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.



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.


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.

The Best Foundation Ever

I have been avoiding writing this post for awhile, I am loathe to recommend a beauty product that is so undeniably out of budget for most (and that includes me) but I couldn’t keep this to myself any longer. Let me start by saying, I did not buy my first bottle of Georgio Armani foundation, my former boss received a hideous candy bowl from Neiman Marcus one Christmas and let me have it to return, I did and was able to exchange it for my first bottle of foundation nirvana. Okay, let’s get the price out of the way, it’s the elephant in the room and once I blurt it out perhaps you can decide if you want to continue reading (do so at your own risk), the bottle will run you about $85 usd. Yes, you read that right, now go ahead and faint, I did.

So why bring this product up after years of keeping it to myself? I used to only wear this on very, very special occasions, I made it last as long as was hygienically feasible. Nowadays with baby any opportunity when I have enough energy to leave the house and not feel/look like a zombie is a special occasion, so I started wearing it, not knowing when my next very, very special occasion would ever be. I love it, I love the way it looks, the way it feels (the way I feel), how long it wears. So to throw out the blanket claim that it’s the best foundation ever may be a little bold, but it is, hands down the best foundation I have ever tried.  I have dry skin, but it seems to universally work on all skin types from all the reviews. Makeup artists will only use this on their A-list celebrities and trust me, a good make-up artist never wants to use the most expensive item just because it’s a luxury brand, their reputation is on the line, they just want to use the best period-Georgia Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is the best ever. There I said it.

Here’s some tips I have learned while I have been using it. NEVER use a brush or sponge. Why? It’s expensive and you will not want to waste one precious drop. A little goes a long way, I just dot it on my face and blend with my clean fingers, for blemishes or dark spots I still really like the Make Up Forever’s HD concealer, people have commented that it is as good (I think it’s better) then Cle De Peau (another insanely expensive item). I make sure it’s not near any heat, in a cool closet, which means it is never in the bathroom, I don’t want any temperature changes effecting my formulation.

I know it’s not for everyone and certainly not an everyday luxury for most, but if you have a once in a lifetime event to go to and want your skin to look perfect then I think you need this.  Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to answer.  And for those that are shaking their head no way never, ever in a zillion years, I do have a new mineral foundation that I have also been wearing (and loving) and I promise to share soon!

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.


Stila CC Cream Besotted BlogAs a pregnant woman (have I mentioned that? I feel that’s all I do now), I have been very conscious of the cosmetics I wear and I have been using a lot of mineral bases and natural blushes, trying to keep any necessary chemicals at bay. Sometimes though I feel like I need a little more uhm, assistance.  I have hyperpigmentation and thankfully it has not gotten worse with my being pregnant which I was very worried about, but it is something that I am self-conscious about. When I had the amazing opportunity to shoot with Elizabeth Messina (I promise more to come on that soon) I knew I wanted a base that would even out my skin tone but not look like I was wearing a bunch of make-up. If you know Elizabeth’s maternity work the mother’s have a beautiful, ethereal natural look so I didn’t want to be the one mom-to-be that looked all tarted up (full disclosure, I did wear individual lashes). I am a fan of BB creams since they are multi-tasking and not as heavy as a traditional foundation, but when I heard about Stila’s new CC cream that has color correctors in it I was one of the first to line up and get myself a tube.  It did not disappoint, it is so easy to use, it is one of those new technology types that comes out of the tube a color that is far from anyone’s skintone (it comes out green) and once it is blended into your skin it starts to match your complexion.  I have no idea how this technology works but it is a small thrill that it does.  I have dry skin and this stays nice and smooth without turning matte (Stila’s claim is 72 hours of hydration), it leaves just a beautiful natural glow.  You can build on coverage, but it is not a foundation so if you are looking for something to camouflage you should definitely go the traditional foundation route. I did do a little spot concealing for my shoot, but it was very light. I used my fave concealer. The CC cream is easy to use and I can even put it on without a mirror while I check my emails in the a.m., it’s that goof proof. I haven’t been using it as much as I might if I wasn’t pregnant but it’s definitely a purchase that I am very happy with.  If you have oily skin it may not be for you, but Stila does have some wonderful oil-free, light balms and tinted moisturizers that have very high ratings from both editors and consumers.

Have any of you tried this product yet? What are your thoughts?

P.S. Sephora has a new (free) service where they can match your skin via a hand held computer and it will compute your best color foundations (bb creams, cc creams and tinted moisturizers). I tried a few of the suggestions and the colors were spot on!

P.P.S. One of my fave beauty blogs just got a makeover making it super easy to access all of her wonderful tutorials, stop on by here!

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 are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). 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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