A few months ago, we were catching up with our cousin and preferred makeup artist Taryn who started her makeup business, Face You Beauty, back in 2012. We told her about our newest business ventures and she filled us in on what she is working on including a really special project that truly inspired us. Today, we are so excited to re-introduce Taryn to all of you (as she has been on our blog before … seen on her previous Guest Blog post as well as the makeup artist / talent producer for the following events as seen on our blog: Garden Glam, Haunted Toga Party, Camp Wedding, and the Side by Side Design Photo Shoot) and to be able to share her special project with our readers. Enjoy!

 

Written by: Taryn Newton-Gill

I always gravitated towards beauty. On an average day in my childhood I could easily have been found in front of my mom’s bathroom mirror, rummaging through her drawer for lipstick. I’d pair the lipstick with some crazy outfit I’d concoct from random clothes I’d find around the house, add some of my mom’s jewelry and make whomever was around take photos of me, vis-à-vis the original selfie:

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When I was about twelve I became obsessed with fashion magazines. I would cut out those black and white Romance perfume ads and tile them on the walls of my room like mosaics. I think my young subconscious thought that if I surrounded myself with them I would start to look like them through osmosis. By “them,” of course, I mean the models. I wanted to be those women. They were so effortlessly glamorous and sophisticated. They seemed not just beautiful, but worldly, like they’d seen it all. They seemed to me at ease in their own skin. They intrigued me.

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Now as a professional makeup artist, I have the joy of making people feel beautiful all the time. And the more I’ve worked with women over the years, the more I’ve come to understand that—precisely because of these women in magazines—we find it hard to embrace our own beauty. The minute I bring a brush to her face a woman will confide in me that her skin is breaking out, her eyebrows aren’t even, or the circles under their eyes are just too dark. We are critical of our looks and that leaks into how we feel about ourselves as a whole.

I look back and realize that I was looking to those images on my walls for confidence. Getting in front of a camera takes confidence because it makes us vulnerable to criticism, and that takes courage! These photo shoots came about because I wanted everyday women in my life and that are my clients to have an outlet to embrace their own beauty. Perfect models aren’t the only women who belong in front of a camera.

So I began working with photographers to take photos of my friends, whose beauty is always so apparent to me. My closest girlfriends are my long time muses; they are to me what true beauty looks like. These shoots aren’t boudoir. They’re sensual, but the sexuality is not the focus. The focus is the spirit of the person in front of the camera. I work with women to figure out what makes them feel most confident in their own skin, and create a shoot that will reflect their own, personal beauty.

 

SOY LA REINA my first shoot, is based on my good friend Zoila Reyna, whose name literally translates to “I am in the queen” in Spanish. Zoila is the oldest girl in a Mexican family of six. She was raised to be proud and her personality and namesake reflect that. She is now a boss at her job and definitely the queen of her own life. Zoila naturally gravitates toward royal hues and I tried to capture that regality in her makeup, clothes, and setting.

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As Zoila took this photo she said, “Wow, you really don’t have to wait until your wedding day to have great photos.” Precisely. Photos by Josh Coen.

 

SOPHIA BLANCHE is inspired by my endlessly creative friend and muse Sophie Barness, a singer-songwriter who rarely sings in public. We are grateful that Sophie channeled her inner performer for this shoot and bared it all, even her real name. Photos by Josh Coen.

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EMILIA was my most recent shoot. Emilia is Zoila’s mother, and she came to Zoila asking to do a shoot after seeing her daughter’s photos. Emilia is a woman constantly on the go. She is fun and bold, and a huge fan of Iris Apfel. We channeled Emilia’s muse through her bright colors and bold jewelry, and set her in nature as a nod to her wild, natural way about her. Emilia loved her moment in front of the camera! Photos are by Day Hernandez.

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Thank you so much Taryn for sharing these gorgeous photos with all of us. We loved hearing your story and know that there are so many more creative adventures for you to come in the near future. We hope that you will some day consider helping us to find our inner beauty and producing one of your photo shoots with a certain set of twins as your muse. Love you and all that you do!

If you are interested in taking part in this kind of one of a kind photo shoot experience or would like to gift it to a loved one, email Taryn (of Face You Beauty) at faceyoubeauty@gmail.com .

