no excuse

On February 22, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

There is no excuse, really. If I’m not wearing lipstick, it’s because I didn’t take the time, because I thought something else was more pressing, more important. And sometimes there is, are, genuinely several things much more important…and sometimes I don’t care about lipstick, or mascara, or what have you, or how I look beyond basic presentability. I take care of my skin and get my hair in order in this 40 second bun thing and get to work.

Sometimes, though, I do care. I miss it. I wish I’d taken the time to do something, so I could have that feeling of looking purposeful, looking put together, not because I have managed in a rushed 15 minutes not to look not put-together, because I have literally put a selection of choices together. Because I am polished, styled. I don’t just mean makeup here, but makeup is especially powerful because faces are powerful, faces are where we connect, and if I make some…effort* on only my face while leaving everything else on autopilot, there is a difference. It doesn’t have to be much to make a difference.

*I mean this in a broad way, I mean to give it some special attention. I know my face, so small changes look quite dramatic to me. Just blush and highlighter are transforming, or just a good skin serum and mascara.

I look fine with just my skincare regimen, sure, I look fine. At moments, when I’m well hydrated and my skin is in good shape, I love this default mode. I’m so not the kind of person who won’t go outside without makeup. Most days I wear, if anything, very little, though this is not entirely by choice…there seems to be so little time.  If I had more time I would play around more, I maintain, though I can’t help but wonder if there is something hollow in that. Isn’t it just a reflection of my priorities if something I say I want is continually dropping to the back of the line? Am I not, with my actions, saying that I want something else more?

I think there’s something more, too. A certain reluctance to show others what I am thinking. The playful spirit that moves me to muck around with beauty and style is an instinctive creature, and I, though you might not guess it from the existence of a blogsitething, am a private person. I have a resolution to share more but the sharing is the part that is work for me. Creating, playing, I am doing that…but quietly. I think, too, the sharing is not the critical part of the process (the journey of creating one’s own style and one’s own self), and this contributes to my not always making the effort to do it. Sharing is good for me, though. Like talking, it forces me to make my thoughts, in the case of style my concepts, coherent in some way. Finished in some way. It makes me part of a larger conversation as well, and this is good.

Recently I did this look, after a two, three? week stretch of having no time or energy to do more than be clean. A kind of beauty binge.

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NARS Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, so good. This hazy photo doesn’t show it but one thing I like to do is use a brighter liner under dark lip colors like this. Here MAC Nightingale gives a fuchsia halo to the dark aubergine, softening it slightly. Who are these bloggers who seem to have endless quantities of daylight at hand? They are probably in California…sounds nice.

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the color purple

On January 9, 2016 by theseventhsphinx

Allow me to introduce you to the OFRA liquid lipstick in Queens. Such a beautiful winter shade.

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Slaying.

This formula could be a touch more opaque but I like it. Quite a few YouTube reviewers have been recommending these OFRA liquid lipsticks, which are available in dozens of colors. I need to use a lip pencil with darker liquid lipsticks to keep things neat, here MAC Currant lip pencil (which is so good), but this is a creamy consistency I like, similar to the NYX soft matte lip creams but with what seems to be better longevity (and unlike, say, the ColourPop liquid lipsticks, which, while good value, are a little too wet to compete with my favorite Stila and Kat Von D formulas).

I really like dark shades like this worn with an otherwise [nearly] bare face. Dark eyebrows a possibility, but keeping them untouched here makes the look even more severe, even bordering on extreme/editorial, in a way that I find appealing.

What do we think of this septum ring? This is fake, to experiment, and arguably to have both the nosering and the septum ring would be too much…but it is not feeling like too much to me. It is feeling like love. They seem to be trending at the moment but I have always liked them. That is, ever since I met Bollywood, a solid 13 years ago now.

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Jumping from deep blackberry to amethyst, these are the stunning Zoe Cope Megalos Geode earrings. Available in other stones/colors as well. Beautiful, contemporary design and not too heavy. The desire to showcase them inspired this fauxhawk-merged-with-french twist hair situation.

