Sydney Umeri Photography
Hey, everyone! Today we are focusing on gifts for her. If you’re confused on what to by for your mom, sister, best friend, girlfriend or any other woman in your life, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few gift ideas that could be a hit on Christmas Day.
Drunk Elephant Duo Kits
I’m a big fan of skincare and have heard nothing but wonderful things about this company in the past. They are committed to using a mixture of natural and clinical ingredients, all of which are safe and produce results. Just scrolling through their reviews on Sephora and Amazon, it seems as though their products do just that, create results. With that said, I recommend that you consider giving Drunk Elephant Duos. The nighttime duo contains the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum & Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and their daytime duo contains C-Firma Day Serum & B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel.
Recently, I discovered the Korean skincare method and the benefits that can be seen by using their 10-step skincare process. While I may never make all 10 steps a part of my skincare ritual, I think learning about each step and how it can benefit your skin is a great idea. If you head over to Soko Glam, you can do just that, and while you’re there you can browse some of the best products in Korean skincare. While you browse, look out for the label that says “Soko Glam Best of K-Beauty Award Winner.” I would highly recommend you gift anything on that list. All of those products are amazing and whoever uses them are bound to see results. Some of my favorite products and ones that I highly recommend gifting are the Missha Time Revolution The First Intensive Moist Treatment Essence, Neogen Dermalogy Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Foam, and Clean It Zero. You can give them individually, together, or you can pair a mixture of these items with other basic skincare items like cotton pads, makeup remover wipes, exfoliating clothes, etc., and give it to them as a basket/package gift. But also, on Soko Glam they have skincare sets on their site. One set that I love is their 5-step dry skin set, and I don’t even have dry skin. Anyway, there are plenty of sets to choose from, but depending on how well you know who you’re giving to and how much you want to spend, you may just want to make your own kit.
There are few makeup brands making as much noise in the beauty industry as Glossier is right now. From launching Boy Brow (their brow gel), to cloud paints (their cream blushes), and now they have a fragrance that everyone is raving about, whoever you’re gifting to will be elated to receive Glossier, even if they’ve never heard of them. All of the items I mentioned above are worth giving, but I want to highlight one of my favorites. It’s so simple, yet very wearable, and that is the beauty of giving it as a gift. It’s the birthday balm dotcom, lip balm. It’s not like the typical matte lip balm that people use just for cold weather. It gives you a “your lips but better,” look. It’s shiny, but not too shiny, and has the tiniest specks of glitter, but don’t make you look like you found a kids beauty product. Basically, it’s hard to explain, but it’s wonderful, and I highly recommend that you try and gift it this Christmas. You can give a combination of these gifts as well.
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum
I’ve raved about this before and I’ll do it again. This may be one of the best if not the best vitamin C serums on the market. If the person you’re giving to loves skincare, more specifically brightening skincare products, then this is the one. Truth Serum is not exactly cheap, but it works. I use this daily and really couldn’t imagine a day without it. Whoever you’re giving this to will surely thank you for the glowy skin you’ve gifted them. While The Truth serum alone may be mistaken for a stocking stuffer, you can always buy the Three Little Wonders Mini Set from Sephora, which will give them the opportunity to try the serum along with two other Ole Henriksen products.
Essential Oils & Diffuser
As mentioned in past posts, I will get around to making a blog post dedicated to essential oils, but long story short, they are way more than just good smelling oils. They have healing qualities among many other benefits that make them so useful. So this Christmas give the gift of good smell and many other benefits by gifting a diffuser and essential oils. There are so many essential oil brands to choose from, and some are better than others. But one brand that I’ve found to be priced pretty reasonable given the quality of their oils is Plant Therapy, and you can buy their Plant Therapy Essential Oils Sampler. Also, while essential oils by themselves can do wonders for people, using them in a diffuser is where the magic happens. Though diffusers can be expensive, Amazon has some awesome ones for around $25 or less. The InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser is the one I picked out, and it’s a higher end diffuser that is currently on sale for just over $25.
Yes, candles, but not just any kind of candles, Nest Candles. If you don’t know about Nest, it’s a high-end candle that smells amazing! Well, they all smell amazing because of course, they don’t just produce one scent. Their scents are definitely a treat and often haven’t been snift by the noses of many. I think this is a great individual gift or as mentioned before, you can pair it with something else. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with a Nest candle as a Christmas present. Here’s the link to their 8.1 oz and 21.2 oz Holiday candle scent which smells divine!
I have one of these, and I find it to be extremely useful. Whether your friend loves to take selfies, only takes pictures with pristine lighting, or is a blogger and needs this case to light her/his product shorts, I think the Lumee Case can do it all. While they don’t have a case out for the iPhone X, there are Lumi cases available for every other version of the iPhone, as well as the Samsung Galaxy s6 and s7. You can find the case here.
Mobile Picture Printer
There are many different versions of this, and while I do not have one myself, the mobile printer that I will suggest is the HP Sprocket. On the same trend of picture taking, if your friend likes taking pictures and likes posting or displaying pictures around their room, locker and other spaces, the Sprocket is a great gift. Who needs a Polaroid camera when your mobile phone takes great pictures? The only thing you’re missing is the printer and here is the solution.
