Since everyone keeps asking me what I’ve done to my eyebrows (in a good way, hopefully) I thought I may as well share.

While everyone else was watching Roger Federer get knocked out of Wimbledon last week, I was sauntering round Topshop on Oxford Street. A, because it was the only place I could find in central London with air conditioning and a toilet and B, because it’s always rude not to visit Topshop when in the capital.

But as I tried on a variety of skater skirts and neon vests (90s moment), I caught a glimpse of my unruly caterpillar brows and decided being away from home was not an excuse to be overgrown.

So I headed down to the Blink Brow Bar, which is handily located in the basement of Topshop’s flagship store. As I stared at the price list wondering where the simple eyebrow wax option was, a Blink therapist informed me she’d had a DNA (did not attend) and if I was after a trim she could fit me in.

Music to my ears so I hopped on to the reclining chair and got ready to be waxed.

Only I missed the key point: Blink is an eyebrow threading bar.

“Threading allows control when shaping brows to ensure perfectly sculpted eyebrows. A cotton thread is used to glide across the skin, removing excess hair while it does so. Not only that but the thread grabs and ships out every single hair by its root leaving a cleaner finish with longer lasting results. The results are wonderfully neat and perfectly symmetrical eyebrows which can take years off your face.”

Blink Brow Bar

Now I’m a rounded eyebrow kind of girl who, since 1999, has classed Liz Hurley as the uber-eyebrow icon of our times. The kind of shape you only get with a good, clean wax that I weirdly enjoy.So threading’s never been on my radar, despite all the hype over the queen of the angled brow, Cara Delevingne.

But I felt so relaxed and comfortable in the chair that I was ready to embrace threading, whatever the result!

The entire process, which lasted about 20 mins, was surprisingly calming and almost pain free. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it was pain free as the sensation of threading didn’t cause me to flinch at all. I’d imagined it to be more like plucking (ouch!) than waxing but it resembled neither. You do feel something happening as the therapist works on your brows with the thread, but it doesn’t even pull the skin.

I also have some strange eyebrow hairs that insist on sticking out from the browline, which usually has to be tamed with some vaseline. But however my brows were trimmed at Blink seems to have sorted this out, result.

New eyebrow shape courtesy of Blink Brow Bar

I was slightly nervous when she handed me a mirror to check the results but I was pleasantly surprised at how the new shape suited me. The definition makes my eyebrows appear longer, even though I’m pretty sure she shaved more hairs off the middle of the brows than I usually get with a wax.

Once I gave the nod that I was happy with my new, angled brows, the therapist massaged some calming lotion over them and I think I’d actually pay someone to do this at the end of every hot summer day – bliss!

I’m pleased to report that 14 days later I’ve not had to pluck a single hair and the shape has kept well. My only dilemma now is where to continue with the threading, since Blink don’t have any brow bars in Glasgow. They seem to be located in larger department stores, predominately in London but with some presence in Manchester, Newcastle and other English cities – so why not in Scotland?

Blink Loyalty Card

I will use the Blink Loyalty Card I received next time I’m in London though, as you get a free brow shape for every five purchased. At £17, the basic brow shape’s not cheap but it does last. And I’d be tempted to try out one of the other treatments offered by Blink, which extends beyond eyebrows to eyelashes, nails and massages (in some salons only).

PRICE: 3/5
SURROUNDINGS: 5/5 
RESULT: 5/5
OVERALL: 4/5

For a full treatment list and to book an appointment visit www.blinkbrowbar.com

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Kim Sears in the now sold out mint lace Victoria Victoria Beckham dress
Yes I am jumping on that glossy-maned bandwagon. How could I not?
Kim Sears, the honey-haired artist girlfriend of Wimbledon winner Andy Murray is fashion’s latest crush and it’s not exactly hard to see why. Parading a series of high street hits (Ted Baker, Zara, Whistles) and covetable designer labels (Victoria Victoria Beckham, Mulberry, Burberry) around SW19, this Sloaney pony is one formidable clothes horse.
Of course I’m sure she’s a lovely, supportive girlfriend and talented artist but it’s inevitable that the interest will be all about that hair and that wardrobe. Embrace it, Kim, if only because you know you’re doing Kate Middleton a favour by distracting the paparazzi from stalking her for a day.
So in honour of Ms Sears, here’s some Wimbledon-worthy fashion finds, including some in stock mint lace dresses, with more than a nod to Kim’s Victoria Victoria Beckham dress.
Dolce & Gabbana mint lace dress, £625, Flannels

Jane Norman mint lace dress, £35, House of Fraser
Yumi mint shift dress, £30, House of Fraser

And don’t forget the finishing touch, a Mulberry Willow tote bag:

Mulberry Willow leather tote, £1500, Net A Porter

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

I’m always looking for ways to cut down on shopping time – despite loving clothes, I really hate shopping and it’s often the thought of trawling through stores, both on and offline, that puts me off.

