I love shopping.
I mean, I’m not going to say something cheesy, like “shopping is my cardio” or anything, but guys? Shopping is totally my cardio. And I realise this will come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever to anyone who knows me, but while it’s true to say that I do most of my shopping online these days (One of the consequences of moving to the sticks…), it’s also true to say that malls are my happy place. And yes, I’m well aware that that ALSO sounds pretty cheesy, really, but it’s true: I’ve always loved wandering around malls: the smells from the food courts and perfume halls, the music playing in stores, the feeling that with just one visit to a really good mall, you could totally change your life/look – or, at the very least, you could buy a really great pair of shoes. Which is pretty much the same thing really, isn’t it?
Anyway, such is my love of shopping that when Livingston Designer Outlet (Which is, unsurprisingly, located in Livingston, West Lothian – just 20 miles outside of Edinburgh) invited me to come along for a day’s shopping, I was ALL IN. Livingston Designer Outlet is Scotland’s largest outlet mall, and, until we moved, it actually used to be my local mall, too, so it’s a place I’ve spent many a happy hour in over the years, and the only thing I really miss about living in this part of the world. (Fun fact: I was actually one of the first people to walk round the building – in my capacity as a local journalist, I got a private tour right before it opened to the public. It was one of the highlights of the job, actually…) Since we moved away, my visits have been a little more sporadic, so I was really keen to take a look around and see what had changed.
But first: coffee…
[Dress: Dorothy Perkins Maternity]
… or, in my case, caffeine-free Strawberries and Cream frappuccino in Starbucks, where we made a pit-stop shortly after we arrived, to fortify ourselves for the gruelling shopping session ahead. While I was working my way through my frappuccino, plus the cake pops you can see on the table in front of me, Terry did this:
I was so proud.
The outlet is absolutely huge (Walking all the way around it was the most exercise I’ve done in about two months now, and I really wish I was joking about that…), and has everything from fashion to homewear, cosmetics, restaurants – you name it, you’ll probably be able to find it. There’s a full store list here, if you want to take a look, but I knew exactly where I was going, so as soon as we’d finished our drinks, I headed straight to Kurt Geiger… while Terry headed straight to a handy bench opposite, for what he knew would be a lengthy wait:
He wasn’t wrong, either – sorry, Terry! As this is an outlet, the prices are incredible (If you were following the Instagram stories I posted from the Outlet’s account, you might have seen me swooning over an amazing pair of heels for just £24. Twenty. Four. Pounds. Seriously.), and I spent a happy few minutes running around frantically grabbing shoes like a contestant on Supermarket Sweep, before reluctantly putting them back down again, because there were still other stores to see. Including this one:
The Lindt chocolate store. OMG.
Next on my list, though, was The Cosmetics Company Store:
When I lived in this area, it was always a source of disappointment to me that there wasn’t a MAC counter nearby. This store, however, had tons of MAC – and also brands like Smashbox, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, etc, which I really enjoyed swatching to my heart’s content. The bottom photo shows the price-tag on a bottle of Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation: while I was looking at it, I overheard a girl next to me complaining to her friend about how she’d just spent over £30 on the same product elsewhere, and it was all I could do not to immediately race to the register with it. I resisted, though. Because I am strong. And also because I knew this was waiting for me just a little further down the mall:
I gotta admit, this was a bit of a tough one for me. I LOVE Ted Baker, and I saw SO MUCH STUFF I’d have bought in a heartbeat (Again, these are outlet prices, so a lot of the skirts and dresses were around 50% off…), but, alas, none of them will actually fit me right now, so I had to content myself with just looking at them. For now.
By this point, we were both starting to feel a little hungry/tired, so, after a quick look around the rest of the mall (plus a rather lengthy sojourn for me in the Gap Outlet, while Terry, once again, selected a handy bench outside…), we decided to stop off for lunch. The outlet has a pretty big food court, plus a range of different restaurants: Terry, however, had some vouchers for Pizza Express which he’d been saving up, so we headed back to the mall’s entrance, under the amazing glass dome, to refuel:
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I actually bought after all that shopping, well, wonder no more: I obviously bought shoes, didn’t I?
These were both from the Kurt Geiger outlet, and I’m actually pretty proud of how sensible I was to resist all of those gorgeous heels and get myself a couple of pairs of semi-practical shoes instead. I should hopefully get plenty of wear out of both of these by the end of the summer, whereas the glittery heels I was admiring probably wouldn’t have gotten any wear at all, no matter how much I like to try to convince myself I have the kind of lifestyle that requires sparkly stilettos. Still, I can always go back for them, right?
[This post was sponsored by Livingston Designer Outlet]