25 Jul 2017

Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask

Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask Hair Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask Hair Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Lee Stafford Sea Salt Mud Mask Hair Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Since discovering Nioxin and the wonders that it worked for my alopecia, I haven't really strayed. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, ya know? But as well as Nioxin works for me, I get bored. I like to try new things, and sometimes my hair just craves a little bit more of a treat. I used to use hair masks regularly but fell away from them in my quest to restore my hair after my alopecia diagnosis, for reasons unbeknownst to me. I suppose I didn't want to overwhelm my hair or weigh it down with product after product, and when you're spending upwards of £20 a bottle on your shampoo and conditioner there's not that much left to play with hair care budget.

Then, I arrived home from two weeks of sunshine, chlorine and the cheapest shampoo Boots stock to find a parcel containing the new Sea Salt Mud Mask from Lee Stafford, a brand I've loved ever since I discovered their Hair Growth range a few years back. Straight away, I was ready to jump in the bath and treat my hair to some pampering, using the delicious smelling bath salts that accompanied the mask to really up the relaxation levels. If you've never used Lee Stafford products before, you need to give them a sniff next time in Boots, easily my favourite scented hair care by far.
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20 Jul 2017

Revisiting Dubrovnik - Part 2

Dubrovnik Travel Guide Photo Diary Bosnia Cavtat Mostar | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Dubrovnik Travel Guide Photo Diary Bosnia Cavtat Mostar | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Dubrovnik Travel Guide Photo Diary Bosnia Cavtat Mostar | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

After four days wandering the Old Town, we headed to a suburb just outside of Dubrovnik to meet my family and spend a week by the pool at their apartment. One of my favourite things about Dubrovnik is that it's the kind of place where you can get the best of both worlds, mixing together a bustling city break and a chilled out break in the sun. Having had a slightly bumpy start to the year (understatement of the century) I was beyond excited to spend some time getting stuck into the huge pile of books I'd brought with me to read in the sun.

We spent our first afternoon wandering around the small town where the apartment was located, only to discover that there wasn't all that much happening around us. After grabbing lunch in the only restaurant we could find, and getting absolutely soaked in a sudden downpour, we returned to the apartment to unpack and settle in. That evening, we meandered in the opposite direction and found a little waterfront bar with a beautiful view of the sun setting over the harbour, as well as an Italian restaurant that served some of the biggest pizza I'd ever seen.

Monday was spent as all Mondays should be, reading by the pool and topping up my tan, with a quick break to stock up on snacks at the local shop. In the evening, we headed over to the Lapad area of Dubrovnik, where many of the hotels are located. Here you'll find a host of restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours that are a little bit quieter than those you would find in the Old Town.

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18 Jul 2017

My Summer Holiday Reads

Summer Holiday Book Reviews 2017 Book Blogger | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Summer Holiday Book Reviews 2017 Book Blogger | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I've been a big bookworm for as long as I can remember, taking any opportunity to stick my nose in a book and get lost in a new world for a few hours. I read a lot at home, but the number of books I pick up reaches new heights when I'm on holiday, where I spend the majority of my days around the pool with a book in hand. I'm a bit of a speed reader and can easily finish a book in a few hours if left to it, so I tend to average around 10-12 books for a week long holiday. I didn't quite reach my usual standards this year, mostly because I napped a lot, but I still managed to fit in some brilliant reads and finished my Goodreads Challenge for the year too.

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13 Jul 2017

Revisiting Dubrovnik - Part 1

Visit Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Diary Photos | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Visit Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Diary Photos | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Visit Dubrovnik Croatia Travel Diary Photos | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I never saw myself as the kind of person who would visit the same place twice in a row, particularly when there are so many destinations on my bucket list that are crying out to be visited too, but Dubrovnik was the exception. Last October Paddy and I spent a week on the sleepy little island of Lopud, just off the coast of Dubrovnik, and we soon fell in love with the area. We hadn't originally planned on returning for a second visit this year, instead, we were considering exploring the Split area further up the coast, but when my mum and dad booked to spend a week there and just so happened to have space in their apartment we were sold.

