What happens when you combine two beautiful ballerina’s, with a fabulous photographer, a super stylish fashion blogger and a make-up artist in maternity wear?
Awesomeness… that’s what happens!
As an artist, wether it’s fashion, photography, make-up or events, it can be incredibly difficult to document your work. When working in print or with famous people, they always reserve the rights to any and all photos taken for advertising, TV & Film or red carpet events. Weddings are usually a little easier. Brides and wedding photographers are often VERY supportive about releasing photos. But… when it comes to high fashion shoots and celebrity looks that are less classic and the most fun, it’s hard to show anyone a portfolio.
A few months ago I reached out to my friend Chloe Moore. She is a professional photographer that resides in the South Bay of Los Angeles.
Meet Chloe Moore of Chloe Moore Photography…
I had an idea to help build our portfolio’s beyond the traditional wedding stuff that her and I usually work together on. My husbands cousin married a beautiful Ballerina named Nicole Wilcox (now Zimmerman) and her much younger sister Megan, is 18 years old and in the height of her ballet career. Both sisters are extremely talented Ballet Dancers.
Nicole’s now sister in-law, is an adorable and talented fashion blogger based out of Los Angeles.
Meet Natalie Zimmerman of Natalie Notions
And then… there is me. Kimberley Nicol. The not so sexy, pregnant make-up artist hiding from the camera at our shoot.
So… what do you get when you combine all of this fabulousness? One of the coolest collaborations of art I have ever seen!
Fact: The average woman exposes her face to 512 chemicals a day.
Sounds a little extreme doesn’t it? Or how about trusting the largest organ in your body (your skin) to a renowned product like Proactive, only to find your pillow cases and towels have been stained with the bleach found in their products?!?!? We are provided with acne treatments that promise to rid you of red pimples, but fail to mention how the toxic chemicals inside of their cleansers and moisturizers are going to give you sun damage, dehydration and an unexpected trip to Target to replace your tarnished linens.
Then there is make-up…
We spend thousands of dollars a year on designer brands like Lancome and Dior, because celebrities “claim” in Us Weekly, that their products work. Forget that fact that Gwenyth Paltrow and Emma Stone are paid millions of dollars a year to do so. Then there is the whole MAC Make-Up situation. MAC? Are we really getting make-up tips from a company that endorses Nicki Minaj? Let’s just take a moment and think about this…
Cause the last time I checked there were a few misses at the MTV Video Awards… and no woman in her right mind needs to be rock’n a Studio Fix, Ultra thick, fluid foundation at the office everyday. And I will passionately state that no 15 year old middle school students need Kim Kardashian, and her everyday smokey eye, as a make-up muse.
These women are not everyday women. These products are not chemical free and your face is so precious. Protect it with every opportunity you have.
Sounds very strange to be getting anti-makeup advice from a make-up artist doesn’t it? Well… that’s cause I am not your average make-up artist and I believe…
Skin… Was meant to breathe.
Make-Up… Does not need to be worn everyday.
Beauty… Isn’t just skin deep.
My no-make up selfie… In honor of my everyday life and my everyday grandma Tutu 🙂
Five years ago I was introduced to a company called Arbonne. My mother-in-law was a consultant for the company at the time and swore by all their products. They carried everything from skincare, to make-up, to health and wellness products. They were a network marketing based company that had been around for 30 years. Even though I have never been a huge fan of network marketing, I decided to give Arbonne and their products a try.
I have never turned back. I use all of Arbonne’s products. I use their skin care, ALL their make-up, their herbal tea cleanses, and my husband Scot has been using their Vitamin C Men’s Line for almost 10 years!!!!
Don’t be deceived by this baby face ladies… The one on the left is a whopping 34 year old man!
As a make-up artist, women ask me all the time… “What do you recommend?”. My make-up kit is FULL of all different types of products. Random things from Dior, Make-Up Forever and MAC, can all be found in my kit. For certain events such as weddings and photography, sometimes it is important to have heavy coverage and color stay longevity. But heavy products, are not always the best thing for your skin. For everyday life, for my everyday woman and my clients that want their skin to feel as good as it looks… I recommend Arbonne Cosmetics. Arbonne is an all organic, vegan, chemical free and eco-friendly company. I absolutely stand behind their products 110% and they have some key cosmetics that I simply could not live without.
What? Where? Why? & How?
What: Arbonne Sheer Finish Tinted Moisturizer
Where: On your face everyday in lieu of heavy foundation
Why: I have tried EVERY tinted moisturizer and BB Cream on the market. This is the only one I have found that has a great amount of coverage, with SPF and leaves my skin feeling so light and clean. It’s perfect for moms and working women that simply don’t have time for sponges and make- up brushes in the morning.
