the graphic print

On August 21, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

I like a geometric print now and then. This jumbo polka dot maxi skirt caught my eye recently and I’m enjoying the boldness of the print.IMG_4771

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Paired it with a simple white blouse and stacks of bracelets. A print like this is fun to pair with another print as well… a look I appreciate more than I feel compelled to wear myself. Loving the green mirrored Ray-Ban Clubmasters with these Pearls of Joy 12mm Tahitian Studs.

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This is the Jeffree Star liquid lipstick in Anna Nicole I mentioned a while ago. A stunning summer orange with just the right level of red in it.

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Nails are Essie Cute as a Button with the excellent Dazzle Dry basecoat and topcoat. Highly recommend Dazzle Dry, which was recommended to me by Wet Paint Nail Spa here in Cambridge.

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Stay cool.

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monochrome: camel ii

On March 5, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Camel, tan, honey, sand…whatever you want to call them, they are my colors. I never get sick of these slightly warm mid-to-light-range browns. A monochromatic look is such an easy way to look pulled together, especially dramatic when that color is not black or brown but also so so good when it is. We’ve been here before.

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Mixing it up with varying textures, wool, suede, fur (faux here), pebbled leather, wood, gold, creates the interest we otherwise might achieve with color, as demonstrated so masterfully by Haider Ackermann in nearly every collection somewhere. I love when the hair and skin play into this, additional human textures in the same shade range for a truly limited palette.

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Dress, asos. Boots, UGG. Bag, Mulberry Roxanne. Watch, Skagen. Cloak, thrifted.

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On the lips: Urban Decay Naked liner and MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick

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the gladiators

On August 16, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Damn I love a gladiator sandal.

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These are the Cypress gladiator sandals from Free People, which carries a bunch of appealing gladiator styles, if you’re on the hunt. This was the year I finally found the knee-high gladiator. No support in the footbed so some kind of supplemental padding is in order, at least for me, but I’m pleased with their badassness overall.

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What is it about the gladiator? The ancient Greece connection, for sure. Basically those statues in the MFA? That’s exactly how I want to dress. Actually literally exactly. Sometimes.

Then there’s the encasement of the foot and possibly also leg, which can be pleasantly intricate or, equally pleasantly, simple, all while conforming to the shape of the foot (not masking or disguising the silhouette of the human foot but still enhancing it). The classic natural leather (or, these days, at least made to look natural). This kind of timeless design is invariably versatile, easily holding its own in a much more formal context. I don’t think I care about that, though…I just like them.

Have you seen designs from the brand Ancient Greek Sandals? Fantasy sandals.

[Then, also, Scandal.]

Free People Cypress gladiators

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Often I think my profile looks bizarre, I think because I hardly ever see it. Strange how different a face can look when you just shift the angle a little.

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Quick face breakdown: Kjaer Weis Desired Glow cream blush (love), Becca shimmering skin perfector in Opal (also love, but I like a lot of other highlighters as well. I love highlighter. I should write a post about that…), Benefit Gimme Brow, Milani blush in Luminoso (a little too shimmery for some purposes but a lovely peachy coral, famously popular in the youtube/bloglands), Charlotte Tilbury Color Chameleon in Amber Haze (so easy to work with, a great eye crayon), MAC Cream in Your Coffee lipstick (a new one, so good! My new favorite neutral, more mauve than I expected it would be from swatches), Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation (so, so good for a natural, light-medium coverage, only detectable where my skin was too dry), Charlotte Tilbury pressed powder. I’m late to the powder party but I believe in the power of powder now. I still don’t always wear it, but I believe.

Oh! And a few individual lashes (Ardell, short bunches), which, at least in person, make a massive difference. Kind of a pain at my bottom-rung lash application experience level, but they make a difference.

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From the front, though!

Express hi-rise cutoffs, Madewell belt, Skagen watch, Free People sandals, the wooden earrings I think from a street vendor? Other stuff thrifted. A peasant blouse that isn’t too…forced, is hard to find, but so worth it when you do.

This look is quintessential summer to me: white shirt, jean shorts, great sandals, minimal accessories.

Free People Cypress gladiators, summer essentials

Skagen watch theseventhsphinx

Love how mannish this watch, yet not comically oversized on my in fact not-really-that-small wrist. I am often wearing one Skagen watch or another.

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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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challenge: Weddington Way

On December 24, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Bridal site Weddington Way invited me to participate in their December style challenge; creating a New Year’s Eve bridesmaid look with one of their signature dresses and accents from anywhere I like. This is a particularly appropriate challenge for me, as I’ll be a bridesmaid in my sister’s wedding on January 2nd! My first time…

[I’ll show you my dress situation later.]

