Monday, October 22, 2007

Fashion: Modeling

Doing a photoshoot can be lots of fun but it is also quite a bit of hard work. For every great photo there is a tremendous amount of effort to put together the look and then find the right pose, location and lighting. Having done both outdoor and indoor photoshoots I have learned the challenges of both.

The purpose of this post is to show you all one of my favorite outdoor locations for photoshoots. It's the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Depending on the time of year and the foliage the gardens can look very different which makes for very interesting opportunities.

I'm actually only going to show you one specific place where I love to pose. Please check out "Andrea's Galleria" to see many more photos at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. This location is a small pathway right next to the Japanese garden. It has great lighting and can be photographed from either side. You'll notice that in the pictures.

The first two outfits are Sunny Leigh ensembles.
The first is a pink skirt with black embriodery. Completing the outfit is a fitted black buttoned sweater over a pink lacy top.

The second outfit is also Sunny Leigh. Notice the cute black flower cutouts in the skirt.

This photo was taken in the late afternoon. You can see a difference in the shadows from the previous picture.

I love wearing pink as often as possible. Notice the open toed, strappy pink & black pumps. Don't you also just love the pretty pink flower pin?

Just a casual red, scoop-neck top and a red pleated skirt. The red dramatically brings out the highlights in my blonde hair.

Notice that these two photos (pink above) are taken at opposite directions. Gives you a complete view of the area.

"Andrea Nicole Baker"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fashion: Skirts

We would all agree that wearing skirts is ultra-feminine. Decades ago, women just did not wear pants unless they were on a farm or riding a horse. Then pants became more and more acceptable, but it got to the point that women stopped wearing dresses almost completely - and then wearing dresses was NOT the norm.

Women said back then how comfortable and freeing it was to wear pants, and lots of women completely stopped wearing dresses except on formal occasions. Those of us who wore dresses were definitely in the minority until recent years. Happily, the deliciousness of a dress has been rediscovered by lots of women... men never forgot how alluring a dress can be, however.

My girlfriend Linda said to me recently. "Let me share a little something that happened to me yesterday when I wore a skirt. Granted, it was a bit above the knee but not too short. Two different men tripped and nearly fell, one knocked over a display and the other ran into a door and nearly knocked himself down. When I got back in my car I just laughed at them. I am a single mother (38) and it just made me feel good that someone thought I was worth looking at again."

Now, I know that some women will get mad about another woman playing up the fact that she is a woman in the workplace. Some people believe that woman should act like men in a business setting to be taken seriously, I don't believe that is true. The truth is that there is a difference between men and women, and woman should embrace those differences and make them shine! Men feel good being around a woman who takes pride in her appearance AND is intelligent. It actually makes you appear more professional. I get a lot of compliments on my sexy legs! Obviously I would not get those compliments if I covered my legs up in slacks and pants!


A tailored skirt hanging straight from the hips and fitted from the waist to the hips by means of darts or a yoke; may have a kick-pleat for ease of walking.

Notice the belt I am wearing to set off the cute top from the skirt. It's a great fashion accessory.

The open toed heels (3") with the ankle straps definitely complete the outfit. Note the sexy necklace that dangles into my cleavage. The necklace goes so well with that neckline.


A skirt with fullness gathered into the waistband. The full-skirt on the right is from Club Monaco. They have a great collection of chic and modern fashions that are timeless and classic.

The picture was taken on the Las Vegas Strip at the Fashion Show mall facing south down the Strip. The Venetian Hotel and Casino is on the left and Treasure Island Hotel is on the right behind me.


A skirt with a slight flare, roughly in the shape of a capital letter A.

I have very few "Brown" outfits in my wardrobe but I really like how cute and adorable this looks on me.

Check out the link to "Andrea's galleria" for more pictures of this outfit.


A skirt with fullness reduced to fit the waist by means of regular pleats ('plaits') or folds, which can be stitched flat to hip-level or free-hanging.

I love pleated skirts. Love the way they hang from the hips. The way the skirt moves when I walk and how the skirt drapes across my hips and legs when i sit.


A thigh-length skirt, and micromini, an extremely short version (1960s)

Other Types of Skirts:

Circle skirt, a skirt cut in sections to make one or more circles with a hole for the waist, so the skirt is very full but hangs smoothly from the waist without darts, pleats, or gathers

Hobble skirt, a fashion of the early 20th century, with fullness at the hips narrowing to the ankles

Poodle skirt, a circle or near-circle skirt with an appliqued poodle or other decoration (1950s)

Dirndl, a skirt made of a straight length of fabric gathered at the waist

Prairie skirt, a flared skirt with one or more flounces or tiers (1970s and on)

Kilt-skirt, a wrap-around skirt with overlapping aprons in front and pleated around the back. Though traditionally designed as women's wear, it is fashioned to mimic somewhat closely the general appearance of a (man's) kilt, including the usage of a plaid pattern more or less closely resembling those of recognized tartan patterns of Scotland.

