31 Aug 2015
Yes, it's finally here! Today is the day that I'm jetting off to Turkey for a week of sunbathing and cocktails by the pool - bliss. It feels like forever since I had a properly relaxing holiday so I can't wait to spend my days chilling out and topping up my tan.
As you would imagine, I'm not going to be posting on here this week, but I have lined up some excellent guest posts from other lovely ladies to keep you entertained whilst I snooze on sunloungers. Keep an eye out for them this week!
If you want to have a nosey at my inevitable holiday spam then your best bet is heading over to my Instagram for daily tan updates or by adding me on Snapchat, my username is "dougallpants" because I am a mature adult.
The day I get back I'm heading straight through to Edinburgh to finally see the Foo Fighters, then it'll be back to the normal-ish routine afterwards.
In the mean time, make sure you're following me on Bloglovin to keep up with all of my fantastic guest posts and remember to get entering my Naked Smoky giveaway!
See you on the flipside x
29 Aug 2015
- I'm a big fan of Pinterest, but it can be difficult to get in to at first. Luckily Hayley shared this post with five tips for Pinterest success which is a great read for any Pinterest users, new or old.
- I love a good night in, so Rebecca's post about having the best night in was a winner for me.
- Living with other people can be difficult, and Anjalee totally nailed it with her house sharing problems.
- For the first time in years I'm not taking my DSLR away with me when I go on holiday next week, so I'll be making the most of my phone with these 10 tips for taking great phone photos.
- Blogger envy is an all too real thing, and Tasha's post helped me realise I'm not the only one who feels that way sometimes.
- Dee is coming up to her first full year of blogging which is amazing, and she shared these really useful tips for your first year of blogging which I think are important to remember no matter how long you've been blogging for.
- I have a wishlist of "investment pieces" the length of my arm, so I'm going to start putting Michelle's tips for saving up for big things in to practice to help me!
- Beth shared some really easy ways to customise the standard Blogger template that can go a long way to making your blog look more professional without splashing out on a fancy design.
- It can be hard to avoid negativity in your life, but Jemma's post about avoiding negativity in the blogging world is a really great read.
- Everyone loves getting comments, right? Amber has shared some ways to get people to comment on your blog posts.
Labels: saturday share
28 Aug 2015
Here's a rarity - starting a favourites post without complaining about the month's going by too quickly. In fact, I'm glad that August has flown in because - in case you hadn't already noticed the incessant tweeting - September means holiday time!
Throughout August I feel like I was constantly saying to myself "this is going in my favourites post", but when it came down to it I ended up only having four things to put in. Mostly because my memory is awful, but probably partly due to the fact that my room is a pig sty and I can't find anything in it under all of my packing...
NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia
I declared my love for Sheer Glow in my August Beauty Additions but I couldn't resist popping it in to my favourites too. Sheer Glow is the first "high end" foundation that I've tried as such, and now I'm a total convert. I didn't think there could be that much of a difference between foundations but Sheer Glow has shown me otherwise! With a near weightless formula, this foundation provides the perfect level of coverage without caking or oxidising. It has a barely there feel and an incredibly natural finish which is ideal in an every day foundation! Plus, the fact that the shade Siberia is actually pale enough for me is a massive bonus.
MAC Satin Lipstick in Brave
Like Sheer Glow, I was generously given Brave for my birthday by my lovely boyfriend (the hints worked!) alongside some other MAC goodies and it's been my go to lipstick ever since. I used to be an exclusively matte lipstick lover but I've recently been leaning more for satins due to their creamy feel and not-too-shiny finish. Brave is the perfect lipstick for any occasion, a dusty rose that is likely to suit pretty much any skin tone.
Batiste "Eden" Dry ShampooHaving tried numerous other dry shampoos in the past I always end up heading back to Batiste. I like to switch up the scents I use as I get fed up of them really quickly, so as soon as I spotted the new limited edition "Eden" fragrance I had to have it. The dry shampoo forumla itself is no different but the fragrance is just gorgeous. Light and fruity, this is a great pick me up in the morning!
