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As a bit of a colour geek I always look forward to seeing the shades that Pantone decides are most worthy of our attention each season.

While my wardrobe may be consistently black, with a bit of white, grey and red thrown in, it’s nice to know which colours are going to prominent enough for me to consider changing it up a bit.

Spring 2016’s hottest shades, as decided by Pantone, are Rose Quartz and Serenity. 

In non-colour-geek-speak this translates as baby/powder/pale/pastel pink and blue.

I’m not known for my love of pastels, they don’t generally do anything other than make me look ill, but there are exceptions.

I find that blush, when it errs on the nude rather than sickly pink side, works wonders for making me look tanned.

Lilac and mint are absolute no gos, but pale denim blue doesn’t look too offensive on me.

The key to pastels for me is looking super tanned and blonde, but I’m sure the more pale and interesting out there won’t have any issues with this season’s pantones. 

From my moodboard you can see I’m loving the rose quartz options out there slightly more than the serenity pieces, but I have to say that the blue Isabel Marant shirt keeps catching my eye.

Favourites on my pantone wish list are most definitely the Chanel pearl earrings and the rose quartz Burberry Kensington crochet trench coat.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

When people ask you who your idol or inspiration is it can be hard to pinpoint one person who has the sort of longevity to constantly be a source of inspiration. After all, we live in a world where today’s triumphs are tomorrow’s trash, so everyone’s looking to latch on to the ‘next big thing’ (before someone else instagrams it…).

I’ve had many idols of the celebrity variety of the years, but there’s only ever been one that’s continued to inspire me through my whole life and constantly surprises me with her ability to reinvent herself.

I believe I was 3 years old when I was sat in front of Top of the Pops, transfixed by Madonna, who was, at the time, sporting a bright pink wig singing Holiday. That was the beginning of a lifelong adulation for the woman who would become an international pop star, actress, dancer, performer, fashion icon, mother, film director, businesswoman and icon.

I’m sure my parents were horrified that I just wanted to be Madonna, when I could’ve chosen someone a bit less offensive and sexualised. At ten years old I’d moved on from having posters on my wall and cassettes of all her albums to asking the hairdresser to bleach my hair and refusing to remove the bright red lipstick I thought was appropriate for school. Come to think of it, I haven’t really moved on from those issues!

So almost 30 years later, I finally got the chance to see my idol perform at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro Arena. Having missed her last visit to Scotland (a near universally-panned performance at Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh) I didn’t know quite what to expect.

Was she still up for it? Would she play my favourite hits? Would she disappoint me like some many of our idols do? Yes, yes and no. Turning up fashionably late, she put on a spectacular two hour show with no breaks – truly the queen of everything.

For the majority of the show I just looked on in awe as she perfected dance routines and changed costumes seamlessly, adding in a few one-liners to show she still has a sense of humour these days.

Many things have been and will be written about her, and she wouldn’t have it any other way, but for me the most impressive thing about Madonna is her ability to keep going. Criticism of her music, acting ability, appearance, personal life and political beliefs don’t stop her from doing what she wants to do, whether other people believe she should or not.

And that’s the thing I suppose – they’re all just other people, but there will only ever be one Madonna.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Christmas countdowns for adults have gotten a whole lot more exciting over the past few years with the popularity of advent calendars for grownups.

If you don’t fancy waking up to a new choccie treat behind the window each morning, there’s a variety of beauty advent calendars providing some fabulous incentives to coax you out of bed in anticipation on cold winter mornings.

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Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Chanel Cresswell in This is England 90

Chanel Cresswell in This is England 90. Credit: Channel 4

It’s a shame that Shane Meadows’ This Is England bids us farewell in 1990.

During the latest and last series of the hit Channel 4 show, there’s an acid-tinged shift in the sartorial tastes of the younger characters. Lol’s baby sister Kel and her peers shun the Fred Perry polos and drainpipes (favoured by the older members of the gang), adopting the new baggy, Madchester look instead. 

But how would Kel and co’s style evolve as they made their way through the rest of the decade?

The real indie fashion icons of the 1990s emerged during two of the most important music movements of the time, grunge and Britpop, the latter being the natural progression for Kel and her bucket hat. 

So let’s raise a bottle of Becks to some of indie’s unlikely fashion icons of the 90s and lament over the missed wardrobe opportunities…

Justine Frischmann 

Every girl wanted to snog Damon Albarn in the 90s. And so it was standard to dress like his one-time girlfriend and Elastica singer, Justine Frischmann. We don’t know if it was the dark floppy hair or Doc Martin boots that did it for him, but we’re betting her penchant for loosely-buttoned, tight-fitting black shirts certainly helped catch his eye. Could see Lol trading her peroxide and polo shirts in the mid-90s for this look.

