In 2018, the average UK resident was abroad for a total of 9.8 nights and spent £616.00 while there—in total, 71.7 million trips were taken! Now, regardless of whether it’s a brief staycation or you have the time and money to jet off somewhere more exotic; chances are you’re going to need to do a bit of hair and beauty groundwork before you switch out-of-office on. For all of you lucky escapees planning an end of summer trip, I’ve researched the best places in central Scotland to head for last-minute hair and beauty prep.




If you’re in a rush and have misspent half of your holiday budget on clothes already, an excellent one-stop-shop is Macintyre’s Hair & Beauty in Edinburgh. You’ll find it on Thistle Street—the same coveted cobbled street Pam Jenkins and Jane Davidson are located on—in the heart of the city centre. Macintyre’s bright and modern salon offers an extensive range of hair and beauty services, allowing you to be pampered from head-to-toe. I opted for a few uncomplicated pre-holiday essentials. Amy gave me a great gel manicure (£35.00), Emily gave me a blow-dry and a very slight trim (£25.00) and Sarah gave an eyebrow wax (£12.50). Additionally, I treated myself to a back and shoulder massage from Sarah, to ease any pre-holiday stress (£30.00). Altogether this holiday refresh took just over two hours and cost £102.50. All the girls were efficient and friendly, and if you’re on a budget or in a hurry this is the perfect option. Also, you can save even more money at Macintyre’s by downloading the Treatwell app saving you on average 15 per cent.


If you’re looking to fake rather than bake when you’re off on your travels, or you’re heading to a holiday hotspot which might not be all that warm, then fake tan is a great option. Nowadays, you can, of course, choose from hundreds of different brands and simply self-apply, but, I opted to try a slightly more comprehensive and luxurious option. Whether you’re getting a spray tan before your holiday or applying fake tan yourself, the first step is to exfoliate. I decided to exfoliate in style and headed over to Bishopton, to Mar Hall’s Decleor Spa.

I love Decleor products because of their essential oil ingredients—they smell incredible and I was basted in them during my Decleor Aroma Body Silk Glistener treatment (£65.00). This forty-minute delight is an all-over exfoliation, that left my skin beautifully soft and glistening. The salty scrub massaged over me left my skin buffed and ready for my FakeBake spray tan (£15.00 @ Mar Hall), which I had afterwards. My Fakebake tan—the original liquid—was applied expertly by Amanda from Mar and has worn off gradually, without appearing patchy or uneven. It’s easier to get fake tan applied by someone else and although I’d forgotten that awkward shade of tango you sport for six-eight hours afterwards, professional spray tans mean no awkward bits are missed, and you’re ready for the beach, regardless of the climate! 


A simple Shellac or a dash of toenail polish will suffice for most holidaymakers before a break abroad, but if your feet have been in hibernation for some time and need some expert TLC, or you’re worried about medical issues, you probably need to see a qualified podiatrist. Look no further than Margaret Dabbs London, which you can now find seconds from Glasgow Central station on Bothwell St. Margaret Dabbs ( is a celebrated podiatrist and foot expert who founded her first foot clinic in London in 1998. She went on to create the Margaret Dabbs London brand to include foot clinics with nails spas across the world, introducing teams of both qualified podiatrists and professional beauticians to perform her unique treatments. The beauty of this is that upon visiting the salon, not only were my toes buffed to perfection, and ready for the beach, but I also knew that any fears about fungal infections or ingrown toenails would be put to rest and properly treated. Margaret pioneered the renowned ‘Medical Pedicure’ after surmising that beauty products for the feet did not work on a treatment level, and that the available treatment remedies were often unpleasant. The key super ingredient, around which her products are based, is Australian Emu Oil. Renowned for its incredible healing properties, and aboriginal in origin, Emu Oil has been used medicinally for years. I was very impressed with Margaret Dabbs—it’s a very slick looking operation, and as Amy on reception explained to me upon arrival, all too often we forget about our hands and feet, and how important they are, given we ‘re on them and using them all day, every day! I really enjoyed my treatments, (a Medical Pedicure, £85.00 and a Supreme Manicure, £45.00) and found the staff to be gentle, through, and very knowledgeable—I’ve had experiences in nail bars which have been literally slapdash, so experiencing a salon which fuses medicinal soloutions and beauty finishing together so professionally, was a real treat. Yes, it’s not cheap, but you are being treated by experts in very pleasant surroundings—and as I left, I felt that I could put my best foot forward quite literally.  


