the casual red lip

On May 23, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I never get tired of jeans and a t-shirt. High-waisted or low-rise, v-neck, scoop, or crew, it’s the quintessential casual combo.

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The great thing about the unobtrusiveness of jeans and a t-shirt is the influence the other elements of the outfit suddenly gain. You can look slovenly or ultra-stylish; it’s all down to the accessories and peripherals. How could anyone who loves accessories pass up such a chance to let them shine? I dressed up the simple base with beige d’orsay pumps, pearls, and a belt. Belts can be so effective.

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And a casual red lip like this is so great, so throwaway. Even better with sneakers and tousled hair. An ultra glam red lip is all well and good, but the unexpected, tossed-on red lip is this delightful surprise. Lisa Eldridge recently did a tutorial on this kind of casual glam lip (all red lips are a little bit glam, no?), which I recommend along with the rest of her channel.

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Tom Ford Love Lust blush layered over Chanel cream blush in Affinité with the phenomenal Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer— a stunning, metallic gold cream highlighter—on the cheekbones. Geisha Ink Silk Mascara, which is excellent, a densely bristled wand makes it easy to coat lashes in one or two swipes (I take some of the product off on a tissue before applying to keep the lashes natural). This small Canadian brand does wonderful eye makeup, I would also recommend their liquid liner.

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Don’t usually go for graphic tees but love this one.

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Sole Society d’orsay pumps, Express high-waisted jeans, J Crew tee, Madewell leather belt, Pearl Paradise lavender metallic freshwater studs, Skagen watch, Michael Kors pavé open arrow ring, Ray-Ban aviators. On the lips: Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk lipstick and NYX lip pencil in Hot Red.

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How great is this cocktail ring? Gold molded into coral with jade stones nestled in. Thrifted.

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hit ’em high

On April 7, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I hit ’em high, hit ’em high, hit ’em high

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Hooooops.

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These are incredibly comfortable jeans. Pseudo-jean legging things. I don’t uniformly love a high waist (not every time, not in every context), but I really like these. At one point I was going on about back pockets and proportions, and these pockets are, to me, a great size. (I also really like these jeans pocket-wise, the pockets of which are even more square). Larger back pockets, if anything, make my ass look bigger, more generous—as does a high waist—, which I like. Small back pockets do not make it look any smaller (no one is fooled by this ploy), which I don’t want anyway*, and they look immature and useless besides.

*I want it to look…not small. Like, a handful. I have no time for jeans that are not on board with this goal.

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Express Stella high waist leggings, Eric Michael boots, Urban Outfitters plaid shirt, Banana Republic trench (thrifted), necklace via asos, J Crew belt, Mulberry bag (thrifted), Fossil watch. On the lips: Milani lipstick in Naturally Pink, much blotted and with Smith’s Rosebud Salve over top. On the cheeks: Michael Kors bronzer and Tom Ford blush in Love Lust, which will tell you about soon. It’s gorgeous, just a bit more muted/sophisticated than the (otherwise very similar) Japonesque blush I like so much.

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I’ve been wearing my hair down more, too. Not as inconvenient as I was remembering. Hm. Don’t faces look totally different at 10′ vs 2′ away? The whole architecture of the face seems to change.

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p.s. I’m giving away one of these Designsix ‘love’ necklaces this week. Just leave a comment below to enter! Open internationally, winner will be chosen randomly next Monday 4/14/14 at 10pm EST and informed through disqus. Good luck!

sun kissed

On February 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I am a long-time fan of Michael Kors as a designer, his sleek mono and duochrome ready to wear collections are (often, at least) clean and sophisticated; sporty, basic separates glammed up with chic tailoring,  luxe fabrics, and an elegant neutral color palette. I was curious to see his new makeup line and, though I find it a bit concept-heavy with the whole ‘sporty sexy glam’ thing (each piece in the collection is categorized for one of these three aspects of a woman who is all of these things, and this is the woman Michael Kors’ designs for), the line is what I would expect – sleek, chic, just a little bit gaudy.

