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How to Look Great in Every Photo

How to look great in every photo

Off the shoulder cream Nordstrom sweater distressed skinny jeans and sam edelman Bradley booties angela lanter hello gorgeous

Off the shoulder cream Nordstrom sweater distressed skinny jeans and sam edelman Bradley booties angela lanter hello gorgeous

Off the shoulder cream Nordstrom sweater distressed skinny jeans and sam edelman Bradley booties angela lanter hello gorgeous

Off the shoulder cream Nordstrom sweater distressed skinny jeans and sam edelman Bradley booties angela lanter hello gorgeous

Off the shoulder cream Nordstrom sweater distressed skinny jeans and sam edelman Bradley booties angela lanter hello gorgeous

Thank you to Colgate ® Optic White® for partnering with Hello Gorgeous to sponsor this post.

Fall is officially in the air!  This time of year brings Fall family portrait sessions, wedding photos, Homecoming photos and Christmas card photos.  Basically, it’s a major photo opp season!

Some high school seniors prefer to shoot their senior portraits during Autumn to capture the gorgeous changing colors of the season.  A lot of senior girls like the ability to wear all the cute Fall sweaters, scarves, plaid flannel shirts and boots…  And I don’t blame them!  If I could go back in time, I would absolutely shoot Autumn themed Senior photos instead of my glamour shots-esque photos lying on the floor with my hair spread out around my face.  I laugh every time I see that photo in my mom’s living room, LOL!

A question I get asked a lot, especially by my girlfriends, is how to look your best in photos.  I wish that there was one magic tip that would make us all turn into a supermodel the second a camera is on us, but that’s not real life.  Throughout the thousands (literally, THOUSANDS) of photos I’ve taken over the years, especially with Hello Gorgeous, I’ve learned a thing or two about looking my best in photos.  I’m about to spill the beans, ladies!  Get out your notebooks and let’s get this class underway!

Colgate Optic White whitening toothbrush and pen angela lanter hello gorgeous

Colgate Optic White whitening toothbrush and pen angela lanter hello gorgeous

Colgate Optic White whitening toothbrush and pen angela lanter hello gorgeous

How to Look Great in Photos:

