NARS Audacious lipstick: Vera

On September 22, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

You know that feeling when you get to the cash register and the total is less than your rough mental calculation? The simple appeal of unexpected good news? I had something like that feeling when I tried on the NARS Audacious lipstick in Vera for the first time.

NARS audacious lipstick in Vera

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This is a beautiful lipstick formula, for the most part, extremely pigmented and creamy. [Check out Temptalia’s overview for an idea of which shades to avoid here. It’s a shamelessly massive collection of 30 lipsticks.] This is a lovely deep burgundy shade, bold and saturated. I put a shade like this on and think, simply, yes. If only I could be so effortlessly pleased with more purchases. No doubts, no debating. Just yes.

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Paired here with MAC blush in Loverush, a plum shade given to me by the beautiful Marianne when we were getting ready one night and I admired it in her makeup stash. One of my favorite ways of losing and acquiring makeup. Hi Marianne!

For quick comparison, here it is (far right) swatched with (L to R), Lancome Rouge in Love 391N Fiery Attitude (long-time favorite) and MAC Rebel lipsticks. Distinctly ruddier than either of those more plum shades, Rebel is more sheer. That said, the effect of this color is similar, namely a vivid lip that offers an impression of darkness while maintaining a punch of brightness.

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This is not quite dark enough for full-blown oxblood territory* (it’s on that path, though), and remains in the color category of, say, a spectacular bruise. And of a lot of warm-toned red wines. It is still under the umbrella of an earth tone, for me, is a large part of this shade’s appeal (in a way that the plum tones are not). There is a presence of brown that I find anchoring. This is like the red equivalent of a nude lipstick, maybe, in my brain. Especially in its muted, blotted form it looks…not natural, but not so far outside the boundaries of natural, either. Perhaps the word I’m looking for here is the often drab ‘wearable’, though I’m comforted that many would contest the characterization. There is a purple element to it as well, too, so it’s a versatile shade.

*For which I have acquired the shade Olivia in this same line, a stunning oxblood. Fully autumn-worthy. Love that name, too (also really like the name Vera, incidentally). Going to have to get to that later.

Fades gorgeously, btw, and is very english rose when worn as a faintly smudged-in stain, which is a technique I highly, highly recommend trying out with dark/darkish lipsticks. Smudge it on with your finger (don’t want precise edges), blot nearly everything off, and see what happens. For that, though, the exact shade hardly matters, and nearly every red-like lip thing medium to dark in concentration will do something nice.

x

 

 

Oh SNAP

On September 20, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Joined Snapchat a few days ago and I’m still not entirely convinced it’s my kind of thing…like, maybe I can’t be bothered, and don’t have enough friends for this?

But I’m going to give it a chance.

It’s a low key way to experiment with video, which I’ve been wanting to do for years now but haven’t quite gotten my act together. [I am going to, though!] And I can see the appeal of the everyday life-moment sharing that it encourages more successfully, it seems, at least for me, than either twitter or instagram,* which have their own distinct uses, pros, cons.

username: seventhsphinx
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*Follow me on instagram! I love instagram.

It takes quite a lot of energy, from my perspective, to go to the trouble of this kind of sharing (perhaps I do not give so generously/unquestioningly of myself and my time social-media-wise as the younger generation?)…but I do enjoy seeing the storylines of my friends, and a few people I follow on YouTube who aren’t my friends but who are entertaining or share interesting data. Anyway, I’m sufficiently intrigued.

Are you on Snapchat? Do you love Snapchat? Can you explain to me if you chat a snap, or snapchat a snapchat, or are the terms interchangeable?

Follow me! Show me how it’s done! Let me know your username in the comments and I’ll follow you!

x

lipstick overview, Eldridge-style

On September 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve mentioned before how much I admire Lisa Eldridge, the famous British makeup artist who has done so much to bring professional knowledge and application techniques to anyone who wants to learn them with her YouTube channel. Not to mention I could listen to her talk all day long (and have…). If you’re into makeup I’m sure you know her already.

