Clean Slate: Our Interview with master make-up artist Jenny Bowker

The new year has us inspired to simplify our look AND our beauty regimen. For our Clean Slate shoot we wanted to compose a modern look with natural looking make-up that radiates a healthy glow. We worked with make-up artist extra-ordinaire, Jenny Bowker, to achieve this gorgeous look and were so in love with the results, we had to know her subtle secrets to creating the same natural looking camera-ready face for busy boss-ladies like us.

Read on for Jenny’s top tips to creating a beautiful, fresh and natural face.

CleanSlateFace Clean Slate Campaign ~ January 2017

No. 1 : Exfoliate!

Consistent exfoliation is the key to radiant skin. Without it dead skin cells build up and skin looks dry, products can’t absorb and makeup applies unevenly. All skin types benefit from proper exfoliation, and as long as you’re not using a harsh product you can use it 2-3 times a week. My favorite scrub is the Fruit Enzyme Scrub by Mychelle and available at Whole Foods, it smells amazing and gives amazing results while still being gentle. (Tip: leave it on like a mask for a few minutes before rinsing to let the fruit acids break down all the dead skin cells.)

No. 2 : Hydrate & Prime

Don’t skip the very first step in makeup application. Priming smooths the skin and allows makeup to hold longer and blend better. Glossier came out with one of my favorite products ever recently; the Priming Moisturizer. It has a big dose of glycerin which hydrates the skin so well that foundation and concealer glide on like butta, it’s one of my top skin secrets that I use on every client. If you want extra glow without all the work apply a healthy blueberry size amount of Laura Mercier Radiant Primer. It gives a gorgeous lit from within glow and will lock your makeup in place all day. You can also mix these two products for an even speedier application.

No. 3 : Bronze & Highlight

All skin tones benefit from these two magical products, they simply give life and brightness to the face without looking like you tried. After blending your foundation and or concealer, lightly set with powder and then with a large fluffy brush apply your bronzer over the top of the forehead, over the temples and under the cheekbones, down the sides of the nose and then lightly on the chin and just under the jawline. Finally don’t forget to blend bronzer down the neck! Our heads act like little umbrellas for our necks and they are often much lighter than the face and chest, trust me it makes a huge difference in the end result. Highlight goes in all the opposite places, tops of cheekbones, brow bones, inner corner of the eyes, cupid’s bow and lightly down the center of the nose. This combo gives the face dimension, so not only will you glow you will also look slimmer in the face. My favorites for almost any skin tones are NARS Laguna bronzer and MAC Soft & Gentle highlight.

No. 4 : Hint of Tint

Tinted moisturizers have come a long way recently, if you haven’t tried one of the new extra radiant formulas it’s time to join the club! Using a tinted moisturizer gives you a supernatural glow and with the proper concealer to finish up with, you’ll have just as flawless looking skin as if you had used a more full coverage foundation, but it will look effortless and fresh. Jouer Luminous skin tints are my go to on everyone, they are truly stunning. I pair them with NARS Creamy Concealer where needed and the result is gorgeously glowing and flawless.

No. 5 : Color Story

Choose one neutral shade and carry it through eyes, lips and cheeks- this monochromatic look not only takes guesswork out of how to pair shades it gives you an instantly cool and effortless look that plays up the face without distracting from your features. You can even use the same product for eyes and cheeks as long as it’s not too bright, keep the tones earthy. My favorite shades to do this with are rose gold, tawny nude bronze and peachy corals. Keep the look simple and clean, full soft brows and a couple coats of mascara to finish the look.

JennyAtWork

Thanks for the tips, Jenny!

