Maternity Make Overs

Maternity photography in Soham, Cambridge and Ely

So far we’ve talked a lot about Boudoir, of course it’s in our name but that’s not all we’re about. We help women capture moments of beauty at any stage of their life, and there’s no better time to celebrate your womanhood then when your welcoming new life.

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Sometimes you may not feel that amazing though, well I didn’t but I was always in awe of what was going on in my body. Anxiously reading my weekly updates to see what my body and baby was doing next. I was so excited and happy that the extra pounds I put on didn’t seem to bother me through my pregnancy. I took pictures of my bump all the time and I was so proud and excited to become a mother.

Maternity sessions

I regularly do Maternity sessions at our sister business Alicia Marshall Photography and it’s such a joy to capture this time for my clients and even better when I get to meet the bump when they bring them back for their newborn session, you can’t beat tiny baby cuddles.

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Maternity sessions mean so much to my clients, it’s a moment they can share with their partner and children if they wish too.

So we’re really pleased to announce that we’ll be introducing maternity packages at Boudoir Elegance with full make over and wardrobe. The best part about this is all you’ll have to do is turn up and you’ll be looked after, and who doesn’t need that more than a mummy to be.

We recommend maternity sessions are done between 32 and 36 weeks, but it just depends on how you feel, I’ve had ladies come to me at 39 weeks who have felt great.

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Partners are welcome to join the session aswell as other children, so if you’re not a first time mummy and want to capture the family that’s absolutely fine.

And if you’re looking at bump to baby packages we can do that too! Our sister business Alicia Marshall Photography specialises in newborn photography so you can come back to the same setting with your new arrival.

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If you’d like to learn more about our sessions or want to discuss your session, contact us to arrange a free consultation. We’d love to plan your session with you.

With Love

Alicia

Photographer at Boudoir Elegance and Alicia Marshall Photography

Caroline’s Story to Wellness

Over the next few weeks we’re inviting guest bloggers to discuss their stories with us, each one of them has overcome their own personal struggles. This week we invited Caroline owner of Pickled and Boudoir Elegance Ambassador to take us through her journey to wellness and how she overcame her self-esteem issues to build a successful business all from the comfort of her home.

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So let’s talk about self-esteem!

I’ve suffered with low self-esteem my whole life I was always too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, not clever enough, not good enough. I felt this from an early age and soon started to find unhealthy coping methods. First came food! a friend an enemy an angel the devil. Too much not enough I could never get it right I was either fat or hungry.

At 13 I found bulimia I could eat what I wanted when I wanted and the fat stayed pretty much away. But I started to use it as a way of handling emotions. Bad day ? Eat be sick repeat. Good day ? Eat be sick repeat.

Guilt and shame ripped through me but I couldn’t stop so over the months I learned to hide it and you know what? no one ever found out. I started to drink at 14 and I thought I had found the answer after a few drinks I was funny, popular and full of self-confidence. I had definitely found my calling this was all I needed to be me – the person I wanted to be.

So several years of acting out on my bulimia and drinking what I wanted when I wanted left me in a bit of a mess! I won’t bore you with the stories but there are many many stories. At 24 I was single and pregnant and living with my mum and dad!

I held my eating problems at bay during my pregnancy but actually lost weight but the drink to my shame it stayed. I didn’t know why but I couldn’t stop. I muddled through and gave birth to a healthy baby boy. A stay at home mum for the next two years saw me drinking the lonely nights away, drinking to sleep, drinking to stay awake just any excuse to have a drink. Then it was back to a stressed out job and the drinking really escalated, when I was 33 it all came to a head. I had a total breakdown and it all came out.

I couldn’t stop my bulimia and I couldn’t stop drinking my head was a mess and my life was too. I was thrown into rehab my confidence and self-esteem at an all time low, I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. Best thing I ever did!

