Holiday Red Carpet

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

and have a party with

someone whose life gave them vodka.

Ron White

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If I had a party animal husband or at least one who stays up past 8:00 pm, I’d know exactly where to go for glamour gowns and dresses.  It’s the very elegant yet cozy boutique run by Paula and Maria, a mother daughter duo, who personally attend to your particular taste and style. Their shop manager, Fern, is equally charming–all so fortunate to have daughters to create happy holiday memories with. There’s nothing like personalized attention and caring service by a loving family with great fashion sense.

This lace corset style top and most unique train skirt count among their favorite ensembles this season. Feel the warm welcome when you stop by to meet them and their handpicked collection!

The Engle Shop

102 Engle Street
Englewood, NJ 07631
(201) 568-1331

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Sharon@PowerfulGoddess.com

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

How To Kiss Proof Lips

Beauty to me is about being comfortable in your own skin.

That or a kick-ass red lipstick.

Gwyneth Paltrow

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This is a good season as any to trade your Little Black Dress for red like this Powerful Goddess wearing her favorite!  If you insist on black, add chic confidence to your smile with a shade of scarlet. The better to be ready for the many hugs and kisses you’re giving and getting through the holidays!  

See which of these crimsons suit you:  Christian Dior’s 999, MAC’s Lady Danger, Obsessive Compulsive’s Stalker, NARS’ Cruella, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte No. 38, YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Mats No. 201.  And here’s how to kiss-proof those pouty red lips:

Start by gently exfoliating your lips with a wet cotton ball and applying olive oil (blot out excess) for a smooth, flakeless canvas.  Shade lips with a soft pencil that matches the natural color of your mouth or preferred lipstick.  Outline the rim or your lips to create a bumper that helps minimize color bleeding.  Apply a coat of lipstick from the center of your mouth outward (use a brush, your finger, or apply straight from the tube).  Use a cotton ball to dab face powder and seal in color.  Reapply a second coat of lipstick plus powder and voila!  

 Ready or not–here I come with my own mistletoe!  Ho-ho-ho!

Click on “Leave a Comment” (above left) to share your favorite red.

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© Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Email me

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

xoxox

Mask of Perfection

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A serious Leica collector I love forwarded an article from their blog that makes you think.  It features these beautiful black and white portraits of young gorgeous women with pre-operative marks on their faces before procedures they’ve undergone in the pursuit of “perfection.”  They are subjects of a photo exhibit Mask of Perfection by Marc Erwin Babej, with Maria M. LoTempio, MD.  From the Artist’s Statement:

Mask of Perfection focuses on the complex and ambivalent relationship between the beauty we perceive subjectively on the one hand, and the plastic surgeon’s scientific, geometry- based standard of beauty on the other. 

The currently emerging ideal of beauty is unprecedented in that it is actionable, and that conformity to it has become widely available. Lips like Angelina Jolie; breasts like Scarlett Johansson; a butt like Kim Kardashian; less slanted eyes like a white woman; a wrinkle-free complexion like a cosmetics model? Available at a plastic surgeon near you. In other words, the emerging beauty ideal not only reflects changing taste, but represents a radical shift in the understanding of beauty itself. Conformity to an ideal of beauty used to be a daydream; now, it has become a line item on a shopping list. Whether this development is liberating or cheapens the concept of human beauty (or both at the same time) is a matter of individual judgment.

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share who decides what’s perfect for you.

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xoxox

Carnival of Animals at Bergdorf

Money, if it does not bring you happiness,

will at least help you be miserable in comfort.

Helen Gurley Brown

More than the Rockefeller Christmas tree (which is looking extra fabulous this year,) the spectacle I look forward to seeing when the holidays roll around are the windows of Bergdorf Goodman.

This year’s Carnival of Animals by David Hoey‘s team is a mind blowing flight of fancy with brass birds, animals made of intricately hand cut/folded paper, needlework and carved wood, fish made of gemstones and glass mosaics,  gowns with fur, fine beadwork, feathers, leather scales and diamond mesh by Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Pringle of Scotland, Valentino and Celine.   With five windows overflowing with animals created by artists such as Sergio Bustamante and Brett Windham, my eyes did not know where to start and stop looking.   Here are a few details to whet your appetite.  Catch a glimpse of this fantastic vision before January 3rd.

Thanks to the countless artisans and artists who contributed to this monument of creativity and wealth–reminding us of other realities, an oasis from the obsession of “this economy.”

What riches (that money can’t buy) embellish the fabric of your life already?

© Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

Pompadour’s Grace

Often laughing, visibly less calculating, liable to burst out with unpredictable enthusiasm, she was like a breath of fresh air.  

Susan Griffin on Madame de Pompadour

From her ebullience, generosity, humor, and courage, I am certain I would have been charmed by this woman famous for being Louis XV’s favorite.  Beyond the shallow gossip of her status as mistress, Susan Griffin’s describes the depth of a woman who inspired a monarchy and this series of photographs:

Madame de Pompadour was able to negotiate the transformation of herself from commoner to favorite with uncommon grace.  In bringing a more informal and open manner of expression to Versailles, she foreshadowed what was to be a transformation not only of the court but eventually all of society.  Her displays of emotion, her frankness, her loud “forthright” voice, her free laugh, and her familiar language were at odds with standard behavior at Versaiiles.  The ladies in court only giggled or smothered their laughter and everyone habitually hid or dampened their feelings, even when what was felt was joy.  No wonder there was so much intrigue.  The atmosphere of constant jockeying for position that surrounds monarchies and indeed every powerful leader was only made more acidic by by the fact that anger could not be expressed openly.  Hence snide remarks, subtle inferences, small praise, dismissive gestures, indeed every possible form of passive assault characterized the social life of the court.  No wonder that Pompadour’s manner appealed to the king.

The painter Francois Boucher captured her ebullience well.  The spirit that enlivens her rose-cheeked face spills out into the room.  Rendered with colors that are vibrant and soft at the same time, her dresses appear less to hang than to ripple, and the same vibrant energy seems to bless all that surrounds her.  There was a strong concordance between her way of being and his way of seeing.  Not only did they prefer the same bright pastel colors, they both liked flowers.  She was an avid gardener and he embellished canvasses, tapestries, and vases with flowery forms.

As frivolous as both the painter and the mistress may seem today, together they invented an ingenuous version of grace, one that allowed them to erase conflicts that otherwise might have erased them.

Leave a comment, rave, share this link on Facebook, tweets please!

© Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC


The Self Portrait



As in every endeavor in life, begin where you are.

In creating meaningful portraits, begin with what you know. 

 Sharon Birke

In planning a portrait session, take a blank piece of paper and block 15 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time away from people and technology.  In the middle of the blank page, write “I LOVE…”   Fill the rest of the page with random words, phrases or sentences that pop up.   No judgment!


Who are you at home?  At work?  When no one is looking?

What do you really like to do?

What are your favorite things?

 What makes you smile, cry, angry?

What do you love about your body?

What do you love about your personality?

What do you like about yourself?

What do you dream of?  Desire?


Post this page where you can see it often.   Allow your ideas to simmer and write notes on images inspired by your random list. Think about how you can shoot these images in a variety of candid or posed shots.

Can you vary your placement in the frame and

distance from the camera?

What do you want the background to say about you?

How can you make a portrait

without including your body in the picture?

Do you want to include other people or objects in the image?

What do you want the viewer to know about you

from what you don’t include in your image?



Here are more of my self portraits  to give you

ideas for planning your portrait session:


© 2011 Sharon Birke

www.PowerfulGoddess.com

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC


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