31 Aug 2014

BLOGGING TIPS: Introduction

It might come as a surprise to hear that I've actually been blogging on Colours & Carousels for a total of four years now, albeit not "properly" for the first year and a half-ish. Throughout that time I've amassed a few little snippets of information regarding blogging, and so I thought I would share them in a little series that I'm going to imaginatively title "Blogging Tips".

Though I am in no way any sort of expert, I thought sharing some tips & tricks for a variety of blogging subjects might come in kind of handy - especially for newbie bloggers! I'm going to be posting every Sunday and covering a variety of topics that come under what I'm dubbing the "Three C's" of blogging: content, community and consistency.

For content, I'm going to discuss the elements that make up a blog. Things like post ideas, photography and layouts. There's going to be tips for getting the most from your photos, dealing with PR opportunities, blogging on a budget, helpful HTML and more.

When it comes to community I thought I would cover the basics of using social media for your blog, alongside topics such as the importance of commenting and networking within your local blogging community. Community is a massive part of blogging so I decided this was an essential to cover.

Consistency is mostly about organisation (but I wanted alliteration!) and will delve in to the world of time management, scheduling and... Stationery. Everyone's favourite. I'll share some handy apps for blogging on the go and explain how I make the most of my free time to help my blog.

I'm hoping that I'll manage to cover the majority of topics and I have a rough schedule set up, but if there are any specific topics you'd like to see covered feel free to share them in the comments!

28 Aug 2014

OOTD: It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right

Tshirt - Inthestyle (not online anymore, similar from eBay here)
Skirt - River Island
Shoes - Vans (available from Office)
I picked up this skirt on a bit of a whim, it's not my usual cut but I was trying a few things on anyway. In the end, this was the only thing I bought. I thought this would be crazily unflattering on me but it's nowhere near as bad as I imagined, I've worn it so much since I got it that it's definitely been worth the price - which was only £25, pretty good for River Island. I mentioned this top in a Tuesday Ten a couple of weeks ago and it's seriously one of the most comfortable t-shirts I own, it's super soft and quite stretchy. I'm not massively keen on the length of the sleeves sometimes but usually I'm not too fussed.

Today is my final day at my internship, sad times. Next week I'm going up to Aberdeen for a couple of days to see Eilidh and I can't wait. Aside from that I'll mostly just be working and trying to get sorted for going back to university at the end of the month. It's feeling so much more stressful than last year for some reason...

I've got a few new things planned for Colours & Carousels at the moment, including a new series starting on Sunday and hopefully a celebratory giveaway in the near future. All will be revealed shortly!

Hope you're having a lovely week.


27 Aug 2014


I don't think I've ever written a favourites post before, but there's a first time for everything!

This month I've been loving watching House of Cards on Netflix and I'm now desperate for a new season. I'd never really been a big Kevin Spacey fan, or a fan of political dramas, but there's something about House of Cards that I can't get enough of. Serious binge-watching. Another thing that I didn't think would originally be up my street was If You Have To Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone (available on Amazon here) but I asked for it for my birthday on a total whim and ended up loving it. It's kind of a self help book I suppose, but on the whole it's just a bit of a kick up the backside and I would seriously recommend reading it. Whilst on the topic of reading we also have Company magazine which I really enjoyed this month, I've complained about it's lacking quality in the past but I'm genuinely really upset to hear that printing will cease later this year. Company is the only magazine I buy every month without fail, so I think it'll leave quite a gap in the market that hopefully something will fill.

Beauty wise, I've been wearing Killer Queen Oh So Sheer by Katy Perry nearly every day (full review here). I just think it's a beautiful, fresh scent that is perfect to wear every day without being too over powering, plus the bottle fits easily in to my bag so it's really handy! I also finally got my hands on something from Make Up Revolution, that something being the Iconic 2 palette (see how it fared against the MUA equivalent here). I've really been enjoying using this palette this month and experimenting with lots of different colour combinations, I really want to try something else from the brand now so I'm going to keep checking stock in my local Superdrug! Finally, I raved about the Vitamin E Sink In Moisture Mask* from The Body Shop (full post here) and unsurprisingly that love continues. My stretch marks are disappearing and the dry patches on my face are no more. I love this, I would marry this if I could.

