31 Jan 2017

Singing to Tiny Dancer

Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Top - Louche at Joy; Skirt - Louche at Joy; Bag - Kate Spade; Shoes - Primark

Well, would you look at that, my first outfit post since September! It wasn't intentional, and I really meant to post outfits over the past few months, but they just got hidden underneath piles of coursework, weekends in retail, limited hours of daylight and a crisis of confidence. Can you tell how awkward I found it to shoot again? I'm determined to post more outfits this year, as this blog did start life as a fashion blog after all, so I need to get back in to the swing of things pronto!

Although last year was very much the year I fell in love with trousers, I've definitely been falling back towards skirts recently. I'd been on the hunt for a tan suede skirt for the longest time and this skirt from Joy is exactly what I had in mind. It's thick, so it helps hold the wobbly bits in place, and the gorgeous warm colour is both bold and neutral. It's so easy to wear and is such a staple piece to have in my wardrobe for all seasons.

Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I don't think I've shared the latest addition to my Kate Spade collection on my blog yet, although it's made plenty of appearances over on my Instagram. This beautiful bag is the Cameron Street Byrdie in lilac which was a very lovely Christmas present from my equally lovely boyfriend, Paddy. Lilac isn't a colour I wear a lot, but I was so drawn to this shade and it really stands out against my typically neutral wardrobe. I can't wait to wear it even more in spring, and have been loving it paired with monochrome gingham prints too. It's a really good size and is perfect for the days when I just need my purse, keys and camera!

Another obsession that I just can't shake, alongside my love of Kate Spade, is my fondness of embroidered details. I don't own a lot of blouses or shirts, as I don't feel like I suit collars all that much, but the embroidered collar on this beautiful blouse was hard to resist. The colours are so deep and add a real interest to what would otherwise be such a simple piece. I've got a whole post dedicated to my love of the embroidered trend coming up later this week, inspired by this blouse.

Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Joy Louche How To Style Outfit Embroidered Suede | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I'm really looking forward to getting more fashion content up on Colours & Carousels this year, as I do love sharing my outfits. My self-confidence took a real hit after being diagnosed with alopecia, and I'm still struggling a bit with the reality of losing my hair and the extra weight I managed to gain after my surgery in 2015. It's difficult not feeling comfortable in your own skin, but I think I've had the much-needed kick up the backside that I need to get myself back in to my gym routine. We'll see if it lasts, though! Either way, I do have some outfits lined up that I'm excited to shoot and share.

Otherwise, I'll just be here wishing for sunnier evenings and waiting for a break from seemingly endless coursework deadlines... Would you believe that I am actually wearing fake tan right now? I need a week of sunbathing, I think!

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Shop more from Joy over on their website

PHOTOS BY JENNY                                                                                                                                                                                                POST CONTAINS A PRESS SAMPLE - READ MY FULL DISCLAIMER HERE
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30 Jan 2017

Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment

Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Retinol Resurfacing Treatment - £33.50 from Merumaya

Retinol is a skincare ingredient I found a little bit intimidating, with it supposedly being prone to irritating skin and causing inflammation, particularly for those with sensitive skin. Whilst my skin isn't massively sensitive I still didn't fancy my chances of any increased irritation, so it was something I had avoided until recently. Retinol, also known as Vitamin A, encourages the rate of cell turnover to increase, which essentially means that your skin builds new layers at a faster speed, and as the top layers shed skin tone is evened out and smoothed. It's been shown to work wonders for those with acne prone skin and also helps to reduce noticeable scarring, something I do have thanks to those delightful teenage years that are luckily behind me now!

As retinol itself is unstable, Merumaya have used a more stabilised version alongside a samphire extract, which imitates the benefits of retinol with less of the irritation, and added a peptide blend to restore important proteins as well as squalane, extracted from olive oil, which helps to restore the skins natural moisture levels.

It's all very scientific sounding, isn't it? It can be difficult to wrap your head around (I've just had to spend a good half hour looking into all of the ingredients and why they help...) but this one little treatment supposedly helps in so many ways. Ideal for resurfacing the skin, it helps to even out skin tone, smooth out any lines and wrinkles, improve moisture levels, reduce scarring, regulate sebum to control blemishes and soothe the skin.

Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Merumaya Retinol Resurfacing Treatment Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I've been using the Retinol Resurfacing Treatment since the start of January and, to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I apply this after using a cleanser and toner every night or in the morning if I'm having a makeup free day. The first thing I noticed about the treatment was the scent, as it's quite unique. It's almost sherbet-like, but it still smells like skincare - if that makes sense... I'm not too sure what the scent is exactly, but I personally love it, and it doesn't hang around for too long if that's something you'd worry about.

One of my only issues with the Retinol Resurfacing Treatment is that the pump on the bottle dispenses such a tiny amount at a time, which is a little bit frustrating for someone as impatient as me. It's a tiny gripe, but a gripe all the same! I have to use about 5 or 6 pumps of product for my whole face, and even then it feels like I'm being a little bit stingy with my application.

Otherwise, though, I have nothing but praise for this. I was really worried that my skin would absolutely hate this and be left congested and inflamed, but it's been the total opposite. I've noticed a huge difference in the overall texture of my skin, particularly on my nose, and the acne scarring on my chin has been considerably less noticeable. It hasn't made much of a difference to the handful of enlarged pores I have on one cheek, but I think they're beyond saving at this point. My skin looks a lot healthier and has been retaining moisture for much longer than normal, which has made a huge difference to how it looks and feels.

It is a little bit pricey, but it seems to be in line, if not cheaper, than other similar products. This is the second product I've tried from Merumaya and I'm equally as impressed as I was with their eye makeup remover. After seeing the results from this treatment I'm really keen to try more of their skincare range!

Find more from Merumaya on their website

This post contains a press sample - read my full disclaimer here
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27 Jan 2017

My Self Care Routine

Self Care Routine Tips | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Self Care Routine Tips | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I’ve mentioned numerous times about the fact that my “word of the year” is balance, and one of my pledges to myself was that I’d make a conscious effort to dedicate more time to self-care. Self-care is a pretty personal thing and everyone has their own idea of what it looks like to them, but my typical self-care routine is very focused on taking time away from my laptop, my phone or whatever else is inducing any stress or anxieties in my life at that current time and instead taking a moment to look after myself in both a physical and emotional sense.

Self Care Routine Tips | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Sleep

A lot of my self-care ideology revolves around my bed, and my default method of easing my mind and looking after my body is getting an early night. It’s not always possible, but settling down in bed is my favourite time of day and I’m a little bit of a granny when it comes to bed time. Sometimes I just need to drop whatever it is that I’m doing and head to bed no matter how early it may be, often to get lost in a book or my current TV show of choice, or sometimes just to go straight to sleep. I place great importance on the value of a good night’s sleep and it always helps to ease my worries.

Have a drink

This may seem like such a small factor, but I often find that dehydration has such a big impact on how I’m feeling. I do sometimes forget to drink enough water and that leaves me feeling cranky, tired and usually with a headache, so grabbing a drink of water can do a world of wonder for my body and mind. It’s not just water, though, in true British fashion I find a good sugary cup of tea extremely comforting and taking a moment to sit and savour a cuppa is a welcome moment of peace in my day.

Self Care Routine Tips | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Find a distraction

In my case, it’s usually The Sims, or a good book, an episode of my favourite television show or an afternoon of baking if I’m feeling energetic. Whatever it is, having something to entirely dedicate myself to as a bit of a distraction from whatever happens to be bugging me is a game changer. When I’m an hour deep in to a Sims binge I’m not really thinking about that annoying email or the little bit of coursework I can’t figure out. It’s a step back, which often leaves me with a clearer mind and feeling more productive when I’m ready to return to the “real world”. I’m out of my gym-going habits at the moment, but exercise was another great way to help air out my mind, it can be an amazing way to blow off some steam in my case and is something I’m very keen to get back in to now I have some more free time.

