Tips for Taking the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo

I had planned on doing this post back when I got married and found I had to take another passport and license photo. I completely forgot about it until my recently married friend mentioned that she too just got her new license, and sans makeup or brushed hair found herself frantically taking her photo. She laughed about making the lady take her picture multiple times, but I can definitely relate as I did that too! Hey, it’s something you’ll have to live with for awhile, so why not treat it as a photoshoot? Here are a few quick tips on how to take the best license photo, school photo, or passport photo….or at least avoid looking like this.

Worst License Photo

Photo Source: mnbikingvikings.blogspot.com

Cstophecklist DONT’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1. Don’t wear crazy large patterns or stripes. They don’t tend to photograph well.
  2. Don’t wear something too trendy, meaning clothes, makeup, and hairstyle. You can have a passport for up to 10 years, and as we learned from the past, you may get sick of crimped hair and blue eyeshadow!
  3. Don’t wear anything too low cut or too high neck. Sometimes the photos are really close up and if you’re wearing something with a high neck (let’s just stay away from turtlenecks in general, k?), you’ll look like you literally have no neck. You also don’t want the “ladies” popping out….unless that’s your plan on getting out of a traffic ticket! Ha!
  4. Don’t wear statement jewelry. Sure, that ginormous chunky rhinestone necklace may be “adorbs,” but when thinking about these photos classy and understated is best. Simple stud earrings are usually my choice.
  5. Don’t wear something without sleeves. Trust me, even the tiniest of girls may not photograph as well if wearing spaghetti straps, sleeveless, and definitely not a tube top (you’ll look naked!). This mainly goes back to how the photo is cropped, so it’s more flattering if you have sleeves…even short sleeves.
Style Trials how to take a good license photo

Example of my license photo following the tips below!

checkmarkChecklist DO’S for the Best License Photo, School Photo, or Passport Photo:

  1.  Do think about what kind of top you’re wearing. Some photos you won’t see it, others you will (I’ve had license photos where you can and can’t see it, and my passport and school photos you can see it). I usually go with a solid color, either bright but not neon bright (think cherry red) or neutral. I think a color like navy or cherry red makes the picture less boring, but you can’t go wrong with neutral.
  2. Do put on makeup. And when you put it on, make sure you actually put more makeup on than you normally would in real life. From my days of professional dance teams and modeling, I learned that eyeliner, lots of mascara (or false eyelashes if you’re going to the extreme with stage makeup – not necessary for this), more blush than you normally would, and some kind of color on your lips is best. The lighting on these pics will not be great, and this will prevent you from looking washed out.
  3. Do wear your hair like you normally would. Don’t do some crazy style or go to the extra effort for beauty pageant hair, you still want to look like your everyday self. Remember, people will be looking at your i.d. to identify YOU. I usually just wear mine straight and down and pull it in front on both sides. If you pull it back or wear it up, you may end up looking like you have no hair.
  4. Do ask to retake the picture if you see it and really just can’t live with it. Of course do this at your digression as it may not make sense if you have a line behind you, but I purposely get these pictures done at times that I know it will not be as busy. It’s not a weird request, just don’t ask them to do it more than 2 or 3 times max.
  5. Do SMILE! Now is not the time to throw the camera your best pouty face. Keep your eyes open and bright, and smile big. 🙂

Do you have any other Do’s or Dont’s to add to this list, or a funny experience you had when taking one of these photos? Let me know in a comment below!


How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

Bun hairstyles are still going strong. And what’s not to love? They can save you from rainy days, bad beach hair, or simply when you just don’t feel like styling washing your hair. From my tutorial on how to do a messy bun or a sleek doughnut  bun, you saw that there’s different types of buns that range from glam to boho chic. This tutorial is focusing on the high, top knot bun that Nicole Richie is famous for. Plus, it’s SUPER easy and takes less than 2 minutes to do!

Style Trials Nicole Richie top knot bun with bangs

Photo Credit: whowhatwhere.com

Style Trials Nicole Richie High Top Knot Bun Hairstyle

Photo Credit: youreatulle.blogspot.com

You’ll see a top knot is supposed to be a tighter styled bun, taller, and right on top of your head. Doesn’t Nicole Richie’s top knot look adorable? Kinda makes me want bangs.

Because it’s a simple hairstyle, it really lets smokey eyes, a bright lip, or a killer outfit take the stage. For me, I also found that this is the easiest and quickest bun if you have fine or thin hair. It actually looks best because with a top knot, you want the base of the bun to be as small as possible, which pushes up height on the bun. Checkout my 2 minute tutorial below:

How to do a High Top Knot Bun like Nicole Richie

 You don’t technically HAVE to have bobby pins, so if you need a quick fix and only have a hair-tie, this would still work.

