I don't think there's any doubt that west is best when it comes to fashion. Glasgow has the biggest and most successful shopping area in the UK outside of London's West End. Just take a wee walk down Buchanan Street and you'll see the glamour of Glasgow in every nook and cranny. Aye, we don't call it Glasvegas for nowt!
The Style Mile, the city centre shopping area, that covers a square mile with over 1,500 shops (that makes ladies tremble with excitement and men with fear!) has extended it's opening hours until 7pm on week nights, 8pm on Thursdays.
But there's more than just bags of shopping to do… I set myself a wee challenge this week to see what fun things I could squeeze in after work (rather than simply jumping on the subway home) between 5pm and 7pm. Here's what I got up to…
Spray Tan n' Go
I have never had a spray tan. Not because I've embraced being a whiter shade of pale but some of my mates have had bad experiences, and I'll never forget Ross from Friends oompaloompa ordeal. I don't generally make beauty decisions based on blokes in American sitcoms, but the tango tan was pretty compelling!
However, it turns out that when you pop into your local department store for some knickers you can now get yourself a spray tan too! Benefit (in Debenhams) are offering Vita Liberata, a non-toxic (some tans have been found to have anti-freeze in them!), fragrance-free (no more smelling of burnt toast) and totally organic spray tan, all for £20. You're taken into a wee room and asked to strip to your smalls (or put on the paper panties they give you). You then stand, as your new best pal (well, she's seen you in your all-together, so it does feel like you might be BFs forever) sprays you in various directions to ensure even coverage. It's all over in a jiffy (and there's no need to scrub your palms with sandpaper to get rid of the tell-tale orange mitts).
I couldn't believe how quick and effective this pick-me-up was… they say a change is as good as a holiday, but no, a good spray tan is as good as a holiday!
I love shopping, but I don't want to spend my treasured weekends trawling the shops when every other Kim, Vick and Harriet is too! So, mid-week I decided it was time to get personal: with a stylist. Straight from a 5pm meeting, I went to meet Anna and Patricia, two of the personal stylists at John Lewis. We first had a consultation to identify my style personality and body type. Then they do the hard work, having a squizz round the store and selecting a range of outfits for you to try on whilst you relax and have a cuppa. Now, this is the way to shop at the end of a long day!
If you opt for a more thorough consult ( three hours for £125, which can be deducted if you spend more than £500) they will also do your very own personal body and colour analysis. My mum had this done when I was wee and still carries around the colour chart! It was fascinating to see what colours suited me best and I was surprised to see that some of my go-to hues (black, light pink) don't really work with my skin tone (see ya LBD!).
Anna and Patricia worked hard to put me at ease, they had a lovely and friendly manner. They said that lots of folk come to them when they have a special event, like a wedding or perhaps are returning to work after having a baby and need a wardrobe refresh (minus the baby puke!). But, I think it's a good way to get an expert opinion at any time, to help youget the most out of your shopping and prevent you from getting those wee indents on your hand from carrying too many hangers.
Blow-dry away the cobwebs!
Blow Drys have become big hair business in the last few years, increasingly, we all feel as though we need to look like we just stepped out of a salon! I blame the gorgeous Duchess of Cambridge, and her bouncy locks, that even have their own special account on Twitter!
A bad hair day, though, can make you feel more frazzled than a Glasgow rain shower. So, continuing my theory that you don't need to just scoot home after work, last night I went to the Rainbow Rooms George Square for a wee blow dry. They have lots of stand-by appointments and, in fact, have even recruited more stylists for the walk-in trade. They reckon they are seeing more and more of their clients choosing to come in after work for their usual cut or colour or even just a wee pick me up between appointments, rather than coming into town at the weekend.
After being shown their drinks list and customer promise - all very welcoming and impressive - I was taken in hand by Jack, he asked me what I wanted and I said, Kate's bouncy hair of course! Not so easy with my grown-out bob, but he did an incredible job.
A blow dry is a fast way to fabulous if you're heading for a night out or, perhaps, just want to avoid washing and drying your own hair for a few days! It was an absolute blast… and what's more I did feel quite like a princess when I left!
Wee Bird Recommends
This week, this Glasgow Girl - and Wee Bird - would like to recommend the incredible new stage show by The National Theatre of the Glasgow Girls. This true story is as compelling as they come and whether you're a Weegie Bird or Bloke it's well worth going to see…