make you own pro lip balm via besottod blog

Today was a good day, nothing special happened that I can pin point, it was just all around good (even the 5:00 a.m. wake up call wasn’t half bad).  One of the highlights of this day was making lip balm with Michelle for last minute gifts. I told her once we got started that it might inspire her to open up a lip balm factory because the process is kind of magical; you start with some waxes and oils, melt, pour and viola you have an apothecary worthy lip balm! It’s in a word-awesome.

I have been making my own products for many, many moons. I was at one time a pretty famous indie perfumer, can you even believe that? I can’t. Like I said that was many moons ago, things have changed and my brain is foggier than it was back then, so I needed a refresher course. Thank goodness an angry chicken was available for assistance. What the what?  I know, people don’t read blogs anymore, but in the olden days they did and Amy Karol was the shizzle, she still is and her ‘handle’ was Angry Chicken and she created an online class where I refreshed my brain and learned some new tricks on how to make some pretty impressive (and of course magical) lip balm. We dubbed ours ‘Wonder Mint’ because it is both a wonder and of course mint, but you can call yours anything your little heart desires (Michelle whipped up a download for you if you wanted to use our label).I know you are going to want to learn this skill too, especially if you have a deep, dark lip balm addiction (like myself) or are in need for a quick, DIY that doesn’t feel like a DIY, do you know what I mean? You can sign-up and take Amy’s class here at your own leisure, you can learn more than lip balm skills, but if you are short on time you can watch just the lip balm video. Have fun and let us know if you take the class!

photo by michelle p.

P.S. In the class Amy will go over supplies, we have linked to some supplies below just to make it easier for you.


Handmade Apothecary Class (online)

Lip Balm Tubes (smaller quantities)

Carrier Oil sample pack


Mint essential oil

Candellia Wax (vegan)

Beeswax pellets

Lip Balm Making Kit (with all the supplies, for those that want it easy + fast)

Wonder Mint lip balm label download

Amazon Prime (because it’s awesome + life changing)

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.



laura mercier mini glace reviewLately, I have been reaching for a tinted gloss instead of lipstick. A quick swipe as I walk out the door, (no mirror required) and call it done. This Laura Mercier Mini Lip Glacé set has been my go-to for the last few months. The colors are essentially bumped up neutrals, which works nicely for my fair skin tone, but I bet they would look great on darker complexions as well. I have used every single one (except the champagne color on the far right if you click over, which wasn’t in my set).

laura mercier mini glace review photo by michelle pFor the scent-averse, you should know that it does smell sweet, a bit like cake batter. I like the scent, then again, I would wear actual cake batter on my lips every day if I could.

The size of these mini tubes is perfect for tossing into a small handbag or clutch. My little handbag is showing signs of stress from continually being stuffed into a much larger laptop-sized tote, so I’ve been dreaming of replacing it with this classic and cute dotted clutch, or if I’m really dreaming (sigh)  – this gorgeous little number. Come to think of it, I could use a new tote for my laptop too. It’s so hard to find a handsome tote that fits a 15″ MacBook  … have you seen anything good out there?

//UPDATE// Chelsey’s recommendation for the Everlane Tote is too perfect not to pass on. It’s $40, fits a 15″ MacBook, and it has a zipper closure. Thank you Chelsey!

2nd  photo by michelle p.

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.


My Sensitive Skincare Routine

sensitive skincare via

My skin is high maintenance. There, I said it. Once, (somehow) I burned my eyelids with a perfectly respectable brand of eyeshadow tried on a whim at the Nordstrom make-up counter. Ug, red, balloon-shaped eyelids were not a pretty look for a night out. (Yes… I still went out with burnt eyelids – it was in a dark theater & I didn’t want to miss the show!) So, as you can probably guess, making a concerted effort to find a gentle skin routine is a must for me. Along the way, there have been many trials and tribulations, but I am finally having some success – no more angry (or singed) pores – yay! Here’s what is working right now:

Caudaulie Foaming Cleanser: I purchased the travel size for a trip a few years ago and never looked back. It cleans without drying, has a light, clean fragrance, and the foaming aspect makes it last much longer than you’d expect.

Witch Hazel Toner: Witch hazel has wonderful natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Sometimes old-fashioned products really do work!

MyChelle Pumpkin Renew Cream: Rich & creamy, very moisturizing, with no junky ingredients. It doesn’t smell like pumpkin to me, but it does smell fresh for a bit before the scent goes away completely.

