day to night

On September 4, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Minimalist gold jewelry brand AUrate asked me, how do you transition from day to night? Great prompt. How to take a makeup or style look from day to night is such a useful tool to have in your belt, and one so often used, so relevant. It’s something I determine on a case by case, outfit by outfit, mood by mood basis but, thinking about it, there are a few underlying principles that simplify the process.

Let’s take this typical summer day look to start.

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A loose, high waisted pant, neutral color palette, casual bag and sandals, jewelry either small or natural in material (leather, bone beads), light, natural makeup. This lip is Colour Pop lip liner in Frida, so pretty. The blush is Becca Pamplemousse, a vibrant pink that adds instant life to the face. I love these linen pants, old school H&M.

This necklace is a constellation piece I picked up from an Ebay shop, but I like any dainty gold piece like this with a simple white shirt. Something like this clean gold bar necklace  is a great substitute (I appreciate that AUrate pieces are solid gold, which I splash out for when I can), which is the kind of piece it’s great to layer but which I also love alone, a slight glimmer to draw attention to the throat and collarbone, accessories in themselves.

For a day to night transition [if I am indeed bothering to change anything at all] I think about amping things up somehow. I often remove the more delicate or casual elements of the look and replace them with a bolder option. Sometimes, rather than remove, I’ll just layer more on. With makeup, where desired, I darken and intensify (or add where before there was nothing).

I like to change small things in a big way, and leave the big things as they are.

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Heels, an easy one. Shoes are a quick way to dramatically shift to the mood of a look. These heeled huarache sandals (Cole Haan) still feel summery but suddenly I seem a lot more dressed up, even though the basic foundation of a simple tank and trousers hasn’t changed.

Jewelry a little bigger, a little louder. Still in line with the look but with more weight, literally and figuratively heavier. That statement ring added in. Lips darker, blush brighter, eyeshadow (only wearing mascara on the eyes above, Amaterasu Silk Mascara combined with L’Oreal Clump Crusher) and liner. This is MAC Chili lipstick, a great rusty red, Becca Wild Honey blush darkening things up to balance out the lip, Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow in Bette to give a little interest to the eyes, and a purple Tarte liner under the eyes.

The liner is a little obvious, actually. I would have been happier here with the lip/blush/shadow only…but it’s fine. It’s getting the job done. A clutch in place of the tote. I’ll give my hair a shake as well.

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That’s pretty much it. I can fit everything I need to make the transition in my tote or even a medium sized bag; a few makeup bits I’d be dragging around anyway, some jewelry I can easily carry with me, a spare pair of shoes…nothing too tiresome or time-consuming, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

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What about you, any tips to make that day-to-night transition seamless?

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golden bronze

On March 21, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Though my taste is all over the place, were it necessary I would find no difficulty in choosing a favorite style of makeup; the archetype of the golden goddess wins it for me. There is some competition from Old Hollywood Glam and Classic Pinup, from Ethereal Futuro-Avant Garde and Effortlessly Chic Parisienne…but the Golden Goddess, healthy and glowing, aligned with other personally powerful figures like the Amazon and the Pioneer, has a voice that speaks to me with purity and directness, nothing lost in translation and everything just as I would have put it myself. How could I not want to aspire to such a radiant state?

Here are a few products I’m enjoying at the moment for a minimal version of this kind of bronzed, glowing look (manifestations span the range from a touch of bronzer and highlighter to dripping gold, we are working steadily toward the far end of the spectrum).

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Becca blush in Wild Honey, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, Tom Ford Cream Color in Spice, MAC False Lashes. Brushes: Morphe E4, Japonesque fan, NARS Yachiyo, Morphe M441.

I was a bit late to the party with Becca’s Wild Honey blush but (despite the hype, which is just as likely to turn me off as get me interested) I really do enjoy it. A bronzer and blusher in one, essentially. There is an extremely fine shimmer that doesn’t read explicitly on the skin but imparts a pretty sheen. For a clearer punch of glow I layer on MAC’s Soft & Gentle, which I cannot imagine finishing in this lifetime. Love to use this with Japonesque’s fan brush, a brush with relatively few bristles of a good stiffness (contrast with the jumbo fan brushes from Morphe or EcoTools with fluffy, tapered bristles, great for bronzer but not accurate/small enough for highlighter, or the e.l.f. fan brush, which is too flimsy and yielding for me).

