After (Art) School Special: Lydia Hudgens

Curiosity and creativity go hand-in-hand. And as we get older, we start to lose that need to question everything or create for that matter. We no longer want to swim against the grain but instead, want to blend in. But why?

In order to produce unique, new ideas one has to be open, curious, and stay creative. Let your imagination run free. 

And with that, I welcome you to my newest series that will spotlight some of my favorite people who continue to push their own boundaries when it comes to creating. Photography, installation, designing, painting - anything and everything. 

First up to the podium is Lydia Hudgens.

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I've known Lydia for years now. I started as her photo intern years ago and the rest is history.

You may have seen her name receive photo credit for an image whilst scrolling through your Instagram feed. But what you may not be so familiar with is her personal portfolio. It has a completely different vibe - moodier, bold, and with a hint of homage to film. Fuel your fascination with our Q&A below.


Lydia Hudgens
San Francisco -> Brooklyn, New York
Academy of the Art University for Fine Art Photography

Who inspires you and how did they influence you? 

Lately, I've really been into really quiet photographers. Artists like Erika Astrid, lililand, sabrinasantiago, paradisonyc and Christina Emilile (the last being a close friend and an amazing minimalist photographer). I've shot street style for so long, so photographers like this interest me directly because it's so different than the fast speed that I've come accustomed to shooting. It's quieter, more thoughtful, poignant and I respond to it. 

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What do you want viewers to take away from your work? 

I want to start going in a more thoughtful direction with my work because the photography I personally enjoy is quiet, almost brooding and nearly always serious. I want people viewing my work to think, not only about the shape and fabric of the garment I'm shooting but the story I'm trying to convey. I'm working on rebranding currently, so this is the direction I'll be starting to gear my personal work towards.

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What is the difference between beauty and vulgarity? 

I think it's a fine line honestly. I see some photos where the subjects are clearly naked but they're more poignant and raw than someone completely clothed. I personally loved photographing the human form for years so I find beauty in the skin, regardless of the shape - whether it be fat, thin, muscle-bound, etc.. People can find something vulgar in any image but generally that vulgarity is personal. Something about the photo causes them distress but that response differs from person to person. It's not necessarily a negative but can become one if it's voiced online - an issue that is becoming more and more normal in this day and age. People feel like they can hide behind their computers and pick other people apart and it's honestly disgusting. If you don't like something, look elsewhere. It's not for you.

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Black and white or color?

Both!

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Do you miss film?

Yes, 100%. I shot film this weekend and will start incorporating more into my work. Unfortunately, it's very pricey so that's the only hurdle but I have been seeing more and more brands paying photographers to shoot film so maybe there's hope it'll have a resurgence!

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If you could take your art / photographs in any direction without fear of failure or rejection, where would it lead? What new thing would you try?

I may have already mentioned this before but I'm rebranding myself and created a new photography account @LydiaHudgensPhoto. I think people have sort of pigeonholed my work to bloggers and I know I have the bandwidth to do so much more. So that's what I'm working on - expanding, experimenting, slowing down, etc. Getting back to my roots! 

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Hope you enjoyed the first After (Art) School Special installment featuring Lydia Hudgens. Be sure to give her Instagram account a follow at @LydiaHudgensPhoto. My goal is to have these installments have their own consistent schedule, but until then you can stay up-to-date on all my blog happenings on Instagram and Twitter!

Favorite Fall Trends + $400 NORDSTROM GIVEAWAY

Happy Friday! I've been spending a lot of time organizing old photos and categorizing old blog posts (it never ends). Each session feels like a trip down memory lane, especially seeing all the hairstyles I was obsessed with at the time.

Besides the hairstyles, I came across a few trends and looks that are still blowing up this fall. Make sure to check them out, add to cart, and enter the $400 Nordstrom Giveaway at the bottom of the post. You could walk away as a lucky winner!

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All Things Suede
The burnt hues and rich texture of suede never disappoint. At the moment, I'm loving this burgundy suede jacket but I do have this deep tan skirt in heavy rotation. The offerings extend from jackets, skirts, booties and beyond. Simply put, there's something for everyone.

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Booties w. Hardware
Fall footwear is not about being shy or basic black booties. Instead, it's about blingin' it out. If your bank account can't handle the booties that replicate a disco ball take it a notch down with booties that accessorize with chains, zippers, buckles and pearls.

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Printed / Patterned Pants
Lower temps and cooler, brisk weather doesn't mean you can't share a bit of flair. Yes, the mini skirts and crop tops do need to get shelved. But, your pants can be just as colorful as you. And when it's really cold, I absolutely love printed and shimmery pants for holiday parties and get-togethers.

