I've always loved 'fancy' stores--you know, the kind where you get glittery, shiny jewellery, beads in all shapes and sizes, pots of nail polish in brands such as Dazzler and Eyetex and, the 'old' Lakme 'kajal' pencils (the only kind there was, at one time).
These all-in-one stores stock everything from toys, watches, stationery and water bottles, to beauty products of every possible hue. Unfortunately, some of the stuff--lipsticks, lipbalms etc-- tend to be of Chinese origin and I always steer clear of those. But these shops are great places if you're seeking nail polish at bargain prices--like old stock from Lakme, Revlon and Elle 18. I found a lovely collection from Revlon in one such store--and each bottle of nail polish was only Rs 150!
The stores hold such a charm for me because they are not cold, impersonal places. When I walk into a big branded outlet in a mall, I always feel flustered. And the sales girls constantly hovering around instantly make me feel guilty--like I'm subconsciously going to palm some of the expensive stuff on display! However, I feel right at home in the fancy stores. The other day, I walked into one at Cox Town circle (there are at least three in the area) and the boy manning the place (you almost always find boys/men, rather than women, running these places) offered me some tender cucumber dipped in masala. I felt touched and embarrassed at the same time. Being a bit wary of street food (since a bout of jaundice coupla years ago), I regretfully declined. But made up for it by buying four bottles of nail polish!
Give me a fancy store for my fashion fix, anytime.