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.

I’ve managed to escape being tagged in those Facebook posts currently clogging up newsfeeds; you know the ones – ‘thanks for the nominations, here’s 7 random facts about me’.

Some people are completely missing the point of course, with random facts turning into obvious lists of things we already know because YOU POST ABOUT IT ON FACEBOOK ALL THE TIME. The best ones usually go something like… 1. I love my family 2. My dog too he is amaaaazing 3. I have the best boyfriend in the world ever… yawn.

But some of them are actually worth a like and I’ve laughed to myself while reading things I never knew about my best friends or Facebook acquaintances.

So here’s my ‘7 Random Beauty Facts’, in no particular order…

1. I have an irrational fear of eyelash curlers.

Straight up, the contraptions terrify me. I have tried to put them near my lashes but always end up convinced that I’m going to accidentally pull them out and have bald eyelids. Forever.

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2. I don’t know what my natural hair colour is

I’ve dyed my hair since I was 14 and that is genuinely the last time I can safely say I saw my natural hair colour. I think it was a chestnutty brown shade, but since I’ve spent over half my life with dyed locks it’s very difficult to recall.

I started off on Wella Colour Mousse, dying every towel in the house a lovely shade of red, before discovering bleach and deciding that I was going to be blonde like my childhood idol Madonna after all.

 

3. I’m a blonderexic

My mane’s definitely been through the colour wars with me and my obsession with being blonder than blonde. I do believe it’s a diagnosable illness, when your hair’s whiter than snow and somehow all you can see is yellow brass.

It all came to a head the time I decided my hair wasn’t blonde enough and bought some peroxide and bleach toner for a few home improvement sessions… that ended with the left side of my hair deciding to fall off before I abused it anymore. It took about five years to bounce back. Painful.

These days the fear of having short, frizzy hair is enough to steer me away from any extra lightening activities but for moments of weakness I have silver shampoo and fake tan on standby, always guaranteed to make me feel extra blonde!

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4. Uneven eyeliner = bad day

It’s the one thing I can rely on in the morning, the barometer of how my day is going to turn out. If it’s fifties pin-up perfection then I know it’s been worth getting outta bed. If it looks like I’ve drawn it in my sleep, I should probably just jump back under the duvet and forget it. True story.

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5. I don’t straighten my hair (anymore)

This is the one that most people can’t believe but it was a self-imposed ban that has helped my hair get back to straight health after the incidents outlined in fact 3. My hair was never in need of being ironed daily to start with. But, like many girls in 2002, I was sold the GHD dream of poker straight shiny locks and developed a completely unnecessary ten year habit.

The problem with straightening your hair every day is that your hair actually becomes addicted to the heat, only sitting properly when you’ve run those ceramic plates through every last strand. It develops a frizz that is only tamed by heat pressing down the split ends, caused by the straighteners in the first place.

Unless your hair is naturally wavy, curly or coarse, steer clear of these things. It took me two years of only ever straightening my hair at the weekend or on special occasions to finally break free.

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6. I have a love affair with Double Wear

The best-selling Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation has been a staple in my makeup bag since I was 19. As a student this wasn’t a cheap purchase but it was worth parting with the student loan. Once I realised I could get flawless skin and it lasted 6 months compared to 6 weeks of the cheaper foundations I was using, I was sold. For life, it would seem.

These days I tend to wear Fresco when my skin is paler and Sand Beige when I’m tanned, but the formula has always remained one that works with my skin no matter the shade. I would actually be heartbroken if this was ever discontinued! The rest of the Double Wear range is pretty good too, the concealer and eyeliner are now also staples in my beauty bag.

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7. It took me 28 years to wear red lipstick

Properly anyway. I had tried it on many occasions, but when I looked at myself in the mirrorI felt like a wee girl who had played with her mum’s makeup bag. Not some blonde bombshell with sex appeal, as was promised by many a red lipstick advert.

It may have been bad hair, overly-smoky eyes or just the wrong shade, but for years I smeared the red lippie off my face just about as fast as I had put it on. That all changed when I tried Topshop’s Rio Rio (don’t think I’ve mentioned that shade before??) and at last I had found my fit.

These days I own a multitude of red lipsticks but that was the first one I had the courage to wear all night and actually felt amazing when people not only compliment but asked what I was wearing. Result!

They say there’s a red lipstick for everyone and now I really do believe it.

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Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

I make no secret about the fact that I LOVE a good lippie. Usually red, almost always Topshop’s amazing Rio Rio.

But why should an item of makeup have its very own day?

Yeah yeah, I know, there are national days of celebration for everything from bikinis to doughnuts (though not the same day, that would just be cruel!).

Yet this is one day I’ll be celebrating with relative enthusiasm. And obviously treating myself to a new shade in honour of this.

