Reviews

The Transformative Powers of a New Haircut

Last week I was treated to a re-style at Austen Thomson Hair by the talented Lauren, who has developed a unique freehand cutting technique that managed to translate my novice ramblings of what I had in mind for my lanky locks into the ideal result; a cut that liberated me from flat, limp hair and a low-maintenance look so I could indulge my lazy side. I’m now the proud owner of a tousled, layered bob in fairy-cake pink, and couldn’t be happier!




As I watched my pink hair fall to the floor of the beautiful Austen Thomson salon, I thought about the almost transformative power of getting your style revamped.  I can’t deny that having short hair has a strangely liberating feeling. 

Not in the cliche ‘New Hair New Me’ or “I broke up with a boyfriend so I became a new woman!” way, but just in terms of a new-found confidence. I think having short hair just forces me out of my comfort zone, without having the choice of just tying it up in a messy bun or hiding a make-up free face behind long curls.

The salon really is a beautiful environment to get hair treatments, without the loud blow-drying sounds (they use the new Dyson hairdryers!), toxic hairspray smell and dull small talk about holidays. 

I left with a smile after being treated like a princess by the wonderful staff, including Austen himself, who were truly passionate about new and exclusive products they use, like the Schwarzkopf Color Freeze cell perfection spray and creme, which really nourish hair thats been bleached, and lock in even semi-permanent hair dyes like my pink Manic Panic colour. Even my bad hair days with this new look are totally doable, and I can’t wait to try out new looks, like soft curls and half-up half-down dos. Can’t thank Lauren enough!


                                             Ruth @ Urbanity xxx 



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Fashion and Style Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland

The new Fashion and Style Gallery expels an mood of grandeur and luxury, with the regal architecture of the National Museum of Scotland playing the perfect backdrop to a wide selection of coveted fashion industry archives and complementing the stunning garments on display, from vintage Schiaparelli to modern McQueen. The presence of this stylish exhibition in such a world-famous hub of knowledge places huge importance on fashion’s place in history, and rightly so.





An intriguing selection of colour and texture makes the spacious hall a myriad of fashion discoveries, from ancient tweeds and tartans to minimalist monochrome looks, and from Victorian lace, to Oriental silks.  Of particular interest are the historical influence of British designers Jean Muir, influential couturier and Scottish cashmere artiste of the 20th century, and Charles Frederick Worth, England’s first haute couture atelier who created exquisitely hand-crafted lavish gowns in the 1800s.

In terms of more contemporary icons, visitors have access to a striking shoe gallery with modern masterpieces from legends like Christian Louboutin, designer of striking red-soled court shoes with a twist, as he called them objets d’art, and Alexander McQueen, eclectic Scottish fashion entrepreneur with a dark, savage approach to design. Special attention is also awarded to pioneer of Punk, Vivienne Westwood, with her confrontational red tartan suit standing proudly in a centre glass display.


Catwalk-style podiums grace the room, displaying elegant mannequins dressed in structural Issey Miyake garments and innovative Hussein Chalayan creations, creating a truly fashionable atmosphere. Overall the exhibition proves fashion as a diverse subject with a huge variety of topics covered, with both physical and digital ways to explore, in an inspiring space filled with looks from every era, focussing on silhouette and style.

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Cult Glasgow Salons

Earlier this week I went through to Glasgow for the launch of new artisan Scottish fashion brand Nu Blvck and decided to make a day out of it by finally christening my hair and nails with some treatments at two salons I’ve been worshipping on Instagram for far too long, Blow and NAF.

Blow is  a ‘Colour Asylum’ (not as scary as it sounds! They specialise in perfecting fashion hair and use cult vegan cruelty-free hair dye Manic Panic) located both in the hip Finnieston and Shawlands areas of the city. It is renowned for creating the famous glitter roots, rainbow dyed hair, on-trend braids and bangs, and now launching their very own hair styling academy for the next generation of salon talent. I decided to get my roots back to blonde and then my whole hair dyed a pale pink ‘vintage rose’, along with an Olaplex treatment to save my damaged locks, and a sharp new cut.


I think even more than just the fantastic hair, its the beautiful interiors and lively atmosphere at Blow that makes it so much more than your average hairdressers. From rainbow lights and unique furniture to a soundtrack of great tunes and fashion shows playing on repeat, you really do feel like you’re in another world. I mean, how many salons treat you to milkshakes, cocktails and popcorn while you wait? 

All the staff are super friendly and make you feel really special, from your first consultation, all the way up to that famous selfie on the #Blow wall! 

I would definately recommend following them on Instagram, for some serious hair inspiration!

Next up, there’s NAF! Salon, in central Glasgow. Fun fact: Naf stands for Nails And Face, because this cult fashionista hangout offers a range of beauty treatments too as well as their famously sassy nail art. 

You can check out their Instagram for proof of the talent of the lovely team, from Pokemon inspired nails, to seaside pedicures, glitter/festival mania, gothic shapes and intricate geometric details.

