looks to try right now: earth tones

On November 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

While I often find a makeup look interesting or beautiful, it’s relatively uncommon that I actually want to recreate it on myself. I’ll make a mental note of elements I like here and there, which notes presumably accumulate in my unconscious to manifest at some later time, but usually don’t want to just copy the exact look.

Unless it’s this gorgeous.

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This is the work of Victoria’s Secret makeup artist Hugo Vanngo [as featured in intothegloss], who obviously does restrained elegance well. The article was about a fresh take on earth tones, and I really love the first two looks he created (full article here).

The contrast of the deep garnet lip with the minimally contoured eye is so chic. The eye makeup is almost undetectable, with most of the focus going to the enhanced brows and rosy cheeks. Key that he didn’t bring the blush too far toward the center of the face, which keeps the look grown up. Imagine a vertical line coming down from the outside corner of the eye, this blush only slightly crosses that line, and only at the hazy edge of the zone of color. Compare this with a youthful blush look centered on the apples of the cheeks – a distinctly different look (urge you to try this at home).

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This second look is LIFE. I love everything about the colors on the eye here. A prune lid with a rusty brown, fairly graphic crease color. Defined lashes but still natural (not doll drama, which I personally don’t like on myself). The faintest presence of bronzer and a peachy nude lip to allow the eyes to dominate…perfect. Shades of violet look lovely with every eye color, and if a crayola purple is too much for you, this kind of muted jewel tone (amethyst tempered with taupe, violet tempered with brown) is a beautiful way to go.

Will have to remember to document trying these looks out.

images via intothegloss

cart unity

On March 19, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I enjoy the process of shopping, whether physically or virtually adding items to the cart (and removing items from the cart, this also key), and find it especially satisfying when there is some harmony or narrative to the cart, as when, in the grocery store, purchasing ingredients that complement one another, seem conspicuously to belong with one another,* reveal precisely what you intend to make with them.

*Conversely, also deeply satisfying when they seem conspicuously not to belong with one another, when the cart contents are markedly odd and unexpected as a unit.

Not every vendor carries a sufficiently broad range of categories to make interesting juxtapositions, though, too, I’ve been pleased with certain combinations of just shoes or just paint brushes – it needn’t be a precisely logical harmony. It’s not that the items would necessarily be used together, though perhaps that might be the case, or it might be fun to imagine it as the case (say, a skirt and a pair of sunglasses), but more that they are aesthetically compelling together according to whatever quirky beauty-logic is currently reigning in my head at the time.

Here’s a recent J. Crew cart I found pleasing, somehow more appealing to purchase these items together than it would have been to get any given element singly.

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Here we have: two neutral silk camisoles, Garance Doré stationary, notebooks, notecard, Troi Ollivierre lipstick in Parker.

See what I mean? Love this largely cream palette with gold accents and that single pop of berry pink. I like the range of textures, too, metallics and silk, paper and cream. What would also have been fitting in this cart is these great cream and gold New Balance 620’s (really like their various brand collaborations, for the record, some great color combinations). Really similar to a pair I was jonesing for last year but couldn’t find from a vendor that would ship to the U.S.

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Only of course they are sold out of my size.

Hm. I’ll try to show some other examples later (do you like seeing what people buy? I’m often interested to know this kind of mundane data, and it’s not a bad way to learn about new products). Definitely doing some spring shopping at the moment.

x

the Lorac PRO

On January 24, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

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Lorac PRO palette, Nars Pro Prime, Elf C eyeshadow brush, Paula Dorf shader, MAC 217

I finally picked up the much praised Lorac PRO palette in the holiday sales, after no small debate between several palettes I’ve had my eye on. This just edged out the Too Faced Chocolate Bar palette, which I’m afraid I still kind of want, but not due to any disappointment with the Lorac PRO. Garnet, Sable, Mauve, and Pewter are the standout shades for me here, and this just my kind of palette: essentially warm neutrals but with a few jewel shades to spice things up. I like that I consider using some shades I normally wouldn’t reach for, like Slate, just because they are there – palettes can be good for meandering outside your usual colorways.