Here’s just a few reasons/justifications why lippie should be celebrated today…

1 – Anyone who’s anyone has had a lipstick shade created for/by them. Kate Moss for Rimmel, Rihanna for MAC – even The Queen had her own shade created for her 1952 coronation. The Balmoral Lipstick was named after her country home and matched the colour of her coronation robes. Oh to be queen for the day…

2 – It boosts morale. Fact. Apparently there was a movement to ration it during wartime, but it was thought to keep the spirits up so that idea was hastily quashed. In times of sadness, chaos and modern women warfare (ie man troubles) a slick of red lipstick is guaranteed to make you look wonderful on the outside, even if it’s a different story on the inside.

3 – Lipstick doesn’t descriminate: there really is a shade for everyone.Unlike cut-out dresses, mini skirts, crop tops, any shade of brown and denim hot pants, there will be at least one colour that helps enhance your best features and complement your skin tone.If you haven’t found the one yet, have faith – I guarantee your lipstick soulmate is much easier to find than the male version. And will probably stick around longer too.

4 – Lipstick is always fun. Even on items of clothing!

As if you need any more excuses to treat yourself to a new shade… swoon over these shades ladies

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Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

I have a slight addiction to the Topshop makeup range that means I can’t shop online or instore without picking up a little something from the now extensive range.

More often than not it’s a new nail varnish shade but, inspired by some cosmetic looks I’d seen at London Fashion Week, I decided to try the new gloss ink range.

I fancied a change from my usual bright red satin matte lipstick (Topshop Rio Rio) and classic pink creme (Estee Lauder Crystal Baby) so I decided to look for a deep berry shade.

I’ve always found berry shades tricky. Too light and you’re verging on frosted ’80s heather that instantly yellowfies teeth. Too dark and you’ve crossed over to the dark side with almost black lips that scare boys. Where is that berry inbetweener?

So after what seemed like a million swatch tests, I decided on the new Gloss Ink in Cruel, a deep berry shade with a hint of pink.

Topshop Gloss Ink in Cruel

I’m a sucker for names so that was a factor – I imagined that Sarah Michelle Gellar would sport something similar in her Cruel Intentions days (15 years ago!!), most probably while she was hatching some elaborate plot to wreak havoc amongst her friends.

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions

Other inspiration on colour choice comes from more ’90s screen icons, all with a dark side:

 

Nancy (Fairuza Balk) in The Craft

Brenda (Shannen Doherty) in Beverly Hills 90210

Abby (Monica Keena) in Dawson’s Creek

Rayanne (AJ Langer) in My So Called Life

The best thing about the gloss ink is that it goes on as high shine gloss colour and fades into a long-lasting stain. When I say long-lasting I mean hours – my first application lasted through two cups of tea and a bottle of water. By lunchtime I was amazed that I still had any colour on my lips never mind one with impact. 
 
It also manages to be non-drying on your lips, which is quite an achievement given how long it stays put. For £8, this is truly value for money in a chic black matte tube.
 
Definitely a new makeup bag staple and I’ll be stocking up on more colours for spring.
 

 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

London Fashion Weekend takes place straight after London Fashion Week at Somerset House and what a setting it is for an event. Overlooking the Thames, it was a perfectly sunny day when I attended and the building looked magnificent in the winter sun.

Somerset House makes the perfect venue for London Fashion Weekend

We arrived quite late on into Friday morning’s session which meant no queues by the time we turned up but a general lack of common sense by the event staff meant we missed the start of the Elle beauty presentation we were looking forward to.

An event ‘helper’ told us we couldn’t enter via what I know as the main entrance (the one that faces the Thames) and so we were directed to walk round the building to the other side so we could collect our pre-booked tickets. Why there was an issue entering via this door I have no clue. It seemed to me like it was closest to the ticket collection area but maybe that’s just me…

The silver spaceship-esque trailers you can see in my photo above were where we collected the tickets, with some difficulty. Bearing in mind that no one else was around, we walked up to one of the windows and were told that window was for ‘silver and gold tickets only. The bronze window was the one beside him. In the same cabin. Where his friend was stood. So we had to make the ridiculous side shuffle to the left and wait for his friend opening said window…

There may be a need for that level of ‘organisation’ (or more like segregation) if there was a hint of a queue but really, there was no need for the robotic response we got from the event staff.

Anyway, enough complaining about the rules and regs, once we were finally inside the event it was fashion overload.

The Vodafone Lounge at London Fashion Weekend

The Vodafone Lounge appeared to be where all the action was happening so we headed inside and fought our way (really, we did) to the front of the queue to see the Elle magazine beauty presentation. ELLE’s beauty director Sophie Beresiner and fashion TV presenter Antonia O’Brien talked us through the must-have makeup and hair looks for SS14, even the ones we’re never likely to attempt – I’ll only ever be rocking the wet-look, slicked back hair trend for five minutes after my morning shower, thanks.

ELLE’s beauty director Sophie Beresiner explains why the sidesweep is a hot hair trend for SS14

Inspired by our beauty masterclass we headed back into the main part of the Vodafone Lounge where Maybelline had set up a stall packed full of SS14 colours. My only disappointment was that other cosmetics brands hadn’t done the same – it was all very nice and looked appealing but there was no real incentive to buy the products on offer, no free samples and no makeovers on offer. Yes I’m living up to my blogger/blagger tag here but you do expect to get something for your entry fee (and a bit more than the cheap Julien Macdonald-designed tote we got).