What have you been loving this month?


26 Aug 2014

TUESDAY TEN: iPad Air cases from Not On The High Street

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
I mentioned in my post on Friday that I had finally caved and bought myself an iPad Air, so obviously I have to have a suitably fabulous case to carry it around in. I can't decide if I'd like a pouch or a hard case (or both) but I've found a few gorgeous choices on Not On The High Street which I thought I'd share. Pretty iPad air cases don't seem too common on the interwebs but NOTHS certainly have a great selection! I think pairing 4 & 5 would work really well, I love the colours and the geometric pattern.

Which is your favourite?


24 Aug 2014

FASHION: Autumn Florals with Joules

autumn florals uk
Long sleeved top // Vest // Trousers // T-shirt // Brogues
So how are we all on this lazy Sunday morning? I know that we're all sad that our lovely sunny weather has disappeared but despite my love for warm weather I'm actually really excited to get my Autumn/Winter wardrobe out in it's full cosy glory. I just love dressing for colder weather as I feel like there are so many more options available, especially when it comes to layering!

Personally I think the British fashion industry is always strongest during the colder months, probably because we're pretty used to it. Brilliantly British brand Joules is no exception. I think that we have a kind of classic style as Brits and there are some key pieces that really lend themselves towards creating this "look". Something I particularly love about British style is our florals, so I've put together a little mood board encompassing a few of my favourite picks this season.

Joules has a fantastic range of comfy tunic dresses that I think would be perfect paired with some woolly tights, big oversized jackets and a pair of brogues. Accessorising for the cold is a whole lot more fun when you have the option of pretty scarves and hats to choose from. Joules' range of gorgeous accessories provides plenty of choices for treats for yourself, or gifts too if you're feeling kind! I particularly love their wellies which I think are ever so cute, they'd be perfect for traipsing around in the typical Scottish slush come winter.

Do you prefer dressing for winter or for summer?


This is a sponsored post, all words, views & opinions are my own

22 Aug 2014

OOTD: You walked to a different beat from the band

Dress* - WalG
Bag - Ted Baker (actually a make up bag but yolo)
Bracelet* - Threads by The Shine Project
Shoes - New Look (old)
This dress appeared out of the blue in the post last week, and it was safe to say I was kinda confused. After a little bit of digging I discovered it was from WalG, who are a brand I've never really shopped with before, but have a great range of clothing (particularly dresses) at a great price point for the quality provided. This isn't my usual style of dress, but I actually really love it on. It makes me feel quite grown up... I'm not sure why though!

Today was my first pay day in a very long time, so I went a bit crazy and bought an iPad Air. Yup. It's something I've wanted for a while and I had some money saved towards it (despite ruining my car last week, ouch) so I thought I'd just go for it. I'm actually so excited to have yet another new shiny gadget in my life so now I'm on the hunt for pretty cases to go with it. If you have any recommendations please send them my way!

Next week is my last week at my internship which I'm a bit sad about as I've had such a great time working with the lovely team. The upside of being finished is that I'll now have a bit more time to sort out a flat and other things necessary for returning to uni, I have over a month to go but it's feeling a bit urgent! This summer has flown by, and despite being bored as hell for the first couple of months I've had a jam packed July & August. I'm really looking forward to getting back to university so I can get in to a bit of a routine again, plus I've got some decent looking modules this semester too (and I can use my fancy new iPad for all my notes - yay!).

What have you been up to lately?


20 Aug 2014

BEAUTY: Iconic 2 vs Undress Me Too

Iconic 2 palette by Make Up Revolution - £4 online or from selected Superdrug stores
Undress Me Too palette by Make Up Academy - £4 online or from Superdrug
I'm sure you're all sick to death of the Iconic palettes being compared to their luxe Urban Decay counterparts, and to be honest so am I. The Naked palettes are obviously going to be the winner there, wouldn't you be gutted if you had spent £30+ and they weren't? I thought it would be much, much fairer to compare the real competitors - Make Up Revolution and Make Up Academy. It's a battle of the dupes.

I've had Undress Me Too by MUA for a while now but only recently bought Iconic 2 from MUR. Packaging wise they're really similar, they both have the chunky plastic packaging with a little window to show off the shades as well as the double ended sponge applicator. To me, this packaging gets grubby quite easily - especially the black one - but it's reasonably durable and is easy enough to clean. Both have 12 shades, 3 matte and 9 shimmer, in a practically identical order albeit different shaped pans.

