The New Essentials | Current Favorites | Beauty + Travel

Lately, I've given in to the temptations of Sephora a bit more than I probably should. Between full-size products I've purchased, samples included in orders and even products I've randomly grabbed at the drugstore, I've found some new gems that have been on high rotation in my beauty routine. Since my life is always chaos more or less living out of my FJ Cruiser caravan with how much I am on the road for work or traveling on vacation, many of these products are geared towards packability, making this post a perfect fit to consider as we enter summer vacation season. Pro tip: click the pictures to shop! Enjoy! 

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

Glow Recipe's Watermelon Sleeping Mask first came to me as a Sephora sample. I thought it would be a gimmick. My stupidly hydrated (and yes glowing) skin the next day told me I was wrong about that. Long story short, you need Watermelon Glow in your life. If you are living that carry-on-only life like me, you'll be happy to know there is a travel size to bust that post-flight dry dullness. 

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer in Radiance 

This post could alternatively be titled the glow edit. For me, I gravitate towards lighter weight, products in the spring and summer to achieve that natural dewy look. This Laura Mercier Radiance primer does just that. It has a slight tint and provides a natural glow plus offers outstanding lasting power for foundation. I wear this primer both layered under foundation as well as on its own as it provides a lovely boost to my natural skin. Multi-functional, quick makeup products are a must when I travel--Laura Mercier Radiance goes in the bag every time! 

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat 

To be honest, I am not completely sold on YSL Touche Eclat as the "holy grail" cult classic that some swear by. However, I do find myself reaching for it a lot for two reasons. First, convenience and travel. The packaging is sleek, easy to use, and not messy (since the product is all contained), making it perfect for purses or TSA approved zip-loc bags. Second, it is subtle and lightweight. As I mentioned before, I do not like wearing heavy makeup during the warmer months--particularly concealer. Touche Eclat provides a light, glowing (I know, I know) coverage. Maybe it will reach cult classic status for me after all. 

Pravana The Perfect Brunette 

As the more observant amongst you may have noticed, I am no longer a blonde! I've gone back to my roots (sorry for the oldest pun in the well-worn book), and am now trapped in that sometimes awkward phase of the blonde to brunette process where the newly darkened locks can be a bit unpredictable. For me, this manifested in a horrifying red, brassy tone starting to come through about a week after the initial dye job. Luckily I found Pravana Perfect Brunette products. Just like blondes can use purple toned products to keep their shade icy, brunettes can avoid that uncomfortable orangey red from sneaking in by applying the teal-toned Pravana suite of products. I have the shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. I only use the mask once a week because this stuff REALLY works! I already have broken my own carry-on lifestyle rule to bring these products with me on vacay, they are that good. 

Garnier SkinActive Moisture Bomb Sheet Mask

I grabbed this Garnier Moisture Bomb mask while cruising through Wal-Mart picking up last minute supplies for my trip to LA. "Moisture bomb, hmm...I could use a bomb of hydration on my face after a morning of travel," I thought to myself. Impulsively, I threw the mask in the cart, and subsequently into my suitcase. Cue me the next day, on my balcony overlooking Hollywood Hills enjoying an instant skin refresh. Garnier Moisture Bomb masks are a traveler's best friend. The mask is refreshingly cool on the face, and the clean up is easy--simply remove the sheet and massage any remaining product into your skin. Another pro-tip: apply mask in your Uber while en route from airport, and freak out your driver, bf, or anyone around you. 

FYI, if you are interested in my ESSENTIAL PRODUCTS OF ALL TIME click here for that (obviously) still relevant list! 

Update on Life | Journal

It has been awhile since I've blogged a journal post, and if you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you have probably seen a lot of photos and posts about Kansas City Fashion Week. If you aren't already following me on social media, click here. Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about what I am doing with modeling, how I find photographers to work with, etc. Read on friends and lurkers, I am about to address these issues. 

Photo:  Mira Visu Photography  (2012) 

Photo: Mira Visu Photography (2012) 

When I started Luna Elise nearly a year ago, I definitely didn't consider myself a "model," just a girl with an overdeveloped closet. However, ever since I started shooting with Rebecca from Mira Visu Photography way back in 2012 (see pic above for a throwback to my first ever photoshoot!), she was insistent on my "model status." For those people asking how I get professional photos done--the answer is, start by having photographer friends. For most photographers I've encountered, photography is their passion and they welcome a model with open arms to try out new locations, lighting or styles of photography! Remember, you should NEVER have to pay for modeling images--there are so many talented photogs willing to trade creative time!  

Dave Gillispie and me! :)

Dave Gillispie and me! :)

At this point you are probably saying, "come on Elise, you can't have THAT many photography friends!" To that, I say, yes that's true. I don't even have that many friends in general (too stressful). Once again, Mira Visu's Rebecca has been instrumental by adding me to a photography group on Facebook. I have met so many great photographers through that group who have been excited to work with me. The point here is, value the connections you make, AND learn how to recognize good connections. That guy in your Instagram DMs who wants to shoot in his basement at night=no. Photographer setting up a shoot through a Facebook private and pre-vetted group=yeah man! When you work with a photographer you like, make a friendship with them, and you never know what could come from it. I shot with Dave Gillispie for the Women of K-State Swimsuit calendar in 2012 and we are still friends who shoot together to this day. 

Top:  shopthelocale.com  Shorts: One Teaspoon Shoes: Adidas Bag: Alexander Wang

Top: shopthelocale.com Shorts: One Teaspoon Shoes: Adidas Bag: Alexander Wang

My location has made a huge difference in my blog. I live near KC now and I take full advantage of that. I try to get into the city at least once a week to work with a photographer, meet friends or check out an event. You never know where you're going to meet people! 

Model Selection Photo for TRBrown Fashions

Model Selection Photo for TRBrown Fashions

After a year of blogging, I turned my perception of myself as a model on its head by getting involved in Kansas City Fashion Week. I tried out for the runway and will be walking in three of the four shows in March! This achievement has been HUGE. I've gotten to meet so many amazing designers, models and photographers--and fashion week hasn't even happened yet. I won't lie, I'm slightly nervous for my first time on a runway, but I am excited to push myself out of my comfort zone and take my blog modeling to something next level! Get tickets to see me walk the runway HERE

Photo: Jason Atherton MUA: Sophia Binder Designer: Atelier Samosi 

Photo: Jason Atherton MUA: Sophia Binder Designer: Atelier Samosi 

When you book three shows your first season of fashion week, you get noticed and people want to book you. I was honored to be chosen to represent the first launch of the new Moda Shoot collaborative sponsored by the Kansas City Fashion Council! More on that (and all the photos) in another blog post. 

Behind the scenes:  Shop the Locale  photo shoot 

Behind the scenes: Shop the Locale photo shoot 

The more I have put myself out there, lately I have had photographers approaching me instead of vice versa. Last weekend, I did a fun commercial shoot for ShoptheLocale.com shot by Jerry Wang Photography. It is interesting to try out the commercial side of photography and fun to meet even more fashion and photography friends! 

I am also dabbling in the design end of fashion...but that's all I have to say about that, for now. :)

So, to summarize this tutorial-turned-explication--I am at an exciting point in a process that started years ago when Rebecca first wanted me to style and model a shoot I'm using my resources, feeling things out and having a great time doing it. If photo shoots, runway fittings, and red carpet charity events sound out of reach...don't be so cynical (rich words coming from me, I know). I never in a million years thought I would find these types of opportunities in KC, but you never know until you try. Unfortunate news for the extra lazy out there--you have to actually work to make it happen.