Monday, February 26, 2018

Pinup by Liz reviews: Influenster Finesse VoxBox

Have you heard of Influenster? It's a website I just found out about a few months ago.  There are tons of reviews for beauty and other products, and they sent me a box full of complimentary products, called a VoxBox, to try and review!  You can sign up too, just use my referral link by clicking here!

The boxes they send have themes, and the box I received was called the Finesse VoxBox.  It had beauty and food products in it, and now that I've tried them all I'm sharing my thoughts with you! First, how fun is it to get a box of free, full size products delivered in the mail?  I was so excited when it showed up and opening it felt like Christmas morning! Influenster is a pretty cool company for making this happen, and in addition to my social media posts, I wanted to write a blog post about the products and my experience overall.

All the great products in my Finesse VoxBox!
The first product I treied was the Essie Gel Couture nail color and top coat - Described as: "nail polish with luxurious gel-like shine and finish in an easy 2 step system. Application is a breeze with patent-pending curve hugging brush for perfect color coverage. No UV lamp needed and product removes easily with regular polish remover.  Available in over 100 lust-worthy shades." I received a full size bottle of each the nail color and the top coat. I was sent the shade "Good Knight" and it's a perfect vampy dark red, almost a wine color. I applied it on a Thursday and it didn't start to chip till after the weekend. I'm not very easy on my hands and since I was testing this product I just went about my normal daily business and didn't do anything different than usual to protect my nails, if I was a little more careful with my nails I suspect it would have lasted even longer. Application was quite easy, it's a 2 step process with the color and top coat.  The "curve hugging brush" was almost fan shaped and was definitely wider than any other nail polish I have used, and I have narrow nail beds so I felt like the wide brush actually made painting a little harder to avoid getting polish on my skin, it was actually wider than my pinky nail, but that may not be an issue for people with more average sized nails. It was nothing a swipe of nail polish remove on a q-tip couldn't fix.  The top coat says "platinum grade finish" and it really is shiny! I've been a longtime lover of the Essie brand, and I'm pretty excited that they now have a longer wear polish.  Click to check out Essie on Facebook, or find them on Twitter at @Essie, or Instagram at @essiepolish.

I'm certainly no nail artist, but I enjoyed painting my nails with this Essie Gel Couture. 
Next I tried the OLLY Super Foods Smoothie.  I hadn't been really eating well for a few days and felt blah, and I thought it would be a good pick me up, and it was! I don't think I've ever tried a fruity smoothie mix, and I've always thought that acai tastes like medicine, so the flavor was good if you like acai. Even not being a huge fan of acai it was totally palatable and easy to drink. It says to mix with a beverage of your choice, I just mixed it with water, although I bet it would be good with milk or a berry flavored juice.  It has 15 grams of protein and 2 servings worth of fruits and vegetables.  It definitely made me feel better because I knew I was putting something healthy into my body.  OLLY is actually having a sale now through 3/29, just use the code INFLUENSTER on their website, olly.com, for a 20% discount off any of their products. Also check them out on Instagram at @ollynutrition.

Cute vintage glass not required

On another day, I tried the Minute Ready to Serve Organic Red Quinoa & Brown Rice with garlic.  I was pleasantly surprised to open it up and find fully cooked rice inside, for some reason I thought it would be some kind of dehydrated, "just add water" situation, but all I had to do was remove the cover and microwave it for one minute and it was ready to go.  One container was a large serving and I ate it plain and it was a tasty meal in itself, but I can also see it being great in a fast meal with some chicken and veggies.  I work from home, but if I was still in an office this would be a really great product to keep stashed in my desk for days I feel rushed at lunch. I'll probably buy some more for fast dinners on busy nights after I've been at the studio all day. Find them online at facebook.com/minutericeus, twitter.com/minutericeus, or instagram.com/minutericeus
Tasty!

The fourth and final product I tried was the Not Your Mother's Naturals Blue Sea Kale and Pure Coconut Water Weightless Mousse.  I really loved it!  My hair is naturally wavy and sometimes instead of heat styling it I like to just put something   in it to accentuate my waves and let it air dry, and this product was perfect for that.  It truly is weightless, my hair is thick and porous so it took a couple more pumps worth of product than the directions recommend for coverage, and it still didn't feel clumpy or sticky, and it had a really nice light clean scent too.  I'll definitely be using this often and buying more when it runs out. Find Not Your Mothers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram under @nymbrands.
I seriously love this stuff!

