Before she walks down the aisle, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub staged a sexy boudoir shoot for fiancé Marty Caffrey — and PEOPLE's got the exclusive pics!
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star partnered with photographer Courtney Berman and the celebrity hair-and-makeup team of Julius Michael and Priscilla DiStasio earlier this month for an intimate boudoir shoot, and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look on the photos.
“I wanted to do a sexy lingerie shoot for my soon-to-be husband to not only show him how I feel about him, but to also celebrate my body and my life at the age of 55,” Staub told PEOPLE from her New Jersey home, where the photo shoot took place. “I’m living my life my way and I wanted to show women everywhere that being confident in your own skin is empowering.”
It was also something Staub knew would keep their sex life passionate. “You have to switch it up a little bit now and then while still staying connected to your partner,” she said. “And it doesn’t hurt to starve him now and then or tease him with something like this!”
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Staub rocked a variety of looks for the shoot, including a cream colored sheer embroidered duster from Free People with coordinating lace Commando bottoms that she wore while posing on her staircase.
She lounged on a sofa wearing a light pink Mimi Holliday bra and thong set with blue embroidery; laid in her guest room in a Simone Perelli white bra and brief set; and posed in her bathroom wrapped in a black Camilla patterned robe.
And yes, those are Christian Louboutins Staub was wearing while laying topless on her bed (in a black Simone Perelli thong).
Shooting Staub was “a blast” for Berman, who has shot a handful of boudoir spreads in the past.
“Danielle’s not only fun to be around, but she’s also really comfortable with who she is — flaws in all,” Berman said. “That’s really special as a photographer to have somebody who isn’t trying to hide behind Photoshop or certain poses and is brave to let the real her be seen.”
The two collaborated together to find the lingerie and lighting that complemented Staub’s body and skin tone. That’s part of the secret to a good boudoir shoot according to Berman — who also stresses “having good lingerie that fits you properly, especially the right bra size.”
“If it’s too big or too small, it’s going to have spillage and back rolls or you’re going to get a gaping cup and it’s just not cute,” Berman explained. “And do a lot of planning beforehand. Make sure that you know what you’re doing going into it. It just makes everything more seamless.”
Having a master hair and makeup team like Michael and DiStasio also helps.
Michael, who owns Julius Michael Salon in Scarsdale, New York, and fellow stylist Arturo Ortiz gave Staub a variety of hairstyles for each shot.
“We wanted to show Danielle in a different light,” Micahel said. “I feel like in the past, if Danielle put up a sexy photo, people tended to look at it as a trashy and I wanted to show that Danielle could take a sexy photo and it’s glamor and high end and high fashion. That was our real inspiration.”
Though Michael had previously cut 12 inches off Staub’s hair, he added in some Hidden Crown hair extensions (in numbers 4/613 and number 3) throughout to give her volume and length. He used BabylissPRO blow dryer to give the reality star that perfect blow out and BeachWaver Co. pro rotating tools for a slight curl. Seven-7 Satara texture cream gave Staub’s hair more movement.
“Her long hair in the past, it was flat and stringy and it just hung,” Michael said. “Here, we did a long hair look with beautiful waves to show that Daneille doesn’t have to have that Jersey long hair, she can have that couture long hair.”
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DiStasio matched Michael’s multiple hair looks with coordinating face beats. “I wanted to initially give Danielle a soft natural look and throughout the shoot as Julius got edgier with her hair it allowed me to bring more to the table and give her a sultry bronzed glow,” she revealed.
To achieve the look, she started with Era Beauty USA primer and foundation along with their “One in the Sun” airbrush bronzer (which she mixed with Guerlain‘s sunset trio bronzer). Lashes came from Lashaholic,while Becca Cosmetics highlighters and Wunder2 Cosmetics finished powder helped polish off her makeup.
Finally, DiStasio used her own collaboration liquid lipstick with Rincón Cosmetics to make Staub’s lips pop.
Now that Staub’s boudoir shoot is behind her, the mother of two — who has been dating Caffrey since April 2016 — is pulling all of her focus on her wedding day.
“I’m excited to connect with Marty as husband and wife,” she gushed. “There’s nothing more beautiful about that. We’re both looking forward to that next chapter.”
Will she miss the single life? “Not a chance,” Staub said. “I’m excited to be no longer on the market! There’s one less fish in the sea.”