I learned how to live without the bulimia and the drink and my self-esteem and confidence started to grow. I started to attend AA meetings and share my problems and with the help of many many people I started to get well. I’m now 4 years abstinent from bulimia and 4.5 years clean of alcohol. I’m married, have step kids, have my son, have my family, have my friends, I’m self-employed and the best thing of all is that I can look in the mirror and say ” just for today you can do this ”
As my confidence and self-esteem started to grow it was time to go back to work! Now when I was in rehab we were encouraged to take up a hobby and after a while that’s what I did. I started to make things for our new home and they soon became popular with family and friends. So after a nudge in they right direction Pickled was born and we made a face book page to sell my goodies on.

It started with a few orders from friends and friends of friends but it soon started to grow. All of a sudden I was busy working during the day and I found this very therapeutic, I still do. 

So my confidence and self-esteem started to grow and I felt confident selling to strangers and took the leap to start advertising out of my circle of friends. I now have a thriving small business and I have the confidence to make and sell to strangers. I get great reviews and feedback on my page and my self esteem soars with each one I receive.

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We at Boudoir Elegance would like to say a huge thank you to Caroline for sharing her story with us, she is such an inspiration and has worked so hard to get where she is today.

Mental health issues can affect everyone differently, but it matters how you treat yourself and your body. Be kind to yourself, you are all beautiful inside and out, and on those days that your not feeling it, remember your not alone!

 

Conquering My Life From Anxiety

I work as a holistic practitioner. I spend most of my work day helping others to conquer issues regarding anxiety in all forms… It is a very big subject with many symptoms… an issue for those suffering.

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As a youngster I was a lively, cheerful, boisterous and friendly soul. I spent most of my time singing to myself and laughing, you could say I had classic ADHD and ADD symptoms. I was like 2 people. When I was at home, I was quiet and nervous. Afraid of the dark, fear of being left alone which then caused me to not sleep. This would then cause me to be scatty, absent, confused, not eat properly and hyper during the day.

By the time I turned 13 I was on tranquilizers to help me calm down and assist me to sleep plus a variety of IBS treatments. I was on a slippery road whose repercussions would affect me and my health in years to come.

Yet, when faced with any situations that demanded my being in the spotlight… school was a minefield of activities from speaking in public, singing for performances, acting, engaging in sports (very competitive) to being asked to explain or share a subject in front of my class; to exams or tasks with anyone watching or focused on me. My teachers were baffled as they felt I was a straight A student and was talented in many areas, yet, under performed or became a clown at the last hour!

As time went on, and I reached adulthood, I was also at such a low point. I became a young mum and settled for partners who were either mentally or physically abusive. This added to my stress levels and compounded my very real low self-worth and inability to protect myself which ended with my constantly having anxiety attacks.

I took on jobs that were menial and soul-destroying. Working for employers that took advantage of my abilities and skills and being under-valued and underpaid and eventually mentally abused. This manifested in massive and debilitating anxiety which had me sitting more often than not, sweating and having massive palpitations in the ladies room.

I spent years seeing counsellors and psychotherapists trying to bring down the beating chest, feeling sick, inability to breathe and rising depression. Which more often than not would end up with my having serious results of being unwell, IBS and physical exhaustion.

Over time, I realised although counsellors and psychotherapists gave me coping strategies the actual symptoms and issues did not go away and my health and life issues continued to plague me. Compounding my feelings of uselessness, powerlessness, stupidity; and the realisation that nothing would ever change… bringing me to an all-time low.

Looking back, I see that I was anxious about being alive. Each episode becoming more frequent, causing me to feel even more stupid and incapable, which of course caused me even more symptoms of anxiety.

I would be physically sick, panic attacks, dizzy and sweating, freezing and shaking, IBS… worst still, I can promise you, I used to just hold my breath… I remember an adjudicator shaking me I the middle of an exam because I had become so frightened I had stopped breathing, I was not even aware that I had lost it!! I was unable to read the questions on the exam sheet or respond coherently. I felt a failure.