The dress I chose was this one-shoulder number in navy lace (though they have many other styles):

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One can’t often wear lace from head to toe without batting an eye but weddings take place on a strange fashion plane of their own, with their own rules and standards. This means certain limitations, those imposed by formality, but, turning to the vast and wondrous field of formal attire, it means a special freedom as well. Generally I want my formal looks to fit into a ‘understated chic’ category. Not too pushy about it, not too elaborate, because I want there to be that elusive effect of effortlessness.

I partly chose the navy because I so rarely style cool toned looks. I always go for gold and brown, so here is a chance to do blue and silver.

Where next? Shoes, let’s say. I like the shoes they’ve used here, actually, silver (silver?) open toe d’orsay pumps. I’d also like to see grey or taupe suede pumps here. Suede and lace, so good together. I like suede anytime, really.

Or a little glitz, as in full glitter pumps (or flats, glitter flats so adorable). This is something I like about weddings, and something they have in common with the holidays: going full on with the glitter is more than OK.

Something like…

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or

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I want to see a pearl nestled in the hollow of the throat here, not really hanging down, as there is too much danger of interrupting the clean line of the dress across the chest.  I want to keep the necklace (or there could be no necklace, and some generous shimmer splashed on the clavicle, let’s go ahead and add that clavicle highlight either way) snug around the neck. A blue toned Tahitian pearl floating on a silver chain would answer well. I love this simple design from PearlsOfJoy.

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Earrings I also want clean and simple, either diamond (or CZ, or sapphire, or whatever) studs or non-hinged dangles or Tahitian pearl studs.

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9567fbf866abc7ce235157e1505d66feOne accessory I like to see in a formal outfit is a watch, sleek or bulky depending on the look, though probably sleek and slim. Really I like to see a watch in any look, I just love watches, but I especially like to see them where one would expect them to be overlooked for a bracelet or something more traditionally decorative. Here I would want something elegant and narrow that would read from a distance [almost] like a bracelet. Really into the Danish brand Skagen, known for their wonderfully thin movements.

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I like the asymmetry of wearing the watch on one arm and leaving the other bare. Or wearing the watch and some assortment of bracelets on one arm and leaving the other bare. UNLESS you have an old school corsage. I could be talked into that.

Poking around on Weddington Way I liked some of their clutches as well. Maybe this one for the look we’re building here. White or ivory to contrast with the navy and some pearlicious studding. If you’re wondering about mixing freshwater and Tahitian pearls, light and dark pearls, big and small pearls – not to worry. All pearls love all other pearls.

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Add favorite rings (oh, or this pearl solitaire, which I love). Hair up, hair down…you do you. Mine would be up and not too neat, though that’s easy for me as natural curls are inherently informal in our culture no matter how they are styled. A bit of that J Crew-esque undoneness can go a long way toward looking like you didn’t try too hard. You tried, but not TV news anchor tried. Not prom queen tried. Not BRIDE tried. Or pick one other thing to give a casual air, doesn’t have to be the hair, but hair is a good one as it’s so powerful and can control so much of the tone of the look. Going with that idea that if your hair is looking fabulous you can wear anything, by the same token your hair can provide the balancing stone to harmonize the look by being more or less formal.

A blingy nail polish could be in order, something like Essie’s On a Silver Platter, maybe. This would be an awesome New Year’s Eve polish no matter what look you’re doing.

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I’d like to see a soft taupe eye with this, strong brows, big lashes, a sheer or soft neutral pink lip. Maybe the ultra-gorgeous Dior Cuir Cannage eyeshadow palette and Bite Beauty Luminous Creme lipstick in Fig. I haven’t had a chance to properly praise these lipsticks yet but I love this line.

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I think there is a danger when playing with glitter (not unlike playing with fire) of trying to apply the glitter principle to too many aspects of the look. Sequin dress? Then maybe, maybe a touch of glittery shadow to the center of the lid, not a full on glitter eye (unless you are doing a different kind of look, in which case power to you). A neutral brown eye works with anything, and smoking it out with a violet-taupe shade adds drama without being overtly matchy. All about finding that harmony, however you manage it.

Hm. I wouldn’t mind seeing a really narrow glittery belt here, either. Or a belt that is basically a chain of tiny CZ gems? Or a belt of tiny pearls? Or a belt of both? Or not. I think I’d have to see it and decide. A white faux fur or maribou stole (or capelet!) would be bitchin’ and keep you warm on that winter’s eve.

I think that does it. What do you think? Are you seeing it? I’m liking it. I actually want to do this makeup look, now, and pull out my Tahitian solitaire again. And get another Skagen watch. I really do want one…I have my eye on a few.

Don’t need to go to a wedding? Weddington Way’s selection of little black dresses is worth a peek.

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