loving: Oi oil

On May 12, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been using Davine’s Oi Oil for about 4 months or so, and I think it’s been long enough to be able to say with confidence: it’s love.

IMG_9172This is what I would call a serum oil, a slightly viscous liquid that has an oil-like effect on hair in terms of providing gloss and moisture while being extremely lightweight and unobtrusive on the hair. Really liking this serum oil tech across the board, from skincare to haircare. It tends to absorb quickly and lacks the grease factor that straight oil has. I don’t actually mind the grease factor, my hair is dry enough that it can take an astonishing amount of oil without appearing greasy, and I still enjoy many oils…but still, the texture is really nice, and the shine factor is subtly brighter and superior to that which oil provides. I use it both on the ends of the curls and to tame frizz in the front. Curly folks, I recommend this to you especially.

It was recommended to me after I complimented a friend on her very long and glossy, slightly wavy hair, the health and shine of which she largely attributed to Oi oil. This is lightweight enough to be suitable for all but perhaps the most delicate, fine hair types. Even then I think it could be OK on the ends.

All this, though, is nothing compared to how fantastic this stuff smells. Davine’s, well done. Evidently the active ingredient here is Roucou oil, also known as anatto, derived from the seeds of the Brazilian achiote tree. Wikipedia describes the scent as ‘slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg,’ which I think is a good beginning. I would add that there is a nutty richness, the aroma of an exotic (unfamiliar) nut, and an intensity of fragrance I associate with proper parfums. A gourmand scent but not in an explicitly edible way. I don’t experience it as a strong scent at all in practice, you use such a tiny quantity of the product that the effect is much softer than sniffing the bottle, but honestly either way, gentle or full-on, this smells incredible. Quite unisex, too. Maybe especially good on men. Full marks.

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Here, too, is a fittingly beautiful comb, the Mason Pearson Rake Comb. Handcut teeth, made in Switzerland, high quality celluloid, etc. Not a bad price point, and basically just a wide-tooth comb…but such a lovely one. My hair is always getting presents. Totally worth it.

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the dressing table

On December 30, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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I like the routines of grooming and preparation surrounding the dressing table, a key player in the (not the literal but certainly the ceremonial) beginning and ending of each day. This for me is almost always some elaborate series of attentions paid to the skin but the full setup* is stocked with all manner of tools and medicaments, cosmetics and paraphernalia. A great deal can be accomplished in this space, particularly in the realm of transformation, and it’s often a meditative process. It strikes me as a private space, too, where I am with myself (with the reflection of myself, too, causing that multiplication/division of identity a mirror always does for me).

*No coincidence that I show you only a fragment, though this is partly a matter of obscuring what the mirror would betray, which is a true, true—as I define it—mess (this, too, is private).

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This, I realize, sort of in conjunction with my bathroom and all its tools and potions and particulars, is the main reason I don’t like to be away from home. My current favorite products within familiar reach. This general arrangement, at once stylized and utilitarian, and the set of routines it facilitates, is one I don’t like mucked with.

Showing you a bit of it as I enjoy seeing how people store things; how their lives, their daily environments, really look. In this no detail is too small to interest me (sometimes it is only the small details that will interest me). I keep this space quite organized (there are cardboard dividers in the mugs to sort pencils and brushes into subcategories, I’d just used the lipstick when I took this), though I change it around often, too, rotating products in and out according to my rapidly shifting whims and preferences.

IMG_0247You’ll spot a number of favorites I’ve mentioned, and more.

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stuff you didn’t know you needed: eyelash curlers

On March 24, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Huh.

Eyelash curlers.

With that peculiar blend of bizarre and coveted, I wanted some; sitting on my vanity, baffling the uninitiated, adding an air of medieval torture to my beauty regimen.

If you are going to get a pair at all you might as well get a good one (sometimes a cheap version of a thing will serve…but this is not really one of those times), and that means Shu Uemura. I went for this special edition pair with the cute/crazed/terminator-esque mon shu charm.

Many report eyelash curlers as their #1 beauty step (Really. I have heard them. The idea is that they make you look more awake and alert, and maximize the visible surface area of your lashes.) but actually I think my eyelashes are naturally pretty curled already. Making this acquisition that much more frivolous.

“An upward looking eyelash propels your happiness upward!”, Shu Uemura informs me.

Well, shu, we shall see.

♪ ♫ Judas Priest – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ ♪ ♫

 

history: grooming is my favorite pastime

On February 27, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Sure painting and drawing, sure knitting and crafts, sure cooking and organizing and shopping and eating, sure hanging out with friends and writing and photography, sure calligraphy and wine and Shakespeare and the 19th century novel…but what I really love? What I do whenever I get the chance? What I find maximally calming and therapeutic and satisfying? What I put hours of attention and effort into, and investigation, and all the money it takes?

Yasuyuki Tagaki, Untitled #10, Forest. 2011 (via artligue.fr)

Yasuyuki Tagaki, Untitled #10, Forest. 2011 (via artligue.fr)

Grooming.

I groom.

O how I groom. O the tools. O the unguents. O the potions. O the experimentation. O the time.

No centimeter of my body escapes care.

Like weeding a garden, editing a text (I find editing to be a fitting metaphor for much of my life), cultivating a path through the wilderness…

Yasuyuki Tagaki, Untitled #5, Forest. 2011 (via artligue.fr)

Yasuyuki Tagaki, Untitled #5, Forest. 2011 (via artligue.fr)

 

This means clipping and trimming, oiling and treating, masking and exfoliating, cleansing and brushing and smoothing and massaging and just…addressing in the most comprehensive way.

I liked what I heard someone say recently, if you had only one suit to wear for your whole life, imagine the care you would take with that suit. I like this way of thinking about the body, particularly the skin.