the gladiators

On August 16, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Damn I love a gladiator sandal.

Free People Cypress gladiators

These are the Cypress gladiator sandals from Free People, which carries a bunch of appealing gladiator styles, if you’re on the hunt. This was the year I finally found the knee-high gladiator. No support in the footbed so some kind of supplemental padding is in order, at least for me, but I’m pleased with their badassness overall.

Free People Cypress gladiators

What is it about the gladiator? The ancient Greece connection, for sure. Basically those statues in the MFA? That’s exactly how I want to dress. Actually literally exactly. Sometimes.

Then there’s the encasement of the foot and possibly also leg, which can be pleasantly intricate or, equally pleasantly, simple, all while conforming to the shape of the foot (not masking or disguising the silhouette of the human foot but still enhancing it). The classic natural leather (or, these days, at least made to look natural). This kind of timeless design is invariably versatile, easily holding its own in a much more formal context. I don’t think I care about that, though…I just like them.

Have you seen designs from the brand Ancient Greek Sandals? Fantasy sandals.

[Then, also, Scandal.]

Free People Cypress gladiators

theseventhsphinx

Often I think my profile looks bizarre, I think because I hardly ever see it. Strange how different a face can look when you just shift the angle a little.

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Quick face breakdown: Kjaer Weis Desired Glow cream blush (love), Becca shimmering skin perfector in Opal (also love, but I like a lot of other highlighters as well. I love highlighter. I should write a post about that…), Benefit Gimme Brow, Milani blush in Luminoso (a little too shimmery for some purposes but a lovely peachy coral, famously popular in the youtube/bloglands), Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Amber Haze (so easy to work with, a great eye crayon), MAC Cream in Your Coffee lipstick (a new one, so good! My new favorite neutral, more mauve than I expected it would be from swatches), Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation (so, so good for a natural, light-medium coverage, only detectable where my skin was too dry), Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder. I’m late to the powder party but I believe in the power of powder now. I still don’t always wear it, but I believe.

Oh! And a few individual lashes (Ardell, short bunches), which, at least in person, make a massive difference. Kind of a pain at my bottom-rung lash application experience level, but they make a difference.

Free People Cypress gladiators

From the front, though!

Express hi-rise cutoffs, Madewell belt, Skagen watch, Free People sandals, the wooden earrings I think from a street vendor? Other stuff thrifted. A peasant blouse that isn’t too…forced, is hard to find, but so worth it when you do.

This look is quintessential summer to me: white shirt, jean shorts, great sandals, minimal accessories.

Free People Cypress gladiators, summer essentials

Skagen watch theseventhsphinx

Love how mannish this watch, yet not comically oversized on my in fact not-really-that-small wrist. I am often wearing one Skagen watch or another.

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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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Kjaer Weis cream blush

On October 5, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Kjaer Weis is an organic makeup brand designed by Danish makeup artist Kristen Kjaer Weis (pronounced Kē-yar Wīs). They are transparent about their ingredients and the products, made in Italy, are certified organic or natural according to Italian guidelines (not American guidelines, which leave much to be desired). The sleek packaging of this cream blush caught my eye on Garance’s site and my investigations were fruitful in that they also lead to the discovery of the highly promising retailer Eco Diva Beauty. If you want to spend a lot ($54) on a cream blush, this is the way to do it.

I picked up their bestseller, Desired Glow, a muted rosy peach.

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This is truly creamy in the buttery sense, with a texture not unlike a soft lip conditioner, think Dior Crème de Rose…or butter, actually it’s a lot like butter. I tend to prefer cream over powder blushes and have a few I like but this is quite distinct from my other favorites, the Tarte cheek stain (a firm gel) and the Chanel cream blush (a dense cream-to-powder formula). Reminds me of the NYX cream blushes in general texture but is slightly more responsive (softer. Higher glycerin content?), and is executed beautifully. [For $54, it really ought to be.] Excellent, uniform pigmentation, relatively sheer. Not opaque, but not so sheer as the Tarte or other cream-gel formulas. Effortless to blend with fingers or a stippling brush, provides an undetectable brightening of the complexion.

I mean genuinely effortless, too. Completely sloppy, slap-dash application beautifully rewarded. There are a lot of good formulas out there these days, and probably hundreds (and counting) of formulas that are good enough if you are willing to put in the work of blending them, fiddling with them, supplementing them, but this is a good formula with virtually no work at all. This is what makes it stand apart, I think. Does this make it worth it? I can’t answer that for you. But it’s good.

On my light-medium olive skin it doesn’t read pink at all (pink always being suspicious, toddlers aside) but a neutral tanned peach. A soft terracotta. I can easily imagine this working well on much paler as well as much darker skin than my own. Suspect it would be nice on lips as well.

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This packaging looks cool and weighs a ton (much more than you’d think. This is satisfying in the way of all small, unexpectedly heavy objects). Not sure how it would play out practically, chucked in a bag, but most of my stash stays at the home base so I’m not concerned about this. It’s not dangerously easy to shift the cover open but I’m not convinced it’s a great protective seal. Not a problem in a clean environment, which your makeup bag may or may not be. I don’t judge.

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