Photo Credits / Clean Slate Campaign
Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Miriam – @1realmiriam at @freedommodelsla
Make-up/Hair: Jenny Bowker –  @sistergolden , jennybowkermakeup.com

5 Tips to Brightening any Space with Plants: Our Interview with Floral Designer Amy Balsters

We recently had the pleasure of working with Amy Balsters of Amy Nicole Floral on our Language of Flowers campaign and quickly discovered her passion and skill for creating a mood with flowers. This month we invited her to our boutique to bring in a bit more green to our space and were amazed at what a difference it made.  As much as we love flowers and plants, creating cohesion in a room is not always as easy as it looks, which is why when hearing Amy’s eye-opening suggestions, we couldn’t wait to share them with you. Read on to learn Amy’s top 5 tips to brighten any space using plants and flowers and transform it from simple to stunning!

5 Tips to Brighten any Space with PlantsAmy Balsters of Amy Nicole Floral

No. 1 : Start with a focus on your containers-they define and unify the space

It’s important to always consider the container before purchasing plants or flowers you are decorating with. Examine the area you are accenting and consider the height, the width, how much the container may hold. etc.

     

No. 2 Choose your ingredients strategically 

If you have a lot of space to fill, consider choosing tall elements to help bring the ceiling down visually. It can also be helpful to choose plant material that “breaks” the edge of the container meaning something that can hang over the edge so the eye doesn’t get stuck visually at the lip of a container.

     

No. 3 : Line your container

If you have chosen a vase with drainage for plants, great! Plants love and need drainage but ensure that the pot has a liner inside or a dish to sit in to avoid water rings from condensation damaging your furniture. An inexpensive lining option is to use a heavy plastic or moss.

     

No. 4 : Frame the area you want to highlight

It helps to set some visual parameters by framing the container or arrangement with the tallest or widest materials and work your way back to the center or lower parts of the design. Ask yourself if the plants or flowers placed in the vase will be big enough to make an impact or too big to overwhelm the space.

     

No. 5 : After care

Every plant has different watering needs and everyones home has different light, humidity, etc. Succulents need less water than most. Ferns require a lot of water, and cactus require almost none. It is important to look up each plant and care for its individual needs rather than watering at the same time every other week.

5 Tips to Brighten any Space with Plants

And one final bit of advice from Amy, “Lastly, I would love to add  that it’s helpful to buy plants from reputable places and remember that you often get what you pay for! Also, don’t beat yourself up if plants die, it happens to everything and can feel so defeating. Just clean out your container well and try again!”

Photo Credits

Photographer: Lara Lam – laralam.com

The Language of Flowers

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

“We plant, we nurture, we grow and we give, different flowers for different moments in time, but all for the same purpose: to say that which cannot be said, and to say it with beauty and with grace.”  Vanessa Diffenbaugh

In so many cultures through time, flowers have been central to the human experience.  From east to west, ancient societies to modern, whether we celebrate, love, mourn or pray, we do it with flowers in our hands.

The Victorians embraced all things Romantic, and the language of flowers was no exception. Flower symbolism could be seen widely in jewelry, which by nature is designed to celebrate all the important moments in life. Victorian jewelers crafted roses, violets and forget-me-nots for courtship jewels, orange blossoms proliferate in wedding rings, and wreaths of cypress are ever-present in mourning jewelry.

Always inspired by antique designs, we are so thrilled to introduce a collection that is not only influenced by vintage style and symbolism, but one that actually incorporates original antique components into one-of-a-kind pieces filled with history and sentiment. Our latest collection embraces these timeless motifs to convey our deepest emotions, and presents them to the world with the aide and beauty of nature’s most treasured expression. Please enjoy the Language of Flowers.

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Nature Inspired Bohemian Stacking and Wedding Rings

Photo Credits

Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Sammie Yochelson – @sammie_yochelson at @freedommodelsla
Make-up/Hair: Jenny Bowker –  @sistergolden , jennybowkermakeup.com
Floral: Amy Nicole Floral – @amynicolefloral , amynicolefloral.com
Clothing: Morgane Le Fay – @morganelefay_ny , morganelefay.com
Ribbon: Silk & Willow – @silkandwillow , silkandwillow.com

Dog (town) Days of Summer : #LOCALLOVE

As summer wanes and the hottest days of the year linger, we believe there’s no time like the present to take advantage of these last few weeks of slow paced living and easy-going attitude. And what better way to highlight these dog days, than by capturing the best of a lazy Sunday afternoon in dogtown on our favorite street where we call home, Abbot Kinney Blvd.

