You know those days when you are at the mall, navigating the gleaming isles of the sweetly smelling make up counters with a double stroller, trying hard not to look like the hot mess you know you are? You’d like to avoid the make up counter altogether because it screams of how unpolished you currently look. But, alas, because of where you parked you have no choice but to walk past the make up counter to get into the mall.
Those were the days I would try my best to keep my one-year-old twin boys and their “big” 2-year-old brother contained as we made our way through the mall. “Arms in boys, arms in boys!"
Typically make-up counters aren’t hanging out ‘welcome’ signs for the crazy train we were passing by! In fact, the reception was often chilly. I get it. Who wants grubby little fingers all over those nice displays! Not to mention fragile glass plus little boys = recipe for D I S A S T E R !!
However, the make up counters at Towne Mall were different; there were always smiles. Specifically, there was always one woman who stood out as an absolute ray of sunshine without even knowing it. When I would pass by the Lancome counter I was always greeted warmly with a ‘Hello, how are you? Oh look at those adorable boys!! Hi boys, how are you!!??” She would ask my boys questions and always have some word of encouragement for me as we passed.
I’ve gotta be honest; I was blown away. It felt as though someone was actually welcoming us to the mall! At the make-up counter of all places, who knew!! Our angel in disguise was Melanie, the beauty you see featured in this Couture blog. I quickly forgot how disheveled I looked; I forgot to worry if my boys were wrecking anything; I just relaxed.
Everyone who knows Melanie knows what an amazingly kind and gentle person she is. She exudes a genuine compassion that sets her apart wherever she goes. Her magnetic personality is something that endears her to everyone who crosses her path.
Melanie pours herself in service to all around her. She is a giver. So for her to be on the receiving end of
being pampered was foreign territory for her!
Every time she’d try to get up and help with something I’d tell her,
‘sit down and let us take care of you.’ This was her day to "Unveil her Cinderella" instead of stepping into that role for everyone else! She got to sit back and enjoy while my stylist Jill did her hair and then stepped into her portrait time to create a wide variety of looks...some editorial, some vintagy, some fine art feel like the one above...some that will bring a wide smile to her mom like below!
Melanie and I share a common passion: to reveal the deep inner beauty we see in all women. We share a desire to strengthen women for the heavy loads that life requires of them by helping them realize their own strength.
Melanie is also an avid gardener and loves to get her hands in the dirt. Combine all that with Melanie’s creative artistic side and an idea emerged she was hoping to see come to life in portraits.
Melanie was excited to include some vintage items, like her compact and records. Records are a passion she shares with her son Alexander. Alex is Melanie’s whole world. Alex is funny, creative, a jokester and her inspiration for keeping her light shining brightly daily! She literally beams when she speaks about him. She is raising a gentleman who honors women and will be her pride and joy her whole livelong life!
Melanie wanted to create something unique which spoke of life to her. She loves the symbolism of trees, their strength, their rootedness and she sees women in the same way. My assistant Hayley enjoys drawing trees so she set about the task. Epitomized in a portrait: her love of gardening, her love of strengthening women, her love of art, all married up into an idea that started in her imagination.
Melanie loved the feeling of this portrait....she actually stepped back out of her dressing area to tell me what she saw. She saw her having just finshed a performance and she was stepping back stage to get into her next costume....LOVE that she sees the stories to images we create! I have always been a storyteller with my portraiture so you can imagine how delighted I was by the stories she saw in all her portraits!
My portrait clients know what a high value I place on
boutique client care. If you are looking for
the same thing for your cosmetic needs, stop by and see Melanie at the Lancome
counter—you’ll be so happy you did! Tell her "hi" from Jennifer when you do! ;)