So overall, I really loved my Finesse VoxBox experience and I hope that Influenster will consider me for more complimentary products to review in the future.  To see some of the individual posts I made about these products, make sure to check out my Instagram by clicking here. And just to be clear, I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. And I'm so glad I did!Don't forget to sign yourself up using my link!





Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pinup by mail? Check out what I'm doing on Patreon!

Yesterday, I started a Patreon account.  Ever since I heard of this amazing platform, I've been trying to figure out how I could utilize it as a photographer, and I finally realized that something that's always been in the back of my mind that I've wanted to do could be possible through Patreon.

***MAIL ORDER PINUP PHOTOS!***

My first introduction to pin up photography was in the 90s, when I was still in high school and discovered Bettie Page through the photos that Irving Klaw took of her.  Irving Klaw specialized in cheesecake, and later fetish, pin up photography in the 1950s and he distributed his work via mail order. Irving Klaw has always been one of my largest inspirations as a pin up photographer and I appreciate the road that he paved for modern photographers like me.

 
I am so excited to follow in his footsteps and offer my own work via mail order, with a modern digital twist.  Here's how it will work: Every month I will do a specialty photo shoot with a model exclusively for Patreon.  Photo themes and levels of skin exposure will vary depending on what we are shooting and comfort levels of the chosen model. Pledge at least $20 per month to receive exclusive photos in the mail from these shoots that won't be posted anywhere outside of Patreon. There are also lower pledge levels that will allow you to receive digital copies only, or to see my feed with behind the scenes photos from these monthly shoots.  I'm so excited about this additional creative outlet and to be able to do some artistic and creative shoots each month. 

My first model of the month will be Lollie Pop! Lollie was one of the first models that I worked with when I created the Pinup by Liz brand over 6 years ago, and since then she has become both a friend and a constant muse.  Here are a few examples of photo shoots we have done together over the years:









As you see, we always have a ton of fun in the studio and come up with so many fun themes to shoot!  Our first Patreon shoot is going to be amazing too!  If you want to see it, make sure to sign up asap to get access and get on the mailing list for those photos!  Click here to visit my Patreon page: 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Pinup by Liz reviews: Nucolour Powerlips Fluid from Beautylicious by Anna


I'm always looking for a great red lipstick to wear to car shows and events, so I was thrilled when Anna Holland of Beautylicious by Anna offered to send me a new liquid lipstick to try out and review. This was my first experience with this brand, and I must say I'm impressed! I have now worn this lipstick out twice, once on a date with my hubby and once to brunch with some friends, and I'm really liking it!  The lipstick is Nucolour Powerlips Fluid and the color I received is called "Roar" and it's a bold red, and I felt like it was perfect for my skin tone. Here are my thoughts and some photos.

Powerlips fluid in Roar with the packaging

Application:  It went on so easily!  The directions say: "Line lips with applicator then fill in with color."  The applicator is a typical doe foot applicator, and the smaller end is perfect for lining, while the wider edge fills it in perfectly.  It only takes one coat for a full, even color and it feels very smooth and light.  It dries very quickly and feels lightweight and smooth.  Once it was completely dry I lightly pressed a tissue to my lips to see if any came off and it didn't!

Wear: I've talked to some friends who say this lipstick lasts all day for them without reapplying, but I found that I did have to reapply once about halfway through my day after eating. It stayed flawless on the edges but the center of my lips wore off.  I tend to absentmindedly press and rub my lips together a lot though so that probably contributed to it wearing down a little more quickly, plus I was eating and drinking.  But I really didn't mind reapplying, and the fact that it stays smooth and weightless makes up for having to reapply. I especially love the fact that it doesn't gunk up on my lips or smear after I eat like some other long wear lipsticks I've tried.