Maxiskirt, a midcalf-length skirt (1970s)

Broomstick skirt, a skirt with many crumpled pleats formed by compressing and twisting the garment while wet (1980s and on)

Sarong, a square of fabric wrapped around the body and tied on one hip to make a skirt; worn as a skirt or as a cover-up over a bathing suit in tropical climates.

Trouser skirt, a straight skirt with the part above the hips tailored like men's trousers, with belt loops, pockets, and fly front

Jean skirt, A trouser skirt made of denim designed like 5-pocket jeans

Now that we have chatted about skirt we'll have to discuss hose and heels in future posts.

"Andrea Nicole Baker"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Allure - The Beauty Bible (plus Benefit!)

Insiders call ALLURE magazine the Beauty Bible. It is one of the must magazines I subscribe to and read cover to cover every month. Check out Allure's 2007 Best of Beauty Editors' Choice Awards.

Allure has wonderful articles and pictures about beauty, fashion and lots of personal interest writing. The fashion and beauty spreads are in full color. Ever issue has a special beauty topic section including help cards with detailed instructions. It definitely helps a girl be able to focus on the products that might be just right for her.

I'm going to share some of my favorite beauty products.
Check out Benefit for some of the most incredible cosmetics today. The packaging is fun and the products definitely work.

I spent years trying to find the perfect blush that would give me a great glow on my cheeks and that also had staying power!
This is a cheek tint that goes on easily and then can be applied perfectly using a cosmetic wedge. I still use some powder blush for highlights. A quick once over with a blush brush and the look stays great all day. This definitely give cheeks (and lips) a rosy glow!

"Get Bent Lash" mascara is the first mascara that I ever used that had an angled brush to make application that much easier. It lifts, lengthens and curls lashes to perfection. Like the ad says "It's like a push-up bra for your lashes". Much more on different types of mascaras on a future posting.

I always use this eye primer to prevent greasy, creasy eye lids! It makes a great foundation for your eye shadows. It locks on shadows and leaves a smooth satin finish so you look perfectly put together all day. Tips and tricks: Use fingertips to blend evenly across the entire eye lids. A little goes a long way.

A few other Benefit beauty products I use and recommend are:

HIGHBROW: A brow lifting and defining pencil. This matte linen-pink cream works on all complexions beautifully and makes eyes and brows look younger and sexier...and isn't that what we're all after?

BO-ING: Say good-bye to circles and shadows around your eyes with boi-ing. This concealer camouflages those pesky "problems" without creasing, smudging, or wearing off. It works great! Swirl your finger in boi-ing to warm the product. Apply 3 dots under your eye area where dark circles exist. Pat to blend lightly with fingertips working from the outer and inner corner toward the middle.

"Andrea Nicole Baker"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Feminine Deportment - Part 2

The following is an exerpt from Denae Doyle who is a femme image consultant. Her DVDs are excellent resources. Even better arrange for a personal consultation. Check out her link.

With lots of practive all of this can truly become second nature. I always remember that a woman's energy source is pulled up and out (like a string attached to an object).

I take shorter strides (not hard to do when one is wearing 3" heels), walk straight, delicately swing my arms and smile, smile smile.

Feminine Body Language & Dating For The New TG Woman by Denae Doyle

Feminine gestures can send silent signals of desire, or communicate a complete lack of interest.

Are you new at going out as a woman and understanding the subtle signs of attraction or lack thereof? Before you launch yourself into the line of fire, take time to practice the basics of creating that first three-second impression that states Female and not "Guy In A Dress".

As a "Femininity Coach" for genetic women and now Transgendered women, I have created the most important signals a TG woman must focus on and practice - to not give off those subtle male cues. I often hear, "Is it my voice"? Or, "perhaps my beard concealer isn't working". Being perceived as female is not as simple as paying to have makeup, wigs, and beautiful clothing, but instead requires time, practice, and a new awareness of not falling back into moving, gesturing and speaking as a male.

First, let's remember that when it comes to the silent signs of sexual attraction, we are no different than the animal kingdom - which communicates their interest in mating, by using certain body signals. Often, with females it boils down to the message, "I am submissive, harmless and more approachable". For the new TG woman, you may be wondering 'what are these secret signals genetic women know how to use?' Welcome in to the circle of knowing and using age old flirting techniques of confident women - and now this secret potion lies within your reach also! I have made a list of my top eight body language cues, which I teach my TG women to be perceived as a female especially during flirtation. Let's start at the top and work down.

