Gold leaf? Yes, please.

On May 3, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

The Camellia Nourishing lip balm was the product that turned me on to Tatcha,  a brand with skin-care at its core inspired by the simple, elegant beauty regimen of geisha. Hooked already, right? Founded by a Harvard Business School grad with extremely sensitive skin who couldn’t find anything in the market that suited her needs. The line is relatively small, mostly skincare with a few cosmetic offerings, and all of the products center around the key skin-friendly ingredients of rice bran, green tea, and red algae, ingredients featured in ancient beauty texts.

They initially caught my interest with an emollient lip balm that was, for no reason other than the beauty of it, topped with gold leaf, an elegant way of imparting gold shimmer to the balm.

Gold leaf? Yes, please.

IMG_9672I don’t even care about shimmer balms, typically, though when done right they can be subtle and nice, which this is. Doubtless there are other shimmery lip balms [as if I didn’t have enough lip balm] but I suspect this one would beat them on presentation. Heavy glass pot, GOLD LEAF.

If more brands were whacking gold leaf on top of their products I have a feeling I would be in real trouble.

Their packaging is beautiful, too, by the way. When you open the box there is a ribbon pull tab for a drawer in which the product is nestled with a detailed infoscrap rolled elegantly around (as opposed to folded into a small rectangle and relegated off to the bottom or side as in standard skincare procedure).

It’s the little things.

IMG_9673Beauty, no?

It’s so satisfying to acquire beautiful things. Especially when you (upon ordering) have hopes of their being beautiful which they meet or even exceed, as with this balm. I seem so often to be returning disappointing items that only seem beautiful from their promo shot angle/distance, and are, upon inspection, awful. By which I mean: unwearable, really genuinely bad. I am certain that I am not alone here.

I also picked up a few of Tatcha’s skincare items as well as the ridiculously beautiful (and seriously expensive) Kyoto Red Silk lipstick, which I’ll have to report back on. I’ve had them for about 3 weeks and I’m really, really liking the exfoliating powder.

Also liked this post on their blog about lessons learned from a geisha, including:

“Some of the most attractive, mesmerizing geisha I have known are the ones who were in their 70s and beyond, because they have honed the art of being an interesting person over all those decades. In the West, we are obsessed with youth and beauty, but these women have taught me that beauty is something to be gained over time, not something that is lost over time.”

So great to find new brands. Let me know any recommendations you might have!

x

 

xoxo

On February 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_9625

H&M lips scarf, Tony Moly Bbo Bbo lip balms, Garance Doré notebook, Woodblock Chocolate, Fine & Raw Chocolate, Lafco Duchess Peony soap

Totally have this day covered.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

x

we like: Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream

On November 16, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

The Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream formula is so interesting. It’s a cream-to-powder matte lip product that reminds me of a more posh, more pigmented version of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (which I also like a lot). Evidently it features unprecedented levels of pigment for this kind of texture, which I readily believe. This gives massive color impact in one swipe.

IMG_8970

Here is their blurb about how it works, which sounds so cool,

“The cream-to-powder delivery system is achieved with an advanced formulation of butters, waxes, and oils that all have different melting and absorption rates. The balanced combination of waxes and butters with the powder texture of silica develop a creamy and buttery application that quickly absorbs into lips while the powdered pigments remain on the surface to leave a matte finish.” (via Sephora)

Bite Beauty is a compelling (and relatively young) brand, all about nourishing ingredients, most notably high levels of the antioxidant reservatrol, also found in wine, presumably the reason behind naming so many of their colors after wines. They are one of a growing number of smart beauty brands out of Canada right now (Toronto). Their Luminous Créme lipstick, which I’ll talk about soon, is absolutely gorgeous, and their various lip pencils are excellent as well. Solid all around.

I picked up the color Sancerre, a bright raspberry pink. This is quite a dry cream upon application yet doesn’t dry immediately on the lips (is blottable for many (say, 15 or so) minutes, with increasingly faded results). The curious thing is that even if you keep blotting, though product comes off on the tissue, the effect on the lips doesn’t seem to change at all. That is, blotting truly removes only the excess, not part of the foundation of color you want to keep. It comes off on drinking glasses and whatnot as well, minimally, yet still without diminishing the effect of color on the lips, at least not for a good while. Pretty impressive for a formula that doesn’t promise to be long-wearing. It has an interesting flexi-fuzzy-tip applicator, a little longer and narrower than the standard doe-foot. More like a short mascara wand, and I think it works brilliantly.

We like.

the bordeaux lip

On October 15, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

A bordeaux lip is always fine by me. The deep violet reds of cabernet sauvignons, malbecs, and merlots are easy favorites for autumn/winter. Many of my top choices in this shade range have a sumptuous darkness offset by a hint (or a shove) of fuchsia.  These shades are so versatile, arresting in a full on application and completely subtle and lush when smudged on and blotted. This is how I like them best, I think, applied in a berry-stained haze that leaves the precise boundaries of the lips ever so slightly in question. [I should do a video about this! I just made a note, just now. I’m probably going to lose it though.]