  1. Do a practice run of your makeup.  This is obviously a wedding day tip, but it should also be used for other important photo days such as Homecoming, senior portraits, driver’s license photos and family portraits of any kind.  Steer away from super trendy beauty techniques.  The key is to look like the best version of yourself.  Play up your best features.  Skip the hot pinks and use colors that you’ll look back on in 25 years and feel like are still classic choices.  Do practice your highlighting and contouring techniques in advance.  Be strategic to help accentuate your features.  This will help to bring out the high plains of your face and conceal the areas you’d like to downplay.
  2. A bright, white smile.  This one is such a no-brainer, right?  Wrong.  How many of us snap an important life event, then look at the photos and cringe because our teeth aren’t as white as we thought they were?  I’m definitely guilty!  I’ve evolved into quite a white teeth fan.  Let’s be honest, white teeth help to make you appear younger.  With all the coffee drinks and bold lip colors that come with Fall, I like to make sure I have a bright, white smile.  Honestly, white teeth should always be a part of your beauty routine!  The Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen  is the perfect way to whiten your teeth in a snap.  This Colgate® Optic White® duo starts working in just one day, to get your smile whiter. Your teeth will be up to 5 shades whiter in three weeks with no hassle and, best of all, no mess. The whitening pen fits right into your toothbrush so you won’t forget to brush, whiten, then get out the door!
  3. Steer away from horizontal stripes.  Stripes will only create the appearance of wider everything.  Choose classic, solid colors.  I’m specifically talking about clothing, scarves don’t fall under this rule.  When picking out your wardrobe, again, steer clear of trend pieces.  Stick with the classic styles and classic colors when possible. PS- if you want to create the illusion of a smaller waist, use a thin belt to accentuate your waist.
  4. Don’t forget your photo kit.  What’s a photo kit, you may ask?  It’s all the products you need to keep your look fresh for photos.  Bring a powder to blot away shininess, hairspray to tame any fly-aways, makeup wipes to remove any boo-boos, baby wipes to remove deodorant marks from clothing and a mirror to check yourself before the camera flashes.
  5. Elongate your neck.  This tip is a girl’s best friend.  Push out your chin when posing to elongate your neck and hide the appearance of a double chin.
  6. Point your toes inwards.  Sounds silly, right?  If your doing any standing poses, pointing your toes inwards and sticking out your butt will help create a gap between your thighs.  Ever wonder how bloggers manage to get that coveted thigh gap in every photo?  Well, now you know.  PS- Posture is everything.  Pull back, but drop, your shoulders.  Twist your torso for the appearance of a smaller waist.
  7. Leave the chicken wings at home.  We’re all guilty of it.  The hand on hip(s) pose.  Leave it at home, ladies.  It’s almost as bad as the duck face to me.  I know, I know…  You feel awkward and don’t know what to do with your hands.  Do what feels natural.  Maybe that’s a hand in your pocket or maybe just down by your side.
  8. Relax.  Easier said than done, I know.  Get in front of the mirror and find your best angles and side.  Figure out how you look best.  If you feel good about the way you look, you’ll automatically be more comfortable.  If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, it honestly shows.
  9. Breathe.  No, really!  I once had a photographer I work with tell me to relax my face, open my mouth and let out a slow breath while faintly smiling.  This allowed the stress in my face to melt away and the result was an easy, relaxed smile.
  10. Ditch the cheese.  Smizing is a real thing.  Let your smile reach your eyes, but don’t smile so big and so hard that you’re squinting and my face is scrunched up.  You want to show emotion with your eyes and show happiness with your smile.  If you cheese it too hard, trust me, you won’t be happy with the results.  Just give your best, natural smile.
  11. Watch what you eat and drink.  Steer away from alcohol and sodium filled foods the night before a big photo day.  They’ll only make you look puffy and tired.
  12. Magic Hour.  Meet my best friend, golden hour.  Every one of my favorite photos we’ve taken is during magic hour.  Because, it’s just honestly magical.

What tips do you have for getting your best photos?  Leave them in the comments section!

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7 Tips to Overcome Insecurity | Girl Talk Tuesday


Girl Talk Tuesday: Insecurity PilyQ Michelle Dress Rosemary Beach, FL 30A girl talk tuesday insecurity angela lanter hello gorgeous


Back at the beginning of this year, I posted a reader survey to see what my Gorgeous Fam wanted to see more of.  I expected it would be hands down YouTube videos, and that was a major request.  But surprisingly, I had a huge response in the Lifestyle category, requesting more “Lifestyle” type content.  I found out just how accurate this response was after releasing posts such as “Reasons to Love Small Breasts“, “5 Truths About Being Married to an Actor” and “10 Symptoms After Coming Off Birth Control“.  These posts are easily my most engaged by my readers.  That fact opened my eyes.  I realized that you’re most likely here, reading this very post, because you want more than just outfit or makeup inspiration.  A good percentage of you relate to me (and I relate to you!) and that very realization inspired this new blog series.

PilyQ Michelle Dress Rosemary Beach, FL 30A girl talk tuesday insecurity angela lanter hello gorgeous

Introducing: Girl Talk Tuesdays!  Every Tuesday I’m going to attempt to tackle a subject that affects you and I, the millennial woman.  Who are millennial women, you ask?  We are the women between the ages of 13 and 33.  Don’t fall in that category?  That’s okay!  You more than likely will also benefit from this ongoing series.  After all, regardless of age, we’re all girls, right?  Right.

Today I’m tackling a toughie.  This topic is something I’ve battled my entire life, along with a large percentage of the women who are reading this post.  We’re diving deep into the world of insecurity.  Why insecurity?  Well…  Why not?  Mostly, my inspiration for this topic being my first in the series is because I just finished reading Beth Moore’s book, “So Long, Insecurity“.  I learned so much about myself through reading this book, so I highly recommend it to every and any woman who suffers from self-doubt.

