autumn lips

On September 29, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

It’s time for some autumnally dark, properly bold lips.

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There is sometimes concern, when it comes to dark lips, that it can make the mouth appear smaller. It can (and often does) do that, but I think the contrast given in return can more than make up for this. In my case, having no cause to worry about appearing mean-mouthed anyhow, my mouth seems even larger to me, if only because attention is being drawn to it. I often have a similar debate when considering eyeliner under the eye – it can close up and shrink the eye, so the question becomes whether or not the overall effect is worth this drawback.  Perhaps it shrinks the actual eye but enlarges the perceived eye, resulting in a net gain. Or perhaps it doesn’t create any optical illusion of size or spacing but does something else interesting and worthwhile.

With such lips, a simple dark brow is often my preferred path. I didn’t really want to put anything on the eyes at all once it was on, and have only an ultra natural coating of mascara. I especially like bold lips when they seem like an easy afterthought, a vibrant touch to an otherwise unmeditated look.

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And mustard heeled huaraches. Of course.

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 Here’s the kind of deep v I’ve been meaning to wear all my life. The key here is this Topstick mens grooming tape, very sticky double-sided tape meant to work with skin and textiles. Meant for hairpieces, I guess? But I can see all kinds of applications. This is keeping the shirt where I want it. My new favorite wardrobe tool.

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This sublime bordeaux lip is thanks to Julie Hewett Sin Noir lipstick, really a phenomenal color. This is a full-on application but it can be blotted for a softer berry stain. Reminds me a little of Tom Ford Black Orchid but a bit brighter (I think?), and not as creamy in formula. The Noir collection is excellent, not inexpensive but it performs (and great gold packaging). Being a bit waxier than some of my favorite formulas (ex. Lancome Rouge in Love, Tom Ford, MAC creamsheen, Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy, NARS Audacious) helps it to last that much better, so it’s a fair trade-off.

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I’ll have to share some of my other favorite lip products in this wine-worthy shade range. There are many.

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the winter cloak

On January 27, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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I think this speaks for itself.

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 In the midst of a snowstorm, no less. Cloaks, people! Wear cloaks!

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So glam, and seemingly the only outerwear own that has a hood. How can this be? [That can’t be right.] And how is eyeliner so dramatic?  Eight seconds of metallic plum eyeliner later I look suddenly intense and vixen-like and a little overdressed.

Wool fur trimmed cloak (eBay), Pratt and Hart leather mittens, Old Navy sweater, Express jeans (thrifted), Sorel boots, vintage Timex watch, Pearl Paradise necklace, Roxanne Mulberry bag (thrifted). On the lips, MAC RiRiWoo layered (darkened) with Japonesque Color lipstick in shade 7 (liking the bold lip generally). This is the NARS Exhibit A blush again. So good.IMG_0632x

 

the full skirt

On October 26, 2013 by theseventhsphinx
Do not look upon all this that I am telling you about the clothes
as uncalled for or spun out, for they have a great deal to do with the story.

                                     – Cervantes, Don Quixote

Some mornings I wake and wonder: if I could wear anything that day,  truly anything I want…what would I wear?

Then, I wear that.

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IMG_7800I recommend it.

There are certain eras of style that resonate with me, notably including the Victorian era (technically 1837-1901, a lot happened but I like the later years) and stages of early America, roughly the 1840s and extending maybe a decade on either side; the era of pioneers and the gold rush, of saloons and prairies.  We still have prairies…but I mean the ones after which the dresses are named. You know the ones.

I love this shape, the full A-line. I’m glad to see more and more knee and calf-length bell skirts out and about (see minute 1:45), and plan to get in on that, too.  I embraced the historic aspect here, pairing the skirt with an old-fashioned top and hairstyle, but imagine it with no crinoline and a T-shirt. I don’t see why there would be anything unwearable about it. Who cares about this “wearability” anyway? If you want to wear it? This shirt would be nice with just jeans…but there will be other days for that.

