Category: Uncategorized

Seattle Wedding in June: Kevin + Cricket

I was in Seattle to do the makeup, hair, AND photography for the wedding. I would only do all three for someone I really cared about. Cricket and I have known each other since high school. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew a few things would be compromised, so I asked for the assistance of a good friend of mine with the photography. I wish I could have taken more photos (wedding details and such) but I needed to make sure everyone looked on point! What do you think?


Appreciate Small Progresses – 2014 Year End Summary

I was learning more about photography last year and I was getting very comfortable with utilizing natural light. When I can get an assistant, I would add a reflector, but that was not much of a stretch. I was stuck. That was a reflection of a lot of things in my life. Towards the end of the year, I felt like I was in a rut. I felt like I needed new goals in different aspects in my life. After achieving a big accomplishment in the middle of the year (if you don’t follow my blog, I became debt free and i was able to take the whole family on a vacation to paradise) and a series of unfortunate events, I needed a new milestone.

In June, I attended photography and makeup workshops but other than that, I felt like there wasn’t very much visible results. They always say that little progress is still progress. Towards the end of the year, I was yearning to do more and to have more to show for it. I was able to book more jobs this year but I was so hard on myself because I knew it was not enough to do it full-time.

As I looked back into my photos and my journals, I had to appreciate the small steps I took then and what I am doing now to get to where I want to be. I invested in myself last year. I got out of my comfort zone and decided to book more shoots than ever. I bought lighting equipment that I am so excited to be learning how to use. I purchased and subscribed to tutorials for me to watch and learn from. I attended more workshops and consulted professionals to increase my business and to hone my skills. I am meeting more people and making more connections. My personal life is also fantastic. I rekindled old friendships and welcomed new friends.

I started out this entry by writing the title “Getting Too Comfortable May Not Be a Great Thing” but I am glad I reflected on my year and saw that it was not a bad one at all. No. Not at all. :) I think 2015 is off to a good start.

Oh Hey. It’s Me.

The year started off with a bang. I had a big goal and I achieved it. After my trip to the Philippines, everything got a bit, let’s just say, weird. The trip was unforgettable for sure. I hit a snag on the blog side and have been unable to post anything in the past few months. Work has been very busy and I have made every excuse to not get back on here.

I have been shooting, but I don’t think I am making the progress that I wanted, well at least on my social media and marketing. So to solve that, I booked myself solid until the end of the year to keep practicing. I learned that instead of complaining and whining, it is better to figure out the problem and try to find a solution. Be proactive. I still get insecure about my work, but I think it is only natural because we are always our worst critic. I still have a long way to go.

I need to do more research, shoot more, practice more on my camera, and trust myself more. YouTube right now is doing it for me. Photo editing is a challenge. I see other people’s work and I am amazed. I need to learn to do this myself and I still have to discover what my “style” is going to be. Here are a few that I hired Bianca Carosio (–> she is crazy talented!) to edit for me:



To keep me accountable, I am assigning myself one post every week like I used to. I have a few projects lined up, which is great. I am excited to get back on this. Thanks for reading.

Keep Learning, Keep Growing — Part II

You just cannot ever know it all. I have been doing makeup for a while. I have read books, I have watched YouTube videos, I have browsed through magazines, and I have scoured photos on Instagram. When I had the opportunity to meet Celebrity Makeup Artist Renny Vasquez, ooohh boy, was I determined to get there early and be seated in front of the class. That was a treat!!! It was amazing learning from this talented person up close! It was an intimate setting and I was able to witness his magic. I was so inspired after that I just needed to book shoots immediately afterwards. I just wanted to get my hands dirty and just practice immediately.

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Apart from his talent, it was his spirit that moved me so much. He said everything that I believed in and just needed reinforcement. He was humble and down to earth. He related his story about how he started and his rise to where he is now. I was in awe. I need to meet more people like that in my life.    Renny displayed great work but even better work ethic.

Age and Experience

I have known F for a few years now and I have to say that we both have changed in so many ways. Age and experience can be a beautiful thing. It makes you wiser and more mature. I had a conversation with another friend of mine and asked her if she liked herself better now or when she was younger. Of course, the response was “I would like to have my 22 year-old body with my current wisdom.” Haha!

I teach middle school and I think about what it was like being their age, and oh boy, am I glad I am done with that. The insecurities that come with youth and the way society is now when it comes to self-image would probably crush me. I don’t know if my teenage self would survive the need of likes, cyberbullying, and instafights.

Fiona 11 JL

Anyway, this is my friend F. Let me tell you, she is one of the nicest people I know. Too nice sometimes, if you ask me. She is so generous, thoughtful, and caring. She is just an all around sweetheart. She is very young. Why do I say that like I’m 20 years older? I’m only 4 years older. Lol. I think it’s because she is so full of life and energy. Even when I first met her, she always saw the best in other people.

1-Fiona Collage

I would like to think that I matured beautifully. I have chosen the people to associate myself with very well. I am so glad I am not  a teenager anymore. Life has brought me to a place where I can be at peace with myself. After just a few years of knowing F, I can also see that she is happy with where she’s at (life, family, career, relationships). It is always good to catch up with friends and see that they are doing well.

Fiona 12 JL




Progress Report

It has been a couple of months since my “freedom” and I think it is always a good idea to look back, reflect, and evaluate.

BLOG: Since, February, I have been hitting this blog consistently and I have been putting aside time to write and post. My blog has taken a different direction since I started it years ago. At first, my goal was just to share my thoughts on anything I didn’t want to post on Facebook. It shifted towards talking about my goals in health, career, relationships, and even my finances. I have made it my it’s-not-just-a-beauty-blog beauty blog. I focused on the inner beauty of women (and men), not just their physical appearance. I choose my “makeovers” with people who have inspired me and whom I believe have a story from which we can all take a lesson from.

MAKEUP: I am so happy that I picked up the brush again. When I started out 14 years ago, all I did was practice on myself, then take pictures (using film, mind you), and wait for prints with fingers crossed. Now I get to take pictures of others after I do their makeup and see instant results. I have been getting various bookings and repeat clients, which I am grateful for everyday. The referrals I have been getting are more than what I asked for. I am so blessed and I cannot believe that I am given this chance to do what I love. Oh, and I just recently signed up for a pro-account at stores where I can get discounts for my supplies. Discounts are always welcome. Why not?!

PHOTOGRAPHY: I am slowly booking jobs for this second love. I cannot believe I am doing it! I always doubted myself. I still question myself sometimes… until I upload and see my pictures on my computer. I take so many pictures, and then when I see that one shot, I think to myself, “daaammmnn, I took that one!!!” My Mikey recently invested in me and got me my very first full-frame camera. I am still reading the manual and slowly learning its features. I cannot wait to master it! I have a few events and shoots lined up, which will help me get there. I get butterflies just thinking about it! :)

TEACHING: My students recently tested for their district benchmark exam and 72% are advanced and proficient. WHaaaattt? I am on a roll! I have to say that after ten years of teaching, this has been my best one. Is it the kids? Is it the new curriculum? Or is it my attitude towards it? Hmmm…

FAMILY: We are growing together. We are supporting each other, celebrating each other’s successes, and helping each other handle our problems. We are far from perfect, but we are doing our best to improve everyday.

ETC.: Finances are intact. Investments are being made. Relationships are being built and rebuilt. I have been helping a few friends towards their own freedom from all over the world and it feels great that I was able to inspire.



I am not where I want to be YET, but I am definitely heading in the right direction. I have so many things to learn, so many skills to hone, but I am definitely happy that I am proactive about it and not sitting back, regretting each day that I watch go by.