Pamper time

Simple things like washing my hair or taking a shower are easy ways to take my mind off something, and make me feel so much better. I think that taking the time to look after yourself by focusing on a skincare routine, painting your nails or having a bath help me refocus and clear my head as it’s difficult to be distracted by other worries when I’m looking after myself like this. Personally, I really value skincare in terms of self-care, as it’s a little quiet moment where I can totally indulge myself and look after myself at the same time. You can’t reply to emails whilst cleansing your face, after all.

Self Care Routine Tips | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Treat yourself

I find that this is one of the more “controversial” methods of self-care, which is understandable - because why should you have to spend money to feel a bit better within yourself? However I’m also a firm believer in retail therapy and am very prone to treating myself, be that to a slice of cake or a mouth-watering takeaway lunch on a day when I really should be eating the less enticing salad I’d brought with me, buying a new book, the latest expansion for The Sims or some pretty new makeup. Even though I am also incredibly prone to buyer’s remorse (I used to feel so guilty if I spent more than £15 on two weeks of food shopping!?!) a little treat every now and then just gives me a little boost of happiness that is often needed.

Be selfish


Finally, the most important part of my self-care routine is doing things because I want to do them. Or, alternatively, saying no to things because I don’t want to do them. Being selfish is like the ultimate act of self-care in my books, and although it’s not something I would massively recommend undertaking in all aspects of your life, sometimes being a bit selfish isn’t the worst thing in the world. There are so many nights that I’d much rather have a bubble bath and get an early night instead of going out, so sometimes that is exactly what I do, and it’s the best.

What do you focus on when it comes to self-care?

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24 Jan 2017

7 Reasons I Love Lists

7 Reasons To-do Lists Are Important for organisation and mental health | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Whenever I’m asked what my one tip for organising my life, my blog or just putting my mind at ease I always go straight to lists. To-do lists are an absolute classic, so simple yet so effective, particularly for me. I feel very passionately about my lists, probably a little bit too passionately and rarely a day goes by where I don’t scribble away a few notes to myself in a notebook, in my diary or on a random scrap of paper. I’ve tried so many fancy organising fads, and although I love and rely on my planner a lot, my heart belongs to a good list. Why do I care so much about lists? Well…

They help me organise my mind

This is the biggest thing for me, as I have a little bit of a messy mind at times. If my thoughts are racing I worry that I’ll forget things, so writing little notes to myself helps me to remember what exactly that great idea was or what I had to put in my diary. Every night before I go to bed I write a list of the important things that need addressing the next day, which helps me drift off to sleep knowing that I’m considerably less likely to forget that deadline or appointment!

It helps me to prioritise

Having a list of my tasks or thoughts helps me to see where my priorities should lie. If it wasn’t for having them all laid out in front of me, be that on paper, on the notes in my phone or even in an email to myself, I’d struggle to figure out what needs the most of my attention at the time. Assigning each item on my to-do list a certain level of priority, such as “absolute must do” or “can wait if need be” is the easiest way for me to get things done.

They calm me down

This relates back to my messy mind, which can sometimes get a little bit overwhelming. If I’m feeling stressed or anxious about everything I need to do or think about I write a little list of all my worries and tasks to help calm my racing thoughts. Most of the time, doing this helps me realise that I don’t have quite as much to worry about as I thought I did, and like I said before it helps me to figure out what should be my priority to get through at the time.

7 Reasons To-do Lists Are Important for organisation and mental health | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

They set the wheels in motion

Sometimes I find that starting a list spurs my mind into action and I start coming up with these fantastic ideas that must have been hiding in my subconscious. For example, last week I started listing some blog posts I wanted to write and although I started out with just a handful of topic ideas, this soon grew arms and legs, turning into a list of over 100 posts I wanted to write. Yay for inspiration!

You have to start somewhere

If I have a lot on my mind I often struggle to figure out where to start and find it difficult to get going with my tasks for the day. Much like coming up with ideas for a blog post, writing a to-do list is an easy way to engage my brain for the day and kick start my productivity. It’s become a solid part of my daily routine now, so I don’t think I’d know how to start a day without a list!

