Thursday, 29 December 2011

Skin Care Favourites of 2011

You'll find no face wipes here. 2011 was the year I finally ditched the face wipes. Wipes are for tables and not my face. That said I don't think the transition would have been quite as easy if I hadn't found skincare that worked for me. I'm sure there will be a few things missing - but these are the guys that work for me and I've come to love. Best Cleanser: Shu Uemura Tea Tree Cleansing Oil - £28. The stand out product of the year for me without a doubt. This cleanser is the single best cleanser I've used. The oil formula takes a bit of getting used to but it's super moisturising and melts off make up a dream. I've been able to get off thick mascara and eyeliner a treat with this bad boy. Worth ever god damn penny.
Best Toner: Garnier Clean & Fresh - £3. Cheap and cheerful this high street favourite tops my list of toners. I don't use it too much any more as my cleansing oil pretty much covers me, that said if we're going to go for the best out there this one comes tops in my book.
Best Moisturiser: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion - £16.50. After my Clinique rant earlier this year this one may come as a surprise, but it's a really bloody good moisturiser. It hydrates and has been doing me all sorts of good in the winter months without being too heavy. Give the rest of the 3 step plan a miss, but this guy is definitely worth having in your beauty cabinet.
Best Eye Cream: Shu Uemura Phyto-Lift anti-wrinkle cream - £49.50. I'm not going to lie, I did not buy this and probably wouldn't because £50 is scratching my upper limits. I did however get it in a goody bag and have come to use it every day. I'm sure when I'm super rich and have a lovely job with lots of money I will buy this. That said I do really love this product and it's part of my daily routine. What am I going to do when it runs out??
Best Exfloriater: Burts Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Treatment £8.50 - £10.99. Makes my skin feels brand new and really fresh smelling. I'd never used Burts Bees before but when I tried this guy out I fell in love. There is a banana hand cream I'm DYING to have a shot of.
Best Face Mask: Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Face mask - £19. I stumbled across this wee treat earlier this year and is my go to guy if I fancy popping on a wee treat to my face. My skin aways feels super fresh and hydrated after this guy.
Best All Rounder: Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream - £25. I believe that every lass should have this in their make up bag. It's doubled as a moisturiser when my skin's been unbearable, a lip balm and hand cream. This is something I will use for ever.

Obviously a few things slipped under my radar and I'd love to try some new products out in the new year.....but a good few of these I can't imagine myself straying from.
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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bee Waits Top Make-Up 2011

Every year I try to experiment with different bobs of make up. I'll play around with metallic eyeshadows and lilac lipsticks (because hey that's part of the fun with make up right?) but only a few products become regulars in my old make up bag. Sometimes it's a brief love affair - but here I'm bringing you my favourite products of this year. The ones I will always buy again, and pretty much wear every day.
Best Foundation: Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation in Soft Ivory - £33 available in House of Frasers and Space NK. I've really done a number on my skin with foundations. They would be too heavy, or too yellow or too thick. I've got the fun time that is combo skin, but I enjoy quite a matte coverage. That said while Laura Mercier's Silk Creme foundation has a "luminous" coverage it still left a good even base without stripping moisture out my skin or making me super shiney. The colour match I got with Soft Ivory was incredible and although the tube is only 35ml this guy has lasted for ages.
Best Concealer: Soap & Glory Kick-Ass Concealer - £10 from Boots. A newbie to the table but already a firm favourite. The 3 step plan with the two toned concealers (yellow and pink) means this little guys got you all covered. The coverage is great, the design of the container is super cute and is just as good if not better than many more expensive concealers.
Best Primer: Shu Uemura UV Under Base - £36 from House of Frasers. While not the cheapest, it does make your make up last forever. I'm not usually for mouse but I'm in love with this guy and wear it under everything. It's got a slight light pink tone when applied which evens out my skin great.
Best Mascara: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lash Extending Mascara - available on CheapSmells.com for £5.95- otherwise £20. I fell for this mascara last year after getting a sample and haven't used anything else since. It's last for ages and makes my lashes huge. I will be deff stocking up from cheap smells for the new year.
Best Lipstick: MAC - Russian Red £13.50, MAC - An oldy but a goldy, this matte bluey red lipstick is a staple of my make up bag and pretty much the only colour I ever wear.
Best Blusher: Accesorise Blusher in Diva - £5 from Superdrug: The Accesorise make up range was a pleasent suprise and the blushers are some of the best I've ever used. At £5 a pop you get pretty much all the blusher in the world, which gives a good even coverage. The warm Diva colour is my go to colour.
Best Eyeliner: Rimmel Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner - £5.29- pretty much everywhere. While I've played around with eyeliners from Collection 2000, MAC to Shu, I always come back to this guy. It is without doubt the best liquid eyeliner I've ever used. I've been using this guy since I was 15, and pretty sure I'll be wearing it for the next 8 years too.

