loving: Oi oil

On May 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been using Davine’s Oi Oil for about 4 months or so, and I think it’s been long enough to be able to say with confidence: it’s love.

IMG_9172This is what I would call a serum oil, a slightly viscous liquid that has an oil-like effect on hair in terms of providing gloss and moisture while being extremely lightweight and unobtrusive on the hair. Really liking this serum oil tech across the board, from skincare to haircare. It tends to absorb quickly and lacks the grease factor that straight oil has. I don’t actually mind the grease factor, my hair is dry enough that it can take an astonishing amount of oil without appearing greasy, and I still enjoy many oils…but still, the texture is really nice, and the shine factor is subtly brighter and superior to that which oil provides. I use it both on the ends of the curls and to tame frizz in the front. Curly folks, I recommend this to you especially.

It was recommended to me after I complimented a friend on her very long and glossy, slightly wavy hair, the health and shine of which she largely attributed to Oi oil. This is lightweight enough to be suitable for all but perhaps the most delicate, fine hair types. Even then I think it could be OK on the ends.

All this, though, is nothing compared to how fantastic this stuff smells. Davine’s, well done. Evidently the active ingredient here is Roucou oil, also known as anatto, derived from the seeds of the Brazilian achiote tree. Wikipedia describes the scent as ‘slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg,’ which I think is a good beginning. I would add that there is a nutty richness, the aroma of an exotic (unfamiliar) nut, and an intensity of fragrance I associate with proper parfums. A gourmand scent but not in an explicitly edible way. I don’t experience it as a strong scent at all in practice, you use such a tiny quantity of the product that the effect is much softer than sniffing the bottle, but honestly either way, gentle or full-on, this smells incredible. Quite unisex, too. Maybe especially good on men. Full marks.

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Here, too, is a fittingly beautiful comb, the Mason Pearson Rake Comb. Handcut teeth, made in Switzerland, high quality celluloid, etc. Not a bad price point, and basically just a wide-tooth comb…but such a lovely one. My hair is always getting presents. Totally worth it.

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layered

On April 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

The recent wig preoccupation prompted a good question, something like: do you ever change up, you know, your real hair?

And the answer is…not recently. I was in an auto-pilot growing phase, I suppose.

But what a good idea!

So, I hacked at the previous situation (which was nearly all one length with minor shaping) a bit, adding some rounding layers, until I got this:

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I essentially wanted the widest part of my hair to line up with the highest part of my cheekbone. Or, ideally, with the intersecting point of the eyebrow latitude line and an imaginary line that is the continuation of the upward sweep of the cheekbone. Right around there.

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Nailed it.

My face is basically square, or like a pentagon, and it’s large. Somehow my instinct is to have large, round* hair, to put the hair in proportion to the face. This (or a little bigger than this, actually) is the ratio that seems natural, harmonious, and to slick the hair back is to introduce severity via disproportion. Seems like we must all have some sense of this point of harmony, a point where you stop blow-drying or cutting or what have you, and decide it’s just right (or you don’t stop, and regret).

*I kind of like it as an offset pentagon, actually, I realize! The hair is a little boxy as well, but in a way that doesn’t line up with the face. If you follow… I like the squareness of my face, and don’t feel an urge to soften it as one might see in diagrams of hairstyles for different face shapes or something.

On another note, let’s give a shout out to purple eye makeup. This is basically…every purple product I own in a big smudgy mess. Recommended. The key is to keep smudging the color lower than seems advisable. Keep going! This is even conservative. And then I should have blended with a bronzer-type shade to make it even more sultry and massive…but one runs out of time.

Purple looks good on every eye color, though. Especially brown, I think. Certain shades of purple make me long for brown eyes.

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Pearls of Joy Tahitian pendant, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Love Liberty (love this shade and formula, more on these later – FINALLY available in the U.S. but only for one month evidently).

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switching it up

On April 9, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I am currently browsing wigs like it is my favorite extra-curricular activity. I can trace the current jones directly to RuPaul’s Drag Race, as I watched several episodes (in an abbreviated way, skipping to the main runway event) and was totally inspired by the looks and, especiallyespecially, the wigs. It occurred to me that I had never explicitly searched ‘drag wigs’ in any previous wig investigations, and I was right in thinking this would yield excellent results.

I love my hair,* but the desire to be something new, something other, isn’t about liking or not liking my genetics, it’s about creation and play. And hair is a major player, make a drastic change and people will have a hard time recognizing you, meaning it is not only influential but influential in an easy, straightforward way. What I’m getting at is: I enjoy wigs. [Haven’t worn them recently, which I realize I need to remedy.]

