bootie call

On November 17, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Ah, boot season.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Spring is OK for boots but not sufficiently dry for the suede styles that are my clear favorites (if acquisition is any indicator). This, among so many other reasons, is why autumn reigns supreme. Another reason might be the predominance of plaid, for which I have always harbored a weakness. Perhaps it is my rural upbringing?

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In particular I am craving the extremes of thigh-high and ankle boots. Booties. Bootlets. Much browsing and buying and returning before I discovered these charmers from UGG (which lacks romance but there it is). These have a great cowboy silhouette in the toe, minimal yet sculptural detailing, a great pale wheat color, and the slightly tapered chunky heel that I am drawn to these days.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

Isn’t there something wonderfully pristine about a bare, unadorned throat? 

Ripple pearl drops from Pearlescence, Chanel Rouge Noir Illusion d’ombre smoked out with a sepia shade from the Viseart neutral matte palette, MAC Peaches blush (new, loving), MAC prolongwear brow set, Wet n’ Wild Megalast lipstick in Bare it All with Urban Decay 24/7 lip pencil in Naked, which is almost a perfect match, some other stuff you can’t really see…

In the hair I’ve been using the deep repair mask (as a leave-in treatment) and the styling cream (for definition) from the Carol’s Daughter Tiare line. Smells amazing and I like how soft yet defined my hair is. Doing pretty well with my resolution to wear it down more.

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On the nails: Zoya Taylor. Basically a realistic concealer shade for me thanks to a touch of peachy warmth. Really nice color, though the whole time I’ve worn it I’ve wanted to add gold glitter to liven it up. The formula I find OK but it cracks on me within 48 hours or so.

j crew plaid flannel shirt theseventhsphinx

J Crew flannel shirt, Obi-style leather belt (eBay), Express leggings, Breil Milano watch, Ugg boots, Rough & Tumble bag (more on this bag later, loving this).

I have a few of these obi belts and find them so versatile and sleek. Though I could also like this look without a belt at all, loose and casual, to me the belt is doing so much here to amp up the style factor. The power of a good belt.

Get thee a good belt.

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under it all

On January 30, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been meaning to talk more about lingerie, which I enjoy and have just as many opinions about as any other style category. Really I think I’ve only done this post, on bras I like for small breasts, which is my sort. Here, finally, is a beginning, though an atypical one. Almost all of my bras are black or beige but in this instance I made an exception.

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My neutral preference is partly practical, bright colors often don’t work under tops, obtrusive and not so versatile, and partly personal…I just find it more to my taste, more sophisticated, more clean and simple to have a limited palette when it comes to underthings. Easy for it to match, as a bonus, which I do find appealing (though I’m not militant about it, as you see here), regardless of whether or not there is an audience.

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L’Agent Provocateur, Vanessa bra

With more expensive brands (which can be very worthwhile when it comes to lingerie), though, I’m often looking at styles from previous seasons, and bright colors are more likely to be on sale and in stock in my size(s), so this was one of those playful purchases. L’Agent Provocateur is usually too elaborate for me—too “sexy”—but now and then they have something simple.* I am not really interested in being sexy in that way, I find, or, more accurately I don’t think it is that sexy, and I’m wearing it for myself, after all.

Sexy is a silly word, often, and not one in the forefront of my mind (or even seriously in my vocabulary, my personal vocabulary of words that are useful for me), though I do have other concepts in the forefront, I would say, that could coincidentally translate to it. A slightly undone elegance, a natural freshness, a careless insouciance…these things I might strive to achieve.

*If this bra didn’t have the tiny ribbons on it—which I really don’t get at all, this need for tiny ribbons on bras and underwear—it would be just right. I plan to take them off.

IMG_8275In this case I just got the bra in black as well. When lingerie works (fits), I tend to take advantage. My underwear is black, white, or beige, and typically briefs, though sometimes boyshorts, and typically cotton. You are dying to know this, no?** These are Victoria’s Secret (not bad for basics, if you skip over the logo-heavy/tacky stuff, I’ve featured a bunch of their swimwear), though I’m really liking the brand Commando at the moment.

**Let’s talk about bodies later, too. For now: this is my current body. Some of it, anyway. Bodies cannot be too much of a surprise, can they? Clothes only conceal so much.

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I have functional T-shirt bras as well but a little lace, a little silk here and there…these can be pleasant indeed.

Once you’ve got lace and silk, you may as well add pearls. This beautiful peacock freshwater tin cup necklace is from the Etsy shop LiliasTreasures (which I’ve mentioned before, here, here, and here), currently sold out but her work is lovely.

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The earrings are stunning rose-toned gold metallic ripple pearls from the UK shop Pearlescence, also wonderful, with excellent customer service.

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the autumn/winter palette

On November 30, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

So-called autumn colors are consistently my favorites, regardless of the season. Deep jewel tones, warm earth tones, any color a leaf might conceivably turn, the dark, sophisticated cousins of their spring/summer counterparts. There’s a lot of overlap between classic autumn and classic winter shades and I don’t make much of a distinction, though if forced I would say it is the warm, rusty, browned shades that dominate the autumn palette, and the winter palette substitutes that warmth for still more heavily saturated jewel tones.* Ex. the turn from the oxblood lip to the deep, blue-toned red lip (or burgundy to bordeaux). Ex. the turn from copper and gold to amethyst and jade.

*Jewel tones meaning (at least, I mean) colors somewhere on the spectrum of a true gemstone color, just darker or lighter, paler or more vibrant. A questionable phrase as the terms jewel and gem are hazy, and could really be said to include every color thanks to the diversity of minerals, but when we talk about beauty and fashion we understand the term to mean saturated and vibrant, often dark colors. So, OK, fine. Jewel tones.

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I like this transitional period wherein it’s not too late (I mean, it’s never too late) to evoke the rust and copper of autumn, and the muted violets, rosy reds, and deep greens of winter are fair game. I’m especially into plummy, bordeaux shades this year. Definitely another burgundy/bordeaux lip round up coming soon. Will be telling you more about some of my favorites pictured here as well, mostly quite new, and some real beauties.

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Really the only thing to do with piles of beautifully colored objects is to arrange endless configurations of them. Right? I, at least, never tire of this.

For me makeup is only fractionally about the medium/texture/formula, and primarily about the color. I am not even shopping for a category, sometimes, not a blush or a lipstick or a shadow (many of these can be multi-purpose, anyway), I am shopping for a color. An excellent formula is then a happy bonus. I have a few lipsticks that are lovely in texture but a little eh color-wise, and they don’t get much love. On the other hand I have some mediocre shadows that I make work because I like the colors so well.

Color is also the most dangerously effective justification for getting another thing, makeup-wise. I think I may accurately blame much of my stash on color preoccupation.

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