They help me plan my day

Again, like prioritising, having a to-do list shows me just how much time I need to dedicate to particular tasks or projects that day. In the same vein, it also shows me exactly how much free time I’ll have to spend playing The Sims, or how early I need to get up, if I can fit in that bubble bath or a spontaneous lunch out.

It gives me structure and a way to track my progress

Whilst I try not to let my to-do lists rule my life, I really appreciate the added structure a set list gives to my day. Having a group of tasks to work through, no matter how big or small, helps keep my mind in focus as opposed to wandering away with my daydreams. Ticking something off a to-do list is so satisfying, even if it is just a tiny little task like “write my to-do list”. Yup, I put that on my list, alongside “have a cup of tea” and “eat a biscuit”. I’m really good at that last one.

Are you a fan of the classic to-do list, or do you prefer something a bit more sophisticated?

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19 Jan 2017

Singl-end, Glasgow

Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

In order to combat those pesky January Blues, I have a habit of filling my month with lots of post-Christmas catch ups and cake dates. The Glasgow food scene means I always have a list the length of my arm of places I want to visit, and Singl-end had been on that list for a long time. When Lis suggested a visit last weekend I jumped at the chance to see just what all the fuss was about and catch up over some of their delicious baked goods.

A quick hop from Sauchiehall Street, and a couple of seconds from the Art School, Singl-end is hidden away on the end of Renfrew Street that I don't usually visit. Apparently, it used to be an Italian restaurant, which I hadn't been aware of previously, but it re-opened in 2015 as a cosy bakehouse cafe with oodles of charm and most importantly lots of cakes. The large basement space is still super bright despite being below street level (even on a grey Glasgow day) and had the perfect welcoming vibe that makes you want to spend your entire Sunday putting the world to rights over a slice of their cake. When we arrived mid-afternoon last Sunday the place was pretty full, with baby showers, brunchers and even some beautiful pups to pet. It was a real mix of families and friends, young and old, which really wasn't surprising as Singl-end has something for everyone.

Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

The menu boasts an impressive selection of options, with a brilliant level of flexibility for any dietary requirements be that vegetarian, vegan, gluten or dairy free. Be it breakfast, bakes or brunch, you're sure to find something that tickles your tastebuds. On this occasion, I was lured in by the special open steak sandwich with caramelised onions and goats cheese (aka two of my favourite things) on the Altamura bread which was an excellent choice. The meat was flavourful and tender, which when topped by the mouthwatering onions and creamy cheese really hit the spot. Lis also opted for an open sandwich, choosing the home-baked ham, cheddar cheese and tomato, again on the Altamura bread.

Alongside the food, Singl-end also offers a range of hot and cold drinks of both the soft and alcoholic variety. Had I not been driving I definitely would have been joining Lis in ordering a rum mocha, but instead, I decided to go for a simple fruit juice. They also had three fantastic sounding smoothies, and if I'd not been trying to save some space for sweet treats I absolutely would have ordered a "Cure Yer Heid", which is packed with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana, ginger and orange juice.

Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I absolutely devoured my sandwich, quite possibly in record time, and as satisfying as it was I knew I wasn't finished yet. Upon entering Singl-end, you're greeted by a table with towering stacks of cakes, and I was not leaving without trying one. The triple chocolate bundt cake and pistachio & cherry brownies both caught my attention, but as soon as I spotted the salted caramel brownies my decision was made. Brownies are possibly one of my favourite bakes, and I've made my own salted caramel brownies before, but these were just as good if not better. Soft, chewy and a little bit more-ish. I struggled to finish mine because my eyes were bigger than my belly as per usual, but I would definitely order it again! Other delights included Lis' choice of pear and ginger slice topped with brown butter icing and cinder toffee, peanut butter & jelly pinwheel cookies and homemade empire biscuits. I could quite happily eat my way around the whole table!

