Thursday, 12 March 2015

MAC High Energy & Lady Danger | Review

Do you ever head into a store with very specific intentions, only to leave with something completely different? Well, that seems to be all I ever do. True to form, I found myself wandering over to the MAC counter in Selfridges, eyes glazing over everything I'd seen a million times before.

My standard routine at the lipstick section is to pick out the ones I already own, swatch a few and walk away, but I was determined to leave with something. The only thing that managed to grab my attention was Lady Danger. Having recently discovered how life-changing a good lip liner can be, I opted for the pro longwear lip liner in High Energy to match, and without further ado made my way to the till.

I've never really been a red lipstick girl, with a good 3 years of Russian Red being my only shade (I'm ashamed to admit that even that has been used maybe 10 times maximum). I've just always tended to stick to a safe pale pink for every occasion. How boring! But, no more. I have ventured into the surprisingly wearable world of orange-red, and my only regret is not doing so sooner.

Left-right: High Energy, Lady Danger
Starting with High Energy, the liner applied so easily with a lovely formulation, coming out matte with an incredible staying power - as is to be expected from a pro longwear product - making it the perfect base. After swatching, the liner would only budge for some cleansing oil, compared to the lipstick which could mostly be wiped away with some micellar water and a soft cotton pad. When it comes to lip liner, the longer-lasting the better, so this is a real winner for me.

As you can see, the two products look pretty similar when placed next to each other. However, High Energy is slightly less orange once swatched, and could definitely be worn alone as something that's a little less vibrant. Together, they're the perfect combination.

As for the lipstick, I'm pretty sure I'm late to the party with this one, so there's probably nothing I can say that hasn't been said before. Lady Danger is so pigmented and eye-catching, and despite being a matte finish does not feel drying on the lips at all. My lips are naturally quite dry, no matter what time of year it is, so this is a welcome change for me. I suspect this is probably due to wearing the liner and lipstick at the same time, but in any case I consider it to be a substantial feat.

My initial aversion to red lipstick stemmed from the fear of drawing attention to something that might not particularly suit me, but I've been pleasantly surprised by this. Having more tanned friends who are also big fans of this shade, I can safely say it suits everyone I've ever seen it on, and in my (unbiased) opinion it looks especially striking against white pale skin.

This lipstick has definitely inspired me to be more adventurous when it comes to lip colour, and I'm looking forward to getting a lot of wear out of something I would have been completely opposed to pre-Lady Danger.

Overall verdict:
  • High Energy 8/10 for its staying power and matte finish
  • Lady Danger 9/10 for being so nice it changed my whole outlook on reds

Friday, 6 March 2015

Givenchy Bambi Antigona tote bag | Review

Givenchy Bambi Antigona tote bag
(click for larger / see below)

After six months of carefully eyeing up different variations of this bag, in a moment of spontaneity, I took the plunge. Dropping £590 on a bag is not something I can afford to do on a regular basis, and I viewed this as in investment that would last me many years to come. An agonising 3-5 working days later, it arrived in all its glory, eliminating any doubts as to whether this was going to be worth it. THANK YOU Riccardo Tisci for your vision.

I'll set the scene; about 18 months ago I ended up with one of the Michael Kors jet set saffiano totes, as I needed something large, sturdy, and versatile for university. Don't get me wrong, it served me well, but I felt they'd become a bit too ubiquitous. Thus, the search for a new and improved replacement began. 

The Givenchy Bambi design has been seen on celebrities such as Beyonce and even little North West, and it's uniqueness is something that I think is really appealing. It's a fusion of Disney favourite Bambi and, if I'm honest... god knows what the other side is. But don't let that put you off. If, like me, you're still a lowly student with limited funds, looking to invest in something special, this bag bridges the gap perfectly between a statement piece and something you can wear daily. 

In my opinion it is the perfect size for an everyday outing - large enough to comfortably fit all the essentials (purse, makeup bag, umbrella etc.) with plenty of room to spare, and the attached pouch is incredibly convenient for storing your house keys / phone / oyster card. The pouches are sold separately for as much as £270, and although there's a tiny difference between those and the ones that come within a tote, if you're interested in that sort of thing, you're getting a great deal by buying the tote and pouch combo. This wasn't really a factor in my decision, but it is a nice bonus.

This bag is definitely designed to be carried in the crook of your arm. The lengths of the strap are long enough to allow carrying over the shoulder, but this only really an option if you leave the bag quite empty. If you're more inclined to overpacking and prefer the shoulder, this is probably not the one for you.

I'm far from an expert, but the quality of the leather is something that I think sets this bag apart from other totes on the market. You really can tell a world of difference between this and something you might find on the high street. The material is the sort which not only helps the bag keep its shape, but will protect itself from everyday wear and tear better than cheaper alternatives. It oozes luxury, despite being a reasonably simple bag, and this is where its appeal lies. 

For me, there is only one real downside to this bag - the lack of interior pockets. I love a good pocket,  and the Givenchy tote is simply one compartment, so this is the one area in which my old Michael Kors bag wins. However, given the pouch, I'm willing to let that slide. 

Bottom line: if you're interested in this bag, you won't regret it.
To buy, click here