Tilted Head and Lifted Shoulders

Women tend to have more animated head and shoulder movement, while men are socialized to hold their head and shoulders very linear. When a female is flirting, two of the most easily detected signs of attraction are (1) tilting her head slightly forward while looking up at someone from under the eyebrows and (2) smiling while lifting and rolling her shoulders. These motions indicate that a woman is softer, more compliant and interested in dating!

Pointed Toe and Knee Movement

While standing, a feminine woman keeps weigh back only on one foot, allowing the free front foot to be pointed so she can tilt and move her toe. Next time you're out, lift the heel of the pointed toe and allow the knee to rotate in an inward "swaying" movement and see if those new heels will suggest definite interest. This technique also creates a more "shrinking" effect, which is a less threatening profile.

Wrist Forward, Cupped Hands

When speaking, woman use softer, more flowing hand movements. Specifically, take note of whether the palms are facing upward, while gesturing and resting on a table. Practice, using slow, fluid flowing hands with a broken wrist, as if you were moving your hands under water. Keeping your wrist forward, using flowing hands, and cupping your fingers, are all gestures, which are psychologically friendlier.

SSSS- Curve. Everything Starts With S!

S-CURVE - There is a distinctly feminine way to move and hold yourself. Simply put, truly feminine women have learned to stand, sit and move their bodies in curves - mostly S curves, while men generally stand, sit and walk very linear - they stay in a box, such as the letter "I". A truly feminine woman pulls her weight up by lifting her torso and bust - while twisting at the waist. Lift and twist. Lifting your weight prevents weight from dropping down into your feet, especially when wearing heels!

Slower Steps
Men walk twice as fast as most women, especially in heels. Make an effort to slow your stride down. Regardless of how nervous you are, slow everything down. There is no weight dropping down into your feet, especially when your heels are over two inches!

Shorter Stride
To appear more sensual and feminine, try taking half the size step you generally take.
You will find walking in heels will require balance. By taking shorter steps, you will avoid tripping and you will appear more feminine and poised.

Smaller Space
Men have spaces - open space between their arms and body, and between their knees and feet. Men stand linear on the floor with their weight evenly distributed on both feet. Ideally, a feminine woman (and we know all women today are not always feminine) will generally close up the spaces between their arms and torso, between their knees and their feet. The smaller size capsule you have, the smaller space you will take up. By walking and standing in less space, you appear shorter, smaller, and more feminine.

Swinging Arm
Swinging your arms from your shoulder (as men do) may be a behavior that is giving you away. Let your arms rest gently down the side of your legs allowing for a natural delicate arm swing from your elbows. You should practice keeping your elbows turned inward and slightly bent and touching your torso. Men generally have longer arms than women, so bending your elbows; will give the appearance of shorter and smaller arms.

Now, go put on your favorite pair of heels, and create your own unique, feminine, flirtatious body language.

Andrea Nicole Baker

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Beauty 101

Beauty not only includes a girl's makeup but includes fragrance, skin care, hair care, and health & fitness. In this posting I will talk briefly about each one. I'll go into more detail on each in later posts.

My favorite perfume is "Beautiful" by Estee Lauder. You might have guessed that by the "Beautiful" ad on the left.

Perfumes have been taken from flowers, herbs, oils and various garden varieties, to crush, captivate and secure the most tempting of scents. There is most certainly a direct link between romance and a fragrance's aphrodisiac effects. These sensual pleasures can create the following: a relaxing mood, a festive mood for parties, a scent for your own identity, an inviting and warm welcoming and the ability to lure one to be enraptured with another.

"Sephora" has an entire wall dedicated to perfumes and fragrances. "Bath and Body Works" has an amazing selection of oils, creams, body washes, shower gels, bubble bath and other assorted indulgences. I always come away with lovely goodies that match my mood and promote my passions.

Skin care is a very individual matter but it is critical to looking and feeling great. There are basically 3 things in a great skin care regimine: CLEANSE, TONE and MOISTURIZE

Great-looking skin begins here! Be gentle on your normal/combo skin with a non-irritating cleanser. It helps maintain your skin’s natural moisture while thoroughly clearing away dirt, oil, and makeup. I use the Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar. It promotes gentle cleansing for clean, clear, healthy-looking skin. This glycerin-rich facial bar contains no harsh detergents, dyes or hardeners. It removes excess oil and then rinses clean–without leaving any pore-clogging residue.