Singl-end Glasgow Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Not only was the food fantastic, the staff were attentive and obviously passionate about what they do. They knew exactly what to recommend and were more than happy to make any alterations to items on the menu to suit tastes and requirements. Now that I've experienced it for myself I can wholly understand the hype surrounding Singl-end and can see it becoming a regular weekend haunt. Who can resist the lure of a whole table full of cakes, though?! 

Find Singl-end at 265 Renfrew Street, online or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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17 Jan 2017

Must Read Books For Bloggers

Books For Bloggers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Books For Bloggers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I love blogging and I love books, so it's not really surprising that I've amassed quite a collection of books about blogging. One of my main interests, albeit it slightly geeky, is digital marketing, branding and social media, alongside a long-term love of photography so a lot of the books I'm drawn to tie in quite naturally with my blogging obsession. A quick flick through my Kindle or a glance at my bookshelf brings to light just how deep my passion goes, as both are packed with all sorts of books about branding, social media, digital marketing, photography and anything else even slightly related to blogging.

I've read (and Instagrammed) so many of these books but I've never really shared any of my absolute favourites. There are so many out there that are well worth reading, even just for a spot of inspiration, that I thought I'd round up exactly which ones I think are worth the pennies. The best of the best, really! I have so many recommendations that I'll probably miss some, but here are some of my absolute must-reads for anyone with an interest in the world of blogging.

Books For Bloggers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Books For Bloggers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Tips for Blogging

There are hundreds of books out there focused on sharing blogging tips, but my absolute favourite is by the genius behind one of my favourite blogs, Forever Amber. Her book, My Blogging Secrets: A Guide To Becoming A Pro Blogger, is a refreshingly honest rundown of how she grew her blog and the "glamorous" life of a full-time blogger. Her writing style is effortlessly funny and incredibly relatable. There's no nonsense, it's straight to the point and it covers so many of the important bases you need to know when it comes to monetising your blog and defining your content. The perfect mix of entertaining, informative and useful


Creative Living

One of the first books I read this year was Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and I loved it a whole lot more than I expected to. It's less about the "how" and more about the "why", hosting a collection of thoughts and anecdotes about living life creatively. It's encouraging and inspirational, with a strong mix of mystical and pragmatic information about how to make creativity work for you. It starts out a little bit more spiritual than I'd usually be drawn to, but it goes on to cover incredibly important topics like self-ownership, commitment, judgement and passion. 

More books about creative living worth a read include: Year of Yes, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k (read my full review here), Bloom: Navigating Life & Style and Wake Up! Escaping a Life on Autopilot

Social Media, SEO & Digital Marketing

A lot of my favourite digital marketing books are a bit more academically focused, however, there are some that provide a brilliant basis of information for blogging. Two of my favourites are The Art of Social Media and How To Get Your Website Noticed. These are handy guides full of easy-to-digest information about making social media & digital marketing work for you on a personal and professional level. They talk a lot about the ways in which people search for information and how to catch their interest, which is ideal when you're trying to get your blog out there!

If you want to read more about social media, SEO & digital marketing try out: The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimisation, Profitable Social Media Marketing, How To Write Better Copy and Growth Hacker Marketing

Books For Bloggers | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Photography

I've had a growing interest in photography since my early teens and it's a hobby that I try to invest a lot of time in to this day. I love creating images, be that for my blog and social media channels or just for my own memories. I love a good photography book, particularly huge coffee table anthologies full of glossy photos to spend a day poring over. In terms of photography for my blog, I really enjoyed Picture Perfect Social Media which is a great practical guide to styling and shooting aesthetically pleasing photos no matter what equipment you use. Earlier this month I picked up Capture Your Style after seeing it all over Instagram, which is focused more on using Instagram as a platform and taking photos for the network itself. This, again, was a really inspiring read with some handy tips about utilising your smartphone for photography and things to consider when using Instagram for your brand or business. 

Branding

I live for branding.

That might be an exaggeration, but it is one of my favourite subjects. I find the concept of identity and the impact of branding so interesting, so it's something I really love reading about even outside of my studies. How to Style Your Brand was another Instagram-influenced purchase, as many of the things I buy are, but it was so worth it. It covers defining your vision, finding a focus, character and even colour psychology. If you care about developing a brand, be that for your blog or business, or just want to define your overall direction then this is unmissable.