So when someone comes along and promises to make the whole experience a bit less painful by only ever showing me things I’ll want to buy – well, I’m impressed!

Scottish startup company Mallzee are all about the shopping experience, offering an online portal that creates a unique (potential) wardrobe based on favourite stores and styles chosen by you. Mallzee also links up with your Facebook friends to gauge opinion on these potential new purchases and rewards you if you decide to go with their recommendation and buy via Mallzee.

Sounds good so far! Let’s meet the man behind it all…

The Mallzee team


Name Cally Russell 

Age 25

Starsign Aquarius

Tell us a bit about yourself…
The boss at mallzee.com and startup enthusiast. Passionate about creating awesome things.

Facebook or Twitter? Twitter. Follow me @callyrussell

Magazines or newspapers? Nowadays I get most of my news/info/entertainment from Twitter. Can’t remember the last time I bought a newspaper. I’m normally not more than five feet from my iPad.


TV or film? Film

Most likely to find you… Working 🙁

Style icon? Ryan Gosling

Tell us a bit about Mallzee…
mallzee.com is a brand new way to shop that is totally unique to you. We’ve developed some technology that allows us to figure out exactly what you like through a couple of quick questions. Once we’ve got this information, and you’ve told us your favourite stores, we then allow you to create your own personal online shopping mall that only shows you clothes that you’ll like.

We search over 750,000 items of clothing to create a mix of a personal stylist and going to the mall. We think shopping’s better with friends so you can then link up to Facebook and browse together, get their opinions before you buy and lots more. Oh, and if that’s not enough, we pay you Mallzee Dollars whenever you shop with any of the 200+ stores signed up through Mallzee. 

How did the idea for the business come about?
It came about with the realisation that shopping online is just a bit boring! It’s difficult to find things you like and even more difficult to get your friends’ opinions. I got sick of it so decided to make it better.


And how easy/hard was it to secure funding/support for your idea?
It depends on you. The support is out there if you’re willing to go and look for it. If you don’t then life’s a lot harder.

Now that you’re up and running, how does Mallzee make its money?
Well, when you shop with us we charge the stores a percentage for generating the sale. It’s really simple and helps the retailers as well.

What kind of stores can be found on Mallzee?
A total mix. We’ve got guys like ASOS and Urban Outfitters to smaller more boutique-focused like Mint Velvet. 

What are the benefits of shopping via Mallzee?
There’s a lot – ‘all your favourite stores on one site but only the clothes that suit you’ might be my favourite though! If that’s not enough though, getting to shop with friends and getting rewarded are also a bit special.

What sets Mallzee apart from other social shopping sites?
We’re totally personal. The recommendations are totally different for everyone. We’re the only people that do this and it means your recommendations are even more relevant. 

What is a Mallzee dollar worth?
A lot. We’ve got some great stuff for you to spend them on later in the year.

What’s your ultimate ambition for Mallzee?
To change the way the world shops. The way we use the Internet has changed thanks to social media but the way that we shop hasn’t. We’re out to change that!

How do we sign up?
Head on over to http://mallzee.com and sign in with Facebook.

Any tips for budding entrepreneurs?
Hustle, hustle, hustle and hustle some more. It’s difficult but you can succeed if you work hard enough and work smart.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Since the sun is (finally!) shining it’s time to keep our peepers pretty with some summer sunglasses.

I’m a massive sunglasses shopper, picking up multiple pairs every time I visit Portobello Road or Camden market. But as much as I love sunglasses, and wear them all year round because winter sun is the worst, I can never justify spending a great amount on them.

I am the girl that breaks/loses/sits on her sunglasses so often that I’d need to take out an insurance policy if I spent any more than £20 on a pair.

Yet the allure of designer sunglasses remains strong. Every year I have at least one Ray Ban style ripoff in my sunglasses collection but this year I might go for something slightly different as inspiration.

Cat eye sunglasses are probably my favourite style at the moment, perhaps due to my current Mad Men obsession. I just love these electric blue glitter ones by Miu Miu. Kitsch and retro, just what I’m feeling right now.

Plus they come in this plush antique rose velvet hard case – surely I couldn’t smash them when they come with this level of protection?!

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

The Scottish Fashion Awards has been gaining momentum over the past eight years, with regular sponsorship from Vogue.com and a judging panel that reads like a who’s who of the fashion industry.

In a move designed to raise the profile of the awards further, this year’s awards ceremony will take place in Dover House, London.

I’ve attended the event a couple of times and have always been generally positive about the awards, though as with anything, there have been things I thought could be improved.