Comforter Shower Cream by Lush
My love for The Comforter is no secret, I pick up a bar pretty much every time I visit Lush, so when the shower cream that was once exclusive to Oxford Street landed in Glasgow I had to buy it. It smells every bit as delicious as you would expect! The shower cream formula is considerably more moisturising than the typical Lush shower gels - ideal for someone with perpetually dry skin like myself - and it also makes a handy bubble bath too! I now need scent this in a perfume, candle... just about anything will do.
What have you been loving this month?
27 Aug 2015
I get really excited about getting post, so it makes perfect sense that I love subscription boxes. Even more so when they introduce me to brands that I haven't heard of before! I had been following That Lame Company on Twitter and spotted some tweets about their new project - the Big Box of Lame - which I was so excited about, but boy did it beat my expectations.
For just £11.50 you're getting a box jam packed with the amazing products on offer from That Lame Company, which I think is incredible value considering the quality of them! Particular highlights for me include the
In my box I received the Great Ideas notebook, Do More Of What Makes You Happy and Think Outside The Box prints, the blogger and punny food sticker sets, the pink floral makeup bag (WHICH HAS A POCKET INSIDE!!!) and the floral pocket mirror.
I also nabbed myself a phone case for my new phone, seeing as it had been swanning about naked for a couple of months, and I'm so glad I did! I went for the Perpendicular case in white and have had so many compliments on it since putting it on my phone. It's so sturdy and secure, you can feel how good the quality is the second you pick it up. Finally I can be a bit less worried about dropping my phone... I'm thinking about getting a matching case for my iPad Air, but I can't decide if there's such a thing as being too co-ordinated.
Not only was this box stuffed to the brim with beautiful goodies from That Lame Company, there were also a couple of little extras from other indie sellers too! I absolutely love the Happy Cloud Print from the Lazy Pencil Company, I'd been following them on Instagram for a while so I may have squealed a little bit when I opened it. The box also introduced me to the work of Kitty's Kitschenette who sell amazing pop culture themed accessories - how cute is the orange Cheeky Cocktail necklace? I can't wait to wear it on holiday where I'll certainly be enjoying a cocktail or two.
If you fancy treating yourself to one of these boxes - which I highly recommend you do - you can pick one up here! Chloe and Charlie clearly put so much work in to their products so you should definitely check out the rest of the products on offer in their shop.
26 Aug 2015
After my birthday at the end of July I went a tiny bit crazy with the shopping sprees. Whilst I mostly picked up clothes for my holiday, I did invest in a fair few beauty based additions and what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't show them off? I decided not to include my repurchases, so here are three of the new products in my stash at the moment.
Naked Smoky Palette by Urban Decay
At first I hadn't really been all that bothered about the Naked Smoky palette, I don't own any of the original Naked trio but I do have the first Naked Basics which I use on a regular basis. When the palette was first announced I wasn't jumping for joy, but when I spotted it in store I fell head over heels.
There's something about the shade range in this that really appeals to me. Unlike the other Naked palettes it covers a variety of tones and so will cater to numerous skin tones and occasions. There's a good mix of matte, shimmer and satin finish and on the whole the shadows are of an impeccable quality. The only one that slightly disappointed me was Password, a matte grey with a hint of purple, which I found to be on the chalkier side and lacking the original pigmentation of the other shadows in the palette.
I can't wait to take this palette away with me as I think it really has all the bases covered - exactly what you want when you have a baggage allowance! The packaging is nice and sturdy with a secure magnetic closure so I'm not worried about it being damaged in transit unlike some of the other cheaper palettes I own.
Overall this is a winner for me, and if you fancy trying it out for yourself be sure to enter the giveaway I have running at the moment and you might just strike it lucky!
Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion
by Urban Decay
I've been in that awkward stage of using up primers that I don't really like recently, but when my final tube was finished I decided to treat myself to something new. I'm usually a loyal repurchaser of the Porefessional, but when browsing the Urban Decay stand I came across this primer that I've read a couple of good reviews on in the past. It's not massive hyped by any means, in fact it's one I rarely see mentioned, but as I know that Urban Decay are renowned for their eyeshadow primers I figured that they must be doing something right primer wise.
I can't say much for the tightening effect of this primer, but my pores do seem to be masked more without feeling like I've shovelled a load of product in to them. My skin does seem brighter when I use this primer but without the horrible Twilight-esque glitter sheen that other brightening primers often come with. I actually really like wearing this primer alone as it gives a slightly nicer finish to the skin without feeling too heavy.
