31 Aug 2013

Guest Post: Avon Clear Skin Emergency Spot Treatment

Hello! I’m Lauren and I’ll be filling in for Charlotte today while she is away. I hope you don’t mind that! I run my own blog under the name ‘OhHay! Blogs’, where I blog about design and my life.

As someone who suffers from spots very often I am always on the hunt for a spot treatment that actually works and helps my skin. I came across Avon’s Clear Skin Emergency Spot Treatment while looking through one of the catalogues a while back. I never really come across a spot treatment that actually does my skin any justice but I thought at like £2.25 it was worth a try!

The spot treatment comes in a small box which also includes an information sheet like any other beauty product.  The actual product comes in a small tube with a screwball lid. The product promises that it will “help reduce redness and swelling in just 3 hours” as this is because it contains Salicylic Acid.  

The product comes out as a clear gel and a little definitely goes a long way! However, I have noticed if you apply too much then it will become flaky and will just come right of- which means it won’t end up doing the job. The smell of it isn’t too over powering but does smell quite astringent like. Personally, it does not irritate my skin like many other spot treatments I’ve used but I would assume if you have sensitive skin it could cause an irritation.

I really adore this product and it has been the only Spot Treatment I have continuously gone back and bought again. Most of the time it does reduce the redness and swelling of any spots I have within the 3 hours but on those bigger, tougher spots it generally takes a lot longer. After using this, small spots normally disappear within 2-3 days and larger ones disappearing within 4-5 days depending. On a daily basis I will apply to only those troublesome areas but during certain times of the month I will apply it all over my face, which is when it normally tends to get slightly flaky.

Have you ever bought this before? And what are your thoughts on it?


30 Aug 2013

London's Calling

My current book - the best sweets ever - my drink of choice
Philips HD Camcorder - Maybelline Baby Lips 'Cherry Me' - iPod touch
I'm going to Loooooondon, to (probably not) buy a Heat magazine.

Finally the day that I've been waiting for has arrived! In fact, as I'm scheduling this post yesterday (hello future me!) my train will actually just be leaving as this pops up in your feeds. As I've mentioned before, I've never visited London without my family (even then it was a short & rainy trip) so I'm super excited for this little holiday. At the moment we've not got much planned apart from shopping, touristy things, yummy restaurants and the Harry Potter Studio Tours but I'm sure that there will be plenty to keep us occupied.

I thought I'd share some of my 'travelling essentials' with you, seeing as I'm going to be spending four and a half hours on a train today. Alongside my trusty camera and probably my laptop if it will fit I'm planning on taking:

My book: Delirium by Lauren Oliver which I'm loving so far but I've not had a whole lot of time to spend reading it, hopefully I'll get a big chunk read if not finish it on the train journey. My favourite sweets - Sainsbury's Fizzy Fangs - what's a long journey without snacks? I love sour, fizzy sweets and these are perfect. You can get three packets for a pound and they are mouthwateringly delicious. Volvic Touch of Lemon & Lime as I always forget to stay hydrated if I'm not at home with cold water on tap. I'm not a big fan of bottled water but I do love a good lemon flavoured drink so this is perfect for sipping on the journey. My video camera is also coming along for the journey as I'm intending on vlogging a fair bit of my trip, I've never vlogged a day out before so I'm not too sure if I'll take to it or not but you'll just have to wait and see!

The Maybelline Baby Lips (my shade of choice is 'Cherry Me') have quite a hype surrounding them which I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about, hence why I haven't posted about them specifically, I gave in to the hype and picked up the three tinted shades. I'm not a massive fan of them but they're quite handy to just chuck in your bag for on the go. On days I don't want to worry about having to dive in to a loo to touch up my lipstick I tend to reach for 'Cherry Me' because it adds a lovely 'just there' kind of tint to my lips. Last but not least is my iPod Touch as no journey is complete without some background music. I'm still listening to Roar by Katy Perry pretty much on repeat but I think some other tunes may sneak their way in to the playlist for the trip.

While I'm away I have a couple of lovely guest posters lined up for you, as well as the usual Sunday Desert Island Essentials posts! If you want to see some little snapshots make sure you're following me on Instagram & Twitter where I'm sure I will be posting loads. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I will see you on Tuesday!

