am really lucky to have found this company.

Here’s a sneak peak of some of the products I will be using on everyone that comes in for a full Boudoir or Beauty shoot with me…

So LimeLight by Alcone and Michelle Hayes Studio is a perfect business and beauty match!

Want to experience a confidence-boosting photoshoot and be pampered by having professional (and non-toxic) makeup expertly applied on you? Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Contact me today for a consultation so we can design your dream shoot!

XOXO

Michelle

The ultimate Holiday gift! Free 8×10 print – Michelle Hayes Studio Boudoir

24 Nov 2016 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Looking for something new and exciting to give as a gift this Holiday season?

Skip the power tools and give something sassy and unexpected.

I  like to say that a boudoir session is a 2 in 1 gift. You get to experience a confidence-boosting photo shoot and you’ll also have beautiful images to give as a gift to someone special…or yourself.

Just imagine the look on their face when they open a sleek black book of your gorgeous boudoir images…

 

Book a Boudoir session by 12/23/16 and you will receive a complimentary 8×10 fine art print (valued at $150).

You have until 2/24/17 to complete your boudoir session with Michelle Hayes Studio to receive the special offer.

Book now!

Contact me to schedule your Boudoir Session today so you can have the ultimate Holiday gift to give to that special somone!

Women’s Health Magazine Feature – Michelle Hayes Studio

20 Jul 2015 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I  was asked to contribute to an article about doing a boudoir session in Women’s Health Magazine and I just love how this article supports doing a boudoir session for no other reason than a woman wants to…but sheesh talk about an attention grabbing headline! No you don’t have to be scantily clad to do a boudoir session! Do whatever you want. It’s YOUR session.

For years I’ve been saying every woman should get to experience this type of portrait session and you don’t have to have a reason, like you are getting married and want to give your fiance the gift of sexy photos of yourself. Why not give yourself that gift?

Most women leave my studio on such a confidence high that they wonder why they haven’t done this sooner and kick themselves for worrying about things they don’t like about themselves or can’t change because none of those things even matter.

What matters is that you get to feel comfortable about yourself, have a pampering experience while you are at your own private photo shoot and get to drool over your fine self when you see your beautiful images.

While this article gives some very good advice to help you get the ball rolling if you’re thinking about doing a boudoir session, you should talk with a few photographers to see if they will be a good fit for what you want and also get to know their style and personality. You want to feel comfortable with your photographer and that means having a few conversations either in person or on the phone.

Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions because I have found that when a client knows exactly what’s going to happen then they feel at ease and trust me more which means more beautiful images!

I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about finally doing a boudoir session and giving you the scoop about how your session will be in my studio. Let’s chat!

Contact me today!

Not ready book a shoot yet? I totally understand. This is not a grab-a-pack-of-gum-at-the-checkout type of purchase.

At the right side of this page is my  free “TOP TEN OUTFITS GUIDE FOR YOUR BOUDOIR SESSION” guide I created to help you think about what type of session you may want to have. This will get the ball rolling and I guarantee you will start to feel inspired!

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-relationships/boudoir-photo-shoots

Let yourself have an experience – Michelle Hayes Studio Boudoir San Diego

05 Jun 2015 | Categories: Boudoir, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

I  just had the loveliest shopping experience at Journelle in NYC. I went in to browse the latest lingerie styles to suggest to my boudoir cients and I couldn’t help try on a few pieces for myself. I was taken back to the dressing room area, which could have been a chic NYC apartment, as my salesperson offered me Evian water and asked about the types of bra’s I was looking for. I also passed a big bowl of chocolates in which I had to restrain myself from plunging my hand in. Control yourself Michelle this is not the checkout line at Duane Reede!

As I tried on my two bras my salesperson came back with a few other pieces that fit the bill perfectly for what I was looking for and then some. So I have to admit that I have been purchasing my underwear from H&M and I was getting tired of having to buy new bras every year because they just didn’t hold up. I decided it was time to invest and after the inviting experience I just had I felt totally ok about buying a bra for three times the amount I would normally spend. The fabric felt amazing and I know this bra will last. Besides, they gave me free water and chocolates people! Sold.

I  wanted to share this because it was a mini pampering experience that didn’t take all day and didn’t break the bank. I finally let myself be taken care of while I shopped and treated myself to beautiful piece of underwear. I could have gone to H&M and found a three pack of t-shirt bra’s after digging through rows and rows of merchandise to find my size (which the never have, ugh) all by my sad little self and without any Evian to quench my thirst and chocolates to soothe my worries. But I didn’t. I  let myself have an experience.

I fully enjoyed being pampered AND I left myself feel good about it, AND I left not caring that I spent way more than the usual $16.99 for a bra.

Ladies, you don’t have to have a grand and luxurious spa experience at the Plaza to finally let go and enjoy. Look at something you’ve been skimping on, or not letting yourself have, (even if it’s free), and give yourself permission to have a feel-good experience.