Inspiration and Motivation

Finally, I thought I'd add in a few of those good ol' inspiring reads for when you need a little kick up the backside. Whenever I'm feeling a bit burnt out I tend to turn to books, with a firm favourite being the much-hyped #GirlBoss. It's full of sass and it'll totally suck you in, fill you with a dose of motivation and leave you wanting to kick ass. You won't regret reading it, I promise.

More books for a dose of inspiration include: You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, Leave Your Mark, I Am That Girl and Radical Self-Love

What are your favourite books about all things blogging?

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15 Jan 2017

Sunday Share #3

Sunday Share Catch Up Post | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It's been a funny ol' week this week, a lot has happened which has left me feeling a bit out of sorts, but at the same time, I feel like nothing's really happened. Two notable events, though, would probably be starting back at college after my Christmas break and Paddy moving down to Leicester yesterday in preparation for starting his new job tomorrow. Being back at college has been tiring, as getting used to 6am starts again is a tough one, but the main thing leaving me feeling a bit lost is being back in a long distance relationship once again.

Paddy & I have been together for nearly seven years and we managed long distance when I was away in Aberdeen for university, but once I finished there I stupidly assumed that the long distance stage of our relationship was over and done with. I know that we'll be fine, it'll just take a bit of getting used to, so in the meantime, I'm trying to throw myself into my other interests (blogging, reading and an endless stream of college deadlines) whilst fervently searching for flights down and praying the next five weeks go as fast as possible.

So although I've been spending the past couple of weeks fitting in as much time together as possible, I've also been putting a bit more time into this blog, particularly the photography side, and I feel a little bit like it's paying off. My DLSR died just after Christmas and I splurged on a new camera as a little treat to myself which has worked wonders in reigniting my love for photography after a bit of a slump towards the end of last year. As well as my photography I've also been working on some new content (which I'm feeling really passionate about), attempting to up my Instagram game and just generally trying to get myself a bit more involved in the overall blogging community. I finished 2016 feeling a little bit disconnected from it all, and the only person who can change that is me, so that's what I'm trying to do!

Okay, enough rambling now. I need to drag myself out of bed and get ready for my brunch with Lis, so here are some links I've been loving lately to get stuck into this Sunday:
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13 Jan 2017

Viktor&Rolf Bonbon

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Bon Bon Perfume Scent Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Bon Bon Perfume Scent Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I don't often write about perfumes because I feel like I'm pretty rubbish at describing scents, but sometimes I come across a fragrance that just needs to be shared. Bonbon by Viktor&Rolf is one of such scents, and ever since I unwrapped it on Christmas day I've felt the need to shout from the rooftops about just how much I love it. I'm a big fan of sweet scents, particularly warm, vanilla based scents with a fruity hint, or even perfumes that just outright smell like sweets. I adore Insolence by Guerlain which smells exactly like Parma Violets (read my full review here). I'd been dithering over purchasing Bonbon for a while now, as it can be a tad pricey if not on offer, but now that I know just how much I love it I'll definitely pick it up again in a heartbeat when this bottle runs out.

I'm not usually massively swayed by packaging, particularly when it comes to fragrance, but it's hard to deny that this is one pretty perfume bottle. Shaped like a bow, this sturdy little bottle looks perfect on my dressing table without being too bulky to carry in my bag. The attention to detail on the glasswork is something else, making it look like a lovingly wrapped treat, and the deep pink colour is truly stunning. There's a small embossed logo on the lid and a monogrammed plastic flower sticks out from the bottle, but aside from that there's no massively flashy branding and the overall design is quite simple.

Viktor & Rolf Bonbon Bon Bon Perfume Scent Review | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

To put it simply, this scent is a sickly sweet concoction with a hint of citrus. With notes of caramel, mandarin, peach, amber and sandalwood it has a bit more depth than your standard sugary perfume. It's very strong when first applied, with the sweetness being the overbearing notes at first, but as it dries you really notice the warmth of the citrus and sandalwood come into play. It is a pretty feminine scent, with a slight hint of floral jasmine from time to time, and I wear it all day, every day. It's long lasting, so rarely needs topping up, and has had so many people asking what scent I'm wearing. The rich, caramel notes make me feel so happy when I wear it, but the peach and mandarin really help it stand out from the crowd.

