15 Feb 2017

24 Hours in Belfast

Belfast Travel Guide Stena Line Cairnryan | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Belfast Travel Guide Stena Line Cairnryan | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Belfast Travel Guide Stena Line Cairnryan | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

This post is produced in collaboration with Stena Line

Exploring a new city is my favourite thing to do, particularly with Paddy in tow, so after a bit of a rough week last week I was really looking forward to spending my weekend getting stuck into a spot of sightseeing in Belfast. I'd been to Northern Ireland as a child, but it feels like forever ago now and I barely remember it, so revisiting the Emerald Isle was something that had been on my list for a while. Paddy and I had actually been hoping to visit Dublin for Valentine's this year, but with him moving down to England for his new job and me leaving my old job plans were waylaid just a tad.

In what I now deem as perfect timing, Stena Line got in touch to offer me the chance to swap cities with a Belfast blogger, The Belfast Girl, for a day so that we could both experience the best of each other's cities, whilst also getting to enjoy the comfort of the Cairnryan to Belfast crossing. So, on Saturday morning I set off on a snowy drive down the Ayrshire coast to Cairnryan, approximately two hours from Glasgow, and boarded the ferry to Belfast.

The crossing was an absolute breeze, all I had to do was drive my car on and park up in the lower deck before heading upstairs and finding myself a comfy window seat in the Stena Plus lounge. I made the most of the drinks and snacks on offer (hello, shortbread!) and got lost in my book for the first part of the journey. When we were well and truly on our way, I climbed to the top deck and took in the views from the Sun Deck, albeit not quite so sunny, and had a nosey in the Pure Nordic Spa. Yup, a spa onboard a boat. Best. Thing. Ever. A bit of pampering never goes amiss, so I treated my slightly neglected nails to a fresh set of gels ready for the weekend ahead.

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12 Feb 2017

Sunday Share #4


I wasn't originally going to write a Sunday Share this week, even though it's been a while since my last, partly because I'm away in Belfast this weekend, but also partly because it's been a really tough week. On Monday, I had to say goodbye to my best friend, my gorgeous cat Ginger. It wasn't unexpected, in fact at his age it was very much expected, but that hasn't made it any easier for me. I always knew it would be difficult but I hadn't quite anticipated just how tough I'd find this, as we were pretty much inseparable and he's been in my life since I was 7 years old. I still remember the day we brought him home so vividly, and we have a lifetime of memories together.

I've experienced loss before, and it sucks, but I wasn't prepared for just how heartbroken I'd feel when it came to saying goodbye to such an important part of my life. As someone who spends a lot of time at home, I used to spend my days carrying out my tasks with Ginger purring away on my knee, fighting over the keyboard where he was desperate to sleep or sharing my snacks within seconds of seeing those irresistible eyes. Now, he's just not there. He was an old guy, and we were so lucky to have him for as long as we did. I'm really glad he's at rest now, because he was so, so tired. He didn't have the best start in life, so I'll always be thankful for the fact that we got to give him the life of luxury he so deserved after we rescued him. I miss him a lot, and I am really struggling to come to terms with this loss, but I'm trying. I know it won't hurt this much forever, but at the same time, things won't ever be the same again which is difficult.


Otherwise, I'm just toddling on with deadlines and coursework and blog posts and nights spent binge-watching NCIS. I'm trying to keep busy, so I've been spending time teaching myself the ins and outs of Google Analytics, working on coursework and planning things for this blog. I have quite a busy month on, as I was away visiting Paddy in Leicester last weekend, we're in Belfast this weekend (you keep up with that trip over on my Instagram) and I'm going to be volunteering in the communications team at Glasgow Film Festival for the rest of the month. I've never really liked February as a month and this one, in particular, has been kinda sucky so far, so I'm going to fill my days as much as possible and hope it flies by.

In the meantime, here are some blog posts I've loved reading recently:



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10 Feb 2017

50 Blog Post Ideas

50 Blog Post Ideas | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

I think we all have those days where we want to sit at the keyboard and write but have no idea what we actually want to write about. It happens to the best of us! I have days where the words just will not stop coming, then I have days where I have to force each letter out and struggle to form coherent sentences. There are weeks where I'll have so many ideas I want to post three posts a day, but then the week after that the fountain of inspiration will have dried up. It's a fickle thing, inspiration! In order to combat this, and indulge my love of lists, I usually have a few collections of post ideas stashed away for a rainy day and I thought I'd share fifty of my favourite ideas for blog posts both for future reference and in case anyone else is struggling to come up with an idea for their next masterpiece. So here goes, you could write about...


