we like: Jeffree Star Cosmetics

On May 22, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

There are a few formulas of liquid lipstick that stand out as favorites: Dose of Colors, Stila Stay All Day, Kat Von D Everlasting. Watching his videos^ and dozens of other reviews I had no doubt that Jeffree Star Cosmetics liquid lipsticks would be among these ranks, and it was only a matter of time before I picked one up. I recently confirmed that the reviews are deserved; the formula is lovely.

^He has wonderful tutorials, check them out if you like edgy, glamazon looks.

While I was at it, I picked up one of his Velour Lip scrubs, too. A girl needs a lip scrub.

Jeffree star cosmetics Anna Nicole

A girl doesn’t really need to buy a lip scrub, it’s worth mentioning. I have a very functional one I make by mixing castor sugar and vaseline or the spare ends of waxy chapsticks as a binding agent. Pack it in a pot and it lasts ages. You can also just remember to include your lips in any facial scrub session (though I find they sometimes need extra attention). That said, if one were to frivolously spend her money on such a thing, this is a generous little pot and not a bad price ($12), with fun, spot-on flavors. Root Beer is delicious. Plenty of nice oils in to leave the lips balmy and moisturized after.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics lip scrub

The exfoliation of the lips is critical, as all lipstick lovers know.

While I ultimately prefer a classic creamy lipstick, I appreciate the strengths of a liquid lipstick. When you know you will spend hours too busy for chance to even glance in a mirror much less manage touch-ups (as I do at work every day) a liquid lipstick is a great fuss-free option.  I recommend browsing swatches as not all of Jeffree Star’s colors are as uniform (that is, not patchy) as others but the all of the reds get a solid stamp of approval. I went for Anna Nicole, a screaming hot tomato that is absolutely stunning. Orange sits well on yellow/olive-based skin tones. Makes green eyes glow, too. Need to bust out more oranges.

Jeffree star cosmetics Anna Nicole

It is a bit more orange and brighter than it is showing here, quite true to the color in the tube in the first image.

This lip stands up and shouts. I love wearing a color like this, a color that almost jumps off your face it’s so bold and bright. People cannot help but look at this color, a vivid gash of red orange like a toreador’s cape. I felt so badass in this lip. Stares all over. I went downtown to do some shopping in this and can’t remember the last time I had so many blatant stares, nor so many compliments on a lip color. I kept the rest of the look very clean, just highlighter (rather a lot, that will get its own post) and enough blush to keep from looking washed out (Benefit Coralista), a few lashings of mascara*, a bit of concealing to get rid of red marks as dark and bold lipsticks make hyperpigmentation stand out even more, and a little brow defining with my much-loved Benefit Gimme Brow. 

*Currently layering L’Oreal Clump Crusher, which I really like, with Benefit Roller Lash (so much Benefit today!), which is a bit too wet and clump-prone at the moment [but which I anticipate I will like OK when it dries out more], good for adding volume and length to the very natural, separated look Clump Crusher gives. Do we care about this? Can there be too much detail?

The formula: Liquid but not runny (thicker than Colourpop, not quite as thick as Dose of Colors), opaque in one careful coat (or two careless ones). I always use a lip liner with liquid lipsticks anyway and they take a little getting used to but application here was nothing scary. A little blotting and a swipe of a cotton bud here and there to clean-up [not an army of fallen cotton buds that gave their life in service to a single lip look, something I feel I must not be alone in experiencing].

 My lips, already full, looked absolutely massive. There was this illusion of them taking up so much of my face – a clean bold red lip always does this – because they are the focal point the lips seem so much bigger than they are in reality. I love that. People are not even seeing me, I imagine, or not at first seeing me, just this fabulously vibrant lip. As if, having your attention drawn to a bright flower, you find it is being carried by the most charming woman…

x

endless summer

On May 20, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s strange how fully I (and we, as a culture, it seems) fall for the myth and the romance of summer given how, at least here in the Boston area, summer is a horrible, humid stretch of days during which one attempts to stay in the air conditioning as often as possible. I am miserably hot for the better part of summers here, if I think about it, a fact I seem conveniently to forget sometime around January, and fail to remember until June. It’s really only nice for a few days here and there, and usually only part of those days, before and/or after a sudden, unforeseen downpour.

