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.

It feels as though this series just started, but here it is, the Girls Season 4 finale.

With Hannah and the gang reluctantly accepting it’s time to grow up (slightly) and creator Lena Dunham admitting she only ever planned to film four short series of the show, is this the end of the road for our shambolic Brooklyn friends?

Unless a lot of loose ends get tied up in tonight’s episode, we’re going to be left hoping there’s a Season 5 on the way. Or forever be furious that we never got to see how it all worked out.

Here’s some things I’d like to see happen in the finale, just incase it’s the last time we get to see Girls on our screens…

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Marnie loses her voice

Seriously, enough already! Has there ever been a more cringey crooner than the wannabe songstress?

As annoyingly gorgeous as she is, Marnie’s self-proclaimed songwriting ‘talent’ is not something she should be hinging her future on.

More disturbing is the creepy loser she seems to have attracted in her attempt to forge some sort of modern day June and Johnny Cash setup.

Lose the voice, lose the loser. Because he ain’t hanging around if there’s no dollars to be made.

Problem solved.

 

2. Adam lets Hannah rescue him

Because we all know that’s what this is about. The only way Hannah can save herself from her own insecurities is to save someone else that’s even more fucked up than she is.

Adam was always meant to be the challenge she took on and won. And for a while it looked like she was winning – she had the boy, the relationship, the job, the cohabiting.

It was all working out and so she decided to test it by moving to Iowa. He failed the test – he gave up on her and moved on, way too quickly, when all she wanted him to do was say that he needed her to stay.  

So come on Adam, just let her save you from yourself. It’s the only way to settle this once and for all!

 

3. Shoshanna says it like it is

One of my favourite episodes of Girls was in Season 3 when Shoshanna went cray cray and told her so-called friends what she really thought of them.

Given that the friendships haven’t really improved during this season, it’s about time Shoshanna reminded the girls that their behaviour towards each other is anything but friendly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Jessa hooks up with Pete Doherty

Let’s face it, he’s her soulmate. Kate Moss couldn’t handle Pete’s hardcore lifestyle but I have every confidence that Jessa could.

The English wild child would bond with the Libertines frontman during another stint in rehab and become his latest muse.

Jessa’s always been my favourite Girls character so I’d like a happy ending for her and this would be it.

 

5. Hannah dresses like a sane person

I don’t completely hate Hannah’s wardrobe but I’d say her choices are usually questionable.

Apart from the few passable dresses she owns, Hannah’s wardrobe is a complete reflection of her life: a mess.

I get the whole trying to look like a hipster (who manage to all look the same while trying so hard to look ‘different’!) with clashing prints and thrift store buys.

But, after watching her lurch from crisis to crisis in a series of ill-fitting shirts, I think it’s about time she paid more attention to how she dresses.

I’m not saying she has to have some sort of Victoria Beckham makeover but not looking like a Texan trucker would be a great start.

And that lizard crop top has to go. WTF even is that.

 

6. Mimi Rose Howard gets punched in the face

Just because. We’ve all been there, when you get replaced with someone else it’s always the worst person possible.

They’re either way worse than you or way better. Either way, you’re the loser who’s on your own while your ex has moved on to better/worse things. 

Mimi Rose is better on paper than Hannah, which only serves to fuel her self-obsessiveness and insecurity. 

And to add insult to injury she was only ever using Adam anyway. That alone is reason enough to punch her in the face.

 

7. Hannah writes a self help book

Because Hannah being a teacher doesn’t work out for anyone.

If the phrase ‘those who can’t, teach’ was where Hannah got the idea to enter the world of education then she really does need to assess her life choices.

Given that her mental age is on par with her potential students, Hannah should really steer clear of trying to educate impressionable youngsters on life.

A self help book is a win-win for Hannah. She could inadvertently end up helping herself through writing about her life, finally identifying what her problem is and why she can’t get her shit together, ever.

Way cheaper then eternal therapy sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The Girls finally realise what true friendship is (and value it)

One of the main reasons people don’t like Girls is that there’s not one character you can truly like.

Likeability is a big part of identifying with a character, unless you hate yourself and therefore that’s not an issue.

These girls are horrible to each other.

In moments of need they resort to avoidance, ridicule and even pleasure that one of their so-called friends is a bigger fuck up than they are.

Is that really what girls are like these days? Whatever happened to girl power (ahem, ’90s kid over here)?

There’s enough people in the world queuing up to smile smugly when you fail, your friends shouldn’t be on that list.

 

The UK series finale of Girls Season 4 airs on Sky Atlantic at 10pm, Monday 23rd February 2015

 

Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.

January’s a grim month so I decided to hide from the snow storms and hibernate in the luxurious K West Hotel & Spa for a night.

Situated in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, the 4 Star boutique hotel is only a few minutes walk from both the tube station and Westfield Shopping Centre, on a quiet residential street.

I had read previously that the modern, neon-lit building sits awkwardly across from a concrete council block and that the building’s surroundings were less than desirable but it’s central London and I’ve ventured into worse streets if I’m being honest.

Besides, if this hotel was anywhere in W1 it wouldn’t be half as affordable as it is currently.

Reception is located at ground level on the third floor – there are two floors underground for those who want to hide from the world and two floors above for those like me who prefer to know there’s a window that leads outside, even if the curtains are closed.

The bar at K West Hotel

The bar at K West Hotel

The building is a former BBC recording studio so the slick rock vibe lives on in the glamorous bar area, perfectly placed beside the entrance, and the quieter velvet chair filled reading room across from the lifts. I liked this space, featuring a nice pop art Amy Winehouse print and plenty of musical reads on the shelves to keep you amused during your stay.

