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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breakfast in bed

On November 14, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

To have a big breakfast in a big bed, this is my idea of a satisfactory morning.

I seem to do most things in bed. It’s one of the only pieces of furniture I have. A bed and several bookcases. Various sets of drawers. A drafting table. No dining table. One small stool at my dressing table and one office chair on which I store a hatbox and a pile of scarves, and never sit. I am not to that point of grown-up-ness that involves the owning of much furniture. My tableware doesn’t match, either. This is surely all down to commitment issues.

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In the last few years I finally got all of the pieces together to have the white bed I’d imagined for so long (thanks, Ikea). I’d wanted it but hadn’t given it priority, so the buying of the ingredients kept slipping down the to-do list (usurped by skincare and jam and lipstick). Trying to do a lot of those things I’ve been meaning to do (ex. making baguettes today). I highly recommend this.IMG_6660

White on white on white. I cannot have too much white in a room. White walls, white ceiling, a mountain of white pillows, white duvet, white sheets. A sanctuary within a sanctuary.

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More spelt waffles! J Crew silk camisole, Victoria’s Secret flannel pyjama pants. A good silk camisole is a solid wardrobe staple. A wonderful all-purpose underthing, luxurious against the skin, simple and elegant as a casual top or sleepwear. If you like to lounge (I love to lounge, though there seems to be less and less time for it), upgrading your loungewear adds distinct charm to the experience.

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plaid & leather

On November 3, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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This is MAC Living Legend lipstick, from their new The Matte Lip collection, much blotted. Their matte formulas are not my favorite (neither my favorite matte formula (NARS velvet matte lip pencil) nor my favorite MAC formula (creamsheen)), they can be patchy and drying at their worst, but they are mostly good (you have to asses on a case by case basis, not uniform in behavior, which is usually the case anyway no matter the brand). For the right color, more than good enough.

[I’ve only just noticed how well it matches my bag! This is what happens when you consistently go for the same shades regardless of context.]

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I like the plaid contrasted with the leather here. Especially such a bright plaid with black leather.

This is not a bad formula for an interesting outfit: put together two very different outfits, each reflecting a uniform aesthetic, wear half of one and half of the other. Or put together three, or four, and so on.

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This is an Essie polish in Dressed to Kilt, a dark blue-toned red from their fall 2014 collection. Once you find a red lipstick you like, try to find a nail polish in that color (or vice versa), odds are good you’ll like it on the nails as well. I should do a post trying to match a lipstick to this. Don’t let me forget.

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Allsaints leather jacket, J Crew oxford plaid shirt (I kind of went to town in the J Crew fall sale…you’ll see), Express tuxedo leggings, New Balance Stadium Jacket sneakers, Free People tote, double-sided faux pearl earrings (eBay, originally a Dior design. Quite cool, I think, though maybe better to wear only one at a time).

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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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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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