the stocking cap

On November 17, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Not only is it cold enough for sweaters, it’s cold enough for hats and gloves and wool socks and the works.

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Conventional wisdom says not to pair heavy eye makeup with a bold lip but hey, yolo. Do what you want. Conventional wisdom is often suspect.

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This is NARS velvet matte lip pencil in Train Bleu, a really dark mulberry shade, with a little red Japonesque laquer in the center. Sort of the reverse of the black ombre lip I did the other day but friendlier as putting a pink/red shade in the center provides a natural transition to that inner portion of your lip that won’t take color.

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I’ve been wanting to wear more eye makeup since Halloween, which was just so much makeup that anything else seems moderate in comparison. I was washing it off for days. Liner under the eyes I find so tricky, though. Not tricky to do, but tricky to like. It’s dramatic, sure, but also tends to emphasize circles under my eyes,* make me look especially pale, make me look older often? Tired? I wonder the extent to which it just reads as ‘she has a lot of makeup on’ rather than as ‘cool eyes’ or some more appealing effect. Not that I really have any control over that. [Ever notice how thinking hardly ever gets you anywhere?]

*I don’t like concealer under the eyes—it is too conspicuous up close, too tell-tale— and am basically never wearing it, so they just look however they look. They are eyes, in sockets, etc.

I guess you just have to go for it, like anything else, and take the bad with the good.

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Kenneth Cole coat (thrifted), J Crew Italian brushed scarf (this is gigantic, really satisfyingly massive), Free People slouchy vegan leather tote, H&M beanie, Express jeans, TOMS desert suede wedges. Hm. Seems they don’t have this color anymore, shame. Their new booties are pretty cute, though. I need some booties! I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time finding a suitable pair of ankle booties (something that goes a bit higher up the ankle than these do, which gives quite a different look. Quite, quite different, you know).

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Zoning out.

Later let’s talk about how great it can be to wear too much blush.

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that J Crew look

On October 27, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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All  I wanted to do yesterday was wear these red shoes. Sometimes my wants are so few.

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It took so many tries before I could find the proportions I wanted for this style. The clean triangle toe, the straps of a particular width and placement. Many (many!) failures before coming across these red suede heels from Steve Madden, which love. Ankle straps get some flack for cutting the leg-lengthening effect heels otherwise have but they have the unquestionable virtue of holding the shoe securely to your foot. Not to mention making such minimal silhouettes as this possible. Anyway, I’m not convinced they negate whatever added height,* and who cares anyhow. If you like them. They’re trending now, and I approve.

*A lot of the supposed optical illusions fashion tricks are meant to conjure are suspect to me. I see what they are getting at but often doubt they are truly working. More common than seeing the illusion is seeing the trick, for me. Not that I don’t employ them when it suits me… Let’s get back to the main text.

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I was in the mood for a pencil skirt and that careless, layered J Crew look took over from there.

This look is so genius, in a way, so easy to tap into, with certain elements ultra-polished and tailored and other elements strategically undone, unkempt. The hair can’t be too precise, the layers can’t be too perfectly aligned. Colorful solids with one bold and colorful pattern peeking through somewhere. Natural face with the possible exception of a red lip.

Usually their looks are a bit too fussy looking for me, with only the thinnest veneer of  unfussiness or carelessness superimposed, but I like the color and pattern play and can like them as a starting point (or outright, once in a while).

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I got another cap, because this hair/hat combo had to be reprised.

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I am trying to make a firm reminder for myself that I should do this all the time. Leave hair down! Squash with hat!

UGH. SO GOOD.

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Oh, here’s one thing you can do with black lipstick. Avon lip pencil in deep plum with the NYX Macaron lipstick in Chambord (which is just black) in the center. Basically taking the bordeaux lip to its natural extreme. I like. You like? I like.

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J Crew linen sweater, thrifted plaid shirt, J Crew No. 2 pencil skirt, Steve Madden Abagail heels, Free People vegan leather tote, pearl ring from Pearl Paradise, Solange Azagury-Partridge lips ring, jasper necklace (eBay) as bracelet, Nike FC Barcelona cap.

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sick day

On October 17, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“The loose hair strands of beautiful women don’t have to be combed.”

                                                                — Rumi

Have a cold. Feeling like:

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Here’s my going to get orange juice ensemble.

IMG_6217I can’t believe we got up from our nap for this.

Madewell jeans, thrifted shirt, Libeco Home linen scarf (linen a great weight for early autumn), Skagen watch. Actually really liking this ultra-sheer lipstick, Lipstick Queen’s Medieval, about which not surprised at all given that it is the darker cousin of my can-do-no-wrong Jean Queen and was on top of this recommended by Lisa Eldridge in her gorgeous natural Downton Abbey makeup tutorial (ft. Laura Carmichael, Lady Edith), which: worth a look.

I put a little on my cheeks as well (a great success, texturally), and that’s all we’ve got going on here today.

On the bright side, I wore my new kicks.

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New Balance Stadium Jacket 574s. Really liking this quite green shade of turquoise since last summer or so? Or since forever or so.

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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 leopard

On August 9, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

One does feel somewhat predatory with such decor as this going on.

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This Violent Lips leopard appliqué is not disappointing. It’s strange on the lips, yes. You know it’s there, and it seems like you can’t move your lips very dramatically without the appliqué cracking (not flaking off, just cracking in place – once it’s on, barring the intervention of oil or makeup remover, it’s not coming off). That said, I’m pretty impressed. I like. It’s a playful novelty, winning me over by being just what it promises to be.

[It’s a good thing, because I got a ton of them.]

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This leopard print is so unexpected. It’s distracting, and not only for me it seems, given the number of looks on the street. Any of the component colors alone would be unusual lip colors, and all three together are triply so. Unconventional, bizarre, bold…all the necessaries for a potentially fierce look, a look that says, I do what I want.

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I think we need some aviators here.

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This necklace features the Leo constellation (fitting, no?). Was searching for a small but not too small gold disc like this for some time, intended for layering with other small pendants on dainty gold chains with white v-neck shirts (you know how it is…). Gold and white is a favorite color combination of mine, and the uncontested favorite for summer. I was so attached to a white/gold/brown look here that I omitted blush and am only wearing bashings of bronzers and illuminators (yes, multiple, we’ll talk about that later).

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Victoria’s Secret tunic dress, bowler bag (eBay, thoughts on replicas here), gladiator sandals (eBay), Free People belt, Fossil Watch, Julie Nolan zodiac necklace (eBay, chain replaced), Ray Ban aviators.

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Used a combination of a gold Urban Decay 24/7 liner and a brown Tarte Smoldereyes pencil here, both great, soft, smudgeable, long-wearing formulations. Tried out an intriguing technique I picked up from this really interesting tutorial (so many techniques/perspectives here I hadn’t seen before) by Australian makeup artist Rae Morris. Applying the gold all along and down my inner corner/epicanthic fold was my idea, though. More dramatic and metallic in person. A little cat inspiration.

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