1. Why you started blogging 
2. What your favourite things about being a blogger are
3. What important life lessons you have learned from blogging 
4. Your favourite meal
5. The best place you’ve ever visited
6. The beauty products you can’t live without 
7. The beauty products you’ll never use again
8. Your go-to make up look 
9. Your go-to hairstyle for a special occasion
10. 10 songs that you’ll never get tired of
11. Your guilty pleasures
12. Your morning routine
13. Your evening routine
14. The perfect way to spend a weekend
15. A guide to your city
16. Travel beauty essentials
17. Hand luggage must haves
18. 5 TV shows that you’d watch again and again
19. Style one item of clothing in 3 different ways
20. Your favourite shoes
21. An outfit that always makes you feel confident
22. The essential pieces in your wardrobe
23. A fashion wishlist

50 Blog Post Ideas | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

24. A beauty wishlist
25. One book you think everyone should read
26. What’s on your to-read list
27. A book you didn’t get on with
28. Room tour
29. Things to do on a rainy day
30. Blog posts you’ve loved reading
31. Ideas for a date night
32. Fun free things to do where you live
33. Your favourite bloggers
34. Your favourite Instagram accounts
35. What apps are on your phone
36. Places you’d like to visit
37. What's on your bucketlist
38. What’s on your desk
39. What’s on your bedside table
40. Interesting facts about yourself
41. Things that make you happy
42. Interview someone who inspires you
43. Where you find inspiration
44. A roundup of your favourite posts on your blog
45. A day in the life/photo an hour
46. Your favourite beauty brands
47. A letter to your younger self
48. Your plans for the future
49. Why you chose your blog name
50. A list of blog post ideas…

What's your favourite kind of blog post to read?



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6 Feb 2017

Brand Focus: Urban Decay

Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Looking back, I think Urban Decay is the brand that first got me interested in makeup. It all started with their brightly coloured eyeliners back when I was in my wannabe scene kid days, which I co-ordinated with my band tees and coloured skinnies. I was a cool kid, I'll tell you that much. As I grew out of that phase, I found myself falling for the cult classic Naked Palettes and amassed quite a collection of their shadows. Nowadays, rarely a day goes by where my makeup routine doesn't contain at least one Urban Decay product, and the brand holds a firm place in my heart.

With an amazing range on offer, it can be a bit overwhelming if you don't know where to begin, so I thought I'd get stuck in and share some of my absolute favourites from Urban Decay, as well as a few products I'm planning on adding to my collection in the future.

Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

It probably makes the most sense to start right where my obsession began - their eye makeup. Urban Decay seem to be most well known for their range of eye products, be that the palettes, individual shadows, the primers, the liners, or the killer Perversion mascara. Personal favourites of mine include the coveted Naked Palettes, with the Ultimate Basics palette being the one I reach for most days and the Naked Smokey coming with me whenever I go on holiday. As you can probably tell from the photos, my original Naked Basics has seen a lot of use due to its portable size and perfect range of base shades, including a colour that matches my brows perfectly and a jet black matte shade that is a staple in any makeup lovers collection. The Urban Decay shadows have some of the best formulas that I've come across (and I've tried a lot of shadows) with a super soft, buttery blend that makes them perfect for any and all looks.

Although I'm more of a neutral girl myself, I've always admired Urban Decay's staple brights from afar, and thanks to some encouragement from Lis I'm slowly working up my confidence when it comes to rocking a bit of colour on my lids. Having tried the standalone Moondust single shadows and being captivated by their sparkle, I was pretty excited to see a whole Moondust Palette released, which was then followed by the intriguing Liquid Moondust formula. I've not quite managed to get to grips with the liquid formula yet, but there's no denying how beautiful the shades are. The picture above shows the shades Solstice, Magnetic and Vega (L-R) which give just a glimpse of how stunning this range really is. I'm keen to try out some of the slightly less bold colours such as Chemtrail and Zap to see if I find those shades more wearable but they always seem to be out of stock! I'm determined to find the perfect place to wear Vega, as I'm a little bit in love with the purple-blue duo chrome packed with purple glitter. Strangely, these do have a brush that seems more suited to a liquid eyeliner as opposed to an eyeshadow, but I suppose that means you have the option for a more precise application too.