What are your travel essentials? Any London based recommendations - places to visit, restaurants to sample and general things to do?

29 Aug 2013

Super Easy 3 Ingredient Spaghetti Carbonara

One of my favourite meals to have at home is spaghetti carbonara; it combines pasta, cheese and bacon so it's basically food heaven... In our house we have a super simple, very quick recipe for carbonara and it always turns out to be delicious!

200g garlic & herb cream cheese (we use low fat)
300g bacon lardons
75g of spaghetti per person (I made this for four people, two of which have insanely large portion sizes so I used about 400g)

This recipe is pretty much just three basic steps. Step 1 is putting your spaghetti on to boil, so that it cooks while you make the sauce making the preparation on the whole a lot quicker! Step 2 - fry the lardons in a large pan until they are cooked, then add the cream cheese and stir it in until it's all melted. Step 3 - once your spaghetti is ready, drain it then add to the pan with the cheese & bacon. Mix it all in and you're good to go!

If you find your sauce is ready before the spaghetti is I would leave it on a low heat and stir occasionally to stop it going too thick and clumpy. If this does happen, however, it is easily fixed by stirring it like mad on a higher heat! You may also want to add salt or pepper to taste however I don't like my food too salty so this was perfect for me.

I was just having a nosey on the Tesco website to see how much the cream cheese was (exciting life) and discovered that you can actually get a Tesco Value version for a measly 60p! So I'm feeling quite happy with myself knowing that I could easily make this meal when I'm a skinto student as it could quite easily feed four (possibly five) for around a fiver! Bargain.

What's your favourite home cooked meal? I'm trying to improve my cooking skills at the moment as I'll soon be *gasp* independent so I'll try and post some of my more successful adventures in the kitchen on here for you all to see!

28 Aug 2013

August Playlist

1. Roar - Katy Perry (pretty much on repeat)
2. The Bucket - Kings of Leon
3. Sycophant - The Courteeners
4. Icarus - Bastille
5. Work - Iggy Azalea
6. Yes I Was Drunk - Twin Atlantic (in regards to my current haircut situtation... long story)
7. Clique - Kanye West ft Big Sean & Jay Z
8. Read My Mind - The Killers
9. You Can't Always Get What You Want - Band From TV
10. Any Other Way - We The Kings (yes, still.)


27 Aug 2013

Sue's Little Gems (Take two)

So if you didn't already know, one of my favourite hobbies is making jewellery. It all started a few years back when I bought a kit on a whim from Hobbycraft and it's spiralled out of control ever since. A couple of years ago my mum and I decided to start selling our jewellery (basically to fund our addiction to buying beads) and so Sue's Little Gems was born.

Since then, we've been lucky enough to sell some of our jewellery at plenty of craft fairs in our local area so I thought I would just share a few photos from our most recent event. The most frequent comment we get is that our jewellery is 'unusual', which was quite surprising for us but I suppose based on what's around on the market just now - particularly at craft fairs- it is a bit different.

The best thing - for me - about making jewellery is knowing that I can have my own piece that no one else will have, plus when I see pretty necklaces in Topshop for a ludicrous price I know that I can just make my own version for a fraction of what I'd be paying as well as being able to put my own personal spin on it. As far as costume jewellery goes I rarely buy it on the high street any more with Primark being the only exception. It's obviously not great quality but it's dirt cheap and they have some amazing statement pieces. I've found lately that most high street pieces are very low quality and don't stand up to wear and tear, so I'm just not willing to part with what little money I have when I can whip something up at home.

If you fancy a peek at our jewellery check us out on Facebook where you can see what's on offer right now or even order your own custom piece of jewellery. Who doesn't love some one of a kind pretties?

While you're at it... why not like Colours & Carousels on Facebook too? You'll get some exclusive sneak peeks, daily wishes and a glimpse at some of my style icons.

26 Aug 2013

Share The Love - August

Gem - Kate - Lily
It's almost September already, whaaaat?! It's a total clich├ęd thing to say but I can't believe how crazy fast this year is going.

This month's favourites contain two blogs (Gem & Lily) that I've followed since before I even started blogging, and I'm just as much in love with them now as I was back then. Lily is my total style crush right now - I'm so tempted to dye my hair pink - and I'm always in awe of Gem's beautiful photography work.
Kate was a more recent discovery but I absolutely love her blog and her style! Hair envy to the max.