The Maybelline stall had stacks of lipsticks in SS14 shades

In truth the Vodafone Lounge was way too small for the amount of designer stalls setup inside and it was an endless stream of people bumping into us so we ventured into the main building to see what was on offer there.

I got most excited by the Prosecco bar but swiftly disappointed when there wasn’t even one free drink to be had. As great as it was to have a nosey at all the designer goods on offer (with some brands claiming to have discounts on the items) nothing caught my eye. Lots of designers were showing off their wares – Lulu Guinness, Radley, Muubaa, Amanda Wakeley, French Sole, Kat Maconie – but the price tags were still mighty high for an exclusive shopping event.

My look for London Fashion Weekend – Topshop Selma sunglasses// Topshop lipstick in Rio Rio// Warehouse Leopard Print Dress

I’ll be back in September but I don’t think I can say it will be for the shopping – the best part of the event was the Elle beauty presentation as that’s the sort of thing that makes you remember why you love the fashion industry and all its glamour.  And it will be silver or gold tickets next time – our bronze tickets got us an empty tote bag and no admittance to any of the designer/trend shows, which I think would’ve made the day all the more exciting.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience but organisers take note – more access to exclusive shows, more samples included for our ticket price and a bit more common sense would make it an event to remember for the right reasons.

For more information visit http://www.londonfashionweekend.co.uk 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

For someone that loves to beautify themselves I’ve never been one for pampering. Beauty treatments, for me, are always more of a necessity (waxing, threading and the occasional sh*t-I-need-to-get-my-legs-out spray tan) than a luxury that I have time to enjoy.

But after a hectic Christmas and January I was determined to check myself into a haven of calm for a couple of hours of pure relaxation.

Checking out prices for spa days and treatments I was amazed at how expensive these things are. Maybe because I’m not usually looking at these treatments when I’m in a salon, but dear me, you could literally buy a designer handbag with what it costs to book yourself in for a spa day at some places! And yes, I want to relax, but no, I do not want to think about which Marc Jacobs lovely I could’ve bought and paid for with the cost of a massage and a facial!

So after assessing my finances and checking out the options on 5pm.co.uk, I opted for Spa in the City, a handily-located day spa situated conveniently above Toni & Guy on St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

I booked a hot stone massage and aromatherapy express facial, which sounded like heaven! Call me a snob but I always judge a salon, both hair and beauty, by the products it uses. So I was pleased to see that ESPA was on the menu.

When I arrived at the reception I was greeted by a friendly member of the team who got me to fill in some details since it was my first time at the salon. Then I was taken through to the tranquil treatment room by my therapist, Laura.

The low lights and soothing music soon got me in a state of relaxation and Laura got to work on my tense muscles. The hot stone massage is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced – you know there’s warm rocks being pressed onto your skin yet it’s the most relaxing feeling. During the 40 minute treatment Laura moved all the way across my back and really paid attention to the areas that she could feel were in need of some relief. The hot stone massage for me was medium pressure given it was my first time but this can be tailored to more seasoned connoisseurs who want a deeper massage.

Once the massage was over it was onto my express 30 minute facial. The combination of an exfoliant, cleanser and moisturising mask met my neglected and dull winter skin in an attempt to revive it to its former glowing glory. In addition to the ESPA products on my face, I also received a dry scalp massage (without products as I was going shopping afterwards, but you can have oils applied if you wish).

Although it would’ve been nice to go for a nap after all this, it was alas time to get dressed and venture back outside. Laura brought me a glass of water and told me to take my time, which was nice as I’m sure the salon would’ve been busy, but I never felt rushed at any point.

After I paid for my treatments, which were worth every penny, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to join their loyalty scheme that entitles you to a free treatment after so many paid ones. I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Hot stone massage, £40, and aromatherapy express facial, £30, Spa in the City, Glasgow
www.spainthecity.co.uk 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

 

It’s hard to believe that Michelle Williams started her acting career in ’90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek, especially when you look at the latest shots of her in Louis Vuitton’s new campaign.

The Creek kids never had the edge when it came to style, opting for a uniform of checked shirts and stonewash jeans as they played out a series of melodramas in the backwaters of America.

But Michelle’s character Jen Lindley at least promised some fashion moments, with too-tight sweaters and flirty babydoll dresses we can only assume she’d managed to smuggle in her suitcase from her time living in New York.

The luxury label has latched onto the blonde bombshell’s early on-screen grunge roots for the autumn/winter 2013 shots, with Michelle’s first major fashion campaign featuring a strong ’90s vibe.

With the minimal styling and striking makeup, Michelle’s more reminiscent of early ’90s Madonna than ’50s starlet Marilyn Monroe, whom she recently morphed into for her lead role in My Week With Marilyn.

The overly-monogrammed Louis Vuitton collections certainly need an injection of cool after becoming synonymous with WAG meets Essex style. Judging by these shots, Michelle might just be the girl to do it.

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.