Top: Undress Me Too shades 1-6
Bottom: Iconic 2 shades 1-6
Top: Undress Me Too shades 7-12
Bottom - Iconic 2 shades 7-12
As you can see from the swatches the shades themselves are practically identical, which is to be expected considering the colourants used are the exact same. In both palettes the shimmers are more intense in comparison to the matte shades however the Iconic 2 is slightly more pigmented overall. Both suffer from a bit of fallout when applying, more so the Undress Me Too, and apply slightly more powdery than I would like from an eyeshadow but for £4 you can't have everything. The shades blend reasonably well and both palettes provide a decent range that'll allow for a variety of day & night looks. The lasting power isn't fantastic but when paired with a decent primer they can last for a good few hours which is all I really need usually. They're easily removed too which I like, I hate when my make up just will not budge despite me scraping it away.

Iconic 2 and Undress Me Too are pretty much identical twins - which I doubt is a big surprise to anybody - but on the whole I'd say that the Iconic 2 fared marginally better thanks to it's stronger pigmentation. I personally prefer the aesthetic of the Iconic 2 palette (maybe because mine is cleaner) as I think it looks a bit more expensive but that's just personal choice. I don't own the Naked 2 (yet) so can't compare but if you're after the same shades for a tiny percentage of the price then I'd go for Iconic 2 - or if like me you struggled to find Iconic 2 then Undress Me Too is your guy.

What's your opinion of these palettes - would you prefer to splash out or are you a bargain lover?


19 Aug 2014

TUESDAY TEN: eBay Slogan Tees

I do love a wee slogan tee and eBay have a pretty smashing range available for tiny prices. I've got to that stage where I just want to wear jeans & a t-shirt all the time so I obviously need something a little bit more fashionable to wear with my trusty denim. There are hundreds ever so Tumblr tees to choose from but I managed to narrow it down to just ten to share today. I really want the "shopping is my cardio" tee but I'm also tempted by the sweater version too... difficult decisions.

Which is your favourite?

18 Aug 2014

BEAUTY: Hair Doctor by Lush

Hair Doctor hair & scalp mask - £6.95 from Lush
It's not often that I'm disappointed by a Lush product, but I guess it has to happen at some point. I had never seen Hair Doctor before, or even heard anything about it, but when I saw it sitting in the ice bucket in the new Buchanan Street store I decided to give it a whirl.

It's a pretty typical hair mask, you basically smother it all over your hair and leave for twenty minutes. This is where I first started to regret my purchase, as I have quite thick, long hair that would need pretty much the entire tub to be completely covered. After realising this I decided just to stick to my roots and my ends to try and make the tub last a bit longer, but it didn't really make much of a difference. Like the rest of Lush's fresh masks this needs to be kept in the fridge and needs to be used within three weeks but my tub didn't even last three uses - not the best value for money when you consider the price of masks such as this Tresemme one which made a much bigger difference to my hair.

Cost efficiency aside I didn't really see much of a difference after using this, my hair felt the exact same as it would without using it. It could be a case of it needing prolonged use to make an impact but I don't particularly want to spend that money when I haven't seen any results so far.

Maybe if you have shorter hair, or thinner hair than me, this might be a bit better for you. But if you have long or thick hair I just wouldn't bother with it, you can get a lot better value for money elsewhere.

Are there any Lush products that weren't so great for you?


15 Aug 2014

BEAUTY: Vitamin E Skincare from The Body Shop

Vitamin E is a pretty common ingredient in a lot of skin care at the moment which is understandable considering that it's an antioxidant, meaning it will fight the free radicals that damage the collagen in your skin and cause dryness & wrinkles. Previously I've only really tried the Vitamin E range from Superdrug, which is pretty decent for those on a budget, but for the past week I've been trialling some of the range from The Body Shop who usually have pretty amazing skincare and I'm impressed.

