Carolina Curator Besotted Blog

I made it home late last night from my travels, feeling a bit worse for wear. I had broken one of my cardinal rules of air travel–never ever eat meat on a flight. My apologies to any of my vegetarian friends that I may have unintentionally scarred. I would have chosen a vegetarian option if there was one, but the only option was carbohydrate laden crackers and suspect cheese spreads and I was at my low blood sugar limit and needed to eat something a little more filling. I opted for a chicken Caeser wrap, which even on terra firma would be an iffy choice, but I don’t eat roast beef which was the only other offering in the ‘meal’ category.  I knew immediately after I had devoured it that it was a bad idea and that I would be ruing the day the stewardess put it in my greedy paws. I did and I do. Sigh.

Since last night was so restless and I felt as if I had accidentally poisoned myself, I knew that my curator pick today needed to be soothing to assist in getting me through the regret of what I had done. I chose Carolina for her rustic, Nordic style.  Carolina is in Barcelona and I wish I knew more about her, is she a Swedish native on holiday in Spain? Or is she a Spaniard with a taste for the Scandinavian? Either way it works. She’s a prolific pinner and has a wonderful food grouping on multiple boards, too many good things to choose from but her pins of coffee drinks, everything from espresso to affogato is really just sublime. Did I mention what incredible coffee I had on my travels?  From Los Angeles to Seattle I had some of the best coffee I ever had the pleasure of partaking in and as soon as I feel better from my plane repast I shall indulge once again.

P.S. If you want to be considered for a future Pinterest curator feature email me or leave your link in the comments!

P.P.S. Have you switched over to the new Pinterest re-design?  I love the suggestions feature!

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 the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


Jennifer-Lopez-Troy-JensenI think it is pretty safe to say that I am a bit of an eyelash obsessive.  I have written + recommended more mascara on this here blog than most professionals ever have.  I will not leave the house without my lashes, be it curling them, or a two second swipe of mascara.  My absolute favorite way to wear my lashes though is via extensions.  This to me is the ultimate in beauty convenience.  I only had them once prior before my elopement and I highly recommend it to all brides since they last for weeks.  You can cry, shower and swim in them without incidence. I blubbered through my entire ceremony and never worried about having mascara running down my face. If I am ever fortunate enough to give birth I am pretty sure I will be sporting my lashes in the maternity ward.

If time is money than I can say that having the lashes is like money in the bank. It is how I justified the lash extension splurge I did when I was recently in Los Angeles. My beauty routine now is basically nil– BB cream, some lip balm, creme blush and I am officially finished and out the door! My advice is to only go to a place that has an extremely great reputation, even better if you have personal recommendations. Make sure the place is clean and you are comfortable.  These are your eyes after all and it is not a swift process so you need to know what you are getting into.

Have you ever had this done?  Are you as evangelical as I am?  My girlfriend had on the new Benefit mascara ‘They’re Real! and it was ah-mazing on her.  Her lashes were long, lush and gave my extensions a run for their money.  I gave her my new favorite ‘natural’ looking mascara–Laura Mercier-Faux Lash, it has an amazing brush that coats each lash individually, it’s not as fun as extensions or ‘They’re Real!’ but it’s great for more casual days, because you don’t get a too mascara-y look. It’s purported to be a false eyelash alternative but I felt it just gave a beautiful, natural, even long lash look, very pretty.

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 the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


bathtub by corey amaroI have been to more than 14 cities in less than 10 days.  To announce I am exhausted would be a slight understatement.  I am still on East coast time whilst in the midst of my West Coast, Best Coast travels so I have been waking up at ridiculously early hours and wanting to go to sleep just when they are serving the Early Bird Special at around 6 p.m. I have powered through this knowing that at my final destination there would be a bathtub with my name on it.

For those of you with bathtubs (and I am pretty sure that must be 99.9% of you), this little soliloquy might seem unfathomable.  By my moving to the country I had forfeited the one luxury I had in life– a bath.  I want to let you know this was not an intentional sacrifice, if I had known I would have put the kibosh on the lease in a New York minute but I didn’t so I signed my name along a dotted line that ensured I would be bath-less for the better part of a year. I wasn’t without a tub, I did and I suppose since I am going back Tuesday I do have a tub, but there are three main deterrents. One is that our bathtub is fiberglass, but might as well be plastic.  Before I lived in the country I did not not know fiberglass tubs existed, I assumed all tubs by nature of being tubs had to be porcelain.  Fiberglass tubs should be relegated for one purpose only and that is for use in a trailer.  There I said it, I mean it and if you own a fiberglass tub and don’t live in a trailer my heart goes out to you. Second, we are on well water, so even if I had a porcelain tub I would have used more than my fair share of allotted well water for the day and thus be fined. A great bath would be worth the fine, but the third obstacle stood in the way and that was hard water.  Hard water is interesting, it makes your skin feel like it will break in half since it depletes all hydration but makes your hair super soft, completely lifeless and unmanageable. It’s a wonder they let me into Los Angeles with my hair suctioned to my scalp and my skin so taut if I sneezed I would break in half.

