the casual red lip

On May 23, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I never get tired of jeans and a t-shirt. High-waisted or low-rise, v-neck, scoop, or crew, it’s the quintessential casual combo.

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The great thing about the unobtrusiveness of jeans and a t-shirt is the influence the other elements of the outfit suddenly gain. You can look slovenly or ultra-stylish; it’s all down to the accessories and peripherals. How could anyone who loves accessories pass up such a chance to let them shine? I dressed up the simple base with beige d’orsay pumps, pearls, and a belt. Belts can be so effective.

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And a casual red lip like this is so great, so throwaway. Even better with sneakers and tousled hair. An ultra glam red lip is all well and good, but the unexpected, tossed-on red lip is this delightful surprise. Lisa Eldridge recently did a tutorial on this kind of casual glam lip (all red lips are a little bit glam, no?), which I recommend along with the rest of her channel.

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Tom Ford Love Lust blush layered over Chanel cream blush in Affinité with the phenomenal Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer— a stunning, metallic gold cream highlighter—on the cheekbones. Geisha Ink Silk Mascara, which is excellent, a densely bristled wand makes it easy to coat lashes in one or two swipes (I take some of the product off on a tissue before applying to keep the lashes natural). This small Canadian brand does wonderful eye makeup, I would also recommend their liquid liner.

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Don’t usually go for graphic tees but love this one.

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Sole Society d’orsay pumps, Express high-waisted jeans, J Crew tee, Madewell leather belt, Pearl Paradise lavender metallic freshwater studs, Skagen watch, Michael Kors pavé open arrow ring, Ray-Ban aviators. On the lips: Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk lipstick and NYX lip pencil in Hot Red.

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How great is this cocktail ring? Gold molded into coral with jade stones nestled in. Thrifted.

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playtime: Warby Parker

On January 18, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Several months ago now I went to help my sister pick out eyeglasses.

Ostensibly.

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#1. Hmmm. Not bad. Proportional. All about proportions, and I have kind of a big head, kind of a big face.

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#2. No. Somehow neither short enough nor wide enough. Too close to being square.

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#3. Wow. No.

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#4. Eeeegh. Not loving the round shape. Not at all.

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#5. Oh, wait. Not bad, surprisingly. Not quite what I would want but a decent fit. Balanced clearance around the eyes, correct spacing.

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#6. Haha. No, nothing doing.

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#7. Yuck. These vintage frames do not work well on me. Such a shame, I do like them on others now and then.

IMG_3873#8. Eh. Blah.

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#9. What’s with these little promontories? Those I do not like at all. But the overall shape…potential there, sitting too low. Oh, on the nails: Essie Ruffles & Feathers, on the lips: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Favorite.

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#10. AAAAHHH! Nooooooo.

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#11. I want to like a cat eye but it’s not quite…sitting right. Not bad, though. I don’t want to give up on the concept yet. And tortoiseshell I routinely like.

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#12. Ooooh. These I like. These are the Glossier x Warby Parker Aviators. I’m predictable when it comes to aviators.

Not that I need glasses.

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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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the leopard

On August 9, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

One does feel somewhat predatory with such decor as this going on.

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This Violent Lips leopard appliqué is not disappointing. It’s strange on the lips, yes. You know it’s there, and it seems like you can’t move your lips very dramatically without the appliqué cracking (not flaking off, just cracking in place – once it’s on, barring the intervention of oil or makeup remover, it’s not coming off). That said, I’m pretty impressed. I like. It’s a playful novelty, winning me over by being just what it promises to be.

[It’s a good thing, because I got a ton of them.]

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This leopard print is so unexpected. It’s distracting, and not only for me it seems, given the number of looks on the street. Any of the component colors alone would be unusual lip colors, and all three together are triply so. Unconventional, bizarre, bold…all the necessaries for a potentially fierce look, a look that says, I do what I want.

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I think we need some aviators here.

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This necklace features the Leo constellation (fitting, no?). Was searching for a small but not too small gold disc like this for some time, intended for layering with other small pendants on dainty gold chains with white v-neck shirts (you know how it is…). Gold and white is a favorite color combination of mine, and the uncontested favorite for summer. I was so attached to a white/gold/brown look here that I omitted blush and am only wearing bashings of bronzers and illuminators (yes, multiple, we’ll talk about that later).

