autumn lips

On September 29, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s time for some autumnally dark, properly bold lips.

IMG_6029

There is sometimes concern, when it comes to dark lips, that it can make the mouth appear smaller. It can (and often does) do that, but I think the contrast given in return can more than make up for this. In my case, having no cause to worry about appearing mean-mouthed anyhow, my mouth seems even larger to me, if only because attention is being drawn to it. I often have a similar debate when considering eyeliner under the eye – it can close up and shrink the eye, so the question becomes whether or not the overall effect is worth this drawback.  Perhaps it shrinks the actual eye but enlarges the perceived eye, resulting in a net gain. Or perhaps it doesn’t create any optical illusion of size or spacing but does something else interesting and worthwhile.

With such lips, a simple dark brow is often my preferred path. I didn’t really want to put anything on the eyes at all once it was on, and have only an ultra natural coating of mascara. I especially like bold lips when they seem like an easy afterthought, a vibrant touch to an otherwise unmeditated look.

IMG_5983

And mustard heeled huaraches. Of course.

IMG_5985

 Here’s the kind of deep v I’ve been meaning to wear all my life. The key here is this Topstick mens grooming tape, very sticky double-sided tape meant to work with skin and textiles. Meant for hairpieces, I guess? But I can see all kinds of applications. This is keeping the shirt where I want it. My new favorite wardrobe tool.

IMG_6000

This sublime bordeaux lip is thanks to Julie Hewett Sin Noir lipstick, really a phenomenal color. This is a full-on application but it can be blotted for a softer berry stain. Reminds me a little of Tom Ford Black Orchid but a bit brighter (I think?), and not as creamy in formula. The Noir collection is excellent, not inexpensive but it performs (and great gold packaging). Being a bit waxier than some of my favorite formulas (ex. Lancome Rouge in Love, Tom Ford, MAC creamsheen, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy, NARS Audacious) helps it to last that much better, so it’s a fair trade-off.

IMG_5996

I’ll have to share some of my other favorite lip products in this wine-worthy shade range. There are many.

x

 

building blocks

On September 17, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

If you are attacked as regards your style, never reply; it is for your work alone to make answer.

                                            — Voltaire, Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary. 1802

IMG_8561

Here’s the shirt I picked up from the Altuzarra for Target collection (available on Net-a-Porter). Really nice cut, just an OK fabric, polyester crêpe de chine, which just means a plain lightweight weave with a crisp appearance. Some pieces are especially fruitful starting places for a look, and I get so many images and ideas when I see this cornflower pinstripe buttoned number. Things just start falling into place, snowballing as if of their own accord into a fully formed ensemble. For instance…

First: pencil skirt. Not black, though, not dark at all, I think. Something pale, gray possible, or flax. I want a heathered texture, for whatever reason. Something in a warm fabric for early autumn, literally and figuratively. This thin woolen blend No. 2 pencil skirt from J. Crew suits. This is a critical fork in the road, and determines all the colors to come.

IMG_8562

Then shoes, I think (though any element may be the starting place, and any may yield the next). And I still have those heeled huaraches from the Altuzarra show on my mind, so something along those lines, but in a richer shade now.

IMG_8564

Then lipstick, surely. I could go in a few directions here, anything on the red or plum spectrums, even a rusty orange, but a medium to dark fuchsia wins the day. Cannot recommend the Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy line enough.

IMG_8565

Then I see browns, golds, ivories for the other accents. Pearls, of course pearls. This is the Bobbi Brown Surf & Sand palette, an excellent option for a basic mix of easy shimmery and matte neutrals. I like this strong blue anchor (not that it is a bold blue, but that it is a definite, conspicuous piece of color), gently shadowed and warmed by pale neutrals. I know I’ve hit upon a a good color vein, or combination of color threads, when it pleases me to see them together. There is a certain almost visceral satisfaction to these happy combinations, as if sating your (ravenous, always) eyes with a nourishing meal.

IMG_8573

It doesn’t matter what the colors are, really. Which categories they satisfy. Just as it is beneficial to begin thinking of makeup as one massive collection of pigments with various textures (not lipstick, but creamy pigment, not eyeshadow but powder pigment – so the potential applications begin to multiply), so you begin to think of your entire wardrobe (and more and more of life begins to fall into the category of wardrobe, of style) as a collection of colors in varying shapes and sizes, textures. Building blocks.

Then I toss in a watch. Gold-toned, surely. Love the sleek, clean designs of Danish brand Skagen’s watches.

IMG_8577

Just one example.