My anxiety caused me to miss so many opportunities. I was a beautiful singer, writer and dancer. I was unable to work professionally as I would not make the performances, or, I would freeze on stage and become ill. My passion and dreams were no longer an option for me.

I became a real live people pleaser that went the extra mile, many times, to my own detriment. I became the background support for others, even at parties where I was invited, I was always in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning or serving… bottom line… hiding away so I did not trigger attention or, my anxiety.

Beating My Anxiety

Then, one day, I was introduced to alternative practices… it was hit and miss at first, then… I found my road to wellness and wellbeing….this had a life changing effect. I started discovering a world of natural remedies, healthy eating and meditation.

Later, I came across practices of clearing anxiety and the mix of symptoms I had and more… No More Anxiety or panic attacks! And the benefits that I have experienced even to this day… are far-reaching in all aspects of my life… I am eternally grateful to those who helped me along the way.

I was so impressed and wanted to make a difference, that I spent years learning a variety of different techniques in order help myself, my loved ones and those around me, in the end, I became a practitioner. I have never looked back… no longer was I a victim to my inner debilitating emotions that triggered physical illness; I became aware of my mind and body connection, what caused illness and became the master of my life.

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Even the situations that kept recurring in my life, same thing different person, same thing, different place. All started to shift and clear up. It has changed my life and expectations… I now smile constantly and feel happier.

Holistic Methods

I use Meta health analysis (invaluable health detection as it gets to the direct original trauma); a tool to work out individual symptoms of illness and take you right back to the original traumas.

Using EFT (acupuncture without the needles, using fingers to tap on specific meridian points), to work directly on physical pains and clear them from the body system using meridian points.

I use Matrix Reimprinting (a mix of shamanic journeying, EFT, very light hypnotherapy).

The Balance Procedure. It is just sublime. It is a set of cards with a mix of universal symbols such as numerology, sacred geometry, colours, crystal energy, feminine and masculine energies, astrology, chakra, planetary, elemental and reiki.

Believe me! The beauty of these methods are…. they work! Whether you have emotional, physical or psychological or all… You do not have to believe in it. I know because I am living proof! Changing differing issues is a lifelong journey; it takes courage and determination to change from victim/martyr into a strong and smooth controller of your life.

Do you suffer from anxiety? panic attacks, mood swings, PTSD, OCD and more… Affecting personal and professional relationships? Are these issues ruining the quality of your life?

What if… you could take control…. move towards wellness? Why suffer or put up with negative or upsetting situations in your life when you can… literally, change it. No gimmicks or tricks. Let me help you clear up the issues and life’s negative stuff to get to your true potential. Awaken the passion and joy of life within you!

Let’s have a chat to discuss your issues or symptoms and what you would like, tailor-made to your needs, in order to move forwards and be free of the symptoms that plague your life… so you can achieve the dreams, relationships and wellbeing you would like.

 

Laura Walker
Holistic Practitioner

Laura Walker Holistics

 

What make up will work for me?

There are many products out there that are suitable for our differing skin types and research is key to finding the perfect products for you.

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A general rule of thumb I use as a Professional Makeup Artist, is to reach more for the liquid base products for dry or more mature skin and for the powdered, mineral products for oilier/combination skin. However, this can vary depending on the amount of coverage required or desired by my client.

Consultations are carried out face to face as much as possible prior to any booking I take, as it is the perfect opportunity for me to see and feel the texture of my clients skin before their all important photo shoot, wedding or special occasion. This is also the time to discuss and decide upon the best makeup style and which products,processes and applicators to use.

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My Top Tips

If you want flawless,long lasting makeup, it’s ‘Time to Prime’!..A hydrating,non-greasy primer is my kit staple and one product I would recommend to anyone! One size fits all!..Hoorah!!!No need to lock ourselves in the bathroom or reach for the wine or chocolate, shouting to our other half ‘Right, that’s it, i’m not going! This is the tenth one I’ve tried on’!

