MRS FRENCH CURATORI haven’t done one of these in over a month!  I didn’t remember how long they take, it’s so easy to fall into an inspiration abyss.  I wanted to introduce you to my Pinterest Curator of the week Mrs. French. I am well aware that 3,484,898 already follow her. I don’t know if she is the most followed person on Pinterest, but it seems that she must be way up there.  There’s a reason for this, she is a prolific pinner, honestly every time I go to Pinterest she has pinned a whole bevy of new greatness, it’s non-stop.  Mrs. French has a little experience in curation, as she rose to internet ‘fame’ as the woman that single handedly made Monday’s more desirable with her ‘I heart Monday’s’ series.  This is where she honed  (unbeknownst to her) future superior pinning skills.  I love her Handsome board and PrettyPrettyPretty, but you can’t go wrong with her Photography Board (Mrs. French is a talented photographer) and for fun her Street Style board has a lot of great eye candy. You can see what all the fuss is about here and be 3,484, 899!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves (like wants to marry) Photoshop and also enjoys taking a photo or two. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.



I was going to wait until Friday to mention this, but this is a ‘stop the presses’ sort of situation, so I re-arranged the previously scheduled programming to bring you this beauty innovation–stat.  I have waxed poetic on many occasions about my love of Tarte’s cheek stains, they are hands down the fastest way to get ‘insta-pretty’.  I feel like blush is neglected in most beauty regime’s or applied so horribly that you wished that it was opted out.  My mom used to use a tube of red lipstick on her cheeks; after expertly blending it in it always imparted a perfect rosy glow on her tawny cheeks (try it in a pinch it works really well).  I have to be so careful on how I apply blush as I have hyper-pigmentation on my cheeks and I don’t want it to look like I have a dusting of dirt on the apples (which can happen if I ever dared use a badly chosen powder formulation). I know that the Tarte stains are very natural looking and I don’t look like I have streaks of cosmetics on my skin (which is a beauty ‘don’t). You don’t want your blush to sit on top of your complexion, but rather blend perfectly so it looks like you have a beautiful natural flush. I have had one problem with the stains, they don’t work with any mineral foundation, in fact, I couldn’t find a blush that did.  I have very dry skin, so mineral make-up wouldn’t seem like an ideal choice, but it’s actually the one make-up that covers my hyper-pigmentation really well without it looking like I have a ton of make-up on (key for any cosmetic is a very gentle hand during application and to layer it on).  For those that are interested, I prefer finely milled mineral foundation–Laura Mercier and Korres are some of my faves.  I was at Ulta the other day picking up my fave splurge moisturizer and saw that Tarte had come out with a new blush, every single piece was sold-out except for one color, it seemed to me a good sign (or a good shop-lifter).  I picked up a tester in the one color that was left, it was not what I am used to or what I preach here, the color looked in the sample compact a little dark + dusty/flat and it had some shimmer (I am not a fan of shimmer), but I tried it on and wondered if the lighting was off.  The color on my skin was a beautiful peachy hue, it blended perfectly and went on with a glide that I am not used to–airblush.  There was no signs of where the blush was applied (sometimes with the stains if you don’t blend well it can cause a ‘halo’).  I applied with my fingers, which I continue to do, it’s super light.  It’s not like any blush I have tried before (and since I have been around since dinosaurs walked the earth, I think I have tried them all). I tried the Dream Bouncy Blush from Maybelline and a similar product from Sephora, but those dried to an almost powder-like consistency on my face and pilled, this Airblush is undetectable if you blend well (which is effortless to do).  How long does it last?  It lasted a good 8 hours on me which is excellent as my makeup tends to wear off fairly quickly (again due to my dry skin and yes, of course I prime, etc.)   As for the shimmer?  I am not crazy about it in any product, but it’s very, very fine so it is hardly noticeable (I don’t look like I am going to a rave or anything). I think it’s worth going down to Sephora or Ulta and trying the Tarte AirBlush out, I have used it with the BB cream too and it performed perfectly.  I love it and I can’t wait to try the other colors!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She never leaves the house without sunscreen, lip balm, a ‘natural’ flush and a smile. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.


HEART_OF_GOLD_BESOTTEDBLOGI don’t know about you, but I get very uncomfortable when receiving a compliment.  I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I am not the best at accepting them. I was taught to say ‘thank you’ immediately upon receipt of a compliment, but even though I feel my manners are usually in check my first response to a compliment is more along the lines of ‘shut up!’  That’s what I say every time my husband tells me I am beautiful–‘shut up’. I got very lucky to have my little heart of gold stationery set featured in Martha Stewart’s Whole Living this December; I knew that there was a small/remote possibility it may be as it was requested months prior, but it wasn’t confirmed so I just thought they passed on it.  When December rolled around and I got a text from my dear friend Connie that I was in, my immediate thought was ‘shut up!’ Obviously, I need to work on this behavioral dilemma.

It is Monday, the first ‘bestowal’ of the year, meaning I am giving away a set of the hand-printed lovelies above to one lucky individual, in order to enter to win I would like to know what your favorite compliment you have ever received was, just leave it in the comments below and I will choose a winner to be announced next Monday, January 14, 2013.  Good luck!

