Day 1 On Location: Hawaiian Beach Bikini Photo Shoot

10 Jun

Welcome to the wonderful world of Behind the Scenes via Sunset Blonde. . . I am on location this week in Oahu, Hawaii on the tropical North Shore! We are here with Sunsets Inc, shooting several of their swimwear lines & I am here as a Makeup Artist on some days, and as a model on others!

I will be blogging in a series about each day. Every day is different, with different models, different locations around the Island, different beauty tips from me, and more!

This week will be an adventure, and for those of you that have never been behind the scenes of a photo shoot, my goals is to share it with you! There is lots to tell you about, so let’s get started:

(Above Photo: Sunrise in Oahu the morning of our shoot. We got ready super early and waited for the sun to be just right to start shooting)

On location catalog photo shoots are very difficult. Lots of product to shoot (outfits), with the hassle of the elements. Wind, rain, humidity, sweat & hot sun, ocean, sand can all be factors in ruining a good hair do, or fresh face of makeup. As glamorous as it might look, a lot of work goes into these shoots from many different people. Photographer, several photo assistants, a technology guy, Swimwear designers, Models, Makeup Artists, Marketing department, all flying into an exotic location to create these beautiful images that sell bikinis.

(Photo: Me holding the umbrella, this is a crew shot after wrapping last year’s BSwim photo shoot, and all the people that made it happen!)



I have worked with Michael Voorhees several times before, and I always love working with him. Professional, efficient, fun, and so talented! I love working behind the scenes, and in front of the camera when he is shooting. He has a great crew which makes our shoots easier and more enjoyable. We are so lucky to be able to shoot here in Hawaii at his gorgeous beach house on the ocean. This is my 3rd time shooting here in Oahu with him, and every time is a honor. See more of Michael’s work at MICHAELVOORHEES.COM  and check out the house we are staying at and shooting at

From Michael’s Blog:

Here is another shot that Michael took of me from our first Hawaii shoot:

Aqua Nui House:


Luckily, some products work better than others to combat the elements that you might be faced with, as well as good technique and time for touch ups every once in a while. Here are a few of the great products that I used as a MAKEUP ARTIST on the Models this week in Hawaii for a bikini photo shoot that have with held the test of the “beach photo shoot”

Eyelash curler by Shu Umera. Normally I hate using lash curlers, but on the beach it comes in handy.  A great Lash curler is important to keep the model’s eyes looking open in the bright sunlight. Lashes can tend to look heavy and eyes look closed when the sun is super bright and high in the sky. Model’s with light colored eyes have more sensitivity to the sunlight, so curling their lashes up more helps to make their eyes look open. Photographers and models usually work together to combat this issue by using the “1, 2, 3…. Open your eyes while I shoot for a few seconds” method. This works and gives more successful results.

We started the first day at 4am. I rose and tried to shine at 3;50am to make our gorgeous model of the day even more flawless. Ashley Alexander is a beautiful fashion model that I had the pleasure of doing her makeup and hair. Here is Ashley refreshing with watermelon between shots.

I curled her hair with a flat iron in the fancy-oh-so-impressive way that I do, and pinned it with bobby pins to set it while I did her makeup. I used Rusk Radical Hairspray before curling it, and at the roots to give volume, and I teased her roots at the crown before finishing. Then I used Rusk Being Sexy Hairspray to finish and hold her style.

The wind was a major enemy of ours today. Not the worst I’ve seen at shoots, but facing the wrong direction, the model would get a face full of hair, or it would be sticking up in some wild way. So having a variety of different types of spray is helpful.

Below is a photo of me touching up Ashley’s hair on the beach in between shots.

I like a more natural look when it comes to hair, let it fly and take shots until it works, but today we were pressed for time, and the Boss likes it to be perfect. So the Rusk Being Sexy Hairspray and a brush where my most used tools today. We tried our best to position Ashley  into the wind, so that it worked in our favor as much a possible by blowing her hair away from her face and giving more volume and movement to her hair.