So if you're after some reading material I would wholeheartedly recommend these lovely ladies, you will not be disappointed.

25 Aug 2013

Desert Island Essentials #7

Imagine you are stranded on a desert island in the middle of the ocean without a person in sight, however not to worry, as this island is pretty luxurious compared to some others! I’m asking a different blogger every week what their desert island essentials are, and this week it’s Fernanda from http://ferdies-place.blogspot.co.uk/.

On your lovely little desert island you find an iPod, however it can only hold 5 songs - which five songs would you choose?

This is a tough one for me! Being a fan of Iron Maiden, I'd take their whole discography! But let's play the game:
1. Rime of The Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden
2. Powerslave - Iron Maiden
3. Walk This Way - Aerosmith
4. Hella Good - No Doubt
5. Every Day I Love you Less and Less - Kaiser Chiefs

Surprisingly, there is also a TV on the island! But, you can only pick one movie or TV show to watch for your time here, what would you choose?

Oh, the movie would be The Devil Wears Prada, without a DOUBT! Call me shallow, but it is my favourite movie, the one I know all the lines to! And TV show, probably Top Gear because they have like one billion episodes and they're hilarious!

Before you were stranded you were carrying a book, what one book would you want to have on the island with you?

The one book I've ever read that's actually made an impact on me as a human being and made me want to be a better person was Even Silence Has an End by Ingrid Bettancourt. She's a French-Colombian politic who was kidnapped by the Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces and was kept hostage in the Colombian rain forest for 6 years! I think every one should read that book, her story of survival is amazing and the fact she never gave up on herself is so inspiring!

Obviously, you’re not going to be left to starve. If you could only have 1 meal and 1 drink a day what would it be?

My drink would be Pepsi Max and... You know, I'm all by myself on a deserted island... It's a LASAGNA feast, everyone!

When stranded on your island what would your must have beauty essential be?

If I'm thinking practical, SPF. If I'm thinking pretty, mascara, for sure!

Everywhere has WiFi these days, right? Well your island does! However you are limited to one blog and one YouTube channel - who would you choose?

The blog would probably be Vivianna Does Make Up to hear about all the amazing new beauty products I can't get (I'm in an island!) and the YouTube channel would FOR SURE be Lisa Eldridge's, I wanna be as elegant and chic as her when I grow up! haha

If you want to be part of my Desert Island Essentials series e-mail me at coloursandcarouselsblog@gmail.com with the subject ‘Desert Island Essentials’ and I will add you to my list. <3

24 Aug 2013


I wasn't originally going to post today, but I've got a fair bit to share so I thought I would just do a quickie!

First up - if you hadn't already noticed - Colours & Carousels has had a MAJOR make over. After seeing some of Grace's beautiful work I knew I had to have something for myself and boy am I impressed. She's incredibly talented and such a sweetheart so I would 100% recommend checking her out if you're after any work - you can find her design shop here. I hope you all love it just as much as I do.

This post is titled 'Three' for a reason, not only because I have three little updates to share. Last week saw Colours & Carousels turn a huge three years old! I've not been blogging consistently for that long, only about a year and a half or so but I couldn't be happier with how far I've come and all of the people/experiences my blog has opened my eyes too. Hard work pays off in the end.

Okay, the final update... I HIT 300 GFC FOLLOWERS. I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw that little number on my dashboard. I'm so so so so grateful for each and every one of you who took the time to click that button. I know that numbers aren't everything but we'd be lying if it didn't make us smile when that number grows! Thanks for sticking around and I hope you're all here for the long haul. <3

So there you have it, thank you again for everything guys. I really really really appreciate it.

23 Aug 2013

Revlon Colorburst: Raspberry Pie & Berry Smoothie

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in 010 Raspberry Pie and 050 Berry Smoothie - £7.99 each or 2 for £10 in Boots

Above two photos are 050 Berry Smoothie

Above two photos are 010 Raspberry Pie
I actually think these might be my first purchase from Revlon... Which is kind of shocking as I'm always eyeing up the stands in Boots & Superdrug!

