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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

x

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.

x

 

the ascot

On May 26, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s a shame how rare it is to see an ascot these days.  Rarer still than seeing a bowtie. Such an elegant way to add a bit of color or interest to a plain shirt or outfit, for men and women alike, with an endearing element of eccentricity. It creates the sense of an additional layer that is really only the illusion of a layer.

Any light scarf can be made serve the purpose.

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This would have been better if I’d worn a shirt that buttoned up farther, maybe. More color this way but there’s something appealing about a small triangle of color peeping out, too. The loose, casual interpretation vs the severe, polished interpretation.  Both have their strengths.

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Silk is a nice way to go. 

The most enjoyable part of wearing a shirt or vest with buttons is the art of leaving certain of them undone. I like the idea of this look with no ascot, nothing at all at the neck, and another button on the shirt undone. Love the looks I’m seeing across runway shows recently (to say nothing of American Hustle, long may it be an inspiration to us all) of extremely deep Vs (front and back). I have many personal aspirations re: the deep V. The smaller breasted of us can wear it relatively innocently, I think. Relatively… It still makes for a potentially distracting eyepath, but one that is much more suggestive than it is revealing.

So much more appealing to me to create the impression of revealing than to literally reveal, which is like explaining the joke.

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Vintage silk scarf from Jones New York, H&M vest, Banana Republic shirt (thrifted), Express jean leggings, Mulberry bag, Trotters loafers. Sunglasses: cheap (retro, no?). On the lips: Shiseido Lacquer Gloss in RS 306.

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I never get it when people with broad shoulders want to disguise them. Shoulders love to be accentuated. They seem to jump at the chance.

But maybe it’s just me, and some lingering 80s influence.

x

buttoned up

On October 24, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I have to thank CPL* for sending me a photo worth emulating, and more interesting still for being in line with my style (I had all of the ingredients to reproduce it on hand) yet unlike anything I’ve worn before. Expanding horizons.

*Her blog, geek outsider, is located at the junction of race and geekery. Very cool.

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It’s impressive to me what a difference it makes to do up those top buttons. Loosen the hair and undo the buttons and you have another aesthetic altogether.

I like the simplicity/severity of the clean collar, the white against the black. It seems like you rarely see a clean buttoned shirt like this, so prevalent are bib-style necklaces (and ties). The absence of decoration is almost more distracting than if I had added a detail at the throat.

The lipstick you may remember from my recent lipstick ramble. Oh! I’ve just realized that glasses would have been fitting here.

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Love the clean geometry of the cuffs peeking out. I am won over by such small details.

IMG_8756J Crew buttoned shirt (thrifted), H&M cardigan, American Apparel skinny suede belt, AG jeans (thrifted, cropped), Jeffrey Campbell France strapped boots, Pearls of Joy 8-9mm studs. On the lips, MAC lipstick in Dubonnet.

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the sweatshirt dress

On October 17, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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As I enjoy a sweater dress, so I enjoy a sweatshirt dress. This combination of a bundled up top and unprotected legs is exactly the kind of contrast I love. The bulkier on top, the better, which means this look will just keep getting better the more coats and scarves I have to pile on top. Eventually I’ll need to incorporate tights, but bare legs are superior because: correct! More contrast.

In my world, contrast = good.

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This is another lovely pearl necklace on loan from Lilia’s Treasures Etsy shop, a long strand of golden pink ripple pearls. There are swirling wrinkle-like corrugations all over the surface of the pearls, which are themselves beautifully metallic and reflective. Ripples, like keshis, are yet another option for the modern pearl consumer.

I love longer strands:

You can double them up.

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You can knot them or, if the strand isn’t long/small enough, gather them with a broach or ribbon

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And they look great loose, too, though you may have some Thoroughly Modern Millie moments.

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I’m not always interested in showing much leg – it can be in questionable taste or outright trashy – but with a look like this, the more leg, the more contrast, so all of my favorite shots were those revealing maximum thigh. The legwarmers change the skin:clothing ratio, and somehow that expanse of thigh doesn’t seem as risqué as it otherwise might to me. Somehow, I don’t think twice about it. But then, I do have this trashy streak.

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Sloppy Joe dress from Hush, H&M leg warmers, necklace from Lilia’s Treasures, Spektre sunglasses, Steve Madden shoes, Breil Milano watch.

I really like pink and gray together. And cream and anything together.

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This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Featured pearls are on loan from Lilia’s Treasures.