We decided to fly out a little bit earlier than the rest of my family, partly because flights were half the price leaving from East Midlands as opposed to Glasgow, and partly so that we could spend a few days in the heart of the Old Town together too. As a result, we spent the first four days of our holiday staying in a cosy little apartment that was perfectly placed to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is Dubrovnik's Old Town.
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11 Jul 2017

My 22nd Birthday Wishlist

Birthday Wishlist 2017 | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

When I turned 21 last year I remember having people tell me that the exciting birthdays were done and that I wouldn't care about my birthday again until I turned 30. Now, I'm one of those people who drags their birthday out big time and I'm always a ball of excitement for weeks beforehand, so I scoffed at the thought of not caring about turning 22. But here we are, and for the first year that I can remember I'm just not that excited about my birthday. It makes me sad to write that, really. I'm not sure why my birthday doesn't feel as sparkly this year, maybe it's because it's been a really tough year and I feel less sparkly as a whole, or maybe this is just what getting old feels like. Either way, I don't find myself counting down to the 29th of July like I usually do.

In an attempt to regain a bit of sparkle in my life, and just generally treat myself after a bit of a rough few months, I've decided that this year I'm going to spend my birthday being entirely selfish and spoiling myself rotten. I'm going to eat what I want (hopefully) and I'm going to sleep when I want and watch what I want and spend time with who I want. It's going to be totally chilled out, because that's what I need right now, and it might involve afternoon tea. Who knows. This is the first year I'm not having any major celebrations for my birthday, and to be honest I'm quite happy with that.

I am, however, going to celebrating turning the ripe old age of 22 by finally splurging on a few of the random bits and bobs that have been sitting in my bookmarks waiting for a rainy day. Be that replacing the foundation I love or finally buying the NCIS hoody that I'll only ever wear in the house, I deserve a little treat or two. When I've been asked what I want for my birthday this year I've mostly found myself leaning towards the response of "I don't know", or a wardrobe, or something related to making my bedroom the cosy den I rely on for recharging. Think Kate Spade pyjamas, blankets and cushions, as well as books and DVDs to cosy up with. I am going to be a 22-year-old grandma, and proud.

Yes, that Pandora charm is the October birthstone. No, I was not born in October. I just like it, okay?


WHAT ARE YOU TREATING YOURSELF TO THIS MONTH?


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5 Jul 2017

My Holiday Beauty Essentials

Summer Beauty Essentials Travel Holiday Festival | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Summer Beauty Essentials Travel Holiday Festival | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Summer Beauty Essentials Travel Holiday Festival | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Summer Beauty Essentials Travel Holiday Festival | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Holidays, for me, mean pamper time. Lazy days spent by the pool, less time being consumed by emails and social media, more time to spend looking after myself? Yes, please. Although I usually wear less makeup when I'm on holiday, I find myself taking a lot more care when it comes to my body instead. Plus, my beauty requirements in 35-degree heat are completely different to what my skin craves throughout the rainy Scottish "summer". Any excuse for a little beauty shopping spree, I say.

The weeks leading up to my holidays are most often spent testing a myriad of beauty products in an attempt to find the perfect lineup to pack into my case, with a mix of old favourites and new discoveries being put through some vigorous testing. Can't cope with 12 degrees in Scotland? Yeah, you're not going to work out for balmy evenings on the Dalmatian Coast. This year, I think I've managed to get the perfect lineup, and I'm excited to be spending two weeks pampering and preening by the pool. I'm going to return a bronzed goddess, with perfect skin and silky tresses to boot. Possibly a stone or two heavier too, what with all the ice cream I plan on eating.
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27 Jun 2017

Summer 2017 in Glasgow


Back at Christmas time, I shared a huge guide to the best way to spend the season in Glasgow, and here I am, back with a summer version. Glasgow will always be one of my favourite cities and I’m always asked for recommendations of what to do in the city. Although I have a few regular favourites that crop up time and time again (that are mostly food!) I thought I’d share some of my seasonal highlights for summer in the city. Glasgow has one of the best cultural and foodie scenes I’ve found, and as a result, you’re very rarely stuck for something to do if you have a weekend to spare. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that the food section is the longest because food is life.

Shopping

As someone who shops a lot, it’s always exciting to see some fresh blood popping up on Glasgow’s streets. New arrivals mean a new excuse for hitting the pavement, with big name brands like New Look opening their menswear store at the top of Buchanan Street just being the start of a whole new generation. Buchanan Street is the heart of Glasgow’s shopping district, and there are plenty of new arrivals worth shouting about there. For a start, the popular Australian tea brand T2 have finally opened a retail outlet which is a tea-lovers dream come true, and luxury chocolatiers Hotel Chocolat have just opened their brand spanking new store complete with chocolate café. Yup, you read that right.

