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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