the graphic print

On August 21, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

I like a geometric print now and then. This jumbo polka dot maxi skirt caught my eye recently and I’m enjoying the boldness of the print.IMG_4771

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Paired it with a simple white blouse and stacks of bracelets. A print like this is fun to pair with another print as well… a look I appreciate more than I feel compelled to wear myself. Loving the green mirrored Ray-Ban Clubmasters with these Pearls of Joy 12mm Tahitian Studs.

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This is the Jeffree Star liquid lipstick in Anna Nicole I mentioned a while ago. A stunning summer orange with just the right level of red in it.

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Nails are Essie Cute as a Button with the excellent Dazzle Dry basecoat and topcoat. Highly recommend Dazzle Dry, which was recommended to me by Wet Paint Nail Spa here in Cambridge.

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Stay cool.

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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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challenge: Weddington Way

On December 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bridal site Weddington Way invited me to participate in their December style challenge; creating a New Year’s Eve bridesmaid look with one of their signature dresses and accents from anywhere I like. This is a particularly appropriate challenge for me, as I’ll be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding on January 2nd! My first time…

[I’ll show you my dress situation later.]

The dress I chose was this one-shoulder number in navy lace (though they have many other styles):

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One can’t often wear lace from head to toe without batting an eye but weddings take place on a strange fashion plane of their own, with their own rules and standards. This means certain limitations, those imposed by formality, but, turning to the vast and wondrous field of formal attire, it means a special freedom as well. Generally I want my formal looks to fit into a ‘understated chic’ category. Not too pushy about it, not too elaborate, because I want there to be that elusive effect of effortlessness.

I partly chose the navy because I so rarely style cool toned looks. I always go for gold and brown, so here is a chance to do blue and silver.

Where next? Shoes, let’s say. I like the shoes they’ve used here, actually, silver (silver?) open toe d’orsay pumps. I’d also like to see grey or taupe suede pumps here. Suede and lace, so good together. I like suede anytime, really.

Or a little glitz, as in full glitter pumps (or flats, glitter flats so adorable). This is something I like about weddings, and something they have in common with the holidays: going full on with the glitter is more than OK.

Something like…

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or

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I want to see a pearl nestled in the hollow of the throat here, not really hanging down, as there is too much danger of interrupting the clean line of the dress across the chest.  I want to keep the necklace (or there could be no necklace, and some generous shimmer splashed on the clavicle, let’s go ahead and add that clavicle highlight either way) snug around the neck. A blue toned Tahitian pearl floating on a silver chain would answer well. I love this simple design from PearlsOfJoy.

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Earrings I also want clean and simple, either diamond (or CZ, or sapphire, or whatever) studs or non-hinged dangles or Tahitian pearl studs.

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9567fbf866abc7ce235157e1505d66feOne accessory I like to see in a formal outfit is a watch, sleek or bulky depending on the look, though probably sleek and slim. Really I like to see a watch in any look, I just love watches, but I especially like to see them where one would expect them to be overlooked for a bracelet or something more traditionally decorative. Here I would want something elegant and narrow that would read from a distance [almost] like a bracelet. Really into the Danish brand Skagen, known for their wonderfully thin movements.

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I like the asymmetry of wearing the watch on one arm and leaving the other bare. Or wearing the watch and some assortment of bracelets on one arm and leaving the other bare. UNLESS you have an old school corsage. I could be talked into that.

Poking around on Weddington Way I liked some of their clutches as well. Maybe this one for the look we’re building here. White or ivory to contrast with the navy and some pearlicious studding. If you’re wondering about mixing freshwater and Tahitian pearls, light and dark pearls, big and small pearls – not to worry. All pearls love all other pearls.

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Add favorite rings (oh, or this pearl solitaire, which I love). Hair up, hair down…you do you. Mine would be up and not too neat, though that’s easy for me as natural curls are inherently informal in our culture no matter how they are styled. A bit of that J Crew-esque undoneness can go a long way toward looking like you didn’t try too hard. You tried, but not TV news anchor tried. Not prom queen tried. Not BRIDE tried. Or pick one other thing to give a casual air, doesn’t have to be the hair, but hair is a good one as it’s so powerful and can control so much of the tone of the look. Going with that idea that if your hair is looking fabulous you can wear anything, by the same token your hair can provide the balancing stone to harmonize the look by being more or less formal.

