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.

IMG_4908

IMG_4849

IMG_4871

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.

IMG_4944

IMG_4953

IMG_4975

IMG_4985

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.

IMG_4968

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.

IMG_4994

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

x

the constant companions

On May 15, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

You know those fashion and beauty pieces you always wear hand in hand? Never one without the other? Always this liner with this lipstick, this skirt with those shoes, this jacket with that bag. The category of the fail-safe combo is one I find interesting for reasons I can’t quite pinpoint, like the way I love to watch people putting on lipstick. I’ve seen so many clips—hundreds and hundreds— of people putting on lipstick, and still I am interested to see how each individual approaches the task. It’s not like there is a great range of techniques going on…there are only so many ways to get color on your lips (I distinguish rather a lot of ways, actually, but still there are only so many), but something about the act, the ceremony of it, doesn’t get old for me.

Right. What was I saying?

I like to hear what others are combining, especially when they find the combination more interesting than either element. Perhaps it is the allure of a sum that is greater than its parts? Perhaps it has to do, too, with the concept of personalizing your style. In the commercial environment that makes thousands or millions of units of any item available, the item alone can only say so much about you – much as the brand would like to maintain the illusion that this ubiquitous product is your path to your unique you. It is the personal tweaks that customize the item and make it yours, what you wear it with, how you play it. For me this issue (let’s call it the cookie cutter issue) is directly related to the appeal of vintage, handmade, and antique pieces. I think I am getting off track again.

I love that moment when the pair first meet. For me it usually an instant aha moment, where each item knows it will never be alone again. A number of these inseparable pairs have jumped out at me recently, in particular a new one, my had-to-have-it scarab pendant and my custom Tahitian pendant.

The scarab I have on a long, delicate chain and I often pair it with some shorter pendant, the formula of a short pendant with a long one is not new. The Tahitian pendant is as simple as can be, a stunning teardrop with a simple loop finding on a box chain. It seems like this would be easy to come by but I had the hardest time finding a design as simple as I envisioned. In the end I asked the team at Pearls of Joy if they could show me some of their best drops in the size I wanted (10ish mm) and mount one for me. You may remember them from the gorgeous cherry Tahitian floating pearl pendant featured a good while back.

pearls of joy tahitian pendant theseventhsphinx

I was delighted with the result and wore the pendant alone for weeks when I first got it. The look is so clean and plain, structurally, but then the pearl, if you are near enough to speak to me, is dazzling, with beautiful peacock overtones, green in some lights, violet in others.

One day I had the idea to add the scarab…

tahitian pearl pendant and scarab theseventhsphinx

The two have be constant companions ever since.

Just wait ’til they meet the Tahitian studs I splashed out for in the Mother’s Day sale…

x

 

the color purple

On January 9, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Allow me to introduce you to the OFRA liquid lipstick in Queens. Such a beautiful winter shade.

IMG_0685

Slaying.

This formula could be a touch more opaque but I like it. Quite a few YouTube reviewers have been recommending these OFRA liquid lipsticks, which are available in dozens of colors. I need to use a lip pencil with darker liquid lipsticks to keep things neat, here MAC Currant lip pencil (which is so good), but this is a creamy consistency I like, similar to the NYX soft matte lip creams but with what seems to be better longevity (and unlike, say, the ColourPop liquid lipsticks, which, while good value, are a little too wet to compete with my favorite Stila and Kat Von D formulas).

I really like dark shades like this worn with an otherwise [nearly] bare face. Dark eyebrows a possibility, but keeping them untouched here makes the look even more severe, even bordering on extreme/editorial, in a way that I find appealing.

What do we think of this septum ring? This is fake, to experiment, and arguably to have both the nosering and the septum ring would be too much…but it is not feeling like too much to me. It is feeling like love. They seem to be trending at the moment but I have always liked them. That is, ever since I met Bollywood, a solid 13 years ago now.

IMG_0617-crop

Jumping from deep blackberry to amethyst, these are the stunning Zoe Cope Megalos Geode earrings. Available in other stones/colors as well. Beautiful, contemporary design and not too heavy. The desire to showcase them inspired this fauxhawk-merged-with-french twist hair situation.