As far as staying power goes I haven't noticed any massive difference over primers I've used in the past, but my makeup definitely applies smoother and doesn't cake or slide around my face during the day. I'm not sure if I'd buy it again in the future (I am a brand whore, not loyal in the slightest) but it's one that I'm more than happy to keep using on a daily basis.
Sheer Glow Foundation by NARS
I've been toying with the idea of buying Sheer Glow for months now - literally since January - and the decision was finally made for me when I received it as a birthday present. This foundation has a pretty good reputation and is a favourite of many, it's safe to say that I can see why.
This foundation covers so many bases for me - literally and metaphorically - thanks to it's natural finish, buildable coverage and long term lasting power. The shade Siberia is the perfect match for my forever pale skin which makes a change from drugstore offerings. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin in the slightest, there's no caking and it blends like a dream.
Basically... I'm in love.
What have you been buying recently?
25 Aug 2015
Every so often a book comes along that wins a pile of awards and has phenomenal reviews, but I just can't get on with it. I hate when this happens because it makes me feel like I have awful taste in books, which I probably do to most people, but more often than not the most popular genres just hold no appeal for me.
For this month's #SassyBooks we decided on "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr - a book that was a little bit different to my typical choices but a book that I was excited to get stuck in to nonetheless. Having won numerous awards since it's release, I had expected it to be an enthralling read, but I found it to be quite the opposite.
All The Light We Cannot See follows the story of two very different characters who's lives intertwine during the Second World War. Marie-Laure is a blind girl living in a Parisian neighbourhood with her father who is forced to flee when the Nazis invade whereas Werner is a talented engineer who was earned a place at a distinguished military academy.
I don't read much historical fiction, but it isn't a genre I dislike as such, so I honestly thought I'd enjoy this book. I'm not sure if it's the writing style, but it's been such a struggle to get in to and I'm slightly ashamed to say I am nowhere near finished. I can easily read a book in a day, but after nearly a month of struggling through this I think I'm going to have to give up on it.
My main issue with the book is it's construction. The sentences are short, with a distinct lack of characterisation and seemingly forced plot points. It jumps from character to character in frustratingly quick succession which leaves me distracted and unable to build a connection. I like books that are gripping and totally suck you in, but this wasn't one of them.
For our next book we've decided to go for something non fiction and so we will be reading "The Opposite of Loneliness" by Marina Keegan which you can buy on Amazon here. Marina had just graduated and was destined for great things, with a job lined up at a massive publication and a play about to be shown at the New York Fringe Festival, when she was killed in a car accident. This is a collection of all of her work discussing the struggle we face as we try to use what skills and talents we have to make an impact on the world.
Have you read All The Light We Cannot See? If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
21 Aug 2015
Bag - Ted Baker via ASOS £149
What better way to show off my beloved new bag than to share a sneak peek of my current daily essentials, right? That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
I can't decide if I'm a bag or a shoe person, but it doesn't take either to realise that this bag is a thing of beauty. It's ideal for carrying all of my everyday necessities without being comically oversized, it's sturdy and lightweight making it a general delight to use - I always feel super fancy when I'm carrying it. The white colour may make it a tiny bit impractical in some aspects, but so far I've kept it in pristine condition, and I think the beautiful floral lining more than makes up for it. It doesn't have any interior pockets, but it does come with a co-ordinating clutch that can be used on it's own so technically you're getting two bags for the price of one.
I'm still in the stage where I don't want to ruin my pretty new bag, so I've been very good at clearing out my receipts and rubbish for a change. I have a bad habit of carrying way more than is necessary and putting extra strain on my bag (and my back) so I've been trying to streamline the things I take out with me to enforce some good bag behaviour!