One product I love for very oily skin is Mattifying Powder. As a stand- alone product, they are often void of pigment or have a slight green hue to counteract any redness in the face. They can easily be applied to the skin before and/or after makeup application and will not alter the finished look.

My dry skin saviours are great moisturisers applied after cleansing and of course, as previously raved about; An amazing primer that will help to lock in that moisture and hold it all together.

Not sure what skin type you are? Check out my article here, we all need to understand the skin we’re in for happy healthy skin.

The way in which you apply your makeup is totally down to you and what you feel most comfortable and confident using. My applicators of choice vary, very much depending on the canvas I am working with and the products I am applying.

Although our hands are two of the greatest tools we possess, choosing to invest in a great set of makeup brushes to put in them is pretty great too!

Happy brush shopping!😉

Love Tracey, Makeup Artist at Boudoir Elegance and Olive Rose

Top Tips for Glowing Skin

Would you love to learn more about how to look after your skin? Keep it youthful and glowing?
How to eat right to have that beautiful glow?
Then follow this blog to educate yourself about why is it important to look after your skin…

Also….

Feel free to pop me a message for more info…

No base face!
Never would I have stepped out without foundation or at least a bit of concealer in the past. But since adopting a great skin care routine my skin is like new. I often get told I don’t look 35yrs old.

Did you know we rub off millions of skin cells every day and create a new layer of skin every 17-42 days.

The skin is the largest organ on the body and our 2nd largest detox organ

Looking after your skin is more than just about vanity, it is also about health

Here’s my 3 top tips to a beautiful skin :

Tip no.1
Cleanse your skin twice a day, ESPECIALLY if you have been sweating

Sweat can really irritate the skin so if you exercise regularly wash your face afterwards with a cleanser that will not dry out the skin but will cleanse it

Avoid harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances

This Re9 Anti Ageing cleanser is my all time fave – packed with antioxidants and nourishing botanicals – it leaves my face silky smooth not tight, but it also cleanses and take my make up off…winner!

Tip no 2.
ALWAYS use a face cream and a separate neck cream

Moisturising keeps the skin hydrated and dehydrated skin = old skin!

The neck has less oil glands than the face so needs a cream with a different consistency so that is why you need a different neck cream

Little tip: Apply your neck cream in upward motions from the decolette to the top of the neck – the decolette is one of the places we see ageing first.

Tip no 3.
Stop using harsh toners loaded with synthetic alcohols. These will strip the skin, leaving it open to bacteria and infection and will dehydrate it making it look older

Use a toner that acts as a humectant – this means it draws moisture into the skin.

Young skin = hydrated skin!

Do you use a toner at the moment?

Bonus tip…..
Use a face scrub twice per week

This exfoliates the top layer of dead skin off and helps promote new skin cell growth.

Make sure your scrub is not too harsh. Also think about the environment – some contain beads which are very damaging the environment.

Oats make a great scrub or if you don’t want to make your own scrub (too busy for all that faff like me!) invest in a good scrub. I absolutely love Arbonne Detox Rescue & Renue Scrub.

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Camilla
Beauty Therapist
Skin Consultant
Make-up Artist
Cam’sBeautySpot.com

 

The skin we’re in…

I think it’s fair to say, that most us want what we don’t have. Or will at least have experienced it at some point in our lives.
The very same can be said for our skin. Whether you longed for blemish free skin as a teen or are desperate to regain moisture in your face to keep you looking on top of your game for as long as you can, there is no getting away from it (and too right, it’s stuck with us since birth)! It’s time to identify what type of skin you have and to help it become the skin you want!

There are 6 types; Dry, Oily, Combination, Normal (I hate that word), Acne Prone and Sensitive.

Combination – Oily on the T Zone (area including the forehead, nose, and chin) but dry everywhere else. The oily and dry areas can differ but primarily, both oily and dry skin are identifiable somewhere on the face.
Sensitive – Typically it is itchy, patchy, and dry.
Normal – Skin is balanced and neither too dry or oily.
Dry – Skin will feel tight and dry and may be flaky and crack in the winter months.

