Luxebeaute's Blog

May 3, 2017

Spotlight on: Makeup Monsters Cosmetics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 10:14 pm

You want an amazing liquid lipstick in quirky uniquely fun packaging? Are you into bold and offbeat aesthetics? Do you need your lip colors in a wide variety to fit whatever mood you may indulge in on any given day? Well, Makeup Monsters is likely the answer to your vanity woes.

Makeup Monsters is an indie cosmetics company founded in 2015 in Spokane Washington. From their webpage:

“At Makeup Monsters, we embrace individuality and exude fun in everything that we do! After-all, in the end, makeup should always include fun. Our brand focuses on creating broad color selections to suit anyone’s tastes and high quality formulas that will leave a lasting impression. Our products are made with the highest quality ingredients and are vegan and cruelty free! When you purchase from our brand, you’re not only supporting a small business with a big heart, you’re becoming a part of a family that encourages individuality in the makeup community and stands against the testing and using of animals for beauty…

I purchased 6 of their matte liquid lipsticks ($15.95 each): Redwood, Cornucopia, Nefarious, Blackened Heart, Just Add Marshmallows, and Hook, Line, and Sinker. Every one of these applied and wore like a dream. One swipe coverage, completely opaque with an even finish, and I got no feathering. These wore 6 hours+ and through meals with minimal fading.  I did not find these to be overly drying at all – in fact, I felt they were quite light and comfortable. The formula is of a great and comfortable consistency as well – not too watery or thin, and not overly thick. Transfer is minimal, to the point I barely took notice. TBH, these liquid lipsticks are a wonderful alternative for those (like me) who have given up a certain brand’s LL’s for ethical reasons [AKA he who shall not be mentioned by name]. Matter of fact, the formulation and consistency, some of the colors, and packaging is incredibly similar to “you know who’s”, almost to the point I wonder if they share a manufacturer. The color range of these is impressive; while I stayed in the fairly neutral-esque zone (flesh, browns, bricks, and greige), there is a wide range from unique fun brights to neutrals and much in between. Full disclosure: The more I wear these MM liquid lipsticks, the more impressed I am. While Stila is still my #1, MM is only a hair behind.

If you are a LL fanatic or addict, and you are looking to support indie brands, you cannot and will not go wrong giving this brand a whirl.




May 18, 2016

Artisan Beauty Product Review: Amrita Aromatics

Filed under: Cosmetics,Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 7:58 pm

Yet again I was lucky enough to receive a lovely package for review from Amrita Aromatics (Northampton, MA.), an amazing artisan Indie Company which specializes in unique fragrance, facial product, and lip treatment creations.

Company Description: Amrita Aromatics & Apothecary is a small artisan line of pure botanical creations by perfumer and herbalist Ananda Wilson. Each item is carefully crafted completely by hand with a deep investment of creativity, inspiration, love, time, and over 20 years of skill and practice. Every product is all natural, utilizing synergies of wildcrafted botanicals, handmade extracts and preparations, carefully sourced pure essential oils, absolutes, attars, and exquisite rare aromatics. Many hours of inspiration and critical thinking is given to each creation. I am continually inspired by nature, trees, water, art, rhythms, dance, music, myth, and life phases. Working with plant aromatics is my devotion and specialty; with a knack and nose for blending unique and highly praised, sacred, therapeutic perfume blends – both perfectly simple and evocative ones as well as deeply complex, sophisticated, and rich compositions. They are designed to elicit pleasure medicine, amplify intentions, catalyze sensory bliss, self care ritual, emotional support and seduction, and to ignite your imagination with a powerful terrain of scent imagery and narrative.

If you love facial oils or are looking for a miracle in a bottle, look no further than the potions created by Amrita Aromatics. As someone who suffers from extremely dry skin, trust me when I state my opinion here is no exaggeration. I tend to rotate between Isis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil ($125.00, 1 oz), Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil ($52.00, 1 oz.), Life-Flo Pure Rosehip Oil ($6.00, 1 oz.), and Acure Certified Organic Pure Argan Oil ($11.00, 1 oz). I use these products nightly, every night, without fail and they are wonderful products with amazing results – yet somehow Amrita Aromatics has managed to magically create some sort of amazing mystical blend which knocks the above oils out of the winning circle. Amrita Aromatics carries 3 staple facial beauty oil Elixirs: Precious (Argan, Turkish Rose, and Red Tea), Aromatic (White Sage and Blue Chamomile), and Neroli (Green Tea). While these may sound like somewhat simple recipes, they are actually complex blends which include skin loving botanicals and additional oils. These absorb beautifully into the skin and leave no residue or excess oil to lay atop the skin; it is as if your face is drinking this oil down to its deepest layer. After using these, I awoke to glowing and baby soft skin and I didn’t even bother to put any foundation or powder on. While I would be hard pressed to say one is better than another my skin seems to favor Precious, which is specifically made for skin toning and anti-aging ($36.00, 1 oz.). For those who prefer a lighter oil or are normal or oily skin types, Aromatic will work wonderfully for you.

