autumn lips

On September 29, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s time for some autumnally dark, properly bold lips.

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There is sometimes concern, when it comes to dark lips, that it can make the mouth appear smaller. It can (and often does) do that, but I think the contrast given in return can more than make up for this. In my case, having no cause to worry about appearing mean-mouthed anyhow, my mouth seems even larger to me, if only because attention is being drawn to it. I often have a similar debate when considering eyeliner under the eye – it can close up and shrink the eye, so the question becomes whether or not the overall effect is worth this drawback.  Perhaps it shrinks the actual eye but enlarges the perceived eye, resulting in a net gain. Or perhaps it doesn’t create any optical illusion of size or spacing but does something else interesting and worthwhile.

With such lips, a simple dark brow is often my preferred path. I didn’t really want to put anything on the eyes at all once it was on, and have only an ultra natural coating of mascara. I especially like bold lips when they seem like an easy afterthought, a vibrant touch to an otherwise unmeditated look.

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And mustard heeled huaraches. Of course.

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 Here’s the kind of deep v I’ve been meaning to wear all my life. The key here is this Topstick mens grooming tape, very sticky double-sided tape meant to work with skin and textiles. Meant for hairpieces, I guess? But I can see all kinds of applications. This is keeping the shirt where I want it. My new favorite wardrobe tool.

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This sublime bordeaux lip is thanks to Julie Hewett Sin Noir lipstick, really a phenomenal color. This is a full-on application but it can be blotted for a softer berry stain. Reminds me a little of Tom Ford Black Orchid but a bit brighter (I think?), and not as creamy in formula. The Noir collection is excellent, not inexpensive but it performs (and great gold packaging). Being a bit waxier than some of my favorite formulas (ex. Lancome Rouge in Love, Tom Ford, MAC creamsheen, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy, NARS Audacious) helps it to last that much better, so it’s a fair trade-off.

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I’ll have to share some of my other favorite lip products in this wine-worthy shade range. There are many.

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sourdough bagels

On September 28, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

My sister recently shared her sourdough starter with me and I’ve been thinking of baking projects to use up the portion that gets discarded whenever I feed it. I’ve been meaning to get into baking bread and other yeast-based comestibles for a while now, and so pleased with the results so far. The first project was a multi-grain boule* baked in a Dutch oven, and the second: bagels.

*

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I used a hybrid of this recipe from CHOW and one from Lauren Groveman, featured on an episode of Baking with Julia. I hadn’t realized how straightforward making one’s own bagels is. It’s not easy, exactly, as it takes a fair amount of time, but I had no trouble getting the dough to the proper consistency (which I have not at all found to be the case with breads in general). And these were so, so good. Worlds better than standard grocery store bagels and, freshly baked, basically better than any but those from specialty bakeries making them fresh each morning. Soft, chewy, not at all dry, tasting really properly of bagel (this thanks to the malt syrup, which recommend taking the trouble to get). Good if not better without toasting.

A fair number of steps, but, provided ample flour to prevent sticking at various points, not hard. I especially liked Groveman’s shaping technique, which involved pinching the dough into a neat ball and poking a hole through the center rather than shaping a rope into a circle, better structural integrity this way.

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You make the hole disproportionately large when initially shaping to allow for shrinkage. I hadn’t thought about this, and am pleased with this bit of data. That said, I made mine rather too large.

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They don’t look so promising for many stages of the process.

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Seed & semolina base, egg wash, coating of choice, baking stone, ice water below for steam.

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Semolina, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds.

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Trying to learn to make more and more of these foods I would normally buy pre-made. Satisfying. The making of breads I find especially meditative and comforting.

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all about that bass

On September 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Just want to be sure you know about this Meghan Trainor track, which I find eminently catchy, and which has a fine message for women of all ages. Pretty great video, too:

That’s all.

image via pinterest

the scuba jacket

On September 23, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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“What?”

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This is going to be a standard autumn uniform. Jeans, tee, scarf, leather jacket.

I believe it’s a combination of the high collar and the seam detailing allowing a snug, tailored fit that makes it a scuba-style jacket. Can’t get enough of these whiskey/honey/golden tan shades, and so pleased to break out my jackets again. I don’t know…jackets. I definitely have a thing for jackets. And eyebrows. And stubble. And Indian food. And peonies. And soccer players. And perspicuity. And where was I?

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Right: cognac, cherrywood, sepia, camel, caramel, rust.

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I am obsessed with the placement of this bun right now. My hair is in the same haphazard bun every day, usually, quick and easy, but I’ve been feeling sick of it lately (and have also lately realized, thanks to photos, that it is almost always crooked, though in the morning it always seems straight enough, and I admit I am baffled.). Want to wear it down more, sure, but something like this is a great sleek alternative, which is, though technically also a bun, fundamentally distinct from my usual bun, a totally different school of bun.

So much less severe than if it were even an inch lower, or at the nape of the neck. So much more mature than if it were an inch higher or more of a topknot. This is seriously what I spend my time thinking about.

Well. One of the things.

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Leather scuba jacket from Wilson’s (also wearing here), Express jeans, Converse, bag from eBay, Ray Ban aviators. On the lips: NARS Audacious lipstick in Annabelle. This formula is gorgeous, ultra creamy and pigmented. Completely worth the price tag in my opinion. Great color range, too. The scarf was a gift from CPL. Chosen very well indeed.

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Here’s another good example of the nosering blending in, I think. (Or maybe the earrings underscore it and I am totally wrong?) Did you even see it? I mean, notice it? It’s impossible to see oneself in a way, so I suppose I’ll never properly know, but, as with so many things, I’m pretty sure I’m right.

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via instagram

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pie time

On September 21, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I made a pie.

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I started with Dorie Greenspan’s apple pie recipe from Baking: From My Home to Yours, which uses tapioca as a thickener, and added a bit of cornstarch as I did not intend to use only apples. No no no.

I made a peach apple raspberry pie.

I think the best shot is on instagram. [Oh, I am on instagram now.]

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First a layer of Jonamac apples (similar to McIntosh, they baked very nicely) and raspberries, then a picturesque layer of fanned peaches, which took ages and which of course I forgot to document, and which really ought to have been the top of a tart, which is the new species of baked thing I want now.

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Then a tartan latticework crust, because I never can do things the easy way.

Brushed with milk and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

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So pleased with my pie, which turned out beautifully. I should really make more pie. I don’t have any rabid love for pie (excepting pecan pie, in which case it may be love), but I enjoy it. I think it’s one of those things I like making even more than I like eating, a satisfyingly involved, crafty process. It’s one of those things I am happy to give away.

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 The pie bird isn’t strictly necessary when the crust is open, but it’s just so cute. And, for what it is worth (this was my first time using it), the juices did not run over, and the crust was not a soggy disintegrated mess. 

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