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For me style is sometimes less about looking polished or “stylish” and more about a very specific kind of wish fulfillment or direct expression. In the first case clothing often feels to me like armor that helps me to interface with the world in a way that preserves my individuality and independence; a contemporary uniform that makes it easier to behave like my best public self, designed with the purpose of being worn in this culture, in this era. In the second case of style as fantasy, style as an interpretation of a vision that would get some strange looks on the street, clothing is the opposite of armor, the unprotected translation of self. Such looks are designed with really no purpose save the delight of the self. They are manifestations of my own projections of myself within myself.

Looked at another way, I have a tableau in mind, just like any magazine editorial, and I am the model and creative director in one.

Looked at another way, style is personal.

IMG_7806Civil war era reproduction camp skirt (thrifted) with crinoline (eBay), lace top (thrifted, which I ought to have steamed), obi sash/belt (eBay), Bass oxford pumps (thrifted), Pearls of Joy 10-11mm pearl studs, lace parasol (a gift), vintage Timex watch.

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Wear what you want.

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the cherry Tahitian

On September 8, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Pearls of Joy provided this necklace for review.

Pearls of Joy hoped to see how I would style a new necklace they are offering; a stunning cherry Tahitian pearl on a delicate gold chain. I was more than happy to oblige.

IMG_7015The pearl shows purple-red in the center and peacock teal at the edges. It is beautifully round and unblemished with a size range of 9-10mm (the piece shown measures in at 9mm). As with all high quality pearls, it looks even better in person.

There are only a limited quantity, so investigate now if it catches your eye. On sale at the moment, too ($145): cherry Tahitian solitaire pendant.

The piece is very versatile to my eye. Simple enough to be the kind of necklace you could wear every day, quietly adapting itself to every style and context, luxurious enough to wear when things get fancy. This strikes me as having a professional elegance, and I immediately wanted to pair it with silk and a pencil skirt.

IMG_6856And heels.

IMG_6879Silk is such a great partner for pearls, it has that same luxurious glow. I essentially wanted the simplest, most casual form of a professional uniform (in grayscale) and a bright cherry lip. Like the necklace, the silhouette is eloquent yet unobtrusive.

In person the cherry color shows at a greater distance than on camera. The requisite neck shot:

IMG_6850The gauge of the chain is in very nice proportion to the pearl, and the chain itself very fine.

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IMG_6962There is a pattern developing where I think I look a lot better in blurry pictures…or somehow the pictures look more interesting.

IMG_6920Seriously, this was my favorite shot of the day.

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Black silk camisole from Fondue (thrifted), American Apparel interlock pencil skirt, Cole Haan pumps (thrifted), necklace from Pearls of Joy, earrings from Michel Michaud, vintage Timex watch. On the lips: Tom Ford lipstick in Narcotic Rouge.

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p.s. Speaking of pearls, I’m giving away a gorgeous pair of freshwater studs this week. Giveaway open through Sunday. Details on how to enter here.

white on white on white

On June 20, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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So…I got more than one wig. I knew I wanted an asymmetrical bob like this, and, though it looks dyed (that is, the color doesn’t look natural), it is actually not far off my hair color and is as such not too bizarre looking on me. At least, not if you don’t already know what I’m meant to look like. This was my second attempt at finding an asymmetrical bob style, the first being much darker and simply awful. [Not easy trying to select the style or the color of a wig online, and I can’t recommend it. The return policies are as unforgiving as you would imagine.]

What do you think? I really like it.

The difference is so transforming. I doubt I would even be recognized, or not right away. I love this about fashion and makeup and all the subcategories of style. You can achieve a look that nature wouldn’t allow, liberating you from yourself while (potentially) at once expanding your idea of self, multiplying the variations of self.

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White, white, white. I can’t have too much white. And yes, we know how I like bikini tops (you’ll recognize this one from this bikini of the day), and white buttoned shirts.

This is my idea (rather, one of my ideas) of a great summer uniform. I have this theory that as long as my navel is obscured, it isn’t able to create that unforgiving halo around my stomach that it really does seem to.

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Victoria’s Secret triangle top, Banana Republic button-up, Ray-Ban aviators, Paris Blues shorts, HairDo Angled Cut wig, vintage Timex watch.

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