His clothing designs are recognizable, his makeup and accessories are even more so – he is resoundingly known for gold statement jewelry and generously bronzed skin. Between the bronzed skin and the active, sportswear-style designs he is for me a quintessentially American designer. Wherever possible the pieces in the makeup line feature this square of gold made to look like a historic building plaque (a bit of cheeky ego there), and, as with his collections, gold is the recurring theme (remember how we love gold packaging?). As sun kissed, golden skin is his trademark I was particularly interested to try his bronzer, which does not disappoint. I found a deal on the darkest shade, Beam, a dark, shimmery copper that serves as a bronzer and highlight in one.

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This has a subtle shimmer, not something to cause concern unless you are absolutely against it. Many like matte bronzers because they look natural (provided one has chosen a suitable color) and can double as a contour powder and, while I have matte bronzers of my own, I reach more often for this. Looking actually natural (as opposed to looking made up to look natural) is a certain kind of look I only sometimes want.

I’ve been using it with this large Real Techniques powder brush, which is not the best of that range (not the softest) but which is large, densely bristled, and inexpensive (any fat, broad brush will do). It works a treat for bashing on large areas of color, and I find that the powder is finely milled enough and the color close enough to my skin tone that I don’t have to worry about being at all precise. This I like. So I dab in, maybe tap off the excess, maybe not (maybe having powdered beforehand, maybe not, which just changes the intensity a little), bash it on such that the curve of the brush tip lines up roughly with the curve of my cheekbone, swish any product left around my temples and maybe the bridge of my nose, and done. It’s not too obvious but I suddenly look healthier, with a bit of a glow going on. Sun kissed. Which is such a beautiful, apt phrase. Looking as if I have been given numerous kisses from my benevolent lover, the sun.

I like that this has a pink-red rather than an orange undertone, which gives a more realistic sun embraced effect (I turn pink when sunburned, which is the logical extreme of sun kissed, not orange). The other colors are pleasing as well. The compact is large, making it unsuitable for travel but great for using a really big brush (undoubtedly the most satisfying way). If you are in the market for a bronzer, this is a lovely one.

belt it

On December 12, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I like a herringbone pattern, especially in charcoal.  I got another faux fur collar as I wanted some contrast here (and generally find it difficult to resist white things).

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oxblood suede (♥!)

Yes, my coat has perfectly functional buttons, and I do like that boxy boyfriend look achieved by simply buttoning it as well as the casual look of not buttoning it at all, but why not add a belt? You know? Just why not?

I’ve been randomly adding a belt here and there where no belt is needed, and it opens whole new world of possibility. Many of my favorite uses of the belt are entirely cosmetic. I am coming around to investing in a really excellent belt (in any style, but with something a bit special about it), which belt can then carry the day, regardless of what it is in fact belting. I’ve observed that a nice dress with a supbar (cheap, plain, ragged, uninspired, etc.) belt yields a supbar effect, while a subpar dress with a luxe belt yields a luxe effect. I think the conclusion here is obvious.

Did I already talk about this? This feels familiar…but perhaps it was only in my mind. Perhaps I am building on the initial idea to invest in a belt and going on to say that I would then wear that belt in all manner of unconventional contexts. Belting a coat that has no need of a belt (or which already has a belt!), belting a scarf, belting a sweater or anything bulky, having a belt slung at the hips independent of any assigned loops, wearing multiple belts.  Much like the artful placement of a superfluous zipper (or like jewelry, which realm of decor a pointless belt approaches), a purely aesthetic belt can immediately up the style factor, especially one that is well chosen. Indeed, the more out of place it is, the better it will function as a feature of interest. It can also up the femininity factor, the waist being a definitive part of the female silhouette, and the highlighting or exaggeration of the waist a much-considered matter in the fashion and beauty industries (not to mention all of the feminist and body issues bound up in it and the zones above and below it by association, i.e. ratios). The waist is powerful, and so is the belt.

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Alorna herringbone coat (thrifted), faux fur collar (eBay), bon chon gloves, Old Navy sweater, Express leggings (I was skeptical about these at first but I think if I wear them and stare at them a bit more I’m going to like them), Cole Haan pumps, Michael Kors belt (thrifted). On the lips: MAC RiRiWoo. Oh, and here are the textured gold sphere earrings I was waiting for. They are heavy but they will do.

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 RiRiWoo (♥!) Like I said, the color is stunning, ultra saturated and ultra matte. 

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