The Set Bag: In the above photo you can see that I have a bag that I am wearing. I carry all my on-set necessities in this cool looking clear and pink messenger tote that I purchased at the LA Makeup Show this summer. Of course, I had to get a pink one! It has an adjustable strap that I can wear comfortably cross-body, and fits everything that I need perfectly. I can carry at least 2 cans of hairspray, a water bottle, brushes, combs, powders, Makeup brushes, lipsticks, Sunblock, bug spray, and much more! It’s easy to find everything inside of it because it’s clear, and it also has individual zipper pockets for the smaller items. I highly recommend this bag for EVERY Makeup Artist. It’s also great for girls that travel or want to be super organized with some of their favorite beauty products. Here is what it looks like up close:

I have the pink one, but it comes in 5 colors for you to choose from:

Here is a sample of what it looks like with stuff in it:

You can purchase it at:


Today I used all of my fabulous Sunset Blonde Beauty Brushes, plus a few new styles that I just got in to test them out on set and they were AMAZING! I can’t wait to share them with you! As for the ones that are already available, those worked like a dream. Her makeup held up so well, and went on smooth as silk.

I used Makeup Forever HD Foundation, and mixed # 123 & #128 to custom match her skin tone.

To conceal her under eye circles I used Kevyn Aucoin’s  “THE SENSUAL SKIN ENHANCER” MAKEUP in SX07. Which you can read more about it from me here.

I used a custom loose finishing powder that I made to match the more yellow tones in the self tanner she had on her skin, which I applied allover to her face with the FANCY FACE Brush. This brush is also really great for powdering between shots and getting rid of shine, which you can see I did today…

With a MAC Bronzer in Golden I contoured her cheeks using the FANCY CHEEKY Brush, and taking the same brush, used an apricot blush The Pure Powder Glow in Dolline by Kevyn Aucoin to dust over her cheeks and blend down to the contouring for a natural glow and color.

On her lips I used a lipstick from the Kevyn Aucoin Beauty ‘Lip & Cheek – The Corals’ Makeup Palette. The one on the far right… I applied it with the BABY BULLET BRUSH from Sunset Blonde. Not only is this a great brush to use for eyeshadow, but it also makes a great lipstick brush. The small point allows you to be precise, but the softness and fluffiness of it applies lip color smoothly.

I filled in the Model’s blonde eyebrows with a blonde brow powder for a soft effect.  By Elizabeth Arden Dual Perfection Brow Shaper in Blonde with the NEW BROW BEAUTY Brush by Sunset Blonde. This brush has stiff bristles to shape and fill in brows, and is even great for just combing brows into place. Coming soon….

I’m not allowed to show you any of the shots from the photo shoot due to that fact that they haven’t release the new bikinis yet, but Ashley and I played around with her iphone taking some behind the scenes shots of her gorgeous self. You can see her makeup & hair here:

Ashley loved the new Fancy Face Brushes by Sunset Blonde!!!! Get them on SALE at

Today was a great day, we got really lucky with plenty of sunshine. Although the afternoon was pretty scorching. I only had to dust powder on the Ashley’s forehead twice, for which I used a compact of translucent powder by Too Faced “Absolutely Invisible Powder.” for easy touch ups on the go, and is a nice fine powder that keeps makeup looking fresh when dusted on with the FANCY FACE BRUSH.

It’s no wonder they call it TURTLE BAY around here, there were live sea turtles up on the shore that paid us a visit during our photo shoot this afternoon. We even took advantage and shot some photos with the chill creatures.

It was a 13 hour day for me and the model. But we made it through in a gorgeous kind of way with the help of some of my beauty secrets and some miraculous products!!

Gorgeous bikini models, sunshine, sea turtles, palm trees and, makeup…. I love my job…4 more days in paradise. Also check out day #2 blog post of Hawaiian Beach Bikini Photo shoot. I will be Modeling on day 3 & 4!





One Response to “Day 1 On Location: Hawaiian Beach Bikini Photo Shoot”


  1. Day 2 On Location: Hawaiian Beach Bikini Photo Shoot « Sunset Blonde's Blog - June 11, 2012

    […] I described in Day 1, I love my on-set bag, so I thought I would take some photos of my actual bag so that you can see […]

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