Glimmers of Life

Posts Tagged ‘free

I just thought I’d take a moment to say how fantastic Stylist Magazine is. Stylist is the free women’s magazine that usually appears on newspaper stands every Wednesday. I don’t know how long it’s been going for or much about it at all except that I like it. Every week I pick up a copy and look forward to taking a few moments to read it – sometimes I don’t get those moments (hence there reason there’s a pile of them by my bed) but I take the chance to read what I can when I can. In fact I particularly like it if my daughter falls asleep in the car on the way home because then I can stay in the car a little longer parked up outside my house and read an article or two. I’ll always try to read the “Day in the life of…” section and the interview at the back…. But inevitably they’ll be another article that I fancy reading… hence the pile by my bed!

But what inspired me to put my Stylist love down on virtual paper was the fact that they featured an afro hair product on their 30 Most Desirable Items This Week feature. It was one of those moments when your brain and voice box fizz with excitement and a little involuntary squeal comes out. Personally I found this reaction quite odd. What’s the big deal?! It’s just a product on a page, they do it all the time, there’s almost always at least one product in this feature that I like – one on which if I had the cash it would be splashed. I think what it was was that I felt acknowledged, acknowledged in the main stream. The beauty pages are usually targeted to the majority and that’s fine, I can still learn things, after all everyone has a face and tips on how to make the most of it can always be adapted whatever the skin tone. But this product is not for the majority, it’s only for those of us blessed with afro hair and Stylist thought they’d let me know about it. They say small things amuse small minds – but this little addition in the magazine delighted my little mind, that sits under my minority hair and put a big smile under my wide nose.

Thanks Stylist!

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I decided to venture to the Trafford Centre on Thursday afternoon, as my daughter snoozed after a hectic morning of activity I thought I would brave the frosty make up counters and then pop to Mango.

The first part, disappointingly, went as expected. I tentatively approached the MAC counter in search of foundation. Within seconds I was approached by a bum-bagged, brush wielding woman who offered me help like she was trying to persuade a doddery drunken tramp to move on. To her credit she did know her stuff and found me a foundation that matched my colour – but her efficiency (and tone) made me feel stupid so I made my excuses and left.

As I wandered aimlessly through the crowd I remembered the main reason I had been at the Trafford Centre – a trip to Mango.

Mango is a clothing store that I have seen but never ventured into. It seemed to me to be a place where proper women with fashion sense, money and an eye for quality shopped – this has never been me, so I never went in… Zara has that same mystique. Today, however they were on my level as they were offering a free manicure with any purchase over £30. And if you showed them your Glamour Magazine you got a 20% discount and free bag.

I did one circuit of the shop, to check out if there was anything for me. To be honest it all seemed very on trend and I’ve not quite worked out what really suits me yet. But with freeness on the horizon I did another circuit of the store and picked up anything that I didn’t detest. Struggling round the store with an armful of clothes and a buggy I was approached by an assistant who could see my plight and offered to take the items through to the changing room for me.

With another armful of clothes collected I hit the changing rooms and tried on everything. But it seems Mango is one of those shops where size 16 is a double XL and quite rare. I’d picked up clothes in a random selection of sizes from 12 through to 16 – a required part of the process especially seeing as I’d never shopped there before I had to get the lay of the land. Their sizing policy meant that I flew though most of the clothes – barely getting a leg into a pair of jeans, or finding that a shirt didn’t button up, considerably cut down the checking yourself out in the mirror time, and I was quickly left with 3 tops.

Now doing the calculations in my head I could quite easily have just gone somewhere else, bought a bag and got my nails done for £30 but I really wanted to buy something. Maybe is was the freeness, maybe it was the fact that the last time I bought proper “new” clothing that wasn’t on sale or anything was over 12 months ago, but I didn’t want to leave that shop without something.  I guess this is how the marketing works!

Anyway I ended up buying a top/dress thing, but can I just say, buying that top lifted my spirit so much, people might have thought I was a little bit drunk. The woman who served me was really nice as we chatted through the transaction. She didn’t get annoyed with me when I remembered at the last minute that the Glamour Magazine that I’d had stashed in my bag for the past two weeks held the key to a 20% discount.  She handed me my purchase and my free bag and ushered me over the nail area. The girl doing my nails was bubbly and as she did my nails a quite literally shocking pink she talked about babies and going out and reminded me what it was like to be young! I was then ushered over to a make up area where a professional make up artist (who had worked on TV stuff!!!) did a quick make over (BONUS) … using foundation that matched my skin!!! Her table was adorned with a little bottles, and compacts filled with Pixie make up. It’s not a brand I’ve ever seen before but she basically asked me what I fancied (I opted for the ubiquitous smokey eye but in purple) and off she went.

I walked out of Mango feeling great. But it’s raised my expectations now – every shopping trip should be like that!

And when I got home my hubby said the top looked good too…