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Victoria’s Secret tunic dress, bowler bag (eBay, thoughts on replicas here), gladiator sandals (eBay), Free People belt, Fossil Watch, Julie Nolan zodiac necklace (eBay, chain replaced), Ray Ban aviators.

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Used a combination of a gold Urban Decay 24/7 liner and a brown Tarte Smoldereyes pencil here, both great, soft, smudgeable, long-wearing formulations. Tried out an intriguing technique I picked up from this really interesting tutorial (so many techniques/perspectives here I hadn’t seen before) by Australian makeup artist Rae Morris. Applying the gold all along and down my inner corner/epicanthic fold was my idea, though. More dramatic and metallic in person. A little cat inspiration.

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earth tones

On July 21, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“Luxury is aggression dressed as fashion.”

                                — Handbags, Anna Johnson

Here’s one of my ideas of an ideal summer ensemble. Loose and light, ultra comfortable (as in the photo I was recently distracted by).

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I could wear earth tones every day.

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So, this is a (pretty good) replica of Vuitton’s Sofia Coppola bag.

It doesn’t often happen that I am interested in a high-end designer item, not in the ‘willing to fork over my money’ kind of way, anyway (just in a ‘how inspiring’ way). Usually it’s moot because I don’t remotely have enough money to consider it. I liked the design of this bag so much, however (and for so long. I rarely like bags, only very recently do I even own multiple bags), that I was open to that shady category, the replica. I feel no disloyalty to Luis Vuitton, as they have not lost a sale…I was never going to spend $7,000 on this bag, so this is all happening a little outside their reality (intellectual copyright is still very slippery in fashion, a difficult topic, but the pricing of luxury brands is also a difficult topic). I did look around for something similar, actually, but none of them were as nice as this replica, which is, in fact, quite nice. It is, satisfyingly, about exactly as nice as it should be.

The cachet of luxury items is by turns interesting and troubling to me. They are, to the cognoscenti, walking price tags; subtle or perhaps not so subtle announcements of superfluous wealth. There is something aggressive and potentially gauche (if not outright tacky) about this. Especially when the items are being worn not because they are loved for themselves, but because they are on trend.

In the best cases, though, they are truly sublime objects, beautifully constructed out of impeccable materials. So there is something aggressive about them either way, but there can also be about them something ultimately tasteful, reflective of excellent taste.

Even what is now a kind of middle market, the $50-80 pair of pants, say (even given that a savvy shopper would almost never pay the full price), I would not call inexpensive. That is not inexpensive to me, anyhow. It is difficult to be stylish on a true budget (remembering that this book had a lot of great ideas about it, though). Or, it is not difficult to be stylish (given a bit of time to slowly accumulate good pieces), but it is difficult to be stylish in a variegated way, to have many solid style options. One must be very resourceful and invest a lot of time to find pieces made of good material that have been treated well, designed well, cut well, which, in many cases, at least at some point in their existence, were relatively expensive. Good clothes shouldn’t be inexpensive (someone somewhere was woefully underpaid, if they are…and likely even if they are expensive this is still the case…), they should be an investment.

I do like the French (at least, most famously French) concept of a minimal, versatile closet, some 10-15 carefully curated pieces that can be mixed and matched endlessly with different accessories to provide variation….but I like too many things. I want to look like too many kinds of people. I completely agree with the virtues of this concept but I cannot fully embrace it with my style so in flux. Maybe one day. My closet does need culling.

Ahhh. This is why I have no money left.

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This is Nars Taj Mahal blush again. So good.

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The necklace is various incarnations of jasper, which is quite a chameleon and has long been a favorite stone of mine.

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Camisole from asos, lounge pants from hush, Anthropologie Amentum sandals, obi belt from Viktor Sabo, Breil Milano watch, bag, bracelet and necklace from eBay. On the lips: Lipstick Queen in Jungle Queen, a beautiful, sheer poppy orange-red. [The packaging is a stunning dragonfly green and it’s beautifully done all around.]

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