Last year’s venue, the Clyde Auditorium, was probably my favourite in terms of accessibility and staging but the overpriced tickets for the general public did leave a lot of empty seats, something I commented on at the time. If I remember correctly it was £35 a ticket just for entry to the venue – no goody bag for the non-vips. It was the first time that the event had been opened up to the masses, as it were, but I think the lack of support for this came from the price of the tickets more than lack of interest in the event itself.

Interesting then that year’s event has not only moved to London but is invitation only.

Yes, I’m sure that will raise the profile of the awards since it’s on the doorstep of the established fashion press, who will no doubt be able to attend this year’s black tie event.

But what about the Scottish-based fashion press, bloggers and students that have supported and covered the event over the years? Are we going to be invited to this year’s event or will there be a sudden lack of press releases and photo calls landing in our inboxes since we’re no longer as valuable to the event as we once were?

While I’m not claiming to be as important to the success of the events as a fashion editor from Vogue, I do think this move threatens to alienate the very people that the awards are supposed to inspire.

An awards ceremony for Scottish fashion talent held in Scotland is one thing, but once it moves outside of Scotland to London? Doesn’t it just prove that old adage that you need to move out of Scotland to become successful in the industry? If we don’t believe that we’re good enough to have the world’s fashion elite visit us in our own country then why should they believe we’re worth paying attention to at all?

“To showcase the nation’s top talent in the UK’s fashion capital London in 2013, will allow an even wider audience to become acquainted with what we have to offer as ‘Fashion Scotland’ and enable the talent to network with the UK’s top industry players, fashion editors and buyers. London is after all the UK’s fashion capital, it’s where the top talent converses, exchange ideas, learn, grow and do business.” Scottish Fashion Awards founder Tessa Hartmann

I’m merely asking the question, of course. I can understand to an extent why it’s come about, especially if there has indeed been a lack of funding support for the event this year, as stated by Tessa in today’s Sunday Herald.

But I do wonder what will happen to the future of the event if its move to London is a permanent one. What will set it apart from every other fashion awards show held in the UK’s capital?

Anyway, we’ll see how this year’s event pans out on Wednesday 9th October when the ceremony takes place in the magnificent Georgian mansion that is Dover House.

This year’s judging panel is, as always, packed full of fashion’s big-hitters:

  • Stella Tennant – Model (Hall of Fame recipient 2012)
  • Rankin – Photographer (Hall of Fame recipient 2011)
  • Colin McDowell MBE – Journalist and Author (Fashion Ambassador 2012)
  • Caroline Rush – CEO British Fashion Council
  • Dolly Jones – Editor Vogue.com
  • Paula Reed – Fashion Director, Harvey Nichols
  • Claudia Croft – Deputy Editor and Head of Fashion at The Sunday Times Style
  • Sara Maino – Senior Editor and head of new talent, Vogue Italia
  • Sarah Bailey – Editor in Chief, Red Magazine
  • Hilary Alexander – Freelance writer / Stylist / Fashion Consultant for M&S
  • Maurice Mullen – Head of Fashion & Luxury Goods, London Evening Standard
  • Brigitte Stepputtis – Head of couture Vivienne Westwood
  • Lauretta Roberts – Founder & Director WGSN Global Fashion Awards
  • Hannah White – Publisher Fashion Monitor
  • Professor Wendy Dagworthy – Dean of School Fashion Menswear & Fashion Womenswear Royal College of Art
  • Robb Young – Fashion Journalist and Strategic Consultant
  • Amanda Eliasch – Fashion Editor, Genlux Magazine, California
  • Dr. Tessa Hartmann – Founder, Scottish Fashion Awards

And the nominees are always worthy:

Scottish Designer of the Year

  • Christopher Kane
  • Jonathan Saunders
  • Holly Fulton
  • Louise Gray

Scottish Creative Excellence Award

  • Common People
  • Pam Hogg
  • Liz Black
  • Brian Rennie – Basler

Scottish Young Designer of the Year

  • Obscure Couture
  • Saunt and Sinner
  • Jacob Birge
  • Deetz
  • Jennifer Morris
  • Rebecca Torres
  • Iona Crawford

International Designer of the Year (For best use of a Scottish fabric or Scottish inspired collection)

  • Chanel
  • Moschino
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Lou Dalton
  • Moncler Gamme Bleu

Scottish Retailer of the Year

  • Tom Morris
  • Schuh
  • Bonnie Baby
  • Number Eight
  • The Pokey Hat
  • Ness

Scottish Model of the Year

  • Oliver Greenall – Models 1
  • Mary Chateris – Premier Model Management
  • Morvern Macsween – Premier Model Management
  • Helena McKelvie – TESS Management/The Model Team
  • Terri McGlone – Storm Model Management

