Foundation - One Heck of A Blot from Soap & Glory in “Cool Sand”
Highligher - Mary-Lou Manizer from the balm, and Pearlized Highlight from ColourPop in “Churro”
Bronzer - Bahama Mama from the balm
Mascara - Better Than Sex (Waterproof) from Too Faced
Eyeshadow - Super Shock Shadows from ColourPop in “La La” and “Jinxie”
Eyebrows - Eyebrow Cake Powder from NYX in “Dark Brown/Brown”
Lips - Mini Matte Lipstick from Kylie Jenner in “Vixen”
Besame has been making luxurious cosmetics inspired by the golden age of cinema in Los Angeles, California since 2004. We are a family company driven by a passion for quality and design that touches everything we make. Mixing history, science, and art to create exceptional products that inspire and define the power of the classic woman. Artfully crafted, Bésame cosmetics offers something truly different, nostalgic and glamorous. Get ready to be admired......
Check out this video where totally adorable founder Gabriela Hernandez explains how it's a family business and how her daughter helps add a young perspective.
We love the multi-generational girl power!
I was lucky enough to be able to try a few lipsticks, a loose powder, and a blush.
Hernandez speaks about how in years past, all girls wore was red, and not there aren't so many different reds out there- that she likes to provide a variety of flattering reds. She calls herself a makeup detective, re-creating vintage shades using current FDA standards.
Besame is totally cruelty free and never tests on animals, and some products (loose powders, pressed powders, and cream rouges) are vegan.
I tried the lipsticks in Victory Red and Noir Red, as well as the loose powder in Vanilla and the blush in Raspberry.
The blush is a reproduction of a color from 1930, Noir Red also from 1930, and Victory Red from 1941.
I really love that the website provides swatches on a variety of skin tones- I think that kind of inclusivity is highly important in the makeup world.
All of the products perform extremely well- the lipsticks are creamy, pigmented, long lasting and smooth. The tip is squared, so application is a breeze. Plus, the little gold tubes are metal and look so so amazing on your vanity!
The blush is a very unique, highly flattering and super versatile. I can wear it with almost any look and it adds instant life to a look.
Again, the packaging is adorable, the lid twists off to reveal a lot of product.
The loose powder is very brightening and looks great under eyes to add that awake look to your face. It's almost similar to banana powders- but very fine milled and so smooth.
I really love the products I've tried and can't wait to try more. I think Besame Cosmetics provide a really interesting, unique perspective on makeup today and I think it really adds that special something to any collection.
No. It's not.
I totally get why you would ask that, but no.
I reached out to ViaBuff after seeing them all over Instagram and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
First, all the fuss- totally warranted. They offer facial sponges and body sponges, as well as a handle attachment for their body sponge.
I was able to try out a few types of their sponges- each color is for a different type of skin- and I'm in love.
Green is mild and for normal skin and people with Eczema.
Pink is moderate and for dry skin, ingrown hairs, Keratosis Pilaris, and people who regularly wax.
Purple is extra gentle and works for oily skin, acne and those with Psoriasis.
They also offer blue which also gentle and white which is clinical strength for very dry skin.
Apparently, they're dermatologist tested by Dr. Libecco at Akron Skin Center, which is great.
First, it's important to note that I (luckily, knock on wood) my skin is relatively non-problematic. I can get occasional stress/hormonal induced acne but I'm not usually particularly dry or oily- very normal.
For years (like eight years) I wouldn't take my makeup off before bed, I wouldn't moisturize unless I was particularly, specifically dry, and I sure as hell wouldn't bother exfoliate or any of that shit.
Lately, I've been getting a lot better at skin care- not for any specific concern, but more along the lines of just being better to myself.
I've been (trying) to take my makeup off before bed, using moisturizer (and primer) and even doing a lot more face masks.
This winter, I've had some very uncharacteristic residual dryness by my nose. I've been somewhat actively trying to take care of it but nothing really was doing the trick.
I tried exfoliating, a few moisturizing masks, heavy moisturizer, etc. Nothing was working and I kind of shrugged it off. Slightly annoying, but I truly didn't really care.
When I first dried the ViaBuff facial sponges, I thought what the hell and went at the sides of my nose with the pink sponge- specifically meant for dry skin- and to my complete delight, it totally took care of all the dry skin.