For this month’s shoot we asked our favorite LA cool girl and jewelry lover, Jadan Huter @jaybirdhoots, to model some of our signature layered and stacked pieces and joined her at our treasured local hot spots.

Bohemian Stacking Rings

Bohemian Stacking Rings

Our morning started at bohemian hang-out, The Butcher’s Daughter @thebutchersdaughter_official .  May we recommend the acai bowl and matcha latte!

Boho Stacking Ring

Bohemian Engagement Ring

Bohemian Engagement Ring

No lack of palm tree lined side streets for taking a stroll, and though we’ve seen our fair share of food trucks, how happily surprised were we to stumble upon Spencer’s Flower Truck @theunlikelyflorist .  His summer bouquet was just the perfect add to our shoot!

DogDays8

What afternoon in Venice is complete without ice cream? Our latest fave sweet spot, Salt & Straw @saltandstraw.  Strawberry Tomato, anyone?

Photo Credits

Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – @selle_quintana ,  sellestudios.com
Model: Jadan Huter – @jaybirdhoots ,  theblondeandthebrunette.com
Make-up/Hair: Ashley Ford –  @ashleyfordmakeup
Shades: AHLEM available at @akinneycourt

Bohemian Summer Photoshoot

The inspiration behind this seasonal collection was to create motifs such as sunbursts, garlands and fringe in radiant materials like gold, diamond and ethereal opals that will have you in a state of perpetual summer bliss, no matter what time of year.

The bohemian styling of this photo shoot was created around the peacock chair that we found while doing some local antiques browsing. Peacock chairs are crafted with the perfect combination of whimsy, casual elegance, and texture. You almost feel regal when sitting in them, which is exactly the backdrop we wanted for this collection.  When it came to choosing a location, what says summertime more then a setting at the beach on the bluffs?  By sprinkling in elements of beach-y hair, a natural makeup palette, wild flowers, leafy garland, and the loveliest white gowns with satin button details and lace – we hoped to capture the perfect bohemian beach vibe that makes you and your soul feel kissed by the sun!

BohoSummerShoot1

BohoSummerShoot2

BohoSummerShoot3

BohoSummerShoot4

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BohoSummerShoot6

BohoSummerShoot7

Photo Credits:
Photographer: S. Elle Quintana – sellestudios.com
Model: Genevieve Rokero
Agency: Freedom Models
Gowns: Solstice Bride – www.solsticebride.com
Make-up/Hair: Stacy Bisel – www.stacybisel.com

Shopping with Solstice Bride

When selecting our favorite summer trends for this month’s inspiration shoot, especially those befitting an elegant Boho bride, we had to look no further than across the street to our stylish neighbor, Orla, and her lovely boutique, Solstice Bride . Her dresses and casual-chic spaces are so fabulous, we thought our SK brides would want discover more about her dreamy shop!

Read our interview with Orla below – and if you’re about to tie the knot, make sure Solstice Bride is on your radar!

SB1Solstice Bride, perched above Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, CA

Q. What led you to open your own bridal boutique and why did you choose Abbot Kinney?

A. I got engaged in 2013 while I was living in NY.  I was working in fashion and when I moved back to my hometown of LA and started my dress search. I was disappointed to see that some of the coolest things happening in fashion weren’t happening in Bridal and certainly weren’t being offered in LA. I found that Los Angeles was over-saturated with cold, tired, mainstream bridal salons filled with pushy sales people and puffy princess dresses and there was nowhere for me and my friends to try on stylish and unique gowns while having a fun experience. I’ve always dreamed of opening a store, and after the wedding my husband encouraged me to combine my experience as a new bride with my background in fashion and 6 months later Solstice Bride was born.

