how to: orange lips

On March 19, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I’m planning a number of orange lip looks for spring and summer, and I’m clearly not alone. Orange lips are trending.

Here are two recent makeup tutorials I liked, each outlining what to keep in mind when going for an orange lip and offering some good product options.

Lisa, of course, we love every time:

And this look by Nic from Pixiwoo is great, too, underlining what a killer pairing a bright lip and bold (yet not overly defined) brows can be.

There are so many species of orange – so many shades, so many textures and grades of opacity (here are a few of my favorites, and I have a few new oranges I’ll share later), this look is a lot more versatile than it sounds in the abstract.  If you go for a bolder shade, things to think about when wearing any bold lip apply. Going to go for it?

I think it’s worth considering. I quite like Nic’s suggestion of just wearing a new look around the house to get yourself accustomed to the idea. No one has to know! (see 2:34) Little by little it doesn’t seem so outrageous anymore.

image via

belt it

On December 12, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


I like a herringbone pattern, especially in charcoal.  I got another faux fur collar as I wanted some contrast here (and generally find it difficult to resist white things).





oxblood suede (♥!)

Yes, my coat has perfectly functional buttons, and I do like that boxy boyfriend look achieved by simply buttoning it as well as the casual look of not buttoning it at all, but why not add a belt? You know? Just why not?

I’ve been randomly adding a belt here and there where no belt is needed, and it opens whole new world of possibility. Many of my favorite uses of the belt are entirely cosmetic. I am coming around to investing in a really excellent belt (in any style, but with something a bit special about it), which belt can then carry the day, regardless of what it is in fact belting. I’ve observed that a nice dress with a supbar (cheap, plain, ragged, uninspired, etc.) belt yields a supbar effect, while a subpar dress with a luxe belt yields a luxe effect. I think the conclusion here is obvious.

Did I already talk about this? This feels familiar…but perhaps it was only in my mind. Perhaps I am building on the initial idea to invest in a belt and going on to say that I would then wear that belt in all manner of unconventional contexts. Belting a coat that has no need of a belt (or which already has a belt!), belting a scarf, belting a sweater or anything bulky, having a belt slung at the hips independent of any assigned loops, wearing multiple belts.  Much like the artful placement of a superfluous zipper (or like jewelry, which realm of decor a pointless belt approaches), a purely aesthetic belt can immediately up the style factor, especially one that is well chosen. Indeed, the more out of place it is, the better it will function as a feature of interest. It can also up the femininity factor, the waist being a definitive part of the female silhouette, and the highlighting or exaggeration of the waist a much-considered matter in the fashion and beauty industries (not to mention all of the feminist and body issues bound up in it and the zones above and below it by association, i.e. ratios). The waist is powerful, and so is the belt.


Alorna herringbone coat (thrifted), faux fur collar (eBay), bon chon gloves, Old Navy sweater, Express leggings (I was skeptical about these at first but I think if I wear them and stare at them a bit more I’m going to like them), Cole Haan pumps, Michael Kors belt (thrifted). On the lips: MAC RiRiWoo. Oh, and here are the textured gold sphere earrings I was waiting for. They are heavy but they will do.


 RiRiWoo (♥!) Like I said, the color is stunning, ultra saturated and ultra matte. 



the bold lip

On October 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Here’s a peek of the face situation for a look going up later in the week. I wanted to dwell on the lipstick for a moment.


A bold lip is great for autumn/winter, yes, that’s true…but perhaps you’ve noticed how it’s always great, all the time?

I followed the principles of this tutorial by Lisa Eldridge (who we love*), which counsels neutralizing any redness in the face before going for a dark red or bordeaux lip – as any red or purple tones will be highlighted and amplified next to it – then tips for how to approach the task, which can indeed be daunting.

*here is another favorite lip-centric tutorial

I colored in the lips with MAC brick pencil and then went in, straight from the bullet, with MAC Dubonnet lipstick, a beautiful dark claret. Part of the idea of the pencil is to work out the shape of the lips with the more precise tip, which you then follow with the lipstick, coloring inside the lines, as it were. You can do corrections with a pencil – most people’s lips are somewhat wonky, mine definitely so – but I don’t often bother. It’s a lot of work (I find it really hard to figure out which is the part that needs fixing, my face is too familiar),  looks even stranger than the actual shape up close, and…these are my lips. They look nice and human this way. Part of wearing bold lipstick is doing your best and then embracing that harmonious state of mind wherein you let these things (and all the other things that can go wrong) go. OR I go for that vague hazy stain approach, where you pat on the lipstick in a cloud of color, blot most of it away and leave the edges fuzzy: much more forgiving, and it has its own charm.

It takes me kind of a long time to do a bright/bold lip color…I am pretty slow anyway, and like to fuss and fiddle with the intensity and the edges (which are still wonky, after all that…). But I ask myself, do I want to wear it or not? I do, I do, I do.

the turban

On September 19, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

The impulse and the will to carry through an unorthodox style are no casual matter.

                                                                        – Kennedy Fraser


I finally had a chance to try out a turban look I’ve been mulling over for a few months.




This is just a raw piece of fabric a few yards long that I’ve wrapped and knotted and wrapped and knotted. Nothing remotely special about this technique (I just fiddled about until I liked the shape) but type ‘turban wrap tutorial’ into YouTube and prepare to be amazed.

I love the clean look it gives, similar to the look of a bald or very closely shaven head. It’s austere but can be very striking with angular features and big accents. The austerity is the key to its charm, for me.


IMG_7132We are loving this dress, and for the obvious reason. The view from the side is nice, too, with the cut such that the back is completely open rather than framed.

IMG_7188I opted to go with bold jewelry but the turban is enough of a statement on its own, to be sure. I don’t think I have quite enough eyebrows for this turban. I think I’ve demonstrated, though, how truly I needed this necklace.


IMG_7230Open back maxi dress from GoJane, Kara Ross bracelet, antique necklace and earrings, Gian Luca gladiator sandals, mirror aviators from eBay, on the lips: NARS lipstick in Heat Wave.


♪ ♫ Blackalicious – If I May ♪ ♫


 p.s. The winner of the pearl giveaway, chosen via, is Penelope Tree! Penelope, I have messaged you as well, please contact me with your address. Thanks to everyone who participated!