the floral A-line

On September 11, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Remember how rose-heavy floral prints on black backgrounds started popping up everywhere after Dior featured them several seasons ago? Three years or so later I’ve finally found a piece I like in this scuba A-line skirt from Warehouse.

Warehouse floral print

I’ve grumbled about floral prints before, how difficult it is for me to find a print of the desired scale and busyness, how often they tip into the realm of the distracting and garish. There is no one formula for me, either, as with so many things. Everything has to be assessed case by case. Those prints I do like, though, tend to offer a soft, pleasing wash of gently variegated color.

Warehouse floral print

This hazy, digital floral print I like for a skirt of this volume (meaning I think I would not like the print as well writ small, as shoes or a clutch, or a tank top, say), a classic, fairly full A-line meant to be worn high at the natural waist. Love where this length hits; a bit below the knee, just revealing the base of the calf. A retro length with a modern print makes for nice contrast.

Schutz Kutia pumps

These are new. We are loving these. Not unlike the Aquazurra ones we love, which is no coincidence.

Schutz Kutia pumps

This color!

pearls, hamsa necklace, Givenchy fuchsia irresitible lipstick

Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation, Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder, NARS blush in Luminoso, Guerlain Terracotta bronzer, Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury Veruschka eyeliner, MAC false lash effect mascara, MAC brow set. Could argue that a peachy nude lipstick matching the pumps would have been fitting or even superior here.

Givenchy Fuschia Irresistible

This limited edition lipstick packaging was compelling, I won’t deny. This color is a cult classic, for good reason. 

Warehouse skirt (via ASOS), Schutz Kutia pumps, thrifted black silk tank, Pearl Paradise pearl 8mm studs. This little turquoise hamsa necklace I am loving (eBay). There are tons of variations with different stones, if you search (the best all seem to be from Israel). They are good luck, traditionally, though I mainly wanted something small and turquoise on a slender gold chain. I won’t say no to any luck that may accrue to me, however.

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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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on the menu: waffles & jam

On July 13, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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OK, here’s what you do:

1. Make waffles

2. Top your waffle generously with jam (I highly recommend this: Ficsher & Wieser Amaretto Peach Pecan. So, so delicious. Other possibilities: strawberry rhubarb, plum, sour cherry…or, you know, nutella)

3. Add a small mountain of berries

4. Douse with warm maple syrup – the real stuff only, and the darker the better

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5. Try not to eat too fast

[Good luck with that.]

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spring pinks

On April 18, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (wearing here), Japonesque #3 (wearing here), Tom Ford Love Lust (wearing here)

Here are a few of the blushes I’m reaching for so far this spring. The Bobbi Brown blush I’ve mentioned before, it’s the brightest and the only non-shimmery blush in this crowd. The Japonesque blush is just a fraction darker, with some fine, subtle gold shimmer, and the Tom Ford blush is more muted and peachy with a comparable amount of gold shimmer, a sophisticated cousin of the Japonesque shade. With Love Lust I’m more likely to do a (subtle) 80s diva streak up the cheekbone rather than a pop on the apples of the cheeks. Milani blush in Luminoso is a great drugstore alternative, about $10 and with a similar effect on the cheeks in terms of the quality of the shimmer (high, fine). Though more distinctly coral/peach the shade is quite sheer (I can see this as a positive, easier not to put too much on in one go). I mention it here anyway because I reach for it under the same circumstances and for the same reasons I would reach for any of these pinks.

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Clockwise from the top: Tom Ford Love Lust, Milani Luminoso, Japonesque #3, Bobbi Brown Pink Coral

One of these blushes is often virtually the only makeup I use for the day, with perhaps a little highlighter and tinted lip balm (maybe some bronzer, mascara…OK, OK. Virtually).  If I only have time to do one thing, though, that thing is always adding a bit of blush. Blush, for me, gives the maximum payoff for the minimum effort, an instant infusion of life into the face.

These are great blushes at any time of year, really. Like any that suit you. A good pink blush will see you through all weather.