Outside of the city centre, our big shopping centres also have plenty of new arrivals to keep you occupied under cover when the weather isn’t up to scratch. Soar at Intu Braehead have the UK’s largest ball pit this weekend, which is just plain fun, and Silverburn has seen a whole host of new stores joining the club with luxury fashion retailer Flannels being just one of them. Most excitingly, for me maybe, has to be the arrival of my favourite stationery shop, Paperchase, at Glasgow Fort. Now I can get my Paperchase fix for late night shopping, yay!

Food

Each season heralds a whole host of new openings in the Glasgow foodie scene, with Summer 2017 being no different. With a few exciting launches on the horizon, as well as some that have already opened, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Glasgow. Highlights of my foodie calendar include the newly opened Babs, bringing fancy kebabs to West Nile Street. The newest brainchild of the team behind Bread Meats Bread, Babs promises to bring “proper” kebabs, done right, and I’ve heard really great things so far.

If you’re celebrating this summer you need to try out the Cocktail Masterclasses at Revolution. I tried one out with Hayley and Morag a couple of weeks ago and had a fantastic time. It’s something a little bit different, and getting the chance to jump behind the bar and try your hand at mixology after more than a few cocktails makes for a barrel of laughs. Check out their Facebook for more.


It’s no secret that I love Taste Buchanan, as I rave about them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at any opportunity. Having completely revitalised the Buchanan Galleries food court, Taste Buchanan brings together the best of Glasgow’s independent food scene in one place whilst also putting on a whole host of fantastic events too. With a board games day on 9th July and a vinyl pop up on the 16th July, there’s plenty to keep you entertained whilst you enjoy the incredible food on offer. Taste Buchanan also hosts a regular £10 Tasting Menu event where you can try a little bit of everything for just £10 (see more in my latest vlog) which will be running throughout the year. Keep an eye on their Facebook for more information! If you’re visiting Taste Buchanan then you have to try out Hot Stuffed Bread Company, it’s just as good as it sounds.

There’s also rumours that Tim Horton’s are planning on opening a second outlet in the city centre, just a few short weeks after they opened on Argyle Street’s Four Corners. More Timbits? Yes, please.

Festivals

Ever the cultural hub, Glasgow is home to a real variety of festivals each year. Although the most well-known Scottish festival, T in the Park, is taking a break this year it’s been replaced with the highly-anticipated TRNSMT in Glasgow Green. With a killer line-up, featuring some of my all-time favourites like Twin Atlantic and Biffy Clyro, it’s not to be missed. Outside of music, events such as the Merchant City Festival (22-30th July), The Scottish Drink Festival (5-6th August) and the world-renowned World Pipe Band Championships (11-12th August) show that there really is something for everyone happening this summer in Glasgow.


What are the highlights of your summer calendar in Glasgow?


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22 Jun 2017

5 Reasons I Unfollow Your Blog

Reasons I Unfollow You or Your Blog | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Recently I’ve been on a bit of an unfollowing rampage across my many social media platforms. Why? Because I want to make them a place that inspires me and “sparks joy”, or whatever other decluttering mumbo jumbo you relate to most. Social media is a blessing and a curse. I love it, but it doesn’t always love me back. One of the things that I’ve been doing as part of my attempt to soothe my ailing mental health is to spend less time on social media, and now I’m trying to make the time I do spend scrolling through my phone less soul destroying.

Unfollowing isn’t personal. Most of the time, anyway. It’s the internet, I don’t really know you. Chances are, we’d get on fine in person, but I just don’t necessarily want to read your blog posts anymore. Or your live tweets about Love Island. Or see what you had for breakfast on Instagram. No hard feelings intended, it’s for purely selfish reasons, for the sake of my mental health and perception of the world. Unless you said something unnecessarily dickish or you slated Hugh Laurie, then we could never be friends.

