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The Independent Culture
For a model to be in demand at the moment, she has to look pretty strange. Blonde tresses, even features and toned bodies are a thing of the past (or last season, anyway). Instead, pink hair, nose rings, tattoos and anorexia dominate the catwalk. What to do for the little girl who wants to emulate her idol? I would forget the eating disorder for a start, because it means you can't eat chocolate.

A better option is The Wig Shop in Covent Garden. There they have a wide range of semi- permanent tattoos (which last around a week and don't wash off) and cool wigs. Most are natural looking, but my favourites were the sleek Louise Brooks bobs in the brightest neon blues, greens and pinks.

The wigs are quite expensive (around pounds 90) compared with the pounds 2 it costs to have a tattoo stencilled on your arm. For that gritty Taxi Driver realism, the fee includes service with a snarl. The girl in charge wouldn't speak to me because she was too busy putting on her lipstick. She was then not best pleased when I changed my mind about the design I wanted to carry on my shoulder for a week.

There are some nice patterns to choose from - the plain black Celtic designs looked more tasteful than anything you would find in a real tattoo parlour. The only drawback is that, whilst she is painting, the grumpy lady will stare at you and say that your lipstick doesn't suit you and you will have to refrain from kicking her.

Walking back through Covent Garden, I stopped passers-by and demanded to know if my tattoo looked realistic. Most of them said 'yeah', although some of them didn't answer and walked away very fast.

The Wig Shop, Jubilee Market, Covent Garden, London WC2

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