Lounge area at K west Hotel

Lounge area at K west Hotel

After wheeling my suitcase along the seductively lit corridor that snaked round the building, I found my surprisingly spacious room just past the ice bucket in the wall (yes, really!).

K West Junior Double Room

K West Junior Double Room

K West Hotel junior double room bathroom

K West Hotel junior double room bathroom

The sleek, monochrome and metallic decor was right up my street and the bathroom was everything you hope from a hotel/spa, complete with white fluffy towels and miniature toiletries from The White Company. Two sets of K-West branded robes and slippers are provided, ideal for slipping on before heading down to the spa located in the ground floor of the building.

White Company miniature shampoo, conditioner and shower gel

White Company miniature shampoo, conditioner and shower gel

I had chosen the Snow Joke package for my overnight stay (25% off a junior double room with continental breakfast), but my plans changed on arrival and I decided to make the most of my time at K West by upgrading. I called reception with my request and they obliged immediately, updating my details so I had some added extras to my stay.

I went for the Love Sucks package (£119), ideal for one person who really does think that love sucks! I think the package is a total bargain for what you get and it was just what I needed. The package includes:

  • Overnight stay in a Junior Double Room
  • Continental breakfast
  • Complimentary movie with popcorn and soft drink
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Room Service Dinner – One main course and a drink (Glass of Wine, Beer or Soft Drink)
  • Complimentary WIFI in room
  • Access to the K Spa

After upgrading I changed into my swimsuit, robe and slippers, then made my way down to the spa. I’d never been to a spa before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I LOVED it! Talk about another world… this was the perfect way to escape the January blues.

K West spa

K West spa

Everything’s perfectly thought out, from the endless supply of pristine white towels, robes and flip flops to the hairdryers, GHD straighteners and cotton buds in the changing rooms.

Changing room vanity area at K West Spa

Changing room vanity area at K West Spa

The spa itself was smaller than what I expected but I think that was good – I had imagined a terrifying parade of perfect modelesque bodies in bikinis lining an endless swimming pool but that wasn’t the case at all. As I made my way to the hydrotherapy pool I noticed there was a mix of singletons, couples and groups of friends so I felt totally at ease doing my own thing. Most importantly for me, it’s a kid-free zone so no chance of boisterous brats ruining my chill time!

The hydrotherapy was like a large jacuzzi with metal bar beds and benches you could relax on. I got quite used to staring at the twinkling lights above me as the bubbles worked wonders on leaving my skin feeling soft.

K West spa ceiling lights

K West spa ceiling lights

After the pool I made my way to the solarium, a wood panelled room where you could lie back on a wooden bench to dry off. It felt just like sunbathing and I closed my eyes imagining I was poolside at a tropical resort.

I tried the sauna for five minutes but it’s just not for me – the extreme heat makes me feel like I can’t breathe! I’m sure it’s great if you can relax but I kept thinking I was going to faint. And therefore I couldn’t face the steam room for the same reasons!

The twin footbaths are a great idea, with bathsalts provided to soften the skin, but it’s not that much fun on your own so I moved on to the Snow Paradise. Yes, having flown down to London to escape the snow in Scotland, it wasn’t high on my agenda but I opened the door out of curiosity anyway… and couldn’t face stepping into it wearing a swimsuit and flip-flops. Again, I’m sure there’s some sort of pleasure in it, and I can vouch that it did look like real snow, but not for me.

Water jugs in the spa at K West Hotel

Water jugs in the spa at K West Hotel

I spent the rest of my Saturday night floating between the pool and the solarium, occasionally sitting on the chill out sofas with a glass of water from the lemon and lime filled jugs that the spa staff keep topped up. Quite a change from my usual Saturday night drink of choice!

After three hours in the spa, I got showered and changed into another fluffy robe in time to order my room service dinner. The food was amazing – I went for the lemon and herb chicken, served with corn on the cob, skin-on fries and BBQ sauce, plus a chilled glass of rose wine that was part of my Love Sucks meal for one (singletons need wine!).

K West Hotel room service dinner and movie package

K West Hotel room service dinner and movie package

As a treat I added on a dessert, the chocolate marquis with cherry sorbet and sauce, easily one of the best sweets I’ve tasted.

By sheer coincidence Bridget Jones’ Diary was the movie of choice on ITV1 that night, so I had a laugh to myself before swiftly swapping for the movie package film I’d chosen, The Wolf of Wall Street. Chick flicks ain’t my thing!

All that relaxation and the comfy bed meant I couldn’t keep my eyes open to watch the entire movie, but I did stay awake long enough to scoff half the salty popcorn and diet coke brought to me by the lovely room service waiter.

A continental breakfast was included in the Love Sucks package but after I saw the options for hot breakfasts in the welcome pack I decided to pay the extra £7 to get a full English in bed.

K West Hotel room service English and Continental breakfast

K West Hotel room service English and Continental breakfast

It arrived at 10am as requested and I managed to watch the rest of the film I’d ordered while munching on poached eggs, chestnut mushrooms, cumberland sausage, wholemeal toast, a selection of pastries and a hot chocolate. Had I not had to check out at 12pm, could easily have gone back to bed after that feast!

I checked out reluctantly as I could quite happily reside here forever but it was a great way to spend 24 hours nonetheless. The whole experience is made all the better by the hotel staff, who really do go out of their way to make you feel welcome and accommodate any (reasonable) request you might have. I think I’ll definitely be back, perhaps for longer next time!

K West Love Sucks package for one person is priced at £119, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.



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.