A few indulgent purchases represented here! Having missed out on the previous limited edition cream shadows from Tom Ford I hustled to pick up one of the new shades just added to the permanent range. I pat this on with my finger and sheer it out with a tapered blending brush. This did crease on me after 4 hours or so the first time I wore it (solo, with nothing else on the lid), so I like to set with eyeshadow. Everything creases on me, basically, so I don’t hold this against it in the least, the ease with which I was able to get a smooth, uniform application…money well spent. [For the record the Charlotte Tilbury cream shadows last longer on me, will have to have a cream shadow smackdown later.]

Another treat to self: the NARS yachiyo brush is my favorite blush brush, full stop. It’s known for being excellent at a sheer application of highly pigmented brushes, but I use it for all blushes, and happily with highlighters and bronzers as well. The Morphe E4 angled blush brush I picked up recently and have been liking for blushes with friendly pigmentation levels. In this case I used it to apply the blush as a bronzer (and I used the yachiyo to apply the blush as a blush…if that makes any sense). I love those looks that are effectively one color in varying concentrations on the face. Reminds me of the great Kate Moss look by Charlotte Tilbury on Lisa Eldridge’s channel, wherein she uses the Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate palette to sculpt the cheeks, jaw, and forehead, and a nearly identical cream color on the eyes. Such great information in this video. It’s a shame that her own videos aren’t as informative as this guest one created so long before she developed her own channel.

MAC False Lashes mascara I like so much more than I anticipated. It’s funny because I recently decided (after doggedly working through a deluxe sample) that I can’t stand Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. False Lash, ostensibly supposed to look like false lashes, provides a nice, separated natural look, and They’re Real, ostensibly supposed to cause some confusion as to the authenticity of the lashes, looks clumpy and rubbish and not at all like fake lashes. What is the opposite of separated in lash-speak?

But, you know, what does it matter to anyone but me? I have decent lashes and don’t usually like a clumpy or super voluminous look, so I’m not the target audience.

Lashes are so personal. Faces are so personal.

Picked up a few things from Morphe, which will show you soon enough.

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the gladiators

On August 16, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Damn I love a gladiator sandal.

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These are the Cypress gladiator sandals from Free People, which carries a bunch of appealing gladiator styles, if you’re on the hunt. This was the year I finally found the knee-high gladiator. No support in the footbed so some kind of supplemental padding is in order, at least for me, but I’m pleased with their badassness overall.

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What is it about the gladiator? The ancient Greece connection, for sure. Basically those statues in the MFA? That’s exactly how I want to dress. Actually literally exactly. Sometimes.

Then there’s the encasement of the foot and possibly also leg, which can be pleasantly intricate or, equally pleasantly, simple, all while conforming to the shape of the foot (not masking or disguising the silhouette of the human foot but still enhancing it). The classic natural leather (or, these days, at least made to look natural). This kind of timeless design is invariably versatile, easily holding its own in a much more formal context. I don’t think I care about that, though…I just like them.

Have you seen designs from the brand Ancient Greek Sandals? Fantasy sandals.

[Then, also, Scandal.]

Free People Cypress gladiators

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Often I think my profile looks bizarre, I think because I hardly ever see it. Strange how different a face can look when you just shift the angle a little.

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Quick face breakdown: Kjaer Weis Desired Glow cream blush (love), Becca shimmering skin perfector in Opal (also love, but I like a lot of other highlighters as well. I love highlighter. I should write a post about that…), Benefit Gimme Brow, Milani blush in Luminoso (a little too shimmery for some purposes but a lovely peachy coral, famously popular in the youtube/bloglands), Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Amber Haze (so easy to work with, a great eye crayon), MAC Cream in Your Coffee lipstick (a new one, so good! My new favorite neutral, more mauve than I expected it would be from swatches), Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation (so, so good for a natural, light-medium coverage, only detectable where my skin was too dry), Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder. I’m late to the powder party but I believe in the power of powder now. I still don’t always wear it, but I believe.

Oh! And a few individual lashes (Ardell, short bunches), which, at least in person, make a massive difference. Kind of a pain at my bottom-rung lash application experience level, but they make a difference.