You changed your direction

There are a lot of blogs that I started following years and years ago when fashion blogging was the “in thing”. Think outfit shoots in your bedroom, the latest £5 Primark dress and that ever-so-lovely yellow tinge from indoor lighting. Naturally, people’s lives have progressed, and so have their blogs. People grow up, sometimes they get married, some buy houses and some have kids. It’s only natural that the things you’re passionate about sharing change as you change as a person. Now though, I find a lot of these bloggers I started out following have changed their direction to be more family focused, or maybe they’ve started a blog dedicated to very specific categories of Netflix original films, or maybe they’re now sharing exclusively super-healthy recipes. You do you, but your new direction might not necessarily be my thing. I can’t relate to parenting woes and I’d rather not give up my love of carb-laden meals, so it’s time that we part ways.

You stopped blogging

This is a bit of an obvious one, really. Sometimes people just stop blogging, and I get that, I've been close to it myself for numerous reasons. A lot of the time I don't really notice if a blogger stops posting unless it's a blog I check religiously for updates, so they'll sit in my reader forevermore. This is probably my least common reason for unfollowing someone as more often than not I just won't realise because they won't show up in my feed anymore, but every so often I have a quick scan through my following feed and clear out people who haven't posted for a while. Why would I keep following someone that hasn't shared a post for over a year? I just don't see the point!

Reasons I Unfollow You or Your Blog | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

You sold out

I get that you want to make an income, and that’s cool, I do too, but I’m just not into sponsored post after sponsored post about completely irrelevant topics. I followed you for beauty reviews, and now you’re trying to shill a mortgage comparison website? Nah, not for me. It’s transparent as hell, by the way. The same goes for ridiculous full page advertisements, ugh, they infuriate me to no end. Place advertisements, I get it, but at least make sure your content is readable. There’s nothing more off-putting to me than trying to read a blog post and being interrupted by a huge pop-up video that I can’t click away from. Just no.

I got bored

It's quite rare for me to follow very niche blogs, as I have a real variety of interests and I think the types of blogs that I follow tends to reflect this. Repetitive, samey content gets boring fast, for me, and there's only so many "weekly wishlists" I can endure before my finger is hovering over the unfollow button. The same goes for posts with no personality! Anyone can copy and paste a press release, but it's the people who put their own spin on things that have me coming back for more over and over again. I have a short attention span, and if your content just isn't doing it for me anymore I'm gone. At the same time, however, just because I find your blog boring doesn't mean I find you boring. We can still be Twitter pals... maybe.

I changed

Like I said before, people change as they grow. When I first got into blogging I was a mere fifteen years old, which feels like a lifetime away now. Back then I was convinced that I was set up for a life working in fashion, shopping was my main interest and I was nowhere near as passionate about food as I am now. In the past six-and-three-quarter years I have changed a lot as a person, so as a result what I look for in a blog has changed. I'm less interested in the glossy fashion editorials and much more likely to lean towards sassy lifestyle posts, high street fashion inspo, the latest foodie launches and Instagram-worthy travel destinations. I no longer want to work in the fashion industry, and as I've grown older I've found myself caring less and less about what's on the catwalk. Think of it as "it's not you, it's me". Life just happens.


What makes you click that unfollow button?


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20 Jun 2017

Black Dove, Glasgow

Black Dove Dining New Menu Shawlands Small Plates Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Black Dove Dining New Menu Shawlands Small Plates Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I very rarely spend any time in Glasgow's burgeoning south side. Sure, I've spent plenty of time trawling through beautiful Shawlands flats on Right Move, or admiring their thriving foodie scene whilst scrolling through my Instagram feed, but actually checking it out for myself is something that I've yet to achieve. I've started off well though, with a Monday night trip to Black Dove on Kilmarnock Road kicking off my week in the perfect way. Having recently launched a brand new menu, Black Dove boasts a brilliant selection of stylish small plates to suit any appetite. Each dish is cooked to order, with the quality screaming through each bite. The selection of small plates on offer allows customers to experience a whole host of flavours in one evening, which is something I love. I'm a huge fan of tapas style eating, with Black Dove being no different.
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13 Jun 2017

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The Clinique Take The Day Off range has been doing the rounds on beauty blogs for a while now, particularly the Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, but as a relative newcomer to Clinique skincare, it was a range that I'd been yet to try up until recently. In fact, thinking back on it now, I think the Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk is one of the first products that I've tried from Clinique's skincare, having only really experienced their makeup in the past. Miniscule sample sachets aside, that is, but who can really get a decent idea of how skincare works from such a tiny sample?!