Toner conditions skin, lifts away dry skin flakes and removes excess dirt, oil and makeup so skin will better absorb moisturizer. It minimizes the look of pores to improve your skin’s texture. I use Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner. It refreshes my skin without stripping its natural moisturizers. It is specially formulated to provide clean, refreshing toning without the harsh drying effects of alcohol. Special mild purifiers gently remove impurities and recondition skin. Skin feels fresh and clean–without tightness, dryness or stinging.

Hydrate and protect your skin every day by using a facial moisturizer. Hydration revitalizes and improves the skin’s texture. Enjoy twice daily for radiant skin. I use Aveeno Positively Radiant daily Moisturizer SPF 30. It is used for long-lasting protection against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. and contains clinically proven Total Soy Complex to brighten and even skin tone, and natural light diffusers, like mica and silica, to reflect light to visibly smooth imperfections and immediately bring out skin's natural radiance. Daily use leaves skin softer and smoother and looking healthier.

Body cleansers and moisturizers
There are so many to choose from. Check out "Bath and Body Works". So many great products in a variety of scents. Talk to a skin care specialist to determine what product are best for you.

Hair Care is a complex and challenging subject. Today, the list is endless with choices of hues you can use, ingredients that give the hair a special glow, and the attention -getting influences. Hair care decisions on shampoos, conditioners and colors take time and knowledge. It’s like walking into a candy store as a kid, and saying, “Wow, which one should I pick, they all look so good.“ Being that we are all individuals, each product will work differently on our own hair texture. Many of us girls use wigs. Wigs that are styled and cared for to highlight our best features can look great without anyone knowing the difference. I will chat about all the choices in a future posting.

All of us, for the most part, have experimented, indulged, tried and tested a collection of skin care and cosmetic products. It’s a bit like the “right to womanhood” aspect, yet we’ve grown into various stages since the early inception of “being beautiful” with what we’ve been graced with. And the experimenting and testing doesn’t stop throughout our adult lives. For the most part, we look at it as an adventure of sorts. How many of us regularly stop at the department store cosmetic departments and do a make-over, or examine something new?

Let’s face it- it’s fun, giving us a new look on life, and often improves our appearance or enhances us in some way and makes us feel better about ourselves.

My favorite store to shop for cosmetics is SEPHORA. Of course, I love to go to Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Sak's or any stylish department store, browse the cosmetic counter, chat with the sales ladies and try new products.
In one of my next posts I will share with you what makeup I use and some of my beauty secrets!

This is definitely not the most fun aspect of beauty, only the most important. Physical health needs to be an integral part of our everyday life. Dedicating 30 minutes a day to exercise along with the proper diet can do wonders for a girl's physical as well as mental well being. Some of us love to go to the gym every day, some of us like to go to a class a couple of times a week, others prefer their regular walking program, and yet some of us have a struggle with even getting out the door for any of those. Yes, we all know beyond doubt that exercise is awesome for us. We all need to find inspiration in our own way and set realistic goals for ourselves.

Get into a healthy routine and you self image will soar. You will look and feel beautiful.
"Happy girls are the prettiest girls"... SHESHEME

Andrea Nicole Baker

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fashion: Which movie starlet do you desire to be?

There is only one choice for me. Nicole Kidman. (Credit to GLAM for the gorgeous photos and background info)

Whether magnificent in metallic, dazzling in Dior, or charming in Chanel, Nicole Kidman knows how to make an impact on the red carpet. With a string of award-winning acting choices and equally winning fashion decisions, Kidman has established herself as both a Hollywood and a fashion powerhouse—truly a testament to the power of personal (and fashionable!) evolution.

March, 1997 The dress that started it all. Kidman chose chartreuse chinoiserie from John Galliano’s first Christian Dior couture collection for her appearance at the Academy Awards in L.A. on March 24, 1997.

March, 2002 My fair lady. Kidman glowed in a floaty, frothy Chanel confection at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in L.A. on March 24, 2002.

January, 2004 Kidman evoked the glamour of the roaring ’20s with a little help from a jazzy Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche number at the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Jan. 25, 2004.

February, 2004 Star of the silver screen—and gown. Kidman graced the Academy Awards in exquisitely detailed Chanel couture in Hollywood on Feb. 29, 2004.

April, 2005 Bringing sexy back. Kidman took the plunge in Azzaro at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 20, 2005.

October 13, 2006 Still styling. Kidman shimmered in skintight L’Wren Scott at the Rome Film Festival premiere of Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus.

I'd love to be Nicole Kidman when she was married to Tom Cruise! Of course, I am always ready and willing to raid her closet.

"Andrea Nicole Baker"