Getting holiday ready, in terms of looking after your face and body, can of course initially seem like a rather superficial and rapid task. Perhaps you simply toss some SPF and a bottle of aftersun in your suitcase? Not so if you’re the type of holiday-goer who frequents the ever-growing number of aesthetic clinics and practitioners across Britain. If you’re looking to properly rejuvenate, refresh and revitalise your skin, do what I did, and head to Uddingston to visit Advanced Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner Karen Addison. Karen runs Sur Medispa, ( an established medical aesthetic clinic specialising in various non-surgical cosmetic treatments. All consultations and treatments are performed under the supervision of their Independent Nurse Prescriber and Advanced Aesthetic Practitioner, and I have to say, I did feel in very safe hands with Emma during my treatments. 

I started off with a HIFU treatment. The Ultrawon HIFU (High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound) system utilises HIFU technology to create a lifting effect within the skin. It is an ideal treatment for those wishing to reduce the appearance of excess weight on their face and neck. (Nope, I didn’t have time to deal with this via diet/or the gym pre-holiday either!) The initial lifting effect is immediate and the long term anti-ageing properties of HIFU can last up to 12 months. The cellular matrix is activated, leading to continual production of collagen being laid down within the skin. Collagen and elastin regeneration will occur for up to 3 months post-treatment. Typical treatment time is approx 30mins, and a full face treatment is £795.00, but targeted areas, like your neck or jawline, start at £295.00) HIFU is a bit nippy at points—it feels as though an electrical current is pulsating onto your face—but it’s no more painful than a visit to the dentist, and I was impressed with the results, particularly on my neck. 

Following HIFU, I tried yet another treatment I’ve never experienced before—dermaplaning. This is an exfoliation treatment, and the process involves using a scalpel to remove fine velous hairs (the peachy fuzz) and lightly exfoliate the surface of the skin. This treatment improves the skins overall appearance and texture. It also allows topical products and skincare (like SPF) to penetrate deeper into the layers of the skin, as often dead skin and fine facial hairs create a barrier, so products often sit on top of this barrier, proving them to be less effective. Yes, Emma used a scalpel—no, it’s not sore at all, and my skin felt wonderfully smooth afterwards (£50.00). 

The finishing touch at Sur Medispa during my afternoon of treatments was a Dermalux LED session ( £50.00). This is a great treatment post-dermaplaning. As I explained, the removal of the peach fuzz and dead skin allows products to penetrate deeper into the skin. This is the same principle for the LED light therapy system. Dermalux combines clinically proven wavelengths of light with the LED technology, to deliver safe and effective results for a wide range of skin concerns without discomfort or downtime. Hailed as the perfect complexion boost, Dermalux instantly energises skin cells to revitalise a dull and tired complexion. This basically stimulates the skins natural rejuvenation and repair processes to promote healthy-looking skin, accelerate cell renewal and resolve a range of skin concerns. I have to say, I was vaguely exhausted by the time my treatments had ended at Sur, however, my skin was literally glowing. In fact, it’s the best it’s ever looked. If you’re feeling tired, and you’ve had no time for a facial or any botox before you head off on holiday, even a quick dermaplaning treatment and Dermalux session won’t set you back that much financially, and I’ll definitely be going back to Karen to talk about peels, fillers and Sur’s specialist facials soon. Sur Medispa is a real hidden gem and has made me realise, as I get older, how important it is to really take care of your skin. If you’re in the area, I’d highly recommend arranging a consultation—prevention is better than cure I think! (For lots of video footage of my visit to Sur Medispa/treatments, see my SalonNV Instagram Highlight @missjosephinesmith


Finally, in my quest to be more prepared for a holiday, than a hybrid of Judith Chalmers and a Love Island contestant, the last thing I had to deal with, was that familiar streak of brown root interrupting my blonde locks. I headed to the Fakebake Beauty Boutique in Glasgow, Pamela Docherty’s salon. Pamela ( has worked in the hair industry for more than twenty five years, and is one of Scotland’s leading bridal hair specialists. Her career has seen her train internationally, and work alongside brands like Wella and Patrick Cameron. Pamela took care of my colour, (£115.00) giving me a holiday-ready refresh of T bar foil highlights to brighten my hair, before adding an ash toner to remove warmth. Toners are particularly important before you jet off to enjoy the sun, which will of course, naturally warm your hair tone. Product-wise, Pamela used Wella Koliston Perfect Colour, finished me off with a trim and also checked the Great Lengths extensions she’d done for me a few months previously, which have made a real difference to the thickness and overall appearance of my hair.