I still feel the consumerist desire to kit myself out for the mystical stretch of the year that is summer, however. I want to be prepared for the impending vacances (I am not scheduled, at the moment, for a single day of vacance, reader), the long, languid soirées (ditto soirées), the sangria and mojito filled late afternoons (I will be working through virtually every one of those afternoons…).

Still I read such articles as ’10 summer must haves’ and ‘5 best lipsticks for summer’*. I want to wear orange lips, too. I really do.

*ALTHOUGH one is always taking in more data than one needs, and carefully over-preparing for hazy impending events. So…not necessarily a waste of time. Not entirely a waste of time/money.

This is to say, I am living in a fantasy wherein it seems I need to prepare for a life that doesn’t quite (at all) coincide with what is realistically (even just based on the statistics from last summer) going to happen. Really it is likely to be like a lot of the rest of the year, just inconveniently hot.

Yes, but! I could go to more parties this year! I might! Be invited to more! And then actually go!

I could.

I might.

I’m considering it.

So I probably need a new dress. A new bikini, clearly. And some lipstick. And, like, special summer moisturizer, and better legs, somehow. Suddenly my legs won’t do at all?  I need which products to mollify the gods of summer?

And somehow all the stuff I did and got for last summer and the summer before that (and the summer before that…) do not quite cut it?

Summer is such a genius cultural myth, capitalism-wise. I will give summer that. Even seeing through it, I genuinely fall prey to some of this marketing. Some of it overlaps with basic optimism about life (it’s optimistic to hope to go out, to plan social events, and to plan for the trappings of those events), and in some cases I just want the kind of stuff I want all the time, and the season provides a fresh context in which to want it. And in some cases it overlaps with common sense, like needing lighter clothes for summer, or sunscreen.

I like the kind of beauty looks that always crop up around summer, sheer, natural looks that tend to focus on looking healthy and fresh-faced. They hark back to the 60s and 70s concept of the American beauty, when the fashion magazine industry had just sprung up to document a world of fashion, and American models were known for their overflowing good health, athleticism, and a preference for natural (or natural looking) faces.

What I’m leading up to is: I bought some summer lipsticks.

And they are excellent.

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Lipstick Queen’s Endless Summer collection has a sheer, emollient formula like that of Jean Queen (the formula I wanted their Saint lipsticks to have, and they don’t quite), which I’ve already mentioned liking so well.  I think this kind of transparent formula, its texture hovering somewhere between a cream and an ointment (shea butter-based), its pigmentation unassailable, is effortless, foolproof. I think it’s on par with Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine formula, and at a better price (if fewer colors). Want to get someone a gift of lipstick? Get them one of these (especially Jean Queen, which is a dark, I would say universal pink). Or one from Chanel.

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Stoked is a gently orange-toned tomato red, and Perfect Wave is a blue-tinged bubble gum pink. Stoked is the winner for me, but orange reds often are.

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Oh, OK. Here are some swatches.

I like the name, too. Endless Summer. I have summers that live on persistently in memory like this, seeming not to fade or lessen in their significance over time. Ready to be turned to, returned to, at any moment.

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I really like this packaging, too. This metallic orange  is beautiful.

I would wear these all year round.

 

P.S. For the record, I prefer autumn.

 

the western buckle

On April 14, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

“Once he gave her a ring with a sphinx engraved on its stone.

‘What is it?’ she asked. ‘A sphinx?’

‘Yes,’ he answered, ‘and that sphinx is you.’

‘Is it really me? she asked and slowly raised her enigmatic gaze towards him. ‘Do you know that’s very flattering?’ she added with a slight smile, but her eyes still had that strange look.”