I opted for a classic Shellac/gel nails treatment, as I need something easy for work. This metallic sparkly pale pink immediately caught my eye, and I loved the friendly chat, free sweeties, amazing interiors and super-quick service at the salon. A must-buy when at NAF is their own range of cuticle oils to elongate your manicure’s lasting power, in Mango, Peppermint and Cherry!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx


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Tuk Tuk Vegan Treats


Today’s post is long awaited and delayed, so for that I apologise! I have been preparing for the move to my new flat, new course at university, and being a busy bee at work, but I am so passionate about dedicating my time to this blog! I am super grateful for anyone that continues to support and engage with Urbanity as it continues to grow!
I divulge. Basically, this post is a delight to write because a couple of weeks back I was surprised with a wonderful invitation to try out the vegan menu at Tuk Tuk, an Indian Street Food style restaurant  in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. Lucie (from Tetris and Cheesecakes), Emma (from Edinbug) and I dined on a feast of meat/egg/dairy free dishes at Tuk Tuk, and here is my review! You can also read Emma’s post here, accompanied by her wonderful food photography skills that sadly I don’t possess! 




On a cool summer’s evening, we met at the delightfully decorated restaurant, colour schemed in orange and other earthy tones, splattered with authentic Indian curios and with an overall modern, contemporary feel. We explained to the staff about our vegan blogging experiment, and were disappointed to find out that their isn’t actually a separate ‘vegan menu’, but instead the dishes are all on one menu, just labelled with different allergens/dietary requirements, so it took a bit more searching than expected. In addition, there were no vegan desserts (but we were pretty full anyway!) however overall the experience was really positive. We tried lots of new tastes and textures, chat with the lovely staff, got to know each other’s vegan experiences and chatted about all things blogging. Pictured here is Lucie’s yummy looking icy mint mocktail, too pretty not to take a snap! Emma had a bottle of Limca and I opted for chai tea, then we decided to order a selection of tapas style treats, including a delicious Chana Puri (chickpea and spicy pancake deliciousness!) and Aloo Bindi (Potato and Okra curry) along with a few other little dishes and some rice, poppadum and naan bread. Word of warning: Tuk Tuk are right to suggest a maximum of 3 dishes per person. More than this plus sides left us needing to be rolled home!

I enjoyed trying something a bit different to the usual curry takeaway experience, nothing was too greasy/oily and meat/fish/paneer was replaced with an abundance of veggies and legumes, sometimes the dishes lacked flavour/seasoning, but everything was pleasant. We also sampled some  golgappa, which are pictures her. Hard to describe, but the Edinbug put it perfectly: 
“The description of golgappa on the menu wasn’t hugely helpful (“you will have to taste it to experience it” is pretty much all it says) but seen as it was vegan we decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a try. It ended up being cold crispy puffs, served with a small dollop of sticky rice inside and some spicy sauce on the side. I poured a little sauce into my puff and ate the thing whole in one bite – it was certainly an interesting experience and one worth trying!”


All in all, I am really thankful to Tuk Tuk for having us, and I hope they like our feedback so they can further develop their vegan options. It is great to see lots of both local and chain restaurants being more inventive for vegetarians and vegans, as it clearly no longer a niche market. At the moment, I am around half and half with vegetarianism and veganism, because I found personally that veganism became too restrictive and triggering for me, but I will certainly continue to eat yummy vegan food and use cruelty-free products as much as I can, and hope to return to the lifestyle soon.



Ruth @ Urbanity xxx


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Foodie Heaven at Revolution Bar

Revolution Bar (or as I still call it, ‘vodka revs’) may be know for it’s delectable flavoured vodka shots and indulgent cocktails, but did you know they pride themselves on great food too? On Monday, me and my other half were treated to a meal from the brand new menu- Massive Tastes- to see what we thought. Read on to see my review of the food, the service and the atmosphere. 

You can book a table now at http://www.revolution-bars.co.uk 

At first glance of the menu, I was already thinking with my tastebuds. Tantalising starters, sandwiches, burgers, mains and sides, with a large selection of desserts too. Unfortunately, there were no vegan options, but a few vegetarian choices here and there, which Jack and I opted for; the halloumi with chips, and the bean burger with sweet potato fries. The bean burger was delicious, with sweet potato and black beans, served in a really soft bun with humous and vodka salsa. Of course, as always, the stars of the show were the fries, with the most perfect crunch around the outside and soft fluffy sweet ‘tato on the inside. HEAVEN.
The halloumi was cooked to perfection and fried in beer batter (yes, you heard me right!). It was so flavoursome and filling, the perfect alternative to a traditional fish supper. Served with mushy peas and tartar sauce (which I hate but Jack gobbled up!) and presented really nicely, it was definitely a good choice, 100% recommend.
For sides, we went for a nice green salad with house dressing, and the very inventive ‘cauli-slaw’ (cauliflower coleslaw!) . Both delicious, but definitely not needed as we were so full from the massive portions that we took half of them home for midnight snacks/breakfast!

The service was the highlight of our night. A gorgeous, friendly waitress gave us some great chat and basically catered to our every need, it was fabulous. The other staff were all smiles, and our food and drinks were served really fast and piping hot. So no qualms at all there, you are guaranteed a pretty great experience at Revolution Bar. Good food, good atmosphere, great drinks.
Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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