I chose Abbot Kinney because I live in Venice and I can ride my bike here every day. I grew up visiting this street and I’ve witnessed the transformation from a quaint block with galleries, cafes and mom and pop shops to a shopping mecca and tourist destination – or as GQ dubbed it “the coolest block in america” . I have a deep pride for this city and a strong attachment to this neighborhood, so I am proud to be amongst the few remaining independent small business on this block.

SB9Meet Orla Stiles of Solstice Bride

Q. After our brides-to-be become engaged, how soon should they begin looking for a wedding gown?

A. I’d recommend that you begin shopping for your dress at least 8-10 months before your wedding, as it can take up to 6 months for your gown to arrive. I’d also suggest giving yourself an extra 8-12 weeks for alterations leading up to your wedding date. Of course, I get A LOT of last minute brides, so I offer Ready To Wear options for brides to buy off the rack if they need a dress in a tighter timeline. 

Q. What style of gowns does Solstice Bride carry?

A. I describe my selection of gowns as “California Curated”. Whether it is a long sleeve lace gown or a simple bias cut dress all the gowns I’ve chosen have an easy effortless quality to them and reflect the range of California style. I believe a bride should look and feel like the most elevated version of her every day self on her wedding day and her gown should be an extension of her personality and this is the goal with our selection.  (We couldn’t agree more!)

Q. What type of experience or setting should brides-to-be expect at Solstice Bride?

A. I want to make brides feel comfortable and give them a space to relax and have fun. We offer Beer, Champagne or Kombucha and the bride choses the tunes. Finding your wedding gown shouldn’t feel transactional or forced so it’s important to us that we give the bride an authentic experience. We are often told by brides that it feels like they are shopping at their friend’s apartment and that’s the highest compliment to me.

SB10Solstice Bride, perched above Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice, CA

Q. Any other advice for our Sofia Kaman brides?

A. At the end of the day, its just a dress. Don’t overthink it and drive yourself crazy. It may sound strange coming from me, as this is my business, but there is so much more to a wedding and a marriage than the dress. 

SB6Solstice Bride

Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels + Solstice Bride:
Not only are Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels and Solstice Bride within steps of each other, but we’ve also partnered to make bridal shopping a breeze. Our SK brides-to-be will receive 10% off their Solstice Bride dream gown (upon purchase of your SK engagement ring). And, just to make things a little bit sweeter – Solstice Brides will also receive 10% off Sofia Kaman wedding bands or bridal jewelry. Ask us for more details!

Photographer: Melissa Gidney www.melissagidneyohoto.com

Boho Summer Trends

Want to see some of our favorite jewelry styles that we are coveting for Summer? We’ve highlighted our top three Boho Summer trends you won’t want to skip this season. Discover some of our newest pieces straight from the studio.

SUNBURSTS

Stacking Sunrise Rings, Summer TrendsStacking Sunrise Rings, Summer Trends

It’s no surprise that a Boho Summer look would harness the sun as an element. The glorious golden rays not only appear on sun-kissed skin and highlights in your sea salt waves, but will be featured on everything from decor to the new Sofia Kaman Sunrise Ring, Sunrise Necklace, and least we not forget our very on-trend Sunrise Earring Jackets. Wearing these pieces reminds us of the potential in each new day. Sun worshipers unite!

GARLANDS

Garland Opal and Diamond Ear ClimbersGarland Opal and Diamond Ear Climbers

Flowers, flowers, everywhere! In your hair, home and of course delicately entwined around your fingers and earlobes in gold and set with dreamy opals. These botanical inspired beauties will be with you long after summer has ended, reminding you always of the sweet scent of summer memories.

FRINGE

Layering Fringe NecklacesLayering Fringe Necklaces

And finally fringe- an essential in every Boho girl’s life, be it on your newest handwoven wall hanging to your prized vintage suede bag. We think these forever fringe pieces make excellent additions to your Boho lifestyle.