These are excellent quality, creamy and smooth, very little dust/fallout for me. A nice price point for the quantity and quality, too, especially if you find it on sale.

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Lots of beautiful combinations here.

the dreamer

On January 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

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Marc Jacobs Beauty palette The Dreamer, brushes: Hakuhodo B5520BkSL, H2289, J146, MAC 217

This stunner of a palette from the Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con line is one of my new favorite beauty toys. This is The Dreamer, essentially the neutral palette in the collection. I’ve spoken before about the siren-like allure certain color combinations can have, the power of a palette. I might not be interested in the colors individually, not enough to buy them, but combined I am drawn closer and closer to the jewel box. This one I found completely compelling from the start, and especially so once I saw it in person. I wandered into Sephora intending to look at the Night Owl palette from this same collection but it was out of stock and I met this one instead (actually I’m not uninterested in the Night Owl palette, it’s been noted). The golden goddess that occasionally runs the show here gave her immediate approval. Gold, champagne, a pale grapefruit, deep walnut, and warm neutrals… really I didn’t stand a chance against these colors.

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These shadows are what others have promised, they are so creamy as to have veered as far away from the realm of powder as possible without quite leaving it entirely. Sleek packaging. I’m pleased with this line—so anticipated—all around. I don’t like every design from Marc Jacobs by any means but I have admired him for many years now (over 10 years, I realize, since I began following him! After a friend in college with impeccable style noted him a favorite), the clarity of his style, the bold strokes and adventurous lines.

This is a bit too expensive, though, I think. $59 for this palette, and the shadows are not large. So, it is beautiful, but I would not exactly recommend it, at least not over many other excellent neutral palettes at more reasonable prices. But, it is beautiful. The quality is there. Priced similarly to luxury brands like Dior, Chanel, Guerlain, etc. If you are up for it, I think the money is not badly spent. And I don’t already have the ubiquitous Naked Palette, so I justified this effortlessly. I picked up some Hakuhodo brushes a few months ago as well, and liking. Will get into those later.

The lure of this palette made me realize how predictable I am in such cases. Chuck certain colors together and I’m sure to take a second look. Why? Why is this? Why these colors? Golds, caramels, creams…but others, too, which is why, for different but equally compelling reasons, I am drawn to the Night Owl palette as well.

Though, I suppose, why anything? Why do I like Brussels sprouts and ginger so much? Why the smell of vetiver?

Who can say. It seems one might be able to know, if only the data were accessible…but probably this is an illusion.

What are your colors?

x

Gold Trench No. 4

On November 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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For an effortless, sheer shadow with low-level sophisticated shimmer, look to the Burberry Sheer Eyeshadows. The Burberry makeup line is nice across the board, great formulations for lips, base, eyes, face, but for the most part I think it’s too expensive to be truly tempting, and their colors are overwhelmingly neutral. If I am up for the Burberry price tag, I go to Chanel (blush, lipstick), Dior (eyeshadow), or Guerlain (bronzer), where the options are iconic, proven, and where I’ve made happy choices in the past.

That said, these eyeshadows are really so nice. They are not highly pigmented (one popular way of determining the quality of a shadow) but we do not hold this against them as it is not their purpose. Their purpose is to be uniformly pigmented and slightly creamy in texture (imagine the texture of a Dior shadow with half the pigmentation) such that they give a foolproof wash of color that is ideal for a polished, understated look. Their colors are virtually all shades of beige and brown, and they are lovely.

I plumped for the shade Gold Trench #4, a beautiful pale gold (I wish this were the color of my trench coat). As if I needed yet another gold eyeshadow. I also like Pale Barley (silvery taupe) and Midnight Brown (chocolate brown). Great for an easy single shadow look.

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