Ofra liquid lipstick in Queens

Zara parka, Zara herringbone scarf, Koh Gen Do Aqua FoundationTom Ford blush in Love Lust + MAC blush in Love Rush, Guerlain 4 Seasons Terracotta bronzer, Jose Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer (amazing, straight metallic gold).

x

bootie call

On November 17, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Ah, boot season.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Spring is OK for boots but not sufficiently dry for the suede styles that are my clear favorites (if acquisition is any indicator). This, among so many other reasons, is why autumn reigns supreme. Another reason might be the predominance of plaid, for which I have always harbored a weakness. Perhaps it is my rural upbringing?

ugg ankle boots

In particular I am craving the extremes of thigh-high and ankle boots. Booties. Bootlets. Much browsing and buying and returning before I discovered these charmers from UGG (which lacks romance but there it is). These have a great cowboy silhouette in the toe, minimal yet sculptural detailing, a great pale wheat color, and the slightly tapered chunky heel that I am drawn to these days.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Isn’t there something wonderfully pristine about a bare, unadorned throat? 

Ripple pearl drops from Pearlescence, Chanel Rouge Noir Illusion d’ombre smoked out with a sepia shade from the Viseart neutral matte palette, MAC Peaches blush (new, loving), MAC prolongwear brow set, Wet n’ Wild Megalast lipstick in Bare it All with Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Naked, which is almost a perfect match, some other stuff you can’t really see…

In the hair I’ve been using the deep repair mask (as a leave-in treatment) and the styling cream (for definition) from the Carol’s Daughter Tiare line. Smells amazing and I like how soft yet defined my hair is. Doing pretty well with my resolution to wear it down more.

IMG_0471

On the nails: Zoya Taylor. Basically a realistic concealer shade for me thanks to a touch of peachy warmth. Really nice color, though the whole time I’ve worn it I’ve wanted to add gold glitter to liven it up. The formula I find OK but it cracks on me within 48 hours or so.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

J Crew flannel shirt, Obi-style leather belt (eBay), Express leggings, Breil Milano watch, Ugg boots, Rough & Tumble bag (more on this bag later, loving this).

I have a few of these obi belts and find them so versatile and sleek. Though I could also like this look without a belt at all, loose and casual, to me the belt is doing so much here to amp up the style factor. The power of a good belt.

Get thee a good belt.

x

the floral A-line

On September 11, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Remember how rose-heavy floral prints on black backgrounds started popping up everywhere after Dior featured them several seasons ago? Three years or so later I’ve finally found a piece I like in this scuba A-line skirt from Warehouse.

Warehouse floral print

I’ve grumbled about floral prints before, how difficult it is for me to find a print of the desired scale and busyness, how often they tip into the realm of the distracting and garish. There is no one formula for me, either, as with so many things. Everything has to be assessed case by case. Those prints I do like, though, tend to offer a soft, pleasing wash of gently variegated color.

Warehouse floral print

This hazy, digital floral print I like for a skirt of this volume (meaning I think I would not like the print as well writ small, as shoes or a clutch, or a tank top, say), a classic, fairly full A-line meant to be worn high at the natural waist. Love where this length hits; a bit below the knee, just revealing the base of the calf. A retro length with a modern print makes for nice contrast.

Schutz Kutia pumps

These are new. We are loving these. Not unlike the Aquazurra ones we love, which is no coincidence.

Schutz Kutia pumps

This color!

pearls, hamsa necklace, Givenchy fuchsia irresitible lipstick

Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, NARS blush in Luminoso, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury Veruschka eyeliner, MAC false lash effect mascara, MAC brow set. Could argue that a peachy nude lipstick matching the pumps would have been fitting or even superior here.

Givenchy Fuschia Irresistible

This limited edition lipstick packaging was compelling, I won’t deny. This color is a cult classic, for good reason. 

Warehouse skirt (via ASOS), Schutz Kutia pumps, thrifted black silk tank, Pearl Paradise pearl 8mm studs. This little turquoise hamsa necklace I am loving (eBay). There are tons of variations with different stones, if you search (the best all seem to be from Israel). They are good luck, traditionally, though I mainly wanted something small and turquoise on a slender gold chain. I won’t say no to any luck that may accrue to me, however.

x