Photographer: S. Elle Quintana sellestudios.com
Model: Genevieve Rokero
Agency: Freedom Models
Gowns: Solstice Bride
www.solsticebride.com
Make-up/Hair: Stacy Bisel www.stacybisel.com

JENNI + STUART

At Sofia Kaman Fine Jewels we revel in a good love story and we hope you do too! To introduce our new Love Stories series we wanted to have one of our favorite brides, Jenni M. tell us hers. Be prepared to read this with a tissue, because it is so sweet that we had not a dry eye in the studio after reading it.

Names:

Jenni  + Stuart

Where do you live:

Los Angeles, CA

Wedding date + location:

June 26, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. We filled gorgeous Prestonfield House with our family and friends for three straight days of total bliss.

JS2

How did you meet?

Stuart came to LA in 2009 to perform at the World Magic Awards, where he won best comedy illusionist of the year. I had just moved here and was working at the show. It was a three day job…which I thought was going to be totally lame. I mean, magicians…right?? 😉 But something happened over the course of those days and Stuart and I had this powerful magnetic draw to each other. But nothing happened, just hours of of talking and secret crushes. On the last night when I left, I thought…I just walked away from my soulmate. I cried the whole drive home like a total nut. I had only known him 72 hours and thought I was losing my mind! I kept thinking about him over the next year and half, and turns out he was thinking about me too. In 2011 I suddenly got a friend request on Facebook and that was it. I found out later he actually created the Facebook account just to get back in touch with me. It started with little messages that turned into novel length emails then all night video chats, until we finally got the guts to meet again in person. Stuart offered to fly me to London but I was a chicken so he came here to LA.

What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

There’s no one else like him. I knew right away that Stuart is truly one of a kind with a unique perspective on the world. His brain works in such an interesting way and I’m always fascinated by him. He’s also an incredibly grounded, patient, and deeply loving person.

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If you could choose any jewel from the Sofia Kaman collection to celebrate your love, which would it be?

Where do I begin?? I dream in Sofia Kaman. If I had to pick just one it would be the “Shoot for the Moon” arrow necklace. There’s something really magical about it and feels special and otherworldly, like the love we share. (I’m a cheeseball, sorry) 😉 Would be a great anniversary gift, wink wink, nudge nudge!

 

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Credits:

Photographer: Paul Raeburn |instagram: @paulraeburn1

Florist: Linzi Deprez of Jack Fleuriste | instagram: @jackfleuriste 

Dress: Shareen Bridal |instagram: @shareenbridal  

Styling & Accessories: Jenni and her shop The Blushing Bird | instagram: @theblushingbird facebook: facebook.com/theblushingbird

Engagement and Wedding Rings: Sofia Kaman

Do you have an equally engaging story to share of how you met your love? Then stop by here and share! Maybe you will be the next featured Love Story!

Sharing the Love!

HANDFUL-OF-RINGS-EM

Our hearts runneth over with all the L-O-V-E in the air.  A perfect excuse for us to give back some love with a fun Instagram give-away!

Can you guess how many of our prettiest rings are stacked & layered into the pile of gorgeousness in her hands?  Hint: Including the rings on her fingers!

For a chance to win our sterling silver “Cupid ~Love” Medallion Pendant Necklace, simply follow the 3 steps below:

1) follow us on IG @sofiakaman

2) leave your ONE guess in the comments

3) tag a friend

Winner(s) must guess closest to the exact amount without going over and will be announced tomorrow!  Good luck!

Above image from our 2016 SK Bridal Collection

photographed by Elizabeth Messina | IG: @elizabethmessina

 

CupidPendant

Sterling Silver Cupid Medallion with “Love” Embossed on Reverse

Diamond + Design of the Week

DIAMOND-AND-DESIGN-OMC

This week’s Diamond + Design features a stunning 4.01ct Old European cut diamond. It has a touch of warmth- which we love! We’re imagining this beauty in our vintage-inspired Scalloped Buttercup Solitaire with accents of old cuts as well.