Shop Eyes




I lost my one and only full sized Urban Decay lipstick, the Vice Comfort Matte in Backtalk, a muted medium pink, on New Year's Eve and I'm still mourning the loss. I had an amazing little sample set that had tiny pots of the best sellers, and even though each sample was a minuscule size they still lasted me forever and it was enough to convert me to the way of the Urban Decay lipsticks. I've been eyeing up the Blackmail Lip Palette which boasts twelve of their best selling shades and all six of their finishes in just one palette. It works out as a tiny £2.60 per shade, which is an absolute steal for lipsticks of this quality.

Shop Lips



Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog
Urban Decay Blogger Favourites Best Sellers Must Haves | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Now, the products that really cemented my love of Urban Decay is without a doubt their face range. It all began with their Brightening and Tightening Primer which I first picked up in August 2015 and very quickly become besotted with it's priming powers. I have a bit of a fear that it's being discontinued or reformulated as it isn't quite as easy to find these days, so I'm going to pick up a handful when my current tube runs out just in case.

Given my love of the Naked palettes I was keen to try out the Naked face range, starting out with the Naked Skin foundation which I picked up as a post-birthday treat last summer. I shared my first impressions at the time, which were mostly just me raving about how lightweight it is, and despite using it every day since then I've only just finished the bottle. I've dropped it a fair few times, which probably didn't help, but it doesn't change how much I swear by this foundation for a lightweight base with decent coverage and a natural semi-matte finish. I thought it was my one and only, until the Naked Skin One and Done stepped in. I'd been looking for something akin to a BB cream that I could just apply in the morning and not have to worry about, and this is exactly what I needed. It's got a bit more coverage than the foundation so covers up any imperfections without looking cakey or unnatural, making it ideal for days when I just need to look a little bit more awake for those 9am classes.

I've definitely saved the best for last, and to be honest it was the most surprising for me. When I first saw the Afterglow Highlighter in the shade Aura I was a little bit taken aback by how pink it looked in the pan. I didn't think it would suit me at all, but instead, I've now discovered my perfect healthy glow in a pan. This light, icy pink shade gives a beautiful flush of natural looking glow to my pale skin without looking garish. The formula is silky smooth and blends like a dream, leaving me desperate to try out the other shades too. I honestly never thought I'd like a pink highlighter, but damn, I'm sold.

Shop Face


What's your favourite Urban Decay product?


Some of the items in this post are press samples - read my full disclaimer here
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3 Feb 2017

Must Have Embroidered Pieces Under £35

Must Have Embroidered Trend Pieces Under 35 High Street Fashion | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


Every so often I fall in love with a trend and refuse to let it go, and at the moment that's embroidery. There are so many gorgeous pieces about at the moment, including the beautiful blouse I featured in my latest outfit post, and I've been stockpiling them in my bookmarks ready for payday. You can find some real bargains on the high street at the moment, and all of the pieces in this post are under £35! 

I was first drawn to the darker pieces, as I loved the contrast with the bright embroidered florals, particularly for winter. They're so easy to wear and add a gorgeous level of detail to what is really quite a simple outfit whilst also being able to be dressed up for special occasions. There are also some beautiful mesh overlay pieces in stores at the moment too, which is a style I've been in love with since last Autumn. I'm not quite brave enough to dare to bare with them just yet, but I think they also look super pretty paired with little t-shirts underneath too.

Shop The Post



Must Have Embroidered Trend Pieces Under 35 High Street Fashion | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog


Now that spring is on the way (at least that's what I'm telling myself to get me through rainy February) I'm starting to notice a lighter colour palette sneaking into the shops. I am a firm lover of blush tones, as well as neutrals such as grey and white, so it's been pretty hard to resist the temptation of adding these to my collection. If my drawers weren't already, quite literally, bursting at the seams and didn't fall apart every time I tried to open them, I'd definitely be treating myself to a few of these.

I'm in love with the grey embroidered tee at the top left, it's so pretty but still super wearable. I picked up a pair of embroidered jeans in the Primark sale for a mere £5, but as they've got quite an autumnal colour palette I've been eyeing up something a bit fresher for the upcoming change in season. Is it too far to wear embroidered jeans with an embroidered top and trainers...? Probably.

Embroidered doesn't look like a real word now.

Shop The Post



Which piece is your favourite?