On the last leg of my scouting tour I checked myself into a hotel that I knew had beautiful deep porcelain bathtubs, balanced water and strong water pressure.  It was my only requirement and all other design elements could be overlooked and forgiven. When I emerged from the bath at the end of the day I felt like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.  I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so privileged.

What is one thing you couldn’t dream of giving up for a year?  Do you have a fiberglass tub?  Does it bother you too? Or not so much? Any comments on my potential move?  I am pretty 50/50 between the Bay area and Seattle both offer equally amazing opportunities it’s going to be so impossible to decide!

photo by Corey Amaro



I am well aware that many of you don’t have the time or inclination to try film out, but still would like to achieve the look in the digital darkroom.  There are many ways to do so, but I am going to just go over the ones that I feel are the most authentic looking and the easiest to use.

I have been shooting with the VSCO app on my Iphone pretty much since the day they released it to the public.  I had been following some photographers that were in beta testing with the app and It was killing me to not get my hands on the #VSCO that I kept seeing.  This is a nominal investment for such a simple app with stunning results. The more lofty investment is the Lightroom presets, which I do own.  I had waited until they had improved the .jpeg conversion as I don’t shoot in RAW.  It’s one click, filmy goodness.

I mentioned 9 Lives Photoshop actions last year, but it deserves another mention. The designer of the actions, photographer Kim Miller has introduced more sets and is working on Lightroom versions  Kim has made her actions very affordable and they truly emulate film.  My only complaint is that the layers are not grouped, but you can always record that into the action if you know what you are doing. If you work with actions often you’ll understand why a grouped set is ideal, it may not bother you.

One of the signs of film is grain.  In digital photography we are usually trying to avoid this at all costs, but for the sake of emulating the film look you could shoot in lower light raising your iso almost as high as it can get.  I feel this produces lots of fine grain and when the photo is converted to black & white you get a very film like effect. This would be the most cost effective route to play with film effects in the digital darkroom.  Or you could always start in film by picking up a disposable camera like the talented Amy Merrick has done and try your hand at getting beautiful shots like these.

Photo by Eleanor Petry

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 the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.


week of film elliott erwitt besotted blogToday I am driving up to Santa Barbara, which I am very excited about.  I am meeting someone I have long admired via the interwebs, who I do consider a friend and a tremendous source of inspiration.  If you only knew how unlikely this whole trip is for me, you would be very proud.  I am very shy and uncomfortable around people, unless I am working and I put on a ‘business’ social face, but to just meet people for the first time is a bit terrifying.  I am equal parts nervous and excited, so I hope the balance doesn’t make me too much of a goof ball!

Back to some of my fave film photographers!  Eliott Erwitt is way up there.  I worked at gallery in my late teens and was exposed to many classic photographers, Eliott Erwitt being one of them.  Last year when I was in NYC I got to go to an intimate exhibit of his work, the best part was the guided tour which was recorded by Mr. Erwitt himself.  It was such a treat.  You would think Erwitt’s work was another street photographer great like a Cartier-Bresson.  His shots all seem so candid and as an aspiring photographer you may wonder how it is that he had gotten so lucky to seemingly always be able to be in the right place at the exact right time. When I worked at the gallery, I just thought he had impeccable timing, not that I knew anything about photography but I did know enough to be impressed by a photographer who was able to capture such moments. Fast forward a couple of decades and Erwitt himself reveals his secret to me (and of course every other attendee to the exhibit).  He was in advertising and these seemingly candid shots were all well executed and staged.  The top one above with the Great Dane and the Chihuahua was something he had painstakingly planned for a shoe ad. One of his other most famous shots of a couple kissing in their car has people from around the globe letting him know that it was them that he had happened to come across and shoot, some even demanding compensation, but alas it was a friend and a model he hired to do the shoot.  The magic of the images for me now after the reveal is how he was able to create such  authentic captures.  There is no doubt in the viewers mind that these moments are not real. Some of the other photographers that I love that are in this same vein of creating these ‘authentic candids’ which are carefully planned are Norman Parkinson and Robert Doisneau (his very famous kiss photograph was an awesome staged shot). Definitely visit the links to see their work, I think you will be very inspired.

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 the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.