See- no dryness. I'm wearing Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Full Cover Foundation Concentrate and Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème with Tarte ReCreate Silicone-Free Anti-Aging Primer (which is meh) and I moisturized with Philosophy Hope Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 last night after exfoliating with ViaBuff and Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel this morning before makeup. This photo is after about 6 hours in makeup, and you can see, it's not breaking up, looking caked or dry.
It was a small problematic area, and not a dramatic issue, but I saw clear results and I can attribute them completely to the ViaBuff facial sponge.
I tried the body buff (half pink half green) in the shower and it also did a remarkable job exfoliating my legs and body.
Finally, one of the coolest things about ViaBuff is that the sponges are machine washable- that way there's no nasty bacteria buildup and the sponges are able to be cleaned regularly. Makeup stains and grossness are eliminated. It's great.
For those interested in washing them, ViaBuff recommends washing with whites, with no bleach or fabric softener and letting the buffs air dry.
I'm a huge fan of ViaBuff and I'd also like to give a shoutout to their website- it's actually a great resource with relevant, accurate information about many skin concerns including ingrown hairs, acne, Eczema and more.
The information is unbiased and sourced from places like Mayo Clinic and scientific journals.
Many of these Instagram famous companies are all about selling product and don't really give a shit about if the products work, real people's concerns, etc.
I've found that ViaBuff does care (did you know they're actually a family business?) and they make products that work.
I also really love that an 18" long handle can be purchased for those with limited mobility - it's a very inclusive idea and I applaud that.
I was able to snag a discount code for Bruised Knuckles readers at ViaBuff- if you enter the code "BruisedKnuckles20" during checkout, you'll receive 20% off for 30 days.
My only impression of Kylie Cosmetics were a few YouTube reviews about some of her lip kits being half-empty. Since there are often problems with a company when they first start releasing products, this incident didn’t diminish my optimism toward the brand. I ordered one full-size lip kit (Love Bite), an item from the Birthday Collection (the Birthday Edition Mini Mattes), and an item from the Holiday Collection (the Holiday Edition Mini Mattes) to review.
Love Bite (below), a rich plum brown, is retailed at $29.00. I love dark red and brown lipsticks, and loved the rich pigment of this color when I saw it on the Kylie Cosmetics instagram feed. Both the pencil and lipstick are easy to apply.
*It is worth noting that after I first opened the pencil, the cap became very loose, and falls off in my makeup bag all the time.
Would I purchase this product again? I would definitely purchase this product again, although I would probably look for the matte single instead of the full kit. I hardly ever use the pencil, and I haven’t noticed a difference in the lipstick whether I use the pencil before applying or not.
The Birthday Edition Mini Mattes bundle, retails at $36.00 (or $6.00 for each lipstick). Shades in the bundle are Exposed (warm mid-tone beige), Dolce K (deep beige nude), Koko K (pale pink), Candy K (warm pinky nude), Kristen (warm brown berry), and Leo (true deep burgundy). This bundle is the best deal for testing the colors without spending the full $29.00 per kit, or $14.00-$17.00 per individual pencil/lipstick.
Similar to Love Bite, the minis are easy to apply and smell amazing. However, I realized I was given two Dolce K’s in my pack in place of an Exposed lipstick. I love Dolce K, so this isn’t a problem, but it is frustrating that the bundle wasn’t complete.
Would I purchase either bundle again? I really liked the bundle idea, which provides the buyer with the opportunity to test six lipsticks before investing in the full size products. It allowed me to try a few colors I knew I would really like (Vixen, Leo, Moon, Ginger), find colors I didn’t think I would like (Dolce K), and reaffirmed the colors I did not like (Kristen, Angel). In this respect, I saved money by purchasing the minis.
Overall, I don’t think I will purchase another lip kit from Kylie Cosmetics. The lipstick formula is long lasting and fragrant, but the lipsticks are very dehydrating. While Jenner’s collection isn’t necessarily expensive, there are cheaper dupes available of the same or better quality (many from Colourpop and NYX).
In my opinion, Kylie Cosmetics’ lipsticks are not worth the hype.
More photos below!
I recently purchased a few new ColourPop products to test out from the fall season. Read about them below, and check out ColourPop for even more amazing products!
I’m not a huge fan of blush, but wanted to try Bardot ($8.00) (a rusty copper red) after its release this fall. I’m still hesitant to wear it, but I like it better than traditionally pink or orange blushes.