If you're a fan of sugary scents then this is an absolute must try. It's mouthwateringly delicious and feels like a little slice of luxury heaven every time you spray it. I'm obsessed. I wish I could bathe in it every day! I can't help but feel a little bit sorry for my other perfumes which have been abandoned in favour of this beauty, but I just can't stay away from it.

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What's your favourite type of scent?

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11 Jan 2017

New Year, New Wardrobe

New Year Affordable Fashion Update High Street UK January | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


I like to refresh a lot of things when a new year rolls around. New bedding, new desktop wallpaper, new diary... nothing major, just a few little changes to freshen things up a bit. My wardrobe is definitely on the list of things that need a bit of change injected into them, but as per usual my bank account disagrees. If I could throw out the majority of my clothes and start all over again, I would, but instead, I'm trying to focus on a handful of pieces that will add some new blood whilst also fitting in with what I already have and allowing for a bit of flexibility.

2016 was the year I discovered how much I love a good pair of trousers, so it's understandable that a few pairs have caught my eye. I'm really liking the casual-yet-pulled-together combination of tailored trousers, a casual tee and a pair of trainers. So easy to wear and pretty comfy (depending on how much I've eaten at the time, anyway) but still looking a little bit more polished than my usual early morning uniform of leggings and big baggy jumpers. I really fancy a pair of relaxed leather look trousers and already have the perfect outfit in mind for them.

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New Year Affordable Fashion Update High Street UK January | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


My colour palette of choice hasn't changed much, with blush, grey and black still making regular appearances. I have been noticing a few more prints catching my eye recently, though, with a newly reignited love for leopard print starting to take over. I've always loved leopard print accessories, an obsession that was sparked by a pair of leopard print moccasins from New Look about five years ago, but I'm also loving more statement pieces now like jackets and shirts. I've seen a few people wearing the most beautiful leopard print culottes about in Glasgow and I need them in my life, but I cannot find them for the life of me. It's getting a bit annoying now as, like the leather trousers, I have the perfect outfit in mind featuring them! The hunt continues...

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What styles are you loving right now?

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9 Jan 2017

Currently Testing: January 2017

New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

A new month calls for some new beauty bits to try, and I have quite a line-up! Between kind Christmas gifts and getting a tad spendy in December I've managed to amass a few new products in my collection and I think I've found some absolute gems. My skincare stash did that annoying thing where everything runs out at once, so I had to make a quick run to Boots in order to restock and I ended up with a few extras too. Isn't that always the way? Luckily I had quite a build up of points to spend, and a fair few vouchers to hand too, so it wasn't quite as painful as it could have been for my poor bank balance.

I haven't bought any new beauty since the new year, which is very unlike me, and I'm determined to finish more products off in an attempt to declutter so I've been on my best behaviour. Here's hoping this continues into the rest of the year, as I think my purse could do from a little rest. Although, when you love trying new products like me, it is hard to resist a little purchase or two every now and then...

New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Whilst a lot of the skincare I picked up on my restocking mission were repurchases of old favourites, I did sneak in a new product in the form of the Superfacialist Vitamin C+ Brighten Cleansing Oil. I'd heard great things about the Superfacialist range from a variety of bloggers, but hadn't got round to trying any for myself until I spotted it on offer. I love cleansing oils and balm formulations which is what drew me to this one in the first place, with the bonus addition of brightening benefits being a real bonus for my dull winter skin. This melts my makeup off in a flash and doesn't struggle to remove stubborn mascaras either. It leaves my skin quite tight, which I'm not massively keen on, and it can be a little harsh around the eye area, but it smells delicious and does its job. It's not my favourite cleansing oil, that honour belongs to The Body Shop's Camomile Cleansing Oil, which is a bit kinder on my dry skin, but it's still a decent product all round. I did actually notice a difference in the brightness of my skin, though, so that's a definite plus.