I'd toyed with picking up the balm cleanser from the range back at the start of the year, but as I've been trying to save my pennies and reduce my ridiculous skincare hoard I kept putting off the purchase in an attempt to use up what I had already. When I finally finished the last bottle of cleanser I had hidden away, I jumped straight on that bandwagon and replaced my Boots Botanics All Bright Gentle Cleansing Cream with the Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

This cleansing milk gets mixed reviews, and I think that's mostly down to how it's marketed. The majority of the negative-leaning reviews that I've read comment on the fact that it's just not powerful enough for a deep cleanse of your skin. For me, however, the Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk is more of an initial cleanse and the first part of my double-cleansing routine, for which it works perfectly. The gentle nature of the cleanser means that it's not going to remove a super heavy smokey eye, but it does a brilliant job at breaking down foundation and removing the initial layer of grime from the day.

As you'd expect from the name "cleansing milk", this cleanser has a very liquid, milky consistency and is quite thin. I apply this to dry skin before lathering slightly and removing with a damp cloth. You won't get a lot of lather from this, but for me, that's a good sign! I then continue with a slightly stronger cleanser - usually with some sort of exfoliating property - to completely remove any traces of makeup or pollutants from the day. The scent is somewhat reminiscent of suncream, with a similar albeit slightly lighter texture too. It's not overpowering in the slightest and does fade very quickly.

My only issue with this cleanser is that it stings like a bitch if you get it in your eyes. I'm talking worse than shampoo, here. As a result, it's not ideal for removing stubborn eye makeup, so to combat this I use a micellar water to remove my mascara and eyeliner without irritation. Aside from this though, it cuts through my base makeup like an absolute dream and makes it so much easier to properly clean my face.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

As this cleansing milk is designed for sensitive skin, it's incredibly gentle and soothing on the skin. Despite using a harsher exfoliating cleanser as my second step, my skin still feels super soft and isn't irritated in the slightest. I'm seriously impressed, guys. Adding this into my routine for the past few weeks has left me with baby soft skin that doesn't feel clogged or greasy, which is the dream really. I wouldn't buy this thinking it's going to remove every single trace of makeup from my face, which it just doesn't, but as the initial step in my cleansing routine, it works perfectly.

At £20.00 for a 200ml bottle, it is a bit pricey, but I find you get a fair few uses out of the bottle. I've been using this since the end of April and I've barely made a dent in the bottle. I'm definitely going to be taking this on holiday with me as it'll be perfect for soothing my skin when it's been out in the sun all day, plus I know it'll be great for removing all of that sticky sun cream residue too.

If double-cleansing isn't your jam, then this probably won't cut it for you, but if you like to have an initial cleanse before really getting down to business then this is certainly worth a shot. You won't be able to stop stroking your face, which gets kind of weird if you're in public.


BUY CLINIQUE TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING MILK AT FRAGRANCE DIRECT


This post contains a press sample - read my full disclaimer here
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9 Jun 2017

My Summer Holiday Wishlist

Summer Fashion Trends High Street Blogger Picks | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


Each year I think to myself "I don't really need any new holiday clothes", and then each year I go out and buy more anyway. Any excuse for a shopping trip, I say! And, to me, a holiday is the perfect excuse to pick up a few new threads. I'm heading to Dubrovnik for 12 days at the end of June and it can't come quick enough. When I visited last October the weather wasn't great for the majority of the week, so I'm looking forward to visiting in the height of summer and soaking up the sun. I think I've been quite reserved in my holiday shopping this year, so far at least, but that's not to say it will stay that way. Sure, floaty dresses, tiny playsuits and open toe sandals won't see the light of day back in Scotland, where I spend 99% of the year, but what does that matter?

I have no willpower when it comes to shopping, okay.

Regardless, I've found some beautiful pieces on the high street and online at the moment, with bold tropical prints and sunshiny shades of yellow taking the forefront on my shopping list. Summer brings an opportunity to inject a bit of colour into my predominantly grey wardrobe and I think I've been taking that to extremes this year. My yellow trousers which have become a quick wardrobe staple, for a start! There's something about seeing the sunshine that makes me want to break out the brights, with my holiday wardrobe being no exception.