P.S. This was Whole Living’s last issue they announced they were folding.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She loves (like wants to marry) Photoshop and also enjoys taking a photo or two. She recently moved from the city to the country with her husband and two pups.


PROJECT_MMXIII_IPROJECT_MMXII_IIIt is 2013, a new year and for many photo enthusiasts (like myself) an opportunity to take on the Herculean task of a photo project.  I have for two years running tried to edit a photo a day as my photo project.  If any of you were witness to this experiment you can attest that a lot (okay, all) of my original images were mediocre at best, but after hours in front of my computer they had an almost alchemic transformation.  I was able to turn rubbish into pure gold, it was delightful and embarrassing. Who wants to show off their worse photographs? I lasted longer the second try/year then the first, but it monopolized too much of my precious time and I had to cry ‘uncle’ at around month three.  This year I actually spent a month or two prior to the end of the year debating what I would do for this year’s photo project and how I would be able to achieve a modicum of success, perhaps even finish what I started. None of my grand ideas resonated with me, it all seemed so contrived and I shirk from anything that seems inauthentic. I wondered if I should even attempt it again, would I just be sentencing myself to a sort of Sisyphusism, rolling the metaphorical boulder of creative responsibility on weary shoulders up hill, only to see it descend down hill again– ad naseum?  Then I decided to stop talking to myself, because when I do that it just seems to lead me into an anxious abyss, because really who cares?  It’s a self-imposed photo challenge gosh darn it! It’s created to help me improve my photographs, if I shoot even one photograph for the whole project it is one photo more than I took previously thus by nature making me a better photographer by just practicing.  I  always make everything so much more complicated than it ever needs to be; I am good like that.  On New Year’s morning my light bulb moment happened and I decided on my ‘theme’ for my Project MMXIII.  Firstly, I decided on a 52 week instead of a 365.  I know myself too well to know that I wouldn’t be happy just shooting an image each day, I would want to edit it as well (to the nth degree) and doing this would not be realistic. The theme I am choosing is nature, because it’s what I have an affinity for (good idea when choosing your personal theme), but I wanted it to be more creative and not too literal.  I am going to focus on abstract images in nature, think Mother Nature’s modern art if you will. I am going to be looking for shapes, colors, light & shadow. I want to find the unusual in the usual.  These first photos above had a Katazome (Japanese kimono stencil) feel, which although that technique is centuries old it feels very relevant for the 21st century, both modern + clean . I am a minimalist, but Mother Nature is not, so I am not only going to be a photographer but a curator and a sleuth. I may not always go with the linear, I may delve into the soft and dreamy, I want to have a malleable ‘map’, that allows me to explore other avenues, but still gets me to my ultimate destination (in this case the 52 finish line).  What I am hoping to accomplish is to become a better photographer, to challenge myself to see past the need to take the “perfect” photo (I am always lamenting that I don’t have the ‘right’ people, places or things to photograph) and just get into the moment (gosh, that sounds so new age-y).  I am not an ‘in the moment’ sort of person, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking (read stressing) about the future and begrudging my past decisions. This is going to be quite the challenge for me.   If you would like to join me on this adventure I am going to have a group on Flickr, you can do the same project as I am or choose a theme that you feel resonates with you.  I will be uploading my results once a week both here and in the group and if applicable sharing my process (I love to share what I have learned). I hope you join me and I can last longer than 3 months!  Join me here!

P.S. I know a lot of you have accomplished 365’s any advice to someone has failed multiple times?

P.P.S. These are not black & white photographs, I shot them on an overcast day which made it easy to ‘blow out the sky’ and create these deep dark colors on my subject.


MAYBELLE IMASA-STUKULSI am sure a lot of you that are calligraphy/lettering enthusiasts are aware of Maybelle Imasa-Stuklus. In this niche world of lettering she is considered the ‘creme de la creme‘ of lettering artists. Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, Sunset magazine, Victoria magazine, too many blogs to list and she’s even had her own beautiful project with Chronicle Books.  I have had the immense pleasure to get to know Maybelle a little bit over the past month and I can attest that she is as kind as she is talented. It’s very refreshing to ‘meet’ someone (albeit virtually) that is as great as you have imagined they might be.  I am hoping that Maybelle will be inclined to let me interview her for a future post so if you have specific questions you want me to ask her, you may want to leave them in the comments (I know I have a boat load I want to ask her).  I wanted to feature Maybelle today for all the lucky people that are on the West Coast, specifically Northern California as Maybelle is teaching at the newly launched Makeshift Society a course she developed called Calligraphy in the 21st Century. If you have been wanting to dabble in this discipline and you are in the area then I highly suggest you jump at this unique opportunity. Oh, how I wish that I could be there!

P.S. Tomorrow I am going to announce my new Foto project, so stop by so we can motivate each other. I know I am going to need the support since I have failed two years in a row (ouch) and obviously want to publicly humiliate myself for a third time. Viva 2013!