Category Archives: Beauty

SOS for thinning hair: Pura D’Or Argan Oil Organic Shampoo and Conditioner Review

I have always had fine hair but I used to have a lot more of it.  For the past five years my hair has become much thinner and preventing further hair loss has been high on my list of priorities when choosing hair care products.  Whenever possible, I use natural, organic products and I was excited to be given Pura D’Or Argan Oil Shampoo and Lavender Vanilla Conditioner duo to review.  The shampoo has 12 DHT blockers which helps to prevent further hair loss and argan oil to give shine and body to the hair.  It has a a rather medicinal fragrance to it, but it isn’t overpowering, and it doesn’t have a big lather, which is fine. The conditioner has a really pleasant fragrance of lavender and vanilla and rinses out easily.  As I mentioned, my hair is fine and thin and it is hard to get volume into it.  I felt that the shampoo and conditioner used in combination actually weighed my hair down and it stayed that way until I washed it again.  I think my friends who have wavier hair would love that, as it seems to have a smoothing effect, but for me it was hard to actually style my hair in my usual way to maximize the appearance of volume.  The product does say it is for all hair types, but since my hair is quite smooth already, the effect was super smooth but flat hair.  I am sure my friends with hair that has been processed, colored, or hair that is wavy or course but still dropping, would no doubt love Pura D’Or Organic Shampoo and Conditioner, as it is organic, contains argan oil, and is free of parabens and chemicals.

Pura D’Or Argan Oil Premium Organic Shampoo and Conditioner 

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Going somewhere warm? Beauty treats for the sun:

Vacation booked?  It is time to start thinking about a winter get-away to bring you back to your senses and let your body breathe in the sunshine and warm air.  Everyone could use a good dose of vitamin d right about now and chasing the winter blues away is a priority.  Prepare your skin with Bamford’s Botanic Sugar Body Polish with its brown sugar, sea salt, and olive, sesame and almond kernel oils.

Prepare to be sunny-side-up with La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios  Sunscreen in SPF 50 for broad-spectrum coverage.  Newly exfoliated skin is extra-sensitive to the sun so don’t forget to reapply. Scorched skin and funky tan lines are not a good fashion statement in anyone’s books.

Celebrity makeup artist to the stars Charlotte Tilbury knows a thing or two about supermodels in swimwear and she has created Supermodel Body Cream to make limbs glow and appear firmer.  If it works for the glamazons on the runway then it is bound to make the rest of us look a little more radiant pool-side.

Extend your glow all the way to your hair with Oribe’s Gold Lust Nourishing Oil  formulated with jasmine, lychee, sandalwood, cassis, bergamot, and edelweiss flower, which can be applied to wet or dry hair.  What could be easier and say “winter vacation” better than a sexy wet-hair look?

When the sun goes down maintain your sheen with Soleil Toujours Luxe Après Soleil Exotic Shimmer Body Oil for a lightly bronzed glow, and antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to restore your skin.

All products are available online at Net-A-Porter.

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography


Love your curls, girls!

I love curly hair! Big, curly, wild, natural hair!  As a photographer working with magazine editors and art directors for brands, I have noticed an upswing in casting models with afros and curls and I couldn’t be happier about it.  It represents a beauty esthetic based on being yourself,     being natural, and being comfortable in your own skin, all things I think are so important in the message my photography puts out there.  It isn’t about being inclusive, but more about loving all the things that make us different and unique.  I am over cookie-cutter beauty and I know most people feel the same way.  The model above is Jazzy and she is the perfect example of a young teenager rocking her curls.  Her hair frames her face and gorgeous eyes, and makes her stand out, which for a model is critical.  Her hair is becoming part of her trademark and getting her noticed in the competitive modeling industry.   And the best part?  She doesn’t want to look different or like anyone else.  She wants to be Jazzy and show off her natural beauty in all it’s glory.  That’s pretty amazing in a teenager who is bombarded with images of straight-haired models of all ethnicities, and her pride in being herself is so refreshing.

Natural hair shouldn’t just be a trend, but a viable option for everyone who doesn’t want to be a slave to chemical straighteners, flat irons or frequent blow outs.  Consider the damage these chemical processes and appliances do to hair, not to mention how time consuming it can be. Often models with curly hair will arrive on set with their hair straight, lifeless, flat, and damaged. The hair stylist has to make the hair look amazing which often means adding in extensions.  No one, from the hair stylist, to the model or to the client, is happy to spend time and money on making the model’s hair look right for the shoot.  When the above model, Tiffany arrived on set, makeup artist and hair stylist Colleen Stone of Blush and Beyond was happy to work with her beautiful, natural, healthy hair.  How could we not love the wind blowing her hair, animating the curls?  Tiffany looked confident and  comfortable and knew exactly how to work her hair in front of the camera.  She didn’t fight the curls or try to tame them, but used them to show off her own special beauty.

Colleen has advice for those looking to rock their curls:  “Make sure to hydrate your curls well with a hair moisturizing product and let them air dry after washing.  Use a small curling iron to define a few of the face-framing curls when the hair is dry to show off the texture.”

I often work with little kids for catalogues and brands, and every time I get a child on set with curls, I smile.  These kids just look like they are having more fun!  They are being themselves, and they all look different and fresh.  The really young kids haven’t been influenced yet by hair trends or media, and they don’t have any hang-ups about their hair.  As they get a little bigger they start to be aware that women, and often times their moms, are straightening their own hair.   It makes them think that there is something wrong with the way nature made them and that they need to conform to be accepted.  The media has a lot to answer for in that regard and fortunately it appears that the advertising world is starting to accept that beautiful is beautiful, curly hair or straight.  So if you have a little one with adorable, wild hair, let the curls free!  Let the kids grow up without hang-ups about their hair.  And if you are blessed with amazing curls yourself – lucky you!