I heard a lot of hype around Churro ($8.00), one of ColourPop’s most popular highlighters. Since purchasing it a few weeks ago, it has slowly integrating into my everyday products. It’s darker and more golden than the highlighter I usually wear (Mary-Lou Manizer from the balm cosmetics), but wears really well in place of blush.
If you know me, you know I love ColourPop eyeshadows. While I mainly purchased Zingara ($18.00) (a foursome of Paradox, Elixir, Seeker, and Jinxie) to try Paradox, I really love the set. Paradox is my favorite, and pairs really well with Seeker, Jinxie, and Drift ($5.00) (an individual shadow I purchased) to create the perfect red-eye look.
I ordered the Bangin’ Brunette ($5.00) eyebrow pencil to try. The color is a perfect match to my natural hair color, and the pencil is thin enough to draw perfect lines. However, I think I will invest in the brow pot when the pencil is empty for easier use.
Friday ($6.00) is the black lipstick I’ve always dreamed of. Similar to other ColourPop lipsticks, it applies very easily, but is also difficult to take off at the end of the day. While it flaked a little, it was less dry than I expected.
I ordered Mama ($6.00) to test how well I liked wearing a burnt orange lipstick. While I personally am not a fan of the color against my skin tone, the formula is still consistent with other ColourPop lipsticks I use. I recommend this color for anyone with a tan or dark skin tone.
Lastly, I received Dropout ($6.00) for free after ordering more than $10 worth of products, which isn’t very hard to do on ColourPop. I usually prefer matte colors to glossy ones, but I still occasionally wear Dropout when I don’t feel like wearing a heavy matte lipstick.
Recently, I've been so bored with the fragrance world. This overarching lack of sincerity oozes off the shelves and shelves of perfume bottles, and though I have my few tried and true scents, I rarely shop for fragarence. I really don't need some salesgirl dying for a commission telling me how the notes of grapefruit really mingle with my spirit or that amber is truly your spirit scent.
Obviously, I'm writing this because I'm no longer bored. Phlur is the coolest company in the game. With a short list of scents, ethically sourced ingredients, and fragrances based around feelings and vibes, I'm obsessed.
I was lucky enough to be able to work with Phlur to try out a few scents, learn about how their company works, and what makes a good perfume a truly good perfume.
With only six scents, Phlur sounds like a hit or miss fad type website, but I can assure you that quality is their first concern. Each scent is curated carefully, notes are considered, and a scent is created. Founder Eric Korman is quoted saying that "Fragrance is an experience, not a product" and I fully agree.
Not only do we naturally gravitate towards scents that we feel fit us, but once we start wearing those scents, we build memories around them, memories that can be triggered by that same perfume. When I traveled across Europe, I wore Chanel Madamoiselle, and that scent is attached to so many lovely memories, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Scents are choices, and are something I'm very deliberate about.
The first perfume I tried was Hanami, which Phlur calls "an aquatic floral tableau, with a reverent subtlety and a warm embrace." I can feel the warmth in the scent, and I really pick up on the fig, sandalwood, and maybe notes of coconut? I'm no perfumer, but here's what Nathalie Benareau, the actual perfumer said:
"We believe there’s no wrong way to smell a fragrance—even experts sometimes can’t identify what’s in a particular scent. That said, if you’re craving notes, then who are we to stand in your way? Which brings us to the notes for Hanami: fig, white florals, hazelnut, and sandalwood. 'It’s an intellectual scent, minimalistic. It’s like that person that has so much style, you can’t help but look.'"
Phlur is also incredibly sustainable, which is huge for me. Apparently, "prized for its distinctive scent, natural Indian Sandalwood has sadly been overharvested to the point of near decimation. That’s why we use lab-developed scent molecules that are indistinguishable from natural sandalwood, and are totally safe for skin and the environment. Better for the planet, better for you." How awesome is that?
I really love putting on Hanami about midday, when I'm in need of a pick-me-up, and the light notes really energize me and put me in a more playful mood.
Next, I tried Moab. Moab is insane, in the best possible way. I have never smelled anything like Moab before- and I'm so into it. Phlur says "it's arid spice seduces like the vastness of the west, emanating an invigorating dry heat." If that sounds like bullshit, it's not.