How: Over your daily moisturizer. Then blend with a little bronzer for an added glow and matte finish.
What: Arbonne Blush, Blossom,
Where: On those beautiful cheek bones of yours!
Why: I have never found a shade of blush that goes with every skin tone. I use this color on ALL of my brides. No matter what race, complextion or skin tone, Blossom never fails me!! It is super light weight and mineral based.
How: Do not suck in those cheek bones ladies!! That look is long lost with Robert Palmer and we are not “Addicted to Love’n” this look! Blush should be applied softly on the apples of your cheeks and blended thoroughly, throughout your cheeks.
What: Arbonne Lip Polish, Posh
Where: On those luscious lips!
Why: Nothing drives me more crazy, than sticky lip gloss! Sure Lipglass has great color… But why spend the time washing your hair, when its just gonna end up super glued to your face, from your sticky gloss?? This color is just the right touch of pink for any look, anytime, anywhere.
How: If you want the color staying power of lipstick, but love the convenience of gloss, simply stain your lips with a little liner when you start your day. Apply lip polish through out the day and it will give your lips that perfect glistening glow!
Check back this week for more tips, tricks and Arbonne make-up picks from Nicol Artistry!!! I’m only gett’n started 🙂
Kimberley Nicol – Professional Make-Up Artist & Arbonne International Cosmetic Consultant
I often hear from women that make-up is an after thought. An after thought both, in our everyday lives and even for defining life moments, that are meant to never be forgotten. Make-up is just an extra. If you have it on… great!!! But at the end of the day, we put all this weight on the photographer, the hair stylist, the dress and the venue… Only to have Sally- Jo (your 3rd cousin twice removed) and or your mother-in law, attempt to do your make-up on your wedding day!
And the phrase that I hear so often… the phrase that makes my shoulders go up… my skin crawl… my teeth clench…
“Just go to the counter at Sephora or Macy’s”…
Ladies… we pay photographers thousands of dollars to photograph these pivotal life moments… and then we go to the counter at Sephora!?!?! Only to have some 22 year old “sales associate” with a smokey eye (that looks more like fireplace suit) ruin your family portraits with a bad make-up job. The reason that I am so passionate about these pesky details… Is because… I have worked for make-up companies!!! and let me tell you… the girls at the department store counters are NOT formally trained… They are ALWAYS trying to sell you something and those make-up brushes they use, are a FAR cry from sanitary.
So… this is where I come into the picture. Take my latest specimen… Chloe Moore, Photographer Extrodinaire! Chloe is a very well known wedding photographer that resides in the South Bay of Los Angeles. She doesn’t spend much time in front of the camera, but after a split decision and opportunity to revamp her website, Chloe was looking for a little extra love from someone like myself…
Chloe is a natural beauty. She has glowing olive skin with just a touch of California freckle. She has full lips, a great smile and a warm heart. It was important to me that we kept her look young, fresh, natural and most of all… Chloe!
This was the picture that Chloe sent me, for the look she wanted to capture in her new brand. I loved this look, and it was perfect for her coloring.
I wish I could tell you I used one pallet… one lip color… one coat of mascara… But ladies… Make-up simply does not work this way. It is an art! Everything that goes into it! Just like a photographer learns how to focus a lens and a hair dresser scientifically blends chemicals to make a color… I was trained to know what would work best, for Miss Chloe Moore.
Make-Up is truly a passion for me. I care so deeply about the details that go into my clients. What they want, how they feel and most importantly… their vision!
A word from the wise… Don’t go to the counter 🙂
Here are a few more of my latest specimens for the 2014 Wedding Season!
Laugh, Cry, Love, Read
Every Bride and Bridesmaid has a vision on how they would like to look on their big day. Some women like to go natural. Some women like to look vintage and once in awhile I get a bride who thinks they want a super sexy smokey eye.
I love a smokey eye as much as the next person, but ladies, your wedding day is not the day for this! A wedding look, should be warm, glowing, soft and natural. You should always look like a super enhanced version of yourself. Not like a Kardashian, that looks as though a crayon was taken to your eyelids. There is such a thing as to much! Especially for a wedding.
I always suggest that women not only find pictures of the look they want before hand, but it is CRUCIAL that women find a look worn by a celebrity or model, that has similar coloring and features to them.
