a few summer essentials

On June 17, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

It’s finally summer proper here in Boston, which means it’s going to be miserably hot and humid in about 8 minutes. Isn’t it a little annoying how one is meant to be so happy about summer in our culture?* Autumn so superior, at least in the northeast, at least for this coat-lover.

*Actually, marketing-wise, we seem to meant to be thrilled about all of them in turn. But with summer it is especially egregious.

Well, summer has its good points. The rise in popularity of orange and coral beauty products has always been one of my favorite parts. Sunglasses. A thinly veiled excuse to get new lipstick. Late sunsets.


Here are a few of my favorite things at the moment.


Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil, Glossier Rose balm.com, Dior Glow Maximizing Primer

I made this little ceramic tumbler, by the way! Will have to tell you more about extracurricular activities…

Loving the Korres face oil, kind of an oddly old fashioned rose scent but I like it. A little pricey but not so much that I hesitate before slathering (key). I’m one of those people putting oil on under or in place of moisturizer, so I have different types for different skin moods. This is a great morning oil that sinks in and feels nourishing but light. Getting a solid dewy base by layering the Dior primer over top. The Avene Cleanance Expert moisturizer is the light daytime option when I want a gentle skirmish with my skin rather than an all-out battle. This tiresome skin. The Glossier balm is nice and moisturizing with a hardcore castor oil/beeswax base. This scent has a surprising hint of oud along with the rose that makes it quite strong, likely not everyone will enjoy that. This is a thick ointment/balm that reminds me a bit in texture of the beloved Bite Beauty agave lip mask, though the more nourishing Bite lip mask is better for overnight or treatment situations.

summer essentials

MAC lipstick in So Chaud, Cargo Blush in Laguna, Ray-Ban Clubmasters

So Chaud is fairly new and so has that sheen of novelty that makes me like it all the more. This is a lovely orange-red, distinctly orange but with enough red to anchor it and make it quite wearable. Matte but still really creamy and pleasant on. Fantastic summer color, I’ve been eyeing it for a few summers running now and not disappointed. Cargo Laguna is a deep, vibrant peachy coral. They aren’t much talked about but the Cargo blushes are excellent, if comically large.

I think we can blame the longing for Clubmasters on the completely beautiful Priyanka Chopra, the lead in Quantico, of which I saw just enough episodes to deeply consider this style. Then, shopping, I stumbled across completely gold ones! Not offered in the U.S.? Sorry, can’t find a link.

This is an old favorite, the current anthem. Along with the amazing new Justin Timberlake, which is just stuck in my head.

Fresh fruit and vegetables are another serious favorite. I always eat a good amount of these but I’m really outdoing myself these days, consuming astonishing volumes of citrus fruit and avocado.




the docksiders

On August 25, 2014 by theseventhsphinx


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.


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.



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.


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.


 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.




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.



Spectacle island

On August 24, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Last week I took a day trip to one of the Boston Harbor Islands with my sister (who has a cooking blog with lots of excellent recipes). Finally a little bit of a beach.

Supposedly called spectacle island because it is shaped like a pair of spectacles. Which it is not.

[slideshow_deploy id=’3598′]

Cormorants drying their waterlogged wings, bees on butterfly weed, those lovely rustic anti-erosion fences that always look the same from one dune to another, winding through the tall beach grass, a wild turkey with a very dim sense of self-preservation, tides converging at a nearly perpendicular angle, the view of the city across the water, sitting in the sand in my bathing suit






[slideshow_deploy id=’3626′]




I’m with the bandeau

On June 3, 2013 by theseventhsphinx



I have so many bikinis, one has to justify owning them somehow. Pairing a bandeau with a high-waisted skirt (or pants, or shorts) makes it so much friendlier, so much more wearable. There is still a fair amount of skin on display yet the effect is, to me at least, conservative. Well, let’s call it summer conservative,  compared to a full abdominal display.





I sometimes enjoy when a photo turns out blurry as the image then really comes down to the silhouette, which is a preoccupation of mine. Whether or not I like a look often comes down to the overall silhouette, which it is in a way easier to see from a distance (literal or figurative), without the distraction of the details. This shot has the ideal amount of blurriness. Probably there is a technical term for that?

[UPDATE (one option): bokeh, n. a Japanese term for the subjective aesthetic quality of out-of-focus areas of a photographic image. Thanks, Chris.]




Goorin Bros. hat, marimekko for anthropologie bikini top, American Apparel pencil skirt, gladiator sandals from Italian eBay boutique*, vintage Timex watch, Scotch & Soda wrap bracelet, Spektre sunglasses.

*I was looking for gladiator sandals in a very specific style (leather straps of a certain width, arranged with a certain degree of complexity–not more, not less–with ankle straps, not shoddy, affordable…) for about four or five years before I found these, and they meet all of my criteria.