Style Trials high top knot bun hair tutorial

Have you tried a top knot or any of these other kinds of bun hairstyles? Leave me a comment!


Origins Haul – CC Cream and Everyday Lipstick

I purchased these items from Origins, and they’ve become beauty staples!

Origins CC Cream and Liptint Rain and Shine

Watch my video to see what I use, why I love it, the difference between CC Creams and BB Creams, and a great lip color for everyday.

ORIGINS HAUL – CC CREAM AND EVERYDAY LIPSTICK

Although I liked the Garnier BB Cream I previously did a review on, I found that I favored this CC Cream. I liked that I still got the ease of applying multiple solutions (SPF, color, moisture, pore minimizer, etc.) with one swipe and that it’s more natural for my skin. It works for all skin types, and comes in Light/Medium (what I used) and Medium/Deep shades. It’s one product that I can use as I’m transitioning from hot to cold seasons, without having to worry about too much/too little coverage or needing a “tanner” skin base.

The only downside is that of course Origins is more expensive than drugstore brands, but I feel it’s better quality and a little goes a long way. The lipstick as I mentioned is AWESOME, especially since I am usually a gloss girl. This line is not heavy or sticky, and is really moisturizing. It actually has shea butter and grapeseed oil to hydrate.

The products also smell great, with the CC Cream having the signature Origins spa-like scent, and the lipstick having a minty scent and flavor.

Have you tried CC Cream? What do you wear on your lips everyday?


Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

I had fallen back into my lazy skincare routine of just using face wipes to remove my makeup, or even worse, falling asleep with it on. Although face wipes are a good quick fix, they didn’t give me that I-just-had-a-facial type of clean. This completely changed when my sisters bought me a Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday!

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review

All of a sudden, I had smoother, softer, more toned skin with smaller pores and fewer blackheads. And I’ve only been using it for a few weeks now! Watch my video review and make sure to add this to your holiday wish-list if you haven’t already.

Clarisonic Mia 2 Review Title

The features of the Mia 2 Facial Sonic Cleanser are:

  • 2 varying sonic speeds for even very sensitive skin
  • 1-minute pulsing timer
  • Interchangeable brush heads (some meant for different skin types and purposes, or simply replacements)
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • Waterproof device that’s rechargeable
  • Primes skin so it absorbs topical treatments better, such as moisturizers and serums

If you’re interested in getting one yourself, make sure to check out these great special sets & offers from Clarisonic!

Happy Holidays!


Let’s Talk Bras! Fashion Challenges and Fixes

One of my pet peeves is not wearing the proper undergarments. So in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re gonna talk bras!

I’ve come across fashion challenges like “what kind of bra do I wear with this weird cutout dress thingy,” and have figured out the best up-top solutions to common girl problems. Why? Because wearing the wrong bra can put a damper on your entire outfit, but wearing the correct bra will make the outfit seamless. Now I’m not knocking the exposed bra as a trend, because if you’re trying to make a statement like Carrie Bradshaw on Sex & the City, then do just that. And I do like the sheer top with exposed bra trend, but that’s obviously on purpose so it’s not the same.

Photo rights: style.catalogs.com

If you’re not attempting to expose your straps on purpose and it doesn’t enhance the outfit, then it’s just comes off as sloppy. Here’s the most common fashion challenges and fixes to avoid a fashion faux pas.

Challenge 1: The Thin White T-Shirt

The Bra Fix

In thin shirts (even if it’s white), a white bra can stand out just as bad as a bright colored one. The trick is to get the bra in a nude color that closely matches your skin tone, and it will blend seamlessly especially when you wear white. Some places, like Victoria’s Secret, carry bras in multiple nude colors so you can get a close match.

The other part to this is having just a basic, seamless bra with no bells and whistles. You don’t want lace, patterns, or other embellishments (at least not on the cups) because that will show through and it will look like you have lumpy boobs. This VS Showstopper Demi Bra is a great example of what to wear, and I especially like the satiny fabric. Cotton bras tend to cling to your shirt, so when wearing a thin t-shirt I’ve found it’s better with a slick bra to avoid the cling.

Challenge 2: Exposed Back and Cutouts

Photo Credit: http://www.stylelist.com/

Photo Credit: http://beadslaceandshoes.onsugar.com/

The Bra Fix

I fondly call this backless Ultralite Nubra my “sticky boobs.” They have an adhesive that sticks to your skin without leaving any residue, and can be reused several times. You can even wash it lightly and it will stay sticky for more uses, until it eventually wears out.