Here are some examples on how to match a celebrity look…
Rose Tones & Deep Set Eyes Glowing Skin & Sheer Lips
Soft Pinks & Lots Of Lashes Bronzed Eyes & Nude Lips
I found pictures of celebrities that had very similar coloring and facial features to all of my gals in the wedding party. Each look was slightly adjusted to each girl, based on what they were comfortable with. Either way you get the gist…
Here are two of my favorite looks from 2013…
Check back for more summer wedding looks coming up in the next few weeks!
My husband and I met in Las Vegas. People either think it’s the coolest thing ever, or they get all judgmental on my ass. Its awesome! This is because they ASS-ume that my marriage started with the greatest one night stand in history. Though I personally would take that as a compliment, clearly being the best lay my husband ever had, this is not how it went down.
My friends and I have a nick name that floats around. Party Beast. This is the alter ego that steps in for us when Party Animals are just not pulling their weight. Some animals are to tame and you need the enforcements of a fully fledged BEAST. If you want to learn how to party, just come hang with me and my BFF’s up in Canada. We have shooter recipes that can make you loose feeling in your face.
Vegas is one of our favorite places in the world. In my day to day life, I would never call myself vain, but when I am in Vegas, I humble the Kardashians. I spend weeks warming up my feet for the highest of heels, my skirts are more like headbands and the perfect pairing to my morning coffee is fake eyelashes. Wait, that’s a lie, thats just my make-up from the night before.
The weekend I met my husband, I had a dance off with a Cirque De Soleil cast member on the roof of Pure Night Club. I was attacked by a group of middle aged, lesbian swingers that gave cookie nipples a whole new meaning. I taught an Asian how to tango in a piano bar, and I have pictures of Elvis Presley doing Shake Face (Shake Face is a whole other blog). It was a wonderful weekend.
On the last night of our annual trip, we end up in our hotel hot tub drinking beer and eating pizza in the pouring rain with a group of guys from El Segundo. This place did not sound interesting to me at all. The last to join our hot tub party… Hot Scot with one “T”. My husband was quite possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life, but quite possibly one of the cockiest men I had ever met. I was smitten. Effortlessly good looking, with an ego… I had met my match! You could cut the sexual tension between us with a butcher block and knife. But there was something else there… something much deeper. Once we let our ego’s go and dropped the one liners, we realized this was it. This was not some random hook up to be had in the pool at Rehab… this was the person I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with. Crazy?!?!? Right?!?!? “It was the alcohol” I said… “It was just pheromones” I said… but after watching the sun come up together by the pool and laughing about love, life, family and friendship. I realized… my 5 year relationship in Canada was over… and so was his. How do you tell your current partner, you just came face to face with everything you have been missing in your life? We had to, but had no idea where to begin…
A cup of coffee…
Laugh, Cry, Love, Read!
My husband and I have always wanted to write our story. How we met, fell in love, and started our lives was well… kinda hard to believe. My brother in-law said it best at our wedding, “Nobody meets their dream girl in Vegas”. Vegas is for getting hopped up and making bad decisions, not for important life choices that can turn your world upside down.
I was on the plane home and my best friend says to me, “you can’t stop thinking about him can you?”. No… I was a hot mess. I was coming down off a three day bender with no shower, no sleep, no mini bar and no god dam movie in flight. He was ALL I could think about. I had the best conversation of my life, with the most incredible guy I had ever met and as far as I knew, what happened in Vegas was staying there.
I opened my email when I got home. “Best conversation I have ever had.” – Scot
Crap. I knew what this meant and I was absolutely terrified. It was a grossly complicated situation and the last thing we ever wanted, was to hurt anyone involved. It was just a conversation in Vegas, but neither of us could let it go. It was time to respectably end our relationships before it went any further. It was the hardest thing I have ever done till this day. It would have been so easy to stay, but it was for the best and I know that now. Our relationships had both been over for some time. But neither parties wanted to self reflect and face this. So many people live in routine and comfort, instead of asking themselves, “Am I truly happy?”. Our friends and family thought we were high on glue! Maybe we were, but we took a few weeks, did what we had to do and supported each other through the process of ending both of our relationships. We decided to give it some time and meet for a cup of coffee 1 month from the day we met. It was the biggest leap of faith either of us had ever taken… Blind leading the Blind.
We referred to it as the “meat cleaver”. It was like knives in my stomach every time he would text, call or write. It was the most vulnerable state I had ever been in. This guy could bail at any moment and I was so scared that my fate of happiness was in someone else’s hands for the first time ever. I had always made safe, smart and secure life choices. I had heard the phrase “better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all”. Until my husband, I never understood this. I still look at his little face and am great full for every minute that I get to love him.