Maybe it’s too personal for me to open up and talk about my own battle with insecurity.  But, hey, I’ve talked about everything from birth control to what undies I wear, so why wouldn’t I talk about it?

Insecurity often starts at a young age for girls, or at least it did for me.  Maybe it’s genetic or maybe it’s learned, regardless, I want to unlearn it.  I think a lot of women don’t even realize that their issue is insecurity.  They associate that stinky word with not trusting their man/relationship, or something similar.  But it’s so much more than that.

The definition of insecurity is: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.  Ouch.  Ever lack confidence in yourself?  I have and I do.  Ever second guess yourself?  Always.  I often play and replay things that I’ve said to someone.  I beat myself up about my tone or how I responded, trying to figure out if the other person took what or how I said something the wrong way.  I often feel the need to apologize for the silliest, little things…  Basically I sometimes apologize even when an apology isn’t needed or expected.  I’m always so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.  Want to know what’s so crazy about that?  I myself am not a hyper-sensitive person.  I don’t get my feathers ruffled very easily, yet I spend so much of my own time worrying about ruffling someone else’s feathers.

Maybe you’re secure with yourself, but you have a woman in your life who you think may be suffering from severe insecurity.  A few signs may be:

  • They may tear themselves down.
  • They may tear others down to make themselves look or feel better.
  • They may have a hard time accepting, acknowledging or congratulating someone else on their good news or accomplishments (jealous; unable to compliment).
  • They may need validation.
  • They may try to make others feel insecure.
  • They may constantly live their life in a state of comparison.
  • They may have a hard time maintaining eye contact.
  • They may make jokes at their own expense.

Any of these traits sound familiar?  Perhaps in yourself or maybe in someone you know.  The sooner you recognize what the root issue is (insecurity), the sooner you can deal with it.

Here are a few pointers I learned from Beth Moore’s book:

  • We can think another woman is beautiful without thinking we are ugly.
  • We can esteem another woman’s achievements without feeling like an idiot.
  • We can appreciate another woman’s terrific body/shape without feeling like a total slob.
  • The question we should all ask ourselves: why do we have to subtract value from ourselves in order to give credit to someone else?  Insecurity is the cause of our bad math.

These are all SO TRUE.  Why do we think just because another woman is (fill in the blank) it makes us less of a woman?  Why do we ever feel the need to compare ourselves to anyone else?  God made us exactly who we were meant to be, yet we’re never happy with His creation (ourselves).

I once heard Heather Dubrow (Real Housewives of Orange County) say that she decided from a young age that she didn’t need any else’s opinion.  Can you imagine the freedom in that decision?  To be that confident?  It really is possible!

Here are a few of my ideas to help us boost our own confidence.

  1. Figure out the root of your insecurity.  Is it your looks?  Maybe it’s your weight?  Perhaps it’s your intelligence.  Whatever it is, figure it out.  You can’t deal with something unless you know exactly what it is that you’re dealing with.
  2. Stop relying on other people’s assessment of you.  Your worth is not based on what or how other people think of you.  You have to break the chains of needing validation from others.  The only opinion that matters is God’s opinion.  Let go of the past hurts from words that crushed your self esteem.  “She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:15
  3. Refuse to play the comparison game in all areas of your life.  This has got to be the most damaging thing we women do to ourselves.  You were not created to look or act like anyone other than yourself.  You were created in God’s perfect image to be you. (Genesis 1:27)
  4. Realize that you are good enough.  This one is easier said than done, I know.  But you are good enough.  You are pretty enough.  You are smart enough.  You are everything you put your mind to.
  5. Release yourself from the people pleasing.  Chances are, you put way more pressure on yourself than anyone else does.  Please God first.  It’s that simple.
  6. Learn to think positively.  When those annoying voices pop up in your head spewing all sorts of negativity, speak back with positivity.  Many times, insecurity is a failure to trust God in our lives.  Learn to turn over those nagging thoughts of no self-worth and low self esteem to God.  God is a God of certainty.  He never questions our purpose or our worth, so why do we?
  7. Learn to laugh it off and move on.  Life is too short.  Next time you make a mistake, learn from it, maybe even laugh about it, then move on with your life.  Don’t dwell on it.  It’s over, it’s in the past.  Set your sights on the future.