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Written by: Tami and Phil

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Last week, we shared the final photos from our wedding which means there’s only one thing left to talk about … our amazing honeymoon! We have broken this post into two parts as there is just too much to tell. We will begin by letting you in on a little secret … We began planning this vacation before any details had been locked down in our wedding preparation and even chose our wedding date based on the perfect time to honeymoon in Europe. We planned our departure for the Monday after our wedding, as we knew the break would be much needed. Please enjoy as we share only the highlights of the best things we did, saw, and ate in Italy.

Rome: Best Things We Did / Saw

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The Rome Cavilieri Hotel was the perfect place to stay. It overlooked the entire city, had beautiful grounds and a relaxing spa which we took advantage of the very first day, and the staff treated us like a king and queen.

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We enjoyed four full days of sight seeing and even got in about 20,000 steps per day (according to our iPhones). Some of our favorite spots were the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, and the Roman Forum. We loved wandering the streets of Rome. There’s just so much history and never a dull moment. It is said that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will return someday. We hope this is true!

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It wouldn’t be a trip to Rome without visiting the Vatican. We were completely in awe of the grandness of the buildings and the sheer amount of artwork they possess. Saint Peter’s Basilica was larger than life and the Sistine Chapel was definitely a sight to see!

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Another one of our favorite moments was people watching in Piazza Navona. We spent hours in a little pizzeria eating, drinking, and really enjoying giving our feet a break. What a great way to spend our last day in Rome!

Rome: Best Things We Ate

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Food is really important to us, so we spent a lot of time preparing for this trip by quizzing all of our friends on where they ate while they were in Italy and consulting Trip Advisor. Thank you Michal and Aaron for sending us to Maccheroni where we ate our first Italian bolognese.

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Breakfasts in Rome are amazing! We loved starting our day with an Espresso and a fresh croissant. Phil insisted on getting his with whipped cream on top!

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Our dinner at Piccolo Abruzzo was insane! Basically, we sat down and the food started coming and didn’t stop until we were beyond full. We would highly recommend ordering the price fixed chef’s choice option which included a variety of starters, a couple delicious pasta dishes, a variety of Italian meats, desserts, and wine. Our waiter must have loved us because not only did he bring out the best foods for us to try, but he let Phil cut the prosciutto and Tami enjoyed her pasta straight from the pan.

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Ferrero Rocher gelato! Need we say more!?!

Stay tuned … Next week we will tell all about the other locations we visited and all that they had to offer in places to visit and Italian cuisine.

 

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Today is National Chocolate Covered Anything Day (This one definitely sounds made up!), and therefore we are thinking back on all of the yummy chocolate covered treats we have made. Instead of just sharing one recipe, we have decided to share our favorite five with all of you. Whether you use these recipes or one of your own, make sure you cover something in chocolate today!

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#5: As seen in our post, S’mores Skewers – Winter is a great time to sit around a fire … Therefore make s’mores! If you are looking for a new recipe to try, these s’mores skewers don’t need a fire at all. The marshmallows are however, dipped in chocolate and then rolled in a graham cracker crumble (Cinnamon for best results!).

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#4: As seen in our post, Cupcake Contest – What could be bad about a cupcake in a cone that looks like a real ice cream sundae? We even dyed the cupcake batter with green food coloring and added mint flavor and mini chocolate chips to make it more authentic. We also added white frosting, a maraschino cherry, and covered them in chocolate. Once the holiday season is here, our birthday is just around the corner … Maybe we will make this chocolate covered treat this year!

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#3: As seen in our post, Holiday Treats – We always like to have treats on hand to give away to our family and friends for the holidays. In fact, this is one of the few times a year that we bake. A few years ago we filled these beautifully wrapped treat boxes with three different types of sweets; blondie bars topped with pretzels peanuts and caramel, salted caramel brownies, and chocolate covered peanut butter balls … Delicious!

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#2: As seen in our post, A Celebration For All Ages – Our favorite Chanukkah treat growing up was candy dreidels. We used to make them every year! Last year, we came across the recipe for an amped up version of this favorite treat … Chocolaate covered and oh so good!

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… and our #1 most favorite treat: As seen in our post, Holiday Cookie Exchange – Ever been to a holiday cookie exchange? They are fabulous! After all, what could be bad about making a bunch of cookies, enjoying time with friends, and then returning home with a package of all different types of treats? A few years ago, we made these chocolate dipped peppermint Oreos to trade and they were a huge hit!

What is your favorite chocolate covered treat? Comments encouraged below!