What if he changed his mind? What if he was to scared to leave her? What if he wasn’t who he claimed to be? What if that awesome conversation we had about our dreams, goals and life aspirations was just a scheme to get me in the sack? Sh*t he could be a serial killer for all I knew! It was Vegas!?!?!? Was I insane!?!?!? How could I end a 5 year relationship for some dude I met in Sin City? I couldn’t explain it to anyone and frankly for the first time in my life, I didn’t care what anyone was thinking. I HAD to see him again.
What better place to meet for a cup of coffee then the birth place of Starbucks?
It was like a top secret mission. I felt like one of Charlie’s Angel’s in my little Acura crossing the border from Canada that day. The only two people that knew I was driving 3 hours to meet Scot in Seattle, was my sister and my best friend Lindsay. It was important to both my husband and I, that we met on neutral territory for the first time. I wasn’t ready for Scot to come to Vancouver, and LA was not an option. There was a lot of loose ends in both of our relationships.
I arrived in Seattle first. I checked into the hotel room, had a quick shower and changed into my jeans and a t-shirt. It was important to me, that I wasn’t all dolled up to meet him again. I wanted Scot to see me for who I was as a person… not some hot pot who was coming to Seattle for a hook up. I had “been there, done that” at other times in my life. I had no interest in a two night stand. It was not a clothing optional weekend for me. The connection we had in Vegas, was beyond any kind of sexcapade that people thought we had. If Scot was “the one”… He could wait… “It” could wait.
I will never forget what it was like standing at the bottom of the escalator, waiting for him at the airport. It wasn’t knives in my stomach… It was a meat cleaver. I couldn’t stop shaking. I was pacing back and forth, back and forth trying to find a comfortable position to stand in. This was the first time I had seen him since we met. I wanted to look comfortable and confident. But I wasn’t… I was terrified. Here I was about to spend two days with the man of my dreams… and I couldn’t even stand up straight.
I looked up and there he was… He was perfect. Anyone that knows me would tell you… If I had a type… Scot was it. Light brown hair, tan skin and just a smidge taller than me. He was pretty in the best way possible. Scot is effortlessly cute and his comfortable beach city style, combined with his professional and impeccable taste in clothes is amazing. He is super clean cut, but he showed up in Vans and a hoodie. Till this day my favorite way to snuggle my Scot.
He walked up looking just as nervous as I did. Do we hug? Do we kiss? We had no idea what to do next. He put his bag down and wrapped his arms around me. It was home. He felt like home. As awkward as our meeting was… I could have stood there and hugged him for a lifetime. Nothing had ever felt so right.
You couldn’t make up the series of events that transpired over our weekend. It was a complete and utter adventure. The first night we went to the old jazz district and ended up in a bar with a bunch of Seattle locals, that welcomed us into their Friday night of fun. We ate clam chowder at Pikes Place market and Scot sang old 50’s show tunes to me on the sidewalk in the pouring rain. We drank mojitos and stayed up all hours of the night comparing our stories of travel and backpacking Europe. But my most favorite day of our entire weekend, was a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and then a “Killer” Concert at The Key Arena.
We got up bright and early that Sunday morning. It was May long weekend so the Seattle Streets were bustling and the ferry ride over to Bainbridge Island was pretty packed. I had on no make-up and was in a comfy pair of lulu’s. It felt so right to both of us to just be comfortable. I had done some research on the island and we decided to hit a famous breakfast spot for some french toast and mimosa’s. We sat at the bar (still our favorite thing to do on date nights) and chatted with our gorgeous young waitress. The most beautiful little thing either of us had seen. Scot loved that I was confident enough to acknowledge and adore other women.
We drank mimosas and were buzzed by 11am. After breakfast we decided to walk it off and head down to the beach.
Fall in California… hands down my favorite season.
The leaves are falling off trees. Kids are back to school. Uggs are out of storage and lipgloss is in storage. It’s too windy for lipgloss in the South Bay, unless you want your hair sticking to your face. The facebook feed is nothing but pictures of pumpkin patches and hay rides. You don’t need scarves and hats, but I still wear them for fun… And let’s not forget the best part of fall… The pumpkin spice latte!
And… Halloween… The best day of the year!
Ever since I was a kid, I loved dressing up in costumes. I was never one of those girls that dreamed of a big fancy wedding. I outlet playing dress-up and have a fairy tale every Oct 31’st instead! Most women love shoes, some women love lipstick, my friend Vanessa has a weakness for swim suits… My weakness… Costumes.
