Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - The Beauty Kitchen

So far my shopping guide has been very West End based, but taking a saunter in to something a little bit closer to home I thought I'd share one of my favourite hidden gems in Glasgow - The Beauty Kitchen. Based in the Salt Market (a hop from the Merchant City...and a very quick saunter from Argyle Street) The Beauty Kitchen is pretty much my go to place for fancy bath facilities. With a strong ethos in keeping in natural, ethically sourced and local the Beauty Kitchen is one of those guilt free pleasures. No hidden nasties and nearly all the packaging is pre-cycled. My mother also is a fan of the executive bath - and while she's usually a fan of the Molton Brown variety - I believe The Beauty Kitchen is the kind of place to tickle her fancy with it's natural ingredients.

The bespoke body scrub is perfect if you want to create something a bit more personal. First you choose your base (British brown sugar, British white sugar, Epsom salt or fine sea salt) and then your ingredients. The choices include bitter orange, heather buds, stinging nettles (great for skin) and marigold rose. After this you get to choose your oils and the pattern for your label. Pretty fancy? You can build your scrub online although if you're Glasgow based (or bound for Christmas shopping) I'd say go in. The expertise of the staff is unbelievable and can advice you on what scents and ingredients blend well together and what everything does.

I'm a fan of the shower gel - it lasts for ages. I go for the brighter scents of either citrus or mints (got to get up some how) and find the essential oils are prominent without being overwhelming. The lip balms are great at only £2.95 and make brilliant stocking fillers. I'm yet to try the bath oil BUT it's something that would not go amiss in the stocking boyfriend. It sounds very luxurious and if my experience with the other products are anything to go by I think it's a perfect bit of affordable luxury.

Vegetarian and environmentally friendly - gifts for those who like a bit of luxury, without having to break the bank.
The Beauty Kitchen is open Thursday and Friday 11.30am - 6.00pm and Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - shop of interest

Next up on my indie Christmas gift guide is the Finneston based shop of interest. Based across from The Hidden Lane this hidden gem is the West End destination for quirky home ware and art. Easy to get to (get the train to Exhibition Centre, turn up and walk on to the main will not miss it) the pricing here is if you fancy getting something a little bit special. Some of my favourites from the online shop include the Friendly Buildings Prints. I'm a sucker for a good piece of wall art and priced at £35 from a limited run of 50 these guys are fun - and are the sort of guy that would make an EXCELLENT present for the sister and her fiance to help make their new year house a home. I have to say I love a decedent bit of home ware and the ceramic puppy plate from Glasgow based illustrator Lindsay Grime is to die for. It reminds me of those weird dogs my Great Gran had in front of her fire place (which to be fair I believe is the point.) Got to say this guy does make me want to start a plate collection on my wall with various domesticated animals painted on them - and at £49 I believe I'd want to display this as art before eating off it. I know this is something my pup mad best friend would heavily appreciate. Finally the fly scarf by Craig Fellows. Pure silk and just a bit macabre. My affinity for a fancy scarf had me swooning at this guy - £89 it's cheaper than your usual fancy scarf. I suspect this would be an excellent gift for the grown up goth in your life. Some of the prettier prints like the poppy would be something I just know my Gran would love!
I'd say this place is best for those looking for affordable prints as well as a wide selection of ceramic jewellery. If ever in the West End, def somewhere to fly on by.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - La La Land

There is a reason Glasgow is Scotland's premier shopping destination - and while it may seem like the easiest option to hit up Buchanan Galleries and St Enoch centre for your Christmas shop - Glasgow has some of the best indie shops filled with affordable unique gifts off the beaten track - so thought I would bring a few of my seasonal picks from a few of my favourites!First up is La La Land - based up Decourcy's Arcade in the West End (off Bryers road, a 5 minute walk from Hillhead Subway Glasgow shopper) and is owned by the amazeballs Sarah Graham. Stocking Scottish designers like Jennie Loof, Hilairy Laing and Bonnie Bling as well as off beat labels like Brat & Suzie and Lady Oaf - La La Land is the premier shopping destination for fashion lovers of all things cute and a wee bit quirky. One of my top picks include Scottish designer Dazed Dorothy's windmill leather clutch - elegant, simple - sort of thing momma bear would love. I love love the tuxedo scarf from Lazy Oaf - perfect for this winter wedding, and in the sale, this is the sort of thing my dear Miss Anderson would adore, and at £8 it's a frigging steal. For a secret santa/stocking filler there is some DIY Nails. I love the bunny design with tiny carrots at £10.....too much to hold out for kitties with tiny fishes maybe? Last is present for self - the Scottish based Sit Back Ride Tiger skull unisex tshirt at £28. 100% cotton and a suitably gothy design. Swoon.
All my picks and all sorts of other delights can be found online - but would thoroughly recommend a visit to the store if you can! It's one of my long time favourites.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