Or full on. I can’t decide.

I like swatches in this context, a selection showing nuances within a shade range. It can be interesting (possibly also sobering) to see what shades I have, maybe not even quite consciously, chosen consistently over the years.

The deep dark plummy reds:

IMG_8909

L to R: Revlon Black Cherry, Julie Hewett Sin Noir, Lancome Rouge in Love 391 Fiery Attitude, Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balmstain in CrushIMG_8898

 Revlon Superlustrous lipstick in Black Cherry — Good old standby. Good old Revlon. Great merlot color, and actually, on the lips, not a bad substitute for the much more expensive

Julie Hewett Sin Noir — Lovely, lovely, lovely. This is a popular shade, I understand, and I can see why. Picked up another from the line after trying this shade, then I bought this one again for a friend. The house red.

Lancome Rouge in Love 391 Fiery Attitude — I’ve worn this a few times on the blog, and every time I do I’m thinking, I love this. I should wear this all the time. Why don’t I wear this all the time? (ex. this) This formula is so good. So good! Really good. So, so good blotted away to a faint raspberry cloud. Let’s talk about violet shades later.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balmstain in Crush — this swatch looks so sad because my crayon is all mooshed. An unfortunate case of the packaging not being quite as good as the product. I really like this, though, as a sheer, plummy malbec option, and I can make it work.

Continuing on:
IMG_8911

L to R: Kat Von D Motorhead Studded Kiss lipstick, NYX Matte lipstick in Aria, Bite Beauty Cashmere lip cream in Sancerre, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 88 Esprit

IMG_8901

Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Motorhead — still testing this formula out but I really like this color. Quite close to the Revlon Black Cherry, but a drier, more long-lasting formula. How cute is this little tube? Sephora mini set.

NYX Matte lipstick in Aria — a great matte formula for the price (I also really like the color Perfect Red), and this color is just the right balance of brightness and violetness (without quite, for me, tipping into the spring color it would be if just a fraction of a shade lighter/brighter than this). Imagine a young, gemlike syrah held up to the light.

Bite Beauty Cashmere lip cream in Sancerre — opaque like woah. Like the Stila liquid lipstick and the Kat Von D Everlasting Kisses liquid, it is opaque in one swipe and stains to some degree (and needs some care in the application). Not as long lasting as the other two but more luscious. Incredible visual impact with this kind of saturation.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 88 Esprit — an ideal sheer berry/wine shade. Has she been eating berries? Has she been drinking wine? Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s…Chanel. I think this formula is genius, which I‘ve said before. As close to foolproof as you are going to get with this kind of pigmentation (sheer but distinct). Foolproofness isn’t at all critical for me (if anything I seem to prefer the fussier formulas) but I can appreciate it nonetheless, and I can see vast gift potential.

If you know your lips are going to be wine-stained anyway [I do like red wine, especially going into the colder months], why not get a head start? Or, if you know your lips are not going to be wine-stained, like mine this week, as I have a cold and am working like a dog, why not take matters into your own hands?

Let me know if you have any recommendations. I keep wanting to try out Clinique’s Black Honey, too, in this vein.

x

so it begins

On August 20, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

After many months of feeling left out re: Instagram, I’ve upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S5. It didn’t hurt that the week before ordering it a commercial for the gold Galaxy S5 was playing on every Hulu break, and I heard ‘galaxy’ repeated over and over as I was watching [the most, most excellent] Cosmos.

I held out for a long time as I was hesitant to spend the extra dollars on something so dubious as a data plan. After all, constant connectivity doesn’t interest me at all, more the opposite. I would rather not be permanently available, and don’t tend to miss the world of media when it isn’t at my fingertips. But. Well. I do really want to play around with Instagram. And it will be nice to be able to check when the bus is coming.

IMG_5542

Black S5 with white Otterbox Symmetry case and kiss decal. The profusion of available phone cases is astonishing. 

 The kiss detail* I added, which is more or less the logo for my life, lipstick and kisses being my favorite things.

*I am great at making lip imprints like this, incidentally. SWAK evidence. My imprints are shapely and generous, picturesque (though also, I suppose, in a certain sense, unsanitary, gross). Hard to say when this will ever be useful.

Here is my wallpaper, the continuous exposure to which is maybe the best part so far. Penguins. Balloons. Cuteness.

Flying-Penguins (1)

And, while I find selfies often tacky and egomaniacal, I cannot deny that I myself am not infrequently tacky and egomaniacal…

20140820_164404

I suspect this is a slippery slope.

Any apps you recommend?

Pages:1234»