girl about town

On July 3, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

A vibrant pink lip pairs so well with florals.

floral summer dress

MAC girl about town lipstick

Madewell mira pumps

Love this sage green suede.

Anthropologie straw hat

Straw hat from Anthropologie, pumps and belt from Madewell, thrifted dress. On the lips: MAC Girl About Town with Lipstick Queen lip pencil in Hot Rose as a base (great pairing). Wearing the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in 123, which is fantastically like skin, and Stila convertible color in Tulip on the cheeks. MAC Rosemary & Thyme eye pencil under the eyes, a really pretty mossy sage green with a bit of shimmer. MAC brow set in Bold Brunette on the brows, which is a few shades darker than my actual brows and SO GOOD. Just what I was looking for as far as a natural-looking (and quick/easy) way to distinctly darken my brows. Dark brows and blonde hair are so great anytime, but especially for summer.

floral summer dress

x

Dolce Lover

On June 29, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been in the mood for pinks lately, of all shapes and sizes, as it were. Blue-pinks and coral pinks, vibrant and restrained, nude and bubblegum, sheer and full-on. In Dolce and Gabbana Beauty’s matte lipstick range I found this deep rose shade, Dolce Lover, and was immediately attracted.

Dolce and Gabbana beauty, NARS, Charlotte Tilbury powder, Clarins concealer, Benefit Gimme Brow

CoverGirl Clump Crusher mascara, NARS blush in Gilda, Benefit Gimme Brow (light), Clarins instant concealer (2), Charlotte Tilbury powder (2), Dolce & Gabbana beauty matte lipstick in 624 Dolce Lover

Depending on the light, this lipstick looks on the verge of red in the tube, and on the lips as well for that matter. It is, though, a deep, vivid rose. This is an incredibly pretty color, and a great matte formula. I put this up with Charlotte Tilbury’s matte lipsticks, maybe Tom Ford’s as well. Creamy and not at all drying, that kind of incomprehensible formula that does kiss off on things, on account of the creaminess, but that, somehow, bizarrely, is always still on your lips. A beautiful formula.

IMG_9642

I’m also wearing (in addition to the pile above) the it Cosmetics lip pencil in Cherry Plush and a little Guerlain Terracotta bronzer. Oh, and the Glossier sheer tint. A really clean face with a bold lip, which I always like.

I’ll have to try to go into the universe of red as it exists for me sometime, especially as embodied by lipsticks and other lipstuffs. I make so many distinctions between shades, often—even after discovering so many wonderful shades—on the hunt for something….something a little different. Something I can’t quite put my finger on. The color of this tomato or that flower. This pink, hovering on the boundary between pink and red, has a vibrancy that some reds, however, glam, sometimes lack for me. It’s matte but not in way that cancels out light like some black hole on your face. It responds to light. There’s also the charm of it being more truly opposite my eye color on the color wheel. Red is opposite green in a basic crayon sense of those colors, but pale sage green is opposite something more like fuchsia, dark pink. Messing around with a color wheel is a great exercise when testing out complimentary shades for oneself, always keeping in mind that it should be completely ignored in many, many circumstances. And maybe also keeping in mind that really any shade on the opposite hemisphere (not just directly or even narrowly opposite) will have a similar effect of throwing your target shade into relief. [Ex. A peachy cheek makes the green pop, too, or the green makes the cheek pop. Either way.]

Then we have the unlikely pairing with NARS Gilda blush, a rusty pink (or we could call it a blushing apricot, cactus flower) that isn’t much talked about for reasons unknown, so lovely is it. [Similar to NARS Luster but more pink.] It’s recommended, for good reason, to keep lipstick and blush in the same color family, it gives harmony and unity to the face (I sometimes just use the lipstick as a cream blush). A warm blush paired with a cool lip is jarring, distracting…but who is to say this is inferior to harmony? Somehow the distracting quality comes across more in photos than in person, in person it seemed less remarkable a clash. Actually this would be better if the clash were more dramatic, I think.

Ah well.

Next time.

Maybe when I get around to showing you the little mountain of pink lipsticks I’ve picked up recently.

x

rainbow lips

On June 27, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

rainbow lips lipstick lovewins

MAC lip pencil in Cherry, OCC lip tar in Banjee, Kryolan Aquacolor (yellow), OCC lip tar in Chlorophyll, OCC lip tar in Butch, Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Plushie

#lovewins

x

we like: Colourpop Cosmetics

On June 22, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

After months of hearing good reviews I recently picked up a few things from Colourpop Cosmetics, an L.A.-based brand that focuses on offering vibrant colors and quality formulas at a relatively low price point, ex. $5 eyeshadows and lipthings, $8 blush.

colourpop cosmetics

The first thing that stands out about this brand, aside from the fun color range, is the texture of these shadows. They are powders with a creamy mousse-like texture, such that if you press down on the shadow you make an indentation. [One upshot of this is that they can dry out.] I haven’t had much time to play with them yet but essentially if I want intense color payoff I treat them as a cream shadow and use my finger to pat the color on, and if I want a sheer wash of color I treat them as a standard powder and use a brush. Either way, quite a friendly texture, and the shades I have are all quite blendable. Some aremore pigmented than others – note the swatches, which are all a single swipe.