Wearing Roar out on a date with my hubby
Final thoughts:  I really love it and would definitely recommend it to others!  I hate lipsticks that feel heavy on my lips, and once my Powerlips dries it feels like I'm not wearing anything. It doesn't dry my lips out or make them feel like product is piled on. The color is beautiful and bold, and it lasts much longer on me than regular lipstick, so I know I can go to an event and enjoy myself without having to worry about checking my lipstick constantly. Once it dries it's on for good, so I don't have to worry about my lipstick smearing or ending up on my teeth, but it comes off easily with a makeup wipe when I'm ready to take it off.  Overall I definitely love it and I want to get some other colors! 

Wearing Roar before leaving for brunch with friends



Want to get some of this amazing lipstick for yourself? Contact Anna Holland with Beautylicious by Anna!  She has a really active Facebook group where you can see all of the shades of Powerlips that you can buy, plus many other beauty products she sells from this line.  Join by clicking this link! You can also find her on Instagram at @beautyliciousbyanna. Not only will you be getting some great makeup and beauty products when you purchase from Anna, you'll also be supporting a local boss babe!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day from Pinup by Liz!

Valentine's Day is nearly over, and I hope you had a great day!  I just wanted to show off some of the photos from our Valentine's mini session day that we held at the studio a few weeks ago. What's a mini session day? These are special events that we hold every few months at the studio where we book clients back to back and offer lower priced photo shoots with set themes. This year most of our mini session days will offer one set suitable for pin up, and one that is suitable for boudoir. Hair and makeup is included, plus we have mimosas and snacks, and they have the feel of a girls' day party environment.  We have so much fun! No experience is required, and we help you every step of the way from hair and makeup, to wardrobe, to posing and facial expression. To see more details on our mini session days check out www.pinupbyliz.com. We had 5 clients at our Valentine's mini session day and I wanted to take a moment to show them off! We had 2 different sets at this mini session day, one was our bed set with white sheets, and the other was a beautiful pink backdrop with various Valentine's themed backdrops.  I love how each client's personality shone through!







Saturday, February 10, 2018

Pinup by Liz tips - Personal safety during a photo shoot

In my studio, the number one thing I want for my clients to feel is safe and secure.  A photo shoot can be a very personal experience where a client is often vulnerable and exposed, and they are trusting their photographer to not take advantage of that, and the last thing I would want one of my clients to feel is that they were pressured to do anything they didn't wish during their shoot. Like I always say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with posing nude, but it always should be the client's idea, not mine.

This is a topic I've wanted to touch on for awhile now, and during the recent  #metoo movement on social media, I saw some horror stories from local women about dealing with inappropriate behavior during photo shoots. I work with a number of women who model for many photographers, and some of those photographers are new and looking for models to practice on to build their portfolio, so they approach women and offer to shoot them for free or a large discount in exchange for posing for them. And some of them do not behave professionally.  I've had way too many clients tell me about incidents that made them uncomfortable during shoots they've gone to with other photographers that should have never happened.  From showing up at a location and feeling unsafe, to feeling pushed to reveal more skin than they are comfortable with, to being told inappropriate and disrespectful things during or after their shoot.  I wish I could say that everyone with a camera that was offering shoots was a respectable person, but unfortunately there are some creeps out there just looking to take advantage of new models who are eager to please.  No amount of free photos are worth your dignity or personal safety.  I know that especially when you're a new model it's exciting to have a photographer ask you to pose for them, but just know that you are in charge of your image and how the photo shoot goes, and if you ever feel uncomfortable, you have the power to put a stop to it.

Here is a list of different things to think about when planning a shoot, whether it's with me or another photographer.  If you have your own tip that you feel I missed, feel free to share it in the comments.

Watch for red flags in advance of the shoot.  I've had a couple different clients tell me about photographers that have asked them to text or email nude or in lingerie selfies before a shoot. Any photographer who knows anything about posing doesn't need to see your body before the shoot, and if they're asking to, that's a red flag and you might want to question their motives.  Now, perhaps if you are a model being hired for a specific paid job, or if a certain concept is being shot, a photographer might look for a certain body type and need some example photos before they decide to hire you, but in general if you are a paying client or have been offered a TFP (time for photos) shoot, there's no reason for this.  Don't be afraid to set your boundaries in advance of the shoot and let the photographer know exactly what you are and aren't comfortable showing.