MyChelle Sun Shield SPF 28: The only sunscreen I’ve ever tried that doesn’t leave a sheen or a weird smell. I had Tristan test it out too, so she can vouch for both of these points! Perfect for under make-up, just give it a minute or two to soak in. It’s also a Zinc and Titanium Dioxide formula without any of those bad for you chemicals found in so many sunscreens, which is a HUGE plus in my book.

Coconut Oil – Of course I heard the hype about coconut oil, but was still hesitant to try slathering it on my skin. Then I purchased some for the pantry and it taunted me with possibilities. It soaks in much faster than you’d think, and my dry patches are so much happier! Instead of keeping a jar that looks like it belongs in the kitchen on the bathroom counter, I’ve been scooping some into a small cosmetics-looking jar. It’s not particularly fancy, but it keeps me from feeling like I’m part of a granola recipe.

Do any of you have other sensitive skin winners to recommend? I’m all ears!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.


Serum based foundations & CC Creams

serum based foundations via

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I have gotten very, very lazy with my beauty routine.  Not so lazy that I would dare step outside bare faced mind you, but I do want as little effort as possible and I wouldn’t mind if people thought I had no make up on. I adore the Armani foundation (even though many of you reprimanded me via email for promoting such a luxury item, the others that tried it did sing my praises). But back to being lazy, I wanted to see if I could cut out as many steps as possible, since I no longer have multi-step time even though I have a multi-step need. I absolutely refuse to leave the house without a moisturizer, sunscreen or some sort of coverage to help with my hyper-pigmentation/uneven complexion. I did a little research and tried some products and these are my picks for the lazy beauty-phile.


This is a new to me line and I only bought the trial size, which still ran $15! It had some rave reviews and I was reeled in by the 50+ SPF, you just don’t find that in a BB or CC cream. There’s a lot to like about this product besides the high SPF, it has a built in primer and an anti-aging hydrating serum and it’s full coverage (unheard of in the beauty balm realm). The first time I tried it without moisturizer on and it did me no favors, I loved the coverage and it didn’t feel like I was wearing any make-up throughout the day, without moisturizer though it dried pretty matte and settled into my laugh lines (not pretty). I gave it another try with moisturizer (I have been using this drugstore find day and night) and I have been pretty hooked ever since. It leaves a nice glowy (not greasy or dewy) finish on my dry skin and I can build coverage. This is not a product you want to get heavy handed with, just dot it on your face and work it in and you can achieve very natural bare faced results!  Pros: 50+ Sunscreen, full, buildable coverage  Cons: There’s not many shades so you may not get a good match for your skin, I chose medium and it works nicely.

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TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love

tokyomilk ii via besottedblog

My current bottle of TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love is so empty I can’t even get a satisfying whiff of the warm vanilla-scented air from inside the bottle anymore, and I am trying to decide whether to hunt for something new for fall, or go ahead and repurchase this delicious tried and true. Chances are high that I will go the easy route since I adore this scent, and choosing a new fragrance would mean heading downtown for a sniff day, which in the past has resulted in a) not finding anything I remotely like, and b) running around town for the rest of the day smelling something like a fragrance dump bucket.

Of course it was the brilliant packaging design of TokyoMilk Dark that lured me in one day when I was browsing through one of my favorite shops*. The rich and creamy consistency of their shea butter and almond oil handcreme was just what I need for my cuticle challenges, and I couldn’t get enough of the dark vanilla with a hint of sandalwood scent (the orchid and white tea are very subtle elements, it’s definitely more vanilla than floral). I went for the hand creme, then came right back for the perfume a couple of days later and have worn it most days since. So what would you do: tried and true or something new? (….or both, I’m leaning toward both).

// Bonus Photo Tip //

When I was styling the peach crostini shots, I wanted to be able to reposition the spoon full of marscarpone on a whim without having to worry about possible food smudges on my fabric backdrop. My solution was to put down waxed paper on top of the fabric backdrop. I’d rather put down a clean sheet of waxed paper if there’s an unwanted smear here or there than adjust the fabric to hide a flaw, or clone it out in Photoshop later. When Tristan wanted to style this shot with a dollop of hand creme, I brought out my trusty waxed paper, & what do you know, it added a subtle muted sheen while softening the bright white of the foam core we were using for our backdrop. We both admired the effect, so of course we had to share it with you!
*Note to Seattle folks: Lucca in Ballard carries TokyoMilk Dark, and who doesn’t want an excuse to stop by Lucca?

TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love | Eau de Parfum

TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love | Handcreme

P.S. That cool script font we used in the title is a new release from Angie Makes and can be found here!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.


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