looks to try right now: earth tones

On November 14, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

While I often find a makeup look interesting or beautiful, it’s relatively uncommon that I actually want to recreate it on myself. I’ll make a mental note of elements I like here and there, which notes presumably accumulate in my unconscious to manifest at some later time, but usually don’t want to just copy the exact look.

Unless it’s this gorgeous.

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This is the work of Victoria’s Secret makeup artist Hugo Vanngo [as featured in intothegloss], who obviously does restrained elegance well. The article was about a fresh take on earth tones, and I really love the first two looks he created (full article here).

The contrast of the deep garnet lip with the minimally contoured eye is so chic. The eye makeup is almost undetectable, with most of the focus going to the enhanced brows and rosy cheeks. Key that he didn’t bring the blush too far toward the center of the face, which keeps the look grown up. Imagine a vertical line coming down from the outside corner of the eye, this blush only slightly crosses that line, and only at the hazy edge of the zone of color. Compare this with a youthful blush look centered on the apples of the cheeks – a distinctly different look (urge you to try this at home).

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This second look is LIFE. I love everything about the colors on the eye here. A prune lid with a rusty brown, fairly graphic crease color. Defined lashes but still natural (not doll drama, which I personally don’t like on myself). The faintest presence of bronzer and a peachy nude lip to allow the eyes to dominate…perfect. Shades of violet look lovely with every eye color, and if a crayola purple is too much for you, this kind of muted jewel tone (amethyst tempered with taupe, violet tempered with brown) is a beautiful way to go.

Will have to remember to document trying these looks out.

images via intothegloss

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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breakfast in bed

On November 14, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

To have a big breakfast in a big bed, this is my idea of a satisfactory morning.

I seem to do most things in bed. It’s one of the only pieces of furniture I have. A bed and several bookcases. Various sets of drawers. A drafting table. No dining table. One small stool at my dressing table and one office chair on which I store a hatbox and a pile of scarves, and never sit. I am not to that point of grown-up-ness that involves the owning of much furniture. My tableware doesn’t match, either. This is surely all down to commitment issues.

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In the last few years I finally got all of the pieces together to have the white bed I’d imagined for so long (thanks, Ikea). I’d wanted it but hadn’t given it priority, so the buying of the ingredients kept slipping down the to-do list (usurped by skincare and jam and lipstick). Trying to do a lot of those things I’ve been meaning to do (ex. making baguettes today). I highly recommend this.IMG_6660

White on white on white. I cannot have too much white in a room. White walls, white ceiling, a mountain of white pillows, white duvet, white sheets. A sanctuary within a sanctuary.

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More spelt waffles! J Crew silk camisole, Victoria’s Secret flannel pyjama pants. A good silk camisole is a solid wardrobe staple. A wonderful all-purpose underthing, luxurious against the skin, simple and elegant as a casual top or sleepwear. If you like to lounge (I love to lounge, though there seems to be less and less time for it), upgrading your loungewear adds distinct charm to the experience.

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the leopard

On August 9, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

One does feel somewhat predatory with such decor as this going on.

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This Violent Lips leopard appliqué is not disappointing. It’s strange on the lips, yes. You know it’s there, and it seems like you can’t move your lips very dramatically without the appliqué cracking (not flaking off, just cracking in place – once it’s on, barring the intervention of oil or makeup remover, it’s not coming off). That said, I’m pretty impressed. I like. It’s a playful novelty, winning me over by being just what it promises to be.

[It’s a good thing, because I got a ton of them.]

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This leopard print is so unexpected. It’s distracting, and not only for me it seems, given the number of looks on the street. Any of the component colors alone would be unusual lip colors, and all three together are triply so. Unconventional, bizarre, bold…all the necessaries for a potentially fierce look, a look that says, I do what I want.

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I think we need some aviators here.

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This necklace features the Leo constellation (fitting, no?). Was searching for a small but not too small gold disc like this for some time, intended for layering with other small pendants on dainty gold chains with white v-neck shirts (you know how it is…). Gold and white is a favorite color combination of mine, and the uncontested favorite for summer. I was so attached to a white/gold/brown look here that I omitted blush and am only wearing bashings of bronzers and illuminators (yes, multiple, we’ll talk about that later).

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Victoria’s Secret tunic dress, bowler bag (eBay, thoughts on replicas here), gladiator sandals (eBay), Free People belt, Fossil Watch, Julie Nolan zodiac necklace (eBay, chain replaced), Ray Ban aviators.

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Used a combination of a gold Urban Decay 24/7 liner and a brown Tarte Smoldereyes pencil here, both great, soft, smudgeable, long-wearing formulations. Tried out an intriguing technique I picked up from this really interesting tutorial (so many techniques/perspectives here I hadn’t seen before) by Australian makeup artist Rae Morris. Applying the gold all along and down my inner corner/epicanthic fold was my idea, though. More dramatic and metallic in person. A little cat inspiration.

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dress quest: the white maxi

On June 29, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been searching for a great white summer dress for decades now, it seems. Somehow it’s eluding me.

I’m imagining a drapey (a heavy silk-like cotton blend, imagine) white maxi dress with a casual Grecian look. Something like this, though this dress only looks the thing from the side, and upon investigation is no good.

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Last year I picked up this ‘Goddess Maxi’  from Victoria’s Secret. No longer on their site but you can still find it around. It’s a bit too formal, though, to meet the criteria of the quest. The fabric itself is a little fussy, heavy and stretchy with a slight slickness, and the gathering detail in the front also feels fancy to me. Pretty, but not the one.

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I considered their knife-pleat maxi, too,* but decided it’s better in color (I like the navy), and anyway it doesn’t come in white.

*I usually find Victoria’s Secret hopelessly tacky but once in a while I really like a piece of clothing, and I like their bikinis and their simple cotton underwear, too.

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Anybody have a recommendation for me?

I could also happily turn in the direction of a 40s midi dress, I think.

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If you see one like this, tell it I’d like to meet it.

images via pinterest

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