Use the buddy system! Take a friend along. Some photographers might have rules about this, like personally during certain shoots like mini sessions I don't allow men in the studio (because we feel our clients are more comfortable in an all female environment) or minors, for obvious reasons.  But even then I encourage clients to bring a female friend along if it makes them feel more comfortable.  If you're told you're not allowed to bring someone with you, that could be a warning sign.

Make sure someone knows where you are, even if you are bringing a friend.  If you're meeting up with a stranger in any situation, whether it's a photo shoot, a blind date, meeting a stranger to buy furniture, or whatever, this is a good step for personal safety. Send a friend the photographer's name, shoot location and time, etc, so that you know someone is looking out for you.

Don't let a photographer say things to you that you wouldn't allow someone else to. Just because you are exposing yourself in front of someone doesn't give them the right to leer and say inappropriate things.  You deserve respect and professionalism. If they are saying anything that makes you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, don't be afraid to speak up and tell them so, or end the shoot.  A photo shoot is professional situation, not a sexual one, and if you feel like a photographer is crossing a line, you are in the right to put a stop to it.

Ask questions!  Don't be afraid to ask the photographer for references from other clients they have worked with, or reach out to friends and ask if they know anything. There are some local model groups on Facebook that you could probably get some opinions in too. Ask to see their portfolio so you can see what style they typically shoot and if it's something you're comfortable posing for. Don't be afraid to ask what the photos will be used for, where they will be visible, and if there is a contract that you will be signing and what it says.

If you ever, at any point feel uncomfortable, speak up!  Don't be afraid to say "I'm not comfortable with that" if a pose or piece of clothing isn't your cup of tea.  If at any time you feel that your wishes aren't being respected by the photographer, don't be afraid to pack up and leave.   Any pro should be able to adapt to your wishes and give you beautiful, sexy photos at your own level of comfort, whether that means completely covered or fully nude, or somewhere in between.

Overall, just protect yourself. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel unsafe or uncomfortable, get out as quickly as you can.  Even if something is offering something to you for free, you don't owe them anything beyond what you are comfortable with.

And because this is a photography blog, here's an old photo of our studio hair and makeup artist Katie Belle, looking awesome and protecting Tulsa.







Thursday, February 1, 2018

Miss February in the 2018 Pinup by Liz calendar - Madame Berlin!

Happy February!  For our 2018 Pinup by Liz calendar, I held a mini session day and photographed 12 women on our midcentury living room set.  We had a nice mix of women from all walks of life book, some with modeling history and some with no previous shoot experience.  I really love the way the calendar turned out and will be introducing each one at the first of each month.  Our Miss February is a repeat client who I have worked with multiple times a year for almost 5 years now.  She has become a wonderful friend over the years and I can't express how much her continued support of our studio and the Tulsa pin up community means to me! Here is Madame Berlin's bio, and all of the final edits from her calendar shoot for the month of February!  If you still need to purchase a copy of your calendar, buy one here!

Hi! I’m Madame Berlin and it’s an honor to be featured on Pinup by Liz’s blog. I wanted to model because who doesn't want to be paid to get all dolled up in beautiful clothing? But I was always told I could never be one....too short and too heavy. Working with the Linda Layman Agency changed that for me. I learned there was a wide world out there that accepted all shapes and sizes! Thirty-five years ago I began doing runway & plus size modeling.

I love beautiful material and beautiful styles and  there’s nothing I enjoy more than the feeling I get when wearing a beautiful garment, and for me, the best way for me to document my life is wearing certain fashions and having my picture taken while wearing the clothes I love so much

I had my first First magazine publication in October 2014 Pink Peacock Pinup Magazine with a Halloween themed shoot by Pinup by Liz. I’ve been featured in Pinup by Liz’s annual calendar as well!

My style has always been influenced by the high glam meets goth styles of Morticia Addams and Lily Munster, watching them in the mid sixties absolutely helped shape my signature style. When Elvira debuted in the 80s she instantly became my most beloved icon. She’s sexy, funny & an unapologetic. Her style is the epitome of goth glam & also timelessly classic in it’s own way. She really spoke to who I am as a person.

Another fashion icon I look to for inspiration is Auntie Mame, the eccentric 1920s socialite lead character in the movie of the same name. Her eclectic, glamorous style and a spunky personality all her own. Elvira crossed with Auntie Mame--that sounded like how I wanted to live my life and I am living the dream daily.