Anyway, I'd wanted to try one of the Colorburst Lip Butters for quite a while so when I realised that they were on 2 for £10 in Boots AND I had a voucher to spend I quickly snapped two up. The colours I've chosen are actually quite similar however Raspberry Pie (bottom) is a bit brighter and bolder than Berry Smoothie (top).

The Colorbursts by Revlon are a sort of hybrid between a lipstick and a lip butter which I had seen many bloggers rave about, so me being the easily persuaded shopper I am had to see if the hype was justified.

I'm pretty impressed with these lip colours, they're super duper moisturising and have a great colour pay off - although Berry Smoothie is a slightly sheerer formulation than Raspberry Pie. The formula is lovely & creamy whilst also having a decent staying power. Something I look for in a lipstick is even wear (which sadly some of my Mac favourites really don't provide) so I was pleasantly surprised by the even fading of these lipsticks. They're a bit more than I would usually pay for a drugstore lipstick but that's entirely because I'm a total cheapskate - not because they're expensive.

At the moment I've been loving pinker lipsticks which is quite weird for me, but I feel like they just finish my make up! As we move towards Autumn & Winter I'm planning on adding a few darker purple tones to my collection so I'll definitely be looking to these Revlon lipsticks when shopping for them.

What do you think of these? Any particular shades you're planning on wearing next season?

22 Aug 2013

The September Issue

A photo of 5 major British fashion publications

Since my love affair with the world of blogging began my obsession with magazines has deteriorated. I used to buy at least 8 magazines a month whereas now my only constant purchase is the wonderful Company magazine - my all time favourite. Every once in a while I may pick up a copy of Vogue, Elle or Marie Claire if they're on offer, have an awesome free gift or a feature that catches my attention, but otherwise I stick to the blogosphere. Blogs are so much more accessible, providing current 'real girl' perspectives and attainable style. Whilst there is no doubt that blogging is the way forward, print will always have a place in my heart. Come August the glossy world of fashion magazines becomes a lot more appealing - with the highly anticipated September issues finally gracing the shelves. A lot of my favourite magazines are biannual, and a bit more expensive than I would usually be willing to splurge on a mag. However seeing as they only appear twice a year I'm more than happy to drop five, six or even seven pounds on these beautiful works of art.

A photo of two Fashion Week based magazines

A photo of UK Elle magazine

Elle Collections and Marie Claire Runway are my fashion bibles. Every season, without fail, I cart home these massive books of glory and spend hours poring over the fantastic show reports, collection summaries, in depth designer interviews and glamorous street style of the past Fashion Week. For now, these magazines feel like the closest I will get to the frow, but they certainly fulfil my desires for full on fashion coverage. Whenever I read them I bubble over with Fashion Week excitement. They are an absolute treasure trove of inspiration, detail and ideas.

From what I can gather Cosmopolitan Beauty is a new launch from the people over at Hearst Magazines; which I had high hopes for. Beauty reads like 178 replicas of the standard beauty pages in any glossy magazine. I for one was hoping for a bit more from it, however it provides a vast wealth of beauty tips, products to look out for and new looks to try. It's definitely caused a few purchases.

Purchasing this month's edition of Elle was a no brainer for me. Not only was there an awesome little Bumble & Bumble free gift (which I'm sure you've all read plenty about) it featured one of my icons and all time favourite musicians: Katy Perry. Aside from pages of pretty (slightly out of my price range) clothes Elle also contains some more serious, occasionally hard hitting articles which are can be a refreshing change from the typical celebrity, fashion & beauty articles.

LOVE isn't a publication which I purchase often, however I was drawn to the Mickey Mouse kitsch-ness of the cover. LOVE also has a biannual release date, but they certainly provide enough reading material to justify that - coming in at an eyewatering total of 464 pages. Granted, most of these pages are adverts, but they are the dream like kind of adverts that don't bother me too much and instead leave me lusting after high end pieces that I could never in my wildest dreams afford right now. Whilst LOVE doesn't contain a whole load of articles, it is a catalogue of pretty pictures that will be making their way on to my wall as soon as I'm finished.

Apologies for the very picture heavy post, I just thought it would be nice to share some of the more inspiring magazines I've been reading lately.

What magazines do you read religiously? Do you think print has a future in a world where the internet is quickly taking over?
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