                                                        —Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev

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I picked up this belt buckle while browsing for cowboy boots at Helen’s Leather Shop in Beacon Hill. It’s embossed with a delicate floral pattern. I like the western atmosphere a large belt buckle bestows, and I often like to take turquoise with my oversized buckles. And when I wear turquoise I want to wear white…you see what’s happened here. Oh, here’s a pair of the cheap sunglasses I mentioned.

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Love the shape of this skirt, long and high-waisted with a gentle fishtail effect.

I don’t mind at all mixing brown and black.* I don’t mind mixing the varying shades of turquoise here, either. Blue nearly always seems to look good with blue, no matter which shades.

*Honestly, I don’t have a black bag. Nor is a black bag anywhere near the top of my wishlist. This is one of those wardrobe ‘staples’ I simply cannot care about, and do not remotely miss. I take this as more evidence that I should keep on doing what I want.

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details

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 Linen skirt from ASOS, Ariat tooled leather belt, J Crew tee, Mulberry bag, Steve Madden P-Heaven flats, Skagen watch, pearl shell drops (eBay). On the lips: Bite Beauty Matte Crème lip crayon in Blood Orange (this color is electric in person, have been hearing such good things about this brand and am impressed so far). On the nails: Wet n wild I Need A Refresh-Mint.

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x

the fisherman’s sweater ii

On March 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It can take a few wearings for a piece to be integrated into my wardrobe, with the first few wearings somehow stilted or off. It’s too new, I overthink it, I try to do too many things at once. I didn’t love this look, in retrospect (and it wasn’t that long ago):

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I thought: I can do this better.

Not just wear the sweater again, though this is also certainly part of the plan, but try this look again. This torn jeans, oversized sweater, leather accents, minimal embellishments look. I want the lip to be brighter and more transparent, I want the eyes smudgier, I want a different hair/head situation. Bigger hair. No hat. Or not this hat. This hat needs different hair entirely (cue entirely new vision).

[What I imagine to be a common practice of trial and error is less notable (less potentially galling) when one is not in the habit of publicly recording what one wears…]

Anyway. Sometimes I want a do-over.* And not to do it “better”, exactly, as I think that’s not a very useful word here, but more in line with the spirit of the concept, the original vision. The effect in the first case is too polished, too tightly controlled, not casual enough – given the reference point. It looks fine, but it’s not how I wanted to look.

*This is distinct from liking a look so much that I want to try infinite variations of the look, which I suppose isn’t a bad definition of a clear personal style.

This is more what I was thinking.

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I swear I was trying to make a neutral face here. I think my neutral face is just not very friendly.

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Carraig Donn sweater (thrifted), AG jeans (thrifted), Ann Klein loafers, Skagen watch, Mulberry bag (thrifted). On the lips: MAC lipstick in Speak Louder. On the nails: Barry M Gelly nail paint in Satsuma. I think gold liner is such a great alternative to brown. Oh, and this is the Michael Kors bronzer at work, though I recently tried the Hard Candy Hula Hula bronzer and found it a great budget option in the same deep, shimmery style.

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This nail color is incredible, a saturated mandarin orange. Better angle:

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Why why why do I not wear my hair like this all the time? OK, I know why, but here is my official reminder to change my ways.

x

how to: orange lips

On March 19, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I’m planning a number of orange lip looks for spring and summer, and I’m clearly not alone. Orange lips are trending.

Here are two recent makeup tutorials I liked, each outlining what to keep in mind when going for an orange lip and offering some good product options.

Lisa, of course, we love every time:

And this look by Nic from Pixiwoo is great, too, underlining what a killer pairing a bright lip and bold (yet not overly defined) brows can be.

There are so many species of orange – so many shades, so many textures and grades of opacity (here are a few of my favorites, and I have a few new oranges I’ll share later), this look is a lot more versatile than it sounds in the abstract.  If you go for a bolder shade, things to think about when wearing any bold lip apply. Going to go for it?

I think it’s worth considering. I quite like Nic’s suggestion of just wearing a new look around the house to get yourself accustomed to the idea. No one has to know! (see 2:34) Little by little it doesn’t seem so outrageous anymore.

image via lisaeldridge.com

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