The Nubra comes in nude and black, and works for a ton of tricky fashion situations. This has helped me with backless shirts/dresses, sheer or lace backed tops, and outfits with interesting cutouts. I do want to advise not to wear it instances where you’ll be really sweaty for a long period of time. I live in Florida, and found in those situations the “sticky boobs” turn into “slippery boobs.”

Challenge 3: Taking the Plunge

The Bra Fix

Love the plunge neckline but scared “the girls” will fall out? These tools will help prevent a potentially embarrassing situation. Since you can’t wear a normal bra or even Nubra because of the front plunge, you can use Braza Silicone Gel Petals  . They just adhere to that area to help smooth things out so it doesn’t look like you’re bra-less. The other key tool is Hollywood Fashion Tape. You can use fashion tape for lots of things, and it’s basically double sided sticky tape that works with most fabric. Just tape the inside of the neckline and secure the fabric to your skin. Viola! No slippage there. With this combination of fashion tools, you will be well equipped to take the plunge.

Do you have a fashion challenge you need help with? Send me an email and make sure to subscribe to Style Trials!


Cruise and Beach Vacation Essentials – Stock Up On End of Summer Sales!

Cruises, beaches, tropical resorts! You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this post going into Fall, huh? In my attempt to hang onto the last bits of Summer, I actually have good reasoning beyond that. Here’s why!

  1. Summer is ending so now is the time to find great stuff on clearance and stock up for next year.
  2. I live in Florida so it’s still 90+ degree beach weather!
  3. Most importantly, my husband Gary and I are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary NEXT WEEK (yayyy!) on an 8-day Carnival cruise! SOO EXCITED!!! 🙂 While cruises are definitely top of my mind right now, I actually know a lot of other people who are going/just went on a cruise too. Makes sense because you can find great deals on cruises in the off-season.

Whatever the case, my universal problem with traveling has always been packing because, let’s face it, I pack way too much….I like options! So I thought long and hard to narrow the essential must-have pieces for a cruise or really any other beachy, tropical getaway. You can use this as a packing guide, or inspiration for items to hunt during these end-of-season sales.

CRUISE WEAR

Obviously it doesn’t have to be these exact pieces, but this is a general idea of basics to include. A few tank tops and shorts, a casual sundress, a swimsuit coverup, a nicer outfit you can dress up or down (like the romper), comfy flip flops, and dressier shoes that still look casual (platform wedges).

You’ll want to accessorize with a bag that is fairly neutral so you can wear it with everything, cool sunglasses, and a straw beach hat. Of course you’ll need a few bikini options, and I’d suggest mix-and-match bikinis so you can get more looks out of less pieces. Victoria’s Secret is actually having an end-of season sale right now on their swimwear, so I’d suggest checking it out! I just stocked up.

WHAT’S IN MY CRUISE BEAUTY BAG

If you’re like me and don’t want to be pale in a bikini, you should checkout the Style Trials Bronze Skin Series for the BEST Self tanners.

I just want to leave you with one last thing. Have a great Labor Day weekend, and think of me while I’M ON A BOAT!

 


Yeeeep, I just went there. 🙂

What are your  top fashion and beauty items when packing for a vacation getaway? Leave me a comment and let me know!


How to get a Flawless Face

I recently got a request to do a flawless face tutorial, and I LOVE requests! There are many things that can go into a flawless face, starting with good skincare, but I wanted to focus this tutorial on an everyday makeup routine that’s a perfect base for ANY makeup look. I cover tips and techniques for achieving this look and making it your own, touching on a few beauty tricks. It really depends on how much coverage you’re going for, but for my preference I like a minimal look for everyday, which I showcase in the video. I do mention ways to get heavier coverage though (which I love to do for nighttime or blotchy skin problems), so make sure to watch the entire thing!

I forgot to mention in the video that before you start any flawless face look, you start with a clean, moisturized face. I also like to add face primer to smooth out skin and have makeup last longer.

HOW TO GET A FLAWLESS FACE

Products Used

Make sure you checkout these other posts I mention that go hand-in-hand to this flawless look! These are great basic techniques to ANY makeup routine! 🙂

HOW TO GET PRETTY, CONTOURED CHEEKS

HOW TO GET BIG, BEAUTIFUL EYELASHES!

So my question to you is, what kind of coverage do you prefer for an everyday look?


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