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Foliage & Floral Dresses
Florals aren't ground-breaking but they are here to stay, year after year. For this trend, in particular, I would recommend investing in a floral dress with an A-line cut. I would wear this trend with OTK boots or black ankle booties as seen in the photo above.

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Chunky Necklaces
Sweater weather brings with it an abundance of chunky jewels to accessorize with. I've been seeing chunky necklaces all over my Instagram but bigger, thicker earrings, bracelets, and rings are trailing right behind it. Confused on how to wear it? Try it with a plain turtleneck for a not-so-basic outfit.

Now for the moment, you've all been waiting for! One lucky winner will get themselves a $400 gift card to buy whatever their heart desires from Nordstrom.

All task entry below is optional; do as many as you like. The more entry you complete, the higher your chances are to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Not so little fine prints:
  • No purchase necessary. A purchase does not improve your chance of winning. Void where prohibited.
  • Entrant must be 18 years old as of sweepstakes start date and a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia or Canada as of start date.
  • Sweepstakes begins Thursday, November 16, 2017, at 12:00 a.m. EST, and closes on Saturday, December, 2017, at 12:00 a.m. EST.
  • Each entrant selected as a potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions set forth in these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all such requirements. Winners will be selected by random drawing. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within fourteen (14) days after the first attempt to contact such potential winner, an alternate entrant will be selected in his or her place from all entries received.
  • Contest is in no way sponsored, administered by, or associated with Nordstrom, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

New Beauty Buys & Finds for the Summer

Growing up and enamored with the beauty section of each and every magazine, I found myself taking a stroll to my local CVS quite frequently. And I knew; as soon as my dad heard my key unlock the front door, he would glance up from his man-chair, quickly eye my plastic bag full of lippies, mascaras, and eye palettes in various shades of blue. This would, without fail, lead to him placing his fingers at his temples to soothe his oncoming headaches. Dads. They’ll never understand the power of makeup. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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To this day, I still pop into my local CVS and cruise the beauty aisle. Sometimes I leave with nothing, sometimes I leave with the entire color selection of a new matte lipstick (these are obviously the better days out of the two). So when I heard CVS was revamping all their stores to include more professional cosmetics, amongst other things, I had to do a bit more lurking.

Seek and you shall be rewarded, my friends.

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TIGI Cosmetics is arriving at select CVS stores. (Psst… you can also find their full collection online at tigi-cosmetics.com and CVS.com).

TIGI Cosmetics has been on the professional circuit since the early 90s and are known for their rich, pigmented colors and professional quality. I was lucky enough to receive a few must-haves to play and create with. Off the bat, I’m obsessed with their colorful lip gloss and felt it should be the focal point of this quick and easy daytime look. Also known as, when you have 10 minutes or less to look put together.

Read on to see how I got this look.

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To create a flawless base, I powdered my face all the way down to my neck with their Powder Foundation. The powder is buildable without that cakey feeling which is key for the summer season. It also helps control oil which is always good news for those of us with naturally dewy skin.

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For daytime looks, I usually stick to one neutral eye shadow color and build it out like so:

  • First, dust on the color (I’m using their High Density Eyeshadow in True Natural) over the entire lid

  • Layer on the shadow from below the crease and to the lash line

  • You can also use this formula wet if you’re aiming for a dramatic look

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I love making my eyes pop as much as possible and TIGI’s Precision Black Eyeliner Pen’s long felt tip made it easy to achieve a cat eye. It took a while for me to get liquid eyeliner down (shaky hands anyone?) but this hack is the way to go:

  • Press down and leave a marking (kind of like a placeholder) with the eyeliner

  • Use the markings as guidance as you swipe the liner across your lidThis formula is water-resistant and quick drying so smudging is nearly non-existent

  • This formula is water-resistant and quick drying so smudging is nearly non-existent

Afterwards, I coat my lashes with mascara and move onto my lips.

The pigmented, high-shine formula of their Luxe Lipgloss (Glamour shown) left my lips moisturized throughout the day. I wanted the color to really pop so I applied two coats with a heavy hand.

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The end result looked fresh-faced and ready for the day. Not to mention I left the New York City Subways with my face still intact after this shoot.

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Overall, the textures and colors will be fun for anyone that happens to get lost in CVS’ beauty aisle (voluntarily or involuntarily). I know their collection will come in super handy once Fashion Week hits.

They’re officially rolling out at select CVS locations nationwide but you can always view their full inventory of goodies on tigi-cosmetics.com.

Photos by Lauren Listor.

Today's post has been sponsored by TIGI Cosmetics. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!