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?

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the color purple

On January 9, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Allow me to introduce you to the OFRA liquid lipstick in Queens. Such a beautiful winter shade.

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Slaying.

This formula could be a touch more opaque but I like it. Quite a few YouTube reviewers have been recommending these OFRA liquid lipsticks, which are available in dozens of colors. I need to use a lip pencil with darker liquid lipsticks to keep things neat, here MAC Currant lip pencil (which is so good), but this is a creamy consistency I like, similar to the NYX soft matte lip creams but with what seems to be better longevity (and unlike, say, the ColourPop liquid lipsticks, which, while good value, are a little too wet to compete with my favorite Stila and Kat Von D formulas).

I really like dark shades like this worn with an otherwise [nearly] bare face. Dark eyebrows a possibility, but keeping them untouched here makes the look even more severe, even bordering on extreme/editorial, in a way that I find appealing.

What do we think of this septum ring? This is fake, to experiment, and arguably to have both the nosering and the septum ring would be too much…but it is not feeling like too much to me. It is feeling like love. They seem to be trending at the moment but I have always liked them. That is, ever since I met Bollywood, a solid 13 years ago now.

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Jumping from deep blackberry to amethyst, these are the stunning Zoe Cope Megalos Geode earrings. Available in other stones/colors as well. Beautiful, contemporary design and not too heavy. The desire to showcase them inspired this fauxhawk-merged-with-french twist hair situation.

Ofra liquid lipstick in Queens

Zara parka, Zara herringbone scarf, Koh Gen Do Aqua FoundationTom Ford blush in Love Lust + MAC blush in Love Rush, Guerlain 4 Seasons Terracotta bronzer, Jose Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer (amazing, straight metallic gold).

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rock on

On October 23, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Rocks are so lovely. I really like rocks. I hang-out-in-the-natural-history-museum like rocks. I like trees and plants and other things that fall under the umbrella of nature as well…but especially rocks. Rocks, crystals, other kinds of mineral deposits that harden into rock-like structures…

After all, you can wear rocks.

While I do like stones that have been formed into beads, faceted, manhandled, I have a visceral appreciation for the raw beauty of a more organic presentation.

semi precious stone necklaces

Really craving this kind of large, raw-edged, stone jewelry for the last few years. Such stones feel somehow naked and true. Anchoring.

amethyst necklace

Here is a gorgeous piece of amethyst and citrine crystals, unabashedly bulky and heavy. While potentially [ideally] imposing, I find such jewelry capable of being casual where a more ornate (“fine”) piece would feel overdressed and out of place. It’s simultaneously overstated and understated. Eye-catching and bold yet approachable, relatively inexpensive, versatile.

turquoise necklace

Turquoise I love any day of the week, in all forms. There are a number of stones available in this format of bulky puddle-stone style necklaces and I find myself drawn to them. In wearing such stones I seem to be saying, what more processing do they need to serve as worthy embellishment? None. Pull them from the ground, clean them up, drill some holes, et voilà. Fit for a queen.

There is something stately about them, too. Solemn, even. Something not at all frivolous, unlike those ubiquitous faux-stone bib necklaces, for example. Not that I can’t appreciate those but they have little stylistic weight, if that makes any sense. Even when well-played they are still merely trendy. Trendy can go far, very far indeed in our culture, but do we not want to go beyond that?

I think the word I’m looking for is fierce.

amber necklace

Love the warmth and luminosity of amber. One does feel rather like some goddess of the earth when wearing a rustic band of jagged amber, bedecked with the fruits of the underground (one’s shadowy domain? I like where this is going). I recommend it. I happen to have picked these pieces up on eBay. Others like them aren’t hard to find, and beautiful semi-precious stones abound.

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summer tropics

On July 21, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Far more likely to engage my attention than a floral print is a botanical print. Perhaps because they tend to be more lively, less repetitive? Because I love the color green? Because they often incorporate more earth tones?

It is likely all of these things, amplified by the volume afforded by the maxi length. What I really like about this print is that it conveys a tropical look without being garish or neon about it.

floral print olive summer skirt

I am particularly predictable about this kind of olive shade, grounded and earthy, and just inexplicably compelling, the way one’s favorite things often are. Can we take a moment for these sandals? Adore these sandals. Can we take another moment to embrace shamelessly rumpled silk?

henna italian leather sandals

Henna still going strong.

Ah, the maxi, so easy, so cool and loose, such a strong impact of color by virtue of square footage alone. I quite enjoy the gathering up and sweeping around required to go up stairs and such, too, and very much enjoy the billowing that accompanies descending the stairs. Yes, long skirts rarely look so well as when they are displayed upon a stair.

J Crew silk camisole Coach sunglasses

I also love this Cleopatra-style necklace, which I picked up at a Cambridge artisan co-op a couple of summers ago.  Always on the lookout for interesting, handmade pieces like this. I recently met the owner of local company December Thieves, which specializes in pieces from emerging artists in jewelry and fashion. She has wonderfully curly hair as well! Obviously we got along. She has the kind of shop that makes you want to take up metalsmithing.

pearls stacked bracelet

Kara Ross bracelet, amber ring

Especially like to pair amber with earth tones.

J Crew silk camisole, silk blend skirt (thrifted), Kara Ross bracelet, Gian Luca sandals, Coach sunglasses. On the lips, Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Favorite (color showed better on instagram).

 

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inspiration: ancient everywhere

On September 6, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“…nowadays even men wear gold bracelets…women wear gold…covering their fingers and their necks, ears, and hair, gold chains run at random round their waists, and little bags of pearls hang invisible, suspended by gold chains from their owners’ necks…even their feet are shod with gold…”

                                       — Pliny, Natural History, about AD 77-79

The MFA currently has exhibitions devoted to ancient Mediterranean as well as ancient Nubian jewelry, this in addition to the already impressive jewelry/adornment collections they have anyway. Add to this the incredible style of various sculptures and paintings (especially ancient sculptures, for me), and the MFA is non-stop style inspiration. I kept finding just exactly the accessories I’ve been looking for, only some several thousand years too late to purchase at market.

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In all seriousness, how did this ever go out of style?

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Finger ring of Taharqa. In all seriousness this is exactly what I have been looking for.

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Sublime.

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Actually I have something a bit like this…

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Exactly. 

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This is like the mama scarab to my little pendant.

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Now that is a sandal.

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This is an interesting hair situation. I need to think about this. 

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Above: Lessons in drapery. Below: Further lessons in drapery.

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Where even to begin with these maenads? Mavens of floral garlands (I’m taking notes) and all manner of organic accessories.

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

If you spot anything reminiscent of these things on polyvore, drop me a line. Seriously.

Please.

In the meantime I’ll just go back (becoming a member is pretty reasonable, and there are special events) and visit them. Sketch them. Design outfits around them…

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

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Photo Credit: Chris Bennett

Found several charming interpretations of my namesake as well.

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