colourpop cosmetics eyeshadow

Straight off I give them mega points for their metallics, which, when used wet or with fingers, come off as true liquid metals. I picked up one of the eyeshadow sets (because I wanted a couple of colors that were only available in the set, annoyingly), Mondays in Malibu, and a few loose shadows as well.

colourpop cosmetics mondays in malibu

colourpop cosmetics shadow swatches

Mondays in Malibu: Sand Swoon, Gecko, Snakebite, Mirage, Hot Tamale, Prickly Pear

I wanted Hot Tamale (rusty brown) and Snakebite (gorgeous coppery gold), though Prickly Pear turned out to be lovely (lavender-mauve with gold flecks) too. Mirage (pale metallic sage) pretty as well, though not sure what I want to do with it. The others are nice but not shades I go for, and will likely find better homes.

colourpop cosmetics shadow swatches

Animal, Get Lucky, Game Face, Mooning

From the remaining extensive offerings I picked these four, which would make a great little quad, I realize now. See what I mean about those metallics? And Animal, that desert flower shimmery peach/coral, is STUNNING.

colourpop cosmetics blush pegacorn

Matte blush in Pegacorn

I picked up the blush in Pegacorn, a pretty rosy fuchsia. This blush is not as pigmented as [most of] the eyeshadows (thankfully, otherwise one would need to be quite careful), and doesn’t seem quite as…dentable, but the pigmentation is uniform.  I was looking for an aggressive pink for summer and this definitely hits the spot. It has a powder finish with the added virtue of being blendable with fingers. If you typically prefer cream blushes, as I often do, this is the powder blush for you.* I apply with either fingers or a duo-fiber brush and get a dolly flush.

*Or just get the Chanel cream blush…which is so, so beautiful. Wonderful formula.

colourpop cosmetics lippie stix and liner

Toucan, Grind

Of course I had to try a couple of lip products, so I picked up one of their Lippie Stix in Toucan, a vivid matte coral pink, and a Lippie Pencil (creamy, really nice) in Grind, a bold plum. Haven’t had a chance to wear these yet but pleased with the formulas so far, which are creamy and pigmented. Holding out for the matte liquid lipsticks they are releasing next week, which seem very promising indeed (all you Stila Stay-All-Day and Kat Von D liquid lipstick lovers, you may want to investigate). [N.B. have since heard negative reviews about it being difficult to apply two coats of the liquid lipsticks…still kind of want to see for myself.]

colourpop cosmetics

If you want to pick up some brights for summer, this is a great way to do it: these products are solid value for the money.

Are any of these colors jumping out at you? When I saw Snakebite swatched I jumped right over to their site. Give me a true metallic gold and I’m yours.

x

smell this: Molton Brown re-charge black pepper edt

On June 20, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Here is a lovely summer scent for absolutely anyone. Molton Brown products smell reliably good, and this is an easy favorite. Re-charge Black Pepper edt is an easy-going fragrance, light and inconspicuous but still interesting. The bodywash* enjoys a solid following on scent forum basenotes, and while the eau de toilette isn’t as powerfully peppery, it is still a wonderful, light spicy citrus.

Molton Brown black pepper re-charge edt

The opening is strong here, bright lemon and bergamot with leafy, herbal underpinnings of basil and cilantro. I also get a touch of sourness, grapefruit. The fragrance begins softening almost instantly, warming up with cardamom and what is for me a vague spiciness. The notes list cinnamon and nutmeg (and not black pepper, interestingly) but the cardamom is all that comes through clearly to my nose, which is absolutely fine by me: I love cardamom.

I suspect the sandalwood, along with the various spices, contributes to the sense of pepper (which is definitely there, in a lively, refreshing way rather than a heavy barnyard way – real life black pepper often disappoints me). Sandalwood comes in a number of guises, some of which feature a zesty edge not unlike pepper, nutmeg, ginger, galangal and such. The sandalwood is legible for me very early on, maybe even (or do I imagine it?) in the topnotes.

Molton Brown black pepper re-charge edt

This wears down into a soft sandalwood/patchouli with a cardamom/minty brightness. The sense of grapefruit stays around for me for quite a while as well. The sandalwood is more prominent than the patchouli but that earthy, loamy sweetness comes through as time goes on. Trying to pin down the impression of the sweetness, the best I can do is equate it to a pale incarnation of a weighty spring floral, like magnolia. That is, it doesn’t smell distinctly of patchouli, but it bears the marks.

The formulation is light enough that it could almost be a cologne, though I do find I am able to detect it many hours later, if only slightly, as a beautiful soapy sandalwood. Men, men, men, please go smell this. This is such a great fragrance for those who think they don’t like fragrance. It’s unobtrusive, easily leans masculine without being obnoxiously so, and can be spritzed carelessly without concern of overdoing it.

Molton Brown seems to emphasize its masculine offerings (or, at least, department stores seem to do this on their behalf), and while they do have great shaving and toilette stuff for men (intended for men, I really like that Ultra-Light Bai Ji Hydrator as well), it’s a shame that this means women often overlook the brand for anything more than handwash (their handwashes smell so good).  Ladies, Re-charge Black Pepper would smell great on you, too.

x

*I have the bodywash as well, and while I think it smells awesome in situ, I don’t notice that it hangs around on me. Bodywashes never seem to, for whatever reason.

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