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Once you’ve identified your skin type, you need to look to the best cleansing agents and moisturisers for it. As technology, ethics and mindsets are constantly changing and evolving with time and ongoing research, there is now an extensive range of products on the market that can help us all.

Many doing so naturally, looking to plants for the answers (which personally I absolutely love)! After all, your skin is the largest living and breathing organ that you have, so take good care of it and I’m pretty sure it will respond well and do all it can to take good care of you in return!

So, my hope after reading my brief blog, is that you go away with a more positive approach to your skin. Having stepped away from the daydreams of something unattainable or something that you know isn’t in your genetics to have, you move towards a greater understanding of what YOUR skin needs. After all, who knows, just a couple of tweaks could make such an amazing difference to how you feel on the inside and how you look on the outside.

Love Tracey

Makeup Artist at Boudoir Elegance and Olive Rose

Meet Our Ambassadors

Ambassadors

I’m so excited to announce and introduce our 2017/2018 ambassadors to Boudoir Elegance.

These ladies are fabulous and I’m so proud of them, for having the confidence to be our Models and spokespersons over the next 12 months.

Through August we held 2 event days where we invited 4 ladies to take part in a taster session to model some of our new wardrobe.

The ladies had no experience in modeling and had never had a boudoir session. Each of them were understandably a little nervous, however that didn’t last long and they all did an amazing job, we all had so much fun.

So a Big thank you from the Boudoir Elegance team goes to Lora, Caroline, Beth and Emma. We loved working with you and we hope you’re proud of what you achieved, you all look amazing and I’m so proud to call you an Ambassador for Boudoir Elegance!

You’ll be seeing our ambassadors pop up over on our Facebook page, instagram account and here on the Blog. They’ll be sharing their own thoughts and feelings about their sessions and how they felt about getting their kit off!

Follow us on our Facebook page to keep up to date with promotions and join our group (Boudoir Elegance by Alicia Marshall) to get exclusive discounts on Beauty and Boudoir session makeovers. And from September we’ll be kicking off with a bang, lots of amazing discounts and giveaways, so come on over and tell your friends too!

To find out more about our sessions just complete the contact form below, we’d love to hear from you!

love

Alicia, Tracey and Camilla

Boudoir Photography

 

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Having a boudoir session is a liberating and slightly nerve-wracking experience. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can always be daunting, but I promise the nerves soon dissipate and it’s never long before you relax into you and you really start to enjoy the experience, it’s so much fun.

I love being a boudoir photographer, it’s so rewarding to watch the ladies grow in confidence through their sessions. For some ladies it’s been a long time since they felt sensual and had time for themselves to be pampered and made over. So seeing them see themselves for the first time after their make overs is truly beautiful to see, their bursting with pride and so they should be!

Why choose to have a Boudoir session?

There are many reasons why ladies choose to have a Boudoir session, ultimately it’s for themselves. It really is such an empowering experience and it’s all about falling in love with yourself. Being happy in your body and looking at your body to see that any body insecurities you may have don’t matter, you’re truly beautiful as you!

As a boudoir photographer it’s my job to understand how I can help you to love your body, what you love and dislike so that I can pose and create beautiful artwork for you to be proud of.

Many ladies choose to have a boudoir session so that they can gift artwork to their partners. Either as an engagement or wedding gift, what a fab gift to give your new husband on your wedding night!

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And it makes a great gift for the man who has everything!

But clients also choose to have a session to claim themselves back, it could be their recovering from an illness or getting over a breakup. What ever your reasons are, your session is all about you and it’s an experience that you’ll never forget!

The Session

It’s important we carry out consultations with our potential clients so that we can understand how to personalise your experience, but also to help establish a relationship so that you feel at ease on the day of your session. And ultimately that’s where your experience begins, we liaise with you to ensure your session is right for you, down to make up styles, wardrobe and prefered posing styles.