Depending on how well you know someone you might feel comfortable enough to get the PJs, and I think that’s a wonderful gift. Honestly, I really appreciate a good pair of PJs but am reluctant to get a pair for myself because I feel like there are so many other things I could be spending my money on. I think a lot of people are in the same boat. They appreciate a good pair of pajamas but won’t go out and buy them for themselves. Here are a few great brands of PJ sets that I think people will love and that won’t break the bank.
I hope this blog post was helpful for you guys and at least jumpstarted your thought process on gift giving for the ladies in your life. There are three other gift guides on the way: gifts for him, the fit person in your life, and secret Santa/ white elephant gifts.
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Until next time get up get moving and live your best life. Happy Holidays!
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If you know me personally, you probably clicked on this blog post because of the feature image. I know, it surprised me too when I saw it for the first time! To clarify any misconceptions, no, I don't model, have never modeled, and most likely never will… but who really knows? What I can tell you is that for one weekend in June, I was one (kind of), and this is the story of how all this came to be.
Phase 1: The Introduction
One day in May, I was scrolling through the Instagram hashtag, #AtlantaPhotographers. I have always loved photography, but I know it's not my strong suit. I would much rather write (duh!) or produce a video. But, I was searching the hashtag hoping to find a photographer who's work I loved, and I could collaborate with. I wanted to get content for my site, but also show off their amazing work as well. That's when I came across Sheena Shahangian (IG: @SheenaShahangianPhoto).
It was like every picture on her feed told a story. The images were raw and moody, but also honest and showed the personalities of each muse in their own unique way. I was sold! I knew I had to work with her.
Phase 2: The Shoot
By this time, a month had passed and the day had finally come. It was the shoot day. I got up at 4:15 am, walked to my bathroom and began to get ready for the day. There was so much to think about. While I like pictures and don't mind being in front of the camera, I had never been a part of a professional photo shoot.
Though I wasn't nervous, I was slightly uncomfortable because this shoot was forcing me to address aspects of myself and my identity that I wasn't ready to uncover. It wasn't so much the shoot itself, but how I and others might view me afterward. I just wasn't ready to deal with all of that.
"If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives."
But time waits for no one, and the truth is I would have never been ready. I still don't think I'm ready now, and the shoot happened months ago.
To be completely honest, I've always loved the idea of photo shoots, being in front of the camera, posing, etc., which might be surprising since I've spent the majority of this post talking about how I don't see myself as a person who can be in front of the camera. But the truth is, I love it! For years I have down played my interests because, well, that's not what people know me as.
I'm Sydney Umeri, the basketball player, writer, girl who took too many credits to graduate early, the girl with the good internships, etc. But never Sydney Umeri, the model.
Then there is the thought that I don't look like the typical girl in front of the camera. Why would I risk embarrassing myself to pursue my interests. How could I possibly go against the status quo?
The truth is, I had always been looking for an opportunity to get in front of the camera, not to model, but just to say I did it. Just so I can say I checked something off my bucket list, pushed myself to do something I usually wouldn't, and was able to address a few of my most prominent identity and image issues. With all of this said, though there is never a perfect time to tackle all of these things at once, my time came sooner than I thought. Sheena was the answer to my prayers.
Phase 3: Sheena Shahangian
For someone with as many apprehensions to this shoot as me, I could not have asked for a better photographer than Sheena. Despite my aversion to seeing myself as a model, Sheena helped me move past my mental blocks. Pushing me to view myself outside of the two dimensional box I put myself in, and more as a well rounded 3D version, displaying parts of myself I typically hide from others.
With patience and an eye for awesome lighting, flattering poses, natural positioning, and her sheer talent, we were able to move through my photo shoot capturing wonderful images that greatly boosted my confidence as the morning wore on.
One thing about Sheena is that she is unlike many photographers. She wants you to see yourself differently. She wants to pull out aspects of you that you often don't show out of lack of confidence, fear, self-consciousness, and in many cases, because you simply don't know those traits exist within yourself.
To say the least, she was able to do that for me. I remember always complaining that people, "Simply don't get me". But I never took the time to show people multiple aspects of myself, because I wasn't fully comfortable with myself.
Now I would love to say that I am no longer self-conscious and am living an extremely carefree life, unbothered, and frequently going against the status quo, but that's not true. There are still so many parts of me that I have yet to reveal. But I'm truly grateful to Sheena for allowing me the opportunity to see myself differently, and for giving me the confidence to share more of myself with others.
So the lesson here is to not limit yourself to what society says you are or who people make you out to be. If you have passions, dreams, or just bucket-list items that may catch people off guard, pursue them anyway. Life is too short and it's way better when you're fully and authentically you.
If you are interested in working with Sheena or simply want to view more of her fabulous work you can find her here. Also, she travels, so if you're interested but don't live in Georgia, you should still reach out. She is one of the best!