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography 

Mission: Summer-ready abs

Like everyone else, I too have made a few resolutions for the New Year, one of which is to get back my flat abs after letting myself indulge too much all fall, not to mention over the holidays. We are shooting swimwear and spring/summer fashion now in Miami and it makes us acutely aware that spring is literally just around the corner, so if you want to be bikini ready by summer you better dust off your sneakers and steal your resolve.

Models have to be bikini-ready all year round and good genes alone is not going to land them the big bookings.  They have to work at it and the models who commit to keeping in shape and being healthy surpass those who simply starve and have no energy to actually model once they are on set.  Healthy models glow and have stamina which allows them able to really participate in the creative process.  Not one client or photographer wants to make accommodations for a model with no energy for the project at hand.  Me included!

My own plan of attack is to add in lunges with hand weights, more jumping jacks, and to cut back on the sugary sweets that are my big weakness.  I am adding more leafy greens, vitamin C-rich citrus fruits, and trying my best to drink my non-fat lattes without adding sugar. I might not be baring myself on my photo shoots but at least I will have a lot less model-envy when I am shooting bikinis and fitness productions this spring.  Lots of new and inspiring images to come!

Photography by Allana Wesley White

Beat the winter blues with InstaNatural’s Hyaluronic Face and Eye serums for a healthy complexion


Have you ever come across a game-changing product that shook up your skincare  routine?        I was offered two new products from InstaNatural and was expecting another natural serum product that would be gentle and effective.  In fact they both made a noticeable difference in my skin in just days, particularly the Youth Express Eye Gel.  It has a light fresh scent, is cool and refreshing, and not too sticky as most eye gels tend to be.  I have mild dark circles and smile lines under my eyes but my eyes are not puffy in the morning.  I have noticed that my under eye area looks more rested, fresh and tight when I get up, and I see the effect lasting longer and longer throughout the day.    My makeup goes on smoothly and easily over the gel even after applying a moisturizer and sunscreen to my skin.

The face serum is also a winner.  Again, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. The Premium Hydration Hyaluronic Acid Serum blended with vitamin C, jojoba oil, aloe and green tea plumps up the skin and retains its moisture all day.  Each day my skin feels fuller and fresher and this boost in hydration reduces the signs of aging like little wrinkles and dry patches.  My skin feels much more like it did ten years ago.  I can’t wait to try other products in the line from InstaNatural including their facial moisturizers, body and hair care products.

You can purchase InstaNatural through Amazon

Learn more about InstaNatural and get product news and updates by following them on Twitter and Facebook.

Photography by Allana Wesley White ©2014

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Tea Tree Oil Beauty Treatments: Apothecary Extracts Review


Tea Tree oil is one thing everyone should have in their beauty arsenal, their first aid kit, and even part of their housecleaning products, for it’s natural anti-microbial qualities.  This essential oil is used in skin care, shampoos and conditioners, lotions and soaps, masques, lip balms, acne treatments, and even body washes and scrubs, to name just a few of its uses.

I received a complimentary bottle of Apothecary Extracts 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil, along with an e-book with fifty different recipes covering everything from first aid, to beauty treatments, to household cleaners and disinfectants.  Being a novice in the area of essential oils, I decided to try a simple detangling hair conditioner.  I washed my hair as usual and then sprayed on the mixture, and indeed my fine hair did not tangle and wasn’t weighed down like it often is with regular conditioners.  The recipe is quite simple – here it is:

10 drops of Australian Tea Tree Oil essential oil added to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, plus one cup of distilled water.  Mix these ingredients together in a clean spray bottle.

Next up I plan to try a moisturizing face wash using greek yogurt, tree tea oil, and fresh lemon juice – sounds delicious!  Having the option to freshly blend together my own beauty products using this additive-free pure tea tree oil is really enticing. and now I feel ready to tackle other recipes in the book.  Breakouts, bacteria and boo-boos be gone.

Apothecary extracts Australian Tea Tree Oil is available on Amazon and comes with a complimentary 50-recipe e-book.

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Wow-Brows! “Billion Dollar Brows” Product Review

Brows are having a moment – a big moment.  Thanks to supermodels like Cara Delevigne with her trademark strong brows punctuating her face and drawing attention to her eyes, luscious brows are front and center now.  Not everyone is blessed with such full brows, but that doesn’t mean we are left out of the trend.  Famed brow guru Natalie Plain, founder and CEO of Billion Dollar Brows, has become the go-to expert for enhancing eyebrows and making the most of what you have.  Natalie and her team have created a kit with four essentials for creating the perfect brows that includes her Universal Eye Pencil which draws on fine hair-like lines and can be customized to your own hair color depending on how much of the pencil you apply along your brow.  The opposite end of the pencil has a brush to feather the pencil strokes, making them mimic actual hair.  The Smudge Brush blends away any remaining harsh pencil lines for a completely natural look.

The kit also includes the Brow Duo Pencil which doubles as a brow-bone highlighter on one end and a handy concealer on the other.  Finish grooming your brows with the Brow Gel to lock in the color and to hold your brows neatly in place all day.  Now you can have supermodel brows without a professional makeup artist!

Billion Dollar Brows Best Sellers Kit with full-size products is available kit is available at Kohl’s

Find lots of great brow inspirations including grooming tricks and tips on their Instagram feed @billiondollarbrows,  Facebook at, and on Twitter @bdbrows and on their website at

Photography by Allana Wesley White Photography

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