Consultations include time with your makeup artist to go through skin type, patch tests and styles for your session and we have mood boards you can add to so that you get as much input as you wish.

On the day you will spend around an hour in make up, before your session begins.

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I aim to take very classy high-end portraiture images, using light and poses to enhance and augment the body with a very editorial feel to your images.

Your session is set up in our studio but can be done in your home for a more personalised experience or even a hotel room if you wish.

Your Art work

I spend a lot of time after your session preparing your images, editing and making beautiful forever keep sakes. Although we can deliver digital images, most of our clients prefer to purchase beautiful wall art or photo books.

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All our art work is made at Uk professional photo labs and are amazing quality, you can view samples at consultation to see how amazing they really are and it gives you a great idea of how you can show case your own art work.

Gallery viewings are done at our studio, so you will be invited back to view your images and decide what products and images you would like printed and created.

We really love what we do here at Boudoir Elegance, our job is to empower our ladies and we’re really passionate about this!

So if you’re ready to take the leap, and want to find out if we’re the team for you, get in touch, have a chat and if you’d like to arrange a consultation we’d love to plan your session with you.

Finding Body Confidence, Fact or fiction?

So firstly let me explain that this is my interpretation of body confidence and I can only draw from my own personal experience. But it’s like chasing a purple mystical unicorn, does it actually exist?

Well obviously for some I guess but then does it really. There’s been days I’ve been super confident in my new skinny jeans and then the next day I catch a glance at myself in a window and I’m like what happened to my butt, I didn’t look like that when I left the house! Or I get a spot! I find I’m never happy with everything about myself at one time, one day I’m loving my body (thats been a while), another day my hair and then another day my face. But even when I have a rare day when I can get it all together, I’ll be able to pick a dozen things about myself I could improve and truth be told, for me it’s all about faking it or just not given a damn!

So is that the secret, just not caring, mmmm I doubt it! Since my children were born I’ve struggled to get back into shape, I’ve tried too, however I just told myself this is me now, live with it. But it bugged me and everyday it was there like a constant shadow, hiding behind my smile. So I did what made me now happy, not forever happy and that was drink more wine and eat more crap. Then I’d start the day again with a confident smile covering my guilt ridden chunky butt in my too tight skinny jeans! I’ve got years of experience too, so I’m really good at it.

But being chunky wasn’t my only peeve, it was my biggest but not my only one. I’ve always had psoriasis, not a few dry patches either, I mean l’m like a snow storm. And really it doesn’t bother me, I’m so used to it I forget about it. I don’t cover it up, it doesn’t define me as a woman and it’s not the first thing that people notice about me when they meet me. And if someone does mention it, it makes a good conversation for a few minutes before we move onto the indesicive british weather. People can say none of this matters and you look great, but it’s down to how you feel.

Are your insecurities getting you down enough that you need to do something about it? Or can you really live with it for the rest of your life? I can wear makeup to cover my scars and moisturise and treat my skin, I can workout and improve my lifestyle. Does all that mean I’ll be more confident? maybe but our mindsets are constantly changing and our lifes and circumstances too.

4 months ago I changed my mindset, I’d had enough. I started a program and lost 21lbs, and completely changed my lifestyle and I feel amazing for it. But my journey has just begun, although I’m more confident than I was 4 months ago I still hate my legs. The only difference is before 4 months ago I wasn’t prepared to do anything about it! Where as now I’m not just living with it, I’m working my butt off to improve it, which makes it easier to live with my insecurities.

There are so many factors I think to gaining confidence and taking control of your life. We all have our own journey, but we should never neglect our mind, body and health and should work towards being forever happy not just now happy. If you want to start your body confidence journey, then follow our blog. We’ll be adding articles from our resident experts with specialist advice on achieving healthy mind and lifestyle and if you still just want to cover up and fake it, we’ve got advice on that too!