If you found even the tiniest nugget of inspiration from this post, it makes the time I put into Hello Gorgeous beyond worth it.  Honestly, writing this post was needed by me just as much as it was by you if you struggle with this issue.  Learning to be confident is a journey.  Security is valuable and anything that has value is worth working towards.  I’m working towards being a more secure and more positive woman.

Please take a moment to leave me a comment and let me know if you too struggle with this issue.  I know that I’m not alone.  If this touched your heart and you want to see more Girl Talk Tuesday posts like this one, be sure to let me know!

What I’m Wearing:

PilyQ Michelle Dress  //  Accessory Concierge Earrings

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Marriage Books My Friends Love

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chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous

chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous

chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous

chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous

chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous

chambray J. Crew button up and denim Zara midi skirt denim-on-denim fall outfit angela lanter hello Gorgeous


Marriage is one of my favorite topics.  I love talking about it, learning about it and living it.  My Aunt Gina gave me my first book on marriage when I was in high school.  She said that we study for everything we do in life, except marriage.  It’s so true, just think about it…  We go to school to learn how to drive a car even!  Marriage is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life, so why wouldn’t you want to be good at it?!

My book collection has grown immensely since then (a lot in thanks to my Aunt Gina!)  I actually have several girlfriends who regularly borrow books and switch them out for new material.  I decided to reach out to some of my favorite blogger babes and see which books have impacted their marriages and why.  Just a disclaimer, I have not personally read every book recommended below.   I will put together another post soon with my personal favorites.

So let’s hear from some of my girlfriends!

Sazan Hendrix:  The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

“I loved “The Five Love Languages” because it taught us how to better communicate our love to each other through our individual love languages.  I loved learning about mine and also his!  It’s an easy read that will totally help strengthen your relationship even more!”

Lauren Scruggs Kennedy (LOLO Mag):  The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller

“I am so glad I read “The Meaning of Marriage” before Jason and I got married because it gave me such a real vision of what it takes to maintain a healthy relationship.  It provided a genuine picture of the purpose of marriage, which was so nice to have stepping into it.  It also gave great insight and applicable ways to healthily handle conflict and gave instruction on how to communicate well.  It was so important for me to enter into this commitment with as much knowledge as I could so I can be the best wife I can be!”

Julie Solomon: “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

“The book that calls to my marriage the most is “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs!  I had the pleasure of handling the publicity of this book when it came out (when I was single) and learned so much even then.  I knew when I got married that I would need to apply this to my marriage, especially when we felt unloved and disrespected.  This book offers an in-depth study of why husband and wife communication styles are not wrong, just different.  Dr. Eggerichs uses his revolutionary message to crack the communication code between husband and wife: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.  Based on Ephesians 5:33 and extensive biblical and psychological research, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs reveals the power of unconditional love and unconditional respect and how husbands and wives can reap the benefits of marriage that God intended.  He also holds marriage conferences throughout the year with his wife, Sarah, which are FANTASTIC!  His work is truly a vessel from God on how we should view, and practice, our marriage.”

Brittany Xavier (Thrifts and Threads): “How We Love” by Milan and Kay Yerkovich

“This is a book I was recommended to read at my bridal shower by my good family friend and Anthony and I got around to reading it together shortly after we were married.  We both really loved the insight it provides!  So much of how we relate to each other in our marriage stems from our early life experiences and understanding what the other person truly needs to feel loved is invaluable.”

Megan Runion (For All Things Lovely) // didn’t have a favorite marriage book, opted to give a piece of advice:

“One of my very favorite things that John and I have done since day one (almost 7 years ago) and the biggest piece of advice I would give anyone about marriage is: always try to out do your spouse.  Always.  It’s definitely not about the big things, or presents, it’s about the little things that make all the difference in your day to day life.  Whether it be waking up first and taking a cup of coffee to your spouse in bed, sending an encouraging or ‘thinking of you’ text message throughout the day, surprising him/her with having dinner ready when they get home, or simply helping out around the house.  Whatever it may be, if you are constantly doing nice & thoughtful things for your spouse, they will WANT to do the same for you.  It’s something that seems so easy.  I mean, we’ve all heard the Golden Rule all of our lives, but it can be hard somedays to want to do all of those things.  However, it makes all the difference when it’s being done for you.  Give it a try, I promise it will change your relationship for the better!”