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Written by: Tami

I can’t believe it has almost been three months since Phil and my big day … Where has the time gone!? I feel so fortunate to have this platform to be able to speak about all of the special details we put in to making it happen and have done so on our ceremony, reception, and dessert lounge posts along with gorgeous photos taken by Britt of The Argus Image. Phil, Lauren, and I planned this wedding to a “T”, and when we met with our photographer to discuss details of the day we already had many photo opportunities in mind that we wanted her to capture (not just of the decor). However, working with other creative individuals is really important to us and we encouraged Britt to pull out all of the stops and take some truly editorial shots. All we had left to do was to make sure all of the wedding party looked the part.

I have broken this post down into three sections for your enjoyment … Bride / Groom, Bridal Party, and the Kids. This will help to explain our vision and to show some of our favorite shots from the actual wedding day!

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A girl dreams all her life about getting married! Who will he be? What will she wear? Although I am definitely a girl who dreams (I hate to admit this), but I never really pictured myself in a traditional wedding dress. When it came time to start my search I found that what I wanted was to make a statement and that I have extremely expensive taste. This board shows my inspiration for a glamorous look including really special shoes. It also incorporates how I wanted my bouquet to look, a way to mix styles in order for my wedding band to be unique, and some photos that were really important to me with my oldest niece / Flower Girl.

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On my wedding day, I wore something old, something new, something borrowed, and something CHOO!

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I cannot thank my cousin Taryn of Face You Beauty enough for her dedication to making me feel as beautiful as possible on my wedding day. She took my make-up to a whole new level (especially the extra long lashes I requested). I also would like to give a huge shout out to Koby B Hair Salon for these effortless waves. It turned out perfect!

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Can you believe that Lauren and I each gifted each other these silk robes without knowing the other had planned to do so? We must be twins after all!

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This stunning dress was everything I ever wanted to be married in! It was just enough different with it’s gold lace top and higher than high slit, but still said Bride. I will never regret my decision to ditch the bridal shops and visit one of my favorite designers instead. Thank you Aida of Nicole Bakti for helping me to walk down the aisle in style!

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My handsome Groom could not have looked more polished in his custom tux on our wedding day!

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The boys definitely had more fun getting ready than we did! Cheers!

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A first look is an extremely magical moment between a Bride and Groom. I am pretty sure Phil was shocked with what he saw when he finally turned around. No wonder these are some of my favorite photos!

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A few more of my favs including the ones taken in the Grand Ballroom hallway at the Sheraton Universal (Those chandeliers are truly the reason we chose this venue), a stairs shot featuring the train of my dress, and a fun one taken in the hotel’s pool cabana.

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For our wedding party, Phil and I had a very clear vision which Lauren (queen of creating inspiration boards) helped us to fine tune. I wanted my Maid of Honor to be as dramatic as myself in a long slinky gown and for the Bridesmaids to match the gold sequin theme while staying true to their own unique styles. Phil was very adamant about his guys looking sharp in modern slim cut black tuxedos.

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Phil got his wish when we found The Black Tux! What an easy and affordable way for all of your Groomsmen to dress the part. My girls were given three rules to follow when selecting their attire: 1. Be yourself 2. Feel amazing 3. Wear gold sequins! Of course, I also mentioned that their dresses should be short so Lauren could stand out as my Maid of Honor and to wear nude shoes. That’s it! Each of my sisters and my two best friends really took these requests seriously … Whether they took the Rent the Runway route or bought their dress retail, each of my Bridesmaids looked amazing!

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Lauren looked exactly how I envisioned her! Ready to walk the runway … I mean aisle! Can you believe she just had twins!?! These gorgeous bouquets as well as the ones held by the other Bridesmaids and the Groomsmen’s boutonnieres were made by none other than our favorite florist (Kayla of House of Magnolias)!

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Phil and I are so lucky to have three nieces and two nephews that we love very much! We would not have imagined our wedding any other way than with all five of them in it! Which also meant that we got to choose some awesome kids clothes. The youngest, our little Solomon, would look super handsome in a tuxedo onesie like the one above. We were so excited when we happened to find this exact one on Etsy and bought it right away. Gideon (the two year old) needed something even more sharp than his baby brother as he had a very important job to do … deliver the rings! He wore a tuxedo minus the jacket (but with suspenders) and a pair of leather Chucks! The boy’s parents choose not to share photos online so you will have to use your imagination, but they both turned out super cute! For the girls, a little glitz and glamour was in order. Ava requested a “pink party dress” and a pink party dress she did wear! Cara and Sienna did too! I also wanted to incorporate flower crowns like the one I wore in our engagement shoot for all three girls.

