Thursday, June 12, 2014


Pass It On

As the Mrs. Ohio Pageant approaches, many people have asked me what motivated me to want to participate. It's a great question: what makes a woman with an already full plate want to carve out MORE of her time to prepare for this? And why now, after an 11 year hiatus from competing?
The answer is that it's time for me to pass some things on. Over the course of the past decade, God has grown, stretched and changed me in some wonderful ways, and now it's time for me to step up on a platform and share what He has done for me with the world. 

I have dealt with emotional baggage and insecurities from past experiences, and have learned how to have the guts to "open the luggage" and dump out the things God doesn't want in my life. It's often times a painful and long process, but I am so much healthier and happier for it- and I believe God wants that freedom for EVERY WOMAN. We've all been through things that we thought diminished our worth. God wants to liberate us from that belief. I shared this with our pageant director a few weeks ago, and I'll share this with you- I believe God has designed women to be like a diamond. Even a rough, uncut diamond is a precious thing. But when we allow God to cut off the rough edges, hone us, polish us...when we aren't afraid to embrace ALL the facets of who God has uniquely made us to be- how spectacular is that diamond?! How much more can a gemstone with expertly cut facets reflect the "Light" to those around them? It's a spectacular reflection that draws others in. Maybe this sound cheesy to you, but I think you get my point. God wants to develop the facets of your personality and character so when His Light shines through you it is impossible for people to miss. It's a beautiful thing. 

The other reason I wanted to do this and do it now is for my daughter. At five years old, she is starting to pay attention to the notion of beauty and develop ideas about it. I want her to have a well rounded view of what is beautiful. It's easy to tip our scales too far one direction or the other: to have a very superficial, "I must always appear perfect" view of beauty, or to be so afraid of our beauty obsessed culture that we try to tell our daughters that only what is on the inside matters. I feel that both of these thoughts are flawed. 

The Bible calls our bodies a "temple" and there are countless verses about beautiful women and how they dressed, did their hair, etc. The Bible is very clear that physical beauty is worthless without a beautiful heart behind it, and the highest praise goes to women who are described as beautiful AND sensible, hard-working, wise and kind. I think one of my critical roles is helping my daughter not have a narrow idea of what outer beauty should be. I want my daughter to grow up appreciating what is beautiful in the different faces, colors and shapes around her. I realize: This has to start with me.

My daughter knows that being sweaty from a good workout is just as awesome as getting sparkles on her cheeks. She knows that praying for someone who is hurting or saying a kind word is better than perfume or lip gloss. I fail as a mother all the time, but I'm doing my best to show her that she has been created with a vast array of facets to her personality and character, and exploring them will be one of the great rewards of her lifetime. I don't want her to choose what she wants to be when she grows up - I want her to keep adding to her ever growing list of things she wants to be and try. THAT is what we were made for!

I want her to know that this and this -

are just as awesome as this and this…

and THIS is one of the best things, from Day One to a decade later…

and being a Mommy is one of the best jobs in the world…

I want my daughter to know that volunteering, challenging yourself, and having a great support system around you are all exciting parts of growing up and being a woman.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to being one of those spunky old ladies in the nursing home that has a million stories to tell about her escapades over the years - and now one of those stories will be about the time I stepped up and encouraged all the other "future spunky old ladies" to jump out of their comfort zones with me and find out what crazy, amazing things they are capable of too.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Jamie & Joel

Hi Everyone!

I'm excited to share this wonderful wedding from January of this year with you. Jamie, the bride, is one of the sweetest people you could hope to meet! When she flashes that big smile, you feel like she is someone you need to get to know.

From the first time I met her, I was struck by her huge, gorgeous eyes! I couldn't help but be reminded of Alexa Ray Joel and her doll eyes, and I definitely couldn't wait to get my brushes on her face:)

Jamie wanted a really soft look- very romantic and relaxed. Our goal with makeup was to emphasize THOSE EYES without piling on heavy shadow and liner, and to highlight that perfect full pout she has. For hair, we focused on mega-watt shine and soft curls framing her face. We really wanted everything to be able to move with her and be touchable, but lasting. I'm in LOVE with the end result! I think her husband is one lucky guy, don't you?

Thursday, February 20, 2014


5 Minute HAC Job

Okay, okay, I know that is the worst title of all time... I just couldn't resist. The great news is that this "Five Minute HAC Job" will actually make you look rested and radiant by the time you're done. The same cannot be said for applying this idea to other areas of your life, like DIY projects:)

In the makeup world, HAC stands for "Highlighting And Contouring". Many women think of heavy, detailed versions of this, like Kim Kardashian and her layers of concealer and foundation. Don't get me wrong; she looks amazing, and there is a time and place for it. But HAC-ing doesn't have to be intimidating or take you an hour to put on your makeup in the morning. Here is a simple breakdown involving only a few products:

Here is me without a stitch of makeup on... spots, dark circles, and all:)

My first step is using a concealer/highlighter combo to brighten and correct any areas that are dark or splotchy. By focusing highlighter on the center of our face, you can also fake a little more "I got 8 hours of fabulous rest last night" too. Several brands make a product that both conceals & brightens in one step like L'oreal Lumi Concealer Pen or Yves St. Laurent Touche Eclat. If you feel you need two separate products for more concealer coverage, E.L.F. makes a dual ended concealer/highlighter combo for $3 that is really nice for the price. A cheap, full coverage concealer I love - Maybelline Coverstick is full coverage and has great staying power. Focus on brightening dark areas and highlighting down the center of your face like this:

You can see I wasn't using any precision edged brushes! Remember, this is our Five Minute Face, so keep it simple and just pop it on. Grab a beauty buffer (they have great versions of this magic little sponge at Ulta) and blend, blend blend!

