November 20, 2014

Zodiac Dresser: Scorpio III

Welcome to another installment of the Zodiac Dresser, my series dedicated to astrologically inspired outfits. Today's post celebrates ScorpioScott P. Yates Photography helped me capture the sensual moodiness (or is it moody sensuality?) of this water sign in industrial Manchester. (Photos by Scott P. Yates, duh.) 
scorpio
vintage 50s dress, handmade: thrifted in Eugene * tights: Oroblu *shoes: Clarks 
Crimson and other deep shades of red are associated with Scorpio, a sign notorious for being jealous, emotional, lustful, sensitive, mysterious and artistic. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto,  a planet named for the Roman god of the netherworld, hence the darker qualities of this sign.  An astrologer friend of mine once told me that the purpose of Scorpio is to bring the darkness to the light. On a personal level, this is one of my favorite signs exactly because of its beautifully dark aspect. I have moon in Scorpio, meaning my id operates much like this sign and I find it a constant source of artistic inspiration. 
scorpio
scarf: grandma 
Dark undercurrent
of Pluto's death and rebirth:
sensitive Scorpio. 

Thanks again to Scott P. Yates for these photos. I'm happy to hear from any Scorpios in the comments. 
--m

November 10, 2014

Cinnamon is another warming, spicy plant I appreciate most during winter. A member of the laurel family, cinnamon is a tropical evergreen native to Sri Lanka, India, the Philippines and the West Indes. The bark and young twigs of the cinnamon tree are cut and fermented in the field before dried and used as curled pieces or ground spice. Because cinnamon bark is too potent, the leaves are used instead to make an essential oil which is antiseptic, antibiotic and antiviral.  
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This essential oil increases energy, motivation and creativity through its stimulating effects. Inhale a drop of cinnamon oil on a tissue to ease mental exhaustion. Use in steam with essential oil of sweet orange to uplift mood. You can also disinfect a toothbrush in a glass of water mixed with a couple drops of cinnamon oil. 
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Cinnamon oil can also be used topically to help the immune and circulation systems. A few drops of ginger and cinnamon oils can be added to a bath to ease symptoms of the flu or colds and also added to a massage oil to improve circulation. 
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Cinnamon can also be taken internally for medicinal purposes as a spice or tea made by boiling the bark. Cinnamon aids in digestion by blocking the creation of chemicals that cause inflammation. It also contains propanoic acid which helps prevent peptic ulcers. Cinnamon tea's anti-fungal properties can help combat thrush and yeast infections. 
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Additionally, cinnamon tea and spice are warming, seasonal and comforting so it doesn't seem like "medicine" at all. 

--m

Bibliography 

http://savorit.blogspot.com/2011/01/season-for-cinnamon.html

http://www.spiceflair.com/cinnamon-twak/

Balch, Phyllis A.. Prescription for Herbal Healing. New York: Avery, 2002.

Guyton, Anita. The Book of Natural Beauty. London: Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd., 1981.

Harding, Jennie. The Essential Oils Handbook. London: Watkins Publishing, 2008. 



Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991.


October 17, 2014

Five Things I Like: Cosmetics and Color

All my favorites this time are about color! Mostly in the form of makeup! My favorite! Let's get to it:
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I've been fantasizing about Urban Decay's Electric Palette for the past few weeks and caved in earlier today. I'm especially enchanted by Slowburn, the neon orange shade on top, but really all the shades inspire me. For the most part I'd like to use these wet as bold eyeliner.

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Another product I'm excited to use is Stila Magnificent Metals Eyeliner in Gunmetal. In person, this product has a very cool toned, slate-like cast almost verging on purple. However, true to the name, this liner does look almost like molten gunmetal. During the holidays, I will use this on my upper lids with a very heavy, only slightly winged line.
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Berry, plum, bordeaux, oxblood or whatever you call deep shades of red, it looks alluring on lips. Last year I discovered that MAC's Deepest Wish with lipglass in bold and brash layered on top creates a gorgeously dimensional, jewel-like mouth (photos coming up soon on Instagram). 
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On a similar vein, I'm digging Dark Magenta Combined with Teal. This doesn't appeal to me as a good makeup combo so much as for furnishings and clothes, especially if mixed with sage green and/or pink. 
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Seen here on foxy Yolandi Vi$$er, White Eyeliner also strikes my fancy this fall. I am using Rimmel's white eyeliner and/or MAC's Avalanche with a wet angled brush. 