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As much as you can plan out exactly what photos you want to take, sometimes you just have to take advantage of moments that come your way. Ava could not contain herself when she saw us for the first time all dressed up and came running down the hallway. She stepped right out of her adorable gold flats and tripped … Luckily the Groom was there to catch her! Such a Cinderella moment!

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Cara and Sienna won’t remember this special day, but at least we will have plenty of cute photos like these ones to show them.

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Family photos are super important! I love that we were able to capture one whole side of my family all together including the kids …

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… and just in case you were wondering, I got that photo I wanted so badly of myself and my little princess!

This post concludes our Garden Glam series. From start to finish it has been an honor to share all of the details with you from the moment he popped the question until we both said “I do”. A special thanks goes out to all of our vendors for the heart and soul they put into bringing our vision to reality; Hair by Koby B, Make-up by Taryn of Face You Beauty, Signature Party Rentals, Music and Photo Booth by DJFX, Flowers by House of Magnolias, Desserts by Sweet and Saucy Shop, Groomsmen Styling by The Black Tux, Bridal Gown from Nicole Bakti by Aida, and Invitations and Save the Dates by Minted. With Event Planning and Coordination by Side by Side Design (of course) … What a great team!

All photographs taken by The Argus Image.

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In last year’s post, T Side / L Side: Holiday Wrapping, we introduced you to our homes and our own personal design styles. We each have our own “side” or way of doing things, which makes us unique (even though we are twins). When we plan our gift wrap for the holidays and ways to decorate our spaces and make them festive, these distinct styles carry through. With Chanukkah and Christmas just around the corner (so rare that they end up at exactly the same time), we thought it would be fun to give you some last minute ideas for how to wrap and decorate for the holidays. Gone are the days of tacky blue and white paper for Chanukkah with dreidel tags and a possible pop of color. We especially always like to think outside the (gift) box when planning our gift wrap. Here is what we have come up with for our own Chanukkah wrapping this year (both with a special Christmas-y twist as we just could not help ourselves). Feel free to use this as inspiration in planning your own holiday gift wrap this year.

T Side: I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I have always been secretly drawn to Christmas decorations #jewishgirldreams. Every year at this time, I find myself pining for red, plaids, and leafy decor. This year with the first night of Chanukkah falling on Christmas Eve, I decided it is finally appropriate to tie just a bit of this inspiration into my holiday gift wrap. I did try to stay “holiday neutral” but added in some leafy greens just for fun.

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I love this rustic meets glam buffet we bought last year at West Elm! Since Phil moved in, I have been trying to find ways to incorporate a bit of masculinity into our otherwise pretty feminine space (not always easy). This year, I promised him and myself that the look of our holiday decor would be much more manly. With this all black and burlap look, I believe it was mission accomplished!

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Leaves in all different shapes and sizes were easy to find on a little stroll through our neighborhood and look great when added to each of our gifts.

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I can’t wait ’til the holidays are in full swing and this small group of greeting cards grows (as it tends to do each year). This gorgeous Nambe menorah was a wedding gift and my overall inspiration for this leafy gift wrap look.

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I couldn’t decide between these adorable wood grain tags and a roll of tape in the same pattern … So I bought both and mixed it up throughout my gifts.

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A mix of ribbon is always fun as well!

L Side: You too, Tam!? There are just so many more Christmas gift wrap options out there! It’s hard not to be drawn to their fun patterns vs. our small selection of dreidels and blue and white. If any wrapping paper designers are reading this … I challenge you to come up with something new for Chanukkah next year! I couldn’t get myself to go full on red and green but love the mix of classic craft paper with a blue snowflake pattern and a touch of plaid.

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I started with a red tablecloth and a fur throw for texture and love the contrast with the mostly blue and neutral gifts.

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Simple and a little bit preppy … I love this combo! I look forward to getting even more holiday cards this year, but isn’t it great that the ones we’ve received so far match my decor?

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I really wanted to keep my look rather simple this year and opted for white string and craft cards with white lettering to finish off each gift.

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For a special touch, I threw in just a teensy bit of red and blue plaid to spice things up.

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I always like to decorate other areas of my home as well, but with three girls roaming around I decided to keep it contained to one space and added in one cluster of candles and a cute air fern near my dining table to light when we have guests.

As you can see, we each have our own style when it comes to wrapping and decorating for the holidays. In your own holiday decor, which “side” do you relate to most? Leave us a comment below. Wishing all of our readers a wonderful holiday season from Side by Side Design!

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