we are the owls - carnival inspired scarves

I've featured We are The Owls here before -and when I came across New Yorker Ling Chen's circus inspired collection of cashmere scarves I knew they'd be sneaking on here again. Everyone knows I love a fancy scarf with a fancy print - so a collection that features knife throwers, tattooed lovers, snake charmers and Houdini I'm going to be all over. There is a sort of minimalist victoriana thread going through the collection without being too literal. Despite it's fantastical influence of circus and carnival the palette throughout remains simple and sophisticated - mostly working on whites, blacks, browns, blues and reds. I think my favourite may just be the knife thrower or the sideshow twins.
These sexy boys are available on Net-a-porter and Glassworks Studios retailing at £200 & £205. Saving up my Christmas pennies for one of these I think/hope/pray.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

glasgow babes obscure couture taking over x-factor

Look I'm not really one for X-Factor (don't get me wrong I love how redic and OTT it is...but I work in a bar, it doesn't really lend itself to Saturday night tv times) and it doesn't seem like something I'd chat about here on the blog....but the Amazerous design team Obscure Couture had some fierce outfits on Little Mix and Amelia Lily on our small screens at the weekend. Couldn't let little slice of awesome slide me by!
Amelia wears Flesh & Bone while Little Mix wear a mix of Us vs Them collection and the Obscure Couture diffusion line. Seriously best thing to come up on my facebook feed in weeks.

You can buy yourself some Obscure Couture over on ASOS Marketplace here .... follow the lasses on twitter here and follow the babes on Facebook here. World domination for these girls awaits.
Congrats ladies, couldn't be more deserved!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

bang bang vliger & vandam

I'm pretty sure the "Guardian Angel" bags from Amsterdam based design duo Vlieger & Vandam are a sure fire way to get me banned from all banks,airports and a fair few drinking establishments in Glasgow but the embossed gun and knife bags are pretty much one of my favourite things.
I'd spotted them in Brazen many moons ago - buttery goatskin leather - just chilling there, looking fucking fabulous. It's November so on the run up to Christmas pretty sure I'm legitimately allowed to start dropping seriously pouty faced puppy eyed hints in the direction of the boy?
In 2005 the MoMA in New York featured these guys in an exhibition "Safe: Design Takes on Risk" and as of 2006 the Guardian Angel bags were made a permanent part of their collection. So keep your Birkin's and your 2.55's - I want me a Guardian Angel.
Effectively living in stab city think the knife embossment may be a bit too much?

Vliger & Vandam are stocked in Brazen in the Merchant City...which I do not pass every day and coo in the window. We're looking between £189-£350 for a bag....shall I start saving now then?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

on love,money & power - ten30 a/w preview

Silk, tweed and leather inspired by gangster movie vixens.
Go on then.
I really didn't think Alan Moore of ten30 could out do himself after his fantastic ballet inspired show The Ukrainian Girl earlier this year. An invite popped in to my inbox, all hush hush. I knew there would be tweed and wine, but the actually thematic element of this seasons collection was all kept very hush hush. I tried to poke and prod Alan for more details......and all I got was "bit more mature...I think you'll like it." Well god damn.
I suppose there are worse places than Malmaison to spend a rainy Saturday night in Glasgow. The intimate catwalk was adorned with heather, each seat came with a small token, hand embroidered quotes from classic gangster films Casino, Scarface and Goodfellas. A clue of what was to come to the evening mixing ten30's love of luxe with something more lighthearted and personal, it's these extra touches that have come to define ten30 shows.
The A/W collection mixed Harris Tweed, with leather, silk and faux fur - very decedent and luxurious - and heaven knows I love a good old mix of fabric. Silk and leather? Everything about the collection was very much about contrasts. Hard and soft. Sexy and vulnerable. The A/W preview was a mix of silk shirts, wearable dresses and jackets. Moore's collections are unashamedly feminine - the black silk dress with leather peter pan collar proved popular - evoking memories from his previous collection. It feels like a natural progression yet more mature. His collection of silk shirts with shredded detail looked beautiful and gave the show a slightly more masculine edge and evoking a sense of power. I have to say I wasn't crazy for the styling here (tights and shirt is for the most part not my thing) - but the pieces looked lovely and floaty. Highlights for me were the faux fur jacket with the leather lining - it's playful, a bit sexy and pretty much plays in to my love for outerwear and the purple tweed dress with leather sleaves was simple and again mixed my love of wool and leather. There was some gorgeous trousers in the collection that I would like to see more of. I can't really talk about the show without talking about Moore's finale piece. A shreded silk dress with intricate beaded detailing. While the rest of the collection was very classic sulty in shapes - this peice has a more grunge feel - contrasting with it's luxury fabrics.The show had this great atmosphere. With the collection inspired by the sexy powerful woman of gangster films, the Scottish edge came through more in the textiles and the entertainment - the excellent Gillian Frame on violin with the talented Mark Brendan Farmer of 17th Century on vocals. Admittedly I was disappointed not to see any prints - something that I feel Moore excels in and would have been wonderful to see this translated here. That said the collection overall feels more mature, and not so much a change in direction but a growth for Moore. His designs remain youthful but feel more refined and polished. Without a doubt one of Scotland's ones to watch.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