Sheridan Gregory (Blue Eyed Finch):  “For All Eternity” by Dr John Lund:

“This book was literally a saving grace for me & my husband!  We both were awful at communicating before we met & this completely changed how we approach different situations & our overall consideration of each others feelings & perspectives.  We recommend this to every couple we know because we loved it that much!”

I couldn’t create this post without including my very best friend, Megan Wayman.  If you’re an OGG (Original Gorgeous Girl) then you remember this post on Valentine’s Day shortly after I launched Hello Gorgeous.  Megs and I have talked each other through many disagreements with our hubbies.  I believe that it’s so important to have at least one solid girlfriend in your life who always sees the bigger picture…  That your marriage is more important than whatever you’re fighting about.  Megs and I have called each other our “accountability partners” since high school, and the title couldn’t be any truer.  Megan included some awesome marital advice in addition to her favorite book.

Megan Wayman: “Sheet Music” by Dr. Kevin Leman

So a couple years into my marriage, I asked for a book for Christmas and you know how family members exchange gift ideas to each other?  Yea well…  My mother-in-law ended up being the one to buy me the book I wanted.  She had no clue it was all about her daughter-in-law getting laid by her son…  Awkward.  This book is not for the faint of heart.  It’s blunt and to the point and tackles some major issues that Christian marriages face.  It’s an encouragement and a reminder that God created sex and He intended it to be pleasurable.  When you’re married, there’s nothing wrong with making sweet music in between the sheets!

A little more marital wisdom from Megs:

Oh boy! Oh boy! This is my favorite topic – Marriage!!

This is my GO-TO when I want to know what marriage is supposed to look like and what I want to strive for in my own marriage. Ephesians 5:22-33, “22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” Woah, woah, woah! SUBMIT? A record just squeaked. I’ve stopped right there in the scripture and said, “Nope, not today!”, but let’s keep going.  “23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ok, so does this slightly rub any of you women the wrong way? I mean at first glance, let me be totally honest, the only words I really see are SUBMIT TO YOUR HUSBAND…IN EVERYTHING.  You know that “Oh Crap” emoji with the really wide eyes? Can you visualize that? That’s my face right now. Don’t give up. Here’s where it gets good for us ladies, moving on to verse 25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” Wow! Last I checked, Christ loved the church (you and me) so much that he died in the most painful way for it. Now I’m imagining my smoking hot husband in a suit of shining armor ready to defend me to his death because he loves me so much. My heart is softening up now and I’m the emoji with hearts for eyes. But seriously, imagine that kind of love. This passage goes on to say, “28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself.” That’s pretty serious. One of my character flaws is I’ve always considered myself sort of selfish, which is why the old adage “treat people how you want to be treated” has struck a chord for me. If I truly treated my husband the way I want him to treat me, if I took care of him with the same respect and care that I take care of my own body… I’d be getting action on the regular! (Just kidding) It would be easy to “submit” to his role in our marriage because I would have all the confidence he is loving and taking care of me the way Christ intended him to.  Men need to feel respected by their wife, and women need to feel loved by their husband. God paints such a beautiful picture of “Happily Ever After” when he mirrors marriage to Christ and his bride, which is the church.  Marriage should be equal submission: Husband to wife and wife to husband. Take time to read this whole passage on your own.

What is your favorite book about marriage?  I have so many that it’s going to take some major brain power to narrow it down to a small list.  I also want to do a little more reading on my own before I make my suggestions!

Photos by Kara Coleen.

What I’m Wearing:

Chambray Shirt  //  Similar Denim Midi Skirt  //  Lace-Up Heels  //  Crystall Stud Earrings  //  Similar Clutch  //  Kendra Scott Boone Openwork Ring

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