loving: Oi oil

On May 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been using Davine’s Oi Oil for about 4 months or so, and I think it’s been long enough to be able to say with confidence: it’s love.

IMG_9172This is what I would call a serum oil, a slightly viscous liquid that has an oil-like effect on hair in terms of providing gloss and moisture while being extremely lightweight and unobtrusive on the hair. Really liking this serum oil tech across the board, from skincare to haircare. It tends to absorb quickly and lacks the grease factor that straight oil has. I don’t actually mind the grease factor, my hair is dry enough that it can take an astonishing amount of oil without appearing greasy, and I still enjoy many oils…but still, the texture is really nice, and the shine factor is subtly brighter and superior to that which oil provides. I use it both on the ends of the curls and to tame frizz in the front. Curly folks, I recommend this to you especially.

It was recommended to me after I complimented a friend on her very long and glossy, slightly wavy hair, the health and shine of which she largely attributed to Oi oil. This is lightweight enough to be suitable for all but perhaps the most delicate, fine hair types. Even then I think it could be OK on the ends.

All this, though, is nothing compared to how fantastic this stuff smells. Davine’s, well done. Evidently the active ingredient here is Roucou oil, also known as anatto, derived from the seeds of the Brazilian achiote tree. Wikipedia describes the scent as ‘slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg,’ which I think is a good beginning. I would add that there is a nutty richness, the aroma of an exotic (unfamiliar) nut, and an intensity of fragrance I associate with proper parfums. A gourmand scent but not in an explicitly edible way. I don’t experience it as a strong scent at all in practice, you use such a tiny quantity of the product that the effect is much softer than sniffing the bottle, but honestly either way, gentle or full-on, this smells incredible. Quite unisex, too. Maybe especially good on men. Full marks.

IMG_9170

Here, too, is a fittingly beautiful comb, the Mason Pearson Rake Comb. Handcut teeth, made in Switzerland, high quality celluloid, etc. Not a bad price point, and basically just a wide-tooth comb…but such a lovely one. My hair is always getting presents. Totally worth it.

x

layered

On April 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

The recent wig preoccupation prompted a good question, something like: do you ever change up, you know, your real hair?

And the answer is…not recently. I was in an auto-pilot growing phase, I suppose.

But what a good idea!

So, I hacked at the previous situation (which was nearly all one length with minor shaping) a bit, adding some rounding layers, until I got this:

IMG_8958

I essentially wanted the widest part of my hair to line up with the highest part of my cheekbone. Or, ideally, with the intersecting point of the eyebrow latitude line and an imaginary line that is the continuation of the upward sweep of the cheekbone. Right around there.

IMG_8965-2

Nailed it.

My face is basically square, or like a pentagon, and it’s large. Somehow my instinct is to have large, round* hair, to put the hair in proportion to the face. This (or a little bigger than this, actually) is the ratio that seems natural, harmonious, and to slick the hair back is to introduce severity via disproportion. Seems like we must all have some sense of this point of harmony, a point where you stop blow-drying or cutting or what have you, and decide it’s just right (or you don’t stop, and regret).

*I kind of like it as an offset pentagon, actually, I realize! The hair is a little boxy as well, but in a way that doesn’t line up with the face. If you follow… I like the squareness of my face, and don’t feel an urge to soften it as one might see in diagrams of hairstyles for different face shapes or something.

On another note, let’s give a shout out to purple eye makeup. This is basically…every purple product I own in a big smudgy mess. Recommended. The key is to keep smudging the color lower than seems advisable. Keep going! This is even conservative. And then I should have blended with a bronzer-type shade to make it even more sultry and massive…but one runs out of time.

Purple looks good on every eye color, though. Especially brown, I think. Certain shades of purple make me long for brown eyes.

IMG_8903-2

Pearls of Joy Tahitian pendant, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Love Liberty (love this shade and formula, more on these later – FINALLY available in the U.S. but only for one month evidently).

IMG_8941

x

white on white on white

On June 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_4543

So…I got more than one wig. I knew I wanted an asymmetrical bob like this, and, though it looks dyed (that is, the color doesn’t look natural), it is actually not far off my hair color and is as such not too bizarre looking on me. At least, not if you don’t already know what I’m meant to look like. This was my second attempt at finding an asymmetrical bob style, the first being much darker and simply awful. [Not easy trying to select the style or the color of a wig online, and I can’t recommend it. The return policies are as unforgiving as you would imagine.]

What do you think? I really like it.

The difference is so transforming. I doubt I would even be recognized, or not right away. I love this about fashion and makeup and all the subcategories of style. You can achieve a look that nature wouldn’t allow, liberating you from yourself while (potentially) at once expanding your idea of self, multiplying the variations of self.

IMG_4508

White, white, white. I can’t have too much white. And yes, we know how I like bikini tops (you’ll recognize this one from this bikini of the day), and white buttoned shirts.

This is my idea (rather, one of my ideas) of a great summer uniform. I have this theory that as long as my navel is obscured, it isn’t able to create that unforgiving halo around my stomach that it really does seem to.