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From the front, though!

Express hi-rise cutoffs, Madewell belt, Skagen watch, Free People sandals, the wooden earrings I think from a street vendor? Other stuff thrifted. A peasant blouse that isn’t too…forced, is hard to find, but so worth it when you do.

This look is quintessential summer to me: white shirt, jean shorts, great sandals, minimal accessories.

Free People Cypress gladiators, summer essentials

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Love how mannish this watch, yet not comically oversized on my in fact not-really-that-small wrist. I am often wearing one Skagen watch or another.

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the ponytail

On October 6, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

The ponytail is one of those options not really open to me. I just get a pouf. If I’m lucky, a symmetrical pouf. I let go of this hairstyle sometime in high school and haven’t really looked back.

But then! I was wig shopping one day and found this ponytail extension thing…the acquisition of which, I would argue, is looking forward. There was never much chance of matching my hair color, and zero chance that I would straighten my hair to approximate texture of the hairpiece (it can be done but it’s really not worth it, I don’t even have the tools anymore), so this was always going to be conspicuously unreal. That doesn’t bother me especially, though. I understand there’s a tacky element…but I cannot care. I’m entertained.

[And that’s what really matters here.]

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I couldn’t just get a normal ponytail, either. No. I got a diva-length one. I almost don’t even like it. But then…I kind of like it. It’s so…not me.

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Instagramming my sneakers.

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Weird, huh?

Aaand back to reality.

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This is a great vegan leather tote bag from Free People. Good all-purpose size, comes with a few matching pouches, nice texture (smells a little chemical at first but this wears off). I’ve gotten this as a gift for a few people now.

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These earrings are stunning golden pink ripple pearls from Pearlescence.

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Some of the stuff on my face: Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Underage Red, Kjaer Weis cream blush in Desired Glow, Becca shimmering skin perfector (as a highlight), Geisha Ink mascara, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess liquid bronzer, Urban Decay 24/7 liner, Tarte smoldereyes pencil. Oh, wearing eyeshadow from the Kat Von D Monarch palette, too.

The Kat Von D liquid lipstick has great staying power but I found it tricky to apply, the wand is quite long so it was easier to control on a lip brush. Dry, but this is how it stays so well. There are drawbacks to how instantly opaque and stubborn this color is (I went through a lot of cotton buds cleaning up the edges), but I think it’s worth it for the peace of mind, as this stuff isn’t budging for anything less than a proper remover (or any oil). I think I like the Stila one a bit better, but this is good. Love this color, too.

The Kjaer Weis blush is pricey but gorgeous. Organic, impeccable ingredients, Danish design. A very natural color, effortlessly even payoff. Bizarrely heavy packaging.

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the docksiders

On August 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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It’s times like this, throwing on a bikini top and a few other scraps of fabric and heading out the door…I know I’m going to miss summer when it’s gone.

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I recently met CPL for drinks and she showed up with a cap on and her hair natural and big, escaping all over. The inspiration was immediate and irresistible. I knew right away that I’d found a new application for my hat.*

*Actually I was pleased with myself for several hours after this inspiration follow-through, and bought another hat. This hat.

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A pretty horrific case of hat hair awaits me later but I’m not thinking about that now. I’m thinking I should wear hats like this all the time

And she wears glasses. The look didn’t seem complete without them.

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I picked up these navy boat shoes in a Timberland sale earlier in the summer and knew I wanted to see them with crisp white shorts. Having realized the vision, it’s hard to want to wear them with anything else. Cut-offs. Straight leg jeans, maybe. Maybe.

Interesting how certain items can become instantly paired with others in the closet and remain together, an exclusive clique, for years at a time. How easily this happens.

An anklet would be good here. Next time.

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 Timberland Classic Unlined boat shoes, Seafolly Neo Tribe bikini top, Paris Blues shorts (ironing would have paid dividends here but I couldn’t muster up the will to do it), thrifted tank, American Apparel braided belt, French market basket.

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This is similar to the recent natural look, a slightly amped up version of  my everyday look, but with the Stila liquid liptick in Beso as the star of the show (as it is also here). Cannot say enough good things about the formula and this color is sumptuous.

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