My Sensitive Skincare Routine

sensitive skincare via besottedblog.com

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.

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Serum based foundations & CC Creams

serum based foundations via besottedblog.com

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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.

IT COSMETICS CC+ CREAM

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-ia-via-besottedblog.com

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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RODIN OLIO LUSSO LIP BALM

Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm via Besottedblog.comLet’s start by flogging me for mentioning another luxury item.  Okay, now that, that is out of the way we can move forward.

I have long coveted the beautiful + simple packaging of Rodin’s Olio Lusso lip balm–the clean font, the touch of blush colour, the lucite container, it all makes my minimalist heart go pitter patter. What I was completely unprepared for was that it was going to be a product that was actually as good as it looked. Form +  function in a beauty product? That happens so rarely that I would have had better luck winning the Lotto, or being struck by lightening than finding a product that is as stellar as it is beautiful. This is an unfortunate turn of events as I am in deep, I LOVE (yes, capital L-O-V-E) this product. I had some friends not like it and it was one of the reasons I had never picked it up prior, but I was gifted this little beauty and didn’t care if I ever opened it because I was just so happy to have my hands on it, I am so glad I did open it!

First, full disclosure here, I am a lip balm connoisseur, so obsessed am I with lip balm that I often make it myself. It has to be just right, I am very picky. What makes this so great?  In most balms if you want a sheen the balm is too oily and just sort of smears off the first sip of latte, if you want a balm that has staying power it is usually is too waxy (I hate waxy). The Rodin Olio Lusso lip balm has the perfect hint of sheen with just enough ‘stick’ to stay on without constantly re-applying. The blush colour is just cosmetic, there is no colour that will land on your lips (but I hope Rodin re-thinks this one day and maybe offers a tinted version). Right now I don’t care too much about lip colour because I am constantly kissing my baby and would never want lipstick all over her delicate visage, so that’s not a deal breaker for me; if I am going to a meeting I’ll lightly line my lips with this liner and use the Olio Lusso lip balm and I am pretty happy with the results. My lips are currently in pretty good shape, if they were chapped and flaky, I doubt this would be the balm I would reach for, that may be where some of the bad reviews stem from. I give this a high five, I am sold, I would absolutely get it again. I also think that it’s a perfect gift for your beauty obsessed bestie as it may not be something she would buy for herself but would probably be something she is secretly coveting.

How about you?  Have you tried this?  Do you think it’s as good as I do? If not, why didn’t you like it? Is there another balm you prefer?  I love when you share your beauty secrets with me!

text: tristan b.

photos:

product: Rodin Olio Lusso

Easy + Flawless Mineral Makeup

Easy + Flawless Mineral Make-up via Besotted Blog

I have loved the idea of mineral makeup for a long time, even more so now with baby, I want to make sure what I put on my face doesn’t come off on hers and is safe for both of us. I have tried so many brands and been very Goldilocks about them-too this, too that, not enough of  ‘x’. I keep coming back to Laura Mercier’s mineral foundation. It’s finely milled and is very, very natural looking, it’s lighter than most so you can layer to achieve the perfect amount of coverage. I have found that the best mineral makeup in the world just won’t look great if you don’t have the right brush to apply it with. The Kabuki brush is the preferred mineral make-up brush, but I find them unwieldy to use and I like more control with my products. I am happy to have discovered that Sephora has the best mineral foundation brush I have used so far, it’s very good quality (no loose brush strands ever), very soft and leaves a flawless finish. Another brush that I have used that has rave reviews is this one, it’s super soft but honestly it didn’t work as well for me, but it’s worth mentioning because a lot of people love it and it’s good quality for the price.

I have dry skin so mineral makeup has been tricky at best for me. I found it near impossible to create the perfect combo to not end up with makeup that looked dry and cracked (not a pretty look). You can’t really apply mineral makeup right after moisturizing with traditional lotion type moisturizers because it just doesn’t work, a streaky mess! A saw once that people were mixing mineral foundation with balms and then applying, again a fail for me. The two things that have worked were surprising. The first is coconut oil (when it’s solid) I did this in the winter, a little goes a long way, I just applied to my face let it sit for a little bit (while I brushed my hair or teeth) and then applied the mineral make-up, it looked so smooth and natural and no streaking! I found I would have to set with a mineral veil because if I didn’t my mascara would raccoon on me, but it’s a small extra step, well worth it.

This summer I discovered the coconut oil does not work as well in the heat. I found a great alternative and it would also make a great substitute to a silicone based primer (sidenote: Laura Mercier also makes my favorite commercial primer), the product is called Butter by indie company Ellovi. I think the name is misleading, it is definitely less a butter (which I think of as fluffy) and more of a balm. An amazing balm that is smooth and fresh and not waxy at all (like balms can be). It’s an all around great product to have in your cosmetic arsenal because it has multiple uses (I use it as the best lip balm/conditioner around). I apply the Ellovi the same way I did the coconut oil, a very little goes a long way, let it ‘set’ and then apply my mineral foundation. It’s not as perfect as the coconut oil on me, but it works very well and is super easy. I am all about the easy right now.

Do you have any tricks for using mineral make-up? Have you tried the Laura Mercier brand?  I am admittedly a huge fan of the line in general. Let me know if you have any questions!

P.S. With this method I can even use my favorite sheer Tarte cheek stains without it looking like it’s sitting on top of my makeup!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they just welcomed to the world a baby girl. 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.

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