At the moment, I will nearly always have my diary from Paperchase, my purse from River Island and my phone in my bag, they tend to help my day run pretty smoothly so are the core components of my daily essentials. In my little pouch I like to have some chewing gum, painkillers and an extra pen just in case. I also have my iPod Touch so I'm never without my brilliant playlists and my portable phone charger to make sure I'm not stranded with a dead mobile phone - a nightmare scenario. My beauty bits are switched about on a daily basis (usually favouring the things that are lying around my room) but at the moment I'm loving the coconut hand cream and pink grapefruit hand sanitizer from The Body Shop and the new Chapstick Mixstix in Strawberry & Banana. I really want to pick up the Lemon & Raspberry version of this as it sounds delicious! I also pop whatever lipstick I'm wearing on the day in to my bag for on-the-go touch ups, but I find having a lip crayon to hand pretty useful as they're so easy to apply in a rush. My current favourite is Raplumzel from Soap & Glory which glides on effortlessly and stays in place for hours.
What are your daily handbag essentials?
20 Aug 2015
The first time I visited a TGI Friday's also happened to be the first time I went out for a meal with Paddy. Five years ago (probably very close to the day) I had my first experience of TGI's mozzarella dippers - on the Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger nonetheless - and it's been love ever since. TGI Friday's is a pretty regular haunt for me and Paddy and alongside our must have mozzarella dippers we've worked our way through the majority of the menu.
Sadly, the Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger was taken off the menu a few years back, but I was absolutely delighted to see that one of the burgers included in their latest menu update included my beloved dippers. It also includes two burgers, bacon and lots of cheese so the name The Warrior seems very fitting.
Last week I was invited along to the launch night of the new menu at the Buchanan Street restaurant and got to sample some of the new additions to the infamous Friday's menu, as well as work my way through their drinks menu! Unfortunately I was driving on the evening so I had to leave my favourite June Bug in favour of a couple of mocktails and an Oreo milkshake.
As far as the food goes, I certainly over indulged. To start, Jenny and I shared a portion of nachos and the all new Jack Daniels Bucket o' Bones which were both incredible. The chicken wings were a real highlight, with the meat falling off the bone at the slightest touch and packed full of incredible flavour. It was a pretty big portion so would be perfect to share - if you can bring yourself to play fairly that is! I can always rely on TGI Fridays to provide great quality food with massive portions and excellent value for money, so I was chuffed to see that the new additions to the menu are no different.
For my main, I decided to go for the somewhat strange combination of the Chicken BLT Waffle - crispy chicken with melted cheese, bacon and salad. It's certainly an experience, but I love the combination of sweet & savoury so figured it was worth a shot! I really enjoyed it but was struggling after filling up on my starters, which seemed to be the case for the rest of the ladies also. I'm definitely going to have it again, but I'm also eyeing up the new Tostada Towers and the staggering Warrior burger. Luckily I know I'll be back enough times to try them all! I've also tested the newly added hot dogs on a recent visit with some work friends, which I can thoroughly recommend.
I've never been disappointed by TGI Fridays and this was no different. I can't wait to sink my teeth in to the rest of the new meals on the menu, as well as finally trying out some of the new cocktails too! Anyone fancy being the designated driver?
19 Aug 2015
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I decided to put together a little giveaway to celebrate five years of Colours and Carousels. I was out shopping a couple of weeks ago (as per usual) when I spotted the newly released Naked Smoky palette. At first I hadn't been too fussed about it, but after seeing it in person I knew I had to have it. So I did what any normal person would do and bought two...
If you want to win this beautiful palette (which you really should) then all you need to do is enter below. I'm also throwing in a little bundle of beauty goodies that I've picked up which the winner will hopefully like too!
Terms and Conditions
- This giveaway is open to UK entrants only
- One winner will be chosen at random via the Rafflecopter widget
- Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below and the winner will receive the Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette and a bundle of beauty goodies
- Entrants under 18 must seek parental permission before entering
- No purchase necessary
- Once drawn, the winner will be contacted via the email provided and have 28 days to respond
- All entries will be moderated and duplicate, false or incomplete entries will be deleted
- The giveaway will run from 19.8.15 to 9.9.15
18 Aug 2015
Colours and Carousels is FIVE!
I can't believe that it's been a whole five years since I sat down and penned my first ever blog post on here. It was awful, as all first posts should be, but little did I know that it would turn in to the blog I know and love today. Today felt like the perfect time to have a look back over how my blog has changed since the beginning and the impact it's had on my life, as well as a quick look to the future too.
