Friday, January 27, 2012

Will Work for (Really Great) Jeans: Beija-Flor!

I had one of the most amazing all-female-crew experiences one overcast afternoon last December on Seabrook Island.  When I hung up the phone after speaking with Emilie Moca Whitaker, principal of Beija-Flor Jeans, I knew I wanted a piece of this action.  I am a bit of a denim-snob to begin with (the designer jeans simply fit me better, is what I tell myself), and I was harboring the thought that maybe I would work for jeans.  After hearing the history of this phenomenal family-run company (a mother-and-daughters team) based out of Greenville, SC, I was sold on their integrity, spirit, pride in their heritage (Brazil!), and work ethic.  Then I met them.  Then I worked with them.  Then I wore their jeans.  I am now proud to call myself a Beija-Believer.  (Please be sure to click on the link above and read about their journey, the story behind the Beija-Flor fit, and browse all the amazing jeans!)

The literal translation of the Portuguese phrase beija-flor means kiss-the-flower.  Which is what a hummingbird appears to be doing while feeding. . . hence, their designer logo which is embroidered on the hip of their jeans.  (Isn't it grand when symbolism and wording come together like that to represent so many things?  I love the cleverness of it!)

Emilie and her mom, Kathy, along with Amanda-the-Super-Intern, had a look book assembled and knew the shots they wanted.  Nicole, the model, was on board and had worked with these ladies for other studio shoots.  As a matter of fact, its this Nicole for whom the B-F Nicole jean is named after.  This is a mainstay of their jeans line that is somehow flattering on every body type.  Check out the photos for the strategically-placed darts and seams that miraculously make every be-hind look booty-licious.  I am now the proud owner of a pair of Nicole jeans, and they have trumped my True Religions, Joes, and Rock & Republics.  The B-Fs fit me divinely.

By the way, model Nicole is more than a beautiful face.  She's a Doctoral candidate at Clemson who can talk shop or product functionality with the best of them.  She is the face of Beija-Flor: classic, boho-chic, timeless, and can cross the line to rock-glam if need be.  It was a pleasure to work with her, as well.

And then there was the photographer.  Jennings King.  Jennings is making the transition to full-time lifestyle-editorial-wedding photographer, and has just the flair, style, and technique necessary to embark on this switch.  She has an eye for beautiful scenery, amazing props, and a way of communicating clear direction.  I am so pleased and honored to work with her during her ascension.  She hasn't even made the leap yet from her day-job to full-time photog, and she has already booked her first wedding abroad!  Congrats, Jennings. . . I know big things are in store for you.

It was Girl Power for sure that weekend.  I am ready for another dose!  Many thanks to Kathy Moca, Emilie Moca Whitaker, and Intern Amanda (wise beyond her young years, and task-master extraordinaire!)  Also to Antiques of South Windemere, for the use of the lovely brass and velvet chair.  Here are a few shots from the day:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome to my kit, Dior!

Dior Makeup has been around for ages.  You can find it at most any upscale department store.
Today, it joins the Pamela Lesch Makeup kit of tried-and-true tricks of the trade;)
So welcome to the fold, Dior.
I think I love you; I anticipate an 'Addict'ion.

Dior 'Addict' Lipstick, Nude.   
Absolutely fabulous. . .creamy, glossy, great color pay-off.
A true nude lip.

Dior 'Addict' Ultra Gloss in Apricot Cloche
This will be a Spring '12 hit with my brides!

Dior Lip Glow Reviver Balm
This divine balm changes shades based on your chemistry!
Starts off super-soft pink; adjusts to your lip pigment.
Amazing lip gloss technology!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Liquid Eyeliner Looks

When I saw this photo, it was a reaffirmation of one of my makeup artistry goals: use more liquid liner!  I love the look that a great liquid eyeliner can give.  It's bold and quite the statement-maker.  This is a printable, great guideline for different shapes to draw on the liner. What I've found about liquid eyeliner is that you simply have to make yourself do it. . .practice truly makes perfection!

These liner looks run the gamut from demure to Gaga-ish.  Personally, I like a small, hug-the-lashline line, with a "baby-wingout".  Choose the look you're going for, and get creative and do some kind of a variation on one of these.  Send me a pic if you do one. . . I'd love to see what you're doing!

p.s.  Currently, I'm loving MAC's Superslick Eyeliner (On the Hunt is a shiny black).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My 2012 Professional Goals

I am a blessed person, and I've always known it.  My grounding force is a small voice that tells me that no matter what, I'm going to be okay.  As I ruminate on this knowing, especially here at the beginning of a new year, I find it a great jumping-off point for putting together my professional goals list for 2012.  But I'm also a realist; I know that if these things don't come to pass, they'll simply carry over to a following year.  Some of these goals are lofty and some are super-attainable.  What I know is that I need to put this out there. . . to the Universe. . . to You.  In my life I've learned that's how things manifest for me: if I don't ask, the answer is always, "no."  To that end, here's what I'm asking:

1.  I'd like to do makeup for an Asheville, NC wedding.  I'm talking Biltmore or Grove Park Inn.  Or even a wedding in a barn in a field of glorious Western North Carolina.  I want to take a little piece of Charleston up I-26 to one of my favorite spots in the world.  I want to be part of a team of professionals who helps make an Appalachian wedding into a dreamscape.  I want those photos to be part of my portfolio of interesting places and beautiful faces.

2.  I want to do more publication work.  I love my brides, and my weekends are dedicated to them.  However, it's the spice of my work-life to pepper my weekdays with photo shoots, lifestyle shoots, and commercial work.  This is where I have the opportunity to mingle with other creatives and they FEED me.  They make me want to grow, think around the box, and be the best makeup artist I can be.  I crave this.

3.  I'd like to continue my education as a MUA.  Specifically The Makeup Show in London this September.  All the most brilliant minds of makeup artistry are represented, along with the most cutting-edge brands and tools.  Staying on top of trends, tools, and techniques is paramount to any MUA's career.

4.  I'd like to make makeup application videos.  I know YouTube is brimming with them, but I feel I have a circle of clients and friends who would love to see them and could benefit from me putting them out there.  Nothing long and drawn out. . . I'll try to keep it under 3 minutes.  

5.  I want to deepen my current professional relationships.  I've been so fortunate to surround myself with quality folk. . .people who trust me but also know they can rely on me.  It is such a HUGE compliment to know that someone has referred me and my services.  What they are really saying is, "I trust Pamela."  That means the world to me.  There are a couple of pro-relationships who are on the periphery of my world. . . we've dabbled in the past and maybe we don't work together very often.  But to them I say, "Let's dance!  Let's take a chance and get to know one another."  I got some goods and I'll bring them to the party :)

6.  I'd like to be a mentor to the right person. . . someone who is serious about a career in makeup, is at least as reliable and professional as I am (if not more).  This last one is a big one for me.  It may take the longest to accomplish because it means relinquishing a little control.  I get asked fairly often if I would "train" someone to be a MUA which is very appealing to the teacher-side of me.  It's a compliment I know, but up until now, I have felt so protective over what I've built with my business.  Starting from scratch and  learning every little step of the way.  But I also know that part of my evolution in this role, and as a good steward in this karmic world, is to pass along what may be useful and helpful to someone else.  After all, makeup is just part of this. . . it's so psychological and the business is really about making connections to other human beings.  For me, once the trust is established, the artistry flows.

So, there it is.  My hopes, dreams, wishes, and goals for 2012.  Whatcha gonna do with it, Universe?

Heart open,