This cleanser is lovely and creamy which makes it perfect for every day use. At the moment I'm using this in the morning and Let The Good Times Roll by Lush at evenings so I'm not 100% sure on it's ability to remove a full face of make up - however it certainly works well to remove any traces left over in the morning. I find this leaves my skin lovely and soft but it can sometimes feel a little on the tight side. There is no horrible film of product left after rinsing like you can get with some other cleansers which is always a bonus. While this is a great wee cleanser for the majority of skin types I personally prefer something a little more exfoliating.

For me this was the least exciting product from the four that I tried, as to me it was just a pretty typical toner. It's not too drying as you would hope from a "hydrating toner" but sometimes I feel like it does leave a few traces of product behind on the skin. I do really like this toner as it's a bit more nourishing than some others I have tried but I find that there are cheaper toners that work just as well for my skin.

This was the real show stopper for me, I'm seriously impressed with this little pot of beauty. It is intended to be used as a mask treatment however I actually love this as a night cream. It's super hydrating without being even the slightest bit heavy and a small amount of product really goes a long way. My skin is currently in beautiful condition despite an incredibly stressful week and I think it's down to this! The lovely Eilidh also informed me that this works wonders on stretch marks so I decided to give it a go... lo and behold it does! It's not an overnight miracle worker but after a week of using it my stretch marks have definitely faded, hopefully with continued use they'll be practically invisible.

I'm not a big fan of eye cream (boooo, hiss) so it was a nice treat to be able to try something a bit new. I didn't really notice any massive effects after using this however it could be a lot more useful to someone who is conscious of their eye area. I'm going to keep using this until the tubes finished - and considering how little you need that could be a long time - then see how I feel after that.

What are your favourite products from The Body Shop? I can't resist some of their pink grapefruit range, mmm.


14 Aug 2014

LIFE: Keeping organised with Personal Planner + GIVEAWAY!

Blog planner* - Personal Planner
Organisation isn't something that comes particularly naturally to me. Don't get me wrong, I try my best to keep on top of things and do consider myself an organised person (the majority of the time) but it is something that I have to work for. A massive part of blogging is being organised, it can be quite time consuming and if you have other commitments like studying & work to consider it's really important to be able to properly divide your time.

At the moment, my main resource when it comes to blogging organisation is a killer spreadsheet/editorial calendar that I made up for myself which details which post is being published when and even has a lovely colour coding system to easily show what needs my attention. I love that it's all laid out in front of me on my computer, but sometimes I find myself distracted by the other things that the internet has to offer (...Twitter) so I like to be able to spend some time away from my laptop to ensure I properly focus.

Step in my gorgeous new blog planner from the lovely folks at Personal Planner.

Isn't it snazzy? I spent so long designing it to be absolutely perfect for me and I must say I'm glad I did. Now I have a way to keep on top of what needs to be done for the blog without having to stare at a screen for hours. Much like a typical diary there is a section for each day with a week spread across two pages and a yearly overview at the end. As well as this, I made sure to include plenty of space for little notes & even a to do list so that I can keep all of my scribbles in the one place. My usual daily diary is on the small side and can get quite messy at times, so it's really great to have a separate book that I can fully dedicate to my blog. This has come in so handy recently as I've been incredibly busy, it feels like life is trying to throw as many obstacles as possible all at once but things are finally starting to settle down a bit and I'm a lot less stressed.

Seeing as I'll be starting back at university soon (bleh) this will definitely be useful to help plan my posts in advance and I'm kind of tempted to order another one just for university work... That's something I really need to get on top of!

So, gushing aside, it's time for the good bit. The team at Personal Planner have been generous enough to offer me the chance to give away a customised planner of any size to one lucky reader - you'll be able to fully personalise it so that it works the best way for you! All you have to do is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter - and nab some extra chances too - then I'll be in touch with the winner in a week's time (21/8/14) to arrange your prize. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 Aug 2014

LIFE: 5 tips for running from a newbie runner

I mentioned a couple of months ago that I had kind of taken up running, and now that I've managed to stick to it for two and a half months I thought I'd share a few tips that I've found useful when it comes to starting out. Before I started running I was incredibly unfit, it was a long time since I'd properly exercised and I didn't have the best diet (I still don't if I'm being honest). I am in no way any kind of health or fitness expert, but these are just a few simple things that I think you should bear in mind if you're thinking about or just starting running.