Growing up in the film industry and working in make-up I have always been a little theatrical and slightly over dramatic. The people that are closest to me will often say, that this has always kept all our lives a little more interesting. I have been many different characters over the years. Arwen and her elfish ears… Fook Yu and Fook Me (the slutty Asians from Austin Powers), Jack and His Bean Stalk had a story book ending, a cop made me walk the line outside of Rite Aid one year dressed as a Cat with it’s litter box (true story)… And last year I went as a pregnant Hooters Girl.
You don’t need to spend tons of money on crappy Party City bagged costumes made of cancerous synthetic materials. Its about researching on-line and getting creative with what you have. Here are some great Halloween Ideas for moms everywhere from my past present and future!
We made this Haunted House Cake for our 2008 Halloween Party. I was just a basic two tier cake with chocolate icing. We used waffers for the stairs, card board cut outs, pumpkins made of nougat and reese puffs cereal for the edges. It was a hit!
Total Cost: $20
I took a simple cat costume and added a litter box. The poop was made of tootsie rolls and the kitty litter was just plain granola. Fun! Easy! and Edible!
I wore flat boots and tied the litter box around my neck with a pink boa.
Total Cost: $30
This was a 1940’s/50’s Pin Curl. I wore an old cherry print dress I had tucked away, some red lipstick and the glasses were $5 at a costume shop.
Total Cost: $10
Jack and the Bean Stalk. This was one of my favs. Just wear all green, glue gun cotton puff and fake ferns to a head band and then glue gun a children’s toy soldier to the costume. This can be done with anything green!
Total Cost: $40
This is a very old photo. Take a pirate costume and re-vamp it by bobby pinning a crow or bird in your hair. There was also a little rat climbing out of the front as well.
Total Cost: $8
This year I took an old classic and put my own spin on it. Scot wore and old T-Shirt that I cut up and sharpie’d with stripes. He wore his skinny coal jeans and vans with his dad’s old 1980’s Blazer. We spirit gummed the bolts right to his neck. I took an old dress, cut it up and pinned a rose to my red bra. I wore Ugg boots that were super comfy and warm with black tights.
Total Cost: Wig $18
For your make-up use a very pale base and go heavy over your eyebrows. This way you can fill them in with black liner at an angle. I used individual lashes, black liner, shimmer shadows and matte red lipstick. The wig was $18 and I tied my hair up with a pair of black spanks on my head underneath.
Make-Up Total Cost: $15 at Party City
Free resource of the week!
In life we are blessed with meeting all sorts of people in the world.
I truly believe that every person in our lives, is brought before us for a reason…
I will never forget the first time I met my sister-in-law. She was bold, out spoken and said exactly what was on her mind. She is about as subtle as Hurricane Katrina. It was kinda terrifying… But I liked it. She reminded me so much of myself. She owns a room, and I’m pretty sure she is the last woman alive, that thinks there is nothing wrong with a good etiquette class. I wasn’t sure about her at first. It took us a very long time to truly bond. I am so incredibly grateful for that… Because once we were blessed with time, trust, understanding and the connection of motherhood, Christina and I became the best of friends. A relationship that I have only been able to truly appreciate in the last couple of years. If I got married tomorrow… this awesome gal would be by my side… For Shizzle.
Her home looks like Barbies Dream house. Everything is lace and her china collection, is as sacred as tea with the Queen herself. She drives a pick up truck, and flips trash furniture finds, into expensive, shabby chic, home decor. She thinks Evite’s, are as offensive as paper plates. Pinterest could create a whole web domain for the details you would find in Christina’s home.
She is beautiful. She has long blonde hair and looks like a southern belle with just a sprinkle of 4th of July. She works extremely hard at everything she does and she would give the skin off of her back for the people she loves. I feel lucky enough to be one of them. My sister in-law is fiercely loyal and by far one of the most caring people you will ever meet.
But my most favorite thing about Christina Biggerstaff, is how she inspires me every day.
While every one else in the world is getting “Pinspiration” off Pinterest… Christina is using this crazy thing… I don’t know if you have heard of it… AN IMAGINATION!!!!!!!!! She comes up with everything herself! The lace, the printables, the cushions, the sugar rims, the rose bushes, the tea cups and the fresh flowers… It’s all her!
She is over the top, in the BEST way possible. Think Megan Mullally meets Martha Stewart. The way I see it… Appreciate the incredible the things that Christina does and enjoy all of the wonderful things that she will bring to your life… Or beat it.
She is so special and after years of trying to understand the method to her madness, I just gave in and feel grateful that I am along for her ride!
I love you Christina and I am proud to call you family.
Laugh, Cry, Love, Read, Me.