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Summer Fashion Trends High Street Blogger Picks | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


On the other end of the spectrum, however, I've also been drawn to a lot of neutrals and monochrome colour palettes still have a strong hold on me. They're just so easy. Culottes are also easy, and I've added quite a few pairs to my wardrobe in recent months. Jumpsuits, playsuits and pretty summer dresses prevail in my dream summer wardrobe.

In a change of heart that has shocked even me, I'm also leaning towards buying a pair of Birkenstock-esque sandals for my summer adventures. I've always been one for comfort over style, and I've heard that these sandals offer a dreamy level of comfort for tired feet. I'm reluctant to splash the cash on the real deal, but there are some brilliant cheaper alternatives on the high street that I'm going to test the waters with.

I have a little haul with the bits and bobs I've bought already coming to my YouTube channel this weekend, and with a few weeks left until I head off to sunnier shores I'm sure that there will be a few more purchases made before I start packing...


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7 Jun 2017

Dear Instagram

Instagram Algorithm Changes Open Letter | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Dear Instagram,

Remember me? We used to friends, you and me. Back in the day, I could waste hours scrolling through pretty pictures of sunsets and Sunday lunches, travel inspiration and the latest trends. I'd be so excited to stick a filter on my latest sunny snap and post it for all to see, back when people actually saw my photos, that is. I'd check Instagram first thing in the morning and last thing at night, as well as numerous times throughout the day. It was a source of both inspiration and procrastination - exactly what I look for in social media. But what happened, Instagram? You've changed.

First, it was changing the timeline from chronological order to what can only be described as a shit-show of an algorithm based mess. Before, I could scroll down my feed knowing that I was reliving the past couple of hours in real time. I was seeing people's Saturday brunches on a Saturday, isn't that funny? Now, I sit at my desk on a Monday morning and all I see is a wave of "TGIF" and weekend fun that feels oh so far away. I open Instagram and the photo at the top of my feed is from four days ago. Four days, in terms of social media, is a lifetime.

Who are you to decide who I want to see first on my feed? If I follow someone, it's because I like their photos. I want to see them. I am choosing to see them. If I didn't want them cluttering my feed, I wouldn't follow them. But what does that matter to you? For the love of god, the chronological feed was logical. It was sensible. It worked.

And you know what? I'm really annoyed that you're not showing my pictures in people's feeds either. I've worked so damn hard for years now to build a following that is mediocre in comparison to most, yet I am still lucky if a whopping 2% of my followers see my photos. What is with that?! Sure, maybe some of them are just following me for the sake of it, or it's a pity follow, or maybe it's a follow from high school friends who are feeling nosey. Maybe my photos aren't to everyone's taste, but they are good. I've been doing this for a while now, I know I can take a half decent photo when I try. Nowadays, however, if my photo reaches 100 likes I feel blessed.

The elusive shadowbans maybe have something to do with it, and as much as people may cry myth, I know it's been detrimental to me. I've been "shadowbanned" three times now. Yes, three. Each lasting around a week, with no obvious cause or solution. How am I supposed to get past this? I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle here, Instagram, and I'm fed up.

Why would I not use hashtags? I love taking photos, and styling flatlays is one of my favourite activities, so surely it's understandable that I would want people to see the fruits of my labour. I spend a lot of time researching the best hashtags to use, finding the smaller more niche hashtags and getting involved in the communities when I can. You blocked me from my own god damn travel hashtag, Instagram, are you serious?

Maybe, in the end, it all boils down to the introduction of business accounts. Don't get me wrong, Instagram, I tried to get on board with them. I really did. At first, I thought they were brilliant, I loved the analytics and I was stupidly into having a "job title" on my profile. My engagement wasn't really affected at first, so that was cool, but then the slow decline started. I know that your endgame is encouraging people to pay a little extra to boost their posts, I get that you need to generate revenue somehow, but even when I tried boosting a post it got a measly SEVENTEEN likes. I'm not splashing my hard earned cash for seventeen likes, no siree.

All in all, you've become a pretty disheartening place to hang out at the moment, Instagram. We have a deep bond, down below it all, and I don't see myself giving up on you anytime soon. I can't quit you, I love being a basic Instagram cliche far too much for that, but seeing people get ahead using shady tactics like bots, buying followers and that ever-so-infuriating following to unfollow technique that drives everyone crazy, whilst I try my hardest to be as genuine and authentic as possible is just not what I need right now.

Something's got to give Instagram, before we call time on our friendship for good.