I'm hoping to cover skin care and hair treats soon, but I'd love to hear about your favourite make up treats of the year? Anything I've missed?
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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Scottish Ballet - Sleeping Beauty

During this festive season in between scoffing mass quantities of quality street and drinking far too much baileys it's pretty much customary to go to the theatre. Last year it was me and the Tron gate crew heading down to the panto at the Citz, this year however thought would go for some slightly more sophisticated fare and take in a wee bit of the ballet, this year a lush as performance of the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
As always Scottish Ballet deliver a feast for the eyes in the luxurious performance. I love seeing simple stories brought to the stage with music, costume and dance with beauty and humor. Carabosse (the evil fairy) and her daughters were firm favourites for me - not only for their dark intricate costume designs, but their performance at Aurora's christening was one of my favourites. It was fun watching Carabosses' daughters kick cakes off the table and hassle the guests with their pure form of anarchy, accompanied with fast paced strings. Lots of tension and humor. The guests were brilliant and during the christening there was always something going on in the background which I really enjoyed. The regency style dresses in whites gave a lovely fresh and clean feeling that were a beautiful contrast to Carabosse's black and green.
Aurora's 16th Birthday party was brilliant - the young princesses in attendance were dressed in beautiful pastel dresses that reminded me of Luella of yore. The party was very opulent and glamorous, and the colours for the guests were very rich. Aurora's dance with her suitors was brilliant, very charming seeing the princes pass Aurora, and everything felt strong and purposeful. It was really quite lovely.
I loved seeing how the costumes changed in the final act to early 1940's pieces. The colour use was more sparse but the pieces were beautiful, and the other fairy tale princesses that made an appearance had modernised fairy tale looks. I have to say I adored Red Riding Hood - her 1940's dress looks like it could have been a Torres in another life and of all the princesses (other than Aurora) was my favourite.
Overall the production was simply magical, the music was amazing, the costumes were spectacular and the dancing as always was beautiful.
This year took the mum, grandmum and grandpop, the grandmum and mum were already great fan's of the ballet, though this was their first time seeing a production from the Scottish Ballet, and grandpops? Well, he wasn't quite sure what to expect. Needless to say by the end of it (like the boy a few months prior) he was a total convert. As we walked to the restaurant after he spoke fondly of the music and how ridiculously strong the dancers were. Seems to be a running theme with gentlemen who I introduce to the ballet.

Sleeping Beauty will be performed in Glasgow till the 31st of January at Theatre Royal before touring the rest of Scotland and Newcastle.
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh: 11-14th January
Her Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen: 18-21st January
Eden Court, Inverness: 25-28th January
Theatre Royal, Newcastle: 1-4th February
Tickets are priced between £10 - £37.50. If you're looking to take in a show and you're near any of these cities I would encourage anyone to go see Sleeping Beauty. If you're under 26 their are usually last minute deals on the day so always worth a shot to keep an eye out for one of those. You can book yourselves some tickets here.

Hope you lovelies all had a Merry Christmas.
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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

bubble betty - rainwear for happy heads

After the whole Hurricane Bawbag incident coupled with a loss of several hats and twice as much as umbrellas I had pretty much resigned myself to having rain hair for the duration of our super fun Scottish winter weather. Then Toni from Dada got in touch about a new Scottish niche brand - Bubble Betty. It's pretty much stylised version of the rain hats your Gran wears to protect her perm or her rinse. I'm not going to lie - I was totally skeptical at first. How the fuck do I look like a passable human being with a bit of plastic wrapped round by head? God I didn't even know how to put the guy on let alone brace the elements.
While not something I think I'd have naturally been drawn to - this reinterpretation of the vintage rainwear with quirky designs is really cute. They come in handy travel sized tins in four sweet designs. I got sent the red lace guy but super fond of the leopard print of black lace. They are 6 bucks a pop and fit right easy in to your handbag...and yup they keep your hair dry without the whole hat loss/brolly death that's usually inevitable with crap weather. There are a few vintage dolls that I know would rock the shit out of these bad boys and looks fierce as hell...and at £6 a pop,it could easily work it's way in to any of those ladies stockings in time for Christmas. They aren't available in shops yet but can be picked up online here.Would love to see some more designs...polka dot/zebra print?
What do you guys think? Plausible alternative to brollys/hats this Winter or a bit too niche?
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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