This fall I feel completely reinvigorated about my wardrobe and about makeup in general, especially on the eyes. I have a hard time getting good pictures these days, but I do post outfits and makeup weekly on Instagram so check me out!
--m

October 13, 2014

Zodiac Dresser: Libra III

Welcome to another installment of my Zodiac Dresser series in which I find sartorial inspiration from astrological signs. Today's look was influenced by the sign Libra. Libra is primarily focused on balance and is appropriately symbolized by the scales. As a result, creating a Libra-themed outfit for me is about balancing disparate influences and elements into a cohesive look.
Untitled
vintage skirt: barter at Fall Line Fest '13 *boots: Ariat, courtesy Country Outfitters
This outfit is laid-back, much like Libra is known to be, while subtly combining a few different influences and eras. The 60s pleated knit skirt adds a feminine, almost formal element to the outfi. The wool shirt is also vintage, a 70s Pendleton "Knockabouts" balances the skirt by adding a casual, almost rugged touch, further enhanced by the cowboy boots. However, the Japanese t-shirt keeps the outfit quirky versus costumey. And that's how I think of Libra, a sign focused on weighing elements against each other in order to achieve harmony.
Judicious Libra, 
always weighing the options, 
seeking a balance.
Untitled
from my 2003 trip to Japan, by Betty's Blue
Finally, the look is made a bit edgier and yet more feminine with a big, bold line of magenta eye makeup.
Untitled
eyeshadow, used as liner: Caravaggio by Nars
As an air sign I liken the Libra personality to a crisp breeze since both are relaxed and generally likable. 

--m

PS:
If you follow me on Instagram, this outfit may look familiar and that is because I liked this outfit so much when I first put it together that I couldn't wait to wear it! 

October 04, 2014

Clove: Benefits and Uses

As the weather gets chillier, I like to focus on warming plants/oils such as clove. Native to the Maluku Islands, clove has antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties. In addition to its medicinal uses, particularly in Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove also has notable culinary uses as a spice. Clove buds grow on tall, evergreen trees and are picked before blooming and then sun-dried. 
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Clove oil is most famously used to soothe toothaches. However, clove oil should not be used to treat the pain associated with root canals as this can cause further inflammation. Soothe a toothache by placing a cotton ball with a few drops of clove over the affected area. Clove oil can also be mixed into zinc oxide and used as an analgesic paste or even as a periodontal tooth paste. For a less urgent oral application of clove, mix a couple drops into several ounces of water and use as a mouthwash/breath freshener. 
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Clove's fiery properties have a wonderful effect on the skin and muscles when used topically. Due to the potency of clove essential oil, it should never be used undiluted on the skin but instead should be mixed into a carrier oil such as jojoba. Add a few drops to a foot bath to revive tired feet. Used in a massage oil, clove helps stimulate the immune system, circulation and soreness. Clove oil is often combined with bergamot, cardamom, cinamon and/or mandarin to create aromatic, warming and healing massages oils. 
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Due to its stimulating quality, clove essential oil also has aromatherapeutic benefits which improve mental and respiratory functions. Place two drops on a tissue and inhale to enhance concentration. For clearing airways, breathing more easily and healing colds, use a couple drops of clove and myrtle while inhaling steam
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Clove also has a scent which is simultaneously cozy and exotic. Although associated with the holidays, pomanders are a great way to enjoy the purifying aroma of clove yearlong. You can also make your own old skool cologne by mixing and shaking together well 1 pint of alcohol, 20 drops each of bergamot and clove essential oils. Age the mixture for four months and then spritz away! 

--m
Bibliography:

http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/herbcentral/cloves.php

Balch, Phyllis A.. Prescription for Herbal Healing. New York: Avery, 2002.

Guyton, Anita. The Book of Natural Beauty. London: Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd., 1981.

Harding, Jennie. The Essential Oils Handbook. London: Watkins Publishing, 2008. 
Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991.

September 20, 2014

Zodiac Dresser: Virgo

And finally, a new post in my Zodiac Dresser series in which I explore astrological signs through outfits. Today's get up is based around the sign Virgo. To be perfectly frank, Virgo has the least inspiring symbolism for me personally, and hence why these posts are a struggle for me. (It's me, it's not you, Virgo!) 
Untitled
EC Star dress: thrifted * shoes: Frye
Because this sign is symbolized by a Virgin, I like to stick to the cherry theme because we all know what cherries mean.... Exacting, modest and sometimes harsh, Virgo is an earth sign I associate with rocky cliffs. Virgo is ruled by the fleet-footed god Mercury. 
Untitled
70s belt: thrifted

Mercury's virgin,
earthy and modest but harsh,
Virgo challenges me.

Well, there you have it folks! That's all I've got!
heart,
--m

Testing

Seeing if this works by posting some pictures of church hill. 


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