According to Phlur: "Moab is our translation of the feelings inspired by the desert’s sun, wind and openness. Next time you take a long drive out West—or just wish you could—this is the scent that will bring back those memories further on up the road. We believe there’s no wrong way to smell a fragrance—even experts sometimes can’t identify what’s in a particular scent. That said, if you’re craving notes, then who are we to stand in your way? Which brings us to the notes for Moab: long pepper, clove, vanilla, jasmine and tonka bean."
This is almost an understatement of Moab's power. The scent draws people in, builds suspence, mystery. The scent feels tactile, strong, powerful. The perfumer, Ralf Schwieger, says "Some things smell so natural, they are just building blocks crying out loud to be combined.” I think this is a really cool way to describe it, and I would even go so far as to say that Moab feels inevitable.
Just like how the sandalwood in Hanami was ethically sourced, elements from Moab were as well (and this theme continues through the other four perfumes in Phlur's collection) Phlur comments:
"We seek out ingredients that are grown and cultivated with innovative, environmental methods and exclude raw materials that damage ecosystems. We've made tough but important decisions when choosing between natural ingredients and those made in a lab. Our products are free of known skin irritants, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary stabilizers and animal products. We expect the best out of ourselves and our partners. And we think you do, too." When we live in an age where you see scandals about cat piss being in major perfumes, this is really great to hear.
Apparently, "resin from Snowbell (aka Styrax) trees helps give Moab its deep, complex body. We support our partner Mane’s efforts in Honduras to ensure that the traditional, sustainable art of harvesting resin is passed down to newer generations, and in their efforts to protect wages and fair trade in the region. Better for the planet, better for you."
Another thing I love about Phlur is slightly surface, but the bottles are perfect. They're sturdy, white opaque cubes with magnetic lids (!!!!) and not only do they protect the scents, but they look amazing on a vanity. The minimalist vibe gives me life. Plur says "Simply put, light damages fragrance. Our bottle was designed to block out external light to ensure that your fragrance is as vivid and enticing as the day you got it. Fragrances in clear bottles require stabilizers and dyes to make them look more appealing. Our opaque bottles mean you don’t have to spray unnecessary chemicals on your skin. Our bottles are made of 20% recycled glass, the highest percentage possible in the industry. This differentiates us in a business that still largely uses virgin flint glass."
This attitude is so welcome and admirable, and isn't the only place Phlur is doing good. "In addition to using responsible ingredients, we believe in supporting initiatives that have a lasting impact on people's lives. That's why $5 from every bottle sold is donated directly to a cause we have faith in." These include the Central Park Conservancy and The IUCN Red List.
Check out Phlur here, and take a look at some photos below.
I'm obsessed with Essence's new Me & My Umbrella collection. The colors are subtle yet fun, and everything is mega pigmented. The colors play well together and can be used in one look, or all separately as the statement piece of a look. The special edition packaging is truly precious, and I love the design on the blush. The contour stick provides a soft, bendable warm contour, and the highlight is subtle but glow-ey. This collection has been a staple for me on the dreary, rainy fall days, and I highly suggest you check it out. Everything is super reasonable, but great quality.
I don't often get my nails done, but when I do, I almost always get gel. The gel looks exponentially better, and lasts at least two weeks. When Essence Makeup sent me some of their The Gel Polish.
When you use their base/color/top coat system, they really do look and feel like gel. The polish lasts way longer than regular polish, and looks way more professional. Once, I even slacked and used only the base coat and one coat of the color, and it still lasted ages (though it didn't look like gel without the topcoat.)
My favorite is the shade 'so what?' because it's super versatile and looks great with everything. I've found it to be a fun neutral, yet still unexpected during fall.
Essence Makeup just released a new limited edition collection! Me & My Umbrella focuses in on sculpted mattes and bright blush for a little color in the winter months.
The collection includes a blush, lipstick, contour kit, brush, and two eyeshadows. The colors are curated to be subtle and neutral, with pops of emphasis.
I love the umbrella design pressed into the blush, and I know Essence makes great matte lipsticks, so I'm sure that will be great. I also love the special packaging on everything with tiny adorable umbrellas everywhere.
This line is going to be super versatile and wearable, but also adds some fun. Check it out here.
Beauty is Boring was founded by makeup artists and photographer Robin Black as a new way to view makeup and beauty products and trends. Beauty is Boring offers “a visual adventure into aspirational yet inclusive beauty through the eyes of top artists, industry insiders and distinguished experts.”
What we put on our faces.