Lisa Eldridge

She recently posted a great video on how to choose a nude lipstick, similar to some videos she’s done in the past on other shade ranges, and I thought it might be helpful to see a few of her best lipstick videos rounded up. This is geared toward anyone who might be on the lookout for a new shade in one category or another, or who just loves lipstick, or who thinks they might love lipstick (with the right support and encouragement). She includes tips for shade selection, application, style of wear, and great product recommendations in all of these. I especially like the videos on red and dark lips.

What I find most interesting here is how she is able to speak in the abstract about the approach to shade selection, using herself as an example but expressing clearly and quite eloquently the thought process behind the personal task of zeroing in on just the right shade for you. I defy you not to want to try some lipstick on after watching these. Also, this color selection applies to anything you might wear, not only lip products.

Nude lips

The latest, and one of the trickiest.

Red lips

She shows so many iconic reds in this one. The application tips are especially versatile, with a range of intensities.

Dark lips

Lots of great autumn picks in here.

Bright lips

Don’t wait for spring

Orange lips

The recommendations are toward the end of the tutorial, which is a beautiful look, as a bonus.

Ways to wear

So good!! If you only watch one…watch this one.

Her channel is full of gems.

x

image via youtube

the floral A-line

On September 11, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Remember how rose-heavy floral prints on black backgrounds started popping up everywhere after Dior featured them several seasons ago? Three years or so later I’ve finally found a piece I like in this scuba A-line skirt from Warehouse.

Warehouse floral print

I’ve grumbled about floral prints before, how difficult it is for me to find a print of the desired scale and busyness, how often they tip into the realm of the distracting and garish. There is no one formula for me, either, as with so many things. Everything has to be assessed case by case. Those prints I do like, though, tend to offer a soft, pleasing wash of gently variegated color.

Warehouse floral print

This hazy, digital floral print I like for a skirt of this volume (meaning I think I would not like the print as well writ small, as shoes or a clutch, or a tank top, say), a classic, fairly full A-line meant to be worn high at the natural waist. Love where this length hits; a bit below the knee, just revealing the base of the calf. A retro length with a modern print makes for nice contrast.

Schutz Kutia pumps

These are new. We are loving these. Not unlike the Aquazurra ones we love, which is no coincidence.

Schutz Kutia pumps

This color!

pearls, hamsa necklace, Givenchy fuchsia irresitible lipstick

Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, NARS blush in Luminoso, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury Veruschka eyeliner, MAC false lash effect mascara, MAC brow set. Could argue that a peachy nude lipstick matching the pumps would have been fitting or even superior here.

Givenchy Fuschia Irresistible

This limited edition lipstick packaging was compelling, I won’t deny. This color is a cult classic, for good reason. 

Warehouse skirt (via ASOS), Schutz Kutia pumps, thrifted black silk tank, Pearl Paradise pearl 8mm studs. This little turquoise hamsa necklace I am loving (eBay). There are tons of variations with different stones, if you search (the best all seem to be from Israel). They are good luck, traditionally, though I mainly wanted something small and turquoise on a slender gold chain. I won’t say no to any luck that may accrue to me, however.

x

tennis whites

On September 6, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Surely part of my love for tennis springs from our abiding agreement on the superiority of white.

stella mccartney adidas tennis dress

This is one of the Stella McCartney for Adidas Barricade dresses. There are a few similar styles, slight variations on this, featuring fitted torsos, flared skirts, asymmetrical netting details and stylish cutouts. Most are straight dresses (nothing built in) that come with a matching white bra and shorts. It’s a lovely, basic shape with interest created in the texture of the netting and the asymmetrical seaming.

stella mccartney adidas tennis dress

This one features an oval cutout in the back that’s a nice surprise (which proved impossible to capture with my phone…).

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I appreciate this kind of designer collaboration. It adds a great injection of style to the host brand yet (usually) at a much friendlier price than the designer brand. So many compliments on the court wearing this.

adidas duramo watch

Adidas Duramo watch

Above: New Balance shoes, Wilson racket. There’s a white visor going on as well.

Anybody else watching the U.S. Open?