I am a lip balm addict. So much so that I embarrassingly admit that my night stand holds lip treatments ranging anywhere from good ole fashioned $1.00 Chapstick to $75.00 Sisley Paris and all in between. So when I opened my package from Amrita Aromatics to find Cocoa Rose lip balm I was “woo hoo-ing” on the inside (hey, I was at work so I couldn’t perform the dance of joy which usually ensues when I package of goodies arrives!). Cocoa Rose is made of deeply moisturizing butters and oils, and is an excellent blend of Cocoa and rose which leaves a unique combination of scents to linger. Ordinarily I am not a fan of chocolate type products nor would floral on my lips appeal to me – however, there is just something about this combo that works. When I use this scented lippie, I feel like Victorian royalty. After using Cocoa Rose for a week straight, I can honestly say it is a much better workhorse than my two faves: Natura Biss Recovery and Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Balm – Which came as a VERY pleasant surprise to both me personally and my wallet. Cocoa Rose is indeed heavily scented and therefore won’t appeal to those who are smell sensitive. Yet the end results (IE dry lip solution) were so great I suggest trying out one of their other lip treatments. Amrita Aromatics carries Cocoa Rose ($9.95 ea.), Absinthe Vanilla ($12.00), and The Kissy Fit Set ($22.00) which includes Crushed Rubies Lip & Cheek Glow (Vedic Spice), Smoked Coffee Kiss (Lapsang Souchong Tea & Coffee), and Jasmine Cooling Lip Tingle. Amrita Aromatics also offers membership for their perfume club, which often gives special discounts on limited addition releases.

I have nothing put positives to say about Amrita Aromatics. This is an up and coming artisan beauty brand in which blows many high end skin care lines away. I highly recommend you give them a try.



Photography by Ananda Wilson, Marlaina Donato, all rights reserved. Photos used with permission. 


April 4, 2014

Artisan Fragrance Review: Therapeutate Parfums

Filed under: Cult Beaute: Artisan Product Reviews — luxebeaute @ 2:45 am



I recently had the pleasure of reviewing a variety of scents sent to me by Rodney F. Hughes, Artisan Parfumeur extrordinarre and mastermind behind Brooklyn based Therapeutate Parfums.

These are incredibly sophisticated scents along the lines of Chanel #5 and Cartier Panthere (RIP, Le sigh…). They are also composed of interesting and lavish base notes which remind me of both the classic femininity utilized by Cartier or house of Guerlain and also contemporary niche scents from Tokyo Milk’s Dark line. Yet for all of my comparisons here, Therapeutate Parfums has definitely placed its own unique sassy spin on fragrant and heady spices. Basically Hughes has found a way to refine exotic and sophisticated scents, creating a unique and chic balance between the masculine and feminine. Think floral and Smokey infuses from Morocco then brought back to an underground jazz club to add notes of tobacco and leather and you almost have it…

I was sent a total of 5 creations all listed below. [Description taken straight from the website]

V5DKA ($224.00) V5 is based in Amber and Cistus (labdanum). Its historical accord is rounded out by E.I. Sandalwood and Vanilla. Black Currant (Cassis) gives V5 its dark and alluring quality. It is then refined with the florals of Champaca and Jasmine, Guaiacwood which lends headiness and color to the overall body of this fragrance.

OSIRIUS ($180.00) Osirius is a sweet juicy fragrance that has a spicy heart which dries down to smoky florals and woods. Its sillage is very long lasting. Notes: Rosewood, Rose, Rosemary, Palmarosa, Geranium, Mimosa, Cognac, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Ylang-Ylang, Guaiacwood, Cinnamon, Oakmoss, Violet, Galbanum, Pepper, Tuberose & Cypress. 

 2010 NYC SERIES: L’AUTOMNE ($180.00) Japanese citrus, very herbal with floral hints weaving through in varing degrees depending on the season represented. L’automne is more smoky with Amber and it very warm to the nose. L’hiver is cooling down effect with warm sparkling, powdery untones peeking through it citrus head.

Bespoke #3 ($210.00) A bold and alluring body that is essentially “amber” with compliments of rock rose. The middle is sweet marjoram, cardamom and coriander lends to a heart of green. Sandalwood (bois de santal) grounds and holds this blend together as well as add a sharp, rich jolt of energy.

 775EX ($170.00) This classic fragrance is naturally oriental. Mardarin, Jasmine, Vanilla, Amber and Spikenard. It is golden in tone with a very heady citrus on top that dries down to a powdery star dust finish.

My Opinion

These are wonderfully crafted scents, chock full of exotic botanicals and are of an obvious high quality. There is absolutely no trace of alcohol to these at all. However, they do all bare a powdery finish end note to them, which takes a minute for me to get used to and never really fully dissipates. These are really animalistic and fiery, definitely evening scents. There is a very masculine quality to these which in my opinion makes them quite appealing as a unisex cult type yet classic product.

Out of all the scents above in which I tried, I must admit, I never really got any strong floral notes out of these. I got plenty of powder, grass and moss, incense, Amber, wood, and pepper but no sweetness at all. I was really hoping for a balance of light and heavy along the lines of Givenchy for my own personal use; however don’t take that as a negative! I just happen to personally be a Coco Mademoiselle gal as opposed to a Channel #5 one. I could definitely imagine Catherine Deneuve or a modern day Bardot in a cloud of Therapeutate Parfums.

Although they are not exactly something I would personally gravitate toward, I can see how many others would. These are powerful and complex with a really unique mysterious finish to them which lingers nicely. If you happen to be a fan of CC#5 or 22, Cartier Must, YSL Opium, Mariella Burani, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, or Shalimar than I highly suggest you check out Therapeutate Parfums.

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