day to night

On September 4, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Minimalist gold jewelry brand AUrate asked me, how do you transition from day to night? Great prompt. How to take a makeup or style look from day to night is such a useful tool to have in your belt, and one so often used, so relevant. It’s something I determine on a case by case, outfit by outfit, mood by mood basis but, thinking about it, there are a few underlying principles that simplify the process.

Let’s take this typical summer day look to start.

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A loose, high waisted pant, neutral color palette, casual bag and sandals, jewelry either small or natural in material (leather, bone beads), light, natural makeup. This lip is Colour Pop lip liner in Frida, so pretty. The blush is Becca Pamplemousse, a vibrant pink that adds instant life to the face. I love these linen pants, old school H&M.

This necklace is a constellation piece I picked up from an Ebay shop, but I like any dainty gold piece like this with a simple white shirt. Something like this clean gold bar necklace  is a great substitute (I appreciate that AUrate pieces are solid gold, which I splash out for when I can), which is the kind of piece it’s great to layer but which I also love alone, a slight glimmer to draw attention to the throat and collarbone, accessories in themselves.

For a day to night transition [if I am indeed bothering to change anything at all] I think about amping things up somehow. I often remove the more delicate or casual elements of the look and replace them with a bolder option. Sometimes, rather than remove, I’ll just layer more on. With makeup, where desired, I darken and intensify (or add where before there was nothing).

I like to change small things in a big way, and leave the big things as they are.

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Heels, an easy one. Shoes are a quick way to dramatically shift to the mood of a look. These heeled huarache sandals (Cole Haan) still feel summery but suddenly I seem a lot more dressed up, even though the basic foundation of a simple tank and trousers hasn’t changed.

Jewelry a little bigger, a little louder. Still in line with the look but with more weight, literally and figuratively heavier. That statement ring added in. Lips darker, blush brighter, eyeshadow (only wearing mascara on the eyes above, Amaterasu Silk Mascara combined with L’Oreal Clump Crusher) and liner. This is MAC Chili lipstick, a great rusty red, Becca Wild Honey blush darkening things up to balance out the lip, Charlotte Tilbury cream shadow in Bette to give a little interest to the eyes, and a purple Tarte liner under the eyes.

The liner is a little obvious, actually. I would have been happier here with the lip/blush/shadow only…but it’s fine. It’s getting the job done. A clutch in place of the tote. I’ll give my hair a shake as well.

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That’s pretty much it. I can fit everything I need to make the transition in my tote or even a medium sized bag; a few makeup bits I’d be dragging around anyway, some jewelry I can easily carry with me, a spare pair of shoes…nothing too tiresome or time-consuming, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

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What about you, any tips to make that day-to-night transition seamless?

x

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?

ugg ankle boots

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.

x

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.

x

just the lip

On April 20, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I love looks that call out one feature and leave the rest of the face natural.

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Especially when that one feature is the lips, and especially when those lips are red.

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I keep tweaking my new haircut, making micro adjustments. This is the haircut that never ends.

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Charlotte Tilbury So Marilyn lipstick over MAC Brick lip pencil. I find Brick to be so versatile. It’s one of only two red lip liners I have (I have a more cherry one as well from it Cosmetics) and I use it for basically every shade of red. Going crazy trying to match lipstick to liner seems completely unnecessary to me, though this may be because I color the whole lip in with the pencil, not just the edges, and I’m always blending the edges out anyway, just to get the shape and gentle haze I want.

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I do have foundation/blush/bronzer here, but with a very light hand, just enough to take the edge off the red, so it isn’t too stark, and only a light lashing of mascara.

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J Crew tee, marabou jacket (thrifted), Coach knee-high boots (thrifted), Express jeans. I am loving this marabou.

x

 

 

loving: these heels

On March 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot get enough of this photo. I love everything about this look, a street style shot from the US Elle roundup Paris Fashion Week (a pleasantly long slideshow of some 300+ looks, I recommend).

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This deep plummy shade, the layers of the skirt, the texture and masculine cut of the jacket, the lush softness of the scarf, even the positioning of the head and arms, the hair…and those shoes.

These heels have that elusive balance of structure and delicacy, giving the foot shape and interest while being absolutely minimal and unobtrusive. The sleek, isolated triangle toe-box of a d’orsay pump is sublime. So often they are done poorly, shapeless with the foot swimming about, or set at an awkward angle. And this dainty shoelace-thin ankle tie, this is so light and understated. Not too much string or wrapping (not multiple strands going around and around, over and through, or up the leg, as is growing increasingly popular, and is often, to my eye, too busy), and no bulkiness. Though I can like a thick (or just thicker) ankle strap, I am particular about the proportions, which are usually slightly off, creating a stilted, unflattering effect.

I cannot express to you how many shoes I do not like. Really hardly any shoes. When shopping for shoes it feels like wading through an endless sea of ugliness. For $40 or $400, there are eyesores at every price point. When I see, then, a design that seems elegant, and not only elegant but personally wearable, desirable, this is a breath of fresh air, a shock.  I want to try that shoe on (so many do not pass that test, either…).

Style is personal in every sense, and shoes are somehow especially so. It seems not only possible but likely to be able to agree with someone on many levels of style and then, suddenly, to disagree entirely about shoes, and what constitutes an appealing shoe. Why is this? Because feet and feelings about feet are so personal? Because walking and carriage is so personal?

I wonder if it has something to do with shoes being, for the mainstream, a relatively adventurous category of fashion, where it is, in a sense, safe to make bold or unexpected style choices, and therefore to infuse more dramatic levels of personality. Where by safe I mean something like, acceptable, perhaps near the edges of yet within the boundaries of expectation.

I don’t think of myself as being particularly into shoes, but I am into things I find beautiful, and once in a while a shoe pops up in that list.

So, does anyone recognize these shoes? Seriously I’ve been looking around and haven’t found anything remotely close. If you find something similar, let me know…

x

photo via elle.com

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