IMG_4536

Victoria’s Secret triangle top, Banana Republic button-up, Ray-Ban aviators, Paris Blues shorts, HairDo Angled Cut wig, vintage Timex watch.

IMG_4537

x

 

weekend distraction: Erykah Badu

On April 28, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Given a choice between the demure and the bold, Erykah Badu routinely goes for the bold.

I aspire to this pattern.

1f4dd16931ed3696bf7da54b6679526d

2f7937e39743e97a2642ed5ab1ad26e7

Where to begin…9556350f0dd47254b1576ad7eedb080e

 

The TURBAN!
1102c37bb5e0e8908fdea5ecd584d53c

048c133ad1f80ba4a00a5186bafb5faa

The attitude.fb75784e481267f0519da5124712f95b

The gold lips…the gold everything.

c17acddb491643a0a0f6bedfad8939cf

d5b2e7bb468af222b5e58cff268c1988

c854374c128545661ca840f44bf85d91

Love this shot.

[images via pinterest]

Here is a woman who is not afraid of making a statement, and with such elegance and sass. She is, as her new single with Janelle Monae proclaims her, a Q.U.E.E.N.

I imagine that she, like myself, as Frost has it, holds with those who favor fire.

She has me thinking that I should absolutely experiment with turbans and wondering…how big can my hair get now? Big hair and short shorts….such a great summer look. Also, can’t wait to show you the wig I just got.

into: hair oils

On April 1, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_2603

My hair is perennially parched, ultra-absorbent, and scoffs at standard conditioners. The answer: oil. Straight up oil.

I find that oil is the answer to many things.

[Though if your hair is fine, it would probably be disastrous to use the kinds of volumes I am using.]

So, I wash it (if it is a washing day), condition it, do a rough towel dry and then:

1/2 – 1 tsp. of a blend of coconut oil and Vatika, a coconut oil based hair treatment that you can find at Indian grocery stores†. It smells like coconut mixed with lemon and the rich, earthy scent of henna. It is not very expensive, but I blend it with the slightly cheaper coconut oil to stretch it and to up the coconut scent, which I love. These are both solid at room temperature but melt instantly upon contact with skin. Melted between the palms, I apply this generously to all but the first few inches of my hair (onto which I smooth the last remnants), and then comb out.

To the tips I add another custom blend. As with face oils, I just look for organic, 100% pure options, whatever looks good. The blend changes over time, as I just keep arbitrarily filling my little pump bottle (the Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment, which smells awesome and masculine and ambery, but which is not great because it has silicone* in, and is expensive, anyway, so I just use the bottle now) with whatever I have at hand, but it is something like this:

[it turns out I forgot to put a few in the picture…you will have to imagine them, or look at my post on face oils]

macadamia nut oil. 100% pure, the kind you would buy for cooking. This shows up in a lot of drugstore hair products these days, and it is not a coincidence. No distinct odor. This is the dominant ingredient.

sweet almond oil. Because it’s not too expensive and is ultra-nourishing. This is probably next on the official ingredient list, quantity-wise.

avocado oil.  Smells a bit like food…but only a bit. Avocados and avocado oil are good for most things relating to hair and skin. I also cook with this.

olive oil.  Also extremely versatile and generally good for hair and skin. And doesn’t have to be expensive.

apricot kernel oil. Why not? Provided the textures play well together, the more the merrier, with oil blends.

argan oil.  Just a few drops, to give the blend an air of luxury.

sesame oil.  Maybe a TINY bit, because it smells strongly of food, but it is great for skin and hair. Great way to use that inedible sesame oil you accidentally bought from the American supermarket, because six years ago you thought you would be fine not going with an Asian brand. [But it was not fine, was it?] Alternatively you can put it on your feet.

All of this is still cheaper than some high-end leave-in treatments I’ve tried, and I am so much more satisfied with these results.

[Soon I’ll experiment with castor oil as a base for a scalp stimulant. Castor oil is a lot more viscous than the oils above and doesn’t mix readily with them.]

Pin up into the loose, old-lady bun I’ve been doing lately, and air dry [always]. My hair IS actually oily after this. For hours. That is, if you touched it your hand would come away slightly besmirched. It doesn’t look oily, though. It glows with health, and is soft and hydrated. The curls are wonderfully defined and have good integrity (once dry I can move them around quite a bit before they disband into frizz). And I don’t want people touching my hair anyway.

 

† I cannot, however, recommend the jasmine hair oils you can also find in Indian grocery stores. Jasmine is a notoriously animalic, fecal essence (some of the molecules in jasmine and feces are nearly identical), and you will not smell like a flower garden.

* Silicone is not bad, really, but its effects are cosmetic only, and you have to wash periodically with clarifying shampoos to remove build-up. I avoid it because I want a genuine sense of the health of my hair, and I want to nourish it, not just create the effect of nourishing it. It’s in so many products now, though.

Pages:12»