When I first started running I struggled to run for more than a couple of minutes without a walking break. I still do struggle, but it gets a lot easier if you just stick at it. Don't be disheartened if you feel like you're lacking in progress, the best things take time and just be proud of yourself for getting up off of the sofa in the first place.

Seriously, your feet will thank you. They don't need to be ridiculously expensive but they do need to do the job right and do it well. The best thing to do is to get advice from someone who really knows their stuff, then do a bit of research and find a pair that suit your budget. My running shoes were actually an early birthday present from my parents and despite being Nike they only cost a tiny £29 at our local outlet store. Plus they're a really pretty colour, which makes me want to wear them more. It's something worth looking in to if you're serious about keeping it up.

Ladies, this is important. Even if you're not particularly well endowed it's still essential that you get the necessary support when exercising. When tissues stretch they won't stretch back and nobody wants a saggy chest! The best sports bra should fit well, it should be snug but shouldn't restrict your breathing (duh!). Places like Primark, Forever 21 and Sports Direct offer a really great range of affordable exercise-wear for all shapes and sizes. I particularly like Primark's range as they have your good ol' basics as well as some prettier extras like patterned running t-shirts and matching jackets. A girl can still be fashionable when exercising!

These days there is literally an app for everything, and running is no different. No matter what operating system you use there will be an app for you with the vast majority being free to download. I personally like Nike+ which is free on iPhone & Android and allows you to map out your run, analyse your speed and even compete against your friends. I find something like this really handy as the push notifications can provide a burst of motivation and it's great to see just how much progress you are making.

Probably the most important piece of advice here is not to go too crazy. When I first started out I wanted to run every day and that wreaked havoc on my bones & muscles. It's difficult going at first and if you're as unfit as me it will be painful the day after, so don't force yourself. You have to be realistic with your abilities and work to a programme that suits you. Who cares if you can only run for one minute before needing a break? You are making a conscious effort to improve your fitness and that can be difficult. Like I said before, just be proud of the fact that you have put on your trainers and walked out of your front door.

So there we have it! Are you a runner or is it something you'd fancy trying? If you have any other tips to share please leave them in the comments, I for one am always on the look out for new ones. x

12 Aug 2014

TUESDAY TEN: River Island

I find River Island to be really hit or miss these days, but lately they've been at the top of their game when it comes to their prints. I recently bought a really pretty skirt from them (it's actually the same print as number 3) and I just find it really flattering as well as being great quality. I decided to have a browse around the "new in" section on their website and found a few things that I wouldn't mind creating space in my wardrobe for! I particularly love the pixelated floral skort (number 10) and think it might be winging it's way in to my drawers come pay day.

What do you think of River Island, do you think they're more of a hit or a miss?


11 Aug 2014

BEAUTY: Insolence by Guerlain EDP

Insolence Eau De Parfum by Guerlain
Next up in incredibly sweet perfumes that I now own is Insolence by Guerlain. I actually used to use this perfume back when I was a mere 14/15 years of age after my mum got a bottle from my dad in a little sample set and my heart was broken once I found out how much it was to buy a bigger bottle, especially in comparison to my usual perfume choices. BUT!! When I was out shopping with my lovely boyfriend for my birthday present I spotted this on sale and knew it was fate. So once again, Insolence is mine!

Insolence smells pretty much exactly like Parma Violets, probably down to the inclusion of violet - who'd have known? I'm not a fan of the sweets themselves but I love the scent. I've never seen a perfume with lasting power like Insolence, which paired alongside it's strength means that you'll be able to really get your monies worth from this bottle. For example, I wore this on a night out last week and could still smell it the morning after, despite it being well over twelve hours later. Maybe I just applied far, far, far too much, but I was pretty impressed.

This is definitely another one for the sweet, fruity & floral perfume lovers - and people who really like Parma Violets too I suppose. I doubt it's for everyone but I just think it's absolutely beautiful and I'm so happy to have it in my collection again!

What's your favourite - more expensive - perfume?


6 Aug 2014

BEAUTY: Katy Perry Killer Queen Oh So Sheer EDP

Killer Queen Oh So Sheer by Katy Perry - £9.99 for 30ml from The Perfume Shop
The latest addition to my Katy Perry fragrance collection is none other than one of the updated Killer Queen's - Oh So Sheer. I've already proclaimed my love for the original Killer Queen a few times and you can read a full review here.