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2 Feb 2017

7 Things Blogging Has Taught Me

7 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

Believe it or not, 2017 marks the seventh year of Colours and Carousels. I started this little blog when I was just fifteen years old, still in high school, and still oh so young. Over the past few years, I've learned a lot through my blog, be that about myself or in a more practical aspect. It's kind of amazing, really, to see just what oversharing on the Internet has done for me and the ways that it has changed my life. Last week, I hit 10,000 followers on Twitter, and since then I've been feeling a bit nostalgic (and proud) of how far I've come since I sat down and wrote my very first post that day after school all those years ago. So, to summarise my little feels-fest, here are seven things having a blog has taught me in (nearly) seven years.

My voice has value

I suppose this has been the biggest thing for me, and in a way, it ties into a lot of the other life lessons that have come from blogging. As Lis will tell you I can be just a tad self-deprecating at times, but seeing people actually care about what I have to say or what I've been up to has shown me that my work really does matter. In school, I had some very talented friends, and I kind of felt like I was being overshadowed by their achievements a lot of the time, so having this space and this platform that I've built for myself from the ground up makes me feel so damn proud.

Having confidence in myself

Okay, again, this ties into the first point. I've always been a shy person and I was lacking in confidence for most of my teenage years, but watching my blog grow has given me a whole new lease of belief in myself. So many people have commented on how self-assured I am now in comparison to a few years ago, and if other people are noticing it then it surely must be true.

I can do anything I set my mind to

Sorry, this is yet another point that fits in a bit too nicely with the previous two, but I promise the next four are kind of different. In seven years of blogging I have built myself a platform, an audience and I suppose a style, I have I worked with incredible brands, met amazing people and had fantastic experiences because of it. Although some of it is down to luck, it's mostly down to my own hard work and determination. My blog has paid for my tuition fees, and every time I think about that I get a little bit overwhelmed with how proud I am of myself. I'm putting myself through a new degree because of the heart and soul I've poured into my corner of the internet.

7 Things Blogging Has Taught Me | Colours and Carousels - Scottish Lifestyle, Beauty and Fashion blog

What I want to do in life

I've always been an internet kid, but getting into blogging opened up a whole new side of my online life and in turn showed me exactly what my passions are, career-wise. Before blogging I never really felt an affinity to any particular path in life, but since discovering the world of digital marketing and social media I've uncovered a passion that I indulge at every step possible. I spend a lot of my free time researching new trends in digital marketing, figuring out exactly what is happening in the world of social media and teaching myself valuable skills that will hopefully do me the world of good when it comes to my professional life. 

How to promote myself

Does anyone really like promoting themselves? Personally, I really struggle with it, be that writing my about me page, updating my CV or filling in applications for universities. Blogging is competitive, and if I wasn't constantly putting myself out there and trying to build a network I think I would have really struggled to get to where I am today. Pushing my achievements, no matter how big or small I may see them, has helped me get jobs, work experience and new opportunities. It helped me get into my current course, speak at events and even arrange some of my own.

Practical skills for life on the internet and beyond

I taught myself how to use Photoshop and very basic HTML to make Bebo skins and Piczo sites, but I use those skills on a daily basis now for my blog, my coursework and in a professional environment too. I've honed my writing, I can write a killer email in my sleep, and I work on my photography at every chance I get. Over the past seven years I've taught myself how to tweak my site to my heart's desire, how to edit videos and photos, as well as the ins and outs of copyright law, advertising practice and accounts. I spend my evenings teaching myself CSS and the inner workings of analytics, I have a surprisingly in-depth knowledge of social media platforms and I can tell you where to get the best beauty on a budget. I think I'm pretty much set for life there, right? Throw in the whole networking, confidence and belief in myself thing and I think I'm good to go.

How to get my shit together

Today is my day off, and instead of sleeping in till the afternoon like I used to, I had my alarm set for 7am and dragged myself out of bed to head down to my desk and start working. Blogging has taught me how to keep things in order, be that my life, my accounts or my deadlines, as well as giving me the drive to continually work on myself and my skill set thanks to my pure love of the blogosphere. I'm more organised than I've ever been and I know what ways to work are the most efficient for me. I've kicked myself into gear with how I approach deadlines and how I motivate myself. I'm accountable for my own actions and my own success, so I know that if I don't work on it it won't work for me.

What's the best thing to come from blogging for you?

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