on drowning in flames shu uemura christmas palette review

Oh god is it November already? Feels like I can't walk in to a shop with out a wee bit of Mariah and someone spraying some over sweet perfume in my general direction. However when my friend Laura invited me in to have a creep at the new Shu holiday collection designed by acclaimed director Wong Kar-Wai I totally found myself getting in to the seaon. I've already pretty much decided that Santa's bringing me the mini brush set for Christmas - and when Laura asked me if I fancied trialing the "Drowning in Flames" palette I was ecstatic. Until I saw the colours.
Don't get me wrong - I have quite the penchant for a very dark purple, but I'm fair as they come by (pale blonde hair, blue eyes) so approaching this very pink palette had me worried if I was going to come away looking like I had the sorest eyes ever.
That said, I've known Laura for a while now - and she's yet to steer me wrong yet - and hell something has to pull me out of my makeup rut of nudes, heavy liner and a red lip so why not start here?
First of all the packaging is gorgeous. Wong Kar-wai is known for being heavily stylised in his direction and you can see this coming through here in the design. The palette feels sturdy and has a decent sized mirror. I've got a soft spot for holographic packaing - they're just the right sort of kitch for me and the yellow and gold colours with glitter is festive without being too heavily seasonal. Snaps for Shu. Also...the name "Drowning in Flames" - it's a bit dark, a bit's something that I can get on board with.
The actual product - colour wise you get 4 eye shadows, 1 cream blush and a highlighter. The eye shadows include a very rich royal purple, a lilac pink, a pearlesent baby pink and a gold glitter. The cream blush is a deep red and the highlighter a very very pale almost white yellow. It's very much in essence a party palette.
The eye shadows all apply really well, with a decent coverage and I found that they blend really well. The staying power ain't half bad (your face will last your work night out) - I was particularly impressed by how well the glitter went on, although I did have a little fall down. The pigmentation of the shadows is great and all the colours do compliment each other well. I wore all four at once for funsies, but can imagine using the gold frequently on the inner corners of my eye for party season and the plummy purple makes a nice alternative to black for my smoke. The slighter pink shades I feel I do need to wear them with other colours to avoid looking a bit sore - but I think this is the sort of palette that would definitely compliment someone with warmer colourings - a bit of a tan and/or brown eyes and you're laughing.
The cream blush is quite a berry red, it's a nice colour and again quite festive. It's a bit dark for me, and definitely my least favourite part of the palette. It does have a nice velvety texture, but the brush to apply it with is for it's texture a bit rubbish and you are better off using you're fingers. The highlighter is gorgeous - great for highlighting cheekbones and brow bones and lacks any shimmer so can easily be integrated in my daily make up.
Colour wise this is so far from my usual colours. I didn't find them as harsh as I thought they'd be and was really nice getting a change. The purple and gold are my favourites without a doubt. The colours are very warm and feminine and the palette does pretty much give you what you need for a party eye.
It's not something I would turn my nose up at if this guy was to land in my stocking this Christmas, but at £39, I feel I'd much prefer the "Burning in Water" palette - which more suits my skin tone with lots of blues and silvers. It's great value for money and the shadows are great - and it was nice to try Shu as a make up brand opposed to it's skincare - which I've been sold on for ages. For me, my main issues for this seem to be the colour match, so for my warm skinned beauts - get this on your Christmas list.Link
You can pick up the Wong Kar-Wai for Shu Uemura in House of Frasers Glasgow or via the Shu site.
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