Now on to your contouring - again, I'm not going for perfection here. Use a dark bronzer (make sure it is MATTE, not shimmery, or it will look very unnatural) and go around the edges of your forehead, down the sides of your nose, in the hollows of your cheeks and temples, sides of your chin and down your neck. This is an easy way to camouflage a double chin and fake a chiseled jawline. Benefit makes a bronzer called "Hula" that looks great on almost everyone.

Starting to see things take shape? Don't try to change the shape of your face; just focus on highlighting your best features and making things you don't love recede. Got great cheekbones? Highlight the tops and contour under them to make them pop. Lovely lips? Highlight right over your Cupid's bow and contour a bit under your bottom lip.

Now use a big fluffy brush to blend away all the harsh edges.

That's it!! No need for tons of heavy foundation or advanced training. ANYONE can do this and add pop to your makeup look.

This is with NO other makeup besides the HAC-ing we just did. See how much more glow the skin seems to have?! Add a coat of mascara and a swipe of lipgloss and you are out the door with a clean, bright face.

So what do you think? Ask questions or comment below. Thanks, everyone!!!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Love Is In The Air

Hey Everyone!

Don't you just love weddings? It's wonderful to watch a couple celebrate their love and start their journey into marriage. Plus, what is more beautiful than a radiant bride?!

I have had a blast this year working with so many fun bridal parties. I would love for you to pop over to the Weddings section in my Portfolio and see more great photos from these weddings. I'll be adding more frequently! 

First up: Dustin and Kristi Poole. These two are powerhouse vocalists/musicians who lead the music/media dept. at One Church and are also close friends of our family. Helping these two tie the knot was a family affair at my house; in addition to my styling duties, my husband Greg performed the ceremony! Isn't Kristi one of the most beautiful brides you've ever seen?! This girl belongs on a wedding magazine...

The summer months brought beautiful ceremonies and celebrations, like this one with Meredith Levine. This has to be the most fun bridal party I've ever worked with! Many thanks to Red Gallery Photography for the lovely photographs - if you are looking for a quality photographer, this is an award winning team who delivers! 

I loved working with Leah, Brian and their families on their beautiful summer wedding. You can look at Leah's mother and see where these beauties get their looks! Thanks to Julie Lintz of for all these wonderful photos!

Last but not least this summer, working on Kristen Heins' beautiful face. She and her husband Karl have such an amazing love story showing that no matter how long the wait or how broken the road, God can lead you to a wonderful future. Check out their stories here - grab some tissues first! Thanks to Heather Palmer Photography for these lovely pictures. Palmer is so great at catching those spontaneous little things you want to remember forever. She has even done pictures for my own family several times and my absolute favorite shots of my family have ALL come from her!

I think you can see why working on weddings is one of my favorite things to do! If you are getting ready for your big day and want help looking and feeling your absolute best, check out my contact page and let's collaborate!

Shaylyn Ford

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Welcome To The Arnold!

What more fun way to kick off my first blog than the Arnold Fitness Festival?! It was an amazing weekend full of personal triumph for a lot of special people.

The "weekend" actually started on Wednesday with tan prep for a sweet athlete named Shadia Smidi. This was Shadia's very first show, and she had the guts to take the Arnold stage in Bikini class! She walked on that stage like she owned it. What an accomplishment! She is a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart and it was such fun to celebrate this big moment with her.

I also had the pleasure of working for the first time with Jenny Bradford - truly an athlete in every sense of the word. Jenny is a former collegiate swimming champion, competed in the Olympic trials, and is a killer Crossfit athlete! She is a Figure class competitor who, as you can see, is in fantastic shape. She made Top Six in her class and caught the eye of Fitness All Access who asked her for a photo shoot. It was an honor to share the experience of the Arnold stage and her gorgeous shoot with both Jenny and her family. (These people are too fun!:)

One of the most wonderful people I know and ever get to work with is my dear friend, Char Maldonado. Char and I have gotten to work together quite a bit over the past year or so with fitness shows, photo shoots and appearances - she even got to be on the Dr. Oz show to celebrate her fit body achievements! Her amazing story starts as a kid with leukemia and the current chapter features her as health coach and Arnold competitor - WOW! This girl IS on fire and shows no signs of letting up.

Aside from the on stage celebrations, there were several great photo shoots I had the opportunity to participate in and work with some fantastic photographers and models. Thanks to LGHFX and Fitness All Access for the chance to work with you! I also worked with local athlete Erin Flax and got to celebrate a HUGE win with the newly named Arnold Overall Bikini Champion Anna Staradubtsteva - congratulations on your new Pro Card, Anna!

I met and worked with so many fantastic people both in front of and behind the camera, on stage and backstage, who all work together to make the fitness world the place of inspiration, discipline and creativity that it is. I can't wait to share with you all the photos from the Arnold as well as upcoming projects stemming from it. Stay tuned!

Love, Shaylyn Ford