To start, the packaging is practically identical to the original Killer Queen however it's been updated with another regal shade, this time a gorgeous purple. Aside from that everything is really just the same as Killer Queen, the bottle has the same insignia and is the same slightly awkward shape. I have the smaller size (30ml) this time as opposed to the 100ml that I have of Killer Queen which actually makes quite a handy, purse friendly bottle. It doesn't feel too flimsy so I don't mind chucking it in my bag if I'm going out for the day.

The scent is again similar to the previous offering but now has a slightly fruitier twist with the opening notes of wild berries and blackcurrant. After a while it fades to the typical sweet scent with hints of caramel and frangipani. It's not overbearingly sweet, but it is definitely sweeter than most. I really struggle to describe scents but I'd say this was quite light and summery but with decent staying power for a low cost perfume - about 4-6 hours depending on what you're doing.

As to be expected from a celebrity perfume at such a low price it's not the most ground breaking of scents but it does make a lovely light addition to a summer perfume collection. I think it would be really nice for going on holiday, and at £9.99 it doesn't break the bank.

What's your favourite summer perfume?

5 Aug 2014


For my birthday last week two of my lovely friends got me a t-shirt from In The Style (which will be featuring in an outfit post later!) and I was kind of surprised by how amazing the quality was. I'd followed In The Style on Twitter for a while but never really looked at anything on their website, let alone bought anything, but my newest addition is so soft and fits so well that I decided to go and check out the rest of their offerings!

Much to my surprise I was met by plenty of gorgeous pieces and have amassed quite a wish list. They have some really beautiful prints on co-ords & dresses as well as some killer Beyonce-esque slogan tees that I definitely want to add to my wardrobe. I think the monochrome tropical print shorts are probably my favourite from the site and I can see me ~accidentally~ slipping and falling and ordering them for myself... The grid print co-ord might ~somehow~ end up in my basket too.

Have you ever bought anything from In The Style?

4 Aug 2014

REVIEW: Lush Let The Good Times Roll cleanser

Let The Good Times Roll cleanser - £6.40 from Lush
Last week I was in Lush, as per usual, and a bit stuck about what to buy which is not so usual. I was in the mood to repurchase some old favourites so picked up a Comforter bubble bar but as my shopping buddy was buying so many Lush goodies I couldn't help but feel like I was missing out a bit! So, to satisfy those worrying shopaholic desires I decided to go for Let The Good Times Roll.

Let The Good Times Roll is one of Lush's face & body cleansers that does a great job at scrubbing and softening the skin. This cleanser contains polenta and maize flour which both help to exfoliate the skin without being overly harsh. Whilst it may not be suitable for every day use for people with more sensitive skin, I think that this cleanser is perfect for someone like me who suffers from little dry patches that just need some tough love. I tend to just use this at night to make sure that I've really got all of the dirt and grime off of my face before going to bed as I prefer a less creamy cleanser in the mornings.

The scent can be a big factor when it comes to loving or loathing a Lush product, on the whole they usually smell pretty delicious but there are a fair few in the collection that have a bit of an off putting fragrance. Luckily for me, Let The Good Times Roll is not one of these! As to be expected when you look at the ingredient list (cinnamon, corn oil & popcorn to name a few) this cleanser is reminiscent of that sweet cinema snack that I adore. I find that this shares a nearly identical scent with the Popcorn lip scrub so if you know that you're not a fan - you have been warned!

I really enjoy using this cleanser as I feel like it's a little bit more luxurious and nourishing than my usual Superdrug facial polish but still manages to scrub away at my skin and help to tame my dry patches. My only real issue with this is the fact that it can sometimes be difficult to get rid of all of the exfoliating particles from your skin which is another reason that I tend to opt for it in the evenings instead of mornings. I find that this can easily be solved with a good swipe of toner however like most exfoliators there will still be the stray fleck every so often.

On the whole though, I love how soft this leaves my skin. Because it's not too harsh for every day use I find that my skin is looking a bit brighter, without being left red raw or tight from over-exfoliating. I think this is a permanent addition to my "Lush Loves" and I would seriously recommend giving it a go, or just smelling it.

I'm going to go eat a bag of popcorn now.
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