Blog Archives

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-empowering and empty. I’d rather tell myself I’m beautiful, own it and then shine it back out into the world to inspire more women to do the same.

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.
I’ll take back that right to my personal beauty now thank you very much! 
 
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. 
 
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 own it, or discover 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. That’s not accepting yourself as is. 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. Ahem, “The Most Beautiful” issue by a popular magazine. But as we’ve seen they like to recycle the same stars and wanna-be stars over and over to sell us on the idea of what is beautiful, most likely to sell us something. What a narrow point of view, right? 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

Valentine’s Day Boudoir Sessions 2017 – Michelle Hayes Studio San Diego

23 Jan 2017 | Categories: Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Don’t forget to show yourself some love this Valentine’s Day. We can all use some extra self-love. No, it’s not selfish. It’s absolutely essential to having the healthiest and most important relationship you will ever have…

The one you will have with yourself. 

I  know that Valentine’s Day is typically viewed as a holiday to give gifts to loved ones, but I really want women to get something out of this holiday for themselves as well. Which is why I think a Boudoir session is the perfect gift that you both can benefit from.

Your partner will get totally unexpected, blow-his-socks-off images, and YOU get to experience a boudoir session leaving you feeling pampered and like a queen.

It’s an amazing confidence-boosting experience every woman should do at least once in her life. Not only is it empowering, it’s a pampering experience that most of us feel like we don’t need or deserve. We deserve to feel beautiful and good about ourselves. And when we do, others will feel the positive impact from it. :)

Not sure if this is something you can do?

You are not alone! Many women feel the same exact way before their session, it’s only natural. Very quickly clients begin to realize it’s fun and empowering and start to relax. 

I’ve created a beautiful Dream Shoot Planner to guide you every step of the way, calm your nerves and get you excited and inspired to do your very own shoot!

Once you’re done going through the magazine be sure to book your complimentary consultation with me so we begin to design a session that is 100% YOU!


I’d love to help you start planning today! Contact me for your consultation…

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!

5 Day Beauty Mix Challenge - Michelle Hayes Studio

11 Oct 2016 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

It’s  a Beauty Challenge and YOU’RE invited!

I’m hosting a free online Day Beauty Challenge to discover your own Beauty Mix

PLUS! There will be a chance to WIN a complimentary photo shoot with Michelle Hayes Studio 

 

This is an invitation for all women to discover their own unique Beauty Mix, to celebrate it and share it with the world.

What is Beauty Mix?

Beauty Mix encompasses everything on the inside, as well as the outside, that makes you uniquely YOU. It’s the way you laugh, your beautiful eyes, your tender heart to your curly hair.

I  believe that loving yourself begins with knowing your own unique beauty and accepting it, the good and the bad. That’s not only beauty, that’s power. 

I  want to uncover & highlight  YOUR unique Beauty Mix through a self accepting experience that includes a chance to win a photo shoot with me!

Let’s expand the definition of beauty and show the world how incredible it is to let your own beauty shine.

ABOUT THE FREE 5 DAY ONLINE BEAUTY CHALLENGE:

The online challenge starts Wednesday October 19th.

Through this beauty challenge you will… 

  • discover your own Beauty Mix in a fun and uplifting way to boost self-confidence
  • feel good in your own skin no matter what your size, shape or perceived imperfections
  • own your beauty and power from within so you feel radiant, magnetic and gorgeous 
  • see and feel the beauty in being a woman so you can inspire other women to do the same. 
Sign up HERE

 

We’ll start the challenge Wednesday, October 19th when you’ll get the first day’s email.

  • There will be a new challenge in your email every day.
  • Private Facebook group with support and accountability
  • Special surprises at the end of each daily challenge

After the Beauty Challenge you will be entered in a giveaway for a FREE photo shoot with Michelle Hayes Studio 

Your own Beauty Mix photo shoot will take place in my studio in San Diego, California!

This amazing prize will include:

  • complimentary photo shoot 
  • wardrobe styling assistance 
  • in-person consultation to design your own shoot
  • one (1) hi-res image or one (1) 8×10 fine art print of your choice

 

Sign up HERE to take part in the free beauty celebration.

It’s starts Wednesday October 19th!

Be sure to join the private Facebook Group where we will go on this journey together and support each other.

Be sure to invite friends who would like or need an experience like this. Let’s do this together and uplift each other.

**BONUS! every friend who joins you will get another entry towards the free photo shoot. So invite as many friends as you want for more chances to win!

To be eligible for the photo shoot prize:

-Must be willing to travel to San Diego, Ca (prize does not include airfare/lodging to San Diego)

-Must be willing to sign a full Model Release for our marketing material (printed and or blog, etc)

Sign up HERE! 

xxoo

Michelle

Michelle Hayes Studio Referral Program

26 Jan 2016 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

I’m launching my MHS referral program and I want to tell you all about it so you can spread the word about the experience with me AND get fabulous products of your shoot for free!

It’s very simple. When you refer a VIB (a very important Beauty!) to me and they book and complete their session, I will credit you $100 towards the purchase of goods from your own session. That includes prints, albums, folio box and digital negatives. 

This is a great way to cut down the cost of your session because I know you will want to purchase every single image from your shoot when you see them and I want you to have a tangible product that you can drool over again and again.

There’s nothing like holding a beautiful 8×10 print of yourself, or thumbing through the pages of a perfectly designed album of the best images from your session, or watching a loved one open up the gift box to reveal the classy leather cover album filled with your knock-their-socks-off images ;)

Here’s a breakdown of what you can earn with every referral:

refer 6 clients and get enough credit for a 8×8 16 page album (valued at $600)

refer 8 clients and get enough credit for a 8×8 20 page album (valued at $800)

refer 10 clients and get enough credit for a 8×8 30 page album (valued at $1200)

Here’s my beautiful 8×8 album with a black cover…

Ladies! How often do you let yourself be pampered? Michelle Hayes Studio Boudoir

23 Oct 2015 | Categories: Beauty, Boudoir | Posted by: Michelle

Check out my client Angelica fully enjoying getting her hair and makeup done by my fab makeup artist Tiffany. I just love this pic.

Now Angelica is no stranger to makeup, dressing up and throwing on some glitter and hair extensions. She loves to do all that on her own, but she is letting someone else style her hair and expertly apply her makeup and loving every minute of it.

It got me thinking of all the ways we, especially women, are skimping on letting ourselves be pampered, in big or small ways, because we know we can just do it ourselves.

Here are some experts that I enjoy getting pampered by even though I know I can probably do some of this beautifying on my own. It’s also nice to experience other people’s craft and appreciate how much better they are at it than me.

Feel free to add any services you love getting done by others even though you can do it yourself! …

Makeup application:
San Diego
Tiffany Bociek - https://www.facebook.com/tiffany.bociek/about
Gerine Coronado - http://beautybygerine.com/
Hair
Jessica Kephart https://www.facebook.com/jessica.freitag.509/about
Facials:
Urban Skin Care - http://www.urbanskincare.com/
New York
Muah Makeup - http://www.muahmakeup.com/
Rebecca Casciano - http://www.rebeccacasciano.com/
Hair & Makeup
Candice Crawford - https://www.facebook.com/candice.h.crawford/about

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

  • About Michelle Hayes Studio
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