Scottish Graduate of the Year

  • Natalie Adamson-Wain – Royal College of Art
  • Kirsty Elizabeth McLennan – Herriot Watt
  • Matt Russell – Grays School of Art
  • Samantha Hair – Grays School of Art
  • Lauren Jones – Herriot Watt
  • Matthew Houston – Herriot Watt
  • Lauren Jayne Nevin – Edinburgh College of Art
  • Jennifer Rowand – Grays School of Art
  • Lauren Smith – Edinburgh College of Art

Scottish Communicator of the Year

  • Wendy Gilmour – Thankfifi blogger
  • Lynne McCrossen – Style Columnist & Fashion Writer at Edinburgh Evening News
  • Nick Ede – PR guru
  • Laura Craik – Fashion Editor, The Times
  • Penny Martin – Editor-in-Chief, The Gentlewoman
  • Kay Barron – Fashion Features Director at Net-a-Porter and Highlander
  • Kelly Lundberg – Founder & Stylist, Stylemedivine.com

Scottish Textile Brand / Textile Designer of the Year

  • Alice Palmer
  • Dhu
  • Brora
  • Eribe
  • ESK
  • Rosie Sudgen

Scottish Accessory / Jewellery Designer of the Year

  • Jenivieve Berlin
  • Catherine Zoraida
  • Kennett Watches
  • Georgia Wiseman
  • House of Halos
  • Jane Gowans
  • Govan Originals
  • Finlay & Co
That’s my thoughts on the event… for now. Would love to know what the opinion is of other Scottish fashion designers/bloggers/creatives/fans – after all, these are supposed to be your awards…
For further information on this year’s Scottish Fashion Awards, visit http://www.scottishfashionawards.com 
Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.



Metamorphosis  noun  mɛtəˈmɔːfəsɪs 
change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the taster show for the Cardonald College Fashion and Textiles Show 2013, entitled Metamorphosis. Held in Kelvingrove Art Gallery, this year’s show had a particular significance for the students and staff since it will be the last before the college merges with Anniesland and Langside to form the new Glasgow Clyde College in August.

Given the college’s reputation for nurturing Scottish fashion talent in the early stages of their career, this end of year show is always one to look out for. With former students including Louise Gray, Rebecca Torres and Christopher Kane’s sister Tammy, Cardonald is certainly proving to be a successful starting point for aspiring Scottish fashion designers.

View from the end of the runway with the scenic backdrop of Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Keeping with the metamorphosis theme, there were plenty of oversized silhouettes and cocoon-like pieces in a variety of textures, prints and colours.

A 3D design from HND Jewellery students

This year collections included bridal wear, ‘Global Decoration’ (a themed collection specially designed for global fashion company, Innocent Clothing), and period costumes created as part of a collaborative project between Cardonald College Glasgow and Pollok House.

Hair by renowned Glasgow hairdresser Alan Edwards, a sponsor of this year’s show

This was a polished and professional show, full of directional and commercial pieces, so the students and staff should be very proud! Looking forward to seeing more of the same in the future from the class of 2013.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

Nothing excites the fashion world (or me) more than a comeback and this one is definitely worth the wait. Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier pairing up at Marc by Marc Jacobs may just be my dream designer team!

I love Luella Bartley, both as a fashion writer and designer, and think her presence on the catwalk at London Fashion Week is sorely missed.

Image: Style.com

I mourned the day her eponymous label went bust. I still wear my Luella-like floral tea dress (albeit by New Look, RRP £14.99) religiously at least once a week in tribute to the spring/summer 2009 show, one of the best ever in my opinion.

And in spite of negative commentary from the Daily Mail’s ever-righteous Liz Jones, I don’t think Luella’s designs were ever unwearable. Unaffordable, maybe. But there was rarely a Luella collection I didn’t have in mind when I went high street shopping for more affordable versions.

Daddy, I Want A Pony may just be my favourite collection name of all time. Quickly followed by Daddy, Who Are The Clash?

The inventor of the It Bag, Katie Hillier, needs no introduction. But as the new creative director of Marc by Marc Jacobs, good things are practically guaranteed. I can hardly wait for their first collection, which is likely to be autumn/winter 2014-15 (according to Vogue UK).

Here’s a few looks back at what makes this an exciting fashion prospect…

Luella Gisele bag

“Pink is the only true rock and roll colour” Luella Bartley

Luella Penelope ribbon dress

Luella Beatrice dress

Luella Agnes patent bag

  

“They’re the kind of clothes you can get drunk and fall over in” Luella Bartley

Luella Florence boucle jacket

Luella oval retro sunglasses

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.