*my hair:

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So, going to show you the wigs I’m considering at the moment (you know when you leave a tab open with a cart that you occasionally fiddle with and just think about for a while?).

But first! A brief history of wigs wrt this site (images link to original posts):

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slightly tacky ponytail

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An excellent Halloween

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Bangs! This is the wig that made me want more, still darker wigs. They provide this incredible contrast.

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Asymmetrical bob

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Classic fro. [Gotta love these RayBans.]

OK, so I’m all about variety.

AND, now thinking about (images link to vendor pages):

2dea01c8da3175b68fe2fde33612d639Long, luscious curls. A little looser than my own curls but still riotous. Loved this one right away, definitely at the head of the pack.

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Glossy layers with hint of wave, polished and healthy but not otherwise dramatic (unless you know what my hair is supposed to look like) dark strawberry blonde shade. Really, really want to see what this shade would look like.

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Same model as above but in a dark brown shade with a few lighter shades blended in. I’m curious about the lighter shade but this one is singing to me. The color looks so lovely, and more natural as well.

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I didn’t realize what a booming business there is for Kim Kardashian-inspired wigs. It’s no surprise, of course, because Kim’s hair looks phenomenal and always has. Love this voluminous style, though something a little shorter with more layers (that is, a slightly different Kim K style wig) appeals as well. This is in second place after the dark curly queen at the top of the list, or I think it is, though I keep turning back to

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More body. Curls still loose but uniform rather than clustered at the ends. I hope you can see that this is totally, completely, so, so different from the wig above. There is a seemingly endless variety of curl types, and for me they genuinely have different effects, call to mind different kinds of characters. This isn’t what I was looking for (isn’t what I thought I was looking for) but I liked it immediately. The SassySecret wigs look especially natural [and SassySecret is just a hilarious name].

And then, the wild card.

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I love this shape, full and not too slick with loose curls gathered at the tips. Actually I looked for the same style in darker shades for a while but only found some with streaky highlights. Alas. This is the if-only entry. I don’t think this ginger, Jessica Rabbit color would be any good on me, really, but it would be fun to try out anyway. And maybe it would be weirdly cool? You never know until you try, and I like wigs that represent hair styles I couldn’t have with my own hair, at least not realistically, not without major outlay, damage, and upkeep. Seems like I should have at least one red wig…

So what do you think? Tough decision, right?

Would you wear a wig?

[All of this thinking about change makes me want to at least cut my hair.]

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the rain run

On July 5, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s been pouring rain here in Cambridge.

But I don’t mind a bit of rain.

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Even a lot of rain…

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I don’t actually run with my hair down (that would be silly/disastrous) but doubtless you have been wondering, what does a sphinx’s hair look like when it is wet? You see how I am always thinking of you.

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Here it is freshly washed, with a bit of conditioner and oil in. This is the stage just before it goes into its habitual bun. I will leave it down now and then (to air dry – blow driers are impracticable) but it’s always something of a crapshoot, how things will turn out (especially good days live on in memory).

I’ve historically kept such a tight reign on my hair that I need to make a conscious effort to let it be, and embrace the chaos. It’s a good exercise, though. And after all, if it seems messy in a way I do not like (as opposed to strategically messy, within a range of what seems to me to be acceptably, stylishly messy), no one cares. I’m not even sure it’s an observable distinction for others. The inexorable familiarity with oneself seems always to be causing such discrepancies.

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I was decidedly damp by the end of this little documentation session.

Ever since I started playing tennis a few years ago I’ve come around to the virtues of proper activewear (as opposed to, say, retired pajamas). There are so many brands making good, fashion-conscious activewear now. Yet another arena in which one need not suspend one’s style to participate.

I’ve been on the lookout for a pair of bright sneakers (to encourage the wearing of said sneakers, and the activities when wearing) but haven’t found one I like yet. Isn’t it always the way. It is just one quest after another, this life.

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Climawear top, New Balance sports bra, Soffe shorts, Saucony sneakers, Adidas Duramo watch.

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Great running track: Cut Copy – Lights and Music

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one note: ginger

On March 13, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I wrote today’s post as a guest for the Boston food blog kathycancook.com (she’s my sister!). Want some recommendations on how to add more ginger to your life? You can find the full text there (or just follow the link below).

I like ginger a lot.

A relative of turmeric, cardamom and galangal, this spicy rhizome can play for both the sweet and savory sides. Compelling and versatile, it is available in many forms, most of which I have in my life.

Here are some favorite incarnations:….read more

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