A blingy nail polish could be in order, something like Essie’s On a Silver Platter, maybe. This would be an awesome New Year’s Eve polish no matter what look you’re doing.

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I’d like to see a soft taupe eye with this, strong brows, big lashes, a sheer or soft neutral pink lip. Maybe the ultra-gorgeous Dior Cuir Cannage eyeshadow palette and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme lipstick in Fig. I haven’t had a chance to properly praise these lipsticks yet but I love this line.

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I think there is a danger when playing with glitter (not unlike playing with fire) of trying to apply the glitter principle to too many aspects of the look. Sequin dress? Then maybe, maybe a touch of glittery shadow to the center of the lid, not a full on glitter eye (unless you are doing a different kind of look, in which case power to you). A neutral brown eye works with anything, and smoking it out with a violet-taupe shade adds drama without being overtly matchy. All about finding that harmony, however you manage it.

Hm. I wouldn’t mind seeing a really narrow glittery belt here, either. Or a belt that is basically a chain of tiny CZ gems? Or a belt of tiny pearls? Or a belt of both? Or not. I think I’d have to see it and decide. A white faux fur or maribou stole (or capelet!) would be bitchin’ and keep you warm on that winter’s eve.

I think that does it. What do you think? Are you seeing it? I’m liking it. I actually want to do this makeup look, now, and pull out my Tahitian solitaire again. And get another Skagen watch. I really do want one…I have my eye on a few.

Don’t need to go to a wedding? Weddington Way’s selection of little black dresses is worth a peek.

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on the nails: essie dressed to kilt

On November 6, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I mentioned this Essie polish just recently but I like it so well, here it is again. Dressed to Kilt, from Essie’s Fall 2014 collection. A rich, dark red that’s great for fall/winter.

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Two coats of Dressed to Kilt worn here with OPI nail envy base coat, which I like so much, and OPI rapid dry topcoat, which I don’t like so much but which I am not going to throw away because while completely extravagant at times I am just as often cheap and long-suffering.

That said, there sometimes comes a point, after some months or years of eking functionality out of a mediocre or even actually poor product, when, in a fit of de-cluttering, which is really a fit of rebellion against this conservative, salvaging self, I take great pleasure in throwing such things away.

Thanks to my friend Katy for recommending this shade!

 

plaid & leather

On November 3, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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This is MAC Living Legend lipstick, from their new The Matte Lip collection, much blotted. Their matte formulas are not my favorite (neither my favorite matte formula (NARS velvet matte lip pencil) nor my favorite MAC formula (creamsheen)), they can be patchy and drying at their worst, but they are mostly good (you have to asses on a case by case basis, not uniform in behavior, which is usually the case anyway no matter the brand). For the right color, more than good enough.

[I’ve only just noticed how well it matches my bag! This is what happens when you consistently go for the same shades regardless of context.]

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I like the plaid contrasted with the leather here. Especially such a bright plaid with black leather.

This is not a bad formula for an interesting outfit: put together two very different outfits, each reflecting a uniform aesthetic, wear half of one and half of the other. Or put together three, or four, and so on.

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This is an Essie polish in Dressed to Kilt, a dark blue-toned red from their fall 2014 collection. Once you find a red lipstick you like, try to find a nail polish in that color (or vice versa), odds are good you’ll like it on the nails as well. I should do a post trying to match a lipstick to this. Don’t let me forget.

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Allsaints leather jacket, J Crew oxford plaid shirt (I kind of went to town in the J Crew fall sale…you’ll see), Express tuxedo leggings, New Balance Stadium Jacket sneakers, Free People tote, double-sided faux pearl earrings (eBay, originally a Dior design. Quite cool, I think, though maybe better to wear only one at a time).

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