Ofra liquid lipstick in Queens

Zara parka, Zara herringbone scarf, Koh Gen Do Aqua FoundationTom Ford blush in Love Lust + MAC blush in Love Rush, Guerlain 4 Seasons Terracotta bronzer, Jose Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer (amazing, straight metallic gold).

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pencil it in

On May 18, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot get enough of midi length skirts and dresses right now, especially in a pencil silhouette. There is a retro ambiance to this length, hemmed somewhere around the calf, that is conservative while still feeling chic.

asos midi jersey pencil skirt

I find this length revealing in all the best ways, much more universally flattering than something that reveals the knee, and drawing attention to the calves and ankles in a way I find particularly feminine. I think this holds for a full or a fitted skirt, it’s all about that length.IMG_9281

The slinky jersey accentuates the pencil silhouette here, creating that fertile tapered curve from the width of the hips to the narrow point of the knees. Clothes that reveal more or less everything but do so with plenty of fabric nearly always come across as sophisticated to me. I positioned the skirt fairly high up on the waist as well, and do I only imagine that I seem taller?

The curvier you are, the better this silhouette looks.

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And white. Of course.

One can imagine this look with a black skirt but…white is definitely the bold, conspicuous way to go. Somehow white skirts are exponentially more appealing to me than white pants. Why is that? I’ll have to think more on that.

I can imagine it with a teal skirt or something along those lines as well, or a bright shoe, but I wanted to keep it duochromatic.

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Remember this necklace?

I like a natural look like this, a peachy/bronzy look with no eyeliner. This is the Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in Formentera as bronzer/highlighter, NARS Gilda blush, a beautiful matte burnt coral, and Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Penelope Pink with a little Korres lip glaze over top to pink it up (Penelope Pink is not that pink, despite the name, it’s a really nice nude). The Beach Sticks are lovely, by the way, remind me of the Kjaer Weis cheek creams, and a bit like a NARS multiple upon initial application but with more of a cream-to-powder formula as you blend. Very easy to blend with fingers.

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Try putting a touch of your blush (or bronzer) just above your crease with a loose blending brush to tie everything together. It doesn’t really matter what other colors you may or may not have going on on the lid (I have gold here, incidentally, loving my Lorac PRO palette), it works with anything.

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asos white midi jersey pencil skirt

J Crew silk blouse, asos jersey midi pencil skirt, Zara suede d’orsay pumps, thrifted jewelry.

J Crew polka dot silk blouse

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chunky knit & finally, snow

On January 26, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

It snowed!

Properly this time.

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I love that you can wear rings with mittens (as opposed to gloves)

Packed on the eye makeup here, once in a while I’m in the mood for it. It gets dramatic quickly, at least to me, perhaps because I do it relatively rarely. This is the Lorac PRO palette at work, reminding me how easy and appealing a soft, shadow liner on the upper lid is.  IMG_8189

On the lips: Charlotte Tilbury’s Bitch Perfect lipstick (I got it in this mini trio). Such a good name. For once a nude that doesn’t make me look like a corpse. [Well, there are a few others. Will try to remember to post about them, for any with a similar skin tone out there.] NYX blush in Mocha, a little trooper of a blush.

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Zara coat, Express leggings, Sorel boots, Monki scarf.

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IMG_8229Here’s what happened when I blew some water droplets off the lens protector…

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earth tones, winter edition

On January 19, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Earth tones suit every season and seem to be all I’m drawn to lately, with lipstick and scarves the only moments of color. Ever since I began wearing this parka I’ve been opting for more olive, dark sienna, charcoal, and miscellaneous dark taupe shades. That is, I always opt for those shades but now especially so (as opposed to the other usual suspects like camel, tan, cream, light ruddy browns).

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These colors always suit the kind of mulberry/bordeaux lip shades I’ve been going for. This is NARS Pure Matte lipstick in Volga. Nice formula, good longevity, gorgeous color. Not as forgiving on dry lips but I don’t expect that from a matte formula anyway.

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I love this broad black suede belt with its enormous gold crescent buckle, vintage Donna Karan. And seeing this American Apparel sweater dress in a different season now (which reminds me as soon as it’s warm enough I need to wear it exactly like that again).

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Stay warm.

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