Instagram Stories are cool though, I like them. They can stay.
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5 Jun 2017

The Smokin' Fox, Glasgow

The Smokin' Fox Glasgow City Centre Restaurant Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Smokin' Fox Glasgow City Centre Restaurant Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Smokin' Fox Glasgow City Centre Restaurant Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Smokin' Fox Glasgow City Centre Restaurant Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Photos 1 & 2 courtesy of The Smokin' Fox

Nowadays, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up with Glasgow's growing foodie scene. As soon as I start to feel like I'm getting through my mile long list of places to visit, somewhere new pops onto the scene. Granted, my ongoing health drama has stopped me from eating out quite as much as I'd like to this year, but I'm sure as hell going to keep trying my best to make my way around the crème de la crème of Glasgow eateries! One of the new additions to the foodie scene is The Smokin' Fox at 6-8 Waterloo Street, just beside Central Station. The Smokin' Fox is, in fact, the latest reincarnation of The Hope which was home to possibly one of the best brownies I've ever eaten, so I was pretty keen to check out the facelift and see what The Smokin' Fox had in store.

Dubbed as a Victorian inspired "pub and scullery", The Smokin' Fox has the typical pub atmosphere and on our Thursday night visit it was packed with punters. The front section of the venue hosts the bar area, with an opulent yet welcoming interior. Moving through to the back, the dining area is full of quirky, bright decor adorned with the "smoking fox" insignia. Consisting of a mix of booths and tables, there's plenty of room for a bite to eat away from the bustle of the bar.
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18 May 2017

National Smile Month: Reasons To Smile with Janina Ultra White

Janina Ultra White National Smile Month Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Janina Ultra White National Smile Month Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

This post was produced in collaboration with Janina Ultra White

These days, barely a week passes without some sort of "national holiday" plastered all over social media, and whilst "National Candied Orange Peel Day" is all well and good (it's a real thing, look it up!) it's not really the kind of thing that I personally observe. National Smile Month, however, is right up my street. Running from May 15th to June 15th, National Smile Month is a celebration of all things oral health. My teeth are probably my favourite feature, as I've been blessed with nice straight teeth that have given me minimal fuss in the past, but like most people, I've always wished they were that little bit whiter. Years of tea-staining have taken their toll, and as a result, they're not quite the pearly whites I'd like them to be.

Step in Janina Ultra White with their range of non-abrasive whitening products, using fruit enzymes to whiten the teeth without causing any damage to the protective enamel. I've been using the activated charcoal toothpaste twice a day and within just under two weeks of use, I'm already noticing a difference to my tea-stained teeth. I'd never used whitening trays before, as I found that I struggled to wear them comfortably, but the Janina pre-filled trays are designed to be soft and flexible with your comfort in mind. I like to pop these in when I'm in the shower and having used them three times now I'm excited to see how my teeth look after finishing the set. I will admit though, these make me drool like crazy, hence using them in the shower. Attractive, right?

To top off my whitening routine, I've been testing out the Instant White Teeth Whitening Spray, which is designed to be used on the go with no need for water or a toothbrush. I replaced the breath freshening spray that I usually carry in my handbag with this and I think it's made a real difference in how my teeth look and feel throughout the day. It's ideal for little top ups on the go, such as before important meetings or after a coffee. Between these three products, I think I'm pretty well equipped to keep my teeth looking healthy whilst I'm working towards a whiter glow. The best thing is that they've been brilliant for my sensitive teeth, and unlike other whitening products I've tried they don't leave my teeth feeling stripped or sore in my quest for pearly whites.

It's been a while since I shared one of my happy things posts, nearly a year in fact. I find that searching out the good in life really helps during tough times, and so, in celebration of my newly glowing grin, here are just a few reasons that I'll be flashing a smile this month...
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16 May 2017

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Mask

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng Rice Mask Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng Rice Mask Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I'm rarely a loyal customer, which is probably a business' nightmare, but it's not always due to a disappointing product or service, in fact, it's more often than not just because I am continually obsessed with trying new things. As much as this could be attributed to my love of blogging and the need to test new products to create new content, I think it's just in my nature, so when I find myself returning to a brand on numerous occasions I know it's truly love. One brand in particular that I know I can rely on is The Body Shop, my love for which has been instilled from an early age thanks to my mum's fondness for their products. Whatever my skincare concern, be it the chronic dryness that plagues me all year round, hormonal breakouts, a dull complexion or just a spot of bath time pampering, I know that I can turn to The Body Shop to cater to my needs.