When I first started my blog I didn't take it very seriously. I was heading in to fourth year of high school and spent the majority of my free time on the internet, so a blog seemed like a natural step for me. I loved writing and photography - although I hadn't quite got the hang of it back then - and would spend hours reading other people's attempts at blogging. I didn't know much about the industry, I had no idea that people were given experiences or products in exchange for review and I certainly did not have a clue about how obsessed I would eventually become.
My blog wasn't all too exciting for the first year or so, I wasn't a very exciting person so in turn ended up mostly writing about my boring days at school or some clothes I wanted to buy. Not long after my blog would have turned two I ended up getting pretty ill and spend several months in and out of hospital. I blogged about this a bit, but on the whole I was really miserable and it totally knocked the tiny amount of confidence I did have. The next summer I ended up hooked on writing blog posts, sharing my new beauty buys and the clothes I wanted in my wardrobe.
Fast forward a few years later and we're here. Never in a million years did I expect that anyone would want to read my writing, so I'm really damn grateful that people do. It took me over four years to reach my first thousand followers which is pretty slow going in comparison to other blogs, but it's still something that blows my mind every single day. Every time someone comments on a post, sends me a tweet or even likes one of my photos on Instagram it gives me a little jolt of happiness.
This blog has helped me see myself in a better light. Before, I always felt like I was a second choice, and sometimes I still do, but now I feel like I'm actually worth something. I felt like my opinions were irrelevant and no one cared what I had to say, I was a shell of a person and constantly second guessing myself. I thought my value was determined by other people, but I couldn't have been more wrong. I am the only person who gets a say in my value and I know for a fact that I am worthwhile.
I used to be quite a shy person and I still am, but Colours and Carousels has pushed me to try things out of my comfort zone. It's given me a massive confidence boost which was very much needed and other people have actually noticed this. I feel like a completely new person compared to who I was just a couple of years ago. It sounds stupid, but I feel like I've actually found myself... *cringe*.
I don't really know where I'd be without Colours and Carousels. I've met some incredible people who have become real rocks in my life, I've learned an exceedingly large variety of life skills and I've been lucky enough to have some incredible experiences also. This is my only hobby that I've actually stuck to for any length of time - apart from The Sims, if that counts - which is really saying something about how much I love it.
So thank you for the past five years and make sure to come back tomorrow for a super special blog birthday giveaway...
(Shout out to the song that made this blog a reality)
17 Aug 2015
Fizz Bar from Zoella Beauty - available from Superdrug
I'm pretty late to the game with the whole Zoella Beauty bandwagon, having never purchased anything from the range before, but I recently signed up to take part in some beauty product testing and the first thing that arrived was the increasingly popular Fizz Bar. Aside from the Real Techniques brushes, I haven't really bought in to the YouTuber merch/beauty ranges at all, so I was really looking forward to seeing how well this fared. The Fizz Bar has been totally raved about in the past and I believe it's actually won some sort of award also - so you'd expect it to be pretty good.
I really loved the packaging of the Fizz Bar, it was cute and girly which definitely fits in very well with the rest of my beauty stash. The paper packaging is relatively thick and the bar itself is protected with a layer of clingfilm which is handy as there's a fair bit of dust residue. Another thing I loved about the Fizz Bar was the scent - fresh, floral and a hint of sweetness that is right up my street. It's not one for those who prefer a muskier scent, but it's definitely a hit with me!
The bar is split in to 8 squares which can be easily broken off and used as & when you need them, pretty handy in comparison to some Lush bath bombs which aren't quite so easy to split. The cubes are quite small but the instructions claim that one is enough for a bath.
Once you've popped one of the cubes in to a bath there's a fair bit of initial fizz, however this quickly subsides and in the end you're left with quite a slow burner. It takes a while to dissolve and even then it does leave a bit of grainy residue at the bottom of the bath. It did make my water a bit foamier than usual and it felt quite silky on my skin, but aside from that it's not all too exciting. At first I couldn't really distinguish the scent, however once the cube had disintegrated a bit more it did fill the room.
I might have been ruined by the excitement of Lush bath bombs, but overall I found the bar a little bit of a disappointment. It wasn't awful by any means, I just had high expectations! At £5 it isn't too pricey, it's on a par with Lush, but I do feel like the Lush products provide a more luxurious experience on the whole and therefore are more value for money.