Bjork

Her signature bantu hairknots are currently enjoying a revival thanks to some 90s-obsessed Instagrammers, but the Icelandic songstress had some out-there looks during her heyday that could be imitated by few. She sang about Human Behaviour yet dressed like an animal, albeit a very pretty one. Rainbow bright feathers, pastel furs and cobalt eyeshadow were only a prequel to the now-infamous swan dress she wore to the Academy Awards in 2001.

Shirley Manson

She was the feminine face of grunge, with her flame-red hair, red lipstick and heavy-lined eyes. If Smell added some shiny, coloured PVC and tartan mini skirts to her all-black wardrobe circa 1995, this is probably what she’d look like.

Louise Wener

The Sleeper singer was the ultimate fashion Inbetweener, treading the very narrow lad/ladette line with some typically androgynous 90s outfits. With her dark cropped hair featuring Geri-style blonde curtains, she was like a cool hybrid of Sporty and Ginger Spice, favouring Fila tracksuit tops and tight cropped vests. Girl power.

Gwen Stefani

Before she morphed into a scarlet-lipped blonde bombshell, No Doubt’s lead singer was experimenting with bold fashion looks like bindis, braids and, er, braces (the metal ones that help hold your teeth, not your trousers, in place). And she nailed the mermaid hair look, with aqua, lilac and candy pink locks, before most of today’s fashion bloggers were born.

Lauren Laverne

The TV and radio presenter would readily admit that her Britpop band Kenickie won’t be remembered for their music, but some of Lauren’s signature 90s looks are hard to forget. She may be my favourite Britpop fashion moment, with her platinum chopstick bun and satin Chinese dresses, topped with a healthy sprinkle of silver glitter eyeshadow.

Courtney Love

Whether you think she was a glorified Nirvana groupie or one of the most important frontwomen of the 90s, there’s no denying that Courtney’s grunge goddess style was influential. Imagine Marilyn Monroe went on a night out, but forgot to bleach her roots. She has one too many drinks. Wakes up to discover her lipstick is smudged on her face, she’s forgotten to take her silk dress off and her sheer stockings are laddered. That’s kinda how Courtney rolled in the 90s. 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Beauty Boutique & Day Spa, Bath Street, Glasgow (Source: Beauty Boutique & Day Spa Facebook page)

Beauty Boutique & Day Spa, Bath Street, Glasgow (Source: Beauty Boutique & Day Spa Facebook page)

Many moons ago I reviewed the now-closed nkd Waxing concession in House of Fraser, Glasgow.

It was my first experience of designer waxing and I was so impressed that I was a regular customer until they closed their doors a couple of years ago.

The reason for the closure cannot have been lack of customers (as it was always really hard to get an appointment), but Brazilians and Hollywoods are now the norm in the waxing world so there’s a multitude of options out there for former nkd devotees like myself.

The one thing I learned from going along to nkd regularly was that the wax they used, Perron Rigot, made all the difference when it came to preventing pesky ingrown hairs and minimising the pain.

So when it came to finding a new “intimate” waxer, as they’re known in the beauty industry, that was the first thing I looked for.

I’ll be honest – although many salons I tried after nkd were good, they never quite managed to meet the nkd standard. It wasn’t that the salons or therapists were bad, most were lovely and I can’t actually fault their waxing, but if you went to nkd and had Ashley as a waxer, you’ll know what I mean.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally found one salon that does meet my high post-nkd expectations.

Beauty Boutique & Day Spa, located on Bath Street, Glasgow, is a real gem of a place. Like most newbies to beauty salons these days, I booked using an offer I received via Wahanda which meant I had a package of treats for a decent price.

The salon itself is welcoming and modern, and way bigger than you expect it to be. Although I only experienced the waxing and massage rooms, a short trip through the salon revealed a slick city nail bar and hair salon to the left the of main beauty building. As they offer day spa packages and treatments, I assume there are hot tubs and/or a small swimming pool somewhere in the salon but I didn’t come across this on my visit.

I’m terrible with names but I *think* my therapist’s name was Laura. She immediately put me at ease and a short chat revealed that she managed the salon, so I was in safe hands. 

I opted for a Brazilian wax and since I’ve been having these for a few years now, there’s no surprises in the routine. However, you do hear horror stories of being asked to kneel on all fours (really, is that ever necessary?!), so when you go to a new place, that’s always my worst fear! Thankfully, there was none of that and the process was as embarrassment-free as it can possibly be when you’re naked from the waist down.

This is my checklist for a good bikini wax and Beauty Boutique met them all, so that’s why they’re my new favourite waxing place:

  1. The therapist should be easy to talk to – awkward silences are good for no one
  2. The procedure should be explained fully if it’s your first time at the venue or first time getting the treatment – surprises are never welcome
  3. Perron Rigot wax is your friend, if the salon is using it then you shouldn’t have to worry about ingrown hairs
  4. The hair should come out in one swift swipe of the strip – if you feel every strand being tugged out, there’s something not right
  5. Wait for the excruciating pain to come… and smile in relief when it never does. Okay, so it’s not the most relaxing/enjoyable experience in the world but if you’re close to passing out from the procedure then it’s not being done right.