I have a lot of favourite products from The Body Shop, but the one I'm currently ever so desperate to share is the Chinese Ginseng and Rice Mask that was released last year. £16 will buy you a rather reasonably sized pot of this goodness, which is even better considering that my first pot lasted me nearly a full year despite twice weekly use. I have a plethora of face masks in my collection, so I hadn't been planning on replacing it until those were emptied, but after a few short weeks without using this mask I knew I had to have it back in my life, and here we are.
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10 May 2017

Marc Jacobs Daisy Kiss Eau de Toilette Review

Marc Jacobs Daisy Kiss Perfume Review Fragrance Direct | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Marc Jacobs Daisy Kiss Perfume Review Fragrance Direct | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

For years I always saved my nice perfumes for those ever elusive "special occasions", until one day I just stopped. Saving things for best is all well and good, but what if that perfect moment never comes? I'd much rather treat myself to a little splash of sunshine in the form of my favourite fragrances on a daily basis. A good perfume can boost my confidence, it makes me feel put together, and I just like smelling nice! As a result, I've ended up tearing through my perfume collection a lot faster than usual, but instead of wallowing in despair I'm taking it as an opportunity to try out some new scents.

If my previous perfume choices are anything to go by, it's clear that I'm drawn to sweet, sugary scents with the odd hint of florals or warm vanilla. I love a hint of citrus, but musky, spicy scents aren't really my cup of tea. I've always loved Marc Jacobs perfume, with the super cute bottles being a huge bonus and the fruity, creamy scents being a welcome addition to my growing collection.
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4 May 2017

Tempus at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow

Tempus Grand Central Hotel Glasgow Review Food Blogger | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Tempus Grand Central Hotel Glasgow Review Food Blogger | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Mondays can be tough, right? Particularly the first Monday back in class after a three week long Easter break, so what better night to indulge in a slap-up meal at one of Glasgow's most revered hotels. That's exactly how my blogging partner-in-crime Lis and I spent last Monday night, with a trip to Tempus Restaurant at Grand Central Hotel. Having never stayed in the hotel, I was yet to set foot inside Tempus prior to that night. However, my high school leaver's dinner actually took place in The Grand Room and, unsurprisingly where I'm concerned, the food was a highlight of the evening.

With that in mind, I had high expectations as to what Tempus would have in store for us on an unseasonably cold Monday night. I had been expecting to find a quiet restaurant, with it being a Monday night, but instead, the huge restaurant was nearly full. Despite having a few large, lively groups in, the atmosphere was still rather intimate, making it the perfect place to catch up and enjoy a bite. Tempus offer various deals throughout the week, with a theatre menu running in the evenings alongside tempting steak offers that are perfect for a mid-week pick me up. With that in mind, it's easy to see why the restaurant was in fact so busy on a night that is typically quiet elsewhere.

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2 May 2017

Recently Reading: April

April Recently Reading Book Blogger  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
April Recently Reading Book Blogger  | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I go through phases with reading where I find myself reading four or five books in a week, then don't pick anything up for ages. March was a really good month for reading for me, but it kind of dwindled in April because I was just so busy watching NCIS with college deadlines. April as a month seems to have passed at lightning speed, I was only just getting used to it and suddenly it's May already?!

Anyway, since my last reading update I've managed to squeeze in some really good books - and some not-so-good ones too - so I thought I'd post a little update on what I've loved and loathed book-wise. As always, I keep track of what I'm reading over on Goodreads so be sure to add me as a friend to see what's next on my pile. I set myself a slightly under-ambitious challenge of reading 20 books this year and I'm already 12 books in, so I think I'll manage to reach 20 in no time. Plus, I have a 12-day trip planned (I loved Croatia so much when I visited last year that I'm heading back again in June!) which is sure to be spent reading by the pool.

I like a mix of genres in my reading material, with thrillers being one of my favourites. That's pretty noticeable in this month's selection as I seem to have been going through a bit of a thriller binge, which is a far cry from my self-help/getting my life in order phase from the end of last year. I've had to force myself to take a step away from the self-help books as they weren't helping my dwindling mental health, instead, I chose to focus on getting lost in fictional worlds.
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