scottish blogger christmas meet

Of course is started in a pub....as any Scottish night out is wont to do. To be frank we looked like the weirdest office party in the world, and for the first time in a good long time I found myself drinking before 3 in the afternoon. Of course this kind of behaviour is crazy acceptable...mostly because it's Christmas (I have been using this excuse since mid November and will continue so in till late January) but also it was the Scottish blogger Christmas meet organised by the babalicious duo of Charlene and Rani. We all met up in spoons - and there was a whole mess of new faces (HIYA PALS) and a few old favourites. After a wee tipple, chat and getting some gorgeous goody bags courtesy of Allison Jameson Consultants filled with looooooovely Osmo goodies we sauntered down to Rox to have a champagne afternoon tea in their thrill room. The Thrill room is looking crazy beautiful and festive at the mo - It's a Wonderful Life projecting on the big old wall while we sat and ate tiny mince pies and glittery cupcakes under a MASSIVE Christmas tree. All very glam. Lucky us also got hooked up with some stunning stud earrings from the ladies at Rox....lovely Christmas treat. Very delicate and elegant.

Steamboat face courtesy of Wetherspoons

We had a wee creep down Primani which is always a treat - also the quietest I've ever seen it. Where the hell is my Christmas Shopping Apocalypse? After we sauntered down to the Christmas market for hot dogs before having a wee saunter to MAC to coo at lipsticks. Apparently Russian Red is being discontinued??? Rip out my heart why don't ya? Clearly will be stocking up in the next couple of weeks. Can you freeze lipstick? Must investigate. After all this I departed to go meet the besty...and my night ended with us watching Despicable Me, singing Eminem and drinking prosecco. Usually I'd be feeling a bit guiltier about having this much fun on a Monday night but....see above excuse #itschristmas.
I had such a great time and can't wait to creep out everyones blogs...and a super big saucy thank you to Charlene and Rani for sorting us all out!
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Friday, 16 December 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - Eco Chic

A new boutique opened up at my end of the town....right on my beloved High Street herself. Eco Chic boutique may only have been open a few weeks but it's fast becoming a favourite. Stocking clothes, homeware and furniture while keeping the stock within human affordability (ie:not reducing me to a diet of rice and gravy) it's the ideal place for your last minute Christmas goods, or if you're looking for something a bit fancy.
Eco Chic is actually part of a charity - Impact Arts who use arts in communities around Scotland as a tool for change. Most of the stock in the store is designed and made by their young designers on the Impact Art programmes, though it also features a mix of upcycled, vintage and Glasgow designers.
A few of my favourite pieces included the deatachable collars at £12 a pop, made my different young designers at Eco Chic. Collars are something that I've always had a soft spot for and this is one way a sister can hook herself up without breaking the bank. Here's hoping I'll have some Christmas pennies! The digital printed bags at £25 are sweet and spacious - ideal for my aldi shop, though can imagine the sisterling would enjoy it for gym times.One of my utter favourites has to be the cushions. The digitally printed cushions from "Red Thread" (a label from the students of Cardonnald College) are £12.50 and are some of the nicest designs I've seen in a long time. The selection of clothes is amazing, dresses hitting around the £15 mark as a standard - most seem to be upcycled though there are a few from scratch from ethically sourced fabric on the rails.
Eco Chic is located on High Street (next to the Panopticon and oppisote the Tesco Metro..head along Argyll till you get to creation and turn left) and is open Tuesdays - Saturdays 10am - 5:30, 6.30 on Thursdays. It's amazing that more and more of these shops are popping up and thriving in a recession especially with Scotland's high street spending dipping. These alternative independent boutiques help make Glasgow one of the best places to shop, so always pleased to see a new guy like this open. Definitely one to check out!
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Saturday, 10 December 2011

a soft spot for the 90s

Not wanting to be a cliche blogger or anything (already pretty sure I've got that down with my love of cats, galaxy print and chunk impractical shoes) but it will pretty much surprise no one that I got myself a wee soft spot for the 90s. I say soft spot...I mean major ridiculous lust. I really should know better. Anyway I stumbled across "90's Runway" - now officially my favourite tumblr ever by the by, and it's just all these insane and amazing runway looks from the 1990s. Does what it says on the tin really. I mean sure there is some fucking insane shit on their too...I blame girls nursed at the teet of Lisa Frank for some of the ridiculousness going on over there. That said there is some collections that I flat out love - and I'm pretty much all on board for the zealous use of gold....gold chains all up in this bitch. That mixed with sheer, latex, pastels, flowers and belts and I've pretty much found the best alternative to a night in of X-Fator. Here are my highlights:

1: Chanel 1992 2: Yves Saint Laurent 1999 3: D&G 1992 4: Yves Saint Laurent 1993 5: Vivienne Westwood 1990 6: Thierry Mugler 1992 7: Christian Dior 1999 8: Thierry Mugler 1996 9: Sonia Rykeil 1994

I'm off to waste my life coveting trends of decades past. I'm sure there are worse ways to spend my nights...
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The Rox Gold Christmas Party

The Thrill Room is easily one of my favourite places to spend an evening in Glasgow. Large comfy seats, gothic candles, a projector for screening classic films and a bar sponsored by Moet.....can't really think of a nicer place to spend a Saturday night eh? When Toni invited me along to the Rox Gold Christmas party I dusted off my party shoes, pulled out my most ostentatious dress (twas a Christmas party after all) and called up the lovely Betty Swollocks for an evening of diamonds, champagne and Emili Sande. And apparently a claw machine.
Celebrating a year since the re-launch of their Agyll Arcade store it was all cocktails and canapes. Very glam. We were given a token to try out hands at a claw machine. The Swollocks and I had maybe a few too many pinky mojitos by the time our time around...and pretty sure we were pretty much the worst guys at it. That said I did see a fair few folk walking around with Rox bags - filled with their arcade spoils. Emeli Sande performed - which was really nice to see her in a more intimate location.

Rox have a wee video of the night filled with interviews, well dressed people enjoying their sparkly, Emili Sande's performance and a wee glimpse of me about 6 and a half minutes mark...loosing spectacularly at the claw.
Was wonderful to see some of the girlies - Charlene and Anna. A super special thanks to Toni for inviting us. Made the staff party at GFF the next day a bit rough but so very much worth it! Meanwhile this guy has sneaked on to my Christmas list. Dear Santa....
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Thursday, 8 December 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - Jewellery Edition

With gale force winds and deadlines a plenty, you're Glasgow girl doesn't always have time to visit her favourite haunts, and with the lad strapped to his desk with overtime it's not the easiest thing in the world to nod knowingly at him as we pass a few of my fave jewellery shops. Now I'm a bit fan of Rox (for diamonds and fine jewellery) and Brazen (for something a bit more off the wall but none the less beautifully crafted) but the jewellery I bring you today is all made in Scotland and available online. A wee well timed email to the boyfriend's office with some helpful hints may be called for....
First up is Jane Gowans. I'm a big fan of her matchstick collection and would be delighted to find the maggie braclet or oliver necklace under my tree, however it's her 2011 limited edition collection of rings that's got me really excited. I'm known for only ever really wearing gold or pearls, however this oxidised black silver ring looks like something out of a fairytale. An edgier and more luxe version of her usual Bessie rings the limited collection featuring rings in silver, yellow gold and my newly beloved oxidised silver. This guy clocks in at £235, the limited collection ranging in price from £200 to £400. Not to bad eh? If looking for something a bit more purse friendly to fill your stockings with her limited edition prints are £25-£30 a pop. I'll take one of each please. Her orders depending can take up to 4 weeks to be finished, so I'd be getting in your orders now ladies!
Next up is Euan McWhirter. His couture collections have this real feeling of decadence and luxury - particularly his intricate Mary Antoinette inspired collection. While his Lucky Bitches rings are gorgeous (and a steal at £95 a pop) - it's the Atomic Cuff - a mix of acrylic, swarovski crystals and hand cut glass that's caught my eye. It's totally OTT, and makes me think of early Moschino. What I'm getting at is that it's totally excessive in black and gold - my fave colour combo. This guy slys in at £135...and you can order from Euan directly by email info@euanmcwhirter.co.uk.
How to I decide what piece I'd like from Bonnie Bling? Her broaches and necklaces adorned with the likes of "Bawbag", "Belter" and "Baltic" would all make fabulous stocking fillers, or hell even by grand wee treats in a Secret Santa...but I'm talking about the kind of shit I want to see under my tree and this delightfully macabre blood drip bracelet from Bonnie Bling's collaboration with Raksa is right up my alley. At £55 this guy is the perfect ghoulish treat for someone looking for something edgy with a good dose of fun in their parcels.Tatty Bon is round the corner from my house - but not everyone can be so lucky. The shop is filled to the bring with custom and vintage as well as her own jewellery. My favourite of her collection of handmade jewellery is her double scroll crystal hearts. At £12 a piece you can order your colour of crystals and phrase. I've got....ocht god knows how many of these. My Horror Queen ring may be a favourite. You can place your order or have a general creep on her etsy. Deff a gift that is pocket friendly. Ideal for getting custom names for your best girlies I'd say.Finally is the mistress of silver herself Anna of Oui Designs. I love her paper girl and silver bullet collections and feel that Oui designs make some of the most beautiful silver jewellery in Scotland. The above piece was a custom broach and necklace for an anniversary gift but Anna has been known to turn her hand at bracelets, rings and photo booklets necklaces. If you have a bit more money to spend and want an original piece anna@ouidesigns.com is the place to go. Me? I'd kill for the silver bullet earrings.