I’d say I only had regrowth after about 6 weeks and could easily have got away with 8 weeks if I wasn’t going on holiday, so it was also excellent value for money.

I know some people are put off by the cost of designer waxing, but I used to spend £8 every 2-3 weeks to get a basic tidy-up wax so it does add up to around the same cost in the long term.

If you’re looking for a fuss-free (and mostly pain-free) waxing experience, in sleek city centre surroundings, Beauty Boutique & Day Spa is definitely the place to try – you won’t be disappointed.

I had the Brazilian Wax, £27, @ Beauty Boutique & Day Spa, 145 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4SQ
0845 408 8804

http://www.beautyboutiquedayspa.co.uk

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

After years of battling the British weather in wellies in order to catch a few bands in an open field, I’m opting out of the traditional UK festival trip this year.

Coachella in April opens festival season each year and leaves us dreaming of rocking floaty maxi dresses and studded sandals as we sip ice cold drinks under the sunset. 

The reality in the UK is less than idyllic.

T in the Park in particular has a habit of getting the temperatures mixed up – somehow we end up with warm cider as we hide from ice cold torrential rain in the height of summer. Pretty sure it should be the other way around…

So this year I’m evacuating and looking forward to sunbathing by day and partying by night at Spain’s Benicassim festival.

Need convincing? Here’s just a few reasons why festivals are better in the sun…

1. You can wear sunglasses (and not just to hide your hangover)

So it goes without saying that I carry sunglasses with me in all weathers, but even I would admit to feeling like a bit of a dick wearing mirrored wayfarers when it’s 5 degrees and raining buckets in the middle of a muddy field.

Everyone wears shades at a sunny festival, almost like it’s mandatory. 

And it kinda is when the skies are always blue and the sun is always shining.

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2. Swap your rucksack for a suitcase

One of the worst things about UK festivals is the backbreaking rucksack fiasco. 

Yeah sure, we all try and pack light but when you’re trying to fit in four days worth of clothes that are appropriate for hail, rain or shine, it gets slightly tricky.

I’m not sure what’s worse – the way to the campsite where you face a never ending uphill battle with ten tonnes of “lightweight layers” strapped to your back.

Or the long journey home where you’re weighed down by exhaustion/rain/the hangover and end up chucking half of your festival essentials to stop you from sinking in the mud bath fields.

An overpacked suitcase sounds like heaven in comparison.

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3. Take your best bag

You may as well take a plastic carrier bag to hold your lipstick, money and baby wipes when you attend a British festival.

When it comes to arm candy we’re talking more mudberry than Mulberry by the time you’ve battled your way through the overflowing pints. Anything less than waterproof and your banknotes will look like wet leaves, swimming in a pool of cider dregs and raindrops.

Festivals in the sun, however, accommodate your best bag buddies a bit better.

Swinging your Chanel from your shoulder is a good look, especially when you don’t have to sit it down next to a mud puddle at any point in the day.

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4. Boho doesn’t look bonkers

Admit it, how many times have you sat watching Glasto, pointing and laughing at the hippie-wannabes as they try and wade through ten inches of mud in embellished maxi dresses?

Sure, Kate Moss looks all boho babe as she floats about festivals in her fringed kimono and denim cutoffs, but she usually gets dropped off at the VIP tent. No 3 mile trek from the carpark to campsite in gladiator sandals for our Mossy.

Boho is a bit more achievable when it’s sunny and even better when it’s near a beach. Suddenly, it all makes sense and we can rock every Coachella cliche because we’re not weighed down by mud. Winning!

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5. You don’t have to camp

Festivals in Britain tend to be in the middle of nowhere, so camping really is the only option (unless you happen to live very close by and don’t mind travelling every day).

The first time is always a novelty, sleeping under the stars and drinking cider by the campfire with your mates… so romantic!

But when you’ve experienced an actual river running through your tent during a monsoon in July, that novelty soon wears off. Soggy sleeping bags, muddy socks and freezing midnight trips to the portaloos (always with no toilet roll and never clean) are something that can only be endured when you’re very drunk. 

Although you can camp at sunnier festivals, they’re often located next to beach resorts, meaning there’s an array of hotels, apartments and villas nearby.

Beds, showers, clean towels, clean clothes and possibly even a pool to sunbathe beside during the day? Absolute bliss!

 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

 

 

Thanks to Jeremy Scott’s Barbie takeover at Moschino and Wildfox’s supercool range, the doll of our dreams is back in fashion.

You don’t have to be blonde to appreciate this season’s Barbie trend, though I’d always say it helps!

The high street, as always, has latched on to this cute as candy look, with plenty of pieces guaranteed to get you a second look from potential Ken-alikes.

Life always looked better in the dreamhouse so think pink and become an on-trend living doll…

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Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.