The feel-good experience didn’t stop there. My sales person loving wrapped my one bra in paper, tied it with ribbon and included a very detailed wash + care card. It’s a just a purple bag, with a purple ribbon and postcard, yet I actually treasured my packaging a little because it was the chocolate treat on top of the pillow that made me feel special. For once my newly purchased delicates weren’t stuffed into a plastic bag by a teenager. Well done Journelle.

Thank you Journelle!

If you’re looking for a place to shop for items for your next Boudoir session, while getting a little pampered, then I highly recommend Journelle in NYC. Their attitude about customer service mirrors my photography business and I love that. Tell them you are doing a Boudoir session and they can easily help you find something. It will be the perfect introduction to your whole Boudoir experience!

Let’s set up a complimentary call where we discuss designing your very own Boudoir session so you can really let yourself have an experience. Go one you deserve it! Contact me here!

UPDATE!

This morning I received an email from Journelle thanking me for my recent purchase…

How thoughtful is that? I know it’s a general automated email they send out to everyone who makes a purchase, but they didn’t have to do this. But they wanted to continue their awesome customer service and make me feel special again five days later.

This is something I also have implemented in my business. I try to send a “Thank You + Sneak Peak” email to my clients 24 hours after the session. I genuinely want to thank them for doing an amazing job (which everyone does) and I give them an image from their shoot to prove they actually did an awesome job. It really soothes their nerves because as much as I try to show them the back of the camera during the session they always leave feeling a little nervous about how they will look in the final photos. After they see this image they relax and show their girlfriends what they did. 

How to wear garter belts for a Boudoir session by L’Ecole Nuit

27 Apr 2015 | Categories: Boudoir, What to wear | Posted by: Michelle

This article by L’Ecole Nuit offers 5 helpful tips on how to wear (and how to fasten!) garter belts for a Boudoir session or for everyday wear. Yes, you can go ahead and wear garters under that pencil skirt to work ;)

If you decide to add this sexy piece to an outfit for your shoot remember to try them on beforehand! I’ve had a few instances where women bring in these fabulous accessories and they have no idea how to fasten them. They can be a little confusing and hard to attach on your own, but don’t fret I can assist with that! As with any outfit you bring to your shoot try it on at home first to make sure you are comfortable in it and understand how it should be worn. There are some ensembles that can take some time to get in to! Remember, we are going to be doing a lot of posing so move around a little so you can see how they wear on your body.

 L’Ecole Nuit is a great place to shop for luxury lingerie for your boudoir session. They have beautiful lingerie sets, corsets, chemises and robes, and of course garters! They have been kind enough to offer my Boudoir clients 15% off their orders! Just use the coupon code MICHELLEHAYES at the time of checkout!

Mini Boudoir Marathon Event! It’s the perfect Holiday gift!

01 Nov 2014 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Yes, the Holidays are officially here. The count down to getting that perfect gift has begun. No, don’t even think of giving him that practical gift that he probably needs.

How about something he will never guess what is and will knock-his-socks-off?

This is the perfect opportunity to finally get a Boudoir session done if you’ve been dying to do it, but can’t afford a full session. Because I’m able to do multiple sessions in one day I can offer an amazing discount. But I only have 8 spots available because it’s just little ol me that’s doing all these sessions.

Here are the details and be sure to contact me soon to book because these 8 sessions will book fast…

Michelle Hayes Studio NYC Mini Boudoir Holiday Marathon

 

WHAT? – Holiday Mini Boudoir Marathon!
WHY? – Because I don’t want you giving your loved one a boring practical gift. How about a knock-your-socks-off gift?
WHEN? – TWO DAYS ONLY! Sunday November 16th & Sunday November 23rd

VIP CLIENT REFERAL!

If you are a past VIP client of Michelle Hayes Studio then you can get free prints of your own shoot! Refer a friend and if they book you get a free print from your own session.

Just forward the promotion on to your friends and make sure they tell me you sent them to get your special offers.

 

 

Refer 1 client and receive (1) 8×10 print from your own session

Refer 2 clients and receive (1) 8×10 print and (1) Hi – Res Digital Negative from your own session

Refer 3 or more clients and I will give you (1) 8×10 print and (1) Hi – Res Digital Negative and a $100 Gift Certificate to the spa of your choice.

 

Wouldn’t a facial, or a massage, or a deluxe mani/pedi be the perfect gift to yourself after the Holiday madness?

Book now for one of my **8** mini sessions spots!

Email me what date you prefer and I’ll let you know the available time slots.

Or forward to a friend who you know has been dying to do this!

Happy Holidays!
Michelle

  • About Michelle Hayes Studio
    Michelle Hayes Studio is a modern portrait studio in San Diego & NYC for the everyday woman. Michelle strives to bring out the inner and outer beauty of every woman through Boudoir and Fashion-inspired portrait sessions.
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