Here's hoping I'll find something lovely under my tree! I can pretty much peg down friends and family members who would love each one of these designers. Any of their collections standing out for you?
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide - Once Upon a Tart

While the West End of Glasgow is well known for it's off beat boutiques and coffee shops, my beloved Merchant City has had all kinds of wonderful wee shops pop up over the past few years. I mean we've got old favourites like Mr Ben's, The 13th Note, The Panopticon and Mono that I swear to god have been here forever - but in the past few years we've seen In the City Vintage, Tatty Bon, The Beauty Kitchen and more recently Eco Chic Boutique. With a growing cultural quarter at my end of town surely there's got to be a fine place to pop in for a spot of tea and a bun when stocking up on indie Christmas goodies?And then Once Upon a Tart opened..and I was in love. What was once an art space on King Street has been transformed in a flurry of pink and black in to the quintessential tea house of the Merchant City. We're not flush with Starbucks and Costas around here (thank God) so the opening of an indie coffee shop round the corner from Casa Stuart is just what the doctor ordered. It's all tea leaves and raspberry brownies and hunners of cushions. Most of the eats clock in under £4 and they pretty much do the best banana bread I've ever tasted. With generous helpings at affordable prices in a coffee shop with plenty of character - Once Upon a Tart is THE place to stop off for your Christmas shop coffee break. I'll be taking the besty there tomorrow so we can exchange gifts, and I'm dying to take the boy there for brunch. Blueberry and maple syrup pancakes? YES.

Once Upon a Tart is open Monday to Sunday 9-5, and is located on 45 King Street. That's along Argyle Street, past T G Hughes and turn right as if going to Mr Ben's. Couple of doors down from In the City Vintage.
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Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Glasgow Girls Guide to the Alternative Christmas Shop - Welcome Home

Another old favourite makes it's way in to the Glasgow Girls Christmas Guide is Welcome Home - a unique retail space in the city centre showcasing craft, design and illustration. They stock beautiful wall prints, jewellery from independent designers, a selection of gorgeous stationary and a whole host of other treats. Welcome Home is as central as it gets sharing space on Sauchihall Space with the CCA, so just a quick saunter from the ABC, today I bring my fave treats available online.

I've spoke about the hand shadow jewellery available at Welcome Home before. It's such a cute idea and would be a fantastic gift for secret santas or stocking fillers. At only £15 it doesn't break the bank either. I love the bird design, but I know Lynne would love the dinosaur silhouette ring. For the make up lover who enjoys minimalist graphic design this windy day make up bag clocking in at £20 would be a right wee treat under the tree. All prints are slightly different - and it's also available in a rainy day print and sunny day design. The windmills is a favourite for me. For my brother in law the Takae Mizutani egg and soldier set is something I can see in his kitchen cupboard easy peasy. He's a wee lad at heart, and the horses and castles design is fun. My wee sister and him are moving in to their own flat next year so this wee slice of home ware would be perfect. Finally this digitally printed cushion is perfect for fans of graphic prints. I kind of want it for myself. I do like a nice bit of home ware. I've got a soft spot for cushions and pretty sure if I had my way my flat would be filled with them entirley.

Got any favourites from the site?
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