Getting a good night's sleep is always very high up on my list of priorities, and although I don't often struggle to fall asleep, I'd had my eye on the This Works Sleep Range for a while. On Christmas Day I was very excited to open an array of sleep-related gifts (including the comfiest new bedding, love) which goes to show how well my love of sleep is known! Amongst these was a little This Works gift set which included miniature sizes of the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, the Stress Less essential oil blend and the Sleep Balm. The miniature sizes are perfect for popping in my bag for travel, and I have to say that I'm impressed with their results so far! New Year's Eve threw my sleep schedule out of sync for a few days, but using these three really helped me bring it back to normal. Plus they just smell really nice, anyway!

My beloved Too Faced mascara ran dry just before Christmas, but luckily I was given the Soap & Glory The Whole Glam Lot gift set for Christmas which is packed full of the brand's best sellers. Within the huge box was one of their Thick and Fast High Definition Collagen Coat Mascaras which couldn't have come at a better time! I'd used the original formula of their mascara a while back and loved it, so I was excited to give this a go. It's a very creamy formula which doesn't dry out your lashes or flake off throughout the day. It has a decent level of pigmentation, giving thick, dark lashes with minimal clumping. I'd prefer it to be a bit more lengthening and volumising, but it's brilliant for everyday wear, particularly considering how long it lasts with no transfer. Goodbye. panda eyes!

New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
New Beauty January 2017 Currently Testing Blogger Favourites | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Amongst the products in the Soap & Glory gift set, I was also delighted to discover the Speed Plump All Day Moisturiser, which I'd been eyeing up in Boots just the week before Christmas. This is a super lightweight formula with a silky texture and delicious scent. It gives a decent dose of daily moisture and I know I'll be reaching for it lots in the summer, however, it's just not quite enough for my extra-dry winter skin at the moment. That being said, it does make my skin look fuller and makes a great base for my makeup. A tiny amount goes a long way, and the watermelon scent is a little bit addictive.

I've added a couple of new lipsticks to my collection recently, and looking at them now I realise how typical the shade choices are for me! Both matte, both a dusky pink... hm. Regardless, these two are slightly different and I absolutely adore them both. First up is the Rimmel The Only 1 Matte Lipstick in Shade 200 "Salute". I've always loved Rimmel's lipstick formulas and this one is no different. It's incredibly matte, without being the slightest bit drying. They feel so light on the lips and the pigmentation is just perfection. The only *slight* downside for me is that I find they don't reapply well for top ups, but as they wear evenly and don't bleed this isn't a massive issue.

Another firm favourite formulation for me is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks, which are quite possibly my favourite matte liquid lips. I fell in love with these back in May after I picked up the shade "Double Dare" in New York, and I was determined to grow my little collection. Luckily, Paddy listened and treated me to the bestselling shade "Lolita" for Christmas. These lipsticks glide on with ease and the formula feels velvety smooth all day long. This shade is a warm nude, leaning more towards a brown with a touch of pink, and it takes a lot to budge it. They are so lightweight and comfortable to wear, which is exactly why I love them so much.


The final few additions to my stash come courtesy of Kiehl's, which I was very lucky to win from a competition at an event I attended in the Glasgow store. I was generously gifted a box packed with some of their most popular products, including the Creme de Corps body moisturiser and the Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey body polish. This duo is absolutely incredible. I've honestly been blown away by how well they work for me. I've never found a body moisturiser that nourishes my ridiculously dry skin for as long as this one does, and when paired with the body polish I'm left with the super soft skin of dreams. My only gripe is that the shape of the moisturiser bottle makes it a bit difficult to get any product out, but I love it so much that I'm thinking about investing in the bigger bottle that comes with a pump to solve this minor issue! This moisturiser is apparently a favourite of the Victoria's Secret Angels and I can see why. Try it, you won't regret it.

Have you discovered any new beauty gems for the year yet?

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