Have you tried anything from Zoella Beauty? I'd love to hear what you thought!
This post contains a press sample.
Read my full disclaimer here.
16 Aug 2015
When it comes to eating out, Glasgow is home to a huge number of options - we have pretty much every cuisine covered and there's certainly something for every budget! I'm always really proud of what Glasgow has to offer (I like food okay?) so when I was challenged by Travelodge to play #TravelodgeTourist in my city and find lunch & dinner in Glasgow for under £50 I knew I had to take the opportunity to show off some of our slightly more hidden gems.
The biggest issue I faced when undertaking this task was not in fact sticking to the budget, it was more the challenge of narrowing down my options! Other Glasgow locals will know that as well as a decent amount of chains, we have some really excellent one of a kind places that offer great food. Here are a couple of my favourite places to grab a bite on a budget, as well as some other suggestions should they not tickle your fancy!
Bier Halle - Gordon Street
Bier Halle is far too easy to miss, despite being situated just yards off of Buchanan Street - Glasgow's busiest shopping street. It's a bit easier to spot during the summer when they have their outdoor seating, but obviously it just had to be raining on the day that we visited. The entrance isn't all that obvious, but it has a little awning above to mark out it's place. After heading down some dark stairs you're greeted with an extensive range of beers from across the globe and my particular favourite... 2 for 1 pizzas.
Seven days a week, between the hours of 12-10pm, all of the pizzas from Bier Halle's massive selection are buy one get one free. It's hard to ignore how good a deal this is and it's certainly a local favourite, with everyone from local office workers to students popping in to take advantage of the cheesy goodness.
There's a really great variety of pizzas, but I opted for the hoisin duck and Paddy went for pepperoni. Both were fantastic, as per usual. The base is thin & cripsy, with no scrimping on the toppings! It's a substantial meal but not too greasy, perfectly washed down with your beverage of choice. There's a beer to suit every taste here, but they also have ciders, wine, cocktails and a good selection of softs if it's not your cup of tea.
A sign of a very good meal
Bloc+ - Bath Street
On a Tuesday in Glasgow there is only one place to grab a bite and that place is Bloc+. Like Bier Halle, Bloc+ is also located a stone's throw from another busy shopping street, Sauchiehall Street, but is a bit of a hidden gem in my eyes. It's one of the venues on the list for the Glasgow Burgerthon and I have already visited a fair few times before, but if you like burgers then it is a must visit.
So why is Bloc+ so special? Well for me, I think their deals really set them apart. Each week night there is a new deal on the food and my particular favourite is Burger Tuesday, where an amazing quality beef burger will set you back a whole £3. Yes, you did read that right! Toppings will cost you extra, and it doesn't apply to all of the burgers, but it's an undeniable bargain that more people need to know about.
The burgers on offer at Bloc+ are just insane. I genuinely think it's one of the best places to grab a burger in the city that I've tried so far (the Burgerthon may prove otherwise!) and I can't wait to visit again for the sake of a full Burgerthon post. My standard fare is a beefburger with cheddar cheese and caramelised onions, which provides mouthful after mouthful of meaty goodness. Paddy usually opts for a bacon cheeseburger, but on this occasion he decided to try the Sloppy Jock which is topped with haggis and peppercorn sauce. I had a bite of this and instantly knew he had made the right decision. On the side we decided to grab a portion of nachos which are some of the freshest tasting ones I've found, and our burgers also came with crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside chips. Heaven!
Our overall total came in just under the £40 mark for both meals, which when you include our drinks is actually a massive bargain. Sure, you can get a cheap meal at the McDonald's on Sauchiehall Street or the Greggs on Buchanan Street, but it will not beat the quality of food on offer in other establishments dotted around the city.
Some other recommendations for cheap bites in Glasgow include:
City Centre - Pinto, Topolabamba, Social Bite, Willow Tea Rooms, Bread Meats Bread, Cafe Andaluz
West End - Hillhead Bookclub, Hanoi Bike Shop, Little Italy, Ketchup, Grosvenor Cafe
Do you think you could get lunch and dinner for under £50 in your city?
Post produce in collaboration with Travelodge
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